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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Guest Post: Stephanie Draven, author of It Stings So Sweet

It Stings So Sweet
Stephanie Draven

They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon.The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson's passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants topunish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband's increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.

Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.

Working class girl Sophie O'Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn't fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…

*** Guest Post*** 

I Dream of Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Stephanie Draven

So, for a writer, I’m a pretty pragmatic type. Here are a few things I don’t do. I don’t do celebrity crushes. I don’t have vivid dreams about them. I don’t dream up fully formed stories in my head. (Especially not ones set in time periods I know nothing about.) And I don’t turn dreams into books that sell to NY Publishers.

Except, in the case of IT STINGS SO SWEET, that’s exactly what I did.

It all started with an unusually vivid dream about Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the Irish actor best known for his starring role in HBO’s The Tudors, where he chewed up the scenery as a skinny and sexy King Henry VIII. I never thought he was my type, but I’ll admit there’s something appealing about those crazy blue eyes of his. Still, if I were going to have a dream about him, you’d think it’d be set in the Tudor court and that he’d be wearing a crown, right?

But no. In my dream, he was wearing an old-fashioned tuxedo, a skinny little mustache and his hair was slicked back in what I now know to be the Valentino style. In the dream, he was at a party and he was guzzling cocktails, glaring all the while. He was very angry at some woman, but I didn’t know why. And he wanted to punish her.

I woke up out of this dream with my pulse racing and my head full of ideas. I immediately grabbed my notebook and started scribbling everything down, convinced that in the morning it wouldn’t make any sense. Then I went back to bed. But when I woke up the next day, I couldn’t get the dream out of my mind.

I knew that whatever I’d dreamed was set in the past, but when? Skimming pictures on wikipedia of men’s fashions, I soon pinpointed it. I’d dreamed about the 1920s--a time period I’d never given any thought to before. But wasn’t that the time of Prohibition? Why was he drinking a cocktail? Well, I soon learned that Prohibition was flouted and that the 1920s are famous for inventive cocktails.

The dream wouldn’t let go. Suddenly, I knew who Jonathan was angry with. He was angry with his wife. And when I asked myself why, the answer came to me in a flash. Because she kissed another man. And now he wants to punish her. But how?

The answer to that question became the first part of IT STINGS SO SWEET, a novel told in three parts. I wrote it hurriedly and finished it in a few days as if it had sprung whole from my head. I was embarrassed to tell my agent about it, at first. “Oh, this is just a little something I wrote down randomly . . .”

But she loved it! And next thing you know, IT STINGS SO SWEET was born. So, wherever you are, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, thanks for the inspiration!

Do any of you dream about celebrities? If so, what was your wackiest dream!

STEPHANIE DRAVEN is a bestselling, award-winning and RITA-nominated author of historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Her newest project, IT STINGS SO SWEET is a collection of 1920s historical erotic romances that celebrate sex, women, and the Jazz
Age. Her most recent novel with Entangled Publishing, IN BED WITH THE OPPOSITION, is a mix of humor and sex-appeal set against the backdrop of a zany political campaign inspired by the career of Baltimore legend William Donald Schaefer. Both novels are fun departures from her more serious Greek mythology-inspired series for Harlequin's Nocturne line, the debut novel of which was nominated by Romantic Times for Best First Series. The series has earned critical praise for its originality and awareness of social issues and garnered the 2012 SWIRL award for excellence in multi-cultural romance literature as well as the CataRomance's Reviewers Choice Award. Writing historical fiction about Cleopatra’s daughter as Stephanie Dray, she won the Golden Leaf Award for SONG OF THE NILE. Stephanie is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.