Issue No. 13

April 2013

  Message from Afton  

It's been a busy year. I never expected Plucking the Pearl would turn into a series but it has! The sequel, Rose, Exposed has just released from Ellora's Cave and tells the story of Leroy, Pearl's cousin. This will become the Oyster Harbor series -- forbidden love finds a way. I've been traveling a lot too.

This newsletter brings you details on my new release, an interview with Stephanie Draven, the fabulous author of 1920s erotic romance, and my latest news and events. Read on...

  New Release!    

Genre: multicultural historical erotic romance
Now available from Ellora’s Cave!
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
eBook ISBN #: 978-14199-45205

Watch the video

The Rose, Exposed blog tour is over, but read the 17 articles I wrote here.

When Leroy gets promoted at the new oyster plant on Pearl Point, all he cares about is working hard. Then he meets flirtatious artist Rose, and soon nothing matters except getting her to the altar and into bed. He’s healing from a recent loss, and isn’t about to let her go too.

Because Rose’s strict, social-climbing father doesn’t approve of dark-skinned Leroy, they court in secret. Although Leroy’s raw passion can convince her to do almost anything, why can’t he understand she needs freedom, not marriage? However, in the 1930s, freedom for any woman is hard to come by.

In Leroy’s arms, Rose finds unimaginable sensual pleasures, but she’s torn by desire and duty. Her father wants her to be white; Leroy wants her to embrace her black heritage. Playing both sides of the fence leaves this young biracial beauty exposed in more ways than one.

warning: explicit
An Excerpt From: ROSE, EXPOSED
Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“You’re so…dark,” she exclaimed. Instead of the disdain he expected, he heard fascination.

Come on, lady. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a colored man before.

“Yes, I’m dark,” he agreed as he politely removed her hand, “which is why it’s not a good idea for us to sit alone together in this car. Someone might come along and jump to the wrong conclusion.”

A conclusion that could get him beat up or worse with the Klan close by on Oyster Island.

But before he could stop her, she clasped both sides of his face and pressed her sweet mouth to his. Aw, hell. A man only had so much self-control, and she’d just shattered his. Unable to stop himself, he plundered her delicate mouth. Her lips reminded him of rose petals, and he sucked the sweetness out of them as if he were a bee. The more he tasted, the more he wanted.

She opened, giving him access to her even sweeter tongue. His penis strained, hard and now wet, against his undershorts. Hell, even his balls must be twice their normal size. Taking a big breath, he pulled away from her.

“We can’t do this. You’re white.”

She looked down at her upturned palms. “Then I really do look white?”

Leroy frowned. “Aren’t you?”

For the first time, her smile disappeared, making him shiver in his wet clothes. “The truth is, I don’t know what I am. I suppose that’s why I took this foolish drive.”

She must be biracial then, he realized, and not forbidden after all. The thought made him want to dance on the hood of the car. She still looked white, though. If he didn’t have the time to court a girl his own color, he sure didn’t have any for a complicated one like this.

“Kiss me again,” she demanded.

Without waiting for him to answer, she locked her hot, damp mouth on his again and tugged hard on his shoulders. Before he knew it, he was on top of her on the front seat. He wished her dress weren’t so thin when two round breasts pushed against his chest and long, slender legs shifted restlessly under his. Dizzy with the scent of rain and her, he froze.

At that moment, nothing mattered except finding out if her cunt was as sweet and yielding as her mouth. He didn’t care if the entire Klan showed up, knocked on the window and caught him thrusting between her legs on this slippery leather seat. It had been too damn long since he’d had a woman. He needed to stop this while he still could.

“Do you know what you’re asking for?” Lust had turned his voice into a husky croak.

She laughed and touched his face again. “I don’t know. What am I asking for?”

This girl was crazier than he’d first thought. What if someone less honorable than himself had stopped instead? She could’ve been raped.

“A whole lot of trouble.” He sat up. “Look, this is not the time or the place. Now let’s get you home.”

The sooner he could be rid of her—before she derailed him from his job, family, and everything else that mattered—the better.

  Interview with Stephanie Draven  
  Author Stephanie Draven joins us to tell us about her recent release, It Stings So Sweet from Berkley Sensation, and her writing.

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 to punish 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...

Stephanie: Thanks so much for having me!

Afton: Tell us about your latest release. I just read it and loved the edginess. I was literally on the edge of my seat wondering what the characters would try next.

Stephanie: IT STINGS SO SWEET is a 1920s historical erotic romance novel told in three parts. The first is a story about a married couple on the brink of divorce who are brought back together when they discover their inner kinks. The second is about a jaded starlet who finally meets a man who can make even a girl like her blush. The third is about a shop girl and social activist who finds herself in a torrid affair with her boss--the man she’s planning a strike against.

All three stories are set in a time when there weren’t words for the BDSM lifestyle, but people still had the same urges. It’s about people who are convinced that their sexuality will leave them isolated and alone--people who learn that accepting themselves is actually the path to love.

Afton: The acceptability (or lack therof) of BDSM in history is a fascinating angle. What inspired you to write the story?

Stephanie: The smart answer is that I was inspired to write about this after listening to countless arguments about what was and wasn’t real BDSM. It’s always hard for me to watch, in silence, as people try to judge and rip apart the sexuality of others, much less force them to question an identity that wasn’t easy for them to arrive at in the first place. I wanted to say that when it comes to your bedroom, you get to have your own rules.

The more mundane answer is that I had a dream about Jonathan Rhys Meyers all dressed up in 1920s garb and he was very angry. I woke up out of a sound sleep, fascinated by the story behind his anger, and that was the spark behind the book. Then I stumbled over a piece of vintage pornography that had been digitized from the era, and no one could stop me from writing about it!

Afton: Dream inspiration is very cool. I'm going to Google now to see what he looks like. Why did you choose the 1920s as a time period?

Stephanie: My mission is to write very smart books for very bad girls and flappers were the original bad girls of American history. They smoked, they drank, they wore short skirts and had sex and demanded to be allowed to use birth control. It’s a very sexy time period and it’s also a time of social revolution. But I’ll also admit that the clothes are gorgeous and the style is elegant and glitzy.

Afton: It sounds like a fun time period and one that will become more popular. Which character in that book do you identify with the most?

Stephanie: I loved every character in this book but if I have to pick only one, it’s Leo Vanderberg, World War One Flying Ace. An American aviator who masters everything he puts his hands on whether it’s an airplane or a silent screen siren.

There is a moment in the story that Clara gets embarrassed and doesn’t want to tell Leo how many lovers she’s had. He laughs and says, “I hope your list numbers in the hundreds . . . this way, when you admit I’m the best you’ve ever had, it’ll really mean something.”

The moment those words rolled off his lips, I fell in love with him. And so did she.

Afton: I could tell from reading it that you really liked Clara and Leo's story. I loved all the unique characters, so it would be hard for me to choose just one. What did you learn about yourself or in general from writing this book?

Stephanie: I didn’t know that films in the 1920s were so racy--it was before the Hays Code, so anything was allowed. And they did everything. I actually tripped over digitized pornography from this era and was so charmed by one of the films that I started writing a story for one of the women in it. That’s how Clara Cartwright was born.

Afton: 1920s porn. Wow, who knew? Tell us about your books / writing identities. Is it hard to keep it all straight?

Stephanie: As Stephanie Dray I write historical women’s fiction and fantasy. As Stephanie Draven, I write all kinds of romance, or whatever else I feel like writing.

Under both names, I try to write about the things that move me and inspire readers. But there is a different emphasis with each. It’s the marketing that tends to be nightmarish.

Afton: Writers have various strategies for dealing with reader opinions. What is yours?

Stephanie: I value all reader input. It’s just that sometimes I value it because it makes me giggle. One of my all-time favorite letters was from a prisoner who explained that my book was the only one he was allowed to read in solitary confinement. Then he proceeded to lay out a sixteen point explanation of why it was the worst book he’d ever read. That one goes in my hall of fame.

Afton: LOL.Well, at least it made an impression on him. Which of your books would you most like to see in film and who would you cast as the hero and/or heroine?

Stephanie: I’d love to see IT STINGS SO SWEET made into a movie, and if it is made into one, I’d love to see Jon Hamm play Leo Vanderberg!

Afton: Ah, another handsome guy I just looked up on Google. What's your vision of a romantic date?

Stephanie: I’d love to go to a sea-side resort with a private pool. Is that too much to ask?

Afton: Not at all. It might even make a good setting for another book.

Thanks for joining us, Stephanie! Where can we find you for future updates?

web site

  Afton's News  
  Plucking the Pearl gets top reviews!

The hot cover did cause a stir. Readers seem to like it. However, Apple's iBookstore won't sell it, and printers would not print trading cards for it. I had to create a whole new design, but luckily I found footage of the same models.

Fallen Angel Reviews - 5 angels - Recommended Read!
I really enjoyed this story because during this time I know that relationships between blacks and whites were taboo and frowned upon. I admired the fact that Caleb went after what he wanted... I doubt she could have found another man that would be as gentle with her to teach her about love... This was a wonderful story of forbidden love.
Read the full review

Long and Short Reviews - 4.5 stars
Pearl is a sympathetic and well crafted heroine...And the sparks in this story are hot and plentiful... I highly enjoyed the forbidden nature of their affair and the uniqueness of the time period and setting. The historical aspect was good and genuine. ...All and all, a hot and enjoyable historical that I highly recommend. This is definitely a re-read for me. Take an emotional escape to a different time and era with Plucking the Pearl. Read the full review

  Afton's Travels      
  Ellora's Cave RomantiCon

I will be attending EC’s EC RomantiCon Oct 10-13, 2013 in Canton, Ohio, and signing books on the 13th.
I’m also hosting a Fabulous Fusion workshop with Koko Brown and Eve Vaughn to celebrate interracial erotic romance for EC’s Fusion line.
(Last year, I had a blast and won a superstar award!)

Naughty Sleepover

I also had a blast at the Naughty Sleepover event, hosted by the Sassy Seven, in San Antonio last February.

The Sassy Seven authors wrote a collection of sizzling stories that take place in the historic Menger Hotel where the event was held. If you like cowboys, you'll love this book. I did! Each romantic story has the unique voice of its author and features a couple meeting in the Menger Bar (where Teddy Roosevelt used to lift a pint or two).
The anthology is published by Decadent Publishing and available on Amazon.

Next year, don't miss the event's successor -- The Wild, Wicked Weekend on February 20-23, 2014.

  Available Books      


Covers link to the publisher's web site. Most are also available at Kindle, Sony, All Romance eBooks, and more. Plucking the Pearl and Sexual Energy are also available in print!


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  Thank you for reading! Email comments or suggestions.
Until next time...

Afton Locke
Unlock your fantasies...


© 2013 All Rights Reserved by Afton Locke. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without permission.