Friday, May 11, 2012

Doris O'Connor's "Too Cold to Love"

Guess who's back? That's right! Doris O'Connor, the prolific writer I love to work with. Today she's here answering questions about herself and her writing, so pull up a chair and learn more about this fabulous author!

AD: Thanks for taking time out of your super busy real-life and writing schedules to talk to us today. So, how long have you been writing? Writing romance? Was writing always something you have wanted to do? Or is it something that just developed?

DO: I've always spun stories in my head, for as long back as I can remember. As a teenager I started countless novels, as you do, lol. As an adult, life got in the way for a while, but I always thought one day I would. Then a friend entered the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition back in September 2010, and I thought to myself, why not give it a go? I didn't get anywhere in that competition, but it sparked my muse, and I've been writing ever since. It had to be romance, because that's all I read really. I just love a HEA.

AD: What inspired you to write the Giovanni Chronicles?

DO: I heard about NaNoWriMo, again back in 2010 and with a few of my newly formed critique group decided to give it a whirl. I wrote the first draft of book one of the Giovanni in about twenty days. I'm a panster, so the story just evolved from a vague idea I had, and I enjoyed the Giovanni so much, I just carried on writing.

AD: What draws you to multicultural stories? Does this element show up in many other works of yours?

DO: Well, that wasn't a conscious decision. Though thinking about it, I shouldn't have been surprised. Hubby and I are very much living our own multicultural romance—I'm German, he's English/Irish—and family, well they can be interesting, right? So, it made sense to me to explore the dynamics of a huge Italian family. I like huge families. Hubby and I have a brood of nine kids, so it's a subject dear to my heart.

AD: *hugs* Too Cold to Love is your second story in the Giovanni series. Was it originally intended to be a series? If not, what inspired you to continue? Do you have any further stories in this series planned?

DO: I didn't intend to write a series, nope. But like I said above, I enjoyed writing about them so much, I just had to carry on. I had great fun, revisiting Alex and Kitty from Book One and seeing how they fared eighteen months on. Stella plays a big part in this book, too. I do like Stella! In fact she is niggling at me as I type, so she may well get her own story. I have a definite third book planned for the series. When I wrote Too Cold to Love it became clear that Marco's cousin Giorgio and Elise's twin Jemima have unresolved history, so naturally I will have to explore that in book three.

AD: What would you say is the greatest flaw that Marco has? Elise? What are their finest qualities?

DO: Hmm, you're making me think. Marco's greatest flaw is his cynicism. He has good reason for it, but he always assumes the worst of people. Elise's greatest flaw is her devotion to her twin sister. It's also her finest quality, her loyalty to those she loves. Marco's finest quality is how deeply he feels things. He gives a good impression of being a cold fish, but he so isn't, as Elise discovers. And he's very inventive. *grins*

AD: How long did it take you to write Too Cold to Love?

DO: I wrote the first draft in a month, and then didn't look at it again for ages. Once book one had been accepted by Evernight I knew I needed to give Too Cold to Love a serious overhaul. It was my early work, so there were a lot newbie mistakes in there, and I needed to spice it up, or so I thought, lol. I was quite surprised how hot it was in places. When I first wrote it I wasn't aiming at the erotic market, but clearly Marco knew me better than I knew myself ;-)

AD: Which couple was easier to write, Marco and Elise or Alex and Kitty?

DO: Alex and Kitty was easier! It took me a while to get Marco to open up and I didn't like him much at the beginning. Actually I didn't like him at all, and I was a tad worried that readers wouldn't either. But as Elise got under his skin, and he told me why he's acting in the way he is, I fell hopelessly in love with him. He was my first truly tortured hero, and I do like a tortured hero. Elise heals him as much as he heals her, as the story unfolds. If ever two people need each other, it's those two.

AD: Who is your favorite individual character from that series?

DO: Now, that has to be Stella Giovanni. She is such a character.

AD: Please describe a typical writing session for us.

DO: I would if there was such a thing as a typical writing session. No I rephrase that. Typically I get interrupted about a gazillion times, by baby, toddler, child, teen, husband, dog and at times even cat. I do my whirlwind impression of tidying the house, and wash and dry several loads of laundry in-between typing. I swallow a curse when baby hits a button and an hour's work deletes in front of my eyes. I snap at the toddler, as I lose my train of thought, and then spend the next three hours making it up to him, cause I feel guilty when his face crumbles, even though he'll have forgotten about it in five minutes. I talk to my characters out loud on the school run and scare the locals.

I cook dinner with the netbook perched on the side, because I just have to finish 'that' chapter. I get irritated because the kids will not go to bed. Don't they know I have a story to write, dang it.

And finally, when all is quiet, I type away feverishly and end up going to bed at two in the morning, because I'm in the flow. I can't sleep because those pesky characters keep talking to me. I get up at six am and finally start to function after about three coffees. I drop the kids at school and we start the whole thing all over again.

AD: What is the most surprising thing about you?

DO: I have no patience, none. Really I don't! Folks always assume I must have, because we have so many kids, but heck no. Ask them if you don't believe me. They will dissolve into fits of giggles. 

Thanks so much for having me here today!


Marco Giovanni has shut off his emotions, following a messy divorce. His small daughter and his chain of bakeries are all he needs in his life. The string of nannies are an unfortunate necessity he could well do without. So why does his body have to remember its needs now with the latest and most unsuitable nanny ever?

Elise has always been the responsible one, so when she receives yet another SOS phone call from her wayward twin, she does the only thing she can do, she steps into her shoes. Having to go back to nannying is hard enough, the unexpected attraction to her arrogant employer impossible to deal with. Especially when she is forced to agree to a marriage of his convenience to pay off the debt her twin accrued.

In a marriage based on blackmail can passion turn into love, or will secrets and lies destroy all?

Marco's knowing gaze met hers in the bathroom mirror, and the heat she saw in his eyes started a slow answering fire deep within her. Awareness sparked between them.

The towel slowly slipped from her fingers. The ice hit the tiled floor with a thud and broke the spell. She almost ran into the other room and frantically tried the other door.

"I have it on good authority that they are fire doors, my lovely, so I'd give up now. I like your shoulders just the way they are, cara mia."

Marco leant against the door frame propped up by his good shoulder, his arms crossed over his chest, a slow smile on his lips. He checked the lock on the bathroom door.

"And I'm pleased to note there isn't a lock on here, lest you decide to go hiding in another bathroom. I seem to recall you were rather fond of that on our honeymoon."

Elise winced, followed by a vivid blush as she remembered their wedding night.

Marco simply smiled. He slowly advanced towards her, and Elise backed away until she bumped into the wall. He reminded her of a predator stalking his prey.

"Marco, we need to talk."

One last long stride brought him so close his thighs touched hers, and he put one hand either side of her head. His big body crowded her against the wall, and his sinful mouth hovered over hers.

"So talk, cara mia. I'm all yours."

His hot breath fanned across her face, and Elise closed her eyes. She bit back a moan when he kissed her nose and rained butterfly kisses along her jaw line. He suckled gently on just the right spot on her neck to make her knees turn to jelly.


Somehow she found the strength to put her shaking hands on his chest, only to meet hot, hard, male flesh. This time she couldn't stop the very feminine moan escaping. Was that needy sound really her?

Apparently so, judging by Marco's low groan in her ear. He moved his hand to cup her breast, the nipple thrusting shamelessly into his caress.

"You don't sound as though you want me to stop, cara mia. In fact, I would hazard a guess that you're wet enough for me to fuck you right here."

The crude words should have shocked Elise, but instead she whimpered in response to his words. He ground his hips suggestively into hers until the full force of his erection rested against her pussy. Heat flooded between her thighs, and she pulled his head down for kiss.

"You're talking too much, Tarzan."

She caught a quick glimpse of triumph in his glittering eyes before his mouth claimed hers. His tongue tangled with hers, and they both groaned. One of his hands fisted in her hair, and the other lifted her skirt. He cupped her mound and murmured his approval.

"You're so fucking wet for me."

He bunched the sodden material of her underwear in his hand and pulled. The move brought delicious pressure to her clit, and Elise panted in excitement. Cool air hit her slick folds when the material gave way with an audible rip. His large hand replaced the fabric, and her pussy clamped down on the fingers he thrust into her channel. His teeth nipped her neck, nudging her arousal up another notch, and he kicked her feet apart to spread her wider. She clung to his shoulders, rubbing her breasts against his chest, and he swore. He thrust two more fingers into her hungry cunt, and she lifted her leg to give him better access. He withdrew his fingers, and Elise tensed when he inserted one slick digit into her anus.

"Relax, pasticcino."

His eyes sought hers, and he smiled. He kissed her, and Elise relaxed into the strange sensation. When he inserted another finger into her tight hole, she gasped into his mouth. He thrust slowly in and out of her, and Elise pulled him closer to her still, as her hips moved of their own accord. Unused nerve endings sprang to life, and darts of pleasure skittered to her clitoris. Her breath came in short gaps, as her arousal built.

"That's my girl. I knew you'd like this." Marco's strained voice in her ear was the sexiest sound she'd ever heard. She pushed down on his fingers, seeking more, and moaned her disappointment when he withdrew them slowly. He grabbed her buttocks and ground her aching clit into his still covered cock. He thrust into her, and the friction on her throbbing bud proved too much for Elise.

"Please, Marco."

"What, cara mia?"

Marco pulled away, and she groaned.

"What do you want, my wife?"

The heat in his ever darkening gaze stoked her arousal to fever pitch, and she impatiently tugged at his trousers.

"I want you in me, now, Marco."

His eyes darkened further at her whispered plea, and she breathed a sigh of relief when his hands helped her free his cock. It sprung out of its confines up to his taut stomach, and Elise licked her lips in anticipation. She cupped his balls, and it was Marco's turn to groan.

"Jesus, woman, you're killing me."

He pushed her hands away, and Elise arched into his palms, when he pulled down her tank top and exposed her breasts. He kneaded each aching globe, before he pushed them together and laved the nipples in turn. Every suckle sent shards of pure pleasure down towards Elise's clit where delicious anticipation built in waves. She moaned her protest when Marco released the glistening buds and kissed his way back up to her collarbone. She could feel his strained smile before she saw it.

"Wrap your legs around me. I need to get inside you right now."

Too Cold to Love is also at Amazon, Bookstrand, and All Romance!

Find Doris on the web!

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