Saturday, December 17, 2011

H.C Brown's Guest Author: Doris O'Connor

What a difference a year brings

Firstly, big thanks to Heather for letting me take over her blog today :-) I promise to behave myself—a little anyway…

H.C. Don't worry my readers are VERY broad minded...and I always have a flogger handy if you get out of line. ;-)

When I was thinking about what I could blog about, only one subject sprang to mind. It has been such an incredible year for me and it is all very closely tied in with this book.

BLURB: Sven Larsson, international movie star, is out to repair his scandalous reputation. The last thing he needs is an enticing bundle of curves falling into his arms. However, the instant sexual chemistry he has with Sylvia is hard to ignore . . . .

Sylvia, a young widow and mother of three, knows Sven is everything she doesn’t need in a man. Can she risk giving in to temptation? With the paparazzi breathing down their necks and both of them scarred emotionally by their past demons, will Sven and Sylvia manage to heal each other?

You see, Scandinavian Scandal is the first manuscript I ever completed. I have written all my life and I’ve always had stories in my head, but Sven is the first hero, who ever took over completely. The idea for this story was born back in September 2010. A friend had entered the Mills&Boon New Voices competition and encouraged me to give it a go. After all I had always wanted to write a novel, so I penned my first chapter and pressed send.  I was so incredibly excited and also very naïve, looking back at it now. As first chapters went, it wasn’t abysmal, but it certainly wasn’t good enough, and needless to say I didn’t get anywhere in that competition. However, Sven had his hands on me, metaphorically speaking, and I kept writing and completed the first draft. NaNoWriMo followed and I completed two more manuscripts and I just kept on writing. Several more competitions followed and I started submitting. I received some very encouraging feedback, but a spate of rejections followed. I knew the basics of my story were sound; it was the execution that needed work on. I shelved Sven and Sylvia for a bit. My lovely critique group UCW heard about an anthology call for Breathless Press. I had never before written an erotic piece before, but I thought to myself, why not? Sounds like Fun. Awakening was written in just over a week with my tongue firmly stuck in the side of my cheek. I send it off and settled in for a long wait, because the deadline was months away.
With free time on my hands my thoughts once again turned to Sven’s story. I’d had vague notions of turning it into an Erotic romance, but it seemed such a huge task, that I’d put it off and off… I should mention here that I am the queen of procrastination! I did read and read and read though. Lots and lots of Erotic romances and finally with Sven tapping me on the shoulder and raising his eyebrows at me I opened a brand new word document.
Sven took over, telling me exactly what he intended to do to Sylvia *cough* and the rest is history. The story took on a life of its own, and whilst the original premise is the same, the final piece is very different. I added in layers and layers of conflict and depth and emotion and lots of hot sex, obviously, and I was quietly hopeful, that this time, someone would fall in love with Sven and Sylvia as much as I had.
I shall never forget the evening I opened the e-mail from Noble Romance. I froze and then I simply screeched. “OMG, OMG, OMG, I don’t believe it!” Cue kids and hubby came running toward me from all angles, thinking I’d gone into labour—I was heavily pregnant at the time! It is a small miracle that I didn’t go into labour, really, especially as the end of that week also brought with it the acceptance for Awakening.
Needless to say that wasn’t the end. Editing was an interesting process, during which I learnt tons and again the story is much better for the extra polish. J
And I learnt an important thing about myself, I’m an Erotic writer. Who’d have thunk it? Cause those first sex scenes in the original version of Scandinavian Scandal—well… I needed help with them and was terribly embarrassed. I have to laugh at myself now. I do still make myself blush, mind you, as my writing continues to evolve. My latest piece is a ménage, nuff said!
My New Year’s resolution for 2011 was to be published. Not only did I achieve that, I surpassed it. At the point of writing this, I have just received the acceptance for my sixth story—A naughty nursery rhyme based on Goldilocks and the three bears. I had lots of fun penning this one ;-)
I am incredibly grateful to my publishers and my readers, for helping me finish 2011 on such a great high. And Sven will always hold a very special place in my heart.
There are several opportunities on my blog this week to win not only copies of my books but lots of other author’s and goodies too, so do make sure you stop by J
For now I shall leave you with a little excerpt from Scandinavian Scandal. This is the morning after the night they met and things are not what they seem.

Sylvia's heart beat so fast the blood rushed to her ears. What had she done? Not only was she plastered all over the newspapers, she had spent the night with Sven Larsson for god's sake. The man had a reputation a mile long, none of it good, and the bloody cow had named her—named her for fuck's sake! God, she had to get home. With a bit of luck, this would turn out to be just a particularly bad dream, brought on by too much champagne. Surely she would wake up in a minute back in her own bed with Timmy jumping all over her as usual.
The disdain in the male voice washing over her robbed her of that hopeful illusion. His accent was thicker now. How the hell had she not noticed last night? She may not go to the movies a lot, but Larsson was a household name. His height alone should have made her realize it was him, and, damn it, hadn't it been her mission to find him?
Congrats girl, you more than succeeded. You fucking excelled!
"You're going to kill who exactly, lady? Do enlighten me; I would love some insight into that deceitful little head of yours."
"I'm deceitful? Says the man who dragged me back to his hotel suite to do goodness only know what. Why the hell did you not tell me who you were? I'd never have gone with you, had I known."
"Oh, cut the bull, lady. Of course you knew who I was, but I've got to give it to you. You should go into acting. You certainly had this mug fooled. But what could I expect from the likes of you?"
The scathing once over he gave her body hit Sylvia like a physical slap. How dare he?
"I do not know who you think I am, but if you think for one minute that I would choose to be associated with a man like you, then your ego is even more inflated than I first thought."
His sneering laughter just annoyed her more. He turned his back on her, and she swallowed, taking in the tight butt, perfectly showcased in faded denim. Unwanted heat coiled low in her belly. She remembered that he hadn't bothered with underwear, and the equally tight black vest top he was now wearing only emphasized his broad shoulders. The muscles in his biceps flexed as he raised another beer bottle and swallowed its contents in one long gulp. God, the man really was sex on legs, and she had to get home and away from him. The best sex in the world wasn't worth this, and, besides, she couldn't remember a thing about last night, damn it. You'd think she would at least remember something for god's sake. What was the point of all this public humiliation and the tongue lashing she knew would be waiting for her at home, if she couldn't even remember sleeping with the man?
"If you just call me a cab, I'll be out of your hair."
"I don't think so lady. Vera is working on a gag order right now, and, until I hear from her, you are staying right here. There will be no kiss-and-tell story, lady. So sorry to disappoint you, but your neat little plan backfired. No pound of flesh today, other than the filth already spread by your reporter friend."
That did it!
"Who the hell do you think you are to talk to me like that? I can assure you Evelyn Jones is no friend of mine, and why on earth would I want to broadcast a kiss-and-tell story about you? Haven't there been enough already! Perhaps you should try acting for a change, instead of forcing yourself on unconscious women."
The low growl her shouted words elicited from him made her jump. She backed away as he advanced towards her, a murderous expression on his face. Oh, hell, he looked ready to kill her.
Good going girl, see what your big mouth has gone and done now . . . .
Larsson's temper was as legendary as his womanizing, and, right now, it was all directed towards her. He backed her up against a wall, one hand braced on either side of her head, caging her in. His breathing was as heavy as her own, and, heaven help her if his glaring down on her wasn't the sexiest thing ever. Sylvia clamped her thighs together and bit into her bottom lip to stop herself from reacting. But there was nothing at all she could do about the moisture between her legs and her nipples straining against the confines of her bra. His suddenly heated gaze travelled over her, and his mouth hovered over hers. God, he smelled so good. The faint woodsy scent of his aftershave mixed with his own pure male arousal. She shut her eyes to at least cut out one of her senses which was leading her astray.
His growled whisper against the fevered skin of her neck made her moan, even as his words both appalled and aroused her.
"I have never taken a woman against her will, and you can't tell me that you aren't wet for me right now, lady!"
Oh God!
"I'm not!"
The rasp of morning stubble against her neck sent a renewed burst of moisture into her already wet folds, and his knowing chuckle made her groan as he kissed his way along her jaw line.
"Open your eyes, and look at me, if you want to convince me of that, but your body gives you away, my sweet. I can smell you want me."
Sylvia did force her eyes open then, only to lose herself in the depths of the ice blue gaze that held her captive.
"That's as may be, but it doesn't mean I have to act on it." And, with strength she didn't know she had, she pushed him away from her and ducked under his arms, only for one strong hand to clamp against her arm and yank her back into his hard frame. Damn, there wasn't an ounce of fat anywhere on that torso, and the bulge in his jeans left her in no doubt that he wanted her as badly as she did him.
If only he wasn't this big star and she was free to just let herself go for once, but she couldn't afford to, she just couldn't.
"Please, just let me go. I need to go home. You won't need any gag order, I won't say anything. Please, I'm sorry about the pictures, but the bitch pulled me over the hot coals, too. I never wanted any of this. And regardless of what it says in there, I do not work for Whisper."
Damn, she was not going to cry. She was stronger than this.
"You expect me to believe that?"
His tone was cynical, but his bruising grip on her arm lessened slightly. He used one thumb to wipe away the single tear that managed to escape down her cheek.
"Quit the waterworks, lady. It doesn't wash."
But he gentled his grip on her further, and Sylvia found herself pulled into his frame once again as the tears started in earnest. She clung to his chest, grateful for his strength.

Scandinavian Scandal is available from Noble Romance
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Thanks again for letting me highjack Heather :-)

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