Clare London Turns You On

December 4, 2008

Hi there, to anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m Clare London and I write M/M romance and erotica. Thanks to Sloane for inviting me today!!

I have 3 print-‘n-e-novels out at Dreamspinner Press, several short e-stories with them too, and short e-stories also with Eternal Press, Torquere Press, Red Rose Publishing and Aspen Mountain Press. All the details are on my site and my Live Journal blog, addresses below.
It’s been a terrific year for me!

With Christmas in mind, I’ve included below the links and blurbs for my four m/m Christmas stories. With different themes and heat ratings, there’s something for everyone! And I think short stories are a great way to ‘try out’ either a new author (like me *wink*) or a genre.

And comment to me here on this blog (any time over the next week) and you’ll be entered into the draw for a free download of one of these stories.

So what have I got to Blog about today though, eh? With the end of 2008 approaching fast, I’m tempted to do one of those review things. No, not the ‘Worst Grammar Mistakes of 2008’ or the award for ‘Cheesiest Sex Scene in a Novel’ or ‘Author with the Most Inventive names for her Heroes’ Private Parts’. I mean just what I’ve learned as an Author – and need to continue working on.

Pass me the envelope, my trusty assistant!
How 2008 was for me – and in no particular order:

*The year of Publishing – and of seeing my name on Amazon (a personal ambition!).
*Developing writing skills, for long and short stories.
*Meeting new online friends, some of them Real Keepers (*smooch* to Sloane).
*Developing all those new subsidiary skills – web design, marketing, editing, running contests, meeting deadlines.
*New website to launch soon with a Fab new Image! (the website, not me, alas).

And yet also…
*The year of struggle, juggling writing as yet another job.
*Coping with rejection. Plenty.
*Mislaying my Muse for months at a time (where IS that mystical holiday destination where all the Muses go when they’re in a non-cooperative Mood?).
*Meeting not-so-lovely online people and aggressive or ignorant attitudes.

So this is what life is all about, right? The rough with the smooth. The two sides of the penny. You win some, you lose some. *Go me, the Philosopher*.

But seriously, being published has been a hell of a lot more than just that. It’s involved a whole new career and a whole new adventure for me. And a whole new slant on life, both virtual and real.

The logistical issues have been mind-boggling. I write perched on the end of my dining room table and with a hubby and the Sons constantly moving around me. And shouting, of course, that being a very testosterone characteristic. Oh, and the phone ringing. And Son#1 practising electric guitar.

And the creative side… well, it comes and goes, let’s put it that way. I work full-time and am quite often too knackered to THINK of an idea, let alone WRITE anything for it. I have at least 3 novels stuck at chapter 3 because the theme no longer looks remotely interesting and the characters have drifted into bland blancmange. And I constantly battle with the reality (to me, anyway LOL) that almost everyone else writes better than I do, and soon I’ll be found out, and I’ll never get another piece of work published ever ever ever again *blub blub* *hubby and Sons collectively roll their eyes*.

You get the picture?! LOL

You all have the same issues though, too, don’t you? (umm…?!) So tell me about it!

What’s the best about being a writer… and the worst?
If you’re not a writer yourself, what do you imagine is the best – and what do you imagine we have to moan about, for goodness sake?
Who do you envy – who do you sympathise with? (just generally, not specific authors)
What encourages and supports you – what demotivates and annoys you?

And what are your promises to yourself for 2009?

Join me again on the 20th here at Sloane’s, and as well as telling you what pigs we make of ourselves food-wise here in the UK, I can talk to you about MY Promises and Plans for next year.
Be warned – I’ll be frank! (well Clare actually, but you know what I mean…LOL)

Good to talk to you, thanks again to Sloane (*the beautiful EPPIE finalist*), and HAPPY READING!

Happy Christmas!
Clare London

WHERE’S SANTA?
Dreamspinner Press

BLURB:
Chris has been hired as the new Santa at Danny’s store, and he’s just the guy Danny wishes he had on his personal Christmas gift list. When Chris has a crisis of confidence and Danny finds him hiding in the stock room, it looks like Danny’s Christmas wish will be granted by a Santa who’s very real.

EXCERPT:
“I can’t go back on duty,” Chris groaned. “It’s inhuman cruelty. I quit, as of now.”
“Tell that to Mr. Stevens,” I said. “And he’ll tell that to your college board.”
“Fuck.” Chris looked very dispirited. “What can I do?”
I really wanted to put my arm around him, but I was worried it’d be taken the wrong way. Well, taken the right way, was more likely, but that might cause me even more trouble. I cleared my throat. “Just keep quiet for another half hour or so. Then when Mr. Stevens goes for his late lunch, you can smuggle your way out. Leave the suit here, and you’ll never be recognized among all the customers.”
Chris looked down at his pants. “I can’t leave these.”
I looked down at them, too, I couldn’t help myself. I was starting to feel uncomfortable, particularly in my own groin area. It was delicious in its own way, but not when I was trapped in my work pants and realizing I should have gone for the loose fit pair this morning. “Maybe I can find a pair of shorts for you from the summer stock, you can quickly change into them.”
Chris stared at me and there was a mischievous sparkle in his eyes that wasn’t there before. “I’m commando today. No boxers. Thought I’d be too hot in these stupid thick pants.”
“You’re…too hot…no boxers.” I couldn’t seem to manage a whole sentence.
“Danny.” He said my name very softly and a bit nervously. “I wouldn’t mind changing in front of you, though. Do you know what I’m saying?”
For maybe the first time in my life, I wished I’d listened more carefully to my friends’ dating advice. “I guess so. But me…?”
Chris laughed and reached for my hand. His grip was strong, like I noticed before. “I’m sorry if I read it wrong, but you were looking at me. That way, you know?”
I nodded, not knowing at all, but damned glad someone’s gaydar was working at full capacity.
“You’re very cute.” He looked flushed, I could see the darker shade on his cheeks. “I wanted to talk more to you this morning but we didn’t have time. I’m a bit shy about this stuff, really, but you looked like you knew what you wanted. Looked keen.”
I was too shocked to reply. My mouth opened and closed again, like a surprised goldfish, and his gaze was on me, his eyes following the movement. His tongue slipped out and he licked around his lips, quickly.
Suddenly it seemed the loose fit pants would have been a really good idea.
But before I could reach down discreetly and try to adjust my swelling cock, Chris lurched forward. I stepped back, startled, and shredded packaging floated up from the floor, attaching to the fabric of my pants. My nose itched, too: I’d dislodged one of the cobwebs on the nearby shelf and its sticky tendrils were clinging to me.
Then Chris kissed me and I forgot all the mess and confusion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS YET TO COME
Dreamspinner Press

BLURB:
“It’s the most horrible time of the year.” Isn’t that the way the song goes? Dan has let years of pain, indecision and upset get to his head, and now he’s managing to drive off his lover, Aaron. But one dream helps Dan find the right road to happiness.

EXCERPT:
“I didn’t know we’d be snowed in,” he sighed. “I’m sorry if you feel trapped.”
“Now who’s blaming himself for the weather?” I laughed and his body jerked behind me, like I startled him. “Maybe I need to be trapped. I need to stop running away – stop seeing life as something to struggle through, and enjoy some more of it. Make sure that you enjoy some more, too.”
Aaron spoke very slowly. “That’s not always easy.”
“No. But it’ll be worthwhile, right?”
I stayed spooned against him but I twisted my head back to look at him, making it obvious I wanted some more of the kissing. His lips were a little hesitant, but his hand tightened on my hip. His dick was thick and hot against my ass and his legs were tensing up, trying to keep an inch of distance between our bodies. I guessed he was doing that for my sake only. I wriggled up to him even closer, my head still twisted back against his, letting my tongue slide around his mouth, tasting him, enjoying him. “Hold me, Aaron,” I hissed. “Fuck me. I want you.” When he frowned, I blushed again, hoping he couldn’t see it in the dim light. “I want whatever you want to give me. Unless you’ve changed your mind – don’t want to inflict yourself on me any more.”
He stared at me. “Is this another joke?”
I didn’t answer with words. The night was getting too dark and too deep to need them, I reckoned. Instead, I reluctantly abandoned the kissing and rolled forwards, presenting my back to him and my ass a little higher, nudging it against his groin. Then I lifted my upper leg and bent it forward over my body, on to the mattress. I guess you could say I was in a recovery position. Rather apt, I thought. His hand slid down from my hip to between my thighs, his breath shallower than before. I felt his fingers brushing against my balls and the warm stickiness of his pre-come at the base of my spine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JUST LIKE SCROOGE
Eternal Press

BLURB:
Last Christmas was a romantic disaster for Ben. But will the ghosts of Christmas past spoil his chance of a future with Jacob, or will his dreams persuade him otherwise?

EXCERPT:
Jacob ran a hand through his tousled hair and grimaced. “Yeah, right, I see what you mean. Good time for a strategic retreat. You can share my cab. Better still, we could go on to my place for coffee−”
“The cab is good for me,” I interrupted.
He flushed. “Why do you always do that, Ben? Push me away?”
When I didn’t answer, he frowned. “I know you don’t want to talk about it. You’ve told us that plenty of times. Your break-up last year was hell for you, but I don’t see why you can’t think about moving on,”
“He. . . I trusted him.” My voice sounded muffled amongst the celebrations going on around us, but I knew Jacob heard me clearly enough. “You all told me he was a liar and a cheat, and guess what, you were right.”
“We didn’t like doing that,” Jacob said, sharply, though his eyes were gentler. “Telling tales. But we heard things about him you needed to know. You think we wanted you hurt? You think I wanted it?”
“No,” I protested. “I know, I didn’t mean that. That’s what friends do−I appreciated it. But it all made me feel like I’d messed up yet again. Just another bad date; another short, sour disaster; one more spoiled page in my scrapbook of romance.” I laughed, a brittle sound. “It’s just. . . ”
“It’s just. . . ” He echoed. “Yeah, it’s always ‘just’.” He sighed, dropping his gaze from mine. His fingers played aimlessly with the bottom of his shirt.
I got up and stepped down a couple of stairs so that I stood only a few inches away from him. His shoulder nudged mine, and I smelled his cologne, sharp and musky. A stray lock of his hair brushed against the edge of my jaw. I knew suddenly how his skin would taste on my tongue. The tang of saliva stirred in my mouth.
His gaze snapped up to meet mine. “Ben…” It was only a whisper, but that single word sounded full of longing. He looked uncharacteristically nervous, and I wanted to say something−to try to explain things I didn’t really understand myself−but he never gave me the chance. He took my arm and pulled me back into the shadows at the foot of the stairs, then slid a hand around the back of my neck and tugged me closer. Then he kissed me.
His lips were warm and tasted of fruit punch, but only for a second. Then they tasted of him, and only him—a rich and heady flavor. I savored something far more delicious than any alcohol. I’d tasted him once before−I’d dreamt of it many times since. As his tongue teased at me, I opened my mouth and welcomed his kiss.
Suddenly my memories were fresh and focused solely on this evening. I wanted to laugh aloud. I knew what happiness felt like—what it tasted like.
A moan escaped my lips, and I pulled away from him.
It wasn’t for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SECRET SANTA
Eternal Press

BLURB:
Seb and Jamie argue over everything, even Christmas supper. But when they both receive an unsuitable Secret Santa present, it helps cook up something rather more exciting between them!

EXCERPT:
The temperature in the kitchen had increased by many degrees and not all of them were caused by the cooker.
Seb’s back was to the counter, the edge digging into his waist. He had a smudge of cranberry chutney on his nose. Jamie was only a step away from him, their eyes locked on each other. They were both breathing more shallowly than earlier in the evening. When Seb lifted a hand to wipe away the chutney, Jamie grasped his wrist, not harshly, but the grip was firm.
“I’ll do that.” With his free hand, he wiped the chutney gently off Seb’s nose. Then his fingertip continued to trail down Seb’s cheek, under his jaw and then along the lines of his throat.
Seb groaned aloud, a soft growling sound from the back of his throat. His head went back, baring his neck, and he swallowed heavily.
Jamie dropped his hand, leaning in closer. “I mean . . . I want . . .”
“What?” Seb’s voice was just a whisper. “Say it.”
“I want you.” Jamie’s murmur breathed heat and sweet excitement into Seb’s ear. He sounded both shocked and thrilled, but then hadn’t that been his permanent state, ever since he put an arm around Seb’s waist and pulled him in for a proper, non-cranberry caress?
Seb bit back a gasp. His body shivered. “How long, Jamie?” His words were hoarse.
Jamie watched the movement of Seb’s mouth, the drop of sweat on his upper lip. He thought he could watch it for hours. He’d never imagined quite how fascinating this vibrant man could be! “What do you mean?”
“How long have you wanted me?”
Jamie smiled. That was an easy question. “For always, for too long. Have I said the wrong thing again?” He realized he didn’t care anymore. He knew he spoke honestly and with care, the same as always. It was just that he was finding new words and new expressions now—and Seb was listening to him too. “We’ve never talked about these things; never stopped arguing long enough to discover an alternative way of communicating. Do you find it offensive?”
“Offensive?” Seb’s laugh was a little shaky. “I’ve wanted you since you first turned those icy eyes on me and told me to shut the hell up.”

Clare London, Author
Writing… Man to Man
http://www.darkpearldiva.com
http://www.myspace.com/clarelondon
http://claredivatoo.livejournal.com

Sloane said @ 10:31 am | Friends, Holidays

7 Responses to “Clare London Turns You On”


  1. Ginger Says:

    Okay, so I got no smooch for being one of those rare keepers you found on-line, but I’m not gonna pout. *sniff* Loved your post, and as usual, you’ve steamed up my screen with your excerpts. I only wish I could write sex scenes like you and Sloane, but no matter how hard I try, the prude in me keeps popping out. I think it all started when my grandmother told me that all little boys wanted to do was get in my panties. I couldn’t imagine what they’d do once they got there, but I think it stifled my sexual creativity. *lol*

  2. Theda Says:

    Hey goofball, it’s me, Theda.

    Okay, where in the HELL do you get the idea you can’t write??? You’re too damned hard on yourself. You do a wonderful job and to me you’re insanely prolific. So put that on a piece of toast and butter it.

    God where do I come up with these *witticisms*

    The best part of being a writer is when it’s all going RIGHT – when the words are rolling and the excitement level is high and you think just maybe you really CAN write.

    Worst is when it’s all going the opposite way and there’s no time, the house needs cleaning, you’re so off the mainstream chart when it comes to writing that there’s no one in your personal life who can read your work and understand where you’re coming from.

    And to put this in the learning category (glad to have weathered it) for the year: When you come through some conflict or some things that could be a downer to your writing, could make you start to not believe in yourself – and instead of doing just that, you take it for what it’s worth, utilize what the criticism or conflict might have to offer you in the way of improvement and move on.

    Hm, should have put the worst part first, it’s a DOWNER…

    Clare, you’re the best. Believe in yourself, you have enough enthusiasm for three:)

  3. Clare London Says:

    Ginger, you *know* you are one of my dearest keepers *treblesmooch*, and just how lucky am *I* to know TWO EPPIE finalists?!!!!! *lol*

    I shall happily stay Featured Guest on your two blogs for another few years and bask in the reflected stardom. You are both such excellent bloggers – exactly what I always hope to see and read when I visit – entertainment and thought-provoking comment.

    Do you think we’re *better* bloggers for being authors, or are they 2 very different skills? Now there’s another theme for another day…
    ^_~

  4. Clare London Says:

    Theda, wheee, great to see you! Theda wrote the fabulously sensual, emotional roller-coaster novels ‘After Anna’ and ‘Touch Like Breathing’, about the troubled, desperate, needy and erotically vivid relationship between fellow cops Will and Tyler. *wipes brow*
    You remind me why I love to write m/m, my dear!

    Thanks for dropping in and for your kind words. And actually, someone else rapped my knuckles today, too, about being more assertive and not such a wuss about my writing. I let myself get too easily downhearted, and I’m *not* proud of it. Looks like that’ll be on my New Year’s Resolution list!

    Catch you soon on email!! 🙂

  5. Sloane Says:

    Well, Ms Clare, if it’s punishment and spankings that motivate you, I’m happy to bring a new leather whip to the party.:)

    Theda, you give her a good what for. This Clare woman we love needs to say daily, “I am a bestselling author” and she needs to think it. Anything else is self-defeating.

    Ginger, I’ve read your books. The sensual tension you write is TERRIFIC!

    Thanks, Clare, for coming out today. Can’t wait to see what you have for us on the 20th.

  6. Melissa Bradley Says:

    Hope I’m not too late to tell you this was an extremely interesting post. I love hearing these kinds of things from fellow authors. One thing that always frustrates me about being a writer is the constant feeling of just when you think you have it right, another editor tells you you’re wrong so you’re left feeling like you haven’t learned anything. I also hate the Shiny New Idea Syndrome because it always strikes right when I HAVE to finish the current piece.

    I love creating my own worlds and exploring what if? I feel like I can do anything when I am in the pages of my story. It’s also a very cathartic way of dealing with people and things who make you mad. lol.

  7. Clare London Says:

    Hi Melissa and what a great reply, thanks for dropping in!
    You sum it up so well – I’m afraid I wrote this post in a bit of a tizz because I’d just had a short story mangled by an editor, or that’s how *I* saw it LOL. It made me think – just like you say! – that I hadn’t learned anything at all in the last year and was still some newbie!!

    And I have a whole PILE of the Shiny New Ideas, all languishing in line for when I have some time. By which time, the Shine has Tarnished somewhat *LOL*.

    But that’s exactly what writing is for me, the chance to step into another world, another character, another excitement. And yes, I should use it as catharsis, instead of letting the people who get me mad keep me *out*.

    Have a great weekend and I hope you get to read this – that’s the problem with Blogs isn’t it? you have to remember to drop back in now and then – and keep watching Sloane’s place for more exciting blogs. And I’ll announce a download-winner soon, too :).

    Happy writing – see you again soon on a Blog or Loop
    somewhere!
    Clare 🙂