Clare London (clarelondon) wrote,
Clare London

JAN 24: Clare grabs back the mike...

Well today I have some very exciting news - for me, and hopefully you, too! LOL

My novel Freeman is scheduled for release next month at MLR PRESS

We've just agreed the cover (see below) and I'm thrilled by it. I admit, when I was writing it, and then when I was hoping it might be accepted for publication, I was never sure I'd find a real-life photo/picture to illustrate Freeman and Kit well enough.
So... here it is, proof I was wrong *lol*.
Great thanks and kudos to MLR for accepting the story, Judi for the great editing and Deana for the superb cover!

I will - of course! - keep you all informed of the formal release date.

Freeman's return to the city is quiet, without fuss -- the way he likes things. But, he's missed by more people than he thought: his ex-wife, his ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. One wants friendship, another one intimacy. The third just wants him the hell gone again.

Freeman -- private, controlled -- hasn't time or appetite for trouble. But, when he strikes up an unusual, ill-advised friendship with young, lively, amoral Kit, it seems trouble's come looking for both men, ready to expose secrets that can destroy the fragile trust they've built. Freeman's more ready for the challenge than anyone realizes when the choice comes down to peace or Kit's life.

I listened carefully for any undertone in his words, knowing I’d get no more explanation if I pushed him now. He sounded honest; he sounded bitter. Whoever and whatever other people might think he was, Kit himself thought he was no-one special. I lifted my hand off his and stepped back. Reluctance tugged at me like something sticky. I looked over to my coat, hanging on the back of the couch.
“You’re going out?” Kit followed my gaze and frowned. Maybe he was still nervous; maybe suspicious of me.
I nodded. “I’ve got work to do today.”
He let out a short breath, like he’d been holding it. He looked restless again. “I thought… you might be… you know. Going back there.”
“Work,” I repeated, calmly. “Just work.”
Kit smiled, brightly. “I’ll come with you. Help you out with…” For a second he looked sheepish. “…your work. Whatever.”
“No, you won’t,” I said. “You need to rest. I’ll give you my mobile number and you’ll be safe enough here until I get back.” I regretted using the word ‘safe’ even as it escaped my mouth – and the implication that he might not be - but he didn’t seem to notice.
“I can stay?”
“Yes, of course.” The pleasure in his face lit up his eyes and broadened his smile. I walked over to the couch and pulled on my coat.
“Freeman?” I turned back to face him. He’d moved behind a chair, as if he needed distance between us. Protection. “The sex business… you know? The parties. With George. It’s over.”
He bit his lip as I’d so often seen him do. “After… well, last time you were in the club. After that party, I told him I didn’t want it anymore. Didn’t want him fucking me.” He rushed on, maybe afraid that I’d say something provocative about George. “He didn’t seem bothered, actually. Just sent me off to work as usual.” He shook his head gently: a different kind of confusion. “Don't know why he didn't ask me to return the keys to my room right then. But he let me stay on, regardless."
I let out my breath, quietly. I was imagining his conversation with George, delivering his terms. His simple, bold bravery.
“I want to clean up my act, Freeman.” He sounded belligerent but his eyes pleaded with me to understand. “Want to start again.”
I nodded. “That’s good. Good for you.”
He moved out from behind the chair and started to close the distance between us again. “Not doing it just for me. I’m doing it for you, too.”
For me?
“Freeman, I don’t just want to be here, I want to be here with you.”
I think I was shaking my head, though I wasn’t moving out of his path. “It’s your decision what you do with your life, Kit.”
He laughed, still walking across the room, only a couple of feet from the couch by now. His slim body swayed with easy, graceful movements. “Yeah, seems like that’s your style. Don’t tell a person what to do, but when you don't approve, your face looks like you swallowed a wasp and don’t want to tell anyone it stings like fuck.”
I laughed aloud, then. He seemed pleased. “That’s true, right?”
“Yes, maybe,” I agreed.
“I know it’s my life, my decision.” We were laughing together as he came close enough to put an arm out to me. “Hell, if I wanted to, I could fuck a different man every one of the twelve days of Christmas, right?” I was still laughing when he slipped both arms back around my waist and pressed his belly against mine. He looked up into my face. “But none of them would be you, Freeman. I want you.”
I was silent – the laughter dried in my throat. I looked down into his face and all I could see were those dark, wide eyes. His expression was an equal mix of terror and determination. He looked like the fragile Kit I’d seen in the club on the first night I met him – like the aggressive Kit who’d argue with me whenever he felt like it – like the surprisingly mature Kit who’d grin at me without prompt and talk to me without pretension or suspicion. They were all there, challenging me. I could hear his soft panting breath – I could smell him, smell the body wash from his shower and the freshness of my clean linen and every small, warm, human, bodily pulse that I’d come to recognise from him.
He lifted his chin with both defiance and nervousness. “I don’t know how to get you, Freeman. Don’t laugh at me. Don’t get mad. I think you want me too, but you won’t make a move. I just don’t know what to do.” He flushed, and then before I could answer him, he leant up and forwards, and with a slow, hushed inevitability he kissed me.
My heart may not have stopped physiologically but it did emotionally. I felt the pressure of the soft, damp lips and the bold, hot tongue licking at mine. I opened my mouth because I was startled, and his tongue slipped in greedily to explore me. No – I was lying to myself, the worst sin of all. I opened my mouth because I wanted him, inside me. I wanted to taste him – to plunder him – to explore him, too. My hands darted up to grasp his shoulders – to push him away – but somehow they lost their way and became entangled in the hair at the back of his neck. It slipped through my fingers but I got enough of a hold to tug his head nearer, to tilt him so that we fit better together. It didn’t take much. I felt as if we breathed the same breath, shared the same gasp.
“Freeman…” His murmur was in my ear, his delighted laugh like a caress. “Fuck, you taste good.”
We kissed some more, because now it truly was a mutual pleasure. I pressed his head back as I leaned in to him, ran my fingers along the line of his jaw, watched the convulsive jerk of his throat as he swallowed. His eyes were half-closed and so he didn’t see me as I gazed at his face, following each line, each stretched muscle, each flickering eyelid. I kissed the sides of his mouth; I kissed the rich, full softness of the middle; I kissed the skin of his cheek, just below his ear. He tasted just as I’d imagined he would – cool and hot; sweet and piquant. Remarkable. He kissed me back, hot and eager and clumsy, his fingers stroking the tendons in my neck, his lips sucking at mine. I could feel his heartbeat speeding up, thudding against my torso. He made soft, gasping noises as his mouth moved against mine.
We broke for air, long before I had any trouble breathing but long after we could have called it a momentary distraction and laughed it off. Kit’s eyes were gleaming. I saw his chest heaving underneath his thin shirt. His fingers played with the hem as if he were getting ready to peel it off. “Wow,” he whispered.
“Kit,” I murmured. His name sounded different to me, somehow.
“Wow,” he repeated, and laughed shakily. “Shit. It’s so different. You. This. I wanted to do it – but it’s not what I thought.” I frowned and he flushed. “No, Freeman, I mean it’s good! So very, very good. Better. But it’s like an ache… inside. Hurts me.” He laughed again, his hand against his chest, his voice shaky and self-conscious. He looked like he was searching for something more articulate, but whatever he said, I already understood.
“I won’t hurt you,” I said. My voice sounded different, too. Hoarser… richer.
“I know you won’t,” he replied quickly, grinning. He was shivering again, but he seemed pleased about it. He started to pull up his shirt, like before.
“No,” I said, gently. I slid my hands down from his shoulders and grasped his wrists. “No, Kit.”

And the I Do anthology has been getting some great reviews and press coverage.

Also available at MLR Press and print bookstores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, plus ebookshops like All Romance e-books.

A fabulous range of fiction, including Outed, my very short contribution to that illustrious company, and all proceeds going to charity, for such a good cause.
Read about it at Obsidian bookshelf, at Elisa Rolle's blog, reviews on Amazon, and at many Blogs near you!!

And I received a review on Amazon for Sparks Fly ( <-- shameless BUY link).

Author London is known for her M-M erotic novels, and has chosen two rather interesting and original main characters for this story. There is an element of suspense, indirect commentary on the shallow world of big business and media manipulation, and the book is generally written very well.
Overall: a nice, fluffy read,
though he caught me out on some inadequate mystery-building (I agree *LOL*), some of my excessive punctuation (I'm working on that in my next book, honest!!!, I mean honest), and he would have preferred a bit less endless detail in the erotic passages.
Ah... now, I can't - or don't want to - necessarily stop that.

But I was thrilled to be noticed! And he gave me a very generous 3 out of 5. It's such a boost to the ego when someone you don't know or has never spoken to you about it - but has obviously read and enjoyed it - gives you an honest review.

(is it ridiculous I'm most excited by the phrase "Author London is known for her M-M erotic novels"? I feel I'm reading about someone else entirely, someone far more exciting than me...LOL)

all reviews here.

Meanwhile, I've subbed another novel and am braving the start of a new one this weekend, wish me luck!


Follow this month with Clare (yes, it's all about the MEEEE...):

Week 4:
Jan 23 : jaime protests the use and mis-use of labels...

Jan 16 : jenre discusses what she loves best about m/m fiction...
Jan 17 : clare posts YouTube frippery and her brief skirmish with a recording career...
Jan 18 : report from the prestigious *cough* OTP Con UK 2009...
Jan 19 : emily chats about the principles of good reviewing...
Jan 20 : josh lanyon talks about the proper place for your green-eyed feelings...
Jan 21 : sharon offers great advice and support for all of us trying to live a healthy life...
Jan 22 : merith writes about the slow but steady epiphany of love...

Jan 09 : ravensilver describes the creativity of independent manga publishing - and the challenges...
Jan 10 : kitzheng talks about Kink...
Jan 11 : chrissy munder shares the struggles of writing, NC17 penguins and mantyhose...
Jan 12 : 1more_sickpuppy bares her soul about confessing her love for m/m fiction...
Jan 13 : erastes talks about taking that leap from fanfiction to the 'original' world...
Jan 14 : meet my Muse, the 'man' who has way too much power in my writing house...
Jan 15 : Sloane Taylor heats up those chill new year nights...

Jan 01 : the Cheeky Cherubs welcome us to 2009 with a pithy verse or two and the threat of piercings...
Jan 02 : sweet, sexy fiction from lilzazu, all about the perennially tricky problem of a sticky shift...
Jan 03 : excellent editing tips for all authors who ever wondered whether to be cruel to be kind to their prose, hosted by jolilightner...
Jan 04 : Clare pimps the fabulous I DO anthology, now available in ebook and all proceeds to Lambda...
Jan 05 : abstractrx ponders the changing role of Romance and its reflection of - or on?! - the society around it...
Jan 06 : FREE FICTION from me and my friends!
Jan 07 : Jordan Castillo Price discusses what tempts us to try out a new author...
Jan 08 : Clare rambles on about perceived plagiarism and posts excerpts of her Torquere titles...

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? (just a couple left now...!)
Comment HERE!!
Tags: blog, blog month, dreamspinner, me, mlr, review

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  • Admitting defeat ...

    And OHHHH how I hate to do that! But times are hard. For the last 4 years I've had great fun running a Birthday Blog all through January, with…

  • THANKS! for the memories

    ******THANKS!****** A huge thanks to everyone who contributed, commented, read and/or enjoyed the posts at my Birthday Blog last month! I was…

  • WINNERS at my Birthday Blog

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS! Poppy Dennison and I offered up a GayRomLit bracelet and other goodies as a prize during my Birthday Blog…