New release – Hidden Hearts


HIDDEN HEARTS – Bad Valentine 3
Releases Feb 1 and now on pre-order
Details, Blurb, the Other Titles, and an Exclusive Excerpt

On pre-order today, available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited:

BLURB: Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.

A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade.

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

BAD VALENTINE is the brand new series of lighthearted Valentine’s Day shorts by four different authors, each story written with the same opening line: Nothing good ever came of a Valentine. FIND LINKS TO ALL THE STORIES HERE.

Hidden Hearts by Clare London (Contemporary MM Romantic Comedy, 15k words) Ethan’s dating history is one long catastrophe, until a mis-matched Valentines date with Kel brings the hope of new love. That’s assuming the romance survives a few more disasters!
Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan (Paranormal MM Romance, 10k words) The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the Park was magical. Unfortunately, love and magic don’t always mix.
Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price (Paranormal MM Romantic Comedy, 25k words) Dixon Penn’s family wasn’t terribly shocked when he announced he was gay. But they were devastated to find out he’s the only one without the gift of Spellcraft.
Temporary Dad by Dev Bentham (Contemporary MM Romance, 22k words) A one night stand that should have started a love story and the stupid lie that got in the way. Add a disruptive seven-year-old and mayhem ensues. For Nick and Dylan, there are plenty of twists on the road to happy ever after

***HIDDEN HEARTS : EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT***

Ethan glanced over at table eleven, as he’d been directed to.

Oh my god.

Ethan’s last few boyfriends had all been very much like him. Reserved, modestly dressed, with an office job. The guy at table eleven was… something else.

He was really big. Huge shoulders. Fabulously straining pecs. Wasn’t that shirt way too small for him? Ethan reckoned he’d be at least four inches taller, too. The red scarf looked tiny around that neck. A thick but smartly clipped beard and moustache. Large hands, resting flat on the table. Very calm, very still. Very large hands.

And. Oh my God, again. Were those tattoos?

Ethan felt a bit faint. He took a clumsy step forward, knocked into a table and sent a chair and all the cutlery flying. He took a full minute apologising to the waitress who came to help, and when he stepped away, he winced as he felt the little vase and flowers crunch to pieces under his boot.

The man had stood, facing Ethan’s approach. He was probably a good six inches taller than Ethan. It was totally inappropriate, but Ethan had a sudden, vivid image of being scooped up by that thick arm and pressed against that big body. Hard.

“Hi. Kel,” the man said. His eyes were very bright, alert.

“Hi. I’m Ethan. This is bloody ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean, this whole set up. I don’t expect you imagined you’d get stuck with a skinny, boring accountant.” Whose voice was that, rambling on? Jesus, it was his.

“Are you?”

The guy was watching Ethan’s mouth. Was he deaf, maybe? Ethan had learned sign language at one time when he had a hearing-impaired friend at university, but he wasn’t sure he could remember much more than the alphabet and the sign for bullshit. Yeah. Also totally inappropriate. “Well. I’m skinny, at least.” Ethan smiled ruefully.

Kel’s beard crinkled at the edges of his mouth when he grinned. “Lovely smile,” he said.

“Oh. Thank you,” Ethan replied. He felt himself blush. And smiled again.

Kel pulled out a chair and Ethan stared at it for a moment until he realised it was so he could sit down. What good manners. He sat on the edge while the waiter brought them water and a small bowl of nachos.

“Have some,” Kel said.

Ethan wasn’t sure if it was a question or an order, but he was bloody hungry and the nachos smelled great. So much better than a bowl of nuts, which he usually had to avoid because of his occasional reaction, or those pretzel things that he once chipped a tooth on, or crisps that got stuck in clumps on his soft palate and made him cough. He hadn’t eaten all afternoon, because he’d been too nervous about tonight, and too angry with Pips at signing him up for something he knew nothing about.

“Me too,” Kel said.

Ethan flinched. From the amused look on Kel’s face… “I said that aloud?”

Kel smiled. “No problem.” He reached over and pulled a couple of nachos off the plate, dragging a long, delicious string of cheese with them.

Ethan pushed embarrassment aside and all but fought Kel for the rest of the bowl’s contents. He chatted about anything and everything whenever the table fell silent, which was most of the time, though Kel seemed content to listen.

When they both grabbed for the last chip, Kel lifted his hands away and sat back. “Yours. Good to find someone who likes his food as much as I do.” He watched Ethan chewing away as if he had all the time in the world, smiling with a gentle twist of his mouth all the time. It was very sexy.

“Sorry.” Ethan swallowed the last strands hurriedly. “I mustn’t talk with my mouth full.” He’d sprayed crumbs and spittle all over a date’s face before now in his rush to be both fed and charming. “This would be a poor date then, wouldn’t it?”

Kel shrugged, but for the first time he looked uncomfortable. “Honestly? I’m a poor date on my own. I don’t talk enough.”

Ethan waited for more elaboration but it never came. “Well, talking’s not everything. My flatmate says I can talk enough for two. Or maybe five.” He laughed nervously.

To his surprise, Kel laughed too. “I like that. You know a lot of things. And you don’t expect me to chat a lot about myself.”

Ethan snorted. “That’s my problem, not yours. I’m going to confess up front, I actually know nothing about F1 motorsports. My flatmate lied on my profile.”

Kel looked bemused. “I watch every championship, but I wouldn’t expect you to as well.”

“But I think that’s why we’ve been paired. By shared hobbies.”

Kel nodded slowly, realisation dawning on his face. “You in international finance?”

Ethan blinked at the bizarre question. “Hardly. I am an accountant, though. Ah!” The penny dropped. “That’s what was on your profile?”

Kel nodded. “My sister-in-law’s fault. It’s also a lie.”

Far from feeling cheated, Ethan felt tremendously relieved. “Pips also put ‘gourmet food lover’ on mine. I love eating, as you can see, but that’s as far as my involvement goes. I can barely scramble an egg.” Well, he could cook basic dishes, but Pips said they invented smoke alarms as a timer for Ethan’s cooking, considering how often he set off the one in the flat.

“I cook.” Kel didn’t expand on that but a flash of pride lit up his eyes, in a sudden burst of warmth. “But I don’t read poetry.”

“Poetry…? Oh, another of your sister-in-law’s economic use of the truth.” Ethan chuckled. “I read a lot, but romantic fiction, mainly.”

Kel’s mouth twisted in that lovely lopsided grin. “Car magazines, in my case. I run my own garage.”

“That’s fascinating.”

Kel raised his eyebrows. “Only if you like cars.”

Ethan burst into laughter. “I suppose so. But it’s exciting that you have your own business. I’d like to know more about that, whatever you want to tell me.”

Kel looked disbelieving, but his eyes sparkled with pleasure in the reflection of the table candle. The same candle that Ethan had nearly upended when he reached for the menu, until Kel moved it out of harm’s way without further comment or tease. Now he haltingly explained a few of the things he did at the garage, what his customers needed. Which cars were his favourites to work on. How he maintained the fleet of many small delivery businesses.

Ethan watched his animated expression, his slow but deep smiles of pride, his hands as they carefully sketched out several mechanical processes. He took the time to explain things to Ethan without assuming Ethan understood anything to start with, yet without patronising him. It was very refreshing, and Ethan was astonished at how captivated he was.

That was why he knew he had more to confess….

Best Gay Erotica – the authors exposed!

Much like a fine wine the Best Gay Erotica series just keeps getting better with each passing year—and this year’s volume is no exception!

A selection of its authors talks about their inspiration and what drives their stories.


“Eight Nights” by Richard May.
Hanukkah on All Fours.

My stories are almost always inspired by a visual. I see a photo or a painting or a person, and a story starts telling itself to me. “Eight Nights,” my story in Best Gay Erotica, Vol. 4, was inspired by two visuals. One was a friend’s photo from the Folsom Street Fair of a bare chested man in black leather pants leading another man by a leash. The man on all fours was dressed like a dog, completely in black leather. The second visual behind my story was the face of a man I worked with years ago. We never had sex, and I’m not into leather, but then my story is fiction, not history.

Richard May’s Amazon page


“Foursome” by Gregory L. Norris.
A young blue-collar construction worker finds fulfillment in exploring polyamory.

In the summer of 2013, I woke from an incredible dream about four handsome, young men making love. But the love was the most telling part of the dream, not their sweaty connection. I remember thinking that the emotion was palpable, beautiful. I dashed down notes on a card about this dream, and the card went into my catalog of unwritten story ideas. Flash ahead four years. Quite often, ideas in that metal recipe box—what I think of as my own personal treasure chest—seem to howl at me for attention, jump to the front of the line, and demand to be written. Such was the case with “Foursome”.

I write all of my first drafts longhand. Though years had passed between the dream and my putting pen to paper for “Foursome”, the passionate energy resonated as I wrote the pages. Those four characters loved one another as much then as in the dream. More so, because now they were alive in an actual, completed draft.

Nightly, I go to bed thinking about my muse, who is a man (sorry, Terpsichore and Sisters), the previous day’s writing adventures, and those that will greet me the next morning. And often, I’m rewarded with wonderful new stories in my dreams. “Foursome” was one such dream and a joy to pen.

Gregory L Norris’ website


“Appetite” by Jordan C. Price.

A vampiric-virus tour de force.

The characters that live in my head don’t necessarily stop what they’re doing just because I’ve typed the words THE END.

Case in point, the sexy short story I’ve titled Appetite, which is a cut scene/alternate ending from my vampire thriller, Hemovore. Writing novels is tricky because every scene needs to contribute something specific to the shape of the story. Sometimes scenes that are yummy in themselves need to get cut for length or tone or plot reasons. While adding another love scene in Hemovore would have really cemented the development of the characters’ relationship. I felt it took the punch out of the main event – the fact that despite the deadly Hemovore Virus, the characters could find a way to come together at all.

Still, the chapter that became Appetite is a deliciously dark sex-and-blood scene that stands well on its own, so I’m thrilled it’s found a home in BGE4.

Jordan C Price’s website


“Open Up” by Clare London
Does the deepest fear taint or thrill the deepest desire?

BGE4 (Clare London)

Open Up came to me as an idea to mix something very sexy and very raw, but with a twist of dark humour, almost horror, based on one of my own fears – the dentist’s chair! The siren call of sensual need so often hovers right on that edge. Our visceral reaction can be as strong toward passion as it is toward panic… can’t it?

I just mixed it all up a bit *wink*.

Clare London’s website


 

Available NOW: find all BUY links at Cleiss Press website here.

 

 

Best Gay Erotica – new release

RELEASED TODAY: a new volume of desires and delights!

Much like a fine wine the Best Gay Erotica series just keeps getting better with each passing year—and this year’s volume is no exception! With M/M erotic stories about dominant men standing tall and powerful over their submissive, to dashing men with looks to kill for, to the rough-and-tumble type who is just asking for you to get down-and-dirty. So, pour yourself a glass and curl up with Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 4. Clothing is optional.

INCLUDES my story OPEN UP:

When the big guy stayed behind after surgery hours had finished, I knew I was going to get some serious action in the consulting room – even if he’d be the one to call the shots. But I was about to find out what it takes to turn such a macho man into the proverbial mouse…

New Romancing Release!


ROMANCING THE UNDERCOVER MILLIONAIRE

Released today, available at Dreamspinner Press in all formats:

And at Amazon:

BLURB: Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?

Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.

Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.

While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

***EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT***
Tate scrabbled awake with a shock, realizing he’d dropped off to sleep on the sofa. Beside him, Gran snored, her mouth wide open and her apron skewed around her waist. Freddie was slumped on her lap, also snoring. The last Tate remembered was finishing Amy’s bath, then sending the twins to their rooms to revise for the next day’s geography test at school. He vaguely recalled offering to watch Supreme Sausage Suppers with Gran, or something similar. The TV was now showing a gritty Scandinavian crime drama with a dismembered torso being dragged up out of a frozen river, so something had definitely slipped in the space time continuum.

My God, he must have needed the rest. But what about Alex? Is he still here?

Groaning a little, Tate eased gently off the sofa and padded upstairs in his socked feet, picking up a small handful of laundry that had been left at the foot of the stairs. On the top landing he paused, listening to the gentle bickering from Hugo’s room where the H’s were currently based. From the occasional word he caught clearly—like “volcano”—it sounded like they were successfully getting on with their homework.

“Tate?”

Alex was just coming out of Amy’s room. He smiled as Tate approached; Tate felt rather oddly vulnerable in front of him. Had Alex seen him fall asleep?

“How did it go?” Tate said softly. He peeked into Amy’s room to find her warmly wrapped up in her Frozen quilt and fast asleep. He closed the door as quietly as he could. “She can be a little madam, if you know what I mean. At heart she’s just a little kid, but she’s so very bright for her age, you need all your wits about you.”

“Well, I couldn’t read this to her, I’m afraid.” Alex said in a similarly lowered voice, holding up the luridly covered book that Amy had presumably chosen. “The story didn’t make any sense, and the language was bizarre. Plus none of the characters are anatomically correct. Don’t they have curriculum-based reading matter nowadays?”

Tate chuckled. “I’m sure they do, but that doesn’t always appeal to Amy. But she still fell asleep okay?”

“Of course. After I recited some Keats.”

“You…?” Tate was startled. It was becoming his default response to Alex Goodson. “As in John Keats, the poet?”

Alex shrugged easily. “She seemed to like it. I find ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ has a cadence that lends itself to sleep. I certainly drowsed through most of my English lessons at school. That’s one of the few poems where I can remember all the verses.”

Tate really, really wanted to let loose a proper laugh. “Dammit, Alex. You’re….”

Alex seemed to lean in more closely. “I’m what? Handsome? Irresistible? Just the kind of man you’ve been looking for to take you out and show you some fun?”

Alex’s scrutiny made Tate feel hot, which was very odd, standing on his own home landing on the rather worn carpet, hoping against hope that wasn’t a boner he was springing. “Astonishing. That’s all I’m prepared to say.” He pressed the pile of clothes into Alex’s arms and took a step away before he admitted something he regretted. “I must look in on the twins. If you’re okay to help out some more, perhaps you can dump this laundry in the basket in the bathroom on your way back downstairs?”

Goldilocks and the Bear – Amazon Bestseller!

Well, well. well! Please allow me one more excited squee, because this is (still) very exciting for me: GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR just earned me an Amazon BestSeller orange banner, as #1 on the LGBT One-Hour Short Reads chart.

THANKS to everyone who’s bought, read, reviewed, recommended, talked about it – I’m immensely grateful. It’s a BIG treat for me to share it with the readers, as it was BIG fun to write LOL.

Please take a look if you think you’d like it, it’s at a very reasonable price, and also in KU. And if you leave a review??!!! I’d be even MORE excited!

 


GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR

BLURB: One week, two men, three Christmas trees. And hopefully a fairytale romance.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
We both turned to stare at the tree behind him. The lower half, including the thick trunk, had come easily over the doorstep, but at some stage the netting that kept it in place had torn, and the branches had sprung free. They stretched either side of the doorway, at their full extent, and inside the café. One side reached half way up the open door, now pressed flat against the wall, and the other side had upended two chairs at a front table. Behind them, still on the pavement outside, the branches from further up the tree had mushroomed out like the upper half of an egg timer—with the café doorway as the squeezed middle. It was a magnificent tree: its needles shone a bright, clean green. The trunk was sturdy, copper-toned wood. The whole thing reeked of health and beauty and Christmas spirit.

And it was crushed up in my café’s doorframe until I was afraid the old wood would split asunder. I may even have heard it creak in protest.

The man-bear shook his head and shoved the delivery note back into his pocket. “Looks like they directed me to the wrong shop.”

“Well, obviously, because I never ordered it—”

“In fact,” Molly broke in. “Gil hasn’t ordered a tree at all this year.”

“No tree at all?” The giant man looked momentarily disconcerted—or was that disapproving? “You don’t like Christmas?”

“I like it well enough,” I muttered. “But as you can see, there’s little enough space here.” I could only afford this small unit on the outskirts of a small Essex shopping mall. It was last Christmas’ gift to myself, the best I could do when Paulie, my partner—in business and romance—had scarpered with most of my savings to set up a bar in Ibiza. Without me, in either capacity. But life has to go on, right? I just downsized my dreams from our swish supper club venue to my small local café. After installing the counter and display cases, and covering two of the other walls with bookshelves for the romance novels I loved to read and share with customers, there wasn’t much room left for tables and chairs, let alone ambitious decorations.

Over the giant’s left shoulder, I could see old Mr. Brooke hopping from one foot to another as he peered into the shop past the branches. He was a creature of habit, and he always had his caramel latte at this time of the afternoon. If he could get into the café, that was. Behind me, a half-dozen members of the Women’s Institute Book Club stirred restlessly, and two pre-school boys had wriggled out of their mothers’ clutches and were gleefully stabbing a pile of paper napkins with a stray pine stalk.

“So. Anyway. You have to do something about this!” My voice seemed to be higher than usual.

He shrugged, his grin now rueful. “Not a lot I can do, at the moment. It’s well and truly stuck.” He tugged on the trunk as if to convince me further and, yes, I definitely heard the doorframe creak. “Should have realised the measurements didn’t add up. All I can do is apologise and arrange to have someone come and cut it out as soon as possible.” He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out his phone. His fingers darted over the keys as fast as any teenager, sending a quick message. My gaze was still fixed on the backs of his hands—strong, with more than a smattering of dark hair over the lower digits—when I realised what he’d said.

“But it can’t stay there! My customers can’t get out—”

“I can open the back door,” Molly offered helpfully, or not, as the case may be.

“—and no one can get in, either. This is Christmas week, with all the passing trade from shoppers. I have a full schedule of seasonal events, and those new snowflake cupcakes on offer!”

The man’s pupils dilated. “There are cupcakes?”

For God’s sake. Again. Was no one taking this crisis seriously?

“We could cut the branches off right now,” said a voice at my ear. Mrs. Potter from the Book Club had crept up beside me without me realising: no taller than five foot, no heavier than eight stone, and seventy-two last birthday. But the gleam in her eyes was worthy of a Steven King character at his most manic. “Do you have a chainsaw in the café, Gil?”

“No, I bloody don’t!”

The giant was grinning at me, though he’d taken a cautious step away from Mrs. P. “Please don’t worry, ma’am. Leave it to a professional. A guy from the garden centre is on his way with the right tools.”

“The right tools are always useful.” Mrs. Potter gave a snort. When I snapped my gaze to her, she waggled her eyebrows and winked at me. Winked! What on earth was that all about? She knew, of course, I was gay and, yes, I had occasionally dated a customer, though it wasn’t like I shared my social diary—sparse as it was—with all and sundry. But this guy was just doing his job, wasn’t he? This poor guy… this poor, buff, guy… this poor, buff, strong, hairy, handsome bear of a guy…

A passing jab in the ribs from Mrs. P on her way back to the Book Club table, and I started to wonder if I’d been wise to add more gay romance titles in with the historical bodice rippers…….

Goldilocks and the Bear is trending LOL

Well, call me excited! GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR launched with rather immediate and gratifying attention, and by my bedtime last night, it had reached #6 on the LGBT Short Story chart at Amazon UK and #4 at Amazon US! Plus it snuck under the top 10000 at Kindle overall.

Excuse me boasting (how un-British LOL) but it’s been a long time since I charted with a book, and this is pretty damn exciting for me.

Please take a look if you think you’d like it, it’s at a very reasonable price, and also in KU. And if you leave a review??!!! I’d be even MORE excited! Several wonderful readers have already liked and reviewed it, and I’m getting great feedback all over the place.

Now I must go and have a calming milk drink or something, before the thrill gets the better of me *wink*.


GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR

BLURB: One week, two men, three Christmas trees. And hopefully a fairytale romance.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
We both turned to stare at the tree behind him. The lower half, including the thick trunk, had come easily over the doorstep, but at some stage the netting that kept it in place had torn, and the branches had sprung free. They stretched either side of the doorway, at their full extent, and inside the café. One side reached half way up the open door, now pressed flat against the wall, and the other side had upended two chairs at a front table. Behind them, still on the pavement outside, the branches from further up the tree had mushroomed out like the upper half of an egg timer—with the café doorway as the squeezed middle. It was a magnificent tree: its needles shone a bright, clean green. The trunk was sturdy, copper-toned wood. The whole thing reeked of health and beauty and Christmas spirit.

And it was crushed up in my café’s doorframe until I was afraid the old wood would split asunder. I may even have heard it creak in protest.

The man-bear shook his head and shoved the delivery note back into his pocket. “Looks like they directed me to the wrong shop.”

“Well, obviously, because I never ordered it—”

“In fact,” Molly broke in. “Gil hasn’t ordered a tree at all this year.”

“No tree at all?” The giant man looked momentarily disconcerted—or was that disapproving? “You don’t like Christmas?”

“I like it well enough,” I muttered. “But as you can see, there’s little enough space here.” I could only afford this small unit on the outskirts of a small Essex shopping mall. It was last Christmas’ gift to myself, the best I could do when Paulie, my partner—in business and romance—had scarpered with most of my savings to set up a bar in Ibiza. Without me, in either capacity. But life has to go on, right? I just downsized my dreams from our swish supper club venue to my small local café. After installing the counter and display cases, and covering two of the other walls with bookshelves for the romance novels I loved to read and share with customers, there wasn’t much room left for tables and chairs, let alone ambitious decorations.

Over the giant’s left shoulder, I could see old Mr. Brooke hopping from one foot to another as he peered into the shop past the branches. He was a creature of habit, and he always had his caramel latte at this time of the afternoon. If he could get into the café, that was. Behind me, a half-dozen members of the Women’s Institute Book Club stirred restlessly, and two pre-school boys had wriggled out of their mothers’ clutches and were gleefully stabbing a pile of paper napkins with a stray pine stalk.

“So. Anyway. You have to do something about this!” My voice seemed to be higher than usual.

He shrugged, his grin now rueful. “Not a lot I can do, at the moment. It’s well and truly stuck.” He tugged on the trunk as if to convince me further and, yes, I definitely heard the doorframe creak. “Should have realised the measurements didn’t add up. All I can do is apologise and arrange to have someone come and cut it out as soon as possible.” He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out his phone. His fingers darted over the keys as fast as any teenager, sending a quick message. My gaze was still fixed on the backs of his hands—strong, with more than a smattering of dark hair over the lower digits—when I realised what he’d said.

“But it can’t stay there! My customers can’t get out—”

“I can open the back door,” Molly offered helpfully, or not, as the case may be.

“—and no one can get in, either. This is Christmas week, with all the passing trade from shoppers. I have a full schedule of seasonal events, and those new snowflake cupcakes on offer!”

The man’s pupils dilated. “There are cupcakes?”

For God’s sake. Again. Was no one taking this crisis seriously?

“We could cut the branches off right now,” said a voice at my ear. Mrs. Potter from the Book Club had crept up beside me without me realising: no taller than five foot, no heavier than eight stone, and seventy-two last birthday. But the gleam in her eyes was worthy of a Steven King character at his most manic. “Do you have a chainsaw in the café, Gil?”

“No, I bloody don’t!”

The giant was grinning at me, though he’d taken a cautious step away from Mrs. P. “Please don’t worry, ma’am. Leave it to a professional. A guy from the garden centre is on his way with the right tools.”

“The right tools are always useful.” Mrs. Potter gave a snort. When I snapped my gaze to her, she waggled her eyebrows and winked at me. Winked! What on earth was that all about? She knew, of course, I was gay and, yes, I had occasionally dated a customer, though it wasn’t like I shared my social diary—sparse as it was—with all and sundry. But this guy was just doing his job, wasn’t he? This poor guy… this poor, buff, guy… this poor, buff, strong, hairy, handsome bear of a guy…

A passing jab in the ribs from Mrs. P on her way back to the Book Club table, and I started to wonder if I’d been wise to add more gay romance titles in with the historical bodice rippers…….

New Christmas Release

GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR

BLURB: One week, two men, three Christmas trees. And hopefully a fairytale romance.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
We both turned to stare at the tree behind him. The lower half, including the thick trunk, had come easily over the doorstep, but at some stage the netting that kept it in place had torn, and the branches had sprung free. They stretched either side of the doorway, at their full extent, and inside the café. One side reached half way up the open door, now pressed flat against the wall, and the other side had upended two chairs at a front table. Behind them, still on the pavement outside, the branches from further up the tree had mushroomed out like the upper half of an egg timer—with the café doorway as the squeezed middle. It was a magnificent tree: its needles shone a bright, clean green. The trunk was sturdy, copper-toned wood. The whole thing reeked of health and beauty and Christmas spirit.

And it was crushed up in my café’s doorframe until I was afraid the old wood would split asunder. I may even have heard it creak in protest.

The man-bear shook his head and shoved the delivery note back into his pocket. “Looks like they directed me to the wrong shop.”

“Well, obviously, because I never ordered it—”

“In fact,” Molly broke in. “Gil hasn’t ordered a tree at all this year.”

“No tree at all?” The giant man looked momentarily disconcerted—or was that disapproving? “You don’t like Christmas?”

“I like it well enough,” I muttered. “But as you can see, there’s little enough space here.” I could only afford this small unit on the outskirts of a small Essex shopping mall. It was last Christmas’ gift to myself, the best I could do when Paulie, my partner—in business and romance—had scarpered with most of my savings to set up a bar in Ibiza. Without me, in either capacity. But life has to go on, right? I just downsized my dreams from our swish supper club venue to my small local café. After installing the counter and display cases, and covering two of the other walls with bookshelves for the romance novels I loved to read and share with customers, there wasn’t much room left for tables and chairs, let alone ambitious decorations.

Over the giant’s left shoulder, I could see old Mr. Brooke hopping from one foot to another as he peered into the shop past the branches. He was a creature of habit, and he always had his caramel latte at this time of the afternoon. If he could get into the café, that was. Behind me, a half-dozen members of the Women’s Institute Book Club stirred restlessly, and two pre-school boys had wriggled out of their mothers’ clutches and were gleefully stabbing a pile of paper napkins with a stray pine stalk.

“So. Anyway. You have to do something about this!” My voice seemed to be higher than usual.

He shrugged, his grin now rueful. “Not a lot I can do, at the moment. It’s well and truly stuck.” He tugged on the trunk as if to convince me further and, yes, I definitely heard the doorframe creak. “Should have realised the measurements didn’t add up. All I can do is apologise and arrange to have someone come and cut it out as soon as possible.” He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out his phone. His fingers darted over the keys as fast as any teenager, sending a quick message. My gaze was still fixed on the backs of his hands—strong, with more than a smattering of dark hair over the lower digits—when I realised what he’d said.

“But it can’t stay there! My customers can’t get out—”

“I can open the back door,” Molly offered helpfully, or not, as the case may be.

“—and no one can get in, either. This is Christmas week, with all the passing trade from shoppers. I have a full schedule of seasonal events, and those new snowflake cupcakes on offer!”

The man’s pupils dilated. “There are cupcakes?”

For God’s sake. Again. Was no one taking this crisis seriously?

“We could cut the branches off right now,” said a voice at my ear. Mrs. Potter from the Book Club had crept up beside me without me realising: no taller than five foot, no heavier than eight stone, and seventy-two last birthday. But the gleam in her eyes was worthy of a Steven King character at his most manic. “Do you have a chainsaw in the café, Gil?”

“No, I bloody don’t!”

The giant was grinning at me, though he’d taken a cautious step away from Mrs. P. “Please don’t worry, ma’am. Leave it to a professional. A guy from the garden centre is on his way with the right tools.”

“The right tools are always useful.” Mrs. Potter gave a snort. When I snapped my gaze to her, she waggled her eyebrows and winked at me. Winked! What on earth was that all about? She knew, of course, I was gay and, yes, I had occasionally dated a customer, though it wasn’t like I shared my social diary—sparse as it was—with all and sundry. But this guy was just doing his job, wasn’t he? This poor guy… this poor, buff, guy… this poor, buff, strong, hairy, handsome bear of a guy…

A passing jab in the ribs from Mrs. P on her way back to the Book Club table, and I started to wonder if I’d been wise to add more gay romance titles in with the historical bodice rippers………….

New Release full of cheek!


I can’t describe how much I love this cover LOL.

My cheeky book about a week in the life of perpetually horny, uninhibited, risk-taking Beckett and Doug – and their cheekily-sloganed T-shirts – hits the shelves at JMS Books on 29th Sept. Not that they’ll take time off from making out with each other to even notice!

WHAT NOT TO WEAR is now available at Amazon at somewhere around $1.99 (who knows with Amazon?!) but also on special price at JMS Books at only $1.59 in all formats.

It’s a story just for fun, I warn you *wink*.

BLURB: Beckett and Doug work together, travel together, live together … and play very enthusiastically together. They’re easily and cheerfully distracted by their desires, wherever they happen to be, whatever they’re officially meant to be doing.

The work week starts normally for the newly promoted Beckett, but that’s soon disturbed by his lover’s sexual provocation. As each day of the week passes, Doug’s behaviour, and the slogans on his daily T-shirt, get increasingly outrageous.

With the recipe of Doug’s unruly libido, Beckett’s masochistic tendency to surrender to it, and their shared fascination for sex in risky places — it’s inevitable their career prospects are soon completely out of control. But measured up against the love they have for each other, the question is … are they really bothered by that?

*Note: you may have read this serialised on my blog, or even in a much older version at Torquere Press. Please don’t feel obliged to re-buy it if so, even with a spiffy new edit. Though if you’re anything like me, and you can’t find that original version… well, just imagine what you’ll rediscover behind *that* cover!!

Top and Tails release day

TOP AND TAILS, the new With A Kick title goes on sale today! I’m so excited about this one. I loved writing the three men, and of course revisiting the characters of the With A Kick community. Oh, and I loved imagining the ice cream too :). It’s been the perfect weather for it!

Karel Novak is content with his busy job in hotel refurbishment, enjoying the social scene in Soho, London and the company of new friends he met through working at With A Kick. All he’s missing is a special man in his life. Or maybe two.

His first meeting with the mercurial pole dancer Leroy and his socially anxious partner Griff isn’t impressive, but none of them can ignore the sexual spark that flares between the three men.

Their relationship builds in steps of passion, frustration, and finally love. Both Leroy and Griff have complex issues in their lives to work through, and at first Karel brings a new dynamic that both settles and supports them.

But although he loves his men, Karel gradually realises the issues are still present. His partners struggle with living individually as well as together. His heartfelt wish is for them to create a lasting bond as a trio—but that means putting others first, all too often.

And will that mean sacrificing his own joy and dreams?


Currently available at Amazon, and other retailers later this week.
Print will follow soon.

Amazon – s/he loves me, loves me not

The news from Amazon on Tuesday after my challenging for 2 months why they blocked the self-publication of my OWN story (with proof of copyright provided):

Hello,
We won’t be making ”Say A Little Prayer (ID:10549064)” available for sale on Amazon at this time.
I’m sorry, but we can’t offer any additional insight on this matter.
Amazon.com

The news from Amazon today:

Congratulations!
We’ve published your Kindle book:
Say A Little Prayer by Clare London (ID: 10549064)
The book was recently reviewed again and successfully published on Amazon. We had incorrectly blocked your title in error. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

BLIMEY. You couldn’t make this stuff up, you know. And who knows if it won’t be yanked off the shelves again at any time?!

Still – for now – here it is. And it’s ALWAYS been available at Smashwords in all formats.

BLURB: Jonathan’s a hardworking student running a couple of jobs to fund himself through college and also help his Mum run her B&B on the Dorset coast. Despite his mischief-making Gran’s insistence, he doesn’t have the time or the nerve to chase potential dates. Then one day on the beach, after a hard day’s ice cream sales, he meets the mysterious and gorgeous Admael. Now Jonathan doesn’t need to do the chasing—Admael’s ready and willing to make Jonathan as happy as he’s ever wanted. And even if Jonathan’s too nervous to think of anything beyond how to smuggle Admael home on the No. 7 bus, Gran is always on hand to offer him some lewd suggestions. Now Jonathan just has to worry about hiding Admael’s wings…