Words are all I have ~ Outside the Margins with Clare London

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Clare London OtM

As the song goes… It’s only words…but words are all I have, to take your heart away.

That’s what I want to give thanks for today. Words. I’m thankful I can speak and hear, that I’ve had the education and environment to learn how to express myself, that I’ve had the eyes to read and the hands to write. Words are a treasure and a treat to me, and I’m thankful daily that I can use them to communicate.

They bring us joy and knowledge, they can create worlds, they can hurt or heal, each as strongly as the other. They allow us to cross boundaries of distance and age and background. We used to have letters and cards to communicate, and some of us still love those. But now we also have the internet, email, blogging.

I love the internet. Ask my family, who have to peel me from the screen to eat supper LOL. I know its dangers and I know its lack of moderation. It’s not for everyone. But it’s been a boon for me, in opening out the world. I’ve learned about other lives, about other worlds, I’ve made friends, kept in touch with their lives and loves, and I’ve been encouraged to find myself another career and pleasure in writing fiction. All based – partly or wholly – on words.

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They’re everywhere!  Who doesn’t love a favourite song?  Or laugh at a particular kind of joke?  It all hinges on words. I don’t Tweet, my blogging is erratic, I’m not what I’d call a social ‘networker’. But I love writing and communicating, whether it’s through email or through my stories. I’ve made some truly good friends, whom I’ve never met face to face, but whose style and generosity in their correspondence allows me to see and love the real person.

Believe me, it doesn’t mean I have more friends – because a ‘friend’ on the net may only ever be a passing acquaintance. Because words have their shortcomings, too. They can be misunderstood, they can come across too baldly. They can’t replace the importance of seeing someone face to face, of reading body language, of smiling to ease potential hurt, of frowning to express caution. A hug is never the same as a real one, but to a trusted friend who’s far away, an emailed hug is still a treasure. I know it is for me.

So that brings me back to my thanks for the gift of words, and articulation. I’ve always written stories, but at the end of 2007 I finally plucked up courage to submit some for publication. I’ve been lucky enough to have several novels published and plenty of short stories. I love my m/m romance genre, I take great strength from learning from others’ writing and improving my own, and it continues to be a joy to take two characters who inspire me and then create conflict, passion and a Happy Ever After for them!

I was out with Son#2 in town the other day and we were stopped a few times. People asked directions, or chatted to us in a queue, or they knew us from the boys’ school days. At the end of the trip, Son#2 turned to me and said – “We always end up chatting to people, don’t we?  It’s good fun.”  It was one of those moments when a Mum goes ‘awww’.

Words are all around us, available for our pleasure, comfort and excitement, with new ones always waiting to be discovered, old favourites to be savoured.

Thanks for them – and for the extra special delight they bring, keeping me in contact with my friends!

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~Clare London

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Title: Flashbulb
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Jocular Press
Publication Date: 06/26/2015
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Genre: Drama

Blurb:

Blythe Harris was taking his first flight to the USA and hopefully a whole new client base for his bespoke upholstery business. An adventure for him, he was both nervous and excited to attract the attention of a handsome steward. Things might have gone further – if Flight HA1710 hadn’t failed.

Marc Stafford is a self-confessed player, and he used his charm to seduce his cute passenger. But in the aftermath of the crash, he’s struggling to recover his confidence. The TV declares him a hero for saving passengers, but at night his nightmares trigger painful flashbulb memories of the crash.

In an Irish hospital, Bly realises that although his broken leg will recover, his career may not. And in Chicago, Marc can’t face returning to work. Neither of them can shake off the memory of their brief, sexy encounter. Both of them need to be with someone who understands exactly what they’ve been through. And on a middle ground they can make all their own.

Excerpt

Bly closed the front door behind him and Marc, leaned against the door frame, and took a long, slow breath. Part of it was to recover after his walk back to the house. Part of it was to settle his continuing excitement at the man beside him all the way

What a bloody shock it’d been! To see Marc on his doorstep, after all those weeks of thinking about him – and assuming he’d never see him again. And although Marc had been weary and dishevelled, he’d been as handsome as Bly remembered. Not only that, but the physical nearness was far more vivid than his dreams could be. With the smell of Marc’s cologne in his nostrils, and the easy masculine grace of his limbs as he leaned over the table, or walked across the room, or sat next to Bly with his long-fingered hand on Bly’s…

It wasn’t possible, was it? To feel so close to someone when you didn’t know anything about their family, or where they went to school, or how they voted, or what they liked to watch on TV, or whether they laughed at satire or slapstick. All on the basis of a few minutes of banter, a shared smile, and a quick, dirty, supremely thrilling hand job in an airplane toilet. Bly supposed he should just consider it as healthy lust – but something told him he’d be selling it short if he did.

“We never got anything for lunch,” Marc said, breaking into Bly’s reverie. “You hungry?”

“No,” Bly replied. “Maybe just a cuppa.”

Marc gave a small, quirky smile that showed he knew the Britishism. “Good idea. I’ll take a coffee if it’s on offer.”

Bly kept himself occupied with making the drinks, while Marc hovered in the kitchen doorway as if looking for something to do. Bly handed him his mug of coffee with a grin. “You’re off duty, you know. It’s my turn to serve the refreshments.” He could see the joke had gone awry almost immediately. Marc’s smile in return was strained, and his eyes narrowed with pain. Bly would have apologised, if he’d known what he was apologising for. Instead, he nodded them both through to the living room. It was sparsely furnished – Maura’s sister and brother in law were newlyweds and short on funds – but the sofa was a comfy secondhand. There was another armchair in the corner by the TV, but when Marc sat on the sofa, Bly went and joined him there without hesitation. He carefully parked his mug of tea next to Marc’s on a small foldaway table that held a small pile of books and a reading lamp.

Marc leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and wiped his hand over his face. Every movement showed his weariness, and he didn’t make any move towards his coffee. “I meant it, about going back to the US. Believe me, I understand what a dick I’ve been. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking, just turning up.”

“And I meant it about you staying on.” Bly impressed himself with his firm, calm tone. “It’s not a problem.”

“Look, don’t get me wrong.” Marc looked wretched now. “You’ve been the good guy. But this was a mistake. All mine.”

“A bloody expensive mistake,” Bly said smartly, almost enjoying the brief confusion on Marc’s face. “And you were sure last night you’d done the right thing, weren’t you? So don’t talk any more crap. I just wish you’d tell me what’s troubling you.”

“What makes you think –?”

“Marc.” The bloody man wasn’t used to talking seriously, was he? Bly tried to gentle his voice, not sure whether Marc needed pushing or cajoling. “You told me you had nightmares. You asked me if I thought about the crash. Yes,” and he repeated it, “the crash we were both in. Seems to me you don’t want to face it, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’ve told you what happened to me, how I’ve been affected. Don’t you think it’s fair for you to do the same?”

Marc’s eyes were narrowed, his expression stricken. “I want to…” Then he seemed to change his mind, his doubt reasserting itself. “Bly, I really like you. But I barely know you. You barely know me.”

“Right.” Bly tried not to be offended. He knew Marc was struggling with opening up: he wished he knew him better, knew if now was the time to push. “But things might have been different between us, if things hadn’t been taken out of our hands.” His cheeks heated with the memory of Marc’s tongue in his ear, their shared, shocked laughter. Marc’s hand, firm and greedy, stroking his cock. “We both wanted more, right?”

Marc gave a bark of laughter. His cheeks looked flushed as well. “Fuck, yes,”

He’s remembering too! “And we were getting on well. We would have made that date for a drink, I know we would.”

Marc’s eyes met his. There was an unidentifiable look in them, but they were softer than before. “I know that too.”

“Good. But things didn’t go our way. At least, not at the time. But now…”

“Now?”

“Now, perhaps, we can start again.”

The room slipped into silence. Marc was restless, Bly could feel it. He wanted to put his arm around him. Actually, he realised with some amazement, he wanted to put both arms around Marc and pull him very close, and hold him until he calmed. Then kiss him. For a long, long time. Oh God. That worry about feeling close to someone so soon? Bly thought he’d probably just strayed from the theory into very definite reality.

Links

Flashbulb on Goodreads
Jocular Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

About Clare London

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.  Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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