Teaser… or Spoiler? ~ Outside the Margins with Clare London

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Clare London OtM

Maybe you’ve seen one of those movies where the hero does NOT want to know the result of, for example, a sports game, but then spends the whole two hours on film dodging people who gleefully or carelessly want to tell him. Does that plot scenario make you wince – or laugh?

How often do you watch series #1 of a tense TV thriller where the hero is constantly under threat of death – yet you know they’ve already commissioned series #2, and he’s very much alive and kicking in that one?


And how many of us have come across the romance book blurb that – basically – tells you everything that happens, from the day they meet, the troubles they face, how they triumph over it all, and how they finally live happily ever after?

As my Hubby said to me, after watching a very lengthy trailer for a new cop series on TV the other week – “well, there’s no need to watch the whole thing now, is there?” LOL.

Authors are encouraged to put enough teaser in their book blurbs so that readers are tempted to buy. Some publishers and distributors go further and add “warnings” – whether amusing or serious – to try and avoid distress or confusion on the reader’s part.


But how much is teaser – and how much spoiler? A book will draw me in from a brief synopsis (just so I know I’m not reading something about a 4-headed alien hero who rides a tarantula across Trafalgar Square romancing an empty KFC bucket, and no disrespect intended to anyone who’s written that book, but I’m not sure it’d work for me), and a flavour of the author’s style. Recommendations from fellow readers are also very important. But after that? THEN I want to immerse myself in the book as an adventure, as a discovery, where events happen to my shock and surprise and joy, and where I can fall in love with the characters, whether good or bad at heart. I don’t need to know the story in advance – in fact, I avoid it. To me, a book is an Exploration, and I’m just itching to be amazed. I know my triggers and my hot buttons, I know what makes me love or loathe a book, and I also know my favourite authors can deliver a damn good read, almost regardless of plot.

However!! Surveys have found that some readers like spoilers. They like to know what level of emotional investment they can expect – they don’t like to be startled too far out of their comfort zone, or meant to feel foolish if the author tries too many twists. And I confess I have been known to flip to the back of a book – just to check my favourite character hasn’t been killed off! You know how that goes!


So how do YOU feel? Do you like spoilers for a book, so you know exactly what you’re going to get – or would you rather be caught unawares? evil laugh…..


~Clare London


Title: Flashbulb
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 06/26/2015
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay, M/M Romance


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.


Marc hadn’t gotten a really good fuck for weeks, if he were honest. Oh, there’d been occasional one-night stands—or maybe one-hour stands—but he’d been busy with work, and most of his free time had been spent sleeping rather than screwing. And—shit, he was heaping on the self-honesty here, wasn’t he?—nowadays he felt bored by everyone on offer. But there was a new emotional thread underlying the sexual thrill he felt from Bly, one he hadn’t felt for a while. “Tell me some more about this contract you’re going to Chicago for.”

“Are you still trying to distract me from my nerves?”

Marc laughed. Bly wasn’t as naive as he might look. “No, I mean it. I’m interested in hearing from a country boy like you, looking for adventure.”

“So says the city slicker, like you?” Bly said sharply.

Marc was startled. “Hey, I didn’t meant to offend.”

“Maybe you’re not used to anyone answering you back.”

As Bly turned as if to leave the galley, Marc grabbed his arm. “Wait. You’re wrong. I kinda like it.”

Bly looked back at him, paused, and then sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m dosed up on sedatives and not necessarily acting… myself.” And then he laughed, a soft, happy sound, directed totally at Marc.

Marc laughed too. He felt lighter; his mood more relaxed than it had been for a while. “Did I say you were cute?”

Bly nodded, blushing. “Just now. Though it’s not something we say a lot in the UK. Don’t worry—I know it’s just a line.”

Holy crap. Marc was ambushed by the strength of his reaction. Bly’s blush was just the right mixture of sweetness and awareness. Just a guy, right? Another conquest? No… something else. The promise of novelty and charm, as well as adventure! Marc took stock of their situation. The plane was relatively settled, and no one was using the rear restrooms. He was on his own in the galley. He lifted his hand to touch Bly’s lips with his fingertips, very briefly and very, very gently. He meant it as a come-on, a question to see how far Bly was prepared to go, but was startled at how much it felt like a caress.

Bly’s lips parted, and his tongue darted out to moisten them. The tip caught Marc’s index finger. Marc felt instantly dizzy. Shit, he’d never suffered with any kind of airsickness, and he ate and drank all the right things before a flight. He hadn’t gotten the flu since he was a youngster. Why the hell was he swaying on his feet like he was going to pass out? He grasped the edge of the counter to steady himself and leaned into Bly. “It’s not a line. You are cute. I’m really tempted to take advantage of that, you know?”

“I know,” Bly whispered. He licked his lips again. His cheeks were as pink as if the summer sun had caught them on a hot, lazy afternoon. His eyelids drooped as if he were tired, hiding the full force of his gaze, and he leaned back into Marc. “I’m fine with that.”


Flashbulb on Goodreads
Self Published
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!


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,

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5 thoughts on “Teaser… or Spoiler? ~ Outside the Margins with Clare London

  1. Well, I am one of those people who flips to the back to see which guy he ends up with or who the killer is, but blurbs that explain everything lose me. Maybe I’m a victim of the internet, but if it’s more than a few lines long, you’ve lost me. LOL 3 paragraphs should not be needed to hook me in. I like to know the basics about themes, maybe what the big trial will be such as vampire vs vampire hunter, or in the closet, etc. Usually it’s clear from the blurb whether it’s dark and angsty or light and humorous. Again, a good blurb should be able to tell me all that in a few sentences and that’s enough.

    • Should have added I don’t really have triggers. There’s things I don’t care for, but I don’t need a ton of warnings. If I dislike it, I chalk it up to luck of the draw, pass on it and move on. I don’t blame the author or publishers, it’s just my taste. Not Reese’s fault that I think Peanut Butter Cups are disgusting. 🙂

  2. I don’t ever want to know too much, but having an idea of what the story is like really helps me to pick the right one for my mood. Getting halfway through something dark, when really what I needed was something fluffy, can be a bit disappointing. I think a blurb can definitely give a flavor of the story without giving it away…or at least it should be possible. But there’s always the last page if I really need to know if the angst is gonna be worth it : )

    And as for triggers, there is so much TV and film I won’t watch, just in case, but with books, I feel fearless. No scrabbling for the remote or having to listen to anything horrifying, just turn the page and skim a line or two to get back to the story! I won’t be reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo anytime soon but generally, less is more as far as spoilers go.

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