Thursday, September 8, 2011

My struggling heroes - in BLINDED BY OUR EYES

Welcome to Romantic Suspense week on the NYUS blog.
DON'T FORGET: At the end of the week we're giving away a stack of ebooks (possibly a couple of print books too) to one lucky commentator. The more times you comment, the more times you'll go into the 'hat'. See this post. We'll name the winner on the blog next Monday.

I think I've always written suspense with my romance. To me, it can be either external or internal: my heroes are either struggling with mad stalkers, murderers or social hardships - or they're struggling with their own emotional feelings! And I confess I like it that way, both as a reader and as an author. It's exciting and challenging, and even if it's exaggerated in fiction, it's often true to real life. Call me cruel to my characters LOL.

I'm Clare London and I write m/m romance, usually erotic though not always. I write in both contemporary and fantasy genres, and include drama, suspense, action, humour, angst - or a mixture of all!

My first title at Carina Press was very exciting for me, as my first murder mystery. Blinded by Our Eyes is set in London, in the art world. Its psychological drama is more reminsicent of a WHY-dunnit than a WHO-dunnit, though I enjoyed my Agatha Christie-style denouement at the end :). And of course the suspense is flavoured with a strong dose of erotic romance between my two leading men, Charles Garrett the art gallery owner, and Antony Walker, the strong, silent, potentially dangerous sculptor.

The blurb and an excerpt follows here.
Happy reading!


BLURB: London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery.
As Paolo's mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo's past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He's drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony's forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art.
When the evidence points toward Antony's guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?

EXCERPT: (adult-rated for language)

Walker laughed again, but more softly. He’d made his coffee while still doing something with the tools on the table, gathering them up, putting them away in the wooden box. I couldn’t see around his torso, couldn’t see what his hands were doing in front of his body. I heard the bolt snap shut on the box and he turned back around.
“What are you doing there?” I said, too loudly. I didn’t seem to have full control of my voice. “Why are you bothering with that now? I just want to talk to you.” What are you hiding from me?
He just glared at me, his eyes dark and unwelcoming.
I glanced over at his work in progress. “What kind of themes do you work with, Walker? Did you work with Paolo? He’s…he was a very talented sculptor.” Is that why you were together—as artists? Or was your relationship something else?
Something fierce
“He was a shit,” Walker growled, shaking his head.
His bluntness shocked me. “That’s—what the hell do you mean?”
His eyes narrowed. “You think people shouldn’t speak ill of the dead? Paolo Valero leeched off people. He was pretty and he was talented, but for all the time I knew him, he was a liar and a thief.”
I was stunned. “Money?”
“He stole money, yeah. And materials. And ideas.” Walker sighed. “But he stole time and attention, too. From me—probably from you, too.”
“Why are you saying this? Why are you slandering him like this?”
For the first time I saw uncertainty in Walker’s expression. “You have no fucking idea, do you? It doesn’t mean I wasn’t his friend. Though plenty of people in this business will tell you he got everything he deserved.”
“What do you mean?” I nearly shouted.
Walker shook his head. His frown got deeper. “I don’t have to tell you anything.”
“Is that what happened with you and Paolo?” I persisted. “What did he steal from you? How much?” Maybe too much?
Walker gazed steadily back at me. “You look at everyone like that, Garrett?”
“What do you mean?”
He took a step toward me, threateningly, yet I didn’t move away. I couldn’t identify the expression in his eyes, but it chilled me. “I know guys like you, right? Dealers.” He made it sound like a disease. “You watch other people create, you give your critique, then you pimp the goods. Always on the outside, never really involved. You look around this room with cold eyes. You see a block of stone, you see banknotes, where I see breath and beauty.”
I was furious—suddenly, blindingly furious. “Who do you think you are? You arrogant shit.”
He didn’t even flinch. “And that’s the same look you’re turning on me now. Appraising me.”
I couldn’t speak, my throat was closing tight with the anger. He was right, I couldn’t tear my eyes from him, but it was from anger, not admiration, wasn’t it? Nothing to do with the fierce, sensual attraction that emanated from him, the way his dark eyes caught and fascinated my attention.
“You’re looking at me the same way you look at the stone.” He stepped even closer. A trickle of sweat ran from his throat down the middle of his bare torso. I imagined it pooling above his navel, glistening and bobbing as his belly clenched.
“I’m not.” That’s not me.
“No?” he murmured. He peered at me, sounding puzzled. “Then it’s something else…” His chest was heaving, as if he had the same difficulty breathing as I did. Behind him, the point chisel was still on the edge of the table. He hadn’t locked it away with the other tools. Its handle was a foot from his grasp.
“Get away from me,” I whispered.
He frowned. “Say that again. And this time like you mean it.” He was still searching my face, but now his expression was confused, as if he’d lost whatever he was seeking. And then his eyes slid away from my face to my chest and down the whole of my body, slowly and carefully. When his gaze came back up, lingering for too long on my groin, I blanched. The sexual intent was never in any doubt.
And my body shuddered in response.

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Also available in AUDIO book.
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12 comments:

Rita said...

Zowie Clare hot! hot! hot!

MaureenAMiller said...

Wow Clare! It's only 8:00am here. What a way to start the morning!! Now I'm ready to go. Your writing inspires. :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Now I'm awake! I love me some great internal and external struggles.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Well, I'm awake now! Better than coffee. Great excerpt, Clare!

Stevie Carroll said...

That's on my To Read list, which is far too long!

chrissymunder said...

And what a great last line to end the excerpt on. How cool is it that this is available in audio book!

mariewig said...

Hi Clare
looking forward to London Eye :)
Marie*

Jane said...

I love the adult excerpt.

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare! I really must get that one.
Mara Ismine

Gaby said...

I can´t wait for read it.
Ufff, very hot.
The cover is incredible

Thanks

Clare London said...

Looks like I forced you all into wake-up mode on GMT, how cruel am I?! :) And I only posted so early because I couldn't get the Blogger scheduling to work reliably... LOL.

Thanks for the great comments, everyone! Did I mention I wrote erotic romance?! ^_~

Welcome to the NYUS-ers and I'm on my way to catch up on the other excerpts. This week has been a rather delicious way to bookmark some favourites and to expand my reading list.

Clare London said...

Hi to new visitors today! Hope you're all enjoying the excerpts, this has been fun way to celebrate Romantic Suspense and also catch up on all the authors supporting this blog.

Stevie - thanks! Though if your To Read list is anything like mine, we need 72-hour days to catch up.

Chrissy - great to see you *hugs*. Me any my cliffhangers, eh? And yes, the audio experience has been really exciting (even if I wince at some of the British accents).

Mariewig - *waves*. I can safely say that I'm looking forward to London Eye's release HUGELY *lol*. Thanks for the encouragement.

Jane - hi and many thanks :). I chose one that wasn't TOO spicy...

Mara - great to see you! especially as I missed your guest day at another blog recently :(, though I usually catch up later on! Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope you get to read it soon.

Gaby - hi and thanks! Yes, this is one of the more suspenseful rather than hot scenes LOL. And isn't that cover fabulous? Carina did me proud on that.