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New Release – With a Kick Collection #1 by Clare London #audiobook #contemporary #gay #romance

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Book Title: WITH A KICK Collection #1

Author: CLARE LONDON

Publisher: JOCULAR PRESS (self published)

Narrator: JOEL LESLIE

Cover Artist: LOU HARPER

Genre/s: MM Contemporary Romance

Length:  8 hours and 40 mins (75,000 words/170 pages)

Release Date June 20, 2018

The first 2 standalone romances in a series set around the same alcoholic ice cream shop.

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Blurb

This collection includes Clare London’s first two charming London-based novellas of the With A Kick series – A Twist and Two Balls, and Slap and Tickle. Also included are two short stories featuring the characters in these books. 

WITH A KICK

A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for? 

Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout. 

A TWIST AND TWO BALLS

Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage. Unfortunately, his alter ego Eddy March hasn’t got further than a bit part in a TV series. One ghastly day, he’s late for an audition, can’t pay his taxi fare, and is chased across Soho by the irate driver, Nuri. But maybe being caught by Nuri is exactly what Eddy needs. 

SLAP AND TICKLE

Bryan is an accountant who admires order and self-discipline. When he literally bumps into Phiz outside With A Kick, Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need. Bryan needs a lover who welcomes his secret desire, and Phiz needs a firm hand–in every way. They both agree that Bryan may be just the man to provide it. 

 

 

Buy Links and Listen to a sample here

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Audible UK 

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About the Author

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning 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-three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her on all her social media.

 

 

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Guest Post ~ Interview with Narrator Joel Leslie

It’s my pleasure to welcome Joel Leslie to my blog today and ask him a few questions. 

Hello, Joel! Please introduce yourself to my readers and tell us some interesting facts.

Hey there!  I’m Joel Froomkin – I also record a lot of m/m material under the name Joel Leslie.  I have two wiener dogs who like to bark when I’m trying to record and an incredibly patient boyfriend who does all my editing.  I grew up in Bermuda – which is a British colony – and my parents are Canadian and American.  I went to a British boys school and all my teachers were from various parts of the UK.  So I grew up around this vast array of different sounds…which gave me this weird skill set of being able to sound like a native Brit and a Yank lol.

I record under two names… Joel Froomkin and Joel Leslie.  I use my middle name (Leslie) for grown up stuff.  It’s not because I’m ashamed… it’s because of the way Audible book recommendations work.  Under Joel Froomkin I do children and young adult books quite a bit, and when you buy a book Audible always lists “other books by this narrator you may enjoy”.  So someone could buy “Flopsy the Bunny goes to Unicorn Town” and then get a recommendation for “Prison Jocks Fraternity Bondage VI”.  Which could be awkward.  It just keeps the audience separate.  But my m/m fans should definitely check out the Joel Froomkin stuff… they might like some of it

How long have you been narrating and what made you decide to follow this career path?

I did my undergrad in acting – but I was very ‘in my head’… always analyzing and judging what I was doing. And my professors (wisely) pushed me towards directing and designing.  So when the undergrad was done they convinced me to stay on for an MFA that was sort of specially tailored to me.  But my major passion while I was there was dialects… the speech professor kind of became my second mom.  It’s where the obsession with voices came from.

I worked in the West End for a while and then in New York as an assistant director and a director.  Did shows with Maggie Smith, Anthony Head and some other really cool people.  Then my b.f. and I started producing theatre and we wanted to start our own theater company.  We moved from NY to Indiana an started a regional theatre in Indiana.  When we weren’t doing big productions we sometimes did a couple “radio drama” readings where I would do performances of books like Christmas Carol and Treasure Island – I’ve always loved great story tellers like Patrick Stewart, Stephen Fry and Jim Dale.  That made me think about taking a stab at audiobooks.

Weirdly the “being in your head” thing and the director background is incredibly helpful for audiobook work.  As a narrator are basically shaping the entire ‘performance’ – casting it in your mind, shaping the pace and arc of the story, and directing your own performance.  So the thing that was a hindrance as a stage actor became a strength.

This is just about my one year anniversary.  I dove into it in March of last year… and now I’ve done about 50 books.  I’m really excited about how things are going and I’ve forged some relationships with some amazing authors.  Lily’s Paint the Sky is honestly one of my favorite books to date.  Audiobook narration really is its own art form.  I am very theatrical – I love to ‘perform’ the material.  But as a theater person, over time, I’ve learned that good audiobook narration is almost like film acting in a really tight close up.  It’s incredibly intimate.  I’ve learned that the performance draws the reader in – as if the story is being told just for them – it can’t come at them.  You want a sense that you are in the room eavesdropping with real people rather than listening to a play from the back row.

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What are your ambitions for your career and what’s your favorite part of narrating?

Right now I am primarily narrating for independent authors or smaller publishing houses.  In a few years I would really like to be balancing that with some larger publishers as well.  The m/m work is something I’m really passionate about and I always want to continue working in that genre.

Do you have a favorite quote from the stories you have narrated?

I don’t know if I have a specific quote – but the painting scene in Paint the Sky is certainly one of the loveliest moments from a book I can remember narrating. (Blushing here. Thank you, Joel xx)

What scene in your narrating has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?

I did a book called Come To Dust by J.S Cook – it’s this huge, sprawling Victorian m/m mystery epic. At the end of the book she basically sends away a character that I had just fallen in love with and voicing the ‘goodbye’ scene I was sobbing.  I had to keep stopping because the recording was nothing but choking sniffles. But I actually cry a lot at the ends of books… which is actually bad because it gets in the way of you actually conveying the emotion in the recording.  Usually I have to pull myself together and then start that bit again.

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In terms of laughing the hardest… I did a book that’s soon to be released called “The Gelatin Coast” it’s a very silly kind of “Mad Mad Mad World” adventure about a Moose that gets stuck in Africa written with this sort of Stephen Fry wit… very dry.  There were lines that I had to deliver really deadpan to make them funny – but I’d be howling with laughter.

Do you feel awkward or embarrassed when narrating erotic scenes?

At first it was pretty hard not to blush doing that kind of material.  But now I do so much romance and m/m material that it’s actually something that I don’t even think about.  I guess it’s kind of like being a gynecologist lol – seen one, seen them all.  I actually find it a bit of a relief when those sections come along, because it’s no characters, no voices… just narrative.  It’s actually some of the least complicated stuff to do… you can’t get it the way of it too much.  I will say “orgasm sounds” are always something I’m never sure about in audio books… I don’t really want to listen to a narrator to suddenly sound like I’ve turned on Skinemax…but it still has to sound honest and engaged.  So, to all authors,
“oh yeah, oh yeah, OH YEAHHHHHH” is not my favorite thing to narrate lol.  But the descriptive bits… that’s actually some of the easiest material to tackle.

What do you do to prepare before you start narrating a new book?

Well – it depends, really.  With a new book I send each author a character sheet… I ask them to tell me for each role what would be their Hollywood dream casting (vocally), age, level of education, who they are related to or from the same region as (You might accidentally miss that on page 264 someone is someone’s sister and they grew up in the same town and you’ve been voicing them from totally different regions).  I also ask them what kind of animal the character would be.. knowing an author thinks of someone as a bear or a snake or an owl or a bassett hound really helps me find the voice.  Weirdly, for me, the minor characters with a couple line are the ones that are the toughest sometimes.

It’s dangerous to not read the whole book first… Allegedly, I read the first three chapters of a book once, thought “I’ve got this” and started narrating.  Then on page 220 they finally mentioned one of the lead characters was black.  Whoops.  So yah – you need to do prep.

Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recently narrated book?

I recently did a really yummy gay Regency Romance called “Duke in Denial” and it would be soooo perfect with Eddie Redmayne.  Right now I’m doing a book called “Forever England” and the author told me think of Anthony Head.  Which is really funny because I directed Anthony in The Tempest… so I’ve spent the whole time trying to channel his energy.

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Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

We would really like to relocate our theatre company out of Indiana.  It was a great place to get our feet wet, but the social climate has really changed and the audience isn’t broad enough to let us do the kind of work we would like.  So we are looking to try and shift the company to Florida in the next year or two.  But the lovely thing about audiobooks is that I can record wherever we go.

How do you relax?

I’m really bad at it.  But I actually listen to an audiobook every night in bed (not my own stuff).  I’ve always been a crazy fan of audiobooks… it’s really neat to think of people listening to my own work.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  Without question.  Angela Lansbury is brilliant.  I actually think it’s superior film to Mary Poppins… Disney produced it while they were trying to get PL Travers to agree to Poppins and it actually has all the same elements.   As far as TV goes…I was addicted to Doc Martin and Wire in the Blood.

What genre/books do you like to read in your own time?

I really love cosy mysteries.  I love MC Beaton and all her characters.  I also devour anything written by Stephen Fry.  The Hippopotamus is one my favorite books.

What books are you reading at the moment? It’s okay to give an author a plug!

I’m recording a book called “Forever England” by David Luddington and then I’m doing a vampire epic called “Of Light and Darkness” by Shayne Leighton.  At the moment the only thing I have time to read are the books I’m preparing to record!  I’m listening to Simon Vance narrate “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” at the moment and the incredible Lisette Lacat doing one of the Ladies’ Detective Series.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

Well, when people listen to one of my books they are usually shocked to find out my own neutral voice is American.  I am always really complimented when people listen to various samples of my work and can’t figure out where I’m from.  I think people would be shocked to know that I’m actually painfully shy in social settings… to the point where it’s super awkward.  Networking is not my strong point.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

“Can We Take that One More Time From the Top?”

Please tell us a little about your current release and what can we look forward to from you in the future?

My latest is called The Duke in Denial by Alexandra Ainsworth.  For a costume drama junkie like me it was such a treat.  It’s a full on m/m regency romance – the whole Jane Austen thing – but between men.  The characters were wonderful and I loved the story.  Alexandra truly crafted a believable historical romance working within the confines the characters would face at that time in history.  And yet it kept that lovely, frothy, swoony Sense and  Sensibility feel.  Plus I get to do my Maggie Smith impression which is always icing on the cake (hee hee).
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I narrate the Skyler Foxe Mystery series… I’m book six of those and I always have one of those on the burner. It’s my Harry Potter lol.  I have more books coming out by Kim Fielding and Kiernan Kelly – they are really imaginative writers.  Stephanie  Summers writes a great vampire series I loved doing and I’m now doing her new “Take Me” series.  If folks wanna know what I have being released (usually two or three each month) they can join my Facebook page “Audiobook Updates” or my personal Joel Froomkin page.  I love hearing from listeners… it really means a lot.

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I’ve already found a couple of people who are consistently looking out for and reviewing my work on Audible.  The fact that I have a couple ‘fans’ who buy a book not only because of the author, but because of the narrator, makes me feel so special.  I read the reviews on Audible constantly… even when they hurt.  I know that I’ve developed and learned from some of them.  But when someone takes the time that to share that they love a performance – it makes my day.  And I’ve learned how important reviews are to authors and narrators… If you read something you enjoy – leave a review… you have no idea how much it helps the visibility and potential success of that book.

Many thanks for your detailed and interesting responses, Joel.

Best wishes for your future narrating.

I’m especially looking forward to listening to your latest stories.

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Check out Joel’s work on:

Audible.com | Audible UK | Facebook Page | Facebook Profile

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Paint the Sky Audiobook and Giveaway

Paint the Sky

Audiobook

by

Lily G Blunt

Narrated by Joel Leslie

Paint the Sky audible Cover

 Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Listening Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes

Program Type: Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Lily G Blunt

Audible.co.uk Release Date: 3 Sept. 2015

Language: English

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Audible.com / Audible UK  /  Amazon.com Amazon UK / iTunes 

Not an Audible member?

If you sign up to Audible for at least two months and Paint the Sky is your first purchase

my narrator and I will receive a  bonus payment.

Currently you can receive one month’s membership with 1 FREE credit.

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A love of art…

A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.

Starry, starry night…

Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.

But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.

Hold tight to your dreams…

Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

 

Paint the Sky E-Book Cover

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LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT FROM THE AUDIOBOOK HERE

About the Narrator

Joel Leslie was a pleasure to work with. I love his narration of my story and the way he brought the various characters to life.

Check out his others works here.

Audio NarrationFacebook  / Audible 

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Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”

As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.

Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.

Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.

And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

 

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ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK AND IN PAPERBACK

Amazon.com / Amazon UK / ARe / PayHip

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I’m offering a choice of either a paperback copy of Paint the Sky, an A5 or A6 notebook with a Paint the Sky cover to three lucky winners.

To enter the giveaway please comment on this post saying which of the three gifts you would prefer to win.

Three winners will be randomly chosen on 3rd October

when the Paint the Sky Audiobook Blog Tour has finished.

UPDATE

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS:

Lisa, Matt and Yvonne

YOUR PRIZES ARE ON THE WAY.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the blog tour and giveaway.

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Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon. She later published short stories with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing. Lily is excited about joining Pride Publishing for her upcoming story, The Handyman Can.

Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London.

Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.

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