hot giveaway action

I’ve come into possession of … wait … that sounds unnecessarily dodgy … my publisher has kindly given me some audiocodes for How To Bang A Billionaire, narrated by Joel Leslie who is, frankly, amazing.

Something I found kind of challenging (in an interesting way) when he was preparing to do his thing with the book (and you can read about his approach from the man directly here) was that he asked me a bunch of questions about the characters, including what animal I thought they’d be. Needless to say, I spent an unnecessarily long time thinking about it, and this is what I came up with:

  • Arden St Ives: squirrel—lively, fluffy and feisty.
  • Caspian Hart: stag—proud, strong, dangerous but not actually predatory.
  • Eleanor ‘Ellery’ Hart: hedgehog – fiercely self-protecting.
  • Nik Whatever The Heck His Surname Is: golden Labrador – loyal, athletic and loveable.
  • Justin Bellerose: mongoose – I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT IT JUST FEELS RIGHT.
  • Nathaniel Priest: white tiger because they always strike me as smug motherfuckers. Basically, they’re tigers who know they’re better than you.
  • Lancaster Steyne: boa constrictor.
  • George Chase: Anna Chancellor if she was an ocelot.

Special bonus round: Ardy’s mum (hummingbird), Hazel (honeybadger), Rabbie (brown bear), Weird Owen (gerenuk), Poppy Carrie (Andalusian horse), Trudy Hart (swan), Finesilver (lionfish), Dame Frances (boar).

Anyway, if you would like to win a copy of the audiobook of How To Bang A Billionaire (downloadable from, giveaway open internationally) you can do so by either

  • entering ye standard Rafflecopter here, from which two winners will be selected at random
  • telling me which animal your favourite character from the book would be and why. You can leave me a comment here, email me at ajh(at)quicunquevult(dot)com, Tweet me, Facebook me or otherwise social media me in whatever fashion you fancy. And from these I will pick the awesome-est until I’ve run out of codes.

In summary:

The giveaway will run until next Monday (5th March). And, um, here are some of the super lovely things people are saying about Joel:

Joel Leslie does a wonderful job with the narration for this book. Arden is the heart of this series and Leslie captures him just perfectly. (Joyfully Jay)

What can I say about Joel Leslie that has not been said before? Stellar performance, check; brilliant execution, check; brilliant performance, check. (Open Skye Book Reviews)

He’s also done How To Blow It With A Billionaire and that’s available on iTunes.

Also other places, like,, and

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51 Responses to hot giveaway action

  1. Robyn says:

    Because Ardy is everything, I’m going to compare him to a marmot. Cuter than a squirrel, as well as how they greet each other by nose-touching. There’s really nothing more adorable than that…well, other than Ardy himself. I’m reaching here, but go with it!

  2. Jeanne says:

    Justin Bellerose – Havana Brown cat: sleek and elegant. The only Havana I’ve known was snooty and dominant but a house cat none-the-less.
    “It has been said somewhere and referred to in the Legacy of the Cat that some Havana’s “were associated with a not-too-pleasant-disposition”. This may be misleading. It is said that they have a soft and gentle personality if given sufficient attention.”

  3. Laraine says:

    Ellery is clearly a Siamese cat, very nonconformist on the outside, manipulative in her need to be loved, but probably doesn’t wee in the laundry basket cos it’s cold outside…

    Non competitive entry- I love the audio performance of the first book & am half way listening to the second- Ardybaby & Caspian in the bath is just the best scene ever for cheering someone up!. Why are you messing about giving things away please go write that HEA I’m worried about.

    • Oh yes – I can definitely see Ellery as a Siamese cat now you mention it. And I’m so happy you’re enjoying the audiobooks 🙂

    • Jude says:

      OMG! I’m so sorry, Laraine! I honestly didn’t see your post before I wrote mine. Only the first two replies were visible (unless I’ve unaccountably developed some kind of selective visual blanking disorder).

      • Oh gosh, I think was my fault – one of these posts was definitely caught in a moderation queue for a bit. BUT YOU ARE BOTH RIGHT. Ellery IS a totally a Siamese cat.

        • Jude says:

          Clearly, you’re such a skilled writer that when you write a Siamese cat, even in human form and without ever describing her as a Siamese cat, your readers see her perfectly. 😀

          (Thank you for the reassurance <3 )

  4. Jen Valencia says:

    Caspian Hart – Siberian Husky

    Huskies look rather intimidating, the kind that are lovely to look at, but not everyone wants to approach, thanks in part to the wolfish features and icy stare they give. But huskies are actually fiercely loyal even they aren’t a breed that’s considered to be clingy or in constant need of affection. They’re devoted to their humans albeit rather stubborn.

    • Oh yes! I can totally see that – although I do think Caspian is probably far more need in of affection than he realises 😉

      • Jen Valencia says:

        So true! He needs loads of it, even if he thinks he doesn’t, which is why he desperately needs Arden, who I see as a Labrador retriever–friendly, faithful, loving, and patient.

        Gah! I need book three already!!! I need Caspian and Arden to have their happy ending (with a dog…and cat…and a duck to complete the family!).

  5. MillyMollyMandi says:

    Ardy – a terrier, they have exuberance and energy but are very determined little dudes, plus they’re cute to look at too.

  6. Cyn-D Gobatie says:

    What is a gerenuk and who is Finesilver? And Poppy Carrie? Shouldn’t I know this already??? LOL Love the tale and the audio!

  7. Jude says:

    Ellery is a furious, frightened Siamese house cat. Expensively over-bred, and has spent too long being treated as an unreliable but potentially valuable asset rather than as a person: regularly caged (“for her own safety”) with sporadic, impatient attempts at prescriptive social training rather than reliable kindness. She’s eternally on guard for the next attempt at confinement and training, and desperate to live as much as she can before she’s muzzled and the cage door locked forever. She wakes with a yowl and her claws out, and will go for the throat at the least threat, desperate to scare you into leaving her alone. Also, she will crap in your shoes while you’re asleep, and nudge it right down to the toe.

  8. Veronica says:

    I vote Arden as a squirrell!!

  9. Arden St Ives: squirrel—lively, fluffy and feisty.
    Caspian Hart: stag—proud, strong, dangerous but not actually predatory.

    Sounds right just from the names themselves. I had to look this up, but apparently “Arden” might come “from the O. Gaul, word arden a wood”, which seems like the appropriate habitat. The real reason I thought it sounded perfect that he’s a squirrel is that in Spanish the word for “squirrel” is “ardilla”, which is quite like “Arden”.

    As for Hart, that actually is the old term for a stag, so it’s clearly the perfect surname for Caspian if he’s like a stag.

  10. ButtonsMom2003 says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t read the book yet but I love Joel Leslie’s performance of audio books. I was so happy I got to meet him this past weekend. I’d love to win a code for your book.

    • He’s amazing – I was so lucky I got to work for him.

      And the Rafflecopter is there for people who haven’t read the book – so don’t worry about trying to invent an animal for a character you haven’t met yet 😉

  11. Tolk says:

    I actually think that Arden is like this sassy mini horse:

  12. Michelle H. says:

    Arden is an otter… Playful and rambunctious. 🙂

  13. Kaley says:

    I see Arden more like a swan. Deceptively delicate and graceful when he submits, but if you treat him unfairly he’ll show you he can also bite!

    Also since you talk of videogames in your newsletter, I wanted to mention a mobile MMO called Crusaders of Light. As a fellow former WoW player who had to quit due to real life time constraints, it’s the closest I found to WoW minus the grind. And by the way I absolutely loved Looking for Group; it gave me so much WoW nostalgia I almost found it hard to read (but in a good way!). I liked how you thought to print out the system message as each person joins the group on raid night. Of all the things that part just really got to me.

    • Ardy would be thrilled to bits to know someone though he was graceful and/or elegant 🙂

      And … damn you … I’m looking at Crusaders of Light right now. What have you done? I also had to quit WoW due to wanting to fit other things into my life, but I miss it a lot — although I will confess, I didn’t like the direction they took raiding at WotLK. It got very twitch-heavy, especially in early Cataclysm, and that is simply not the kind of experience I’m looking for. Obviously reflexes are important for gaming, but I liked (and was better at) the more strategic aspects – not just how fast you could get off your healing spell, but knowing the right spell to use in the right situation.

      Oh help me, I’m so nostalgic now. I’m glad LfG gave you gaming feelings, even if some of them were melancholy. For me it really was a love letter to that time in my life, and I’m glad it exists for that 🙂

      • Kaley says:

        I only started WoW in late Cata so I don’t know what raids were like before, but I can see how reaction time and being able to get through moving obstacles with precise timing and other twitchy and platformer challenges started playing an ever bigger role in raids – even more so in Pandaria and on. My first raid was normal Firelands and I was so nervous I actually thought I would fall out of my chair and pass out from hyperventilating after the first wipe! 😀 But I stuck with it because I liked the combined social and problem-solving aspect of raids. CoL gave me that back along with a community that’s surprisingly civil surprisingly often (I was in a pug that failed yesterday and people would say “thanks for trying” and “it was good experience anyways” as they left!) and I think that comes from not shutting the door on players as they get older and take on outside responsibilities. “I have 10 minutes before the next patient so let’s pull” is just not something I ever heard back in WoW whereas in CoL it’s an everyday part of the game. Even Blizz has started to recognize the more casual playerbase with “flex” raid modes and such, and I think it’s only a matter of a few years until playing WoW casually on a tablet becomes a thing. When that happens I’ll go back to Orgrimmar and fly up over the city where I made myself watch the sunset on the day I quit, and my life will feel complete again! 🙂

        • PippinJay says:

          Years later, just about all of this from Kaley and Alexis strikes home.

          I’m kind of late to the Alexis Hall reading party (I encountered Mysterious Letter first and have since enjoyed the Kate books and then LfG). But I am a current and ongoing WoW player. I have never felt comfortable raiding with any large/established WoW guild, so I tend to experience the raids one or two expansions later as my gaming friends (2 other regular players) and I are able to survive them. I don’t know if WoW has improved much with respect to real-world time management, but we play twice a week and kind of take it slow and easy. We find it enjoyable, but different folks might have different opinions on that.

          Blizzard’s latest attempt at an expansion is…kind of a mess. But a lot is in the process of changing in the game, so now could be as good a time as any to reconnect and see if there is fun to be had.

  14. Liese says:

    So I see Ellery as a Tetraodontidae/puffer fish, because she is sleek and then blows up when provoked. Kind of like a hedgehog of the sea, yknow? Puffer fish are toxic, but I love how Ardy does not see her as toxic and makes room to meet her where she is, even where she has been at risk to herself…

    • Liese says:

      Oops, I did both rafflecopter and animalling because, yeah, overexcited… Please take me out of one or the other so I Plays By Rules!

      • You’re absolutely welcome to do both – it’s not an either/or, except in the fact that people who haven’t read the book might have a tough time coming up with an animal for characters they don’t know 😉

        But I am really loving the puffer fish idea for Ellery – I think she would like it too 🙂

  15. susana says:

    Ohhh! I do not know exactly why, but I see Arden as a beautiful red fox, clever, playful, skittish and he somehow hides a bite…
    As for Caspian, I see him as a lone wolf, big, strong, somehow dangerous but only harmful if it is needed…
    I love these two together

  16. Jeanne says:

    I am greedily enthusiastic about both you and Joel Leslie and signed up for the lottery as well as here.

    BTW, those unfamiliar with the fantastically talented Joel can get an overview by listening to his entertaining demonstration:

    • Oh my God, his dialects are insane. He’s so talented. I need to bully/coax him to do Geordie for me one day because that is the TRUE test. In general, only Geordies can do Geordie right.

      And you’re totally welcome to sign up to both – although (fair warning) if you win both, I will probably only send you one code!

  17. Andrea says:

    Ellery is like a Siamese Cat – all sleek and lovely and a temper!

  18. nblibgirl says:

    Everyone has made such great suggestions, it’s hard to come with better. I love the idea of Arden as squirrel (although my first thought was ferret!) and Hart as stag. I think a case could be made that Justin is a beaver – just straight up business, always working, working, working on the details. And (having read the first two books) Nathaniel seems more like a peacock than tiger. Way more concerned with how things look (or should be) than how/what a significant other might need.

    Anxiously awaiting book 3 . . .

    • I did actually think of ferret for Ardy, but I thought he might prefer to be something less smelly 😉 And I love your take on Bellerose – he’s quite elusive, so I had trouble pinning down an animal for him. Also Nathaniel would hate the idea of being a peacock so I am totally here for it 😉

  19. Monica Stromberg says:

    When my daughter was seven, a group of her little friends came over to play ponies. One little girl was assigning names and colors: you are a black horse, your name is Blackie; you are a brown horse, your name is Brownie. As she approached my daughter, Sarah threw her hand up and announced,”I am a rainbow unicorn, and my name is Sparkles.” And she galloped off. I was so proud! Arden reminds me of Sarah. He may not be super confident, but he is comfortable in his own skin, and knows what he wants. He is a rainbow unicorn, and he sparkles!

  20. WMD says:

    No need for audiocode!

    For some reason my first thought for Arden was rabbit…and then I had to think about why. I was picturing a twitchy active white rabbit (like in Alice in Wonderland), and a beautiful rabbit that you just have to pet (pictured here w Nik), and…well…the infamous slutty rabbit…bunnies are very active sexually.

    After reading through the list of all the animal avatars, I briefly pictured a very unusual cartoon version of HTBYB….possibly a musical with mod costumes to humanize….then put that rapidly from my mind.

    • Yes, I think Ardy is VERY bunny-like. And those giant rabbits are gorgeous, although terrifyingly large. I had a bad experience with a rabbit once, so I am wary of them in general.

  21. Laura says:

    Ohhh so exiting!
    I love Nathaniel as a smug white tiger!
    Bellerose I see as a toyger cat, they look like mini leopards but inside they’re fluffy house cats that snuggle in knitted blankets -hehe knit×380/quality/90/?

    Caspian i think it’s spot on
    And Ardy, although I love squirrel I see him as a Westie Terrier lol bubbly and happy and yappy and clumsy and totally adorable, and if I could give him a character it would heart from @theawkwardyeti you just have to see him to know that’s Ardy

    Question!! Do we have a date for book 3?

    • *cringe* I’m sorry, I think book 3 might not until the new year *cringe*. I’m so so so sorry. Please don’t kill me.

      I’m intrigued by the idea there’s a secret house-cat side to Bellerose – I think you might be onto something there 🙂

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