Guest Post and Giveaway: With a Kick, Audiobook Collection One with Joel Leslie and Clare London

Today I am so pleased to welcome Joel Leslie and Clare London to Joyfully Jay. Joel and Clare have come to talk to us about their recent audio release, With a Kick, Audiobook Collection One. They have also brought along an audio excerpt and a giveaway. Please join me in giving Joel and Clare a big welcome!

 

Hi there! Joel Leslie here. Huge thanks to Jay for welcoming me to her pad! Today I’m gonna chat a bit with one of my favourite authors, Clare London about our latest audio collaboration, With a Kick, Collection One.

Here’s ye olde blurb:

This collection includes the 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 titles, Ice and Snow and Smack Happy.  

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 gotten 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 Bryan may be just the man to provide it.  

 

Clare’s writing style is utterly delightful. Funny and sexy and cozy all at once, and these characters just jumped off the page. The series reminds me of a cross between “Love, Actually’ and the original British version of “Queer as Folk”. I promise they’ll put a smile on your face. So – from across the pond – Clare and I had a figurative cup of tea and a chin wag about the release…

JOEL: So tell me how the idea for the series came to you? Did it start with the couple who own the ice cream shop, or the idea of the shop itself?

CLARE:  The idea for the series came from an actual store selling alcoholic ice cream in London. At least, Sue Brown saw it once on a trip into town, but when we searched for it again, it had sadly gone! So we decided to write our own LOL.

JOEL: Oh no! Well at least it lives on through these fab books! I love that you use that as the kind of focal point for all the characters to intertwine… Like the pub in Coronation Street or the bar in Cheers. Each of the stories feel like these delightful bite-sized morsels… it’s almost like a serial or really addictive British telly. How did you decide they were going to be novellas?

CLARE:  I don’t always know how long a book will be when I start, and that just seemed the right length to tell my stories. The With A Kick books have got longer as the series progresses, as I obviously have found more characters to enjoy.

JOEL:  Well, since the ice cream parlour features traditional ice cream mixed with some more ‘festive’ flavors…What’s your favorite grown up ice cream recipe?

CLARE: Salted caramel. I couldn’t believe the flavour when it first hit the market – sweet AND salt?! – but now I’m addicted. I don’t even need an extra alcoholic twist!

JOEL: Sweet and salt lol…Just like popcorn at the cinema in the UK! Americans are always shocked that you have to pick which kind you want. Well if folks want to experiment at home, I found a couple amazing looking boozy ice cream recipes online:

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2790/boozy-ice-cream-recipes/

Personally, I’m a mint chocolate chip guy. Ok, So, you share this world of characters with Sue Brown, but the stories definitely stand alone. That’s why Collection One contains four of yours?

CLARE: Yes, we both wanted to write fully completed romances in each book, though we shared the shop setting and the overall arc of Patrick and Lee’s romance [who operate the ice cream shop]. We continue to chat through the plots and plans, too. We publish separately, so we haven’t been able so far to offer a complete collection on Amazon. But I wanted to offer a package of some of the books for both ebook and audio.

Collection Two is also out on ebook (Pluck and Play + Double Scoop) and the audio will be out later this summer.

JOEL:  I can’t wait to get started on it! I love that your work, even when it’s really sexy, always has a sweetness to it. (LOL – just like the menu at With a Kick – sweet and saucy). I felt the same about our previous project, Romancing the Ugly Duckling (which I loved to bits)! Is that on purpose, or just where the characters take you?

CLARE: That’s a lovely compliment, thanks so much! To me, London people are always a wonderful mix of passion, wit, and eccentricity, and I want to reflect that in my books. And while I really (really) love a sexy get-together, I also want my men to have sweet romance too.

JOEL: This was your first audio production as an indie author, what were the biggest challenges and surprises?

CLARE: Biggest challenge? Finding out what the hell happens at each stage and trying not to miss it LOL. Joel was a BIG help to me on this, letting me know where in the process I was, and what I should be thinking about doing. The biggest surprise? Hearing the voices come to life! It gave me the chance to be a reader/listener again, not just the author. How exciting was that!

JOEL: Which character in the audio ended up being your favourite?

CLARE: I loved Nuri’s sexy voice expressing his devotion to Eddy… and Bryan’s firm “accountant’s” voice towards the hyper Phiz. Curses, they’re *all* my favourites!

JOEL: Awwww – yay! I LOVED voicing these four books in the series. It reminded me so much of my years in London, especially since the action is focused around the Soho streets that used to be my old stomping ground. The books have the most wonderful atmosphere and made me super homesick!

Here’s an excerpt of Slap and Tickle, the second of the stories in the collection

Thanks Clare and thank you Jay!

We’ll be happy to give away two copies of the audio chosen from those who comment below! Just tell us your favourite flavour of ice cream (and what boozy bevvy you would mix it with!).


Blurb

This collection includes the 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 titles, Ice and Snow and Smack Happy.

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 gotten 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 Bryan may be just the man to provide it.


Bio

CLARE LONDON 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.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. www.clarelondon.com

JOEL LESLIE is a four-time Earphones Award winning audiobook narrator. He has voiced over 160 titles, including over 90 in the LGBT romance genre and has nearly 9,000 five star Audible reviews. www.joelleslienarration.com


Giveaway

Joel and Clare have brought two copies of With a Kick, Collection one in audio to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, July 10th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

Comments

  1. Congrats on the audio book collection release! Thank you got the interview and chance to win.

  2. Diane Fair says:

    I love the title, “Slap and Tickle”

  3. [note from Jay] Kareni’s comment was deleted in the site migration so I am adding this placeholder for her for the giveaway entry

  4. I love audiobooks, and I love Joel’s performances. Thank you for this wonderful chance! <3

  5. I love this series! curious to see how the audio turned out. Thanks for the chance!

  6. Inez Garcia says:

    I love this series and can’t wait to listen to Joel’s narration. Also, I’m very excited for the new installment coming soon.

  7. Katherine says:

    My favorite flavor depends on whether I want something light – lemon sorbet – or heavy – peanut butter cup. How about a limoncello float, with sorbet and limoncello?

  8. Judy Stone says:

    What a winning combination: Clare is one of my favorite authors and Joel is one of my favorite narrators. Root beer float is my go to ice cream treat! Thanks for the chance to win With a Kick collection #1.

  9. Diana Quilty says:

    What a fun series! I’m anxious to hear Joel narrate it, I’m sure he’ll be brilliant as usual. My favourite icecream flavor is Salted Carmel too and I love to drown it in Kahlua, yum!

  10. BJ Williams says:

    With a Kick is a Fabulous series.
    My favourite ice cream is Scottish Tablet…. perhaps Patrick & Lee could add a touch of
    Sambuca to contrast the sweetness?? x?x

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