Speaking of Audiobooks: November Releases

Black IceAfter our Speaking of Audiobooks discussion earlier this month on our preferred listening devices, I made out my Christmas list and it is simply – one MP3 player with lots of memory and the ability to play the enhanced format I’ve been hearing about lately.  So notice to family…pool you money.  I’ll be thrilled with just this one gift and my wish is for it to have at least 16 GB of memory.

The search for upcoming audiobooks gets more interesting every day (or should I say more challenging).  Although I compile a list of upcoming audiobooks each month for this mid-month column, many books fail to make that list and the reason is quite clear.   Audible, the largest source of romance audiobooks, doesn’t provide a comprehensive list of their upcoming releases.

Our list of upcoming October audiobook releases was small with a total of 10 books in the unabridged category.  However, as of today, Audible has released another 27 romance audiobooks in October that failed to make our upcoming release list because we simply had no notice.  To make up for this lack of notification, we will now update each current month’s list at the time of this mid-month new releases column.  For example, this column provides you with an upcoming list of 10 abridged titles and 20 unabridged titles scheduled for release in November.  In addition, our October list of releases has now updated and the number of unabridged titles has increased from 10 to 37.  I’m determined to find a way around this lack of information so we can keep romance audiobook fans up to date on the latest offerings.

I still love my morning visits to Audible where several times a month I find a jewel of a new release I am anxious to buy.  I felt such a rush when I saw Anne Stuart’s Black Ice appear seemingly out of nowhere earlier this month.  And then there was Stephanie Laurens’ popular Devil’s Bride – one of my cassette tape collection I had yet to find affordably in any other format (the one used CD copy I found was $99.95).  I must admit that despite my aggravation with the lack of reliable new release lists, the hunt is still a great deal of fun.

Leftovers from October

Here are just a few of the gems you can find on our updated New Releases for October list.

Kenyon, SherrilynBorn of Night: A League Novel

Laurens, Stephanie – All About Passion

Laurens, Stephanie – Devil’s Bride

McCarty, Sarah, Tucker’s Claim

Stuart, Anne – Black Ice

Stuart, Anne – Cold as Ice

Audiobook Romances on Sale in November

Abridged

Brown, Sandra – Where There’s Smoke

Feehan, Christine – Wild Rain

Garwood, Julie – The Bride

Howard, Linda – Son of the Morning

Lowell, Elizabeth – Enchanted

Michaels, Fern – Sisterhood CD Collection 3: Free Fall, Hide & Seek, Hokus Pokus

Michaels, Fern – Whitefire

Robb, J.D. – Divided in Death

Robb, J.D. – Kindred in Death

Roberts, Nora – Northern Lights

The-Bride - GarwoodUnabridged

Birmingham. Stephen – The Auerbach Will

Birmingham, Stephen – The LeBaron Secret

Birmingham, Stephen – Shades of Fortune

Brown, Sandra – Rainwater

Brown, Sandra – Where There’s Smoke

Dodd, Christina – Just the Way You Are

Feehan, Christine – Wild Rain

Garwood, Julie – The Bride

Howard, Linda – Ice: A Novel

Howard, Linda – Son of the Morning

Jacobs, Kate – Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel

Lindsey, Johanna – Home for the Holidays

Macomber, Debbie – Fairy Tale Weddings

Macomber, Debbie – Mrs. Miracle

Michaels, Fern – Whitefire

Robb, J.D. – Kindred in Death

Robb, J.D. – Missing in Death

Roberts, Nora – All I Want for Christmas

Roberts, Nora – The Last Honest Woman

Sands, Lindsay – Tall, Dark & Hungry

Kindred in DeathRecent Additions to My Audio Library

I took advantage of a member’s sale last week at Audible so my audio library has grown a little more than usual this past month.

Black Ice – Anne Stuart

I’ve been waiting for this one – it took my breath away when I first read it four years ago.  When has there ever been a hero quite like Bastian?  The sound sample is promising although I have not yet listened to narrator Jennifer Van Dyck.

Shades of Twilight – Linda Howard

Narrator Natalie Ross has proven a success for me in one previous Howard audio experience and a failure in a second.  I’m having faith that she’ll carry through on this one, especially after hearing a fellow audio lover praise her narration of this particular book.  There are a number of this author’s books I have favored more highly but it is still the classic Howard 1990s style and I’m a sucker for it nearly every time.

Seduce Me at Sunrise – Lisa Kleypas

My favorite of the Hathaway books, I’m eager to visit Win and Kev again – this time in audio.  The sound sample provides a glimpse of both the hero and heroine’s voices which are pleasantly distinguishable – one of my personal requirements for a successful listening experience. Ms. Landor also narrates the other two books in this series to date, Mine Till Midnight and Tempt Me at Twilight.

It Had to Be You – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

One of my favorite audiobooks (and one of my favorite contemporaries), I own It Had to Be You on cassette tape and I’m attempting to replace those audiobooks if I can find an affordable alternative.  At Audible’s latest member’s sale, I was able to grab this one for $11.47.  Thanks again Diana!

Rendevous – Amanda Quick

I’m taking a chance on this one.  I was only mildly interested in the one Amada Quick book I read previously.  I enjoyed Anne Flosnik’s narration of Mary Balogh’s Huxtable series and hope that her narration, in combination with the book’s favorable reviews, will prove to be a winning formula.

Now for your thoughts

What new releases are you looking forward to?

Do you know of any November releases that failed to make this list?

What are the latest additions to your audio library?

What are your latest audio successes or failures?

Ending Notes

Our next Speaking of Audiobooks column scheduled for November 9th will be dedicated to the first four books of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  Please join us for a discussion of this most loved collection of audiobooks.

For those new to our Speaking of Audiobooks column, be sure to check out our audio archives for further recommendations and discussions.

See you again in November

- Lea Hensley

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27 Responses to “Speaking of Audiobooks: November Releases”

  1. Lynn M says:

    I’ve never heard of this Audible.com. Can anyone offer some opinions on it – is it a good deal to join? Looks very intriguing because one of the reasons I don’t listen to a lot of audio books is because they are usually so costly. My library offers a fairly small selection, and I can’t afford to pay $30 plus dollars for one audio book. I’d love to hear some opinions from Audible.com users.

  2. MarissaB says:

    @Lynn M: If you are an audiobook enthusiast (or even and audiobook enthusiast wannabe), you can’t go wrong with Audible.com. Not only do they have a large library of books to choose from, they are by far the most affordable source of audiobooks on the web. I have a platinum membership and get 2 books a month for $22.95. They have a current offer of $7.49 for the first 3 months for a gold membership (1 book/month). After the 3 months, the cost goes up to $14.95.

    Before you join, make sure your PC meets the technical requirements for the Manager software that you will have to install on your PC. Also check the devices (MP3, iPod) that they recommend. One of the managers here at work got hooked on audiobooks, asked me about Audible, purchased a Zen MP3, then found out Audible does not support it. Duh. So he is listening to books read in the public domain, i.e., freebie audios on the web read by regular folks like you and me. Ugh. I’ve listened to one of those and . . . Ugh! You’re better of reading hard copy.

    Audible has good technical support, should you need help with your PC, downloading, etc. They also have extensive help documents available on their site. It is only the content support that is lacking.

    If you haven’t yet read the Lea’s previous columns on this topic, I suggest you do so. You’ll get a good feel for what people think of audiobooks and Audible.

  3. MarissaB says:

    I just finished listening to Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy read by John Westbrook. Read the AAR DIK review by Maria K for an expert breakdown of the story and characters.

    http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=4716

    This is another great listen. John Westbrook’s performance is wonderful. Heyer’s masterful characterization is brought to life, so that by the end of the book you feel like you personally know the characters. Too bad we can’t even hope for a sequel.

  4. GamaTST says:

    Lynn … I, for one, will say that audible.com can’t be beat for ease of use and for price, especially if your a member. I have belonged for several years at the 2 books for 22.00 a month plan. Sometimes it was hard to only choose 2 books a month but at 11.00 each it was always a bargain.

    I was recently able to upgrade to the one year membership which makes the books under 9.54 a piece and opens up all 24 credits at one time. It’s been great. And the special sales for members are really good too.

    I just finished Linda Howard’s Touch of Fire with Natalie Ross narrating and for me it was outstanding. She caught Rafe just the way I pictured him and I enjoyed the “voice” she gave him.

    I am really looking forward to Garwood’s The Bride with Rosalyn Landor narrating. She is beyond excellent in what I have heard her do so I have high hopes for The Kincaid.

    Lea the point you make here …”The sound sample provides a glimpse of both the hero and heroine’s voices” … Is so important. If Audible ever really gets on it’s game they will realize this fact and always give samples showcasing both the H and H or the main characters of a book. Nothing more aggravating than to have the sample of the book be the dedication or a prologue where you don’t hear the “voices” that will be used.

    November is going to be an excellent audio book release month! Thanks for gathering the releases, so far.

  5. GamaTST says:

    @MarrissaB Did you friend purchase a Creative Zen product? For several years Creative Zens (5 different versions) were the only MP3 players I used and they all worked flawlessly with Audible. I still own a Creative Zen Sleek, Zen Vision M and the Zen X FI and they are all connected to my Audible account and work fine.

    As a side note I learned something new (to me anyway) from Audible customer service awhile back. You can have three devices, from three different Brands of players, hooked to your Audible account at one time. I always thought it was just three different devices/MP3 players period.

    So for anyone else that may have multiple players with in your family this means much better access to your Audible account. I have three Creative MP3′s, a Sansa Fuze and two Sansa Clips and 2 iPods connected to my account. Yes, I’m a gadget geek when it comes to MP3 players!

  6. Diana says:

    I’m listening to IT HAD TO BE YOU right now and loving it. Anna Fields does an amazing job with the voices Phoebe is sultry and the men are, well, manly!

  7. MarissaB says:

    @GamaTST: Well, you got me thinking so I called Bill and his MP3 is a Zune. Got that mixed up with Zen. Hey, they sound kinda the same.

    Anyway, Bill did talk to Audible support and they said that, yes, audible was working on getting to Zune players. He’s waited so long (almost a year) that he finally stopped looking. I think he listens to CDs from the library now. Even he could not handle public domain listens for long.

    Yes, you are a Gadget Girl. Thanks for the tip about the 3 devices per acoount. So if I was really into it, I could attach my Kindle and my Garmin GPS, too. Then I’ve have to remember what books are where. That could get really interesting.

  8. Lea AAR says:

    MarissaB – Thanks for offering your thoughts on The Grand Sophy. I now feel safe in adding it to my growing list of audiobooks for my upcoming Heyer listening project. There are really so many to choose from (and I guess, so many not available as well) but who knows many of these narrators?!

    GamaTST – I have yet to listen to narrator Rosalyn Landor but since I purchased Seduce Me at Sunrise just last week (she narrates) and I know I will purchase The Bride, it won’t be long until I’m listening to her. I must say again, the sound sample of the Kleypas book was wonderful and with your recommendation, well – I’m expecting great things of her now.

    General question about multiple devices with Audible. I use mostly my 2nd generation iPod and just added my iPhone so I could satisfy my curiosity about the enhanced format. I have used my Kindle before but I just downloaded to that device from my own computer (I think – it has been a while). Does Audible know somehow that I have used that device? It won’t be something I do again since lugging around a Kindle (while I love it for reading) isn’t near as convenient as clipping a small iPod to my shirt.

    Lynn M – hope you start visiting with us regularly on these twice monthly columns. We have a more extensive column usually around the 10th of each month followed by a new releases column around the 20th to 25th. I think you will fall in love with audiobooks once you have good, affordable sources. I want to second what MarissaB said about the past columns. Here are the archives – you’ll find as much or more information in the discussions as in the actual columns. And please ask questions anytime. We usually have comments on one of the two monthly columns every week.

    Diana – I’m finally ready to let the Outlander series go (about 16 hours to go) and enjoy a few other audiobooks. You have been listening to most of them lately!

  9. Lea AAR says:

    Hmmm…
    Lynn M – I tried to tie in a link to our audio archives and for some reason it didn’t take. Let’s try again.
    http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?cat=174

    Also, I want to add those books for November I’m most looking foward to:

    The Bride – Garwood
    And of course – the two Linda Howard books:
    Son of the Morning
    Ice: A Novel

    Audible is sure to surprise me with another book or two in November as well (that I’m sure I will think I MUST have). Annual plan looking better every week. Am I just imagining it or is selection improving every month?

  10. Peggy P says:

    I love the lists of upcoming audiobooks even if it isn’t as complete as you want it to be – it is something!

    I just finished listening to Black Ice this weekend – it was good… had me looking for more housework to do so I could keep listening and not feel guilty! I started listening to Shades of Twilight but it wasn’t holding my interest and I stopped after the first hour, I’ll try it again soon – sometime you’re just not in the mood.

    I am very much waiting for Kindred in Death – love Susan Erickson, she does such a great job with the various voices especially Peabody. I was thrilled when Audible added this series a while back – these are the best audiobooks. I put Anna Fields, Davina Porter and Susan Erickson as my #1 narrators – would listen to them read the phone book!

  11. katie bug says:

    I just finished “The Sherbrooke Bride” and I laughed so hard. It was wonderful! I know what you mean Peggy P, I’m always looking for things to do so I can keep listening!

  12. carol irvin says:

    You do not necessarily need to live in a big area to get a huge selection of audiobooks. The greater access concept is alive and well in libraries. Thus, in my region the Cleveland Public Library has put together a consortium of libraries in northern Ohio, including its own collection. I can order and pick up anything the consortium has at three tiny libraries in the small towns surrounding me. This was not advertised. I had to do a little digging to discover it. But it is fabulous. I have yet to look for a audiobook that the consortium does not have. My mother-in-law can read only large print books. If the consortium doesn’t have it in large print, this usually means it doesn’t yet exist in large print. I belonged to audible for awhile but I eventually could not justify what I was spending per month there. What Audible is good for though is that it does have books which are only available on cassette. I have no device for playing a cassette. so the fact that i can download a cassette onto my ipod, if the audiobook is available in no other format, is a plus. This is becoming less of a problem as audio casette books go the way of VHS tapes.

    I have used the iphone and the ipod classic and they are both great for audible and library audiobooks. Both come in via itunes.

  13. katyco says:

    Lea – I’m also excited to see Black Ice. I haven’t read any of the Ice books and have been wanting to try them, but of course I wanted to start with the first one. I get my credits tomorrow!

    Lynn M – I feel like Audible is very much worth a membership. During their member only sales I’ve gotten books for as little as $7 or $8.

    Has anyone else used NetLibrary? I use it through my local library and it has a very good selection. It’s really helped me to try new authors and narrators, because if I don’t like the book, I just delete it and I’ve haven’t lost anything. If I buy a book on Audible, I almost feel obligated to finish it, even if I’m not enjoying it that much.

  14. GamaTST says:

    @ Lea Not having a Kindle I’m not sure about how it works with Audible but I am assuming you had to activate it with your account just like any other device. Good news is you can also deactivate any player from your account.

    I find it easiest to get a player deactivated from my account by calling customer service. They do it in a snap. Over the years and through the many players that I have tried out I have done this several times. Just call them up and ask them and they will deactivate any devices you no longer want to use with the account. They will also tell you what devices are connected to your account at present so you can decide which to take off.

    And yes, Audible has gone crazy adding new titles since being associated with Amazon. Yea for us!!

    @Katyco I have used Netlibrary a lot and love it when I find an audio book I want to try that is available through them. It’s interesting that each library’s audio selections vary (mine is fairly small in the romance department) whether they use Overdrive of Netlibrary. Too bad they can’t all hook up into a consortium like Carol mentioned!

  15. Lynn M says:

    Thanks for all the input about audible.com. I was also thinking this might be a nice gift for my parents. They often take very long car rides and love listening to audio books. They usually check them out of the library or rent them from a used bookstore that offers that service, but I know their choice is limited. I’m going to start researching devices and jump on board!

  16. katyco says:

    Gama – On Netlibrary I have found some romances in other catagories. For instance, Charlaine Harris is listed in Popular Fiction and most of the Romance Suspense titles are listed under Mystery and Suspense.

  17. MarissaB says:

    Yo ho ho, Lea.

    You mentioned Devil’s Bride as a new release on Audible. I remembered reading it years ago and liked it so much that, to this day, I still remember the plot. What I didn’t remember very clearly was the sexual tension that Stephanie Laurens built up from the first moment the H/H set eyes on each other. Well, I could not resist and downloaded the book from Audible two days ago.

    OMG, OMG, OMG.

    That Simon Prebble has me shivering in anticipation of every scene the H/H have together. I have yet to get past Chapter 5 because I have gone back to replay those explosive, thrilling scenes over and over again. Prebble can sure use that voice of his to manifest Devil’s desire for his Bride. Whenever he says her name. . . . I can see Honoria quiver.

    I remember reacting the same way to Prebble’s narration of Lisa Kleypas’ When He Was Wicked. I missed something when I read these books. Without a doubt, the seductions are more stimulating in the listens.

  18. MarissaB says:

    Oops. In the previous post, I mispoke the author of When He Was Wicked. I meant Julia Quinn.

  19. Lea AAR says:

    MarissaB – So glad Devil’s Bride is a success for you! It has been years and years since I have listened to it. It is my only Laurens keeper but it easily stands out in my mind. Now you have me eager to re-listen to it. And I can recall replaying parts of Chapter 5 as well…

  20. GamaTST says:

    katyco thanks for the tips on searching Netlibrary. I had found that by searching by author name I came up with a lot more books listed under different categories.

    MarrissaB I’m going to have to move Devil’s Bride up in my listening plans. I haven’t had a good OMG, OMG moment since listening to Phil Gigante narrate KMM’s Highlander books. LOL

  21. Christina says:

    Lea AAR: MarissaB – Thanks for offering your thoughts on The Grand Sophy.I now feel safe in adding it to my growing list of audiobooks for my upcoming Heyer listening project.There are really so many to choose from (and I guess, so many not available as well) but who knows many of these narrators?!

    I just came across an ad for Naxos AudioBooks. It caught my eye because the ad was for Georgette Heyer’s Sylvester. So I went to the web site to take a look, and it turns out to be read by Richard Armitage. In case you don’t know who he is – he can be seen in North and South ( a BBC miniseries) and in the current British Robin Hood series. Great voice, but unfortunately it is an abridged version. There is a lovely little audio sample you can hear on their web site

  22. Diana says:

    Regular old Diana here. The comment up thread is a different Diana.

    Latest listens are Stuart’s Cold as Ice, Kleypas’ Seduce Me at Sunrise, ivory’s The Beast. Cold as Ice was a win win! Excellent narrator who really brought the book to life in the best way. Seduce Me not so great. I had not read the book before but knew of Kev from the first Hathaway book. OMG, the narrator had Kev barking and shouting out his lines. I wasn’t hearing deeply suppressed passion and desire. I heard serious anger and that pretty well killed it for me. What was she thinking? Enjoyed Beast although I didn’t love it.

    Big winner- Cold as Ice. It was so good I’m going to play it again followed by an encore of my favorite Ice Blue.

  23. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  24. L SETZER says:

    Saleswomen hate telemarketing using poor quality lists.

  25. I seldom drop responses, however i did a few searching and wound up here Speaking of Audiobooks: November Releases All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me or does it look like a few of these comments look like they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of every one of all your public pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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