Speaking of Audiobooks: Historical Romance Audio News

It looks like 2013 will be one of the best years yet for historical romance listening with many popular print books finally scheduled for audio release.

Julie Garwood
It starts this month with the release of Julie Garwood’s The Secret, a book that has made every AAR Top 100 Romances Poll since it started in 1998. It’s classic Julie Garwood and one many recall from their early days of romance reading with its original 1992 publication date. And it is being narrated by one of my favorites for historical romance – Susan Duerden.

Brilliance has scheduled the majority of Garwood’s backlist (that is not already in audio format) for release in 2013. A month ago, we saw the release of Prince Charming (Rosalyn Landor) with projected release dates for: Continue reading

Speaking of Audiobooks: Audible’s New Coming Soon List, Preordering & More!

Here at Speaking of Audiobooks, we have bragged on Audible in the past, encouraged others to give Audible a try, alerted listeners to Audible specials, and followed Audible’s romance releases day by day – reporting back to fellow listeners, both here and our affiliated Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group, those unexpected releases we know will cause excitement. And we have wondered out loud many times just why Audible doesn’t provide a comprehensive Coming Soon list for all genres and romance in particular.

Well, change is a coming. A few months ago at Audible, I started noticing a few future releases (with preorder ability) tucked in a corner here and there if the book was part of an ongoing series. Good. Then I noticed Audible had increased their Coming Soon section on their Home Page with the ability to sort by genre. Better. And then I realized you could preorder those Coming Soon titles. Even better. Continue reading

My Favorite Irish Heroes

irishcastle Maybe it’s the brogue. Or the green eyes so many of them seem to have. Perhaps it is the passionate, artistic nature. The Irish, after all, are credited with being great poets and musicians. It could be the magic – the Island is equated with all manner of faeries and myths. Perhaps it is their imports- men who look like Colin Farell, Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan all have the look of a good romance rogue. Whatever it is, there is nothing quite like an Irish hero, is there? With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I felt it was time to pay tribute to lads of the Emerald Isle. Here are my favorites, in no particular order:
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Speaking of Audiobooks: Phil Gigante Interview and Fever Series Giveaway (Contest Closed)

Phil Gigante head shotIn the world of romance audiobooks, there’s one name that nearly everyone knows – Phil Gigante.  Phil is probably best known around here for his narration of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander Series and, most recently, his performance of the male characters in Dreamfever, the fourth book of Moning’s Fever Series.  Phil reprises those roles in Shadowfever, the final of the Fever Series which is set for release in both print and audio on January 18th.   What better time to conduct our very first narrator interview?

To celebrate the release of Shadowfever, we are giving away the entire set of the Fever Series audiobooks (five in all) on CD, courtesy of Brilliance Audio.  Place your name in the hat by commenting on this column by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 20th.  Due to the cost of postage, the giveaway is open only to listeners in the U.S. and Canada.  We ask that you comment only once and if you review for another Web site or blog, please refrain from entering.  The winner will be notified by email on Friday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be selected on Saturday morning if the winner has not responded.  Now, let’s talk with Phil!

- Lea Hensley

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Speaking of Audiobooks: 2011 Listening Challenge

Girl Listening lg croppedAfter talking about it for months, it’s finally time for our first Speaking of Audiobooks 2011 Listening Challenge.  In November five of our listeners started working with me to design a Listening Challenge everyone can enjoy – from beginning romance audio listeners to our most experienced romance audio enthusiasts.

For those who are hesitant to commit to a Listening Challenge, we have developed Level One for an easy entry.  For those who are starting to understand that challenging your audio listening preferences is actually great fun, we have designed Level Two just for you.  And for those who desire a different challenge each and every month, Level Three is your ticket.

In 2010, I shared with you my experiences throughout the year as I worked through each category in My Unofficial Personal Listening Challenge. I was both thrilled and amazed to discover large numbers of romance audiobooks that hadn’t been on my radar simply because I didn’t think I liked their particular sub-genre.

Those sub-genres I avoided included Fantasy Romance, Urban Fantasy (with a romance thread), Romantic Suspense, and Series (continuous without an HEA at the end of every book).  My choices for these four categories were Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Sharing Knife: Beguilement, Karen Marie Moning’s Darkfever, Sandra Brown’s Envy, and Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark.  All were personal audio hits.  With the successful completion of two other categories, Abridged Format and English Narrators, I found myself enthusiastically listening to a total of 28 Listening Challenge inspired audiobooks (with none below the B range).  I owe most of that success to the recommendations of my fellow listeners at Speaking of Audiobooks!

Now for the particulars.

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Serious Series Addiction

ShadowfeverI’m a romance reader who loves series books.  Give me books for all the brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, pack mates, or even coven members and blood brothers an author can come up with; I’m good with’em all if they’re well done of course. Luckily for me, my three most favorite series books will all soon to be released installments and while I’m looking forward to the releases, each one will be somewhat bittersweet.  My love for them, tied to my angst and worry over seeing them end, makes me wonder if I’ll find other books to take their place and who else out there feels the same way about these books and others.

I’ve written about Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series before and I’m still just as addicted to it today as I was when I read Faefever for the first time.  I’m sad to see it end.  I began with the third in the series and it didn’t take me long to get sucked into MacKayla Lane’s world of Seelie and Unseelie Fae.  The first person narration, suspense plot, and unique setting work for me in almost every way.  With four books already released in the series, the final installment, Shadowfever, will be released on January 18, 2011.  Hopefully, as many questions as possible will be answered and Mac will finally be with Barrons, but if not, I won’t be completely surprised because I have visions of the Lost finale with it’s lack of answers and have a feeling this will be similar since there are so many questions that need answers.  Plus, I read on Moning’s site that she’s signed with Random House for three more books set in the Fever World, so while Mac’s story arc may conclude the problems may continue.  Regardless, I’ll miss Mac and Barrons and hate to say goodbye.

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Why Can’t I Stop Thinking About this Book?

39985940I’m currently under the influence of my very first book series addiction.  I don’t like it.  It’s what I think about constantly; just like an obsession.  I wonder if it’s normal and if others experience this feeling.  I actually know the publication date of the next book and I’m counting down the days.  I really am beginning to question whether or not I can take the wait.  There have been other series books I’ve enjoyed and continued, but never anticipated to this degree.

The book that I’m so eagerly awaiting is Karen Marie Moning’s Dreamfever, the fourth installment in her Fever series. I reviewed Faefever last year and while I enjoyed it, the ending gave me fits – I literally threw what I refer to as a book temper tantrum.  However, Faefever is one of those books that just stuck with me for some reason. I couldn’t get it out of my head and have reread it several times.

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