After 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.