Books with Buzz: Deanna Raybourn Interview (Contest Closed)

coverJune 21st is the date many readers have been awaiting when The Dark Enquiry, the fifth installment in the adventures of Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane, will be released.

With just over a week to go, we’re celebrating with an interview with author Deanna Raybourn and, courtesy of Harlequin and just to sweeten the deal, we also have two Advance Reader Copies of the book to give away.  To enter for your chance to win, simply comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, June 16th.

The usual caveats apply:  If you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Due to high postage costs, this giveaway is open only to readers in the U.S. and Canada.  You are welcome to comment more than once, but you will be entered only once.  Winners will be chosen at random and will be notified by email on Friday morning.  If a winner has not responded within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Now, ready for Deanna?

Could you start by telling our readers a bit about the plot of The Dark Enquiry?

Absolutely! In this outing, our sleuthing couple, Lady Julia and her husband Nicholas, investigates the murder of a mysterious medium at a club for Spiritualists. Matters are complicated when they discover that Lady Julia’s eldest brother, Viscount Bellmont, visited the club himself. Readers of the series will also be interested to know that we get another few pieces of Nicholas’ past to add to the puzzle in this book…

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Books with Buzz: Julia Quinn Interview (Contest Closed)

JQUpdate: Due to a miscommunication, the wrong prize was originally listed for this giveaway.  One winner will receive an (early) signed final copy of Just Like Heaven. This is the same book that you would find in stores; however, it will be autographed by Julia Quinn and you will probably receive it before the on sale date.  Julia Quinn and AAR apologize for the error.

Was there ever any doubt that the Smythe-Smith girls, those lamentably untalented victims of their mother’s ambitions who cropped up so often (and so memorably) in Julia Quinn books, were going to get their own HEAs?

On May 31st the author begins a new series with Just Like Heaven. And, to commemorate the occasion, we’ve got a brief interview with the talented Ms. Quinn and, courtesy of the lovely author herself, a signed book to give away to one lucky reader.  To enter all you need to do is comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, May 12th. The usual caveats apply:  This giveaway is designed to get an early copy of the book into the hands of a reader who otherwise wouldn’t have access, so, if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Unfortunately, due to high postage costs, this giveaway is open only to readers in the U.S. and Canada. You may comment multiple times (and we hope you do!) but you will be entered only once.

Julia, I see that the Smythe-Smith girls at last get their stories!  I’ve always had the feeling that at least a few of those poor young women knew how awful they were at the annual Smythe-Smith musicales where JQ heroes and heroines were tortured in previous books.  Please tell us a bit about the story and about your new quartet of stories.

Honoria Smythe-Smith is a terrible violinist, and she knows it, but her family means so much to her that she manages to grin through all of the family performances.  In fact, she’s the one who corrals her reluctant cousins and insists that they practice:

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Narrator Interview (Giveaway Closed)

Slave to SensationAs audio enthusiasts we often wonder about routine decisions made by production companies.  How are audiobooks and narrators chosen?  What are the considerations when matching a narrator to a particular book?  Do they take listeners’ requests seriously?  What is a general production schedule?  Why is notification of upcoming releases often such a mystery?

Over the next few months, Speaking of Audiobooks will feature a number of columns to address those questions and more.  First in line is Tantor today, followed by Harlequin and Audible in May, Penguin in July, and a Narrators’ Forum in August.  There’s more to follow in the fall but we’ll get to that  later.  Right now, it’s time to talk about the most exciting news of the day.

Slave to Sensation Giveaway and Group Listen

If you’ve been hanging around Speaking of Audiobooks lately, you know we’re excited about Tantor’s decision to release all ten of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling Series (over a period of 4-5 months) starting with the release of the first the series, Slave to Sensation, on April 25th.  In our last column, we announced that Slave to Sensation is our next Group Listen (see more details below) and to celebrate it all, we’re giving away ten audiobook copies of Slave to Sensation courtesy of Tantor.

Place your name in the hat by commenting on this column by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Friday, April 22nd.  Due to the cost of postage, the giveaway is open only to listeners in the U.S. and Canada.  We encourage multiple comments, but you will only be entered in the contest once.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please refrain from entering.  The winners will be notified by email on Saturday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be selected on Sunday morning if a winner has not responded.  Audiobooks will be mailed to winners on Slave to Sensation’s release date.

Moving on to our narrator discussion, I’ll start by explaining that it includes two segments and both focus on the process of choosing a narrator.  The first is an interview with Karen White about the narrator’s side of the process, as well as insights into the audio industry in general.  The second segment features a look from the production side as Tantor comments on their efforts to select the right narrator.

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Avon Royal Weddings Giveaway (Contest Closed)

chinaOn Tuesday Royal Weddings,  a new Avon Impulse digital anthology featuring Loretta Chase, Gaelen Foley, and Stephanie Laurens is released. The authors pull out their charm, wit, and passion to tell  three stories set amidst grand historical royal weddings, including those of Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria.

Of course, the timing of this digital anthology is perfect since anticipation is building for the royal wedding between William and Kate on the horizon.  Avon wants to make the wait until April 29th a bit easier with a fun giveaway.

Grand Prize Valued at $225:

One electronic copy of Royal Weddings

One set of William and Catherine Wedding China: On the day of the wedding you can feel like you are right there withWilliam and Kate as they eat their first meal as a married couple.  Partake of a light repast from replicas of the official set of wedding china William and Kate will use.  Sip champagne from a William and Catherine tankard, nibble on cucumber sandwiches from a William and Catherine plate, and daintily dry your fingers with a beautifully embroidered William and Catherine tea towel.  The set also includes a William and Catherine pill box and wedding decoration.

Three Runner-up Prizes

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Books with Buzz: Colleen Gleason Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

vampirevoss

On March 22nd, those of us who’ve missed Colleen Gleason’s historical vampires will have reason to celebrate.  On that date, The Vampire Voss, the first in her new Regency Draculia series, is released.  The next two entries will follow in May and June.

To mark the occasion, we’ve got an interview with the author and five early copies of The Vampire Voss to give away.  To enter for your chance to win, simply comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th.  A few rules: Due to high postage costs, this contest is open only to readers in the U.S. and Canada. Multiple comments are welcome, but please note that you will be entered only once.  This giveaway is designed to get early copies of books into the hands of readers who otherwise wouldn’t have access, so if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Winners will be notified by email on Friday morning and if no response is received within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Before we hear from Colleen, a personal note from me: I read a digital ARC of this one without the cover. Lucky me because this one just blows. Voss is a handsome and seductive vampire, not a young Boris Karloff with really bad contact lenses.  I don’t know what the publisher was thinking, but I’m just saying, don’t let the cover scare you.

Now, here’s Colleen:

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Anne Stuart Interview and Ruthless Giveaway (Contest Closed)

Anne StuartRomance readers have enjoyed Anne Stuart’s books for years with many of her titles sitting on countless DIK shelves.  My own list of Stuart DIKs includes A Rose at Midnight, The Devil’s Waltz, and Ritual Sins.   More recently I’ve discovered yet another way to enjoy Anne Stuart’s writing by listening to her books in audio with Black Ice and Ruthless heading the list of my favorites in that format.

For those of us always wondering about the inner workings of the audiobook industry, I think you’ll find that Anne is uniquely qualified to talk with us today.  Not only does she understand much of what goes on behind the scenes, but she also appreciates what we, as audio listeners, want to hear.

To celebrate the ongoing audio release of Anne’s Rohan series, we are giving away two audiobook copies of Ruthless, the first in the series, courtesy of the author and AAR.  Place your name in the hat by commenting on this column by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Friday, February 11th.  Due to the cost of postage, the giveaway is open only to listeners in the U.S. and Canada.  We encourage multiple comments, but you will only be entered in the contest once.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please refrain from entering.  The winners will be notified by email on Saturday morning and you will have 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be selected on Sunday morning if a winner has not responded.  Now, let’s talk with Anne!

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Speaking of Audiobooks: February 2011 Releases and Shadowfever Giveaway (Contest Closed)

s ConsortOh yes, we’ve definitely started 2011 with a bang!

Our 2011 Listening Challenge is up and running and, as far as I can tell from comments and emails, we have at least twenty committed to the challenge!  I’m certain there are more participating quietly or still making up their mind about joining in.  Remember that you can start at any time and, for easy reference, we’ll have the basics of the 2011 Listening Challenge here throughout the year.

Our Fever Watch Party has inspired many to join in the fun of listening to Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series with the release of the final in the series, Shadowfever, last week.  Our interview with Phil Gigante gave us a look into the production of audiobooks and I don’t know if any of us who read Phil’s comments will ever listen to his books in the same manner again!  Below, you’ll find a mini review of Shadowfever.

Now to continue the Fever Series party, we are giving away two Shadowfever audiobooks in CD format. The same rules apply as in our recent Fever Series giveaway.  Enter your name in the contest by commenting on this column by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 30th. We ask that you specify in your post that you are entering the contest since we want our posts to include our regular Speaking of Audiobooks discussion posts as well.  Due to the cost of postage, the giveaway is open only to listeners in the U.S. and Canada.  You will be entered only once if you make multiple comments (and we hope you will) and if you review for another Web site or blog, please refrain from entering.  Two winners will be notified by email on Monday morning, January 31st, and will have 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be selected on Tuesday morning if a winner has not responded.

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Fever Series Giveaway Winner

shadowfeverAngie G is the winner of the Fever Series audiobooks as chosen by Random.org. She’s acknowledged her win and her audiobooks are on their way.

Thanks to all who entered and showed your enthusiasm for Phil Gigante. And, once again, thanks to Phil for taking the time to join us. You’ll see more narrator interviews and giveaways in 2011 here at Speaking of Audiobooks.

-Lea Hensley

Books with Buzz: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

callmeirresistible HC CIt’s been far too long since Susan Elizabeth Phillips graced the pages of AAR and I couldn’t be happier to report that, at last, she’s back.  One of the most beloved writers of contemporary romance, SEP marks the release of her latest (and thoroughly charming) new release, Call Me Irresistible, on  January 18th.  To celebrate we’ve got five copies to give away, courtesy of Harper Collins, and the first interview at AAR with SEP in over a decade.

To enter for your chance to win, just comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 13th.  A few caveats apply:  Due to high postage costs, this giveaway is open only to readers in the U.S.and Canada.  Please comment only once and, if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Winners will be notified by email on Friday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  A new winner will be selected on Saturday morning for any winner who hasn’t responded.  Good luck to everyone and, without further ado, let’s hear from SEP.

- Sandy AAR

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We Have a Kindle Winner

Deborah is the winner chosen by Random.org.  She’s claimed her prize and her Kindle will be on its way to her very shortly.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  Rest assured, we will be doing this again, so stay tuned.  Good things ahead at AAR.  (Including an interview and giveaway on Monday with a very popular author who hasn’t been interviewed at AAR since the 1990s!)

- Sandy AAR