Reading tastes often change over the years – I realize that. But I find the degree of change I’ve seen in my life over the past five years to be on the rather surprising side. At one time, I knew my favorite romance sub-genres and stuck to them faithfully. If I tired of one, I moved to another, knowing a break would allow me to regain interest in the first. The genres that totally captured my attention five years ago were historical (any setting) and contemporary romance – period. If a contemporary romance developed a whodunit, the grade went down. If a historical heroine started helping the super spy hero find the bad guy or investigate a mystery (usually with no such experience on her part), I could barely finish the book. I needed my contemporary and historical romance titles to be purely just that with no whodunits thrown in. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Lea Hensley’ Category
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. (more…)
It’s time for another All Reviews column here at Speaking of Audiobooks. Eight audiobooks are up for review including: Karen Rose’s No One Left to Tell, Susan Wiggs’ Dockside, Kerry Greenwood’s The Castlemaine Murders, Maya Banks’ Never Love a Highlander, Christine Warren’s Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale, Sally MacKenzie’s The Duchess of Love, Elizabeth Lowell’s Beautiful Sacrifice, and Sherryl Wood’s Waking Up in Charleston.
No One Left to Tell – Karen Rose
Review written by Kaetrin
Narrated by Marguerite Gavin
Paige Holden is a trainee Private Investigator working pro bono for Maria Munoz, the mother of Ramon, currently in prison for the murder of a woman six years earlier. Maria is convinced that Ramon is innocent and asks Paige to look into it. Early one Tuesday morning, Elena Munoz (Ramon’s wife) is killed in front of Paige and thus starts the roller coaster ride that is No One Left to Tell.
After getting a taste of the winning combination of author Julie James and narrator Karen White with Penguin’s release of Just the Sexiest Man Alive in 2010, romance audio fans have been begging for more from this talented team. After all, Julie’s A Lot Like Love won the Best Contemporary Romance award in AAR’s 2012 Annual Reader Poll and Something About You won that same award in 2011. And since Karen’s narration of Just the Sexiest Man Alive, she has been praised throughout the romance audio community for her performances.
Tantor Audio delighted those same fans by releasing Something About You this past June followed by A Lot Like Love in August. About That Night releases today and we decided that’s reason for a celebration. (more…)
If you’ve been an audiobook enthusiast for long, you know that the industry exploded with the availability of digital downloads. As a result, the number of romance releases increased sharply and the selection only gets better with each passing month. As one of those enthusiasts and a fan of romance, I pay close attention to those audio publishers who historically have offered a significant selection of romance audio and continue to do so. You know, those publishers who take the time to choose quality narrators for their titles as well as discover those authors that make romance listeners sit up and take notice. Here’s to giving a shout-out to those publishers who are doing a particularly fine job of it.
Before we start, I’ll add a disclaimer – I’m using numbers from Audible. I’m aware that there are audiobooks from years ago in audio cassette or CD format that have yet to hit the digital download market. But since we’re discussing the move in the romance audio industry over the past few years, I feel the Audible numbers are adequate for this discussion.
If you’ve been a regular reader of Speaking of Audiobooks this past year, you’re probably aware that our upcoming releases list is compiled from a variety of sources. Building this month’s list proved to be more challenging than usual. Although there are dozens of genuine first-time releases, it’s also a month full or rereleases in hiding, so beware. Amazon seems to be taking great pains to hide previous audio releases. For years, I’ve started with Amazon when building our upcoming releases list before gathering release dates from various production company/publishers sites. Over the past months, I’ve noticed that Amazon is increasingly introducing old titles as new (a long-time practice in publishing – I know) while also including larger numbers of non-romance audios in the romance category. Don’t trust Amazon’s upcoming romance audio release list for that HEA romance listeners expect.
FictionDB and I are spending more and more time together these days ascertaining a book’s category and the whole process feels a bit like looking under every rock to find a simple piece of information. So, here’s to those truly new romance audio releases…I think. Please let me know if one slipped by me! Now if we could only convince Audible to share a complete list of its upcoming titles.
Ours is a different sort of poll this year. After all, our listeners selected their all time favorite romance audiobooks in 2011. Once the results were published, I heard from more than a few of those listeners – all asking a similar question. What other audiobooks, audio authors, and narrators received votes besides the few that dominated the poll and took first in eight of the nine Absolute Favorites categories as well as the majority of Favorite Narrator categories?
Reflecting on those requests, our 2012 Poll is taking a beyond the winners approach declaring last year’s runaway winners, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, J.D. Robb’s In Death Series, Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars Series, and narrators Anna Fields and Phil Gigante are still just that – first place winners. In our first three Categories – Favorite Audiobook, Favorite Narrator, and Favorite Audio Author, we asked our listeners to provide us with some of their other favorites.
And, as promised, our poll results include more than the usual first, second, and third place mentions. We hope our results inspire you to try more than just a few new-to-you audiobooks.
The poll results are divided into four categories:
- Your Favorite Audiobook Choices
- Your Narrator Favorites
- Favorite Audio Authors and the Like
- And All the Extras
Your Favorite Audiobook Choices
The 2012 Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll is up and running. It’s your chance to tell the audio industry what you like best about romance audio. It’s a different type of poll this year and you will find few of the same categories as our 2011 Poll. The poll ends Monday, July 2nd at midnight. So go cast your ballot!
We’re continuing to celebrate June Is Audiobook Month with our fourth special event – an interview with Tavia Gilbert. Tavia was a finalist for an Audie Award this year and attended the ceremony earlier this month. She’s giving us an inside look at the Audies and the Audio Publishers Association and sharing a little about her career. There’s another event that has Tavia’s name on it this month and that is the release of Jeaniene Frost’s Once Burned. Tavia is once again in the narrator’s seat with Vlad’s book – something that Night Huntress fans have been waiting for.
We also have our New Releases for July and a number of reviews. Up for review today are Kristan Higgins’ Catch of the Day, J.R. Ward’s The Player, Shiloh Walker’s Ash trilogy, and Nora Roberts’ The Last Boyfriend.
Talking with Tavia Gilbert
Welcome to Speaking of Audiobooks Tavia and thanks for joining us today in this last of our special events celebrating June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM). It’s been exciting to watch all that is going on in the audio industry this month as well as looking from the outside in at the 2012 Audio Publishers Association (APA) Conference and the Audie Awards. I see that you have been an Audie finalist three times including the 2012 Audies for your narration of The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. Can you tell us about the Audie Awards and what being a finalist means to a narrator?
Ask just about any romance listener to choose their favorite romance audiobooks and it’s highly likely they will choose a book from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, J.D. Robb’s In Death, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series. And never has that been more obvious than with our Speaking of Audiobooks 2011 Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll where all three were big winners.
So this year, it’s a new take on favorites with only a few of last year’s categories. After all, how often can you choose All Time Favorites? We’re taking a beyond the winners approach and admitting our runaway winners last year were just that – first place winners. Two narrators are included in that solid first place category as well – Anna Fields and Phil Gigante.
With the first three categories in our 2012 poll, we’re looking beyond those highly popular choices to discover what other favorite romance books, series, and narrators we hold in high regard. You’ll also see twelve new categories as we talk not only about favorites but aspects of performance and the nature of audiobooks in our every day lives.
In addition, our results will include more than the first, second, and third place winners if there are enough votes to support a mention. You will also see that most categories allow for you to vote for two or three favorites rather than just one. We want our listeners to have a long list of solid romance recommendations when we publish the results in July.
Although we are asking for your favorite romance audiobooks, series, authors, and narrators, when it comes down to it, we’re talking about narrators. I’m reminded of the title of the first Speaking of Audiobooks column I wrote more than three years ago – It’s All About the Narrator. An author can write a fantastic tale but when it comes to audio, it’s the narrator’s duty to deliver. I like to think of our Favorites Poll as a tribute to those narrators who work tirelessly to deliver romance just the way we want to hear it.
Here’s a look at our 2012 Poll and a bit of description you won’t find on the ballot.