Interview with Romance Author & Audio Producer Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely and Shane East
Lauren Blakely and Shane East
Lauren Blakely (l) and Shane East

In the last decade, author Lauren Blakely has produced more than 50 of her own audiobooks, collecting acclaim for her work: BIRTHDAY SUIT was a 2020 Audie Awards finalist for Audio Drama, and WANDERLUST was a 2019 Audie finalist in the Romance category. I was excited to talk with Lauren and get the behind-the-scenes scoop about being an audio producer as well as an author, and to learn more about her brand-new audiobook, A GUY WALKS INTO MY BAR.

AudioFile: Can you talk about your journey from writer to producer? Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Take a Chance on Love with 5 New Romance Audiobooks

Take A Chance On Love

Take A Chance On Love

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Check out these brand new romance audiobooks all about taking chances. While the characters are dreaming big and taking leaps of faith, you’ll have guaranteed good listening. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Romance Audie Award Finalists: Congratulations to the 5 Nominees

2020 Audie Award Romance Finalists

2020 Audie Award Romance Finalists

The anticipation that some people feel about nominee announcement day for the Oscars, the Emmys, or the Golden Globes pales in comparison to the thrill I feel when the announcements arrive for the Audie Award finalists. Being a part of AudioFile, I sort of feel like Little Women’s crotchety Aunt March: I have a high bar for audiobooks in terms of sound quality, accents, and narrative excellence, but when the finalists are announced, I feel this wash of pride and excitement for the work that went into creating and judging these tremendous titles. I voraciously read up and down the finalist list for titles and narrators in every category, and then my scrolling hand slows as I reach the Romance finalists (they’re alphabetically near the bottom of the list). I pause. I get breathless. My brain goes blank as I struggle to remember every good title I’ve listened to or read about, wondering if any of my favorites became finalists. And then I read the titles, the authors, the narrators, the publishers . . . and time shifts from the moment before I knew to the moment of knowing which titles we will be specially honoring in this annual blog post. If this is that moment for you, I won’t delay it any longer. Let’s celebrate romance audio!

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Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Resolve to Listen to More Romance Audiobooks

Resolve to Listen to More Romance Audiobooks

Resolve to Listen to More Romance Audiobooks

I’m a little behind this year — I haven’t yet made my New Year’s Resolutions. (Resolutions are a Big Deal to me — I actually completed three resolutions last year, thanks to my bullet journal, so this year, I feel like the stakes are even higher.) While I’m still considering my own 2020 goals, I encourage everyone to start the new year off right by listening to a great romance audiobook. Below are some favorites from 2019 to get you going — and we resolve to bring you fresh new romance audio recommendations all year long. Love your listening in 2020! Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Tease Holiday Roundup: 5 Romance Audiobooks with Festive Flair

Five Romance Audiobooks with Festive Flair

Five Romance Audiobooks with Festive Flair

As I may have revealed in former holiday roundups, I revel in all things Christmas. I watch holiday movies (and upgraded to an app this year to track my progress — 11 so far). My reindeer-in-a-winter-forest shower curtain is up, my wreath is on the door, and I have already baked pumpkin bread and scones as my warm-up to cookie baking. (Happy to share the recipes!) So it is no understatement to say I have been preparing for this roundup with a hint of festive sparkle since July.  Here are five holiday romance audiobooks that will warm your heart, have you humming carols, and make you smile despite holiday traffic and busy schedules. Love your holiday listening, with my best wishes to you and your family. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Warm up with Romantic Comedies

New favorites from narrators we love

Warm Up ListensThese days, if you live in the East (or Midwest or Mid-Atlantic or Northwest), you can’t look at a short-sleeved shirt without a faint feeling of nausea. We escaped the last snowstorm when cold air sat on top of us and pushed the snow out to sea but we’re due to get a couple more and they say, the polar vortex is breaking up through the end of February. (Translation: Snow. Lots of snow.) In my personal opinion, one of the things that makes bitter cold more bearable is connecting with friends and having a great time. You know that friend who always erases your bad mood and makes you laugh out loud? You get their call, email, or text, and suddenly you’re smiling? Well, welcome to the audiobook version of that with these humorous rom-coms! Insta-friendship coming right up with these fun, flirty titles. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

4 Comfort Audiobooks That Make Everything Better

Have Cold, Will Listen

The Perfect Lover

The Perfect LoverI’ve been under the weather with a very bad cold, and there hasn’t been much that’s made me happy, with the exception of Simon Prebble’s narration of THE PERFECT LOVER by Stephanie Laurens. Whenever the misery gets especially miserable, I hit play and sink into his all-encompassing storytelling. THE PERFECT LOVER is one of Laurens’s early “Cynster” novels, recently recorded by Prebble, and it makes ideal comfort listening. The main character, Simon (okay, yes, two Simons), arrives at a Regency house party and is immediately intrigued by a longtime acquaintance, Portia. Prebble’s aloof yet dominant voice for Cynster embodies aristocratic arrogance without a smidge of overacting. (Important aside — I would really like that voice for the emergency alert system on the radio . . . and my GPS . . . and my voicemail.) Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Career Advice for the Romance Listener

Tease: Audiobooks featuring women in unconventional locales, careers, and callings

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? (I wanted to be a superhero with a purple shirt, but I’m still waiting on that one.)

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing StrangerRegardless of your age, the scope of work for women has changed drastically during our lifetimes. Ask your grandparents or great-grandparents what jobs were available for women. Perhaps they went to college, or perhaps they raised a family. Perhaps they went to work during the Great Depression or during wartime. And what about your mother? Perhaps she became a teacher, a secretary, or a nurse, or perhaps she pursued part-time work when you and your siblings were little. Are there women in your family who are in the military, the sciences, or in government? And it goes on. In the past few years, women in our time have been pushing for equal inclusion in technology and corporate cultures. No matter what, I imagine the women you know and love have some stories to tell, for sure.

Speaking of stories, these romance audiobooks feature women in unconventional locales, careers, and callings. Whether it’s a historical romance where the woman wishes to define marriage and happiness on her own terms, the fast-paced world of journalism in the early twentieth century, a forced engagement via social media, or women breaking barriers in combat and law enforcement circles, these narrators create likable, authentic female characters who define their futures on their own terms. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!