5 Questions With Julia Whelan

Plus 5 of her best audiobooks

Julia Whelan

Julia WhelanThis month’s Take 5 spotlight is shining on Julia Whelan, an audiobook narrator extraordinaire. I’ve spent many hours listening to Julia’s voice as she performed a wide variety of fiction, and I trust her to perfectly capture the characters’ personalities and to sweep me up in their emotional journeys. I thank her for many extra-long walks or additional hours working in the garden: Her spot-on pacing and emphasis on the elements that make the plot flow (foreboding, romance, anticipation) make it hard for me to turn off my audiobook.

Julia must be one of the most hardworking narrators in the business. When I was picking examples of her work to feature today, I noticed she performed at least a half dozen audiobooks set for release this month. I immediately added four to my listening wish list, including A HEART IN THE BODY IN THE WORLD which Julia says is “timely and incredible.” Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Audiobooks to Satisfy the Crazy Rich Asians Fix

We’ve got you covered

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich AsiansSo you fell in love with the lavish, over-the-top Cinderella story set in Singapore—portrayed in the popular movie Crazy Rich Asians and in the audiobooks of the series

If you’re looking to recreate some part of the joyful film experience, we’ve picked some superb audiobooks that just might fit the bill. They’re loosely categorized by thematic similarity so that you can easily find the perfect audiobook to suit your mood. 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!

7 Stories of Kindness in the Neighborhood

Thank you, Mr. Rogers

Ollie

I wish Ollie, my family’s handmade marionette, could have met Mr. Rogers. That was my first thought as I settled happily into LeVar Burton’s Earphones Award-winning performance of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, the biography of Rogers by Maxwell King, published on Tuesday. Ollie, carved and clothed by my grandparents, was once part of their traveling marionette theater. But after years of entertaining children up and down the west coast with classic fairy tales, all the marionettes except Ollie were lost in a fire. I know that Mr. Rogers could have helped Ollie and the people who loved — and still love — him to cope with the loss. By the way, that’s me with my parents and Ollie in the picture. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Romance Reaches the Highlands

5 Romance Audiobooks Set in Scotland

Standing Stones

My book group just read WAVERLY by Sir Walter Scott (yes, I read in print, too, although these days I listen more), which is the story of an English soldier’s time among Scots Highlanders preparing for a final attempt to install Bonnie Prince Charlie as the king of England. Scott gives the true picture of how distinct, how remote, how stunning the topography is in the Highlands, north of Glen Mor, the Highland Fault.

Now, even if you aren’t an Outlander fan (yet), I hope you can imagine from that description how this awe-inspiring setting is the perfect backdrop for any romance. (Romance writers have learned to omit references to mosquitoes!) And so, we couldn’t resist bringing you a bunch of new Highland audio — quite a variety, but plenty of Scotland to gorge yourself on!  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!

Audies Winners in Erotica and Romance

Tease: Celebrating our winners John Lane and Mary Jane Wells

John Lane

Put on your formal wear and sparkling jewels for the announcement of this year’s Audies winners in the Erotica and Romance categories. Congratulations to the Audio Publishers Association for their tireless work to coordinate audiobooks, judges, publishers, narrators, and an awards gala that stays on time and still celebrates winners and nominees without seeming rushed! Lucky for Tease, we get to celebrate with two categories, two notable audiobooks, and two talented narrators.

John Lane
Narrator John Lane
Mary Jane Wells
Narrator Mary Jane Wells

Now, no one likes a know-it-all (except for Hermione Granger!), and I take no personal credit for this, but it’s a truth universally acknowledged that our amazing romance review team here at AudioFile Magazine has been sharing our love for these two titles for months. Nope, we have no advance knowledge of the winners, but our reviewers know good audiobooks when we hear them, and so we’re especially pleased to once again share these titles, this time as Audie Award winners. 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!

Go West for Romance

Tease: Western Romance Audiobooks

Cowboy Up

Cowboy UpFor those of us who live in the cold, rainy northeast, the setting of a Western romance audiobook holds huge appeal. Large ranches and farms are outside our everyday reality, and I always take an extra moment while listening to a western to soak in the descriptions of plants and trees we don’t have here. I’ll never forget driving through the fairly flat, mostly treeless highways of Kansas. In focusing on what was missing (our verdant, rolling hills covered with leafy trees and winding roads that twist around a varied landscape), it took me a while to realize what I’d gained — sky. Giant, overwhelming sky stretching from horizon to horizon. I remember talking to someone who said he felt claustrophobic without that unobstructed view, while I felt frighteningly small underneath it — it’s all what you’re used to! So this week we share some awe-inspiring western romances. A place to call home, independent characters who rely on friends and family to get by, a sense of belonging — narrators have to speak from their heart to capture the true spirit of the western happily ever after.  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!

We love Stina Nielsen and her sweet puppy Phoebe

Tease: Behind the Mic with Stina Nielsen

A New Leash on Love

A New Leash on LoveThere is NOTHING I love as much as ANY book that has an animal as one of the characters. Especially an animal with so much personality that they hog center stage away from the people. A couple of past favorites that immediately come to mind are Linda Howard’s TROUBLEMAKER and Susan Mallery’s SECOND CHANCE GIRL. When the first thought that comes to your mind as you are entering a new scene of the story is, “Well, what does the dog think of this development?” you know you’re in dog heaven.

We are fortunate enough to have some Behind the Mic thoughts from narrator Stina Nielsen and her puppy Phoebe! After watching this video, I predict that you’ll be in love with Stina Nielsen and Debbie Burns AND convinced that audiobooks are a force for good in the world. On the off chance you haven’t yet listened to one of Nielsen’s titles, do so immediately. She’s fun, she’s lively, and she brings a warmth to everything she does that keeps you connected to the story.

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: Audies Erotica nominees

These finalists go from “hot” to “on fire”

Claim & Protect

Part two of February fun! The Finalist Titles for the Erotica Audies are listed below. As with my post on the romance nominees, I tried to give you a quick heads up on what to expect from these stellar titles. These titles range from “hot” to “on fire” in terms of content, so plan your listening accordingly!

Claim & Protect
His Alone
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: Romance on the Edge

Jump off the cliff and into some intense romantic audiobooks

Blade of Darkness

Equal time. In my recent posts, I’ve focused on cozy and historical romances. This time, let’s hit shuffle on the player and turn to edgy and paranormal romance. For any Twilight fans, it’s my opinion that the successful edgy romance is an experience similar to Bella’s jump off the cliff. Nothing’s held back. It’s life or death, do or die, all or nothing, Montagues or Capulets.

Blade of DarknessThese narrators are intense; they’re living the story, making it impossible to stop listening for fear of breaking the emotional experience that feels all-consuming. This type of romance can feel almost like a madness—think of Charlotte or Emily Brontë’s narratives. It’s key that the narrator places listeners at the center of the whirlwind rather than leaving us outside it, staring judgmentally at the couple, wondering, “What were you thinking?” In a romance in which it’s the couple against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the listener needs to feel at every moment that together is better than apart. Take a deep breath and dive into the addictive experience of being someone’s entire world. 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!