A Golden Voice of Romance: Narrator Simon Prebble

Simon Prebble
Simon Prebble
Simon Prebble (r) and Gerard Doyle

At our recent Golden Voices narrator celebration in May in New York City, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting veteran Golden Voice narrator Simon Prebble and his wife. As a result, I can categorically share that Prebble sounds as distinctive and compelling in person as he does on audio. He also has the trick of a sidelong smile that had his wife laughing and turning her head in his direction — she must know when he’s about to throw out a zinger of a joke!

Simon Prebble is a remarkable chameleon of a narrator — with more than 700 audiobooks to his credit, he is never boxed in to one genre, one type of character, or one style. During our short, lively conversation, he mentioned his enduring love of the Ian Rutledge mysteries and another of his favorites, the Alex Ryder adventure series for tweens and teens. And he’s no stranger to the classics — I may need to add Henry James’s THE TURN OF THE SCREW, narrated by Prebble and Rosalyn Landor, to my listening list, if only because of that auspicious narrator pairing. 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!

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage: 4 New Wedding-Themed Audio Romances

Wedding photo

Wedding photo

Wedding romances exist under a particular set of rules that make them even more carefully crafted than your usual happily-ever-after romance. Not only do we (usually) know in advance that the characters have a stable, defined future ahead of them, but now we know that they are going to end up married—or are already married! Making this type of story fresh and appealing involves a lot of creativity from the author as well as a compelling narration. We already know the ending, so the author and narrator need to seduce us, shock us, crack us up, or simply tell us a story we can’t resist hearing. You have to bring your A game to make a wedding romance stand out.

On the other hand, many romance readers are suckers for the dress selection, the inevitable fights among members of the bridal party, and the misty-eyed promises of forever that give wedding romances a hushed respect, even from the most hardened pragmatists. Let’s get the show on the road with four new wedding themed (if sometimes unconventional!) audiobooks.

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!

Listen & Learn: Kids’ Audiobooks that Highlight STEM Skills

Hear Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Kids with a microscope

Kids with a microscope

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM thinking goes beyond facts to explore innovation, problem-solving, creativity, persistence, divergent thinking, and assimilation of new ideas. The audiobooks in this list show characters facing real-world problems and using STEM thinking to develop solutions through trial and error. Most importantly, they celebrate the joy of figuring things out and illustrate that failure is often an important step to success. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

6 New Historical Romances

Finding fresh takes on a favorite genre

Historical Romances

Historical Romances

Last month on Twitter, romance author Tessa Dare wrote, “We’re all six degrees from Austen, and the 5th degree is Heyer, and the 4th degree is Woodiwiss, and that only leaves 3 degrees to mess around with. Our family tree is a VC Andrews novel.” For romance lovers, this is a hilarious inside joke about the authors everyone has read and how inevitable plot similarities are. And it’s true that there’s not always much variety in setting and plot when it comes to historical romance. Case in point: Here are six historical romance audios we’re recommending to you, and ALL of them are set in the British Isles in probably the 18th and 19th centuries. Acknowledging that we do seem to love our British dukes a little (okay, a lot) more than is healthy, there is something extraordinary in a group of authors and narrators who are working within a narrow, often-traveled slice of history and yet who still create tales worth hearing.  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 Is About Family

Narrators Justine Eyre, Rosalyn Landor, and Tanya Eby remind us of the joys of home

Family by the fireWe’re wrapping up our 2018 romance audiobook journey with titles about family. More than likely, you’ve spent some part of the last week with some portion of your family. And, more than likely, you have mixed feelings about that! You’re thrilled to see them, you love their kids, but then you remember, they never show up on time for dinner and they don’t make the gravy/mashed potatoes/green bean casserole the way mom/grandma/Aunt Mary used to. Family is this inescapable gift of stress and aggravation that you wouldn’t trade for anything. So, in the spirit of surviving your time with family in the best way possible, enjoy some romances that feature family dynamics. Love your family and love ALL your 2018 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!

Reflecting on Remembrance Day through WWI Mysteries

Ian Rutledge, Bess Crawford, and Maisie Dobbs

The Gate Keeper

The Gate KeeperNovember 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the formal end of WWI, observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Several years ago, while visiting Salisbury, England, on November 11, I personally experienced that moment when everything and everyone comes to a complete stop at 11 am to observe two minutes of silence to honor those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

To honor the 100th anniversary, I would like to call attention to several mystery series that are set during WWI and its aftermath. Read more…

Ellen Quint
A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Makes for a Great Story

A Duke by Default

Up In FlamesGod rest Robin Leach, who brought the show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (1984-1995) to television. During the show, Leach’s outsized personality narrated tours of opulent palaces and pads, the likes of which ordinary people couldn’t imagine existed. As a gentle homage, here are a few recent romance audiobooks that mix wealth, fame, and falling in love. Celebrity romances may not last, but these will! As Leach used to say, may you have “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”  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 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!

Let’s Flip Jane on Her Head

Six Austen-Inspired Audiobooks and One Perfume

Jane Austen photograph

See the yellowed pages in my copy of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?  That’s to prove that I am a true Janeite.

Bona fides established, let me tell you about the literary mashup PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, by Seth Grahame-Smith, in which the basic P&P plot line and tone are intercut with zombies roaming the 19th-century English countryside. Yes, Jane and zombies are ridiculous, but I listened during one of those complicated family summers, and its occasionally gruesome silliness was a magic diversion.  Author Steve Hockensmith has written two subsequent mashups of the mashup, which are also crazy funny: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DREADFULLY EVER AFTER. Most importantly for us, all three were narrated by the amazing Katy Kellgren, who won an Earphones Award for the second volume.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Longbourn
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.

Discover Someone to Wed

Tease: Discovery series

Someone to Wed

With a new mini-series here on Tease that we’re calling our “Discover” series, we’re including images that will help take you deeper into the world of the romance audiobook we’re recommending. Consider it inspiration for a more immersive listening experience.

19th century British glass jug made by Apsley Pellatt & Co
Wine glass

To go along with SOMEONE TO WED by Mary Balogh, narrated by Rosalyn Landor, I’ve chosen a pair of images from the Victoria and Albert museum of London, including this 19th-century British glass jug made by Apsley Pellatt & Co.  Pellatt was an experimental glassmaker who perfected the technique of sulphides, or medallions in glass. In Balogh’s story, Wren owns a glass factory in Staffordshire, so I wanted to reflect Wren’s love of beautiful glass creations. 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!