Thriller Thursday: Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me

Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself? 

An accused killer insists she’s innocent of a heinous murder. A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life. Award-winning author and journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan is back with a thrilling standalone audiobook of psychological suspense and manipulation and an unlikely alliance that leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game.

Start listening to a clip of the audiobook, read by Saskia Maarleveld.

Sounds Like Romance (Narrators)

Romance Awareness Month is coming to an end and we’re wrapping it up with the pros. We asked some of the narrators of our latest romance titles what they loved most about their audiobook roles. Find out how they got into romance audiobooks, what they love about it, and what they think you should be listening to!

The Narrators

Erin Mallon (EM) is an actor and romance narrator who records in New York and New Jersey. Click here for a clip of the number one audiobook on Erin’s listen list, The Real Deal!

Rose Dioro’s (RD) loves lending her voice to YA, thriller, and sci-fi audiobooks, but narrating romance titles really make her heart swoon. She records in Massachusetts. Click here for the number one audiobook on Rose’s listen list, I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting!

Andi Arndt (AA) is a romance audiobook veteran who just finished recording Kylie Scott’s new standalone, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. While Andi is not a huge fan of listening to her own narration, you can listen to a clip here. 😉

What made you want to narrate romance audiobooks?

Erin Mellon in the studio recording The Real Deal.

EM: I had been a stage actor for many years and loved the intimacy of connecting with audiences in small theaters in NYC. So the idea of telling a story into a single person’s ears through audio? That sounded dreamy. I love narrating romance in particular because of the connection between characters. In romance it’s all about human connection and there isn’t anything better than that!

RD: Many romance novelists release new books frequently and often include their books in a series. I always liked the idea of really getting to know the ins and outs of a writer’s style and the characters they create.

What are the best and most challenging parts of narrating romance?

EM: The best part has to be the listeners! Romance listeners are incredibly passionate about the authors and narrators they enjoy…half the time they tell me I have a new release before I realize it myself!

RD: The love scenes were challenging to narrate when I first started. These are such intimate moments; private encounters of two people you get to know very well through the writing. But when you know that the scene has gone well- that you’ve been able to portray it in an authentic way without hamming it up- it’s exciting to know that you’ve created something that so many people will enjoy listening to and experiencing.

It’s exciting to know that you’ve created something that so many people will enjoy listening to and experiencing.

AA: The best part is being along for the ride as two characters enjoy the rush of a new love, the endorphins, the discoveries and revelations. The most challenging part is probably making each story completely its own and making sure that the characters come across as unique.  

Have you ever had a hard time trying to get through a romance narration?

EM: Sure! I was narrating a scene just yesterday where the main character loses her fiancé after a car accident. She’s in his hospital room saying goodbye before the doctors take him off life support… yeesh. In those moments as a narrator, you want to take the honest emotional ride alongside the character, but not take it so far that you are blubbering and blowing your nose in the listeners’ ears. It’s a balance.   

AA: Luckily for me, I’ve had the privilege of working on really great material, but I think there have been times when I’ve found a scenario challenging because there is maybe a transgressive aspect to it that is new to me. I try to remember that very often that transgression is a test of a couple’s trust and intimacy, and follow that thread through the story. I will say though that all of this assumes that the situation is consensual. If there’s no consent or it’s at all unclear, I turn down the project.

Do you listen back to the titles that you narrate?

RD: When I record a dual or multi-narration project, it’s always fun to hear the finished project with the other voices. I record my chapters from my home studio, and usually don’t hear any of the other narrator’s work unless I listen to the finished project.

AA: Oh goodness no!

What do you think is so great about listening to romance?

AA: I heard from a hospice nurse in Australia once, who listens to my romance narrations as a way to rest and recharge during breaks from her very important but very intense work.  Hearing from that listener changed the way I feel about my work; that maybe what I do, which could seem sort of fluffy to some, can help other people to do much more critical / crucial jobs.  Love can heal. Love is important.

Love can heal. Love is important.

Any tips for aspiring romance narrators?

AA: Don’t worry about “sounding sexy.”  Let the story lead you, honor the characters, and let the author’s voice come through you.

It’s not too late to celebrate Romance Awareness Month—start listening to some of Macmillan Audio’s romance titles today!

Thriller Thursday: Lisa Scottoline’s Feared

Rosato and DiNunzio are back for their sixth adventure in Lisa Scottoline’s new audio thriller, Feared.

The fearless female lawyers of DiNunzio and Rosato are appalled when three men sue them for hiring using reverse sexism. However, when one of their only male employees steps down in response to the accusation, they’re concerned for their reputation. Nick Machiavelli steps in to defend the plaintiffs and having already lost to Rosato and DiNunzio once, he is determined to claim revenge.

When a drastic series of events turns the discrimination dispute into a murder trial, Rosato and DiNunzio have so much more at stake: the case, their prestigious firm, and their reputations.

Narrator Kate Burton expertly channels Rosato and DiNunzio’s intense determination and their desire to defeat Machiavelli while seamlessly transitioning between the diverse cast of characters and plot lines. In the end, the listener is left with the fateful question: is it better to be loved, or feared? Listen to an audiobook excerpt below! 

Thriller Thursday: Olen Steinhauer’s The Middleman

In a divided nation, only Special Agent Rachel Proulx can uncover the motives behind the madness in Olen Steinhauer’s new audiobook thriller, The Middleman.

One day in the summer of 2017, four hundred people suddenly disappear. They left their families, jobs, credit cards, and phones without any explanation. However, Agent Proulx has been following this left-wing group all year. Known as the Massive Brigade, they aim to implement change in America, no matter what the cost.

Without knowing whether this group is a political movement, a protest organization, or a terrorist group, Agent Proulx must intervene before their mysterious plan hatches. But what might that plan be? Proulx’s discovery startles the nation and the ramifications have a large effect on the FBI and US government.

Ari Fliakos’s versatile narration shifts between a FBI agent, a Massive Brigade convert, and a writer reporting on the events. Fliakos keeps listeners hooked from the first word until the astonishing end and handles the changing perspectives gracefully. Don’t be the one missing out, listen to an excerpt now!

Thriller Thursday: Michele Campbell’s She Was the Quiet One

January Lavoy in the studio while recording SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE.

In this ultimate tale of sibling rivalry, only one sister will live to tell her story.

When twin sisters Rose and Bel enroll in the distinguished Odell Academy, it seems like a life-changing opportunity. However, attending the boarding school has polarizing effects on the sisters, tearing their relationship apart. Bel is having a little too much fun attending Odell and falls into a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, creating a rivalry between the two. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah, for comfort and advice over the divergence from her sister, while Bel turns to her charismatic teacher, Heath, who happens to be Sarah’s husband. Sarah soon discovers she does not know Heath as well as she thought and speculates Heath is hiding something. 

January LaVoy’s narration ranges from steady to spine-chilling, capturing the eerie animosity, restlessness, and drama that builds throughout this audiobook. Listen to January’s captivating narration in a story filled with plenty of twists and turns. 

Thriller Thursday: David Rosenfelt’s Rescued

Sophie enjoying a leisurely afternoon listening to RESCUED.

The stakes are higher than ever for Andy Carpenter’s next investigation.

Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter has no desire to accept more cases. His heart lies with his dog rescue organization, The Tara Foundation. However, when the driver of a truck carrying over seventy rescue dogs is killed, Andy intervenes. No murder investigation is easy, but Andy is really at a loss when he discovers that his wife Laurie’s old flame and former fiancé, Dave Kramer is the murder suspect.

Though the evidence suggests otherwise, Dave claims that the murder was in self-defense. To his own surprise, Andy believes Dave’s side of the story. As Andy tries to convince the jurors of his client’s innocence, he reveals a complex situation that may just lead to his toughest case yet. Andy balances this difficulty with caring for the dogs on the truck, many of whom stay at The Tara Foundation while awaiting their rescue.

With his signature measured voice and subtle humor, beloved series narrator Grover Gardner brings listeners inside of Andy’s internal conflict and investigation. Listen up fur a great mystery!

Thriller Thursday: Zoje Stage’s Baby Teeth

Zoje with Hanna’s UnderSlumberBumbleBeast at BookExpo 2018

Daddy loves Hanna. Hanna loves Daddy. Now, if only Hanna could just get rid of Mommy….

 When Suzette and Alex bring home baby Hanna, they are overjoyed to have their own little girl. Suzette longs to shower Hanna with the love and support that her own upbringing lacked. As the years pass, Hanna proves to be a troublesome child. Though she reads and writes at age seven, she refuses to speak, and her disruptive behavior has gotten her expelled from countless schools. Suzette has no choice but to homeschool her calamitous child, who lashes out against her rules and loving concerns.

 While Hanna tortures Suzette, she adores her Daddy—perhaps a little too much. Hanna wants nothing more than to spend her happily ever after with him, starting with erasing Mommy from the picture for good.

Suzette can sense her daughter’s jealousy and fears that Hanna’s cruelty will tear her marriage apart–and even threaten her life.

Gabra Zackman demonstrates her vocal range as she shifts between Hanna’s and Suzette’s perspective, performing each character with a comfort and ease that perfectly portrays the variety of emotions inherent in a mother-daughter relationship. Listen to the uneasiness and anguish that float throughout this chilling audiobook.

Thriller Thursday: Linda Castillo’s A Gathering of Secrets

A lethal fire illuminates the darkness of the Amish community in the tenth installment of Linda Castillo’s New York Times bestselling Kate Burkholder series.

When 17-year-old Emma Miller committed suicide, the Amish village of Painters Mill, Ohio thought the worst had happened. However, six months later, a historic barn burns down, killing 18-year-old community pillar Daniel Gingerich. Though the incident appears accidental, Chief of Police Burkholder suspects murder.

Through her investigation, Kate discovers that Daniel had a dark side. He was a sexual predator whose victims were mainly Amish women too afraid to come forward, and he had been getting away with it for far too long. Now someone has stopped him, but who? Kate tries to get more information, but her Amish community refuses to hear or speak evil. Was Daniel tied to Emma’s death? What other secrets did he have? The mystery forces Kate to face her own devastating experiences, reshaping her view of the Amish world and herself.

Narrator Kathleen McInerney‘s steady yet spellbinding voice delineates the twists and turns of this utterly chilling audiobook, keeping listeners engrossed until the very last word. Hear for yourself!