Thriller Thursday: Kimberly Reid’s Prettyboy Must Die

Inspired by the #AlexFromTarget story comes Prettyboy Must Die, a new novel by Kimberly Reid.

Peter Smith is your average teenage boy: he’s cute, runs track, and pretty much stays under the radar. That is, of course, until one of his classmates snaps a pic of him at the track, posting it with the caption “See the Pretty Boy Run”, and it becomes clear that Peter Smith is not so average. As it turns out, he’s a CIA agent on a pity assignment after a massive screw-up, and his real name is Jake Morrow. Consider his cover blown. This assignment was supposed to be his moment of redemption, but with killers on the loose and fans dying for a glimpse of him, #Prettyboy might be #Deadboy pretty soon. Narrator Kevin R. Free brings life to this thriller and skillfully captures the voice of not only Peter Smith, but all those of Reid’s diverse cast of characters. Listen to an audiobook clip and hear for yourself!

New Release: Dead People Suck by Laurie Kilmartin

If grief and laughter aren’t two words you normally associate with one another, think again; Laurie Kilmartin, bestselling author of Sh*tty Mom and Emmy-nominated writer for CONAN Conan, will leave you dying with laughter in her new audiobook memoir, Dead People Suck. Kilmartin relives losing her father and retraces all of the parts of his passing that were so awful you have to… well…laugh.

Dead People Suck includes hilarious chapters such as “Bad News: Grief is Not a Calorie Burner” and “Reverse KonMari: When You Can’t Throw Away Your Dead Parents’ Crap.” With essays covering everything from hospice to cremation and “joining the dead dad club”. This audiobook gives a much-needed perspective and voice to topics that are often relegated to hushed tones and private conversations. More than just a memoir, Dead People Suck is also a resourceful guide to grief that is equal parts humor and heart, and is sure to provide every listener, grieving or not, with a hopeful outlook on one of life’s most challenging obstacles.

Laurie Kilmartin reading Dead People Suck for a live recording of the audiobook at The Stand in New York.

Kilmartin, is an alum of Last Comic Standing, recorded several chapters from Dead People Suck at The Stand Comedy Club in New York City. The live recording gives the audiobook new life—Kilmartin’s flawless comedic timing and the roaring laughter in the background brings the atmosphere of a comedy club right to your ear! Listen to a clip of the bonus live recording below!

 

New Release: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Alaska brings out the best and the worst in a man.”

Ernt Allbright is a former Vietnam veteran who has been having trouble adjusting to civilian life. He can’t keep a job, constantly uproots his family, and has a tumultuous relationship with his wife, Cora. Caught in the middle is their daughter Leni, who has to deal with always being the new kid in school and the constant fighting from her parents.

It wasn’t always like this. Before Ernt went to war, the family had a stable and happy life. But when he came back Ernt was “moody, quick to anger, and distant.” Then, one day, something happened that changed the course of their lives. They receive a letter stating that they have inherited property in Alaska. A friend Ernt fought alongside in Vietnam — and a friend he watched die —wanted Ernt to have his house when he passed. Optimistic and ready for a fresh start, the family packs up everything to head to the great Alaskan frontier.

Things are great at first —Ernt and Cora appear to be in love again, the family is welcomed warmly by their community, and Leni has a budding romance with one of the locals. However, the harshness of winter and isolation begin to take a toll on the family, and Ernt slowly slides back to his old ways… only worse.

As she did in The Nightingale, Hannah continues to write complex and captivating family dramas. The drama is heightened by the narrator, Julia Whelan, who is also known for reading other best-sellers like Gone Girl and The Wife Between Us. What makes The Great Alone a standout audiobook, is the balance between Hannah’s description of the beauty and brutality of the Alaskan wilderness coupled with Whelan’s knack for building suspense and tension.

Hannah drew inspiration from her own adventurous family in writing The Great Alone. Her father moved to Alaska to start the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, where her family has worked for three generations. Listen to Hannah record the acknowledgments to learn more about her story.

Audiobooks You’ll Love

Love is in the air. Listen to your heart—and these 5 audiobooks!

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Ernt Allbright, his wife Cora, and teenage daughter Leni move to the wild and remote state of Alaska. Ernt fought in the Vietnam war, but when he came home he wasn’t quite the same. He was moody and easily agitated—a departure from the fun-loving and happy man he used to be. When Ernt receives a letter that the friend that he fought alongside with in Vietnam left Ernt his property in Alaska, he sees it as an opportunity to start over and breathe again. Enthusiastic and optimistic about the move, the family initially finds strength in community, and Ernt starts to become his old self again. But as winter approaches, things turn for the worse. Ernt’s mental condition deteriorates and his family must try to survive the harsh conditions both inside and outside their home.

The Great Alone is set in the beautiful Alaskan backdrop, and narrator Julia Whelan drops you right in the middle of the wilderness. Expect to experience love and heartache, and fall in love with the complex characters in this family drama.

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

Euan Morton and Candice Fox meet backstage at Hamilton

Far from the dry winters of Alaska and across the Pacific Ocean are the wetlands of Queensland, Australia where the crime thriller Crimson Lake takes place. Ted Conkaffey moved to Crimson Lake attempting to escape his troubled past. But bad luck places him at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he is accused of raping a young woman, only being set free due to insufficient evidence. He meets private investigator, Amanda Pharrell, who has her own troubled past, once a convicted murderer. They team up to investigate a missing person case, but the whole town is suspicious and keeps a watchful eye on the duo.

Crimson Lake is narrated by Euan Morton, who lent his voice to the program during his days off from starring in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton as King George. Candice Fox and Morton met backstage after a showing of Hamilton that Fox attended, where Euan described the book as “smartly sympathetic: it makes you ask larger questions” (see the full EW article here). With such broken and complex characters and ample talk of crocodiles, you’ll find it hard to pause while listening to Crimson Lake.

Force of Nature By Jane Harper

The numbers don’t add up when five coworkers go into the woods during a corporate retreat and only four come out. When police agent Aaron Falk digs further into the investigation, he finds inconsistencies between the surviving four’s stories and learns of the complicated relationships between coworkers that could have led to a murder. Force of Nature is full of twists and thrills that will discourage you from ever secluding yourself in the woods with your colleagues. AudioFile magazine raves that the narrator Stephen Shanahan “makes it sizzle to the very end”. Don’t let Force of Nature be the audiobook that got away!

The Hush by John Hart

The sequel to John Hart’s The Last Child, The Hush picks up with Jack and Johnny as adults 10 years later. Jack is a lawyer and Johnny becomes a recluse secluded in his cabin, but their friendship continues. Hart creates a dark and magical world for his characters, and Jeremy Bobb’s narration brings it to life. Fans of Hart and new listeners alike will want to hide away themselves for a day or two to finish this highly anticipated audiobook.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone is one of the most anticipated fantasy novels of 2018, appearing on lists such as Entertainment Weekly’s 50 most Anticipated Books of 2018, Bustle’s Anticipated YA Fantasy of 2018, and Buzzfeed’s YA Books That Need To Be On Your Reading List This Year. After movie rights to the story were sold to Fox, it was even more obvious that Children of Blood and Bone is the epic YA audiobook everyone has been waiting for.

Orïsha was once a land abundant in magic. That all changed when King Saran ordered the maji -Orïshans possessing magical powers- to be killed, and magic banned forever. Zélie, the daughter of a powerful maji who was killed on that fateful night, has been training as a warrior in secret since her mother was killed. More than anything, she desires to bring magic back to the land and restore her people’s place as the most powerful and respected in Orïsha. When a chance encounter hands Zélie a magic scroll that unlocks some of her inner powers, she knows it is her destiny to redeem her mother and her people. With the help of her brother Tzain and the fugitive princess Amari, Zelie embarks on a harrowing battle to bring magic back for good—unless the monarchy catches her first.

Children of Blood and Bone is narrated by Bahni Turpin, known for her roles in Malcom X and the CBS television show Cold Case. She has been praised for her narration in Young Adult audiobooks, such as The Hate U Give, and is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards for her work, most recently her 2017 Audies win for Best Fiction Audiobook of the Year for Sister of Mine.

Want more? Listen to excerpts below!

Audiobook New Releases for January 16, 2018

New Year, New Audiobooks!

 

American Pravda by James O’Keefe, read by the author

The one real difference between the American press and the Soviet state newspaper Pravda was that the Russian people knew they were being lied to. To expose the lies our media tell us today, controversial journalist James O’Keefe created Project Veritas, an independent news organization whose reporters go where traditional journalists dare not. Their investigative work – equal parts James Bond, Mike Wallace, and Saul Alinsky – has had a consistent and powerful impact on its targets. This audiobook not only contests the false narratives frequently put forth by corporate media; it documents the consequences of telling the truth in a world that does not necessarily want to hear it.

Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block, read by Michael Crouch

A shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening – and the unspoken story he carries – will tear the town of Bliss, Texas, apart. Nearly 10 years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility. Orbiting the still point of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate – and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

The Silent Room by Mari Hannah, read by Tim Bruce

Detective Sergeant Matthew Ryan wants to clear the name of his former boss, who stands accused of official corruption. But before he can do so, his boss disappears. Did he escape from police custody, or was he kidnapped? Or did something even worse happen to him? The Silent Room has everything a good thriller should have – compelling characters, a gripping plot and storyline, superb pacing, and a strong sense of place. In addition, it has heart, something many thrillers sorely lack. Add some truly scary villains, vast uncertainty about whom to trust, and a loudly ticking clock, and we have ourselves a thriller that will grip listeners from the first chapter and never let go.

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele, read by Patrisse Khan-Cullors

From one of the cofounders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic audiobook memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

Give the Gift of Audiobooks

Stuck on what to get people for the holidays? Audiobooks make a great gift for your loved ones! Don’t forget to add these audiobooks to your cart, and heck, why not get yourself an audiobook too? We won’t tell.

To: The Person Who Brightens Up Your Life

Give: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

For 30 years, The Shell Seekers has delighted readers and has made plenty of must-read cozy lists and has been included in countless book clubs. Now, for the first time, it is available as an unabridged audiobook narrated by Captian America’s Hayley Atwell and is perfect for that person who loves warm literary novels. The Shell Seekers is a family saga set during World War II and follows Penelope Keeling’s life, family, scandals, and romantic interests. It’s a great audiobook to listen to while warming up by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa in hand.

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

To: Your Friend That Has A Christmas Tree Up Before Thanksgiving

Give: Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

In Mr. Dickens and His Carol, Silva embodies the cheer and whimsy of the holiday
season with her witty take on a beloved classic. With a re-imagined Scrooge and sprinkles of
historical detail throughout, Silva nods to Dickens’ original tale while still making the story her
own. Narrated by Hamilton Star, Euan Morton, this audiobook will get you major bonus
points if your gift recipient is just as obsessed with Hamilton as we are.

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

To: The Adventurer

Give: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Not only is Oathbringer the most pre-ordered audiobook, but it is listening gold for those who love to delve into intricate storylines. It’s a great audiobook for those who don’t mind the commitment (a little over 55 hours of listening), and are ready to fall in love with Oathbringer’s numerous characters and Sanderson’s world-building. This is the third book in the Stormlight Archive, so you might consider also buying the previous two audiobooks, The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, if your gift recipient hasn’t listened to them. Call it a bundle of epicness.

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

To: Someone Who Loves Uplifting Stories (or who needs one)

Give: The Widom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

The Wisdom of Sundays is insightful and thought-provoking (it’s from Oprah, after all). Listening to the conversations in the audiobook will give listeners an eye-opening perspective on life and the audiobook is perfect for someone embarking on a spiritual journey.

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

To: The Thrill Seeker

Give: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

For your friend who couldn’t put down Gone Girl or Girl on the TrainThe Breakdown audiobook is a no-brainer gift. In The Breakdown, Cass hasn’t been the same since the night in the woods when she saw a woman sitting in her car, later to be found dead. Things in Cass’s life have been off and her mental state is constantly being questioned. It’s an enthralling listen that keeps you going until the end, and asks “If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?”

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

To: Your Friend That Loves Armie Hammer

Give: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Because, Armie Hammer. If you have any doubts, read this.

Buy on: Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, and Libro.fm

Audiobook New Releases for December 5

New Release Tuesday Vibes

Glass Town by Steven Savile, narrated by Steve West

In 1924, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. She disappeared during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s debut, Number 13, which itself is now lost. It was the crime of the age, the beautiful actress never seen again and the gangster who disappeared the same day. Joshua Raines is about to enter Glass Town. The generations-old obsession with Eleanor Raines’ unsolved case is about to become his obsession, handed down father to son through his bloodline like some unwanted inheritance. But first he needs to bury his grandfather and absorb the implications of the confession in his hand, a letter from one of the brothers, Isaiah, claiming to have seen the missing actress. The woman in the red dress hadn’t aged a day, no matter that it was 1994 and she’d been gone 70 years. Long-buried secrets cannot stay secrets forever. Hidden places cannot stay hidden forever. The magic that destroyed one of the most brutal families in London’s dark history is finally failing, and Joshua Raines is about to discover that everything he dared dream of, everything he has ever feared, is waiting for him in Glass Town.

Global Discontents by Noam Chomsky, with interviews with David Barsamian

In wide-ranging interviews with David Barsamian, his longtime interlocutor, Noam Chomsky asks listeners to consider “the world we are leaving to our grandchildren”: one imperiled by the escalation of climate change and the growing potential for nuclear war. If the current system is incapable of dealing with these threats, he argues, it’s up to us to radically change it. These 12 interviews, conducted from 2013 to 2016, examine the latest developments around the globe: the devastation of Syria, the reach of state surveillance, growing anger over economic inequality, the place of religion in American political culture, and the bitterly contested 2016 US presidential election. In accompanying personal reflections on his Philadelphia childhood and his 87th birthday, Chomsky also describes his own intellectual journey and the development of his uncompromising stance as America’s premier dissident intellectual.

Kiss Kiss Bang by Sidney Halston, narrated by Dara Rosenberg

Six-foot-two and ripped…with superior computer skills, Josef “Joey” Clad is not your typical ex-Marine. The co-owner of Iron-Clad securities is 100% Alpha male, but, under his muscular physique, he’s the best hacker in Miami who specializes in running Iron-Clad’s cyber ops. The perfect skill set for their new client who is getting threatening emails, a client who he definitely wants to get to know better. Much better. Single mom, widow, Olivia Monroe has exceptional dreams that she refuses to let go of. Fifteen years ago, she left her broken home in New York City and never looked back. Now a dark horse candidate for Florida governor, she’s not looking for a relationship. Even with the hot guy who sweeps in and saves her computer the night before a big speech. Her hero has trouble written all over him. Joey is too handsome, too funny, too confident, and way too hard to resist. Too bad he’s now her bodyguard.

One of Us Will Be Dead By Morning by David Moody, narrated by Gerard Doyle

Fourteen people are trapped on Skek, a barren island in the middle of the North Sea somewhere between the coasts of the UK and Denmark. Over the years this place has served many purposes – a fishing settlement, a military outpost, a scientific base – but one by one its inhabitants have abandoned its inhospitable shores. Today it’s home to Hazleton Adventure Experiences, an extreme sports company specializing in corporate team building events. Life there is fragile and tough. One slip is all it takes. A momentary lapse leads to a tragic accident, but when the body count quickly starts to rise, questions are inevitably asked. Are the deaths coincidental or something else entirely? Those people you thought you knew, can you really trust them? Is the person standing next to you a killer? Will you be their next victim?

The Pretender by Marc Ruskin, narrated by Francis J. Spieler.

Of all the tools available to law enforcement, the living, breathing undercover operative remains the gold standard. In the era of electronic surveillance, UC work enforces accountability; it prevents mistakes, and of all the boots on the ground, undercover agents are often the most valuable. The FBI generally has about 100 UC agents working full-time in the field. In the 1990s and 2000s, Marc Ruskin had the most diverse and notorious case list of all and the broadest experience within the bureaucracy, including overseas. He worked ops targeting public corruption, corporate fraud, Wall Street scams, narcotics trafficking, La Cosa Nostra, counterfeiting – and gritty street-level scams and schemes. Sometimes working three or four cases simultaneously, Ruskin switched identities by the day: Each morning he had to walk out the door with the correct ID, clothes, accessories and frame of mind for that day’s mission. Meet Alex Perez, Alejandro Marconi, and Sal Morelli, just a few of Ruskin’s undercover personas. The Pretender is the definitive narrative of undercover ops – the procedures, the successes, the failures – and the changes in the culture of the new-era FBI.

Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh, narrated by Brooke Bloomingdale

Two hot cowboys. Two tough-as-spurs heroines. These two previously published, newly revised and expanded, smoking hot stories, Cowboy and the Captive and Cowboy and the Thief, by New York Times best-selling author Lora Leigh.

Add Audiobooks to Your Life!

A common question we get at Macmillan Audio goes something like, “I love the idea of audiobooks, but…what do you do when you listen to them?” It’s a fair question, especially if you’re the kind of restless cosmopolitan who simply cannot fathom sitting still and staring into space for an extended period of time. So we decided to take a little office poll and see how the “‘professionals” enhance their lives with audio.

Get Cookin’ Good Lookin’

A few of our staffers are avid cooks and bakers. What’s the best way to relax after a long day of work? Crack open a bottle of wine, get your stir-fry sizzling, and put on a lighthearted, audiobook comedy. We suggest I’m Judging You by Luvvie, and I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. For those who are culinarily ‘challenged,’ this works equally well with ramen noodles — just make sure that the volume of your audiobook exceeds the volume of your microwave.

Learn While You Burn

Fitness nuts will testify: self-improvement is a hell of a drug. Our sportier staffers find that physical exercise is best accompanied by mental stimulation. After all, once you get in the habit of working towards goals, your appetite for knowledge can be as insatiable as your thirst for electrolytes. For enlightened post-workout conversation, we suggest The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot, and Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo. Couch potatoes (we’re not judging) may opt for Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi.

Fight Grime with Crime

No one looks forward to deep-cleaning, but sometimes, it must be done. Our staffers find that the right thriller audiobook can provide the necessary fuel for tedious scrubbing and scraping. So the next time you find yourself facing an oven catastrophe or a window that should not be opaque, why not boost your spirits with a little mystery and suspense? We suggest Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, and Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker.

Want to hear more? Listen to excerpts to help you choose the audiobook to keep you busy.