Boardwalk Empire meets Sin City in Lara Elena Donnelly’s Debut

Author Lara Elena Donnelly’s debut novel Amberlough follows a gay double agent as he schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup. Do we have your attention yet?

Cyril DePaul is working his way through the aftermath of a mission that has lead to disastrous results, leaving various political fires smoldering throughout Amberlough City. Cyril thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from his lover Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps Aristide’s moonlighting as a smuggler under wraps. But shielding Aristide from the fallout proves to be less than easy, as he refuses to let anything—not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives—dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she could be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, the three will struggle to survive using whatever means necessary, including each other.

Remember, trust no one with anything—especially in Amberlough City. Listen to an excerpt of the Amberlough audiobook, read by Mary Robinette Kowal:

Amberlough is now available wherever digital audiobooks are sold: Audible, Audiobooks.comiTunes,

8 Great Listens for #IWD2017

International Women’s Day, which commemorates the movement for women’s rights, is celebrated annually on March 8. To celebrate #IWD2017, we’ve rounded up eight audiobooks written (and read) by some truly amazing women. From civil rights leader Coretta Scott King and United States Senator Elizabeth Warren to the first African American person to win the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel Nnedi Okorafor, these ladies in literature share stories both from real life and from galaxies far, far away.

Nonfiction for International Women’s Day

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King, read by Phylicia Rashad and January LaVoy

Coretta’s My Life, My Love, My Legacy is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an independent-minded black woman in twentieth-century America. She was a brave leader who stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful in the face of terrorism and violent hatred every single day of her life—a shining example for women today. This audiobook also includes archival recordings of Coretta Scott King with her dear friend, Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren, read by the author

In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing audiobook, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America’s government can and must do better for working families. Hear more in her next audiobook, This Fight Is Our Fight, on sale April 2017.

Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu, read by the author

Offering new perspective on why the women’s leadership movement has stalled, and packed with actionable advice, Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball audiobook urges women to embrace imperfection, to expect less of themselves and more from others—only then can they focus on what they truly care about, devote the necessary energy to achieving their real goals, and create the type of rich, rewarding life we all desire.

The Champion Mindset by Joanna Zeiger, read by the author

Joanna Zeiger is an Olympian, World Champion, and—to top it all off—a Ph.D. The Champion Mindset is a compendium of her own personal journey from struggling novice swimmer to champion. Through steps including proper goal setting, keeping it fun, building your team, intention in training, improving motivation, promoting self-confidence, and mind/body cohesion, among others, Zeiger uses her decades of personal experience, doctoral-level research, and professional success to prepare listeners to go all-in with their mental game.

Fiction for International Women’s Day

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, read by Robin Miles

Nnedi Okorafor is a professor and World Fantasy/Hugo/Nebula Award-winning author of sci-fi and magical futurism. In her 2015 novel Binti, Nnedi takes listeners on an adventure to the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But knowledge comes at a cost, and our heroine Binti’s journey is far from easy.

Infomocracy by Malka Older, read by Christine Marshall

Malka Older is another author with an impressive resume, including humanitarian work and Ph.D candidacy at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations studying governance and disasters. In her debut sci-fi political thriller, Infomocracy, Older introduces a world in which a powerful search engine monopoly has pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy and asks the question: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time when so many have so much to gain?

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, read by Xe Sands

Inspired by the real life and work of poet/ad woman Margaret Fishback, Kathleen Rooney’s debut novel takes listeners on a walk down memory lane through the mean streets of 1980s NYC. Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic, the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber, read by Rebecca Soler

Stephanie Garber’s breakout YA debut Caraval is a sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during the fabled Caraval is only an elaborate performance, but she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game… And whether it’s real or not, she must find her sister before the game is over or her sister disappears forever.

Our #Audies2017 Finalists!

In case you missed it: the Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for the 22nd annual Audie Awards on February 8! This year’s winners will be revealed at the Audie Awards Gala on June 1 in New York City. Macmillan Audio is proud to have 10 finalists in the 26 award categories. Are any of your favorites on the list? Keep scrolling to listen to excerpts from each of our nominees, and see the full list of finalists at Congratulations and good luck to all of the nominees!

Business/Personal Development:
The Storyteller’s Secret written/read by Carmine Gallo

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, read by Michael Kramer

I’m Judging You written/read by Luvvie Ajayi

Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction
The Christmas Town written/read by Donna VanLiere

Multi-Voiced Performance
A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham, read by Lili Taylor and Billy Hough

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, read by Robert Bathurst

Adnan’s Story written/read by Rabia Chaudry

Dirty by Kylie Scott, read by Andi Arndt

Young Adult
Winter by Marissa Meyer, read by Rebecca Soler

How a House Built a Family

In her new audiobook Rise, author Cara Brookins shares the unbelievable true story of how she and her four children rallied together after escaping an abusive marriage to build their dream home armed with nothing more than a small bank loan, YouTube tutorials, and the stubborn will to succeed.

It was undoubtedly the hardest thing she had ever done. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls, and laid bricks for their two-story, five-bedroom house. Cara had convinced herself that if they could build a house, they could rebuild their broken family.

A must-listen memoir, Rise traces one family’s ascent from victims to stronger, better versions of themselves, all through the ultimate do-it-yourself project. Listen to an excerpt of the author-read audiobook:

Sound Clip Saturday: The Cruelty

In The Cruelty 17-year-old Gwendolyn Bloom is fighting to find her father and keep herself from becoming a casualty along the way. When her father suddenly goes missing, Gwendolyn learns he really worked for the CIA—not the State Department as she has always been told. Gwendolyn soon realizes nobody wants to get her father back after he disappears, and the only way she’ll get him back is by finding him herself.

Pushed into a race against time to find her father’s captors before they realize she is looking for him, Gwendolyn leaves New York to search the hidden corners of Europe for the last place he was. This unlikely heroine’s fight to save her father is real, gritty, and violent; the book paints a world where allies die, friends betray, and loved ones aren’t always who you think they are.

Already heralded as one of the best YA novels of 2017, this debut by Scott Bergstrom smashes expectations about what is and is not possible, and will grip listeners as they try to figure out what comes next. Real, suspenseful, and hard to put down, this audiobook is a must-listen for fans of Taken, The Girl on the Train, and The Bourne Identity.

Therese Plummer gives voice to this thrilling listen, which has already been optioned for film by Jerry Bruckheimer. Listen to an excerpt here:

The Wonderful World of Potty-Mouthed Hollywood

Talk show host, internet entrepreneur, and original YouTube sensation Carrie Keagan has been called everything from vulgar and crass, to sophomoric, offensive and dirty… and that was just one article! With her new audiobook Everybody Curses, I Swear, Keagan brings all of this depravity (and more) to give listeners a backstage pass to hear the juiciest stories from her unrated interviews with Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Following her journey from being a bullied kid in Buffalo to the career that earned her the nickname “Barbara Walters on Acid,” this audiobook covers all the crazy stories Carrie has to tell. The best part? The audiobook features original audio from hundreds of celebrity interviews—that means you’ll hear the voices of stars like Robins Williams, George Clooney, Emma Stone, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt and SO. MANY. MORE.

Get a taste of the potty-mouthed program with this behind-the-scenes video of Carrie Keagan in the studio (some NSFW language—don’t say we didn’t warn you).

Listen to a bonus excerpt featuring the voices of Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and yes we are just name dropping at this point, but there’s Kaley Cuoco and Gillian Anderson, too!

Tackle Your Reading Resolutions with Audiobooks

We’re two weeks into 2017, and resolution season is in full swing! If you’re anything like us, at least one of your resolutions has something to do with reading. Whether you’re simply looking to read more books or have loftier goals for your TBR, plugging into an audiobook can be the perfect way to tackle your resolutions. To help you get started, we gathered up our goals along with audiobook recommendations for both listening pros and those who might be new to the format alike.

Matt: Read more books from diverse authors.

Listening recommendations: Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop and Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You. Dyson and Ajayi serve up necessary wisdoms in their own voices with heart, wit, and, in Ajayi’s case, a healthy dose of humor.

Emily: Learn a new skill.

Listening recommendations: Cara Brookins’ Rise and Dominique Loreau’s L’art de la Simplicité. Available for the first time in English, L’art de la Simplicité offers a step-by-step guide to a clutter-free home, a calmer mind, and an energized body. For the DIY-ers out there, Rise is the amazing true story of how author Cara Brookins and her family rallied after Brookins escaped an abusive marriage to build a home using YouTube videos, a small bank loan, and the stubborn desire to make it on their own.

Alex: Listen to more literary fiction.

Listening recommendations: Paul Auster’s 4 3 2 1 and M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains.

Sam: Use audiobooks as a gym motivator.

Listening recommendations: Joanna Zeiger’s The Champion Mindset and Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is. Getting to the gym can be a painful process (both before and after you go), but Olympic athlete and accomplished researcher Joanna Zeiger’s The Champion Mindset offers listeners a look into how they can program their minds to achieve optimal success. Whether training for your first 5K or for an Ironman, Zeiger’s advice can help up your mental game to make getting to the gym a piece of cake. If non fiction isn’t your ideal motivator, try some compelling fiction like Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is. Frankel’s story of a family

Danielle: Read more nonfiction.

Listening recommendations: Thomas L. Friedman’s Thank You for Being Late and Erik Weihenmayer’s No Barriers. Friedman offers a field manual for our current age of accelerations in Thank You for Being Late, while Weihenmayer—the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest—shares his journey to solo kayaking the whitewater of the Grand Canyon’s river. Yes, you read that correctly—solo, as in ALONE. Pretty amazing.

What to Listen to After Finishing HBO’s Westworld

Alex shares an audiobook recommendation for fans of the hit HBO series, Westworld: Alexander Weinstein’s Children of the New World.

If you’re like me and you just finished the first season of Westworld, you have been having a lot of feelings over the past few weeks. If you haven’t watched, you should. Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton and others star in this dystopian show on HBO cataloging the events of a not-so-typical amusement park.

I’ll paint you a picture with my three moments of strongest emotion throughout the ten episodes:

First episode: “Wow, what an interesting concept. So glad I started watching. Can’t wait to see where they’ll take this.”

By episode six: “I’m still enjoying this and I see where their going with the show now, but it’s gotten a bit wonky. I hope I’m still enjoying by the end”

Last episode: [INSERT EXPLETIVES HERE] “I was so naive to think that I understood.”

That’s what it’s like listening to each of the stories in Alexander Weinstein’s collection, Children of the New World. 

Children of the New World introduces listeners to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarmingly intuitive robots. Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance. Others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster, which they must work to rebuild as we once did millennia ago.

Two stories in particular that share some of Westworld’s themes of escapism and mysteries of artificial intelligence are “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” and “Moksha.” “Saying Goodbye to Yang” is a story about a man whose family’s AI companion malfunctions. And “Moksha” follows a college student still living at home who would go anywhere, pay anything, to find a little enlightenment. The audiobook is read by David Aaron Baker, who expertly adjusts as each new story begins to match the voice of the new characters’ perspectives. And his nonchalant delivery—his “everything is normal because this is life” delivery—is perfect to make this collection even more eery than it already is. Get ready to listen, hole yourself up in your bedroom under the covers, and not touch your cell phone for two hours (until you are desperate for some SM).

Listen to an excerpt of the audiobook read by David Aaron Baker here: