Sync 2014 Preview – Free audiobooks this summer!

Jan 27, 2014 by


Did you see the preview of titles for Sync 2014 are out? The full list will be here in February. They are ALL FREE, people. Go to the Audiobook SYNC website for more information. If you don’t want to keep checking back in at their website , you can also sign up for Text  or Email Alerts,  or follow them on Facebook.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes II by Arthur Conan Doyle (Naxos AudioBooks)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Tantor Audio)

The Case of The Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (Recorded Books)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Bolinda Audio)

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Harper Audio)

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy (Scholastic Audio)

Eye to Eye by Catherine Jinks (Bolinda Audio)

Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover (Oasis Audio)

Headstrong by Patrick Link (L.A. Theatre Works)

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill (christianaudio)

I’d Tell You that I Love You, but then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Brilliance Audio)

Living a Life that Matters by Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publications)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (L.A. Theatre Works)

Oedipus The King by Sophocles (Naxos AudioBooks)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson (Brilliance Audio)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (Recorded Books)

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick (HighBridge Audio)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Tantor Audio)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Listening Library)

Torn from Troy by Patrick Bowman (Post Hypnotic Press)

WARP: The Reluctant Assassin  by Eoin Colfer (Listening Library)


FREE Audiobooks June 21-27: Irises and Sense & Sensibility

Jun 22, 2012 by

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

The free audiobooks for the week of June 21 – June 27, 2012:

Irises By Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie, Published by Listening Library

Two sisters discover what’s truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. — if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate’s boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own.

ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it’s Mama’s life that might divide them for good — the question of *if* she lives, and what’s worth living for.

See, Random House Audio and Listening Library got it right! They have clips of audiobooks that you can listen to on their site. Not only that, you can share and embed the clips! Nice!I wish other publishers did the same. :) Carrington MacDuffie (reader) has narrated a ton of books! Seriously, there are nine pages worth of books in her bio. Sadly, I haven’t listened to any of them – but did read some of them! As for the author, Fransicso X. Stork, I have listened to Marcelo in the Real World. That one was read by Licoln Hoppe and I LOVE his voice. I didn’t at first, but when I was thinking about it days later, I knew I was hooked.

Sense and Sensibility By Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon, Published by Tantor Media

Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness—as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

Review Excerpts

“McCaddon’s characterizations are as lively as they are exact…her reading beautifully captures Austen’s vivid creations.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Tantor does have an audio clip available on their site, so you can check it out there (it’s good!). I was unable to embed it without downloading more plugins, so sorry about not having it available here. Actually, I did get one way to work but it kept automatically starting and I *hate* when that happens! I tried a few other sites but couldn’t figure out how to embed them, and after a while it became quite frustrating. So I give up.

Enjoy the books this week! I’ll be back next week with week 3′s list!

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FREE Audiobooks June 14-20: The Eleventh Plague & The Grapes of Wrath

Jun 14, 2012 by

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

The free audiobooks for the week of June 14 – June 20, 2012:

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (He narrated Where She Went by Gayle Foreman and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, and many more!) (Scholastic Audiobooks)

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.
In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are.

I am bummed because I was unable to find an audiobook clip on the publishers site. I was hoping to get a clip and embed it so that you could at least hear what the book sounded like. Since I can’t find one, I have linked to Audible, as they have a clip on their site. If you like the book DON’T get it them! Remember, it’s free at the Audiobook Sync site!!   I am totally thankful that Scholastic is participating in the most awesome giveaway this side of 2012!  I just wish audiobooks got more respect! (that’s a GENERAL comment, towards everyone – because I think audiobooks are amazing! I just might be addicted to them.Embarassed)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan (YES! Michael Weston from Burn Notice! See him in that picture over there on the left?), and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies”, they sought jobs, land, dignity and a future. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: “I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects].” The book won Steinbeck a large following among the working class, perhaps due to the book’s sympathy to the workers’ movement and its accessible prose style.

I was able to find a pretty cool clip on Youtube for the audiobook for The Grapes of Wrath! Isn’t that neat? I wish more audiobooks made clips available. This is a good way to get summer reading done if it’s required for school. I really enjoy full cast audiobooks, even though I know there are some people that don’t. Let me know what you think of how L.A. Theatre Works does with The Grapes of Wrath. It was performed in front of a live audience (because dead ones would totally suck! Sorry, couldn’t resist a lame joke). I haven’t listened yet since I’m waiting for my new Sansa (mp3 player) since my old one met with a slow, horrible, and untimely death. It will be missed sorely. I have not yet decided what to do with the body. (If you’re curious, it went for a swim. It played for about 5 more minutes, went wonky, turned off and never came back on.)


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Audiosync: Free YA Audiobooks (good ones) All Summer!

Jun 14, 2012 by

Well, it’s that time of the year again! Every year (since I don’t know when) Audiobook Sync is giving away two audiobooks every week during the summer. FREE. As in, they are yours – not rentals. As per usual, they have some really awesome titles! If you don’t like audiobooks after this summer, then I am sorry to say that there is NO hope for you! Cry You will get one bestseller and one classic title. They are usually related. If you’re still in school and need to get some summer reading done, what better way to do it? Make sure you download them (fully) the week they are available. After that week you won’t be able to download them any more.

Yes, as you can see this started earlier today and I am just now posting this. I actually meant to post this at the beginning of the week, but somehow it ended up being a very busy week at my house! By the way, I now clearly see why people would pay someone to move and set up a swing set. It makes perfect sense!

Enjoy your free audiobooks! Oh, you have to have Overdrive (free) software to download them. Let me know if you have any questions. This will be my third year using Audiobook Sync and I wish I had known about them sooner! (I used some colors in this post to make it visually appealing but I can’t figure out why they aren’t showing up!)

SYNC Titles Summer 2012

June 14 – June 20, 2012

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 21 – June 27, 2012
by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

June 28 – July 4, 2012
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)

July 5 – July 11, 2012
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)

July 12 – July 18, 2012
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)

July 19 – July 25, 2012
Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

July 26 – August 1, 2012
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
TBA (Brilliance Audio)

August 2 – August 8, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)

August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)

August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)


MERGE Blog Tour: Guest Post by MCM! (You can win!)

May 30, 2012 by

Hello out there! Today I’m super excited to be a part of the MERGE Blog Tour! See my sidebar over there? I even added a banner (and if you’ve been here before you know that I almost never update my sidebar!). MERGE is a 13 part paranormal thriller series put out by the folks over at 1889 labs. And by ’13 part’, I mean 13 stories – not 13 different books, and they are all stand alone!

Set in a world still reeling from the discovery of transhumans, MERGE charts the loves, the betrayals, and the struggle for survival as transhumans are rounded up and sent to live in ghettos. Tensions are high, riots are brewing. The human race is about to come undone.

The stories written by 4 different authors, AM Harte (you might remember A.M. Harte from my review of Hungry for You), Kit Iwasaki, MCM, and Yvonne Reid. The blog tour will last 4 weeks. Every week, four stories will be published.

For my part of the tour I’ll be featuring a guest post by MCM, whose short story, Everything Must Go (Teaser: The first sentence is a doozie! (I’ve always wanted to say that!)), is being released this week as part of the series.

How To Accidentally Create A Series
by MCM

I’ll tell you a secret: I wanted to write a silly scene about a bureaucrat in a vat of ooze, and it somehow turned into a four-author series with intricate plotting.

What went wrong? Atmosphere, that’s what.

This was my thought process: Bureaucrat, vat of ooze, silly. Easy enough, but why would a bureaucrat be in a vat of ooze in the first place? Backstory is required, or at least set-up! There’s got to be more to the story… a novel, perhaps!

And that’s when the smarter half of my brain smacked the other half in the proverbial face, because as everyone knows, one does not write novels about bureaucrats or ooze, because novels are not meant to be boring. Unless you’re trying to win an award.

“Fine, then,” I said to myself, “I will make it a short story. Everyone loves short stories.”

But try as I might, I was unable to think of a good wrapper for the notion of a bureaucrat in ooze. At least not one that fit into a small package. The mechanics of ooze generally lend themselves to epic storytelling, and while one can sometimes squeeze epic-ness into 3,000 words, it’s usually not the best idea. And so I did what all good writers do in time of need… I wrote to Kit Iwasaki to see if I could trick her into giving me the answer.

I gave Kit the scoop on my story: “All I can tell you is that it’s about a bureaucrat, and he’s in a vat of ooze. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks, right? ;)”

Her answer was not what I was expecting. Instead of telling me how to fix my story, she came up with this idea about a society in the throes of genetic transformation, about the ways the transformation changes the way we interact with each other, the way we govern ourselves, the way—

“Yes, yes, yes,” said I. “But about the ooze…”

But sadly Kit, who was working towards a deadline six months passed, was too far gone to be reached again. She was excited to be collaborating, and couldn’t wait to explore the world further. Evidently, I needed to fix this new problem before my ooze went dry.

My next thought was to contact Yvonne Reid, who is writing a cool new series called Ascension for us this summer. I briefly outlined my bit to her, along with the important fragments of Kit’s blah-blah-blah scenario, and ended with: “… but I’m really concerned
about the way Kit is treating the bridge between this genetic transformation and the vat of ooze…”

Yvonne sprang into action, crafting a though-provoking outline about a bounty hunter charged with tracking down the genetic aberrations — transhumans — and bringing them to a government-sanctioned ghetto. Things are complicated by the appearance of—

“Back up, we’re focusing on the bureaucrats,” I said, but she wasn’t listening anymore. In her mind, this was now an epic novel with three authors, all intertwined and quite frankly, involving far less ooze than I was hoping for. Something had to be done.

I wrote an email to AM Harte, the Editor-in-Chief of 1889 Labs, and I did what any self-respecting publisher would do…

“Kit and Yvonne have this crazy idea to write a novel with a bunch of authors about transhumans and how genetic changes impact society and crap like that. I need your help.”

“I see the problem,” she said.

“I know, right?”

“It should be a series, not a novel.”

“Hold on…”

And before I knew it, we had this big project planned, tying together all this stuff, with absolutely no regard for bureaucrats or ooze or vats or anything. I was depressed beyond words, even if the component parts of the series are actually kinda cool.

In the end, I wrote my story, “Everything Must Go”, about a bureaucrat sent in to stop people with silly ideas from ruining a perfectly good time. And the ooze, it flows.

Mission accomplished.


MCM is the creator of the animated series RollBots. He also writes books, such as The
Vector, The Pig and the Box, and Typhoon. When not doing such things, he is coding sites
like this one. He is also insane. For more information, visit


(1) One lucky reader will win an iPad.
(2) Second place will win e-copies of all 13 stories, plus a $10 iTunes or Amazon voucher.
(3) Third place will receive a $10 iTunes/Amazon voucher, plus e-copies of one of the 4 authors’ MERGE stories (their choice).

Here’s how you can win:

- any comments (on any blog tour post) will counts as an entry to the grand prize (including an iPad!)
- tweets with #merge1889 count as entries too
- Facebook Merge mentions tagging 1889 Labs fb page count
- and subscribing to our newsletter on is worth FIVE entries

Winners will be announced at the end of the tour (straight after June 18).

PS. Didn’t you just love my gratuitous overuse of parenthesis. Yes, I talk like that in real life!

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