January Whispersync Deal roundup: Frontera, The Thirteenth Step, Bitterwood, Katia Fox, The Lives of Tao, Embedded, and much, much more

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January Whispersync Deal roundup: Frontera, The Thirteenth Step, Bitterwood, Katia Fox, The Lives of Tao, Embedded, and much, much more

Posted on 2015-01-22 at 22:4 by Sam

With less than 10 days left in the month, perhaps it’s time to finally get the January Whispersync Deal roundup out into the world. [UPDATE: Since this post has drawn some new readers who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]

First, a handful of currently running Kindle Countdown Deals that will bump back up in price soon:


The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery by Michele W. Miller, read by Gabrielle de Cuir for $0.99+$1.99 — Zombies are not typically my bag, yet somehow I’ve read or otherwise heard or gotten to a lot. I wasn’t expecting too much from a self-published book, but de Cuir as narrator piqued my interest enough to check it out and I ended up enjoying this quite a lot. While there are some “staples to the point of trope” of the genre here (motley cast of characters assemble! bring in zombies! scare and run! sometimes we lose somebody! oh by the way some other human survivor’s are either going psycho, or trying to reinstate the 50s!) there’s also some really unique wrinkles, the main one being that for some reason, alcoholics and others with an addiction gene have some level of resistance to being detected by the zombies. There’s also the “THANK GOD SOMEBODY FINALLY” character who has actually read Max Brooks, and we get the fun of comparing notes a bit between fiction and (this fictional) reality. Also, on that “motley crew” this one has a lot going for it. It’s diverse in age, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, disposition, goals. And de Cuir brings it all to life, with some additional nice production touches such as radio static effects, that really take this audiobook up a couple notches. Even if you’re reading this after the countdown deal has expired, it’s still quite a bargain at $3.99+$2.99.  It’s a refreshingly original wrinkle in the zombie apocalypse subgenre — who knew that Alcoholics Anonymous would be ready for this?

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman, read by Mikael Naramore for $0.99+$1.99 — “The year is AE3, three years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment - to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond. But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. 17-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing - not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science - is going to stop him. Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…” And, again, if you’re reading this after the countdown deal has expired, it’s still an inexpensive pickup at $4.99+$1.99.


Outlaw (Rebel Stars Book 1) by Edward W. Robertson, read by Ray Chase for $0.99+$1.99 — “In the year 2010, an alien virus nearly wiped out the human race. A thousand years later, mankind has recovered and ventured into space. There has been no sign of the aliens since. Humanity remains confined to the Solar System. All that is about to change. Mazzy Webber is a lowly janitor on a third-rate cargo ship. Deeply in debt, when his captain decides to turn pirate, he leaps at the chance. A modern Robin Hood - minus the part where he gives back to the poor - Webber lays down a few ground rules. No attacking manned ships, and no stealing from anyone who can’t afford it. Within months, he and the crew are out of debt. Their next target will make them rich. But the attack goes all wrong. The target’s cargo could be the death of them - or it could be the key to reaching the stars.”

Dead of Night (Ghosts & Magic #1) by M.R. Forbes, read by Jeff Hays for $$0.99+$1.99 — “Small-time thief and hitman Conor Night thinks having terminal cancer is his worst problem. The illegal treatments keeping him alive are expensive, and the side effects a mixed bag: Conor can raise the dead. When a low-end hit points to a high-end job, Conor is suspicious, but it’s an opportunity he can’t afford to ignore. Armed with a set of soul-sucking ancient dice, a collection of corpses, and the estranged daughter of one of the most powerful wizards on Earth, it will take all of his wit, charm, and magic to navigate the treacherous world of the dominant Houses and either finish the job, or be finished himself. He’s got 99 problems, and dying is only one.”

Second, six titles from the “Free on Kindle” listings, which have undefined expirations:


After The Ending (The Ending Series, #1) by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue, read by Natalie Duke for $0+$1.99 — “The best-selling first audiobook in the emotionally charged post-apocalyptic romance series, The Ending Series. The virus spread. Billions died. The ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the virus changed us. When people started getting sick, they thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family …they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them - with the rest of the world - but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived the ending.”

End (The Dying of the Light Book 1) by Jason Kristopher, read by Chris Andrew Ciulla for $0+$1.99 — “‘I didn’t see Rebecca die the second time.’ The United States military hides a secret: the completely real existence of one-bite-and-you’re-dead zombies. An elite Special Forces unit has known they exist for over a hundred years, and has been quietly and expertly keeping the monsters at bay… until now. The sole survivor of the massacre at Fall Creek joins this elite unit to combat the single greatest threat our world has ever known. Even as victories over the walkers mount, true evil still lurks in the hearts of men, and at the last, only a brave few may survive.”


Windigo Soul by Robert Brumm, read by Jeff Bower for $0+$1.99 — “It’s Hank Reed’s birthday. As a citizen of the United Federation of Nations that means a mandatory death sentence simply because he turned sixty years old. Referred to as “retirement,” it’s one of the desperate steps the government has taken to curb overpopulation. Retirement is a widely accepted fact of life on a dying planet ruled by a tyrannical government. Hank’s execution goes ahead as planned but state sponsored euthanasia isn’t what it seems. The Reed family learns what really happens to retirees when secrets the UFN keep from the public start to unravel.”

Bitterwood (Dragon Age series Book 1) by James Maxey, read by Dave Thompson for $0+$1.99 — So, yeah. This is my co-Audiobookaneer Dave reading another friend’s book. $2. It’s a really good book; unfortunately the recording is a little scratchy. Still it’s a fantastic take on a future Earth, ruled by genetically engineered intelligent dragons who treat humans as slaves, pets, and food, with a brilliant cast of characters — both human and dragon — ranging from the iconic dragonhunter Bitterwood, to the roving religious fanatic, to sympathetic, heroic, and villanous dragons, and plenty in between. Check it out. Then come back here and comment begging Dave to record the rest of the series.


Dark Space by Jasper T. Scott, read by William Dufris for $0+$1.99 — “Humanity is defeated. Ten years ago the Sythians invaded the galaxy with one goal: to wipe out the human race. They are hiding. Now the survivors are hiding in the last human sector of the galaxy: Dark Space—once a place of exile for criminals, now the last refuge of mankind. They are isolated. The once galaxy-spanning Imperium of Star Systems is left guarding the gate which is the only way in or out of Dark Space—but not everyone is satisfied with their governance.”

Forbidden The Stars (The Interstellar Age Book 1) by Valmore Daniels, read by Dave Wright for $0+$1.99 — “At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead. There is no trace of their young son, Alex Manez, or of the asteroid itself. On the outer edge of the solar system, the first manned mission to Pluto, led by the youngest female astronaut in NASA history, has led to an historic discovery: there is a marker left there by an alien race for humankind to find. We are not alone! While studying the alien marker, it begins to react and, four hours later, the missing asteroid appears in a Plutonian orbit, along with young Alex Manez, who has developed some alarming side-effects from his exposure to the kinetic element they call Kinemet. From the depths of a criminal empire based on Luna, an expatriate seizes the opportunity to wrest control of outer space, and takes swift action. The secret to faster-than-light speed is up for grabs, and the race for interstellar space begins!”

Third, a scouring through the Kindle Book Sale listings (full Whispersync listings), which expire January 25:


The Lore of the Evermen (The Evermen Saga Book 4) by James Maxwell, read by Simon Vance for $1.99+$1.99 — “The Lord of the Night is coming. The future of civilization is at stake. Miro, high lord of Altura, is in the Imperial capital to prepare the Empire for the onslaught. He knows his homeland lies directly in the enemy’s path but struggles to form the alliances he needs. As the high lords bicker, Ella seeks the help of the newly crowned emperor, Killian. But, amid the growing tensions, their responsibilities drive them apart and, as emperor, Killian can’t be seen to favor Ella’s homeland. Against a backdrop of old hurts, guilty secrets, and shaky new allegiances, people of all nations and abilities must learn to trust one another again, and form a united front against a powerful enemy intent on destroying them once and for all.”

Into the BlackThe Heart of MatterHomeworld, and Out of the Black by Evan Currie, read by Benjamin L. Darcie and David deVries for $1.99+$1.99 each — The complete Odyssey One series: “Beyond the confines of our small world, far from the glow of our star, lies a galaxy and universe much larger and more varied than anyone on Earth can possibly imagine. For the new NAC spacecraftOdyssey and her crew, the unimaginable facets of this untouched world are about to become reality. The Odyssey’s maiden voyage is an epic adventure destined to make history. Captain Eric Weston and his crew, pushing past the boundaries of security, encounter horrors, wonders, monsters, and people, all of which will test their resolve, challenge their abilities, and put in sharp relief what is necessary to be a hero.”

Alien Honor (A Fenris Novel Book 1) and Alien Shores (A Fenris Novel Book 2) by Vaughn Heppner, read by Jeff Cummings for $1.99+$1.99 each — “2457 AD. Premier Lang is a dictator ruling a solar system in crisis. The human race is still haunted by the Doom Star days, and millions dwell in slums below Earth’s surface. The pristine star system of New Eden is a beacon of hope —but it is 230 light years away. Getting there will be a challenge unlike any ever attempted by mankind. Only with the help of “Specials,” human telepaths who can create rips in space, will the ship stand a chance of traveling the vast distance. But when one telepath makes a disastrous deal with an alien enemy, the entire mission takes a deadly turn. Can a fledgling Special with steely street smarts save humanity as the dwindling crew makes the final, frightening leap toward New Eden?”


The Dragon Business by Kevin J. Anderson, read by James Langton for $1.99+$1.99 — “King Cullin may be known as “the Dragon Slayer”, but he fears his son’s legacy will be as “King Maurice Who Speaks with Proper Grammar”. The boy keeps his nose buried in parchments, starry-eyed at the idea of noble knights and eager to hand royal gold to any con man hawking a unicorn horn. Tonight, though, Cullin will educate the prince in the truth behind minstrels’ silly songs of glory… Long ago, in a kingdom, well, not that far from here really, young Cullin traveled the countryside as squire to brave Sir Dalbry, along with Dalbry’s trusted sidekick Reeger, selling dragon-protection services to every kingdom with a coffer. There were no dragons, of course, but with a collection of severed alligator heads and a willingness to play dirty, the trio of con men was crushing the competition. Then along came Princess Affonyl. Tomboyish and with a head for alchemy, Affonyl faked a dragon of her own, escaped her arranged marriage, and threw in with Cullin and company. But with her father sending a crew of do-gooder knights to find her, the dragon business just got cutthroat.”

Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles, Book 1)Born of Hatred (The Hellequin Chronicles, Book 2), and With Silent Screams (The Hellequin Chronicles Book 3) by Steve McHugh, read by James Langton for $1.99+$1.99 each — A dark urban fantasy trilogy: “Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past—a gun, a sword, and a piece of paper with his name on it the only clues to his identity. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his magical abilities to become a successful thief for hire. But those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet: when they cause a job to go bad and threaten a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. With his enemies closing in and everyone he cares about now a target for their wrath, he must choose between the comfortable life he’s built for himself and his elusive past. As the barrier holding his memories captive begins to crumble, Nate moves between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France, forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember.”

Pirates of the Outrigger Rift by Gary Jonas and Bill D. Allen, read by Kate Rudd for $1.99+$1.99 — “When the security director of the powerful corporation Nebulaco dies under mysterious circumstances, courier Sai Collins has one last top-secret delivery to make for him. But she has a secret of her own; she’s a computer telepath who can connect to the grid without hardware. It’s a talent she needs when she arrives at the drop point to make the delivery and is ambushed by heavily armed goons, barely escaping with her life. Now, caught in the crosshairs of feuding lords, unrelenting security forces, and dangerous outlaws, she’ll need some help to make it out alive. Enter a pair of unlikely allies also caught in the mix: charming, down-on-his-luck pilot Hank Jensen and jaded PI Mike Chandler. Their mission: take down the ruthless pirate who is bringing the galaxy to its knees with his bloody hijackings of corporate trade routes.”


The Copper Sign by Katia Fox, translated by Lee Chadeayne, read by Justine Eyre for $1.99+$1.99 — “England 1161: Ellen, a blacksmith’s daughter, wants to become a swordsmith, but for a girl this male profession is unimaginable. Forced to run away from home, she disguises herself as a boy and has the opportunity to accompany a famous swordsmith to Normandy, where the sons of the greatest barons are trained to be knights. Under the assumed identity of Alan she learns the trade and becomes familiar with court life. When she falls in love with Guillaume, a young noble man, she can’t divulge her secret for fear it will endanger her dream of fame and recognition. Across countries and time, Ellen struggles to achieve her dream and find her place, always in fear that Thibault, an evil knight who tracks her every move, waits around the corner. Full of tension, intrigue, and treachery, The Copper Sign is a passionate tour de force that will leave you breathlessly awaiting book two.”

The Silver Falcon by Katia Fox, translated by Aubrey Bostford, read by James Clamp for $4.99+$1.99 — Not included in the full sale, but still an inexpensive link between The Copper Sign and The Golden Throne in this German historical fiction series of knights and castles: “Despite his mother’s insistence, young William knows he is destined not to toil with a swordsmith’s hammer in his hand, but rather to stride the open country with a falcon on his fist. And when he rescues a magnificent bird of prey belonging to King Henry himself, the boy finds in His Majesty’s favor a golden opportunity. Neither the stigma of a clubfoot nor the powerful influence of prophecy will keep him from fleeing the smoky smithy to run the open fields… in the shadow of the sky’s winged masters. But his journey will be a tumultuous one, marked in equal measure by triumph and torment. He will meet a lifelong friend and make a deadly enemy, be hunted through the wilderness and go hungry on city streets. And as he travels from the huts of the lowly to the castles of the highborn, growing from callow youth to experience-scarred manhood, he will fight - with honor for what is right and with fury against wrongs no man should suffer.”

The Golden Throne by Katia Fox, translated by Aubrey Botsford, read by James Langton for $1.99+$1.99 — “With captivating detail and uncanny insight, Katia Fox transports us to the dazzlingly lavish royal courts of twelfth century England, where the kingdom’s destiny lies in the hands of an extraordinary knight. Young Guillaume, fourth son of a minor baron, has passionate but unlikely dreams of becoming one of the king’s knights. But when he rescues the queen from a rebel attack, she gratefully appoints him to be the sword-fighting instructor to the prince, securing his place at court. Soon, Guillaume becomes one of the most influential men in England—but as his star rises, so does the number of enemies who seek his downfall. Before long, a sinister plot is hatched to destroy him…Guillaume must outsmart his aggressors, or risk losing everything. The Golden Throne is the magnificent conclusion to Katia Fox’s family trilogy set against the richly textured historical tapestry of the High Middle Ages.”


The Sentinel and The Raven (A Jane Harper Horror Novel) by Jeremy Bishop, read by Emily Beresford for $1.99+$1.99 each — Undead Vikings vs. environmental activists vs. whale hunters: “An angry clash between professional whale hunters and the environmental activists out to stop them takes a deadly turn when sabotage sends both vessels to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Stranded in the aftermath on a desolate island off the coast of Greenland, survivors from both sides reluctantly join forces to stay alive in the frigid wasteland. But they swiftly discover that those who perished in the unforgiving sea were the lucky ones… Jane Harper, an undercover government agent who’s quick with her wits and fists, knows punishing cold and dwindling supplies are to be feared. But in the ruins of an ancient Nordic outpost, a centuries-old message warns of a threat far worse: the Draugar—the dreaded “again walkers” of Viking lore, the terrifying living dead that spawned the legends of vampires and zombies. Now, roused from their cursed slumber, these gruesome Viking warriors and their monstrous queen are hungry for living flesh—and eager to spread a ghoulish contagion from their long-buried prison across the globe.”

Fiction: DeadfolkBooze and BurnKing of the Road, and One Dead Hen (The Mangel Series) by Charlie Williams, read by James Clamp for $1.99+$1.99 each — “Royston Blake is head doorman at Hoppers Wine Bar & Bistro in the backwater English town of Mangel. He drives a Ford Capri 2.8i and can walk the streets of his town knowing he’s respected by one and all—until a rumour begins to circulate that Blake’s “lost his bottle.” Even his sharp-tongued girl, Sal, has overheard the talk that the formerly fearsome bloke has gone soft, lost his edge, and become a pushover in a town where he can ill afford it. To make matters worse, the violent Munton brothers are after him, and the thought of ending up in the back of their bloody Meat Wagon is almost too much to bear. Something’s gotta give, but it sure as hell won’t be Blake. Following advice from his best mate, Legsy, Blake embarks on a plan to re-establish his reputation as a hard man, ensure his appeal to the women of Mangel, and seal his future with the new owner of Hoppers. The logic of the plan is sound: knock around Baz Munton a bit and regain the respect of Mangel’s populace. But sound logic never really took off in Mangel, and Blake finds he’s got his work cut out for him. This brutal black comedy introduces a wholly original voice to the ranks of contemporary literature’s most memorable protagonists.”

Fiction: Adé: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker, read by Janina Edwards for $1.99+$1.99 — “In this stunning debut novella, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.”


Memoir: Tune In Tokyo:The Gaijin Diaries by Tim Anderson, read by MacLeod Andrews for $1.99+$1.99 — “Tim Anderson was pushing 30 and working a string of dead-end jobs when he made the spontaneous decision to pack his bags and move to Japan. It was a gutsy move, especially for a tall, white, gay Southerner who didn’t speak a lick of Japanese. But his life desperately needed a shot of adrenaline, and what better way to get one than to leave behind his boyfriend, his cat, and his Siouxsie and the Banshees box set to move to “a tiny, overcrowded island heaving with clever, sensibly proportioned people who make him look fat”? In Tokyo, Tim became a “gaijin”, an outsider whose stumbling progression through Japanese culture is minutely chronicled in these 16 hilarious stories.”

Memoir: To the Moon and Timbuktu: A Trek Through the Heart of Africa by Nina Sovich, read by Amy McFadden for $1.99+$1.99 — “Nina Sovich had always yearned for adventures in faraway places; she imagined herself leading the life of a solitary traveler. Yet at the age of 34, she found herself married and contemplating motherhood. Catching her reflection in a window spotted with Paris rain, she no longer saw the fearless woman who spent her youth traveling in Cairo, Lahore, and the West Bank. Unwittingly, she had followed life’s script, and now she needed to cast it out. Inspired by female explorers like Mary Kingsley, who explored Gabon’s jungle in the 1890s, and Karen Blixen, who ran a farm in Kenya during World War I, Sovich packed her bags and hopped on the next plane to Africa in search of adventure.”

Historical fiction: Certainty by Victor Bevine, read by the author for $1.99+$1.99 — Fantastic narrator Bevine’s debut novel, an historical fiction of WW1: “When you’re fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what’s right? Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI. With America’s entry into World War I, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool. When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back.”

Historical fiction: Voyage of Strangers by Elizabeth Zelvin, read by Nick Podehl for $1.99+$1.99 — “The year is 1493, and young Jewish sailor Diego Mendoza has returned from Columbus’s triumphant first voyage with tales of lush landscapes, rivers running with gold, and welcoming locals. But back home in Spain, Diego finds the Inquisition at its terrifying peak, and he must protect his spirited sister, Rachel, from betrayal and death. Disguising herself as a boy, Rachel sneaks onto Columbus’s second expedition, bound for the new lands they call the Indies. As the Spaniards build their first settlements and search for gold, Diego and Rachel fall in love with the place, people, and customs. Still forced to hide their religious faith and Rachel’s true identity, the brother and sister witness the Spaniards’ devastation of the island in their haste to harvest riches.”


Teen fiction: Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda, read by Luke Daniels for $1.99+$1.99 — “For freshman Xing Xu, life at Slackenkill High School is a daily exercise in futility. As one of only two Asian students at the otherwise all-white school, he exists on the fringes of adolescent society, counting the days until he’s free. Only his best friend, fellow Chinese immigrant Naomi Lee, can comprehend Xing’s loneliness and frustration. When a series of mysterious abductions rattles his adopted home town, Xing’s position on the outskirts of the community puts him at an advantage. Local police are baffled by the crimes, but Xing, so easily ignored by those around him, sees and hears the things others do not. As he moves closer to unveiling the identity of the kidnapper, a surprise revelation from his past presents an opportunity to prove his worth to his classmates - and to the lovely Naomi - once and for all. Ultimately, Xing must choose between living his life in the shadows and revealing his true self to the world, leading to a climax that will resonate long after the chilling conclusion.”

Kids: Secrets of the Magic Ring by Karen McQuestion, read by Nick Podehl for $1.99+$1.99 — “When nine-year-old Paul explores the hole dug for his backyard swimming pool, he discovers a box containing a ring—a ring that turns out to be magical. Moments later, a mysterious boy shows up demanding the ring; luckily, Paul’s trusty dog Clem scares him away. To keep the ring safe, Paul hides it in his pillow case, where, to his horror, it’s discovered by his mother, who loans it to his Aunt Vicky. Things get even stranger when Vicky, a non-swimmer, falls into the now-finished pool and discovers that her greatest secret wish has been granted—she can swim! As the ring gets passed around and wishes are made, a wild series of talents and circumstances threaten to turn their lives upside down…forever. But Jasmine, a fairy of the woods, has an idea, and if everyone cooperates, she just might be able to put an end to the shenanigans and return their lives to normal. Wildly original and full of vibrant, chaotic imagination, Secrets of the Magic Ring is proof of the old adage, ‘Be careful what you wish for.”’

Kids: Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry, read by Todd Haberkorn for $1.99+$1.99 — “Sixth grader Spencer Lemon has a degenerative eye disease—and he’s rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandora’s Book. When Ed, the old guy at the nursing home, hands over the book, he doesn’t get a chance to explain any of the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead people—people who can be brought back to life. Spencer and his autistic best friend, Gregor, soon figure out how to get people out of the book, but not how to get them back in. Then Ed disappears, and a strange man shows up on Spencer’s doorstep—and he seems to know a lot about Spencer and about Pandora’s Book. Is he one of the bad guys? Or is here to help Spencer unravel the secrets of the book? But there are others interested in Pandora’s Book, others who might use its powers to take over the world. And it’s up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Ed’s mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the book—and save the world.”

Kids: The Blood Guard (The Blood Guard series Book 1) by Carter Roy, read by Nick Podehl for $1.99+$1.99 — “When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive.”

Kids short: Zombie Town by R.L. Stine, read by George Kareman and Tara Carrozza for $1.99+$1.99 — 44 minutes, with some nice sound effects: “When my friend Karen took me to a movie called Zombie Town, I expected to be scared. But I never expected this - flesh-eating zombies coming off the screen and chasing us through the theater! And it’s not our popcorn they want to gobble! It’s our brains!We’ve got to get out of this theater and hurry home. The zombies won’t follow us - WILL THEY?”

Fourth, a scouring through the Kindle Big Deal listings (full Whispersync listings), which also expire January 25:


The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, read by Graeme Malcolm for $1.99+$1.99 — Malcolm is a superb narrator and this Kindle edition is usually $8.99: “The Times wrote of John Wyndham’s terrifying post-apocalyptic thriller The Day of the Triffids that it had, ‘All the reality of a vividly realized nightmare.’ It may best serve our purposes to tell what triffids actually are. Triffids are odd, interesting little plants that grow in everyone’s garden. Triffids are no more than mere curiosities until an event occurs that alters human life: what seems to be a spectacular meteor shower, turns into a bizarre, green inferno that blinds everyone and thus renders humankind helpless. What follows is even stranger: spores from the inferno cause the triffids to suddenly take on a life of their own and they become large, crawling vegetation with the ability to uproot itself and roam about the country attacking humans and inflicting pain and agony. William Masen somehow managed to escape being blinded in the inferno (yet he was still hospitalized, eyes bandaged following surgery), and he is now one of the few surviving human beings who can see and who can avoid being attacked by the triffids and who just might be able to save mankind from the terrible chaos as well as possible extinction. The Day of the Triffids is generally held to be Wyndham’s finest novel, and it was his first truly significant work. Wyndham’s writing style has aptly been described as “speculative fiction”. However, the real power of this book lays not in its pure invention but rather in its matter-of-fact depiction of such bizarre phenomena happening so suddenly in the midst of day-to-day life.”

A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock, read by Susan Duerden for $1.99+$1.99 — A really fantastic book and audiobook: “Big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free from addictions. Violent crime is now a rarity. Mayhew McCline, a major corporation that analyzes global trends, has hired a genius: Jayna. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she has the ability to produce accurate predictions that are both good for the world and good for the bottom line. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime. When a string of events contradicts her forecasts - including a multiple homicide on the wrong day - Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs to understand what it means to be “normal,” so she disrupts her strict daily routine and, unknowingly, sets herself on a path that leads to new encounters, new experiences, and - perhaps most dangerous - new emotions.”

Blood’s Pride (The Shattered Kingdoms, Book 1) by Evie Manieri, read by Bianca Amato for $2.99+$4.49 — “Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation. Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?”

Genesis Code: A Thriller of the Near Future by Jamie Metzl, read by Andy Caploe for $1.99+$4.49 — “Blue Magic, the latest designer drug linked to a rash of overdoses, might explain the needle mark on the arm of a young woman found dead in her Kansas City apartment. But when Star reporter Rich Azadian digs deeper, the clues point to a far more explosive story: MaryLee Stock was a special protégée of evangelical megapastor and power broker Cobalt Becker, who is poised to deliver his followers and the presidency to a firebrand right-wing senator in the next election. When Azadian sets out to prove that MaryLee’s death was no accident and she may have been carrying Becker’s genetically enhanced baby, the stakes become life itself. In 2023 America—bankrupt, violently divided by the culture wars, and beholden to archrival China—the rules of the game are complicated. With the danger mounting, the dead bodies of young women piling up, Chinese agents circling, and the US Department of National Competitiveness moving in to quash his investigation, Azadian’s only option is to go rogue, assemble a team of brilliant misfits like himself, and begin the fight of his life to find out who is killing these women and why, and if any others like them may still be alive.”


The First Days (As the World Dies, Book One) by Rhiannon Frater, read by Cassandra Campbell for $2.99+$3.99 — “The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde. Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni’s stepson, Jason, from an infected campground. They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.”

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher, read by Dina Pearlman for $2.99+$3.49 — “Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world—a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she’d struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet. Reincarnated as a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy—creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone—oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love—Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence. But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man that she loves.”

The Sands of Mars (Space Trilogy Book 2) by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Traber Burns for $1.99+$1.99 — “In Clarke’s first published full-length science fiction novel, renowned science fiction writer Martin Gibson joins the spaceship Ares, the world’s first interplanetary ship for passenger travel, on its maiden voyage to Mars. His mission: to report back to the home planet about the new Mars colony and the progress it has been making. First published in 1951, before the achievement of space flight, Clarke addresses hard physical and scientific issues with aplomb-and the best scientific understanding of the times. Included are the challenges of differing air pressures, lack of oxygen, food provisions, severe weather patterns, construction on Mars, and methods of local travel-both on the surface and to the planet’s two moons.”


Area 51 (Area 51 series, Book 1), The Reply (Area 51 series, Book 2), The Mission (Area 51 series, Book 3)The Sphinx (Area 51 series, Book 4)The Grail (Area 51 series, Book 5)Excalibur (Area 51 series, Book 6)The Truth (Area 51 series, Book 7), Nosferatu (Area 51 series, Book 8), and Legend (Area 51 series, Book 9) by Bob Mayer, writing asRobert Doherty, read by Jeffrey Kafer for $1.99+$1.99 or $1.99+$2.99 each — “Since before the dawning of modern man, an alien mothership and nine abandoned flying saucers have been hidden away in Area 51, a top-secret military base in the Nevada desert. There, scientists have studied the crafts, hoping to unlock the secrets of the alien technology and, perhaps, the origins of life on Earth. But now a deranged general wants to activate the mothership’s interstellar drive—and the consequences could prove catastrophic for humankind. Dr. Hans Von Seeckt—an elderly scientist, ex-Nazi, and original member of the Area 51 research team—joins up with the president’s science adviser, Dr. Lisa Duncan, and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte to put a stop to the planned test flight and tell the public the truth about Area 51. Meanwhile, a brilliant archaeologist, Professor Nabinger, discovers a message on runes found in ancient Egypt that could change everything we think we know about human evolution and the role that alien visitation may have played in it.” The additional Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers Book 1) books are also solid Whispersync deals, as well as various other Mayer books such as Atlantis and Atlantis Gate.

Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles, read by Dick Hill for $1.99+$3.99 — If you can get past the cognitive dissonance (since Rawles’ so-called “Patriots” are closer to those whose politics are those which are actually leading towards massive economic instability and environmental collapse) you may enjoy: “America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse in the near future. The stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city. As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately try to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho. The journey requires all their skill and training since communication, commerce, transportation and law enforcement have all disappeared. Once at the ranch, the group fends off vicious attacks from outsiders and then looks to join other groups that are trying to restore true Constitutional law to the country.”

Thriller: The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi, read by Dina Pearlman for $2.99+$3.49 — “Some say Demiel ben Yusef is the world’s most dangerous terrorist, personally responsible for bombings and riots that have claimed the lives of thousands. Others insist he is a man of peace, a miracle worker, and possibly even the Son of God. His trial in New York City for crimes against humanity attracts scores of protestors, as well as media and religious leaders from around the world. Cynical reporter Alessandra Russo heads to the UN hoping for a piece of the action, but soon becomes entangled in controversy and suspicion when ben Yusef singles her out for attention among all other reporters. As Alessandra begins digging into ben Yusef’s past, she is already in more danger than she knows—and when she is falsely accused of murder during her investigation, she is forced to flee New York.”

Espionage: Trapeze by Simon Mawer, read by Kate Reading for $1.99+$3.99 — “Barely out of school and doing her bit for the British war effort, Marian Sutro has one quality that makes her stand out—she is a native French speaker. It is this that attracts the attention of the SOE, the Special Operations Executive, which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at the age of nineteen, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an RAF bomber to join the WORDSMITH resistance network. But there’s more to Marian’s mission than meets the eye of her SOE controllers; her mission has been hijacked by another secret organization that wants her to go to Paris and persuade a friend—a research physicist—to join the Allied war effort. The outcome could affect the whole course of the war.”


Fiction: Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden, read by Academy Award nominee Alfre Woodard for $2.99+$4.95 — “Set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.”

Fiction: Spirit Horses by Alan S. Evans, read by Ted Brooks for $1.99+$1.99 — “In the hills of Tennessee, Shane Carson, a gifted, nationally-recognized horseman, is living the good life. When a mysterious mustang shows up on his farm, Shane doesn’t know how—or why—the horse appeared, but the horse’s distinctive brand identifies her. She is one of the Spirit Horses, a rare, wild herd that runs free on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. Watched over for centuries in the tribe’s ancestral valleys, these exquisite horses, according to belief, provide a link to the afterlife. When tragedy strikes in his life, Shane nearly loses his will to live—but for one promise he made to his young son: to return the mustang to her rightful home. On this bittersweet journey, Shane finds a world where tradition reigns, and ancient beliefs transcend modern logic. In this magnificent expanse of blue sky and wide open spaces, love is alive, but hate, intolerance, and greed threaten to close in. To make good on his vow, Shane must face the danger that threatens these horses, the tribe’s legacy, and his destiny.”

Fiction: The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, read by Simon Prebble for $2.99+$3.49 — “The Child in Time shows us just how quickly life can change in an instant. Stephen Lewis is a successful author of children’s books. It is a routine Saturday morning and while on a trip to the supermarket, Stephen gets distracted. Within moments, his daughter is kidnapped and his life is forever changed. From that moment, Lewis spirals into bereavement that has effects on his relationship with his wife, his psyche, and with time itself.”

Fiction: Bad Teeth: A Novel by Dustin Long, read by Alexander Cendese for $1.99+$1.99 — “Bad Teeth follows a cast of young literary men and women, each in a period of formation, in four very American cities - Brooklyn, Bloomington, Berkeley, and Bakersfield. A Pynchonesque treat, it¿s four (or more) books in one: A bohemian satire, a campus comedy, a stoner¿s reverie, and a quadruple love story. The plots coalesce around the search for a mysterious author, Jigme Drolma (“the Tibetan David Foster Wallace”), who might in fact be a plagiarist. But how does the self-styled arch-magician Nicholas Bendix figure into this? What will happen when SOFA unleashes the “Apocalypse”? And what¿s to become of Lump, the cat?”


Fiction: Place of the Heart by Steinunn Sigurdardottir, read by Joyce Bean for $1.99+$1.99 — Winner of the Icelandic Literature Prize: “Single mother Harpa has always been a misfit. Her physical appearance is unique among Icelanders: so small she self-deprecatingly refers to herself as a dwarf, so dark-skinned she doubts her genetic link to her father, so strange she nearly believed the children who mistook her for a mythical creature of the forest. Even as an adult, she struggles to make sense of her place in the world. So when she sees how her teenage daughter, Edda, has suffered since the death of her best friend, Harpa sees no choice but to tear her away from her dangerous social scene in the city. She enlists the help of a friend and loads her reprobate daughter and their belongings into a pickup truck, setting out on a road trip to Iceland’s bucolic eastern fjords.”

Fiction collection: All the Rage: Stories by A.L. Kennedy, read by Simon Vance and Heather Wilds for $1.99+$1.99 — “A. L. Kennedy’s riveting new story collection is a luscious feast of language that encompasses real estate and forlorn pets, adolescents and 60-somethings, weekly liaisons and obsessive affairs, “certain types of threat and the odder edges of sweet things”. The women and men in these 12 stories search for love, solace, and a clear glimpse of what their lives have become. Anything can set them off thinking - the sad homogeneity of hotel breakfasts, a sex shop operated under Canadian values (whatever those are), or an army of joggers dressed as Santa.”

Teen: The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto, read by Tavia Gilbert for $1.99+$1.99 — “Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Able to talk to ghosts, Jess quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects, who have their own “gifts.” One is possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead. The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever.”

Teen: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, read by Jenny Ikeda for $2.99+$3.49 — “Kristen Simmons’ thrilling debut novel Article 5 is the first in an eagerly anticipated dystopian trilogy. In a world where soldiers have replaced police, arrests are made for minor infractions, and the Bill of Rights has been replaced with the Moral Statutes, 17-year-old Ember Miller longs for the days when things were different. But when her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 by the only boy Ember has ever loved, her peaceful, low-profile life is thrown into chaos.”

Fifth, Amazon’s Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or Less has a good list of Whispersync titles as well, through January 31:


The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao (Lives of Tao Book 2) by Wesley Chu for $1.99+$3.49 each — “When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn’t. He now has a passenger in his brain - an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions - the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix - the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…”

Embedded by Dan Abnett — “When journalist Lex Falk gets himself chipped into the brain of a combat soldier, he thinks he has the ultimate scoop - a report from the forbidden front line of a distant planetary war, live to the living rooms of Earth. When the soldier is killed, however, Lex has to take over the body and somehow get himself back to safety once more… broadcasting all the way.”

Fireblood (Whispers from Mirrowen Book 1) and Dryad-Born (Whispers from Mirrowen Book 2) by Jeff Wheeler for $1.99+$1.99 each — “Tyrus of Kenatos has made it his life’s work to banish the plagues that ravage the kingdoms. He believes the answer to ending the devastation lies in the Scourgelands. Yet, Tyrus’s first expedition into the cursed woods failed after being defeated by mysterious minions who stalked and killed most of his band. Now a prisoner in his own tower, Tyrus has summoned his nephew Annon—a Druidecht possessing innate magic called the fireblood—on the guise of finding a hidden treasure with which to purchase his twin sister Hettie’s freedom. But in reality, Tyrus is using his niece and nephew, and their magic, as an opportunity to escape and resume his desperate mission. And to aid them, he has enlisted the warrior-monk Paedrin—who is almost as green as the siblings when it comes to traveling these troubled lands. The trio is determined, and along the way they grow to trust each other—and new additions to the group—in order to accomplish their missions…whether or not those missions are one and the same.”

Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey — “A modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day. In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.”


Day by Day Armageddon, Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon, and Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass by J.L. Bourne — “Sporadic news reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet. The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain.This is the handwritten journal depicting one man’s struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter if you will into his world. The world of the undead.”

Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin — “Jane Slayre, our plucky demon-slaying heroine, a courageous orphan who spurns the detestable vampyre kin who raised her, sets out on the advice of her ghostly uncle to hone her skills as the fearless slayer she’s meant to be. When she takes a job as a governess at a country estate, she falls head-over-heels for her new master, Mr. Rochester, only to discover he’s hiding a violent werewolf in the attic—in the form of his first wife. Can a menagerie of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating, savage creatures-of-the-night keep a swashbuckling nineteenth-century lady from the gentleman she intends to marry? Vampyres, zombies, and werewolves transform Charlotte Brontë’s unforgettable masterpiece into an eerie paranormal adventure that will delight and terrify.”

Historical mystery: Sacred Games (An Athenian Mystery) by Gary Corby — Book 3 in a series: “It is the Olympics of 460 BC. Nico’s best friend, Timodemus, is a competitor in the pankration, the deadly martial art of ancient Greece. Timo is hot favorite to win. His only serious rival is Parmonos from Sparta. When Parmonos is found beaten to death, it is obvious Timodemus must be the killer. Who else could have killed the second-best fighter in all Hellas but the very best? The Judges of the Games sentence Timodemus to be executed in four days’ time, as soon as the Sacred Games have finished.”

Western/Romance: This Time Forever by Kathleen Eagle — “She’d helped convict him of a crime he didn’t commit. Now she wants his help adopting the son he never knew he had. Seeking refuge in a world not her own, Susan Ellison follows her conscience to the reservation of the Lakota Sioux, hoping to heal the wounds of her ravaged heart. Sentenced to life in prison, former rodeo champion Cleve Black Horse seeks freedom and justice. Two lonely outcasts separated by culture, stubborn pride and prison bars, their destinies are joined by a shared duty to a helpless child — and by the blossoming of a bold and magnificent love that a cruel, intolerant society forbids. ”


Teen: Unwind (Unwind Dystology Book 1) by Neal Shusterman — “In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.”

Teen: Timebound (The Chronos Files Book 1) and Time’s Edge (The Chronos Files Book 2) by Rysa Walker for $1.99+$1.99 each — “When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence. Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and her genetic ability to time travel makes Kate the only one who can fix the future. Risking everything, she travels back in time to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the murder and the chain of events that follows. Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does Kate have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?”

Fiction: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick for $1.99+$3.99 — “Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.”

Thriller: You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes for $1.99+$3.99 — “From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age. When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.”

Sixth, some assorted random titles that I earmarked for this post since the last roundup:


Frontera by Lewis Shiner, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir for Skyboat for Blackstone Audio for $2.99+$2.99 — This one’s really fantastic. Shiner’s 1980s debut novel, right in there with Neuromancer and Bruce Sterling and the others of the cyberpunk movement with which he was a big part, and with a real solid hard sf space mission to Mars element as well, finally in audio this year. I think I’ve finally found an audiobook that I can point to when someone asks about “Hey I liked this book The Martian what else you got?” It’s a lot, lot more fucked up than The Martian; bigger cast (there’s the titular Mars colony) and a couple decades into a further, weirder future with cyberpunk influences (brain implant tech, corporations, genetic drift, psychedelic drugs, …). I’m a huge, huge, raving Lew Shiner fan, and Rudnicki is one of my favorites, and both he and Gabrielle de Cuir are fantastic on this one, as always.

Unexpected Superhero (Adventures of Lewis and Clarke Book 1) by Kitty Bucholtz, read by Catherine Gaffney for $3.99+$1.99 — “From wallflower… Newlywed Tori Lewis wants nothing more than a quiet life with her hunky new husband. She doesn¿t expect to walk into a robbery right after her honeymoon. But even more shocking is her discovery that she stopped the gunman with a super power! How did that happen? Undercover superhero Joe Clarke and his team are investigating a string of missing children. When the father of a lost boy turns up dead, the team must decide if the death is related to the disappearances - or to the super-villain group The Nine. …to super power!

Jim and the Flims by Rudy Rucker, read by Mario Bueno for $3.95+$1.99 — “a novel set in Santa Cruz, CA…and the afterlife. Acclaimed cyberpunk/singularity author Rudy Rucker explores themes of death and destruction in the wry, quirky style he is famous for. Jim Oster ruptures the membrane between our world and afterworld (AKA, The Flimsy), creating a two-way tunnel between them. Jim’s wife, Val, is killed in the process, and Jim finds himself battling his personal grief and an invasion of the Flims. The process of battling the invading Flims leads him to the center of the afterworld, where the ghost of his wife just might be. Can Jim save Earth with the help of a posse of Santa Cruz punks, and at the same time bring his wife back to life?”

Five-Twelfths of Heaven - Book One of The Roads of Heaven by Melissa Scott, read by Arielle de Lisle for Crossroard Press for $2.99+$1.99 — Scott’s 1985 novel which Jo Walton called “polyamorous alchemical space-opera” — “In a space-faring civilization where a single woman is increasingly disenfranchised, the star pilot Silence Leigh is defrauded from her inheritance by a greedy competitor. Forced to ally with two men, Silence is dragged into a deadly political struggle, and is tantalized by the hints of the legendary Earth, as well as the dread and the glory of Magi’s power. Her dreams of having her own ship and of escape from the Hegemony’s oppressions take on new direction and focus when she joins the crew of ‘The Sun-Treader’.”

Teen: One (One Universe Book 1) by LeighAnn Kopans for $2.99+$1.99 — “When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak. It makes you a One. Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover. If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.”

Penultimately, a look at Amazon’s 50 Kindle Books for $2New Year, New Reads: $1.99 Kindle Book Deals, and 25 Kids’ Books, $1 Each listings, all which expire on January 31:


Kate Maruyama’s Harrowgate for $1.99+$1.99 (recommended!); Stant Litore’s Death Has Come Up into Our Windows (The Zombie Bible)Strangers in the Land (The Zombie Bible), and No Lasting Burial (The Zombie Bible) for $1.99+$1.99 each (recommended!); David J. Schwartz’s Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic: The Thirteenth Rib for $1.99+$1.99; Richard Phillips’ Once Dead (The Rho Agenda Inception Book 1) and The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda Book 1) for $2+$1.99 each; Stephen Leather’s Once Bitten for $1.99+$1.99


Fiction: The Blue Book: A Novel by A.L. Kennedy for $1.99+$1.99; Thriller: S.G. Redling’s Flowertown for $2+$1.99; Thriller: The Shadow Hunter by Michael Prescott for $1.99+$1.99; Kids: Ship of Souls by Zetta Elliott for $1.99+$1.99; Kids: Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin by Rusalka Reh for $1+$1.99

Lastly, a look down the the SF Signal list (and round two) for this month:


Ania Ahlborn’s The Shuddering for $1.99+$1.99; Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice for $4.99+$3.99; Bradley Beaulieu’s The Winds of Khalakovo (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 1) for $2.51+$1.99 and The Straits of Galahesh (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 2) and The Flames of Shadam Khoreh (The Lays of Anuskaya Book 3) for $3.79+$1.99 each; Paul S. Kemp’s The Hammer and the Blade (Tales of Egil & Nix Book 1) for $4.89+$3.49; Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops: Control Point (Shadow Ops series Book 1) for $4.85+$3.99


Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Book 1) for $4.59+$3.99; Chuck Wendig’s Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy Book 1) for $3.99+$1.99; Django Wexler’s John Golden: Freelance Debugger for $2.99+$1.99; Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) for $4.99+$3.99 and Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 1) for $2.00+$2.99


Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) for $2.99+$3.95; Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 1) for $4.59+$3.99; Neve Maslakovic’s The Far Time Incident (The Incident Series Book 1) for $3.99+$1.99 and Regarding Ducks and Universes for $1.99+$1.99; Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (The Patternist Series Book 1) for $3.82+$3.99


Octavia Butler’s Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) for $1.99+$3.49; Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One for $4.99+$3.99; Paul Antony Jones’ Extinction Point (Extinction Point series Book 1) for $3.99+$1.99; Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) for $1.99+$4.95; Robin LeFevers’ Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy 1) for $1.99+$2.99


Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) by Marko Kloos for $3.99+$1.99; Ark Royal by Christopher Nuttall for $3.00+$1.99; Balance (The Divine Series Book 1) by M.R. Forbes for $2.99+$1.99; Shaman’s Crossing: The Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb for $3.99+$3.49; Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel for $3.03+$3.49; and The Magicians’ Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan for $4.99+$3.49

Updatedly, a quick peek through the Baen Free Library for a few titles:


David Drake’s With the Lightnings (Lt. Leary Book 1) and Seas of Venus for $0+$1.99 each, David Weber’s On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington Book 1)The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington Book 2), and Oath of Swords (War God Book 1) for $0+$1.99 each, Eric Flint’s 1632 (Ring of Fire Series) for $0+$1.99, and John Ringo’s A Hymn Before Battle (Legacy of the Aldenata Book 1) for $0+1.99


Fledgling (Liaden Universe) and Agent of Change (Liaden Universe Book 4) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller for $0+$1.99 each; The Course of Empire (Course of Empire Series Book 1) by Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth for $0+$1.99; The Time Traders by Andre Norton for $0+$1.99

Whew! Want still more? I didn’t even take a look at the new Open Road Media titles, or new Podium Publishing and Crossroad Press audiobooks, or a check down the list of some prolific indie authors I know to have their own deals going on (Scott NicholsonJake Bible, …) … And Audible is having a 160+ title $6.95 Big Hits Sale that I haven’t even started combing through, though a quick peek shows that it includes The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1HyperionHard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir ChroniclesReamdeStardust, and Leviathan Wakes for starters. Enjoy!

[And if you’re here and somehow new to audiobooks, among the many ways to get started are: you can try Audible with a free audiobook or get your first 3 months at Audible for $7.49/month; try a free 30-day trial at audiobook streaming service Audiobooks.com; or sign up for a $12.99 monthly membership at DRM-free Downpour.com. Or! Head to your local library, whose digital collection you can probably sample at OverDrive.]

Posted in Whispersync Deals | Tagged frontera, gabrielle de cuir, james langton, james maxey, joel ohman, justine eyre, kate rudd, katia fox, kevin j anderson, lewis shiner, luke daniels, meritropolis, michele w miller, robert brumm, rudy rucker, simon vance, stefan rudnicki, the thirteenth step, victor bevine, wendigo soul