May WhispersyncDeal roundup: The Paper Magician, The Second Ship, Neil Gaiman's Interworld, Neal Stephenson's The Mongoliad, and! a big look at 2015's new Whispersync-enabled releases from Podium, Brilliance, and more

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2015 Armchair Audies: Science Fiction →

May WhispersyncDeal roundup: The Paper Magician, The Second Ship, Neil Gaiman's Interworld, Neal Stephenson's The Mongoliad, and! a big look at 2015's new Whispersync-enabled releases from Podium, Brilliance, and more

Posted on 2015-05-12 at 21:15 by Sam

Another month, another Whispersync deal roundup. This one’s a really good one, with sf, fantasy, YA, historical fiction, mystery, and! a deeper look at deals on new releases outside of the monthly Amazon sale listings. [Editor’s note: Since this series continues to draw some new readers/listeners 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, though, as they’re the ones with the obvious time limit, some picks from the monthly $3.99 or less listings which are Whispersync enabled:


The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series, Book 1) and The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Series, Book 2) by Charlie N. Holmberg (Author), Amy McFadden (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 each: “Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever. Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined - animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic. An Excisioner - a practitioner of dark, flesh magic - invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart - and reveal the very soul of the man.”

The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda Book 1), Immune (The Rho Agenda Book 2), and Wormhole (The Rho Agenda Book 3) by Richard Phillips (Author), MacLeod Andrews (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 each: “In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now. The US president is preparing to unveil one of the nation’s greatest secrets when three students stumble across the wreckage of a second ship outside of Los Alamos. With a single touch, the alien technology the government has spent untold resources trying to unlock is uploaded into the minds of three teenagers - teenagers who now know the frightening truth about the Rho Project.The battle for humanity has begun.”

Marked (Servants of Fate Book 1) by Sarah Fine (Author), Emily Foster (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know - including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis - is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.”


Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 1) by Blake Crouch (Author), Paul Michael Garcia (Narrator) — “Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America - or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…”

Unborn (Unborn Series Book 1) by Amber Lynn Natusch (Author), Angela Dawe (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “Khara has spent centuries discovering everything about the Underworld_except her place in it. But when she’s ripped from her home, solving the riddle of her origins becomes more important than ever. With evil stalking her through the dark alleys of Detroit, she finds salvation from an unlikely source: a group of immortal warriors sworn to protect the city. Khara needs their help to unravel the tangled secrets of who and what she is-secrets many seem willing to kill for. But time is running out, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer necessity binds her to an arrogant fallen angel.”

Teen: InterWorld (InterWorld Trilogy Book 1) by Neil Gaiman (Author), Michael Reaves (Author), Christopher Evan Welch (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “Joey Harker isn’t a hero. In fact, he’s the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. And one day Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. Joey’s walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces: armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions. When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice. He joins an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds. Master storyteller Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award-winning science-fiction writer Michael Reaves team up to create a dazzling tale of magic, science, honor, and the destiny of one very special boy and all the others like him.”


Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall (Author), Emily Durante (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “Miramont Castle, built in 1897 and mysteriously abandoned three years later, is home to many secrets. Only one person knows the truth: Adrienne Beauvier, granddaughter of the Comte de Challembelles and cousin to the man who built the castle. Clairvoyant from the time she could talk, Adrienne’s visions show her the secrets of those around her. When her visions begin to reveal dark mysteries of her own aristocratic French family, Adrienne is confronted by her formidable Aunt Marie, who is determined to keep the young woman silent at any cost. Marie wrenches Adrienne from her home in France and takes her to America, to Miramont Castle, where she keeps the girl isolated and imprisoned. Surrounded by eerie premonitions, Adrienne is locked in a life-or-death struggle to learn the truth and escape her torment. Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this hauntingly atmospheric tale is inspired by historical research into the real-life Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado.”

The Belial Stone (The Belial Series Book 1) by R.D. Brady (Author), Leslie Wadsworth (Narrator) for $0.99+$1.99 — “An innocent discovery on a Montana ranch two years ago, sets off a series of events that may very well change the world … if it doesn’t end it first. Professor Delaney McPhearson’s life is turned upside down when her best friend, archaeologist Drew Masters, is found dead. Before she can deal with the heartbreaking loss, she is viciously attacked in her home by a man with inhuman fighting abilities. Former Navy SEAL and head of security for a global think tank, Jake Rogan drops everything when he hears his foster brother Tom Jeffries has gone missing. There seem to be no clues, no information about his whereabouts. He has just vanished. But Jake won’t rest until he finds him. Laney and Jake join forces when they learn that the fates of their loved ones are intertwined. And somehow all the danger that dogs their steps, revolves around an eccentric archaeologist’s controversial work on Gobekli Tepe, and the search for an ancient source of power. Their personal quest soon becomes a race to protect humanity’s very existence. But how can they defeat a foe who has been planning his moves for millennia? To save mankind, Laney and Jake know they must succeed. But to succeed, they must live long enough to fight.”

Teen: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev (Author), Fiona Hardingham (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “A girl with a clockwork heart makes every second count. When Penny Farthing nearly died, the brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick managed to implant a brass “Ticker,” transforming her into “the first of the Augmented!” But soon it was discovered that Warwick kidnapped and killed dozens of people striving to perfect another Ticker for Penny. The last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthing factory is bombed, Warwick disappears, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom demand for all of their Augmentation notes if they want to see their parents again. Who is trying to stop their work? Or to control it? Or is the motive more sinister?” Note, for physical media folks, the MP3-CD is $3.07.


Fiction: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (Author), Oliver Wyman (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, comes The Good Luck of Right Now, a funny and tender story about family, friendship, grief, acceptance, and Richard Gere—an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.”

Historical fiction: The White Queen: A Novel (Cousins War Series Book 1) by Philippa Gregory (Author), Susan Lyons (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “Brother turns on brother. The throne of England is at stake. The deadly Wars of the Roses have begun… They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women. Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, secretly marries the newly crowned boy king of England. While she rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.”

Mystery: A King of Infinite Space (Long Beach Homicide), The Pain Scale (Long Beach Homicide), and A Cold and Broken Hallelujah (Long Beach Homicide Book 3) by Tyler Dilts (Author), Alex Hyde-White (Narrator), Mel Foster (Narrator), Patrick Lawlor (Narrator) for $1.99+($3.49 or $1.99) each — “Long Beach, California, homicide detective Danny Beckett is pouring the weekend’s first shot of vodka when the call comes in: Elizabeth Williams, a teacher at nearby Warren High School, has been brutally murdered in her classroom. When Danny arrives at the school, the blood-spattered crime scene turns even his veteran stomach. What could this young woman have done to make her the target of such a violent attack? And what is the significance of the victim’s left hand, taken by the killer as a grisly trophy? Beckett delves into the case with his usual tenacious cool, yet as he pieces together the facts, long-suppressed anguish from his own past rises up with stunning force.”

Second, a look at the $2 Kindle listings (mostly in scifi and young adult) which are Whispersync enabled, also expiring at the end of the month:


The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 1)The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 2)The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 3)Katabasis (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 4), and Siege Perilous (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 5) by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo, Nicole Galland, Angus Trim, and E.D. deBirmingham, read by Luke Daniels and Angela Dawe for $2+$1.99 each — “The Mongoliad is an epic-within-an-epic, taking place in 13th century. In it, a small band of warriors and mystics raise their swords to save Europe from a bloodthirsty Mongol invasion. Inspired by their leader (an elder of an order of warrior monks), they embark on a perilous journey and uncover the history of hidden knowledge and conflict among powerful secret societies that had been shaping world events for millennia.”

Extinction Point (Extinction Point series Book 1), Exodus (Extinction Point series Book 2), and Revelations (Extinction Point series Book 3) by Paul Antony Jones (Author), Emily Beresford (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 each — “Emily Baxter’s dream life turns into a waking nightmare the day the red rain falls. Like a biblical plague, the scarlet downpour spreads a hideous virus that demolishes life in New York City, the nation, and the world. Suddenly the last soul in an annihilated metropolis - and possibly on Earth - the onetime newspaper reporter must learn to scavenge, survive…and plan for a future of utter solitude. Then, from far-flung Alaska, another living voice reaches out, and Emily grasps at her only glimmer of hope. But she may be even less alone than she thinks. The world is in the midst of a strange and frightening transition; something that fell with the red rain is remaking Earth in its own alien image. Now, Emily alone will bear witness to the terrifying new evolution - and risk her life to outrun it, for the sake of the future and in the name of all that is human.”

Mystery: The Remains by Vincent Zandri (Author), Elizabeth Wiley (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 — “It’s been 30 years since the terrifying abduction of twin sisters Rebecca and Molly Underhill by a deranged man who lived in a cabin behind their house. Fearful of retribution against their family, the girls kept the incident secret. Rebecca, now a painter and art teacher, suddenly begins getting mysterious text messages. Is Molly - long lost to cancer - trying to communicate? It couldn’t be their attacker from so many years ago; he was imprisoned for a similar crime at about that same time. Surely he’d still be in jail or dead by now - wouldn’t he? When one of Rebecca’s art students - an autistic savant - gives her a series of paintings, Rebecca realizes the paintings’ scenes match the nightmares she’s had every night since the horrific ordeal three decades earlier.”


Teen: The Fire Seekers (The Babel Trilogy Book 1) by Richard Farr (Author), Scott Merriman (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 — “An undeciphered language in Crete. A rash of mysterious disappearances, from Bolivia to Japan. An ancient warning at the ruins of Babel. And a new spiritual leader, who claims that human history as we understand it is about to come to an end. Seventeen-year-old Daniel Calder’s world falls apart when a freak accident brings personal tragedy-and he discovers there’s a link between the accident and a wildly successful new cult, the Seraphim. Catapulted into a violent struggle for humanity’s past and future, he’s not even sure who the enemy is, or if he’s battling a phantom that doesn’t exist. But as Daniel puts his life on the line, he is forced to conclude that our very survival as a species will depend on who, and what, we choose to believe.”

Teen: Gilded (The Gilded Series Book 1) and Silvern (The Gilded Series Book 2) by Christina Farley (Author), Greta Jung (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 each — “Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next. But that’s not Jae’s only problem.”

Teen fiction: Ghosting by Edith Pattou, read by Kate Rudd, Kate Reinders, Amy McFadden, Emily Durante, Mikael Naramore, Scott Merriman, Nick Podehl, Alexander Cendese, and Todd Haberkorn for $2+$1.99 — “On a hot summer night in a midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims - with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive. Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.”

Third, this month also brings a hefty haul of Whispersync-enabled titles in The Big Deal this month, running May 8 through May 24:


The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire Book 1)The Obsidian Heart (Echoes of Empire Book 2), and The Pillars of Sand (Echoes of Empire Book 3) by Mark T. Barnes (Author), Nick Podehl (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 each — Shortlisted for the 2014 Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut Novel: “When the Shrīanese Empire explodes into civil war, fighters of all kinds flock to the banners of their lords. Indris, a skilled swordsman and brilliant sorcerer, seeks to end the bloodshed once and for all. He knows this war is simply a ruse—a power play by a ruling Family desperate to take control of the Empire by any means necessary. Indris cares little for the politics except to see that justice is upheld. But even he can’t see the terrible price his opponents are willing to pay to secure their legacy. A true epic, the first book in the Echoes of Empire series creates a spellbinding new world. With its twisted politics, new races, compelling heroes and villains, and unique magic, The Garden of Stones is a lyrical fantasy on the grandest scale.”

The Iron Wolves: Book 1 of The Rage of Kings by Andy Remic (Author), Napoleon Ryan (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.49 — “Thirty years ago, the Iron Wolves held back mud-orc hordes at the Pass of Splintered Bones, and led a brutal charge that saw the sorcerer Morkagoth slain. Now, a new terror stalks the realm. Orlana the Changer has escaped from the Chaos Halls and is building an army, twisting horses, lions and bears into terrible, bloody hunters, summoning mud-orcs from the slime and heading north to battle the mighty region of Vagandrak where, it’s said, the King has gone insane. General Dalgoran searches to reunite the heroes of old for what he believes will be their final battle. But Dalgoran discovers the Iron Wolves are no longer the heroes of legend, and they might just be more dangerous than the invading hordes…” [Note for the physical media audiobilbiophiles among us that the MP3-CD edition is somehow just $1.90.]


Historical fiction: The Cybelene Conspiracy (A Getorius and Arcadia Mystery) by Albert Noyer (Author), Fleet Cooper (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “Surgeon Getorius Asterius, his wife Arcadia, the eunuch archpriest of a pagan fertility cult, the female head of a heretical Arian church, and an ambitious senator in league with a Chinese merchant: These are the prime movers in this mystery set in Ravenna, Italy, in A.D. 440. When Getorius is summoned to examine the castrated body of a youth found by Thecla in her Arian church, who is the sobbing “Vestal Virgin” nearby? Is there any connection between this crime and the fact that a senator is smuggling counterfeit Western coins to the Eastern Empire, and contraband Chinese products back to Ravenna?”

Kids: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself by Bob Pflugfelder (Author), Steve Hockensmith (Author), MacLeod Andrews (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “Nick and Tesla return in an all-new, robot-filled adventure! When a rash of robberies hits the town of Half Moon Bay, 11-year-old sleuths Nick and Tesla are determined to catch the criminals—but to do so, they’ll have to build a host of new gadgets and gizmos! In this robot-themed follow-up to Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, the brother-and-sister duo build four different droids out of ordinary household objects—and illustrated instructions are included throughout the story, so you can build them, too! Make bristlebots that buzz, hoverbots that float above the ground, battlebots that duke it out, and more! Can Nick and Tesla catch the criminal mastermind—and foil his army of rampaging robots—before it’s too late?”

That’s the usual roundup sources, but since it’s still early enough in the month — or it was when I began trying to format this mess, and before the Big Deal titles dropped into my lap — I took the time to look through a another reliable source, the recent sf/f releases from Podium Publishing which are Whispersync enabled and found a pretty good list, including a few that are currently free in Kindle, meaning you only pay the $2.99 Whispersync upgrade to the Audible edition:

Starship Eternal: War Eternal, Book 1 | M.R. Forbes Awakened: Vampire Awakenings, Book 1 | Brenda K. Davies Fear the Sky: The Fear Saga, Book 1 | Stephen Moss

  • By M.R. Forbes
  • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer for $3.99+$2.99
  • By Brenda K. Davies
  • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert for $0+$2.99
  • By Stephen Moss
  • Narrated By R.C. Bray for $2.99+$2.99
The Synchronicity War, Part 1 | Dietmar Wehr Thornbear: Champions of the Dawning Dragons, Book 1 | Michael G. Manning To the Shores: The Empire's Corps, Book 6 | Christopher G. Nuttall
  • By Dietmar Wehr
  • Narrated By Luke Daniels for $0+$2.99
  • By Michael G. Manning
  • Narrated By Derek Perkins for $4.99+$3.49
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer for $3.99+$2.99
After that, I thought, hey, while I'm at it, another good strategy is looking for new 47North/Brilliance Audio titles, so here's a recent crop, all $4.99+$1.99:

Boundary Crossed: An Old World Novel, Book 1 | Melissa F. Olson Angles of Attack: Frontlines, Book 3 | Marko Kloos Prison of Hope: Hellequin Chronicles | Steve McHugh

  • By Melissa F. Olson
  • Narrated By Kate Rudd
  • By Steve McHugh
  • Narrated By James Langton
Second Activation: Activation Series, Book 2 | Darren Wearmouth,Marcus Wearmouth The Gemini Effect | Chuck Grossart King of Thieves | Evan Currie

And while I was at it, I thought, hey, how about a quick glance through the recent indie releases, and found:

Skynoise: A Time Travel Thriller | Ernie Lindsey Warspite: Ark Royal, Book 4 | Christopher G. Nuttall Desper Hollow | Elizabeth Massie

  • By Ernie Lindsey
  • Narrated By Rebecca Roberts for $3.99+$1.99

I even found a free title:

Roman Holiday: The Chronicles of St. Mary | [Jodi Taylor]
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm for $0 -- "Another rollicking short story from the Chronicles of St Mary’s author Jodi Taylor. Question: What sort of idiot installs his mistress in his wife’s house? Especially when that mistress is Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, queen of Egypt and the most notorious woman of her time? Answer: Julius Caesar - poised to become king of Rome. Or as good as."
Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunters International Book 1) by Larry Correia (Author), Oliver Wyman (Narrator) for $0+$1.99 -- Now added to the Baen Free Library: "Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit."

Kill It With Magic (The Lillim Callina Chronicles Book 1) by J. A. Cipriano (Author), Rebecca Roberts (Narrator) for $0+$1.99 — “Sixteen-year-old Lillim Callina is good at two things: running away and magic. Now Lillim’s half-demon ex-boyfriend is contacting her for help, she has somehow gotten herself mixed up in a kidnapping, and her long-dead rival has risen from the grave. So when a dragon plotting to take over the world offers her a choice - work for him or else. Lillim Callina is going to choose else.”

UPDATE 5/18: Another Baen Free Library addition, and a reminder that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is still on sale:


Fire with Fire (Caine Riordan Book 1) by Charles E. Gannon (Author), Kevin Pariseau (Narrator) for $0+$1.99 — Winner of the Compton Crook Award and a Nebula Award nominee: “2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth’s Moon - a history-making clandestine project - and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan’s mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient - enough so to have built a lost civilization. However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he’s been given is anything but secret or safe.”

Outlander: A Novel (Outlander, Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon (Author), Davina Porter (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?”

Posted in Whispersync Deals