Laura Kinsale has been publishing audio versions of her backlist, produced by The Story Circle in London, and performed by Nicholas Boulton. Kinsale approached me about doing a giveaway to celebrate the release of The Dream Hunter in Audio. In the process, I learned a LOT about audioboks, not the least of which that I really, really like them, and also like very much when the narrator is male and excellent with voices.
I mean, I've been pretty vocal about my adoration of the available Richard Armitage-narrated abridged Georgette Heyer novels, so the male narrator thing shouldn't be a surprise, but it was to me. I have no problems with skilled narrators of any gender – the skill is what makes the audiobook a wonderful experience. But I hadn't thought about how many romances are narrated by women until I started corresponding with Kinsale about this project.
So please meet Nicholas Boulton, the narrator for Laura Kinsale's audiobooks. You can hear a whole selection of samples of his reading at Kinsale's Soundcloud page – including ringtones of various phrases from the books.
Kinsale says, “I wanted a male narrator for my romances because most of my books are hero-centric, but the heroines are equally important. Nicholas Boulton isn't just a voice actor, he's a voice artist. His skill at it is amazing. He can make you think there are five different people in the room talking to one another at the same time. He's got a swoonworthy, sexy voice, (just wait until we get to Ruck speaking Middle English—hot!) but there are a lot of male narrators and actors with that talent. Very very few of them can also voice a convincing female character. Above all, I chose Nick to narrate my books because of his ability to voice female characters so beautifully and naturally.
Kinsale added, “He's also a kite-surfer, and in September will be participating with 250 others in an attempt to set the world record for the largest parade of kiters to complete a one mile course on the water, followed by a 40 mile downwind kite in the English Channel, on behalf of the youth charity Snow Camp and British sea rescue organization RNLI.
Yes, right, that's 40 miles. Kite-surfing. He's promised me that he'll wear water wings and won't jump the Brighton pier, so I'm down with it. At the risk of encouraging this sort of risky behavior in my very valuable narrator, at least before he's finished recording all my books, his contribution page is online.”
If you're curious about Kinsale's audiobooks, so far, four have been released – all with Nicholas Boulton narrating: The Dream Hunter, Flowers from the Storm, The Prince of Midnight, and Midsummer Moon.
So what was that about new audiobooks and a giveaway? Oh, yes!
To celebrate the release of The Dream Hunter and the other audiobooks from her backlist, Laura Kinsale has offered up a grand prize, and two runners up prizes as well.
The grand prize: a download code from Audible.com valid for one copy of The Dream Hunter, and another title — winner's choice.
Plus, a pair of pink Beats by Dre headphones that Kinsale has told me are the most amazing headphones she's experienced.
She made a video of people reacting to Nicholas Boulton's reading of her books – and yes, those are the model of headphones she's giving away (the winner gets a new pair, of course):
Due to shipping limitations, the headphones are US/Canada only. (And, if the winner prefers earbuds, these pink Beats by Dre earbuds are also an option.)
But the download codes are valid worldwide (and all of Kinsale's audiobooks should also be available worldwide, too). Thus we have two runner up prizes as well: two more download codes at Audible.com, each good for one copy of The Dream Hunter, and another title of the winner's choosing.
How do you enter? Easy!
To enter, leave a comment below telling us what you'd do while listening to a Kinsale audiobook if you won. Wash dishes? Clean things? Hide under a blanket? Drive through traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge? (no, wait, that's me. Sorry.) Share what kinds of tasks you'll accomplish while listening, and you're entered to win. The Dream Hunter is 12 hours and 45 minutes. You could probably raise your own barn and smile while you did it!
Comments will close at 3:00 pm EDT on Friday 9 August, and I'll announce the winners later that day.
Standard disclaimers apply: Void where prohibited. The giveaway for the Audible download code prize is open to international residents to the extent permissible by applicable law. Must be over 18 and rocking out to win. I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Tumble dry low, reshape and dry flat. Is there anything worse than “reshape and dry flat?” Yes. Dry clean only! By submitting an entry to the contest as set forth herein, each entrant does acknowledge and agree that, in the event such entrant is victorious, such entrant will perform a ceremony reasonably appropriate to such circumstance, including, without limitation, the Miposian Dance of Joy. Close cover before striking.
I hope you'll consider what monumental tasks you can complete in 12 hours and 45 minutes, and share with us to enter. Good luck! And rock on!