THE ASSISTANTS: Breaking Rules to Take Charge

Camille Perri’s new book, The Assistants, is a quickly paced, breezy tale (engagingly read by Jorjeana Marie) about the exploits of an under-appreciated assistant and her rapid climb toward self-empowerment.

30 year-old Tina Fontana has been an assistant to Robert Barlow, CEO of mega-media company Titan Corporation, for six long years. She lives in a tiny, run-down apartment in Brooklyn. She doesn’t have any friends and is resolutely single. She has also learned to mask her Italian Bronx-accented upbringing. Her boss, Robert Barlow, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. He does not hide his Southern roots. He lives on a palatial plot of land in upstate New York where he goes shooting, and his wife tans herself by the pool every day. He can afford–and does buy–cuff links that are worth more than his assistant’s yearly salary. He runs a multi-billion dollar media company. So, when Tina fills out a travel and expense form for one $20,000 plane ticket for Robert, she isn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. When she receives her reimbursement check, though, for double what she has asked for, her whole world changes.

Tina struggles with what to do: return the extra money, or use the extra money (that is chump change, really, to Titan Corp) to pay off all of her student loan debt. She’s never broken any rules in her life, but she throws caution to the wind. A life without debt is too tantalizing to pass up. As she deals with the repercussions of her decision, Tina forms new relationships (both platonic and romantic), asserts herself more at work, and, ultimately, discovers that she can be more than she has ever allowed herself to be in the past.

The characters Camille Perri details in The Assistants run the gamut, and Jorjeana Marie voices them all with aplomb. There is Tina herself–a very accessible character that is easy to empathize with; Emily and Ginger are beautiful female assistants who seemingly have it all, but really don’t; Kevin, the sweet legal worker who is ashamed that his parents pay for his apartment; and Robert himself who we see through Tina’s eyes–a demanding yet kind boss. Perri’s meticulous creation of this world and these characters can make us feel as conflicted about Robert as Tina does (which is no small feat). Marie’s expert voice makes each character distinct and lively which keeps readers captivated. Readers will get completely drawn into the world of Tina Fontana and struggles and rejoice along with her.

The Assistants is a story that not only 20-and-30-somethings city-dwellers with student loan debt will identify with, but it will also appeal to anyone who has ever struggled post-school with coming into their own despite work and money. It explores women’s roles in a male-dominated workplYou ace, the crushing weight of student loan debt, the power that money has (for bad as well as good), and the life-changing power of believing in yourself.

Listen to an excerpt of The Assistants read by Jorjeana Marie: The Assistants

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8 Gifts for Audiobook Lovers

The holidays are fast approaching, which means that now is the time to start thinking about gift ideas.  It can be hard trying to figure out the perfect gift when there are so many options.  Luckily, when it comes to pleasing the audiobook aficionados in your life, we’ve got you covered! To make it easier on you this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of awesome gifts that audiobook fans will most definitely love. Read more

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Gettysburg Last Invasion Book Cover
The Gettysburg Address: The Speech, the Battle, and the Legacy

On November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American History. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was written for the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA only four and a half months after the famous battle that would turn the tide of the Civil War. Before Gettysburg, the Union Army had suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the Confederates, and victory seemed nearly out of reach.  After more than a year of setbacks on the battlefield, the Union had finally achieved a decisive victory against the Confederacy at Gettysburg. The tide of the Civil War was beginning to turn in favor of the Union. With victory in sight, President Lincoln’s dedication speech reminded Americans that the Civil War was about more than emancipation–it was about preserving democracy itself. President Lincoln’s speech served as a rallying cry for the Union’s cause, and continues to inspire Americans today. But the Gettysburg Address would not have been possible without a victory on the battlefield. In Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, Professor Allen C. Guelzo examines the battle in exquisite detail. If you’re interested in learning more about the Gettysburg Address on its 152nd anniversary, this audiobook is the best place to begin.

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Drew Barrymore is a Wildflower

Full disclosure: I love Drew Barrymore!  She’s been one of my favorite actresses ever since I first watched E.T. as a small child.  And by “watched,” I mean that I completely balled my eyes out the entire time E.T. couldn’t get home. My next Drew Barrymore cinematic experience occurred when I was 10 years old.  I watched in fascination as Barrymore transformed into one of my favorite fairytale characters, Cinderella, in Ever After and actually showed the prince a thing or two about rescuing.  That was followed by Never Been Kissed, Charlie’s Angels, 50 First Dates, and a whole bunch of other amazing movies that I, unfortunately, don’t have the time or space to list. Read more

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From now on your troubles will be out of sight…

…If these two can ever get to Seattle. Or at least that’s what they think when they begin their journey. Ashley Davidson and Dashiell Sutherland are two individuals who desperately need to get to Seattle for Christmas and the only option is to share the one rental car available. The close quarters force them to open up to each other and thus begins the wild ride ahead. They may never get to Seattle in time for Christmas but their trip is still full of many surprises – and even the most unimaginable wishes may yet come true.

Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow is the story of a magical romance amidst the hustle and bustle of crazy holiday travel. For more audio holiday suggestions, check out our holiday collection.

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Another Dark and Sizzling Release from Christine Feehan

Looking for a paranormal romance to sink your teeth into?  Christine Feehan, dubbed the “Queen of paranormal romance” by J.R. Ward, has written her latest installment in the steamy and beloved bestselling Carpathian series.  Set in the ghostly darkness of the Carpathian Mountains, DARK GHOST tells the story of the dangerous, passionate journey between a wounded warrior and a woman on the run. Read more

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X, The Newest Sue Grafton Book

With only two more letters to go until Sue Grafton’s notoriously thrilling Kinsey Millhone series of mysteries comes to an end, we arrive at X. This is Grafton’s first book in her series in which she simply uses the alphabet letter as the title without any definition. From character names (Father Xavier, Teddy Xanakis) to buildings (Bank of X. Phillips), the letter ‘x’ appears throughout this story in various incarnations.

In X, Kinsey Millhone is faced with several cases to solve. She has to help a woman trying to track down the son she gave up for adoption years ago while searching for a sociopathic serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Can Kinsey catch the killer before she becomes his next victim?

Listen to a clip read by longtime Sue Grafton narrator, Judy Kaye:

Read some of the great reviews of Grafton’s latest installment:
“‘X’ will entertain you, enlighten you, amaze you and leave you breathless.” –Richmond Times Dispatch

“Grafton has turned in a corker of a novel with ‘X,’ upping her already high-level game.” –Boston Globe

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