Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of September 26th.

Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!

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The Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale

The Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale
Narrated by Matt Godfrey
Self Published

Book one of the Drive-In series by Joe R. Lansdale.

The end of the 1980s. Drive-in movie culture is mostly dead with one significant exception: The Orbit Drive-In. A drive-in theater so large it houses screens multiple stories high that fill the sky and can hold 4,000 cars and all the people who can squeeze in them. It’s a lit city that fills to the brim on Friday nights; crowds gather for the Dusk-to-Dawn Horror Shows. Horns honk, BBQ grills sizzle, people yell and act the fool, ready for the marathon of one low-budget horror film after another. But then suddenly the world changes in front of their eyes, not on the screens. A comet, red and smiling with jagged teeth, flashes across the sky. People try to leave but find they are trapped by some acidic goo surrounding the entire drive-in. They grow hungry, homicidal, and suicidal. Then along comes the Popcorn King, a jiving, rhyming creature formed by blue-white lightning, with four arms and a popcorn bucket on its head. A monster as strange and dangerous and mesmerizing as the creatures and villains on the screens. It offers the starving masses food, but there’s always a price to pay for survival. And then things start to get wicked….

Finna by Nino Cipri

Finna by Nino Cipri
Narrated by Amanda Dolan
Tantor Audio

Nino Cipri’s Finna is a rambunctious, touching story that blends all the horrors the multiverse has to offer with the everyday awfulness of low-wage work. It explores queer relationships and queer feelings, capitalism and accountability, labor and love, all with a bouncing sense of humor and a commitment to the strange.

When an elderly customer at a Swedish big box furniture store – but not that one – slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them. Can friendship blossom from the ashes of their relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.

Funeral for a Friend: A Jonathan Stride Novel by Brian Freeman
Narrated by Joe Barrett
Blackstone Publishing

“You’re safe, Stride. I found the body at the Deeps. I buried him.”

Jonathan Stride’s best friend, Steve Garske, makes a shocking deathbed confession: He protected Stride by covering up a murder. Hours later, the police dig up Steve’s yard and find a body with a bullet hole in its skull.

Stride is pretty sure he knows who it is. Seven years ago, an out-of-town reporter disappeared while investigating anonymous allegations of rape against a prominent politician. Back then, the police believed that the reporter drowned at a dangerous swimming hole called the Deeps…but the discovery of the body changes everything. Now Stride’s partner, Maggie Bei, is forced to ask Stride an uncomfortable question: Did you kill him?

Stride is obviously hiding things. He was the last person to see the reporter alive. And he admits lying to Maggie about that meeting but won’t tell her why. With suspicion in the murder pointing at him, Stride finds himself off the case and on leave from the Duluth Police.

His only ally in clearing his name is his wife, Serena, who retraces the reporter’s investigation into the explosive allegations. The clues all point to a hot Duluth summer years earlier that everyone in town would prefer to forget.

Someone was willing to kill rather than let those long-ago secrets come out, and the suspect with the strongest motive…is Stride.

Cliche: Episodes 1-3 by Jeff Menapace
Narrated by Jeff Hays, Annie Ellicott
Self Published

In the novel Numb, Calvin Court used to joke that his life was a series of clichés. He had no idea.

Welcome to The Track. An elite club for members whose depraved desires run to the extreme. A place where you can bet on a “pony” and see how long he can survive…in a deadly scenario decided by a simple spin of the wheel.

Step right up.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

Jeff Hays – narration
Annie Ellicott – narration
Dalton Lynne – proofing
Richard Smith – editing and mastering

Lost Key by Chris Niles

Lost Key by Chris Niles
Narrated by Kelsey-Ann O’Dowd, Brian Meslar
Self Published

She never asked to be a hero. Heroes seldom do.

Nearly a century ago, a treasure of unimaginable value was lost beneath the tropical waters of the Florida Keys.

But when a ruthless real-estate developer threatens Shark Key Campground and Marina, former journalist Kate Kingsbury must find it before her friends and neighbors lose the only homes they know.

It’s taken Kate Kingsbury two years to find peace after her husband was killed in a home invasion. Now she’s found her refuge, living the free and easy boat life at Shark Key. Except that nothing in life is free. Or easy.

Shark Key is home to a rag-tag group of folks, scraping to get by on an island known more for its lively nightlife and exclusive vacation homes than for stable jobs or affordable living. In fact, Kate quickly learns that the average local cobbles together a living from three or more jobs, just to afford their rent. She’s grateful to have Danny’s small pension and a home on a derelict houseboat named Serenity.

Shark Key’s owner, Chuck Miller, is a third generation Conch who’s committed to giving single moms a safe place to raise their kids. Until he gets a little behind on his payments and shady Miami slumlord Monty Baumann swoops in to steal the tranquil little island out from under him.

Shark Key’s last hope is an unbelievable legend from Chuck’s grandfather, a former gangster who worked for the infamous Al Capone. And when the only clue they have is stolen by one of Baumann’s hired thugs, the Shark Key family must band together to retrieve it and find the treasure.

But can they recover it before it’s too late?

This fun, fresh Jimmy Buffett meets Indiana Jones style adventure thriller will keep you listening all night. And fans of Travis McGee or Sam & Remi Fargo will love Kate Kingsbury and the crew at Shark Key Campground and Marina. Listen to book 1 in this new action-packed series today!

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
Narrated by Alex McKenna
HarperCollins Publishers

“This book is fast, furious, compelling, and angry as hell.” (Seanan McGuire, New York Times best-selling author)

The Boys meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this smart, imaginative, and evocative novel of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption, told with razor-sharp wit and affection, in which a young woman discovers the greatest superpower – for good or ill – is a properly executed spreadsheet.

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?

As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one. So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds
Narrated by A.J. Beckles, Preston Butler III
HarperCollins Publishers

Justin A. Reynolds, author of Opposite of Always, returns with another charming and powerful YA contemporary novel with a speculative twist, perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon, Becky Albertalli, and Adam Silvera.

What if you could bring your best friend back to life – but only for a short time? Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know that he died, and that he’s about to die…again. He doesn’t know that Jamal tried to save him. And that the reason they haven’t been friends for two years is because Jamal blames Q for the accident that killed his parents. But what if Jamal could have a second chance? A new technology allows Q to be reanimated for a few weeks before he dies…permanently. And Q’s mom is not about to let anyone ruin this miracle by telling Q about his impending death. So how can Jamal fix everything if he can’t tell Q the truth?

Early Departures weaves together loss, grief, friendship, and love to form a wholly unique homage to the bonds that bring people together for life – and beyond.

Project Dandelion by Heather Carson

Project Dandelion by Heather Carson
Narrated by Stacey Glemboski
Self Published

Sent to a fallout shelter to survive a nuclear catastrophe, a group of teenagers are the last hope for humanity. Can they survive living with one another first?

Katrina knew this day would come. She had been preparing for it all her life. The end of the world was here, and it looked nothing like she had imagined.

Now she was trapped in an underground fallout shelter with a group of teenagers who had been selected as the last hope for humanity. The idea of surviving the nuclear apocalypse alone blurs as she makes friends, and finds love, while buried beneath the earth.

Praise for Project Dandelion Book 1:

“I sat and read this beautiful novel in one sitting. I am almost out of breath as I turned the last page…. Thank you for creating this wonderful world.” (Kimberly Paterson, Owner Ink Spill Indie Book Shop)

“An excellently written YA novel. We loved it so much that we made Heather Carson our October spotlight author!” (Balancing Books)

To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan

To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan
Narrated by Emma Fryer
HarperCollins Publishers

“A spellbinding book about a missing child, and about the life of a writer. Bold, suspenseful, and impossible to put down. This one will stay with me for a long time.” (Samantha Downing, number one internationally best-selling author of My Lovely Wife)

The acclaimed author of The Nanny and What She Knew – hailed by stalwarts including Ruth Ware, Liane Moriarty, Rosamund Lupton, Tess Gerritsen, and Shari Lapena – returns with another serpentine thriller that cleverly blends atmosphere, tarnished memories, mystery, and twisty secrets from the past into a potent, intense listen that will leave you questioning everything you believe.

To tell you the truth…everybody lies.

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing best-selling novels has given her fame, fortune, and millions of fans. It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.

Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother, Teddy, also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story – a talent she has profited from greatly. But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy? Did she kill Dan?

Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.

Cross her heart.

And hope to die.

“One of the most unsettling – and unforgettable – heroines I’ve ever met.” (Shari Lapena, New York Times best-selling author of The Couple Next Door)

Outage Box Set by T.W. Piperbrook

Outage Box Set by T.W. Piperbrook
Narrated by Troy Duran
Self Published

The best-selling post-apocalyptic suspense series Outage – the complete series of five books plus bonus epilogue Outage: Control, available for the first time!

Something is coming for them.

When an early snow ravages the small town of Plainfield, the residents are stripped of heat, power, and mobility. They’ll soon wish they had protection. Somewhere outside, something else is lurking. Waiting for the chance to strike….

The complete post-apocalyptic horror suspense series Outage, in one complete collection.


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