Category: Inspired by Stories

An Audiobook Spotlight | “Two Thousand Years” (The Empire Saga, Book Two) by M. Dalto, narrated by Amanda Abeillan

Posted Friday, 27 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Two Thousand Years” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with M. Dalto on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What drew my eye to listening to “Two Thousand Years”:

When I first read the premise of this story & the series it was beginning – I thought for sure it would be a wickedly good fit for me as an audiobook listener. Especially as I am one of three co-host & founders of a month-long Fantasy event called: #WyrdAndWonder {@WyrdAndWonder} – yet, I couldn’t have been more off base with this selection! I love soaking into worlds of Fantasy & seeing what an author can envision for their world – however, as I’ll explain – this unexpectedly just wasn’t my cuppa in regards to the story itself or the performance of the narrator. As I still stand by what I blogged previously about narrators – sometimes they really can break your interest in hearing a story!

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An Audiobook Spotlight | “Two Thousand Years” (The Empire Saga, Book Two) by M. Dalto, narrated by Amanda AbeillanTwo Thousand Years
Subtitle: The Empire Saga Book One
by M. Dalto
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Amanda Abeillan

Two thousand years ago, the prophecy of fire and light foretold the coming of the queen empress who would lead the empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions and raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a 22-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished lord steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive crown prince of the empire, and together, they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the annals of the empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the crown prince and lord steward. Either choice could tear her world apart, as she attempts to keep the empire's torrid history from repeating itself.

In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice - or her fate - that determines how she survives the empire's rising conflicts.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781731461797

ASIN: B0849Z224C

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Historical-Fantasy, New Adult Fiction


Published by The Parliament House

on 3rd February, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Pages: 363

Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes (unabridged)

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The Empire Saga:

Full Details about the Saga!

Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto

Two Thousand Years (book one)

Mark of the Empress (book two)

Beginning’s End (book three)

& this series has novellas: (more info on author’s site)

Reylor’s Lament  (novella one)

Treyan’s Promise (novella two)

Sarayna’s Fate (novella three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #TheEmpireSaga + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #Fantasy, #FantasyRomance and/or #NewAdult

About M. Dalto

M. Dalto

M. Dalto is a Young Adult and New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories. Her bestselling debut novel, Two Thousand Years, was a 2016 Watty Award winner (Wattpad.com). She has since released two companion novellas, and its sequel, MARK OF THE EMPRESS. Her sophomore release, LADY MUTINY, has been signed with Magnolia Press for publication in 2020.

She was recruited to participate in Wattpad Paid Stories program for serialized authors in March 2019, and has since been invited into the Wattpad Stars program. She continues to volunteer her time as a literary mentor and freelance developmental editor, where she hopes to engage, assist, and inspire new writers through their literary journey.

She spends her days working as a full-time real estate paralegal, leaving her evenings to pursue her own writing agenda. When she’s not typing furiously at her computer, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

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Posted Friday, 27 March, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling

An Audiobook Spotlight | “Winterdream” (a Nutcracker retelling) by Chantal Gadoury, narrated by Anne Marie Lewis

Posted Saturday, 22 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Winterdream” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Chantal Gadoury on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I was excited to be listening to WINTERDREAM:

A ballet [“The Nutcracker”] I once had the pleasure of seeing on stage during Christmastide (ie. 2001) as a friend of mine surprised me with tickets. It was the first time I had seen the story come alive in this way and the beauty of the actors and dancers on stage has never quite left me! It was such a magical experience because I had known a bit about the story ahead of seeing it burst to life in front of me, I felt I had had a more enriched experience than several people sitting near me who were completely in the dark. Thus, as I move into listening to Winterdream – I feel as if I will continue to make the transitions from the perspective of a reader who already loves the story!

Fairy-tale retellings and after canon sequels, inspired-by stories or re-tellings are some of my favourites to discover as a book blogger! I have tried to seek out the after canon narratives which not only pay homage to the originals but they seek to have their own individual stamp on how to tell the story from a refreshing perspective of entrance! These are the stories which give you a wicked good read whilst endeavouring you to re-see the past in a different dimension of thoughtfulness.

Being that I spent December & January this year binge-watching my favourite (new & old) Hallmark Christmas movies – I have been trying to ‘extend!’ the joy of reading Christmas stories and/or Christmas Romances this February & March. I was originally going to cap it at Valentine’s Day but it took me a bit longer to get into the rhythm of reading this New Year whilst two of my library purchase requests are taking a bit longer to reach me via my local library! One is a Christmas story and the other is a Valentine’s romance. Therefore, shifting into Winterdream just felt like the right timing as I still haven’t ‘let go’ of Christmas!

Having said this – I wonder if any of my followers and subscribers are as attached as I am to stories which seek to re-tell a famous story? To see it from a different angle or a different era of choice? Sometimes they can even gender-bend the lead characters or move from a Historical to Contemporary setting (or vice versa) whilst sometimes even endeavouring to be explored through elements of Speculative Fiction! Whichever way you slice it – I oft wonder who else *loves!* to unearth these stories and soak into the author’s vision for them?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An Audiobook Spotlight  | “Winterdream” (a Nutcracker retelling) by Chantal Gadoury, narrated by Anne Marie LewisWinterdream
by Chantal Gadoury
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Anne Marie Lewis

This Christmas Eve, no creature was stirring, except, maybe, a mouse.

At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions and one special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams.

But will she be able to break the Nutcracker's curse? Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice Anton is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1790211678

ASIN: B083BWPQSQ

Also by this author: Narrator Interview (Winterdream)

Genres: After Canons, Fantasy Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by The Parliament House

on 31st December, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours and 22 minutes (unabridged)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #WinterDream + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #ClassicLit Re-Telling of #TheNutcracker

About Chantal Gadoury

Chantal Gadoury

Amazon Bestselling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Since graduation, she has published The Songs in Our Hearts and The Songs We Remember with 48Fourteen Publishing. Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars, Blinding Night and Winterdream with the Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. For Chantal, writing novels has become a lifelong dream come true! When she’s not typing away at her next project, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of iced coffee, and watching Disney Classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, sister and furry-‘brother’ Taran.

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Posted Saturday, 22 February, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories

An Audiobook Blog Tour | “Netherfield: Rogue Dragon” (Jane Austen’s Dragons, Book Two) by Maria Grace, narrated by Benjamin Fife

Posted Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#AudioReads banner created by Jorie in Canva. Unsplash Photography (Creative Commons Zero) Photo Credit: Alice Moore

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary ALC audiobook (mp3) copy of “Netherfield: Rogue Dragon” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Benjamin Fife on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I loved about the first novel in this series “Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon”:

We retreat back into the world lit alive by Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in a rather charming viewing of this family’s evening traditions. It is here were we find the incomparable Mrs Bennett still with a glint of criticism to share on her observations of her family and Lizzie herself, who is gathering requests for a story to be told about dragons. The young boys in her presence are besotted with the idea – barely able to contain themselves or the immediate glee they are experiencing over the prospect of what Lizzie might tell them about their favourite creature. And, thus our entrance into the Jane Austen Dragons series begins as if we never left this world at all – well, except with one minor difference, the last time I visited dragons were never whispered about nor aptly disclosed.

It is in this children’s story about the back history of dragons we first caught a glimpse of the first human who could interact with dragons due to his ability to ‘hear’ them; an unfamiliar trait amongst humans who previously were unable to communicate with dragons previously. This man was Uther Pendragon. And, thus the back lineage of dragons and humans is explained through how our original contacts with dragons began quite humbly and how Pendragon forged a unique capacity for peace with the dragon king he had met and of whom had given him gifts to takeaway with him. This was an interesting section of the story as it set down the tradition of how men kept falcons and why women kept birds; a seemingly uninteresting habit and yet, if you were to view this with the back history of how this tradition was manifested first through the meetings of dragons, it gives new meaning behind why humans have feathered companions.

This was a beautiful segue moment – where you can view this world in one dimensional lens and re-view it through the dimensional lens Ms Grace is writing for us to find disclosed. It was shortly after the bedtime story concluded where we first understood who Lizzie’s feathered companion really is and how she fits into the history of dragons inside this world. It is a slow building arc towards showcasing how most of the inhabitants still believe themselves to be living a rather ordinary experience – to see the non-magical elements round them and taking that as stock for what is truly the reality they know and love. Yet, behind that veilled reality there is a keener one, a more fantastical one which is seeking to merge into known history and the perceptional assumption everyone had already made about their own living sphere. It here I felt Ms Grace made a wonderful gesture towards breaking us out of the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and what we knew of the Regency to exchange it for this wholly new set of rules and traditions for this new world emerging into our view. I found it as fascinating of a transition as I had previously when I first learnt the word muggle and the differences therein in a universe just as fantastical as this one.

Ms Grace took us through a conjoined and mutually admired lens of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice storyline – keeping us clued into the familiar and then taking us into heightened new additions – not just the dragons but how she constructed this world ‘behind’ the lore and legend which has become the Jane Austen universe. It is in that breadth of entrance I could definitely see why the narrator Mr Fife was talking to me in my forthcoming interview about how expansive this world is going to become – because it isn’t locked into strictly resonating with our memories of Pride but will endeavour itself to re-transition through different components of theory and thought from each of Austen’s novels.

I truly loved her instincts – such as how she put in a new reason and central arc of intrigue into why the soldiers would be in Meryton and how this had a cross-effect of importance with the dragons. Similarly to how she enlarged the mindfulness of understanding why female heirs were not giving real estate and how this new component of needing a Dragon Keeper (a person who can hear and see dragons) is just as relevant as the old rules for the entailled property to go to a male heir. She takes the traditions of the story itself and then re-visualises how it can become augmented into a dragon society living adjacent and cohabitating with the humans who reside here. I found it wicked brilliant!

If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice in a long while this is a wonderful re-visitation of the story – as Maria Grace aligns you so wholly true to where Jane Austen took us into her novel. The added benefit is the secondary arc wherein the dragons reign alongside the ton and country society the Bennett’s have become renown. As you take this journey each new corridor of the original story is re-explored and re-heightened by the presence of Grace’s dragons. It is hard not to spoilt what you will find within this new series because of how readily true she has written her world into Austen’s and vice versa. You almost question which of the world’s came first – even knowing the answer and that is a mark of a wicked good storycrafter who has given those of us who love Austen a new experience of her stories!

-quoted from my review of Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An Audiobook Blog Tour | “Netherfield: Rogue Dragon” (Jane Austen’s Dragons, Book Two) by Maria Grace, narrated by Benjamin FifeNetherfield: Rogue Dragon
Subtitle: Jane Austen's Dragons Book Three
by Maria Grace
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Benjamin Fife

Elizabeth Bennet thought she was prepared to do anything to make the Dragon Conclave accept her beloved young dragon Pemberley into the Blue Order, but she had not anticipated it would leave her banished from her ancestral home and betrothed to none other than Mr. Darcy. But before Elizabeth and Darcy wed, they must find a dangerous rogue dragon before it provokes a war amongst the dragons and brings the fragile peace between dragons and mankind to a catastrophic end.

Nothing written in the annals of dragon lore has prepared Elizabeth to manage a dragon not governed by the Blue Order. Dragons have always loved her, but this one finds her arrogant, selfish and insensitive to others. With only her instincts to guide her, she must convince the rogue of her good intentions before the Blue Order loses patience and decides on more drastic measures.

Called away to the other side of the kingdom, trying to settle the dragons' unrest, Darcy learns the nature of the force poisoning the rogue dragon against Elizabeth. One nearer and dearer than they could have imagined.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy convince with rogue dragon to cooperate before darker forces turn it against them, without destroying the fragile bonds uniting the couple?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

ISBN: 9780998093772

Also by this author: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Narrator Interview (Jane Austen's Dragons), Longbourn: Dragon Entail

Also in this series: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Longbourn: Dragon Entail


Genres: After Canons, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Self Published

on To Be Announced (audiobook)

Format: Audiobook | mp3

Pages: 369

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Jane Austen Dragons series:

Pemberley Darcy's Dragon by Maria Grace (audiobook)Longbourn Dragon Entail by Maria Grace (audiobook)Netherfield Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace

A Proper Introduction to Dragons (prequel)

Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon (book one) (see also Review)

Longbourn: Dragon Entail (book two) (see also Review)

Netherfield: Rogue Dragon (book three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook* and Ebook
*slight delay in the release date but it is releasing soon!

Converse via: #JaneAustensDragons + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #Pemberley, #MrDarcy OR #LizzieAndDarcy

& #JaneAusten, #PrideAndPrejudice #aftercanon

About Maria Grace

Maria Grace

Five time BRAG Medallion Honoree and #1 best selling Historical Fantasy author, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.

She writes gaslamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling

#HistoricalMondays an audiobook review | “Longbourn: Dragon Entail” (Jane Austen’s Dragons, Book Two) by Maria Grace, narrated by Benjamin Fife

Posted Monday, 17 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Longbourn: Dragon Entail” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Benjamin Fife on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I loved about the first novel in this series “Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon”:

We retreat back into the world lit alive by Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in a rather charming viewing of this family’s evening traditions. It is here were we find the incomparable Mrs Bennett still with a glint of criticism to share on her observations of her family and Lizzie herself, who is gathering requests for a story to be told about dragons. The young boys in her presence are besotted with the idea – barely able to contain themselves or the immediate glee they are experiencing over the prospect of what Lizzie might tell them about their favourite creature. And, thus our entrance into the Jane Austen Dragons series begins as if we never left this world at all – well, except with one minor difference, the last time I visited dragons were never whispered about nor aptly disclosed.

It is in this children’s story about the back history of dragons we first caught a glimpse of the first human who could interact with dragons due to his ability to ‘hear’ them; an unfamiliar trait amongst humans who previously were unable to communicate with dragons previously. This man was Uther Pendragon. And, thus the back lineage of dragons and humans is explained through how our original contacts with dragons began quite humbly and how Pendragon forged a unique capacity for peace with the dragon king he had met and of whom had given him gifts to takeaway with him. This was an interesting section of the story as it set down the tradition of how men kept falcons and why women kept birds; a seemingly uninteresting habit and yet, if you were to view this with the back history of how this tradition was manifested first through the meetings of dragons, it gives new meaning behind why humans have feathered companions.

This was a beautiful segue moment – where you can view this world in one dimensional lens and re-view it through the dimensional lens Ms Grace is writing for us to find disclosed. It was shortly after the bedtime story concluded where we first understood who Lizzie’s feathered companion really is and how she fits into the history of dragons inside this world. It is a slow building arc towards showcasing how most of the inhabitants still believe themselves to be living a rather ordinary experience – to see the non-magical elements round them and taking that as stock for what is truly the reality they know and love. Yet, behind that veilled reality there is a keener one, a more fantastical one which is seeking to merge into known history and the perceptional assumption everyone had already made about their own living sphere. It here I felt Ms Grace made a wonderful gesture towards breaking us out of the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and what we knew of the Regency to exchange it for this wholly new set of rules and traditions for this new world emerging into our view. I found it as fascinating of a transition as I had previously when I first learnt the word muggle and the differences therein in a universe just as fantastical as this one.

Ms Grace took us through a conjoined and mutually admired lens of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice storyline – keeping us clued into the familiar and then taking us into heightened new additions – not just the dragons but how she constructed this world ‘behind’ the lore and legend which has become the Jane Austen universe. It is in that breadth of entrance I could definitely see why the narrator Mr Fife was talking to me in my forthcoming interview about how expansive this world is going to become – because it isn’t locked into strictly resonating with our memories of Pride but will endeavour itself to re-transition through different components of theory and thought from each of Austen’s novels.

I truly loved her instincts – such as how she put in a new reason and central arc of intrigue into why the soldiers would be in Meryton and how this had a cross-effect of importance with the dragons. Similarly to how she enlarged the mindfulness of understanding why female heirs were not giving real estate and how this new component of needing a Dragon Keeper (a person who can hear and see dragons) is just as relevant as the old rules for the entailled property to go to a male heir. She takes the traditions of the story itself and then re-visualises how it can become augmented into a dragon society living adjacent and cohabitating with the humans who reside here. I found it wicked brilliant!

If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice in a long while this is a wonderful re-visitation of the story – as Maria Grace aligns you so wholly true to where Jane Austen took us into her novel. The added benefit is the secondary arc wherein the dragons reign alongside the ton and country society the Bennett’s have become renown. As you take this journey each new corridor of the original story is re-explored and re-heightened by the presence of Grace’s dragons. It is hard not to spoilt what you will find within this new series because of how readily true she has written her world into Austen’s and vice versa. You almost question which of the world’s came first – even knowing the answer and that is a mark of a wicked good storycrafter who has given those of us who love Austen a new experience of her stories!

-quoted from my review of Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HistoricalMondays an audiobook review | “Longbourn: Dragon Entail” (Jane Austen’s Dragons, Book Two) by Maria Grace, narrated by Benjamin FifeLongbourn: Dragon Entail
Subtitle: Jane Austen's Dragons Book Two
by Maria Grace
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Benjamin Fife

Darcy thought his problems were over when Pemberley hatched and successfully imprinted on humans. But baby dragons prove far more difficult than any dragon lore prepared him for. Only Elizabeth Bennet's notes offer him any help. When his imperious Aunt Catherine takes matters into her own hands, things take a turn for the worse and Pemberley’s life hangs in the balance. He desperately needs more of Elizabeth’s help, but she ignores all of his requests.

Elizabeth, though, has problems of her own. After the Bennet family dragon sent Pemberley away, life at Longbourn was supposed to return to normal and Elizabeth get on with the all-important business of marrying the heir to her father’s estate. Except that he is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry - a bumbling, addle-pated dragon-hater who demands she gives up the dragons she lives for.

Can she, with the help of her dragon friends, find her way back to Pemberley before they both suffer their fate from the Dragon Entail?

Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern. A must-listen for Pern fans.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0828BKZ8W

Also by this author: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Narrator Interview (Jane Austen's Dragons), Netherfield: Rogue Dragon

Also in this series: Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon, Netherfield: Rogue Dragon


Genres: After Canons, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Self Published

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 38 minutes (unabridged)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Jane Austen Dragons series:

Pemberley Darcy's Dragon by Maria Grace (audiobook)Longbourn Dragon Entail by Maria Grace (audiobook)Netherfield Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace

A Proper Introduction to Dragons (prequel)

Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon (book one) (see also Review)

Longbourn: Dragon Entail (book two)

Netherfield: Rogue Dragon (book three)

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #JaneAustensDragons + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #Pemberley, #MrDarcy OR #LizzieAndDarcy

& #JaneAusten, #PrideAndPrejudice #aftercanon

About Maria Grace

Maria Grace

Five time BRAG Medallion Honoree and #1 best selling Historical Fantasy author, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.

She writes gaslamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 17 February, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling

An interview with an Audiobook Narrator | “In conversation with Anne Marie Lewis, the narrator behind “Winterdream” – a Nutcracker retelling by Chantal Gadoury

Posted Monday, 17 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Narrator Blog Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am pleased as punch to bring another NEW audiobook narrator interview to Jorie Loves A Story! I love finding out the narrator’s process for bringing their character’s to life whilst getting a bit of a glimpse ‘behind-the-book’ itself and knowing a bit more about what inspires or motivates narrators to lend their voices to the stories we all love to seek out as #AudioReads.

Today I am featuring a re-telling of “The Nutcracker” – a ballet I once had the pleasure of seeing on stage during Christmastide (ie. 2001) as a friend of mine surprised me with tickets. It was the first time I had seen the story come alive in this way and the beauty of the actors and dancers on stage has never quite left me! It was such a magical experience because I had known a bit about the story ahead of seeing it burst to life in front of me, I felt I had had a more enriched experience than several people sitting near me who were completely in the dark. Thus, as I move into listening to Winterdream – I feel as if I will continue to make the transitions from the perspective of a reader who already loves the story!

Fairy-tale retellings and after canon sequels, inspired-by stories or re-tellings are some of my favourites to discover as a book blogger! I have tried to seek out the after canon narratives which not only pay homage to the originals but they seek to have their own individual stamp on how to tell the story from a refreshing perspective of entrance! These are the stories which give you a wicked good read whilst endeavouring you to re-see the past in a different dimension of thoughtfulness.

Being that I spent December & January this year binge-watching my favourite (new & old) Hallmark Christmas movies – I have been trying to ‘extend!’ the joy of reading Christmas stories and/or Christmas Romances this February & March. I was originally going to cap it at Valentine’s Day but it took me a bit longer to get into the rhythm of reading this New Year whilst two of my library purchase requests are taking a bit longer to reach me via my local library! One is a Christmas story and the other is a Valentine’s romance. Therefore, shifting into Winterdream just felt like the right timing as I still haven’t ‘let go’ of Christmas!

Having said this – I wonder if any of my followers and subscribers are as attached as I am to stories which seek to re-tell a famous story? To see it from a different angle or a different era of choice? Sometimes they can even gender-bend the lead characters or move from a Historical to Contemporary setting (or vice versa) whilst sometimes even endeavouring to be explored through elements of Speculative Fiction! Whichever way you slice it – I oft wonder who else *loves!* to unearth these stories and soak into the author’s vision for them?

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Without further adieu,

Let’s find out more about this narrator’s approach

to performing & narrating audiobooks!

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Winter Dream by Chantal Gadoury

This Christmas Eve, no creature was stirring, except, maybe, a mouse.

At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions and one special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams.

But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse? Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice Anton is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #WinterDream + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #ClassicLit Re-Telling of #TheNutcracker

About Chantal Gadoury

Chantal Gadoury

Amazon Bestselling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Since graduation, she has published The Songs in Our Hearts and The Songs We Remember with 48Fourteen Publishing. Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars, Blinding Night and Winterdream with the Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. For Chantal, writing novels has become a lifelong dream come true! When she’s not typing away at her next project, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of iced coffee, and watching Disney Classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, sister and furry-‘brother’ Taran.

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Posted Monday, 17 February, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Dragon Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling