Category: Jane Austen Sequel

Blog Book Tour | Celebrating a #PrideAndPrejudice variant in the pages of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” by Elizabeth Adams

Posted Thursday, 6 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary copy of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” direct from the author Elizabeth Adams in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On how much I already LOVE the author Elizabeth Adams:

This year was quite extraordinary already when it comes to featuring interviews on Jorie Loves A Story – as Ms Adams happily took up the challenge I presented to her via a respun Top Ten Tuesday wherein we explored her writerly style in this wicked lovely vlog interview!

The focus of course – was PRIDE AND PREJUDICE which is rather apt as the novel on this lovely blog tour is a PRIDE variant – wherein you can nearly guess the plot simply by taking stock of the title!

Last year, during one of  my @SatBookChat‘s – I hosted Christina Boyd and Ms Adams was one of the authors who came into the chat – as we were celebrating their 2020 release by the Quill Collective “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl!! She provided so much wicked good commentary & laughter to the chat, it became one of my top favourite #SatBookChat’s as a result.

For #AudiobookMonth this June, I’ll be revisiting my listening of “Elizabeth: Obstinate Girl” but ahead of those lovely festivities – I was thankful to get a stop on this lovely blog tour which is featuring one of Ms Adams’ novels. I have only been acquainted with her stories in audiobook – this is the first time I’ve had the chance to read one of hers in print and I was wickedly delighted by the prospect!

IF you love Jane Austen’s worlds & characters – keep your eyes on Elizabeth Adams and the Quill Collective authors respectively – they are shining stars in the world of after canon lit for Austen!

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Notation on Cover Art & Design: As soon as I first looked at this cover art, I knew it was fittingly wicked for this story. There was something about it – the images themselves (front/back) and the colours of hues – plus it had this Jane Austen variant feel to it as the text and layout all worked together brilliantly. It would definitely make a wonderful poster to grace your library!

Blog Book Tour | Celebrating a #PrideAndPrejudice variant in the pages of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” by Elizabeth AdamsHow to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated
by Elizabeth Adams
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

For Elizabeth Bennet, Charlotte is the friend who is—annoyingly—always right. Colonel Fitzwilliam is the mischievous brother she never had. And if their convictions that Mr. Darcy is in love with her are correct, he could be the lover she’s always wanted.

There’s only one problem—he tried to ruin her favorite sister’s life, and she made an absolute fool of herself in front of him.

Can lasting happiness come out of such a beginning? And can a man die from chasing a woman too quick to be caught? Darcy is about to find out.

Genres: Classical Literature, After Canons, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8733477589

Published by Self Published

on 5th of April, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 266

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #JaneAusten
+ #PrideAndPrejudice Variant or #AfterCanon
as well as #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips – as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.

She writes romantic comedy and comedic drama in both historic and modern settings.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 6 May, 2021 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling

Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | A mini Review and a Conversation about “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl” (Vol.5: the Quill Collective, series) narrated by Elizabeth Grace

Posted Saturday, 5 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 18 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made 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 and knitting 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 the Audiobookworm Promotion I expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding my own traction into audiobooks and the way in which storytelling took on a deeper layer of immersion for me as a listerner. Meanwhile, I started to curate my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue as well as a regional library who uses CloudLibrary; I offset borrowing audiobooks through libraries with an active subscription to Scribd (for audiobooks). I batch my membership months with Audible to several months per year and purchase a few audiobooks whilst I have it active as well as enjoying selecting free Audible Original audiobooks.

This is the long history of how I entered into becoming an audiobook reviewer – it was through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions I originally crossed paths with Ms Christina Boyd with The Quill Collective (via the ‘Rational Creatures’ audio blog tour) and thereby have enjoyed keeping in the loop with their after canon stories connected to Jane Austen. This is how I came to know ‘Yuletide’ and now ‘Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl’ of whom is my favourite character from ‘Pride and Prejudice’; my favourite canon novel of Austen’s.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Elizabeth: Headstrong Girl” via Christina Boyd @ The Quill Collective in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Being a Janeite,

I have a fierce appreciation for The Quill Collective:

I’ve been a Janeite for a very long time – during #AustenInAugust [2017], I had the joyful pleasure of submitting a guest essay to commemorate how Austen has been moving in and out of my life over the years which ran on a featured day on Roof Beam Reader’s blog. It is in of itself a quite all-inclusive look at how Jane Austen has left a strong impression on my life. Do read it if you have a chance to peer into how Austen and her stories have given me a lifetime of reflective rumination & joy.

And, ever since my essay was published I have made fervent attempts of re-establishing myself into my Classics Club TBR – to source and seek out works of Classical Lit I’ve earmarked to be read and for the vast majority of those pursuits, it is the canon of Jane Austen I desire most to focus upon. I have the canon in print in several editions but most of those are packed save three and it is those three which I am in pursuit of finishing first whilst continuing to seek out after canon novelists and short story writers who are giving me a well of presence within those worlds that not only honour Austen’s own words but allow us to carry forward into the worlds themselves.

Whilst I was working on this featured post for the blog tour – I had an unexpected discovery – Audible now offers a more friendly budget price for listeners who are not in a hurry to purchase audiobooks (as choosing one per month was enough anxiety for me to last lifetimes) but rather would love to listen to an unlimited amount of them which are provided within the catalogue of the new listen and return service. Similar truly to why I am a lover of Scribd’s services for audiobooks.

Guess what the vast majority of those ‘free to listen in unlimited amounts’ per month include!? *Classics!* Including a fair amount of Jane Austen!!! I even found Rosamunde Pike’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Emma Thompson’s “Emma”!! Imagine?! I was truly taken aback and gobsmacked — another reason I am blessed to have a tablet now for listening to audiobooks & music – as it allowed me to accept a 30 day trial right now and remain within the grip of the Classics!

That news aside, what I LOVE about the Quill Collective is how they honour Jane Austen and how they remain wholly passionate about publishing stories which celebrates the canon but allows the writers they publish to re-envision those characters in such a refreshingly new way as to give each of us a new reason to seek Austen and to seek after canon stories of her collective works. These are the stories by a publisher who understands why we are such discerning readers of Classical Lit and the after canon retellings and sequels which allow us to ruminate further on those worlds… they give us the same passionate response in story as we personally give ourselves over to ponder whenever we pick up a story of Austen. And, for me – the highest praise indeed is their propensity of producing quality over quantity and giving all of us such a wonderful catalogue of stories I truly believe Austen herself would be wicked giddy over seeing published.

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An informative conversation with Elizabeth Grace:

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

the questions were ones I provided and I delighted in her responses!

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As you’re narrating an audiobook with a collection of stories inspired by Jane Austen – I was curious, what first drew your eye to the project and what do you personally love about the voice, style and legacy of Ms Austen?

Grace responds: I was drawn to this project by an author I had started working with called Elizabeth Adams who wrote “Something Like Regret” for the anthology. I was just finishing up with her novel, “Green Card” and was looking for a new project. She recommended me to Christina Boyd who then asked me to audition for OHG. I hadn’t narrated an anthology before but I loved it.

Each story has such personality and a style that is at once individual to the author yet also completely in keeping with Austen’s original characters and wit. I think that is my favourite thing about her writing, how well it translates. It makes me realise how recent her writing was in the grand history of time and that while we think their society and thoughts are vastly different to ours, we haven’t really changed all that much.

I believe that is the best singular truth of insight into Jane Austen’s writings I’ve ever heard – how continuously relatable she is due to how we’ve become such an unchanged society. For all the progresses and all the developments of how live has shifted forward per generation, there are still telling truths about how she wrote about society and the pressures of how life can sometimes become too measured by what society believes it can dictate out of a life. I love the serendipitous nature of how you became attached to OHG; I tend to think those are the better moments of our lives – how we cross paths with people who have an important reason of being in our life at any particular point in time. It speaks to how we’re all connected. Whilst at the same time – how some stories ‘find us’ rather than how we presume to believe ‘we find them’.

Of all the stories of Austen, my first introduction to her stories was through “Pride and Prejudice” and thus, Elizabeth has been my favourite Austen heroine ever since the adaptation featuring Keira Knightley was released (as it coincided with my first readings). As you were reading the stories you’ve brought to life – what did you intuit out of them about Elizabeth and about her nature as one of our leading ladies who has withstood time to affect us on such a personal level of appreciation?

Grace responds: I have been asked similar questions before and I am always brought back to Tessa Dare’s wonderful foreword from the anthology. She talks about why Elizabeth is such a popular character and why we continue to relate to her so well and she says it is because “Elizabeth is just like me – but awesome”. I think that is so true, because she is extremely human and altogether female. She is clever and yet judgemental, witty and at times cutting, self-aware and often a little self-deprecating. You can feel her battling with the same traits that we battle with today and she does so with this beautiful honesty and vulnerability which allows her to accept when she is wrong but also speak out against her better judgement when she needs to defend herself, her family or her opinion.

I have so much Elizabeth Bennett inside me (as well as Jane Eyre and Jo March, and lest I forget Anne Shirley) that it isn’t too remarkable to me to realise why I haven’t found myself attached to another novel by Jane Austen (as of yet – ‘Persuasion’ has a new audiobook narration waiting in the wings for me via NetGalley) inasmuch as my absolute admiration, dedication and passion for ‘Pride and Prejudice’; singularly it is hard to discern, is it strictly due to Lizzie or is it equally split between her and Mr Darcy – of whom I’ve previously disclosed is my first and only (thus far into my fourth decade) book boyfriend! I believe that’s the key draw really – seeing someone who is not shy about speaking her mind, bluntly so at moments and honestly evoking a reaction out of others in order for her voice to be heard when it infers an importance to her to be said. In defence of family and self – there are no truer moments for which we all need to remember to listen to our intuition and feel confidence in our voice.

Isn’t that the mark of true classically perennial stories? Where you can revisit them and still see why you originally loved them but then find these extra layers of genius within how they were writ? I felt that way when I first started watching “Anne with an E” via NetFlix and when I was listening to the audiobooks for the first three “Anne of Green Gables” stories via Post Hypnotic Press – wherein I was seeing Marilla in a whole new ray of light wherein previously (per my younger visitation into this world) I was finding myself only drawn to Anne.

Did you have a favourite story in the collection?
And if so, what was it about it that drew you in as deeply as it had?

Grace responds: I really enjoyed each of the stories for different reasons. I recently did a reading of “Atmospheric Disturbances” by Christina Morland for the book tour and I loved that one because I really enjoy narrating arguments! I am not sure why, but I think its because of the fast pace and the high stakes.

Other memorable stories are “Love in the Limelight” by Beau North because of the amazing backdrop of Hollywood’s golden age. The one that moved me the most during my narration was “A Mate for Life” by Christina Boyd, I am sure you can hear my voice crack towards the end. There is something so nostalgic and tender about Elizabeth as an elderly woman reflecting on a life well lived while watching her grand-daughter begin her own journey into adulthood that is so touching.

OOh! I love when a narrator has to go head to head – character on character and walk us through the paces of a full-on row! It gives such a realistic edge to the story and such a believable measure of time for seeing the characters move through their lives – likewise, between the rows and the emotional anguish sequences – I daresay, I credit a lot to the stamina and the performances by narrators who can take us tenfold into their journey by voicing stories with such beautiful dimension! Those are dearly my favourite moments – where you can really hear and sense the ’emotions’ behind a narrator’s voice and how through their performance you can feel intuitively closer to when they had originally sat to read the audio play. As to me, audiobooks bring back why live radio theatre used to be as popular as it had been – audiobooks are the new variant of those radio plays – where it is all vocalised and it etches into your heart, encompasses your imagination and gives you this immersive depth that you cannot get otherwise by print or screen. It is very interpersonal and I love the effect of it.

I oft wonder how narrators approach their performances – did you do any prep work for narrating this series of stories and/or how did you approach getting into the head and heart of Elizabeth through the different incantations that were presented therein?

Grace responds: I would love to tell you that I prepped for weeks to get into Elizabeth’s mind and understand her inside out but the truth is I learned more about her during the process than beforehand.

Working with such talented authors as those featured in OHG, they set up the circumstances so perfectly you are given all you need to know to get stuck straight in. Like you, I was familiar with Elizabeth from reading “Pride and Prejudice“, watching the films and TV adaptations and (as a girl called Elizabeth) being likened to her for a lot of my life! I had a good grounding on what she stands for and who she is. It helps that she is super relatable so it is easy to put some of  myself into her which is really what we, as actors do. Rather than thinking so much on the lines of “what would my character do?”, I try to think, given everything I know about my character, if I was in this situation what would I do/how would I react?

OOh no standing on airs here – I love getting the ‘behind-the-book’ trivia bits about how stories are writ and performed – whatever inks out of being the truthful accounting of how a story was either first created or thus after performed are the right answers to give to my readers. I oft wonder though – isn’t that similarly true for regular performances as well? To best get into the headspace of a character you first have to take that fuller immersion into performing them – rooting out their essence and getting a niche of a feel for how they ought to be portrayed? At least, that is what I gather from afar?

I also love the personal touches you etch into this performance – as you said, you took it to a personal heart to heart level and inverted it to being a reflection of your own reactions and responses rather than simply leaning on ‘what Elizabeth Bennett might have done herself’. I think that’s champion and the best route into how to have obtained the right balance in your performance; as said, I have noted things from afar (from loving theatre, radio, television and film) but I never knew if any of those observations had merit as I haven’t yet worked in theatre.

Were there any secondary characters in this collection of stories you felt stood out to you the most?

Grace responds: Darcy can’t not stand out in the anthology, he plays such a significant role. Again, harping back to Tessa Dare’s foreword, I love her line about loving Darcy because he is smart enough to love Elizabeth. While all the other men are fawning over Jane, he is drawn to Elizabeth for all the reasons we love her.

In each of these stories we really see his tenderness towards Elizabeth shine. This is really prominent for me in “Resistive Currents” by Karen M Cox where he really displays this kindness and loyalty we don’t always get to see. I think I realised that while he is often played as being super stoic and harsh, it is really important to also portray his nervousness and protectiveness. Again, these are traits we would all have to some degree given his experiences and what he has been through.

I was immediately thinking about Peter Calpaldi as ‘Doctor Who’ – who apparently became one of the most unrelatable Doctors (according to those I’ve spoken with) and yet, he was so endeared to me for reasons you’ve broached about Darcy. It goes back to the layers of a character’s soul and the artfulness approach in how through their story and the stories after those initial ones which reveal more of those hidden layers that might oft go overlooked or become discarded in favour of presumptive prejudgements on their character. For me, Calpaldi brought a richness to the role – the emotional unresolved angst of an immortal person who could no longer live with the guilt and conscience of what he had done, whom he could not save and the weight of how the universe constantly pulled him into circumstances to act in impossible situations to resolve whatever wrong needed righted. In essence, he was portraying another situation that Dr Beckett found himself in perpetually in ‘Quantum Leap’.

I believe Darcy fits into this bracket as well – people have such strong reactions to Darcy – to his manners and to his speech that they sometimes fail to see the ‘real’ Darcy behind the gruffiness of his personality and to peer into what is motivating him to act and speak in the ways in which he is presenting himself to his peers and neighbours. As you said – more layers there, we just have to be open to finding them, understanding them and accepting Darcy on his own terms – very much like Lizzie had herself.

What is more challenging – tackling a character as renown as Elizabeth Bennett (or any Classical character) or having to give life and voice to a character fresh out of an author’s imagination?

Grace responds: There are real advantages and disadvantages to both, as you can imagine. Taking on characters that are well know, you are faced with other peoples’ preconceived notions of how they believe the character should sound or behave. However, it also means so much more when they tell you afterwards how much they feel you encapsulated that character for them. I do love creating them for myself, having the time to really understand someone new and be able to guide an audiences perception but when I do this, I am always also working with author who gave birth to them and also has a view on how they should sound so it’s not so different in that respect.

What are your favourite takeaways from this collection as a whole and what did you feel was the greatest message that would impact listeners and readers alike?

Grace responds: I think for me, the fact that each story is set in either a different time period or a different scenario really brings back the idea of Jane Austen’s initial writing being so incredibly modern. That we can pick these characters up and transport them this way while maintaining their original character traits and even literally their words in some cases just goes to show how revolutionary and natural her writing was. I think the anthology is very pertinent for women at the moment during this feminist wave where we support each other, we have opinions and we speak our minds and ultimately, we strive to be obstinate and headstrong.

What do you feel are harder to narrate? Short stories or novels and why?

Grace responds: I think novels are trickier, simply due to the length of them. Short stories tend to be very dynamic and fast paced as they try to fit in a fair amount of drama into a relatively short amount of time. They are also less complex with regards to dramatic reading in terms of chronology and subtext. Usually we find the characters in short stories have very clear needs and obstacles from the outset which for a narrator requires a little less planning. Novels are longer and so you need to be more conscious of maintaining the momentum of the story throughout and you need to really consider the characters motives at each point – what do they know, what don’t they know, what is the immediate need and what’s the end game for them etc. However, I do love novels for this complexity too, it’s often more challenging and you can get really stuck into the story, whereas with anthologies, I can feel like I am on a roll, then the story concludes and I am on to the next.

How did your impression of Elizabeth change from “Pride and Prejudice” to “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl”? What do you think became reflected through these new stories that perhaps Austen left out of disclosing herself on her behalf? As much as how did it feel to voice such a literary heroine as Elizabeth and share her name?

Grace responds: From a purely feminist perspective, when I look back on Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice” with all the knowledge I have now, it feels like she could have done more. Please don’t misunderstand me, I wouldn’t want the story to change but after reading of her in OHG doing all these amazing things, I feel bad that ultimately, by accident in a way, she ends up bending to societies’ expectations.

In “The House Party” by Janetta James, Elizabeth is surrounded by the suffragette movement and while she supports these women and their fight, she doesn’t get stuck in herself. It took me a moment to realise how very “Elizabeth” that is. And I am the same. I wonder what adrenaline and desperation Emily Davison felt before she flung herself in front of the King’s horse, but I will likely never know.

Like Elizabeth Bennet, I am woman of relative means, I have always lived a comfortable enough life to see the other side not so far away and to support and sympathise, say the right words but not necessarily feel that desperation to join the physical fight. Not everyone can feel like that, otherwise everyday would be a revolution I suppose, but did Jane Austen not feel desperate as a female writer in the early 1800s?

I wonder if it crossed her mind to make Elizabeth more revolutionary, but if she feared that it would make her a lot less likable at the time. I imagine she would be proud to see her heroine become one of the only female engineering students at Fordyce University, or sticking up for her sister to a big movie executive in Hollywood. We have the amazing ability to make Elizabeth’s options in life limitless. As a fellow Elizabeth, I thank women like Jane Austen for giving us a heroine that does withstand the passage of time and allows fantastic, modern authors to give new direction to her and inspire the next generation.

When you’re not narrating and performing what renews your spirit?

Grace responds: I love to travel which is why lockdown has been so hard for me. I am real social butterfly and love nothing more than seeing new places and being close to people – 2 meters just isn’t near enough! I have found solace however in my work, meeting some amazing, creative people in these authors and working with them to create something special. I write this from a hotel on an island in the Canaries called Lanzarote. It’s a little 10-day getaway that I will be paying for in isolation for 2 weeks on my return but will hopefully feel refreshed and renewed!

I am a traveller myself and fully respect the angst! Even though we, as a family have grown to love our car picnics and takeaway meals – there is something to be said for real sit down meals out of the house – which thankfully we did do the night prior to when this post runs on Jorie Loves A Story as we were craving an evening out where we could do something pre-pandemic normal and learnt our local pub was at half capacity and had an available table. I cannot express how comforting it was to order our favourite Friday night meal (ie. sloppy joes with fries) and try a new dark lager beer with a toasted after note! Even our server was thankful we were there and it was wonderful to see her after such a long absence! It was only the second time we’ve gone back to eat out – the first was during an epic storm ahead of a 12 hour shift for Mum and that was only a quick grab and go meal in a takeaway restaurant with no one else round. No, last night it felt more like we had captured a dose of normalcy and it felt brilliant!

Like you, I find solace in how I can adapt to what life brings to our path and how we can remain in contact with people in however they enter our lives. My blog is a labour of love and a saving grace which allows me to focus outside my personal adversities and give back to book world as much as it is a journalled collection of my readerly adventures and the curious thoughts which stories inspire me to share with fellow bookish geeks who seek out book blogs to read to find new inspiration in their own bookish lives. As bookish joy shared is tenfold better than never to have shared it at all.

I pray your holiday gives you what you are hoping it shall reveal and I definitely understand how it is worth the inconvenience of self-isolation on return because of what it will give you once you’ve arrived. We are all finding our way in this new situation and finding that if we keep ourselves adaptive and bendable we’ll make it through just fine.

Many blessings to you, Ms Grace and thank you for blessing me with this lovely conversation! Some of your replies I left as they were as I hadn’t had the chance to listen to the fuller contents of the audiobook prior to this being shared on my blog. I enjoyed your revelations and cannot wait to peer into those sections and re-visit your takeaways and comments.

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Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | A mini Review and a Conversation about “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl” (Vol.5: the Quill Collective, series) narrated by Elizabeth GraceElizabeth
Subtitle: Obstinate Headstrong Girl
by (Editor) Christina Boyd
Source: Direct from Publisher
Narrator: Elizabeth Grace

With timeless verve, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, bares her intimate thoughts while offering biting social commentary through a collection of romantic re-imaginings, sequels, and prequels, set in the Regency to present day by ten popular Austenesque authors.

Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare. “I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter, January 1813―and we think so too!

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd.

Genres: After Canons, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08FCSJ33D

Also by this author: Rational Creatures

Also in this series: Rational Creatures


Published by The Quill Collective LLC

on 31st August, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours and 41 minutes (unabridged)

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 5 September, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Short Stories or Essays

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.

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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.

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781731461797

ASIN: B0849Z224C

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)

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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 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.

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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

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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?

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


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


Published by Self Published

on To Be Announced (audiobook)

Format: Audiobook | mp3

Pages: 369

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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)

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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