Author: Chantal Gadoury
Narrator: Anne Marie Lewis
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes
Publisher: The Parliament House⎮2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release date: Dec. 31, 2019
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. Listen to it now!
Buy on Amazon⎮Audible
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.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
At the time of writing “WinterDream,” I think I probably hoped that one day I’d hear it read aloud. The idea of someone your writing to the world is both exciting and slightly terrifying too!
How did you select your narrator?
Anne actually was the narrator to “Hook and Crown,” and I had really loved the way she told the story. When she auditioned for “WinterDream,” I was just captivated by the way she read Clara and brought her to life. I knew I wanted her to read “WinterDream” the moment I heard it.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
There’s always something real behind my writing. Even in this fantastical Christmas story, with magic and Nutcrackers - there are elements of Clara that are entirely me. The story behind the reason why I wrote this novel, is that as a young child I used to love to perform to these songs. I’d been a little ballerina, dancing around the living room with my Mom’s nutcrackers. She used to take me to see this show every Christmas, and it was a story that continued to live in my heart as I grew older.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I am an audiobook listener! I love just having someone read to me, when I might not have the time to read something myself. It’s a great thing to have on long car rides, or when you can’t sleep (but don’t want to chance having a book fall flat on your face.)
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
I think the intimate moment of The Nutcracker and Clara sitting in front of the fire in Mother Ginger’s Inn. They’re talking to each other about their lives, and the curse and themselves, and it really struck me as I listened to it. It felt so much deeper; I could feel Clara really starting to allow herself to trust him. And I think the ending was really resonating - I can’t say why without giving it away. So you’ll have to take a leap of faith, and take the journey with me!
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it?
Oh boy, would I? Yes! There are so many places I’d love to time travel to.
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
Sometimes with a glass of wine, or an Iced Coffee -- sometimes a movie that I’ve been wanting to watch. It’s strange, but when I finish a novel, I don’t really celebrate. I suddenly just feel really sad, or empty. It’s never easy letting go of a world you’ve just spent so much time in. I remember it being hard to let go of the world of WinterDream when it was over.
- What's your favorite:
- Food - Eggrolls, and Burrito Bowls from Chipotle.
- Song - Right now, my favorite song is “Lover” by Taylor Swift or “Forever” by Lewis Capaldi
- Book - It’s a tie between “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” “The Beholder” and “A House of Salt and Sorrow.”
- Television show - Outlander.
- Movie - Ever After
- Band - Maroon 5, Civil Wars, BTS
- Sports team - I honestly don’t have one.
- City - Hands down, my favorite city will always be Denver, Colorado
- Food - Eggrolls, and Burrito Bowls from Chipotle.
My advice is usually always the same. To never give up. To always write! But to also approach the idea of publishing a bit more realistically. It’s hard and rare to get a huge book deal that provides the sort of compensation that one could live off of. Don’t go into writing for money - write to share your message. It’s wholly yours, which makes it unique. Build a good group of people to share your work, and have fun!
- The Nutcracker Ballet:
- The Nutcracker Music
The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act 2: No. 14 Pas de Deux. When you hear this song, you’re hearing the entire novel in about 5 minutes.
- The Nutcracker in the Movies.
In 1993, Warner Brothers released a version of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” famously starring Macaulay Culkin. (And I remember eating that movie up!)
In doing my research for this book, I watched several versions of the ballet, and there are so many to choose from!
- Christmas at home
- Queen Victoria and Albert
- Beauty and the Beast
- Mrs. Weasley
- The Princess Bride
- War and Peace (2016 Miniseries)
- Girl Power
Singer and actor Anne Marie Lewis has enjoyed a richly varied and long career in the performing arts. She has performed across the globe from Carnegie Hall to Boise to Little Rock to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as in Canada, England and Scotland. Chicago area credits: My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, Into the Woods (Music Theater Works); 1776 (Porchlight Music Theater); Midnight Cowboy (Lifeline Theatre); Northanger Abbey, The Skin of Our Teeth (Remy Bumppo); Love, Loss and What I Wore (Oil Lamp Theater); bare (RefugeTheatre Project); Graveyard of Empires (16th Street Theater); Jake’s Women (Spartan Theatre); The Scullery Maid (Idle Muse Theatre); Moon Over Buffalo (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center); The Diary of Anne Frank (Metropolis Performing Arts Center); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Fury Theatre); Fancy Nancy, Elephant and Piggie (Northbrook Theater); Little Red Riding Hood, Camp Wonderland (Theatre at the Center), Don Giovanni, Shining Brow (Chicago Opera Theatre); Pride and Prejudice, The Sound of Music, Hansel and Gretel, Persuasion, Cosi fan tutte (Chamber Opera Chicago); Gianni Schicchi (DuPage Opera); La boheme, Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni, Carmen (Opera Studio Highland Park). Regional credits: Die Fledermaus, Le nozze di Figaro (Pine Mountain Music Festival), Little Women (Lyric Opera Cleveland), La boheme (Quad Cities Opera, Arkansas Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony); Mozart Requiem, Schubert Mass in G (Carnegie Hall). International credits: Persuasion (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Camden Fringe Festival, Buxton Fringe Festival, Victoria, BC). Anne Marie, a Pittsburgh native, is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. She maintains a private voice studio and has recently entered the wonderful world of audiobook narration and production, with fifteen titles to her credit.