As Dreams are Made on
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Newly wed Matty Taylor is plagued by visions that force her to seek out a Gypsy at a local fair. Dragged violently into a frightening dream world, she is soon rescued by the mysterious Thomas Trevelyan and taken to his secluded house in the woods.
Will her husband, Donald, suspend his disbelief and wake her from her nightmare?
Can Thomas win her heart and keep her from the lure of her real life and the love of her husband?
I arrived at the camp. There was little activity, and all was silent.
“Where can I find the Fortune Teller?” I asked a young man, black hair greased back with smudges of oil on his hands, face and clothes.
“Who wants to know?”
Oh my God does he think we’re in a cheap movie?
“I’m looking for her. She spoke to my wife a week ago, and something has happened, so I need to speak to her.”
He glared at me as he weighed up my words.
“I haven’t come for any trouble; I just want her advice.”
He nodded and then glancing over his left shoulder shouted, “Ma, someone to talk to you.”
She walked out; her scarf gone, the Gypsy garb absent just an ordinary woman in jeans and jumper. I wished Matty could have seen her like this. She took me aback with her next words.
“How’s your wife, has the potion stopped her dreams?”
How could she remember me? She must see dozens of people daily. There’s nothing remarkable about me.
“What was in that bottle? She hasn’t woken up in over 18 hours. She’s at the hospital.”
Her face dropped; I fancy I read real emotion there.
“She didn’t follow my advice. There is nothing more I can do for her.”
I laid a hand on her arm to stop her from leaving and found myself surrounded by young hostile men who seemed to have materialised out of the woodwork.
“Please don’t go,” I said, dropping my hand, “there must be something you can tell me. She took the potion; there’s none left in the bottle. Please tell me what I can do? What is happening to her?”
Blog Post Reviews:
Matty (Matilda) doesn’t remember her previous life. She’s trapped in a dream world, kidnapped by Thomas.
It’s up to her husband, Donald, to try to wake her and save her from the demon in her dream
Told alternately from Matty and Donalds points of view, this is a wonderful and enjoyable read.
The story is original, the pacing is perfect, and the ending is suitably exciting.
A well deserved five stars!
The chapters bounce between Matilda (nicknamed Matty by her husband), and Donald her husband of 2 months.
Matty is trapped within her own dream, a dream that makes her forget her previous life and takes her down a suductive fairy tale-like life. Little does she know that this dream could be fatal if she does not wake.
Her husband Donald does everything in his power to help his beloved wife, and will stop at nothing to save her from the demons within her dream.
I read As Dreams Are Made On in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down until I had found out what had happened.
This story deserves more than just 5 stars. It is a truely imaginative story, and is something I will will wanting to read again and again. I hope Maria Gibbs writes more like this.
Captivating from the first sentence!
Why did I not read this sooner? A ‘time-slip’ novella from a very clever author. As the chapters switch in time and persona (Matty and her husband), there is a clear distinction between the two which helps to make the tale real. Devoured in one setting and I confess I am a fan of this style of narration. For me it helps me to get inside the heads of the characters. Maria Gibbs writes extremely well with varied language and her descriptions really draw you in (or to the past!). I loved it!
If you like something different – a fairy tale style romance which is very cleverly woven together with paranormal overtones – go for it!
The conflict between good and evil is one of the main themes and at the end love (pure love) is stronger than any evil. The author shows a different side of love and the concept of pure love, that only children can give, is what I liked most.
This is an intriguing fairy tale like short story with a dark paranormal edge. Essentially, this story is about pure love, but what constitutes this pure love may end up surprising you.
The pacing of the story is perfect and the writing is well done, however, both the writing style and dialogue seemed overly formal all the way through the story. I would have preferred to have a more appropriate change in these components in the present day elements of the story and leave the formality for the scenes that appear to be set in a much earlier time in history.
Full of beautiful descriptions, real and believable characters, foreboding gypsy warnings and a nasty villain, this story is sure to keep you enthralled right up until the completely unexpected ending. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable short story and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Spellbinding Novella., 2 July 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful narrative coupled with an unusual story
4 Oct. 2015 By Vickyloo
Matty slips away from her husband one night and enters a dangerous dream world, where she meets an enigmatic man intent on stealing her heart in order to win the prize he’s been working so hard for. Her husband does all he can to fight for her and bring her back to her real life whilst the man of her dreams tugs at her heartstrings, and Matty is pulled in two.
I hate love stories. Have I ever mentioned that? Yes, I know, a million times. I think the thing I’ve got against love stories is that they are all a bit boring (and soppy – who wants soppy!? Yuck). They’re all the same, they tend to fit one of a few formulas: two people meet, there’s trouble, they overcome said trouble; they meet, fall in love, tragedy tears them apart; they meet, they live happily ever after. Blah blah blah. But do you know what? As Dreams Are Made On has completely proved me wrong!
Now I’m not saying I’m going to dive straight into the romance genre or anything – because believe me, I’m not! What this book has made me realise though, is that actually not all romance is the same. This is a love story, yes – there can be absolutely no doubt about that, but it’s also a time-travelling adventure, a supernatural mystery, and a verbose and beautiful narrative. I find it rather exciting, in fact, to find such a rare mix of things in one tiny little unassuming book – and it is nothing like I expected after reading the blurb!
The story itself kept me gripped and I read it in one sitting, although its short length made that significantly easier. I knew what would happen in the end because it’s just that type of book but that didn’t matter – I wasn’t sure how we would get there, and I was enjoying the characters and the narrative too much to care. It’s also quite a bit naughtier than I expected. Although not full-on erotica, there is more than a hint towards sexual proclivities – so if you’re not a fan of the explicit, this one may not be for you.
The first person narration flips between Matty and her husband and that irked me somewhat, if I’m honest. The technique was needed in order to tell the tale but I don’t feel there was enough of a difference between the narratives (the voices, the settings, the types of words used) in order to make it effective. It would have been much better had the Matty sections been dripping with verbosity, suiting the age and the genre, with the Donald sections much more simple and lighter to demonstrate the difference in time. I suspect that this was actually what the author was going for as there is a clear attempt at simpler language with her husband, but I could tell whilst I was reading that Gibbs favours the beauty of the language and she often slipped into loquaciousness in the modern sections too. It’s a real shame, because had this technique been pulled off more effectively, I would have devoured the book a whole lot more.
On the note of verbosity though, Gibbs clearly has a wonderful way with words. She strings them together like pearls, making words trip over your tongue and through your mind in such an aesthetically pleasing way that I couldn’t help but read parts aloud. The very first paragraph of this book is like a party popper full of wonderful words exploding in the air and I couldn’t help but gawp at the beauty of it all. I could hear ‘olde worlde’ Matilda so clearly, and that was exciting. It made me want to put on my posh voice (the one, it seems, that I use so often when reading Victorian literature aloud – yes, I’m odd, I’ve never tried to deny it).
If I’m honest, I suspect I may have been expecting to hate this book just because it was romance but actually, the thing I love about it most now is that it surprised me, and in such a fabulous way too! It’s not long enough for you to feel much for the characters, and yes, there is quite a bit of soppiness (and a touch of sex too) but the language is beautiful and the story is unusual. The blurb doesn’t do this book justice and if you are a romance-hater like me, then I urge you to at least give this one a go – I think it’ll surprise you too.
This short story is a clever concoction of fantasy, romance and wonder. Maria Gibbs weaves a web of intrigue and had me wanting more. This story felt a little like a grown-up fairy tale with a twist. It is sexy, fresh and absolutely impossible to put down.
The author’s use of language and ability to switch between different eras easily without interrupting the story’s flow, was exceptional.
Short stories can sometimes be challenge to read for me, as I find that before I begin to care about the characters, the story is over. This story does not have this problem. I found myself sympathising with Donald and Matty and wanting to know more about Thomas.
This is a perfect read for anyone who loved Fairy Tales and wished that they grew up along with us. I can’t wait to hear more from this fantastic author.
Such a unique story which captivated me from the very beginning. It may seem cliche’ but I could not stop myself from wanting to read on. From the genuine love that cannot be broken between husband and wife, to the passion, fire and excitement that romance brings, all throughout I was gripped to see how the novel would conclude. I was completely shocked by the emotional ending.
The concept of incorporating another time era constantly kept my attention and gave the story a new, fresh vibe that made the novel its very own. I also thoroughly enjoyed the dark, demonic aspect which kept a lustful feeling.
I definitely cannot recommend enough as a short story, fantastic debut.
This is the second work of Maria Gibbs’ that I’ve read. I am a big admirer of her ability to weave her beautiful writing into her wonderful and compelling stories.
Matty (Matilda) has entered a dreamlike state and in her dream she is kidnapped by a man and taken away from her family and her privileged life. In the present, her husband must battle to bring her back to him in time… before she falls in love with her dream captor.
LOVED it, well written, beautiful detail….. Can’t wait to download the next. Alyson Manzi
OK being totally honest I was unsure about this little book when I first came across it. The title threw me off, not being a big Shakespeare fan I was unaware that it came from ‘The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158’ spoken by Prospero. When you know this and discover what he is talking about then this title fits the story perfectly.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Life for Matty is one long deep dream, she is caught between the love of her husband and the love of a handsome stranger. I was hooked from the start. Yes it is like a kind of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ story but with a few unexpected twists and turns. I never saw the end coming at all and I am not ashamed to say I cried. I cannot say more without giving away the story, you will just have to buy your own copy and find out for yourselves.
Happy Reading 🙂
Maria Gibbs is a British author and although she is new to the publishing agenda, she has many short stories and novels in the works that I hope will grace out presence sometime in the near future.
The story follows an attractive young woman named Matty and her new husband Donald. Together they have a seemingly simplistic and happy life – But that is all about to drastically change. Matty falls into a dream state that carries her off to a far away land. One that involves an angry crowd of peasants from another time era. In the midst of all this mayhem, a handsome stranger appears called Thomas, also a pauper whom imprisons her. She slowly develops feelings for him and now is torn between two very different men, in two very separate worlds.
A gripping fantasy/romance that weaves an unspoken tension between these men. Can Douglas wake her up? Can he win her back?
A few moments in time within these pages will have you forgetting this world around you as you fall deeper and deeper into their chaotic world of ‘As Dreams Are Made On’. An unexpected jilt of twists and turns that throws you into an intriguing tale of suspense, love and, yes, even an evil presence that lurks in the midst. So, make some coffee, pull up your favorite chair, and enjoy ‘As Dreams Are Made On’.
An extremely entertaining read.
I was given a copy for evaluation and an unbiased review.
This is a wonderful short story. Douglas finds his wife, Matty, asleep, and is unable to awaken her. A couple of days earlier, when they were at a fair, a gypsy woman had given her a concoction to help her sleep and not to dream. Douglas worries that she has poisoned his wife. He calls an ambulance and she is rushed to the hospital.
While appears to be dreaming, she has been transported t another time and place. She seems to be in England at some earlier time period. She is of high birth, but she is being held prisoner by a man who is a pauper. She finds herself falling in love with him.
The author does an exceptional job of alternating between current time and Matty’s dream. Douglas knows that he must somehow contact her, to bring her back to him before she is lost to her him forever, and the author allows the tension to build, leaving the reader unsure of whether he will be successful The author packs a lot into a few pages and does it in an entertaining, believable fashion.
David Burnett for the Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Maria Gibbs has a superb way with words, and after reading a few of her novellas, I’ve become a fan. She has a natural flow, which is a pleasure to read, and As Dreams are Made is no exception.
The characters in As Dreams are Made are simultaneously believable, and of a paranormal realm. I enjoyed the alternating point of view, and how the two seemingly separate stories begin to merge, leading to a conclusion. There is a steady sense of flow and progression.
While this is a great novella, I feel that it deserves a little further development. There is so much back story available for the plot. I would like to know more about the characters and the events that occurred. Perhaps it just felt a little short because I enjoyed it immensely.
Good opening descriptions. Gibbs really drew me in to the fear felt by the character as she runs through the streets. It felt more like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book.
There are minor grammar errors throughout the book that are easily amended. They didn’t distract from my reading and enjoyment of the book. Also, the switch in POV chapter to chapter needs to be made clearer as it took me a while to work out who and in which time I was reading. Once I worked it out, I didn’t even worry. I was too busy getting sucked in.
Dialogue in the modern chapters is a bit too formal. Whilst this style works for the chapters involving Thomas, it felt a little stilted in the more modern chapters.
The entire story is beautifully written, and the emotion in the story really pulls the reader in. I couldn’t wait to find out who would win Matty’s heart. However, I feel that the story could benefit from an epilogue to give us more than the abrupt ending, tie up the lose ends and questions the reader is left with.
I am really looking forward to reading more by Maria Gibbs as I fell her talent far outweighs any minor issues I had when reading!