True Loaf by L. Austen Johnson

About the Book

Not all is as it seems in this delightful short story inspired by Balkan folklore. When an unusual customer finds his way to the bakery where Riley works and makes an odd request, she must venture into the woods to find a special ingredient. Riley quickly discovers that there's more to the old forest than she believed, and picking the wrong ingredient can have unexpected consequences . . . 
You can find this story on Amazon and Goodreads, but the audiobook version may not be published until later in July. I'd also like to share this note from the book's NetGalley page:
"To celebrate paperless reading experiences and the magic of the Whisper Wood, the author has partnered with One Tree Planted. For every audiobook sold within the first year from release, one tree in North America shall be planted."

My Review


(Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of the audiobook version of this work through NetGalley. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.)

True Loaf by L. Austen Johnson was a quaint, absorbing story with a mysterious atmosphere and a mostly light tone. The plot took an exciting, unexpected turn toward the end. I did find it odd that Riley didn't question her instructions more, and I felt the characters were a bit flat and static. However, given the genre, the engaging story, and the excellent narration, those points didn't ruin my experience.

That said, I don't think I would have enjoyed this tale nearly as much had I not listened to the audiobook version of it. Everything else fell away while I listened to Penny Scott-Andrews's enchanting, articulate narration. She changed her voice to suit each character, making the dialogue easy to follow, and I loved how she captured the characters' emotions. She truly breathed life into the work.

In conclusion, listening to True Loaf was an enjoyable, immersive experience. Those interested in a brief but well-structured fairytale will likely be pleased with this work, but I recommend the audiobook version, as it elevated the work as a whole. With a brief mention of blood and a debatable instance of profanity, this story is suitable for those thirteen and older.


 About the Author

To learn more about L. Austen Johnson and her work, please visit her author site at