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Summary

Staging a musical in Purgatory can be absolute hell.

Lonnie Coleridge last saw the sun in 1968. Since then, he’s been consigned to Limbo, still wearing the same tie-dyed T-shirt and bell-bottomed jeans he had on when he left his life behind. He and others like him have one chance each year at redemption: produce a show for the Greek pantheon. Whoever pleases this very specific - and temperamental - fan group could earn the right to move on.

But after a literal act of god (*cough* Hermes *cough*) destroys their sets, lights, and costumes, the company needs emergency help to rebuild. Without it, all of them could poof out of existence forever. 

Out-of-work theater technician TD Baylor has precisely three things on his cosmic wish list: a job, a place to stay, and a boyfriend who isn’t a total tool. He thinks he’s got the first two nailed when he gets a line on a two-week gig that includes room and board. So what if the job tip came from a guy who was leaning way too hard into the LOTR cosplay at a sketchy Halloween pop-up? At this point, TD doesn’t have anything more to lose, so he figures…what the hell.

He didn’t realize hell was the operative word.

When Lonnie greets him at the theater door, though...whoa. TD fantasizes that item number three could be within his reach. But then Lonnie gives him the bad news: This is Purgatory Playhouse, aka Theater of the Darned. In two weeks - if they’re lucky and can successfully mount a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream - the company will return to Limbo after the curtain falls. If they’re not lucky?

Remember that part about hell?

Purgatory Playhouse is part of the multi-author Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains a theater techie who’s one couch surf away from homeless, a production assistant who’s sort of, um, not alive, Greek gods behaving very badly indeed, and a guaranteed HEA.

©2021 Ellen J Russell (P)2021 Ellen J Russell

What listeners say about Purgatory Playhouse

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Sooo good!

I read most of the instalments in the Magic Emporium series, but somehow I missed out on this one.

EJ Russell did a great job with this story. Lonnie and especially TD were amazing and I had so much fun following their adventures in purgatory. I really liked Lonnie, but the star of the show for me was TD, resourceful, steadfast TD, who was a problem solver, and boy, if he didn't do just that. One would think a live person wouldn't thrive in purgatory, but TD proved everyone wrong from the start, even the gods. LOL Lonnie showed so much growth throughout the book, from just skating by, content on helping others, to taking his rightful place in the play and being the leader everyone knew he was.

This was so much fun to listen to, Greg Boudreaux is so talented and he shines in ensemble books like this one, where he can showcase how easy it is for him to go from one character to the other seamlessly, no matter how many of them are in a single scene.

Highly recommendable!

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Magical

EJ Russell did a magical job with the story. All the characters where so well thought out. TD and Lonnie where fantastic to follow and get their story. greg Boudreaux was a superstar with ghe narration.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Interfering gods and wishes

I love the premise of the Magic Emporium and how it appears in the real world when it needs to. I really enjoyed E J Russell's offering with a bunch of human souls in Purgatory and a pantheon of Greeks staging a version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night Dream. I thought TD and Lonnie were the perfect mix to help everyone achieve their potential while finding a love that neither ever expected to find. Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job of bringing a diverse cast of characters to life. Highly recommended to all lovers of mythology, magic and mm romance.

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Fun

This was as much fun to listen to as it was to read. A down on his luck theatre technician gets sent to purgatory to run their yearly production for the Greek gods. Greek myths were cleverly weaved into the story as TD forced the Gods to consider their actions.
TD was a force of nature and I loved how selflessly he stood up for everyone.

The narrator did a brilliant job bringing the story to live.

* virgin mc
* theatre
* Greek myths
* paranormal

Recommended.

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The Darned

I love EJ Russell paranormal books, and this audio was no exception. Her creativity knows no bounds and, in the case of this story, her knowledge of Greek gods is impressive. I just finished another novel with plenty of Gods, so I sort of feel like I’m getting the hang of this. Or at least I know when Hermes shows up, chaos is sure to follow.

I’m also a theater major who has never worked a day in paid theater in her life. I loved my studies, but never could translate that into work. Sigh.

But T.D.? My dream job – technician at a theater. Now, he’s pretty desperate and this gig sounds pretty good – he just doesn’t realize he’ll be working with those in limbo. Who put on this annual production every year for the gods. The capricious gods who send one person per year on to the afterlife. The rest are left in Purgatory to do it all again next year. My definition of heaven – not so much for these guys and gals.

T.D. Is all about supporting those around them – he fights for better working conditions, and takes safety seriously. He also takes Alonzo seriously. Lonnie is everything T.D.’s ever been looking for, but the timing is seriously crappy – because Lonnie isn’t going anywhere at the end of the production while T.D. will be back to couch surfing and trying to avoid crappy men.

Now, of course there’s a happy ending, but I did wonder how it would all play out… Was Lonnie going to be chosen to move on? Could T.D. go with him? How would that even work? And if T.D. returns to the land of the living, how can Lonnie possibly follow? You’ll have to read to find out.

The book is brilliantly narrated by Greg Boudreaux, of whom I’m a huge fan. So definitely pick this one up.

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Playhouse redemption

A colourful collection of characters that are thrown a very unexpected lifeline...

I loved TD and felt he was the perfect characters to throw a spanner into the "God" plans. He bold, passionate and filled with righteous anger. I loved his star struck moment meaning Lonnie. They're so cute together!

The story is a fast-paced whirlwind with a few twists I did not foresee. a lot of Greeks which for me kind of all blended together but very imaginative in their re-created roles in the theatre. I really enjoyed this one and like the unexpected way to their happy ending!!

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TD and Lonnie

TD or Taylor Baylor as his parents named him, is a Theatre technician, who only wants 3 things in life. A job, somewhere to stay and a boyfriend. He has moved to be with an online boyfriend who didn't expect him to move and doesn't let him move in, with no place to stay he needs a job, so when he sees an ad for a Technician for 2 weeks with a room, he jumps at the chance. He is met by Lonnie at the Theatre door wearing a Tie dye shirt, resembling TD's crush Alonso Coleridge who disappeared in 1968. Lonnie has been in Limbo since 1968, every year they are given 1 chance to move on by performing in the show. So what could go wrong. We see TD cause so many problems by going up against the Greek Gods, and finding out they stole the members, who aren't actually dead. It is a fun book. With a happily ever after

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The Show Must Go On!

The show must go on! Even when a bunch of self-centered and arrogant gods accidentally destroy the stage set that took a year to build. If the purgatory cast can’t get their set rebuilt, then they face punishment and eradication from a host of very angry gods. This premise is the start to an interesting urban fantasy which takes the Greek mythos and gives a voice to the victims of those myths. I really liked how we get to hear from the victims of the Greek Gods’ arrogance and selfishness. The romance was sweet and had me rooting for TD and Lonnie’s happy ever after. I just wish the book was just a tad bit longer – the ending felt a little rushed and it felt like it lost some of its momentum. This lead to a nice, but meh, ending which was a shame because the beginning and middle part of the book was so fantastic. I still recommend reading it since the story is highly enjoyable and the world building is fantastic as always.

Even though this book is part of the Magical Emporium series, it has nothing to do with any other books within the series and stands on its own.

Greg Boudreaux narrates the audiobook and does a top-notch job of it. I love Greg’s voice and he was a perfect fit for this cast of characters. The audiobook production was well done and I really enjoyed listening to it.

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A Magically Delightful Story! Fabulous Narration🎧

I enjoyed this book immensely, the unique and original story is entertaining and contains interesting storylines that are captivating from start to end. I loved the magical elements in this story, as well as the imaginative spin on Greek Mythology and their Gods, including their love for theater and drama. I am a huge theater lover and have a great appreciation for both the actors and everything that goes on behind the scenes, including all the tech work. The world building and character development is great and easy to follow. I adored the two lead characters, TD Baylor, a down on his luck, out of work theater technician, he steps into a shop, the Magic Emporium, to avoid spending his last ten dollars at the coffee shop next door. He stumbles on a bizarre sales person and winds up spending his money anyway. Before leaving he sees a job announcement for a theater tech conveniently located in the same building. What he finds is beyond anything he could have imagined, includes an actor, who he idolized and is not longer around. Alonzo “Lonnie” Coleridge is part of a theater group that puts on a show each year for the Greek pantheon, but Lonnie is no ordinary human, he and others have left their life behind and are stuck in limbo, they aim to please the Greek Gods so they can redeem themselves and get out of limbo (purgatory) and be rewarded with entering Heaven. Problem for them is their Tech person left them a few weeks before the show, they put out notices for a new one and lucked out getting one, a quickie, a live human. TD is a good sport about it all, he gets to meet a lot of interesting characters and help get a musical version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He and Lonnie hit it off, there is great chemistry between them and they work well together. TD winds up challenging the Gods when he finds out what they have been up to. When it is his time to leave he was hoping to have time to see Lonnie again or at least make it an annual event, but the Gods had other plans. This magically delightful story is fast moving and cleverly plotted, with plenty of drama, humor, witty dialogue, heartfelt and emotional moments and a slow burn romance. E.J. Russell thank you for this great story.

🎧📚🎧 And for the amazing narration, Greg Boudreaux delivers another fabulous performance bringing brings these characters and their story to life He has a complete understanding of the characters he is playing, gives each a voice that fits that character to a tee and sounds believable in every role he plays and just as I pictured the character would sound. As always, his comedic timing is flawless, he handles the witty dialogue with ease and switches character roles effortlessly without missing a beat. He is an entertaining storyteller, and his narration enhances the story to another level. Thanks for another exceptional listen, it is always a pleasure to listen to your work.

Thank you #GRR

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  • pdaake
  • 05-10-21

Brilliant comedic play on the Greek mythology!

I loved that this author did this comedy!! The play on the transgressions of the gods and goddesses tickled my funny bone! The main characters are sweet and their path was fraught with obstacles. I absolutely adored the beautiful narration! The narrator did an excellent job of each individual character!

1 person found this helpful

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  • MJ
  • 28-09-21

Theater. Gods being badly. Sweet romance. FANTASTIC.

I have to start by saying I have a ridiculous over-the-top love for this book. The authors experience and love of theater, a deep knowledge and hilarious skepticism about Greek mythology, and an absolute social justice warrior hero of a technical designer come together to create a thoroughly delightful story.

Smart, very funny, clever, charming, and immensely creative - totally on brand for EJ Russell. Her best book, I think, which is saying a lot.

I fell in love with this book when I read it, but it is no surprise that Greg Boudreaux, who is a wonderful, versatile, and often hilarious narrator, brings great color and dimension to it. His comic timing, passion, and talent for characterization are on full display here.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christy
  • 22-09-21

mediocre

**SPOILERS**

I honestly didn't finish the last few chapters. The writing is mediocre, the story is fluffy, characters are undeveloped and 90% of the story is the main character having a fit because the ancient Greek Gods were unfair then telling them off and getting his way...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emma Burbidge
  • 14-10-21

Interfering gods and wishes

I love the premise of the Magic Emporium which appears in the real world when it needs to. I absolutely enjoyed E J Russell's offering with a bunch of former human souls and a pantheon of Greeks mounting a version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night Dream. I found TD and Lonnie to be a perfect mix to help all the others achieve their potential while finding a love they didn't expect. Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job of bringing to life the diverse cast of characters. Highly recommended to all lovers of mythology, magic and mm romance.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-10-21

Highly enjoyable

A very engaging story read by a really awesome narrator. He really managed to bring the story to life. A must listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan R
  • 11-10-21

good listen

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a sweet story. I really enjoyed the characters in the book. The storyline was something different and unique so that made it exciting to read.

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  • LilMommi
  • 11-10-21

Funny and Sweet

EJ. Russell delivers Greek Mythology with a hilarious twist and sweet characters.
The narrator did an excellent job of each individual character and delivering the laughs.

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  • Xochitl
  • 06-10-21

Wow!

I loved the ebook version of this book so much because the way Ms Russell managed mythology, theater and the Magic Emporium backstory expertly to create a beautiful love story. As a huge fan of theater myself, I found the use of theater's terminology and the myths perfect to make this story one of the best in the series so far. Mr Boudreaux translated brilliantly the words written by Ms Russell into a wonderful narration that really brought all the amazing characters alive. Wow!

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  • Amy M
  • 05-10-21

Loved it

What happens when "the darned" are forced to put on a play for the gods of Olympus and the gides destroy the set? They get a "quickie" to build sets for them. These characters are great and I loved the whole concept of this tale. EJ Russell never fails to provide an awesome story. And Greg Boudreaux is ALWAYS amazing.

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  • Gunhild
  • 02-10-21

Thoroughly surprised!

I did not expect to be touched. I did expect to be amused, and I was, but touched? I didn't see that coming. Somehow, a tiny piece of magical love worthy of the Greek myths snuck in there and made me smile and cry. Exactly what I needed today!