Progressive Blog Tour for Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia Begins April 14

Belgravia Julian Fellowes 2016 x 200Downton Abbey may have ended but its creator/writer Julian Fellowes has not missed a beat. The multiple award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and TV show creator has a new novel called Belgravia to fill that huge whole in our hearts when the sixth and final season of Downton concluded in the US last March. Breaking new ground in the digital age, the book will be released in 11 serialized installment beginning Thursday, April 14 by Grand Central Publishing followed by hardcover release on July 05, 2016.

Julian Fellowes’ Belgtavia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is people by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond’s new legendary ball, one family’s life will change forever.

The serialized novel is hardly a new concept. Victorian authors such as Dickens, Gaskell, Collins and Conan Doyle became famous through their weekly newspaper installments popular because of their addictive episodic format of twists and cliff hangers. Belgravia will embrace the same concept but with new technology. An app available for download from the official website will send the weekly file to reader’s phones, tablets or computers. Additional annotation and historical detail will also be available to embellish the narrative while readers can jump between the digital text and the audio recording by acclaimed British actress Juliet Stevenson. Continue reading

Longbourn Love: Jo Baker Event at University Bookstore Seattle

Jo Baker Seattle event U Bookstore 2013 On Wednesday night I had the honor of attending a reading and book signing by Jo Baker, author of the recently released novel Longbourn, at the University Bookstore in Seattle. About forty people attended the event in celebration of National Reading Group Month and sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of Women’s National Book Association.

I had put out the call to my local JASNA-Puget Sound members and other Austen friends in anticipation of an entertaining evening. Joining in the Janeite fanmob were authors Shannon Winslow (Darcys of Pemberley), Susan Mason-Milks (Mr. Darcy’s Proposal), Katherine Reay (Dear Mr. Knightley), Marian LaBeck (King Co. librarian and JASNA-Puget Sound member) and JoAnn Silkes (UW research scientist and all-around Austenite).

Longbourn is the retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Sarah, a young servant in the Bennet household. The novel garnered quite a bit of press last February when an auction ensued between publishers for its rights. The winners were Transworld in the UK, Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S., and Random House in Canada. Random House Studio and Focus Features secured the film rights, and translation rights have been sold in Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, France, and Sweden. According to a press release, “Longbourn will reveal ‘the tragic consequences of the Napoleonic Wars and focus on a romance between a newly arrived footman and a housemaid, the novel’s main characters,’ while at the same time offering a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for balls, the chaos in the servants’ quarter, and the housekeeper’s real thoughts about Mr. Bennet.” This was indeed an auspicious beginning. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy, and it did not disappoint. Continue reading

Jane Austen Made Me Do It eBook now $4.99

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)Huzzah! In honor of Jane Austen’s 237th birthday on December 16th, my fabulous publisher Ballantine Books has lowered the eBook price of Jane Austen Made Me Do It by 67% off list price to $4.99 for a limited time only!

YES! Only $4.99!!!

For those of you unfamiliar with my Austen-inspired short story anthology, here is a brief description:

JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is a new short story anthology edited by Laurel Ann Nattress and available in trade paperback and eBook from Ballantine Books.

This delightful collection inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world—features an introduction and twenty-two never-before-published stories written by twenty-four authors from a diverse range of interests and writing experience; their uniting link is their admiration and love of the literary great, Jane Austen. Stories included are:

Original short stories in Jane Austen Made Me Do It

  1. “Jane Austen’s Nightmare”, by Syrie James
  2. “Waiting”, by Jane Odiwe
  3. “A Night at Northanger”, by Lauren Willig
  4. “Jane and the Gentleman Rogue”, by Stephanie Barron
  5. “Faux Jane”, by Diane Meier and Frank Delaney
  6. “Nothing Less Than Fairyland”, by Monica Fairview
  7. “Love and Best Wishes”, Adriana Trigiani
  8. “Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss”, by Jo Beverly
  9. “When Only a Darcy Will Do”, by Beth Pattillo
  10. “Heard of You”, by Margaret Sullivan
  11. “The Ghostwriter”, by Elizabeth Aston
  12. “Mr. Bennet Meets His Match”, by Amanda Grange
  13. “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, by Janet Mullany
  14. “Letters to Lydia”, by Maya Slater
  15. “The Mysterious Closet”, by Myretta Robens
  16. “Jane Austen’s Cat”, by Diana Birchall
  17. “Me and Mr. Darcy, Again”, by Alexandra Potter
  18. “What Would Austen Do?”, by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
  19. “The Riding Habit”, by Pamela Aidan
  20. “The Chase”, by Carrie Bebris
  21. “The Love Letter”, by Brenna Aubrey
  22. “Intolerable Stupidity”, by Laurie Viera Rigler

From Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint.” — Romance Junkies

“Each story in this anthology is very unique. I had so many favorites among them that it was really hard to pick just two. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you have to read Jane Austen Made Me Do It!” — Popcorn Reads

“For fans of “Austenesque” fiction, this collection will be a box of bonbons.” — The Seattle Times

Make haste! You can download a free sample of Jane Austen Made Me Do It and purchase this limited time reduced price of the eBook at these major online retailers:

If you don’t have a digital eReader, you can download the free software and read it on your PC, Mac, Blackberry, Ipod, or many other electronic devises. Just visit Barnes & Nobel or Amazon and follow the download instruction for your device.

Did you know that you can purchase eBooks as gifts? Yes. Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the perfect holiday gift for that special Janeite friend or family member. It is as easy as a click and an email address away from quick and easy holiday shopping.

Happy Birthday Jane Austen. Thanks for the making us do it. Enjoy!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Recap of the Northwest Bookfest 2012

Austenesque Authors at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

or…how four Austenesque authors had so much fun that they became the party spot at the Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland last weekend. Yep. Darn if Mr. Darcy doesn’t bring out the party girl in all of us!

Austenesque Authors book display at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

The Northwest Bookfest is a wonderful two-day event in Kirkland, Washington highlighting Pacific Northwest authors. You can read my preview of the festivities here.

My fellow booth-mates Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks and Jenni James and I certainly had a grand time chatting to attendees about our Jane Austen obsession and our books: The Darcys of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s Proposal, Pride and Popularity and Jane Austen Made Me Do It. It was wonderful to connect with readers. We met some die-hard Austen addicts who bought each of our books, converted a few new readers and even convinced a few husbands to buy books for their wives, mothers and daughters for the holidays. The funniest comment of the event was from a women who thanked Shannon for killing off Mr. Collins in the beginning of The Darcys of Pemberley! However, our talent, charm and social skills were no match for the incredible draw of the highlight of our booth…a two foot by three foot poster of the man himself, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! The reaction by the attendees was incredible. You’ve never seen so many women (of all ages) squeal in delight and promptly accept our offer to have their photo taken with him! Continue reading

Austenesque Authors at Northwest Bookfest 2012, Sept 22-23, Kirkland, WA

Northwest Bookfest 2012

I am thrilled to be participating in this year’s Northwest Bookfest 2012 with fellow Austenesque authors: Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks and Jenni James. We will have our own booth to meet readers, greet friends and sell our books. Please stop by to introduce yourselves and have your picture taken with Mr. Darcy! Yes. Mr. Darcy (the flat Stanley version that is) will be there in person awaiting for your arrival.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995)Here is the scoop on the festival:

Connecting readers with writers, the Northwest Bookfest celebrates the literary arts where you will meet readers, writers, publishers and authors during this jam-packed weekend of workshops, panels, classes and author readings. This family-friendly event features dozens of author appearances and book signings, scores of exhibitors and booksellers, readings on multiple stages, storytellers and hands-on activities for kids, live music and a delicious variety of food and drink for sale. All events are free and open to the public.

Several Pacific Northwest bestselling authors will be giving presentations including J.A. Jance (The Judgement Call: Joanna Brady Mystery), Ivan Doig (This House of Sky), Elizabeth George (Believing the Lie: Inspector Lynley Series), and David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars).  Shannon, Susan, Jenni and I will be representing Austenesque fiction to the great Northwest! This is my first book fest, so it will be wonderful to meet readers, authors and spend some time with my fellow Janeites. Continue reading

28 Austenesque Authors Featured During The Decatur Book Festival Sept 1-2, 2012

Jane Austen: Then and Now event 2012 banner

Are your plans for Labor Day weekend fixed yet? Do you live in the Decatur, Georgia area, or want an Austen-inspired road trip to commemorate the end of summer 2012?

Well, pack you parasol and head over to the opening day of the Jane Austen: Then and Now event sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America – Georgia Chapter during The Decatur Book Festival. The event runs Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 and is jammed packed with daily events at the JASNA – Georgia tent during the festival and before and after parties and get togethers.

The event is a celebration of Jane Austen-inspired books including twenty eight Austenesque fiction and nonfiction authors participating in person and remotely including:

Abigail Reynolds, Regina Jeffers, Jack Caldwell, Maria Grace, Barbara Tiller Cole, Karen M. Cox, Jennifer Petkus, William Deresiewicz, RobinHelm, AmyCecil, Colette Saucier, Laura Dabundo, Pamela Aidan, Cynthia Hensley, KaraLynne Mackrory and Katie Baxley will all be there in person. Sally SmithO’Rourke, Linda Wells, Laura Hile, Shannon Winslow, Lory Lilian, Susan Mason-MilksAmanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, JanHahn, Marsha Altman, Lori Smith and Laurel Ann Nattress will be participating remotely.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)I am so excited to be participating remotely, which means that I will not be there in person, but that my anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It will be featured in the event with a reading of Syrie James’ short story “Jane Austen’s Nightmare”. I have sent signed copies that will be available for purchase through the JASNA – Georgia book tent at the festival and free bookmarks for the attendees.

You can read further about the Jane Austen: Then and Now daily calendar of events at fellow Austenesque author Barbara Cole Tiller’s blog, Darcyholic Diversions. Barbara and fellow Janeite Jan Ashe have been the driving force behind this first annual event and I commend them for their enthusiasm and devotion to all things Austen.

I hope everyone has a wonderful time.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Austen in August Times Two

Austen in August events 2012

Wow! Two great Austen-inspired events are in progress this month to celebrate our favorite author.

Misty at The Book Rat is offering her annual fete in honor of Jane called Austen in August. Previously called Jane in June, readers will remember from past years that she puts on a great blog event featuring a read-along of an Austen novel and guest blogs from other Austen loving bloggers and Austenesque authors. I will be featured on Monday, August 27 answering the question:

A lot of readers – as much as they may love the books – are bothered by some of the pairings (think Marianne and Brandon, or Fanny and Edmund); are there any Austen couples you think are going to have a rocky road ahead of them?

There are tons of great giveaway chances for fabulous Austen-inspired stuff including a chance to win a copy of my short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. The event ends August 31, 2012, so make haste and check it out!

Adam at Roof Beam Reader is also highlighting our dear Jane this month with, you guessed it, Austen in August. Focused on all things Jane Austen, the event includes her primary texts, any re-imaginings of her works, biographies, critical texts, etc. So, basically all things Austen all the time! *squee*

Gracious book blogger Adam has a lot of things planned for his Austen-inspired month-long event including giveaways, guest posts, and, of course, his own reading and reviewing of Jane Austen works. Be sure to check it out and read an Austen novel or sequel or two this month.

Austen Extravaganza 2012 banner

In addition, here is an advance mention of my preview post next week of Meredith’s incredible blog event next month, Austenesque Extravaganza. This is her second annual Austen-inspired event at her blog Austenesque Reviews featuring daily posts with themes like: Sociable Sunday, Matchmaker Monday, Traveling Tuesday, Wednesday Word Games, Touring Thursday, Fan and Games Friday and Spotlight Saturday. I will be featured on Tuesday, September 18th, but I am sworn to secrecy about what I am writing about! I can reveal that there will be a chance to win one of three copies of Jane Austen Made Me Do it for participants, so be sure to please mark your calendars so you don’t miss out.

So much Austen fun out there Janeites! Go to it!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Beach Blanket Northanger Abbey

We loved the cover of Marvel Comics Northanger Abbey #1. Catherine Morland looks intense and Gothic.

Northanger Abbey #1 Marvel Comics

Northanger Abbey #2 was just released on December 14th, 2011. We are a bit puzzled by the artists new direction. Continue reading

Join the Birthday Soiree for Jane Austen on December 16, 2011

Austen's Birthday Soiree 2012Yes. Jane Austen is 236 years old this Friday!

Thirty-one Austen bloggers, authors, and literature enthusiasts are joining forces for an Austen Birthday Soiree. Organized by Katherine Cox of November’s Autumn & Maria Grazia of My Jane Austen Book Club, the daylong blog hop will feature a post in celebration of Jane Austen, her life, her novels and the era in which she lived at each of the 31 blogs!

And, what birthday would not be complete without presents, and there will be gifts for Jane – and the visitors of the blogs. Just leave a comment to qualify for the great giveaways being offered in celebration of the Janeite holiday.

Participants in Austen’s Birthday Soiree Continue reading

Jane Austen Made Me Do It featured in What’s Old Is New podcast

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)I was thrilled to be interviewed for the What’s Old Is New podcast by Nicole of Linus’ Blanket blog and Jen of Devourer of Books blog. It was such fun chatting with two fellow book bloggers and Janeites!

You can read more about my experience on the Jane Austen Made Me Do It blog and listen to the podcast for free by following this link. (Curious of your impression! Does my voice sound like what you expected?)

What’s Old Is New podcast features Jane Austen Made Me Do It editor via Jane Austen Made Me Do It blog.

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose