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