It’s that time of year, when the Northern Hemisphere starts getting colder, and nerds like me start spending our evenings inside, curled up with a book or settling for a made-for-TV movie vaguely inspired by Pride and Prejudice.
Now, if you’re like me, you long for more. You want a special collection of Austen-y romance set in the snow, ripe with carriage rides and mistletoe, but still staying close enough to the original work to be enjoyable and fun.
Lucky for us, YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories is here, and it’s now available in audiobook form (perfect for relaxing to as we rush into a busy travel season).
Want a preview? Click here for a clip of the audiobook.
“Elizabeth Benet, did you just proposition me?”
You’re hooked right? YULETIDE is an anthology that takes us through Christmas balls, cozy winters at Pemberley and a little bit of winter magic. We get modern Lizzy and Darcy interpretations sprinkled through delightful stories set in the Regency Era, all while being deftly led by our narrator across time and genre.
Seriously, Harry Frost, the narrator for this audiobook, does a fantastic job handling the voices of iconic characters like Collins and Lady Catherine, and manages to maintain not only the tone of each story, by also work with the various settings we find cast of characters in.
All of the short stories in YULETIDE are inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the spirit of the season. Some fantastic Austenesque authors have contributed to this, including: Elizabeth Adams, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio,
Lona Manning, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes and Caitlin William.
The collection is edited by the fabulous Christina Boyd.
Who should read this: Pride and Prejudice fans who have been longing for wintery romance. Download this before a long flight, play it during a road trip or gift it to someone who needs a dash of Austenesque in their lives.
What you should drink with this: Mulled wine, of course.
Want more Yuletide? Here’s some snippets from the authors talking about this new audiobook:
What was your favorite part hearing your own story in “Yuletide”?
Caitlin Williams: It’s always a strange experience hearing your story read aloud, and I’m incredibly critical of my own writing. I usually spend the whole time wincing and wondering why I chose a particular word combination, cursing myself for not writing it in a different way. On this occasion, however, it was a pleasanter experience. Maybe because Harry did such a fabulous job with the narration, and perhaps because I’d written it [“The Forfeit”] a long time before “Yuletide” came out. So, I had a bit of distance from it and realised what a sweet, uncomplicated story it is. I don’t usually do sweet and uncomplicated.
Anngela Schroeder: That my story [“The Season for Friendly Meetings”] was alive—it was a living, breathing entity!
J. Marie Croft: While listening to the “Homespun for the Holidays” Christmas Eve supper scene—in which Will Collins talks with his mouth full—I laughed out loud which I certainly never did while writing or reading that sequence.
Christina Boyd: Yes! That made me laugh too! Perfect! So perfectly Mr Collins. A narrator can kill a story for me if the pacing is off or the performance is forced. But Harry is natural and easy to listen to.
Joana Starnes: I loved to hear it [“And Evermore Be Merry”] brought to life in Harry Frost’s deep and resonant voice. He sounds so captivating and engaging! I had to think long and hard about which part I liked best, and I still couldn’t settle on just one. It’ll have to be a draw between the scene where Darcy storms out in a fit of temper and Harry Frost’s amazing Lady Catherine (he had me in stitches with each
and every one of her lines).
Amy D’Orazio: It always amazes me how a talented narrator can bring your story to life in a way you never thought possible. Harry is exceptionally talented, so it was a thrill to have him read this work.
Does Harry’s voice remind you of anyone?
Joana Starnes and Amy D’Orazio: Mr Darcy’s, of course!
Anngela Schroeder: James Bond.
Christina Boyd: Anngela, Harry will laugh when he sees this! Frost, Harry Frost.
J. Marie Croft: His voice reminds me of the “real” Mr Darcy, or the “real” Colonel Fitzwilliam, or anyone else he’s performing in a story…even Lady Catherine de Bourgh!
Any other points you would like to add?
Christina Boyd: Last Christmas, I published YULETIDE, donating in perpetuity all the royalties of the e-book and paperback to Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manse of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing: 1600-1830. To date we have donated $4400, including buying Bench #15 in their Buy A Bench campaign. This autumn we have released the audiobook to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. As all the stories are chaste, you can definitely listen in the car with all your family while driving to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner! You can listen to the audio samples here. Full disclosure: Because of production costs, any royalties from the audiobook are not included in the royalty commitment to Chawton, only the e-book and paperback sales.
Here’s the full blog tour schedule and GIVEAWAY details:
- 4 November, Drunk Austen
- 11 November, From Pemberley to Milton
- 20 November, Austenprose
- 25 November, Austenesque Reviews
- 2 December, The Book Rat
The Quill Ink will offer one $15 Amazon gift card giveaway for the entire tour. You be automatically entered to win by simply commenting on the blog post. It is not necessary to comment at every blog on the tour, but each allows you more entries. The Quill Ink will choose one random winner by December 9.