Saturday, July 19, 2014

Finally, I'm BACK! Just an update and a taste of what is coming...

Hi everybody!

 Well, that was a nice little break. I went on vacation, wrote some words, cooked some food, wrote some more words, and I'm finally feeling human again!
Here are a few vacation pictures from the Oregon coast. Rocky, windy, sunny, and not particularly warm. :)
 Devil's Punchbowl.
A nice stretch of beach you really can't reach unless you jump off a cliff.
And although it's about 190F here, it's blueberry season and we've been picking until we just can't pink no more. Yesterday we picked 45 pounds! YES.... most go into the freezer so that in January we can make blueberry pie and pretend it's July.
Also, I caught a bad cold and since it's a Washington State LAW that a person can't go out in public with a cold, I had to stay home. By myself. And whine. *sniffle* But I'm much better now and am excited to announce a new project...
A boxed set with some other historical authors! This will be out mid-August. :) Stay tuned.
And saving the best for last..... AUTHOR COPIES OF Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs!! Whoohoo! These will be a giveaway in a few days. Shhhh, this was a sneak peek!
And this is coming very, very soon! October is only a few months away. I feel like I've waited for this book for ages and ages.

So, that's the update for now! You can always hop over to Yankee Belle Café and see what I've been cooking. I'm on the weekend crew and I love company.
Check out this weekend's post, including the low(er) fat Mocha Mudslide Milkshakes!

 Until later, my friends!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quick Post to Announce Bonnet WINNER!!

Hi everybody!!

 This is a super quick (read: super dull) post to announce the winner of the awesomely awesome Regency bonnet!

JASNA N.Y., Rafflecopter loves YOU and wants you to have a Regency bonnet!! I'll e-mail you to get your address and then the bonnet will be shipped directly from Regency Austentation. (Goodness, she seems like a lovely woman. Or maybe it's just the Austen connection. I don't think I've met a Jane Austen fan yet who is less than wonderful.)

After hearing all the plan for how folks would wear their bonnet, I'm feeling an urge to get on myself. But as much as I love the green, I think I'm leaning toward ordering a straw bonnet so I can trim it with different colors of ribbon. I'm thinking, if it's straw then I can have pink, blue, green, brown ribbon... Am I right??

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blog Hop, Baby!

Hey, everybody!
(A little Mr. Knightley to brighten your day.)
 I'm on a blog hop with Regina Scott and we're introducing ourselves to readers hither and yon.
"How?" you ask.

 By spilling the beans on WHAT we're writing, HOW we're different, and WHY we write what we do. :)
(This has nothing to do with anything but *sigh*)
WHAT I'm writing right now:

   I'm in the middle of polishing a YA manuscript that I've been working on with Franny Billingsley through a course she offers. (I can hear you all frowning from here! Or, wait... you can't hear a frown.) I know it seems as if everyone in the whole wide world is writing YA but can you blame us?? Isn't it the best genre ever?? I consider it all a bit of wish fulfillment. I get to go back and rewrite myself as a teen.  I get to be STRONG and FEARLESS and INTERESTING. 
 I know it's not really me, but it feels good anyway. It's a special kind of exciting when I can take a teen character and throw them into crazy situations and they fight their way to a glorious, triumphant end. So, that's what I'm writing right now. It's set on the coast of mainland Japan, hundreds of years in the future and is about as far as you can get from Austen fan fic, And that's okay. We all need a hobby. Some people knit. I put a year into writing a a book that may never see the light of day. :D

HOW I'm different:

 Oooo, boy. Am I different. 
I'm the sort of writer that wants to throw everything in the book and make it fit. Sometimes I can pull it off, and sometimes I have to go back and throw it all out. 
But a friend described my writing like this, "I like salad and I eat a lot of it, especially the kind with tiny cherry tomatoes and maybe a few leaves of baby spinach. If your writing was a salad, it would be ambrosia."
  Ha! I'll just take that as a compliment, whether she meant it that way or not. So, in the romance world of fiction, my writing is the kind with the little colored marshmallows. And the coconut and pineapple and maraschino cherries and pecans and mandarin oranges... 
  Maybe my books are an acquired taste, but I like to think there's a little bit of something for everyone. Poetry, classic literature, humor, romance, faith, progressive social values, family conflicts, race issues, poverty and class issues, and hopefully a fire/plague/online character assassination to make it interesting. 

WHY do I write what I do?
  Basically, I'm easily bored. That's why I have six kids. (Kidding!) 
But truthfully, I need a project. I'm not happy unless I'm trying to learn something new. And writing is always new.  I will never, ever be an expert. There's always so much more to learn, more stories to tell, more characters to dream up, and more plot twists to invent. It;s an awesome hobby and I've loved every second of it. (Hmmm, that's a bit of a lie. I've never loved the rejections or the negative reviews. Ouch. Owie. Wah.)

Thanks for coming along on my blog hop! I'm linking back to Regina Scott's post here, at NineteenTeen. That's a fun blog. Wander around a bit after you've read Regina's post. If you're interested in history, you'll be enjoy the posts. If you love history AND romance, prepare for a treat.

The next stop on the hop will be by the lovely Amy Spitzley over on  her blog and Kristen Ethridge on her blog and Karen Kirchel over on her blog! I'm excited to see where this hop goes next because I sense a turn toward the artistic!
    Their posts will be up in a week. :) As always- take care, my friends! 
  Remember, the post previous to this is the Regency Bonnet Giveaway! So be sure to enter for a chance to win your very own Jane Austen-style bonnet! 

(You know you want one....)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Winners of the soap, the magnets, and the earrings!! And BONNET giveaway!

Hi everybody!

  How was your week? And Mother's Day? I hope everyone had a peaceful, joyous, and love-filled week. As a mom of six kids, I always think I deserve like, a new car or something but all I ever get is flowers.

 Kidding! I loved my flowers! It was sort of a half bouquet from the store, half from the neighbor's garden. (Seriously, it was. They moved and the house has been empty/for sale for a year. We're okay with stealing the flowers that grow in their alley.)

  Most of the day was spent on getting everyone prepared for our state tests on Tuesday. (Shoot me NOW.) As home schoolers, we have state testing just like regular school peeps. Just as much stress, or maybe a little more, since we have to whip these test results out to wave around when people start saying home home schoolers are behind in regular subjects. (True, my kids do have some crazy hobbies that take a lot of their time, but we also keep up on the state standards.) So, if you see us and we're all looking a little wigged out, that's why.

But this week we also had an awesome experience that we couldn't have done if everyone was in school. We got to be the ground crew for our local balloon festival, the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede! Being a crew member meant learning which ropes to hold, which way to fold the fabric, how to be a human sandbag and most of all, HOW TO GET YOUR BODY OUT OF BED AT FOUR AM. Ugh. Can you tell I hated that part?
Here's my second-oldest child holding down the gondola (basket) while they get prepared for passengers. It's about 6AM here so she's only been up a few hours, but she's tiiiiired. Me? I knew there was no way I was getting out of bed at 4AM, so I just stayed up. It was fun, writing all night... until about ten AM and I realized that I didn't get to go to bed until that evening. Ha! All those late nighters I pulled in college at the age of 20 could NOT prepare me for how it felt at almost 40. Ugh.
 But it was great to see items close up, that we usually only see at a distance.
 It was neat to see how fast the balloons inflate... just a few minutes.
 I like how this one peeked over the tree line.
 And this one. Almost like a circus balloon!
Watching the fire so close was a bit weird, but we have nerves of steel in the family! LOL
We also participated in the "night glow" evening, where the pilots stand up the balloons and then light the burners in unison or in rhythm with music. It's fun, and sort of silly, since nobody is GOING ANYWHERE in the dark. But the crowd loves it and we had a good time being ballast again for when they just needed the basket to hover. (Wait, I sense a theme. *gets on the scale*)
So, now that we've talked all about me (isn't that why we're all here? no?) I've got some WINNERS to announce!!

 Bonnie R., Rafflecopter loves YOU and wants you to have some awesome Austen earrings!

Dianne D., Rafflecopter love YOU and wants you to have the Emma Fridge Lit magnet set! (I'm seriously jealous... I think I need to order some of these for my fridge. What a great way to wait for my water to heat up when I'm making tea!)
And finally, Christy M. Rafflecopter loves YOU and wants you to have Pride and Prejudice Ear Grey Tea and Lavender soap! This arrived a few days ago and it smells amazing! Super yum... I maye have to order some for Christmas presents.

(CONTACT me at my facebook page with your mailing address so I can send these onward! )
 Ok everybody! My editor sent me a pic of the final paper copies of Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits... and I AM IN LOVE. Seriously. My baby is all grown up! So glossy and bright, such straight lines and crisp pages. I can't wait to start sending out signed copies for review (or as a gift for a special someone). But before then... we'll have to tide ourselves over with a few more giveaway. I still have a small mountain of fan art here on my desk and I vowed to be a good Jane Austen team member and not to HOARD THE GOODIES.

So, this next giveaway is a  Jane Austen bonnet. Admit it, you want your own Jane Austen bonnet to wear around the house as you sip Earl Grey tea and write letters with your quill pen! I know, I know... it's a tough world we live in when every girl isn't given her own lovely bonnet as soon as she comes of age. 
But that's what I'm here for- to help you become as crazily-obsessed with Miss Jane as I am!

 And if you're not convince a bonnet is just what you need, remember this line from Jane's letter to her sister Cassandra: 
"Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend."
         October 27, 1798
 (You see? Some might say Jane was being a wee bit sarcastic, but there's a little part of me that truly believes a bonnet has everything to do with one's happiness.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 28, 2014

Winner of LOST IN AUSTEN and a new give away!

Ok, are you all tired of this yet? NO? Neither am I!!

I admit it. I'm a cave-dweller, happily pecking away at my keyboard. When I'm forced to interact with the world I am just like Mr. Bennet. ("Where did you all COME FROM?")
But this whole giveaway thing is just perfect! I get to be sort of social, spread Austen joy, and a little bonus is the fact I can see my desk again. My pile of Austen goodies is getting smaller but there is still MUCH MORE to give away before Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits comes out in paper in July!
Speaking of which... Guess what I saw!!!

Yes, it's the cover up on Amazon!! The paper copy is the only option available right now (and for pre-order) but I'm watching for the ebook to pop up. SOOOO exciting! Here's the blurb if anyone hasn't heard about it yet.
         "A lively Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, featuring Lucy Crawford, who is thrown back into the path of her first love while on a quest to save her beloved family home.

Lucy Crawford is part of a wealthy, well-respected Southern family with a long local history. But since Lucy’s mother passed away, the family home, a gorgeous antebellum mansion, has fallen into disrepair and the depth of her father’s debts is only starting to be understood. Selling the family home may be the only option—until her Aunt Olympia floats the idea of using Crawford house to hold the local free medical clinic, which has just lost its space. As if turning the plantation home into a clinic isn’t bad enough, Lucy is shocked and dismayed to see that the doctor who will be manning the clinic is none other than Jeremiah Chevy—her first love.

Lucy and Jeremiah were high school sweethearts, but Jeremiah was from the wrong side of the tracks. His family was redneck and proud, and Lucy was persuaded to dump him. He eventually left town on a scholarship, and now, ten years later, he’s returned as part of the rural physician program. And suddenly, their paths cross once again. While Lucy’s family still sees Jeremiah as trash, she sees something else in him—as do several of the other eligible ladies in town. Will he be able to forgive the past? Can she be persuaded to give love a chance this time around?"


 So, to celebrate the sighting of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread, I've got some great giveaways this week!

 But first.... Our winner! AMANDA J, Rafflecopter loves you and wants you to have LOST IN AUSTEN on DVD!

OK, now for this week's prizes!

First of all, these darling earrings by Designs by Annette. I have a few pairs of these (she also does custom orders) and they are just adorable! Plus, they're great conversation starters. You can find out more about the earrings here.

Next, this is one of the funnest prizes I've ever given away. A Persuasion fridge magnet set by FridgeLit! Oh my word... I could play with these all day!

And lastly, a gift for the romantic in all of us. Pride and Prejudice lavender soap by Pen And Candle. I'm very tempted to get the Sense and Sensibility apple lavender lemon zest soap but I'm afraid I would try to eat my own arm. I would smell DELICIOUS.

Ok, my dear friends! Enter early and often- and good luck! One winner per item, so THREE people will get a bit of Austen love this week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We have a winner for the Austen Art... and a DVD giveaway!

Hello, everybody! I have to first apologize for missing all your comments. For some reason, yahoo decided to send everything to my spam folder. (How? WHY??) So, I've just realized that there was a bit of conversation happening over here... and I was in la-la-land.
  Reading them straight through, I came to two conclusions.

One- Etsy is awesome.

 And two- we're all suckers for Austen goodies.

Which brings me to our winner...

Marissa, Rafflecopter loves you and wants you to have a Kristy Zink original drawing! Whoohoo! I really think I need my own version of this. With all my heroines, in the colors they wear in the Austen Takes the South books. *swoon*

What I really want is this Austen era gown, but since I can't have that... I'll stick to the art. 

Now, for our next giveaway, I thought I'd put up one of my favorite Austen movies... but it's not one of the originals... it's LOST IN AUSTEN
Here's the blurb, if you haven't seen it before: 

Amanda Price is sick of the modern world. She yearns for the romance and elegance found in the books by her favorite author, Jane Austen. But she's about to get a rude awakening as one fateful evening, she is propelled into the scheming 19th century world of Pride and Prejudice while that book's Elizabeth Bennet is hurled into hers. As the book's familiar plot unfolds, Amanda triggers new romantic twists and turns within the Bennet family circle as she clumsily tries to help the sisters nab husbands and even captivates the tantalizing Mr. Darcy herself. But what about Elizabeth...and what will become of one of the world's greatest love stories?

It's got some really funny scenes, a few plot twists, and of course.... ROMANCE.
Still not convinced you need to see the movie? 
There! Elliot Cowan doing his best impression of Colin Firth's lake scene (which of course, did not exist in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, but let's not quibble).
So, enter early and enter often! I'll make sure to pop in and out to check for comments. :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Winner and a new Jane Austen giveaway!

Hello everybody!! The date for the paper release of Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits is getting closer.
                            I. Am. So. Excited.

For a little perspective, I'm usually sort of like this. But I'm not a cat.

Or, maybe like this. But I'm not Clint Eastwood. Or an old guy.

 Maybe kind of like this... definitely closer. I'm not as funny as Colbert and I can't tell a joke with a straight face to save my life but I just don't get POSITIVELY GIDDY about very much.
 But this is me, now. It's sooooo close. I've loved the reissue of the ebooks and am thrilled with the way they're being received, but at heart, I'll always be a book-in-my-hand kind of girl. And having this series in paper ON MY SHELF is making me want wave my hands in the air and give away lots of prizes!

  Which brings me to our winner!
TEISH, rafflecopter loves YOU and wants you to have The Jane Austen Cookbook! I've already sent you an e-mail, so just let me know your mailing address and I'll send it on!

Now, for the next prize, we're going back to art. This is a new artist I've met recently through facebook and the etsy community. I AM IN LOVE with her drawings. They're so whimsical. She's created a drawing just for us... ready????
Kristy Zink has the most adorable take ont he Austen heroines and I love how their personality really shines through. So, for the next give away, I'm offering this 8X10 Austen heroine art print. You can check it out in a few more close up shots here on her etsy page.

Ok, everyone! As always, enter early and enter often, and I'll announce the winners next week. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway