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