Saturday, June 29, 2013

I need Minions

I could really use some minions to do my bidding. What I have instead is Sara.

 She's not much of a follower, sort of does her own thing. I love my cats, but I'm really thinking minion is the way to go.

There has been a lot of buzz on the Internet lately about street teams, especially street teams behaving badly. A book reviewer pissed off an author who promptly sicced her street team on the reviewer and a rumble ensued . Okay, not so much a rumble as just much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the author and her street team. It wasn't publishing's finest hour.

I admit that I was sort of naive about street teams. When I first heard the term I was a little excited. What was a street team? Was it like a gang? Did we get to dress in colors and have secret signs? Cause I was totally down with that. Having my own roving gang of romance-loving street toughs sounded exciting.

But no. I started doing some reading. What a street team does is promote an author's books. They take promo materials around and visit libraries and bookstores. Some are encouraged to place the books prominently in bookstores or turn the cover facing out (which must endear them to the employees). They are asked to post reviews and recommend the books to all their friends on Goodreads. They are asked to buy the book the week it comes out to boost the ranking in bestseller lists and promote the author on their blogs with reviews and snippets and book trailers. They are sent swag to hand out. Some even attend conventions so they can go forth and proselytize on behalf of their author. By the time I got to that part in my reading, some of these Super Fan teams were less gangster and more cultish sounding. But it gets more extreme for some, mobilizing to harass reviewers or vote down negative reviews or even post negative reviews on competitor's books. Fortunately not all street teams or authors are like this. Most are perfectly nice people, but the possibility for abuse exists when you engage a group of strangers to act on your behalf.

Having a street team just isn't for me. I get tired of having promo thrust my direction all the time and I'm sure readers and bloggers feel the same way. A group of people dedicated to pushing my book forward all the time just isn't my thing. That's not to say I don't want fans.

Of course I want fans. Authors don't write these books just for our own amusement. If I didn't want to share, I'd keep the stories in my head instead of putting them down on paper.I want people to read my stories. That's pretty much all I expect from a fan. Read me. That's my only expectation, but there are other things that make me insanely happy.

If someone likes my books, I hope they tell others.  Most people buy a book because someone they know recommended it. I love it when people take the time to write a review. If reviews aren't your thing, no pressure. But it's awesome when people do review my books. I love when someone tells me they enjoy my writing. Writers are fragile egos. We need a little petting sometimes and there is no better petting than a fan who loved one of your books.

That's pretty much it for me. I'm happy when fans do what they've always done, without all the expectations of a street team or being so personally invested in an author that they're ready to go to war with anyone who doesn't like them. So no street team for me.

But minions? I could totally use some minions, especially ones that made coffee in the morning or cleaned the house. Where can I sign up for some of those? I'm willing to trade swag for coffee any day.

Until next time,
Stay Regency, y'all

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

King and

All's Well That Ends Well! Yeah, that. Today was Panini's two week check on the broken leg and the news was great. She's healing like a champ. She is starting to put weight on the foot, open and close her leg. Blood flow looks good. No major nerve damage. Just four more weeks of goose incarceration and we will unsplint the the leg. She wasn't thrilled to go back to the vet and boy did she let everyone in the waiting room know about it. On the bonus side, we got back in an exam room in record time. She was pleased with all the petting and attention from the staff. A girl likes to be properly admired, you know.
Last week I went to RomCon in Colorado Springs. The conference was awesome, the hotel, not so much. Wanna know what happens when you send an introvert into a room full of strangers? Answer: NOTHING! I hid in my room the first night. Too many strangers. I couldn't handle it. But the next morning I was lured from my room with the promise of breakfast and forced to interact with real people. By the end of the conference I was chatting it up and having a great time because a convention full of writers is just a big introvert fest. Whew.   Best of all, I found an RWA chapter near me that I think I might click with.
The husband and kids didn't manage to actually clean anything while I was gone, but they did leave the walls standing. Everyone survived and that's what counts.
So everything has worked out just fine
I've got some great news from my publisher that I will share when I can, including a title reveal and information about Mad Hatterly IV. 
Until next time,
Stay Regency, y'all

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mom is on vacation

So, I haven't been anywhere for years because of all the family stuff, but my bags are packed and tomorrow I'm headed to Colorado for RomCon. I'll be blogging about my experience.

I'm not sure what to expect. I can be a real introvert in crowds, but I'm determined to  enjoy myself. No husband. No kids. No animals. There will be no poop to scoop. No mouths to feed. No dishes to wash. Just me and a bunch of romance fans.

Eep! Hold me?

My kids are already freaking out a little about me being gone. My husband has taken off work and is staying home with them so they won't be alone. Um, these are teenagers. They stay home every day while we go to work. But whatever. I think they'll survive four days--only two without Mom at all. The endless questions are killing me. What will they eat? Food. There's food in the house, but Mr. Redneck will probably feed them pizza and burgers and take out. They won't starve.  What will they wear? Clothes. Everyone has sufficient clothes washed that no one will be forced to touch the washing machine or go naked. Whatever will they do? Pfft. The same thing they do every weekend. Lay on my couch and play Wii or watch movies.

Actually, Mr. Redneck has tickets for some cool events. They'll be surprised. In fact, looking at the list, they may want me to turn around and leave again, at least until someone needs clothes again.

If your going to RomCon come and find me. I don't have swag and I've ducked out on most of my author responsibility stuff, but I'll buy you a drink in the bar and try not to embarrass you too bad with my Karaoke.

Until next time,

Stay regency

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Winner, winner, gift card doesn't have the same ring to it. So how regency is this redneck Texas gal? Lets look at the options again.

Everyone thinks I've worn a corset, danced a waltz, and attended a Christmas Ball. And I have! Corsets are surprisingly comfortable. Granted mine isn't of the whalebone variety with no flexibility, but that's not what Regency ladies were wearing either. So I think those things make me a bit regency. Plus I would never lace mine so tightly I couldn't breathe. Not that vain, thanks.
I can indeed drive a horse and cart, although I'm more likely to be driving a donkey (because I have four donkeys and only three horses). My donkeys are all minis, little drafty guys just made for driving.
There have been a few guesses that I've done everything on the list or nothing on the list. Nope. There really is something on the list I have never, ever done. Ever.
The prevailing opinion seems to be that I never attended charm school. Not sure what that says about me, but WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! My sister was forbidden from commenting on this because she was right there along with me for multiple charm schools, every summer between the ages of 8 and 16, we attended a week of charm school.
I know, right? I learned the intricacies of a formal table. Salad fork? Fish fork? Dessert spoon? Bring it on! I am not intimidated. I learned how to curtsy and how to get stains out of white gloves. I walked and walked with a book on my head and spent hours learning the lessons of proper posture--most of which I promptly forgot. Lots and lots of charm school. Which would probably be hilarious to most of the people who know me in real life. Hey, I know how to behave like a perfect lady. I simply choose not to.
So what haven't I done? Side-saddle.  I've sat in one, but never ridden a horse that way. Let me tell you, the posture feels odd. And the muscles needed? My thighs would be crying for mercy. It's easier on the back than I would have thought, not really so twisty as it looks. There are quite a few side-saddle clubs near me who perform as drill teams. Occasionally I'm tempted to join one and learn but then I sober up and the urge passes.
So, the only person to guess correctly is EMMA J. LANE! Congrats, you win the $20 Amazon card. I'll be confirming your email and sending it to you tonight. Enjoy. :)
I'll be back with more newsy stuff this week, updates on Panini and my fall release. I'll be attending RomCon in Colorado, so come find me if you're there.
Until then, stay regency, y'all.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Diary of a Mad Gray Goose

First a reminder that the contest ends tomorrow, so last chance to guess for an opportunity to guess how regency this redneck girl really is. The post about the contest is RIGHT HERE.

Now, time for a Panini update. She has a lovely little pen near the porch. See?

She's right in the hub of activity there. At night we put her in a big dog crate in the garage to keep her safe from predators. At first, she thought her new lifestyle was pretty cool. All the food she wanted. Her very own bucket of water.Lots of extra attention from her people. Awesome, right?
After a week, it's safe to say the bloom is off the rose. The honeymoon is over. She wants OUT. Now. I can't explain to her that I'm just following doctor's orders. She's not interested in my Nuremberg defense, thank you very much. And she's quite vocal in her complaints.
I know that she's lonely. :( Geese are very social. They live in a flock and don't like to be alone. They need other animals, especially waterfowl companions. Problem is that I don't want her jostled or stepped on. I can't risk putting another creature in there, like her mate. Notice I said creature and not goose? That's because her mate is a duck.
He's a Swedish Blue Duck named Maverick. I mentioned how she lost her mate in a coyote attack. Well, after his death she took up with a duck (who was also mateless at the time.) That picture I showed of her in the last post? The little ducks behind the geese? Yeah, that's Mav, following his lady love around. They look ridiculous together. He barely comes up to her chest. In fact, when it's cold he climbs up on her back and sleeps on his girlfriend like she's a feather bed. But hey, who am I to judge love?
They're pretty devoted, which is sweet, but I know they've strayed. See, I hatched a bunch of eggs this spring. I got a whole bunch of African/Embden crosses and Swedish Blue/Pekin crosses. So apparently during breeding season it's swinging orgy time. As long as everyone is happy and they don't shock the neighbors too much.
The good news is that she is standing a great deal, opening and closing her foot, and even using it some to brace herself. I think this is a very positive sign. Keep those prayers and positive vibes coming for her. Let's hope we get a good report from the vet on the 24th.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Goose Story

First, if you are looking for my contest, it isn't on this post. It's RIGHT HERE. So go comment for a chance to win a gift card. The contest stays open until Saturday June 15th.

Now on to the goose story.

The big grey girl in front is Panini. I call her my OG (Original Goose).  See, I've always been a duck fan. When we moved to a farm with a big pond, I told my husband "We're getting ducks." Being the good, smart husband he is, he said, "Whatever you want."  So we got ducks, built them a big duck house to be safe in, a fenced yard for when I wanted to keep them penned, life was good. My ducklings grew and I was excited for the day I could first turn them loose. Then the raccoons came.
I woke up one more to duck slaughter. Not a duck left alive. I cried and grieved and felt awful because the lovely house we had build wasn't raccoon proof. So we reinforced it. More ducklings were bought to fill my lonely pond. Turns out raccoons are evil. Over the next year, they pulled screens off of windows, they squeezed through tiny holes in the eves, they dropped from the trees onto the roof like little ninjas in the night, they even opened the door and let themselves in. Constant frustration and dead or missing ducks.
Finally, I'd had enough. I called my husband in tears to tell him that once again the raccoon ninjas had defeated our security and made it into the coop. No survivors. I was DONE. DONE! YOU HEAR ME? No more ducks.
But I missed the ducks. I missed the quacking and watching them play in the water. Ducks are so sweet, so helpless. I couldn't have more ducks just to serve them to the raccoons. That's when I decided to get even. I was going to boobie trap that coop. I wasn't getting ducks. I was getting geese. I went online that very day. It wasn't really the proper breeding time for geese and so there were only two choices for geese, Africans and Chinese. Everyone said those were the loudest,  most aggressive, most obnoxious geese alive. Yes! Yes, I wanted badass geese! I was all on board. I bought ten goslings to be delivered.
Oh, my heavens. Goslings are truly the cutest babies alive. Friendly, talkative. I couldn't put them down in the coop of death, so I raised them in the house until they were big, way past when I should have. I ended up with the most spoiled group of geese imaginable. Boy, did they get big and loud.  I'll never forget the first time a raccoon tried to break in. That raccoon must have thought he had entered the lowest level of hell. I heard the geese raising a ruckus and came running out, but the raccoon was long gone leaving only a quantity of fur behind. Large flock of killer geese 1  Racoon 0.
Over time, my original flock has passed on, but I have one left: Panini.
Panini is a survivor. She has survived snake attacks and a coyote attack that killed her mate and left her with huge, life-threatening wounds. Once she was kicked in the head by a horse and knocked unconscious. I thought she was dead. A few minutes later she staggered to her feet and was fine.  I blogged about her trying to hatch inanimate objects back in 2010 after a snake ate her eggs (psst: read it. There's a happy ending).  She is sort of like the mother of my flock. She raises all babies, ducks and geese. She follows me around chattering and checking buckets for extra grain. She comes up to the door and knocks on it when she wants in--and has a fit when I won't let her come inside with the people. She is just as much a pet as my cats and dogs. Some tough farmer I am, right?
Now she is in another situation. She has a severely broken leg, most likely the result of being stepped on in the pasture. Have I mentioned she is fearless around the livestock? Her leg is splinted. The vet will x-ray it again in two weeks to see if it will heal. Now I go to a vet office with 14 vets. I live in ranching territory and they do a lot of big animal business as well as the normal cats and dogs. Heck, this is where I take my goats and donkeys. But the vets all agreed: First time anyone brought them a goose to fix. So they have done their best and we are doing our best for her. I have to believe she will beat this too.
So good thoughts and prayers for Panini these next two weeks. This goose story needs a happy ending.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Regency am I?

So, I'm retooling the blog just a little bit. As you know, I sort of abandoned things last year when family issues reached a crisis point. I've lost both my parents in the last three years, Dad just last October, and some things are more important than chatty blog posts.

But I'm back. I've grieved and I am moving on. What's more healing than food recipes, cute picures of baby farm animals and funny Regency Romance novels? Not much.

New look. New name. New posts.

Welcome to the Regency Redneck. Just how Regency am I? Well let me tell you someof the Regency-type things I have done. These are all true, except one. Guess which one is the lie in the comments section and on June 15th I'll choose one of the correct answers to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Hah! How is that for a celebration?

Okay, things I have done: (Or have I?)

a) Worn a corset
b) Danced a waltz
c) Ridden sidesaddle
d) Driven a horse and cart
e) Attended a  charm school for young ladies
f) Been to a Christmas ball
g) All of the above

That's right. I threw in a wild card. Pick the thing you think I haven't done OR you can choose Defcon 5 Option (g) if you think this redneck from Texas hasn't done any of those Regency things. The contest is now open.