Egrets & Otters & Books, Oh My!

Once upon a time, there was an egret family that nested high in a willow tree along the bayou banks in south Louisiana. Across the bayou, nearby cattle pastures were like an all-you-can-eat buffet for birds; especially birds like Regret, the cattle egret…'Regret The Egret', by Capt. Wendy Wilson Billiot
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It’s finally here…my second Children’s Picture Book!

With lovely illustrations by Kayla Harris Johnson, we meet another local character, finding his way in the pastures and wetlands of Louisiana.

While these books are available in both Print & eBook format through all the usual channels (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, etc.), I encourage you to “support the Author” by purchasing it through Lulu (the direct publisher link included here) and passing on the word to others. The big distributors, while presumably presenting to a larger audience, also take the largest share of profit; leaving little for independent authors. Lulu, however, as publisher, affords a much better share to the Author – even permitting me to pass those savings along to you, dear readers!

It’s been a long time coming, and you know I can’t let this announcement go without a little back story.  I actually wrote this story BEFORE I wrote Before the Saltwater Came, which was published first, in February 2005.  The manuscript for Regret the Egret was rejected by a Louisiana publisher way back in 2004, so here we are some 12 years later, breathing life into the first of a series, hopefully, of what I’m calling “Bayou Bird Fables”.  

About this time last year, I took auditions by potential artists to find just the right illustrator for the book.  Kayla’s submission truly won me over.  This is her first experience with illustrating a book, although you wouldn’t know it to work with her. She did a great job and was such a jewel to work with.  Hopefully you’ll see another book from the two of us this time next year!  

I hope you will purchase Regret the Egret for all you young ‘uns, be they children, grands, or great-grands, nieces, nephews, cousin, neighbors.  We’re plenty early for Christmas, so no excuses.  I’ll stop just short of begging you, but please purchase online as I have no immediate plans to travel the state with this book.  However, if you would like to set up a book signing, let me know and I will do my best to work it into my schedule!

Letting you all know about this book makes me very, very happy!  

BW

PS:  Please leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a free autographed copy of either book, your choice!  Feel free to share this blog post on Facebook, letting your friends know about the contest.  Thank you!

PPS:  Today is a big day in bayou country–first day of the May Brown Shrimp Season.  Maybe I’ll be able to post something interesting about that next week.  Bring on those fresh shrimp!

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Comments

Egrets & Otters & Books, Oh My! — 42 Comments

  1. How exciting and I’m thrilled for you! Can’t wait to read it. I’ll need one for my niece also. Susan’s daughter is having her second baby (a boy this time!) in the fall. Ellen can add it to their nursery
    library as she already has your first one. I know it will do well, Wendy! Full steam ahead.

    • Oh, I didn’t know she was expecting again. How wonderful! I do hope you enjoy this little bayou fable!

  2. Wow, I cannot believe you find time to write the childrens books. If it is as good as your first one, it will be a winner for sure.

    • You’re very kind, but I actually wrote this manuscript way back in 2004. Last year, I finally decided it was time to pull it out, spruce it up, edit it, illustrate it, and publish to share with everyone. Actually, I did the easy part – Kayla did the hardest part!!!

  3. How exciting for you! Congratulations! Books make wonderful gifts and I will remember yours for children in the family. It will be a pleasure to share your announcement in my A Promise Kept News.

    • Thank you, Bonita. When you announce, you have my permission to mention that I’m a Bossier native . . . but a down-the-bayou transplant since 1978. Thank you for sharing the word about the book(s)!!! Everyone stay tuned, because Bonita is our June contest give-away sponsor!

  4. Happy about the new book. Have not seen you in a while. Miss you. I know you pass in front of my house , just about every day. I know you are very busy, and cannot stop to visit. You can toot your truck horn and wave, if you see me outside. Love you.

    • Oh, yes ma’am I do pass your house every time I go to town. A couple weeks ago I saw you were having a huge party of some kind outdoors! I always think “I want to stop and see her” when I pass, but usually time doesn’t allow. I promise, I will stop by (and I haven’t visited the Landry’s in a while either). Hope all is well with you and yours.

  5. Looking forward to reading this one as I have the first one. How can I purchase a copy of both for my little girl? Hope all is well!

    • There are links within this post that will lead you directly to purchase from Lulu.com! So great to hear from you, Pete!

  6. Congratulations Wendy! I’m sure this old but new fable will be just as or better than your other book that I already have and read to my grandkids when they sleep over… I love that you’re going to do a series too! Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  7. Wendy,
    Congratulations on your new book, “Regret the Egret”. I look forward to reading it……….to my nieces and nephews!

    • Thanks, Donna. I will tell him hello, and his time in your lab is serving him well under your daughter at TARC. My, how things work out . . . isn’t it amazing? Our children working together, sort of!!! Thank you again for all you did to help Miah advance!

  8. Congratulations Aunt Wendy on publishing another book! I hope it is a huge success. I need to make sure I buy a copy, so I can find out what happens to this egret!

    • Ha ha! Yeah you do need to!!! Poor little Regret, LOL!!! Great hearing from you. Hope I get to see you some time soon, niece!

  9. Congrats on your new book.
    Does this book have any of the characters featured in Before The Saltwater Came?
    Wishing you much success.

    • No, it doesn’t, since it isn’t a sequel to BTSC. As does BTSC, this book includes some non-fiction. In this book, it’s some true natural history about the beautiful egrets, plus a lesson to learn. (Glad you were finally able to comment – webmaster worked on this for us!)

  10. And the winner is No. 6, and that is Peter Barrileaux!! Congratulations, Peter!!! Email me and tell me to whom you would like the book inscribed and I will get it to you!
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  11. I cooked a big pot of the white beans per your/your mother in laws recipe today to go with sloppy joes. I had my grand daughter taste them when done to see if they needed more seasoning. Next thing I see is her walking into living room with a bowl full and a big dollop of chili paste from a tube I had in fridge, on top of them.

  12. Look at you! You make me feel like a real slug — by the time I get my mind wrapped around actually doing one, you’ll probably have a series out, and a Newbery Award to go with them!

    Honestly — congrats. Did I ever tell you about the trawler over here that was named “No Egrets”? Every time I think about it, I laugh. I hope before long, many, many people who hear someone talk about cattle egrets will think about your book. For that matter, maybe people who have some regrets will think about it, too!

    • Ha! I always enjoy your witty comments, Linda! And I hope you are so right with that positive attitude about Regret! No, you never told me the story of the trawler, but it sounds like a good one. When are you coming down?

      • At this point, the schedule’s entirely messed up, since I’ve missed ten days of work because of the rain over here. I’m trying not to think about it. At least they say we’ll have sunshine this week, but the flooding on the Brazos is terrible. Brazoria County, where I like to hang out with the camera, is inaccessible now, and will be for some time. I guess I’ll have to come east when I get some time!

        • Y’all have had some crazy rain over there, and flooding, of course. When will it stop? I’m hoping for two sunny dry days this week in order to get the painting done. I hate for a project to linger unfinished, don’t you? I hope things clear up and dry out over there for y’all soon.

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