What now?

January 1, 2016 by

Okay, so we released Wise Woman, the final book of our Appalachian Journey series, in e-book on the 29th of January December (sorry, got ahead of myself), and in 3 days it’s already made it onto three bestseller lists on Amazon. Needless to say, we are thrilled and, of course, want to thank all of our wonderful readers–the absolute best readers in the world!

When it released, Christy and I breathed a mutual sigh of relief. I swear I could hear her “Whew!” echoing with mine all around the Blue Ridge mountains. It’s finished!. No more agonizing over which family stories to include or how much history/Cherokee folklore/herbal medicine to balance the stories. And most important, no more self-imposed December deadlines! Those things are killers! Not gonna do that to ourselves never, ever, EVER again …

GabiYankee… and then Christy, her husband Steve, and granddaughter Gabi traveled over the mountains to spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with me and my husband. We went Bear-footin’ on Main Street in beautiful downtown Hendersonville. That’s Gabi to the left posing with the hated Yankee bear (sorry Meghann, it broke my heart too!). Then we had a wonderful dinner and did a little shopping at Dancing Bear Toys and Mast General Store. A peaceful, relaxing New Year’s Eve which is just what Christy and I needed.

 

LotMwaterfallThen this morning we went to breakfast and decided to go to Chimney Rock/Bat Cave/Lake Lure to play tourist and do a little sightseeing and more shopping.

Chimney Rock is where they filmed the waterfall scene in The Last of the Mohicans. That’s the waterfall on the left. Even on a dull, dreary day in winter the Blue Ridge is filled with beautiful scenery.

 

LackeLureBridgeBat Cave is a tiny little town nestled in between Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. No pictures of Bat cave but we did buy sweat shirts. As for Lake Lure, it’s where they filmed the movie Dirty Dancing.  That’s the bridge over the Broad River in Lake Lure on the left. It’s a beautiful little town and they have a Dirty Dancing Festival in the summer. Today, New Year’s Day, they were having the Polar Plunge where all the idiots brave souls jump into the lake. Brrr!

So anyway, while we were eating/shopping/sightseeing/taking pictures, Christy and I were talking about the feedback we’ve gotten on Wise Woman from readers who have already read it. Specifically, how almost all of them said they loved the book, they were sad to see the series come to an end.

And we realized that we agree with them: while we are extremely thrilled to be through, we’ll miss working together, researching and plotting a story and then writing it down to share with our readers so …

… we decided we’re not finished yet. We have the bare bones of a new series centered around the legend–not sure if that’s the right word since it has been witnessed by people. Perhaps mystery works better–of the Brown Mountain Lights in Burke County, North Carolina (for more info, click on the name.) This is a phenomenom we’ve heard about for years and even had one of our readers call it to our attention too. We even talked about putting it into Wise Woman but it got lost in the shuffle somehow.

Also, a couple of months ago, we had another reader mention that we should write a series about the Walker Sisters from Sevier County, Tennessee. We did some quick research and while it’s interesting, we found there were already several books written about them so we nixed the idea and didn’t think anymore about it. But now with this new series we thought we could incorporate characters similar to the Walker Sisters with the mystery of the Brown Mountain lights. That way we could stick with our favored Appalachian Mountains and the mountain people we’ve come to know and love.

(Sorry, I can’t remember the names of either reader. They’ve fallen into one of the many holes in my MS addled brain–that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!–but if you’re one of them please let us know so we can acknowledge your contribution!)

And there you have it, our big news for this new year of 2016 is we’re writing another series. Funny how our relief and resolve only lasted a couple of days. No title yet and we can’t promise we’ll have the first book out in a year like we did with the last three of the Appalachian Journey series-it took us 3 years to research the first book in that one–but stay tuned. We’ll be posting about the development of the new series and on our progress soon.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year to all our cherished readers and everyone else! We hope it’s one filled with love, happiness and peace for all of you!

Wise Woman …

December 29, 2015 by

Wise Woman e-book… should be available on Kindle within the next 12 to 24 hours. Fingers crossed it’ll be up sooner than that.

As always, we appreciate your patience. This book … okay, not sure what’s going on but it’s already available on Amazon! Yay! Needless to say we’re doing multiple Snoopy dances over here.

Enjoy! And thanks to all our readers for their patience! Y’all are the best ever and we are very blessed to have you!

And the winner is…

October 29, 2015 by

Annette King!

Whistling Woman-e-book          MoonFixer96dpifront          BelovedWomanFinalfrontTN96dpi

Annette, please send us an email at cctillery@yahoo.com with your address and we’ll get your signed copies of the first three books in the Appalachian Journey series in the mail to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered and for all the wonderful comments. It really makes our day reading what you have to say about our books. I’m sure you’re probably getting tired of hearing us say this but it’s true: we do have the best readers ever!

 

 

 

 

News + Thanks = Giveaway!

October 20, 2015 by

We are working diligently on Wise Woman but wanted to take a break to celebrate the 1000th review of Whistling Woman!

Whistling Woman-e-book

And to give a huge thank you to all our readers! We know we could never have reached this milestone without you. We’re so grateful to have you all in our corner and, though we say it a lot, it can never be said enough: We have the best readers in the world!

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And to us that equals giveaway! Would you like a signed copy of the first three books in the Appalachian Journey series? Maybe you have it on Kindle, but would like print copies of the books for your bookshelf? Or maybe you have print copies with the old covers and you’d like to have the new ones? Or maybe you’ve started your Christmas shopping and know someone who would like the print books? Or maybe you haven’t read our books yet but are looking for a good series to get into now that the weather is cold?

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Whatever your reason, here’s your chance to win a signed set of the first three books in the Appalachian Journey series, Whistling Woman, Moonfixer, and Beloved Woman. All you have to do is leave a comment here on the blog or on the post about the giveaway on our Appalachian Journey Facebook page before midnight, October 28.  On Thursday, October 29, we’ll put all the names in a hat and choose one lucky winner!

 

 

 

It’s time for Art on the Island again!

September 22, 2015 by

CC Tillery (aka Christy Tillery French and Cyndi Tillery Hodges) will be on Blannahassett Island in Marshall, NC for Art on the Island this Saturday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is free so come on by! We’d love to see you!

ArtontheIsland

Wise Woman Cover Reveal!

August 30, 2015 by

Okay, it’s been a long time since I’ve even been on this site so once again I need to apologize for not responding to comments or keeping our readers in the know about what’s going on with the Appalachian Journey series. My only excuse is that MS and hot weather don’t play well together and this summer has been extremely hot here in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s finally cooling off some and the MS is calming down–thank goodness!–and we have some major news.

No, it’s not that Wise Woman will be ready sooner than our intended release date of December but it is pretty exciting, at least for us. Our awesome cover designer, Kimberly Maxwell, has been hard at work and just sent us the cover she designed for Wise Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 4! Take a look:

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You’ll notice there’s no blurb on the back. That’s on us, not Kim because we haven’t sent her one yet. The picture on the front is the one of Aunt Bessie and our dad standing in a field of wildflowers and it’s resting on top of Aunt Bessie’s photo album. The beautiful asters and clover beside the album were picked by yours truly and Kim on a pretty summer day–before this blasted heat set in. The painting on back is by our dad, of course, and shows Stone Mountain Baptist Church as it looked when he was living on the mountain with Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Christy and I think it’s the best one yet! What do you think?

CLAN HENDERSON

July 24, 2015 by

When we began our research for this series some six or seven years ago, we didn’t know it would create a keen interest in our heritage. Of course, we were aware of our Cherokee ancestry through Bessie’s great-grandmother Elisi but didn’t know of any other lineage flowing through our blood on our father’s side of the family. Although we both have a bit of fascination with all things Scottish, we never came across information or even suspected a connection to Scotland even though many Appalachians proudly claim that right … until this year’s Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs when Peggy Huff McConnell came to the festival and stopped by our booth.

Peggy had read our books and came by to tell us that we are distant relatives. We love it when family members stop by to meet us at these events but Peggy had more to share: we are a part of Clan Henderson through Lucinda, Bessie’s mother, Mama in the books. Needless to say, we were thrilled. Not only did we meet another family member who informed us of our Scottish ancestry, but also, Peggy may have solved a mystery we’ve been puzzling over since the first time we visited the Genealogy Room at the Madison County Library where we found Lucinda’s family listed in the 1880 Census. Problem was, the names on the census didn’t match what we’d found online or the family tree our cousin, Jackie Burgin Painter sent us–both of which were different, by the way.

Peggy was kind enough to send us the official genealogy chart of Clan Henderson and information on how we could join. which she did a couple of weeks ago. Thanks, Peggy! You’ve been a great help! The Clan Henderson chart shows … drum roll, please! … Lucinda’s parents were Robert Henderson and Lydia Roberts. At last, we’re hoping we can finally lay to rest who Lucinda’s and Belle’s real parents were.

As for Clan Henderson, here’s some interesting information we’re proud to share with our readers. TheHenderson badge family of Henderson is as old as any clan in the Highlands, descending from Eanruig Mor Nac Righ Neachtan (big Henry, son of King Nectan) in the 11th century. Henderson is the most common surname for the sons of Henry (MacEanruig). Clan Henderson has been involved in the mainstream of history from the clan battles in the Highlands to the plantation of Ulster, the Jacobite uprisings (fans of Diana Gabaldon’s series Outlander will recognize this!), the Massacre at Glencoe, and emigration to North America and Australia.

Clan Henderson’s motto is Sola Virtus Nobilitat!  which means Virtue Alone Enobles!

Henderson-TratanThe Henderson tartan is a predominantly green pattern with wide, alternating blue and black bands highlighted by facing alternating fine yellow and white stripes. It appears in several different versions – ancient, modern, weathered, dress – with the sett count remaining constant while the colors vary. For those like me who didn’t know what sett means, I’ll explain by first describing tartan: Tartan is made with alternating bands of colored threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over — two under the warp, advancing one thread at each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colors cross, which give the appearance of new colors blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of color repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett. The average-sized sett for a kilt in modern times is 5 to 6 inches which gives around 250 threads per sett using a medium weight wool yarn. If you were using a much thinner yarn such as silk then that thread count could multiply by three or four.

The Clan Henderson plant badge is the cottongrass or as it is known in Gaelic, An Canach.cottongrass

Cyndi and I have recently joined Clan Henderson and look forward to learning more about our Scottish ancestors. For those family members we’ve met both online and off who are descended from Lucinda and anyone else who might be interested, you can find out more about Clan Henderson – just click on the name!

Now, if we can only solve the mystery of which grandmother it was who donated the Elliott land to the YMCA way back in the 20s to use as a camp. Well, actually, we think we’ve found her name but we’re not positive and would like confirmation before Wise Woman comes out, so off we go on another quest!

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the saddle again …

July 1, 2015 by

We had a wonderful time visiting with Daddy in Florida and thanks to our husbands were able to actually talk to him without interruption. Thanks for keeping you-know-who busy, guys! It was big help and we were able to get quite a few new stories, clarify some of the ones we’d already heard, and–finally!–get a glimmer of where we’re going to go with this book. Whew!

We’re back into research this week–with a little writing and editing thrown in for fun–and while I was adding the genealogy chart to the notes file–there are so many family members it’s hard to keep them all straight!–I decided to try to find Papa’s grave. We knew it was in Knoxville and at the Bookwalter United Methodist Church cemetery but for some reason had never actually looked for it the way we’ve been actively looking for Lucinda’s. So I went to the Find a Grave site and searched for John Warren Daniels and look what I found:

64856728_129634530035

Love that site! The neat thing is when I looked at the info on the site about John Warren Daniels, they actually had Lucinda’s and Green’s (they spell his name Greene) info there, too. They’re both listed as being buried in Sandy Gap Cemetery in Hot Springs which really surprised me because when we checked the Madison County Library’s book of cemeteries in Hot Springs, Sandy Gap was not listed … but there it was on Find a Grave so a big thank you to Diana (the person who added the picture of Papa’s tombstone and all the additional information on him)!

Mama is listed as his wife but Roy and Loney aren’t listed with the other children. Not sure why and we’re hoping some of Loney’s family will chime in and let us know where she’s buried so we can add it to our research file. And back when Whistling Woman first came out we received an email from Roy’s great-granddaughter and we’d love to hear from her on Roy’s grave, too!

Okay, now for some news, while we were in Florida, we were notified that the French translation of Whistling Woman had been released in the Kindle store at Amazon.fr. No print book yet, but it’s coming! The French title is Les deces arrivent toujours par trois. Neither one of us speaks French (we both took Spanish in high school) so we had to look up the title and turns out it translates to “death always comes in threes” which is essentially the theme of the first chapter. Not sure why they went with that title but after a little bit of consideration, we decided it fit well enough.

Anyway, here’s the cover:

WWFrench

Same as the German cover but with a different title. As I said, neither Christy or I speak French so we have no idea how to pronounce it! Maybe one of our readers can help?

And speaking of Whistling Woman translations, we just received an email from the publisher that Madchen, die pfeifen (German edition) has been selected as one of the books they’re spotlighting in a special promotion:

Mädchen, die pfeifen (German Edition) will be included in our 4hero in the DE marketplace, starting 7/1/2015 and running through 7/31/2015. During this promotion, strategically selected titles are offered for 2,49 € and are displayed on the Amazon Homepage, supported with mailings, onsite and device campaigns.

I just couldn’t resist checking the Amazon.de Homepage and yep, sure enough, Madchen, die pfeifen is right there. Pretty cool, huh? And Christy just checked the book’s page on Amazon.de and we’re back on two bestseller lists. Yippee!

Okay, time to get back to writing but not before we wish everybody a Happy (and safe!) July 4th!

ABC!

June 18, 2015 by

A = Apology… to all the readers who left comments in the last week or two. I think I’ve responded to all of them but if I missed anyone, I’m terribly sorry!

B = Bit of news … which is why I’m trying to catch up with the comments here. Christy and I will be in Florida next week. We’ll be working on Wise Woman, of course, but the main reason we’re going down is to spend Father’s Day with Daddy! Yay! For the first time since he moved down to Florida we’ll actually get to see him and talk to him on his special day. We’re so excited!

C = Clarification … (Did I spell that right? It looks weird. I hate when words do that to me!) Anyway, we’ve noticed a few of the people who have left reviews of the books on Amazon (and we thank you all!) have mentioned that the Appalachian Journey series is a trilogy and that the third book, Beloved Woman, is the last book and we just wanted to clear that up. Yes, as noted at the end of Beloved Woman, there will be a fourth book, Wise Woman. What’s that called, a quadrilogy. Nah, I know that’s not right and I know there’s a proper word for a four book series but my brain is drawing a blank right now.

The funny thing is when we started writing the first book, Whistling Woman, we thought that would be the only book. And then we finished it and realized there would have to be at least one more. So we rolled up our sleeves, dusted off our notes file and dove right in to researching and writing Moonfixer. And when we finished that one, we did the same with Beloved Woman (only we had the title as Charming Gardeners at the time). And now, after Beloved Woman we’re busy writing the fourth book, Wise Woman. We are thinking that one will be the last but … who knows?

How’s that for a cliffhanger? Meanwhile, our wonderful cover designer, Kim, has already started on the cover for Wise Woman and we’re busy writing it. So, stay tuned here (or follow us on our Appalachian Journey Facebook page) and we’ll do our best to keep you updated on all things Appalachian Journey!

 

It’s time for the Bluff Mountain Festival again!

June 10, 2015 by

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For the fourth year in a row, Christy and I (aka CC Tillery) will be at the Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs, NC this Saturday. We’ll be there from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m., enjoying the music, the delicious food, the awesome arts and crafts and of course, selling and signing books! Bluff Mountain Festival is a wonderful event held on the grounds of the Hot Springs Resort and Spa and it’s one of our favorites. It was the first festival we ever attended as CC Tillery and we  always come away from it with many wonderful memories of seeing old readers, meeting new ones, and talking to all the people who stop by our booth.

For more information and a list of the musical acts and when they’re performing, click on the picture or the link above.

And if you’re in the area this Saturday, come on by. We’d love to see you!


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