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

bluff-logo-sun-three-e1422398509759

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!

Revisions, updates and a new cover for Whistling Woman!

June 3, 2015 by

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here in the mountains. Summer is in full swing (saw the first lightning bugs last night!) and Christy and I have been making revisions (nothing drastic, thank heavens!) to the Whistling Woman e-book and print files. Whew! So glad that’s done!

We’ve also been getting ready for the Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs on June 13th. This is our favorite yearly event because it takes us back to our favorite little mountain town. We particularly enjoy seeing friends we’ve met in the past and catching up with them. We also love meeting all the new readers. It’s a wonderful festival with many lovely arts and crafts and fabulous blue grass music so if you’re in the area, come on by. We’d love to meet you!

Added to that, we’ve been busy scheduling a couple of other events we’ll attend this summer and we’ve found a new one in the fall, Octoberfest in Old Fort! We’ve wanted to do something in Old Fort ever since Moonfixer came out but somehow kept missing all their festivals. But not this year!

And mixed in with all that, we have a new cover to show you. Yep, that’s right, our awesome cover designer, Kimberly Maxwell, has revamped the Whistling Woman cover and it’s gorgeous!

Here’s the full flat for the print book:

Whistling Woman-print

 

 

 

 

 

And the e-book cover:

Whistling Woman-e-book

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, the audio book cover

Whistling Woman audio

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t they beautiful? Kim, did a fantastic job, as usual! The picture on the front is, of course, the same picture of Miss Cordy that we used for the original cover and the small picture leaning against it is of Mama (Lucinda), Papa (John) and Bessie when she was about one year old. Since the color theme for this one is a brick red, Kim used another one of Daddy’s paintings on the back of some apples in a basket.

The new cover is now up on Amazon for the e-book and hopefully, the paper back and the audio will be up in  the next couple of days. Needless to say, we love the new cover! What do you think?

 

Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors … again.

May 22, 2015 by
Andrews Geyser

Andrews Geyser

Christy and I took a mini-Appalachian Journey of our own Wednesday. We spent the day in Old Fort and after we visited the Gateway Museum and the Andrews Geyser (which was repaired and working this time!) we headed up Stone Mountain to visit Stone Mountain Baptist Church with the graveyard where Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch and many of the other characters who populate the Appalachian Journey series are buried.

Since our husbands were with us to handle the driving, we were able to take a few detours and get some pictures of our old stomping grounds!

Aunt Bessie’s and Uncle Fletcher’s house, May 2015

First, we took the cutoff to Aunt Bessie’s and Uncle Fletcher’s old house. The road is still mostly gravel but the house has been completely remodeled and it’s very hard to recognize unless you know what you’re looking for. There have been so many changes and, of course, it doesn’t help that Christy and I are looking at it through the eyes of childhood memories–I swear this parcel of land was flatter back then! The bridge over the creek in the front is no longer there, the barn has been torn down, and it has a new front porch and new dark siding.

Aunt Bessie and Uncle FletchThis is what the house looked like shortly before Uncle Fletcher died in 1958. I’m not sure exactly when this picture was taken but that’s Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch standing in front of the chimney and that’s how I remember Aunt Bessie so I think I’m safe in saying this was taken sometime in the early 1950s. Even taking into account the trees and foliage, which has grown substantially, the house just appears smaller and more compact in this picture, but maybe that’s just me.

After that, we went on to our grandmother’s house which actually looks bigger since it’s been remodeled and had several rooms added on. Sorry, we forgot to take a picture because the people who bought it, Greg Miller and his wife (I think her name is Sue) were at home and we stopped to talk to them and ask about Camp Elliott. Greg was very helpful and actually took us up to the camp and gave us a tour.

Camp Elliott Lake

Camp Elliott Lake

We hadn’t been to Camp Elliott since our childhood and wow, has it changed. It sits on the site of the old Elliott homestead where Fletcher grew up and the old Elliott graveyard sits. Since it was donated to the boy scouts for a camp long before we were born, we only visited once in our childhood. All we really remember is the lake and a very primitive camping ground. Most recently the camp has been used as a school for boys with behavior problems. They added lots of cabins and a bathhouse plus a kitchen/dining hall, a small community center, and a beautiful chapel.

Stone Mountain Baptist Church and the graveyard haven’t changed much since we last visited. It’s still a lovely little mountain church and though the graveyard has almost doubled in size since we were children, it remains a peaceful and lovely resting place for those residing there.

Camp Elliott Chapel

Camp Elliott Chapel

So, there you have it, another day of walking in the footsteps of our ancestors. It was a wonderful day and driving home we even found a route that’s much shorter and many times more beautiful to get there and back which I hope means more visits in the future!

I’ll leave you with a picture of the Camp Elliott Chapel. Isn’t it beautiful?

 

 

Wise Woman–we want your help!

May 11, 2015 by

We’re working on Wise Woman and are having trouble figuring out which way to go with it so … naturally we thought of our kind, generous, and helpful readers! If you have a minute, won’t you please leave us a comment letting us know what you want to see more of in the fourth book of our Appalachian Journey series?

What would you like to see more, or less, of in Wise Woman:

Aunt Bessie and Daddy
Family stories?

 

 

 

SheltonLaurel

 

 

Historical fiction?

 

 

 

CherokeeMuseum

 

Cherokee folklore?

 

 

 

Cone flowers

 

Herbal medicine?

 

 

 

None of the above? All of the above?

We would not be where we are without our beloved readers and while the books need to follow along the course of Aunt Bessie’s and Uncle Fletcher’s life on the mountain, we’d really love to hear your thoughts on what you think we should focus on more!

 

We’re so happy we’re giving away free audio versions of Beloved Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 3!

April 22, 2015 by

We got curious the other day about just how many books we’ve sold since Whistling Woman was released in December 2012 followed by Moonfixer in December 2013 and Beloved Woman in December 2014. So we went back and took a look at all the reports–yes, our eyes are still crossed!–and started adding them all up; e-book, print, and audio versions of all three books.

Imagine our surprise when the total came out to well over 100,000 books! We knew the books had done well since they’ve consistently been on 3 bestseller lists on Amazon and we’ve almost sold out at all the events and festivals we’ve been to but … over 100,000? Nope, never in our wildest dreams did we think the total would be that high!

BWACXmorecontrastyBut thanks to all our wonderful, supportive readers, it was! And we’re quickly moving toward 200,000! That’s awesome and in the midst of all our happy dances, we decided we wanted to share our celebration with the people responsible for our good fortune, our cherished readers (after all, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for y’all!) and to say thank you, we’re offering free copies of the audio version of Beloved Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 3 to the first 18 people who comment on the post about this entry on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/appalachianjourney!

So if you’d like to hear the story as read by our lovely narrator, Carol Herman (who we think sounds amazingly like Aunt Besse!), leave us a comment! But do it fast, we only have 18 copies!

 

It’s here … well, almost!

March 25, 2015 by

For those of you who are waiting for the audio version of Beloved Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 3, we were just notified that it’s available at Audible (hmm…they have it listed as Appalachian Journey Book 2–gonna have to fix that!) and should be up on Amazon and other sites within the next few days! Hopefully, Amazon will do the same as they did with the other two books and offer the audio version of Beloved Woman at a discount if you’ve already purchased the ebook!

Our narrator, Carol Herman, did an outstanding job–she just keeps getting better at Aunt Bessie’s voice!–and even though I listened to it chapter by chapter as she was doing the narration, I can’t wait to listen to the entire thing again.

 

BWACXmorecontrasty

Cover makeover for…

March 24, 2015 by

Moonfixer, Appalachian Journey Book 2!

We posted about this already on our Facebook page and now we’re announcing it here. Moonfixer, Appalachian Journey Book 2 now has a new and improved cover. We were so pleased with Kim’s fabulous design for our Beloved Woman cover that we asked her to redesign the cover for Moonfixer–which we’ve never liked very much. Kim sent the final version to us yesterday and here it is:

MoonFixer

That’s Aunt Bessie’s school bell in the front (the one Fletch gives her in the book) and the painting on the back is another one by our dad, John Tillery. Though Daddy never saw the original house (it was torn down years before he was born), this is how he imagined it when Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch told him stories about it. The picture of Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch on their wedding day that was on the front of the first cover is still there, just smaller. Since it’s in pretty poor shape, Kim touched it up a bit to make them show up a little better. And you can’t really see it unless you enlarge the picture but the background on the front is the wire in my antique jelly safe door and on the back is, of course, the full moon.

I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and just look at it! Kim pays so much attention to the little details and manages to blend them all in a perfect gorgoues cover. She has a color theme for each book (this one is gold) as well as a design (not sure if that’s the right word!) theme that will tie all the books in the series together, and of course, there’s that wonderful series logo and our official Spring Creek Press (the name we publish under) logo.

So, what do you think? Christy and I absolutely love it and have already given Kim the go-ahead to start on the cover for Whistling Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 1!

Okay, back to updating the Press/Media page and hopefully, after I get that done, I can do a little cleanup work on the rest of the blog–I need to get the new Moonfixer cover up in the sidebar!

 

 

Catching up…

March 3, 2015 by

I’ve been catching up on the comments this morning and hopefully I responded to them. If I missed someone please know it’s not because I’m ignoring you! I really need to spend more time on this site but with all that’s been happening in the last couple of months, I’m having a hard time keeping up.

First, there was the e-book release of Beloved Woman in late December. Then there was the print release in January and then came the audio version which should be out in the next few weeks.

As a result of listening to the audio version, we’re now making a few minor changes to the e-book and print book–mostly little things (punctuation and a couple of misspellings) that we missed on our many read-throughs of the book. They don’t change the story in any way but when you have two nit-picky writers collaborating on one book, these things pop up and we’re bound and determined to get them fixed!

Anyway, we wanted to give our narrator on all three Appalachian Journey books, Carol Herman, a huge thank you. Carol nailed the voice of Bessie from the first and she just keeps getting better and better with each book. We’re so happy we chose her to do Whistling Woman and that she enjoyed it enough to come back and do Moonfixer and Beloved Woman.

So, here’s to you Carol; thanks so much for giving a voice to our great-aunt Bessie. When we listen to you, it’s almost as if Aunt Bessie is with us once more, telling us one of the many stories we’ve heard all our lives!

We also wanted to share the cover for the audio book. Thanks again, Kim for doing an outstanding job!

BWACXmorecontrasty

Oh, and before I forget, our sales have been so awesome in January and February we decided to leave the price of all three books at .99 until further notice! So, if you know of anyone who you think might enjoy them, spread the word. We’ll be eternally grateful to you!

 

Snow, Sleet … and ‘Sang Tea

February 17, 2015 by

Sitting here looking out my office window at the sun sparkling on the ice-coated branches of the Bradford Pear trees in my front yard. It sure is beautiful but … I really wish it would go away. Unfortunately, we’re not supposed to get above freezing for the next three days! Brrr!

red_ginsengSo I decided while I’m waiting on the temps to warm up, I’d work on getting my office organized. That lasted maybe five minutes, until I got to the Appalachian Journey notes file and I found a few notes I’d jotted down during phone conversations with Daddy. Some of them were very hard to read–my handwriting has gotten atrociuos since I quit teaching. I’m not sure why I hadn’t ever added them to the computer file, but I suspect it’s merely laziness, so I decided I’d better get out my magic decoder ring and do my best to decipher the chicken scratch…

And I found a note about Aunt Bessie’s springtime ritual of giving Daddy a tonic made of ginseng (or ‘sang asginseng_bed_001 she called it) roots to clear away the winter blahs and get his blood pumping again. Below that, I’d written Tasted Terrible!!!!, underlined  three times.

I’ve never had ginseng root tea but I trust Daddy’s taste and don’t think I’ll go looking for a cup anytime soon. Still, it got me thinking about a program I’d seen about harvesting ginseng and how it’s now listed on the endangered plants list and a lot of states have laws governing when and how you can dig the roots.

But if it tastes so awful, why is it being dug to the point of extinction? To answer that, I turned to my trusty research book, Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, authored by Steven Foster and James A. Duke, put out by Peterson Field Guides:

ginseng-roots-400009“Root considered demulcent, tonic. Research suggests it may increase mental efficiency and physical performance and aid in adapting to high or low temperatures and stress (when taken over an extended period). Ginseng’s effect is called “adaptogenic”–tending to return the body to normal while increasing resistance to adverse influences on the body.”

So, it looks like Aunt Bessie was right; ginseng root tea taken as a tonic in the spring does have the ability to take away the winter blahs and get your body ready for the increased activity that comes with the warmer weather.

There’s a lot to be said for those old remedies!


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