Good day, lovely readers! We wanted to let you know that the audiobook of Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights is now available at Audible.com. We have a limited number of free download codes, so those that are interested, please email Christy at BML2 for KDPctfrench252@aol.com for the download code and instructions.

Singer/songwriter Reagan Boggs, who narrated Through the Brown Mountain Lights, did the honors with this book and we think you’ll find her voice as lovely as we do. It’s amazing how she can so easily change her voice and accent to relay each character’s persona.

We’re hard at work on book #3 (untitled as of yet) and will make further announcements as it progresses through publication.

As always we cannot thank you all enough for your continued encouragement and support. We are truly blessed to share this journey with you.

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We received a wonderful email the other day from one of our awesome readers, Gail Strong who lives in South Carolina. Along with some really lovely words about our Appalachian Journey series. Gail, who does restoration on old pictures, she was nice enough to include four of the pictures we have on our Meet the Characters page which she had restored. They are absolutely gorgeous and seeing them just blew me away. I’ve included a copy of the business card she sent and want to encourage all of our readers to contact her if you have any pictures to be restored (just click on the pic and it should give you a larger version). We can honestly say Gail does impressive work!

The pictures she restored for us are below. The first one is of Bessie’s parents, Lucinda and John Daniels, and Bessie as a baby. The second is of Lucinda. In both these pictures, you can really see Lucida’s Cherokee heritage. The third picture is of Bessie and Fletch on their wedding day and the fourth is Bessie and Fletcher many years later.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the creek did rise last week and we didn’t attend the Gold Festival in Old Fort last Saturday, but tomorrow looks promising for the 23rd Bluff Mountain Music Festival in Hot Springs, NC from 10 am – 5 pm.

Did you know that the Bluff Mountain Music Festival first took place in 1996 to raise funds and awareness to save Bluff Mountain, part of the Pisgah National Forest, from a destructive logging and road-building plan? A compromise was eventually reached with the timber industry and now hiking trails and a public parking area have been built where logging roads were once planned. We feel connected to this festival, as we wrote about the damage inflicted on the Appalachian Mountains by timber companies and Bessie’s efforts to save her mountain from their assault.

This is one of our favorite festivals, with the best bluegrass music throughout the day, a silent auction (to which we always donate a book), lots of artists and craftsmen selling their wares, and great food. It looks to be a beautiful day, and we hope if you attend, you’ll drop by and visit.

 

 

Did you know that in the 1800s, North Carolina was the biggest gold producer in the country until gold was discovered in California in 1848? Not many people are aware but gold was one of the reasons the US government wanted to move the Cherokee and other Native Americans out of the mountains so they could claim the land and poach the gold.

There are actually two Gold Festivals this year, and we’ll be attending the official one in Old Fort on the banks of Mill Creek at the Mountain Gateway Museum on Saturday, June 2nd, from 10-4. Activities include live music, gold and gem panning contests, gold vendors and a display by the Reed Gold Mine, a Bechtler Gold Coin exhibit and Bechtler Museum House exhibit, along with artisans and food vendors selling their wares. And for country music fans, comedian Cledus T. Judd will take the stage at 2 pm.

The other Gold Festival will be held at the Lucky Strike Gem Mine in the Vein Mountain region of McDowell County, near Marion, NC on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 from 10-6. There will be a variety of vendors, including the latest in gold mining equipment, and a lapidarist will demonstrate gem faceting. Other activities include live music, BBQ, nugget races, horseshoes, and artisans and food vendors selling their wares. At the mine, attendees can learn to sluice and crevice the river or pan for gold at the flume. The Thermal City gold mine is only two miles away.

The two festivals are within half an hour of each other, making it easy for those who would like to attend both in the same day. There is no entry fee for either festival, and as participants in past Gold Festivals, we can attest that it will be a fun day for all.

 

 

We had a wonderful time at the Old Fort Pioneer Day this past Saturday. This is one of our favorite, have-to-attend festivals and this year was no exception. Along with seeing bunches of our readers and a few family members, we just love the atmosphere in Old Fort. Like in Hot Springs, we always feel closer to Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch when we’re there. The train station where they arrived when they moved from Hot Springs is right down the road from the museum grounds where the festival is held.

It turned into a picture-perfect spring day after a rather chilly morning. We enjoyed the lively music and seeing all the craftspeople demonstrating their skills, from milling corn to quilting to weaving. Like every year, we also enjoyed all the people dressed in period costumes and wondered how they could stand wearing all those layers back then, especially the Confederate and Union troops, with their wool uniforms. To top it off, it was a record-breaking day for us and kept us so busy the time just flew by.

This Friday and Saturday, we’ll be in Townsend, TN for the Townsend Spring Festival from 10-6 both days. This is a new one for us and we’d love to see some familiar faces if you’re in the area!

 

Meanwhile, enjoy some more pictures of Pioneer Day in Old Fort.

                           

And finally, can anyone tell us what this plant is? We meant to ask but forgot. My guess was some kind of rhododendron, possibly wild. I know they grow here in the mountains but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one this pretty orange color.

This year’s Donut Festival in Marion is in the books and one we’ve decided we want to attend each year. This was a relatively small festival last year, but this year the organizers extended the festival area, and we were amazed at the number of people attending. We had a fantastic time meeting and talking to readers–both old and new–, signing books, listening to some really great music, seeing all the exhibits and eating some delicious food including scrumptious ice cream. And, of course, there was the lovely drive to and from Marion. You just can’t beat spring in the western North Carolina mountains!

It was wonderful to see our dear friend and awesome reader, Carole Markum, and to meet another of our beloved readers, Rita Jones. We also had the good fortune to meet the great-great-great (I think I got that right) granddaughter of Keith and Malinda Blalock, whose story we hope to include in the next Brown Mountain Lights book (don’t know why neither of us thought to get her name!). And finally, we really enjoyed chatting with readers who came just to see us and/or check to see if we had a new book this year. Thanks to all of you for your interest and support. You inspire us in so many ways and we are so blessed!

Next up, Pioneer Day in Old Fort, this Saturday, May 28, from 10 – 4. We’d love to see you if you’re in the area.

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We wanted to share with our awesome readers the EPIC 2018 eBook Award for Historical Fiction we recently received for our book Through the Brown Mountain Lightsepic ebook award 2018(This was taken with my phone and doesn’t do it justice but I hope you get a sense of how beautiful it is.) And to once more thank all of you for sharing this journey with us and offering your constant encouragement and  support. We would not have gone past the first book, Whistling Woman, if not for you and cannot thank you enough for helping make all this possible.

We had a wonderful time last Saturday at the inaugural Mossy Creek Arts Festival in Jefferson City, TN near the beautiful campus of Carson-Newman College. It was a beautiful spring day and the drive to and from Jefferson City was gorgeous with dogwoods and redbuds blooming. Once we got off the interstate, the drive into town with the numerous blooming azaleas was nothing short of glorious.

Beyond all that beauty, we sold and signed a lot of books and met a bunch of new readers, including several politicians (election day’s coming up!).  The reception we received from the festival facilitators was heartwarming and we were made to feel more than welcome. We also received quite a few invitations to participate in future events in the area. I took notes but most of them look like chicken scratches. Let’s see if I can decipher them:

A lady stopped by who knew the head librarian at the Carson-Newman College Library. She took one of our cards with her to pass along because she said she was sure they’d be interested in having the books.

String art by the kids

The Mayor of New Market, TN introduced himself and invited us to participate in his city’s festival in September, which we look forward to.

Several people stopped by to invite us to participate in Jefferson City’s Old Timer’s Day in October which, from what we understand, is a really fun festival.

We were thrilled to meet Robert Tucker, candidate for Mayor of Jefferson City, who told us his son Kegan was required to read Whistling Woman in his history class at Jefferson County High School. He was kind enough to ask for a photo of us with him, with me holding the book.

Though it was the smallest festival we’ve ever attended, for us, it was a wonderful, fun day and we’re looking forward to adding the Mossy Creek Arts Festival to our permanent calendar of events.

Next up, the Donut Festival in Marion, NC on Saturday, April 21st. It’s a fun festival with lots to do and see and we’re really looking forward to it. We really enjoyed it last year and know we will this year as well.

 

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been invited to participate in the inaugural Mossy Creek Arts Festival which takes place in the historic Mossy Creek District this Saturday, April 14,  in Jefferson City, TN. This is the first festival of its kind and we are so grateful to have been asked to participate. It promises to be a fun time with local artists and crafts people, live music and food. According to the weather, it’s supposed to be a beautiful spring day in the mountains of East Tennessee, and we can’t think of a better way to spend the day. If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll stop by and say hello.

For more information, click on the link above.

Through the Brown Mountain Lights, Brown Mountain Lights Book 1 is one of four finalists in EPIC’s eBook 2018 Awards in the historical fiction category! Needless to say we’re doing happy dances here! If you’d like to see the official announcement–and join us in the happy dancing!–just click here: EPIC 2018 eBook Award Finalists.

We’re not sure when they’ll announce the winner but you can be sure we’ll let our beloved readers know. Thanks so much to all of you for your constant inspiration and encouragement!

Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights

Through the Brown Mountain Lightss

Brown Mountain Lights Book 1

Wise Woman

Appalachian Journey Book 4

Beloved Woman

Appalachian Journey Book 3

Moonfixer

Appalachian Journey Book 2

Whistling Woman

Appalachian Journey Book 1

Madchen, die pfeifen

Whistling Woman (German)

Les deces arrivant toujours par trois

Whistling Woman (French)

Christy Tillery French Cynthia Tillery Hodges

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