April 2021 – Speak Up Talk Radio announced the winners of 2021’s first quarter FIREBIRD BOOK AWARDS contest. Eighty four winners were announced in 98 categories.

One of the winning entries was from author CC Tillery whose book titled Chancing the Brown Mountain Lights won in two categories: Dystopian Fiction and Time Travel Fiction.

Authors and publishers from around the world submitted their work to the Firebird Book Awards. A panel of 12 judges within the writing and publishing space then read every book and independently scored each entry according to a set of standardized criteria that evaluates the quality of the writing as well as production aspects. Only entries with the highest of scores are awarded the coveted Firebird.

Patricia J. Rullo, founder of the Firebird Book Awards, says, “This quarter’s entries were a joy to read and speak to the talent out there. At Speak Up Talk Radio, our mission is to offer radio interviews and podcasting services to help authors expand their reach. In addition to additional prizes, our winners have the opportunity to be interviewed and aired on iHeart Radio, Pandora, as well as 50 additional online venues, giving them new ways to speak up and share their work.”

Pat adds, “We’ve included a charitable component to our awards by making all entry fees tax-deductible to the author. In return, we personally make and send handmade fun and whimsical pillowcases to women and children in homeless shelters via Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. All entry fees fund this project. In this way, authors can get notoriety for their work while doing good for others. It’s been such a rewarding venture for everyone.”

The Firebird Book Awards run quarterly contests so authors can receive recognition on a timely basis. Authors from all genres, mainstream, independent, and self-published are welcome. Additional winning authors and titles as well as entry information is available at https://www.speakuptalkradio.com

Wonderful news! Amazon invited us to participate in their beta program for hardback books, and we chose Whistling Woman as the first for this new publishing venture. For all those readers who have inquired about purchasing our books in hardcover, it is now available at Amazon. We will be moving on to the others in the near future.

We’re excited for this opportunity and appreciate more than we can ever express all the encouragement, support and inspiration from our readers. We would not have gotten where we are without you and are blessed to share this journey with you.

I’m not sure if we ever relayed this, but in our Brown Mountain Lights series, the Collins sisters (Sarie, Maggie and Abbie) are modeled after the Walker sisters who lived in a log cabin their father built in Little Greenbrier Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains – late 1800s going into the 1900s, holding a lifetime lease on the property for the rest of their lives after their land was made part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The six sisters (one married and moved away) cut their own wood for cooking and heating, walker sistershunted and fished, grew herbs for healing as well as vegetables and fruit, spun their own wool from sheep they raised which they dyed with berries or bark, and grew cotton and flax they turned into textiles with their father’s cotton gin which they then used to sew their own clothing, They once said, “Our land produces everything we need except sugar, soda, coffee and salt.” I can’t imagine living this kind of life without electricity or running water but they managed quite well. Here is a picture of the sisters, who from oldest to youngest were Margaret, Polly, Martha, Nancy, Louisa (pronounced Lou-eye-za), Sarah Caroline and Hettie. They each bear a strong family resemblance, don’t you think?

We are pleased to announce that we just released the ebook version of Chasing the Brown Mountain Lights, Book 4 in our Brown Mountain Lights series, at Amazon. The paperback version should be available very soon. We hope you’ll enjoy this book, as Lizzie’s life veers off in a different direction, one that spells more danger and adventure as she continues to search for her place and time in the world.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

“I’m a Stranger Here” could be the song title guiding Lizzie Baker’s life. In the five years chasingthebrownmountainlights.covershe spent on Brown Mountain during the Civil War, Lizzie wanted nothing more than to find the light that transported her back in time and return to the 20th century. While fleeing from bushwhackers, Lizzie, her friend Abbie Collins and fiancé Josh Hampton encounter a light Lizzie believes is hers. Hoping to get to safety, she pushes Abbie into the light, expecting Josh to follow. She and Abbie wake to find that this is not the Brown Mountain they remember. Trees and foliage are dying, the air smells like ash, the sky is hazy and dim. And Josh is nowhere to be found.

Shocked to learn they’ve gone forward to the 21st century, Lizzie finds this time strikingly similar to that of the 19th as the people on the mountain fight for existence in a world that is dangerous and barely survivable. While searching for her fiancé, she and Abbie encounter Jonah Hampton, a man who bears a startling resemblance to Josh. Upon learning that one of Jonah’s ancestors married a Collins, Lizzie begins to suspect that Josh did not come after her but, for some unexplainable reason, married Abbie’s sister Sarie instead.

Once more, Lizzie resorts to practicing herbal medicine by day while frantically searching for the lights by night, concerned that going back to Josh could possibly end the existence of people she’s come to care for. To make matters worse, her tenuous relationship with Jonah sets in motion a perilous encounter with an enemy from her past that could lead to her death.

Lizzie faces a hard decision as she continues to search for the lights, one that will determine her fate for the rest of her life if she finds them: to stay in the 21st century where a war within America looms on the horizon, go back to the 19th century and risk ending the lives of those she’s come to love, or return to the comfort and safety of her time in the 20th century.

 

 

 

We wanted to share the good news that Top Shelf Magazine has nominated Through the Brown Mountain Lights for their 2019 Indie Book Awards!  Below is the badge they forwarded along with a link to the certificate of nomination we received. Woo-hoo!

cctillery.Indie_Book_Award_Nominee (2)

CC Tillery.awardletterfromTopShelf

We’re late in announcing this but wanted to take a moment to share the good news that Through the Brown Mountain Lights won 1st place in the 2018 TopShelf Indie Book Awards under the category Regional Fiction! I’ve copied the page from their magazine below announcing us as winner. As always, we couldn’t have done it without our beloved readers. Y’all continue to encourage and inspire us in so many ways. We always love hearing from you and want to assure you book #3 is almost finished and hopefully will be released in the very near future.

 

We didn’t win but we’re thrilled Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights was named semi-finalist in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards under the category Romance.  Although we look upon this series as more Appalachian historical fiction, we do hope our cherished readers enjoy the touch of romance we’ve instilled in the story between Lizzie and Josh.

Below is a list of the winner, finalists and semi-finalists:

That Month in Tuscany ~ Inglath Cooper  (WINNER)

  • The Boy Friend ~ Mika Jolie
  • Lavender Beach ~ Vickie McKeehan
  • WarWolfe ~ Kathryn Le Veque
  • Unloved, A Love Story ~ Katy Regnery
  • The Lords Captive ~ Cecelia Mecca
  • Leave a Mark ~ Stephanie Fournet
  • ShadowWolfe ~ Kathryn Le Veque
  • Those Sweet Words ~ Kait Nolan
  • Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights ~ CC Tillery
  • Under the Lights ~ Tia Louise
  • If the Devil had a Dog ~ T.K. Lukas
  • Fake Out ~ Eden Finley
  • We’ve Only Just Begun ~ Kathleen Ball
  • If I Didn’t Care ~ Kait Nolan
  • Crazy in Love ~ Annibelle Costa
  • Watch Over: The Deluca Family ~ Amy Reese
  • Sins of the Father ~ Nikki Landis
  • The Wallflowers Wicked Wager ~ Collette Cameron
  • Lukas ~ F.G. Adams

 

 

 

ttbml.topshelffinalistOur book Through the Brown Mountain Lights has been awarded Regional Fiction Finalist in the 2018 Indie Book Awards!

We say it a lot, but we truly mean it. We have the best readers in the world. Thank you all for your continual encouragement and inspiration. We are blessed to share this journey with you.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing the Brown Mountain Lights

Into the Brown Mountain Lights

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