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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.

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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’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!

Hello, cherished readers! We’re thrilled that our book, Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights, Book 2 of the Brown Mountain Lights series, has been selected to partake in All Author’s monthly Cover of the Month contest for February 2018. We think our cover artist, Kim Maxwell, did a fantastic job and hope you feel the same. Only the top 100 covers with the most votes will be allowed to proceed to the second stage of the competition which starts in the second week (7th). We hope those of you so inclined will go to our book’s voting page and vote. Here’s the link: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/1355/ Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us!

Thanks so much, cherished readers! Where would we be without you!

 

For those of our readers who’ve been nice enough to ask, we’re happy to announce that the paperback of Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights should be available in the next day or two. Finally!

Here’s a sneak peak of the cover:

As always, Kim did a fantastic job with our cover. Thanks, Kim! If you’re interested in the official blurb which is a little hard to read from the picture, here it is:

You don’t always get what you want in life, and no one knows that better than Lizzie Baker. Her only wish is to go home, but in order to do so, she has to find the one light on Brown Mountain that transported her back in time from 1969 to 1859.

When Lizzie’s one opportunity is thwarted, she remains trapped in the antebellum South, a time she’s come to loathe, but that’s not the only reason she’s anxious to return home. The Civil War looms ever closer and she is frantic to leave before the deadliest and bloodiest conflict in American history descends on Brown Mountain.

Lizzie spends her days helping the Collins sisters doctor the people on Brown Mountain and in the little town of Morganton, North Carolina. While learning about the natural healing methods the sisters’ use, she teaches them the more modern medicine she learned in medical school.

But it’s the nights that keep Lizzie going, searching the mountain with her best friend Abbie to find the one light that can take her home and engaging in secret meetings with Josh Hampton, a plantation owner’s son, risking her life as she helps him lead slaves to freedom.

As time goes by, Lizzie begins to care deeply for Josh, enough that she questions what she will do if the opportunity to go back to her time ever presents itself. Will she step into the light or will she choose to stay with Josh? She fears that when the time comes, she will only have a split second to make that decision and can only pray it will be the right one.

As always, a huge shout of thanks to our wonderful readers for their patience, interest, and the daily dose of inspiration you give us! We are so blessed to have all of you in our corner.

And now, on to Brown Mountain Lights Book 3 which will answer all your questions about what happens to Lizzie and … oh wait, no spoilers here, so we’ll just say all her friends and acquaintances on Brown Mountain.

 

 

 

We hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful season and rejoicing in feelings of love and warmth from family and friends. We also hope you’ll take a moment to celebrate with us the release of our latest book.  That’s right, the second book of our Brown Mountain Lights Series, Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights, is now available in ebook on Amazon!

For those who are waiting for the print  book, we’ ll be working on that next. As soon as Kim puts the final touches on our beautiful cover (is that thing gorgeious or what?) and we get the file formatted, it’ll be available on Amazon, too. The audiobook will be available soon as well, and we’ll announce both releases here and on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

We want to wish all our lovely readers a happy, healthy holiday season and may 2018 be your best year yet. Thank you all for your encouragement, support and inspiration. We are truly blessed to have you.

 

 

We are moving ever closer to the second book in our Brown Mountain Lights series, tentatively titled Seeking the Brown Mountain Lights, and that means our cover designer, Kim Maxwell, has started working on the cover. I met her for lunch Tuesday to talk about the design. This one is proving to be a challenge but I’m sure Kim will overcome any and all obstacles and create another gorgeous cover like she always has in the past.

This will be the sixth cover she’s designed for us. It all started with Beloved Woman, the third book in our Appalachian Journey series. And we were so impressed, we asked her to do or re-do all of our books.

 

Next, we asked her to re-design the cover of the second book,  Moonfixer , because we weren’t satisfied with the one we had which we made. It was just too dull and though it had the picture of Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletcher taken on their wedding day we didn’t like it very much. It just didn’t feel like it fit the book so … enter Kim.

We liked what she did with the other two so much we asked her to re-design Whistling Woman, the first book in the series. She changed that one by photographing the picture of Miss Cordy, adding the picture of Mama and Papa with Bessie as a baby and a few sprigs of cedar. I had the pleasure of watching her set it all up using my husband’s grandmother’s old cedar chest as the base. It was fascinating all the things she checked and double checked before she was satisfied with the picture.

The next one she did was the final book of the series, Wise Woman. For this one, Kim and I met for lunch then drove around till we found a place we could pick some of the beautiful purple asters that bloom here in the late summer/early fall so she could use them on the cover. After she put it all together, it was beautiful and ended up being my favorite cover.

When Christy and I decided to write another series we knew right away we wanted Kim to do the covers. The first book in our Brown Mountain Lights series, Through the Brown Mountain Lights, added a few extra hurdles for Kim. First, she would need to go to Morganton and shoot a picture of Brown Mountain and also, she would be designing this one without much if any help from us. For the Appalachian Journey series, we had numerous pictures of Aunt Bessie and pretty much  knew which one we wanted to use for each book but for this one we really didn’t have any idea of what to use. No worries, Kim to the rescue.

The writing of the second book in the series is finished which means the hard part for us pretty much done. All we have left is the editing, polishing, and formatting it for e-book and print. While we do that, Kim’s working on the cover which I know will be gorgeous like all her other ones have been. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

If you would like to read more about how Kim creates our beautiful covers, check out her blog: Covers, Cats and Clicks. That will take you to a page that lists all the posts she’s done about our books.

 

Sorry we’ve been AWOL for so long but we’ve been busy writing the second book in our Brown Mountain Lights series, tentatively titled Searching for the Brown Mountain Lights. More on that later …

First, I want to share some news with our awesome readers. Our  publisher who did the French translation of Whistling Woman, Les deces arrivent toujours par trois, asked us to participate in a free giveaway to French readers. The book will be available free for a short time starting on November 6th. So, if you’re fluent in French or know anyone who is, you might want to check it out, and to our French readers who have made the book so popular, thanks so much! Like all our readers, we are blessed to have you!

Christy and her husband came over the mountain last week and spent several days so Christy and I could visit various libraries in the area. That’s the beautiful Burnsville library in the picture. It had been a while since we’d done this and we were thrilled to find most of the libraries already had copies of our books, including Through the Brown Mountain Lights, the first book in our Brown Mountain Lights series. We were even more thrilled to find out they had ordered them after receiving several requests from their patrons to stock the books.

We also visited several stores and were pleased with the interest they showed in displaying and selling our books. Not just bookstores but hardware stores, general stores, and stores that cater to area tourists.

We’re happy to say, we are now available in lots of area libraries and various stores around western North Carolina. We’re putting together a list for our website where the books are available and will post that in the near future.

On Wednesday afternoon, we went to Aunt Bessie’s cabin on Stone Mountain. It now belongs to David Gilliam (relative of the Possum Gilliam we write about in the Appalachian Journey series). He and Becky Bussert, owner of Smith’s Old Country Store in Black Mountain (who also sells our books) had arranged a get-together for us with several people or relatives of people Daddy knew while he lived with Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch. It was incredible to finally put a face with the stories we grew up hearing and to hear more stories and see the house where we visited our great aunt when we were children. David’s brother Jake, who built the cabin and is now deceased, kept in mind the old house and it looks very much as it did when we were kids. David now rents it as a vacation rental cabin and, according to the guest log, it’s very popular. We wondered if anyone ever hears the slave ghosts Bessie heard but forgot to ask David.

In the picture: Becky Bussert, Janice Means, David Gilliam, Joyce and Lawrence Elliot (Uncle Fletch was his uncle). Lawrence’s sister, Lois, was also there but had to leave early.

Why, you may ask, are you running around western North Carolina instead of writing? Well, that would be because we finished writing the second book in our Brown Mountain Lights series and decided to take a little break before we dive into the hard part, editing, editing, editing and polishing until we have the final draft ready to publish. We’ll announce its release here and on our CC Tillery Facebook page, so stay tuned!

That’s it for now. Have a fabulous weekend, everybody!

 

We had the best time at the Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs this past weekend! Nice weather–look at that beautiful sky!–live bluegrass music, lots of readers, some known and some new. This is a special festival for us because it’s the first one we ever attended, instilling in us a love for these events. This past Saturday was the fourth time we’ve participated and although you might think attending the same festival in a town as small as Hot Springs year after year would get old, all we can say is it doesn’t. Every time we go, we come away surprised, inspired and happy.

We started off the day selling our first books before the festival even started then moved on to have a record number of sales before lunch. This was a complete surprise for us as usually this festival is slow in the mornings and we make the majority of our sales during the afternoon. But this time, we broke our top sales record before noon.

Things slowed down a bit after lunch but the readers kept coming and by the end of the day we’d sold completely out of Whistling Woman and Through the Brown Mountain Lights! I won’t say it’s getting old in the case of Whistling Woman, since we’ve sold out of it at other festivals we’ve attended, but when we realized we’d sold out of Through the Brown Mountain Lights … well, I’ll just say there were multiple happy dances going on, in our heads, of course. And by the end of the day, despite the fact we couldn’t get our Square to connect so we could accept credit cards, we’d not only broken our all-time sales record, we shattered it. More happy dances!

But as always, the best part of the day was seeing our readers, both the ones we’d already met and the new ones, talking to them about the Appalachian Journey series and introducing them to the new series. We can’t even begin to tell you how much the favorable response inspires us to continue writing. We’ll definitely be keeping that feeling close as we finish the next book in the Brown Mountain Lights series.

This year, while there were fewer vendors at the festival, there was a much larger crowd. We saw some family members we’d met before and also met some new ones (a huge thank you to our ever supportive reader and cousin many times removed, Mary Paris Merriken) which we always enjoy. We had people who came specifically to the festival to see us and get books signed and people who came to buy print books even though they had already purchased the series on Kindle.

All in all, it was a wonderful day and though we enjoyed the new sales record and the sellouts, we have to say, the best part was the reunions with known readers and family members and meeting new ones. And once again, we have to say it, we are so blessed to have all of you in our corner!

Oops, I almost forgot, be sure to watch our CC Tillery Facebook page this week. We’ll be announcing a give-away!

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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