You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘fact-based fiction’ tag.

We spent last weekend in beautiful Morganton, North Carolina researching the new series–and enjoying some really awesome scenery, including Brown Mountain, Table Rock, and lots of historical buildings in downtown Morganton. It’s an amazing place and we met some very helpful and informative people who helped us get a feel for life in the town and around Brown Mountain in the 1850s which is where and when the first book of our next series takes place.

This one is going to be a little different from the Appalachian Journey series … it’s still historical fiction with a touch of romance–well, maybe more than a touch, we haven’t exactly figured that out yet!–with a bit of paranormal thrown in. We’ve been trying to decide what genre it will fall under but haven’t had any luck yet. Historical Paranormal Fiction? Paranormal Historical Romance? Whatever, think Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series only in 19th century Appalachia.

MorgantonWelcomeCenterAnyway, back to our research trip. We’ll start with the town of Morganton, First up, we visited the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center and met Ed Phillips, the town’s Director of Tourism. Ed was very welcoming and helpful (the same can be said for all the people we met). He’s directed several symposiums on the Brown Mountain Lights and knows quite a bit about them, the legends behind what causes them, and the general area (most of which we’re keeping under our hats for now since we don’t want any spoilers to get out about the series).

MorgantonPublicLibraryEd also directed us to the historical Morganton Courthouse, a gorgeous building, and told us to see Joan Malloch, the President of the Board of the Morganton Historic Foundation. Joan walked us through the building and shared numerous stories about its history and some of the notable trials that took place there. She also told us about the Charles McDowell, Jr. House which still stands on the grounds of the Quaker Meadows Plantation–no pictures of that. That’s the courthouse to the left. Isn’t it gorgeous? Wish we had gotten a picture of the winding staircases on both sides.

 

MorgntonHistoryMuseumAfter we left the courthouse, we went to the Morganton Historic Museum and talked with the people there and then the Burke County Public Library’s North Carolina RoomOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA where we met Dottie Ervin who was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the town. She spent a long time pulling files for us to look at and told us about Demon’s Hill where they used to hang people. The library and the grounds surrounding it are … I’m running out of words …beautiful, gorgeous, stunning … how about breathtaking?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd finally, after all that, we drove up to the overlook to see Brown Mountain. That’sOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA it on the left, on the right of the “V” in the mountains. It was right at sunset, so we didn’t get to see any lights, and truthfully, we weren’t sure we wanted to see them after hearing the legends. (Some people believe whenever the lights are seen, people disappear. Yikes! Don’t want that –we have a book to write!) The picture on the right is of Table Rock. Sorry it’s not very clear! We were in a moving car when we took it!

And that about sums up our weekend in Morganton, except to say we spent a lot of time talking about the book, we know our protagonist’s name and the names of the sisters who find her on Brown Mountain and take her in, and we have the time, setting and a tentative outline for the first book. And we also have an opening we both love, so now, all we have to do is start writing. Fingers crossed it goes as well as our trip to see the setting.

For those fans of our Appalachian Journey series, we’ll continue with our readers’ favorite themes, herbal medicine (as well as other forms of medicine practiced at that time), Native American legends and culture, and stories about the Appalachian mountaineers along with historical events of the time. Stay tuned for updates!

Wise Woman Audible 3And you know what that means, don’t you? Well, if you’re one of our wonderful, amazing readers of this blog and/or one of our awesome, inspiring followers on Facebook, you do …it means we’re having a giveaway! Yay!

But wait, what are we celebrating? Wise Woman, the final book in our Appalachian Journey series, was released a little over 2 months ago in ebook and it’s been on 3 bestseller lists since then. Not only that, the other three books, Whistling Woman (or as we call it “the book that started it all”), Moonfixer, and Beloved Woman are right up there on the same lists. Yahoo! And we can’t leave out the French and German translations of Whistling Woman, they’re on bestseller lists, too!

Plus, the print version has just been released and is up on Amazon … if you search for it. For some reason it’s not showing up on the Kindle page but if you’re interested, here’s the link for the paperback of Wise Woman. The audio version (narrated by the lovely Carol Herman who absolutely nails Aunt Bessie’s voice) is available now and is linked on the Kindle page.

And, of course, we have our faithful readers to thank for our good fortune so we have 20 copies of the audio version of Wise Woman to give away. That’s right, 20! So, if you’d like to hear Aunt Bessie’s story, all you have to do is comment to this post on the blog or on the corresponding post on our Facebook page. First come, first served so don’t delay!

A side note to all our readers who are interested in our next project, the Brown Mountain Lights Series: we spent the weekend in Morganton, NC researching, researching, researching! We should have a post up about our trip and the new series later this week!

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 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!

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!

MoonFixer96dpifront

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?

BelovedWomanFinalfrontTN96dpi

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!

 

 

 

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

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:

readyforbacktext (Small)

 

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?

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!

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 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?

 

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