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After Christy found the picture of Aunt Bessie as a young girl with her family, we started thinking about all the pictures our dad has given us of her at different points in her life. Some of them are already posted here on the blog on the “Meet the Characters” page but there are so many more, especially of her in her later years. And yes, I know, I really do need to get back to adding the other pictures to that page, but with working on the first book in our Brown Mountain Lights series, I just can’t seem to find the time.

So, because we’re sure our wonderful readers would love to see them, we decided to do a blog post with all the pictures we have. A sort of walk through Aunt Bessie’s life.

Mama, Papa, & BessieThis is the earliest picture we have of Bessie which shows her as a chubby-cheeked baby sitting on Mama’s lap with Papa beside them. Even looking at the picture through a magnifying glass, I can’t make out what’s on Papa’s lap but it appears to be material of some kind. You can see his boots below it but the rest just isn’t clear. This picture appears on the new front cover for Whistling Woman, the first book of our Appalachian Journey series, propped up against the painting of Miss Cordy by our dad.

bessie and familyNext, of course, is the picture Christy shared with you in the last post which shows Bessie as a young girl, probably between 6 to  8 years old. Of course, I’m only guessing at her age and the fact that we know the family moved to Hot Springs in 1886 when she was 4 years old.

BessieFletch300The next picture we have is of Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletcher on their wedding day or shortly thereafter. The note on the back says “Uncle Fletch and Aunt Bessie when they first married”. We know from the Madison County Marriage records that she and Fletch were married in Madison County on February 20, 1902 at age 21 and 22, respectively.  This one appears on both the old and new front covers of Moonfixer, the second book of the series.

05-27-2013 05;53;11PMAfter that, we have the postcard she sent to Papa after he and the rest of the family moved from Hot Springs to Knoxville. There’s no date on what’s written on the back and the postmark is faded but it looks to be 1914 when she would have been 33 years old. This one appears (partially) on the front of Beloved Woman, the third book.

Then, there are several of her with some of her students and one with some womenBessieandfriends friends and relatives. Not sure of the date on any of them so we have no way of knowing how old she was but I’m guessing most of them were taken when she was in her 20s and 30s. Left to right on this one is Aunt Bessie (with her head cut off), Lee Davis, Clarse Davis, Cordie Davis and Aunt Minnie Elliot (sitting down). The pictures of her with her students are on the “Meet the Characters” page here on the blog.

Aunt Bessie and DaddyThe next one is my favorite of all the pictures we have, the one used on the front cover of the final book, Wise Woman. It’s a picture of Aunt Bessie and our dad standing in a field of wildflowers with the family dog, Fritz (you have to look really hard to see him!) off to the right. This one isn’t dated either but it had to be shortly after Daddy moved in with Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch in 1934 which would make Bessie around 43.

Bessie and Fletch outside their houseThen we have one of her and Uncle Fletch standing outside their house by the chimney. Not sure how old they are with this one either or when the pciture was taken but they’re bolth pretty old. I’m guessing it was taken shortly before Uncle Fletch’s death in 1958 which would make both of them in their 70s. You can see Aunt Bessie has a scarf around her neck which she took to wearing in her later years because she had a goiter.

Bessie,Daddy,MamaDaniels,JimmyDavisThis picture is of a much older Aunt Bessie with Daddy, Uncle Thee’s wife, Myrtle (who we called Mama Daniels), and Bessie’s second husband, Jimmy Davis. Not sure when this was taken either, but judging by Daddy, it was sometime in the early to mid-60s. I’m not sure but I think they’re sitting on the steps of our grandmother’s (Jack in the books) house on Stone Mountain. Notice Bessie’s scarf wrapped around her neck. I don’t remember a time when she didn’t wear one!

BessieSquareLast but not least, thanks to Kimberly Maxwell, our awesome cover designer, a close up of Aunt Bessie cropped from the same picture. Since she died in 1970, she had to be in her 80s in this one. She may not look too happy here but this is the Aunt Bessie of my memories and I know from Daddy’s many stories she had a long and happy life and she was, to me, the epitome of a Whistling Woman.

So there you have it, a picture journey through our Aunt Bessie’s life. I hope you enjoyed the trip!

 

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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!

We are working diligently on Wise Woman but wanted to take a break to celebrate the 1000th review of Whistling Woman!

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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!

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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?

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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!

 

 

 

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:

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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:

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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!

 

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!

 

…now available in print on Amazon! So if you’d like to get your hands on a print copy, just click here.

Amazon has included the back cover in their “Look Inside” feature so if you want to get a closer look at the rest of Kim’s beautiful work–including one of Daddy’s paintings of Aunt Bessie’s house–scroll down all the way to the last page of the sample and check it out.

Also, another bit of exciting news, Carol Herman, our narrator for the audio books of Whistling Woman and Moonfixer, is busy recording Beloved Woman. We’re more than thrilled to have her back on the third book of the series as she captures Aunt Bessie perfectly!

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… I just realized I’d posted that Beloved Woman had been downloaded to Kindle,  added the cover to the sidebar and even linked it to the page on the Kindle Store and then I forgot to come back and announce that it is available.

Yeah, yeah, go ahead…I’m shaking my head and calling myself an idiot along with you!

So, anyway, Beloved Woman has been released finally. If you’re interested in buying a copy, head on over to the Kindle Store or just click the cover in the upper right-hand corner of the blog or the one below this post.

Because we missed our self-imposed release date of December 20 and didn’t get the book downloaded until December 29, we’re offering Beloved Woman at a special introductory price of .99 and we’ve also dropped the price on Moonfixer to .99 and Whistling Woman is, as its always been, .99. The special price will last until January 31, 2015. So, go ahead, click on that link and get your copy. Then if you don’t already have the others, get those, too! That’s the entire Appalachian Journey series (to date) for under $3.00!

Beloved Woman and Moonfixer are also available in the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited.

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WelcomeWe’re in Florida this week (that’s our welcoming committe in the picture), enjoying warm weather and lots of sunshine (they’re predicting snow back home on Thursday. Brrr! So glad we’re here instead of there!), spending time with Daddy (we had dinner with him last night and will be spending more time with him tomorrow), hearing lots of stories about his growing-up years (when he lived with Uncle Fletcher and Aunt Bessie) that we plan to use in the next book, and working on the final edits of Beloved Woman (they’re going really well. We’re about halfway through. Yay!). We have a bottle of chardonay chilling in the fridge for our traditional toast when we finish! Christy and I are loving this book and we sincerely hope the readers will too.

We’re eager to get this book released and know many of our readers share that eagerness so to tide you over until we finish, here’s the back cover blurb for Beloved Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 3.

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In the second decade of the 20th century, major world events resonate even on Stone Mountain where Bessie Daniels lives with her husband Fletcher. There’s a great war, one that takes away many young men, including Bessie’s kin, some never to return. Bessie’s role of healer intensifies as she treats those suffering from the Spanish flu and tries to keep it from spreading further on her mountain. She defends a young woman who’s in the middle of a controversy that threatens to tear her peaceful community apart. And she finds herself involved in the suffragette movement as the women of North Carolina fight to gain their fair rights under the constitution.

Then, when one of her family members makes an appalling decision, one that has the potential to damage a child, Bessie impulsively steps in to right the wrong.

Stay tuned! You’ll know almost as soon as we do! And thanks to all of our readers–we couldn’t do this without your continued support and inspiration!

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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