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We’re very excited today because we have big news about both books in the Appalachian Journey series.

Moonfixer CoverFirst, Moonfixer, Appalachian Journey Book 2 is free today and for the next four days so if you don’t already have it now’s your chance to read the next chapter in Bessie’s life! For free! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Here’s the blurb:

In the dawning years of the 20th century, Bessie Daniels leaves her home town of Hot Springs and travels over the mountain with her husband Fletcher Elliott to live in the Broad River Section of North Carolina.
Bess and Fletch stay with Fletcher’s parents for the first five years of their married life with Bessie teaching in a one-room schoolhouse and Fletcher working at the lumber mill in Old Fort while they save to buy property of their own on Stone Mountain.
In 1906, they purchase 400 acres of the old Zachariah Solomon Plantation which includes a small house with a shack beside it, a branch of Cedar Creek, a row of dilapitdated slave cabins…
And ghosts.
Thus begins Bessie’s next phase of life where the gift of sight she inherited from her Cherokee ancestors grows stronger, her healing abilities are put to the test, and she encounters a vicious secret society that tries to force her and Fletcher to turn their backs on a family sharecropping and living in one of the cabins.
When Bessie and Fletch refuse to give in to their demands, the group strikes back, bringing pain and suffering to their once serene existence on Stone Mountain.

WWcover-300The second thing that has us so excited today is the offer of a contract for Whistling Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 1 to be translated to French! So the German version, Madchen, die pfeifen (I really need to learn how to do that a with the two dots over it!) will be out in November and now it’s going to be in French, too! Needless to say, we’re doing happy dances over this.WW-Germancover

We have so many people to thank for the success of this series, our readers who have encouraged and inspired us to continue sharing Aunt Bessie’s story with the world, our dad who is our primary source of inspiration with his love and all the stories he continues to tell us to this day, and most of all, Aunt Bessie who manages to make her presence felt in our life every time we sit down at our computers. Aunt Bessie, we sincerely hope we’re doing justice to your life and that you’re enjoying this “Appalachian Journey” as much as we are!

 

about how time flies when you’re having fun? Well, I must have been having a blast in February judging by the date of my last post. Over a month without a single word written on this blog. Yikes! I had hoped to put up at least three posts a week but as you can see, I’ve failed miserably. My only excuse is research and writing has taken up a great deal of my time. That and promoting Whistling Woman which is currently #1 on the Kindle southern and historical fiction list. Woo-hoo! We’re a Kindle bestseller!

Something else I’ve been spending a lot of time on is Photoshop. I bought the program last July and finally got it downloaded (uploaded? I never know which is right!) to my computer. The first picture I added was one we have of Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletcher on their wedding day. It’s in pretty bad shape and I have plans to take it to a professional picture restorer (or whatever they’re called) but I wanted to see what I could do with it on Photoshop first.

Here’s the original picture:

BessieFletch300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Told you it was in bad shape but it is from 1902 and was tucked in a small picture album Aunt Bessie gave to our dad before she died. He’d wrapped it in plastic and stored it away for years before pulling it out and giving it to us when we started writing Whistling Woman. This is the only picture we have of Aunt Bessie when she was young and it’s the only picture we have of Uncle Fletcher at any age. Because it was taken on their wedding day, Christy and I have decided it would be the perfect picture for the cover of Moonfixer which starts where Whistling Woman left off–a week after their wedding with their train trip to Old Fort.

Anyway, here’s my first attempt at fixing it myself on Photoshop:

Fletcher and Bessie Elliott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still needs some work but I thought for a first time try it wasn’t too bad. At least I got the edge cleaned up! Here’s the second attempt:

FletchBessie2-copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know, too dark so I went back and tried to lighten it up and came up with this:

BessieFletch1_edited-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not real happy with that one either, although you sure can see them a lot better. So, next time, I’m going to work with this one and see what I can do to clean up the background. Photoshop is an amazing program but I have to tell you, it’s terribly complicated to learn. Or maybe that’s just me!

Okay, that’s it for now except to tell you my new goal for this blog: at least one post a week. Surely I can handle that!

WWcover-300Christy and I spent last week in Florida with our dad and working on the next installment of the Appalachian Journey series (we finally came up with the series title!). We took the time to copyright Whistling Woman (and don’t get me started on that onerous task!), do a “Purge” file for the next book (we’ll be posting the title and an explanation later this week), and work a bit on the outline (something neither of us like to do–we’re both pantsers, but we need at least a barebones outline for this one).

We also spent almost a full day updating the book’s page on Amazon, adding some reviews to the book description, coming up with a tagline, and doing our best to learn how to use html on Amazon. For that, we consulted Michael Alvear’s book, Make a Killing on Kindle Without Blogging, Facebook and Twitter. I bought this book over a month ago and have been slowly making my way through it–not because it’s boring, but because I haven’t had the time! It’s a great book for marketing on Kindle (if you want to check it our for yourself, just click on the title above) and explains the steps you should take. We haven’t done them all yet, but we did make some changes to our keywords, tags, and the book description box following Mr. Alvear’s advice, and two days later…

our daily sales totals almost doubled and we hit the Kindle Historical fiction bestseller list!

And then we spent a lot of time doing happy dances, or “the running man” as Christy’s daughter Meghann called it. Don’t know where that term comes from but that’s what she called it and she’s much more savvy about things like that than we are.

Anyway, as of this morning we were at #76 (it’s been off and on–mostly on!–the list since Thursday) and it also made it to # 96 on the Literary Fiction list. Woo-hoo! Happy dances (or the running man) all around!

And a great big THANK YOU to Michael Alvear for writing his book! I’m not sure if the things we did actually resulted in the increased sales and the appearance on two Kindle bestseller lists, but you can bet we’re going to go back to your book and use some more of your tips!

Whistling Woman is a bestseller and we can’t help but crow a little bit. Look at this:

It’s a little hard to see there, but for Kindle in literature and fiction, southern fiction, historical fiction Whistling Woman has been at the top of the list since yesterday–and maybe even before that. We just happened to find it yesterday and boy, howdy, did we do some crowing over the phone! We knew the sales had been steadily increasing since the second week of September but we had no idea we’d hit number one! Yippee!

 

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