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firstpresbyterianChristy and I were guest speakers at the kick-off of the Women’s Bible Study group of First Presbyterian Church in Morristown, Tennessee last Sunday evening. I hope they will forgive me for stealing this picture from their website since I didn’t remember to get one of the church itself.

20160918_175626We had a great time meeting all the members, enjoyed a delicious meal (really wish I’d gotten the recipe for the chicken), heard some beautiful music by young Chloe Atkins, a really interesting Bible lesson from DruAnna Overbay,  and when it came our turn, I stumbled my way through the speech (I hate public speaking!).  I was able to get a few pictures, too. The one to your left is of the place settings for all the members. That’s the program resting on the plates along with some gorgeous note cards one of the members made.

20160918_174414And here we have a picture of some of the members chatting before dinner. It was raining for the first time in weeks and we were afraid no one would come, but they really surprised us – almost every seat was taken! If you look closely, you can see Christy walking toward the camera carrying some books for our table. You can also see (just barely!) the beautiful centerpieces which included one of my favorite flowers, zinnias–and thank you, Phyllis for telling me they used to be called “Old Maids.” I never knew that!

20160918_174501And this is our table with our books. At the end of the night we were sold out of Whistling Woman and almost sold out of the other 3 books. And that was with some of the ladies bringing in their copies from home so we could sign them. I thought I had a picture of that but it, along with several other pictures I took, seems to have disappeared somewhere during the transfer from my tablet to my computer.

As I said, we had a wonderful time and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all the members of the Women’s Bible Study group of the First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. We really appreciate you inviting us!

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!

 

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!

Annette King!

Whistling Woman-e-book          MoonFixer96dpifront          BelovedWomanFinalfrontTN96dpi

Annette, please send us an email at cctillery@yahoo.com with your address and we’ll get your signed copies of the first three books in the Appalachian Journey series in the mail to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered and for all the wonderful comments. It really makes our day reading what you have to say about our books. I’m sure you’re probably getting tired of hearing us say this but it’s true: we do have the best readers ever!

 

 

 

 

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!

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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!

 

 

 

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

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!

 

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For the fourth year in a row, Christy and I (aka CC Tillery) will be at the Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs, NC this Saturday. We’ll be there from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m., enjoying the music, the delicious food, the awesome arts and crafts and of course, selling and signing books! Bluff Mountain Festival is a wonderful event held on the grounds of the Hot Springs Resort and Spa and it’s one of our favorites. It was the first festival we ever attended as CC Tillery and we  always come away from it with many wonderful memories of seeing old readers, meeting new ones, and talking to all the people who stop by our booth.

For more information and a list of the musical acts and when they’re performing, click on the picture or the link above.

And if you’re in the area this Saturday, come on by. We’d love to see you!

We got curious the other day about just how many books we’ve sold since Whistling Woman was released in December 2012 followed by Moonfixer in December 2013 and Beloved Woman in December 2014. So we went back and took a look at all the reports–yes, our eyes are still crossed!–and started adding them all up; e-book, print, and audio versions of all three books.

Imagine our surprise when the total came out to well over 100,000 books! We knew the books had done well since they’ve consistently been on 3 bestseller lists on Amazon and we’ve almost sold out at all the events and festivals we’ve been to but … over 100,000? Nope, never in our wildest dreams did we think the total would be that high!

BWACXmorecontrastyBut thanks to all our wonderful, supportive readers, it was! And we’re quickly moving toward 200,000! That’s awesome and in the midst of all our happy dances, we decided we wanted to share our celebration with the people responsible for our good fortune, our cherished readers (after all, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for y’all!) and to say thank you, we’re offering free copies of the audio version of Beloved Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 3 to the first 18 people who comment on the post about this entry on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/appalachianjourney!

So if you’d like to hear the story as read by our lovely narrator, Carol Herman (who we think sounds amazingly like Aunt Besse!), leave us a comment! But do it fast, we only have 18 copies!

 

Moonfixer, Appalachian Journey Book 2!

We posted about this already on our Facebook page and now we’re announcing it here. Moonfixer, Appalachian Journey Book 2 now has a new and improved cover. We were so pleased with Kim’s fabulous design for our Beloved Woman cover that we asked her to redesign the cover for Moonfixer–which we’ve never liked very much. Kim sent the final version to us yesterday and here it is:

MoonFixer

That’s Aunt Bessie’s school bell in the front (the one Fletch gives her in the book) and the painting on the back is another one by our dad, John Tillery. Though Daddy never saw the original house (it was torn down years before he was born), this is how he imagined it when Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch told him stories about it. The picture of Aunt Bessie and Uncle Fletch on their wedding day that was on the front of the first cover is still there, just smaller. Since it’s in pretty poor shape, Kim touched it up a bit to make them show up a little better. And you can’t really see it unless you enlarge the picture but the background on the front is the wire in my antique jelly safe door and on the back is, of course, the full moon.

I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and just look at it! Kim pays so much attention to the little details and manages to blend them all in a perfect gorgoues cover. She has a color theme for each book (this one is gold) as well as a design (not sure if that’s the right word!) theme that will tie all the books in the series together, and of course, there’s that wonderful series logo and our official Spring Creek Press (the name we publish under) logo.

So, what do you think? Christy and I absolutely love it and have already given Kim the go-ahead to start on the cover for Whistling Woman, Appalachian Journey Book 1!

Okay, back to updating the Press/Media page and hopefully, after I get that done, I can do a little cleanup work on the rest of the blog–I need to get the new Moonfixer cover up in the sidebar!

 

 

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