You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Cherokee’ tag.

Is it any wonder so many authors are turning to self-publishing? Not to me and probably not to the authors–myself included–who are publishing their own books. If you aren’t a celebrity, an athlete, been a nanny for some has-been (and never- shoud-have-been–Kate Gosselin, I’m looking at you) celebrity, been tried for murder (whether guilty or not), been tried as an accomplice to murder, or any number of things that shoved you into the spotlight for your undeserved 15 minutes of fame, then you may as well give up on being published by any of the big publishers.

Oh, wait, I forgot, if you were raised by wolves in the woods (or only imagined you were), a part of a gang in L.A. (or only imagined you were), or a recovering drug addict (or only imagined you were), then you can probably get a publisher interested in your story (made-up or not).

And now comes news of Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, both receiving publishing contracts so they can tell us the story of their relationship, murder trial, and imprisonment in Italy. Do we really need to read about it from their point of view? I don’t think so but hey, I don’t have to buy their books when they come out (and believe me, I won’t) nor do I have to read them. I’m not interested in hearing their side of the story because I’ve already read/heard it.

And I have to wonder if there are really that many people out there who will buy these books with their stories that are as stale as day-old-bread? I guess there must be judging by the fact that the publishers are apparently signing them as fast as they can.

\Rant off

/BSP on

If you’d like to read a great self-published story, try Whistling Woman by CC Tillery (that’s me with my sister), only .99 on Kindle and coming soon to print!

It’s a wonderful story about our great-aunt Bessie, based on family
stories and chock-full of history about the mountains of western North
Carolina, Cherokee legends and medicine, and the Melungeon
people. Set in the town of Hot Springs around the turn of the 20th
century, it’s historical southern literature at its best!
(I can’t believe I just typed that but I happen to believe it and I really
need to get over my aversion to self-promotion!)

\BSP off

 

I just realized I’d neglected to post about the book my sister and I wrote and published on Kindle last week. How stupid was that? Pretty stupid, if you ask me and with all the promotions I’ve been doing, I can’t believe I didn’t put it up on this blog. Hmm, can we all say braindead?

So…here’s the deal. Whistling Woman is a book I wrote with my sister, Christy Tillery French, about our great-aunt’s life growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina in the late 19th century. It takes place in Hot Springs, North Carolina and is based on stories we heard from our dad and Aunt Bessie when she was alive. Along with the stories, the book includes bits of Cherokee folklore and medicine (our great-great-grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee), historical facts about Hot Springs and the surrounding area, and the Melungeons. It’s what some people refer to as faction, half fiction, half fact. It also falls under the genres of southern fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and coming of age. Quite a change for both Christy, who writes suspense and thrillers, and me, who writes mostly paranormal romance.

Anyway, the book was so much fun to write and Christy and I were amazed at how easy it was to work together. We have to give credit to Aunt Bessie for the ease in meshing our voices, there were times while we were writing and planning the book, both alone and together, when it felt as if Aunt Bessie was sitting beside us telling us her story. It was a wonderful feeling and I’m so grateful she did that! I probably should mention that Aunt Bessie was psychic, often knowing things were going to happen before they did, so it probably shouldn’t have been such a surprise to feel her there with us. And she was also a writer in her own right, penning articles for Reader’s Digest and several of the local papers here in western North Carolina. It was almost as if she came back to us for a spell and approving of what we were doing, guided us along to make sure we got it right.

To thank her, we’ve dedicated the book to her–in part. But the greatest part of the dedication is to our dad, John Tillery, who not only kept the stories about Aunt Bessie alive, but also painted the cover for the book and generously allowed us to use it.

Another thank you to him comes in the pseudonym we chose for the book. While Christy writes under her real name of Christy Tillery French, I write under a pseudonym. My real name is Cyndi Tillery Hodges and so we used our first initials and our maiden name for the pseudonym of CC Tillery.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more about Whistling Woman in the coming days–if I can find the time between trying to format it for Smashwords, going to Florida to visit our dad, and of course, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays. For right now, I’ll leave you with the cover and the blurb:

A whistling woman and a crowing hen never come to a very good end.

In the waning years of the 19th century, Bessie Daniels grows up in the small town of Hot Springs in western North Carolina.  Secure in the love of her father, bothered with her mother’s desire that she be a proper Southern belle, Bessie’s determined to forge her own way in life.  Or, as her Cherokee great-grandmother, Elisi, puts it, a whistling woman.

Life, however, has a few surprises for her.  First, there’s Papa carrying home a dead man, which seems to invite Death for an extended visit in their home.  And shortly before she graduates from Dorland Institute, there’s another death, this one closer to her heart.  But Death isn’t through with her yet.  Proving another of Elisi’s sayings, death comes in threes, It strikes yet again, taking someone Bessie has recently learned to appreciate and cherish, leaving her to struggle with a family that’s threatening to come apart at the seams.

Even her beloved Papa seems to be turning into another person, someone Bessie disagrees with more often than not, and someone she isn’t even sure she can continue to love, much less idolize as she had during her childhood.

And when Papa makes a decision that costs the life of a new friend, the course of Bessie’s heart is changed forever.

Oh, and if you’d like to find out more about the book, the people who inspired the stories, and how we chose the title, visit our Whistling Woman blog. 

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months since I posted anything on here. But then, I’ve been busy what with polishing Whistling Woman and readying it for publication. Who knew it would take three…wait, what? You mean you don’t know about Whistling Woman? Well, let me tell you:

Whistling Woman is a book my sister, Christy Tillery French, and I co-wrote under the pseudonym of CC Tillery (a combination of our first initials and our maiden name). It’s about our great-aunt Bessie and is southern literary fiction. It takes place in Hot Springs, North Carolina over 6 years, 1895-1901, and is based on family stories we heard from our dad and Aunt Bessie when we were growing up. There is quite a bit of Cherokee folklore and medicine woven into the story, as well as some historical facts about Hot Springs and the surrounding region. The book is fact-based fiction, or faction, as I’ve heard it called.

The title comes from an old southern saying, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen never come to a very good end.” The meaning of the saying varies. It could be a warning to women to live a proper life or as I’ve always heard it interpreted, “be who you’re meant to be.” Just another way of saying be true to yourself. That’s exactly how Aunt Bessie lived her life and so that’s why we decided to title the book Whistling Woman.

So now you know what’s been keeping me busy for the last 3 months. One book, two authors, countless edits, and boatloads of frustration, learning, and anxiety. But, as of yesterday evening, Whistling Woman is available as an e-book on Kindle. Yay! Just click here to order your very own copy at the bargain price of $2.99!

Meanwhile, Christy and I will be tackling Smashwords so it can be available on all the other e-readers. Wish us luck!

My sister, niece, mom, and I went on a mini-vacation last week to Cherokee and Hot Springs.  The whole trip was wonderful but I enjoyed the day we spent in Hot Springs most of all.  It was fascinating to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, so to speak.  And every single person, from the librarians in both Hot Springs and Marshall who shared their wisdom and allowed us to look at records from the late 1800’s where we found quite a bit of information on the Daniels and Henderson families, to the owner of the hardware store in Hot Springs who steered us in the right direction for the cemetary where our great-grandmother was buried–we didn’t find it, but that was no fault of his–to the administrative assistant of the court house in Marshall where my great-grandfather conducted quite a bit of business while he was constable of Hot Springs, was incredibly helpful and friendly.  Whew!  How’s that for a run-on sentence?

Anyway, we have a ton of connections in Madison County, NC, and I’m so glad we found them all.  Our acknowledgement page for this one is going to be long.  I just hope we don’t leave anybody out!

Over the weekend while I was still working to clear out my email inboxes–I tell you, I used to hate getting junk-mail and I hate even more getting junk-email!–I got a bit of happy news; a contract from L&L Dreamspell for Winds of Fate!  Snoopy dances all around! 

Next up for me is the release later this month of the LLD anthology, Romance of My Dreams, with my short story, Third Time’s for Keeps.  After that, late this year or early next year, will come Storm Shadows, the second book in my Eternal Shadows series.  Winds of Fate will be my seventh book–or eighth, if you count Unwilling Angel twice since it was released by two different publishers.  Nah, I think I’ll go with seven.  After all, seven was considered a sacred number by my Cherokee ancestos.  So, seven books!  Can you believe that?  Not too shabby for someone who started writing as a way to deal with depression after learning she had MS.

So now I’m thinking about changing my blog name again.  The last time I did that, I seriously considered using the name Cait-of-Nine-Tales but I only had four–or maybe it was five–books out at the time.  I still like that name, and next year, when my seventh book comes out, I think I just might do it–hopefully, it’ll inspire me to get the next two finished and submitted, which will truly make me a Cait of nine tales!  Providing a publisher accepts them, of course!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams