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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. 

I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to do much of anything except revisions on the book I’m writing with my sister, Whistling Woman, about our great aunt Bessie’s life growing up in Hot Springs, NC, at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s finished.  Yay!  But now comes the hard part; editing and revising.  I usually don’t like that part but with this one, I’m really looking forward to doing the final edits because Christy and I are planning on meeting in Hot Springs when we get to that point.  Another yay!

At the same time, I’m still polishing my older woman/younger man contemporary romance novella, Strict Policies.  And when all that editing gets to be too much, I’m working on the next book in my Eternal Shadows series, Sun Shadows.  Really hope I get this one finished quicker than I did the second one!

Other than that, I’ve been canning quite a bit–my pantry is overflowing!–and putting the garden to bed for the winter–just in time, we had our first frost last night.  Des and I are still walking every day and we’re really enjoying it…for the most part.  Had an encounter with the wicked witch of the neighborhood yesterday but more on that later.  That little event deserves an entire blog post all its own!

I got a great review for Storm Shadows the other day from Amelia Richard at Cata Romance.  4.5 stars!  Yippee!  Here’s Amelia’s teaser:  STORM SHADOWS makes the supernatural seem genuinely real with clever writing and an innovative premise.

Finally, I have an interview up on Susan Whitfield’s blog today.  Lots of fun to do–and believe me I didn’t think I’d ever say that about an interview!  Hope you’ll drop by and check it out!

Back to the edits…

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams