Thistledown Hiatus 2, #NaNoWriMo

Friday, October 27, 2017

Welcome everyone.  The faery serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam is on hiatus until December.  However, I’m reblogging past episodes for new readers and for those who want to review or catch-up on missed chapters.

First a little business. With November 1st, National Novel Writing Month* (NaNoWriMo) begins.  I promised updates and last week I left you a teaser about my novel-to-be’s title.  Throughout October I’ve been happily doing planning of various types.

Those of you who have been following Teagan’s Books for a long time will remember a “steampunky” serial I did, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  One of the main characters was my fictionalized version of real life inventor, Cornelis Drebbel*, another was a young girl named Copper.  For my NaNoWriMo novel I’m bringing them back.  However, this time Cornelis ends up in a parallel world and Copper is a young woman there.  Here’s the cover I made for (drum roll…)

The Skull of the Alchemist 

Skull of the Alchemist Cover 1

If you’re here for a dose of faery foolery, here’s episode 2 of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.

Teagan's Books

Welcome back to Thistledown, everyone!  If you are joining this serial for the first time, or if you need to refresh your memory click here for the premier episode.  I also have a category button on the right side-bar of the screen for “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.”  However, these days I can’t make promises about WordPress behaving as it should. (For several days I found myself unable to comment on any blogs — including my own! WP just told me to email somebody else… Finally and laboriously got it fixed myself.)

Thistledown GirlAlex Iby, Unsplash

Writing Process

As a writer, I tend to reject rules. (Often things are presented as rules, but feel more like “formulas” than anything else.  I don’t care for formulas either.)  Although, when writing in a genre, (to a degree) I do try to follow some general expectations, for the comfort and understanding of readers.  

So before anyone…

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Jazz Age Wednesdays 7 ― Pip in the Field of Fear

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  In celebration of Halloween, I have another new 1920s tale with Pip and company.  This time I let search engines guide me to three random things to drive this story ― first Google, then Yahoo, then Bing.  I typed in “Halloween,” hit enter, and used the first thing that caught my eye at each.  The three things are:  candy, fields of fear, and children holding hands.

Pip in the Field of Fear

Peoples Home Journal Halloween 1924

People’s Home Journal, November 1924

As an autumn breeze whistled through the trees as I left the candy store with a white bag of lemon drops.  A young man with a motorized bicycle caught my eye.  I couldn’t see his face, but I knew only one person who had a contraption like that ― Hank Hertz.  He had a passion for all things electronic, especially radios.  He was such a wiz at the stuff that it earned him a place as the youngest officer of the Savannah, Georgia police department.

Hank loaded all sorts of mystifying gadgets into the basket on the bicycle.  He jumped when I walked up behind him and asked what he was doing.  Of course, that made me grin.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody,” Hank grumbled, trying to sound authoratative.  “I might have known.”

“Are you making another radio, Hank?”

“Yes.  No.  Well, not exactly,” he stammered.  “I’m working on something for a charity thing the department is doing for Halloween.  You know how people like to scare themselves this time of year.  They’re going to have something like a haunted house, but it will be outside. I’m going to rig up some radio speakers and make noises to scare people when they get to spooky parts.  I hope it doesn’t rain,” he added with a suspicious look at the sky.

“That sounds like the cat’s meow,” I said encouragingly since Hank always seemed like somebody who could use a little extra praise.

“We’re going to call it Fields of Fear,” Hank enthused.  “The chief owns a farm on the outskirts of town and he said we could use it.”

“I thought he lived over on King street,” I commented.  “It must be nice to have enough mazuma to afford two places.”

Hank made a face and nodded.  Then he looked at all the electronic gadgets and grinned.

***

Ghost chase postcard

Hank and Detective Dabney Daniels built a platform hidden in the branches of a big oak tree.  From there they ran wires for speakers to four different spots that Hank could see from the hiding place.  One speaker was placed behind a skeleton.  When anybody stopped there, either Hank or Dabney would use a deep voice as the skeleton speak to the people.

Applesauce!  You should have heard the shrieks!  They did the same with a jack o’ lantern sitting on a hay bail and a bed-sheet rigged up like a ghost.  Gaffers and bluenose old ladies were like children holding hands.  They screamed, and then they hollered with laughter.

Granny Phanny and some other women approached the ghost.  The whole thing was worth it to see the look on Phanny Irene Peabody’s face.  (Yes, my grandmother and I have the same initials.) Detective Daniels showed he was an old foggy in the making though, and made me stop laughing so hard.  But when he turned his head, I couldn’t help busting out with another laugh.

Unfortunately, the ghost stopped working not long after it got a scream out of Granny Phanny.  At least we still had the skeleton and the jack o’lantern.

Long about 11:30 that night the coppers decided to call it quits with the shindig.  While Daniels helped Hank lug the radio stuff down from the tree, I started spooling up the wires.

The “ghost” sat in a heap atop a hay bail.  It had been held up better than that.  Maybe the wind was to blame, but I didn’t remember any strong gusts.  Hank caught up with me when I reached it.  He wanted to figure out what went wrong with it before I took the speaker wire.

Bushwa!” Hank exclaimed, startling me since the expletive was so unlike the mild-mannered kid.  “The wire isn’t connected.”

“Wouldn’t that be why it stopped working?  If the wire came loose,” I offered.

“That’s not what I mean.  The wire’s completely disconnected.  The screw’s been loosened and the wire is all the way away from it,” he explained puzzled.

In the distance I heard the clock at the Independent Presbyterian Church strike midnight.

Independent Presbyterian Church Savannah Ga Circa 1920s

Independent Presbyterian Church Savannah, Ga Circa 1920s

“The sheet’s got a wire hooked to that tree,” Hank told me as he motioned to the ghost.  “I’ll climb up and get it.”

I gasped.  I could have sworn the crumpled ghost twitched.  Then I saw that the wire at its “head” wasn’t attached to anything else.  I grabbed Hank’s arm and pointed, because the cat had my tongue.

The white sheet moved again.  There wasn’t any doubt about it ― the sheet really did move.  The ghost slowly rose upright.  It reached out to grab Hank.  He shrieked like a banshee.

Hank caught ahold of my elbow and started to run.  However, the ghost had already grabbed me!  I screamed nearly as loudly as Hank.

I tried to run but the ghost had a tight hold.  Detective Dabney Daniels came along and we started yelling for him to help.

“Shoot it!”

“Yeah, just shoot the thing before it kills us!”

“Shoot it?  But ghosts are already dead,” the detective stated with infuriating calm.

The ghost started shaking. I was terrified to think what that could mean. I could feel it quaking because it held me that close to its…  Body?  Did ghosts have bodies?

I screamed again when the ghost cackled with laughter.

Detective Daniels bent double.  Had it attacked him too, through some kind of spectral magic?

Then I realized the copper was bent over with laughter.  The ghost let go of me.  Finally, I caught the cackle and recognized it.

“Granny!” I yelled.

My grandmother threw off the white sheet, still laughing uproariously.

“Pip… If you could just see the look on your face,” she said, gasping for breath between laughs.

Daniels returned to his nonchalant manner.

“The apple, or in this case the pip doesn’t fall very far from the tree,” he remarked.

The end

***

I hope you enjoyed this little ditty with Pip.

Have you visited author Teri Polen’s Bad Moon Rising event?  Leading up to Halloween, author Teri Polen hosts Bad Moon Rising.  It’s her yearly celebration of suspense and horror.  Each year more than 30 horror/thriller indie authors are featured throughout the month of October on her blog, Books & Such.  I was there earlier this month! Click here and say hello*!

At Teri Polen’s Books & Such

Atonement TennesseeIn honor of Bad Moon Rising, through October, I’ve priced the Kindle version of my debut novel Atonement, Tennessee at just $1.00. 

 

Now I engage in more shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.  

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 1

Source: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 1

Friday, October 20, 2017

Hello everyone.  As you saw last weekend Thistledown is currently on hiatus until December.  However, I thought this would be a good time to re-blog the serial thus far.
To get to episode 1, click the link at the top of the page.

I’m only doing this for those who want to catch up, so I’ve closed the comments.

I’m still blogging 1920s short stories on “Jazz Age Wednesdays.” Look for me there!  The serial is the only thing taking a break.

https://teagansbooks.com/2017/10/18/jazz-age-wednesdays-6-%E2%80%95-reviews-a-crossover-story/

Now I’m going back to planning for the novel-to-be and National Novel Writing Month.

Hugs on the wing!

Thriving Thursdays: Busy? Maybe That’s a Good Thing

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hello everyone.  Welcome to another Thriving Thursday.  I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene here with a guest post for Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.  Click over to the “tree-house” and say hello — I’ve disabled comments here.

Thriving Thursdays: Busy? Maybe That’s a Good Thing

Lucille Ball and Bear

Too busy to be discouraged — but not too busy to thrive!  Here are some mindful words from my favorite redhead.

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore you faith in yourself.” ― Lucille Ball

Update: I have to revise this with a shout-out to Dan Antion at No Facilities*.  Dan mentioned a fact I did not know about my favorite redhead having a connection to Star Trek. If you want to know more, click here*.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

Jazz Age Wednesdays 6 ― Reviews & a Crossover Story

1918-july-vogue-woman-rooster

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I’m so excited to get reviews!  So I hope you’ll forgive me for crowing. Today author and “fairy whisperer” Colleen Chesebro* posted a review of my debut novel,  Atonement, Tennessee.  What a delight it was to read her mindful review with my morning coffee! I’m thrilled.  Since Colleen is “the fairy whisperer I think she related to my supernatural elements.

Atonement Tennessee

(Colleen challenged me to write a faery story — resulting in the Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam serial.  The serial is now on hiatus until December.  It will be back!

 

In honor of Colleen’s review, I’ve priced the Kindle version of my debut novel Atonement, Tennessee at just $1.00. 

On Monday I couldn’t resist reblogging a review author Christoph Fischer* did of Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  

I hope you’ll visit both Christoph and Colleen. They both have brilliant blogs and books of their own.

Now back to the Jazz Age… 

When I got reviews for these two books within days of each other, I started wondering what Atonement, TN was like during the Roaring Twenties.  However, the characters from two very different novels were all in my head at once… and this is what happened… (I don’t think of it as a spoiler, but there’s a teeny bit of one regarding Murder at the Bijou. If you’re especially sensitive to spoilers, then skip the story.) 

Roaring Twenties Halloween in Atonement Tennessee

The ghost’s eyes glowed bright green as he stared out of the Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic.

“Green like little peas,” the blond murmured.

She blinked as she gazed at the apparition inside the mirror.  Her bobbed tresses were so pale, one might have thought the ghost had scared her into fright-white hair.

She felt the presence of her nearly identical sister behind her and turned.

1920s face

“How odd,” the raven-haired sister calmly stated, the fringe of her flapper gown swaying as she moved closer to the mirror.  “While I wouldn’t put it past that mischievous mirror to trap someone, this spirit seems to have pos-i-lutely gotten there on his own.”

The platinum blond walked forward and took her sister’s hand.  They each touched a corner of the strange mirror.

“Won’t you join us?” together they invited the apparition.

The ghost shrugged uncomfortably as he stepped from the mirror and into the Metatron house.  Years of experience led him to quickly take-in his surroundings.  He noticed two paintings.  The first was an outdoor scene that appeared to be from the late 1700s.  It showed a grand estate house with women getting out of a carriage.  Nearby two girls sat under a tree.  One had pale hair while the other was dark.

He glanced at his two hostesses, comparing them to the painting.  Then his eyes quickly traveled to the other canvas.  It showed two girls in flapper attire.  The raven-haired one sported a headband with a yin and yang symbol.  It was a portrait of the two young women who stood before him.  Green eyes darting rapidly, he looked from one painting to the other, and back to the girls that stood with him.  Could they all be the same?  He knew the sisters were by no means ordinary flappers.

1923 Life woman devilish man masks

The blond reached out and touched the holes in his coat and hat.

Applesauce!  You are a policeman,” she stated.  “A G-man.  That is how you came to the Mirror of Truth and Justice.”

Bullet holes, he remembered as she inspected the damage.  Then the echo of the pain wracked him.  He staggered.

“Marshal Moses Myrick,” he muttered, trying to make his tongue work to introduce himself as civility required.

Each young woman took one of his elbows and had him sit down on a horsehair covered sofa.

“So, you have come to atone?” asked the dark-haired girl.

“But not for whatever caused you to be shot… many times,” the light-haired girl said in a puzzled voice.

“The wrongs I’ve done were part of my job.  Keeping the law and justice,” he said on a gasp.  “I don’t apologize for what I’ve done in the line of duty.”

“Then what?” the women asked as one.

“I couldn’t make Phanny love me.  She married my friend when we were young.  It would have been wrong to interfere.  And now,” he gasped and paused.  “Now he’s long dead, and she’ll know the pain of loss again, because I couldn’t resist keeping her in my life, but I couldn’t give up the law either.”

“You know she loves you,” the raven-haired one commented.  “At least you know it while you’re in this state.  Are you so ready to leave her?”

“How could she ever love a man like me?  What kind of life could I give her when this kind of violence is part of it?” Moses asked, putting a hand to where one of his bullet wounds would have been.

“Well, you won’t know if you stay here,” the brunette smirked in a self-satisfied way.  “You might have some stiff competition, but you just might make Phanny love you yet.  After all, you are a bit of a sheik,” she added playfully.

“I know your pain will be horrible,” the blond began gently.  “But it’s not your time yet.”

The young women helped the shade of Marshal Moses Myrick stand and walked him back to the mirror.  The room filled with intense cold.  The sisters turned toward each other and shared a smile.  When they looked at the mirror, the marshal was once again inside it.  He tipped his fedora as he smiled and disappeared.

Mirror

***

The End

Those who have read Murder at the Bijou will recognize Marshal Moses Myrick. 

If you’ve read Atonement, Tennessee you’ll be wondering if the sisters are the same Metatron family as Annie from that novel.  Yet, the timeline would not be right…  Although, you never know what might be possible in Atonement, TN.  Nope, I’m not telling!  There is a bit of mystery surrounding Annie and Adelle Metatron that comes up in Atonement in Bloom.  It will remain unexplained… at least for now. 

Here is a link to a short story I did in 2015, which is about Annie and Adelle.  (Click here.)

Here are links to the 1920s novels.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.  

 

Mystery Mondays Review: “Murder at the Bijou” by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Wow — what a way to start my week! Thanks to Christoph Fischer for this wonderful review of my 1920s novel, “Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I”.
I hope you’ll click over and say hello to Christoph.

writerchristophfischer

Bijou front only 2

This is a very enjoyable murder story set in the 1920s. Pip, Granny Phanny and a whole bunch of alliterated characters populate the story of surprisingly strong suspense with equally surprising turns of events.
This is hugely enjoyable and definitely recommended to anyone with a sense of fun and humour.

I loved this book when it was published in parts on the blog and loved it even more re-reading it as a whole in one sitting. Yes, one sitting.

I only now realised just how much work had gone into the individual parts. I often forgot from one week to the next what certain references mean or what they allude to. The novel is hugely enjoyable and a fun read thanks to many quirky expressions, usage of words off the beaten track, fabulous character names and many more delicious ingredients.
The writing is very original and the story line is…

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Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl

Mod Squad 1070s tv cover

Friday, October 13, 2017

When I was a kid, each summer all the network TV shows would go on “hiatus.”  We were left with nothing but reruns (and we didn’t have cable or VCRs).  Or even worse, favorite shows were completely omitted for “summer replacement series,” which almost always fell far short of the mark. 

What’s the connection to writing serials?  It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a labor of love.  Authoring serials can also be stressful, love it or not.  After this episode, Thistledown will be on hiatus until December.  If you need your faery fix, I’m going to reblog the prior episodes.nanowrimo-Bernstein

Why?  I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  It’s not easy to write the draft of a novel in just the month of November.  So, other things will have to slide for a while.  I really need the “rah-rah!” that I get from that event.  

My midweek posts for Jazz Age Wednesday will continue.  I have a few of those already prepared. 

Now finally, to Thistledown…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 13

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, 1916

 

Afoul of a Fowl

The familiar, comfortable sounds of the forest surrounded us as River Mindshadow and I walked, led by the periwinkle colored muskox hair.  The long strand stood out straight, a silken divining rod.  Blue-lavender sparks from that hair glittered the air.

I had no idea why the muskox hair behaved as it did.  Uncle had tried to teach me to divine with any number of objects from sticks to pendulums, but I never had a knack for it.  Then Bob the hummingbird brought me the unusually colored hair.  He had been frightened away before I could figure out why he brought it.  However, when the hair started to point with insistent pops of static energy, River and I decided to see where it led.

“Ouch!” I cried as a particularly stinging static charge hit me.

“Do you want me to take it for a while?” River asked, but I could tell she wasn’t especially eager.

“No… I’m afraid it will stop working if I let go,” I answered resignedly.

“Maybe Tinder Willowtree would let us use that finder* thing,” River suggested.

“No, it wouldn’t work,” I replied after a moment’s thought.  “She told me that whoever she’s looking for has to wear a medallion that’s been attuned to the finder — otherwise it’s not much more than an ordinary scrying mirror.

Chicken face Red jairo-alzate-188815

Jairo Alzate, Unsplash

Low bushes rustled and a chicken with bright multicolored feathers strutted out onto our path.  To my astonishment the periwinkle hair dipped down toward the chicken.  With a purple pop, it shocked the bird’s bottom.  Feathers flew and the chicken cackled loudly as it ran back in the direction from which it came.

While we let the muskox hair lead the way, I hadn’t really paid attention to my surroundings.  The muffled sounds of women’s voices reached my ears.  With a look around, I exclaimed.

“Oh!  I think Willow Rainbow* lives just over there,” I commented, pointing after the chicken.  

“Rhymer once told me that her aunt has a ton of spell books,” River suggested with an eager flutter of her wings.  “It would make things a lot easier if we had a spell to help us understand where the hair is trying to lead, or why the hummingbird brought it to you.”

We both turned toward the sound of the chicken cackling when a familiar voice was added to its squawks.

“Whatever is the matter?  You’re making such a clatter!  You’re upset all together.  It looks like you lost some feathers!”

River and I turned toward one another and remarked in unison, “Rhymer Rainbow!”

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out!” Rhymer said playfully as she came onto the path still holding the chicken.  “Bedlam and River, why didn’t you give me a shout?  I’m visiting my aunt, she lives just over there.  Come on ― there are cookies to share.”

Buffaloberry bush

Buffaloberry bush

The chicken clucked, tucked under Rhymer’s arm.  She pushed aside bushes with waxy leaves and clusters of white and bright red buffaloberries.  The berries were bitter, but they still made a nice pie.  Rhymer commented that the chicken had a fondness for buffaloberries and sometimes wandered away looking for them.

On the other side of the shrubs was a yellow farmhouse with a thatched roof.  A small duplicate stood to one side of the house.  It was an elaborate chicken coop.  Rhymer sat the complaining fowl down.  It looked at its behind, which showed a few missing feathers from the zap of the periwinkle muskox hair.  The chicken turned to me with a parting glare, and trotted to the coop.

Rhymer’s aunt, Willow Rainbow, greeted us warmly, “Come inside girls.  It’s lovely to have so much company.  What brings you to my cottage in the woods?”

River told Willow how the long silken hair suddenly became a divining rod, leading us and then abruptly stopping.

“We thought perhaps a finding spell might get it going again,” River explained.

“How remarkable!” Willow exclaimed.  “Bedlam, your grand-uncle once asked me if I would be interested in giving you lessons about spells, although I honestly didn’t feel qualified,” Rhymer’s aunt said humbly.  “So, I’m sure some research would be fine with him.  But I’ll have to leave you on your own.  My crochet circle is meeting, or I’d be glad to delve into the books with you.  You girls take some cookies and help yourselves to the books.  Rhymer will you show them to the library?”

Chickens at cottage vintage

Each of us grabbed a double handful of cookies as we were about to leave the kitchen.  Willow turned abruptly and we hesitated.

“Oh, just one thing.  Use any of the books you please,” Willow Rainbow told us.  “But not the Etheraris Spiregris.  It’s far too dangerous.  I really should get rid of it, but it seems so wrong to do away with any book!”

River and I exchanged a significant look.

The End

***

This time we revealed only one new person among the mystery folk,  Willow Rainbow was named by Christine Robinson. Be sure to click over and say hello.

On Wednesdays I’ll try to give you some NaNoWriMo updates.  I think you’ll like the book-cover I made to inspire myself.  As for Thistledown, see you in December. 

Hugs on the wing! 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.