Book of the Month — Atonement, Tennessee

I’m tickled pink!

I’m blushing to tell you about it, but… I feel like I’ve been put on a billboard in Time’s Square!  My novel, “Atonement, Tennessee” was named book of the month, and me author of the month. By the way, that includes an incredibly generous free offer.  That’s all from the versatile Kevin Cooper at KC Books & Music.  

Here’s a link to Kev’s post, which has me feeling so in the pink:

Lilith, the calico from “Atonement, Tennessee” is purr-fectly pleased too.

Lilith and mirror

Several of you have already visited Kev’s post and left lovely comments. So I’m going to disable the comments here and ask you to please leave any comments at Kev’s blog

Kev is a multi talented guy.  





Writer of novels and poetry, singer-songwriter, reviewer, and book cover designer.  Click on over and check out all the amazing things at his blog.




So pay a visit to KC Books & Music, browse around, and enjoy.

I’ll be back Saturday with another installment of The Guitar Mancer.  See you then!

Mini Series — The Senses — Hearing

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

Brain tonic Coke vintageTraditionally those are the five senses.  I thought it would be a fun change of pace to do a mini-series on The Senses.

In novel writing I try to involve all your (the reader’s) senses.  Today I want all of us to begin building a story together.  One by one, we’ll use all the senses.  More about that in a minute…

That’s not all.  I’m inviting all you bloggers to join this mini-series with me and post about the senses.  If you’d be so kind, link back to my post.

Your blog doesn’t have to be about writing.  My young friends at Faraday’s Candle participated with a science post.

Wait, there’s more!  With each of these posts I’m asking you to please leave a comment with one or two words that my image-prompt for the featured sense brings to your mind.  (Not the vintage ad here, but the train below.)

Now calm down; I’ll explain.  At the end of the mini-series, I plan to use your “sense comments” to build a spontaneous story. So it’s important that you play along each week.Ear

To begin this mini-series, I will select the sense of — hearing.

Part 1 — Hearing

All the senses can work together.  Descriptions of sounds can help readers see your story.  For example, here’s a snippet from Atonement, Tennessee.  I’ve shared it before.  I told this from Ralda Lawton’s point of view.  She was in a position where she could not see what was happening, but she could hear.  This happens early in the novel, before Ralda knows about any of the “supernaturals” in the town.  She’s just moved, and her cat gets outside.  Of course she follows the calico — to the cemetery.

I was sheltered by a big clump of tall bushes of some sort.  I thought they might be mountain laurel.  I could see the broad side of the mausoleum from there.  Shadows lurched violently against the stone crypt.  Big shadows.  Reflexively I drew back into the concealing vegetation.  Then I heard a loud avian-like screech and realized that the shadow shapes might have been wings.  My heart hammered.Gate Ajar NightThe noise escalated.  It definitely sounded like more than one creature was causing that ruckus.  Then I heard the cat hiss. 

I dropped the box of food I had brought to lure Lilith back, and ran toward the sounds; ready to use the flashlight as a club, and wishing I had something more effective.  “Lilith!” I called.  Oh, let’s face it — I screamed!

As I ran out form the concealing mountain laurel a gust of wind buffeted me.  I tripped and fell on the uneven pavers of the path, just as the wind blew my hair, along with some dirt, into my eyes.  I couldn’t see at all for a moment, but I heard a lot of heavy rustling, scraping, shifting sounds.

Every time I thought I had half way cleared my eyes, the wind blew something into them again.  I struggled to my feet, desperately wiping my stinging eyes.  I heard soft footsteps coming toward me.

Your Turn!

Now it’s your turn.  Focus on the image below.  Really look at it.  Imagine yourself inside that image.  Look at the locomotive, the weeds.  Touch the surface of the metal.  Sniff the air.  Now, with only a couple of words, leave a comment and tell me what you hear.

Abandoned Locomotive 2

What did you hear?   

Open Invitation:  If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Thanks for visiting.

Mega hugs,


Here’s a Teagan update — the “snow storm of historic proportions.”  For those of you in other countries, or on the west coast USA, this news video (recorded Friday midday) shows the scope; just how big this storm is:–abc-news-topstories.html#  

2:30PM Teagan Update — Here’s my COVERED front porch (covered as in roof that should have kept it from being covered by snow. That’s all my back could manage… At this rate I’ll be to the sidewalk in June.  My car will be dug out next year.

2016 Blizzard covered front porch

Copyright © 2015 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.




Character Interview: Ralda Lawton — Features from Atonement, TN

veil_of_sky_open_1 copy

Available in paperback, Nook, and Kindle

Welcome to Atonement, TN everyone.

I’m giving myself a break this weekend and doing a rerun.

But first… I’m revising this post. I wanted to share something new with you, even though it has little to do with this post.  Monarch butterflies.

The butterfly is a symbol of transformation. One thing for which people who analyze books look is growth or transformation in characters. One particular character in Atonement, Tennessee changes, but that would be a spoiler, so I won’t go there. However, the heroine begins to grow, maybe even spread her butterfly wings.  Yet as in real life transformations are not always successful.

Now that I’ve tied it to this post, here’s something lovely that Google brought to my attention; a news article and a video.

What Is the Mountain of Butterflies?”

Now, back to my re-run!

This character interview was also posted two years ago.  I had just released my debut novel, Atonement, Tennessee.  

I’m delighted that many of you have been with “Teagan’s Books” that long.  For those of you who are newer, I hope you will enjoy this interview with the main character.

Character Interviews:  Ralda Lawton

Teagan:  Welcome Ralda.  Thanks for stepping outside of Atonement, Tennessee for this interview.  Forgive me if I’m not great at this – I’ve never interviewed one of my characters before.  Help me avoid giving any spoilers in this!  (I laugh.)

Ralda:  That’s no problem.  I already know that you used assorted bits of yourself not just for me, but for all the women characters in Atonement.

Teagan:  Yes, that was the only way I could write an entire novel in thirty days – for the 2012 National Novel Writing Month.  However, you are your own woman.  You’re not my alter ego, even if there is a good bit of me in your character.  But this interview is about you, not me.  So, are you really a small town girl at heart?Ralda-in-car_dreamstime_xs_28934268

Ralda:  I should have known you wouldn’t let me get away with controlling the interview.  (She jokes.)  Not exactly.  I’m more of a city girl who prefers small towns.  I don’t think that’s quite the same thing.  Despite all the crazy things that have happened since I moved to Atonement, TN, I like the town and the people.  There is always more to the people than I expect.  Plus I feel like it’s the kind of place where I never know what might happen.  I mean, it’s interesting.

Teagan:  What do you think about Gwydion?

hero-position-6468259Ralda:  Ugh!  I knew that was coming.  I try not to think about him – or Cael for that matter.  Gwydion is undeniably handsome and charming, and sometimes I admit that I’m attracted to him.  But…

Teagan:  But you don’t trust him? 

Ralda:  (She sighs and slouches back against her chair.)  I’m not a trusting soul.  When I ask him a question… it’s not that I think he’s lying.  But I always feel like he’s leaving out something; like I’m hearing a partial truth.  So how could I trust him?  Besides that, it seems like odd little things happen when he’s around.  I don’t know how to explain that, but it doesn’t help me trust him.Gate Ajar Night

Teagan:  Speaking of souls…I understand your new home has a cemetery.  (She shakes her head as if she can’t believe that herself.)  How do you feel about having a graveyard on your property?  Also, is one of the graves that of your ancestress?

Ralda:  I admit it was a creepy idea at first.  But I was so drawn to the house, Sunhold, that I tried not to think about the cemetery.  I sort of ignored the fact that it was part of my new home.

Teagan:  I’ve noticed that seems to be how you handle things that bother you – deciding not to think about them.  (She looks at me archly, but then sheepishly.)  I’m sorry – please continue.

Ralda:  I realize that – thinking about something later, is not one of the traits I get from you.  Don’t even try to figure it out.  It’s old baggage.  Like I said, at first I thought having my own cemetery was creepy, and right off the bat I had a frightening experience there.  However, I quickly came to feel protective of the old place.  It was overgrown, and unthreatening.  It has a certain kind of beauty.  It seems contemplative, peaceful, and oddly vulnerable.  There is something special about that old cemetery.Lilith standing on stone

As you know, Ralda is a nickname I chose.  My given name is Esmeralda.  One tombstone in the old cemetery has the name Esmeralda Gwynedd.  My friend and neighbor, Bethany, is absolutely determined that it is an ancestress of mine.  We’ll have to see how that plays out.  You said not to give any spoilers.

Teagan:  True.  With spoilers in mind, maybe we should leave it at that.  At least for now.  Thanks Ralda.  I know you’d much rather be in Atonement, TN than in DC talking to me.

Atonement, Tennessee is available in the following formats:


Mirror of Truth — Features from Atonement, TN

Welcome back to Atonement, TN!

Annie's Antiques

Annie’s Antiques

Yes, this is my warped idea of taking a break — still making a weekly blog post.  However, the interactive serial stories really are much more labor intensive than these posts.  I actually am getting some writing done on Atonement in Bloom, my main novel in progress!

Update — Writing Process and ProgressAtonement_in_Bloom_1_03-24-2014

Previously I said I realized that I needed to divide and move around my chapter length magical prologue.  As “Racine” might say, Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!  Did that ever make a lot of work. I’m happy to say that things are moving and shaking to my satisfaction. I expect to finish that work this weekend.

During that moving-around last weekend I wrote some new material.  I didn’t think it was much though, until I went back to check.  In addition to that arduous editing, I wrote 3,000 words of new story-line.  Since I write at a snail’s pace, I was very pleased with that.  Now I’m crossing my fingers that I make as much progress this weekend.

A New Feature — Annie’s Inventory Notes

Antique store front

Part of my purpose in these doing these posts is to make the setting and characters in the “Atonement” books more real to everyone. So each week I’ll share something about the town and/or its residents.

I had the idea for this “feature” when we did the opinion poll.  This post provides the first installment of Annie’s Inventory Notes.

Annie, the proprietor of Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop had a very minor role in the first book, Atonement, Tennessee.  I wouldn’t even describe her as a supporting character, the part was so small.

However, when I had the thought to do Annie’s Inventory Notes, I also had the idea to make Annie something a little out of the ordinary.  I’m not sure how much of her “unusual nature” will be revealed in Atonement in Bloom.  But I thought it might be fun for us to share the secret, here on my blog, that there’s more to Annie than meets the eye!Shop door bell

Adding to this mystery and secrecy, last time I mentioned that an unexpected new character popped up for book-2.  That character is Adelle, who happens to be Annie’s sister. The sisters will lend a mysterious vibe to the story

If you opened the door to Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop, you’d hear the old fashioned tinkle of a little bell attached to the door.  It wouldn’t be unusual for you to smell home-baked cookies. Often Annie has a tray of delicious cookies by the cash register.  So look for a recipe at the end of this post.

Now, here is the first installment of “Annie’s Inventory Notes.”  The timeline of this would have been in book-1.

Annie’s Inventory Notes: The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most PoeticAntique Store Inside Annies

Annie carefully cleaned the antique mirror.  The engraved text seemed clear, but she wanted to make sure she didn’t miss so much as a syllable.  “See in your reflection, truth and justice most poetic,” it read.

A chill went down Annie’s spine as she read the words.  Then a wave of nausea assailed her.  Most people wouldn’t have a strong physical reaction to a mystically infused object.  Although Annie looked like an ordinary woman, Annie wasn’t most people.  And the Mirror of Truth wasn’t just any mystical antique.

“Lady Justice,” she murmured with a shudder for blind justice.Mirror

Annie made a point of not looking directly into the mirror before covering it.

Her thoughts rushed as she tried to consider the best thing to do with the mirror.  However, Annie’s burden was that of non-interference.  She was to be a record-keeper, nothing more.  Providing a normal life for her sons depended on her complete abstinence from intervention.  No one could know what she sensed.  Certainly no one could know the things to which she bore witness over her lifetime in Atonement, Tennessee.

The shop bell rang.  The moment she saw Lacey Hampton walk into her store, Annie knew any decision about the Mirror of Truth was already out of her hands.


Annie’s Cookies

I searched the WordPress countryside for cookies that Annie might bake and give to her patrons. I found a charming blog called The Little Blue Mixer.  Coincidentally, that blogger is Anna!  Now, how cool is that? Anna’s treats made me think of the kind of things my fictional Annie might bake. So check out her blog, particularly the cookies below.

Apple Maple Sugar Cookies

Apple-Maple Cookies


Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.


79 Words & Duct Tape — Features from Atonement, TN

First an Update — My Writing Process

I began drafting Atonement in Bloom about a year ago (as I’ve already whined).  Last week I saw that a long “magical” interlude right after the opening needed to happen later in the story. You’d think that would be a simple matter…


However, delaying that part of the plot actually caused the weather in Atonement, TN to change, so I have to account for that. Plus moving half a chapter creates changes in other parts of the book.  Confused yet?  I am.

A fun side effect of all this moving and shaking is that it brought a new eatery (Adelle’s Attic; a tearoom) to the town, and a new character.  Adelle’s presence adds a new aspect to an existing minor character from Atonement, Tennessee too.  No — that’s all I’m saying about that (winks).  Right now I’m not sure how big Adelle’s part will be in Atonement in Bloom but it should add interest.

veil_of_sky_open_Lilith copyRecently I had an unexpected addition to my “process” — if you can even call it a process.  Blogger extraordinaire, Chris Graham posted a challenge to “write a short story of seventy-nine (79) words (not counting the title) with a plot and characterization.”  Thanks again to the Story Reading Ape (writer, promoter of authors, cover designer, and all ’round fantastic ape) for posting my offering.

Writing short anything is something I’ve never done well… but I thought that might be a good way to get my head back into my Atonement universe, so to speak.  So I did a little ditty for that. You’ll find it below.  Ralda’s calico cat, Lilith gets the spotlight.

Around Town in Atonement

Duct Tape

Creating Adelle’s tearoom got me thinking about details of the other things you’d see if you visited Atonement, TN.  Like Ralda’s duct tape masterpiece.  (She resorted to duct tape to seal off the cat’s escape route.) You’ll have to read the book to learn more about the duct tape, escape routes and the adventures that result.Duct tape

Do you have a bit of duct tape artistry you’d like to share?  Leave a comment if you do!


And now… Here are 79 words that have to do with Atonement in Bloom.  This may or may not show up in the book.  Should I keep them?

Lilith’s Decision

Lilith and mirror

Deliberating, Lilith watched the newcomer sleep.

“So strange,” the calico thought, “human shaped but garden scented.”  Lilith inhaled deeply and continued pondering.  “And too newly made to be good or evil.  So do I like you or not?”

Lilith sniffed the female’s long green hair and she stirred and put a delicate hand to the cat’s silky fur, but didn’t wake.  Lovely aromatic catnip suddenly grew from between the planks of the wood floor.  That made up Lilith’s mind.


Wishing you a good morning, afternoon, or evening from Atonement, TN!  See you next time.  Mega hugs!


Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Good Mimosa Mornin’! — Features from Atonement, TN

Atonement Tennessee

Here we have it — my first “between the serials” post.  I admit that it feels a little strange, not writing a weekly episode after doing that for so long.

Note: In the title of these posts I’m making a distinction between the name of the first novel and the name of the town. “Atonement, Tennessee” is my debut novel.  I’m using the state abbreviation as title in these posts because they might be about any story set in the fictional town  Atonement, TN.

Update: My Writing Process


I actually started work on book-2 (“Atonement in Bloom”) close to a year ago. Unfortunately the bits of time I’ve been able to grab for the novel are brief and infrequent.  I do more backtracking to refresh my memory than moving forward…

Lilith spies something in Sunhold's cemetery

Lilith spies something in Sunhold’s cemetery

Now, it’s also been quite some time since I wrote book-1, Atonement, Tennessee, so the first step in my process is to re-read my novel (and I haven’t even had time to finish that). I want to make sure book-2 has the same tone and feeling.

The re-reading provided inspiration for this post — a novel snippet and the first installment of Recipes from Bethany’s Kitchen.  The excerpt is from book-1  Atonement, Tennessee, Chapter 3, Mimosa Morning.

Holding MimosaHere, early on a Sunday morning, Ralda makes an exploration of her new property, and she unexpectedly gets a little better acquainted with the new neighbors she met less than 24 hours before…


Rounding a bend in the path I came upon some of the old stone benches in a small clearing near the outside edge of the cemetery.  Three very surprised women — my neighbors from the day before — turned to look at me.  With cocktail glasses in hand, they exchanged puzzled looks.

“Well, good mimosa mornin’,” Lacey said showing an impossibly white smile and prefect teeth.

“A woman after my own heart,” said Bethany, dressed again in head to toe black.  “She wanders the cemetery on Sunday morning.”

I smiled in return, but feeling like an intruder on my own property, I didn’t move any closer. 

Racine’s eyes widened.  “Oh my God!” she exclaimed.  “This is part of the old Sunhold estate.  I wasn’t even thinking!  And here we are, trespassing on our new neighbor; not to mention the booze.  Just butter my butt and call me a biscuit!”


Which brings us to the first installment of Recipes from Bethany’s Kitchen. Bethany brought along a bartender friend this time.

How To Make – Mimosa Cocktail

Wishing you a good mornin’, afternoon, or evening from Atonement, TN!  See you next time.  Mega hugs!


Where to “atone”

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kindle and Paperback

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon India

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Crowing Pains

Crowing Pains

atonement_coverNo, this is not the weekend, and you haven’t missed the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era — I’m here with a mid-week post!

Many of you have heard me say how difficult it is for me to cope with the indie author necessity of shameless self-promotion.  I’m going to start calling that crowing pains.

However, my excitement is making it a lot easier.  Why the giddiness? Atonement, Tennessee just received a five-stare review from (drum roll)… none other than the Story Reading Ape himself — Chris Graham!

When I wrote Atonement, Tennessee I followed some old advice that I continue to use in anything I write — let the story be whatever it needs to be.  Even so, I wondered if having mostly women as the main characters would limit the audience, but I shrugged it off, and let the story be what it was. With that in mind, I’ve been delighted to see that it is well received by men as well as women… and Apes too!

Here’s what Chris wrote. He posted it at

This story deserves a sequel

By Chris Graham on September 6, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

A great fantasy with Celtic tones, set in modern days.

I loved the characters who are well described and believable:

Ralda (full name Esmeralda) has had unfortunate personal experiences with life and love before moving into the ‘Local Haunted House’ of Atonement, Tennessee; which, incidentally, has an ancient graveyard as part of the estate…

Her nearest neighbour is the beautiful and friendly Lacey, whose husband Ralph is not the most pleasant of people.

Other characters include two handsome, but strange, young men who seem to be vying for Ralda’s attention, two other women, one of whom is a Goth, also become Ralda’s friends and a Small Town Sheriff with an unfortunate nickname locally.

Not forgetting Lilith, Ralda’s curious calico cat who sees more than her mistress and Puddles, Lacey’s mischievous dog.

I found this story easy to read, enjoyed the interaction between the characters and am left hoping that the author intends to write a sequel.

Now do you see why I’m practically dancing a jig, just like one of the Ape’s naughty chimps?

To reward you for putting up with my crowing pains, here is the original Crowing Pains… followed by all my purchase information (wink).

Mega hugs!

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kindle and Paperback

Amazon UK

Amazon India