A Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee 2017

pig-hearts-red-2017

For once I thought about doing a Valentine’s story before the last minute.  It’s a good thing too, because I stumped myself.  I wanted to use characters from Atonement, Tennessee, and bring back one from a past Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee as well.  However, connecting that part to another Atonement character presented quite a problem.  Every story-line I started took me to a spoiler!

Finally I settled on Marge Tipton, a very minor character.  No spoilers, but I had a devil of a time figuring out how Cupid’s arrow could strike bachelorette Marge.  You can read a little more about Marge here.

It’s a little longer than I’ve been posting, but fewer than 2,500 words.  I hope this little romp leaves you with a happy glow.  Here’s your 2017 Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee.  Enjoy!

PS: I made a video trailer too…

Deme and Honeybell’s Valentine

Silver light washed down from the moon to illumine the sidewalk.  Earth’s lone satellite was just past full.  The clock in the town square struck midnight on February 14th.

The moon wasn’t the only thing that glowed that night.  Two friends also emanated an ethereal radiance of their own, as they walked the deserted street.

Honeybell gave a surreptitious glance over her shoulder toward the second of two traffic lights on the main street of Atonement, Tennessee.  She grunted softly, fascinated by the slowly changing colors, red to green to yellow to red. 

It seemed an odd decoration.  It made her nervous.  This was all Deme’s idea.  Honeybell hoped her friend wouldn’t land them in trouble.  Deme could be something of a prankster, and Honeybell was getting the same reputation.  Still looking over her shoulder at the lights, Honeybell gave a loud snort as she bumped into Deme.

Pay attention and stop acting like an unsophisticated pig,” Honeybell silently scolded herself.

2-pigs-traffic-light

Deme had stopped.  Her eyes were closed in concentration.  When she opened them, her sapphire orbs were bright with excitement.  She reared up to point at the sign, Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop, and her front hooves came back to the sidewalk with a sharp clip.

“It’s still here!” Deme quietly exclaimed.

Honeybell wagged her curly tail happily.

“What about the woman?  Is she close enough?” she asked Deme, concerned about all the details coming together properly.

“The woman lives near the first red-green-yellow light.  It is an easy run from here,” Deme replied in a satisfied tone.

The glow from the two otherworldly pigs brightened a as they stared at the door of the antique shop.  Grunt, snuffle, snort.  Grunt, snuffle, snort,” they vocalized in unison.

The door swung open, shop-bell chiming in welcome.  Deme and Honeybell walked inside.

“I feel it!” Honeybell cried.  “I feel the rose quartz.”

Honeybell made a beeline to the back of the shop and a glass case.  As the pigs drew near, a necklace inside the case illuminated.  The filigree setting was polished brightly and held a large heart-shaped gem.  The pastel pink rose quartz stone pulsed softly in ruddy radiance.

Annies antiques

Annie’s Antiques

“It’s as if the heart is beating,” Honeybell said in awe.  “What a lovely gem.”

Deme agreed, her sapphire blue eyes wide.  “Rose quartz helps us accept and love ourselves,” she replied agreeably.

Honeybell nosed at the necklace until it fell from the glass shelf to hang around her neck.  Deme made a sardonic grunt at her friend.

“The most practical way to carry the necklace is to hang it around my neck,” Honeybell explained in a very indignant tone.  “Oh look!  That light over there is not earthly,” she quickly changed the subject, and was happy when Deme followed her gaze. (More about Annie’s Inventory Notes here.)

The otherworldly pigs went to investigate the luminescence near the cash register at the front of the store.  The light shone through several layers of paper in the special inventory notes kept by Annie, the shop owner.  If the writing glowed, that meant an item had awakened.  Deme and Honeybell looked at the rosy sparkle of the necklace and nodded to each other in approval.

***

pig-valentine-lolas

After a briskly refreshing run, the two otherworldly pigs entered the home of bacehlorette and local diner owner, Marge Tipton.

Deme looked around the spotless kitchen.  She saw a local newspaper and an advertisement on the table.  There was also a deposit receipt from the local First Bank & Trust.

Honeybell snuffled as she scented the air and listened to the vibrations of the house.  “I feel a lot of hidden sadness,” Honeybell murmured, eyes brimming with tears.

“So do I, but get ahold of yourself.  We can’t afford to let our own emotions get mixed in with what we’re about to do,” Deme told her firmly.  “Things could go quite badly if we did.”

The small pigs moved toward the bedroom where they could hear the regular breathing of Marge Tipton.

“She is soundly asleep,” Deme whispered.  “Honeybell, you seem better attuned to this woman than I am.  Do you detect anything in this house that can be used to work with the rose quartz necklace?” Deme questioned, delegating some of the authority she had bestowed upon herself.

Honeybell snuffled and grunted quietly.  She went to a box in the closet.  A broad satin ribbon was tied around the box.  Honeybell pulled the ribbon, untying the bow.  Inside was a stack of old postcards, with postmarks in the 1980s. Cowgirl valentine

One postcard had been torn in half and then taped back together.  Honeybell noticed the scribbled writing said “I can’t wait to get back to Phoenix to see you.  Love, Chad.”  Some of the cards were marred by tearstains, particularly one that was addressed to “Marla” with the name crossed out and “Marge” written next to it.  Most of the words were rendered illegible by the long dry tears.

With an excited snort, Honeybell scampered back to the kitchen.  Deme followed curiously.  The checkered cloth muffled the clatter of Honeybell’s hooves when she bounded onto the kitchen table.  Her twisty little tail wagged at a quick pace as she inspected a colorful sheet of paper.

The two pigs went over every inch of the flyer and the newspaper article that lay next to it, and the bank slip too.  The ad was from the Rowdy Rooster, a large redneck bar outside the town of Atonement.

“Hit recording artist and 80s TV star of The Medical Files, Chad Allen to perform!” Deme read the flyer.

“The postcards were to Marge from Chad Allen,” Honeybell whispered then looked at the newspaper.  “They were lovers when she was a young woman.  Marge had a happy life then in Adrian, Texas.  But he left her to travel with the rodeo and got famous.  Then he recorded a hit song and did that television series and became a big star — for a while anyway.”

“He lied to Marge for years before she could admit the truth to herself.  She felt so betrayed and so ashamed that she never forgave herself for being foolish.  Then she came here when her brother begged her, saying he needed her,” Honeybell commented knowingly.

“So she is not in Atonement, Tennessee to atone,” Deme commented in a speculative tone.  “Her brother is.”

“Perhaps she actually is atoning too,” suggested Honeybell.  “She would not love herself enough to say no to those who did not deserve her love.”

The glowing pigs looked at each other for a moment.  They seemed to come to a silent agreement.

“Help me put everything back the way we found it,” Deme said and they put the newspaper, flyer, and even the bank receipt in place.  “Let’s leave the rose quartz laying on these papers.  That should be enough to get things started,” Deme said.

Honeybell dropped the necklace onto the papers.  There was a tiny spark when the gem touched them.  Then the rosy radiance filled the entire room before dying down.

*** Close-up of a woman's foot with slippers

“Come on Marge!  So what if you don’t care about seeing a washed up TV star.  It’ll be a night out with the girls.  We’re both scheduled to be off,” Jenny, the lead waitress at L-O-L-A Lola’s Bar and Grille, pleaded into the phone.  “When you turn loose, you’re the life of the party!”

“Good gravy, Jenny.  It’s too early in the morning to be planning a night at a bar,” Marge grumbled sleepily.

However, Jenny saying Marge was the life of the party brought a reluctant smile to her lips.  She had never told a soul in Atonement, Tennessee about the Chad Allen episode, as she thought of it.  She told her brother Tracey once, but he was too drunk to remember, so that didn’t count.

Jenny was still talking, but Marge had slipped into the past.  Every time she thought of her home back in Adrian, Texas she became melancholy.Maxwell House last drop ad

Marge shook her head thinking of that evening of inebriated confessions with her brother.  They both sure had tied one on.  She thought it was such a shame that her brother couldn’t get past his drinking.  Tracey had a good heart and was surprisingly generous.  Once he gave her a diamond tennis bracelet for no reason at all.  She knew he must have saved his money for years to buy it.

“It won’t be half as much fun without you.  All the girls still love Chad Allen,” Jenny went on, and for a second Marge thought she might change her mind.

Opening the refrigerator door, Marge took out a container of milk.  The coffee was done.  As she poured the steaming liquid into her mug, she wondered what it would be like to see Chad again, even from across the big room of the Rowdy Rooster. 

Then all the scenarios of what people would tell her she should do, what she should feel blasted into her head.  Maybe Chad had changed.  His star had risen and fallen.  What if he had actually become the person he made her think he was back then, before she learned what a lying, philandering jerk he really was.

Marge was sure anybody she knew would tell her she should — no she had to go and see him.  She gave her head a shake.  Would she feel vindicated or sad if the years had been unkind to him?  She told herself that he’d never recognize her.  If he did, he’d likely cringe at her appearance and pretend he didn’t remember.

She took a deep breath and brought her attention back to Jenny on the phone.  Making up an excuse, Marge turned Jenny down in a firm “boss” voice.  Jenny had worked for her long enough to know that tone brooked no argument.

Marge hung up the phone.  Coffee mug in hand, she went to the kitchen table to finish reading the newspaper.  That was when she noticed the beautiful antique necklace laying there.

“How?  Who?” Marge stammered.

1973-sarah-coventry-necklace-adShe picked up the rose quartz necklace with a sigh at its beauty.  “Tracy,” she murmured thinking her brother must have left it there to surprise her.  It couldn’t have been anyone else.

Marge plopped down into a chair.  She glanced at the newspaper article and Rowdy Rooster flyer about her old love, Chad.  She read both for the twentieth time.  With each reading she promised herself she would never be betrayed again.

It didn’t occur to her that she held the rose quartz necklace tightly in her hand, or that she didn’t want to put it down.  Then she fastened it around her neck.  Not only was the necklace the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, she felt pretty just for wearing it.

***

That evening Marge tidied up the kitchen.  She picked up the newspaper and the receipt from First Bank & Trust.  It was a morbid attraction, but she couldn’t help looking at the flyer.  Taking a beer from the fridge, she read the article one more time.

“Marge Tipton,” she told herself aloud.  “Don’t you ever let your guard down like that again!”

She had no wish to see Chad again.  She had firmly stomped on the imagined voices of everyone saying she should do.  So Marge wasn’t sure why she changed into some party clothes that evening, still wearing the rose quartz necklace.  Neither could she have said why she got into her mint condition 1972 red Chevy C10 pickup truck and drove way out highway 41 to the Rowdy Rooster.

Almost an hour later Marge got out of her truck and walked across the parking lot.  The noise of the patrons lived up to the name of the Rowdy Rooster.

Her footsteps became slower as she moved toward the door.  The sound of the crowd inside grated against her nerves.  She couldn’t imagine why she had come there in the first place, after flatly turning down Jenny’s invitation.  Marge didn’t realize she had stopped in the middle of the parking lot.

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

“Marge?  I mean, Ms. Tipton?” a voice intruded on her confused thoughts.

She turned toward the voice feeling muddled.  “I only had one beer before I left home.  What’s the matter with me?” she wondered and gave herself a mental shake.

He was barely recognizable in cowboy boots and a sport coat.  Marge had only seen Russell Skeen, the manager of the First Bank & Trust, in a dark business suit.

“Are you okay, Ms. Tipton?” Russell repeated.

“Oh, don’t mind me, I just suddenly felt a little out of sorts, that’s all.  And please call me Marge,” she stammered, feeling her cheeks heat with a blush.  “I should have stayed at home,” she murmured.

“I know what you mean,” Russell admitted.  “I do like the cowboy boots my daughter gave me, but I can’t say I care for this place.  I let my daughter pester me into agreeing to join her and her friends tonight.  Then wouldn’t you know, she just now called to say she won’t be coming,” he added in a bemused tone.  “She means to get me out more,” he said with a shrug.

Russell Skeen drew back a bit and looked at Marge curiously.  His hand rose toward her, but he stopped himself.  He shook his head and chuckled.

Midnight moon farie

“For a second there I thought your necklace was glowing.  It must have been all those facets reflecting the light,” Russell told her.  “I see that you like antiques.  That one’s a beauty.”

Marge unthinkingly put her hand to the rose quartz necklace.  It felt very warm to the touch.  She looked at the unassuming bank manager as if she had never truly seen him before.  Marge was pleased with what she saw.

“You know, there are a few antique shops between here and Atonement.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather browse through them than be inside that noisy bar.  Do you think you could join me?  Maybe we could get some coffee somewhere too?”

Marge looked toward the Rowdy Rooster.  She thought about the flyer advertising Chad Allen.  She thought of the stack of postcards she kept even though he had betrayed her.

She picked up the rose quartz and held it so that she could look at it.  “Why did it feel so warm?  It actually does seem to be glowing a little,” Marge thought.

“Mr. Skeen, I think that sounds like a fine idea,” she told him.

“Only if you call me Russell,” he replied as he walked her back to her pickup truck and politely took her hand as she climbed up into the cab.

“Did you hear that?” she asked Russell.  “I could have sworn I heard a snuffling, snorting sound, like pigs.”

“There’s lots of farmland around here.  It could be that one got loose.  But you’d think all the bacon they serve in these places would scare a pig away,” Russell joked.

At the word bacon, a shrill startled-sounding noise was easily heard, but they still didn’t see any pigs.

Pig Valentine

The End.

Happy Valentines Day from Teagan’s Books and everyone in Atonement, Tennessee.

 Mega hugs!

 

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.

 

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:  https://kcbooksandmusic.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/author-of-the-month-teagan-riodain-geneviene/

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,

Teagan

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: https://gma.yahoo.com/everything-know-weekends-snow-storm-155411977–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

https://thelittlebluemixer.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/apple-maple-sugar-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…

Maxine_cheese-whine

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

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atonement-tennessee-teagan-geneviene/1117790203?ean=2940148918431

Kindle and Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412384486&sr=1-1

Amazon Canada

http://www.amazon.ca/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444333147&sr=8-1&keywords=atonement+tennessee

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A

Amazon India

http://www.amazon.in/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1481826948

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.