Atonement Doors – #ThursdayDoors

Beyond my wildest dreams! That was the result when I asked Dan Antion if he would be interested in doing a Thursday Doors post — using my fictional town of Atonement, TN. I told Dan just run with it — wherever his imagination took him, and I’m so glad he did. I’m still gawking at his post, I love it that much.
The way he described everything made his post wonderful — I felt like I was living in a chapter of the book.

Some of the photos he chose look exactly as I imagine the town. I had hoped that I made Atonement an “any town” so people could relate to it. Dan made me think I got it right. I hope everyone else thinks so.

I managed to get through the publication process with Atonement in Bloom (click here!). While the launch is not until the 20th, I’ve already made it available on Amazon. Also, the first book (Atonement, Tennessee) is on sale for 99 cents (e-book) for the launch.

Dan, heartfelt thanks for this amazing Atonement, TN Doors post. I’m humbled and honored.  I’ve disabled comments here, because I want you to visit Dan’s fabulous blog.

Hugs! 

No Facilities

Think of this cover as the door to a wonderful book.

Today is a very special edition of Thursday Doors – I am sharing doors from Atonement, Tennessee, the charming and very mysterious town created by Teagan R. Geneviene in her series of novels. If you enjoy reading Teagan’s serial stories, you will love these novels. Horsefeathers, (as Teagan would say) get on with the news, boy!

Teagan has recently revealed the cover of “Atonement in Bloom” the long-awaited second book in the Atonement series. I had the pleasure of reading an early edition of this book, and I’ve been sitting here ever since, silently chanting “finish the edits, finish the edits…” Well, the edits are finished, Teagan is loading-up a party bus and you should join me in making plans to purchase a copy of this bloomin’ book, later this month.

One of the things…

View original post 690 more words

Matchmaking Pigs in Atonement, Tennessee

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pigs Road Moon unsplash composite

Deme & Honeybell, looking for adventure again

Deme and Honeybell, the otherworldly glowing pigs of Atonement, Tennessee had so much fun visiting with you recently that they talked me into letting them have the spotlight again today.  Yes, it’s another snort story.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, please forgive me for another rerun.  The past couple of work-months have been so “over the top” that I’m surprised I’ve managed to post at all.  I ran this as a Valentines story last year, but it doesn’t have to be about that.

Last week you met a much younger Marge Tipton.  She is a minor character in the “Atonement” books.  I enjoyed giving her extra life here on the blog.  She owns the local diner and she’s suitably quirky for the town.

It’s fewer than 2,500 words.  I hope this snort story leaves you with a happy glow

Deme and Honeybell — Matchmakers

Unsplash

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.

2-pigs-traffic-light

Deme & Honeybell, composite image by Teagan

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

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.

Annies antiques

Annie’s Antiques

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.

“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.

***

Unsplash

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.

A collection of old vintage photos, postcards, and envelopes from Europe.

Unsplash

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. 

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 tear-stains, 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.

Medical Center, Wikimedia

“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.  “Because 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.

Unsplash

“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.

*** 

“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.

Unsplash

However, Jenny saying Marge was the life of the party brought a reluctant smile to the woman’s 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.

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. 

Cappuccino in a white cup on a saucer with foam art and a small spoon

Unsplash

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.

Unsplash

She 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 advertisement 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.

 

Marge at LOLAs

Marge Tipton at LOLA Lola’s

“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.

The End.

White Pig ditry nose dreamstime_xxl_83059557

(Startled pigs from Dreamstime)

 

***

Here’s the requisite shameless self-promotion…

Pigs collection cover banner

The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

 

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.

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

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Marge Tipton — Characters from Atonement, TN (& a Cover Reveal)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Marge at LOLAs

Marge Tipton at L.O.L.A. Lola’s

Welcome everyone.  You’ve entered my sanctuary.  Today we’re visiting Atonement, Tennessee.  I know it can be hard to find your way around in a fictional town.  So, let’s have lunch at the local diner, L.O.L.A. Lola’s.  I want you to meet the owner, Marge Tipton. 

Marge’s part in Atonement, Tennessee is quite small, but she comes back for book-2 with a somewhat bigger role.  I thought it would be fun for you to meet some of the residents of the quirky town.

Actually, I wrote this vignette a few years ago.  So while I try to finish the edits to Atonement in Bloom (I know you must be as tired of hearing me say that as I am of saying it but…) I’m giving you a rerun.  I hope you don’t mind.  This little slice of life was done in my “three things” style of pantser writing and I took the things from names of three blogs. Thanks to those folks for following me then and now!

Writer Christoph Fischer

No Facilities (Dan Antion)

Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel ~ ~ Contemporary Western Romance

Writer, Facilities, Western

Cowgirl to the Rescue

Young Marge painting

Young Marge Tipton.  Dreamstime

The voice on the radio crackled as she drove through another area with poor reception.  The DJ counted down the top hits of 1974.  Marge pushed her big glasses back on the bridge of her nose and hoped she wouldn’t lose this channel before hearing a favorite song. The glasses were very similar to a pair she’d seen in a picture of Elton John.  She loved his flamboyance. 

You see, Marge Tipton wanted more than anything to be a wild child, an anti-establishment rebel. However, the truth was she just didn’t know how.  So she left her southeastern home and as her family put it, ran off out west.  She stopped running just after she crossed the Texas state line. Marge lived there for ten years. Then the post cards started coming.

The writer of the cards was her brother, Tracey. She didn’t know why her brother moved to the strange sounding Tennessee town a year before. It sounded like he didn’t have much choice in the matter. With each post card Tracey’s state of mind seemed to get worse. He was not pleased with his life there, yet he refused to leave. In his last missive Tracey begged his sister to come to Atonement, Tennessee.

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

Chevrolet 1972, C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

Marge was not happy about the situation.  She rebelled against anything she felt she was “supposed” to do.  She knew that everyone would judge her and say she should help her brother, regardless of whether he deserved it, or whether it ruined her own life. 

She adopted the cowgirl style that she would continue throughout her life.  Marge was perfectly satisfied in her western home.  However, she had a sense of duty that was every bit as strong as her wish to defy the establishment.   So cowgirl Marge got into her pickup truck, left Texas in her rear-view mirror, and headed to Tennessee.

The gas gauge in the truck steadily crept toward empty.  Just as Marge was getting worried she spotted a sign for a gas station.  At first she was relieved in more ways than one, but when she got closer, she saw the smaller sign below the oil company’s logo. “No facilities.”  Marge grumbled to herself. 

Maybe, if she was real polite, they’d let her use the employee restroom.

***

The End

***

Lolas inside diner

L.O.L.A. Lola’s

It wasn’t really a story, just a vignette, but now we have a backstory for a younger version of Marge Tipton.  She stayed in Atonement, TN with her brother and eventually opened “L.O.L.A. Lola’s Bar and Restaurant,” the diner frequented by my characters. 

Marge wasn’t there to “atone” after all, but her brother was.  However, as you’ll see next week, Deme and Honeybell might argue that point.  Meanwhile, Marge has her hands full with Atonement in Bloom.  There’s something about a bear, but I won’t say more. 

Do you have a story about a fuel gauge and the big “E” for empty?  Leave it in a comment if you do.  Thanks for visiting.  Great big hug!

 ***

Now a Reveal!

You know I’ve been trying to finish the editing and publishing work for book-2, Atonement in Bloom.  (My real job makes that difficult.)  Well, the thing is… There is a short story (many of you have seen it) that is a prequel to everything else in the “Atonement universe.”  Always one to make more work for myself… I’ve decided to do a double release.  Along with the sequel to Atonement, Tenneessee I will publish a collection of snort stories, which includes that prequel.  Here’s the cover.

Pigs collection cover banner

Snuffling your way soon.

Here’s the rest of the requisite shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

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 © 2015 and 2018 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 the public domain unless stated otherwise.

WIP vs LIP? Or Glowing Pigs and the Batmobile

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Welcome, to my sanctuary.  Come on inside and relax for a while.

Glowing mushrooms dark tree_jay-ma-304046

Unsplash.com

Writers are always talking about their WIP — or work in progress.  At my “real job” I frequently have to ask executives and tech guys to “spell out” acronyms.  I’m drowning in alphabet soup!

So, I just now laughed when I thought to myself that my WIP keeps getting pushed aside by my LIP, or my life in progress!

Maybe I’m the only one who sees the humor in that… but since they seem to think I’m “giving them lip” (mouthing off) when I ask for clarity or correction…  Yeah, okay… I kill me.  (Insert eye roll.)

Blue-Rose-Orb-52327

The editing and proofing of Atonement in Bloom continues to limp along. 

However, back to the first book, Atonement, Tennessee, I will soon be offering it in Spanish!  That’s thanks to the talented Olga Núñez Miret, who did the translation.  Stay tuned for more on that. 

Since my head is in that quirky town, on a whim I decided to write an all new short story to share today.

As the world-building of Atonement progressed, some small, glowing, otherworldly pigs made their way into the Atonement-verse.  They stole my heart.  So they pop in for a visit now and then.

Without further ado here’s the snort — I mean short story.

2 Pigs

Deme, Honeybell, and the Batmobile

Sunlight dappled the ground.  It made shaded spots on her book, but Honeybell didn’t mind.  The sun felt pleasantly warm on her white fur.  Loud snuffling distracted her from the pages of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.

“You do realize that they got half of that story wrong, don’t you?” Deme commented derisively.

“Of course they did.  They’re only human after all.  But that’s what makes it so interesting,” Honeybell defended the ancient tome.

She knew that her friend’s snarky manner meant Deme was up to no good.  Although she had to admit that Deme used her bright blue eyes to great effect when she got caught doing something that wasn’t allowed.

Honeybell secretly wished she was as bold as her friend.  However, it wouldn’t do to let Deme know that.  There was no telling what mischief she’d get dragged in to by the blue-eyed pig if Deme knew Honeybell quietly longed to misbehave.

“The things Gwydion did in this story,” Honeybell began, shaking her head reproachfully at the antiquated book.

Gwydion Conquers Pryderi by E Wallcousins 1920s

Gwydion Conquers Pryderi by E Wallcousins circa 1920

“We could visit him!  Wouldn’t that be fun?” Deme interrupted brightly.  “I know you love to go to Atonement, Tennessee just as much as I do.”

“Deme, you know we’re not allowed to go to human places without permission.  Besides, Gwydion is always getting into trouble.  We’d end up getting over our hooves into it with him.”

“Come on, Honeybell.  We could be there and back before dark.  You know the main reason for that silly rule is because we’ll glow after sundown.  We have plenty of time to go for a romp and be back before twilight.  None the wiser!”

Drat that Deme, she’s always got an answer for everything, Honeybell thought, knowing full well that she had just given in to temptation — and that easily.

“What if we just go check on your sheriff.  Just to make sure he’s okay,” Honeybell relented.  “Goewin wouldn’t get upset with us for that… I don’t think,” she added somewhat doubtfully.  “But we mustn’t let him see us!”

The drift of small white otherworldly pigs answered to Goewin.  They loved her and would do anything for her. 

Deme pranced in place excitedly.  Honeybell knew her friend adored Robin Warden, the sheriff of Atonement, Tennessee.  Deme’s enthusiasm was contagious.  Honeybell suddenly caught it.

“I’ll race you to the big split tree.  I bet I can get through the portal and to Atonement before you!” Honeybell dared her friend.

Abruptly Honeybell stopped with one hoof off the ground.

640px-2016-366-267_Sunset_Glow_Through_a_Split_Tree_(29775743022)

Public Domain, Wikimedia

“Wait,” Honeybell said.  “Robin sometimes visits the tree.  That’s where he last saw Goewin.  We’d have to be careful when we come out, in case he’s there.  I don’t want him to see us.  It might make him sad.”

Deme’s blue eyes sparkled.  Her lopsided smile was evidence that she had mischief in mind.

“There’s another way,” Deme suggested.

With her right front hoof, Deme began scratching a design in a barren patch of ground.  It was quite intricate.  It reminded Honeybell of a Celtic knot design she had seen somewhere.

But where? Honeybell wondered worriedly.

Honeybell’s eyes widened when she remembered where she’d seen that design.  It was on the silver locket that Ralda-Esmeralda always wore.

Sun falls on an antique locket, which sits atop an open book

Olsztyn, Unsplash

“Deme, we’re not supposed to use that kind of magic!” Honeybell cried.

“Says who?  Look it up in your books.  This exact kind of magic is not specifically forbidden anywhere,” Deme said with a sharp nod of her head.

Deme used her back feet to kick a fine dust across the complicated design, giving it a finishing touch.

“There!” Deme stated with a satisfied shake of her curly tail.

Deme kicked her back feet into the air and clicked her hooves together.  With her mouth she grabbed Honeybell by an ear.  The two otherworldly pigs glowed brightly.  Then they vanished.

***

An owl hooted from the branch of a nearby tree.  Robin Warden gave it a suspicious look.  Then he bent over the front-end of a black and white automobile.  The hood was up and odd looking metal parts lay on the ground around the vehicle.  The sheriff’s hands were covered in black grease.  There was a smudge of it on his forehead too.

1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Engine used in Batmobile.jpg

Wikimedia Commons

“What is Robin doing to the Batmobile?” Deme asked and started toward the sheriff.

“Deme!” Honeybell hissed at her friend and grabbed the other pig by the curly tail.

“Hey!” Deme complained in an offended tone.

“We can’t let him see us,” Honeybell reminded her friend in an intense whisper.  “And it’s not really called the Batmobile.”

“Oh you take the fun out of everything, Honeybell.  I know it’s a police car, but it’s more fun when Bethany calls it the Batmobile.”

“The fact that you know all that is evidence that you sneak off here more than anyone realizes,” Honeybell replied.  “I think he’s trying to make it run faster.”

I couldn’t resist this 1947 Plymouth. (Wikimedia Commons) Robin might have a souped-up vintage sheriff’s car.

Robin sat down inside the vehicle.  Honeybell could tell his leg moved.  He seemed to be doing something with his foot.  The sheriff’s car made a loud roaring sound.  A dissatisfied expression came to his face and he got out and went to the front of the automobile again.

“Looks like it didn’t work,” Deme commented.  “Whatever it was.  We could help…” Deme began with a sly look at Honeybell.  “But we’d have to get closer.”

Honeybell raised her eyes heavenward and asked for patience.  Before she could reply, Deme trotted over to the black and white automobile.  Honeybell hurried to catch up, but before she got near a flash and an electric pop came from the mechanical innards of the car.  A whiff of ozone reached the pig’s snout.

Robbin warden jerked up at the bright light and sound.  His head banged against the metal of the raised hood.  The sheriff looked around in a startled manner.  After a moment he went back to his work, but appeared to check and recheck everything carefully.

While he was busy reexamining the machinery under the hood, Honeybell and Deme softly tapped their hooves on the various parts that lay on the ground and even on the tools Robin would be using.  They gave each one a tap and a snuffle-snort-grunt.  Then they darted back to their hiding place.

Deme fantasizes about helping Robin catch bad guys. Pearl White, circa 1916

“I think that should help him catch bad humans,” Deme speculated.  “Goewin would not object to us doing that, because it’s related to keeping him safe and well.”

“Do you think it worked?” Honeybell asked?

The sheriff wiped his hands on a dirty rag.  He sat down inside the car and did something to make it roar again.  Abruptly the vehicle zoomed away from its place.  It skidded and swerved like a fish as it went onto the street.  Robin’s eyes bulged in astonishment, but he gave a loud “Whoot!” as the car sped away.

“Yes.  I’d say it worked pretty well,” Deme replied in a grunting chuckle.  “Come on, let’s go after him!’

“No, Deme!  You’re starting to glow,” Honeybell refused with a look at the darkening sky.  “I’m glowing too.  We have to go back home.”

“You’re such a spoil sport,” Deme complained.  “I’ll race you to the split tree in the graveyard!”

Honeybell knew that was the long way home.  She sighed but hurried after her friend.

The sheriff turned the supercharged police car around at the end of the road.  As he headed back to his driveway, two small white, glowing shapes darted across the street.

pig

***

The End.

***

If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment.  I love to hear from you.  Hugs and glows!

***

Here’s the requisite shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

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 © 2018 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. 

Whose Line Is It? Mine?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Welcome, everyone. There was an improvisational comedy show (1998 – 2004 or so) that always cracked me up.  I thought it was the best exercise in creativity that I’d ever seen.  It was “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”  Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie could take any “line” and work hilarious magic. 

Those guys created characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, based on a line they were given.  Yet here I am… I already have the characters and scenes, sometimes even a song — all I need is that line…  That illusive opening line!

Why should that be so difficult?  Horsefeathers!  It’s worse than dating, or meeting the CEO of a big company for the first time.  I struggle with the opening line for days  weeks forever.  Then I wonder how important it actually was. 

Today I thought I’d share what I came up with for my Atonement, Tennessee series.  For the first book I began the prologue with this: Dawn’s light cast shadows that shifted amid branches of magnolia and mountain laurel, and danced upon statuary and grave stones. 

Lilith standing on stone

Lilith explores the Sunhold cemetery in “Atonement, Tennessee”

However, my wrongly wired brain complained, that was the prologue!  Did that qualify as the opening line?  So, I struggled all over again with a line for Chapter 1.  It’s hard to sound all fancy-dancy when writing in first person so that was even harder.  I finally settled on this:  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, ready to savor the moment.

Of course, when I started writing book-2, I went through all that self-torment again.  Worse, I needed to be consistent and keep the magical prologue.  That meant I would go through that double wringer again for Atonement in Bloom.  The prologue begins: Lilith sat bathed in moonlight atop the stone wall, watching small bats dart about, high overhead. 

Then Ralda Lawton, takes over as narrator. Chapter-1 starts like this:  It had seen better days, but who hadn’t?

If I don’t enjoy writing that opening line, then what is my favorite line to write?  “The end.”  Naturally I enjoy writing every line in between.  It’s just that the first one’s a doozy. 

atonement-abandoned-moon

Image by Chris Graham

Reviews!

Frankly, I’ll never be satisfied with an opening line.  So, I’m going to focus on the positive.  Even though it’s been a few years since I published “Atonement” I still get excited about lovely reviews.  I’m downright giddy because recently it has gotten two!  Romance author, Jacquie Biggar posted a review from her blog. 

Author of mystery and suspense, Mae Clair posted this review at Amazon.

Like odd? Like quirky with a generous dollop of magical realism and whimsy thrown in? Then you’re going to love the little town of Atonement, Tennessee and the people (and others) who populate it. Vividly imagined, this is a light but intriguing tale filled with eccentric characters and imaginative plot lines. The shifting narrative between the main character, Esmeralda, and her cat, Lilith (told in 3rd person POV) works surprising well. A truly delightful and “magical” story!

By the way, Mae and Jacquie both have new releases.  Be sure to visit their blogs to learn more!

If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment.  Also, do you have a favorite opening line from a book you love?  Leave that in a comment too.  I love to hear from you.

***

Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

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 © 2018 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. 

Books set in TN & Atonement, TN Revisited

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I can’t believe that it was way back at Christmastime, 2012 when I published my urban fantasy novel Atonement, Tennessee.  That makes it downright embarrassing that I still haven’t released the second book!  It’s written, but I have little time to give the editing and proofing process.  Although I’m getting closer.  

Marketing Graphic for Teagan's Books

Image by Chris Graham

It might not be okay for me to mention it outright, but if you miss the “Sookie” books, now that the well loved series set in a small Louisiana town (with HBO series based on it), has come to an end (wink-nudge-wink), then I think you will like my Atonement, Tennessee series.  There are no vampires (not that I know of), rather there are characters loosely inspired by ancient Celtic mythology.

I wanted this post to be about more than me.  I was surprised to learn how many books had the (USA) state of Tennessee as their setting.  Here’s a Goodreads page listing amazing books that are set in Tennessee

Many of you are new and not familiar with my novel.  So while I’m scrambling to get Atonement in Bloom (book 2) out there, I thought I would use my Saturday posts to revisit that… erm, let’s say unique little town.  Today we’ll get reacquainted with the the heroine and narrator, Ralda (Esmeralda) Lawton.  Here are some fun (I hope) facts about her.

1.  Is she fictional or a historic person?

Ralda-in-car_dreamstime_xs_28934268

Ralda Lawton, Dreamstime Image

Ralda (Esmeralda) Lawton is a fictional character.  Atonement, Tennessee, the first book in the series, was a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel.  I designed everything about that story to be something I could do in the single month of NaNoWriMo — in other words, fast.  Typically none of my characters are based on real people.  However, with the need for speed in mind, I let Ralda share some of my outlooks. Plus her profession is similar to mine.  But she isn’t me, I promise.

Ralda is the narrator for all the Atonement books.  However, her cat, Lilith, takes a turn for important scenes that Ralda could not witness.

Lilith and mirror

Lilith, Dreamstims

2.  When and where is the story set?

Following the advice “Write what you know,” I wanted a small southern town as the setting.  I chose Tennessee for the state of my fictional town.  (Even making up a fictional town was also intended for speed – it wouldn’t need as much research!)  Yet what to name this town?  I was thinking about what kinds of people might live there, their attitudes and opinions.  Suddenly “Atonement” popped into my mind as the name for the town.  So my setting is the fictional town (and the title), Atonement, Tennessee.

3.  What should we know about the heroine?

That’s really hard to say without giving away parts of the story.  I don’t want to spoil anything for people who have not read the book.

3 friends oval

Neighbors & Friends, Dreamstime

I’ll tell you that Ralda has been hurt badly in the past, and more than once.  She’d like to keep an open mind about things like relationships, but she’s afraid to try.  Besides, she doesn’t think the “pluses” outweigh the “minuses.”  On the other hand, she makes friends readily.  If she cares about someone, she’s fiercely protective.

She’s highly intuitive, and smart.  Those assets lead her to unravel the mysteries that surround her in her new mysterious old house, in Atonement, Tennessee.

4.  What messes up her life?

Ultimately, that would be (repeatedly) the supernatural beings that either live in or frequent the strange little town and the old estate house in which she lives — and its graveyard.   Yes, I said graveyard. 

5.  What is the personal goal of the character?

Ralda Lawton just wants a peaceful life in her new town.  She succeeded in getting away from the big city by moving to quaint Atonement, Tennessee.  However, so far, her new life has been anything but quiet.  How could she know the tiny town rests on a very powerful ley line?  It seems to draw mythological entities like a magnet.  (I took creative license with the ley line idea and their actual locations.)
TN_Ley-Lines

6.  Do the same characters return for book 2?

You’ll meet many familiar characters in book-2, Atonement in Bloom.  There are also several new supernaturals in town for the sequel.  And yes… I do intend a third book for the series.  Eventually I plan to do a “three things” type serial for it here on this blog.  That seems to be the only way I have time to write. 

 If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment.  I love to hear from you.

***

Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

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 © 2018 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. 

It’s about “Time” with Don

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hello, one and all.  Welcome to my sanctuary.  Sit down on a sofa or curl up on a cushion.  Today I have a special guest — author and entrepreneur Don Massenzio

atonement_in_bloom_1_03-24-2014Don has a twist in his upcoming book that he’s been kind enough to discus with me.  It was not too far afield from something that had been on my mind for my own books. Most of you know that I’m editing book-2 in my Atonement series (Atonement in Bloom).  For a third book I’ve been contemplating how to work with both the present and the past in one volume. There are a number of ways I could do that. So I was curious about what Don did.  I’ll bring you into our discussion now.

Don:  My new book, Extra Innings, did not start out as a paranormal or science fiction novel. Originally published as a serial on my blog, the story started out with the intent of becoming another iteration in my crime fiction writing efforts. As the story took shape, however, my mind kept mulling over the miserable life of my main character, Joe McLean and what his life might have become if he had made some alternate life choices.

Teagan:  That’s what intrigued me, Don. It’s similar but different. The heroine of the books I mentioned has a past life in which she knew some of the other characters.  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but she did bad things in that past life.  So I’m curious about how you handled this.

Don:  I was originally going to include flashbacks and other devices to relay the history of the main character’s family and associates over different timelines that led to his current circumstances, but I worried about being able to do this smoothly and not confuse my readers.

Teagan:  I agree. Flashbacks can be confusing to the reader.  I try to avoid them.

Don:  That’s where the idea of using some form of time travel emerged. It was a difficult decision because I’ve spent the past several books identifying with readers as a crime fiction author. I did publish a collection of short stories in my anthology, Random Tales, that had some science fiction/paranormal entries, but this would be my first novel to explore that part of my writing.

Teagan:  You’re a brave man… I don’t think I could handle that for my book.  But what did you do?  My curiosity is piqued.  Do tell…

Don:  My first step was to research some of the techniques that have been used to convey time travel in fiction.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented: 

Watercolor dreamcatcher with beads and feathers. Illustration fo

  1. PrecognitionThis is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through the feeling of déjà vu. Abstract black and white design
  2. Time LoopsIf you’ve watched the movie, Ground Hog Day, you’ve seen this time travel plot device in action. Usually the events time loop repeat until the character or characters perform a certain action to end the loop and move forward.De Lorean
  3. Time ParadoxIf you watched Back to the Future, when Marty McFly went back in time and nearly prevented his parents from getting together for the high school dance, you’ve experienced this time travel device.Time Tourism
  4. Time TourismJust like it sounds, when time travelers travel through time to witness historical events as a spectator, this is time tourism.terminator
  5. Time WarThis is the use of time travel to conduct war over time using time travel. It could involve going back in time to change events leading up to a pivotal battle or trying to bring about a reset of events that didn’t play out as planned.Erasing The Past
  6. Changing the pastThis is the notion of time travel that I used in my book, Extra Innings. The idea of changing the past is logically contradictory. Even though the consensus today is that the past cannot be changed, science fiction writers have used the idea of changing the past for good story effect. Stephen King used this method of time travel effectively in his book, 11/22/63, by having his main character, Jake Epping, attempt to go back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though ultimately successful, when Epping returns to the present, he discovers that his actions have had unintended consequences.


If you enjoy time travel and the possibility of going back in time to right wrongs and do things differently if given a chance, follow the adventures of Joe McLean in my latest novel, Extra Innings.Extra Innings

 

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life?

Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

***

Images provided by Don Massenzio.

Join me in wishing Don huge success with his new book.  Extra Innings is currently available for pre-order.  The release date is June 15th.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello. 

Mega hugs!

***

Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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 

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 © 2018 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.