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The Most Ancient Form of Historical Records

The Story of the People

How did we get from oral history to Amazon?

What’s the difference between an author and a story teller? Imagine a world before technology, even before electricity. As an “Outlander” fan, I was captured by the visit to Castle Leoch by a traveling minstrel and bard. He told folk tales through his song. His audience was enraptured. It was oral history that captured our ancestors, and even before the 18th Century, the history of peoples was related through the story teller. The story teller traveled from sparsely populated area, one to another.

Mesmerized

There were books, thanks to the monks and other scholars, but few could read, no less afford a book.

Then came the printing press. Books and newspapers or broad sheets abounded. Then radio, and television, and the Internet, and the Cloud, and Amazon, Social Media and your Smartphone and other almost intelligent devices. Books and information of an astronomical number became available.

Teacher as Story Teller

The story teller became the author. And now, author, how does your story get out there to those millions of ears and eyes, avid for a good story?

We still need good story tellers

Every author loves their story. I love my Annie Tillery Mysteries.What fine stories!

Alas, that is the conundrum of you and I. Marketing is the beast that must be tamed. I’ll let you know what I find out. I hope you will share as well.

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HERE IS THE FIRST CHAPTER OF “SECRETS IN THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS”

READ THE REST OF THE BOOK AND PROCEED TO THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS BELOW.

PROLOGUE (July 10)

A Cave in Nevshehir, Turkey

“I’m afraid, Ahmet. I don’t want to go any further.” The girl stamped her foot, the sound echoing through the stillness of the cave.

“Oh, you little silly wussycat! I told you, it is like the story of Hansom and Greta. I left a trail of bread crumbs for us to follow out of this cave.”

“That’s Hansel and Gretel, you great fool,” his sister shot back, momentarily distracted from her panic. Looking up at her brother, and noticing the shadow of a mustache under his nose, she thought, Can I really trust this twelve year old brother to save us?

Her eyes took in the expanse of the chamber they were in, water dripping from some place their flashlights could not illuminate. The stone was irregular and gray. The light beam revealed only a small swath, leaving the rest of the cave in menacing shadows and deep black voids, leading away into a terrifying unknown. Yelda’s voice hitched as she tugged on Ahmet’s sleeve. “Let’s get out of here,” she implored once more.

Changing his tone to a more cajoling one, Ahmet reasoned, “Please, just a few more feet, Yelda. I’m running out of bread crumbs.”

“What!” she said through quivering lips, her voice a shrill peep. “You said this would be an adventure. You didn’t say anything about death traps.” She pulled more insistently at his arm.

Undeterred, Ahmet surged on. “Just over there. See, at the end of this cave.” He grabbed her hand and Yelda followed, sniveling, her body tense with apprehension.

Ahmet stumbled over a lip in the floor, pitching forward and dragging his sister with him. He did not let go of her hand in case she would give into her fear and bolt for the entrance to the cave.

“What if your breadcrumbs don’t help us?” Yelda said, the quiver in her voice giving way to fear.

Carefully picking their way, the two fell against a boulder which shielded a rocky ledge that fell off into an abyss which they could not see. Ahmet clutched his flashlight like a lifesaver while he tested for footholds, making his way around the boulder. As he did so, the boulder, which teetered precariously on the ledge, began to slide away from them. Before they could comprehend what that meant, the thin ledge they were standing on cracked and Yelda and Ahmet began to slide downward along with the boulder and the broken ledge.

The sound was deafening in the cave. The fall could have only taken a few seconds, but the sudden stop at the bottom raised a cloud of choking dust leaving the explorers in a daze.

Yelda was too stunned to cry. Ahmet never let go of either his twin sister or the flashlight.

“Stand up, Yelda!” demanded her brother, as he did so himself. “Can you walk? I seem to be okay.”

“Ahmet, if we ever get out of here,” hissed Yelda through gritted teeth, “I will kill you. Why, I say, why do I ever listen to you?’

“This is no time for us to argue. We are in big trouble. We must find our way out of here.”

“Even so smart, you are,” Yelda sneered. “In all of Turkey, there is not a more stupid boy!”

“Stop that! This is no time for your sarcastic poking at me, sister.” Ahmet sounded far more confident than he felt. “We need to think like the amateur archeologists we are.”

“Hah! You said it! Amateur! Yelda was choking back a sob.

“Get up,” Ahmet demanded. Their terrible situation was taking a firm hold on his gut, and he had to muster all his machismo to push down his own panic. They had fallen through the floor of an unexplored cave and no one back at the camp knew where they were.

Yelda got up feeling the seat of her pants. “I am either bleeding, or there is water here,” she said. “Did you lose the flashlight?”

“No,” he replied, realizing how tightly he was gripping it. “And it is still working.”

He played the beam around their new cave. They could see they were standing in a high-ceilinged cavern with a large puddle or small pond in front of them. There was no telling how deep the water might be. He played the flashlight upward in the direction of their fall. His heart tripped in his chest at what he saw. He could just make out the opening to the chamber fifteen feet above through the cloud of dust. There was no apparent way to climb back up. The wall between them and it was glassy smooth with marble-like limestone. The rock formations in this chamber were very different from the cave above. As Ahmet played the flashlight past the water to the other side, the wall of the cave sparkled as if encrusted with the glitter Yelda liked to glue onto everything she owned.

Yelda was quiet, reality making her mute.

“Let’s see if we can find another way out of here,” Ahmet said as visions of their skeletonized remains decorating some deep chamber of this cave system spurred him on to do something.

“Maybe if we shout,” Yelda offered, but quickly added, “Maybe we need to save our voices.” She fell silent again.

“Ah! I have an idea. I will turn off the flashlight. We will close our eyes for a minute or two. When we open them we will be able to detect if there is light coming from anywhere. There might be an exit nearby.”

Ahmet clicked the switch off switch. The darkness was a velvety curtain brushing against them. Their ears seemed to pulsate, willing to pick up some hopeful sound.

Drip. Plunk. Another thirty seconds went by. Drip. Plunk.

“I am opening my eyes now,” Ahmet announced.

“I will not open mine,” Yelda replied. “If we don’t see anything, I will go crazy.”

Ahmet muttered, “Nothing. Maybe I need to close my eyes longer.” Yelda whimpered. Another thirty seconds.

“I have gone crazy,” Yelda hissed. “Do you see that?”

“What?” Ahmet hissed back. “Why are you whispering?”

“It might be some horrible cave creature. I don’t want it to find us.”

Both of them watched as the merest shimmer glimmered and dimmed on the surface of the pool. On the other side of the water there was a ledge with floor to ceiling limestone formations. They could not see behind it.

Ahmet pointed. “It’s coming from there.” He stood and made toward the pool.

“Ahmet, no!” Yelda breathed. “You just can’t cross this pool. What if it is very deep? And all that splashing? What if it is some fierce creature?”

He nodded. “Good thinking. We can keep to the edge, and go around the pool.”

Dimming their light, Yelda and Ahmet carefully tested each footstep before moving forward, making it around to the stone wall on the other side. The shimmer on the pool was getting brighter, but not enough to see by.

Yelda crouched down so they could both peer around the wall. That dim flickering in the darkness of the cave made invisible objects glint in its irregular pulses of light. It made threatening shadows, and obscured reality.

The source of the shimmering light continued to flick on and off in the distance, making shadows that seemed to clutch at them. Yelda and Ahmet held their breath.

“What is that?” Yelda mouthed in Ahmet’s ear. She sensed her brother draw in a breath to speak, and in her rising panic, put her hand over his mouth.

“Wha mmm uhmmm.”

“Don’t call out. You don’t know what it is,” She implored.

Ahmet exhaled and they crouched out of sight. A huge shadow was taking form in the growing light in the pool. They waited for their monster to appear.

As the light grew brighter, the features of the cave became more distinct. The walls were lined with recesses. They looked almost man-made. There were objects in the niches. Colors began to emerge. Light glinted off objects that looked golden. Sparks winked from other surfaces.

“This place is some sort of treasure trove,” Yelda whispered.

Ahmet’s attention was riveted on the approaching light. A figure began to take form. It was humanoid, but had an enormous lump on its back. It grunted as it approached. Some instinct made Yelda and Ahmet shrink back. This figure might not be their savior.

The monster made it to the middle of the chamber, where it shed the gigantic lump. It was not a monster, but a human with a dark hoody and trousers. The hump was a large sack. The figure quickly and methodically began to empty the sack, stashing the objects in the niches. When the task was done, it folded the sack and made quickly back the way it had come.

“We must follow,” whispered Ahmet. Yelda needed no urging.

“Why don’t we call out to them, Ahmet?” Yelda seemed to have forgotten her recent fears.

“Why are they hiding golden and jeweled objects in a cave, Yelda?  Let’s get out of here first. Then we can see who this is. What if we have come upon thieves hiding their loot? They may not want anyone seeing them.”

Yelda nodded. “That makes sense, Hurry, let’s not lose her.”

“How do you know it’s a her?’

“Shhhh. I don’t. Just a feeling. Later.”

The brother and sister followed, using their light and picking their way carefully. The deep blackness they had experienced in the cave was becoming deep gray.

“We must be close to the entrance,” whispered Yelda.

Ahmet tripped and lost his grip on the flashlight. It clattered to the floor. The light ahead stopped bobbing. Instincts took over, and Yelda and Ahmet flattened themselves behind a rock. They could see a glimmer of daylight ahead. But the figure with the light had decided to investigate the clattering sound. It turned and was coming toward them, flashlight searching every nook and cranny.

BOOK DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Book Club Questions for Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys                    

For the author:

1. What research did you do for the book, especially the introduction to Istanbul?

2. Why did you pick Turkey?

3.  What draws you to choose the science aspects in the story?

4. Is Catalhoyuk a real place?

5. Thefts at archaeological digs are not uncommon. How did you develop the twist in the plot involving Dr. Radcliffe?

6. What is it about caves that fascinated you? How were you able to make them so real?

From the Author:

  1. How would you feel about working at an archaeological dig?
  2. Do you think Annie is brave, stupid or just a teenager?
  3. How would you rate Annie’s performance handling international travel?
  4. How close to being kidnapped do you think Annie was?
  5. Is Ty the same or different from the Ty in The Madonna Ghost?
  6. Is Ty overprotective? Is Annie rash?
  7. What did you think of Istanbul and Cappadocia?
  8. If you had to describe Ahmet and Yelda, what would you say?
  9. How important were the twins to the plot?
  10. I had fun with the Ouija Board. Did you?
  11. I tried to make strong male characters in this book. What did you think of Cedric Zeeks, Bruce McAniff, and Dr. Radcliffe, or even Dr. Atsut.
  12. What was your favorite scene in the book?
  13. What should I do with Annie? Should she marry Ty in the next couple of years? Should the next story include the wedding?

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Rosemary Neri Villanella offers a charming insight into what it was like to grow up in Brooklyn in the 1950’s.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Rosemary Neri Villanella attended her local public schools and Brooklyn College before pursuing a career as a teacher. An avid reader since early childhood, her interest in writing first took shape while attending Lafayette High School.

Duck and Cover is a memoir born of Rosemary’s desire to transport readers back to the beloved

Duck And Cover: A Memoir of My 1960's Brooklyn by [Villanella, Rosemary Neri]

1960’s Brooklyn of her youth, with its familiar streets and stoops, during a more innocent time in this fabled borough. Yet Duck and Cover is also a coming-of-age tale, spotlighting the universal struggle of a young girl forging an individual identity – and trying not to attract too much attention—while carefully navigating her way across that crucial border between childhood and adolescence.

 

VIEW ROSEMARY’S INTERVIEW:

 

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PROLOGUE

 

The Dangers of Flying Solo

 

 

Carol Wheeler sat in her car on a suburban street in New Windsor, Maryland. Her hand shook as she read the letter from the Department of the Navy for perhaps the twentieth time. It concerned something they had discovered about her grandmother’s role in World War II. The Navy had found a note in the wreckage of a plane that crashed in 1943, recently recovered in Appalachia. The note was traced to Charlotte Wheeler, Carol’s grandmother. Why had her grandmother put a note in a fighter plane that was being flown by someone else to a California air base? Charlotte had not been flying that plane. She did not die in 1943.

Carol pulled into the driveway of the home she grew up in and stared at it, memories of her childhood and school days flooding back. Maybe I can find something in the attic that will shed some light on this mystery. After all she did live here. Carol tucked the letter into her purse, shivering at the idea of entering that attic. Fishing in her purse, she pulled out the keys she needed to get into both the house, now occupied by a tenant, and the attic. I feel like a sneak thief, she thought. I’ll leave a note for Tallie. I don’t want her to think I snoop around here at will. I did send her a note. “Darn it! Why do I feel so guilty? I own this place,” she said, slamming the car door.

Gathering her resolve, Carol fumbled with the keys, finally selecting the correct one and entered the house by the side door, made her way to the second floor, and unlocked the door to the attic stairs.

“It smells the same. Probably nobody has touched a thing here since I put Mom in the nursing home. They’re going to put me in the loony bin if I don’t stop talking to myself.”

The heat in the attic produced a sheen of sweat all over Carol’s body, making her a bit light-headed. I’ll have to get out of here fast, she thought, propping the door open.

“Good. The trunks are where I remember them. Before she died, Mom told me all the family mementos are packed inside of them.”

Carol approached the trunks. Two were stained oak with barrel tops, bound in brass straps. The hardware was beginning to show signs of rust. The third one was a maroon steamer trunk, the kind used by immigrants bound for America on ocean liners. This was the one she opened. A strong smell of cinnamon and cloves rose from it. Inside were packets of letters. She scooped them up, and put them in her tote. The second trunk held picture albums. “It’s too much to carry. I’ll have to come back with someone.”

Curiosity got the best of her and Carol lifted a few framed pictures, turning them to the light from the single bare bulb. She gasped. The young woman in the one photo that fell out of the group looked back at her like a mirror image. The photograph was signed in the bottom right corner, Charlotte. My grandmother, Carol mused. That could just as well be me, she thought.

The door to the attic slammed, making Carol jump and clutch the photos to her chest.

“Who’s there?”

Carol ran to the door, pulling at it. It was stuck. She put the photos on a bureau and pulled at the knob with all her might. The door opened, nearly toppling her to the floor. She looked down the long hall where the door to the rest of the house stood open. A woman with a carefully pinned up-do of blonde curls, in a knee-length floral print dress was heading to the floor below.

“Tallie, is that you? Wait! Who is that? What are you doing in my house?”

There was no answer. The photo of Charlotte popped into Carol’s head. She shook herself to clear that vision, her hands trembling.

“That’s impossible,” she whispered. She put the photos back in the trunk, grabbed her tote, and ran out of the house. Heart pounding, Carol dropped the keys as she tried to lock the door.

Safely inside her car, she said, “What in the world was THAT? I’m not coming here alone again, she thought. Turning to the house, she muttered, “I don’t believe in ghosts, but did I just see one?”

AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE.COM  https://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/The-Mystery-of-the-Lost-Avenger-Audiobook/B01N03QVRG/ref=a_search_c4_1_5_srImg?qid=1511903971&sr=1-5

Great Teen Mysteries

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Hi Kids! Hi Parents! Hi Gramma and Grampa, and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. Give your favorite Kid a Thrilling, Page-Turning, Just Pure Fun Mystery for a Holiday Gift. 

Books make great gifts for the holidays

Books make great gifts for the holidays

ANNIE TILLERY MYSTERIES are just the books to fit that bill. Visit the website, lindamariafrank.com , to find out more about the books, and to order directly from the website.

 

Books make great gifts for the holidays

 

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.        

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.         

Books make great gifts for the holidays

The latest Annie Tillery mystery takes us from the present to 1943. The ghost of Annie’s great grandmother helps her to solve a cold case involving the famous Avenger aircraft.             

Books make great gifts for the holidays

Great Teen Mysteries                                                                                                   

Books make great gifts for the holidays

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Join Linda Maria Frank at the Dolphin Book Store in Port Washington, L.I. She will be sharing the story of how she wrote her “Mysteries for Kids”, the Annie Tillery Mystery Series. Her talk will include insights about plot, character and setting, including some personal stories of what happened in the research stage of her books, who the characters are modeled on, and where her ideas come from. OCTOBER 10 AT 6:30PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

BOOK FAIRS

Member, Linda Maria Frank, and her Annie Tillery Mystery Series.

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.

An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.

The latest Annie Tillery mystery takes us from the present to 1943. The ghost of Annie’s great grandmother helps her to solve a cold case involving the famous Avenger aircraft.

 

 

 

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Here is a complete list of LIAG Author lectures at Dolphin Book Store for the fall season.

Linda Maria Frank 10/10

Jack Bilello 10/24

Roland Allnach 10/31

Rita Plus 11/7

John P. Cardone 11/14

Shoshanna McCollum 11/21

Vincent Casale 11/28

Cindy Braf 12/5

Charlene Knadle 12/12

Karen Bonnet 12/19

To find out about our up-coming events:

 Search The Long Island Authors Group on facebook, Long Island Authors Group

You can see many of our authors on The Writer’s Dream on YouTube, https://youtu.be/n7IL78YivwE

and our website is longislandauthorsgroup.org

BOOK FAIRS

Member, Linda Maria Frank, and h       Annie Tillery Mystery Series.

Books galore!

A unique approach to meeting your local author, the traveling bookstore.

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