Saturday, April 22, 2017

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke


I’ve been so engrossed in my gardening, I nearly forgot it was Earth Day. Some images and quotes below to mark the day.
(My front garden in April. Virginia bluebells in the foreground. My dear grandmother gave me a start of these decades ago and they have thrived.)
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood, “Unearthing Suite,” 1983  (I’ve certainly been covered in dirt lately)
I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout (I love this quote and greatly admire the wonderful Ruth Stout and her gardening wisdom.)
(Most mornings I wake up to geese in my yard and garden. How about you?)
In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. ~Mark Twain (Yep. And this spring has been extra wacky)
‘Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.’ ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~W. Earl Hall
(Another shot of the bluebells and tulips)
April is a promise that May is bound to keep. ~Hal Borlan
Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown (I know what he means, new life and all that. Like the valley is recreated each spring)
Exciting spring smells waft through wide open windows… ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2009 March 7th
The window is open and a warm, delicious little breeze comes wandering in. It smells of magnolias and dogwood and it whispers in our ears enticing little stories of gurgling brooks and cool woods. Yes, we have got spring fever and got it bad. ~Country Life, June 1922 (Me, too)
(This deep purple lilac has been on the farm since long before my time. Does anyone not like lilacs? I love them.)
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
~Robert Frost (I do, indeed)
The sun has come out… and the air is vivid with spring light. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens
…the sweet wildflower breath of spring… ~Terri Guillemets (I have planted oodles of wildflower seeds. Pics to come.)
(Puffy flowering pussy willow)
April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. ~William Shakespeare
It’s spring! Farewell
To chills and colds!
The blushing, girlish
World unfolds
Each flower, leaf
And blade of sod—
Small letters sent
To her from God.
~John Updike, “April,” A Child’s Calendar, 1965
(My front garden in April. Note the much used wheelbarrow in back)

Spring: the music of open windows. ~Terri Guillemets
A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
~Emily Dickinson
The front door to springtime is a photographer’s best friend. ~Terri Guillemets, “Cephalophyllum,” 2007 (True)
(My back garden with cherry blossoms, herbs, flowers…preparing to bloom)
Spring in verses
Verses in spring.
~Terri Guillemets

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Moving Story Behind Historical Romance Novel The Bearwalker’s Daughter

THE BEARWALKER'S DAUGHTER
Award-winning Historical Romance Novel
At one time, The Allegheny Mountains of Virginia (included West VA then), parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, The Ohio Territory, Kentucky (Kaintuckee), even the Shenandoah Valley where I live, comprised a huge chunk of the western frontier. Untold drama, adventure, triumph, tragedy, and bloody battles took place in the forging of America in those early days. The only movie I can think of that does a super job of depicting this era is the 1992 film with Daniel Day-LewisThe Last of the Mohicans. Although I differ with the film when Hawkeye tells Cora the only land available to poor people was in the wilds of New York State. True, colonial Williamsburg and populated Virginia were out, but hardy folk could settle back in the mountains and risk their lives there, too, during the Indian Wars. And did, to their peril.
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, Daniel Day-Lewis, 1992, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.
This primal, essential time period has always had a huge draw on me and is the setting for many of my books. Historical romance novel The Bearwalker's Daughter is a blend of carefully researched historical fiction interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread and set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a western colonial frontier, Native American theme, and features a powerful warrior or two. My passion for the past and some of the accounts I uncovered while exploring my early American Scots-Irish ancestors and the Shawnee Indians is at the heart of the inspiration behind this novel. I was also given assistance in my research for this and other novels by the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band in Ohio, though that was years ago. They have an interesting and informative website you might like to visit. A number of historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and reenactors have also been invaluable. But back to The Bearwalker's Daughter.
86018-handsomenativeamericanwarrior

A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind the story, the ill-fated romance of  a young captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death. 
veiled mountains
Heart-wrenching, that tale haunts me to this day. And I wondered, was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish, and what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up? I know she was raised by her white family--not what they told her about her mother and warrior father.
Not only did The Bearwalker's Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance novel Red Bird's Song.  Now that I've threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go...perhaps....
The history my novels draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive.  Superstition ran high among both the Scots and Native Americans, and far more, a vision that transcends what is, to reach what can be.  We think we've gained much in our modern era, and so we have.  But we've also lost.  In my writing, I try to recapture what should not be forgotten.  Read and judge for yourself. And hearken back.  Remember those who've gone before you.

Grizzley Bear

As to bearwalking, this belief/practice predates modern Native Americans to the more ancient people. In essence,  a warrior transforms himself into a bear and goes where he wills in that form, a kind of shapeshifting.
                                                         
Story Blurb:
A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance...The Bearwalker's Daughter~

jack

Karin McNeal hasn't grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to learn more of her mother's death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.

Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother's death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges--for her?

 pipetomahawk

 musket and powder horn***The Bearwalker's Daughter is available at: Amazon in kindle and print.

*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel

*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman

***The Bearwalker's Daughter is a revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind Publisher's Weekly BHB Reader's Choice Best Books of 2009
"Ms. Trissel's alluring style of writing invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding." --Long and Short Reviews


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Now in Print--Historical Romance The Bearwalker's Daughter

'A change was coming as surely as the shifting seasons. Karin McNeal heard the urgent whispers in the wind.'
Historical romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, is a blend of carefully researched historical fiction interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread and set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a western colonial frontier, Native American theme, and features a powerful warrior or two. My passion for the past and some of the accounts I uncovered while exploring my early American Scots-Irish ancestors and the Shawnee Indians is at the heart of my inspiration.
A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind the story, the ill-fated romance of  a young captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death.
Heart-wrenching, that tale haunts me to this day. And I wondered, was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish, and what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up? I know she was raised by her white family–not what they told her about her mother and warrior father.
Not only did The Bearwalker’s Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song. Now that I’ve threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go…perhaps….
The history my novels draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive. Superstition ran high among both the Scots and Native Americans, and far more, a vision that transcends what is, to reach what can be. We think we’ve gained much in our modern era, and so we have.  But we’ve also lost. In my writing, I try to recapture what should not be forgotten.  Read and judge for yourself. And hearken back.  Remember those who’ve gone before you.
As to bearwalking, this belief/practice predates modern Native Americans to the more ancient people. In essence,  a warrior transforms himself into a bear and goes where he wills in that form, a kind of shapeshifting.
 Blurb: A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter~
beautiful dark haired woman
Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.
Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges–for her?~
family musket and powder horn image by my momThe Bearwalker’s Daughter is at Amazon in kindle and print at the link below:
*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel. She also formatted the novel for print.
*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman
***The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 
“Ms. Trissel’s alluring style of writing invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding.” –Long and Short Reviews
For more of my work, visit my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/
Or just do a find on my name. I am the only Author Beth Trissel in the world.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Lady and the Warrior is Free in Kindle-#shortstory #historicalromance

For a taste of my historical romances with a frontier flavor, The Lady and the Warrior is free in kindle through March 6th at:
Short historical romance
Short historical romance
Note This is a Short Story. Also note how many readers have bashed it for being a short story, even though I have clearly stated this, as has Amazon. Short stories are not easy to write and this one took time. If you enjoy The Lady and the Warror, you may like my full novels in the same genre. Some have paranormal elements interwoven with the well researched historical detail.
Story Description for THE LADY AND THE WARRIOR:
An abused young wife stranded in the Alleghenies in 1783 is rescued from drowning by a rugged frontiersman who shows her kindness and passion. But is he more than he seems? And can they ever be together?
My Award-Winning Native American Warrior Series includes:
Award-winning historical romance novel

Through the Fire, The Bearwalker's Daughter, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and Red Bird's Song.  Amazon bought the eBook rights to the last two novels from The Wild Rose Press. All are available at Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author page:
THROUGH THE FIRE: Will love inflame these two natural-born enemies in fiery destruction?
Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful Indian tribes as their allies.
English lady Rebecca Elliot, having eloped to America with a British captain, finds herself a widow. When she ventures into the colonial frontier with the militia to seek her uncle, she unwittingly enters a dangerous world of rugged mountains, wild animals, and even wilder men. The rules are different here and she doesn't know them, especially those of the savagely handsome warrior who captures her body and her heart.
Half-Shawnee, half-French warrior Shoka, former guide for English traders, is the hawk, swift, sure, and silent as the moon. He knows all about survival in this untamed land and how deadly distraction can be. His intent is to sell Rebecca to the French before she draws him under her spell, but if he lets her go he can no longer protect her. If he holds onto her, can he safeguard his heart? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.
The_Bearwalkers_Daughter_Cover3THE BEARWALKER'S DAUGHTER: A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irishwoman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter
Karin McNeal hasn't grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman longing to learn more of her mother's death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.
Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother's death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?
2c646-historicalromancekiradaughterofthemooncoverbyraremonetKIRA, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON (SEQUEL TO THROUGH THE FIRE)
Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? 
He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family. 
Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay--and anyone else from getting too close. 
Now that he's back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.
Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn't how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather's vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl. George III's English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. 
The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.
pipetomahawk

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Herbs and Flowers For A Fairy Garden

Who doesn’t want to attract fairies to their garden? Of all the herbs associated with the little folk, the most important one is thyme, which I love. I’m forever planting more varieties of thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank. Sure. Why not?

(Thyme in our garden)

Foxglove is also essential for a fairy garden. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. Which use they choose, probably depends upon the size of the fairy. Other common names for foxglove include fairy fingers, fairy thimbles, and fairy cap. However, I'm extremely challenged in growing foxglove in my farm garden(s). The plants soon figure out they're not in their native dappled woodlands. 



(Foxglove)

Another favorite herb is saffron, also known as the saffron crocus, which bloom in the fall. Fairies are said to be especially fond of this culinary herb/spice used for flavoring cakes and dyeing cloth. Other recommended plants are fragrant rosemary and roses. Roses are much loved by fairies for their beauty and divine scent, and by me. And I am never without rosemary. I bring these herbs indoors in pots in late fall. They’re not exuberant about life in my sunspace but generally survive to glory again in summer. Wood anemones are beautiful plants preferred by fairies because the flowers close at the onset of bad weather and at night and offer the tiny beings a safe spot to rest or wait out the bad weather. I have some anemones, also called windflowers. These beauties grace the spring garden.

(Rosemary, Geraniums, and Lavender in my garden)

Not to neglect bluebells, also beloved by fairies. These beautiful blue flowers that carpet woodlands in spring are also known as harebell, Scottish bellflower, and fairies thimble. It was, and maybe still is, widely believed that fairies live among the flowers. Another name for bluebells is Dead Man's bells because fairies were thought to cast spells on those foolish enough to pick or damage the delicate blossoms.

When meandering through drifts of bluebells, it’s wise to stick to the path, or you may stir up the wrath of fairies and release the spells trapped in the blooms. Never a good idea, and one that would be echoed by our resident fairy expert, my 12-year-old niece, Cailin, who warns never step into a circle of flowers or go anywhere without the fairies' permission, or they will get very upset. And you do not want an upset fairy, or fairies, on your hands. Particularly the furious wind fairies, but that’s another story.

(Virginia bluebells and narcissus in my garden) 

A dear author friend of mine who is quite knowledgeable about fairies says they love many kinds of herbs and flowers. She has spotted some tiny ones in photographs of my garden. I’ve read they are drawn to the same plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Keep watch, you never know where they may be.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Geese Are Grazing In My Yard

Geese in front yard.jpg1
(Image from last summer but you get the idea)
Barnyard geese grow fussy and restless this time of year. The gaggle are in search of nesting sites and busy bringing about the goslings who will soon scuttle behind their parents. I read our variety of geese are called Pilgrim, because their coloring resembles the drab garb of those early folk to America's shores, not because they date back that far. I used to think they did. Duh on me. This American breed was developed in the early 1900's. They are termed friendly and called good parents by one site who sells the fuzzy goslings. I beg to differ. While it's true these are not 'attack geese' I must point out that they hate me and run fast and far, so I must sneak up in them to get pics or use a telephoto lens.
Gray Geese sitting on eggs
(Nesting Geese in the barn)
As for their parenting, I would add, 'When they remember.' They tend to misplace their offspring and forget where they put them. It's not unusual to discover a peeping gosling in great distress because it was left behind. I've retrieved and returned these babies more than once. But the adults lose a certain number every year. If they didn't, the gaggle would be far larger. They roam about the farm, my yard, and the meadow. While they love swimming on the pond--now empty as it will soon be dug out and deepened--they are content with puddles, the cow's watering trough, and ample grass. They also glean corn from grain the cows spill as they eat. We never feed the geese anything. They are free ranging. I've tried tossing grain their way to make friends with the 'Beth haters' but they just think I'm throwing stuff at them and run faster.
Geese and goslings
Sigh. I continue to try and befriend them but they are a ornery suspicious lot. Still, I'm fond of the cantankerous critters and protect them more than they know. So don't ask if you can buy some to eat, and people do. The answer is NO! I am their defender whether they like me or not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Herbs and Romance for Valentine's Day

"There's a few things I've learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can." ~Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic


"My gardens sweet, enclosed with walles strong, embarked with benches to sytt and take my rest. The Knotts so enknotted, it cannot be exprest. With arbours and alys so pleasant and so dulce, the pestylant ayers with flavours to repulse." ~Thomas Cavendish, 1532.

 "Good morrow, good Yarrow, good morrow to thee. Send me this night my true love to see, The clothes that he'll wear, the colour of his hair. And if he'll wed me." ~Danaher, 1756

lavenderfield-300x199

"There’s rosemary and rue. These keep Seeming and savor all the winter long. Grace and remembrance be to you."- William Shakespeare

Thyme Creeping Red
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,  Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
dill with white aster and other herbs and flowers in our garden(Dill in our garden by Daughter Elise)
 When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white  And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue. Do paint the meadows with delight.
Love's Labours Lost

lavender 3
"And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound to lurk admist the labours of her loom, and crown her kerchiefs witl mickle rare perfume."
~William Shenstone The School Mistress 1742

herb garden
"Those herbs which perfume the air most delightfully,  not passed by as the rest, but, being trodden upon and crushed, are three;  that is, burnet, wild thyme and watermints. Therefore, you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread." -  Frances Bacon 
"How could such sweet and wholesome hours Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?" -  Andrew Marvel