Monday, May 15, 2017

Why I Wrote Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time)

Edith's Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from Crimson Peak, stirred this story in me long before I watched the movie, which was after I finished the book. I purposely waited until then before viewing the film. Other songs in the soundtrack also sent my imagination soaring, but that one really did. Scenes took shape in my mind, especially the ghostly dance I wrote in chapter one. I couldn't have conceived Somewhere My Lady without this music. Some songs do that for me, but music isn't the only inspiration behind the story.
Old homes have always drawn me. I've lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. Our farm-house was built in the 1870's. Think about it, family's filled these homes with the emotions accompanying the events taking place in their lives. The walls witnessed their sagas, good and bad, and absorbed the energy. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place. Even if I closed my eyes, I would know where I am, depending on how familiar I am with a house. Scents and hearing also play a part in this intuition, but the energy, whether positive or negative, flows from a home. A much lived in home is never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or they leave a part of themselves behind. I don't know, but I like a good ghost story.
Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.
Story Blurb: 
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.
Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.~
Somewhere My Lady is out on 7-12-2017. Preorder in kindle at:  https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V


If you're interested in my other time travel romances, they're  in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Time-4-Book/dp/B016DF8LJ2
***Somewhere My Lady is similar to Somewhere My Love but different.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Got A New Puppy. The End.


















(Cooper--a Morkie puppy)
If you've ever had a new puppy, you know what I'm talking about. The end of life before puppy (BP) breaks loose. In this case, his name is Cooper, so it's BC. Has a biblical ring to it, but his whole name is Special Agent Dale Cooper from the eccentric FBI agent in Twin Peaks. Daughter Elise got me into the show. Back to Puppy Cooper. Oh my gosh, what a week it's been. First, we had the never-ending car ride there and back (back was twice as long) to get the little guy on Sunday. Cooper is from South Carolina. We live in Virginia. Traffic was bad. Toward the end, I was singing the lyrics to the Sloop John B (Beach Boys), especially this bit:
'Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home
This is the worst trip I've ever been on.'
We finally made it home, and Cooper has a nice puppy playpen setup instead of a crate. I call it base camp, and it has his bed, toys, water, pee pad.. He tolerates it pretty well, except for those incensed occasions when he doesn't. The family all love him and have descended in adoring droves. But after everyone leaves, he looks around to ask 'where did they all go?' Yep. He's a tad spoiled.
I badly needed a little friend after my dear Sadie died of congestive heart failure about the time Cooper was born. He just turned nine weeks old. He's already touchingly devoted to me, and declares in every way possible, that I am his person. At the moment, he's also a chewy little dog who wants the run of the house but isn't housebroken yet. Plus, as often happens to pups with the stress of moving to a new home, he got an upset tummy. This has resulted in a lot of extra cleanups, worry, phone calls to the vet, and a trip to the clinic. He's now on a special diet, probiotics, and medication. So far--knock wood--he's better today. Cooper is a Morkie--a Yorkie Maltese mix, but more Yorkie than Maltese. These pups are especially prone to tummy upset.
I've lined the couch with bedding so he can play up and down the length of it while I'm on my laptop--during those occasions when he's not trying to eat it. And he loves to sit with me, which is good, because that will be his job. Sadie has passed the torch to this tiny boy. I still miss her terribly. Part of me always will. But I am glad for my new buddy, despite all the work of a new puppy.
Welcome little Cooper. You are finding your place in my heart.

Monday, May 1, 2017

'The Darling Buds of May'

2Flowering Crab
As a child growing up during the 19th century, or so it sometimes seems, I remember placing baskets of flowers as a surprise on friend’s doorstep early on a lovely May Day morn. Also, dancing around the May Poll festivities in which, not I, but my younger brother and sister both participated. The little girls with garlands in their hair, decked out in pretty spring dresses. Mom made my sister’s. One year the wind toppled the May Poll and then there’s the time the children got all wound up in the ribbons and over it went.  Humiliating for my young brother who’d practiced so hard and tried to no avail to instruct his fellow dancers to wind them properly. I never did trust that May Poll thing to go as planned and hoped to be crowned May Queen, surrounded by a glad assembly of courtiers. No such luck. But May Day was special and has strong flowery associations in my memory. And wind. It never entered anyone’s mind that this revelry had possible pagan connotations. May Day festivities were simply a spring rite and good fun. (*Flowering crab apple tree in our yard)
How about the rest of you? Any May Queens among us?




“May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday. (Royalty free image of birch tree)
Beltane
Celtic calendar feast ushering in the start of summer. (It also went by a variety of other spellings and names in assorted dialects of Gaelic.)
Bonfires, often created by rubbing sticks together, were common features of Beltane celebrations. Related rituals included driving cattle between two fires, dancing around the fires, and burning witches in effigy. Another tradition was Beltane cakes, which would be broken into several pieces, one of which was blackened. They would be drawn by celebrants at random; the person getting the unlucky blackened piece would face a mock execution.
In recent years, Beltaine has been adopted or revived by neopagan groups as a major seasonal festival.
Bringing in the May: *This is more what I remember.  :)
In medieval England, people celebrated the start of spring by going out to the country or woods “going a-maying” and gathering greenery and flowers, or “bringing in the may.” This was described in “The Court of Love” (often attributed to Chaucer, but not actually written by him) in 1561. Totally irrelevant, but I am a direct descendant of Chaucer on my father’s side.

(Iris and poppies image by my mom)
“And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garlandes, partie blewe and whyte,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt.”
Another English tradition is the maypole. Some towns had permanent maypoles that would stay up all year; others put up a new one each May. In any event, the pole would be hung with greenery and ribbons, brightly painted, and otherwise decorated, and served as a central point for the festivities.
May Day was also a time for morris dancing and other dances, often around the maypole. In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.”
From an interesting site: Herbal Musings
Beltain, Bealtaine, Beltine, May Day, Cetsamhain (‘first Samhain‘), Walpurgis Night (Beltane Eve), Celtic ‘Flower Festival’
Druidic Name: Beltane
archangel-michael, old stained glass windowChristian Equivalent
Roodmas, Rood Day, Feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, Feast of Saint Walpurga
Beltane is the cross-quarter festival that marks the start of the summer quarter of the year and the end of the spring quarter. This is a time when nature blossoms and felicity and fertility return to the land. In times past, the livestock stockaded at Samhain was returned to summer pastures at Beltane.
…a joyful festival of growth and fecundity that heralds the arrival of summer. It is the festival of the ‘Good Fire’ or ‘Bel-fire’, named after the solar deity Bel. Bel was also known as Beli or Bile in Ireland, with Bile meaning ‘tree’, so Beltane may also mean ‘Tree-fire’. Beltane is the counterpart of Samhain (and is sometimes referred to as Cetsamhain, the ‘first Samhain’), and these two important festivals divide the year into summer and winter halves, just as the two equinoctial celebrations, Ostara and Mabon, divide the year into light and dark halves.
Lighting fires was customary at Beltane, and traditionally a Beltane fire was composed of the nine sacred woods of the Celts. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then kindled again from the sacred “need fires” lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke and flames of Beltane fires and cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity and protection.
AngelicaIt is a traditional time for Handfastings (marriages), and for couples to make love outside to bless the crops and the earth. Maypoles were often danced around at Beltane to bring fertility and good fortune. Beltane lore also includes washing in May-day dew for beauty and health, and scrying (peeping) in sacred waters, such as ponds or springs.
The festival is sometimes referred to as Roodmas, a name coined by the medieval Christian Church in an attempt to associate Beltane with the Cross (the Rood) rather than the life-giving symbol of the Maypole. Beltane was also appropriated by the Church as the Feast Day of Saint Walpurga, who was said to protect crops and was often represented with corn.”
(*Royalty free images of the Archangel Michael and the sacred herb Angelica)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Time Travel Romance-Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time Book 1)

I'm excited to share more about Somewhere My Lady, my upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press, and my new Ladies in Time Series.
Each story in the series features strong young women who find romance amid adventure, mystery, and more than a touch of the paranormal. There's also carefully researched history in the stories. I don't toss my characters back in time without knowing the specifics of where they're landing, and sometimes the history comes to them. A second title, The White Lady, will be out for the holidays as it has a Christmas theme, but back to book one. As usual with my time travel romances, the setting is a wonderful old home.
Somewhere My Lady blurb:
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.
Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.~
Lovely cover by cover artist Debbie Taylor.
***Stay tuned for the release date (TBD but not long) and sign up on my blog for my email list. Who knows? I might even get a newsletter together and give something away. Or get my secretary to do it. Peaches and Cream are slackers. That's what happens when you have cats for publicists.
***If you're interested in reading any of the time travels I've already written, visit Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Time-4-Book/dp/B016DF8LJ2

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.