Friday, July 30, 2010

'Truths and Roses'

Quantcast “Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.” ~Mark Overby

“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Life is a rose; beware of the thorns.”
“Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent.”
~Proverb Quote

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.”
~ Victor Hugo

“The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.”

“Love is like a rose. It looks beautiful on the outside…but there is always pain hidden somewhere.”

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.”

“The splendor of the rose and the whitness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its lovliness.”
~Therese of Lisieux
“The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.”

“He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.” Persian Proverb
“If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I’d be picking roses for a lifetime.” Swedish Proverb

“Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose From out night’s gray and cloudy sheath; Softly and still it grows and grows, Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.” Susan Coolidge

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk. ~William Shakespeare
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
-~John Boyle O’Reilly

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies.
~Christopher Marlowe


The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
~Bryant


Here bloom red roses, dewy wet,
And beds of fragrant mignonette.
~Elaine Goodale


The rose is fairest when ’tis budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
- Sir Walter Scott


She wore a wreath of roses,
The night that first we met.
~Thos. Haynes Bayly

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
Abraham Lincoln


This old world that we’re livin’ in
Is might hard to beat.
You get a thorn with every Rose
But – ain’t the roses sweet?
Frank Stanton

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.  ~Emma Goldman

God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.
~J. M. Barrie

“You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Love is like the wild rose-briar;
Friendship like the holly-tree.
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,
But which will bloom most constantly?”
~Emily Bronte

They are not, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream,
Our path emerges for a while, then closes,
Within a dream.”~Ernest Dowson


And she was fair as is the rose in May.” ~Geoffrey Chaucer

“Truths and roses have thorns about them.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Who Likes A Good Time Travel Romance?


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I do! I do! *Beth has her hand up.

After incorporating a time travel element in the form of flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia into my first such novel, Somewhere My Love, my ultimate challenge was setting a time travel romance novel in Scotland.  I’ve never physically been there, though many in my family have and told me all about its grandeur and charm.   I’ve certainly read, heard, and seen many descriptions of Scotland.  Being a history buff I’ve read up on and watched numerous programs set in the British Isles.  I’m a British junkie, an anglophile, while equally preoccupied with early America.  But then America and Great Britain are both tied together, and were especially linked in the colonial time period.  The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where I live and my family has lived for several hundred years resembles the hills, mountains, and valleys of Scotland and Ireland that drew so many Scots/Irish to settle here.  So that gave me an ‘in.’
Up until SOMEWHERE MY LASS I’ve set all my stories in America, past and present. This departure to Scotland was, as I said, indeed a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English Scots-Irish roots, which I’ve been doing all along. Apart from the prominent Native American heroes and characters in my work (Through the Fire, Red Bird’s Song, Daughter of the Wind) the others are all of English/Scots-Irish backgrounds, with a smidgen of French. My ancestors, too, have a smidgen of French in the meld.
 
A little more about the inspiration behind SOMEWHERE MY LASS:
As is often the case, the opening of this book was inspired by a dream, one that grabbed my attention and made me wonder where in the world do I go from here? Inquiring minds like mine want to know the rest of the story and so I delved & plotted, lay awake nights trying to recapture that dream. Ultimately, this suspenseful time travel evolved from years of research into my distant Scottish roots and a long-held fascination with the idea of actually being transported to the past, with a proviso that I can return to the present whenever the thrill wears off. Say, by tea time. My characters are far more adventurous than I.

Certainly, I was influenced by my beloved C S Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading. I’m still looking for Narnia. Isn’t everyone? Not to mention, movies like Back to the Future and Timeline –I don’t care what the critics say I’d loved it–but I like to think, and my editor assures me, that I’ve achieved an original take on the oft visited time travel theme. And no, I’ve not read author Diane Gabledon or other Scottish time travels so cannot be accused of those influences.  One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read with exquisite imagery and intriguing time travel is Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, and Susan Einzig.   A book written for older children but really for anyone.  Me, for instance.  It’s an absolute delight.

Back to Somewhere My Lass…of course, my love for old castles and the Scottish highlands also lent inspiration.  The concept behind my SOMEWHERE series is that the story opens in modern-day, so far my home state of Virginia and I don’t see that changing, and then transports the reader SOMEWHERE else–either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, or another place altogether, as in SOMEWHERE MY LASS. Sounds simple enough, right? But writing these stories isn’t. There were times when I thought I’d never make it through ‘Lass’ but am thrilled that I did.
 
Did I get the setting right?  Only those of you who dwell in that beautiful land or have visited Scotland can say.  I loved writing SOMEWHERE MY LASS and am pondering a sequel.
****
Blurb: Neil MacKenzie’s well ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he’s her fiancé from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head–or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he’s dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall’s brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it’s too late. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?
****
First Excerpt:

“You are a beauty.” His words were a hoarse whisper.

The rise and fall of her chest betrayed a deep inhalation of breath. A flicker of reproach lit her eyes. “I dinna think ye took heed of me at all.”

He winced at the well-deserved jab. “About before, I’m sorry I left you so suddenly. But there’s no earthly way I could fail to notice you. I’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind and even then…”

The tension in her face eased and then the hurt returned. “Oh, aye? How could ye forget all ye knew?”

He remained as he was, threading that wealth of hair through his fingers. Again, the rational part of him argued, “Is it possible you’re imagining you knew me before?”
She balked, a mutinous glint in her eyes. “Nae.”
He slid his hand to the finely crafted silver chain at her throat and coaxed the coverlets further down. A slight gasp escaped her lips. He muted any outward response to the thrill running through him. The scooped neckline of her nightgown revealed the tops of white breasts sprinkled with freckles. Above this heart-hammering sight hung the crucifix. 
“I gave this to you?” he managed to ask without betraying the swell of emotion surging inside him.

“At our betrothal.”

Second Excerpt:

How in the name of— Stunned beyond oaths, Neil gaped down at the slender young woman dressed in an outlandish Scottish costume. Hair the color of a flaming sunset spilled down over the red and blue tartan plaid draped around her like a shawl. A circular brass brooch heavily engraved by some skilled craftsman held the edges together. A full green skirt covered the rest of her, a hint of petticoats beneath.  

Good God. She looked straight out of the Old Country. In profound disbelief, he knelt beside her and laid his hand on her shoulder. He wasn’t hallucinating. She was real enough, warm against his hand. Stranger still, the peaty scent of turf smoke emanated from her. And some perfume he couldn’t place, but inherently knew.

Moss rose, maybe? The rich meld of fragrances carried him back, but to where? Baffled, he shook her gently. “Miss?”
She gave a soft moan.
“Are you hurt?” he asked.

She turned toward him, fluttering a dark fringe of auburn lashes. Another moan issued from between what surely were petal soft lips. He frowned at the ugly bruise marring her forehead. Had that maniac done this to her? The rest of her smooth skin was pale except for the sprinkle of freckles on her nose—not too long with a pert tilt, Neil noted, along with an absence of any other immediate injuries. Thank God he hadn’t been too late to help this young woman. Perhaps he’d frightened off her attacker, the coward. Although he had no idea where the killer had gone.
Neil remained on his guard. He mustn’t take anything for granted. The only certainty—a violent criminal was on the loose. Difficult to keep watching over his shoulder, though, with the inexplicable stranger commanding his attention.

Intrigued, despite the gruesome circumstances of their meeting, Neil locked his gaze on her once again. Vivid blue eyes, cast with a purplish hue, opened wide. Unusual color and deeply stirring. She blinked and stared up at him as if he’d materialized out of the mist. But it was she who’d mysteriously come upon him with such wonder and beauty.

His already pounding heart skipped a beat for an entirely different reason now. He looked long into her eyes…for a moment he forgot the grisly murder, forgot everything. There was a timeless quality in those violet depths; the term “window to the soul” took on a whole new meaning. And it seemed to him that he’d seen these eyes before… Impossible.

He came back to himself. Mastering the tremor threatening his speech, he said, “You were knocked out, but you’ll be all right.”
She shook her head, wincing. “None of us will. The MacDonald comes,” she warned in a Scottish brogue.

The hair on the back of Neil’s neck bristled. And so it begins, a voice inside him said.
****
*Above Pic of The Door to Nowhere, or so Neil thinks.

SOMEWHERE MY LASS is available in digital download at:
The Wild Rose Press and Amazon as a Kindle, and at other online booksellers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Shenandoah Valley, Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains

Photographs of the primary inspiration behind my work.


























 

All Of My Books To Date

As Galadriel said to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, “You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone. To be passionate about history so that you feel it in your very essence and long to commune with the past is often to be alone.  One profound way I’ve found to connect with those who have gone before me is through my writing.  My work reflects the heart and soul invested in each word.

Years ago while researching family genealogy, I gained the courage to take the leap from penning non-fiction essays about rural life and plunge into writing historical romance novels set in early America. That first story, Red Bird’s Song, written and rewritten more than any other is the book of my heart. ~Coming to The Wild Rose Press 9/10/2010.

The original  manuscript, about the length of Gone With The Wind, had to be considerably reduced.  It was wrenching to let so much go and rework the novel without cutting out the heart of the story, but I did.  The initial idea for the plot came to me in a dream on New Year’s Eve fifteen years ago, a  highly propitious time to embark down a new road.  Many dreams have guided me on my way.
Raw, powerful, the colonial frontier drew me with stirring tales of the French and Indian War, Pontiac, and Lord Dunmore’s War.  My ancestors had interactions with the most feared tribe of that day, the Shawnee, including family members taken captive.  Some forebears returned with tales to tell, others didn’t; no one knows what happened to them except in my imaginings.

One man captured as a child and adopted into the tribe, was later restored to his white family.   He returned to the Shawnee and then journeyed back and forth between the English and Indian world, trying to keep a foot in both.  Much of my writing features my early Scot-Irish forebears who settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding mountains, spreading into the Carolinas and Tennessee. The beauty of my valley and the surrounding mountains inspires me.
 
My extensive research has been generously aided by historians, anthropologists, archeologists, colonial reenactors and the Shawnee themselves.  Not to mention a mountain of reading, all of which also helped fuel the writing of colonial Native American Romance novel Through the Fire. Though published first, Through the Fire was initially written after Red Bird’s Song.

This communion with the past is my motivation for the novels I create.  I’m thankful that at the Wild Rose Press a good story is judged according to its merits and not the perceived popularity of the time period.  I write for two different lines at the Wild Rose, historical and light paranormal, and am privileged to have fabulous editors.

So, welcome to the colonial frontier where the men fire muskets and wield tomahawks and the women are wildcats when threatened. Hear the primal howl of a wolf and the liquid spill of a mountain stream. Are those war whoops in the distance? Ever heard of bearwalking?  You will after you read Daughter of the Wind.

Daughter of the Wind is a light paranormal/historical fantasy romance with strong American historical roots. Set among the clannish Scots-Irish in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies, it’s a tale of the clash between peoples and young lovers caught in the middle. Ever influenced by my regard for Eastern Woodland Indians, I interwove mystical, Native American elements with ‘Daughter.’

A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scotswoman, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…DAUGHTER OF THE WIND..

“I loved the plot of this story, oh and the setting was wonderful. I just can’t believe how much detail the author went into without being boring about it. Ms. Trissel is great at creating believable and lovable characters.”~Ruby Lee, reviewer with Mistress Bella Reviews

Through the Fire is an adventure romance with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave.  Some of the most unusual aspects of this story are based on individuals who really lived. A passionate love story set during the French and Indian War, Through the Fire has finaled in more contests than any I’ve written, including the prestigious 2008 Golden Heart®.
 
The French and Indian War, a Shawnee warrior, an English lady, blood vengeance, deadly pursuit, primal, powerful, passionate…THROUGH THE FIRE.

“Ms Trissel spins a very fine yarn with Through the Fire. 
Her vivid imagery takes you right back into the action. The colours, scents and views tickle the senses. 
The deep description of scenery and historical setting gave me just the right idea of what Rebecca went through, both physically and emotionally. Ms Trissel knows how to tell a wonderful tale. 

A beautifully written love story, with enough dangers lurking to keep us on our toes. Perfect reading material.” 

Not to neglect my fascination with gracious old homes and the high drama of the American Revolution. Another passion of mine.  I have ancestors who fought and loved on both sides of that sweeping conflict. My research into the Southern face of the war was partly inspired by my great-great-great grandfather, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, who kept a journal of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, 1781, that is used by historians today.  Stick around for a wild ride into Carolina Back County and the battle between Patriots and Tories. Our hero is the former and our heroine the latter.  Both of them bear names that belonged to my ancestors.

Enemy of the King, a historical romance with paranormal element,  is my version of The Patriot. A big fan of Daphne Du Maurier since my teens, I was also influenced by her mystery/ghost story, Rebecca. Our Virginia home place, circa 1816, and other early homes left deep impressions on me. I’ve long harbored suspicions that those who’ve gone before us are not always entirely gone.  Most of all, I’m a Southern Virginia author, and it shows.

1780 South Carolina, spies and intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Enemy of the King. Not only are the characters memorable and the setting beautifully described, but the action is riveting and the romance between Meri and Jeremiah is tender. I highly recommend Enemy of the King to anyone who loves a well crafted historical romance.”
~Poinsettia at Long and Short Reviews


Which brings me back around to my first release, Somewhere My Love, a murder mystery/ghost story romance with flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia and Hamlet parallels.   Somewhere My Love won the 2008 Preditors &Editors Award Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel.  Most recently, it won the clash of covers contest at Embrace the Shadows blogspot.

Star-crossed lovers, flashbacks to early 18th century Virginia, ghostly, murder mystery, light paranormal romance, Gothic flavors…SOMEWHERE MY LOVE.

“Ms. Trissel has woven a wonderful story of historical love, mystery, and intrigue. Her poetic prose made for a delightful read. Her descriptions captured the essence of the home, and I felt as though I’d been transformed as a guest. I enjoyed watching Will and Julia discover their love for each other as events unfolded at the Foxleigh House. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good story, excellent writing, and a heartwarming love story.“ 
~Reviewed by Jenny Gilliam for Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction

“As I read Somewhere My Love, I recalled the feelings I experienced the first time I read Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca long ago. Using deliciously eerie elements similar to that gothic romance, Beth Trissel has captured the haunting dangers, thrilling suspense and innocent passions that evoke the same tingly anticipation and heartfelt romance I so enjoyed then, and still do now.” ~ Joysann, Publishers Weekly

In my recent release, Somewhere My Lass, a suspenseful Scottish time travel, I’ve hearkened even further back to my Scottish roots.  Speaking of dreams, that’s how I came by the opening to this story.
 
An ancient relic, a medieval crypt, a mad highlander at their throats and time fast running out.  Mystery, suspense, romance, Somewhere My Lass.

Ms. Trissel masterfully blended the past and the present in order to create a lovely romance that spans centuries. I highly recommend Somewhere My Lass to anyone looking for a touching tale of love and friendship.” ~Poinsettia reviewer for Long and Short Reviews

Daughter of the Wind, Enemy of the King, Through the Fire, Somewhere My Lass and An American Rose Christmas Anthology won book of the week at Long and Short Reviews.  Each of these novels, and the anthology,  received fabulous reviews.  Highly gratifying, but I would write my stories anyway.  I will always write what I love.  Otherwise, the character don’t speak to me.

My books are available in print and digital download at The Wild Rose Press and many other online booksellers.  The most popular are Amazon and Barnes&Noble.  Local bookstores can order them in, so can your library.

Historical/Light Paranormal Romance Somewhere My Love

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(*Digital download giveaway details at bottom of post)

Possibly you weren’t aware of this, but I’ve read that Virginia has more ghost stories than any other state in the Union.  This isn’t necessarily because we have a more fertile imagination, but sadly because the Old Dominion has seen more bloody battles over the centuries than any other. Think back, Jamestown (founded 1607) was the site of the oldest successful English settlement and its history is a violent one. And on we go to the many heart-rending wars fought with the usurped Indians, a number of them waged on Virginia soil. March on to the Revolution; anyone heard of Yorktown, to name just one famous battle? And let’s not forget that horrific most uncivil of wars, much of it fought in, you guessed it, Virginia.

And yet, this multitude of hauntings doesn’t only feature soldiers caught in an endless fray who haven’t gotten word the war’s over, although there are legions of tales that do and entire companies of ghosts said to battle on. Many tales feature the myriad of people, great and small, who dwelt in our richly historic state. The old Virginia homes and plantations have accumulated a wealth of such stories.
 
Thus, it was while touring some of these English styled manor homes with my dear mother that I conceived the idea for my paranormal romance, Somewhere My Love.  Added to this meld of vintage Virginia is my own heritage, a vast source of inspiration from my childhood. On my father’s side, I descend from old Southern gentry, now impoverished after the Civil War, Great Depression, and various other misfortunes, including the untimely death of my brilliant grandfather. But the gracious Georgian home his ancestor built (circa 1816) still stands in the rural countryside near the historic town of Staunton.  It’s a historic landmark.

I was ever determined our old family home place was haunted and wove stories through my fevered mind, along with my continual search for Narnia which entailed frequent treks into the old wardrobe. But I digress. Frequently.  The magnificent ancestral portraits in my family and on display in other Virginia homes held me transfixed, wondering. And it was just such a portrait of a striking dark-haired gentleman who embedded himself in my thoughts. Who was he? Why did he die so young? That other painting of the fair young lady…did she love him?
Often, the guides at these old homes are brimming with tales. But other times we are left to wonder…and ask ourselves are these folk who’ve gone before us truly gone, or do some still have unfinished business in this realm? And what of the young lovers whose time was tragically cut short, do they somehow find a way? Love conquers all, and so I answer ‘yes.’

*Homes pictured in order are the most prominent behind my inspiration for Somewhere My Love:
Berkely Plantation (On the James River & well worth a visit)
Shirley Plantation (On the James River & well worth a visit)
Family home place called Chapel Hill (Not open to the public)

Blurb For Somewhere My Love
:
Star-crossed lovers have a rare chance to reclaim the love cruelly denied them in the past, but can they grasp this brief window in time before it is too late? Newly arrived at Foxleigh, the gracious old Wentworth home in Virginia, British born Julia Morrow is excited at the prospect of a summer working as a guide in the stately house and herb garden. She quickly discovers the historic plantation holds far more. She becomes obsessed with the portrait of handsome Cole Wentworth, killed in a quarrel over the lovely English lady, Julia Maury, two hundred years ago. Then she meets his double, William, the only remaining Wentworth heir.

Somehow, Julia must persuade Will that their fates are entwined with those of Cole Wentworth and Julia Maury, and that the man who killed his ancestor has returned to enact the deadly cycle again, or she will lose him twice. The blade is about to fall.

Star-crossed lovers, flashbacks to early 18th century Virginia, ghostly, murder mystery, light paranormal romance, Gothic flavors…SOMEWHERE MY LOVE.
Excerpt:
A cold finger laid its icy touch on Julia and ran down the length of her spine. “How did it happen?”

“He’s said to have been run through by the very man who made that mark on the door. A Mr. Cameron. Scottish fellow he was, back in…” Mrs. Hensley pursed her thin lips, blue eyes distant. “Ah, yes, 1806. Some fuss over a woman.”

“How dreadful. What about Mr. Cameron?”

“The friend of a neighbor, I believe. He escaped and was never found. No justice was ever done in the matter.”
Julia hesitated, then asked, “And the woman?”
“Heartbroken, poor thing. She returned to England. She was a guest of the Wentworth family and greatly enamored of Cole. All the young ladies were, but he had a particular fascination with this girl.”

“Why was she so special?”

“Apart from her legendary beauty? She had an angelic quality about her. Or so the story goes.”

An irrational jealousy twanged a jarring note in Julia. In the space of a few short minutes she’d fallen in love with the man in the portrait—typical of her impractical nature and unlikely to advance her nonexistent love life. And yet, she couldn’t help plunging into this sweet madness.

She tore her eyes from the painting. “Do you recall the lady’s name?”

Mrs. Hensley gave a little laugh. She tapped a finger to her furrowed forehead. “Isn’t that odd? It was Julia something…hmmmm.”

Was Mrs. Hensley teasing her? She had to know.
“I’ve got it. Julia Maury,” the guide continued and arched graying brows. “You’re from England, aren’t you, Miss Morrow? Tread with care here, my girl. We don’t want you stirring up any ghosts. Foxleigh has enough already.”

“No,” Julia said, reaching out to the dresser to steady herself. Without meaning to, she suspected she’d already stirred up some force beyond her understanding.
****

A man spoke from the hall. “Charlotte, I need to speak to you about the new staff. Ah—I see she’s arrived.”
Julia startled at the low, uncannily familiar voice and whirled around to find none other than Cole Wentworth poised in the doorway. Her jaw dropped and she stared up at him. He was tall, all right, easily over six feet.

The rational part of her knew this couldn’t possibly be Cole, but dear Lord, they were much alike, down to the small cleft in his chin, though the expression in his dark eyes was far less impassioned. He even appeared to be the same age as Cole in the portrait, in his late twenties. She’d had little experience with sensuality—strict education at home under tutors that her eccentric professor father had seen to—but this man awakened every sense latent within her.

Mrs. Hensley chuckled softly. “He’s not the ghost. Julia Morrow, meet William Wentworth, former attorney in Richmond, now manager of Foxleigh.
His name struck a familiar chord as Julia stood gaping at her new employer, not at all the impression she’d hoped to make. His thick wavy hair was shorter than that of the figure in the portrait and the hunting costume replaced by a burgundy shirt and Levis stretched across his muscular thighs. Instead of mahogany topped riding boots, he wore brown leather shoes.

He looked at her with a sardonic glint in his eyes. “I trust you don’t intend a repeat of this performance each time we meet, Miss Morrow? It’s flattering, but somewhat unnerving. You’ll frighten the life from our visitors.”
****
“As I read Somewhere My Love, I recalled the feelings I experienced the first time I read Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca long ago.  Using deliciously eerie elements similar to that gothic romance, Beth Trissel has captured the haunting dangers, thrilling suspense and innocent passions that evoke the same tingly anticipation and heartfelt romance I so enjoyed then, and still do now.” ~Joysann, Publishers Weekly

*Somewhere My Love is available in digital download and print at: The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other online booksellers.  Your library can order it in of you ask them to. For more on my work please visit: http://www.bethtrissel.com/

*Please Note, I am giving away a FREE digital download of Somewhere My Love to those who email me proof of purchase of Somewhere My Lass, or vice versa. Contact me at: bctrissel@yahoo.com

The Story Behind Light Paranormal Romance Somewhere My Lass

Quantcast SOMEWHERE MY LASS (released May 26th 2010)was an intriguing tale to weave and will not, I trust,  disappoint.  I did my usual obsessive research, but I love gleaning more about the past, so that’s all good.  The hero and heroine, Neil and Mora, were vivid in my mind and a lot of fun to write.  The romance between them is one of the best I’ve ever written.  The chemistry just took off.

Interestingly enough, that’s not always the case.  Sometimes my H&H dislike each other intensely, or one resents the other.  Either I write my way through it until I uncover the live coals simmering beneath the ashes of their contempt, or seek out a different heroine.  Usually, I”m pretty set on the hero.  In the story I’m  working on now, he was dead set against the heroine until I dug a little deeper and realized she wasn’t who she seemed to be. :)

Maybe this inner dialogue writers have with their characters contributes to the reputation of our being rather eccentric, or shall we say crazy.  Those of you not given to this particular madness may assume I simply create my characters and have control over them.  No way.  I discover them, and get to know their likes and dislikes, what they would and wouldn’t do, all those quirks and foibles that make us unique human beings.  I offer direction and reason with them as to why the story needs to go a certain way, but have learned that the flow is much better, certainly more natural,  if I listen well to what they’re telling me.  And so, I talk amongst ‘myselves,’ which worries my mother a trifle.  But it’s an essential part of the creative process.  At least, for me.
Regarding my settings, up until SOMEWHERE MY LASS I’ve set all my stories in America, past and present.  This departure to Scotland was a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English Scots-Irish roots, which I’ve been doing all along.  Apart from the prominent Native American heroes and characters in my work, (Through the Fire, Red Bird’s Song, Daughter of the Wind) the others are all of English/ Scots-Irish backgrounds, with a smidgen of French.  My ancestors, too, have a smidgen of French in the meld.  Being a history buff I’ve read up on and watched numerous programs set in the British Isles, a favorite of mine.  I’m a British junkie, an anglophile, while equally preoccupied with early America.  But then America and Great Britain are both tied together, and were especially  linked in the colonial time period.

I’ve learned a great deal from my journey back to Bonnie Old Scotland and am pondering a sequel.  My editor assures me there must be one (or two).  I fell in love with the characters and new ones nudge at my mind.  After you read SOMEWHERE MY LASS you will guess who I am likely to feature.  :)   Hint, his name begins with an F.
First though I must finish my WIP, my first historical romance set in England.  Again, an adventure to write and I’m learning a lot about England and France in 1789, the break out (big time!) of the French Revolution.  Heads weren’t rolling yet but the country was aflame and aristocrats fleeing or fighting to hold onto their estates.  No Scarlet Pimpernel on the scene yet, but I’ve always been fascinated with Sir Percy Blakeney.  We have a noble gray tabby named Percy.

A little more about the inspiration behind SOMEWHERE MY LASS.
As is often the case, the opening of light paranormal romance SOMEWHERE MY LASS was inspired by a dream, one that grabbed my attention and made me wonder where in the world do I go from here?  Inquiring minds like mine want to know the rest of the story and so I delved and plotted.  Even lay awake nights trying to recapture that dream.  Ultimately, this suspenseful time travel evolved from years of research into my distant Scottish roots and a long held fascination with the idea of actually being transported to the past, with a proviso that I can return to the present whenever the thrill wears off.   Say, by teatime. My characters are more adventurous than I.
Scottish Highlands pass at Glencoe
Certainly, I was influenced by my beloved C S Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading.  I’m still looking for Narnia.  Isn’t everyone?  Not to mention, movies like Back to the Future and Timeline, but I like to think, and my editor assures me, that I’ve achieved an original take on the oft visited time travel theme.  And no, I’ve not read author Diane Gabledon or other Scottish time travels so cannot be accused of those influences.

Of course, my love for old castles and the Scottish highlands also lent inspiration. Many of the early Scots-Irish settlers to the Shenandoah Valley, my ancestors among them, chose to live here because of the resemblance the valley and mountains bore to Scotland & Ireland.  As near to home as they were likely to find in the New World.

The concept behind my SOMEWHERE series is that the story opens in modern day, so far my homestate of Virginia and I don’t see that changing, and then transports the reader SOMEWHERE else.  Either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, or another place altogether, as in SOMEWHERE MY LASS.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But writing these stories isn’t.  I thought I’d never make it through ‘Lass’ but am thrilled that I did.   I hope you will be too.
Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg, VA
http://joshuawilton.com/   
“The Joshua Wilton House…is a superb small inn and restaurant” – The Sunday New York Times

“Joshua Wilton House offers guests an oasis of quiet charm and gracious living in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.  In an elegantly restored Victorian home, Joshua Wilton House occupies a corner in the historic “Old Town” district of Harrisonburg, Virginia.”

I love this beautiful old home, part of the inspiration behind SOMEWHERE MY LASS.
I used a compilation of Victorian era Virginia homes, some of which I’ve lived in, for the mysterious house in historic Staunton Virginia where the story begins~
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Blurb: Neil MacKenzie’s well ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he’s her fiancé from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head–or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he’s dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall’s brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it’s too late. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?
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*The door to nowhere (or so Neil MacKenzie thought).

"I’m a fan of Ms. Trissel’s historical romances, so I was intrigued at the idea that her latest story would include the element of time travel. Somewhere My Lass, is book two in Ms. Trissel’s Somewhere series, but it is not necessary to read the previous book to enjoy this story. Once I started reading Somewhere My Lass, I found Ms. Trissel had masterfully blended the past and the present in order to create a lovely romance that spans centuries. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a touching tale of love and friendship." ~Poinsettia, the Long and Short Reviews