My fascination with stirring tales of the colonial frontier and Eastern Woodland Indians is an early and abiding one. My English/Scot-Irish ancestors were among the first settlers of the Shenandoah Valley and had family members killed and captured by the Indians. Some individuals returned and left intriguing accounts of their captivity, while others disappeared without a trace. Whether they were killed or adopted into various tribes, we have no way of knowing. On the Houston/Rowland side of the family, I have ties to Governor Sam Houston, President James Madison and Malcolm 1st of Scotland (that last one’s a stretch).
Family annals list early names like Beale, Jordan, Madison, and Hite (a German connection I discovered). A brief account of my grandmother (nine generations removed) Elizabeth Hite, says her sister Eleanor was taken captive and sister Susan killed, though not by which tribe though I suspect the Shawnee or Delaware as they were active in Western Virginia. The girls’ brother Jacob Hite, one of the biggest landowners in Berkeley County, West Virginia (Western Virginia in those days) was later killed by the Cherokee at his new home in South Carolina. He sounds like quite a character and not an entirely stellar one.
Another ancestor, Mary Moore, is the subject of a book entitled The Captives of Abb’s Valley. An admirable woman who lived to tell an amazing tale. In a separate account, a Scots-Irish Moffett forebear captured as a child became a boyhood companion of the revered Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. When young Moffett grew up, he married into the tribe and had a son, but that’s the subject of a different novel, historical romance Red Bird’s Song.
A 18th century ancestor on the Churchman (English) side of the family was invited by the Shawnee/Delaware to help negotiate a treaty with the English because he was Quaker and more sympathetic to the tribes. Many incidents that took place during the Indian Border Wars in Augusta County, Virginia, a vast track of land in 18th century America that spanned entire states, are unrecorded.
Historian Joseph Waddell in his Annals of Augusta County says we know only a fraction of the drama that occurred during that dramatic era. People were too preoccupied trying to survive to write much about it.
I invite you back to a time forgotten by most.
Hear the primal howl of a wolf, the spill of a mountain stream. Are those distant war whoops? Welcome to the colonial frontier where the men fire muskets and wield tomahawks and the women are wildcats when threatened. The year is 1758, the height of the French and Indian War. Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful as their allies.
Rebecca Elliot is an English lady. In her attempt to escape a painful past, 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.
Shoka is a half-Shawnee, half-French warrior, swift and sure like the hawk, and silent as the moon. He makes Rebecca his prisoner, but the last thing he wants is to lose his head and already shredded heart to another impossibly beautiful woman…this one with blindingly blue eyes and a blistering temper. With dark forces gathering against them, will Rebecca and Shoka fight together or be destroyed?
“Through the Fire is full of interesting characters, beautifully described scenery, and vivid action sequences. It is a must read for any fan of historical romance.” ~Poinsettia, Long and Short Reviews
***Available in print & ebook for any ereader or electronic device from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other online booksellers. Prices for Through the Fire and my other titles have recently been reduced.
“Ms. Trissel has captured the time period wonderfully. As Rebecca and Kate travel in the wilderness, though beautiful, many dangers lurk for the unsuspecting sisters. Away from the gentility they grew up around, the people they meet as they travel to their uncle in the wilderness are rougher and more focused on survival regardless of which side they belong. I love historical novels because they take me to times and places that I cannot visit and Through the Fire is no different. As I read I am transported back to the mid-1700’s on the American frontier as Britain and France maneuver to control the American continent. I can see how each side feels they are right and the other side the aggressor. I watch how the natives take sides based on promises made but not kept. I felt I was there through Ms. Trissel’s descriptions and settings. “
Shelia Reviewer for Two Lips Rating:
Through the Fire made the 2009 Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books!
*Images of the Alleghenies taken by my mom, Pat Churchman
*Image of Alice and Hawkeye from The Last of the Mohicans film *Image of Shoka and Rebecca are two separate istock images my talented brother John Churchman fused together. I also purchased the white wolf at istock.