Monday, May 21, 2012

The True Story Behind The Bearwalker's Daughter

The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a historical romance novel interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread, set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a colonial frontier flavor and also features Native American characters. My passion for the past, and some of the accounts I’ve come across while researching my early American ancestors and the Shawnee Indians, is at the heart of my inspiration.

A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind this story, one I discovered while researching my early American  ancestors, the ill-fated romance of a 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?
Not only did The Bearwalker’s Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance Red Bird’s Song.  Now that I’ve threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go…
Recently, I came across a short review of The Bearwalker’s Daughter that referred to the story as ‘mind candy’.  If this is your idea of mind candy, so be it. I put my heart into it, as I do all my work.  But The Bearwalker’s Daughter cut especially deep. Red Bird’s Song even deeper, and I poured my soul into my historical romance Through the Fire

The history these novels draw from is raw, real, drama filled, and pounds with adventure. A passionate era where only the strong survive. Superstition ran high among both the Scots settlers and Native Americans, and far more–vision that transcends what is to reach what can be. We think we have gained much in our modern era, and so we have. But we’ve also lost. 

In my writing, I try to recapture what shouldn’t be forgotten.  Read and judge for yourself.

Blurb for The Bearwalker’s Daughter:

Timid by nature—or so she thinks—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?

“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

*The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of Daughter of the Wind.
*Cover by my talented daughter Elise Trissel
*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman

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