A Night Owl Top Pick: “The story will draw a reader in and will not let go until the very last page. It is a novel that will live in the hearts of its readers for a very long time.”
June is when I conceived the idea for Somewhere My Love,so time for a backwards glance.
Virginia has more ghost stories than any other state in the Union, umpteen volumes of them. Not because Virginians have a more fertile imagination (although we may) 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.
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 center on 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.
It was while touring some of these English styled manor homes with my dear mother that the kernel of a story first came to me for Somewhere My Love (Somewhere in Time Series). Added to this meld of vintage Virginia is my own heritage. On my father’s side, I descend from old Southern gentry, impoverished after the Civil War, Great Depression, and other misfortunes, including the untimely death of my brilliant grandfather. But the gracious Georgian home his ancestor built (circa 1816) still stands in the countryside near historic Staunton. My Christmas novella,Somewhere the Bells Ring (Somewhere in Time Series), was inspired by this wonderful old home.
Since childhood, I felt the 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 most prominent behind the inspiration for Somewhere My Love:
Fated 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’s too late?
Two hundred years ago Captain Cole Wentworth, the master of an elegant Virginian home, was murdered in his chamber where his portrait still hangs. Presently the estate is a family owned museum run by Will Wentworth, a man so uncannily identical to his ancestor that spirit-sensitive tour guide Julia Morrow has trouble recognizing Cole and Will as separate. As Julia begins to remember the events of Cole’s death, she must convince Will that history is repeating, and this time he has the starring role in the tragedy. The blade is about to fall.~
“As I read Somewhere My Love, I recalled the feelings I experienced the first time I read Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca long ago. Using the same 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 for Publisher’s Weekly
***Somewhere My Love is available at Amazon in kindle and print, but I expanded the story for the relaunched kindle version, so more for less.
The history my stories draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive. 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. Hearken back. Remember those who’ve gone before you.
***A special thanks to Jim Great Elk Waters, Pipecarrier, retired Shawnee Chief and linguist, author, artist, and philosopher, for his help with the Shawnee language.
“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, for Long and Short Reviews
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? Will Rebecca, torn between a growing attraction to her magnetic captor and loyalty to her people, betray him? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.
The French and Indian War, A Shawnee Warrior, An English Lady, Blood Vengeance, Deadly Pursuit, Primal, Powerful, Passionate…Through the Fire.
The intense perfumes of the wild herbs as we trod them underfoot made us feel almost drunk. ~Jacqueline du Pre
I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass …. - Gertrude Jekyll
“There’s fennel for you, and columbines; there’s rue for you: and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. O! you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.” ~Shakespeare, Hamlet
Thine eyes are springs in whose serene And silent waters heaven is seen. Their lashes are the herbs that look On their young figures in the brook. ~William C. Bryant
Waters are distilled out of Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, and Roots. ~Nicholas Culpeper
“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine.” ~Anne Wilson Schaef
The basil tuft, that waves Its fragrant blossom over graves. ~Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookhm, Light of the Harem
“The herb that can’t be got is the one that heals.” ~ Irish Saying
See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air: Get up, sweet-slug-a-bed, and see The dew-bespangling herb and tree. ~ Herrick, Robert ~Corinna’s Going a Maying
As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language. - Sir Thomas Moore
Eat leeks in oile and ramsines in May, And all the year after physicians may play. (Ramsines were old-fashioned broad-leafed leeks.)
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.
When daisies pied and violets blue, and lady-smocks all silver white. And Cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, do paint the meadows with delight. ~William Shakespeare, 1595.
Women with child that eat quinces will bear wise children. ~Dodoens, 1578.
Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular, is indulged in by those who like subtlety in their plants in preference to brilliance. - Helen Morgenthau Fox
And because the Breath of Flowers is farre Sweeter in the Aire (where it comes and Gose, like the Warbling of Musick) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for delight, than to know what be the Flowers and the Plants that doe best perfume the Aire. ~ Francis Bacon, 1625
Caesar….saith, that all the Britons do colour themselves with Woad, which giveth a blew colour… John Gerard, 1597
You have got to own your days and live them, each one of them, every one of them, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you. ~Herb Gardner
Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything. ~ Herb Gardner
(***These last two quotes snuck in here because his name is Herb Gardner, so he came up on my search and I liked them.)
Would You Marry Me? “According to old wives’ tales, borage was sometimes smuggled into the drink of prospective husbands to give them the courage to propose marriage.” - Mary Campbell, A Basket of Herbs
As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul. - Anonymous
As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat. ~ Pliny the Elder
How could such sweet and wholesome hours Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers? - Andrew Marvel
How I would love to be transported into a scented Elizabethan garden with herbs and honeysuckles, a knot garden and roses clambering over a simple arbor …. ~Rosemary Verey
With holly and ivy, So green and so gay, We deck up our houses As fresh as the day, With bays, and rosemary, And laurel complete; And every one now Is a king in conceit. ~Poor Robins Almanac, 1695
There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts. - Shakespeare, Hamlet
The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby – how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown. ~ Alice B. Toklas
“One of the things I enjoy most about Ms. Trissel’s writing is her amazing ability to transport readers directly into her stories. Her mastery of descriptive language never ceases to amaze me. “Green-gold light streamed through the rippling leaves while high overhead a yellow warbler trilled sweet, sweet, sweet and the warmth of hay-scented fern wafted on the mild breeze.” After reading this first sentence, I already felt as if I were standing next to Kira in the woods. I could see, hear, and smell everything she did. Completely immersed in the story, I eagerly dove into the pages that followed…”
Blurb: 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.~
***Kira, Daughter of the Moon is available in print and kindle at Amazon and the Wild Rose Press, in Nookbook at Barnes & Noble, and ebook at other online booksellers.