Sunday, May 29, 2016

Step into the Garden

Spring 2016 in the Shenandoah Valley has been especially challenging for farmers and gardeners. Crazy warmth in March lured plants out to be zapped by inevitable frosts and May has been the coldest, wettest I can recall until these past few days. We swung from having the furnace on in this old farm-house to sweltering heat. Not easy on people or plants. Still, there is much beauty in the garden, captured by daughter Elise.
"A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself." ~May Sarton
Chives and (Chives and poppies)
We mix herbs with flowers and vegetables. A wonderful meld. Wildflowers are also a favorite in the garden, like wild aster and Queen Anne's Lace, plus, plus. Some were planted by birds and the wind, others from seed or stock we purchased. There are those who might refer to these as 'weeds.'
Poppies 2(California Poppies)
Of course, we have the garden cat, also called the Apothecary Cat or Apothecarist. I decided our garden is a physic or apothecary garden because it has many medicinal plants, which includes some of the so-called 'weeds', thus justifying its less than perfect state (according to suburbia, anyway, which, thank God, we don't live in). Elise suggested kitty be called the Apothecarist (one who dispenses medicines and herbal cures). Kitty doesn't do that, but it's a great name. Before this, he was known as one of the triplets.
Garden cat
Apothecarist Cat
The Apothecarist Cat
This spring we're making pathways with cardboard boxes covered in straw, using my Amazon box collection. I save those boxes religiously. The straw we gleaned from the barn. Pathways are a work in progress. Below is a pic of me against a patch of sweet alyssum we've planted in drifts in many sections of the garden. It's just beginning to bloom. We are using alyssum as a ground cover and to attract beneficial insects and honey bees.
The gardener at work
It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936
My box/straw pathway, next to the potato patch. The sticks mark the many little herbs and flowers we've added to keep them from getting stepped on. How glorious it will be when this is all lush and blooming. I'm smashing potato bugs.
Laying a path in garden
Salad Garden
(Salad Patch)
Peony by Elise(This Peony has been here forever, since my Mother-in-law's time and possibly farther back than that. The house was built in the 1870's.)
In the kitchen window, I have several pots of cyclamen. These remind me of my late sister-in-law, Catarina. A cyclamen was the last plant she ever gave me. She loved flowers. I grow cyclamens in remembrance of her, and I often think of her. I ordered this pink one last year from Jackson & Perkins to commemorate her passing. The next month, J&P sent me a second identical plant. So I have two thriving cyclamens. Thank you whoever sent this. I inquired, but no one at the company seemed to know why it came at no charge. Maybe Catarina didn't trust me to keep the first one alive. Admittedly, the cyclamen she gave me didn't make it, but this is the same color, and I've learned more about their care now.
One of life's mysteries. The garden is full of surprises.
Some roses didn't survive the plummeting temps this winter, but Abraham Darby did. My favorite rose.
***All images by Elise Trissel.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Short Western Romance The Lady and the Warrior Free through 5-30

For a taste of my historicals with a frontier flavor, The Lady and the Warrior is Free in kindle through the 30th at:
Short historical romance

Note This is a Short Story. Also note how many readers have bashed it for being a short story, even though I have stated this, as has Amazon. 
Short stories are not as easy to write as some might suppose. The idea is that if you enjoy this story, you may enjoy my full novels in the same genre.
Story Description for THE LADY AND THE WARRIOR:
An abused young wife stranded in the Alleghenies in 1783 is rescued from drowning by a rugged frontiersman who shows her kindness and passion. 
But is he more than he seems? And can they ever be together?

My Native American Warrior Series includes:
Award-winning historical romance novel
Through the Fire, The Bearwalker's Daughter, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and Red Bird's Song.  Amazon bought the eBook rights to the last two novels from The Wild Rose Press. All are available at Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author page:
THROUGH THE FIRE: 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? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.
The_Bearwalkers_Daughter_Cover3THE BEARWALKER'S DAUGHTER: A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irishwoman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter
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?
2c646-historicalromancekiradaughterofthemooncoverbyraremonetKIRA, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON (SEQUEL TO THROUGH THE FIRE)
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.

Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn't how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather's vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl. 
George III's English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Release Day for Curse of the Moon (Book 2, the Secret Warrior Series)!

Curse of the Moon (Book 2, the Secret Warrior Series) is a YA fantasy/paranormal (with romance) adventure set present-day in our Virginia Mountains. Those hazy ridges hide a lot of secrets...
Resized Curse of the Moon.jpg1
Story Blurb:
The bad news? Morgan Daniel’s wolf is out of control. The good news? There’s a treatment. She just has to get a potion from a lizard shifter witch--without looking into the witch’s eyes. Easy, right? But when the witch puts a spell on her younger brother, Morgan has to do the witch's bidding to save him.
Fortunately Morgan isn’t alone. She has Jackson to lean on, a few witches coming into their powers, a secret warlock, and the always mysterious Chief Okema. What could possibly go wrong?
Curse of the Moon is available in kindle and print at Amazon:
My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, carries the story in various eBook formats and print. Curse of the Moon is available from all online booksellers.