‘God is good, but never dance in a small boat,’ and Other Wisdom


fairytale“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~Roald Dahl

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Be patient. The best things happen unexpectedly.”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ~Dr. Seuss

“It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.” This can apply to most any undertaking

“Give it to God and go to sleep.”

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

misty autumn mountain road“All glory comes from daring to begin.”

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” ~Maya Angelou

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”

“If you can’t say something nice, say it in French.” ~BabeWalker.com

“If you still care about it, you still care about it.”

“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.” ~mark nepo

“It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what YOU are doing.” ~ss

“Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.” ~BeHappy.me

old tree with roots“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

“Even the nicest people have their limits.”

“God has a plan even when you don’t.”

“Surround yourself with the things you love. Discard the rest.”

“Let what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

“All it takes is one song to bring back a thousand memories.”

“See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little.” ~Pope John XXIII

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ~Jimmy Johnson

“Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped.” ~African Proverb

magical night tree“Do not fall before you are pushed.” ~English Proverb

“When you throw dirt, you lose ground.” ~Texan Proverb

“God is good, but never dance in a small boat.” ~Irish Saying

“Let go or be dragged.” ~Author Unknown

“Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams.” ~Patch Adams

“Whatever you are be a good one.” ~Abraham Lincoln

What’s in the Box?


antique chestThe mystery of boxes, what they might–or could–hold, has long intrigued me. Ornate or simple, all have great potential. While growing up, a good cardboard box was hard to come by and cherished. The ideal repository for all my worldly goods, such as they were, like those 1960’s Superman, Spiderman, and Batman comic books left behind when we moved. Mom didn’t want so many boxes in the u-haul to deal with. I had to choose. The dolls, stuffed animals, and books went, the comics stayed behind. This sort of thing is the reason those old comics are so valuable now. As a child, I built a doll house by securing cardboard boxes together, and fashioned most of the furniture myself. I was enthralled with my creation.

Boxes may contain real treasure, or those things that have significance only to the person who hid them within its recesses. The famous, long sought after Ark of the Covenant, (Indiana Jones comes to mind) is the ultimate special box. And not one you want to be messing around with should you find it.

wrapped Christmas giftAnd then there are Christmas presents. Back to what’s in the box? How I loved to speculate while awaiting Christmas morning. Oh the angst of that seemingly interminable wait, so long ago. My Uncle R.W. made wooden boxes in his wood working shop that he gave us to put our special things in. Great concept and gift. I still have mine. Not to overlook jewelry and music boxes. The list goes on.

Treasure chests and Pirate chests are also boxes. Don’t mess with pirate treasure if you find that either. Generally cursed.

Back to cardboard boxes. The small people in my life love my penchant for holding onto boxes. Amazon delivers a lot of them to my home. All sizes. The ‘smalls’ grab tape, scissors, markers, and they’re off creating everything from armor to battle wind fairies, (my niece Cailin’s idea) kitten houses, (kittens can never have too many) ships…hideouts for themselves…you name it. All highly decorated. When I informed them that I’ve been accused of having too many boxes (hoarding, actually) by some members of the family, they regarded me sadly. How could anyone not recognize the vital importance of boxes, they asked, saddened by such ignorance.

vintage wooden boxIndeed.

And then there’s the idea that people are like boxes. What’s inside?

A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1892-1973)
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, “Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.” Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they’re still there.
 Erma Bombeck (U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)

Writing Elves


I’m hard at work on the sequel to historical romance novel, Traitor’s Legacy, entitled Traitor’s Curse, and in need of writing elves. Some might think these elusive beings are imaginary. Nope. Peaches and Cream happily left their box and came to my aid. However, they’re not as much help as I’d hoped.

The writng elves1

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance”
 Dan Greenburg (Kitten watching is even more addictive.)It is impossible to keep a straight facein the presence of one or more kittens. ~Cynthia E.VarnadoA catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys. ~Barbara Holland

one writing elf1

I had to put the kittens back in their box. They were not happy about it. The writing bug has bitten. As has their desire to have the run of the house. But they’re too little, I told them, so must visit in spurts.

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience. ~Pam Brown

There is no more intrepid explorer than a kitten. ~Jules Champfleury

Guess who wants out of their box1

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. ~Joseph Wood Krutch

Here’s a sample of their work. I hate to be critical, but I don’t think it has a lot of promise. Looks like I’m on my own with this novel.

the assistance of writing elves2

 

Historical Romance Set in North and South Carolina During the American Revolution


Enemyoftheking resizedEnemy of King:

“I love historical romances…and anymore when I think of a historical I think of Beth Trissel. This tale was wonderful….I felt I was in the pages. The author has a way of pulling you into the story.” ~Reviewer at You Gotta Read

 

In writing Enemy of the King I spread beyond my Virginia home base and journeyed into South and North Carolina at the height of the Revolution. Enemy of the King is my version of The Patriot with ghostly flavors of Daphne Dumaurier’s Rebecca. Pleasant Grove, the home featured in Enemy of the King, is loosely based on Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation in America that’s open to the public, located outside Charleston, SC:  Part of the inspiration behind the story came from research into my early American and British ancestors who fought on both sides of that sweeping conflict. One direct forebear five generations removed from me, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC and kept a diary used by historians today.

470602681Story Blurb:
1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.~
The Feel and Flavor of Old Homes And Historical Romance ENEMY OF THE KINGPublisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 

2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle
Book of the Week at Long and Short Reviews
 
“I thoroughly enjoyed Enemy of the King…the characters are memorable, the setting beautifully described…the action riveting & the romance tender…for anyone who loves a well crafted historical romance” ~Long and Short Reviews by Poinsettia
coffee time romanceFIVE CUPS for Enemy of the K from Coffee Time Romance Reviews!
 “An amazing and vibrant look into the American Revolution…this sexy historical is a must read!”  –Coffee Time Romance and More by Danielle
Revolutionary War flintlock pistol
New Release! Traitor’s Legacy (the sequel to Enemy of the King): Journey back to the drama, intrigue, and romance of the American Revolution, where spies can be anyone and trust may prove deadly.In May, 1781, the British Legion, soon joined by General Lord Cornwallis with the rest of the army, occupied Halifax, NC. This episode in history drew me and I read all the accounts I could find. The bulk of Traitor’s Legacy takes place in the Halifax area during the British occupation, and culminates in colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. While also being adventurous, Traitor’s Legacy is more of a mystery than Enemy of the King, with spies, turncoats, a coded letter, intrigue, and above all, romance.  I am at work on the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, entitled Traitor’s Curse. And yes, there’s a ghost. And a graveyard–also an old cemetery in Traitor’s Legacy. These novels comprise the Traitor’s Legacy Series.
***I could use reviews for Traitor’s Legacy. If you’re interested, contact me.
493246871
(Colonial graveyard)
Amazon Reader Review by Jinny K B :
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story of love and war., August 17, 2014
Beth Trissel’s latest book, Traitor’s Legacy, is a sweet and seemingly impossible romance. A wonderful read, one that will satisfy the history buff and the romance lover as well. I highly recommend it!
Story Blurb: 1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends? ~Revolutionary War flintlock pistol
***Enemy of the King and Traitor’s Legacy are available in print and eBook from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press, also Barne & Noble and other online booksellers.

“Keep Calm: It’s only a first draft.” – Unknown


Siamese cat with antique typewriter3

It’s a slow writing day, possibly because I have bronchitis. Maybe these quotes will inspire me to persevere, and some of you in the process.

“I am an artist. This means I live in a perverse fantasy world with unrealistic expectations. Thank you for understanding.” – Unknown

“I know nothing in the world that has so much power as a word…” – Emily Dickinson (She lived before lightsabers)

“Libraries raised me.” – Ray Bradbury

Writing old school.

Writing old school.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plat

“Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – G.K. Chesterton (Unless, of course, you like dragons and want to keep them. I’ve still got mine.)

“Good writing isn’t science. It’s an art, and the horizon is infinite. You can always get better.” – Unknown

cat on laptop“I care not for your excuses, mortal. Finish your writing!” – Loki (Alright, already)

“Write what should not be forgotten…” – Isabel Allende (Like colonial America and the American Revolution?  The whole how America came to be thing. Done that.)

“Never give up.” – Unknown (Well, I’m still at it.)

“I’m always writing a story in my head.” – Unknown (Several, actually)

Lost your pen?Dogs and cats/kittens are my usual writing assistants. And preschoolers. Not as much help as you might think.

“Things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.” – James Victore (I was definitely a weird kid, so should be an awesome author)

“You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you. Go work with it.” – Unknow

"To write is to be vulnerable." - Unknown

“To write is to be vulnerable.” – Unknown

“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.” – Madeleine L’Engle (No way I’m arguing with Madeleine L’Engle. She has my utmost respect)

“Write like there’s no tomorrow. Revise like you didn’t write it.” – Writers Digest (OK. I’ve got it.)

“Pajamas. All day.” – Unknown (yep)

Oh, goody, the writing fairy has arrived. I knew if I just believed hard enough, she’d come and lend a hand.

the writing fairy

Birthday Kittens ‘Peaches and Cream’


Bday kittens1Those of you who follow my kitten sagas know I’m raising two abandoned furbabies, about three and a half weeks old now. I told myself if I got them through to my birthday, they’d be well on their way, and I have. The runty one is roly poly. Thanks to the antibiotic, he’s over his respiratory infection. His bigger brother is over a more minor infection and a good weight. Both are bright-eyed and content. I’m daring to hope they will grow into happy cats. They purr and are affectionate, so despite their challenges, the odds are steadily improving.

Peaches is light apricot, a very pale orange tabby, with muted stripes. Cream is white with gold tipped ears, tail, and paws. He’s trying to be Siamese. I plan to keep Peaches. A dear friend wants Cream. We shall see on down the road if the brothers can bear to be parted. Maybe the question is whether I can bear for them to be parted. They’ll have play dates.

Apricot tabby kitten and part Siamese kitten with gold tipped ears

Apricot tabby kitten and part Siamese kitten with gold tipped ears

“A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.”
Robert Sowthey

“It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that whatever you say to them, they always purr.”
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

“The only thing a cat worries about is what’s happening right now. As we tell the kittens, you can only wash one paw at a time.”
Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat

“Purr more, hiss less”
Linda C. Marchman

Birthday Kittens next best“The kitten was six weeks old. It was enchanting, a delicate fairy-tale cat, whose Siamese genes showed in the shape of the face, ears, tail, and the subtle lines of its body. [...] She sat, a tiny thing, in the middle of a yellow carpet, surrounded by five worshipppers, not at all afraid of us. Then she stalked around that floor of the house, inspecting every inch of it, climbed up on to my bed, crept under the fold of a sheet, and was at home.”
Doris Lessing, On Cats

“A kitten is the delight of a household. All day long a comedy is played out by an incomparable actor.”
Champfleury, The Cat Past and Present

The Vivid Contrast of Colonial American Settings


old sailing shipColonial America spans a fascinating swathe of time–the ultimate adventure series–from early European settlements in the late 16th century up through the American Revolution. I have ancestral ties in America from its beginnings, including a Churchman listed on the ship’s roster from the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. And then there’s the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Got that bizarre era covered, too. Research into family genealogy spurs my interest and spawns story ideas, along with dreams and a feeling of being led by my ancestors; I’m definitely inspired by them. I never set a story anywhere not associated with those who’ve gone before me.

the last of the mohicans

Many eras and settings within this intriguing period haven’t yet made appearances in my work. That’s not to say they won’t. I tend to favor the mid to latter 18th century. Anything from lavish manor homes in posh society to rustic log cabins and Indian lodges–think woodlands and mountains in the colonial frontier–think The Last of the Mohicans. March with Revolutionary War soldiers and Shawnee Warriors, though not in the same scene. Gather around campfires in jovial company, or in preparation for battle. Frolic at balls and dinner parties, whoop it up at raucous frontier weddings. Savor idyllic Christmas celebrations and run for your life during fort assaults. Enjoy carriage rides and hang on tight in wild gallops. Visit ghostly homes and search for haunted treasure. Saunter arm in arm or load muskets. Decipher a coded letter. Who’s the spy? Could be anyone.

colonial womanGentlemen and frontiersmen, ladies and warriors, pirates and redcoats, Colonial America is all about contrast. The very wealthy, the hardy and heroic who survive by their wits, sumptuous homes, the untamed land and the even wilder men who battle for their place in it. All are a part of this dynamic era.

I meticulously research my work, and think where the stories will go, but they have a way of asserting themselves. The past will speak out.

Step back in time with mystery, adventure, and romance.

Enemyoftheking resizedEnemy of King:  1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.


Traitor's Legacy resized pgTraitor’s Legacy (Sequel to award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King)
: Recent Release!

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency. Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire. Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends.

Colonial American Christmas Romance

Colonial American Christmas Romance

A Warrior for Christmas (also available in audio): Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. He plans to return to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity–until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Deaf since a childhood bout of Scarlet fever, Dimity Scott intends to be cherished for herself, not her guardian’s purse, even if it means risking spinsterhood. Then the rugged newcomer arrives, unlike any man she’s ever known. Dimity has learned to manage her silent world, but unaccustomed to the dangers of the frontier, can she expect love and marriage from Corwin, who longs to return to his Shawnee life?

Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

Red Bird’s Song: Can a Scots-Irish woman terrified of warriors fall in love with her Shawnee captor?

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.

Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

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 French and Indian War, A Shawnee Warrior, An English Lady, Blood Vengeance, Deadly Pursuit, Primal, Powerful, Passionate…Through the Fire~

2c646-historicalromancekiradaughterofthemooncoverbyraremonetKira, Daughter of the Moon (sequel to Through the Fire):

With the terror of the French and Indian War fresh in her mind, can Kira love a white warrior?

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.

Several other titles are set in the frontier just after the American Revolution, The Bearwalker’s Daughter and my short story, The Lady and the Warrior. I’m at work on a third set shortly after the war, the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, Traitor’s Curse. Onward ho. The adventure continues.