Tag Archives: Bearwalker

The True Story Behind NA Para-Historical Romance Novel The Bearwalker’s Daughter


Historical romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, is a blend of carefully researched historical fiction interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread and set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a western colonial frontier, Native American theme, and features a powerful warrior or two. My passion for the past and some of the accounts I uncovered while exploring my early American Scots-Irish ancestors and the Shawnee Indians is at the heart of my inspiration.

A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind the story, the ill-fated romance of  a young 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? I know she was raised by her white family–not what they told her about her mother and warrior father.

Not only did The Bearwalker’s Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song.  Now that I’ve threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go…perhaps….

The history my novels draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive. Superstition ran high among both the Scots and Native Americans, and far more, a vision that transcends what is, to reach what can be. 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.  Read and judge for yourself. And hearken back.  Remember those who’ve gone before you.

As to bearwalking, this belief/practice predates modern Native Americans to the more ancient people. In essence,  a warrior transforms himself into a bear and goes where he wills in that form, a kind of shapeshifting.

 Blurb: A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter~

beautiful dark haired woman

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 who longs 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?~

family musket and powder horn image by my momThe Bearwalker’s Daughter is available at: Amazon Kindle.

*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel

*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman

***The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 

“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 Moving Story Behind Historical Romance The Bearwalker’s Daughter


THE BEARWALKER'S DAUGHTER

Award-winning Historical Romance Novel

At one time, The Allegheny Mountains of Virginia (included West VA then), parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, The Ohio Territory, Kentucky (Kaintuckee), even the Shenandoah Valley where I live, comprised a huge chunk of the western frontier. Untold drama, adventure, triumph, tragedy, and bloody battles took place in the forging of America in those early days. The only movie I can think of that does a super job of depicting this era is the 1992 film with Daniel Day-Lewis, The Last of the Mohicans. Although I differ with the film when Hawkeye tells Cora the only land available to poor people was in the wilds of New York State. True, colonial Williamsburg and populated Virginia were out, but hardy folk could settle back in the mountains and risk their lives there, too, during the Indian Wars. And did, to their peril.

THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, Daniel Day-Lewis, 1992, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

This primal, essential time period has always had a huge draw on me and is the setting for many of my books. Historical romance novel The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a blend of carefully researched historical fiction interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread and set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a western colonial frontier, Native American theme, and features a powerful warrior or two. My passion for the past and some of the accounts I uncovered while exploring my early American Scots-Irish ancestors and the Shawnee Indians is at the heart of the inspiration behind this novel. I was also given assistance in my research for this and other novels by the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band in Ohio, though that was years ago. They have an interesting and informative website you might like to visit. A number of historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and reenactors have also been invaluable. But back to The Bearwalker’s Daughter.

86018-handsomenativeamericanwarrior

A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind the story, the ill-fated romance of  a young 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. 

veiled mountains

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? I know she was raised by her white family–not what they told her about her mother and warrior father.

Not only did The Bearwalker’s Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song.  Now that I’ve threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go…perhaps….

The history my novels draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive.  Superstition ran high among both the Scots and Native Americans, and far more, a vision that transcends what is, to reach what can be.  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.  Read and judge for yourself. And hearken back.  Remember those who’ve gone before you.
Grizzley Bear
As to bearwalking, this belief/practice predates modern Native Americans to the more ancient people. In essence,  a warrior transforms himself into a bear and goes where he wills in that form, a kind of shapeshifting.
                                                         
Story Blurb:
A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter~
jack
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 who longs 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?~
 pipetomahawk
 musket and powder horn***The Bearwalker’s Daughter is available at: Amazon in kindle and print.
*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel
*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman
***The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 
“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

Sweet Saturday Sample from The Bearwalker’s Daughter


Autumn, 1784, the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia

Music? Jack McCray wondered if he was so bone-tired he’d fallen asleep in the saddle. The last time a fiddler had regaled him was back during the war when that drunken musician cheered their weary camp in return for draughts of rum.

Shaking his head to be sure he was awake, he listened intently. The spritely strains enlivened the gloom in the murky woods and lifted his spirits. He patted the slick neck of his long-suffering mount. “Almost there, Peki.”

Neither he nor his horse had eaten for hours, but he hoped their sorry state was about to improve. The perceptive animal seemed to sense his lightened mood and hastened its pace between glistening trunks silvered in the full moon rising above the mostly bare trees.

There! Up ahead, light shone from a dwelling like a beacon. A little closer and Jack glimpsed the stone-flanked cabin, more of a house given its size, standing in the clearing. The dark shape of fenced in fields and outbuildings surrounded the prosperous homestead. This must be the place; it met the description given him and was in approximately the right location. After his seemingly endless trek through these harsh ridges, he’d finally reached his destination. And the home resounded with gaiety. Seems he’d come in time for a celebration.

Hers, he wondered, with no idea what she’d be like. Forbidding, if she took after her black-hearted father.

But what good fortune to arrive now. Festivity meant abundant food, drink flowing like water, and perhaps being reunited with his family. A mix of anticipation and uneasiness fluttered in Jack’s chest at the thought of meeting kinfolk he hadn’t seen since boyhood. And the quest that brought him here. How in God’s name was he to snatch—

Pain seared his shoulder as a blast erupted in the night. What the devil? Clutching his upper arm, he scanned woods faintly illuminated in the ghostly light. An inky figure darted away. By God, if he could get in a shot!~

“I thought The Bearwalker’s Daughter was an outstanding book.The story was refreshingly unique. The paranormal aspects were mild enough that they didn’t take over the story, but enhanced it. The characters never strayed from the post-revolutionary war mannerisms, speech, and attitude. However, it’s not enough to tell you what I thought. The important thing is how this book made me feel.

I felt as though I were traversing an ice-cold rapid river on the back of a horse named Peki. My heart pounded at the sight of a huge grizzly bear in my path. I smelled the smoke of the campfire as my frozen fingers thawed. I could go on and on.” ~ Amazon Review by Sandra Dailey

***For more authors participating in Sweet Saturday Samples click HERE!