Tag Archives: fantasy

Fascinating Story Behind Secret Lady (Book 3 Ladies in Time)


Many stories lie at the heart of my upcoming January 9th release, time travel romance Secret Lady (Book 3 Ladies in Time) from The Wild Rose Press. The characters in this mystery/adventure aren’t related to the first two releases in the series as I began a new thread. While strongly historical, Secret Lady has enough paranormal in it to categorize the story as fantasy.

The setting for Secret Lady is as close to home as I can get, our old farm-house (with a slight upgrade) in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I transformed our lush dairy farm into ‘Lavender and Lace Herb Farm’ and relocated it several miles up the road on the farm we once rented. During the Civil War, horses were hidden in the Alpine like woods beyond the house.

(Our house with the wild midsummer garden by Elise)
(Behind our farm by hubby Dennis)(Our pond by Dennis)

I gleaned inspiration for the story from events that occurred to my ancestors and my husband’s family, and their peers during the Civil War. My great-great-grandfather fought at Gettysburg and was captured at Pickett’s Charge, but the focus of this story is our richly historic valley. I grew up hearing about The Burning (autumn 1864) when Major General Philip Sheridan brought hard war to our green valley, called The Bread Basket of the Confederacy. In Sheridan’s ruthless destruction of farms, livestock, and supplies that might sustain Rebel troops, he unleashed Hell on countless innocents. Among the greatest sufferers in Rockingham County were the peaceful Mennonites, my husband’s ancestors among them. These plain, hardworking people are my adopted people and a vital part of the book.

(Old-Order Mennonite Buggy Passing our farm. Image by Dennis)

Our farm stands where the worst of The Burning took place, and it occurred to me that our Victorian house might have been built soon after the Civil War because its predecessor was destroyed. We knew our home dated at least to the mid 1870’s from an elderly woman who visited here decades ago and said she was born in the house. We dated our home even earlier after finding it on an 1866 map, plus our bank barn has original features that pin it to that era.

(Our old barn. Image by Beth. It used to be red.)

This past spring, in what was my last conversation with my father-in-law before his death, I asked him if he knew of a farm that once stood on our land that might have been destroyed during The Burning. His adamant ‘yes!’ surprised my husband who wasn’t aware of its existence. However, hubby never asked.

Dad Trissel told us he used to walk back the long lane that leads behind our farm up to the wooded hills beyond and there he saw the remains of a burned-out farm (woods have since overgrown the site). He also told us our farm used to encompass that land which was later parceled off. We decided to walk back to the woods and search for any remnants from the past. Fortunately, we chose April for our exploration as the only trace of earlier dwellers our untrained eyes could detect were the faithful daffodils outlining what must once have been a house, barn, and outbuildings.

(Daffodil discovery in dry early spring before rains came with me and granddaughter Emma. Images by Elise )

If we had chosen any other season for our walk, we wouldn’t have noted anything. We later learned foundation stones and usable timber were reused in rebuilding homes and barns after The Burning. Scavengers must have been at work, and nature has taken a toll over the years. I’m not sure what my father-in-law saw in the nineteen forties, but more than we did. The daffodils are an heirloom variety that used to grow in my garden, likely from those same bulbs. Not appreciating their historic value, I replaced them with more attractive varieties and must restore these blooms to a spot in the yard.

More research is needed to determine whether the farm behind us was, indeed, burned during Sheridan’s infamous valley campaign and whether that family built our present house or fled, and another took their place in the building. We learned the road that runs in front of our house used to cut through the meadow, which would account for a farm being located back there. The stream ran beside it in those days, and springs also provided water. It could be as Dad Trissel said.

A strong sense of history hangs over the woods, our farm, and our fair valley called Shenandoah, ‘Daughter of the Stars.’  Fiery war once raged here, but we survived and rebuilt. Of course, we did, we’re Virginians.

(The valley much as it would have looked then. Image by daughter Elise)

Secret Lady Story Blurb:

Torn apart by time, reunited by flames.

At Lavender House, Evie McIntyre is haunted by the whispers from her bedroom closet. Before she can make sense of their murmurs, the house “warbles” between times and transports her to the Civil War. Past and present have blended, and Evie wishes she’d paid more attention to history. Especially since former Confederate officer, Jack Ramsey, could use a heads up.

Torn between opposing forces, Jack struggles to defend the valley and people he loves. Meeting Evie turns his already tumultuous world upside down. Will solving the mystery of the whispers return her home, and will the handsome scout be by her side?

Against the background of Sheridan’s Burning of the Shenandoah Valley, Jack and Evie fight to save their friends and themselves – or is history carved in stone?

Excerpt:

She took a steadying breath, turned the brass knob, and stepped into the room. The fragrance of lavender greeted her. Grandma G. had tucked sachets under her mattress to help her sleep and left small cloth bags in the drawers of an antique dresser. A sachet of apricot scented agrimony lay beneath her pillow.

This age-old herb was thought to induce slumber and offer protection against the dark forces. Other powerful herbs scented the room. Angelica, St. John’s Wort, and sage were in the bunch on the bedside stand beside the antique brass lamp with an ornamental white shade.

The walk-in, but duck your head, closet at the far side of the room summoned her. Boxes of Christmas decorations, a Santa, and reindeer figures stored inside the slanted nook partially hid the steps leading to the attic and the presence she swore was there. She hadn’t encountered the being in question. Yet. It wasn’t cool for a nineteen-year-old to harbor terrors of a closet, but she did.

She threw her hands up after a particularly loud summons. What do you want from me?”

There was a rap on the downstairs door. ~

Secret Lady will be out in kindle and print at Amazon and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

In Pre-order  at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B07KNL7K3Z/

Follow my Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

Follow me on BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-trissel

***If you are interested in reviewing please contact me: bctrissel@yahoo. com


(Old barn behind our farm. Now torn down–sadly.)

Furbaby Friday with Author Kathryn Knight!


I’m glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, the talented Kathryn Knight, to share her beloved furbabies and paranormal romance, Haunted Souls.

Kathryn: I come from a long line of animal lovers, and growing up, we never had less than three pets at a time.  Generally, in my adult home, that’s how many we still have, although we’ve occasionally had four.  I’m passionate about rescuing shelter animals, so I try to balance my desire to “save them all” versus the reality of the size of our house, but right now we have two cats and one dog, and everyone gets along well.

Beth: Wonderful pic. They do look happy together.
(Otis and Jinx)

Otis came to us via PetFinder, a wonderful website that connects people looking to adopt a pet with animals available either in their area or even farther away, if transportation is available.  When we found Otis, I was looking for a younger dog, since we already had an older dog at home.  With two teenage boys and a husband who loves to jog long distances, we thought we would be a good fit for a more active dog that needed plenty of exercise.  Otis at the time was a 6-week-old puppy, likely a Border collie mix, who was found by the side of a highway in Alabama, along with his brother and mother.  A kind person brought them to a vet before they could get hit by a car, and from there, they made their way to foster care and were put up for adoption.  Once our application was approved, Otis (and his brother, Milo) were transported to New England via an amazing tag team of volunteers who take turns driving animals from states with overpopulated shelters to states with room to spare or new families already waiting.

(Pic of Otis and his handiwork)

As a puppy, Otis would nap under the stool I sit on at the kitchen island that serves as my writing desk.  Knowing my tendency to lose myself in my fictional world, I would make sure a leash connected him to the stool’s leg so I would know he wasn’t sneaking off and getting into trouble.  Apparently he’s smarter than I am, because he quietly chewed though three leashes to sneak off without me knowing.  For the most part, socks, gloves, and papers were the only losses, but those were the puppy days of mischief and teething.  Now, Otis is a well-mannered and beloved part of our household.

(The cats and Otis on the couch)

Our cats came to us via a local shelter.  About a year after Otis joined us, our beloved 17-year-old cat passed away, 4 years after his brother.  I was devastated.  But I knew it was an opportunity to provide a forever home to some cats in need.  I like to adopt cats who are already in bonded pairs, as they can sometimes be more difficult to place.  And I particularly love black cats, which might be related to my affinity for all things considered spooky and mysterious.  After all, I do write stories set in haunted houses.

Jinx and Max were another set of brothers, littermates who shelter volunteers hoped could be adopted together.  They keep each other entertained with their sneak attacks and their wrestling matches, and one thing they can agree on is that they’re always hungry.  They know how to bring that to my attention, too—they take over my writing space if they feel I’m not getting the message.

(Pic of Cats at computer)

Because I love pets so much, I tend to have characters that also have animals.  The heroine of Haunted Souls is actually a vet tech, and she and her son have a rescued tabby cat named Terrance.  And when a ghost follows them home from a haunted tour of an old jail, Terrance is immediately aware that an otherworldly presence is in the house…

Haunted Souls blurb:

Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily’s own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.

Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler’s imaginary friend. Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily’s attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.

Haunted Souls Amazon Link: http://a.co/bXF9S4j

Other retail links: http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/p/haunted-souls.html

~ A Top 3 Read of 2016 at Read Free.ly ~

Author bio and links:

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. Please visit her at http://www.kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KathrynKnightbooks/

Blog:  http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477115.Kathryn_Knight

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Knight/e/B00919ENJA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/k_knightbooks

Thanks for stopping by!~Please leave Kathryn a comment.

Coming Soon-My Very First Newsletter!


With much appreciated help, I’m putting together my first ever newsletter, a mix of gardening, geese, the farm, my furbabies, books…new release…If you’d like to be among the happy recipients please message me your email at bctrissel@yahoo.com or fill out the form on the left side of my blog. A $20.00 Amazon gift card will be awarded to one of the recipients for coming on board. I’m too busy herding cats, geese, Puppy Cooper, gardening, and that writing thing…to get a newsletter out more than quarterly so don’t worry about being bombarded.

This announcement is brought to you by my publicists, Peaches and Cream..

Why I Wrote Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time)


Edith’s Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from Crimson Peak, stirred this story in me long before I watched the movie, which was after I finished the book. I purposely waited until then before viewing the film. Other songs in the soundtrack also sent my imagination soaring, but that one really did. Scenes took shape in my mind, especially the ghostly dance I wrote in chapter one. I couldn’t have conceived Somewhere My Lady without this music. Some songs do that for me, but music isn’t the only inspiration behind the story.

Old homes have always drawn me. I’ve lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. Our farm-house was built in the 1870’s. Think about it, family’s filled these homes with the emotions accompanying the events taking place in their lives. The walls witnessed their sagas, good and bad, and absorbed the energy. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place. Even if I closed my eyes, I would know where I am, depending on how familiar I am with a house. Scents and hearing also play a part in this intuition, but the energy, whether positive or negative, flows from a home. A much lived in home is never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or they leave a part of themselves behind. I don’t know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.

Story Blurb: 

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.~

Somewhere My Lady is out 7-12-2017. The preorder kindle link:  https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V

If you’re interested in my other time travel romances, they’re  in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Time-4-Book/dp/B016DF8LJ2

***Somewhere My Lady is similar to Somewhere My Love but different.

Edith’s Theme:  https://youtu.be/zRi9KgffL3A

The Hunter’s Moon is up for Voting at P&E


The Hunter’s Moon is up for voting in the Preditors & Editors Annual Reader’s Poll under Young Adult. Click the link below, scroll down to find the title, check that and they need your name and contact info. A confirmation email will be sent and you have to click that link too, but no site registry is required. And thanks to those who vote! http://critters.org/predpoll/novelyoungadult.shtml

Story Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Morgan Daniel has been in the witness protection program most of her life. But The Panteras have caught up with her and her younger brother. Her car is totaled, she’s hurt, and the street gang is closing in when wolves with glowing eyes appear out of nowhere and chase away the killers.

Then a very cute guy who handles a bow like Robin Hood emerges from the woods and takes them to safety at his fortress-like home.

And that’s just the first sign that Morgan and her brother have entered a hidden world filled with secrets…

Writing While In Slug Mode and My New Series


Sleepy kittyWinter is both a good and challenging time to write. Hibernation calls and chocolate becomes a food group, hot beverages a necessity. My favorite is hot Earl Grey tea, also peppermint. I am not averse to coffee. Caffeine battles the tug to curl up with my drowsy kitties and nap. Occasionally, I succumb, plus we’ve had a round of plague in the family that set me back.

Despite it all, I’m pleased to say I just submitted the next in my paranormal time travel romance ‘Somewhere in Time’ series to my Wild Rose Press editor.

Fairy woman walking in the woodsThis latest story, Somewhere My Lady, is a New Adult time travel mystery romance like Somewhere My Love but different.  The novel kicks off my new ‘Lady series.’ The common theme in all my ‘Somewhere’ stories is that they open in an old home, so far in Virginia, and then flash back to an earlier era in the same house or somewhere else entirely like the Scottish Highlands.

Old English Manor with red rosesIn Somewhere My Lady, the couple are whisked back and forth between present-day in the elegant colonial home on the James River and its rich past during the American Revolution. The story has mystery, history, ghosts, humor, angst, a lot of paranormal activity, and above all Romance! I’m psyched and look forward to sharing more about it soon. (This is actually a pic of a British manor house, but the best of the James River plantations homes bear a resemblance to one.)

old Victorian homeMeanwhile, I’m at work on the next in my ‘Lady’ series, which is totally different from the first except that it fits the arching theme in my Somewhere in Time series. This second story takes place in a castle-styled Victorian home in historic Staunton, Virginia, and flashes back to various eras within the span of the house. Another winner, I think. At least, I’m engrossed in the writing. Each of the ‘Lady’ stories has a strong female lead and hero, and a great supporting cast of characters. I hope you will enjoy them when they take flight later this year.

Door, Old, Fantasy, Halloween, Gothic Style, Mystery, Spooky, Wood, Medieval, Doorway (2)Doors are important in these stories and the question posed is, ‘Will you go through that door?’

What awaits you on the other side?

If you haven’t read my Somewhere in Time Series, the stories are all available in kindle at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Time-4-Book/dp/B016DF8LJ2

Snarkology Halloween Hop (Oct. 26-31st)–Beth Trissel


Welcome to my corner of the Hop. As Curse of the Moon (Book 2, The Secret Warrior Series) takes place over Halloween, I’m giving away the kindle or eBook. For a shot at the super prize: (2) $100 Gift Card (Amazon, B&N, or iBooks), (2) $50 Gift Card (Amazon, B&N, or iBooks visit hop central at:  http://www.thesnarkology.com/snarkology-halloween-hop-oct-26-31st/

halloweenhop

YA Shifter Fantasy Romance Curse of the Moon is an urban paranormal set in our Virginia Mountains. From the 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?’

The lizard shifting witch in the story is drawn from mountain people lore about an old woman who basks in the moonlight as a large lizard. They call her the Lizard Lady. According to the tale, she’s been spotted not that far from where we live on a farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. I first heard about the Lizard Lady from late valley historian and author, John Heatwole, who interviewed valley/mountain people and recorded their accounts in his book, Shenandoah Voices. He also had a radio show, and that’s the first time I heard about The Lizard Lady. She caught my imagination, but it’s taken me about twenty years to bring her to life.

Old Home in the Blue Ridge Mountains

In Curse of the Moon, her name is Lilith Dubois, and she lives in a ramshackle house back in the mountains. Not only is she a lizard shifter in the moonlight, she’s a witch with memorizing eyes. If you gaze into their green depths, she’ll put a spell on you that only she can break—for a price. This sort of enchantress is called a gorgon. Bad things happen if you look into their eyes. The legendary Medusa turned people to stone. Lilith just gets what she wants from them. She has two teenage daughters, Eve and Dilly, who are important in the story/series. The girls have powers of their own.

The house I based Lilith’s rustic home on is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many locals know this place because they drive past it. In Curse of the Moon, you have to hike back to Lilith’s hollow or drive as near as you can in a pickup or four wheeler—rough road.

YA Fantasy Romance-Book 2

YA Fantasy Romance-Book 2

The Mountain people and Native American lore, plus my love of shifters, herbs, colonial America, and wild imagination are all part of the inspiration behind my new fantasy/paranormal series, The Secret Warrior.

***Winner (or winners) for the kindle/eBook of Curse of the Moon will be chosen from among those who leave me kind comments. If I’m feeling particularly generous I may include the other two books in the series. Yes, you do need to read them in order.