Tag Archives: historical

Release Day for Ghostly Historical Romance Novel, Traitor’s Curse!

Deep intuition, visions, and research all inspired this historical novel with a strong paranormal element. Like ghosts. Traitor’s Curse is out in both kindle and print at Amazon, and Nookbook at Barnes & Noble, and various eBook formats wherever electronic books are sold. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has Traitor’s Curse in print and eBook, currently half price.

traitors curse

New Excerpt from Traitor’s Curse:

Stuart clasped her shoulders. She was flesh and blood beneath his grip, yet seemed not of this world. “What did he say?”

“To watch for your coming.”

“How could they possibly anticipate my visit?”

“That has not yet been revealed.”

Her answer baffled him, as did she. “Why did you call me master? Are you a servant?”


He’d doubted she was in anyone’s employ. Her smooth hands, opulent coverlet, and refined manner, all bespoke gentility. And she smelled of violets, a costly scent.

He gazed deeply into those mesmerizing eyes. “Why are you here?”

“I seek the living among the dead.”

A peculiar reply from the haunting stranger. “Who?”

“You. Stuart Monroe.”

Again, the sensation of ants scattering down the nape of his neck. “How did you know I would come?”

“I was told. In a dream.”

She spoke like one in a dream. The cold mist, the woman—an apparition in the fog—seemed unreal. Yet she was no ghost.

“You can foresee events?” A sense of dread possessed him.

“In glimpses. Your father appeared to me.” Her barely perceptible voice faded entirely, and her eyes fluttered, then closed. She swayed against him, any further explanation muffled by his coat.

Stuart held her fast and kept her from sliding to the cold earth. What did his father have to do with this visitation? Was the woman in his arms some sort of witch?~

 Visit my Amazon Author Page where ALL my books reside

How Inspiration Comes + Ghostly, Gothic, Historical Romance Novel Traitor’s Curse

traitors curseIn Traitor’s Curse, (Out Nov. 6th) I was walking in our meadow when I heard  a woman say, “Master Stuart do not venture here.” And she floated toward me in the mist so that I wasn’t certain she was real. Neither was Stuart Monroe, hero of the story, especially as he’s  in a graveyard at the time. That’s how the novel begins, and now you know why. The voices and visions were in my head, but rather startling. I never know how inspiration may come, only that it will.

Traitor’s Curse is available for pre-order in Kindle and Nookbook and will also come out in print. The novel is the third in my Traitor’s Legacy Series and the Sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, released by The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt from Traitor’s Curse:

 “Turn back. A man watches you.”

Again, the warning carried from the unseen source.

What man, and how did she know Stuart was observed? He could barely discern anything.

“Who are you? Show yourself.” Uneasiness lent indignation to his demand.

Through the haze, he spotted the figure of a young female dressed all in white. A death shroud?

Pray God, it wasn’t. His gut knotted, and he stood staring at her.

Ethereal, ghostly, she seemed to float toward him, but must have walked.

 Must have.

A cold shiver stood the hair on the back of his neck on end. Was she flesh and blood, or spirit? Had she crossed the divide between the two worlds?

He scarcely dared to breathe.

Still, he stood rooted to the trail. And not only from fright. Fascination. Despite fear of being haunted, an aura about her drew him.

He waited, every muscle taut, poised betwixt heaven and earth, the scent of crumbling leaves in his nose. At least, that was real.

Whiteness swirling around her, she neared.

Then he spotted it, an ivory coverlet draped over her head and around her slender shoulders pinched together in front with pale fingers.

No shroud.

The blanket reached to her ankles and trailed behind along the ground. Mist muted the flowers stitched into the cloth. This accounted for him not spotting her sooner. She’d blended in with the vapor.~

***Visit my Amazon Author Page where ALL my books reside.

Oh, the Inspiration in a Place

Blue Ridge MountainsFor me, in my writing, it’s all about time and place. Certain settings inspire me, like old homes, particularly haunted ones, castles, Southern plantations, and their opposite, rustic log cabins, but most especially, the mountains. I love the misty mountains. What stories they hold. Secrets, mysteries, ghosts…

Many accounts centered around the mountain people have been recorded. The late author and historian, John Heatwole, left a rich wealth of information in his books about the Shenandoah Valley and mountain people. Some of these stories are wonderful for inspiration. I’ll give you several examples from John Heatwole’s book, Shenandoah Voices.

Moonlit Night

“When Nelson Whetzel was a young man he had an interesting experience while walking home from work one evening. In Brocks Gap in earlier times the only things to light ones way were the stars or the glow from a lamp in a neighbor’s window. 

As he walked Nelson heard a horse coming up the road behind him.  Nelson stopped for a moment, thinking, ‘Good! I’ll have someone to talk to.’ But the sound of the horse’s hooves stopped when he did. He called out, asking who was there in the pitch-black.

No answer came and Nelson began uneasily walking again, this time a little faster. The sound of the horse picked up pace to match Nelson’s. He stopped a second time and the sound of the horse ceased to be heard. Nelson started trotting and the sound horse’s hooves were heard at a trot behind him, close on his heels. He grew very frightened and began to run as fast as he could.  The galloping horse seemed to be so close, Nelson thought he felt the breath on the back of his neck.

Up ahead Nelson saw the lighted windows of the cabin belonging to George and Mat Smith. He was so terrified that he hit the Smith’s front door at full force. He knocked it down and went right through the structure, knocking down the back door as he exited. The Smiths blinked at each other in wonder and amazement. They saw no phantom horse follow Nelson through their home.

Immediately after his encounter with the doors Nelson noticed the sound of the pursuing horse was gone, however, he ran on home as fast as his feet would carry him.”

*That tale reminds me of the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Scary!

“The Roadcaps lived in a two-story log cabin just down the road from Gospel Hill Mennonite Church. All of the girls of the family shared a room upstairs.  One night one of the sisters, Peggy by name, went to the bedroom alone.  There she saw a woman sitting up on the iron headboard of one of the beds.

The woman didn’t say anything or move toward the frightened child, just sat there and looked at her. Peggy was rooted to the spot in fear but able to find her voice and call to her father to come to her aid.  There was something in her voice that demanded immediate attention and she heard his heavy footfall as he hurried up the stairs. As her father neared the room, the woman vanished into thin air.  Peggy never entered that room alone again.”~

“The children of the Roadcap family loved to play on the banks of the little Shoemaker River near their home. Once they came running home and told their father they’d seen a woman all dressed in white walking along the opposite bank of the river from where they played. They’d never seen her before and being shy had not spoken to her but only observed her progress.

Their father listened thoughtfully and then told them they had seen the spirit of a young woman who had died years before of a broken heart. They were told they would probably see her again and that she would do them no harm. They were to behave as they had before and refrain from calling out to the spirit.

They believed their father. There were not that many people living in those parts and the children knew them all. They promised not to disturb the apparition if they encountered her again. During their childhoods they witnessed her strolling along the river on several more occasions.”~

That story reminds me of the novel, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which was a very intriguing BBC mystery/thriller starring Tara Fitzgerald. I saw the film on Netflix and highly recommend it.

***If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy the one I wrote entitled:

The Poltergeist in our Old Farm House

***John Heatwole’s books are at Amazon, but may only be available as used copies.

Book Launch for Historical Romance Traitor’s Legacy in Historic Halifax, NC

At the gala beside signs that resemble a colonial tavern.

At the gala beside signs that resemble a colonial tavern.

Discover Historic Halifax, at the forefront of the battle for independence, and the site of mystery and adventure. Where love wars with duty and allegiances, and false friends betray all.

A gala in a lovely home with special touches to make it resemble a tavern kicked off the three-day event. On Saturday, period reenactors, dancers, and musicians brought Historic Halifax to life for the book signing of Traitor’s Legacy. Like a mini Williamsburg, the town is a gem and well worth a visit. On Sunday afternoon, the charming 18th century tavern/inn, Person’s Ordinary, hosted me for a second book signing. Proceeds go toward preservation of Historic Halifax and the Ordinary. I can’t thank these good folk enough for all they did to make this a fantastic event.

Tavern style menu with dishes named after characters in the book.

Tavern style menu with dishes named after characters in the book.

Beth with the town crier

Beth with the town crier

Journey back to the drama and romance of the American Revolution where spies can be anyone and trust may prove deadly…historical romance novel, Traitor’s Legacy.

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?

At the Masonic Royal White Hart Lodge, No. 2

At the Masonic Royal White Hart Lodge, No. 2

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. These novels comprise the Traitor’s Legacy Series.

Three ladies who made the gala happen

Three ladies who made the gala happen

Quilt at the quilt show

They also had a beautiful quilt show.

Signing at the lodge with friends from the valley.

Signing at the lodge with friends from the valley.

Author Tim Ashby and His Time Travel Military Thriller–Time Fall

Time_Fall_-_Cover_Art (1)

Tim Ashby shares the struggles of characters from different time periods to understand each other–a challenge I know quite a bit about myself:) Welcome Tim.

Hello! In my new book, TIME FALL, I gave myself the job of creating realistic characters from two different time periods who must interact with one another. This task turned out to be both challenging and fun! I had a time-traveling WWII soldier falling in love with a modern-day medical student, and I had to make it all believable. Many readers have asked me questions about the process, so I hope you’ll enjoy this Q & A. (***I did and the book sounds fantastic)

In TIME FALL 6 US Army soldiers are sent, in 1945, on a mission to hit Nazi targets behind enemy lines. They parachute into a crazy electrical storm and disappear, officially Missing in Action for almost 70 years. In fact, they are pulled out of their own time and into ours. They land in deeply forested Germany, still believing it is 1945, and begin to attack.

I hope this work keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they are torn between rooting for these brave men, and knowing that the targets the men seek to destroy are innocent.

Time_Fall_3D_Cover_Art (1)Q.  In Time Fall, your lead female character, Paula von Scheller, is a 20-something medical student who is held hostage by the out-of-time US Army soldiers. It takes her a while to figure out who these guys are. How did you go about deciding how long to let her struggle?

As all the action in the book happens in less than 48 hours in present-day Germany, I had to accelerate the process of the modern characters figuring out that “a miracle of time” had occurred, yet keep it believable.  I achieved this by letting Paula’s grandfather – a WW II German Luftwaffe veteran – question the Rangers in her presence about the culture of the 1930s and 40s – popular songs, sports figures, movie stars, etc.

Q. Tell us a little about what the soldiers looked like to the modern-day woman.

“Von Scheller … peered closely at Holcombe’s uniform.  It seemed unlike the pictures of contemporary American soldiers in newspapers and magazines — more similar, in fact, to photos in World War II histories. This had to be a hoax.  An elaborate and cruel practical joke.

Von Scheller cleared his throat. “We are the victims of a hoax, Paula. These are not real American soldiers.  They are probably left-wing students trying to punish me in some sick way for my service in the Luftwaffe.”

Holcombe paused with the spoon halfway to his mouth. “The hell you say we’re not real American soldiers!  I’m a member in good standing of the best goddam fighting unit in the world, the US Second Ranger Battalion!”

“If that is true,” Paula said,” how can you claim you joined the army in 1941? You look no older than twenty!”

Holcombe banged the spoon and can on the floor.

“What the hell’s wrong with you crazy Krauts? You trying to get my goat or something?”  He took out a US Army pay book with his ID card clipped to it and tossed it to Paula. “This’ll prove I’m the real McCoy!”

Paula examined the dog-eared piece of cardboard headed “Enlisted Mans Identification Card, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army.”

“Opa, these say his name is Private First Class Daniel R. Holcombe, Company B, Second United States Ranger Battalion.”  She looked up, her expression mingling wonder and disbelief.  “It gives his date of birth as October 8, 1924. That’s impossible!”

WW11 airplane

Q. What were some of the obstacles you faced in making the interactions realistic?

Both parties (the soldiers from 1945, and the modern-day Germans) had to initially believe the others were insane, even though both were rational within their own time context.  Also, because the action takes within less than 48 hours, I had to fit the different scenes together like a fine clockwork mechanism (no time travel pun intended) to make the plot work.  Furthermore, I did a great deal of research on the culture and even speech patterns of the 1940s to ensure that the WW II Rangers spoke and acted like people from that era.

Q. What kind of research did you do to be able to so successfully create speech patterns and slang used by WWII soldiers?

I watched a number of late ‘30s and early ‘40s motion pictures, not only about the War but the kind of popular films that the soldiers would have watched in high school and after joining the Army.  People in those days mimicked slang and even behavior from movies. For example, here’s an excerpt from TIME FALL:

“Sutton felt the four privates watching him, waiting for that nebulous thing called leadership that gave him the right to wear silver bars on his shoulders and send trusting men to their deaths.  He suddenly felt old beyond his twenty-four years, weary and homesick.  Did all officers feel this way or just him?  He squared his shoulders, resorting to a leadership technique taught by one of his OCS instructors – imitating movie tough guys like Jimmy Cagney or George Raft.”

Q. Some authors say that they must become “actors” in order to fully inhabit their characters. Was that true for you? How did it “feel” different to you when you wrote a 1945 character, and when you wrote a modern-day character?

I did indeed feel like I was becoming an “actor” in order to fully inhabit both the characters from the past as well as the present.  I got to the point where I was even dreaming about being a soldier in the European Theater during WW II.  The old German Luftwaffe veteran was a challenge as was the primary villain (who had been a Hitler Youth member during the War and remained an unreconstructed Nazi).  I had to put myself in the shoes of Germans who had lived during the Nazi era and fought against the Allies, but portray one as a good man with high ideals, and the other one as a bad man but nonetheless complex because he had been “socialized” by the Nazis from the time he was a child.

Q. Where did you get the idea of having WWII soldiers still fighting their war in 2011?

When I was a student at the University of Southern California, one of my older classmates was a Viet Nam veteran.  He told me a true story about the mysterious disappearance of a helicopter when it flew into a strange cloud during a routine mission with other choppers.  He told me that he wondered if the aircraft and its passengers had simply disappeared into another time caused by unusual atmospheric conditions.  This incident – as well as other strange disappearances over the years, including those taking place in the “Bermuda Triangle,” gave me the idea for the premise of TIME FALL.

Tim_Ashby_Author_1 (1)TIME FALL by Timothy Ashby

June, 2013 Author Planet Press




***Filled with historically accurate details, Time Fall is a complex military tale that keeps readers riveted through every surprising twist. Read an excerpt and to enter to win a FREE copy of Time Fall, visit http://www.timefallbook.com/. For your copy, visit http://amzn.to/190ZMwe. You can also get your copy at all major book retailers.

About Tim Ashby: Timothy Ashby’s life has been as thrilling as one of his action/adventure novels. Visit his author blog at www.timashby.com.

An international lawyer, businessman and writer, Tim Ashby worked in Washington DC as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official – the youngest political appointee of his rank – at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He has lived in the Caribbean and Europe as well as various places in the United States. An avid historian, he published widely on military history, archaeology, business and international relations. A licensed attorney in Florida and the District of Columbia, Tim Ashby has a PhD degree from the University of Southern California, a JD from Seattle University Law School, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh Scotland.

Deadly 777 Writing Challenge–Beth Trissel

I was tagged by the lovely and talented, Sky Purington,along with six other authors. My challenge is to go to page 7 of my current work in progress and post seven lines. When I’m finished posting, I get to tag seven other authors. Hmm, who shall I tag? Oh and once I’m done, I challenge those seven to do the same and tag 7 more. Too much fun!

These seven lines are from page seven of my work in progress, the sequel to historical romance novel Enemy of the King, entitled A Traitor’s Legacy, featuring the dynamic British Dragoon Captain Vaughan (from Enemy of the King) and a new face, Patriot Claire Monroe. In this scene, her adolescent brother has just shot one of Vaughan’s men soon after their arrival at her North Carolina home.

“I am truly sorry for your violent reception at Thornton Hall and beg your forbearance,” she blurted, and flung herself at Vaughan’s feet just across from the wounded guide. Loose brown hair, streaked gold in the sunshine, cascaded over her slender figure. “Spare my foolish brother, I beseech you.”

Hardly in a position to indulge her notions of chivalry, as he was covered in blood and constrained by the need to apply pressure to Percy’s wound, Vaughan scowled at her in bemusement. “Get up, woman. I shall consider your request.”

The Story Behind Texas Historical Sweet Romance Wish for the Moon

My talented friend Author Celia Yeary is here with me today to share the story behind Wish for the Moon, a book I’m very much enjoying–especially as it’s set in a place and time I know little about, and the characters are very well drawn.  Now, I’m turning this post over to Celia.

A Coal-Mining Ghost Town in North Texas? What happened?

“Thurber was, but Thurber ain’t no more.”

Thurber is a coal-mining ghost town in Erath County, Texas, located 75 miles west of Fort Worth.

When my husband and I travel from Central Texas to North Texas on Highway 281, we pass under Interstate 20, which runs East-West. At that point there is a sign pointing west: Thurber-11 miles. After seeing this sign for several years, I wondered about Thurber, Texas, a small town I’d never heard of even though my place of birth was nearby. By researching Thurber, I found an amazing story of a thriving coal-mining town in the Nineteenth Century, now a ghost town with little remaining of the once populated area. Almost all signs of life are gone, including all the buildings.

Thurber was “owned” by The Texas and Pacific Coal Company in 1888. Its mining operation provided the fuel for coal-burning locomotives of numerous railroad. By 1920, conversion of locomotives from coal to oil reduced demand and lowered prices. Miners left the area through the 1920s, leaving it virtually a ghost town. It had a population of approximately 8,000 to 10,000, from more than a dozen nationalities, though Italians, Poles, and Mexicans predominated. It was the largest town between Fort Worth and El Paso.

Thurber was a pure company town. Every resident lived in a company house, shopped in a company store, drank in a company saloon, attended a company school, danced at the company opera house, and worshipped in a company church. During its heyday, Thurber was the first city in Texas to be completely electrified and amenities included refrigeration and running water. It did, however have an abnormally high child mortality rate that still puzzles historians.

Armed guards patrolled a huge fenced perimeter around Thurber, not to keep workers in, but to keep Union organizers out.

I thought to write a story based in this coal-mining town, but later my mind wandered to the next county over, Palo Pinto County, where I was born and where we lived down the dusty road to our grandparents home and farm. It was this old weather-beaten house that I placed my heroine, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis. I used childhood memories in the story.

And I knew how I would use the town of Thurber in Wish for the Moon.


At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis wishes for a chance to see more of the world, since all she’s ever known is the family farm in North Texas.

A mysterious visitor arrives who will change not only her life, but her family’s as well. To save Max Landry from a bogus charge, she follows him and the Texas Rangers back to the coal-mining town one county over where a murder occurred. The short journey sets Annie on a path of discovery—new horizons, an inner strength, and quite possibly…love.



“I’ve never been anywhere, at least far away. Oh, how I would love to go to Paris, too, and New York. Other than Brazos City, I’ve only been over to Mineral Wells, once. Did you know they have the healing water baths there in two hotels? People come from all over. Anyway, we went to a fair and rode a Ferris wheel and a carousel, and ate hot dogs from a stand, and even had fairy fluff. I didn’t really care for that pink gooey junk, though. It was sort of disappointing, you know? What you saw was something awful pretty and it promised to be something outstanding, but when you bit into it, all you got was a mouthful of airy stuff that just disappeared in your mouth.”

Max stopped in the field, took Annie’s arm, and turned her toward him. “Did you know, Annie McGinnis, you’ve just articulated how I feel much of the time?”

“What…what do you mean, ar-ticu-lated?” she asked with widened eyes.

Before he answered, he lowered the tote to the ground, and placed his hands low on his hips, gazing away from her. Words wouldn’t come exactly as he wanted, but she had expressed the convoluted thoughts he had in his head much of the time.

He turned back and said very slowly, “Often, I see something nice I might like to have, a big house, one of those new motor cars they’re making now, a new tailored suit with a hat to match, or…a family…” His voice trailed off as if he forgot what he wanted to say, but really, he just didn’t know how to express his feelings.

“Go ahead, Max, say it,” she urged gently. “A family to come home to.”

He shook his head. “But it could all disappear in a flash right before your eyes. Don’t you see? It’s not worth it in the end. You think you have something forever and bang, it’s all gone. Turned to nothing in your mouth when at first, it seemed so sweet.”


Willow Moon Publishing

Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit ‘o Texas