Tag Archives: new historical romance

Vonnie Davis with her New Historical Romance, Tumbleweed Letters

Thank you for having me today, Beth. I always enjoy visiting your lovely blog. I’ve come rolled in a tumbleweed to discuss my short story, Tumbleweed Letters.  

Delighted to have you, Vonnie, and excited for you in your new release.

I first fell in love with the Love Letters Series from The Wild Rose Press when I read your Into the Lion’s Heart, a glimpse into history in a well-crafted, charming story. The premise of the series intrigued me enough to go online and read the submission requirements.

How kind of you to say, and I agree it’s a great premise for a broad ranging line of stories. I’m glad you’ve joined in with Tumbleweed Letters.

Now back to Vonnie.

In this historical series, a character’s life had to be forever changed by the receipt of a letter. These stories had to be historically accurate and range between 20,000-25,000 words. In addition, the letter must occur within the first three pages of the story. Interesting, I thought. But what era would I write about? What type of storyline could I develop? Writing historical requires a certain skill-set and more research than is ever included in the story.

A couple weeks later, I began dreaming of tumbleweeds blowing across fields and a little boy throwing temper tantrums. Slowly a storyline coalesced, and I began delving into research of the late nineteenth century in the Dakota territories, the coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania and the Molly Maguires.

I learned that tumbleweed seeds were brought over in bags of grain from the Ukraine and were often referred to as “wind witches” or “Russian thistle.” I even found a website that makes interior decorations and Christmas trees from them.  http://www.prairietumbleweedfarm.com/history.htm

Still, throughout my weeks of heavy research, a little boy kept crying, “Mine. Mine.” To which I’d mentally respond, “Honey, I’m writing a romance, not a story about a child.” As it turned out, I did both.

***Sounds awesome, Vonnie.


When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer’s spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?

Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora’s brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.

Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?


Fingers touched her arm. “My name is Cam McBride, ma’am. I’ll gladly buy you a new dress or pay for a bolt of calico.” His deep voice raised gooseflesh on her arms.

She could not, would not look at up him. He was so tall and broad-shouldered, he was downright intimidating. “That really won’t be necessary, Mr. McBride. Good day.”

“Will you at least accept my apology?”

Sophie nodded and made a beeline for the door. For some reason, she wanted to get away from this man.

“Ma’am?” Footsteps echoed behind her. “Your name?” His hand wrapped around her wrist, feather light, yet firm.

Her stomach fluttered and her mouth went dry.

The child leaned forward in his father’s arms and grabbed her collar. “Mine.”

Saints preserve me, this child will tear apart my clothes yet. “Sophie…Sophie Flannigan.”

“Won’t you look at me when you talk?”

She shook her head and tried to move away.

“Where do you live?” His grasp on her tightened.

Goodness, but his voice was spellbinding. Something about it made her body react in strange ways that disturbed her. “I live where I work. Madam Dora’s brothel.”

His hand fell away, and she hurried out.

Behind her, a child wailed, “Mine. Mine, Daddy…mine.”

Jethro Rhinehardt leaned against the pillar when she stepped out onto the porch. Although she couldn’t see the man’s face, she recognized his build and mud-splattered canvas duster. If she hurried, she might sneak past without his noticing her. She’d have made it, too, if a nail poking out of the porch hadn’t snagged the twine on the bottom of one of her shoes and ripped it, causing her to stumble.

“Well, well, little Miss Scrub Lady.” He turned and side-stepped, blocking her path. For a heavy man, he slithered quickly, just like the snake he was.

Sophie tried going around him, and he stepped to the left, stopping her again. “Can’t you say good morning? Or are you too high and mighty?” He spit tobacco juice on the porch, and it splattered against her skirt.

“Good morning, Jethro. Now please let me by. I have errands to run for Dora. I can’t afford to lose my job.” She stepped to her right this time.

Once more he slid in front of her. To her surprise, he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her so they were eyeball to eyeball. Tobacco juice stained his scruffy beard that reeked of something foul. Her stomach lurched and she fought to swallow the bile. She still clutched the folds of material over her petticoat, determined this man would not see her undergarments.

“How’s about a kiss for ol’ Jethro? Or do I have to pay first?”

Her slap cracked in the morning air. “I’ll not be spoken to like that.”

Jethro’s eyes darkened and his jaw clenched. First the bear of a man shook her and then he had the audacity to slide his paw over her rump.

In response, she fought like a barn cat—hissing, kicking and scratching. She scratched his eye and tore a pocket off his shirt. “Get your filthy hands off me, you heathen.”

Men—miscreants, really—circled them. A few called out obscene suggestions for Jethro. There were hoots and hollers. A few men laughed and pounded Jethro on the back.

She fisted her hand and punched him in the nose. Blood splattered onto her bodice.

“How about you unhand the lady and put her down before she kills you?”

Jethro shook her again.

“Maybe you didn’t hear me. I said put the lady down.”

Sophie’s head whipped around to locate the man who’d spoken in her defense. Cam’s face was a dark mask of fury. He slowly set his son on the porch and laid his purchases at the child’s feet, his gaze never once leaving Jethro’s face. When he straightened and stepped toward the dirty man, her captor set her down.


***THE WILD ROSE PRESS — http://bit.ly/TumbleweedLetters

***AMAZON — http://bit.ly/TumbleweedLettersDavis

***You can find me online at http://www.vonniedavis.com and blogging at Vintage Vonnie. http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com

Sweet Saturday Snippet from The Bearwalker’s Daughter–Historical Paranormal Romance Novel

`Excerpt from Chapter Three

Autumn, 1784, the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia, the Scots-Irish Gathering in the McNeal Homestead

Guilt pricked Karin’s conscience. Stealth was at odds with her nature, but an inner voice summoned her, an irresistible melody. She instinctively knew where the music came from and that she must heed the age-old rhythm.

She crept into the main room. The dancers had succumbed to grogginess. Shadowy figures slumbered before the reddish-orange logs in the hearth, rolled up in blankets and deerskins on the floor boards. Other dark forms were bedded down in the loft overhead.  Some hardy souls had ventured out into the wind-tossed night after the startling end to the celebration. They’d headed home, but many folks remained within the stout walls of the homestead.

Popping wood settled in the hearth with a shower of orange sparks. Karin paused in mid-step.

No one stirred, except to snore and grunt in their sleep. Generous draughts of strong drink contributed to their unresponsive stupor. Saint Peter himself would have been hard-pressed to wake them. Like a vagrant spirit, she easily stole through the sprawled assembly and into the chamber where they’d taken Jack McCray.

A single candle burned on the circular bedside stand. The fringed pouch which laid on its walnut surface had been stained with use and the horn worn translucent so that it revealed the black powder within. The potentially lethal tomahawk gleamed in the flickering light. That same glow illuminated its owner stretched out in Joseph’s place, his long torso and legs spread the length of the mattress.

She needn’t worry that Jack grew chilled. Two brown striped wool blankets snugly wrapped him. She stopped beside his slumbering form, trembling with the cold and shaken by her daring in being where none would want her, except possibly the recipient of her scrutiny. Thankfully, he was unaware of her presence.

Had Jack even known what words escaped his lips when he’d whispered that strange message to her? Likely it was simply the wanderings of a confused mind borne of injury, but mystery veiled everything about the handsome stranger. Even lying there senseless, he drew her as if on the keenest wind.

She trailed her eyes over his face, pale beneath his bronzed skin, though not as drained of color as she’d feared. The covers rested partway down his muscular shoulders and chest. White linen swathed his upper   right arm where she’d applied the bandage. As far as she knew the only clothing he wore was an elkskin breechclout and a woven belt at his waist. He wouldn’t part with his knife. Grandpa had stripped off all else.

The restraints of modesty posed no hindrance to Neeley who’d sponged more of their guest than was seemly for Karin to do. An herbal scent clung to Jack’s clean skin and his freshly combed chestnut hair spread over the pillow. Unaccustomed to a man in this state of undress, Karin returned her close study to his face, disturbingly attractive with a familiar quality in his youthful but ruggedly masculine features.

His even brow and nose bore a strong resemblance to Joseph’s, not so large as to be out of proportion, but distinctive and definitely McCray. Beneath the dark whiskers roughening his firm chin she saw the same small cleft, a family trait. Jack lacked his brother’s reddish tones, though, and was a warm brown from his sun-kissed skin to his hair. More like Uncle Thomas.

Here lay no boy newly sprung to manhood, but a well-honed frontiersman and Lord only knew what else. Joseph paled in comparison with his striking brother, partly because Jack was new and different. Wonderfully so. But she couldn’t stand and stare at him all night.

She laid her hand on his forehead, relieved to find no sign of fever. Neeley was familiar with all the healing herbs and had taught Karin well. Jack’s robust health would also aid his recovery. Confident he was on the mend, Karin let her curious inspection drift to the white stone suspended from the leather cord around his neck. Pink lights in the quartz shimmered with rosy iridescence. Intrigued, she reached out her hand to the polished surface—freezing as he groaned.

His eyes opened. In that instant, any resemblance between the brothers vanished. Jack’s seeing, yet not seeing, gaze fixed on her with a feral gleam.

Fear rushed through her. Snatching her hand away, she spun around.

Not fast enough.

She gasped as he snagged her wrist and jerked her down onto the bed. Snaking his sound arm around her chest, he pinned both arms at her sides. His injured limb was equally able—the pain seemingly forgotten in his craze.

Whipping out his knife, he poised it at her throat. Just like that, she was a heart-pounding slice away from death. Surely her chest would burst.

“What do you want?” he demanded hoarsely.~

***To visit more authors taking part in Sweet Saturday Samples click HERE!

***The powder horn and pouch pictured above once belonged to Daniel Boone but has been stolen.  For more on that visit: http://www.boonesociety.org/articles/danielboonpowderhorn.htm

The Bearwalker’s Daughter is available in Amazon Kindle for .99!

Three Amazon Bestsellers in Native American Romance!

Triple woot!  Happy dancing.  My short story, The Lady and the Warrior, and both novels, The Bearwalker’s Daughter and Red Bird’s Song (as of this moment) are in the top 24 in the Amazon bestsellers list for Native American RomanceAlso, Red Bird’s Song is in the top 12 in Native American fiction and literature.

What I don’t get is why my award-winning NA historical romance novel Through the Fire isn’t on the list.  Come on readers, it’s super swell, if I do say so myself.  Others have said the same, though not in those particular words. 🙂  How about riveting and powerful?

“Ms. Trissel has captured the time period wonderfully…. I felt I was there through her descriptions and settings. An excellent story where there is so much happening.”  ~Two Lips Review by Shelia

“The storyline of Through the Fire is well-written and uncommonly descriptive. Ms. Trissel took great time and effort to research Indian beliefs and their way of life. Anyone who buys this book will take great pleasure in it.” ~You Gotta Read by Laura

“Through the Fire is full of interesting characters, beautifully described scenery, and vivid action sequences. It is a must read for any fan of historical romance.” ~Long and Short Reviews by Poinsettia

2008 Golden Heart® Finalist

Blurb for Through the Fire:
At the height of the French and Indian War, a young English widow ventures into the colonial frontier in search of a fresh start. She never expects to find it in the arms of the half-Shawnee, half-French warrior who makes her his prisoner in the raging battle to possess a continent––or to be aided by a mysterious white wolf and a holy man.~

Blurb for Red Bird’s Song:

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. ~

2012 EPIC Ebook Award Finalist
This is a beautifully written story filled with adventure and suspense…This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating. —Night Owl Book Review by Laurie-J

I loved the descriptions…I felt I was there…Many mystical episodes are intermingled with the events…The ending is a real surprise, but I will let you have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.  —Seriously Reviewed

With Red Bird’s Song, Beth Trissel has painted an unforgettable portrait of a daring and defiant love brought to life in the wild and vivid era of Colonial America. Highly recommended for lovers of American history and romance lovers alike!~Virginia CampbellI liked this book so much. The author has done a magnificent job of creating both characters and setting. The descriptions of the area are wonderful and put the reader right in there with the characters…I will most certainly read other books by this author.” Overall rating 5 out of 5 hearts Reviewer: Jaye Leyel for The Romance Studio
Blurb for The Bearwalker’s Daughter:

Timid by nature—or so she thinks—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?

(A revised version of Daughter of the Wind)

“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

“I loved the plot of this story, oh, and the setting was wonderful.”
-Mistress Bella Reviews

“I found this book fascinating.” -Bitten By Books

Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009 

Blurb 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?

About The Lady and the Warrior:  A short historical romance story with a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor to give readers a taste of my full-length American historical romance novels.  If you like The Lady and the Warrior, chances are you will enjoy Red Bird’s Song and Through the Fire.  Both have a strong Native American theme interwoven with the plot.

Several of these titles are also available in Nookbook.  With more there soon.