Tag Archives: Opal Whiteley

My New Historical Romance and the Very Unique Kira–Beth Trissel

The Rugged Alleghenies, A White Warrior, Beautiful Scots-Irish Healer, Unrequited Love—Requited, Charges of Witchcraft, Vindictive Ghost, Lost Treasure, Murderous Thieves, Deadly Pursuit, Hangman’s Noose Waiting…Kira, Daughter of the Moon

1765––The recent Indian wars are over (for now) and an uneasy truce in place. Free-spirited Kira is at odds with the superstitious Scots-Irish in the settlement and rumor spreads that she may be a witch. Her imagination runs to fairy rings, the little people, and haints (something that’s there but ain’t). She’s happiest out among the trees where she can hide from her painful past and any warriors who might again appear.

A gifted healer with a menagerie of wild creatures, she’s in the forest releasing a tame crow when her little beagle sounds the alarm. She peers warily from the leaves at the handsome young stranger. His buckskin breechclout and moccasins are more in keeping with a warrior’s than any frontiersmen she knows and there’s a stealth in his manner that reminds her of the way Indians pass through the trees. Yet he’s not a warrior. Unless, he’s a renegade. This is the set up for the story, but there’s a great deal more behind it, and especially, Kira, the most unique heroine I’ve ever written.

Not only does Kira have a tame crow she’s nursed back to health, but a number of wild animals under her care in what she calls her nursery, a protected nook in the woods close to the homestead where she lives with the Houston family who took her in after her parent’s death (relatives of the hero, Logan McCutcheon). Some of Kira’s babies ride in pockets she’s sewn inside her cloak for that purpose. Her guardian, particularly his wife, aren’t happy about hosting her creatures and banish the talkative crow, the reason she’s in the woods releasing him when she spots the potential threat.

Besides my love of animals, two books influenced this aspect of Kira’s character, one was a children’s book my youngest daughter brought home from the school library in fifth grade. I wish I could recall the title and maybe a helpful reader will because I’d love to locate a copy. I only remember it’s a true story about a family who took in injured and orphaned animals and I was much impressed by their talking crows. The second book, The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow, The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley, is a remarkable journal first written in crayon by an amazing girl, and later laboriously pierced back together after her sister shredded the pages. Sadly, Opal suffered from schizophrenia in an era when little was known about treatment, but her relationship with nature is the most outstanding I’ve ever come across.

When I first wrote Kira, Daughter of the Moon, I simply entitled the novel Kira, because she’s very much her own person. But she evolves into a much stronger young woman as a result of Logan’s return to her life, and that aspect of Kira is influenced by the Native Americans he counts as friends who give her the name, Daughter of the Moon.

***Kira, Daughter of the Moon is available in print and various ebook formats from The Wild Rose Press,  Amazon, Barnes & Noble in NookbookAll Romance eBooks, and other online booksellers.

Although written to stand alone, ‘Kira’ is the sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel Through the Fire.