Tag Archives: The Last of the Mohicans

Think Colonial Frontier and The Last of the Mohicans–my Native American Warrior Series


Native American historical romance Red Bird's SongYears ago, while researching family genealogy, I gained the courage to take the leap from penning non-fiction essays about country life and plunge into historical romance novels set in early America. That first story, Red Bird’s Song, written and rewritten more than any other, is the book of my heart, and heads up my NATIVE AMERICAN WARRIOR SERIES.

RED BIRD’S SONG was purchased from The Wild Rose Press by Amazon for republication under their Encore line on 8-25-2015. eBook rights belong to Amazon. Look for it there in kindle and print.
“This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.” ~ Laurie-J Reviewer for Red Bird’s Song at Night Owl Romance

Red Bird’s Song is a 2012 Double Epic Award Finalist!

musket_powder hornMy fascination with Colonial America, particularly stirring tales of the frontier and the Shawnee Indians, is an early and abiding one. My English, Scot-Irish ancestors had interactions with this tribe, including family members taken captive. In Red Bird’s Song, I honed in on my early American roots in a story featuring the Scots-Irish and an Indian attack that happened to my ancestors.

My award-winning Native American themed historical romance novel Through the Fire is also based on research into my colonial forebears and the French and Indian War.  Although written to stand alone, historical romance novel Kira Daughter of the Moon, is the sequel to Through the Fire. These three novels, along with The Bearwalker’s Daughter comprise my Native American Warrior Series.

(Image of old family musket, hunting pouch, and powder horn and the Alleghenies pictured below by my mom, Pat Churchman)

The Alleghenies, the Virginia colonial frontier
Red Bird’s Song (Native American Warrior Series):
Blurb: 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.~

pipetomahawk
“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!” ~Review by Virginia Campbell

Through the Fire cover Resized AgainThrough the Fire (Native American Warrior Series) is an adventure romance with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave. Some of the most unusual aspects of this story are based on individuals who really lived. A passionate love story set during the French and Indian War.

BlurbWill love inflame these two natural-born enemies in fiery destruction?
Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful Indian tribes as their allies. 

English lady Rebecca Elliot, having eloped to America with a British captain, finds herself a widow. When she ventures into the colonial frontier with the militia to seek her uncle, she unwittingly enters a dangerous world of rugged mountains, wild animals, and even wilder men. The rules are different here and she doesn’t know them, especially those of the savagely handsome warrior who captures her body and her heart.

Half-Shawnee, half-French warrior Shoka, former guide for English traders, is the hawk, swift, sure, and silent as the moon. He knows all about survival in this untamed land and how deadly distraction can be. His intent is to sell Rebecca to the French before she draws him under her spell, but if he lets her go he can no longer protect her. If he holds onto her, can he safeguard his heart? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.

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.” ~Poinsettia, Long and Short Reviews

The French and Indian War, a Shawnee warrior, an English lady, blood vengeance, deadly pursuit, primal, powerful, passionate …THROUGH THE FIRE.

“Ms Trissel spins a very fine yarn with Through the Fire. Her vivid imagery takes you right back into the action. The colours, scents and views tickle the senses. The deep description of scenery and historical setting gave me just the right idea of what Rebecca went through, both physically and emotionally. Ms Trissel knows how to tell a wonderful tale.

A beautifully written love story, with enough dangers lurking to keep us on our toes. Perfect reading material.” ~Historicals Reviewed
 pipetomahawk
THE BEARWALKER’S DAUGHTER (Native American Warrior Series)
Historical paranormal romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, follows on the heels of the American Revolution and takes place in the ruggedly beautiful Alleghenies.

A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Bearwalking Shawnee Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter

Blurb: 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?

(The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of my award-winning 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.” ~Camellia, Long and Short Reviews
KIRA, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON (Native American Warrior Series) was purchased from The Wild Rose Press by Amazon for republication under their Encore line on 9-22-2015. eBook rights belong to Amazon. Look for it in kindle and print!

Kira Daughter of the Moon‘A beautiful Scots-Irish healer in the rugged Alleghenies finds herself accused of witchcraft. With the terror of the French and Indian War fresh in her mind, can Kira love a white warrior?’

I have a growing selection of historical romance featuring those Celts settled in the rugged Alleghenies and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the Native Americans they encountered.

‘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’

Set among the superstitious Scots in the rugged Alleghenies, the story is an adventurous romance with a blend of Celtic and Native American flavors. Although written to stand alone, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the long-awaited sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel, Through the Fire.

Blurb: Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.

Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay–and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he’s back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.~

(Logan, the ‘white warrior’ from Kira, Daughter of the Moon. One of my all time favorite heroes.)

“This is one pageturner you might read in record speed. Except when you get near the end. If it’s read slower the story will last longer. That’s when it’s time to savor the story for a while and when the story is really good it almost seems a shame to begin another book with the memory of the current book still fresh in your mind.” ~Martha Decker for Examiner.com
Five Stars For Kira, Daughter of the Moon!

From Poinsettia for Long and Short Reviews:

Voted_BoM_by_LASR_Readers_2013“One of the things I enjoy most about Ms. Trissel’s writing is her amazing ability to transport readers directly into her stories. Her mastery of descriptive language never ceases to amaze me. “Green-gold light streamed through the rippling leaves while high overhead a yellow warbler trilled sweet, sweet, sweet and the warmth of hay-scented fern wafted on the mild breeze.” 

After reading this first sentence, I already felt as if I were standing next to Kira in the woods. I could see, hear, and smell everything she did. Completely immersed in the story, I eagerly dove into the pages that followed…”

***The Bearwalker’s DaughterRed Bird’s Song, Through the Fire and Kira, Daughter of the Moon are part of my Native American Warrior Series. Short story, The Lady and the Warrior, also fits this line and may someday be a full novel. All are available on my Amazon Author Page.
pipetomahawk

My Native American Warrior Series to Date


7d6f8-redbirdssong_w4782_680In addition to Native Americans, hardy Scots-Irish frontiersmen and women, colonial Englishmen and ladies, and even a few Frenchmen also play an important role in this series. So far, it spans the gamut from the dramatic era of the French and Indian War, through Pontiac’s War, The American Revolution and shortly thereafter. But that time period may broaden as more stories are added to this line. I have a growing selection for you to consider. All lengths. A collection of historical romance featuring those Celts settled in the rugged Alleghenies and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the Native Americans they encountered.My Native American Warrior Series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the storyline. However, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the actual sequel to Through the Fire, and there will be other sequels. And stories.

 
Historical Romance Novel Redbird’s Song: (Inspired by events that occurred to my early American ancestors in the colonial frontier)
Blurb: 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
Cover by Rae Monet
 
“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 Campbell”I 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
***Available in print and kindle at Amazon, in NookBook, and from other online booksellers
Kira, Daughter of the Moon~
“I have been a fan of Ms. Trissel’s work for years. Kira, Daughter of the Moon completely lived up to every one of my expectations. I highly recommend this wonderfully written tale to anyone who loves historical romance.” ~Five Stars from Poinsettia for Long and Short Reviews
‘A beautiful Scots-Irish healer in the rugged Alleghenies finds herself accused of witchcraft. With the terror of the French and Indian War fresh in her mind, can Kira love a white warrior?’
‘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’
***Available in print and various ebook formats from The Wild Rose Press,  Amazon, Barnes & Noble in NookbookAll Romance eBooks, and other online booksellers.
Set among the superstitious Scots in the rugged Alleghenies, the story is an adventurous romance with a blend of Celtic and Native American flavors. Although written to stand alone, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the long-awaited sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel, Through the Fire. *Cover by Rae Monet~
 Blurb: Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.
Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay–and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he’s back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.~
(Logan, the ‘white  warrior’ from Kira, Daughter of the Moon. One of my all time favorite heroes.)
Amazon Reader Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Another splendid historical!, October 25, 2012

By Jinny K B – See all my reviews

This review is from: Kira, Daughter of the Moon (Paperback)
“Beth Trissel has written another thoughtful recreation of colonial times in this sequel to ‘Through The Fire’. Kira lives with relatives deep in the mountains of Virginia at a time when the English, French, and Native Americans are embroiled in constant skirmishes and out-and-out war. Logan was captured by the Indians seven years earlier and returns, now more Indian that white man, to retrieve a cache of gold left behind by others. Once he meets up with Kira, his childhood friend, sparks fly and he will have her for his own.
While following Kira and Logan’s personal battles we meet the best and worst of mankind. Evil and criminal forces threaten to keep them apart, and even kill them. Kira must learn to curb her tongue, hide her strange abilities and develop a strength she never dreamed she would be able to show. But is Logan worth the cost? Will he be true to her and give her a life she will be able to embrace? Can they ferret out the true villains and find peace and safety?
Miss Trissel’s lush descriptions of the rugged mountains, the harsh living conditions, and the uncertain times give life to what our forefathers endured to build a land we now call America. The characters, rugged Scot-Irish men and women, soldiers, Indians, and engaging children, come alive in this romantic adventure of life and love on the frontier.”
Native American Historical Romance Novel Through the Fire:
Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

“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
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Blurb for Through the Fire:
Will love inflame these two natural-born enemies in fiery destruction?
Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful Indian tribes as their allies. English lady Rebecca Elliot, having eloped to America with a British captain, finds herself a widow. When she ventures into the colonial frontier with the militia to seek her uncle, she unwittingly enters a dangerous world of rugged mountains, wild animals, and even wilder men. The rules are different here and she doesn’t know them, especially those of the savagely handsome warrior who captures her body and her heart.
Red-Tailed HawkHalf-Shawnee, half-French warrior Shoka, former guide for English traders, is the hawk, swift, sure, and silent as the moon. He knows all about survival in this untamed land and how deadly distraction can be. His intent is to sell Rebecca to the French before she draws him under her spell, but if he lets her go he can no longer protect her. If he holds onto her, can he safeguard his heart? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.
The French and Indian War, A Shawnee Warrior, An English Lady, Blood Vengeance, Deadly Pursuit, Primal, Powerful, Passionate…Through the Fire.
Shoka and Rebecca (2)Excerpt:
For a moment, he simply looked at her. What lay behind those penetrating eyes?
He held out the cup. “Drink this.”
Did he mean to help her? She’d heard hideous stories of warriors’ brutality, but also occasionally of their mercy. She tried to sit, moaning at the effect this movement had on her aching body. She sank back down.
He slid a corded arm beneath her shoulders and gently raised her head. “Now try.”
Encouraged by his aid, she sipped from the wooden vessel, grimacing at the bitterness. The vile taste permeated her mouth. Weren’t deadly herbs acrid? Was he feigning assistance to trick her into downing a fatal brew?
She eyed him accusingly. “’Tis poison.”
He arched one black brow. “No. It’s good medicine. Will make your pain less.”
campfireUnconvinced, she clamped her mouth together. She couldn’t prevent him from forcing it down her throat, but she refused to participate in her own demise.
“I will drink. See?” Raising the cup, he took a swallow.
She parted her lips just wide enough to argue. “It may take more than a mouthful to kill.”
His narrowing eyes regarded her in disbelief. “You dare much.”
Though she knew he felt her tremble, she met his piercing gaze. If he were testing her, she wouldn’t waver.
His sharp expression softened. “Yet, you have courage.”~
***Through the Fire is in kindle at Amazon
Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel
pipetomahawk
A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Bearwalking Shawnee Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter
~The strange awareness inside Karin grew, like a summons urging her to an untamed place. His gaze drew her almost against her will. She leaned toward him.
“Someone seeks you, Shequenor’s dahnaithah.”
The message rippled through her. And she knew—his was the inviting summons in the wind.~
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
***Available at Amazon in Kindle 
Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel
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, and Kira, Daughter of the Moon.  All have a strong Native American theme interwoven with the plot.
***Available at Amazon Kindle for .99
Amazon Reader Review:
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good romance, March 24, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Lady and the Warrior (Kindle Edition)
“I’ve read a few other books written by Beth Trissel so decided to give this one a shot. Really glad I did. I’m in love with this story. It was incredibly touching. A true romance. This author has a way of pulling on your heartstrings. Yep, I got a little emotional. If you’re looking to read something memorable, this tale is for you!”
hawk1
Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel

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 NA Historical Romance Through the Fire–Beth Trissel


June 1758, the Colonial Frontier, the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia, the Shawnee Warrior Camp. 

Mild breezes caressed Rebecca’s face, wafting the tang of wood smoke and the meaty aroma of roasting venison, nudging her from a place of no dreams. Water gurgled over stones. She must lie  near a stream. Earthy humus cushioned her beneath, and a woolen blanket covered her. She traced the cloth with her fingertips.

The ache in her head made it hard to think. Groaning softly, she opened her eyes to the branches of a great oak silhouetted against the saffron sky.  Sunset. How had she come to be lying sore and bruised on the forest floor? Was Kate here?

Men’s voices drew her. She strained to understand their words. Bewildered and frightened, she shifted gingerly onto her side, peering through smoky shadows at a series of campfires.

Dear God. Warriors, not soldiers, encircled each blaze—dozens of them. Memories of the ambush rushed back as she covered her mouth in a futile effort to stifle a cry.

All heads turned, and a host of dark eyes glinted at her.

She went rigid with dread, her heart pounding. She was as good as dead. Why did she yet live?

After an agonizing moment, the men resumed their banter, some smoking pipes. One tall warrior rose from the cluster seated around the nearest campfire. His muscular body was clad only in an elk skin breechclout, blue cloth leggings, and buckskin moccasins that reached well up his calves; the same skins fashionable men wore with a far more primitive use. A sheathed knife hung from the woven belt at his waist. He’d slung a tomahawk at his side. The blade protruded above his belt and the carved handle below, ready to grasp in an instant.

She watched him intently. Her life hung on his every move. But he didn’t reach for either weapon.Rather, he bent to dip a cupful of steaming liquid from the kettle near the fire then walked to her.

Icy fingers clenched, every muscle taut, she stared up at him. Even without dry-mouthed fear, her eyes would have been fastened on this formidable male, like some New World god sprung from this wild land. A shudder coursed through her rigid body as he knelt beside her.

“I’ll not harm you.”

His assurance in clear English took her by surprise. Not only that, but there was a familiar quality about his face, his voice. Striving to remember, she searched every contour: eyes as black as a night without stars, high cheekbones, sculpted nose, strong chin. His lightly tanned skin was unstreaked by red and black paint. No silver cones hung from his ears. No ornament pierced his nose. Instead of the scalp lock worn by most braves, his black hair hung loose around his shoulders.

She shifted her gaze to the muscled planes of his bare chest, an eye-opening sight for a woman accustomed to long-sleeved shirts, waistcoats, and cravats.

She let her eyes drop lower. His narrow breechclout revealed a great deal of masculine thighs. She hurriedly returned her widened stare to his dark scrutiny. Gaping at a man, even a potentially deadly warrior, wasn’t her nature.

For a moment, he simply looked at her. What lay behind those penetrating eyes?

Through the Fire  is available in print and ebook at Amazon Kindle, The Wild Rose Press, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.

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

The Story behind the Story of NA Historical Romance Red Bird’s Song–Beth Trissel


A 2012 Epic ebook finalist

Two years ago in September Red Bird’s Song was released. As a tribute to my favorite novel, I am revisiting the first book I ever wrote, and rewrote, and learned how to write in the process of all those endless revisions. It’s also the story I’ve cared most deeply about and connected with on various levels. Part of me is still seated around the circle at the fire with my Native American brothers and sisters.
“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
The initial encounter between Charity and Wicomechee at the beginning of the story was inspired by a dream I had on New Year’s Eve–a highly propitious time for dreams–about a young warrior taking an equally young woman captive at a river and the unexpected attraction between them. That dream had such a profound impact on me that I took the leap from writing non-fiction essays to historical novels and embarked on the most amazing journey of my life. That was years ago and the saga continues.
I also met the prophetic warrior, Eyes of the Wolf, in another dream at the advent of this adventure, so when I describe him in the book I’m envisioning a character I know. He became a spirit guide and spoke to me throughout the writing of this book, and several others. He is there still, though not as vocal as earlier in my life. Perhaps my journey with him is complete. Perhaps not… I am working on the sequels to historical romance novel Enemy of the King and Scottish time travel romance novel Somewhere My Lass, but after that, I hear the faint call of Indian drums in the distance. Meanwhile, stay tuned for the release of the sequel to Through the Fire, and the third in my colonial Frontier trilogy, historical romance novel Kira, Daughter of the Moon, out Nov. 2nd. And, my colonial American historical Christmas romance novella, A Warrior for Christmas, is out in early Dec. So lots happening.
Back to Red Bird’s Song. The setting for the bulk of the story is the same as my other strongly Native American novel, Through the Fire, the spectacular Alleghenies. Much of the history depicted in the story was inspired by accounts I came across while researching my early American English/Scots-Irish roots and the Border Wars. The French and Indian War is the most well-known, but there were others. Pontiac’s War followed on its heels, and is the war taking place inRed Bird’s SongDunmore’s War came after that one and so on it goes. Life in the frontier was unsettled even after The American Revolution had ended and warfare a reality. The boundaries of the frontier just keep shifting farther west.
The ruggedly beautiful Alleghenies are also the setting for my historical-paranormal romance novel, The Bearwalker’s Daughter and my short historical romance, The Lady and the Warrior. I see the ridges of these mountains from our farm in the Shenandoah Valley. The foothills are only a hop, skip and a jump away from us. The ever-changing panorama of the seasons never fails to inspire and console me–the mountains are constant.  (*Images of the Alleghenies taken by my mother, Pat Churchman)
In the early mid 18th century, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding mountains was the colonial frontier and only hardy souls dared to settle here. Many of these were the tough Scots-Irish.  If the Indians had only had to fight regular British troops they might ultimately have won because they scared the crap out of men trained for conventional warfare, but the long knives were another matter.  They weren’t easily intimidated and soon learned from their cunning enemy.

Although Hawk Eye in The Last of the Mohicans is an adopted Mohican, his lifestyle and behavior is that of a colonial frontiersman.  The more rugged of these men dressed as he did, much in the Indian way.  They hunted and fought with muskets, tomahawks, and their famous knives.  Indians acquired these knives as well. They blended traditional weapons and ways of living with newfound tools and weapons of Western man.  A highly adaptable people.

The attack at the opening of Red Bird’s Song in the Shenandoah Valley is based on one that occurred to my ancestors and is recorded by Historian Joseph A. Waddell in The Annals of Augusta CountyA renegade Englishman by the last name of Dickson led the war party that attacked them.  Initially I’d intended to make the Colin Dickson in Red Bird’s Song a villain but as soon as he galloped onto the scene I knew differently.

Wicomechee, the hero in Red Bird’s Song, is based on the Shawnee warrior by that name who lived early in the nineteenth century and to whom I have ties. The Moffett’s, an early Valley family I’m related to, include a reference to him in their genealogy. Wicomechee’s father, John Moffett, was captured in Kentucky by the Shawnee at the age of eight and adopted into the tribe. It’s said he was a boyhood companion to the great war Chief Tecumseh, a chief for whom I have enormous admiration. The accounts of John Moffett and Wicomechee are recorded by Waddell. It’s also noted that during the Black Hawk Wars Wicomechee recovered the captive daughters of a Dr. Hull and brought them safely into camp, which reminds me of Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. I’ve included more on this amazing warrior at the end of the novel as a bonus for those who read it.

“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!” Amazon Reviewer Virginia Campbell

Red Bird’s Song is available in print and eBook at the Wild Rose Press,AmazonBarnes&Noble and other online booksellers.

Sweet Saturday Sample from Red Bird’s Song–Beth Trissel


2012 EPIC eBOOK Finalist!

Red Bird’s Song, an adventure romance novel with a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor, was inspired by events that occurred to my early American ancestors in the colonial frontier. I’d rate this sample a modest PG13.

Excerpt From Chapter Two:

A smothering sensation enveloped Charity, emphasized ten-fold by the inky blackness. Bears and mounds of rattlesnakes were known to den up in caves. Worse, she shared this confined space with an unseen human enemy.

Heart racing, she bolted upright. “Get me out of here!”

Men stirred on every side of her. Sleepy voices grunted.

“Hush. You will wake all.” Grasping her shoulders, Wicomechee pushed her down onto the woolen blanket.

She struggled to rise, choking back the scream begging her throat for release. “Please. I beseech you.”

He forced her to remain where she was. “Calm down.”

“I can’t. If I don’t get out—”

“Shhhh…” He bent over her and spoke in her ear. “Hear me, Charity. I will take you from here if I must.”

Her panic eased slightly. “You will? You promise?”

“Have I not said? You see the way, just there.”

He pointed to the ghostly opening then wrapped the edges of the blanket around her. “You shake like a leaf in the wind.”

It whistled beyond the cave and the cold air blew inside. Despite the chill, she’d far rather bolt out into the teeth of the bluster and lie beneath the stars than remain in here. “It’s so dark, Mechee,” she said in a small voice.

He lay down beside her so that his shoulder pressed against hers. “You fear the dark?”

Denial was pointless. “And those it holds.”

“None seek to harm you.”

She was acutely aware of men slumbering all around her. “Chaka could kill me before I even knew.”

“No. I will keep you safe,” Wicomechee reassured her.

She relaxed a little more. “How long have we been here? I don’t remember coming.”

“Night is far gone. I brought you.”

Memory returned of him forcing her to trudge on and on through the dark woods until she’d slumped onto the ground weeping uncontrollably. She must have fallen asleep the instant he’d lifted her. A sharp twinge of resentment ran through her. “You were cruel—”

“For bringing you?”

“For making me go on.”

“That was cruel? You do not know the meaning of this word,” he said gruffly.

“I fear you will teach me.”

He turned onto his side facing her. Even in the blackness she felt the force of his personality. “Because I made you walk? Has no one made you walk, made you work?”

“Not like you did,” she said through chattering teeth.

“I tended your knee, fed you, carried you. Was I to leave you along the trail?”

“Someone would have found me.”

“Or another war party. If hunger and cold did not kill you first. You would perish out here.”

“Maybe so,” she argued. “But you were still harsh.”

He made an impatient sound under his breath. “If I warm you, will you say I am harsh?”

A startled gasp escaped her as he pulled her against his chest, molding her to him. She had the sense of his hard thighs and long legs pressed along hers. His scent enveloped her, a blend of earth, trees, and wind mingled with his own unique essence. “Do you suffer now?” he whispered.

All protest died on her lips. She was too stunned to speak. The heat from his solid warmth penetrated the cloth between them, easing her chill. Yet this new awareness of his strong body lying next to hers was stirring in a way she’d never experienced. Only her father and brother had ever held her, and never like this. Nor had their embrace evoked any of the odd quivers fluttering inside her now.~

***For more Sweet Saturday Samples from Participating Authors click HERE!

***Beautiful cover by Rae Monet. The novel is available in print and ebook from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.  Your bookstore and library can  order it in.

***Royalty free images

The Drama and Romance of The Colonial Frontier


When I wrote historical romance novel Through the Fire I felt as though I’d been through the flames. My hero and heroine certainly had. This adventure romance with a strong The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave was born in the fertile ground of my imagination, fed by years of research and a powerful draw to my early American roots.
My fascination with stirring tales of the colonial frontier and Eastern Woodland Indians is an early and abiding one. My English/Scot-Irish ancestors were among the first settlers of the Shenandoah Valley and had family members killed and captured by the Indians. Some individuals returned and left intriguing accounts of their captivity, while others disappeared without a trace.
On the Houston/Rowland side of the family, I have ties to Governor Sam Houston, President James Madison and Malcolm 1st of Scotland (that last one’s a stretch). Family annals list early names like Beale, Jordan, Madison, and Hite (a German connection I discovered). A brief account of my grandmother (six times removed) Elizabeth Hite, says her sister Eleanor was taken captive and sister Susan killed, though not by which tribe. Their brother Jacob was killed by the Cherokee.
Another ancestor, Mary Moore, is the subject of a book entitled The Captives of Abb’s Valley. A Moffett forebear captured as a child became a boyhood companion of the revered Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. When young Moffett grew up, he married into the tribe and had a son, but that’s the subject of a different novel–award winning historical romance, Red Bird’s Song. A Pennsylvanian ancestor on the Churchman side of the family was invited by the Shawnee/Delaware to help negotiate a treaty with the English because he was Quaker and they were more sympathetic to the plight of the Native Americans.
Many accounts are left unrecorded, though. Historian Joseph Waddell says we know only a fraction of the drama that occurred during the Indian Wars. I invite you back to a time long forgotten by most.
*A blog visitor recently asked who lost the French and Indian war–the French and the Indians who sided with them.  Mother England won that round.
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.
Excerpt
Shoka held out the cup. “Drink this.”
Did he mean to help her? Rebecca had heard hideous stories of warriors’ brutality, but also occasionally of their mercy. She tried to sit, moaning at the effect this movement had on her aching body. She sank back down.
He slid a corded arm beneath her shoulders and gently raised her head. Encouraged by his unexpected aid, she sipped, grimacing at the bitterness. The vile taste permeated her mouth. Weren’t deadly herbs acrid?
Dear Lord. Had he tricked her into downing a fatal brew? She eyed him accusingly. “’Tis poison.”
He arched one black brow. “No. It’s good medicine. Will make your pain less.”
Unconvinced, she clamped her mouth together.
“I will drink. See?” he said, and took a swallow.
She parted her lips just wide enough to argue. “It may take more than a mouthful to kill.”
He regarded her through narrowing eyes. “You dare much.”
Though she knew he felt her tremble, she met his piercing gaze. If he were testing her, she wouldn’t waver.
His sharp expression softened. “Yet you have courage.”
****
Ms. Trissel has captured the time period wonderfully. As Rebecca and Kate travel in the wilderness, though beautiful, many dangers lurk for the unsuspecting sisters. Away from the gentility they grew up around, the people they meet as they travel to their uncle in the wilderness are rougher and more focused on survival regardless of which side they belong. I love historical novels because they take me to times and places that I cannot visit and Through the Fire is no different.
As I read, I’m transported back to the mid-1700’s on the American frontier as Britain and France maneuver to control the American continent. I can see how each side feels they are right and the other side the aggressor. I watch how the natives take sides based on promises made but not kept. I felt I was there through Ms. Trissel’s descriptions and settings…
Rebecca and Shoka are so believable as lovers. Shoka is calm but can be roused by Rebecca’s stubbornness. They are well matched as they challenge each other, teach each other, and learn from each other. This is not a boring relationship by any means! I enjoyed the secondary characters from the French Captain Renault to Shoka’s cousin Meshewa. The Shawnee fight on the French side of the war. It’s refreshing not to have the novel from the English point of view but to see the conflict from the eyes of the eventual losers of this war and to see the villains as those who we’ve been brought up to see as the “good guys”.
This is an excellent story where there is so much happening with Rebecca in the center of it all. I’m glad I read it and look forward to reading more of Beth Trissel.” Reviewer: Sheila from Two Lips
 Through the Fire is a 2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009