Tag Archives: the Scots-Irish

Now in Print–Historical Romance The Bearwalker’s Daughter


‘A change was coming as surely as the shifting seasons. Karin McNeal heard the urgent whispers in the wind.’

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 my inspiration.

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.

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.

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.

 Blurb: A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter~

beautiful dark haired woman

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?~

family musket and powder horn image by my momThe Bearwalker’s Daughter is at Amazon in kindle and print at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Bearwalkers-Daughter-Native-American-Warrior-ebook/dp/B007V6MA22

*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel. She also formatted the novel for print.

*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

For more of my work, visit my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/

Or just do a find on my name. I am the only Author Beth Trissel in the world.

Historical Romance Kira, Daughter of the Moon Re-Released by Amazon Encore!


Can a beautiful Scots-Irish healer suspected of witchcraft and a renegade white warrior find love together and avoid the hangman’s noose in the colonial frontier?

47e0552b-2612-4663-8b23-a4529a4ce9bf_zpssfu8rraeSet among the superstitious Scots in the rugged Alleghenies, Kira, Daughter of the Moon 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 sequel to my award-winning historical romance novel, Through the Fire, and book 4  in my Native American Warrior series.

The series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the storyline, except for Kira, Daughter of the Moon and Through the Fire. In 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.

Foothills of the Alleghenies

Foothills of the Alleghenies

Kira, Daughter of the Moon  opens in the spring of 1765, about six months after the close of Red Bird’s Song in the fall of 1764. Through the Fire takes place the summer of 1758 at the height of the French and Indian War. For those of you interested in this obscure but vital era of American history, a second war led by Chief Pontiac (who united a number of the tribes) followed on the heels of the French and Indian, a sort of part two. That’s the war wrapping up in Red Bird’s Song, but to  anxious settlers, the Indian Wars just flowed together with times when attacks were more prevalent than others. These harried folk trying to survive didn’t keep track of the names of the wars. They didn’t always even know which tribe was attacking them, and some war parties were a mix of allied warriors. But the Shawnee gained the distinction of being the most feared tribe in the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia frontier—the ultimate badass. The French officers who lead some of these attacks were particularly hated, to this day in some mountainous regions of Virginia and now West Virginia. Memories run deep. Bear in mind that Virginia used to be vast and encompassed states.

Dread of Indian attacks, of being killed or captured, of what happened to captive loved ones, and mistrust of white men who turned renegade and ran with war parties was on the minds of these mistrustful and superstitious Scots-Irish. Not that all settlers were Scots. Some were German/Swiss and English, but the clannish Scots tended to band together. And they were ever on their guard for witches.  This is the volatile background for Kira, Daughter of the Moon.

LOGAN FROM KIRA, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.~

Kira, Daughter of the Moon is available for pre-order now and officially out on 9-22-2015 in kindle at Amazon through their Encore Publishing Division. Red Bird’s Song was re-released by Amazon in August. Both novels are also available in print. Amazon has all  my books.. For more visit my Amazon Author Page.

Two Historical Romances Sold to Amazon Encore Publishing!


Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

I’m excited to announce the sale of two of my NA themed historicals, RED BIRD’S SONG and KIRA, DAUGHTER OF THE MOON, to AMAZON PUBLISHING under their Encore Publishing Division. Encore Publishing Division is an imprint devoted to taking successful small press books with decent sales and reviews, and improving their exposure and sales.

I’m honored Amazon selected my novels, along with some from fellow authors, to contract through The Wild Rose Press. Red Bird’s Song will re-release exclusively to Amazon on August 25th, and will no longer be available in e-format from other online vendors after that date. Books in Print will still be available. Kira, Daughter of the Moon will follow on September 22nd. Same deal.

2c646-historicalromancekiradaughterofthemooncoverbyraremonetRed Bird’s Song was inspired by events that occurred to my early American ancestors in the colonial frontier and their conflict with the Shawnee during the border Wars, most significantly, the French and Indian War. Kira, Daughter of the Moon, the sequel to Through the Fire (exclusively with Amazon), also strongly features the English/Scots-Irish and their clash with the Shawnee, and the unlikely love stories that came out of this dramatic frontier era. These three novels, plus The Bearwalker’s Daughter, are part of my Native American Warrior series. My short story, The Lady and the Warrior, gives a glimpse into these bygone, but never forgotten by me, days.

***For more on these and other titles visit my Amazon Author Page.

In Need of An Herbal Tonic?


sassafras leaf in autumnSassafras comes to mind and figures prominently in my colonial American historical romances set in the Alleghenies among the Native Americans. Think the colonial frontier–The Last of the Mohicans–and you’re there.

Back to sassafras. I love the tree’s varied mitten shaped leaves and its distinctive, aromatic scent. My parents have a sassafras tree growing in their yard, but I’d have to head into the mountains to get my fix, or buy sassafras from the small local grocery store.

*Note to self, plant sassafras trees. Maybe if I put in an entire grove some would survive. Our challenge is the cows which occupy much of our land and eat anything not protected behind secure fencing. Saplings are among their favorite delicacies.

old sailing shipYou might be interested to learn, as was I, that Christopher Columbus is said to have quelled mutinous seamen by the sudden sweet smell of sassafras which indicated the nearness of land. Not only did it aid in the discovery of the New World, but was an important export to Europe in the early days of colonial American, even exceeding shipments of tobacco.

Wine made from the darkly blue berries has been imbibed for colds. During the spring-flowering period, the blossoms were simmered to make a tea for reducing fevers. A blood purifying spring tonic was and still is imbibed from a tea made by brewing the roots. A tea distilled from the bark was believed to aid in the treatment of bronchitis, respiratory ailments and tummy upset. Chewing the bark was thought to help break the tobacco habit, a problem even in the early days of this country. The roots were distilled and the oil from them used to flavor many products including ginger ale, sarsaparilla, cream soda, root beer, toothpaste…

Sassafras leaves in autumn

A poultice made from the leaves and laid on wounds was used to stop bleeding and aid in healing. Native Americans steeped in the many uses of sassafras passed their knowledge along to European settlers in the colonial frontier. A tea from the bark was also thought to be beneficial in the treatment of venereal disease, needed by both Indians and colonists alike. If you wonder what ailments afflicted folk in the early days of this country, you need only read what they were most interested in finding treatments for and cancer doesn’t make the top ten.

How to make sassafras tea: One method is to vigorously scrub several roots, a couple of inches long, and use the whole root, or cut them in into pieces, and bring to a boil in three pints of water. Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for another ten minutes before straining and serving. Yet another method is to drop several roots into a quart of boiling water, remove from heat and steep then serve. A pound of roots will make 4 quarts of tea and can be used several times before they lose their strength.

Native American historical romanceFor the bark, especially used as a spring tonic, cut or grind a teaspoon of bark and steep in a cup of boiling water for ten minutes, strain and sip. The tea from either root or bark should have a yellowish red hue, rich smell and pleasing taste. It can be thinned with milk or cream and sweetened. I would add some honey, but those of you who like it plain, enjoy.

And good health to us all.

The Traitor’s Legacy Series and the American Revolution


Colonial American SoldierMystery, adventure, spies, turncoats, traitors, Patriots, Tories, and above all, romance, are interwoven in The Traitor’s Legacy Series. Book One is award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, my version of The Patriot with ghostly flavors of Daphne Dumaurier’s Rebecca.  Pleasant Grove, the home featured in Enemy of the King, was drawn from Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation in America that’s open to the public, located outside the city of Charleston, SC. I also depicted parts of the old family homeplace in Virginia.

Enemyoftheking resizedPart of the inspiration behind Enemy of the King came from research into my early American Scots-Irish and British ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Revolution. One direct forebear five generations removed from me, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC and kept a diary used by historians today. I was also inspired by the Battle of Kings Mountain, in North Carolina, that helped turn the tide of the revolution in favor of the Patriots and is featured in Enemy of the King. These accounts turned my focus to the Southern face of the war.

GeorgeEliot[1]Another tie to the past is my grandfather, seven greats back, Sir George Augustus Elliott, a British general and Governor of Gibraltar during the American Revolution. He was awarded the title Lord Heathfield, Baron of Gibraltar, in honor of his bravery in its defense during the attack by the Spanish and French. While Sir George was giving his all for king and country, his grandson was fighting under George Washington as a commissary officer. There must have been quite a rift in that family. While I’m on the subject of ancestors and the past, I should add that the research for this series is staggering, and seemingly endless. I’ve had help from historians, including the former head historian with colonial Williamsburg, Taylor Stoemer, and assistance from reenactors. I’ve visited the sites featured in the books, and read a lot. Watched every series on the American Revolution in general, plus specific battles and characters. But I digress. Frequently.

TraitorsLegacy_w8945_med.jpg (official cover) (2)The Wild Rose Press published Enemy of the King in 2009. A sequel featuring the fascinating antagonist, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, tugged at my mind. I even had a plot and title, Traitor’s Legacy. But, I couldn’t settle on the right setting for the story, so left it to simmer and went on with other works.

In late spring, 2012, North Carolinian, Ann See, a big fan of Enemy of the King and fellow colonial American enthusiast, contacted me about writing a sequel set in the oft overlooked, but historically significant town of Halifax, NC. As Enemy of the King takes place in North and South Carolina, and I have strong ties to the Carolinas, this suggestion was appealing.

 the Owens House

the Owens House

At Ann’s invitation, my husband Dennis and I made a trip to Halifax, and were given a royal tour of this carefully preserved glimpse into our nation’s dynamic past. The quaint town is like a mini colonial Williamsburg. Most impressive among Halifax’s claims to fame, in the spring of 1776, North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress met there, and on April 12, unanimously adopted a document later called the ‘Halifax Resolves,’ the first official action by a colony proclaiming their independence from England. This made Halifax a nest of rebels and thorn in the side of the British––what I needed for my plot.

Photo of Person's Ordinary #2JPGMuch of Traitor’s Legacy takes place in and around Historic Halifax. Person’s Ordinary, featured in the novel, was an important stage-coach stop and is the oldest landmark in Halifax County. Located in Littleton, Person’s Ordinary is the oldest preserved structure of its kind in the East, and once served as a tavern owned by Thomas Person. The British occupied the Ordinary in May 1781 when they made their way through Halifax en route to Virginia.

The British Legion, also known as Tarleton’s Legion, headed by the infamous Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, were on horseback and out in front of the rest of the army under command of General Lord Cornwallis. Tarleton underestimated the harassment inflicted by the local militia, whose stubborn resistance resulted in an extended stay by the British and reprisals against the town. In fact, there was so much looting that when Lord Cornwallis arrived, he had to court-martial and execute one sergeant and a dragoon. Apparently, his lordship didn’t want to leave a trail of animosity everywhere his army went. .

174389418Thornton Hall, the plantation home featured in Traitor’s Legacy, is drawn from a run down but once outstanding old house, known as Little Manor, located a mile or two from Person’s Ordinary. The original home was also built by Thomas Person. He wouldn’t recognize it now. Dusk was falling when we drove to the overgrown site to see the derelict house. I knew at once I’d found the perfect home for the novel. Ann supplied me with descriptions of the old house in its glory days and I resurrected it, like restoring the Titanic, with some poetic license, of course. I’d love to move into Thornton Hall. The gardens are also lovely.

Mystery, intrigue, spies, a coded letter, and stirring romance fill the pages of Traitor’s Legacy, while bringing history to life. The story concludes in Williamsburg and Yorktown.

Bay Stallion

Story Description: 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?~

colonial militia preparing to fireBack to the novel that started it all, Enemy of the King made the top ten Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009  and is on the 2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle. The story received a five cup review from Coffee Time Romance & More and was voted book of the week at Long and Short Reviews.

I recently completed the third novel in the Traitor’s Legacy Series, entitled Traitor’s Curse, and submitted it to my historical editor at the Wild Rose Press. While also carefully researched historically, Traitor’s Curse has a ghostly element and a mysterious Gothic flavor. This novel will come out in 2015. I don’t know when yet. Release date to be determined.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, catch up by reading the two books already released in the series, Enemy of the King and Traitor’s Legacy are available in print and kindle at Amazon, and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

Mystery, Adventure, Romance–American Historicals!


Traitor's Legacy resized pgI have eight American historicals published and just completed my ninth, Traitor’s Curse, book 3 in the Traitor’s Legacy Series. Book 1, Enemy of the King, set during the drama of the American Revolution, opens in an elegant plantation home outside of Charleston, SC, in 1780, and swiftly moves into Carolina Backcountry. The antagonist in Enemy of the King, British Dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, captured my imagination and is the hero of Book 2, Traitor’s Legacy. Filled with intrigue, spies, and romance, Traitor’s Legacy, is largely set in Halifax, NC in 1781, toward the end of the revolution. The story concludes at Williamsburg and Yorktown.

Traitor’s Curse, Book 3 in the Traitor’s Legacy series, has a mysterious ghostly flavor. This historical is set in and around the town of Halifax, North Carolina at the conclusion of the American Revolution. And I’m slowly inching forward in time. Book four in the Traitor’s Legacy series will take place in the latter 1780’s. I’m laying the groundwork for that novel, Traitor’s Revenge

Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

My colonial American Christmas romance novella, A Warrior for Christmas, is set in affluent colonial society, but the hero, a former Shawnee captive, recently returned from the frontier. This story is also available in audio.

Red Birds Song, Through the Fire, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and The Bear Walker’s Daughter are part of my Native American Warrior series and set in the colonial American frontier. The French and Indian War and Pontiac’s War are the backdrop for several stories. Some follow on the heels of war, including the American Revolution. My short story, The Lady and the Warrior, takes place in the frontier after the revolution.

Whether it’s Scots-Irish settlers clashing with Native Americans in the colonial frontier, Rebels and Redcoats battling in the revolution, or a more genteel colonial world, apart from the ghosts and furtive assassins,  my work encompasses a wide range of settings. All my stories are carefully researched, but they’re called fiction for a reason. They take place in Virginia, (also what is now West Virginia), North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

***Amazon has all my titles, some in paperback. Many are also available from other online booksellers.

The Story Behind Award-Winning Historical Romance Enemy of the King–Featured at The Fussy Librarian


Enemyoftheking_WebsiteYears ago, I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears and often came across references to a battle fought during the Revolution called the Battle of Kings Mountain. The name alone drew me. I vowed to go back later and research it more in-depth and uncovered fascinating fodder for the imagination.
I learned about the gallant, ill-fated British Major Patrick Ferguson who lost his life and Loyalist army atop that Carolina Mountain (large knob, really) called King’s back in the fall of 1780. Ferguson is buried there beneath a stone cairn, possibly along with his mistress who also fell that day. He had two, both called Virginia, but it’s believed one mistress made her escape on a horse by betraying his whereabouts to the advancing Patriots. I guess she figured better him than her and he was going down anyway…
MILITIA FIRINGlSpeaking of which, I discovered the hardy, sometimes downright mean, Overmountain men of Scots heritage didn’t take kindly to Ferguson’s warning that they desist from rebellion or he’d bring fire and sword upon them and hang all their leaders, all these ‘enemies of the King!’
‘Book title,’ I said to self. And Enemy of the King sounds much cooler than The Patriot. So I began what came to be my version of that famous book/film, though I’d started my novel before it even came out. Years of research went into the high drama and romance of the Revolution.
Needless to say, the Battle of Kings Mountain, a mega conflict that altered the course of a nation, plays a prominent role in this fast-paced Historical Romance. And, being drawn to mysterious old homes and the notion that those who’ve gone before us aren’t always gone, I included a ghost.
(Image of British officer)
JEREMIAHI also suspect my ancestors are speaking to me, as I have a colonial forebear named Jeremiah Jordan and discovered an early Meriwether and a Steele in the family. Not to mention a British general whose grandson was fighting with George Washington. My journey back through time gathered intrigue, and I wondered how the people who lived through anything as all-consuming as the American Revolution ever got their lives back to normal. The ripples from that enormous upheaval are still flowing out in concentric circles. They’ve certainly encompassed me, and now I’m at work on the sequel.
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So, step into the elegant parlor of Pleasant Grove, an eighteenth century Georgian plantation built high on the bluff above the Santee River. Admire the stately lines of this gracious brick home and its exquisite decor. Stroll out into the expansive garden between fragrant borders of lavender and rosemary. Bask beneath the moss-hung branches of an enormous live oak, then saunter back indoors to dress for a candlelight dinner in the sumptuous dining room. But don’t plan on a lengthy stay, you’re about to be snatched away for a wild ride into Carolina backcountry.
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The Drama and Romance of the American RevolutionJeremiah Jordan is a Patriot and Meriwether Steele a Loyalist. She risks a traitor’s death if she fights for the one she loves.
‘Spies, intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.
live oak tree with hanging mossThe year is 1780, one of the bloodiest of the American Revolution. The entire Southern garrison has been captured and Lord Cornwallis is marching his forces deep into South Carolina. ‘Bloody Ban’ Lieutenant Major Banestre Tarleton and his infamous Legion are sweeping through the countryside. Revenge is the order of the day on both sides and rugged bands of militia are all that stand between crown forces and utter defeat.
enemy_of_the_king_brighter***Enemy of the King is featured today, Feb. 15th, at the Fussy Librarian (in an email notification). ‘Bewildered by the number of ebooks out there? Choose from 40 genres, select content preferences, and www.TheFussyLibrarian.com emails you.’ daily deals.
***ENEMY OF THE KING is available at in print and eBook at Amazon and  The Wild Rose Press. In eBook at Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook, All Romance eBooks, and many other online booksellers.
***I’m taking this opportunity to announce that I’ve signed a contract with the Wild Rose Press for Traitor’s Legacy, the sequel to Enemy of the King, more on that novel soon. Expected release date–August!