Tag Archives: Vietnam War

Ghostly Christmas Romance–Somewhere the Bells Ring


My fascination with ghosts might be the reason they appear in many of my stories. They don’t always take the same form, though. Some are sensed and seen only in the character’s mind.  Or in dreams. One’s a violent poltergeist.  Others are old loves…

In Somewhere the Bells Ring, the ghost seems perfectly real. When Bailey is with him, she’s transported from 1968 back to 1918 and the end of WWI in the same old house.

This is my favorite sort of ghost.  Some of the most intriguing stories I’ve come across have ghosts who seem solid, not vaporous, and give the person seeing them a glimpse of the past as though through a window in time.  And who’s to say that isn’t what’s happening?  Maybe a ripple opens up and allows a glimpse of what once was and those who lived in that time and place?

Can they see us in turn?  Maybe so.  And can there be communion with these corporeal spirits from the past?  Possibly.  That’s the premise for this story.

“When I see ghosts they look perfectly real and solid — like a living human being. They are not misty; I can’t see through them; they don’t wear sheets or bloody mummy bandages. They don’t have their heads tucked under their arms. They just look like ordinary people, in living color, and sometimes it is hard to tell who is a ghost.” ~Chris Woodyard

“I have thought that I have seen ghosts on many occasions.” Taylor Caldwell

“With true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.”   ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“I fell in love with Ms. Trissel’s characters and look forward to the next delightful story ready with Kleenex box in hand. A must read for every romance fan.”~ Robin at Romancing the Book Reviews for Somewhere the Bells Ring

Somewhere the Bells Ring is a haunting story of timeless love, and of course, it’s true.

Blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?

*An old photograph of the Virginia family home place–the house Somewhere the Bells Ring is based on.

***Somewhere the Bells Ring is available in various eBook formats from The Wild Rose PressAmazon KindleAll Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook and other online booksellers.

My Vintage American Christmas Ghost Story Romance


The year is 1968, think hippies, the cultural revolution and Americans divided into two diametrically opposed camps.  Those who were freaky and those who were square.  I’m glad to say I ranked among the former at the grand age of 13.  The song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” came out in ”67 but exemplified the hippie movement still going strong  in ”68.  The war in Vietnam suffered its worst year ever and brought the horrors of the battlefield with civilian casualties into our living room via the evening news.  Our first fully televised up close and personal war.  Which explains the many marches, rallies, and protests.

Fashion was all over the place, and fishnet hose all the rage.  I delighted in my very own pair.  The maxi dress followed on the heels of the maxi skirt, which I was all about.  Mom sewed several for me.  I floated around like a princess, loved my first Bonne Bell lipstick, thrilled to the outrageous (for that day) rock song Innagadadavida by Iron Butterfly, was awed by Aquarius and the musical production Hair.  Stunned might be a better word, but it definitely impressed me.

Two shocking assassination took place that year, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.  America was never the same again.

Space exploration erupted in a big way.  I shared the nation’s excitement over  the launch of Apollo 7 which orbited the earth 163 times, and Apollo 8 began the first U.S. mission to orbit the moon.  Our family and friends gathered around the black and white TV set to watch both takeoffs.  And I was a big fan of Star Trek, the original TV series, with James T. Kirk and his stellar crew.

The  top films in 1968 were Romeo and Juliette, 2001: A Space Odyssey,  Rosemary’s Baby, the first Planet of the Apes, Funny Girl, the Thomas Crown Affair,  the Lion in Winter, Bullitt,  Yours, Mine, and Ours, and  Oliver.   Romeo and Juliette stamped me as a romantic forever.

Guru’s and Eastern religions gained popularity in America and the world, as did several cults.  Remember the Moonies?  Not to neglect the ‘Jesus Freaks.’  I’m a Christian, but they were over the top for me.  Behind all of this heightened spiritualism was much soul-searching  as people tuned inward to discover who they really were.   And many didn’t have a clue.

Nostalgia drew me  to set Somewhere The Bells Ring in 1968 in the old family home place at Christmas, with flashbacks to an earlier era, 1918 and the end of World War 1, the Great War as it was known.  Contrasting  the effects of WWI and Vietnam through Eric and his Great Uncle Edward Burke, Marines who returned from each war, plays a significant role in the story.   And much self-discovery takes place in Bailey and Eric along with fast growing mutual discovery.  And then there’s the ghost.

Blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?

***Available in kindle and nookbook and ebook at all major online booksellers.

My New Ghost Story/Vintage American Christmas Romance~


Woot!  I’m excited to announce that the latest in my ‘Somewhere’ series is coming out from The Wild Rose Press on November 9th!  I spent the bulk of last winter writing this Vintage American ghost story romance. You know, the usual Christmas fare.  🙂   An intriguing story for me to write, I hope it will be equally enthralling for you to read.

SOMEWHERE THE BELLS RING opens in 1968 in the Virginia family home place (circa 1816) where my dad was born and raised and I grew up visiting, with flashbacks to  1918 and the time of WWI.  I’m terribly sentimental about both eras.  1968 I remember well, as I was 12.  Certainly the Vietnam War and the hippie era made deep inroads into my psyche, but the WWI era took quite a bit more research, and thought.  I’ve seen wonderful old family photos from that time period, and my grandfather fought in WWI.  I’ve heard tales of his heroism. The story is dedicated to this amazing man whom I never knew.  He died suddenly when my father was three, a tragedy that rippled out to affect the next generation.  I grew up feeling very sad about it, and aware of what a remarkable man he was in many ways.   My recent release Into the Lion’s Heart is dedicated to my dear father whom I do know.

Blurb: Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative’s ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn’t so bad.

To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope–until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe–in Bailey and the ghost–before the Christmas bells ring?~