Tag Archives: World War 1

Armistice Day–Now Veterans Day–and My Grandfather


In the United States, November 11 was Armistice Day, observed in commemoration of the signing of the armistice ending World War I in 1918. Since 1954, it has been incorporated into the observances of Veterans Day. My grandfather was a WWI veteran who fought in some of the worst battles in France. He was Charles J Churchman (Senior), a Lieutenant and a Captain of the Marines in the “Fighting 6th Marines”. My brother, John Churchman, did some research into him for specifics. Our grandfather’s commendation for the French Croix de Guerre is framed and hangs on the wall, as does the image of him in uniform. He also received the Silver Star Citation and was wounded 3 times. At least once, severely. He fought in the battles of Verdun, Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood, Aisne-Marne Offensive, St. Mihiel and the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge.

Apart from his war service, he was an amazingly talented and good man who died far too young. We will never know and can only guess why he collapsed in his early forties, leaving an adored wife and four small children behind. My father was only three at the time of his death. I have often wondered if an overlooked fragment of shrapnel eventually found its way to his heart. Others have different theories. Even though I never knew him, his loss has affected me deeply. Like ripples on a pond, his untimely death circled out to encompass my generation. He is loved and admired even now.

More of him my brother gleaned: “Second Lieutenant Charles J Churchman of Staunton Va former football and basketball star at the University of Virginia was cited for bravery shown while commanding a trench mortar platoon in the operations in the Bois de Belleau on June 6 and 8, 1918, The citation reads, Commanding the Trench Mortar Platoon in the operations in the Bois De Balleau on June 6 and 8, 1918, contributing in a large measure to the success of an attack *** and from the testimony of prisoners their fire had a demoralizing effect upon the enemy machine guns. He placed his guns in position on the night of June 6 upon an emergency order and remained with his guns without relief until June 15. The professional ability, the operation of the mortars within a stone’s throw of positions, the untiring efforts of this officer have been highly commendable at all times.”

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.