Monday, November 21, 2011

RTW Christmas Book Party: Beth Trissel

Beth Trissel and friends
by Beth Trissel

I’m not all about the ‘naughty Santa stuff’ kind of Christmas stories. I want stories with deeper sentiment, and heartfelt romance is always a plus. I’m also fascinated with the past, and Colonial America has an especially powerful draw on me. Something about Colonial America and Christmas go together very well. Think Williamsburg all decorated for the holidays.

Back to my story, years before I wrote A Warrior for Christmas, one of half a dozen novelettes in An American Rose Christmas anthology published by The Wild Rose Press, I pondered what it would be like for a young man taken captive by Eastern Woodland Indians (I favor the Shawnee in all my books, with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor) to return to ‘civilized society’ as a result of the treaty forced on the tribe in the fall of 1764.

If he’d grown accustomed to his rugged life and attached to his Native American family and friends, adjustment to upper class mid-18th century America would have been a challenge. Certainly, a very different world from what he’d come to know. He may well have wanted to run away and rejoin his Shawnee brethren. But what if he met an appealing young woman, one who could not embrace that life with him? Would he stay and reclaim the life he left behind years ago, or return to his newly forged identity in the colonial frontier?

Blurb: Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. His one aim is to run back to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity––until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Virginia home of Beth's grandfather & father

Now, flash forward. Somewhere the Bells Ring (the Wild Rose Press) is set in the gracious old Virginia homeplace, circa 1816, in the Shenandoah Valley where my father was born and raised, and I grew up visiting during the holidays. Nostalgia over the late 1960s (anyone else awash in sentiment?) inspired the time period and the story opens during the tumultuous age of hippies, Vietnam, and some of the best darn rock music ever written. An adolescent then, I well remember the thrill at my first pair of fishnet hose, Bonne Bell lip gloss, and utter wow when I heard Innagadadavida by Iron Butterfly. One of the top movies that year was Romeo and Juliet with Olivia Hussy and Leonard Whiting which branded me a romantic for life.

From 1968, the story flashes back to an earlier era, 1918 and the end of World War I. Having a Marine Corps captain grandfather who distinguished himself in France during the thick of the fighting (anyone familiar with the Battle of Belleau Wood) and then tragically died when my father was only three definitely influenced this story. Like ripples on a pond, the sadness over his untimely death flowed out to encompass future generations. I’ve dedicated this story to him. So if you enjoy an intriguing mystery with Gothic overtones set in vintage America and heart-tugging romance then Somewhere the Bells Ring is for you. Oh, and did I mention the ghost? I always did think that house was haunted.

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?

For more on me and my work please visit:
My website * My blog * Twitter * Facebook

Win A Christmas Book!
All you have to do to enter to win a free ebook is leave a comment on Beth's post!  You'll also be entered for the RTW Chicken Dinner Christmas Book Drawing on Sunday. Be sure to leave your email address or we'll have to pick another name. Today's winner gets to choose either A Warrior for Christmas a novelette in An American Rose Christmas anthology) or Somewhere the Bells Ring.

Thank you, Beth!

Romancing The West is featuring wonderful Christmas books all week, and each day's author will be giving away a free book, so check back tomorrow for Sarah J. McNeal.

Prizes Every Day!

Monday: A Warrior for Christmas and Somewhere the Bells Ring by Beth Trissel
Tuesday: Gifts from the Afterlife by Sara J. McNeal
Wednesday: A Dream to Share by Markee Anderson
Thursday: Feliz Navidad by Kit Prate
Friday: (TBA) by Cheryl Pierson
Saturday: Faery Merry Christmas by Jacquie Rogers
Sunday: Chicken Dinner! Yes, one commenter this week (any post) will win a book from each author--that's SIX Christmas books--AND a $10 Amazon gift certificate

Love Christmas stories?
Markee Anderson listed a bunch of 'em at her Christmas page.


  1. This looks GREAT, Beth! I love the premise for your latest book! Best wishes!

  2. the books look great :)

  3. Thanks all. I love a good Christmas romance.

  4. I'm going to add this to my wish list.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  5. These books look fascinating.

  6. Williamsburg at Christmas is on my bucket list, Beth. I would love to win the Colonial Christmas book! I'm just sayin'

    : )

  7. Markee's list is so helpful! Beth, can your new release be read as a standalone from the rest of the series?

    Heather Hiestand

  8. Thanks all, and yes, all of my 'Somewhere' books can be read as 'stand alones' so far. The common thread is that the story begins one place, so far an old Virginia home, and then transports the reader 'Somewhere' else, either back in time in the same house or to another place entirely like the Scottish Highlands as in Somewhere My Lass. I'm at work on an actual sequel to that one, which will work better if you've read the former first.

  9. A Warrior For Christmas really got my attention. I love the story concept. Not many authors write stories that take place in the 1700's. I'm intrigued.
    starcriter at yahoo dot com

  10. Thanks for the excerpts. I must be around your age,remember fishnet stockings and Iron Butterfly.


  11. Hi Beth,
    Great blog.Both your stories sound wonderful. Love historicals, but World War 1 is my favourit historical era. Sad to hear about your grandfather. They survive the battle only to die a short time after they return home. Virtually the same thing happened to my hubbys grandfather. Survived 4 years in the trenches of France and Belgium. Discharged from the army in 1918 and died in 1920. Just terrible



  12. Love Christmas stories, thanks!

  13. Please enter me in this contest. Thank you.

  14. wow you got some great book i love the cover and the pic of kitty are great
    and then i hope you have great thanksgiving deistheblonde@msn

  15. Thanks all. Sarah, you are so right. Few authors have stories set in the mid 1700's. Yes, Margaret, terribly sad to die so young after surviving that war.

  16. WOW, Beth! Sounds like a fabulous story. I love ghost stories, and Williamsburg too. Will have to pick this one up. :-)

  17. Love Christmas stories!

  18. Sound like great stories.
    chefamanda at gmail dot com


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