Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcome Beth Trissel

The old Virginia home place where my father was born and raised and I grew up visiting over the holidays has inspired more than one story.  I spent some wonderfully memorable Christmas’s in that beautiful plantation home (circa 1816) but the ones I’m most sentimental about were in the late 1960’s.  Drawn to that era, I set my recent Christmas romance, Somewhere the Bells Ring, in 1968 during the tumultuous age of hippies, Vietnam, and some of the best darn rock music ever written.  Fashion was all over the place in those days and fishnet hose all the rage.  I gloried in my first pair while wearing my Bonnie Bell lip gloss that I received for Christmas.  Think I was more excited about those gifts than any others.  The maxi dress followed on the heels of the maxi skirt, which I was all about.  Mom sewed several for me and I floated around like the Christmas queen.  The music of the late 60’s was awesome.  What a thrill when I first heard Innagadadavida by Iron Butterfly.  Stunned might be a better word, but it definitely impressed me as did many other songs of that era.

Not to overlook the less positive elements of “68, like Vietnam and the tragic assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.  I was deeply sorry, but as a kid didn’t overly dwell on those.  One of the top films of 1968 was Romeo and Juliette which stamped me as a romantic forever and brings me back to my new release. 

Not only did that nostalgic time period beckon to me but also an earlier one, 1918 and the end of World War One.  Not in the way of battle scenes, but in the form of a wounded soldier recently returned from war-weary France who lives in the house.  I’ve seen the early 20th century family photos discovered in the attic, along with other treasures and memorabilia, and often pondered that bygone age, gracious in many ways apart from the war.  Having a Marine Corps Captain grandfather who distinguished himself during the thick of the fighting in France during The Great War and then tragically died when my father was only three definitely influenced this story–dedicated to the grandfather I never knew, but grieved all the same.

But the biggest influence was the poignant dream I had years ago about a young woman visiting this house during the Christmas holidays and the mysterious gentleman she met.  His profound sadness made a deep impression on me, as did the gentleman himself, and the young lady who reached out to him.  That dream nagged at me every Christmas until I finally wrote their story. So, if you enjoy an intriguing mystery with Gothic overtones and heart-tugging romance set in vintage America then Somewhere the Bells Ring is for you.  And did I mention 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?

*Image above of old family home this story is based on.
*Available in various eBook formats from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Kindle, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook and other online booksellers.
*For more on me please visit my blog:


Wendy said...

This nostalgia is so lovely, Beth. You first introduced me to this special house in March 2009 when you talked of searching for Nania there and frequent trecks to the old wardbobes. What a wonderful place to set your paranormal romances. You are truly blessed to have such a grand and fascinating house in your background.
Congratulations on a lovely blog, Ginger.

Cathie Dunn said...

Lovely post, Beth. What a fascinating background to your latest story. It's on my tbr list. :-)

Joan Hall Hovey said...

What a beautiful old house, Beth, has almost a magical quality. Definitely has to be an inspiration.
Nice blog, Ginger.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday and the best year ever in 2012!


Beth Trissel said...

Thanks so much, ladies. What a good memory you have Wendy, yes, I did look for Narnia in the old wardrobe there. But as CS Lewis cautioned I was careful not to shut myself in. This house is partly the inspiration behind the one in Enemy of the King.
Yes, a wonderful old home we all love.
Thanks Ginger for hosting me today!

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