Yesterday, I told you about best-selling author Beth Trissel’s book, Somewhere My Lass, being free – it’s still free, and you can pick it up if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/giykos into your web browser. I asked Beth if she would write a guest blog post telling us a little bit more about here and her writing, and she readily agreed…read on to learn more about Beth!
An ancient relic, a medieval crypt, a mad Highlander at their throats and time fast running out. Mystery, suspense, romance…Somewhere My Lass.
For inquiring minds, those of you who want to know, or are mildly interested, my suspenseful romance novel Somewhere My Lass, was an intriguing tale to weave and quite an adventure. It’s also one I had no intention of undertaking until the vivid dream that led to the startling intro: the hero, Neil MacKenzie, returns home from work to find his elderly housekeeper lying murdered at the bottom of the winding staircase and a young woman in full Scottish dress slumped at the top. She, however, isn’t dead.
‘What the heck,’ I said to self. And that’s all I had to go on at the start of this venture, but was so intrigued I had to learn their story and pondered all the clues given. An old Victorian house, check, I’m very familiar with those; man wearing modern suit, so the story opens in present day, got it, but the young woman came from the past. Scotland’s past. This will take some doing, I concluded. And did my usual obsessive research. I love gleaning more about the past and used an actual feud in 1602 between the MacKenzies and MacDonalds as a jumping off place.
Both Neil and the heroine, Mora Campbell, were so clear in my mind and a lot of fun to work with—send their regards—and definitely rank among my cast of favorites. The romance between them is one of the best I’ve written. The chemistry just took off. The story, though, is not super-hot, but seductively sensual.
Regarding the setting for Somewhere My Lass, until this novel all my stories took place in America, past and present. This departure to Scotland was a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English Scots-Irish roots, which I’ve been doing all along. Apart from the prominent Native American characters in some of my work, the others are of English/Scots-Irish backgrounds, with a smidgen of French. My ancestors, too, have a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who fought with William the Conqueror, and some French Huguenots.
One unique aspect of the story, is that rather than beginning with the hero or heroine going back in time, I brought her forward (as was the case in the dream) before sending them back together. I also included kewl sci-fi features, new for me. I’ve learned a great deal from my journey into Bonnie Old Scotland. I fell in love with the characters, new ones nudge at my mind, and I’m at work (possibly forever) on the sequel. The colorful secondary, Neil’s quirky friend, Fergus, has a lot of fans.
In writing Somewhere My Lass, I was influenced by my beloved Author C S Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading. I’m still looking for Narnia. Isn’t everyone? My love of old castles and the Scottish Highlands also lent inspiration. Many of the early Scots-Irish settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, my ancestors among them, chose to live here because of the resemblance the valley and mountains bore to Scotland and Ireland. As near to home as they were likely to find in the New World.
The concept behind my Somewhere in Time series, of which Somewhere My Lass is Book Two (though written to stand alone) is that the story opens in present day, so far my home state of Virginia, and then transports the reader Somewhere else. Either back in time to an earlier era in the same house, as in Somewhere My Love and Somewhere The Bells Ring, or another place altogether, as in Somewhere My Lass. The wonderful old homes I grew up in and visited over the years are an integral part of the inspiration behind this series. In Somewhere My Lass, I used a compilation of Victorian homes for the mysterious house in historic Staunton, Virginia where the story begins. How do they go back and forth in time, you may ask. Why through ‘the door to nowhere,’ of course, a portal to the past. I was acquainted with just such a door as a child.
Doors play a big role in this series. Behind every door lies a secret, an intriguing puzzle to be solved, so these romances are also suspenseful mysteries.
I came up with the idea for my Somewhere in Time series years ago while watching one of my favorite British mysteries, Midsomer Murders. I enjoy the historic setting of these modern day mysteries, but especially when the story flashes back to an even earlier time in an old manor house or church to get to the root of the mystery. So I thought, why not incorporate that with my love of romance and history.
Moreover, I’m intrigued by ghost stories, and Virginia has more tales than any other state. I find myself asking if the folk who’ve gone before us are truly gone, or do some still have unfinished business in this realm? And what of the young lovers whose time was tragically cut short, do they somehow find a way? Love conquers all, so I answer ‘yes.’ The theme behind light paranormal murder mystery, ghost story romance Somewhere My Love, the first in my ‘Somewhere in Time’ series.
“Know that love is truly timeless.” ~Author Mary M. Ricksen
A bit about Beth: Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.
For more on me, my blog is the happening place: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/
Thank you, Beth! Don’t forget, her book Somewhere My Lass is still free, and you can pick it up if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/giykos into your web browser. You can also check out her author page on Amazon if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/trissel into your web browser.