Somewhere My Lass by Beth Trissel

Somewhere My Lass by Beth Trissel

BOOK PREVIEW

I asked my Facebook friend, author Beth Trissel if she would like to contribute to my blog and she has graciously obliged me. I’ll let her tell you all about her latest book (I love time travel stories!) which I think sounds like a lot of fun!

“Thanks, Christine, for having me on your super site to share about my suspenseful time travel romance novel, Somewhere My LassBook 2 of my Somewhere in Time series. 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. Being a member of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, a fabulous online group, was/is a great resource. I’d taken a Scottish history class and reread that trove of material while doing 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. Although the heat level of this book would be termed sensual, not super-hot.

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 (my birth place) 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.”

“Mrs. Trissel masterfully blended the past and the present in order to create a lovely romance that spans centuries.” ~ Long and Short Reviews

“A good adventure and romantic time travel story that delivers.” ~ Romance Novel Junkies

“A Wonderful Time Travel Romance.” ~ Night Owl Reviews

Story Blurb:

Will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?

The MacDonald comes’ warns Mora Campbell when Neil MacKenzie finds the young Scotswoman lying unconscious at the top of his stairs after he discovers his murdered housekeeper slumped at the bottom. Mora’s claim that she’s his fiancé from 1602 and was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, through ‘the door to nowhere’ seems utter nonsense. Neil thinks she’s addled from the blow to her head until his life spirals into chaos and the avenging Highlander shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past, but he must also remember. And fast.

Although Niall’s kinsmen believe he’s dead, and Mora is now destined to marry his brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. The only problem is how to get back to 1602. An ancient relic, the ultimate geek friend, and a little Celtic magic help pave the way back to the enormous challenge that awaits them. If they’re in time.

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/

Also catch me on, Twitter and Facebook.

***Somewhere My Lass is available in Kindle for the lofty price of .99, where it currently has 22 5 star raves.

Through The Fire: Colonial Frontier Romance by Beth Trissel

Book Review
Title: Through The Fire
Author: Beth Trissel
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Released: 2008
Pages: 332
ISBN-10: 1601544715
ISBN-13: 978-1601544711
Stars: 3.0

First of all, I’d like to apologize to Historical and Paranormal Romance Author Beth Trissel for the ridiculous amount of time she’s had to wait for this review. She’s a lovely person with quite a respectable following and has written no less than 8 books that are available through The Wild Rose Press. I am not a huge fan of traditional romance novels – I prefer contemporary chick lit or historical romantic adventure novels like those of Diana Gabaldon – so I’m an admittedly tough critic in this instance, but I’ll share my thoughts with you and let you decide for yourself.

Through The Fire is an old-fashioned colonial frontier romance set in June 1758 in the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia. Its heroine is a feisty, stubborn and beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed English lady named Rebecca Elliot. Rebecca is an unusual woman for her time, and along with her younger sister Kate, they escape the clutches of their abusive, alcoholic father in England by traveling to the New World with Rebecca’s husband, Captain John Elliot, Lieutenant McClure and a group of British soldiers.

The story opens with them trekking through a forest near the Shenandoah Mountain in Western Virginia, en route to join Rebecca’s uncle, Henry McCutcheon, in the safety of a nearby fort before either the French or the Indians take them prisoner or worse. Rebecca is grieving the recent loss of her husband but before you know it (page 6), a tall, handsome, black-haired Indian warrior jumps right in front of her path and is so taken with her fair beauty that he’s driven to distraction. It doesn’t take long for Rebecca – who falls from her horse – to become separated from Kate, while a Shawnee clan who is allied with the French, take Rebecca and her escorts, prisoner.

Shoka, a half-Shawnee, half-French warrior, speaks perfect English. He was a guide for them and was taught many of their ways by the mysterious Father Andrew, who we come to know a bit better, along with the white wolf “Gabe” near the end of the story. While he’s a loin-stirring character, the relationship between Shoka and Rebecca develops so quickly that it’s a bit unbelievable. At first, Shoka’s plan is to sell Rebecca to the French for the cost of a new rifle, but after a few blood-boiling arguments stoked with sexual tension and many tears shed by Rebecca, she is falling into his arms, kissing him and declaring her love for him, all during what seems to be only a couple of days. Their entire relationship is carried out on their trek to the fort and there’s only one somewhat sizzling love scene between them in the entire book (to be fair it was quite good) while during the rest of the story they’re either fighting off a rival tribe of Catawba Indians, the French, their own English soldiers, or arguing amongst themselves.

“Shoka knew he shouldn’t be off by himself with Rebecca Elliot, let alone holding her. The last thing he wanted was to lose his head and already shredded heart to yet another beautiful woman…this one with blindingly blue eyes. So why was he sitting her cradling her? He knew that too. Even wrapped in a blanket, she was so soft and curved. Sweet perfume clung to her, but she’d given him a blistering taste of her fury. Not only that, she was English. Worse – a lady and totally unsuited to his way of life.” (pg. 19)

Rebecca’s character waffles between being outspoken and assertive and scared to death and ready to faint at any moment. Every man who comes into contact with her is seemingly unable to resist her beauty and if they don’t outright fall for her – letting her get away with scandalous behavior from a lady of that time – they want to steal her away from Shoka with brute force. Shoka nicknames her Peshewa (the devil cat) and by Chapter 2, Rebecca is already stirred by her emotions for him although he maintains that he must make her his wife before he can bed her.

Rattlesnakes, freezing cold streams, torrential downpours, soaked petticoats, and evil Catawba warriors are just some of the trials and tribulations faced by Rebecca and Shoka on their journey to the fort. We are led to believe that Rebecca’s strength in the face of adversity comes from her having endured cruel beatings by her drunken father who left her back covered in scars. Shoka is a more interesting character and I would have liked to have known more about his history. There are also a couple of secondary characters that are interesting including Meshewa, Shoka’s young cousin who succumbs to Rebecca’s spell, Capitane Marc Renault, a charismatic French soldier who wins the totally naïve Kate’s heart, and Tonkawa, a fierce Catawba warrior whose mission it is to kill Shoka and claim Rebecca for himself. We know none of their histories either. I can’t help but feel that the book needed to be considerably longer in order for Trissel to have the opportunity to fully realize these characters.

Through The Fire, for me, was tedious at times but Beth Trissel writes well (her descriptions of the scenery were vivid and visceral), if not cautiously and conservatively, and over all, the story isn’t bad, it’s just not great. There’s nothing unique or exciting about it that makes it memorable and the ending gets a little preachy for my liking. Traditional romance fans will probably appreciate this book more than I did.