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BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009

Best Book of the Week

 

 

A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scotswoman, Bearwalking Shawnee Warrior, Dark Secret,
Pulsing Romance…

DAUGHTER OF THE WIND

A Suspenseful Historical Fantasy Romance Novel

Daughter of the Wind

Ms. Trissel’s alluring style of writing invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding.” ~Camellia, Long and Short Reviews

Autumn, 1784: A tragic secret from Karin McNeal's past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to know more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in her life among the Scot’s settled in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. Jack McCray, a wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlocking the past. Will she let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive grandfather? Is it only her imagination or does something, or someone, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?

Excerpt

The strange awareness inside Karin grew, like a summons urging her to an untamed place.

Jack Daughter of the WindJack ran fading eyes over Karin. “ Paca tamseh ,” he said, and sagged more heavily against Grandpa.

“Indian words,” someone hissed. “I heard ‘em.”

Karin shrank back from the man, but Sarah grabbed her arm, pulling her forward with a steely grip. “Can you blame him for knowing their speech after all these years?” She jerked Karin onto her knees and they knelt by the newcomer. Loosening her grip, Sarah wrapped her arms around his neck. “My poor boy.”

Heart racing, Karin hugged the crock. She looked to her grandfather. “I never knew she had an older son.”

Karin Daughter of the Wind“Jack was eight when Shawnee captured him twenty years ago. Any son of Sarah's is welcome in my house and the settlement,” Grandpa said with a look, daring any to object.

None did. At least, not aloud, although Karin expected there'd be plenty of talk behind their hands.

“You told me Jack was dead, Mama,” Joseph said.

“I thought he was. Praise God he's back.”

“How did he know where to find you?” Uncle Thomas asked. “You weren't a McNeal when he was taken.”

Neeley clucked. “Never mind that now. We've a wounded man who's been welcomed home with lead shot.”

Jack fluttered his eyes and looked to Karin. His gaze drew her almost against her will. She leaned toward him. “Someone seeks you, Shequenor's dahnaithah .”

The message rippled through her. And she knew—his was the inviting summons in the wind.

Novel Notes

http://bethtrissel.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/stream21.jpg?w=300&h=225Not only have I lived in the Old Dominion for most of my life, but also several previous centuries in the sense that my family were among the earliest settlers of the Shenandoah Valley (1730’s/1740’s). My Scots-Irish forebears settled Augusta County in the southern valley with names like Houston, Patterson, Finley, Moffett and McLeod. These clannish people frequently intermarried, so I can tie in with many other early families depending on how I swing through the ancestral tree.

Virginia is the site of the earliest successful English colony and rich in history. We’re steeped in it, especially in the Shenandoah Valley. How could I not be drawn to this wealth of stories? If the earth could speak what tales it would tell, some of them horrific; Virginia is also the site of more battles than any other state in the union, encompassing the Indian Wars, the Revolution and that most uncivil of wars, the Civil War.

THE ALLEGHENY MOUNTAINSOne account I came across in my studies of the early Scots-Irish influenced my writing more than any other, the tragic story of a captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers intercepted and killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death.
Heart wrenching, it haunts me to this day. And I wondered…was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish; what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up? I couldn’t let this happen to my hero and heroine, but how could I spare them. I schemed and dreamed and hatched more stories in the fertile ground of Virginia.

http://bethtrissel.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/edited-image-for-daughter-of-the-wind2.jpg?w=300&h=174Light paranormal/historical romance Daughter of the Wind sprang from this account which also had a strong influence on my Native American historical romance Red Bird’s Song. Daughter of the Wind is set among the clannish Scots-Irish in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies, a tale of the clash between peoples and young lovers caught in the middle. Ever influenced by my regard for Eastern Woodland Indians, I interwove mystical, Native American elements with ‘Daughter’.

 

Reviews

*****

Posted by Bitten by Books

Gentle, protected Karin McNeal stood on the porch while her birthday celebration continued inside. The voices in the wind were calling again, and Karin hoped that she would finally be able to decipher them. She leaned forward eagerly, so close to solving the puzzle, when her grandfather burst out the front door and summoned her back inside. Karin obeyed instantly, as a proper woman of the 1780s would, and rejoined the festivities. The dancing, drinking, and feasting continued but everything ceased when someone pounded on the door. A man, bleeding from a shoulder wound, came staggering in the door. Though the McNeals did not know him, they began caring for him and were shocked when he looked at Karin’s step-grandmother and said, “Hi, Mama.” Sarah’s son Jack had been taken by the Shawnee many years before when he was only eight, and Sarah was thrilled to be reunited with her oldest son. Jack’s reappearance caused some rumblings in the settlement, but since the McNeals were a prominent family, they expected no trouble from the settlers. Within the family, however, Jack and Karin’s attraction to one another was creating a rift.

Jack McCray had been sent to bring Karin to her father, a Shawnee chief who had adopted him after he and Karin’s mother were abducted. Jack had a bargain with Shequenor: once Jack delivered Karin to Shequenor, he would keep the chief’s stallion. Jack was certain he could easily fulfill the bargain…until he met Karin. Their instant attraction both stunned and confused him. Jack was determined to do everything in his power to keep Karin safe, even if that meant fighting against the settlement, the McNeals, and Shequenor’s magical powers.

I found this book fascinating. The descriptions of the settlement made it easy to imagine, and the characters were believable and well developed. The reaction of the McNeals to Jack’s war record – fighting for the wrong side – was exactly how I would expect a family, proud of their own service, to feel. The family’s attitude towards the Shawnee was also realistic for the period. Though Karin was presented as a well-bred, gently raised young woman, she demonstrated her strength of character when Jack was threatened. I can definitely recommend this book, especially for historical fiction fans and all true romantics. This is a great story, and I am looking forward to reading more from Beth Trissel.

 

Beth Trissel's new book Daughter of the Wind is fabulous! From the moment you start reading you are transported back in time. You can see, smell and feel everything that is happening. She puts you right there, in the story. The characters are so real and alive, you feel as if you could reach out and touch them. (I'm already in love with Jack.) She is a very talented writer who weaves in the culture and languages of the Native Americans that lived then, and the Scot/Irish people who settled here. Beth also loves and knows a lot about herbs. That love does not go to waste as she adds it as just another layer for the senses in her deep, rich writing style. I do not have the words to describe how much I enjoy her books, so all I can say is... Don't just sit there reading this review! Go! Go get your copy now. You will NOT be disappointed!
~ Beth Liveringhouse

This fabulous historical fantasy story doesn’t hesitate from word one. It sweeps the reader into an emotional whirlwind that disrupts life in the McNeal clan, a well-to-do family that is well established in the Allegheny Mountains in 1784. The haunting, sometime scary, happenings bring about breathtaking moments that make Daughter Of The Wind a true page-turner.

Karin, the much loved and protected granddaughter of the McNeal clan, knows she is different, not just because of her olive skin, black hair, and blue-grey eyes, but because she hears voices in the wind—voices that touch her soul. When Jack McCray appears, she feels a connection with him. “His eyes scorched her like a strong wind” and her emotions are a “cauldron of confusion”. When they are near each other “an emotion as explosive as gunpowder and contagious as fever” pulsates. She feels he is the inviting summons she hears in the wind.

Jack McCray, Sarah McNeal’s son taken away by Shawnees at age eight, returns a well-honed frontiersman. Bent on accomplishing a mission for his adoptive brother Shequenor, he runs afoul of the McNeal men. Jack, a magnetic character that knows himself for what he is, accepts what has been and reaches out to grasp what can be for the future. Beth Trissel creates a memorable character as flaws are acknowledged and greatness is shown to make him worthy of the naïve but gifted Karin with the mysterious parentage.

The secondary characters are well developed and some have strong influences on the hero and heroine’s lives. John McNeal, Shequenor, and Neeley are especially notable. Their insight and faithfulness to their beliefs are remarkable and so ably shown with Ms. Trissel’s alluring style of writing. She invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding.

After reading Daughter Of The Wind, I will probably find myself listening when the wind howls around the eaves or whispers through the live oak leaves to discover whether it is voices I hear.
~ Reviewed by Camellia, Long and Short Reviews


Autumn, 1784: A tragic secret from Karin McNeal's past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to know more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in her life among the Scot’s settled in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. Jack McCray, a wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlocking the past. Will she let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive grandfather? Is it only her imagination or does something, or someone, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?

I loved the plot of this story, oh and the setting was wonderful. I just can’t believe how much detail the author went into without being boring about it. Ms. Trissel is great at creating believable and loveable characters. She’s also great at giving us a happily ever after…kind of a bittersweet ending…No, I can’t tell why, you’ll just have to read the book for yourself to figure that out. I just love book covers, usually they are the first things I notice about a book. If the cover can draw my attention than I’ll normally read the book. The cover for Daughter of the Wind is absolutely gorgeous. Whoever the cover artist is did a wonderful job. And to me the book stood out as well. It was a great read and one any romantic suspense or Beth Trissel fan should read. Beth Trissel is a new author for me and one I will be looking for in the future as well.

Rating: 4.5 Smacks
Heat Level: Sweet
Reviewer: Ruby Lee, Mistress Bella Reviews