Friday, November 18, 2011

Finding Inspiration (and a Ghost Story) in History

It is my distinct honor and privledge to host fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Beth Trissel at Tattered Pages today, who shares with us some great pics along with the inspiration behind her latest release! Take it away, Beth!

My fascination with the past and those who’ve gone before me is the ongoing inspiration behind my historical and light paranormal romances.  But in my recent release, the Christmas ghost story romance Somewhere the Bells Ring, I actually lived during the featured time period.   Those of you who write contemporary won’t get why this is momentous, but the closest I’ve come to being physically present in any of my settings is the opening of my time travels before we head on back.  But--wait for it--now that I’m old enough to be ‘vintage,’ I experienced life in 1968.  An adolesent then, I remember it well, think hippies, some of the best darn rock music ever written, fishnet hose, Bonnie Bell lip gloss, the maxi dress, Vietnam, the definitive Romeo & Juliet film, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy assasinations that rocked the nation…to quote a country neighbor, it was a ‘right mixy’ era with a major cultural revolution going on.  And yet, in many ways, a simpler time. 

In addition to my nostalgia over the late 60’s is a poignant draw to the early 20th century.  Old family photographs taken before WW1 portray ladies in long white dresses going on picnics, playing tennis, or boating with young gentlemen wearing white trousers, striped jackets, and everyone in hats…then the ones taken during the war and after, styles changed but life was still gracious, apart from the war, that is. The tragic death of my Marine Captain grandfather who distinguished himself fighting during WW1 then died of a heart attack a decade later when my dad was only three spread through my generation like a ripple on a pond.  I grew up grieving the loss of this amazing man I never knew and dedicated the story to him.

And then there’s the beautiful old Virginia homeplace where my dad was born and raised and I grew up visiting during the holidays that the home in this story is based on.  To that, add a vivid dream that had me stepping back in time in that house and encountering a mysterious young gentleman filled with angst, and pondering what his story was for a good ten years before I finally wrote Somewhere the Bells Ring.  Inspiration galore.


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?

I leave you with this pensive thought, ‘In a lifetime, there are many lifetimes.’
SOMEWHERE THE BELLS RING is available in ebook at The Wild Rose PressAmazon Kindle, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook & other online booksellers.
***If you leave me nice comments I will give away an ebook, pdf, ePub, or kindle, winner’s  choice.


Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for having me AJ, delighted to be here.

Calisa Rhose said...

It's cold and only getting colder here in OK. I NEED a nice warm-me-up book to curl with! THIS book... *ahem, just saying*

This sounds like a wonderful read. Do I need tissue before I settle into my Snuggie?

P.L. Parker said...

No Calisa - I need this book! Very interesting post, Beth. Loved it! And the book does sound terrific.

Winona Cross said...

My gosh Beth you've done it again. You have written the words of my heart that I can't think of until I read them in your hand. I'm a 1969 graduate of Lovington, New Mexico High School. I do remember all the things you've mentioned plus white go-go boots. Love's Baby Soft perfume. And, the music. Boy, you're right on about that!

I know the feeling of belonging or thinking of belonging to a specific place and time. Your writings have given me the courage to try it out.

I also remember Vietnam. I knew and know so many who served in that horrible place. Lives were changed. Eric does have healing to do. He and Bailey can help each other. But, where is that darn gift the restless ghost is seeking?

Guess I'm off to Amazon again. Good grief, if anyone got hold of my Kindle they would wonder who is this Beth Trissel person.

AJ Nuest said...

I posted this on behalf of Caroline Clemmons!

Beth, I love the photo of the house in which your dad grew up. What a terrific place to live. No wonder you keep memories alive by using it in your writing. I'm saving your new book until after Thanksgiving before I start Christmas stories, but we're almost there.

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for the enthusiasm guys, and Winona, wow, how could I forget to mention go go boots? And Love's Soft Baby perfume? I loved that stuff.

Beth Trissel said...

Caroline, thanks (and AJ for posting her comment). That is the kewlest old house, has a personality all its own.

gagranny said...

hello beth this is peggy gabriel.. i am just signed upp to follow your blog. i am just learning.. see you on fb

AJ Nuest said...

I'm sorry I haven't been around much today. Very busy, busy!! I just wanted to pop on and say thanks so much for the wonderful post and for being my guest today! You have an open invitation to come back anytime!!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks all. The winner of Somewhere the Bells Ring is Peggy G.