Monday, May 4, 2009

ENEMY OF THE KING by Beth Trissel

Beth Trissel is the author of two paranormal romances, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE and DAUGHTER OF THE WIND, and two historical romances, ENEMY OF THE KING and THROUGH THE FIRE

Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley with her husband, children and multiple animals.

The beauty of the valley and uniqueness of rural life has led her to write a collection of atmospheric personal essays compiled into a work of nonfiction, in addition to several historical paranormal romances.

I had the pleasure of meeting, Beth Trissel, two years ago on the Pink Fuzzy Slippers blog and we finally “saw” each other last year at RWA in San Francisco. Beth’s historical THROUGH THE FIRE was nominated for a Golden Heart Award in 2008.

A year later her first book, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, a paranormal romance published by the Wild Rose Press, won first place in the 2008 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel and is still collecting good reviews.

Her third novel, DAUGHTER OF THE WIND, was released a week ago and welcomed with a standing ovation. Now, we are impatiently waiting for Beth’s historical romance, ENEMY OF THE KING, to be released tomorrow, on May 8th, by the Wild Rose Press.

Let’s welcome Beth Trissel and read the stories behind the story of

this historical romance, ENEMY OF THE KING.

Beth: My absorption with early America extends to the high drama of the Revolution and ancestors who fought and loved on both sides of that sweeping conflict. My research into the Southern face of the war was partly inspired by my great, great, great grandfather, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, who kept a journal of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, 1781, used by historians today.

One illustrious tie to the past for me is my grandfather, seven greats back, Sir George Augustus Elliott. A British general and Governor of Gibraltar during the American Revolution, he was given the title Lord Heathfield, Baron of Gibraltar, in honor of his bravery in its defense during the attack by the Spanish and French. While Sir George was giving his all for king and country, his grandson was fighting under George Washington as a commissary officer. There must have been quite a rift in that family.

ENEMY OF THE KING, coming to the Wild Rose May 8th, grew out of my passionate interest in the American Revolution.

Mona: Here is a picture of the Hanging Moss Tree that is pictured on her book cover. Sorry for the interruption, Beth. Keep on, please.

Beth: Years ago as I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears I often came across references to a battle fought during the Revolution called King’s Mountain. The name alone drew me. I vowed to go back later and research it more in depth and uncovered fascinating fodder for the imagination. I learned about the gallant, ill-fated British Major Patrick Ferguson who lost his life and Loyalist army atop that Carolina Mountain called King’s back in the fall of 1780. Ferguson is buried there beneath a stone cairn, possibly along with his mistress who also fell that day. He had two, both called Virginia. But it’s believed one mistress made her escape on a horse by betraying his whereabouts to the advancing Patriots.

Speaking of which, I discovered the hardy, sometimes downright mean Overmountain men of Scots heritage didn’t take kindly to Ferguson’s warning that they desist from rebellion or he’d bring fire and sword upon them and hang all their leaders––all these enemies of the King!
‘Book title,’ I said to self. And Enemy of the King sounds much cooler than The Patriot. So I began what came to be my version of that famous movie, though I started my novel before it even came out. The Battle of King’s Mountain, a mega conflict that altered the course of a nation, plays a prominent role in this fast-paced historical romance.

The year is 1780, one of the bloodiest of the American Revolution. The entire Southern garrison has been captured and Lord Cornwallis is marching his forces deep into South Carolina. ‘Bloody Ban’ Lieutenant Major Banestre Tarleton and his infamous Legion are sweeping through the countryside. Revenge is the order of the day on both sides and rugged bands of militia are all that stand between crown forces and utter defeat.


Blurb: 1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.

  • finalist, 2005 Jasmine Contest

  • finalist, 2006 Emily Contest

  • top five of fifty historical entries, 2006 Four Seasons Contest

  • semi-finalist 2006 Molly Contest

  • finalist, 2007 Golden Gateway Contest


Toni V.S. said...

Another great story, Beth. Two mistresses named Virginia--and one died with him and one fled. Definitely a story there. By the way, that's the first time I've seen Spanish Moss growing sideways--you have some unusual trees in your part of the country!

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Most excellant interview! I can't wait to read this story. Have I memtioned that I'm a historian with a degree in history? This is just so up my alley!Mona and Beth you both rock!


Beth Trissel said...

Thanks Toni. LOL. I think we had an artistic photographer with the moss. Not my neck of the woods really, being from Virginia, but I've visited the Carolinas often.
You're right, most interesting about Ferguson having two mistresses named Virginia.
His men said it was clever of him. That way he wouldn't get their names mixed up when he whispered sweet nothings in their ear.
The loyal woman who died with him had flaming red hair that made her a ready target.

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks Scarlet. Wow, I just learned this about you. How kewl is that?
I'm a self taught historian. A degree is is super.

Barbara Monajem said...

I really loved learning more about the background to this story. This summer, I hope to travel through the area where it takes place (after I read it, of course).

Mary Marvella said...

Beth and Mona, another great interview and a book I'll have to get!

Mona Risk said...

Thanks but I can't take credit for the compliments. I just try to bask in Beth's glamorous success with the hope it will rub on me. LOL. Seriously Beth is such a wonderful writer. Sharing her research makes her books even more attractive. After we comment we should run to buy her books.

Judy said...

Great blog, Mona and Beth. Love the history behind this story and love the idea that so much of it is prompted by your own family history. Good luck with it!

debjulienne said...

Holy cow...I wanna know how you do anything else but write with all this history in your backyard and family...what little I've been able to trace of my family has only sparked one historical...that should be spelled hysterical...because does my hero IN NO WAY even come close to the real character. Can't wait to read the book...excellent job Mona and Beth...keep it up

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for the high fives, ladies.
I've received a wealth of appreciation for the past from my forebears.

Susan Macatee said...

Congrats on all your releases, Beth! You are on a roll!

I love how you weave historical fact into your love stories. American history really is a great source of romance ideas with loads of conflict. Why have publishers been ignoring it for so long?

Kathye Quick said...

Great interview Beth. I love the Shenandoah Valley.

Great premise for a book. I'm going to get it for sure

Mary Ricksen said...

I had to read your blog Mona. And this was a great one!
Like I said before, Beth lives in the Garden of Eden.
I didn't know you had a degree in History Scarlet, cool!
Beth my favorite thing is good imagery and you have that down pat.
You are an amazing author!

Beth Trissel said...

I don't know why publishers have been so against colonial American settings but that's not the case at the Wild Rose Press. The American Revolution is one of the most fascinating time periods.
Thanks for the enthusiasm.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Your story sounds great, Beth. I also use family stories to enhance my work. One of my great great grandfathers kept a journal that is kept under glass at UC Berkeley in the Bancroft Library. I absolutely love your covers. My southern friends think I am nuts, but I love the hanging moss.

Debra St. John said...

Congrats on tomorrow's release. Keep them coming for us!

Beth Trissel said...

I love hanging moss too!
Thanks guys.

Margaret Tanner said...

Wow Beth,
What an exciting story, all the more intrigueing because of your family connection.

Beth Trissel said...

The family connection is what led me there. Thanks so much.