Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holidays: the perfect time for enjoying a brand new romance!

I'm so thrilled to have my good friend, Beth Trissel over for a visit today. Not only is she a multi-published, award-winning author - but she bakes a delicious cookie too. Yum! 
So, don't be shy. There's plenty of refreshments for everyone. And guess what? After you finish hearing about Beth's wonderful new release, Somewhere the Bells Ring, be sure and leave a comment along with your email because one lucky commenter is going to receive a copy of Beth's new read. 
So, it's not only a great Release Day party - it's a chance to win a lovely escape from the "Oh my gosh - it's already the holidays" syndrome. Happy release day, Beth!
Thanks Maeve for having me on your lovely blog to celebrate my holiday release.  Come one, come all.  Kick back, enjoy mugs of hot chocolate and let’s break out the eggnog and the sugar cookies as we reminisce about those ghosts of Christmas past. 
Nostalgia about the late 1960’s inspired the time period for my vintage American ghost story Christmas romance, Somewhere the Bells Ring.  An adolescent in 1968, I remember it well.  Think hippies, the Cultural Revolution, and Americans divided into two diametrically opposed camps, those who were freaky and those who were square.  I’m glad to say I ranked among the former, eventually.  The song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” came out in ”67 but exemplified the hippie movement still going strong  in ”68.  Fashion was all over the place and fishnet hose all the rage.  I gloried in my first pair while wearing my Bonnie Bell lip gloss.  Anything more than that makeup wise and my disapproving father said I resembled a lady of the night, and he wasn’t thinking vampire.  
The maxi dress followed on the heels of the maxi skirt, which I was all about.  Mom sewed several for me and I floated around like a princess.  The music of the late 60’s was awesome.  What a thrill when I first heard Innagadadavida by Iron Butterfly.  Stunned might be a better word, but it definitely impressed me as did many other songs of that era. How about Aquarius! 
Not to overlook the less positive elements of “68, like Vietnam and the tragic assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.  I was deeply sorry, but as a kid didn’t overly dwell on those.  One of the top films of 1968 was Romeo and Juliette which stamped me as a romantic forever and brings me back to my release. 
In addition to nostalgia about 1968 is my draw to an earlier time, 1918 and the end of WW1, the war to end all wars it was called and the one my Marine grandfather served in with distinction.  In Somewhere the Bells Ring, Eric Burke and his predecessor Edward Burke returned home with injuries, both physical and psychological, from these two very different wars.  Bailey, a hippie wannabe, seeks answers not only to where she belongs but to the mystery that spans generations in the old house where the story unfolds.  Maple Hill is based on the gracious plantation home in my family that I grew up visiting over the holidays.  And did I mention the ghost?

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?
“Bailey.” He spoke softly, so as not to startle her.
She turned toward him. In her long, white nightgown, hair tumbled down around her, wearing that lost look, she bore an unnerving resemblance to the mysterious woman in Wilkie Collins’ classic mystery, The Woman in White. Eric fervently hoped the similarity ended there. As he recalled from the novel, that unfortunate lady had been unhinged.
Leaving the door ajar, he stepped inside. “We missed you at breakfast.”
She answered distractedly. “I wasn’t hungry.”
He limped to where she stood, the hitch in his leg a little less pronounced today. Maybe he was getting stronger. “Why are you here, looking for ghosts?”
“Or a door to the past.”
He tried to coax a smile to her trembling lips. “Did you check inside the wardrobe?”
“Eric, I’m being serious.”
“That’s what worries me.” Leaning on his cane with one arm, he closed his other around her shoulders and drew her against him. Such a natural act, and she accepted his embrace without pulling back. She smelled of flowers from her perfume and wood smoke. “Mercy, child,” he said in his best imitation of Ella, “it’s as cold as a tomb in here.”
“It wasn’t last night.”~

Somewhere the Bells Ring is available in various eBook formats at The Wild Rose Press and will travel onto Amazon kindle, Barnes & Noble’s nookbook and other online booksellers.  For more on me and my work please visit:

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! Doesn't Beth's newest read sound like a great escape from holiday stress?