September 26

#TellTaleTuesday with Veronica Blake and Superstition

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Author Veronica Blake joins us to share the story behind her novel Superstition

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After writing eleven historical romances, I was ready to try something different.  I love paranormal as much as I love history, so I knew my next writing venture was going to involve vampires.  Ever since I was a little girl and watched my first Dracula movie with my mom and aunt I’ve been a fan of the Prince of Darkness and everything related.  I imagined my vamps living in a secluded and mysterious locale, so my original plan was to set this book in some exotic place like a Greek island.  But then, I started thinking about all the places I had already studied while doing research for my other books, or the places I had actually visited in the past.

The most extensive research trip that I’ve ever taken was when I was writing my third and fourth books, Savage Dreams and Apache Tigress.  Those books were about the Jicarilla Apache who lived in Eastern Arizona.  I was fortunate at the time to know a wonderful lady who had once been a teacher at the school on The White Mountain Reservation, and she offered to show me around.  She took me to places on the reservation I’m sure most tourists never have a chance to see up close.  We explored everything from remote desert rock formations covered in shiny black stones called ‘Apache Tears’ to ancient ruins that can only be seen from a certain spot on the reservation.   It was an amazing adventure.

During one of our tours, we stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in the town of Apache Junction, about 35 miles from Phoenix.  I was looking out the window when a rugged mountain range caught my attention.  I asked my friend about them and she told me they were the Superstitions.  Even in the midday sun the craggy peaks looked mysterious and menacing to me.  I told myself someday I was going to write a book about those spooky mountains.  I just never imagined it would be over two decades later before I would finally follow through with that plan.

When my friend reminded they were also the location of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine, I was completely captivated.  I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the Old West, so I had definitely heard of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine.  However, I didn’t know a lot of the details regarding the mine.  Even from a distance, though, just looking at those spooky mountains fueled my imagination.   But, at the time I was consumed with writing my two historical Apache romances, which took place on the reservation and in Mexico.

Seven more Historical Romances followed my two book Apache series, and truthfully, I sort of forgot about using the Superstitions as the setting in one of my books.  Occasionally, I would come across an article, or see something on TV about unexplained deaths and disappearances, or someone who believed they had found new evidence leading to the location of the legendary goldmine.  Since the 1880s gold seekers have been trying to decipher the clues left by Jabob Waltz—a gold miner who claimed he had actually found the mine.  He kept the location a secret, but left cryptic clues to its whereabouts.  Whenever I would see or hear about one of these new theories or discoveries, I would remember my plan to write those enigmatic mountains into a story.

When I started working on my first paranormal romance I began to research the Superstitions with renewed interest.  They weren’t in some exotic location, but I remembered how menacing those mountains had seemed to me all those years ago.  Even more intriguing to me was how fact and fiction have woven together numerous eerie accounts of the goldmine or treasure that is supposedly hidden somewhere in those mountains.  Is there a rich cache of gold hidden there by early Spanish conquistadors or is there truly a priceless vein of gold ore concealed somewhere in the stone interior?  The Apaches believe in the mine’s existence.  They are certain anyone who finds it will die.  And, countless lives have been lost in the harsh mountain range.  The exact number is not even known.  Many gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.  Some think the goldmine is haunted by ghosts.  Others think demonic entities protect the entrance to the treasure.   The one thing everyone does agree with—anyone who ventures too close will pay the ultimate price.

So, I started thinking what if it weren’t ghosts or demons guarding the treasure?  What if it’s vampires? That’s when I knew I had found the perfect location and back story for my new book.  Best of all, I was able to combine my love of history with my love of the paranormal. Those scary mountains also provided me with the perfect title…Superstition.

Someday I hope to return to the Superstitions and actually hike on some of the trails I researched for my book.  Of course, I won’t be staying up there overnight.  Once the sun goes down the vampires leave the hidden caves at the top of the mountain and roam around looking for curious gold seekers who might get too close to the vast treasure they have guarded for the past two centuries.

Blurb

Treasure lies deep in the Superstition Mountains, but is it worth the price…

Mateo Two Moons’ family has guarded dark secrets and unspeakable horrors for centuries. His Apache Blood Clan is dhampyre—half human, half vampire. But he will risk revealing the truth concealed in The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, exposing his entire family, and even his own existence to claim his human mate and change the perilous fate of his clan.

Dawn Malone’s move to Arizona to teach middle school has expanded her horizons. Meeting new people, hiking the desert wilderness, and the lure of gold fever in the old mine is exactly what she needs.  The handsome Apache she encounters seems almost too good to be true.  Mateo’s sexy, dangerous air draws her in, seducing her heart and soul. But her intrigue concerning the secrets he keeps turns to confusion and horror as she begins to realize the man she’s falling for could be something she didn’t even believe existed.

The scene behind the story

“I was really sure we would find something new today. I have those old clues left by Jacob Waltz memorized and I’ve studied that area so carefully; I just don’t know what I could be missing.” Chloe shook her head and added, “Maybe old man Waltz was just a crazy old fart, after all.”

She stood up and stared out toward the distant horizon as she repeated the clues for at least the tenth time today. “You have to crawl through a hole in the rock. From here you can see the Old Military Trail. You can’t see the mine from the trail. If you climb up a short distance you can see Weaver’s Needle. The setting sun shines on the gold in my mine. A rock face looks at my mine.”

Dawn forced herself up from the ground and stood beside Chloe and stared in the same direction where her friend’s attention was focused. Off in the distance the sun was nearly gone from the westerly sky as her gaze settled on the ominous shape of Weaver’s Needle. The protruding column of massive rock glowed in deep shades of orange and was surrounded by a shadowy purplish haze making it appear almost spiritual.

Today, they had been on the most treacherous trails she ever hiked, crawled through a hole in a huge rock shaped like a natural arch in one of the most rugged and remote places Dawn had ever been; Chloe led them to the barely visible path called the Old Military Trail, and they stared at the huge rock formation called Weaver’s Needle from the top of a jagged range of rocks for what seemed hours. But as hard as they tried, they could not find anything resembling a face in any of the surrounding cliffs or rocks.

Chloe continued to gaze off into the distance as frustration and disappointment became evident on her tired face. Dawn felt at a loss for words. She kept thinking about all the research she had done about this area in the past few days, especially the parts about the curse of the Lost Dutchman Mine, and how it was allegedly guarded by unfathomable evil forces that would never allow anyone to live if they should ever find it.

It creeped her out to think of how many lives had been lost in these mountains looking for a goldmine that might be no more than someone’s wild imagination. The exact number of missing or dead was not even known for sure, since many explorers and hopeful gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.

Being here in the heart of these hidden recesses and rugged terrain, however, Dawn could definitely understand how someone might easily become lost or fall into one of the deep caverns and never find their way out of this dangerous rock maze again.

Where To Purchase

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / Barnes and Noble

Veronica’s Online Playground

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Veronica-Blake-Writer-266206860220484/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VeronicaBlake53

Blog: https://veronicablake1423.wordpress.com

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104302.Veronica_Blake

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/VeronicaBlake/e/B0034OW8PY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1496253795&sr=1-2-ent

Author Bio

I’ve spent my entire life in a small town in the Colorado Rockies.  Outdoor activities such as hiking, riding my ATV and camping are my favorite things to do.  I’m a proud mother of three gorgeous adults, and grandmother to four amazing grandchildren.  Hopefully, no matter how old I get, I will always consider myself to be a hopeless romantic and a seeker of endless adventure.   Life, family, friends and music are my inspirations.

My published books include: Texas Rose, Desperado Desire, Savage Bite; Apache Tigress, Texas Princess, Cheyenne Temptress, Colorado Passion, Yukon Love Song, Black Horse, White Owl and Superstition.

I’m working on the second book in a Paranormal Romance Series, entitled The Blood Clan. Superstition, the first book in this series was a June 9, 2017 release by The Wild Rose Press.

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September 19

#TellTaleTuesday with Beth Trissel & Red Bird’s Song

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Author Beth Trissel joins us today  to share the story behind her Native-American-themed novel Red Bird’s Song.

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Red Bird’s Song is inspired by events that occurred to my ancestors in the colonial frontier. This award-winning adventure romance centers on their conflict with Native Americans during the French and Indian War and has a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor.

Research into my English/Scots-Irish roots in colonial America led to my writing Red Bird’s Song. My fascination with this era, particularly stirring tales of the frontier and the Shawnee Indians, is an early and abiding one. My forebears had interactions with this tribe, including family members taken captive. I have ties to Wicomechee, the hero of Red Bird’s Song, an outstanding Shawnee warrior whose real-life story greatly impacted the novel. I’m kin to him through the Moffett line via the Houston side of the family (think Sam Houston). Both Moffetts and Houstons were early Scots-Irish settlers in the Shenandoah Valley. More on Wicomechee is included at the end of the story, as a bonus for those who read it.
I’ve written other Native American themed historical romances, some with paranormal elements, each carefully researched. I’m grateful for the help of historians, reenactors, anthropologists, archaeologists, and the Shawnee themselves. All the titles in my Native American Warrior series are available in kindle. Amazon bought the eBook rights to Red Bird’s Song from The Wild Rose Press for their Amazon Encore Publishing Division. The thing about this novel is that it’s the first book I ever wrote and rewrote and learned to hone my writing skills in the process of doing, and is still my best seller, by far. Maybe because it’s based on true accounts more than any other book I’ve done, although some of the others are also highly influenced. I‘ve pondered writing a sequel, but I know the ultimate fate of the Shawnee. Not a happy one. So how far into the future do I go?

Back to the story. The initial encounter between Charity and Wicomechee at the beginning of Red Bird’s Song was born in a dream I had on New Year’s Eve–a propitious time for dreams–about a young warrior taking an equally young woman captive at a river and the unexpected attraction between them. That dream had such a profound impact on me that I took the leap from writing non-fiction pieces to historical/paranormal romance novels and embarked on the most amazing journey of my life. That was years ago and the saga continues.At the start of Red Bird’s Song, I also met the prophetic warrior, Eyes of the Wolf, in another dream. When I describe him in the book I’m envisioning a character I know. Eyes of the Wolf became a spirit guide and spoke to me throughout the writing of this book, and others. He’s there still in various guises. My journey with him is not complete.

The attack at the opening of Red Bird’s Song in the Shenandoah Valley is based on one that occurred to my ancestors and is recorded by Historian Joseph A. Waddell in The Annals of Augusta County. A renegade Englishman by the last name of Dickson led the war party that attacked them. I’d initially intended to make Colin Dickson in Red Bird’s Song the historical villain that he was, but when he galloped onto the scene I knew differently.

A log cabin in a wooded setting during the autumn season

Regarding the setting for Red Bird’s Song: In the early mid 1700’s, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding mountains was the colonial frontier. Only hardy souls dared to settle here. The bulk of these were the tough Scots-Irish, among them my ancestors. If 18th century warriors only had to fight regular British troops, they might ultimately have prevailed. They scared the crap out of men trained for conventional warfare. But the long knives were born fighters, and not easily intimidated. They learned from their cunning enemy and adopted his methods, weapons, and clothing.

Autumn in the Alleghenies

The ruggedly beautiful Alleghenies are also the setting for some of my other historical-paranormal romance novels, Through the FireKira, Daughter of the MoonThe Bearwalker’s Daughter, and my short historical romance, The Lady and the Warrior. I see these ridges from our farm in the Shenandoah Valley. The foothills are only a hop, skip and a jump away from us. The ever-changing panorama of the seasons never fails to inspire me. My Young Adult/Native American Wolf Shifter romance series entitled The Secret Warrior is also set in the mountains. Red Bird’s Song is Book 3 in my Native American Warrior Series. The series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the story line. However, Kira, Daughter of the Moon (also purchased from the Wild Rose Press by Amazon Encore) is the actual sequel to Through the Fire. In addition to Native Americans, hardy Scots-Irish frontiersmen and women, colonial Englishmen and ladies, and even a few Frenchmen also play an important role in this series. It spans the gamut from the dramatic era of the French and Indian War, through Pontiac’s War, The American Revolution, and shortly afterwards.

Story Blurb for Red Bird’s Song

Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.

George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

Reviews

“A beautifully written story filled with adventure and suspense…This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.” —Night Owl Book Review by Laurie-J

“I loved the descriptions…I felt I was there…Many mystical episodes are intermingled with the events…The ending is a real surprise, but I will let you have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.” —Seriously Reviewed

***To purchase Red Bird’s Song in kindle or print visit: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Birds-Song-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B013RJV9Q4

Author Bio

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. 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. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. Lately, the Civil War.  And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult shifter romance, I write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction. I have twenty titles out, both novels and novellas, and a time slip novella coming out this fall. My nonfiction works are about herbs, gardening, and country life.

Beth Trissel’s Online Playground

One Writer’s Way: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com

Facebook Beth Trissel: https://www.facebook.com/beth.trissel

Author Beth Trissel: https://www.facebook.com/bctrissel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel

My Amazon Author Page where all my books reside:

https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6