Beth has a new release out, Into the Lion's Heart, and she's going to tell us a little bit about herself, and this engaging new story.
As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he's conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn't immune to her artless charm, either.
Cecile Beaumont didn't choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn't expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.
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Beth, thanks for being here. Let's talk a little about you, the author, before we get into your amazing new story. Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, all the good stuff.
BT: When it began is difficult to say. I’ve been writing since I was a young girl, initially childish diaries then poetry and journals that grew into a collection of essays. An editor from Southern Living Magazine was highly encouraging to me early on after my mother (unbeknownst to me) submitted one of my pieces for their free-lance column. Only later did I come to understand how rare it was to speak on the phone with an editor at her request. I took up writing historical romance with near rabid determination when I turned 40. Yes, life begins at 40. But I wasn’t published until my early 50’s, and received oodles of rejections from agents and editors along the way. I just never quit.
I think that is probably something that can't be emphasized enough -- never quit. You have a very unique genre, a blend of both historical and paranormal. And of course, romance all the way. Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?
BT: I like historical romance very much and some paranormal, also historical fiction. I am more likely to be found reading nonfiction for research, and if well done, because I enjoy it. I also write nonfiction about country life and have self-published that work though under my name.
I have to laugh, because when I'm asked what my favorite thing to read is, my standard answer is "Non-fiction." I can so relate to that!
You have more than just the amazing (and yes, I'm repeating that deliberately) Into the Lion's Heart available. What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next:
BT: Somewhere My Love (Light paranormal/time travel)
Somewhere my Lass (light paranormal/time travel)
Daughter of the Wind (light paranormal/historical)
Enemy of the King (colonial American historical romance)
Through the Fire (Native American historical romance)
Red Bird’s Song (Native American historical romance)
A Warrior for Christmas, historical romance short in An American Rose Christmas anthology
And just out, Into the Lion’s Heart, an English historical romance short that kicks off TWRP’s new line called Love Letters in which a letter must be the cause of bringing the hero and heroine together.
The next story in my ‘Somewhere’ series, Somewhere the Bells Ring, a vintage American /ghost story romance will come out later this year.
Shew! That's quite impressive, Beth. Do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
BT: My favorite is the first novel I ever wrote and the last one published thus far, Native American historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song, inspired by events that occurred to my Scots-Irish ancestors in the colonial frontier, and one warrior in particular, Wicomechee, to whom I have family ties. He’s the hero of the novel.
I envy your ability to pull reality into a story -- that's a place I've always been afraid to go. However, my family history isn't nearly as interesting as yours.
So now that we know a little more about you, let's talk about Into the Lion's Heart!
Tell us about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?
BT: Research is the word for Into the Lion’s Heart, set in Georgian England during the explosion of the French Revolution. Tons of it lay behind this venture into new waters for me. I’d already begun the story inspired by a strong secondary character in my colonial American romance novel Enemy of the King, by following him back to England, when senior historical editor Nic D’Arienzo asked me to submit a short for Love Letters, so I adapted it. I’ve always been fascinated with The Scarlet Pimpernel and the French Revolution but wanted to begin earlier than the Reign of Terror, giving me some room for a sequel, plus a lot is happening in 1789, including waves of French nobles fleeing the country while they could still get out.
I'm going to say it again -- it's amazing, everyone!
Let’s talk heroes –
What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.
BT: Captain Dalton Evans is based on Captain Vaughan, the ‘bad boy’ redeemed by the end of the novel in Enemy of the King. At least, mostly redeemed. He’s the only blond hero I’ve featured thus far, as I tend to prefer dark haired men. But I loved writing him.
All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat?
BT: Dalton’s wry wit coupled with a forceful personality.
If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?
BT: He loves horses.
Mmm. After my own heart. Almost makes me hesitate to go into the heroine -- can I keep him?
Okay, so, his heart belongs to someone else. Tell us about her. Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength your heroine provides to your hero?
BT: She softens him. Humbles him too. He’s a little arrogant.
If your heroine was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?
BT: Don’t let his gruff exterior intimidate you.
Very nice. Gruff exteriors sometimes have the softest interiors.
If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?
BT: A happy couple gathered before the fireside with their three darling children and his doting aunt. Of course, Captain Evans will have to go off and fight Napoleon in the interim, but will return safely after distinguishing himself in battle.
All right, I can't wait any longer -- let's let everyone peek at Into the Lion's Heart!
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Choking on the brine, she thrashed to right herself. Dalton spat saltwater from his mouth and fought to regain his seat while pulling her up with him. Not his most dignified effort. She was the devil to get hold of—kept slipping away. He grabbed her again, only to be knocked back down and rolled with her in the swill on the bottom of the boat.
Damn and blast! Tom and another man hoisted them upright in the prow.
“Thanks,” Dalton grunted, biting his tongue in the presence of a lady. “All right?” he shouted at her, and shifted her securely onto the seat beside him.
“Oui!” she sputtered when she’d recovered her breath.
She shook all over—must be chilled to the bone. They’d be fortunate if she didn’t catch her death, probably bruised too from tossing about in the skiff. The sooner she was safely housed indoors by a toasty hearth, the better.
Keeping an arm around the sodden woman, he peered into a striking pair of charcoal-gray eyes set above a pert nose and framed by fine dark brows.
She parted trembling, bluish lips. “Merci Monsieur—Que Dieu vous bénisse—Les saints nous bénis en préservent,” she stammered, thanking, blessing him, and calling on the saints.
Dalton was tempted to call on them himself, but her outpouring took him by surprise.
Not content with acknowledging his aid, she turned to Tom, crouched on her other side, and blurted similar gratitude—nearly incoherent in the tumult raging around them. Tom gave a nod through gritted teeth then bent his head over the boat and heaved the contents of his volatile stomach.
She tilted her head at Dalton, eyes crinkled in sympathy. “Mal de mer,” she said, using the French for seasick.
Let's go back to you again, real quick, Beth. What’s been the greatest contributing factor to achieving the goals you’ve accomplished?
Do you have goals you have yet to meet?
BT: Many tales to tell so little time.
Boy do I hear you there! I need three of me. As a writer, what is your greatest strength?
What do you find most difficult about your job as an author?
BT: Not getting bogged down in research and/or revisions, knowing when to move on.
Absolutely. So often I hear authors getting hung up in those steps, particularly revisions. Knowing when to move forward is really hard.
Okay, before you go, tell us where we can find you!
Blog: One Writer’s Way
Facebook: Beth Trissel
Anything else you want to share before we conclude?
BT: My youngest daughter, Elise, a recent college graduate (Summa Cum Laude!) with a double major in French and Art helped me with the snippets of French scattered throughout this story.
Congratulations to her! That's very impressive.
BT: Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog, Claire.
You're most welcome! Come back soon, Beth!