A particularly tragic account is the driving force behind the story, the ill-fated romance of a young captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death.
Heart-wrenching, that tale haunts me to this day. And I wondered, was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish, and what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up? I know she was raised by her white family–not what they told her about her mother and warrior father.
Not only did The Bearwalker’s Daughter spring from that sad account, but it also had a profound influence on my historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song. Now that I’ve threaded it through two novels, perhaps I can let go…perhaps….
The history my novels draw from is raw and real, a passionate era where only the strong survive. Superstition ran high among both the Scots and Native Americans, and far more, a vision that transcends what is, to reach what can be. We think we’ve gained much in our modern era, and so we have. But we’ve also lost. In my writing, I try to recapture what should not be forgotten. Read and judge for yourself. And hearken back. Remember those who’ve gone before you.
As to bearwalking, this belief/practice predates modern Native Americans to the more ancient people. In essence, a warrior transforms himself into a bear and goes where he wills in that form, a kind of shapeshifting.
Blurb: A Handsome Frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter~
Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.
Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges–for her?~
*Cover by my daughter Elise Trissel
*Image of old family musket, powder horn, and shot pouch by my mom Pat Churchman
***The Bearwalker’s Daughter is a revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
“Ms. Trissel’s alluring style of writing invites the reader into a world of fantasy and makes it so believable it is spellbinding.” –Long and Short Reviews