By Beth Trissel
HISTORICAL FANTASY ROMANCE
Timid by nature--or so she thinks--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 longing 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?
The Bearwalker's Daughter is a historical romance novel interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread, set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. My passion for the past, and some of the accounts I've come across while researching my early American ancestors and the Shawnee Indians, is at the heart of the inspiration behind this story.
As for Jack, Karin spotted his shadowy figure inside the farthest stall. He’d bridled his mount and looped its reins around one of the stout poles joined to the wide beams overhead. His back to her, he curried a magnificent strawberry roan stallion, its chestnut coat heavily mixed with gray. The horse snatched hay from the manger and stood quietly, seemingly good-natured and well trained.
How on earth did he come by such a superb mount? Karin had no more opportunity to wonder, and it wasn’t the stallion she kept close watch on as she approached the two, unsure what Jack might say or do.
“Mister McCray!” She was careful not to take him by surprise as she’d done last night, ready to turn and race back outside in an instant if need be.
Jack turned his head, eyes narrowed beneath his hat. Tension ran the length of his jaw. She faltered at the anger in his face. He must still be vexed with her grandfather; possibly with her too. Uncertain, she said, “Jack?”
A smile turned up the corners of his drawn mouth, making him appear even more youthful and less like a hardened frontiersman. “So, you’ve come. I figured John McNeal would hold you prisoner before ever letting you go off with me.”
Maybe he should have. Karin stepped nearer to Jack, the hay cushioning her shoes. “Grandpa can be prevailed upon by your bonnie mother.”
He paused, the brush in his hand. “And you?”
Karin shifted from one damp sole to the other and ran her tongue over her lips. “Perhaps.”
His smile widened. “Come and meet Peki.” He opened the short stall door.
She hesitated outside the narrow space.
“You’re not afraid, are you?”
“Not of the horse.”
Jack chuckled. “I’ll be on my best behavior.”
“For a warrior or a soldier?”
Keeping her eyes on his broad back, she said, “I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.”
She slipped inside the pen bedded with clean straw and turned almost in awe at the horse towering above her. She patted his sleek neck. “He’s beautiful. You could start a new line with him.”
“Yes. He’s the finest I’ve ever known. But God help me, Karin, so are you.”
A current charged through her at his words and the emotion behind them. She swiveled, lifting her eyes to the intensity in his. “Why do you need the Lord’s help?”
“You have no idea,” he said huskily.~
PURCHASE BEARWALKER'S DAUGHTER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. 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. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.
Visit Ms. Trissel on the web- http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/