Virginia has more ghost stories than any other state in the Union, not necessarily because we have a more fertile imagination, but sadly because the Old Dominion has seen more bloody battles over the centuries than any other. Think back, Jamestown (1607) was the site of the oldest successful English settlement and its history is a violent one. And on we go to the many heart-rending wars fought with the usurped Indians, a number of them waged on Virginia soil. March on to the Revolution; anyone heard of Yorktown, to name just one famous battle? And let’s not forget that horrific most uncivil of wars, much of it fought in, you guessed it, Virginia.

And yet, this multitude of hauntings doesn’t only feature soldiers caught in an endless fray who haven’t gotten word the war’s over, although there are legions of tales that do and entire companies of ghosts said to battle on. Many tales feature the myriad of people, great and small, who dwelt in our richly historic state. The old Virginia homes and plantations have accumulated a wealth of such stories.

Thus, it was while touring some of these English styled manor homes that I conceived the idea for my paranormal romance, Somewhere My Love. Not from the movie, Somewhere in Time, which I only vaguely remember and then only after prompting. Nay, lay that notion to rest. Added to this meld of vintage Virginia is my own heritage, a vast source of inspiration from my childhood. On my father’s side, I descend from old Southern gentry, now impoverished after the Civil War, Great Depression, and various other misfortunes, including the untimely death of my brilliant grandfather. But the gracious Georgian home his ancestor built, called Chapel Hill (circa 1816) still stands outside the historic town of Staunton.

I was ever determined the old family home place was haunted and wove stories through my fevered mind, along with my continual search Family Homefor Narnia which entailed frequent treks into the old wardrobe. But I digress. The magnificent ancestral portraits in my family and on display in other Virginia homes held me transfixed, wondering. And it was just such a portrait of a striking dark-haired gentleman who embedded himself in my thoughts. Who was he? Why did he die so young? That other painting of the fair young lady...did she love him?

Often, the guides at these old homes are brimming with tales. But other times we are left to wonder...and ask ourselves are these folk who’ve gone before us truly gone, or do some still have unfinished business in this realm? And what of the young lovers whose time was tragically cut short, do they somehow find a way? Love conquers all, so I answer ‘yes.’

SOMEWHERE MY LOVE for sale as an E-book at The Wild Rose Press
As a Kindle Book or Paperback at Amazon

6 comments

  1. Arkansas Cyndi // December 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM  

    YAY for being able to post!

    I love the old South, the civil war stories, the haunted mansions.

    Let me know if you find that wardrobe that leads to Narnia!

  2. Keli Gwyn // December 19, 2008 at 6:06 PM  

    Beth,

    I find your love of your home state inspiring. Reading about Virginia from your viewpoint makes history come alive. Chapel Hill is a gorgeous place. What a rich heritage you have.

  3. Mary Marvella // December 19, 2008 at 7:08 PM  

    I can understand Beth's love of her southern heritage.

    I love all the stores of The War of Northern Aggression. Love all the pre-war mansions, too.

  4. Mary Ricksen // December 19, 2008 at 7:21 PM  

    Does your family still own that fantastic place? That's such a great way to get and inspiration.
    It's so strange that war could lead to such a rich and romantic history. I just love old houses, mansions, Victorian homes, farmhouses. They are rich with the spirits of those who lived there.

  5. Beth Trissel // December 19, 2008 at 10:53 PM  

    Thanks Ladies. Yes, Chapel Hill is still in the family going on eight generations. Wonderful old house and has made quite an impression on me over the years. It's difficult to explain the mystique of the South to a non-southerner but it's very much a part of our heritage.

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 20, 2008 at 5:22 PM  

    Beth,
    I've asked Santa for a Kendal and Somewhere my love will be the first novel I download! Can't wait to read it. Love the family background and picture of the old homeplace. Like you, I come with deep southern roots! My great-great grandfather outfitted his own regiment during the civil war. And his grandfather fought for the British in the Revolution! HUMMMMMMMM, we have a perchance for being on the losing side, don't we? Oh well, daddy redeemed us by serving in the navy during WWII, definitely on the winning side.

    Scarlet who loves history, old houses and ghost stories