CONGRATULATIONS

Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Substitute Bride" in O' Little Town of Christmas collection is a 2016 Published MAGGIE AWARD FINALIST in Romance Novellas!!!


Tea Party winners: Roseanne M. White's winner is Connie Saunders. Elaine Marie Cooper's winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is Nicole Wetherington. Carrie Fancett Pagels’ winner of choice of ebook or paperback of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter goes to Deanne Patterson and the White Rose teacup set goest to Lena Nelson Dooley. Angela Couch's winner of Threads of Love e-book is Melissa Henderson and Marguerite Gray is the winner of Mail-Order Revenge print. Denise Weimer's ebook of Redeeming Grace winner is Ashley Penn. Congrats all!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Colonial American Christian Fiction: Rita Gerlach's Before the Scarlet Dawn


Before the Scarlet Dawn 
(Abingdon Press, 2012)
5 stars *****




Guest Reviewer: Diana L. Flowers
Colonial Fiction At Its Finest!
In Before the Scarlet Dawn (available through Christian Book Distributors), Rita Gerlach has penned an emotionally gripping saga of the harsh realities of Colonial life; replete with the constant threat of Indians, terrifying blizzards, ravages of war, forbidden passion, and sin.

The beautiful and spirited Eliza Bloome of England, finds herself alone save for her servant and lifelong friend, Fiona, after the death of her father. Told she must vacate her home quickly, Eliza comes up with a daring plan...to become the wife of the wealthy Hayward Morgan and travel to the colonies with him. Eliza has been in love with the handsome Hayward since childhood, but he makes it clear to her that he does not return her affections, and that she is beneath his station in life. After a stinging rejection, however, from the lady Hayward has proposed to, he agrees to Eliza's plan, and together, with Fiona, they travel to the colonies.

Eliza falls in love with the beautiful Maryland, but is not prepared for the harshness of colonial life, and the isolation and loneliness that comes after Hayward goes to fight for the Patriot cause. Together, she and Fiona, fight for survival in this savage, but beautiful land, and when Hayward doesn't return for two long, lonely years, she must also fight off temptations of the flesh. Her handsome neighbor, Halston, makes it no secret as to his feelings towards the beautiful Eliza. Is her love and devotion to Hayward enough to withstand the temptation of a man who, unlike Hayward, is not afraid to declare his love for her? Will Hayward return from the war or become a casualty like so many others before him?

One of my favorite things about Rita Gerlach's novels is her use of imagery which is second to none, and I could actually see the beauty of the Potomac River, the green fields and lush forests, and smell the honeysuckle in the air. This story was heartbreakingly realistic as well, with the devastation of war, and characters who were not infallable, and filled with sin and selfishness. With as many twists and turns as the Potomac, and a VERY unexpected conclusion, I found myself not wanting to let go of this story even after I was done reading. I simply cannot wait for the next book in this series, and next time I will have the tissues handy! Very nicely done, Rita Gerlach!

* I received an ARC of this novel and was not required to write a positive review! The opinions expressed are solely my own.


Guest Reviewer's Bio: Diana L. Flowers is the Senior Reviewer on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help. She is a mother and grandmother and loves to read Christian historical fiction!


Before the Scarlet Dawn is also available through Amazon.
Information for other reviewers is available at the "Daughters of the Potomac" series website, including a download of the first chapter of "Before the Scarlet Dawn".


GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rita Gerlach's new release!

64 comments:

  1. Thanks Carrie for your thoughts on this one, I know colonial times would be devastating for a young girl who found herself alone and not knowing what was to become of her, I too like an author that can make the locality come to life for a reader. sounds like a good story.
    Paula O

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    1. Diana L. Flowers did this review. She does such an amazing job and was willing to guest post today on CQ with this review. Rita does a great job. Looking forward to reading this!

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    2. Hi Pol,
      Locality has always been an important element to a story for me. Thanks for the post.

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  2. Diana, thanks for this great review! I think I'm going to love this book, so I need to get my hands on it soon :)

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    1. Dear Marian,
      There will be three books in the series. Book 1, Before the Scarlet Dawn, is Eliza's story. Book 2, Beside Two Rivers, is her daughter Darcy's story and is a sequel to book 1. Book 3, Beyond the Valley, is Sarah's story, an indentured servant. In Colonial days, people were kidnapped from Great Britain, set aboard ships, and auctioned against their will. Not many people know about this part of history.

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  3. Marian, The publisher has been advised about the Kindle version not being up yet. But when it is, I bet you will be reading it right away!

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    1. Yep, I'm looking forward to read it!

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  4. Diana, Thanks so much for this great review! Bless you!

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    1. Well, I feel like a dunce. I've tried for a few days to figure out how to leave a message that is not a reply and so far...duh.

      So I'm piggybacking here on Carrie's note to say GREAT REVIEW, Diana, and I'm really looking forward to reading this. Rita does write beautiful prose, doesn't she?

      I wish you the best with this new series, Rita. I have that nice big postcard you sent --wonderful, because I love this cover!
      Please enter me in the drawing, ladies
      Thank you!

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  5. Marian and Paula, thank you for your kind words. With this book all I can say is expect the unexpected. :) Not your typical colonial historical fiction, and it reminds me of the classic books and movies of the olden days, tragic, but lovely. This series of Rita's would make a fabulous mini series on tv!

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  6. Thank you so much, Carrie! It's always a pleasure to write a review on a book of such high caliber as this one!

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    1. Oh, I didn't see the new reply button they have on here...cool! Anyway thank you, my bff!

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    2. COOL! I hadn't noticed it either. :)

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    3. Hello, Teresa. Glad you stopped by and read Diana's review.

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  8. Another wonderful review, Diana! Yours are among my favorites:) I'm so looking forward to reading this and also sharing on my blog soon. I agree that Rita's use of imagery is stunning. She really does bring the era to life. Bless you!

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    1. Laura, thank you for your kind words! This book is right up your alley and I hope you will get a chance to read it soon! I use to skim all that imagery and descriptive stuff in novels when I was young. Kind of like not eating broccoli all my life until I was an adult...I never knew what I was missing! The use of imagery really does bring Rita's novel to life, as it does in your books as well, Laura.

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    2. Diana's reviews are my favorites too! I call her the master reviewer :)) I love reading them and hope to read many more!

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    3. Laura, I'd be honored for you to read the series and share on your blog. You are among my favorite authors.

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  10. Thank you, Diana, for the review of my novel, and to Carrie for posting it, and to all the kind comments from readers. I really do appreciate it more than I can say.

    If anyone would like to help spread the word about Before the Scarlet Dawn, I have everything you would need on the Launch page, including a link to read the first chapter.

    http://daughtersofthepotomacseries.blogspot.com/

    Chapter One: http://www.abingdonpress.com/forms/displayImage.aspx?pcid=2517746

    My website is http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com/

    If you would like to be on my snail mail list to receive official book announcement postcards, please email me with your address to rpkg@comcast.net

    Book 2, the sequel entitled Beside Two Rivers, will be released next Fall. I just finished on Friday the first draft for book 3 in the series entitled Beyond the Valley.

    I'm on Facebook as well. Please stop by.

    Thanks again, and blessings!
    Rita

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  11. I apologize for how the link to the first chapter came though.

    http://www.abingdonpress.com/forms/displayImage.aspx?pcid=2517746

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    1. Thank you, Rita, for all the info on your books. I hope everyone will hop over and take a look! The pleasure of writing this review was all mine, and I'm anxiously awaiting Beside Two Rivers with bated breath! :)

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    2. Not sure why the hotlinks don't show up right on the site, Rita, but I have this problem on my personal blog as well.

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  12. Can't wait to read this one. Rita Gerlach is a wonderful writer. And I love the cover of this book. So mysterious, and the red so passionate.

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    1. Just like this book, Christine, mysterious and passionate! It's so nice to see you again, and I'm certain you will love this book!

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    2. Hi Christine,
      The back of the cover is gorgeous too. The sunrise extends all the way around.

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    3. Pooh, I read it on Kindle and didn't get to see that! Sometimes on CBD or Amazon they give one the option to see the back cover. I'll have to go take a look!

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  13. I read Rita's first book and am anxious to read her next. This sounds like a fantastic book. I especially love unexpected endings. I like to be kept on my literary toes. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  14. Melissa, there are so many twists and turns in this one, I believe you will definitely be kept on your toes! :) Just be sure to keep the tissues handy for your nose. I tried my hand at poetry there...not good. :( This is a tear-jerker for sure!

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  15. Certainly sounds like a great pick for my TBR pile! Nice review.

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    1. Thank you, Anne! Here's hoping for a win for you!

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  16. Diana, after reading your review of this book, I knew I must throw my hat in the ring and try to win a copy. You are such a good reviewer. I have reviewed numerous books myself but I am far from being a professional reviewer. I just give my honest opinion and let the words flow.

    Rita is a new author to me and I can't wait to dive into her books!

    Thank you so much for this giveaway. I love books that are tear jerkers. When I'm reading my husband often looks at me when he hears me sniffling and blowing my nose. The look says, here we go again!

    Blessings!
    Judy

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    1. Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your post. I'm beginning to think my publisher should include one of those purse-size Kleenexes with every copy.

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  17. Lol, Judy. My hubby just smiles at me indulgently, but I wouldn't want to read his thoughts! :) Thank you for your sweet compliment; I think your reviews are wonderful! And like you, if I really love a book, the words just flow up and out!

    Judy, I'm convinced you will love Rita's book and I hope you get a chance to read it! It was such an awesome reading experience for me...she is sooo talented!

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    1. It's kind of funny, but when my husband Paul read Before the Scarlet Dawn, he caught him blinking back emotion. He set the book on his lap and said to me, 'Why do you do that?'

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    2. That's too cute, Rita. Next time tell him you have no control over what those characters do with their lives! ;)

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  18. OH! I have been looking at this book on Amazon since it went up to be released. Would LOVE to read it- soon! A good writer friend of mine in real life is named Eliza...makes me smile that there's a character with her name in a book. Hehe. ~AMY

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    1. Amy, if you happen not to win here, it will be well worth your time and money to purchase this one! I'm a picky reader, but this one is quite a page turner!

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    2. Thanks, Sweet Peripety. Eliza is also in book 2 and 3 of the series. It's such a beautiful name.

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    3. Diana, you are so sweet. Thank you for the review. I really appreciate the support.

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    4. The pleasure to review a book as wonderful as this, Rita, was all mine! The book was all I expected it to be and more. Thank you for honoring me with one of the first copies!

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  19. Would definitely love to win this awesome novel. Sorry I'm so late in commenting. I've been up to my ears in writing. Rita, can't wait to read this!

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    1. Elaine, I'm so glad you made it...I hope you win, but if not this is one for your wishlist in 2012!

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    2. Thank you, Elaine. So kind of you to say so.

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  20. I have read Rita's book "Surrender the Wind" and absolutely loved it. This new book sounds like another winner. Would love to win it. thanks for the chance to win.
    debbiemcla(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. Surrender the Wind was great, Debbie, but I feel Rita just gets better with each book she writes! Hoping for a win for you!

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  21. Rita's book "Surrender the Wind" was my favorite full-length novel for 2011. I've counted the days for this new book to come out. It's hard to find an author who's a cross-section between Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, but Rita comes the closest. ;)

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  22. Karen, Before the Scarlet Dawn will surely be on my list of faves for 2012! Thank you for coming by!

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  23. Another one for my exceedingly long list of "wants"! Here's hoping to a win, but not holding my breath as I have won so many on here :) I was happy to hear above that the beautiful cover extends to the back...love it when they do that!

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    1. If you don't win this here, Anne, you must put this one at the top of your wishlist!

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  24. Thanks for the review Diana :) Sounds like a great, full book.
    Very interested in this one :)
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  25. You're welcome, Faye! Always a pleasure to see you, and here's hoping for a win for you!

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  26. I love the colonial fiction. it is so cool. I am glad I didn't live it though. Great post I will look forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance to win a book. You can't have to many books. God bless you.

    Glenda Parker
    http://glendaparkerfictionwriter.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Glenda! Thank you for stopping by! I agree you can never have enough books...just not enough time to read them all! :( Good luck in the giveaway!

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  27. Hi. If it is not too late I would also like to be entered in for the giveaway. Thanks for the reviews. It sounds like I will need tissues for this book.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Amy, it's so great to see you here and no, it isn't too late. A winner will be drawn on Sun. Yes, tissues necessary. :)

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