7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview with Rita Gerlach

Rita Gerlach is the author of 'Surrender the Wind'.
Published by: Abingdon Press
Date: August 2009
Rita is also the author of three other books.  Her website is http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com/

Rita, what got you interested in the colonial time period?
I’ve always had a romantic soul for days long ago. It is not solely the fashions, the modes, the historical dates and famous names that have intrigued me. What draws me to the Colonial period is how differently people lived, how the majority had a strong belief in God and the precepts of the Bible, that men believed their word was their bond, and that love and family were of greater significance than today. It was a time of great changes in the world with the birth of a new nation.  

Do you have a favorite colonial place you like to visit and why?
I live in an area rich in history. So there are many places I enjoy visiting. But I have to say by far it has to be Rose Hill Manor in Frederick County, Maryland that inspires me the most. It isn't far from where I live. Rose Hill is open to the public, and when I walk through its black lacquered door into its broad airy foyer, hear the creak in the floorboards and smell the age of the house, I feel I've stepped back in time. The land was purchased in 1778 by Maryland’s first elected governor, Thomas Johnson. He gave it to his daughter, Ann Jennings, on the eve of her wedding day. Ann and her husband John built the manor beginning in 1789 with its completion in 1792. The upstairs bedrooms are furnished with colonial furniture and roped off. It is one of the most inspiring places I've ever been that reflects this time period.


The property features the beautiful white manor house, an icehouse, log cabin, blacksmith shop, carriage collection and two barns. Throughout the year there are colonial fairs, a quilt show, and a Christmas event for the children. I especially love seeing the craftspeople in colonial costume.

If you are ever in my neck of the woods in central Maryland you may want to plan a trip to Rose Hill Manor. My town, Frederick, has a stunning historical downtown, with homes, churches, and shops that go back to it's founding in 1745. Further west of Frederick in Washington County is Fort Frederick, built along the Potomac River during the French and Indian War. Harpers Ferry is another great place to visit, with it's beautiful historical buildings and a river walk, as well as Antietam and Monocacy Civil War battlefields.
My other favorite place is the Potomac River. I love walking the canal walk. The river is the major setting in the new book series I am writing for Abingdo Press, 'Daughters of the Potomac'. The first book in the series will be released in April 2012. If readers would like to be on my mailing list they may contact me directly at rpkg@comcast.net

Rita, do you have a favorite colonial recipe you enjoy? 
Apple Tansey is yummy! I found the recipe on the Colonial Williamsburg website. It is original, from the 'The Compleat Housewife' book, published in America in 1742.
Would you care to share it with CQ readers?  Readers, you can find Rita Gerlach's favorite recipe from Colonial Williamsburg for Apple Tansy this coming Sunday on CQ.

Giveaway:  Leave a comment to win a copy of Surrender the Wind.

Available in paperback, Kindle and Nook.

The Daughters of the Potomac Series coming to bookstores in 2012.


  1. Hi, Carrie and Rita. I really enjoyed the interview and love the pic of Rose Hill Manor! For some reason I thought we only had places like that here in the Deep South (I must not get out much)! Surrender the Wind will always hold a special place in my heart, because it was not only the first book I ever won in a giveaway and first got acquainted with Rita and Carrie, but it was also such a beautiful love story! And the setting was so descriptive...I've learned to love and appreciate that as I've gotten older for some reason. Can't wait to read your new series, Rita!

  2. Ah, thank you, Diana, for the kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading Surrender the Wind, and that you won a copy. It won't be long until the first book in the series comes out. I think you will be pleased.

  3. Great interview as I always enjoy learning more about Rita. I so enjoyed STW and have it on my keeper shelf so please don't enter me in the drawing. I'm loving hearing every little tidbit I can about her new series and think the titles she's chosen for the books are incredible - so beautiful and evocative. They leave no doubt as to the novel's setting and time frame, etc. Thanks for such an inspiring post!

  4. Rita, you are do lucky to live close to so many beautiful historic places! That would be like fairieland for me!

    Carrie, thanks for having Rita on the blog. I enjoyed it!

    Please enter me

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  5. Rita, Thanks so much for doing this interview. I turned my review in for Afficionado and am going to check and see if they will let me post it here, too, after it comes out!

  6. Rita, your area sounds so lovely with that rich history! What a great place to inspire your novels. I agree with you about reasons why you love the colonial period. Looking forward to your upcoming books as I loved Surrender the Wind so much.

  7. Thank you so much for the interview. Would love to win a copy of your book. :) tsmathews61@gmail.com

  8. Frederick! You're just over the hill from where I live in Mercersburg. I'll have to hitch myself on down to Rose Hill. Sounds lovely.

  9. Sandra,
    If you hitch on down to Rose Hill, or come to Frederick, we should meet up. I'd love to meet you.



Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!