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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Review by Diana L. Flowers of Rita Gerlach's "Beside Two Rivers"

Beside Two Rivers 
by Rita Gerlach
Book 2 in the Daughters of the Potomac Series 
Abingdon Press 2012
5 stars  *****

Riveting Historical Fiction!
In “Beside Two Rivers,” Rita has penned a gripping, beautiful, emotionally charged literary saga--that takes us from the waters of the Potomac River in Maryland, to the lush, green, sheep-filled hills of England.

Darcy Morgan lives with her kind aunt and uncle, and remembers little of her mysterious childhood, and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her parents. Filled with an adventurous spirit, Darcy loves her life along the beautiful Potomac River, filled with forests, bubbling creeks, and a vast array of wildflowers and raspberry bushes. Always giving vent to her exploring nature, she wanders too far out in the river and is swept away to certain death, until she is rescued by a handsome stranger, Ethan Brennan.

Ethan has come to Maryland from England to purchase a stallion, accompanied by his lady friend, Miss Roth, who clearly makes it known to Darcy that she and Ethan have an understanding. Ethan is quite taken with the lovely Darcy, however, and is shrouded in secrets concerning her that he cannot reveal. As he returns to his home in England, he takes Darcy's broken heart with him for she has quickly fallen in love with him.

Soon Darcy is summoned to her grandmother's home in England--Havendale, a place that is permeated with secrets. Who is the mysterious vagabond with the familiar eyes that Darcy keeps seeing around her grandmother's property?...and who is the beautiful lady living at Ethan's home?...who remains isolated within its walls. What evil and treachery wind its way around Darcy and Ethan, and will it prevent them from ever being together?

In this exciting, heart-pounding sequel to Before The Scarlet Dawn, Rita Gerlach has once again written a literary masterpiece, and is now among the top ten of my favorite authors! As always, Rita surrounds the reader with such beautiful imagery one is immediately drawn into another place and time, not wanting to come back until that last satisfying page is read.

Filled with the message of God's love and forgiveness, romantic tension, and heart palpitating excitement, this is one not to miss. Because it is a sequel, I would recommend (though not necessary), reading the first book as well, to get a better feel for all the characters in the book. And as with all of Rita's books, make sure to keep the tissues nearby...you're going to need them!

Fabulous, Rita Gerlach!

Thank you, Net Galley, and Abingdon Press, for providing a copy for review.  

Guest Bio: Diana L. Flowers is Senior Reviewer on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.  An avid reader, Diana's reviews have been quoted on numerous Christian fiction blogs.  Diana helps manage her husband's business and is a mother and grandmother. 

Rita's website: http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com

Before the Scarlet Dawn, book 1  
http://www.amazon.com/Before-Scarlet-Dawn-Daughters-Potomac/dp/1426714149/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316017147&sr=1-4

Beside Two Rivers, book 2
http://www.amazon.com/Beside-Two-Rivers-Daughters-Potomac/dp/1426714157/ref=la_B00279KETE_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348261739&sr=1-1

Beyond the Valley, book 3 (pre-order, release Feb. 2013)
 http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Valley-Daughters-Potomac-3/dp/1426714165/ref=la_B00279KETE_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1348261739&sr=1-4

67 comments:

  1. DIANA, this was another AWESOME review!! You make it sound so good! I have book 1 on my Kindle and must find time to read that first and after that dive into this book!

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    1. Good morning all! Thank you, MARIAN! That first one is a must read!... so best put it at the top of your TBR list!

      Since there is a new baby in the family (my son's), I may have to flit in and out of here today, but I know the lovely and talented Rita Gerlach will be by as well!

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  2. Same for me, Marian. I just finished The Rebel's Pledge--it read like an epic movie (lots of action and emotion!). Thanks Diana.

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    1. I loved The Rebel's Pledge, DEBRA! This one reads the same way, and if you haven't done so already, please be sure to read Before The Scarlet Dawn, since this is the exciting sequel!

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  3. What wonderfully descriptive review, Diana.
    Now I'm eager to start reading my own copy (hopefully arriving today).

    Thanks
    -Janella

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    1. You will love it, JANELLA! Have you read the first one? I thought you said you had...this one ties up some loose ends...maybe! lol Don't want to give anything away. ;)

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    2. Yes, I have the first book on my kindle. I plan to re-read the first one before I begin Beside Two Rivers.

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  4. Beautiful review, Diana! Rita is the "Queen of Scene" and should be teaching courses on setting the scene. If you aren't completely taken to her setting when you read her books, then you have no imagination. Thanks so much for your guest review here on CQ, DIANA!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for having me, CARRIE! I love that-"the Queen of Scene", and she is definitely that! When I was young I skipped the descriptive imagery-in Rita's books I devour it. So much so I HAVE to include a litte of it in my reviews of her books. Her novels do indeed take me far away, until reality hits and I have to go cook supper or some such nonsense! lol

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  5. Okay, now that I have finished wiping my eyes, I can comment. Really you brought morning tears into these ole eyes. You ladies bless my heart so much. I cannot express my gratitude to Diana for the review, to Carrie the spearhead of Colonial Quills, and all those that have spent your money and time reading my books.

    A little on this series. I first began with Darcy's story and sent a proposal and sample chapters to my then editor at Abingdon Press. She expressed something was missing and suggested a few changes. I made the changes and they were spot on. But, while in the shower praying ( I pray a lot in the shower), it occurred to me this had to be three books telling three women's stories, Eliza, Darcy, and Sarah. I so loved writing this series. They are not stand-alone books, so it was especially challenging, since I let readers see particular scenes from different eyes, different points of view.

    Book 3, Beyond the Valley, Sarah's story, will be out February 1. In the meanwhile, I am working on a new series set in the Gilded Age. I'm immersed into book 1, Between the Shadows, set in 1908, Washington DC, Chevy Chase, MD, to a small village Chestnut Creek in the western Maryland mountains.

    I'm also working on the revision of two Colonial novels that are going to Kindle and paperback most likely in the spring. And the possibility of The Rebel's Pledge going into an audio book.

    Sorry this post is long. My dear Dad used to call me 'Chatter Box'. Now you know why.

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  6. I've read all of Rita's books from the first one she wrote and have believed she has been a magnificent talent too long ignored. The characters of their time live in her soul -- even the way they speak feels so authentic. Part of the mastery of her scenes is the lyrical rhythm of her words -- I think that's her Irish genes slipping through. Diana, this is a beautiful review. You capture Rita's writing, and I continue to believe, she will become one of America's favorite story tellers of colonial times. And Diana, this website captures what Rita and writers like Joan Hochstetler are doing. They are not producing Historical Romance but stories about colonial times that embrace the drama and the life -- each tale is different according to the characters' experiences. There is no plot formula but there is high-tension suspense as each drama unfolds through the adventures, tragedies and loves of the period. Love this enhanced genre.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie. You have been such an encourager over the years. By the way, Bonnie has written a fabulous WWII spy thriller 'The Consumate Traitor' in ebook and paperback.

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    2. Wow, BONNIE! Thank you! You have such a marvelous way with words all I can say is I agree with all that you posted!

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  7. Hello DIANA, what an awesome review of an incredible novel. Rita is definitely a talented writer that knows how to pull you in and keep you there! Her books should be at the very top of EVERYONE'S TBR list!

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  9. If you'd like to read some free chapters, here's a link.

    http://tinyurl.com/8g6onl3

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  10. I got word that readers are asking if there is a book giveaway. Yes there is! One winner can chose between either an ebook or a signed paperback copy for one of these titles.

    Surrender the Wind (stand-alone historical romance)

    (Daughters of the Potomac Series)
    Before the Scarlet Dawn - book 1
    Beside Two Rivers - book 2

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  11. I can also offer a free ebook for The Rebel's Pledge.

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  12. Please enter me, I would love to win! Thank you!
    Battles2001@hotmail.com

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    1. MELISSA, here's hoping for a win for you! All of these books are fabulous! No matter which one you choose...it's a win win situation (pardon my awful pun!)

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  13. would love to win, love this era. thanks

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    1. Hi, Pat! It's a great era, and Rita is great at writing about it! Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. PAT, my comment ot you was on here, but isn't now, so I apologize if you get duplicates! RITA is definitely a master of the colonial era, but her books are "outside of the box" and that's why I love them so much!

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    3. RITA is definitely a master at this era, PAT! Good luck!

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    4. PAT, RITA is quite the expert on this era, and I'm quite sure you will not be able to put her books down once you get started! Blessings~

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  14. Great review Diana. I love to read Rita's work. I have read "Before the Scarlet Dawn and A Rebel's Pledge." They were outstanding! Id sure would like to win this one so count me in!!! :D
    Blessings! Darlene

    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. DARLENE, Rita's books are definitely outstanding and she is now one of my fav authors! I hope you get this sequel in your hands asap--I know you are wondering what happens!

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    2. DARLENE, my comment to you was on here and when I came back it was gone! So if you end up with two from me, I apologize! I hope you get a copy of this one asap, so you will get some resolution-maybe...I don't think I'll tell. LOL

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  15. I can't wait to read this one! I've been bugging Rita about it as the first one left me hanging! Now this one will do the same with the last one coming out after the new year! I know better than to start a series before they're all printed!

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    1. MELODY, I know the feeling:) But it's worth the wait I promise you!

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    2. Hi Melody,
      Actually book 2 wraps things up. Book 4, however, is Sarah's story. Remember Sarah in book 1? Did you wonder how she came to be an indentured servant in the Colonies and what happened to her after she left River Run? Beyond the Valley will answer those questions.
      Hugs,
      Rita

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  16. Congrats on the release of the second book, Rita! ;)

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! And thanks for stopping by.

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  17. My replies to PAT will not take, but I'm not ignoring you, PAT! :( I have tried to comment 3 times, and they disappear...

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  18. So good to see Rita here and her beautiful book! This cover is just stunning! And Diana's review is always insightful and tempting in the extreme:) So happy to know Beyond the Valley is right around the corner - so good for a series! Thanks so much, Rita and everyone, for being here today.

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    1. LAURA, so great to see you! I haven't got back to your FB invite yet, b/c we have a new baby in the family! My son's wife just had a baby girl and I am one busy grandma! Also getting ready for company from out of town.

      Thank you for coming by to encourage RITA! And thank you for your sweet compliment to me. Your books and Rita's challenge me...I always have to strive to do them justice in my reviews! Which is beyond the realm of possibility! lol

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    2. Thank you, Laura. I am so honored by your comments. Hey, ladies. Laura has some great novels out too.

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    3. Laura, I put two paragraphs on here to you, and it posted...now gone. So you missed my words of wit and wisdom. lol Thank you for your warm comments on my review!

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    4. LAURA, thank you so much for your gracious comments! It's always a joy when you get a chance to drop by. I had two nice paragraphs typed out for you, and it showed they took, and then when I came back they had disappeared! :( Grrrr! I hope this one takes...keeping my fingers crossed!

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  19. To celebrate the release of Beside Two Rivers, Abingdon Press is offering my historical romance, 'Surrender the Wind' for free on Kindle. It will only be free for a few days, so hurry. And if you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle for your computer or laptop.

    http://www.amazon.com/Surrender-the-Wind-ebook/dp/B004GHNIJI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1264179669&sr=1-1

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  20. Great review Diana! I need to get started on the first book so I can read this one!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. LIZ, I trust that you will be enthralled by both of these books--I was!

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    2. LIZ, I wish I could have read them back to back! Lucky you!

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  21. Diana - wonderful review!

    And Rita - your book sounds so moving. I've added it to my to-read stack - can't wait.

    Thank you both for sharing your gifts!

    Becky

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    1. Thank you, BECKY! A wonderful book, and if you haven't already, order the first in the series, Before The Scarlet Dawn to get a better feel for all the characters. And some shockers! LOL

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  22. Another great review, Diana. I am truly looking forward to reading the entire Daughters of the Potomac Series, starting with Before The Scarlet Dawn. I loved Surrender the Wind.

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    1. Janet, get ready for some great surprises! Rita writes "out of the box" so to speak, which makes her books so intriguing and unpredictable. One never knows what is going to happen next, and I trust you will love this series!

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  23. For some reason my replies take and then disappear, so I will try this route and see if this works!

    JANET-thank you so much for coming by! I'm convinced you will love this series and I'm glad you are getting to read them back to back. The first one leaves you hanging...just a little. lol

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  24. BECKY-thank you so much! I hope you are able to read the first in the series to get a better feel for the characters and what they have gone through to get where they are!

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  25. LAURA-yours was another reply that wouldn't take...I tried 3 times. grrr So I hope you see me down here. Thank you so much for coming by and for your warm comments about my review. You and Rita are just the best!

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  26. A riveting review, DIANA :) I don't think I've read any of Rita's books but they sure sound engrossing! I love a good saga so I'll have to check these out.

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    1. Oh, ANNE, you just have to! You'll be hooked. I would recommend reading Before The Scarlet Dawn first, and then you will find it an absolute necessity to read this one right after. Would I tell you a fib? lol

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  27. Interesting review !!! I like reading Christian historical fictions. I would like to win this book. Count me in !!!

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    1. ANONYMOUS-please come back and leave an email addy. Without a name or email you are REALLY anonymous and should we draw your name we don't know who you are.

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    2. Good Morning Diana,

      This is Kim Terrazas and my email address is JKTerrazas09@aol.com
      I apologize and enjoy your day !!!

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  28. Just dropping by to say Rita's books are phenomenal!! I've read everyone.. and this one is no exception. They are like a journey back in time.. grab a blanket and a hot cup of tea and one of her books and sit back and enjoy!!

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    1. MARYLU, that sounds like a fine scenario to me! I just get totally lost when I read RITA'S books.

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    2. Thank you, MaryLu. Hey Ladies. If you haven't read any of MaryLu's books....get them. She writes beautiful historical romances.

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    3. You are sweet, Diana. Thank you.

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  29. ANNE, I commented back to you, but it wouldn't take and now my witty, words of wisdom are lost. :( But I do want to say, RITA'S books are a must read, ANNE, and I haven't steered you wrong yet. Have I? lol

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    1. Nope. You could never steer anyone wrong :) Drop my name in the hat!

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  30. Great review! I have book 1 on my kindle, but haven't gotten to it yet. Sounds like I definitely need to start it VERY soon!
    Thanks for a great post!
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. Do yourself a wonderful favor, AMY, and let Before The Scarlet Dawn be your next read. I know you will have to read Beside Two Rivers once you finish that one...no question about it! lol

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