10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review of Rita Gerlach's Beyond the Valley!

Beyond the Valley 
Book 3 in the Daughters of the Potomac series
Review by MaryLu Tyndall
(author of the Surrender to Destiny Series and other inspirational fiction.)

The back of the book says:

When Sarah Carr's husband Jamie drowns, her young life is shattered and takes a turn that she never expected. Pregnant and now widowed, she reaches out to Jamie's family for help but they are unwilling. Instead they devise a plan to have her kidnapped and taken to the Colonies to live a life of servitude.

In the wilds of Maryland, Sarah endures the hardships of being indentured and the debasement of being a woman. In despair, she offers up faithful prayers that are answered. But Sarah's new life in the Colonies finds her surrounded by a family's whirlwind of secrets, while she hopes the young doctor she loves with will bring her freedom.

These few paragraphs do not do Beyond the Valley justice!  In my opinion, this is Rita Gerlach’s finest book and the best of the three in the series. From page one, I cared deeply for the heroine, Sarah, who not only loses her young husband and has no means of survival, but who has a deformity that makes her limp and thus makes her an outcast of society.

From the shores of Cornwall, England to the Virginian frontier and then into the deep backwoods, we follow Sarah’s heartbreaking journey of being swindled into losing her freedom, sold as an indentured servant at auction, falling in love, sold again, kidnapped by Indians. . .well, I could go on but I’d ruin the story for you.   Every time I thought Sarah would finally get a break, something tragic happened. Yet, instead of being a sad tale, the author skillfully weaves through the exquisitely written pages, the message of hope and freedom and redemption. It’s a message the world desperately needs to hear today, that despite tragedy and hard times, new life and hope are right around the corner.

If you seek a light, fluffy read, Beyond the Valley is not for you. Neither is it a true romance. In fact, the hero and heroine are not together through much of the book. But that doesn’t mean you won’t feel their love intensely.  The hero, a doctor named Alex, is so deeply in love with Sarah that he’d risk anything to find her. His journey reminded me of how much God loves each of us, so much that He pursues us, seeks us out, sacrifices everything, even His own Son, to redeem us from slavery and make us His own.

Rita’s writing flows over you like a gentle breeze. It’s beautiful, poetic, and her words have a way of transporting you back in time, making you feel as though you were there among the early colonists of our great nation. Readers will also appreciate the cross-over with other characters from the prior two novels. All in all, Beyond the Valley is a delightful escape of adventure and romance and a sweeping saga of tragedy and hope that you won’t want to miss!  

Rita's website:


  1. Sounds great! Going to try and make it over to the party!

  2. I absolutely loved the first two books in The Daughter's of the Potomac series, and can't wait to read this one! I'm camping out by my mailbox as it is en route at this very moment.

    What a beautiful review, MaryLu, but then again -- isn't everything you write? Two of my fav authors right here in one place....

  3. Thank you... I meant every word. Rita's writing truly sweeps me away to another time and place. And Lord knows, I need that quite often. LOL Her party is in full swing!! Head on over and have some fun. :-)

  4. What a great review! Now I REALLY want to read the book! Thanks for posting the link from Rita's Tea Party Book Launch today.

  5. I personally have not heard of Rita or her books. I am now really interested! Such a great review.....another series I must go purchase =) I need another job to support my book habit.

  6. Wonderful review!
    I love the Daughters of the Potomac series and can't wait to read this one.
    Heading back to the tea party.
    Blessings, Tina

  7. Sounds wonderful, MaryLu. I look forward to reading it.

  8. MaryLu,

    Thank you for the review and the kind words. I appreciate it so much. You are such an excellent writer and I feel so honored.

    The tea party is here

  9. Sounds great! Look forward to reading it. :)

  10. Beautiful review, MaryLu! Thanks for the caveat for readers about this being more of a historical book with romantic elements and that it is a more intense read. Rita is the Queen of Setting and her writing truly transports you to her story world!

  11. I would love to have my name put in the pot to win this book. Thanks rita and mart Lu. And, always thanks to OWG, Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  12. I love the cover that Abingdon created for you. Looks very intriguing!


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