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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why I Wrote Thorns In Eden & The Everlasting Mountains

Back at the turn of this century, I had it on my heart to write a novel set in the area in which I live during the
start of the American Revolutionary War. I wanted to delve into a history that was not well-known that you would not find in history books. And so, I went to the local library and read through a thick volume of historical accounts transcribed in the early 1800s about the settlement of central and western Maryland.

What I read was indeed fascinating. There was the settler whose entire family was massacred by Indians, and he taken prisoner to be either a slave or a sacrifice. He escaped and described his harrowing journey homeward through the mountains, how there was no sound, not even a bird, only the sound of snow falling. He shouted 'Help', and crawled back to Fredericktown.

There was a mention of some backwoodsmen seeing an Indian canoe coming up the Potomac with a young Indian girl in it. The Indians told the men she'd been captured from another tribe and was destined to be sacrificed to the forest gods.

In Book 2, The Everlasting Mountains, is a scene where my hero John Nash and his Rangers come to a burned out cabin and find the Folk family dead, their bodies hacked and given to the pigs. This was a true account I read in the historical records as well.

Then there was the massacre of Chief Logan's family. He was a peace-loving man, apt to help strangers, white, black, or Indian. But when whites killed his father, wife, sister and her unborn child, he went on the war path. We can only imagine the horrific event caused his mind to snap. There are various accounts on what actually happened, so I strove to bring forward the one most believed.

All these events are harrowing indeed, and you may wonder why you should read a novel that contains them. Believe me, they are not in such gruesome detail to prevent you from turning the page. I wrote them in because these events were common for the time, they were part of the dangers of living in the wilderness, events that have pretty much been forgotten over time.

Not far from Frederick, MD along the Potomac, stands Fort Frederick, built during the French and Indian War. It is a marvel of historical detail. But when I ask people in town if they've ever been there, they look at me baffled and say they've never heard of it. How sad. Remember the days when schools would take children on field trips? Fort Frederick is not among them.

So why did I reissue this 2 in 1 collection? First of all to give my readers a respite from the world. Books take us into another time and place, and get our minds off our troubles for a while. Secondly, to share some history that has been forgotten. And third, to bring to my readers a stirring lovestory between two people struggling to build their legacy in a time when the firebrands of Revolution were hot.

Stop and wonder. What historical events happened in your town that have been forgotten?

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

Thorns in Eden & The Everlasting Mountains


  1. Great post, Rita. Thank you! I was reading some Adams County, Pa. history and it talks about Indian burial grounds being located in a certain area. I've asked a number of long-time residents and no one knows where it is. Lost to history. How sad! I don't know if you are aware of the "White Squaw" statue at St. Ignatius Church in Buchanan Valley, outside Gettysburg. It's a tribute to Mary Jemison, taken by the Indians in the 1700s. She lived the rest of her 91 years as a Seneca Indian. Fascinating history all around us.

  2. It's those nuggets of history that aren't "world shaking" enough to be included in history texts that make the depth and fabric of good fiction. Thank you, Rita.

  3. I have read Thorns of Eden and REALLY enjoyed it. Thank you for obeying God's lead and writing this story for all of us in the 21st century to read. :)

  4. I looked up the story of Mary Jemison, what an amazing journey she traveled in her life and that she was never bitter towards anyone.

  5. I love this history. It's almost visceral, as if I'd been there once

  6. Thanks Rita for sharing and for writing such wonderful novels!

  7. Chief Logan's story is one to break the heart. He makes the occasional appearance in the sorts of books I like to read. I'm glad you wrote him into your story, as tragic as his story is. It happened. I don't want him to be forgotten.

  8. Thanks for some back ground on your stories Rita. I'd love to visit Fort Frederick. History lovers seem to be a disappearing breed. I wish you much success with this release!

  9. I cannot even imagine the hardships of life back then. Great post! Love the research you did. I can't believe they don't push Fort Frederick more in town. Sad to see history dying that way!
    Susan P


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