Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

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Author Rita Gerlach’s New Release, “Beside Two Rivers”

Posted by elainemcooper on September 28, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper


Book 2 in the ‘Daughters of the Potomac Series’ published by Abingdon Press, October 2012.
The sequel to Before the Scarlet Dawn.

From the banks of the Potomac to the misty moors of England comes a tale of love won and love lost, and the faith to find it again.

I am delighted to interview my friend and fellow member of Colonial American Christian Writers, Rita Gerlach. This week we are celebrating her latest release, Beside Two Rivers. She has graciously consented to answer a few questions that I believe will offer you a unique glimpse into the mind and heart of a very special author. Welcome, Rita!

Tell us a little about your writing journey.

Since I was old enough to hold a book in my hands, I wanted to tell stories. I first knew I wanted to write novels as a career back in the early 90s. Something sparked within me, something ignited, when my cousin, a famous romance writer, gave me one of her books at a family reunion. I first wrote a novella. I had a lot to learn about the craft and worked at it for several years.

The most significant thing in my journey to publication was learning to be patient and persistent. I had to get to the place where I trusted God implicitly with my work, whatever His plan. I wrote about my journey and the miracle it was the day I contacted Barbara Scott, then acquisitions editor at Abingdon Press. For writers that are struggling and feel discouraged, and for readers who are curious, please read Perseverance, Patience, and Humility under the link ‘For Writers’.

How did you choose your genre?

Beginning in childhood, I would be riveted to old black and white movies when they would come on television. Some of the films that influenced me were Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Frenchman’s Creek, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, and Jamaica Inn. Later on Masterpiece Theater stirred my passion for historicals with Poldark, and everything Jane Austen. I read all these novels and so the seeds were sown into my heart at an early age. In all these novels I saw faith, but they went deeper into the human heart, into the hardships people faced no matter how high or low they were.

If you could visit one era in history, which one would it be?

Such a hard decision. I would love to visit the Hope Valley, Derbyshire England, during the Regency period. I would also love to see the Potomac River in the Colonial era. It would be amazing to see how it looked in a time when there were not paved roads, cars, airplanes, or trains. However, I think I would find life a little easier in England than in the wilderness of Maryland where life was a fight for survival.

Who would you say has been the most influential in your writing and why?

Authors that have influenced me are Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Winston Graham, and American novelist Mary Johnston. For some, their writing is old fashioned. That’s what I love about their books. Their stories have ‘meat on the bones’ and go deep into the hearts of their characters.

How has your faith influenced your writing?

I came to the conclusion a few years ago that I had to put my writing career into God’s hands and accept whatever plan He had for my life. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had roadblocks along the way. Rejection is one thing writers have to grow a tough skin against, and we all know how rejection can discourage and immobilize people. I finally came to the place where I looked at rejections as stepping stones leading to the right door. I am thankful, oh so thankful, for what God has done for me, including the doors that closed. I tell people, no matter what their calling in life is, let go and let God. That way you will be at peace, and when rejections come you’ll take a step forward, not backward.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I hope readers will enjoy this series, and find a little respite in them from our crazy world. I would like them to know that the series is more like a trilogy.

I’ve been asked to categorize my fiction. My books are not formula romances. They are what I like to call Inspirational Historical Dramas. You will find romance, but you will also find stories about relationships between people, stories about forgiveness, redemption, faith, and loyalty. Each character has good points, but they are also flawed human beings that make mistakes and fall hard, and at some point struggle through the adversity, dust themselves off and move on.

While writing the Daughters of the Potomac Series, I realized forgiving and being forgiven can change lives for the better, and how much harm can come out of a heart that refuses to forgive. There are so many people walking around today with that weight on their shoulders. Perhaps someone reading this interview has this burden. My prayer for them is that they cast it upon Him that is able to carry it.

Thank you, Rita! You are a blessing and an awesome writer!

What are reviewers saying about Beside Two Rivers?

Beside Two Rivers is much more than the sequel to Rita Gerlach’s popular Before the Scarlet Dawn. It’s the heart-rending story of true love threatened by secrets and deceit, of family torn apart by tragedy, and most of all, of the redeeming power of love and faith. Filled with vivid descriptions of life along the Potomac and rural England during the late 18th century, this is a story that will linger in readers’ memories.” – Amanda Cabot, author of Summer of Promise and Christmas Roses

Beside Two Rivers stirred me like no other book has. Rita Gerlach has an epic style to her writing that is guaranteed to sweep you away to another place and time. With a deeply emotional storyline, characters of uncommon depth, heart-throbbing romance, and the boundless love of family lost and regained, this is truly a magnificent novel!” – MaryLu Tyndall, author of the Surrender to Destiny Series and Veil of Pearls

“What do you get when you combine authentic history, picturesque settings, dynamic characters and a feels-like-you’re-there storyline? You get a Rita Gerlach novel, and in Beside Two Rivers, book two in her Daughters of the Potomac series, she delivers all that and more. My advice to readers: Make room for this one on your “keepers shelf.” My advice to Rita: save space on your “awards wall,” because this tale is sure to earn a bunch!” – Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 85 award-winning books, including Honor Redeemed, book two in the First Responders series

Author Bio

Rita Gerlach writes inspirational historical fiction with a romantic bent, with unique settings in both America and England. She lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.

Beginning February 1, 2012, her series ‘Daughters of the Potomac’ was released. Titles are:

Before the Scarlet Dawn

Beside Two Rivers

Beyond the Valley

Her other titles are,

Surrender the Wind

The Rebel’s Pledge

Thorns In Eden & The Everlasting Mountains (to be reissued ~ Spring 2013)


Barnes & Noble:

Christianbooks :

In buy books 1 & 2 in a set.

Side Note: Book 3 in the series, ‘Beyond the Valley’, will be released February, 2013, and is available for preorder.

Rita’s Website:

6 Responses to “Author Rita Gerlach’s New Release, “Beside Two Rivers””

  1. Rita, happy to have followed your success line and love the concept of your books. Like that you’ve defined a category for your writing. I have also. As a DAR, love the theme of your books! The very best in sales to you..

  2. Carla Gade said

    Such a nice interview with Rita! I agree, it is so hard to choose which historical period one likes the best. But I love visiting Rita’s Potomac River Valley area in her books!

  3. Lovely interview Rita and Elaine! Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Rita! And thanks for the CACW shout out, Elaine, too!

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