Reflections In Hindsight

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

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘Christian historical fiction’

Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour with Elaine Marie Cooper

Posted by elainemcooper on November 12, 2012

Merry Christmas, dear readers! I am thrilled to be a part of the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, where we promote the books that we hope will bless you.

This blog post will tell you about my Deer Run Saga, a historical romance series that focuses on two generations of a family in New England, beginning in the American Revolution. The first two books in this series have received numerous awards, including the nomination of The Road to Deer Run as Finalist in the 2011 Grace Awards contest. I am delighted and honored to introduce you to my three books:

The Road to Deer Run (Book 1)
British soldier Daniel Lowe has been captured after being wounded at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. He escapes from his captors and hides in the woods to die, only to be rescued by Mary Thomsen, an American farmwoman.

As his festering wound heals, his gratitude to the woman who saved him transforms into love. But as an enemy soldier, he is endangering Mary, as well as her widowed mother and little sister.

As he desperately tries to hide his identity, he is faced with numerous obstacles: exposure by the local Patriots, an attack by a British deserter intent on assaulting Mary; and his worst nemesis, the American soldier who loves Mary and figures out who Daniel really is.

The Road to Deer Run won Honorable Mention in Romance at the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival, Finalist in Religious Fiction at the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and won Best Romantic Excerpt in the online contest, Clash of the Titles.

What makes The Road to Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting?
For readers looking for well-researched historical fiction, they should consider this novel filled with romance as well as action and adventure. As the first book of the saga, it sets the scene for the series, which readers repeatedly tell me keeps them up late at night with the intensity of the plot. And the love story amidst the spiritual growth in the characters will draw readers into the tale of Daniel and Mary. A perfect read while cuddling with your Christmas sweetheart—or dreaming of finding a sweetheart under your tree!

The Promise of Deer Run (Book 2)

America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still plague the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run.

Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns, suffering from the memories of war that haunt him in the night, has withdrawn to a life of isolation. He still awaits his father who never returned from the war—a mystery that haunts him.

He is brought out of his self-imposed exile by a near-tragedy in the woods that brings him face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, someone he had long admired but he assumed had eyes for another. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual affection quickly blooms.

But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790 and filled with rich detail of the era, this book continues the story of the Thomsen and Lowe families as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.

The Promise of Deer Run won Best Romance at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, and was a Finalist in Religious Fiction for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year contest.

What makes The Promise of Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting?
This is the perfect book for anyone that has a loved one that suffers from war-related post-traumatic stress. The healing and spiritual growth that occurs in the characters of Nathaniel and Sarah will bring inspiration to those seeking hope when the world seems dark. And the romance? It will set the heart fluttering! There is a surprise Christmas story in this book as well. Be sure to have your tissues handy. :)

The Legacy of Deer Run (Book 3)

In the year 1800, Danny Lowe makes weapons for the defense of America, still a fledgling nation. He also protects his heart from the allure of Susannah, a young woman who seems so far above his station in life that he cannot win her.

She fights her own war against loneliness and grief. Despite her finery and airs, Susannah is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.

Love is the not the only entanglement. The nation’s enemies are afoot. They creep within the very walls where America’s defenses are being forged. Who are they? When will they strike? Who will survive their terrorism?

Intrigue of the heart and intrigue of the times are only part of this compelling story. This series finale is a gripping mix of romance and deception, faith and forgiveness, transgression and trial.

Janet Perez Eckles, author of Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, says, “Each scene and episode sings with heart-tugging emotion, thought-provoking insights and lasting messages of hardship and pain turned to healing, forgiveness and triumph.”

What makes The Legacy of Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting? This novel focusing on the next generation of the Lowe family is the perfect conclusion for the series. But don’t assume that only romance is found in between these pages. This tale is filled with intrigue and tension, as well as unresolved situations in the Lowe family that lead to unexpected events for the family. This story is filled with forgiveness and redemption when it seems that none can be found. And my readers describe the romance as “sizzling!” I hope that this entire series can find it’s way to your Christmas wish list as you learn so much about the early days of America.

* * * * *

The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour runs through to December 22nd. Don’t forget to check out all the other authors on the tour. Below is a link telling you who all the authors on the tour are and what dates they will be on their own blog sharing about their novels.

http://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

Praying for a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to all my readers!!!

Elaine Marie Cooper is a writer of historical fiction as well as devotions and freelance stories for magazines. You can read one of her devotions in Edie Melson’s Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home. Look for her upcoming historical romance story called “The Tea Set” in I Choose You, a Christmas anthology releasing in Dec. 2012 through OakTara Publishers.

Posted in Author Marketing, History - American Revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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

Posted by elainemcooper on September 28, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

BESIDE TWO RIVERS by Rita Gerlach

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’.
http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com/p/encouragement-for-writers.html

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)

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Beside-Two-Rivers-Daughters-Potomac/dp/1426714157/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331908206&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beside-two-rivers-rita-gerlach/1111755938?ean=9781426714153

Christianbooks :  http://www.christianbook.com/beside-two-rivers-daughters-the-potomac/rita-gerlach/9781426714153/pd/714152?item_code=WW&netp_id=978809&event=ESRCN&view=details

In Christianbooks.com buy books 1 & 2 in a set. http://www.christianbook.com/daughters-the-potomac-volumes-1-and/rita-gerlach/pd/415415?item_code=WW&netp_id=985140&event=ESRCN&view=details

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

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

Posted in Author Spotlight, History - American Revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sunday Book Review: Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler

Posted by elainemcooper on April 1, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

As a lover of historical inspirational romance, Daughter of Liberty held me captive with its charming characters and daring adventures. And as a lover of the history of the American Revolution, this same book thoroughly swept me away. The author, J. M. Hochstetler, is an expert in every detail of the era. She describes in depth the events leading up to the start of the Revolution and she well portrayed the pain of families and friends divided in their loyalties between following the laws of the King of England vs. the outcry of the Patriots demanding freedom from oppression.

It is a heart-rending time as seen through the eyes of a young Patriot woman acting as a spy for the rebel cause. In her intrigue, she is suddenly caught in a personal dilemma she had never anticipated: Being attracted to a British officer who thinks she is loyal to England. Events begin to spin out of control—as do the young woman’s emotions—as she is torn between betraying the British and betraying her heart.

The characters are endearing and realistic, but it is the events of the era that take center stage in this highly dramatic novel that will leave you turning each page with anticipation.

Looking forward to the sequel (Native Son which re-releases May 1, 2012)

(Daughter of Liberty is Book 1 in The American Patriot Series)

I give Daughter of Liberty: 5 out of 5 Reflections

An award-winning author and editor, J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers, a graduate of Indiana University, and a lifelong student of history. She is the author of the critically acclaimed American Patriot Series set during the American Revolution. Her contemporary novel One Holy Night was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Carol Award. She lives with her husband in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.

www.theamericanpatriotseries.comwww.jmhochstetler.com;americanpatriotseries.blogspot.com

Posted in Book Reviews, History - American Revolution | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Sunday Book Review – The Road to Deer Run

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 6, 2011

The Road to Deer Run

By Elaine Marie Cooper

Greenleaf Publishing

iUniverse

c. March 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4502-1919-8

Retail: $18.96

♦♦♦♦◊ Reflections

1777. Massachusetts Colony. Red Coats. Continental Army. Well, we know who didn’t win, but now we have another story behind the scenes. And the best part is that The Road to Deer run is based on family history.

The Thomsen family has already lost husband and father, a young brother to the ravages of hostile environment and the Revolution; another brother is currently serving in the war effort. Widow Ruth Thomsen is left to run her farm with the help of her eldest and youngest daughters. Deer Run settlers are a close-knit community, and the widow is also a healer and midwife. When Ruth’s daugher Mary Thomsen makes a disturbing discovery on the family property, she must decide whether or not to keep the secret.

Daniel Lowe is a young Lieutenant in his majesty’s forces, wounded and taken prisoner after the loss at the Battle of Saratoga. Daniel’s physical wound is secondary to the loss of his young brother, who had died in his arms. Daniel accepted his fate when a Continental saber threatened to end his life, but Daniel’s life was spared. As a prisoner, the lieutenant attempted to keep his fellow soldiers’ spirits up on the terrible march to Boston, even knowing his festering gunshot wound would kill him sooner than later. Hoping for a lonely place to crawl off and die, Daniel takes advantage of a distraction and escapes…or so he thinks. He may not only lose his leg, but also his heart to a lovely foe.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to appreciate the cause of the Americans and for Mary to give him her heart.

Told in a dynamic flowing omniscient voice, Cooper’s story unfolds with the coziness of a family hearthside story. The fact that she based this lovely little story on her own family history makes it that much more precious. Well-done research and interesting farming and government details make The Road to Deer Run a very sweet historical love story.

Posted in Book Reviews, Life Experiences | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Revolutionary Faith

Posted by elainemcooper on March 4, 2011

 

I love history. While I know that makes me a historical nerd, I don’t care. There are few things I relish more than a good day in a museum or historical society filled with artifacts from the past.

Historical Society in Williamsburg, MA

So it’s no wonder that, as a writer, history drew my interest like food on the beach attracts a seagull. I swooped down and gobbled up page after page of little known facts from one of my favorite eras: the American Revolution.

The "Nerd" ready to Research!

My great affection for Colonial times in America began as a youngster. Growing up in Massachusetts, I was surrounded by one historical marker after another: the Old North Bridge in Concord (remember the shot heard round the world?), Faneuil Hall in Boston, and the Old North Church (“one if by land…”). You get the idea. I even climbed the 224 steps inside the Bunker Hill monument with my athletic cousin. I don’t think he was even panting after the arduous, vertical trek. I, however, was left gasping for air. Were I in the Battle of Bunker Hill back in 1775, I would not have had the energy at that point to fire when I saw “the whites of their eyes.”

 

But when it came to researching my historical novel set in 1777 and discovering the nitty-gritty of everyday 18th century life, I had to dig for details. It’s one thing to be familiar with Colonial American clothing; it’s another thing entirely to know how our ancestors processed flax from start to finish to make their clothes. So my journey to the past began, without the benefit of an actual time machine. There were days when I wished I had one.

 

What an adventure! From finding early town histories online, to purchasing out-of-print volumes describing day-to-day living during the Revolution, to speaking with historians as they patiently answered my myriad of questions—my inquisitive mind was running at full throttle. I was practically transported back in time to when our country looked very little like it does today. One of my research books (a modern volume) describes early America as resembling a Third World country. It was muddy and smelly, with people scratching out an existence from the land. I, personally, find it difficult to imagine a time when—excuse my bluntness—no one wore deodorant. Imagine the “aroma” in the room during the humid, summer days of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. No wonder the delegates were so testy!

 

But when visiting the Berkshires in western Massachusetts (the setting for my novel) for an up close and personal research tour, all thoughts of mud and bad smells quickly disseminated. I was instead, enthralled by the untarnished beauty of God’s creation.

The beautiful woods in the Berkshires

I could almost feel the hope burning in the hearts of a young country yearning to be born—the rich soil begging to provide sustenance to the growing nation. The simplicity made me long for the time when beauty was natural, and the wonder of God’s creation drew your eyes to the heavens. It was truly a time of depending on God and acknowledging His sovereign power.

This new column entitled “Revolutionary Faith” will run every other week on Fridays. It’s message will encompass not only historical facts from the time of our country’s labor pains and birth, but will incorporate a faith-filled message as well. I hope that this new venture not only increases your knowledge about early America, but strengthens your walk with the Lord as well.

 

Today, I am posting the document issued by then-Governor of Massachusetts John Hancock in 1791, proclaiming the holiday of Thanksgiving. For anyone skeptical about the faith of at least some of our forefathers, read on:

 

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

By His EXCELLENCY

John Hancock, Esq.

GOVERNOR of the COMMONWEALTH

of Massachusetts.

A PROCLAMATION,

For a Day of Public Thanksgiving.

 

In consideration of the many undeserved Blessings conferred upon us by GOD, the Father of all Mercies; it becomes us not only in our private and usual devotion, to express our obligations to Him, as well as our dependence upon Him; but also specially to set a part a Day to be employed for this great and important Purpose:

I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and by the advice and consent of the Council, do hereby accordingly appoint, THURSDAY, the seventeenth of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public THANKSGIVING and PRAISE, throughout this Commonwealth—Hereby calling upon Ministers and People of every denomination, to assemble on the said Day—and in the name of the Great Mediator, devoutly and sincerely offer to Almighty God, the gratitude of our Hearts, for all his goodness towards us; more especially in that HE has been pleased to continue to us so great a measure of Health—to cause the Earth plentifully to yield her increase, so that we are supplied with the Necessaries, and the Comforts of Life—to prosper our Merchandise and Fishery—And above all, not only to continue to us the enjoyment of our civil Rights and Liberties; but the great and most important Blessing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ: And together with our cordial acknowledgments, I do earnestly recommend, that we may join the penitent confession of our Sins, and implore the further continuance of the Divine Protection, and Blessings of Heaven upon this People; especially that He would be graciously pleased to direct, and prosper the Administration of the Federal Government, and of this, and the other States in the Union—to afford Him further Smiles on our Agriculture and Fisheries, Commerce and Manufactures—To prosper our University and all Seminaries of Learning—To bless the virtuously struggling for the Rights of Men—so that universal Happiness may be Allies of the United States, and to afford his Almighty Aid to all People, who are established in the World; that all may bow to the Scepter of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the whole Earth be filled with his Glory.

 

And I do also earnestly recommend to the good People of this Commonwealth, to abstain from all servile Labor and Recreation, inconsistent with the solemnity of the said day.

Given at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, the fifth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-One, and in the sixteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

JOHN HANCOCK.

By his Excellency’s Command,

JOHN AVERY, jun. Sec’y

GOD save the Commonwealth of MASSACHUSETTS!!

 
   

 

From: http://www.wallbuilders.com/

 

Posted in Encouragment, History - American Revolution, Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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