In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father's estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar's daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.
Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward's path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 400 Vendor: Abingdon Press Publication Date: 2012 Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his fathers estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicars daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life. Circumstances throw Eliza in Haywards path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness. "Gerlach's novel is an immensely emotional read with surprising twists I never anticipated." - FreshFiction.com "Ms. Gerlach's unique literary prose has once again captured my heart with a stirring tale of love and loss, desperation and hope during one of the most uncertain times in American History--the Revolutionary War. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!" - MaryLu Tyndall, author of Surrender the Dawn "Filled with true-to-life characters whose struggles will linger with readers long after the last page is turned, Before the Scarlet Dawn is a memorable story of Revolutionary War-era England and America." - Amanda Cabot, author of Summer of Promise "Rita Gerlach has written a colorful historical with a feisty heroine on a search for survival, romance, and a place to belong." Cynthia Hickey, author of the Summer Meadows mysteries "A stirring story of love and its consequences, Before the Scarlet Dawn will draw you in from the start and not let you go again." - Roseanna M. White, author of Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland and Jewel of Persia "While reading Before the Scarlet Dawn, you'll travel back in time--and from England to Maryland--without ever leaving your easy chair! This is a big, beautiful, well-told story of love, faith, and the struggles of war that changed lives...and hearts. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!" Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including reader favorite From Ashes to Honor "I fell into this book, thinking I'd escaped into a typical historical romance, but as I followed Eliza Bloome through heartache, sin, guilt and grief, followed by a questioning of her faith, I couldn't read it without taking a good look at my own mistakes, my own conceptions about love and romance and how faith can sometimes lead you to some very unusual places." - Julie L. Cannon, author of Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes, 'Mater Biscuit, and Twang.
Rita Gerlach 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. She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs.In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Her genre - Inspirational Historical Romance / Drama. Visit Rita's website at ritagerlach.blogspot.com.
Rita Gerlach's Before the Scarlet Dawn starts with two characters seemingly similar to Jane Austen's romantic characters, but it soon becomes clear that the story revolves around one woman's search for love after marriage. At the start, Eliza thinks she has found that love with Hayward, who marries her despite his family's objections. The two both possess strong wills and somewhat secret admiration for each other. The readers hope along with Eliza that Hayward will fall deeply in love with the heroine, but as Eliza's story develops and changes, it focuses more on sin, loss, and redemption and less on romance.
After moving to America with her new husband, Eliza faces a constant test of faith. Her husband leaves to fight in the Revolutionary War, and her strong and helpful neighbor attempts to seduce her. Eliza never loses sight of God and His role in events, but often loses sight of herself. As the psalmist writes, "Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins" (Psalm 25:18).
Eliza captivates readers with her hardships and struggles. Her unpredictable circumstances make for a character with a relatable and heart-wrenching journey. Gerlach's writing and characters are addicting. She writes with a convicting and convincing nature.
Before Scarlet Dawn leaves readers wanting more. Gerlach closes her story with Eliza's redemption, but there are other characters to wonder about, including the two characters that Gerlach will feature in her two sequels in the Daughters of the Potomac trilogy. The sequels will tie up loose ends surrounding a certain characters that Eliza and readers are forced to leave in God's hands at the end of Before the Scarlet Dawn. Eliza's faith ultimately leads her true redemption and love. Although moral convictions will temporarily keep her from what many would define as a happy ending, she puts her trust in God's providence, inspiring readers to understand the meaning of Christ's forgiveness and to follow Him through every storm, for He will "never leave you, nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Harmony Wheeler, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Gerlach (Surrender the Wind) opens the Daughters of the Potomac series with a tale set mostly in Revolutionary War Maryland. The strong-willed and Scarlett OHaralike Eliza Bloome, a vicars daughter, sets her bonnet for Hayward Morgan, who seeks a wife as part of his dream to prosper in Maryland. Eliza boldly offers herself and, though her social station is below Haywards, he is ambitious enough, and finds her attractive enough, to marry her. That is quick prelude to action that unfolds in America during the revolution. Hayward joins the colonial forces and then disappears, and Eliza is left to raise their daughter amid the dangers of life that include hostile Indians and a too-interested male neighbor. A complex plot knot pitches the characters into grief and uncertainty, leaving plenty of loose ends. Gerlach plots well, but her characters emotions are not explored very deeply. The prose can be shopworn (Was it the cry of her soul that had been borne on the wind?). Still, enough readers of inspirational romance will be reeled in to the next book in the series. Agent: Diana Flegal, Hartline Literary Agency. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.