Rita, I have to tell you, your books have been a joy to read. As an avid reader, and a bit of a history buff, I find there is nothing more frustrating than being torn out of a story by inaccurate historical research. What did it take to develop this series?
A vivid imagination, a love for history that is outside school textbooks, and a love for the setting. I read non-fiction dealing with the time period—the clothes, food, culture, societal rules. Movies and works of fiction also helped fuel my imagination, such as The Patriot, Poldark, The Last of the Mohicans. At my local library we have archived books that revealed so much of the history of the Potomac area that isn’t shared in textbooks. Once I was able to have a foundation for the history, I was able to see the stories in my mind.
Tell us about Beyond the Valley.
I loved writing all three of the novels in this series. But I would have to say Beyond the Valley was my favorite. The heroine, Sarah, resonated with me on so many levels. She is a wife and expectant mother, a loyal friend, a grieving widow. Her faith is shown in a way relevant to the times she lived in, not just a Sunday Christian, but a virtuous woman whose daily walk with God required ultimate trust, though her trials cause her to question. All three heroines reflect these values, Eliza, Darcy, and Sarah.
Here’s a brief synopsis.
When Sarah Carr’s husband Jamie drowns, her young life is shattered and it takes a turn she never expected. Pregnant and widowed, she reaches out to Jamie’s family for help, but they are unwilling. Instead they devise a plan to have her kidnapped through deception and taken to the Colonies to live a life of servitude.
In Virginia, Sarah is auctioned to a kindly gentleman as a servant for his eccentric wife. After she meets Dr. Alex Hutton, and is loaned to him to help with his orphaned nieces, hope comes alive that he will find a way to free her. But when The Woodhouses go bankrupt and sell off all they own, Sarah is sent away. She faces hardships in the wilderness, and is soon surrounded by a family’s whirlwind of secrets, praying the young doctor she loves will find her again and bring her freedom.
You had a cyber tea party for Beyond the Valley. My favorite tea is Earl Gray, influenced by Patrick Stewart! What is yours, and is there a particular reason behind it?
I really like Lemon tea hot with a teaspoon of honey. It’s refreshing on a cold day and reminds me of summer. And who doesn’t want to be reminded of summer when it’s freezing outside? Earl Gray is also a favorite.
Olivia, thank you for having me as a guest on your lovely blog. It was a sheer pleasure.
Readers can visit my website at http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com
Christianbooks.com is selling The Daughters of the Potomac in a set at a discount price.