Saturday, April 27, 2013

In Ebook ~ At Last

Writing these two novels was an adventure in itself. Years ago, it was on my heart to write a story about the Revolutionary War era in the area I live in, Frederick County, Maryland. I dove into big leather-bound books in the library archive and read some harrowing accounts of settlers in the 1700s that gave me goosebumps.

There were the great Indian Wars and the hopes of the British to bring the Nations onto their side to fight the Americans. Chief Logan, a peacemaker, joined in the hapless war after his family was massacred. Settlers fled east, and the fervor of the American's to be independent grew to a fevered pitch.

Back in Britain, families were torn in allegiance to either the King and his policies, or their American cousins, some of which were family members, sons who had gone to the fruitful land to build their fortunes.  

Both these books were first published in 2003, unabridged and unedited, and were out of print by 2005. After I had become vetted as an author, after writing and publishing through Abingdon Press four novels, my agent and former editor recommended I edit the books and bring them back to my readers. And so, I deligently worked on revisions, and have brought them back in a 2-in-1 collection first in ebook with Kindle. Later, in a few weeks, in paperback.

My husband formatted the book and did all the uploading. My son Paul designed the beautiful cover. It was so fun making this a family effort. I'm thrilled to have reissued these books on my own, combined, with a cover I approved, with a price that is sure to make readers happy, and a story that will last with them a long time. The reason for the latter is not merely due to the story between patriot John Nash and the young British girl he falls in love with, but that the story is laced with events that actually occurred, some of which you will not find in history books today, fictionalized to flow with the story.

Here is a synopsis.

John Nash, has built a new life in the Maryland frontier, and journeys back to England to see his father before the first shots of the Revolution are fired. Rebecah, a young woman who has known little more than the solitude of an isolated manor has lost her father and is now under the control of a domineering patriarch. As their romance unfolds, they become trapped in the schemes of her uncle and immersed in one of the most infamous Indian wars in Colonial history. 
As the firebrands of Revolution grow hot, they marry and work together to build their estate, Laurel Hill. Facing a strange new world, Rebecah experiences the prejudice of being English, but finds friendship and acceptance in the wilds of the Maryland frontier. Joy reins at Laurel Hill when she announces she is carrying a child. Nash, known as Jack, is captain of a band of rangers who protect the frontier families from Indian attack. His friendship with Chief Logan has not prevented the Indian War from reaching their peaceful home along the lush hills of the last outpost.  
Can he protect his wife from warring Indians and from a man who has no allegiance to any nation, tribe, or creed, wanted for robbery and murder, who has vowed vengeance? In Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains, love and faith are the sustaining forces that cannot be overtaken by the vines of adversity.  

 In EBook for $2.99:
Paperback to Follow.
Praise for 'Thorns in Eden & The Everlasting Mountains.

Rita Gerlach captures the feel of Colonial America in her sweeping saga, Thorns in Eden. With lush descriptions and well-drawn, captivating characters, Gerlach creates a story I won't soon forget. ~ Author Jamie Carie


Bonnie Toews said...

18th century novel set in Maryland and England a masterpiece of historical fiction

Heroine Rebecah Brent embodies the heart of the American Revolution in the two-part novel, "Thorns in Eden" and “The Everlasting Mountain.” Author Rita Gerlach embraces the life of this historical period she makes her own with a voice America hungers to hear.

In Part One, her love story deeply binds Rebecah Brent to her hero, John Nash, a young American who has come back to England to visit his parents on the eve of the American Revolution. Everything conspires to keep them apart. First, Rebecah learns that it was Nash's sword that sliced her father's arm when Nash escaped from the Redcoats her father commanded in the colonies. A gangrenous infection sets in, and when her father returns to England to arrange Rebecah's marriage to a rich nobleman, he dies. Rebecah's mother has already died during a terrible sickness. Now orphaned, her uncle and his family take her in, and she feels obligated to carry out her father's wishes, to marry a man she despises. Nash begs her forgiveness, but in her grief, she stubbornly rejects him. And so he leaves Rebecah behind to a loveless marriage and returns broken hearted to his farm in Maryland. Rebecah struggles to do what she believes is right, but the young man from America clouds her every thought.

Gerlach integrates true events such as the Indian Wars and the massacre of Indian Chief Logan’s family in Part Two, “The Everlasting Mountain.” While Nash believes he has lost his love as he prepares with other patriots to fight against British rule in the colonies, Rebecah sails to the colonies with money her uncle has given her to support Nash and his patriots. Before she can reach Nash’s home, slave dealers and Nash’s enemy, Jean LaRoux, accost her. Will these two ever find each other and fulfill their love?

As the author catapults the reader into the 1774 colonial tensions on the Maryland frontier of Fredericktowne, every chapter rises and falls with dreams realized and love denied. Life and death dangle over every decision, brash courage races headlong into jealousy, and steadfast faith is pitted against vengeance. From first word to last, Gerlach achieves what Vladimir Nabkov taught: "A great writer is always a great enchanter" for a work of art creates a new world, and in these combined works, Rita Gerlach proves she is a master artist.
In legendary literature, I find "Thorns in Eden" as definitive a saga as "Gone with the Wind" or "North and South." What the name of Margaret Mitchell or John Jakes has come to mean about the Civil War, so also will Rita Gerlach's name become synonymous with the American Revolution to the patriot in every living soul, child or adult. Gerlach's historical fiction belongs in our schools, in our libraries and in our homes. It is a spiritual revelation as much as it is American history in living color and has great potential for a television series based on the founding of the United States, at a time when Americans need to be reminded of the valor and moral fortitude their forefathers shared in bringing their dream of freedom to North America.

Rita Gerlach said...

Thank you, Bonnie. So nice of you to write a review. I can't say my books are anywhere close to Gone With the Wind of John Jake's novels. But I do think they are good stories readers will love.

linda said...

LOVE your books! I enjoy going back into history with you through them. Can't imagine the amount of research that goes into them, so thank you!