Rita Gerlach is the author of Surrender the Wind published by Abingdon Press for their 2009 fiction launch. She has published three other novels via print on demand, and has published articles in Writers Gazette, Will Write 4 Food, Write to Inspire, and the print magazine The Christian Communicator. She writes an online blog entitled InSpire.
She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers association.
Ms. Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in historic Frederick County, Maryland.
Surrender the Wind is the story of Seth Braxton, a patriot of the American Revolution, who unexpectedly inherits his loyalist grandfather’s estate in England. Seth is torn between the land he fought for and the prospect of reuniting with his sister Caroline, who was a motherless child taken to England at the onset of the war.
With no intention of staying permanently, Seth arrives to find his sister grieving over the death of her young son. In the midst of such tragedy, Seth meets Juleah, the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman. Her independent spirit and gentle soul steal Seth’s heart. After a brief courtship, they marry and she takes her place as the lady of Ten Width Manor, enraging the man who once sought her hand and schemed to make Ten Width his own.
From the Virginia wilderness to the dark halls of an isolated English estate, Seth and his beloved Juleah inherit more than an ancestral home. They uncover a sinister plot that leads to murder, abduction, and betrayal--an ominous threat to their new life, love, and faith.
Narelle: What unique struggles and challenges did Seth and Juleah face as newlyweds in Surrender the Wind?
Rita: There were several things going on that presented themselves as a challenge to Seth and Juleah as newlyweds. I don't want to give too much of the story away, so I'll sum them up.
Seth was an American who fought against the British in the American Revolution, and is not looked on so favourably by some.
Juleah knows she has to accept whatever her husband decides as to where they will live.
An old suitor, who is jealous and envious to the hilt, bent on revenge, steps between them.
When a couple marries, they sometimes inherit their spouse’s family troubles and responsibilities.
Juleah's father is afflicted with dementia, and her mother is growing old and worries continuously.
Narelle: What do you find most fascinating about the Revolutionary War period of history?
Rita: The commitment of Americans to liberty and religious freedom. The strong moral principles they lived by, and their faith in God. Those are the things I admire the most in the forefathers and foremothers of our country. I also find the ability people had in that time to endure such hardships in every day living. We have it easy in 2010. But back in 1776, people were fortunate if they made it past their thirtieth birthday. They faced disease and hunger, failed crops, heat in summer and cold in winter. But they endured and were called a stalwart people.
Narelle: Please share with us a few of your research tips. Have you visited England?
Rita: I have not had the pleasure of visiting England. I would love to someday. Most of my research I conduct online. A couple research tips I can share that have helped me are look up sites that have timelines. Read through their list and when something fascinating catches your eye, highlight the event and do an online search. Attend re-enactment festivals and talk to the participants and artisans. They know their fields, and you'll get to see clothing, how it is made, and other things useful to people in that time period.
Narelle: Do any real life historical figures play a role in Surrender the Wind?
Rita: All the characters in Surrender the Wind are fictional.
Narelle: Did the church influence the faith and lives of your characters in Surrender the Wind?
Rita: Religion played a major role in the lives of people in the 18th century. However, I try to bring out in the story that Seth and Juleah's faith comes from their relationship with God, prayer, and reading of the Bible.
Narelle: Please tell us about your upcoming releases.
Rita: Thank you for asking. I am currently writing a new historical series 'The Daughters of the Potomac'.
Set along the peaceful shores of the Potomac and the rolling hills of Derbyshire, England, three novels will take readers on a journey of redemption, as three women search for love and acceptance in a world that would deny them both.
Before the Scarlet Dawn
Eliza's story: A young woman longs for acceptance and leaves behind all she has in order to follow her heart and the man she loves into the wilderness.
Beside Two Rivers
Darcy's story: Eliza's daughter seeks to unravel a lifetime of memories and the absence of her parents, unaware that the young Englishman who loves her holds the answers.
Beyond the Valley
Sarah's story: From her homeland to an unpredictable wilderness, into a life rife with hardship, she stands in the crossroads between love and duty.
Thanks so much, Narelle, for featuring me on your blog. I hope your readers will visit my website. And I would like to add that Cokesbury Christian Bookstore is having an incredible sale on copies of Surrender the Wind right now. Each copy is only $4.00! Normally $13.99 http://www.cokesbury.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=783958
Rita, thanks for joining us today. By commenting on today’s post, US residents can enter the drawing to win a copy of Surrender the Wind. The drawing will take place on Friday, November 12 and the winner announced on Sunday, November 14. Please leave an email address [ ] at [ ] dot [ ] where you can be reached.
"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."
Narelle Atkins writes contemporary inspirational romance. She resides in Canberra, Australia with her husband and children. To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.