Heroine Interview from Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

» Posted on Feb 7, 2012 in Blog | 10 comments

This week I’m hosting Rita Gerlach with Before the Scarlet Dawn, Mary Connealy with In Too Deep, Rebecca Carey Lyles with Winds of Wyoming (ebook), and Roseanna White with Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (February 12th) evening.

Interview with the heroine from Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach:

Eliza Bloome Morgan, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

The most interesting thing about me is that I dared to propose marriage to a man far above my station that had been jilted by a lady. That I would initiate a proposal would have shocked everyone in Derbyshire. As a vicar’s daughter, I was expected to behave properly.

What do you do for fun?

Life was hard in 1775, and we had plenty of work to occupy our time from sunup and long after sunset. So having ‘fun’ was a luxury. People back home in Derbyshire would have been shocked to hear that I learned to shoot my husband’s long rifle. It was a necessity in the wilderness, and I became a crack shot. While he was away fighting in the Revolution, I had to fire it. Forgive me, but I will not give away that scene to your readers. But I will say the result of setting the rifle off, were unexpected and frightening.

What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Confronting people even when they deserve it. I am shy about hurting a person’s feelings. When it comes to daily tasks, I may dread some, such as cleaning the floors or hauling water, but they are essential to colonial life and cannot be put off no matter how much I may dislike doing them.

What are you afraid of most in life?

The one thing I was afraid of most in my life was loosing my husband. He went off to fight the British, and as each day went by, I dreaded receiving news that he might have been killed, missing in action, or taken prisoner.

What do you want out of life?

To be loved unconditionally.

What is the most important thing to you?

My daughter Darcy. She is the apple of my eye and the joy in my life.

Aside from that, my marriage to Hayward and my faith in God.

Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Yes, I do read. In the wilderness, books are precious, so I value all the copies in my husband’s library. I enjoy the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

This is a deeply personal question, and if I answer it, I will be spoiling part of my story in ‘Before the Scarlet Dawn’. You see, there was a mistake I made, and if I could have I would have changed the course it put me on and the effect it had on those who loved me.

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

It would have been an additional expense for me to own a pet at River Run. To keep a horse and milking cow was enough.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I do not think I would if the opportunity was presented to me. I would fear getting stuck and never returning. Life is difficult enough in the late 18th century, and very short. I cannot imagine it being any better in the past. But if I were to go, I would like to travel back to the day Jesus preached on the Mount of Olives. To sit in the grass and listen to him teach the Beatitudes to a multitude would be an amazing moment and one I would treasure all my life.

I just had this thought that you could include in the interview a link to the first chapter. 

And if they would like to pass the word on about Before the Scarlet Dawn they can use this webpage. 


  1. Life would have been hard in 1775. BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN looks like an amazing read.


  2. I’m so very grateful everyday for my home with heat, not having to go outside and chop wood, having to hunt for food. Very happy to have a bathroom, especially on a cold winters night! Reading books that talk about life back in the 18th century really helps me appreciate what I have!

  3. What a moving account – and what a difficult time to live through, with grace.

  4. This story looks amazing. It would have been so difficult back then.

  5. Oops, forgot my email address.


  6. It would have been hard at that time. I am so thankful for what I have.

  7. Margaret,

    Thank you so much for posting your interview with Eliza on your blog. I really appreciate it.

    It seems the hardships of the era she lived in has struck a cord with your readers. We do have so much to be thankful for in the times we live in. Imagine if you will, that the average lifespan in the late 1700s was around 35 years of age. Much of that was due to illnesses, such as the feared yellow fever, typhoid, and other diseases.

    I cannot imagine living without a washing machine and dryer. The lye soap that was used was enough to ruin a woman’s hands. If we were to go back in time to the Revolutionary War era, we’d smell like gardens. People carried perfumed handkerchiefs and cloth balls filled with things like lavender with them due to the horrible smells of people. They did not have deodorants, shampoos, and soaps like we have.

    One thing that was not mentioned is Before the Scarlet Dawn is book 1 in the Daughters of the Potomac Series.

    Book 2, Beside Two Rivers, will be released later this summer.
    Book 3, Beyond the Valley, will be released in February 2013.

    I love hearing from readers, so if they’d like to contact me here is my email address.

    Please visit my website ladies. http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com/

    Gratefully Yours,
    Rita Gerlach

  8. Such a well-done interview. I’m intrigued about the rest of the story — what happened when she shot the rifle, for instance. And what was her mistake that she regrets?


  9. I’ve read the book and it was excellent. I will be reviewing it on my blog next week. What was Eliza’s mistake? Revealing that would be a total spoiler.

    Will Beyond the Valley continue Eliza’s story, focus on Darcy, or be about new characters?

  10. I am so glad I did not live before our wonderful modern bathrooms, inside hot and cold water, central heating and air, washers and dryers and all our great kitchen appliances,and autos. Guess I should throw in computers, telephones and cell phones, radios, tvs, steros, etc. I love the now century not the was but I love our modern day authors and the great books they give to us to read. We can look back in the past while we read but live in the future.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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