12 March 2013

Diana Flowers Reviews Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach

Beyond the Valley
 
 
 
 
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
~5 stars*****


Enthralling Historical Fiction!

In Beyond the Valley, author Rita Gerlach has penned another heartpounding, highly emotive, literary masterpiece set against the backdrop of the beautiful Potomac River. The majestic river is surrounded by beautiful, lush forests, a vast array of wildflowers, and colorful mallards skimming along its surface -- but underneath the guise of such peace and beauty lies the threat of dangerous Indians, secret passions, deceit, and treachery.
 
 
Our lovely heroine, Sarah Carr, is devastated to learn her young husband has drowned, leaving her with child and no place to turn. Possessing no family of her own she reaches out to her brother in law and his wife for help -- only to be caught up in a web of deceit and lies that turn her life upside down and threaten to destroy her very soul. Unaware of the evil plans devised against her, Sarah goes willingly with a stranger who promises her work, only to find herself kidnapped and taken to the colonies; forced into a life of servitude.
 
 
Forced to endure the debasement of the slave auction and hardships of every manner, Sarah meets a handsome young doctor, Alex Hutton -- her only bright spot in life. Because she is a lowly indentured servant, however, her love for him must remain unspoken as Alex's attempt to buy her freedom prove fruitless. Although Sarah's life seems heartbreakingly futile as she moves from one owner to another and a new family's secrets threaten to engulf and destroy her, she still manages to hold on to her unwavering faith in God.


When she is kidnapped by savage Indians and there is no trail left behind for Alex to follow...will his love for Sarah be powerful enough to search for her indefinitely? Or will she be lost to him forever? Will Sarah ever see "beyond the valley" to freedom...and love?

 
This book was absolutely amazing! I felt myself torn between wanting to read it slowly and savor it, and then not being able to put it down until the heart pounding conclusion! I sound like a broken record, but Ms. Gerlach's use of imagery is second to none and I feel as though I have actually been to the beautiful Potomac through her novels.


Although this is Book 3 in The Daughters of the Potomac series, it can be read as a stand alone, but I would strongly encourage everyone to read all three books in this awesome series. Diverse and courageous, fleshed out characters, an exciting storyline, romance, and a spiritual thread throughout...this book has it all!! And yes, as with all the others I shed a few tears with this one, too. In my opinion, Rita Gerlach is one of the strongest voices in Christian fiction today!
 
This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, or your local bookstore.

Giveaways: We are giving away a copy of Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach PLUS an extra copy of any one of MaryLu's releases including her latest, "Forsaken Dreams", which will also be reviewed this week! 

Question: Sarah seemingly endured one heartbreaking trial after another with no break in between. Has this ever happened to you and how did you withstand it? 

78 comments:

  1. Great review Diana, however now I want to read this book! You strongly encourage me to read all 3, but you make this one sound soooo good, that I want to read it first. :)
    Heartbreaking trial? Hmm....my hubby lost his job, ran out of unemployment and then had a stroke. Pretty heartbreaking, but we stayed strong in our faith and were rewarded...today, almost a year later, my hubby is completely recovered from the stroke and has a new job that he loves. Praise be to God! I already won one book from Rita, but now I want this one...and it's all your fault Diana...your review is too good. Hahaha.....God bless.

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    1. Good, CHAPLAINDEBBIE! I did my "job" well then. lol And what a fun job it is! PTL that everything went well for your hubby and that your faith was rewarded in such marvelous ways!!

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  2. Awesome review DIANA!! One more book to go and I'll be able to finally begin reading this series and I honestly can't wait!! :)

    Yes I would say I've gone through that for sure. I went through the shock of watching a loved one pass away, then trying to organize everything afterward while enduring terrible betrayals. All of this rocked me to the core, but I know it could've been worse. Before all this happened, I'd had an incredible 'mountain-top' experience with God over a few months... and that experience truly helped sustain me and brought me through this still close to the Lord and still really KNOWING His love for me with everything in me!

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    1. So excited that you get to read this series back to back, NOELA! Hope you have plenty of tissues on hand!

      Alot of times I've noticed when we have those mountain top experiences we can watch out! The enemy is right there ready to pounce! But thank God for His sustaining power through your trials...He said He wouldn't put on us any more than we can bear!

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  3. Great review Diana--so many great books stacking up, ready to topple over. How do I ever decide which GREAT book to read next?

    As to having a heart breaking trial, I would probably have to say the year of 1994 would be the time. The year began with the 1st workday of the year, my hubby was told they would be "closing down" the "office" (he WAS the office...) where we lived, and he either needed to move to Seattle or find a new job. He came home that day and said "Well, this is going to be an interesting year." never dreaming how true those words would be!

    After several months of "commuting" from Portland to Seattle, and fortunately, BEFORE moving to Seattle, he was let go. During those months, we also experienced the death (actually murder which went unsolved for 10 yrs...)of a young mother in our church, the suicide of a close friend of my daughter (age 13), and then at the end of the year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer! Yes, it was quite a year, one which I hope never to repeat, but God was with us through out that time, proving His love for us. some would have said, "How could you believe in a God when he 'allowed' such heart-ache?", but as Andre Crouch said in his song, Through it All: "I've been to lots of places, I've seen a lot of faces,
    there’s been times I felt so all alone. But in my lonely hours,
    yes, those precious lonely hours, Jesus lets me know that I was His own." [From: http://www.elyrics.net ] Lyrics from eLyrics.net
    Vicki OWG

    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. VICKI, thank you for sharing about that dark time in your life and of God's sustaining power. The song brought tears to my eyes for some reason...thank you for sharing it! I guess it seems like my body will never be healed, but through it all, I'm learning to depend upon His word.

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  4. Debbie,
    I'm so happy for you that you and your husband came through this. God is good, and we see His goodness more often in times of trouble when He reaches out to protect us. I mailed you a book and I hope you get it soon.
    Rita

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    1. Thanks Rita, I will let you know when it arrives!

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  5. Dear Noela,
    Firstly, I love your name. Were you a Christmas baby?
    I can relate to what you went through when my father became ill with Alzheimer's and passed away. It is so difficult. The verse of scripture I kept in my heart during that time, and still do, is Revelation 21:4

    'And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.'

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    1. Thank you RITA, that's sweet of you to say. No I wasn't a Christmas bub and was born right in the middle of the year actually! :) I was simply named after someone my mum met in hospital... I think she was running out names lol, I was a twin, and she'd already had another set of twins 3 years earlier.
      GREAT scripture verse Rita, something for us to look forward to!!

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    2. NOELA, all this time and I didn't know you had a twin! Identical? Cool!

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    3. Oops sorry DIANA, lol, sometimes I forget who I've mentioned it to and who I haven't, and yes we're identical but don't look all that alike really... Now I'm thinking what else haven't I told you, hmmmm wouldn't you like to know?! haha!

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    4. Oh yes, NOELA, enquiring minds want to know! Or is it spelled "inquiring?" How about nosy minds want to know EVERYTHING? lol A twin--wow! I always wished I had one.

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  6. I can't recall a time quite as bad as Sarah's but my precious friend Debbie has been living perilous things of one kind or another both physical, emotional, financial, problems with a grown son and loss of a parent for quite some time now [actually 3 or 4 years] and her one avenue for survival is her spiritual gift of faith. It is hard standing back and watching it happen in her life. I would love to win Rita's latest book. I have read 2 others in the "Daughter of the Potomac" series and know this one will be an outstanding read. Blessings! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. DARLENE, wasn't this a wonderful series?! I hope you get a copy of BtV asap...you'll love it -- and Sarah!

      It is very painful to watch dear friends suffer, but all we can do is be there for them and pray -- which is the best thing!

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    2. Hi Darlene,

      Thank you for reading the first two books in The Daughters of the Potomac series. I really appreciate it. You will like Beyond the Valley. It is my favorite in the series. Sarah resonated with me on so many levels. And I will point out that back in that era of the Revolution, times were unimaginably difficult for indentured servants as well as settlers. I wanted to bring attention to this historical fact about kidnappings that occurred in England during that time that brought people to the Colonies. It seems hard to believe such a thing happened. One book that helped me in my research is 'White Cargo' by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh. http://tinyurl.com/a4xlh3g
      A

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    3. Before I read BtV, I had no clue that women were sometimes kidnapped and forced into servitude in the colonies, RITA. How unimaginably awful and heartbreaking!

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  7. Dear Vicki,
    You've been through a lot. But what a beautiful testimony you have of what Diana said, 'God's sustaining power'. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I'm excited about reading this author. Hope I win the book.
    Shirley Culpepper bluebell5071@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you for your persistency, SHIRLEY!~ Good luck in the drawing!

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  9. Enthusiastic review, Diana! I need to read faster so I can get to all these great books written by Rita :)

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    1. ANNE, I'm so far behind it's pathetic! yikes But DO put RITA'S at the top of your tumbling over TBR pile! Would I steer you wrong? :)

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    2. You would never steer me wrong! So far, any you have recommended have been extraordinary stories!!!

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    3. DIANA, You know my heartbreaking trial and I can only say PRAISE GOD that he usually gives me plenty of time in between to take a deep breath and get my feet back on the ground, ready to stand firm in the face of the next one!!!

      That was a run on sentence if I ever saw one ;)

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  10. Yes, for me, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. And pray for strength, guidance and wisdom. I ask the Lord to show me ways He is with me. I know He is because of His promise. And seeing those little things gives me encouragement.
    It sounds like such a good book and I want to read MaryLu's also. Great choices!
    Nancycooks4u@gmail.com

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    1. NANCY, that is wonderful advice for all of us to take! Thank you for sharing!~

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  11. Fortunately I haven't had many trials in my life, much less one after the other. But I know they will come.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. MARISSA, you must be very young. Yes, they will come, but God will help you through! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  12. DIANA great review and a wonderful book. :)

    The year 1999 was our year for one bad thing after another. I had a tumor of the side of my head under my jawbone, then my son who was 5 at the time had to have 2 major surgeries and my hubby was told he had cancer. It was a long year but PTL we made it through and Carlton has been cancer free for almost 14 years..

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    1. PRAISE THE LORD, TERESA! Some seasons in our life are simply worse than others, but we just have to hold on to Him all the more tightly! I am battling and up against the Red Sea so to speak, but I keep believing God to bring me through to dry land (victory!)

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  13. Great review, DIANA, as per usual! I can't wait to get to this story but it might mean I have to be in bed to do so, lol! Seems to be the only time I get regular reads in these days! Rita is so talented. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, CARRIE and I quite agree about RITA'S talent! This is so good, but I don't want you to HAVE to go to bed to read it. :( Well, as long as you aren't in bed sick or in pain it will be ok with me.

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  14. If it wasn't for God getting me through the valleys of my life I probably would not be where I am today. I thank Him for all He has done for me!

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    1. REGINA, He is a good God, isn't He?! Throwing your name in my cyber hat here!~

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  15. Greetings everyone! Just dropping by to tell you that this is one of Rita's BEST books!! I truly enjoyed it! I've had a ton of heartaches and trials in my life.. both before and after coming to the Lord, and I can tell you this... they are far easier to deal with when I'm leaning on an All-knowing, all-loving Father in Heaven!! How did I manage before? I have no idea...

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    1. Hi MaryLu! So glad you came by. Thanks for the endorsement. I am so honored. You know I admire you so much as a writer and I am enjoying Forsaken Dreams. Get MaryLu's book everyone!

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    2. Love MaryLu's books and the lovely person that she is! She and Rita are on my top 5 list of fav authors!

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    3. Rita, it was my honor to endorse such a fabulous book!
      Diana you are my top 5 fav person!! Love you, girl!

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    4. Love you back, MaryLu! And to think I once thought you were a man (ML) who could write awfully good romance! lol

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  16. Yes I have been through it before, but they have made me a stronger and more faithful person!
    OWG
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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    1. MEGAN, yes they will if we will let them! Thank you for coming by!

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  17. Diana, this was a wonderful review. I have wanted to read this series by Rita, but have not had the opportunity to.
    I know I have gone through many struggles, trials and
    heartaches. Right now my family is really going through the ringer. But what I love is that God never leaves us, or forsakes us! It reminds me of the song....Through it all, through it all. I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all. I've learned to depend upon His Word. He has never failed me...He never changes. So no matter what the struggle is, no matter who is the person going through it. He loves you, and He is right there with you!
    I love your blog, you wonderful women are a blessing to me!
    Thank you so much! Sunydey26@aol.com

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    1. JOHNETTE, I have what we refer to as the Holy Ghost bumps here on OWG! Did you read the song VICKI MARNEY posted above and I sorta finished it off?! Wow, what a double witness to all of us here that He is with us through it all! You ladies are such a blessing to us here at OWG as well! You just don't know...

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    2. Amen, Johnette!!! I'm still praying for you and your family... God is in control and the best part, He adores you!

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  18. Just finished reading book 2 of this series. Does this book connect any of the characters from the previous 2 books? Fingers crossed hoping I get it!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Forgot to answer the question - anxious asking my questions!

      I look back now at the trials with one of our sons (who is now in prison) & I know God CARRIED us through it but still wonder - how did we survive? It's only because of Him!

      missionwife@hotmail.com

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    2. Hi, MELODY, good to see you again! Yes, if you remember, Sarah was the servant girl in Before the Scarlet Dawn. This is her story and you will recognize some important characters from Books One and Two.

      How DO people survive without Him? I'm so sorry you have had to go through that with your son. :(

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  19. Sounds like a great read! Definitely been those valleys, but the Lord has remained faithful :)

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    1. Always, JAMIE. Even when we're not.

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    2. JAMIE, I failed to mention we need your email addy, dear, so that we can enter you in the drawing. THX! :)

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  20. Hello Diana, and yes with 77 years, ( 78 next mo.) There have been rough spots. My married kids have had rough times through the years, and so effected me also. But with prayer we made it through each one. The hardest to get through has been the death of so many in my family of parents and siblings. Prayers to my GOD held me up each time. But hardest was going through 9 years of cancer with my dear husband before finally losing him. But, GOD heard our many prayers and gave him 5 years more than the doctor said we would have if we were lucky. Was so hard, but made it through that time too, now 16 years. The past 4 or 5 years have of the next generation, going to see our Lord. And also 2 of the 3rd generation, 2 of my great-nephews. The latest my oldest daughter's husband last Aug. So now, helping her through a hard time for her loss. Our big extended family of 8 siblings and their families has a very large prayer chain going at times at times like these. We have also had many miracles in answer to our prayers. Wonder how those who don't have our Lord to go to make it through times like these. I would love to have Rita's book, and have tried several times to win MaryLu's. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com OWG

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    1. Bless your heart, MAXIE! I so hope you win one of these ladies' great books...you have been so persistent and that is a trait we love here at OWG! I am so very sorry for all of your loss...the older we get the more of that we seem to have. It's the hardest part of life and I'm so thankful you have the Lord in your heart and know where your source of help lies.

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  21. I have lost so many in my family that it seems as if I will be by myself but I do have God in my life. To start with I lost my mother when I was 19 years old and eleven months later my father. Then I met and married my husband in 1965 whith was a great blessing, then in August 1966, I gave birth to a wonderful son. My nephew drown in a flash flood in 1997, and then my brother, which was his grandfather died that year. In 2001, I lost my husband, and last year a tree fell on my house that I have lived in all my life. The house was repaired. Then I lost my sister, my last sibling and one week later I lost my best friend. Grief is sometimes unbearable, but with God's help, I am still coping.

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    1. Oh, RBOOTH, I am terribly sorry for all of your loss. Praying for you, dear friend. I just can't imagine all that you are going through but I know someone Who is ever mindful and watching. Thank God for Jesus who sticks closer than a brother! Bless you~

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  22. Wonderful review - I really want to read all 3 of these now :) I have not lost as much as some of those shared here, however, this has been a year of loss in our lives as well. We have moved 5 times so far, and are only temporarily in this place. My husband has lost his job several times over this year, but Praise the Lord, we still have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Right now he has a part-time job that he is enjoying very much, and we pray it will become full-time. The Lord has sustained us through this all, and will continue to be with us wherever He places us next.
    Would love to win either or both of the books mentioned.
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. BETZ, hoping for a win for you and praying that your hubby's job will turn into a full time one! Blessings~

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  23. Thank you for the review Diana. The book sounds wonderful. Yes there have been times in my life that trials have come one after another, it seems never ending sometimes, but the Lord is faithful. rttl@mosquitonet.com

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    1. ANONYMOUS, it really is a wonderful book and I'm sure you will enjoy it! And indeed, He is faithful! Thank you for coming by OWG!

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  24. What a wonderful review! Yes, I can say that life has thrown our family one storm after another...we're actually going through a storm right now. We know that God will lead us one step at a time and that it's always for a greater purpose, but it's certainly not fun! :-) Thank you for offering such a wonderful give-a-way!
    sgmintheozarks(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Welcome to OWG, LYNN! No, it's never fun going through the storms, but for every storm there is peace and joy afterwards and a season of refreshing! I'm waiting on that time! :)

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  25. I don't know about heartbreaking, but one trial after another, OH YES! I just keep praying, leaning on family and one close friend and moving forward.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. That's about all you can do, WENDY! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Awesome review:) I have read the first book in the series and loved it! I am definitely going to pick this book up:)

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    1. MIAMIGIRL, I hope you pick up the 2nd one in the series (Beside Two Rivers) as well! You'll love it!

      Please come back by and leave an email addy! :)

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  27. I have experienced heartbreak, but not very many right in a row; thank you for the opportunity to win some books!
    karen@fallotfam.com

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    1. Hi, KAREN! Thanks for coming by and sharing with us on OWG! The luck of the Irish to you, lass, in the giveaway!

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  28. Years ago when my children were very young it was just one thing after another. I am blessed with the most amazing family. I came through a much stronger person.

    OWG

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Somehow we do come out stronger on the other end, MARY. So thankful you have such a supportive family!

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  29. Great review Diana! Really want to read this series. I have #1 and #2 on my Kindle waiting to be read.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, PATTY! It would be great if you could win this one and read them all back to back!

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    2. Oh, and PATTY, do you have an answer to the question I posed above in red. Thanks! :)

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  30. I can't say that I've had terrible trials one after another in life. It seems there have always been times of reprieve. Of course, there has been heartache and loss. The hardest for me has been my husband's death--3 years and 5 months ago today. We were married for 44 years. It's been more stressful for me, since he died, but the Lord takes care of me in all circumstances.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, KAYM. My husband and I will be married forty yrs next month and I can't imagine life without him. :(

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  31. It is only through knowing the Lord is in control of ALL things & will protect me & provide my every need - that I have found, & am now finding, solace. Thanks for the opportunity to win the books.

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. BONNIE, thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts with us! And I quite agree with them! :)

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  32. I haven't had to go through anything that tough, which I'm incredibly thankful for! It helps me to think God has some purpose for dealing with ongoing health problem and that some good will come out of it. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I have had to go through some extremely tough things, but like Sarah in the book, my faith has sustained me and brought me through to the other side. I agree with you, VERONICA, that if God allows it, there is a purpose for it! Thank you for sharing and good luck in the giveaway!

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  33. **CONGRATS TO VICKI MARNEY! YOU HAVE WON A COPY OF BEYOND THE VALLEY -- ENJOY!**

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