Find the Hidden Message: Reveal of The Message in the Bottle Romance Collection

As the Latin word, 'spero' is etched on the bottle that tied the stories in The Message in a Bottle, the meaning of hope ties through generations.  I was truly inspired and encouraged by each of the stories in this Romance Collection. I've thoroughly reflected each time a story close, and wondered - just wondered how we see hope today. As these stories are set many years ago, can they still relate?


I've decided to post this feature in the evening instead of my typical start of the day because I hope that these reviews, these tidbits I've shared from the authors can inspire you as well.  When we think of hope, or visualize it, many will think of brightness, light, early morning..etc. Even when I googled images of hope, there's bound to be a picture of the sunrise. Yet, I think for man, it is when the sun sets, when darkness settles in, that's when they need a little hope. And I hope that you'll take a chance to pick up this collection for you or someone that needs a little of it.

The authors of The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection provided a part of a hidden message for my review posts for each of the stories. Did you guess it? If you guessed Isaiah 44:3, you are correct.
"For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring."~
What does this verse mean for them? Why this verse? Their responses:

Heather Gilbert
For me, the thing that jumps out is that God will pour His Spirit out and blessing on your offspring. I often think about what it will mean to be a kind mother-in-law or a wise grandma, because I have been blessed with both those things. I believe the prayers we pray now can have a lasting effect on our children and grandchildren (not to mention the way we live!). My grandma prayed faithfully that I might marry this certain sweet red-haired boy I met in college...and several breakups and boyfriends later, guess who won my heart? I am so grateful God enabled me to marry the red-haired man who always cared so deeply about me, the man who was perfect for me in every way. Somehow, my grandma had insight into this and prayed accordingly. I just pray my family will follow the Lord in generations to come--and that gives me hope that what is sown today for God will not be in vain.

Amanda Dykes
Water is an incredible thing. The way it can seep through every crack, penetrate even the hardest places, and soften parched earth until it's a place where life can flourish once more. I know I've felt this in my own heart-- times I've felt like dry earth, desperate for life, cracked straight through. And yet He comes, pouring down that water and reminding me of Whose I am, and that He will not leave me in the desert.  It reminds me of Psalm 72:6-- "May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth." I'm humbled and grateful, and soaking in ever drop. 

Maureen Lang
This verse reminds me that God is always, always with us—in our needs (when we're thirsty) and during hard times (on dry ground). It also reminds me that He's placed us in the family we're born into, with all of its strengths and weaknesses, and is with us throughout the generations. My family carries a genetic disorder (Fragile X Syndrome) which was a surprise to me but not to Him. Even though it's a challenge, it's in those challenges that God's blessings are most apparent.

Jocelyn Green
Isaiah 44:3 tells me that when I get thirsty, when life feels dry and barren, my hope lies in the fact that it’s only a temporary season. God will not just quench the thirst, but pour Himself out in abundance. Without Him, I yield nothing of value, but with Him, my life is rich and fruitful.


Joanne Bischof
This verse reminds me that the LORD is so incredibly abundant. He has more than enough for our needs and his offering and care is so sufficient. Though life will not always be easy, He is there to sustain us in ways that are beyond what even we can imagine.


Thank you all for indulging me in these past few days. The message of hope, of God's love and the abundance of it, it beyond what we can fathom. I end this again with this verse, my hope for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace 
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13



Title:  The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection
Authors: Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green and Maureen Lang
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
Release Date:  March 1, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction / Novella Collection



Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?

A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.

The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof 
1890: Coronado Island, California

After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

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Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. She is a Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul, Though My Heart is Torn, and My Hope is Found (WaterBrook Multnomah). www.joannebischof.com.

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Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of Truth, and  spinner of hope-filled tales. She spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family, who love a good blanket fort and a stack of read-alouds. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, and an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she’ll be happy for hours. She’s awed by the strong thread of God’s grace and provision woven through every era, and hopes her stories reflect that grace. A former English teacher with a B.A. in English Education, she is the author of the critically acclaimed Bespoke: a Tiny Christmas Tale, and enjoys connecting with her readers at www.AmandaDykes.com.

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Heather Day Gilbert writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather is a graduate of Bob Jones University and is married to her college sweetheart. Having recently returned to her roots, she and her husband are raising their three children in the same home in which Heather grew up. Heather's Viking historical novel, God's Daughter, is an Amazon Norse Bestseller. She is also the author of  the bestselling A Murder in the Mountains mystery series, and the Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher.

TO CONNECT WITH HEATHER:  website | facebook | twitter




Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the author of more than ten books to date, including The Mark of the King, and the award-winning Heroines Behind the War Civil War series, which includes Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and Spy of Richmond. She also co-authored The 5 Love Languages Military Edition with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

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Maureen Lang writes stories inspired by a love of history and romance. An avid reader herself, she’s figured out a way to write the stories she feels like reading. Maureen’s inspirationals have earned various writing distinctions including the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, a HOLT Medallion, and the Selah Award, as well as being a finalist for the Rita, Christy, and Carol Awards. In addition to investigating various eras in history (such as Victorian England, First World War, and America’s Gilded Age), Maureen loves taking research trips to get a feel for the settings of her novels. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and has been blessed to be the primary caregiver to her adult disabled son.

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