Find the Hidden Message 3 & 4: The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang & A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green of The Message in a Bottle

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.

Welcome to the third stop in the Find the Hidden Message with The Message in a Bottle feature. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, you can click HERE to take you to a little info.  Basically, beginning March 22nd, I will hide a part of the hidden message from the authors of The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection within my review posts. At the end of the feature, the message will be revealed and the authors will share why this message and what it means to them.

As we come to the third story in The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, author Maureen Lang brings us to the midst of the yellow fever outbreak and where traditional gender roles are at the beginning of change, at least one hopes. And there it is again, hope. At a time when the pain of lost wasn't far, and then the various medical epidemics that caused widespread fear, we are thrown into the thoughts of society, and what we need most. I really enjoyed the historical details, especially when it comes to how the medicine was viewed and administered. The authenticity brings forth knowledge and gratitude of how far we've come in treating illnesses that were once fatal.

In terms of the romance, the setting brings about misunderstanding that in turn create a background for readers to relate to and a couple for us to root for. Our main character, Abigail is beyond her times when she wants to practice medicine, and continue even after marriage. The idea of career versus marriage does seem to ring a bell even at this age. All in all, from the poignant setting to the matters of the heart, hope is again the theme that thread these stories together.

"That word - hope - was reminder enough from God himself." (249)

In A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green, we are in the midst of the Civil War in 1864, when our country seems more broken between the Confederates and the Yankees. Each see the other as enemies that deserve a worst fate than theirs. Enemies. A time when someone from the south shall hate those from the north, and vice versa. Yet, in A River Between Us, we truly see what it means to "love your enemies."  And when what you thought was right, despite circumstances that turns back to you, when you thought hope was lost or when letting go is the hardest thing, you continue to hope.  Reading this story, I thought of kindness. I thought how a smile spreads, whereas a frown dejects. I thought of hope and its blessing even when "the vessel is battered and scarred."

"Even if the vessel is battered and scarred.  Hope can still live within." (322)
It's stories like these that inspires and encourages. The romance is almost second to the theme that closely tied them together. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



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

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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.

TO CONNECT WITH MAUREEN:  website ⎸facebook ⎸pinterest




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