Find the Hidden Message 5: The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof of The Message in a Bottle

"Dum Spiro Spero"

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 fourth and the final stop with a hidden message in the Find the Hidden Message with The Message in a Bottle feature. Come back tomorrow to see the reveal. 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.

The above quote taken from The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof in The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection is one of my favorite verses of the story. I'm not sure if it's because of personal experiences of memory loss or the fact that being lost itself needs a lot of hope. And to see that hope manifested throughout this story, in the words, in the characters and even in what seems to be an inanimate object, that tugs your heart a little more with each word.

There's a sweet innocence with The Swelling Sea, but there's also a fierceness when you encounter the breaks, the waves, the swelling sea.  I enjoyed the story of Jonas and Rosie, with their encounter, with their struggles, each in their own way and what their station in life meant. There's a little of forbidden love, but we know that love prevails. Always. When I started this story, I had a little reverence of what it takes to live your life to the fullest. I was even a little fearful that though the message will be shown, the end may not be what we had hoped.

". . .enjoy the life that you've been given. Exactly as it is...we've only got one turn at this life, and while you're waiting for your past to return to you. . .be sure and enjoy the very special future that's ahead of you." 

Then we come to a close - of the bottle - of how each story shown a little wear on it, and not to mention the many generations we don't get to read about, it became real to me. Yes, I know it's a work of fiction, but the message in and of the bottle isn't fiction. It's what passed on to the offspring of each of these characters, and the descendants that knows a bit here and there carries on to modern day. So imagine, be creative and be inspire to carry the message of the bottle in life.

"While I breathe, I hope."

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.



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).

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