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1871 – Illinois
Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store.
The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend was murdered on the night of the fire. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.
Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father’s innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.
Waves of Mercy
1846-1896 – The Netherlands and Michigan
Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love.
A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.
Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.
Into the Whirlwind
1871 – Illinois
As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox’s future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city. With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire. Zack Kazmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago’s finest department stores, is a force to be reckoned with among the city’s most powerful citizens. Bold and shrewd, he’s accustomed to getting exactly what he wants–until he meets Mollie Knox, the beguiling businesswoman just beyond his reach. In the tumult as the people of Chicago race to rebuild a bigger and better city, Mollie comes face-to-face with the full force of Zack’s character and influence. Zack believes this may finally be his chance to win her, but can Mollie ever accept this man and his whirlwind effect on her life, especially with her treasured company on the line?
The Red Fury
1871 – Wisconsin
Spurned twice since the death of her betrothed in a logging accident, Lainey Kade has become the object of talk. “That Lainey, she’s a shrew all right. Not ever going to marry, likely.” Fleeing heartache and flaunting convention, Lainey seeks solace instead in seeking adventure and breaking the rules.
When she crosses paths with Zane and Kelly Beaumont, she pretends to be married, but soon forges an adventurous companionship with these brothers whose nightmares since the Civil War have never let them return home. Dependent on each other, Lainey denies love’s rekindled spark. But as fires rage across the Wisconsin wilderness, it may tear them each apart, and Lainey may be consumed by the fury burning inside her.
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1870s – Washington Territory
Steel tracks and the lure of the sea brought them to Washington Territory, but only a few would triumph.
EMBER RIDGEWAY is the vivacious, pampered niece of the railroad tycoon, Mack Ridgeway. Orphaned at a young age, Ember’s struggle for identity in a world of greed leaves her feeling empty and alone. But then Tavish Wilder enters her life, and Ember’s dreams begin to include the one thing her uncle’s money can’t buy.
TAVISH WILDER’S driving ambition is to rise up as a powerful timber baron in the Northwest Territory in order to gain the acceptance he needs to marry the one woman he wants. But life in the train camps is a world away from his dreams, and the road to success is riddled with treachery.
KAIN WILDER, Tavish’s father, had sealed his fate on the night of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Could God forgive a past shattered by dreadful secrets?
Their dreams brought them together.
Would tragedy and deceit drive them apart?