1850s – Pennsylvania
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world–filled with family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes’ shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril? With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.
Full Steam Ahead
1851 – Texas
When Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston from an eastern finishing school, she’s stunned to find her father in ill health. Though she loves him, he’s only ever focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run their family business, Renard Shipping. Vowing to secure a suitable marriage partner, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure: a dagger personally gifted to Nicole’s father by the pirate Jean Lafitte. Many believe the legend that the dagger is the source of all Renard Shipping’s good fortune, though Nicole is sure her father’s work ethic and honorable business practices are the keys to their success. Before she can board the steamer to New Orleans, Nicole finds her father’s rivals–the Jenkins brothers–on either side of the gangplank, ready to grab her and steal the dagger. Quickly, she decides to instead travel north, to Liberty, Texas, where she can decide what to do next.
Darius Thornton needs a secretary–someone to help him get his notes in order. Ever since the boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana, Darius has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. The pretty young socialite who applies for the job baffles him with her knowledge of mathematics and steamships. He decides to take a risk and hire her, but he’s determined her attractive face and fancy clothes won’t distract him from his important research. The job offer comes at exactly the right time for Nicole. With what Darius is paying her, she’ll be able to afford passage to New Orleans in mere weeks. But Mr. Thornton is so reclusive, so distant, so unusual. He can create complex scientific equations but can’t remember to comb his hair. And his experiments are growing more and more dangerous. Still, there are undeniable sparks of attraction between them. But Nicole is leaving soon, and if she marries, it must be to a man who can manage a shipping empire. Darius certainly doesn’t fit that description. And the Jenkins brothers have not given up on kidnapping Nicole and seizing the Lafitte dagger for themselves.
A Captain for Laura Rose
1867 – Missouri
Laura Rose White’s late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a “cub pilot” to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. That is, until tragedy strikes and Laura must make the two month journey from St. Louis to Fort Benton and back in order to save her family’s legacy, her home, and the only life she’s ever known. The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother’s disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.
Jasmine (Song of the River)
1870 – Illinois
Jasmine Anderson runs away from her riverboat home and the faith and love of her past to pursue a life of fame. She flees to a showboat where she gains small roles and attracts the seductive attention of the lead actor and the bitter jealousy of a veteran actress. Then a great tragedy sets off a chain of events that creates promising new opportunities but also grave danger for Jasmine—and ultimately the chance to discover a dream truly worth living and sacrificing for.
The River Palace: A Water Wheel Novel
1865 – Several US States, Mississippi River
The Civil War has ended when Yankee Captain Dennis Wainwright and Confederate Sergeant Gage Kennon cross paths. Forming an unlikely alliance, their travels become very interesting when they stumble across a band of Gypsies. Gage saves an older Gypsy woman from a terrible accident, earning the respect, but not the friendship, of her granddaughter Nadyha. Later Gage finds himself in the unlikely position of saving an innocent young woman from being arrested and possibly hanged.
These unlikely people seem bound together mysteriously by unaccountable forces; but always Gage Kennon, a humble and devout Christian man, is at the center of the turns and twists their lives take. The road soon leads them to a grand showboat, the Queen of Bohemia, and exciting journeys on the Mississippi River.
The River Palace is based on a very old story, that of the Good Samaritan, but it is also a new story of faith, romance, and classic adventure from beloved Christian author Gilbert Morris.
Camellia: Song of the River
1861 – Mississippi
Natchez belle turned riverboat maiden Camellia Anderson misses her old life of privilege. She misses the balls and she misses the suitors. . .then a chance to attend finishing school in New Orleans catapults her into an exciting world—and a whirlwind courtship with a dashing Confederate soldier. It’s beautiful, uncomplicated romance until a trip to Memphis brings old friend—and Northern spy—Jonah Thornton back into Camellia’s life. Now she’s torn between two loves, but will she risk everything to save a Union soldier?
A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas
1897 – Texas
Blanche Lamar has inherited a steamboat from a father she’s never met. As she struggles to adjust to her new life she finds an unexpected ally in Ike Gallagher. She and Ike both want to find a way to make the steamboat profitable but are at odds on how to accomplish it. Can they learn to live in faith, or will their future happiness sink in a river of overwhelming devastation.
The River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel
1854 – Tennessee
Life hasn’t been easy for Jeanne Bettencourt, a widow approaching thirty and struggling to provide for her eight-year-old daughter. But hope arrives in the form of the Helena Rose, a steamboat she unexpectedly inherits from a distant, departed relative. Jeanne’s father had captained a similar vessel and taught her how to pilot a steamer along the banks of Memphis. She’s looking forward to a renewed livelihood on the mighty Mississippi.
However, as plans are made, news comes of another heir to the Helena Rose – a tough man named Clint Hardin – and a clause in the will that says claimants of the estate must live aboard the boat. Jeanne, a Christian woman, makes it clear she won’t stay with a man who is not her husband. But both are desperate for work, so they agree to keep their distance as Clint occupies the lower deck and Jeanne takes the captain’s quarters.
As they restore the Helena Rose, the slowly softening Clint becomes attracted to Jeanne – who is now being courted by a wealthy plantation owner. With her family and future at stake, the desires of Jeanne’s heart are duly complex. Only her simple faith can navigate her through what’s about to happen.
Lily (Song of the River)
1859 – Mississippi
Cruise down the Mississippi with Natchez belle Lily Anderson. Needing to provide for herself and her sisters, Lily is desperately trying to make a go of a riverboat venture with co-owner Blake Matthews. But they fail to find anything to agree upon. Blake is enamored of the feisty Lily. Attempts to woo her may be lost to the devious Jean Luc Champney. Will the siren song of the river evolve into a serenade or a somber lament?
Flame from Within
1864 – Virginia, Louisiana
A journey across the sea begins a journey of healing for Aimée’s soul and a discovery of love and faith she thought she’d never find. When a Yankee-induced fire destroys her family and her home, young plantation-bred Amethyst Rose finds herself on the run. Angry towards God and the men in blue, Amethyst’s only choice left is to move in with her elder and controlling sister, who runs a bordello in The French Quarter of New Orleans-a decision guaranteed to destroy Amethyst’s personal respect and tarnish her family name. With her bitter hatred towards all Yankees plunged into high gear, nothing seems to matter anymore, until, on a riverboat en route to New Orleans, she finds herself intrigued by the presence of not one, but two Union officers. Each in his own way find ways to tug at the heart and soul of this woman lost.