Leading a double life helping slaves escape via the Underground Railroad, Marianne Johnston, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, finds her noble mission endangered by her attraction to a charming Southerner. Original.
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Gretchen Craig's lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Having lived in diverse climates and terrains, Gretchen infuses her novels with a strong sense of place. THE PLANTATION SERIES brings to the reader the smell of Louisiana's bayous and of New Orleans' gumbo. CRIMSON SKY evokes the lives of people living under a searing sun among the stark beauty of mesas and canyons. THEENA'S LANDING summons the sweltering humidity of the Florida Everglades, the flash of scarlet ibis, and the terror of being stranded in a hurricane. For lovers of the short story, COLOR OF THE ROSE is an award winning collection exploring the characters and issues that comprise ALWAYS AND FOREVER. BAYOU STORIES is a dark look at troubled slows looking for solace in the lonely bayous of Louisiana. The third collection, LOOKIN' FOR LUV, is written just to make you smile. To be published in the fall of 2014: Gretchen's first non-historical novel, THE BARGAIN is about two evil women who blight every life they touch until they finally turn on each other. In Gretchen's usual habit of thorough research, these two characters exemplify the psychopathic profile, creating mayhem and heartbreak without feeling a thing. To be published in 2015: TANSY, a novel of early Louisiana, tells the story of a free woman of color who is born into the system of plaçage in New Orleans. She is destined to become a rich white Creole planter's mistress, but she learns that she can shape her own destiny into something far richer and more fulfilling. DESTINY, a novel of the great slave rebellion of 1811. Based on factual accounts, the story begins and ends with Charles Deslondes who leads a double life as loyal slave and secret conspirator as he inspires the slaves to seize their own destiny. Visit her website at www.gretchencraig.com.From Booklist:
Although she's the daughter of a Louisiana plantation owner, Marianne Johnston does not fit the mold of a Southern belle. Acting as a nurse to injured slaves, Marianne hides her abolitionist sympathies behind feigned ennui until she decides to risk all and join the Underground Railroad. When Marianne's brother brings his friends the Chamard brothers to the plantation, she is disturbed by the way Yves, the younger brother, makes her feel. Yves realizes that Marianne is more than a typical insipid debutante, and trusts her to help him find his missing mulatto brother, taking her on an adventure that exposes her to the real evil of the slave trade. Craig's romance depicts Southern life before the Civil War with sympathetic characters, and highlights the lifestyle and the moral dilemma faced by white Southerners who opposed slavery. Patty Engelmann
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