The New Hope Series

Gretchen’s newest series is set among the early settlers of French Louisiana.


Book I: Here Will I Remain

     “She’s waking up.”
Catherine opened her eyes to see three ragged women hovering over her.
“Take some water,” one of them said.
Catherine shoved the cup aside, afraid she’d be sick. The floor rocked. The air smelled of the sea. She clambered to her feet, staggering, and fought the panic threatening to overwhelm her. He’d put her aboard a ship.

     Unlike the other women aboard ship, Catherine de Villeroy had assumed Fate intended her to live an aristocratic life of ease and luxury. Instead she is transported to a fetid jungle to be tied to a secretive stranger who reeks of pigs.
Catherine’s shipmate Marie Claude has had few expectations in life, and even they have been disappointed. When her only options become prostitution or starvation, Fate decrees she will become the wife of a stranger in a strange land. Even if her new husband is a cruel man, how can life not be better in this rough paradise of alligators and wild orchids?
     Agnes expected a life spent in her father’s bookstore, perhaps married to a gentle, scholarly man. Betrayed and ruined, Agnes retreats into herself and hardly notices when she is transported to Louisiana. Married to a stranger who desires only an amenable bed partner, Agnes strives to stay present in her new life and to explore what more Fate allows a ruined woman.

Now available in Kindle ebook and paperback on Amazon.

Book 2: What We May Be

WWMBIn 1720, the French King heeded his Louisiana settlers’ pleas for women. In Book I, Here Will I Remain, the first voyage of the New Hope carried women gathered from the prisons and asylums of Paris. In Book II, What We May Be, the brides-to-be grew up in convents and orphanages. Whatever their lives in France, however, the wilderness demands all of their courage and hope to build new lives in a new world.

Giles Travert needs to find a wife among the young women fresh off the boat from France. He asks, he’s rejected, and he asks yet another, but the women see his three little children trailing behind him and turn their smiles elsewhere. The only woman who really enjoys his children, and perhaps even him, is not available. Ever.

Sister Joelle’s heart’s desire is to take her final vows to become a professed nun. Meanwhile, her mission is to shepherd the young women who have come to wed French settlers. After a sheltered life in the convent, she finds Louisiana challenges her, excites her, and baffles her. What is she really meant to do in this New World?

The women from the earlier voyage of the New Hope are now wives facing even greater challenges than finding a husband. Marie Claude, already widowed, desperately wants a baby. Catherine, the daughter of an aristocrat, is deeply in love and happy with the poor farmer she married, until a letter arrives from France calling her home to her life of luxury and ease.

In the exotic wilderness of Louisiana, new and old arrivals search for the age-old goals of love, honor, and happiness.

Now available in Kindle ebook and paperback on Amazon.