Monday, August 13, 2012

THE RIVER ROSE - Gilbert Morris - One Free Book

Bio: Gilbert Morris is among today's most popular Christian writers, his books having sold over seven million copies worldwide. A former pastor and English professor, he specializes in historical fiction and won a 2001 Christy Award for the Civil War drama Edge of Honor. Morris lives with his wife in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The River Rose
Gilbert Morris
A Water Wheel Novel, book 2
ISBN 978-1-4336-7321-4
B&H Publishing Group

My Review: 
I have read Gilbert Morris books for many years and loved them. And I’ve even considered writing a riverboat novel. So I was very interested in reading this novel.

The book is written in the classic Gilbert Morris style. Using words, he wove a colorful tapestry of the setting and society of the mid-19th century. As a reader, I felt as if I walked the streets, rode in the carriages, and sailed on the steamboat on the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers. I could have never given the authentic touches he did about the steamboat. And the hardships the characters had to face were real-life situations.

I loved the characters. They were completely human with both strengths and weaknesses. Their growth, both spiritually and emotionally, was completely believable. They grabbed my heart and didn’t let go even after the last page.

And the story and plot line was unique enough to pique and hold my interest. Because of my own book deadlines, I don’t have a lot of time to read, but I found myself picking up this book at every free moment I had until I finished it. I highly recommend it.
–Lena Nelson Dooley, author of Mary’s Blessing, the Selah Award winning Maggie’s Journey, and Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, which won the Will Rogers Medallion Award

About The River Rose     
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.

Read Chapter 1 of The River Rose:

What is your writing method? Do you write in the morning? At night? All day? How long do you write in a single session?
I have no set schedule for writing a novel. While I am working on it, sometimes it goes easily, and I just pour on the coal. If it goes badly, I have to spend more time on the text. Naturally, I love it when the words seem to flow!
How do you do your historical research?
I think it can be easy to do too much research, just as it can be a mistake to do too little. Some writers are so anxious the give the historical background, that they forget the story. My own problem is to do a good job with research and with the story.
How do you manage to keep your dialogue true to the time period without allowing it to sound stilted?
Reading a great deal of Dickens, for example, will carry over into the writer’s work. There is a danger that all of a writer’s characters will sound alike, which makes for bad fiction. I always try to find some characteristic that will set a character apart, perhaps bad grammar or a pronounced regional accent.
You used to follow the same storytelling technique of the late Sidney Sheldon—told your stories on tape to get the rough draft down, and then had them transcribed to start your writing process. Are you still using this technique for your current books?
Yes, I do dictate all my books. I take the outline and the list of characters, and put each chapter on a cassette. Then I have a lady take the tapes, type them out, and send them to me. Of course, when I get the hard copy, that’s usually when the hard work of revision rears its ugly head! My daughter Lynn, who has written some fine novels, helps me with this stage, for which I am profoundly grateful.
In many of your books, you feature a strong female main character that suffers from flaws and weaknesses. Why do you write about women in this way?
 I try to give all characters, both male and female, young and old, flaws and weaknesses. That is human, and if a character is perfect that is totally unbelievable!
 Look at the great classic novels by the great novelists. All of them set forth characters, who, in one way or another, are flawed. It is the job of the novelist to dramatize the characters as they attempt to overcome these flaws.
 Your novels have a number of female characters with red hair and green eyes. Is that based on a real person?
 Got lots of red hair in my family, so I always like redheads! No green eyes. I just get tired of trying, in a book with forty characters, to give them eyes that differ. Blue, brown, green. What other colors can eyes be? 
I did say of one shady character, “He had eyes the color of spit.” Now, really, that character had to be evil!
What fascinates you most about 1850s Mississippi?
It was a dramatic time in American history. The Civil War, the rise of modern transportation, the beginning of our industrial growth.
How did you decide to set your story on a steamer?
When I was a boy, I lived for a time in Helena, Arkansas. The river then was still thick with the sternwheelers, and I would sit for hours on the bank of the river and watch them, and riding on one was a thrill.
How can my readers find you on the Internet?
Blog Feed: (there’s also a link on his blog)
E-Newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his upcoming novels):
Thank you for letting me be a part of this blog adventure.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel - Kindle

For the giveaway, you must answer this question in your comment! If you inherited a riverboat, what you name it?

For an extra entry, you need to subscribe to Mr. Morris's newsletter.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Patty said...

I think I probably started reading Gilbert Morris over 20 years ago when a friend introduced me to the House of Winslow series, but it's been several years since I've ready anything new by him! Would love to win a copy of this new book.

Patty in SC

Unknown said...

Name a river? Does that include research? Any name goes? Shadow? Sadie? (names i named my current dogs) Polly (my cat)

i would love to win this novel. Thanks for the chance, Lena and Gilbert. Loved getting to know you a bit more, Gilbert. i've read most of your earlier novels.

Marianne from northern Alberta


karenk said...

i would name my riverboat: MOLLY

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous story.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
(from PA)

Amy C said...

First thing that comes to mind for a name of a boat is Molly Blue. Molly was my grandma's nickname and blue was her favorite color.
This novel sounds really good and hope to find it soon.
Amy Campbell
Southwest VA

Amy C said...

Signed up for newsletter! :)
Amy Campbell
Southwest VA

Jaedyn said...

Probably Shiloh, after the hero in the Cheney Duvall series (which has been my favorite series since I was a teen). I love the name - I even had a Collie I named Shiloh when I was younger! :)

Pacific Northwest

Jaedyn said...

I subscribed to Gilbert's newsletter. :)

Pacific Northwest

Sparks of Ember said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sparks of Ember said...

I've read many of Gilbert Morris' books over the years - including the 7 sleeper series when I was a teen. If I inherited a riverboat, I would probably name it something Japanese that didn't sound too odd. (I'd have to research a while. Maybe Kawakaze (breeze off a river) - I'm a little obsessed with Japan!)

(& I subscribed! I'm from the Black Hills of SD!)

scottsgal said...

I'd name her Glory for the deep south
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

I would name my river boat the nick name my BFF gave me years ago " The Dana Girl" Would love to win a copy of your book to read .Thank you ,Dana M Spille

ASC Book Reviews said...

HMMM Let's see. I would name it..."Glorious"! I think. Or maybe just "Glory" :)

Amada Chavez, NM

ASC Book Reviews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sapphire said...

That's a *really* original storyline - I'd love to read it. ^_^

Sapphire from Wyoming

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Love Gilbert Morris's books! This one looks amazing. And because my GGF was a riverboat captain on the Ohio River in this time frame I am praying this book is available on audio. Otherwise it will be Kindle for me. Thanks so much Lena and Gilbert!!!

Diana Flowers said...

I love stories that take place on a riverboat! It started when I watched the Tammy movies on tv years ago and the movie Showboat. If I inherited a riverboat I would name it the Lady Di, of course! :)

Also subscribe to newsletter!

Diana Flowers from SC


Cindy W. said...

I've never had the opportunity to read any Mr. Morris' books but would love to start with this one. Thank you for the chance to win.

Cindy W. from Indiana


pol said...

I have seen this book in several blogs and have read other stories by him so was interested. I would never own a steamboat but should I its name would be "Sea Master"
I would love to win and read this story.
Thanks for sharing Lena and Gilbert...
Paula O(

Katie said...

i! I would probably name my riverboat the 'lollygagger' because I have no idea how to operate one of those! lol :P I'm from NC. God bless!

Unknown said...

If I was to inherit a steamboat, I would name it "American Gold". I would choose this name to honor our nation's achievements. Whether winning freedom or representing our nation,my steamboat would embody all.
America's SUPER Miss

Mary Preston said...

What fun to inherit a riverboat. So much so that I would name it the "Merry Mary".

I subscribed to Mr Morris newsletter.

Mary P


Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

I would name my riverboat "Sweet Adeline." Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna W. from GA

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Readers, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm really enjoying reading the variety of names you'd give to your inherited riverboat. I guess I need to come up with one, too.

How about: My Heart's Joy?

Lorna Faith said...

I love your books Gilbert :-) I love how you weave the history with your interesting characters! I think I would name my riverboat "Musical Masterpiece"...because I love the sound the water makes when you're boating:)
I subscribed to your newsletter...looking forward to the updates:)

Thanks for entering my name for a chance to win this new book:-)

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks and sounds interesting!
I would love to win this book!!
God Bless!
Sarah Richmond

Sharon Richmond said...

I would name the riverboat Isabella!
And Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sharon Richmond said...

Oh and I subscribed to Gilbert Morris's newsletter.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Lane Hill House said...

Evening Star

Please add me to the drawing for The River Rose! Kathleen

Lane Hill House said...

Forgot to tell you ~*~ Kathleen in Missouri

Lane Hill House said...

"Your subscription to gilmorris has been confirmed."

I'm all signed up! Add me please for second opportunity to win The River Rose. Kathleen

Patricia said...

I think I would name my riverboat the RIVER QUEEN.

Enjoyed the interview. Love the cover image. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Patricia in the Piney Woods of East Texas just down the road from the Trinity River.

Patricia said...

I subscribed to Gilbert's newsletter
under Patricia Kemp Blackmon

rubynreba said...

I would name the riverboat Miss Lucy.
Beth from Iowa

rubynreba said...

I signed up for Gilbert's newsletter.
Beth from Iowa

Joanna Richmond said...

it look's and sound's interesting. Enter me for a chance to win
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Lady DragonKeeper said...

A Steamboat ... I would name it Maraleia -or something else pretty and flowery. =P

Thanks for the chance to win! I love unique historicals!


(P.S. - I'm from Hawaii)

apple blossom said...

love his books this one looks good too.

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

I am a hugh Gilbert Morris fan. I have all but one or two of the House of Winslow series which is a 40 book series. I love his writing. I would love to win.


Anonymous said...

You are my favorite author ever!! I too started with the house of Winslow series and today it is still my favorite series:) I would call it
The Sandra in dedication to my step mom who raised me as her own.

Hannah Cook