Novels

Verity Fitzroy and the Ministry Seven

Book One

The Curse of Silver of Pharaoh

While Verity Fitzroy loses herself in magical mechanizations and fantastical science of London, she harbours secrets of the death of her parents, of a mystery she can’t leave alone, and of her power over machinery that both excites and terrifies her. Verity is part of the Ministry Seven, street orphans that work for Agent Harrison Thorne of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Under his guidance, a whole new adventure begins for them all, investigating the strange, the unusual, and the bizarre.

When an Egyptologist from the British Museum is kidnapped, the only clue leads to the Delancy Academy, an elite school for gifted, young scientists. Now the Seven are called upon to go where Ministry agents cannot, and within the school Verity uncovers an ancient evil that could herald the end of the world.

The Seven set down a dangerous path of intrigue, mystery, and murder; and find that ancient curses are especially difficult to contend with when you have Chemistry assignments due the next day.

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The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

Book One

Phoenix Rising

Министерство особых происшествий in Russia and Das Zeichen des Phönix in Germany

  • #8 Best Science Fiction of 2011 on Goodreads
  • Winner of the 2011 Airship Award for best written steampunk

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England.

Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the river Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences- the Crown’s clandestine organisation whose baliwick is the strange and unsettling- will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness  for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest..and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun- he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices- must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot… or see England fall to the Phoenix.

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Book Two

The Janus Affair

Die Janus-Affäre in Germany.
Readers Choice Winner

  • #7 Best Science Fiction of 2012 on Goodreads.com
  • Locus Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2012 Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers Choice Award for Best Fiction

Evildoers beware! Retribution is at hand, thanks to Britain’s Best-kept secret agents!

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain’s latest hyper steam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance…with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.

The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure. And though their foe be fiendishly clever, so then is Mr. Books…and Miss Braun still has a number of useful and unusual devices hidden beneath her petticoats.

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Book Three

Dawn’s Early Light

  • RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award 2014 for best Steampunk.

Dawn's Early LightWorking for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents.

2014 RT Reviewers ChoiceBut what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

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Book Four

The Diamond Conspiracy

  • RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Nominee 2015 for best Steampunk.

Diamond Conspiracy_smallFor years, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has enjoyed the favor of Her Majesty the Queen. But even the oldest loyalties can turn in a moment…

Having narrowly escaped the electrifying machinations of Thomas Edison, Books and Braun are looking forward to a relaxing and possibly romantic voyage home. But when Braun’s emergency signal goes off, all thoughts of recreation vanish. Braun’s street-wise team of child informants, the Ministry Seven, is in grave peril, and Books and Braun must return to England immediately.

But when the intrepid agents finally arrive in London, the situation is even more dire than they imagined. The Ministry has been disavowed, and the Department of Imperial Inconveniences has been called in to decommission its agents in a most deadly fashion. The plan reeks of the Maestro’s dastardly scheming. Only, this time, he has a dangerous new ally—a duplicitous doctor whose pernicious poisons have infected the highest levels of society, reaching even the Queen herself…

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Book Five

The Ghost Rebellion

The Ghost RebellionFrom authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, the award winning steampunk series continues…

The chase is on! After rescuing Queen Victoria from the clutches of the Maestro, Agents Eliza D Braun and Wellington Books are in hot pursuit of Dr Henry Jekyll. While he continues his experiments on the aristocracy of Europe, he leaves a trail of chaos and despair in his wake. However when Eliza and Wellington run him to ground in India, they are forced to come face to face with ghosts from the past, and the realities of empire.

Meanwhile Ministry agents Brandon Hill and Bruce Campbell travel deep into Russia hunting down a rare ingredient to save Queen Victoria’s life. Amid the cold they uncover a threat from the revitalized House of Usher that comes directly from their new Chairman.

All in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences will find their allegiances in question, and their mettle tested as a new dastardly era of international intrigue dawns.

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Reviews

Phoenix Rising

It’s one part Sherlock Holmes, one part James Bond, and one part The Odd Couple, wrapped in a steampunk bow with an X-Files trim.
SciFiFX.com

Seriously? One of the most amazing steampunk books I’ve ever read. So funny, sharp and brilliant.
Nocturnal Book Reviews


A dark and twisted roller-coaster of a read for those fond of elegant vernacular and bizarre weaponry.
Fangoria

If James Bond wore a corset and drank Earl Grey it might be something like the adventures in Phoenix Rising…
Warp Core Sci Fi

Steampunk is a fascinating genre, and Ballantine and Morris have captured it perfectly.
-Pew Reviews

The Janus Affair

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
The Janus Affair provides action, mystery, undercurrents of a personal nature and a pace that is sure to keep a reader’s interest. The blend of story, characters, action, mystery, and humor worked really well. The combination of Eliza Braun’s tough, opinionated exterior and her soft interior with Wellington Books’ bookish, somewhat fumbling exterior and his hidden depths is a wonderful dynamic.
Night Owl Reviews

The madcap schemes and intricate plots are on par with classic whodunit mysteries. The story has amazing humor, non-stop adventure and action, and yes… romance!
—That’s What I’m Talking About

We see more of the Ministry 7 in action, we see Eliza’s housekeeper in action, we see Wellington kiss a girl (two, actually, and I’m not telling who they are!). There are airship battles, perilous chase scenes, life and death struggles — and there is RUGBY. So what more could you possible want out of a book?
—The Pew Reviews

The Janus Affair isn’t pretentious or overwrought. It seeks nothing but to entertain readers in the smartest and best way possible and to show the love that Ballantine and Morris have for steampunk, for larger-than-life adventurers and big stories. It’s engaging, it’s a page turner and above all, it’s a really fun story to get lost in for a while.
Sticky Trigger Entertainment

Cracking prose, top notch dialogue and the stiff upper lip and all in it’s a title that really generated an adventure that Quartermaine himself would be envious of.
—Falcata Times

Dawn’s Early Light

Extensive worldbuilding, multifaceted characters, fast-paced action and an engaging plot all make for a thrilling, absorbing read. Books and Braun are fantastic protagonists who pull you right into the expertly woven story. Readers will be begging for the next book.
RT Book Reviews

Fans of snark, wit, steampunk and crime mysteries will enjoy the antics that occur in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.
Caffeinated Book Review

Dawn’s Early Light isn’t shy on the action, surprising twists, revelations, dangers, romance, or the shocking ending
Gizmos reviews

I have read a number of books by Ballantine and one other by Morris which I loved.  However, when you put these two together we get a fantastic writing partnership that has given us this cracking book and series. If you are a steampunk fan then this is a must read and even if you aren’t get this series in your TBR.
The Qwillery

The breakneck pace of these travels will keep you up late reading “just one more page.” I had decided at the beginning that I would read one chapter per night — that didn’t last long at all, and I finished the book just a few days after I started.
The Pew Reviews

Diamond Conspiracy

Incredible characterization and a solidly crafted plot grip the reader from the first page and don’t let go until long after the final page is turned!
RT Book Reviews

THE DIAMOND CONSPIRACY is a fun, quick paced steampunk action story filled with quick wit, and dastardly bad guys who are simply no match for the brilliance of Books and Braun.
—All things UF

The unfolding plot against the Queen and country is terribly engrossing and filled with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.
That’s What I’m Talking About

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