Review of Elizabeth Camden’s “From this Moment”

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(This book releases June 7, 2016)

I’m pretty sure author Elizabeth Camden can do no wrong in my eyes- I really enjoyed this book. “From this Moment” is historical fiction set around the construction of the first American subway, in Boston, Massachusetts.  If that doesn’t sound too terribly thrilling, keep in mind that’s simply the setting (and it’s actually fascinating). The story itself holds a strong element of mystery surrounding the corruption of city officials and the death of the main character, Stella’s, sister.  The plot centers on Stella’s quest to discover the truth about her sister’s death, and it is on this platform that Elizabeth Camden touches on themes like courage, humility and tragedy.  As always, it is the dynamic characters that make Ms. Camden’s novels so engaging.  While there’s an element of clean romance in this story such as you would expect from Christian fiction, “From this Moment” doesn’t convey any overtly “Christian” message. That’s fine with me, as I don’t read novels for spiritual growth (although it can happen). So, I’d say this book avoids feeling ‘religious’ and is just good, clean reading. It also leans more on the mystery and the history than it does on the romance side of things.  I’d definitely recommend it to fellow historical fiction readers!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Review of Elizabeth Camden’s “Until the Dawn”

Set in New York in the early 1900’s, “Until the Dawn” takes on the opposing worldviews of naturalism and Christianity, and in particular the untenable belief that if you cannot see or prove something, it must not exist.

Author Elizabeth Camden packs in some thought-provoking metaphors, like the idea that we may limp along in life as best we can with painful, infected emotional or spiritual wounds, which-unhealed- ultimately destroy our relationships and rob of us joy.

Camden’s characters are always entertaining, dynamic and realistic.  This is a romance, so of course there’s a small element of predictability, but one thing that sets Camden apart in this genre is her humor and ability to keep things real.  She’s also an excellent descriptive writer, in this case vividly portraying isolated, small-town life along the Hudson River. (She includes some incidental history of the development of weather forecasting as well).

Fans of Elizabeth Camden won’t be disappointed, while those unfamiliar with Camden will gain appreciation of a great writer who always manages to address relevant issues of contemporary society in a framework of historical fiction.  “Until the Dawn” will definitely provide you several hours of absorbing entertainment.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Heavy on the history- just the way I like it! “Beyond All Dreams” by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden’s historical, romantic fiction is always heavy on the historical side, which is exactly what I love about her books.  Set in Washington DC at the turn of the century, “Beyond All Dreams” depicts the controversy over the extravagance that went into the construction of the Library of Congress (one of my favorite places to visit in DC!) and the scheming and maneuvering that defines Congress.  This book also focuses on the role of women in the workplace and the particular rules that governed them as employees, giving the reader a great appreciation for how much culture and society have changed in that regard over the past one hundred and some years.  Camden’s characters are likeable and real, though if I’m going to compare apples to apples, I have to say that “Beyond All Dreams” doesn’t quite measure up to “Against the Tide”- which is my all-time favorite book by Elizabeth Camden.  However; this is still a great read- especially if you’re a fan of history, if you enjoy visiting Washington DC and want to know more about the historical landscape of the city, and if like me, you particularly like your history candy-coated with a fictional story-line.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Is Love Worth the Risk of Pain and Loss? Review of “With Every Breath” by Elizabeth Camden

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“…it takes a higher type of courage to fight a losing rather than a winning fight.”  A great novel is premised on a universal truth such as this.  These words were written by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, the man whose memoir inspired Elizabeth Camden’s latest book, “With Every Breath,” a novel that perfectly balances entertainment with historical and spiritual depth.  As with all of Ms. Camden’s novels, the characters in this book are relatable and dynamic, the dialogue is witty and the plot is well-developed and absorbing.  There’s a strong element of mystery and intrigue, as main character Dr. Kendall fights to find a cure for tuberculosis despite the costs-including his own health and relationships- while at the same time defending his reputation against an anonymously-led smear campaign that’s clearly meant to end his career.  The competitive nature of his relationship with the other main character, Kate Livingston, adds humor, romance and that ‘true-to-life’ element to this story when the two must decide if love is worth the risk of pain and loss and if faith is enough when there are no easy answers.  I took away from this book a deep appreciation for those in the medical field who sacrifice their time, their health and sometimes their lives in the quest for finding cures for others.  On that note, I also appreciate Elizabeth Camden as a truly gifted author whose work is always well-researched and historically accurate just as much as it is entertaining.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

“Into the Whirlwind” – Another great book by Elizabeth Camden

I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Camden because her characters and story lines consistently stand out from the rest in the very crowded genre of Christian historical romance.  “Into the Whirlwind” is interesting – you’ll learn a lot about the Great Chicago Fire and its aftermath.  It’s also entertaining, as Camden gives the plot a number of twists and turns along the way.  And as always, Camden does a great job developing her characters; they are believable, likable (or not) and not always predictable.  “Into the Whirlwind” is good storytelling and well worth a few pleasurable hours of your time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Against The Tide: Excellent Christian Fiction!

“Against The Tide” ranks as first-rate Christian fiction in my opinion and Elizabeth Camden has earned her place as one of my favorite Christian novelists. From the first page on I was hooked and I could not put this book down.  I was even more captivated when I gradually realized that this book continued the story of Bane, the charismatic villain turned hero in Camden’s previous novel, “The Lady of Bolton Hill” (also a great read…and yes, in some ways a prequel to this one, but both books can stand alone.)

I quickly found myself connecting with and rooting for Lydia Pallas, an orphaned immigrant who wants nothing more than a secure and orderly life after spending years in an orphanage.  Camden’s skill in creating dynamic characters is probably what I love best about her books; Lydia is determined, smart, and resilient, but she’s also anxious, obsessive-compulsive, and unknowingly addicted to an opium based drug.

Bane is the male protagonist that adds drama, depth and humor to the story.  He’s handsome, he’s a flirt, and he’s brilliant.  He’s also intensely committed to stamping out the opium trade and to hindering the man that is a ring-leader behind it.

The minor characters are well-rounded, the plot is suspenseful and exciting, and the conflict and dénouement are believable and engaging.  “Against The Tide” is also a story of spiritual awakening, and its surprising educational as it delves into the process of drug withdrawal.  I love it when I finish a novel and feel like I was not only entertained – I learned something as well.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book  and I look forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.