Friday, August 09, 2013

INTO THE WHIRLWIND - Elizabeth Camden - One Free Book (Print in US, Ebook Outside US)

Welcome back, Elizabeth. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I plan on continuing to publish a book about every nine months … all of which will feature a mix of romance, and a dash of mystery and adventure.

Tell us a little about your family.
I got married pretty late in life, which was a mixed blessing. I know what it is to be lonely, but I also developed the self-confidence to become a strong person capable of taking care of myself. Perhaps most importantly, I will never take my husband for granted! Bill and I have been married for twelve years, and I give thanks for him every day. We don’t have children of our own, but I was a custodial stepmom for the first five years of our marriage. The girls are now grown and out of the nest, so it’s just Bill and me. Life is good!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh my, yes. I used to read a lot of novels for pleasure…but now I read mostly nonfiction to research my writing project. Although I always want the romance to be front and center in my books, I don’t care for “wallpaper history” books. That’s the term I use for historical novels that has use the history merely as a little window dressing….like a long dress or a fancy ball. I like to weave interesting historical events into the plot of my books.

What are you working on right now?
My next book (to be released summer, 2014) is called With Every Breath, and is my first medical drama. The hero is a doctor in the 1890s … brilliant, passionate, and willing to repeatedly risk his life in his quest to cure a deadly contagious disease. The heroine is his research assistant. I think it is both the heaviest and the funniest book I’ve ever written. The subject matter is terribly sad, but the rivalry and chemistry between the hero and heroine crackles from page one. It was huge fun to write.

I'd love to feature the next book on my blog. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I am wedded to the late 19th century. This is simply a fascinating era for me: it has the glamor and romance of an earlier time, but modern technology and attitudes were beginning to take root. Women were entering professions. Telephones, medical advances, and architecture were all beginning to revolutionize the world. Perhaps most importantly, attitudes were in flux. The seeds of civil rights, votes for women, and concern for the poor were taking root, so I feel like I have a lot of freedom with my storylines. The kind of highly-skilled, professional heroines I write about would be harder to fit into earlier eras.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wished I believed in the value of networking! As a profoundly introverted person, I had no interest in joining writers groups or trading manuscripts and advice. I figured, heck, I’m a research librarian. I ought to be able to figure out how to do this myself! Naturally, I made every mistake in the book. I think I set my career back three or four years because of this type of thinking. I didn’t even know about organizations like American Christian Fiction Writers or contests like the Genesis. These are great ways to get your writing before the right people. I eventually got published, but I got there the hard way. 

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Gratitude. I’ve had my fair share of loneliness and disappointment in life. The Lord never promised us an easy life, and I didn’t have one, but the last few years have been the happiest of my life. I am thankful every day for the family He finally blessed me with. I am grateful that I have two careers I love (as a librarian, and as a writer.) In these tough economic times, I am grateful for my job and a roof over my head. I think it is important to count our blessings every day.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Humility. By this I mean the ability to read your work with a neutral eye. Note your strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to fix them. If agents and editors are sending you form rejection letters, this is valuable feedback. Painful, but valuable. Don’t be defensive. Pick up your pride and reassess your work.

Read widely and deeply. I read memoirs, biographies, old newspapers written during the era I’m writing about. For fun, I read as many of the high-quality novels I can cram into my day. I read science fiction, urban fantasy, old westerns. I think it’s a mistake for a writer to read only within the genre they write about. Reading in other genres helps inject fresh techniques and perspectives into your genre.

Develop your own voice. This takes a while. I think most of us begin our writing journey by emulating our favorite writers. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is a great way to learn, but publishers are eagerly looking for something fresh and original. If you’ve got a distinctive tone and feel in your manuscripts, you are more likely to get a second look.

Tell us about the featured book.
Mollie Knox is a woman whose comfortable world is shattered the night she loses everything in the legendary Chicago fire of 1871. As she struggles in the aftermath of the fire, two powerful men vie for her affection. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her.

Into the Whirlwind is a turbulent love story set amidst the rubble of Chicago as Mollie endures the challenge of survival and the triumph of rebuilding the city.

I’ve read the book and loved it! Please give us the first page for my readers.
Chicago, 1871

            A wall of fire towered over Mollie. The city of Chicago had been burning for hours, the scorching wind stirring up firestorms that barreled down the narrow streets and illuminated the night sky. It was getting hard to breathe. Smoke and ash hung in the air, coating Mollie’s throat until her thirst grew more painful than the blistering heat. The crush of people jostling to flee northward made it hard to even keep standing.

The city Mollie loved so well was being destroyed as flames engulfed buildings, weakening them until they collapsed into piles of rubble, blocking escape routes and sending throngs of people into greater panic. By tomorrow, Chicago would be nothing more than a smoldering ruin.

            “Mollie, watch out!” Zack shouted. She followed his gaze. A riderless horse careened straight at her, cutting through the people packed on the street. A woman screamed and dove for cover, but Mollie was trapped by the wagon beside her. She flinched away from the stallion’s flailing hooves just as Zack’s hands closed around her waist, hauling her out of the way the second before the horse barreled past.

“Thank you,” she gasped before her throat seized in a fit of coughing.

“Come on,” Zack commanded, grabbing her hand and pulling her forward. “We’ve got to get across the river before the bridge burns. We can make it, Mollie.” He grinned down at her, his teeth flashing white against his soot-stained face.

Zack Kazmarek was a savior in the chaos; his powerful build shouldering through the crowd and helping them both get further north. A layer of ash covered his jacket, but it couldn’t disguise the fine cut or his confident manner as he pushed onward. Zack had accompanied her into a literal inferno, but never once had he complained.

Why would a man who disliked her be so generous? For three years Zack had been icily aloof toward her, so why should he risk his life to help her?

The crowd thickened near the Rush Street Bridge. Ahead of them, people yelled and started pushing the crowd back. It was impossible to hear what they were saying over the roar of wind and the clamoring bells, but as she got closer, Mollie saw the problem.

The bridge was on fire.

She shouldered through the crowd. “We can still make a run for it.”

Zack dragged her back. “Are you insane? You’ll get yourself killed!”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I am at or

Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing this wonderful book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Into the Whirlwind -
Into the Whirlwind -
Into the Whirlwind - Kindle

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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Britney Adams said...

Into the Whirlwind sounds like a wonderful book that I must add to my growing list. Thank you for sharing this post.

Britney Adams, TX
texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Elyssa said...

I LOVE Elizabeth's books! Against the Tide was my favorite so far (that Bane kept me smiling throughout the entire book!), and I can't wait to read Into the Whirlwind! Thanks for the chance to win! I'm from NY. =)


Jenny said...

I've never read any of Elizabeth's books, but this looks really good! Please enter me!



Unknown said...

I would love to read this.

Deborah D, FL

Unknown said...

I love reading the interviews with the authors on this blog. They are interesting and unique. They give me a sense of the author and help me to enjoy their books even more!

I would LOVE to read this book! I've had my eye on it for a while!

Shannah McClamrock, NC

Amy C said...

Sounds like a really great story. Thank you for this fabulous interview!
Amy C

Patty said...

Very intense first page! I would love to

Patty in SC

sharon m said...

I have not read any novels about the Chicago Fire and this one sounds very good. sharon, CA

Bonnie Traher said...

Would love to win the book in paperback.

Carla Gade said...

Its wonderful getting to know more about Elizabeth! Congratulations on your RWA & Christy awards! Continued blessings on your writing.
Carla in Maine

Jasmine A. said...

I absolutely loved Against The Tide, would really like to read this one as well!

Jasmine in Montana

Judy Cooper said...

I enjoy reading about the era that Elizabeth Camden writes about and know that I would enjoy this book. Please enter my name. Judy C. in Louisiana.

Mary Preston said...

What an exciting first page. I look forward to reading INTO THE WHIRLWIND.

Mary P


Unknown said...

I love Elizabeth's books and I am excited to read this one.
Wendy M
Buffalo, MN

Diana Flowers said...

I love Elizabeth Camden's writing! Please enter me for this one---would love to win it and thank you for the opportunity! Also looking forward to her next book b/c I love dr/nurse stories and am reading one now as a matter of fact!

Diana in SC


Vera Godley said...

Sounds like the characters have jumped right in to a fast paced story. Would love to win a copy.

Vera in North Carolina

Marissa said...

I would love to win this book! I love the cover!

Marissa from CO

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!
Sarah Richmond

Unknown said...

Currently reading "Against the Tide". Look forward to reading your other books.


Pam K. said...

I enjoy books like Elizabeth's where we can actually learn some things about history while we read an entertaining story. I really liked her book, The Rose of Winslow Street. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Into the Whirlwind.


Shopgirl said...

This sounds so good and it would be fascinating to learn more about the Chicago fire. I'm in MN.

Merry said...

Into the Whirlwind sounds so interesting with the background of the aftermath of the Chicago fire. Please add me to the drawing!
Merry in MN

KayM said...

I haven't read any of Elizabeth's books, but I like her philosophy concerning historical novels and I'm always keeping any eye out for authors who do good research. I would love to read Into the Whirlwind.

rubynreba said...

I have not read any of Elizabeth's books but I'm certainly going to. Please enter me.
Beth from IA

Mama Cat said...

What an exciting, captivating first page! Please enter me into the drawing - thanks! Jeanie in Phoenix

Leauphaun said...

Sounds like a interesting book!!

Leauhaun from BC

Jean said...

I love books on the 1800s

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a very good book, thank you for the chance to win it.

Wendy N. from FL


Kandra said...

I love Elizabeth's books! Please sign me up!

Kandra in OK

bonton said...

Interesting interview, Elizabeth! I appreciate your grateful attitude, & would love to read/win your book. Thanks for the opportunity!



Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks Awesome!!! Please enter me! Thanks!
Blanch, N.C.

Unknown said...

Please enter me.
Tonja in VA

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