Prelude ... to a New Series? Camy Tang Writes Regency! [Plus Giveaways!]

Camy Tang a.k.a. Camille Elliot
(c.) Zondervan
My first giveaway!  Keep reading for more details!

I've been a fan of Camy Tang's work since I first read her contemporary Sushi series in 2010.  Since then, I've followed her into contemporary suspense and now into her first Regency.  Though Prelude for a Lord is written under her pseudonym Camille Elliot, it contains all of the "romance with a kick of wasabi" that Camy Tang is known for in a believable, historically crafted world.


Regencies are one of my favorite types of historicals to read (thank you, Jane Austen) and there have been many great Christian Regency titles over the past couple of years that I've enjoyed such as Kaye Dacus' Ransome Trilogy and of course, anything by the incomparable Julie Klassen.

In Prelude for a Lord, Camille Elliot gives us Regency lovers everything we love about the genre, with a twist.  For instance, because of the typical prime marriageable-age of women in the early 19th century, I'm used to seeing "younger" upper teen or early twenties heroines.  Alethea Sutherton, has come to an understanding with her position in life, an acceptance that most likely comes with her age of "eight and twenty."  Built on the fact that violins were not considered appropriate for ladies to play, Lady Alethea is a intriguing character.  She has come to accept her ostracization from proper society, not willing to give up her passion, but she feels the consequences of her decision (such as feelings of  loneliness) as well.  I think Elliot did a good job keeping her feelings believable and not too contemporary or modern for this time period.

Of course, every Regency heroine needs a hero ... One of the things I appreciated with Lord Dommick, was Elliot's incorporation of what we now know as posttraumatic stress disorder (or PTSD).  Dommick's war experiences triggered several breakdowns which led to rumors questioning his sanity.  Now that his beloved younger sister, Clare, is about to make her debut, Dommick's main goal is to put those rumors to rest. 

Trust in others, and ultimately God, was the main spiritual theme I saw in this novel.  Dommick feels he can't trust anyone else to ensure his sister's debut goes on without scandal, while events in Alethea's life has led her to believe that God has abandoned or doesn't care about her.  For the most part, I think these threads were woven into the narrative in a believable way.

There's also a bit of mystery, which fans of Camy Tang's contemporary suspense novels are sure to enjoy.  I liked that there was more to the story than just a romantic thread and it kept me guessing until the climax. 

Camille (or Camy) has mentioned several times on her blog that she's loved reading Regencies since she was a teenager, and it shows.  The names and dialogue felt appropriate for the time period.  Some of the actions of certain characters seemed borderline-too-contemporary, but considering the premise, I don't think it was too much and it didn't pull me out of the experience.  I also liked that discussion questions were included at the end of the novel but my favorite element was the "Cast of Primary Characters" which lists the characters and a brief description of their lives leading up to the novel.  As someone who often got lost with "who was who" when reading Jane Austen, I thought this was perfect to add to a Regency.  


I sincerely hope that this will be the start of a new Regency series for Camille Elliot.  I'd love to learn more about the rest of The Quartet and of course, see Clare Terralton's debut!

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have done*


About the Book (via back cover):
"An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?
Bath, England—1810
At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . ." (via back cover.)
About the Author:
 “Camille Elliot fell in love with Regency romances when she was in ninth grade and has been reading them ever since.  In her free time, she knits Victorian lace shawls, works with the youth group at her church, and leads worship for Sunday service.  She also tries to discipline her disobedient dog, but usually ends up giving it a treat, which annoys her engineer husband.  They live in San Jose, California.” (pp. 343)
GIVEAWAYS!

Camy Tang has generously offered an autographed copy of Prelude for a Lord to giveaway on my blog.  See the rafflecopter widget below to enter.  (Giveaway ends Sept. 30, 2014 at 11:59pm HI time.)


But wait, there's more!  Check out her author blog, where she's running a huge Regency-themed giveaway, where you can win one of five gift sets including a copy of her novel, English tea, a violin ornament and a handknit lace shawl (created by the author herself)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prelude ... to a New Series? Camy Tang Writes Regency! [Plus Giveaways!] Prelude ... to a New Series? Camy Tang Writes Regency! [Plus Giveaways!] Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/15/2014 11:00:00 AM Rating: 5

43 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the review and the giveaway, Jennifer! I'm so glad you liked my debut Regency novel! I'll be writing the next book in the series in the coming year!

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    1. Camy Tang commented on my blog! ^_^ It was a great read --and I'm super excited to hear you'll be continuing the series soon!

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  2. I do not have a favorite historical time period to read about because I wasn't really a fan of historical novels. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked this one. Can't wait for the next!

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    1. I grew up reading "American Girl" books, so that was a huge influence on me. =)
      I think that since "Prelude for a Lord" isn't just a historical, the mystery/suspense and romance elements to it, helps make it appealing to those who don't usually read from the historical genre. What type of books do you like to read?

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  3. One of my favorite historical time periods is the 1800 - 1900's in Britain.
    I loved Carrie Turansky's book The Governess of Highland Hall, & I have heard only good things about her new book out. I would love to win a copy of Camy's book!

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    1. Besides Regencies, the Young Victoria movie that was released several years ago made me fall in love with that century ...

      Ooh, I haven't gotten to Carrie Turansky's novels yet, but I heard she's really good. I need to check the library again ... =)

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  4. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Nice username --are you a Lord of the Rings fan, by any chance?

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  6. I love Medieval books but also Regency is lovely too.

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    1. Ah, medieval is one of my favorite time periods as well! I usually only read them in fantasy novels, though Melanie Dickerson's books come to mind. Do you have any favorite medieval novels you'd recommend? =)

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  7. I've been wanting to read this for a while! Looks great!

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    1. I really enjoyed it, Tara. Hope you can find a copy soon!

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  8. I love the World War era--so much change happening in the world and reminds me of my grandparents.

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    1. Nice! Recently, I know there's quite a few novels set around the World War era published. I think the popularity of Downton Abbey's helped bring that time period to the forefront. I believe Maureen Lang also has a trilogy set during WWI, though I haven't read it yet. =)

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  9. I absolutely love historical fiction and I like to read just about any time period. But my favorite is the time surrounding the American Civil War. It's just such an interesting time! My favorite Civil War books are Lynn Austin's "Refiners Fire" series.

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    1. Aerykah, I love your username! I've never been able to get into a lot of Civil War novels for some reason ... I did enjoy the two Lynn Austin novels I've read in the past ("A Proper Pursuit" and "Wonderland Creek") so I might look into "Refiner's Fire" --thanks for the suggestion!

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  10. I love Westerns any time just as long as there is an open prairie. truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I read so many prairie/western historicals in high school --definitely due to reading Little House books throughout grade school! I started with Janette Oke, then eventually to more current authors such as Mary Connealy. Do you have any favorite Western authors?

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  11. Great review, thank you. I love Regency and Western romance.
    godblessamerica(dot)jand(at)gmail.com

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  12. I love all historical fiction. Most of the time, my favorite time period is what I just read. My favorite historical fiction comes from Jody Hedlund, Laura Frantz and Kim Vogel Sawyer.
    Amyc

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    1. Too true! I love to read a variety of historicals as well. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read Laura Frantz's novels yet, though so many of my friends have given her high reviews! She's on my TBR list for sure!

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  13. Sounds lovely. I love Regency Romances.

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    1. If you're a fan of Regency Romances, I think you'd really enjoy "Prelude for a Lord" --hope you can find a copy soon. =)

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  14. Thanks for the review and giveaway! I don't think I've ever read any of Camy/Camille's novels. I do love a good regency. I also enjoy American western settings, mid to late 1800's mostly. I loved the Prairie Dreams trilogy by Susan Page Davis...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. She's a great author --definitely check her out if you can! Have you read "The Ladies Shooter's Club" trilogy? That's the only Susan Page Davis series I read --it has a fun premise. =)

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  15. I like reading regencies, especially by Julie Klassen and Jen Turano. Thanks for the giveaways!

    Writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. I love Julie Klassen --I can tell she does a lot of research for her novels and I love the little "quotes and excerpts" she has at the head of each chapter. I'll have to check out Jen Turano --thanks for the suggestion!

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  16. Regency is definitely one of if not my favorite! I just love the time...it's elegance and the way everyone thought and acted are very interesting to me. The seasons the romance. Contented sigh! LOL! I really enjoy Linore Rose Burkard, Laurie Alice Eakes, and The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen was interesting and a good read! :)

    ~Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)

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    1. I love your name (and pronounciation) Amada! May I ask what origin it is from? It sounds like it might be Latin or Greek? Haha, I was kind of into anthroponomastics (the study of names) in high school ...
      Ooh, I have to catch up with Julie Klassen's books --I haven't read "The Dancing Master" yet. Glad to hear it was good! =)

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    2. Thank you!!! :) It is a family name and Spanish word translated to "Loved". It was my grandmother's name on my dad's side.

      It is very interesting and I felt it was kind of a spin on Footloose set in Regency! LOL! :D Whether or not Julie intended for that to be I don't know, but I sure thought there where a lot of connections! ;)

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    3. Nice --wow, I was way off. =)

      Footloose meets Regency? I'm definitely intrigued now ... thank goodness my library system has it!

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  17. What is one of your favorite historical time periods to read about and why? Do you have any authors or titles you'd recommend?

    Regency and Civil War/Old West. Regency because it was such a different time period and the Old West because there is so much possibility in that era.

    Karen Witemeyer, Jane Austen, Jaye L. Knight, and God.

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    1. You're right! The Civil War and Old West covers a pretty large time frame. Karen Witemeyer was one of the first active historical fiction authors I read. I haven't heard of Jaye L. Knight --thanks for the suggestions!

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  18. I know someone who would definitely like to read this book!

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    1. Good luck, Chris --Definitely tell that someone about the series. =)

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  19. Good to find out Camy Tang has written a Regency novel.....and is planning more! Thank you for your review!

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  20. And to answer the question.....I enjoy Scottish history, so Diana Gabaldon is an author I enjoy.

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    1. I remember my first introduction to Diana Gabaldon was reshelving her large tomes at the library! I haven't read any of her novels yet, though I believe I saw there's a miniseries adaptation of one of her titles ... Thanks for the suggestion!

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  21. I do like the 1800's I read Elisabeth Camden's Hesitant Heiress & loved it! I would love to read this one too...

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Deanna! I haven't read "Hesitant Heiress" yet, but I've enjoyed all the Elisabeth Camden novels I've read so far. =)

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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are always welcomed and appreciated. In respect for others, please keep your comments PG/"family friendly" =)

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