Blog Book Tour | feat. The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden

Posted Saturday, 4 February, 2023 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hearts of Steel” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The Digital Audiobook copy of Carved in Stone” and “Written on the Wind” were available via my library’s CloudLibrary. My ruminations on behalf of the audiobooks (books one and two) are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Why I wanted to read this series:

When I first started blogging, I was going to set out to read new authors of INSPY Lit I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading previously. It was through my visitations with Casey Herringshaw’s blog which inspired the list I had developed of seeking out new and established INSPY authors who were drawing the eye of book bloggers like Ms Herringshaw and readers alike. It was through reading her blog rather extensively I found the list which was then developed in the final #70AuthorsChallenge. Uniquely, Elizabeth Camden happens to be the 67th author out of my original #70AuthorsChallenge List – as I disclosed ahead of reading her Empire State series.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

What I hadn’t realised is that I had uncovered another intriguing saga to read whilst I start to shift back into the O’ Connors saga by Julie Lessman. I have had a firm penchant for INSPY dramatic Historical Fiction (ie. sagas, series, and multi-generational quartets or trilogies) and it always a wicked wonderful day when I realise I can settle into a trilogy and/or saga which is beautifully layered and dearly engrossing! As soon as I put on my headphones and began to listen to ‘Carved in Stone’ the first novel of the Blackstone Legacy series, I found myself smitten with the narrator and completely entranced with the developing story Camden had written.

She has a wonderful way of developing the momentum of a series early-on whilst grounding us through an engaging narrative that propels us forward and leaves us itching for more details. Those wordsmirths like Camden give me a wicked good read and I am grateful that my library had the first two novels in audiobook – allowing me to gain a foothold into the series before I moved into the last installment which is being highlighted on this lovely blog tour: “Hearts of Steel”.

Originally, I had planned to listen to both the first and second novel in full ahead of reading the third novel in print; however, the hours kept erasing themselves off the clock this past week as I had to double-down on my work hours (ie. double shifts) whilst dealing with an issue with our car and recovering from a charley horse yesterday as well as a small bout of illness that was most unwelcome and ill-timed! I decided to re-shape the context of my post for the blog tour and discuss what I enjoyed within the first moments of all three novels whilst leaving the door open for when I can resume my listening of the series and complete my joys of feeling anchoured in the Blackstone Legacy series overall.

I hope my shortened ruminations might tempt you to check out the series for yourself – or encourage you to take a look at some of Camden’s other stories and series as well. This is the second time I’ve had the chance to read one of her series on a blog tour and I am most grateful for being included on the tour – despite failing to post within the original time-line of the tour itself. I missed it by a day and I regret that but am full of appreciation to the publisher for sending me ‘Hearts of Steel’ as much as I am for being included on the tour list by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Blog Book Tour | feat. The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth CamdenHearts of Steel
by Elizabeth Camden
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she believes is finally behind her. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town--but he needs Eloise's help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he'd lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Historical Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: ‎978-0764238451

Also by this author: A Dangerous Legacy

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 17th January, 2023

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 336

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

The Blackstone Legacy series:

Carved in Stone (book one)

Written on the Wind (book two)

Hearts of Steel (book three)

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic and #HistRom

#INSPYRomance + #INSPY or #INSPYBooks

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

[ about listening to ‘Carved in Stone’ : hour preview]

Patrick is a hard-working lawyer who has a soft spot for his clients who might not be able to pay him a proper wage but of whom have stolen a bit of his heart through their grateful appreciation through alternative methods of payments. He was a bloke who had a vision of success he was attempting to achieve despite the odds against him to succeed in a field which was co-dependent on how you presented yourself on the job. In that regard, I liked the interaction with his tailor and how he was trying to prove himself as a worthy member of his legal society whilst trying not to lose sight of his own morals and convictions.

You instantly love his mother Birdie – who despite her age and her health afflictions, she dearly wants to remain independent even if that meant to continue working despite the concerns of her son for her well-being. She did have a charming affinity for speaking about her son’s career even if it were to the determent of his own advice. He was tackling one of the most high-profile families (ie. the Blackstones) and that was pressure enough for him to remain cautious about whom she spoke to and to whom would find out about the pending case against them.

I perked an interest when the story took a segue into discussing underwater volcanic research – as I’ve always have been a bit keen on Oceanography and Volcanic Science as well as other Environmental topics of interest. I was wicked happy Gwen’s sequencing of entrance was rooted in Science. She was one of the Blackstone’s I felt everyone would love to get to know – as she wasn’t like others in her family. Her legacy attachment to the College was bittersweet, as funding was co-dependent on behalf of the choices her Uncle would make on its endowment. Gwen’s firm passion for Science and Medical Sciences was heartwarming. And, despite the poisoned history of her family’s reputation, she had a deeper purpose to ensure the College would endure a period of unprofitability due to her unwavering support of its academic and scientific achievements in its respective fields of research.

When Patrick and Gwen’s paths started to collide together, the plot started to thicken into a lovely drama wherein you weren’t sure how they were going to forge ahead being on opposite sides of the case at hand. Gwen had a stake in Patrick’s current case, as it was hinged against a trauma and tragedy of the past within her own immediate branch of the Blackstone family whilst for Patrick it was a case he needed to take-on in order to gain traction in his own field. Camden showcases the conflictions of thought and morals in his choices as a lawyer as well as Gwen’s strength of negotiation with Patrick. To the extent, I was starting to settle into the volleying effect of their conversation and noticing that both of them were keenly interested in the other – though not entirely a romantic match at this junction but equal admiration for their mutual strengths of character and convictions.

[ about listening to ‘Written on the Wind’ ]

I had a feeling the bank the Blackstone’s owned was central to the saga – as everything was routed through the bank and it was integrated into the community as well as the world Camden had built within the saga itself. Finding us back in the throes of the bank at the start of the second novel felt fitting as it was in step with where I thought it might shift back into focus after ‘Carved in Stone’. However, I couldn’t find my traction within the opening chapter of this novel because I believe I was at a deficit not finishing ‘Carved in Stone’. Thereby, I wasn’t sure how we shifted focus to Russia and how Natalia Blackstone fits into the series. I decided to delay my listen of this installment until I complete my journey with Patrick and Gwen.

On the narrating styling of Pilar Witherspoon:

I was wicked charmed by Witherspoon’s narration style of portraying the characters within the first novel of the saga Carved in Stone wherein she gave a delightful presentation of articulating both accents and the differences between male and female characters. She has a wonderful cadence of voice which pulls you into her narration whilst giving you a lovely rounding of performance – both for the characters and the narrative she’s delivering. I loved listening to her voice as much as I loved being pulled into the vortex of Camden’s vision of the story as it unfolded.

I definitely want to continue to listen to how she handles the rest of the saga but also, happily enjoy each chapter bit by bit as Camden has a lot of ground to cover and expertly knits into those chapters the kind of details that are lovely to pause over as you move forward in the novels themselves.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

#25PagePreview banner created by Jorie in Canva.

[ on reading ‘Hearts of Steel’ ]

Maggie was the kind of unexpected heroine we all need to read about – due to her rough-trodden upbringing, she was instilled with a tenacity of courage and strong will forged through circumstance and a willingness never to quit even when life turns adverse. Her Uncle Dino became her saving grace as well – especially when her father was no longer able to help support her both in life or business. It was her work ethic alongside her Uncle that allowed them the mercy to survive and it was through their cunning business ventures of selling pushcart ice cream in New York City which changed both their fates and allowed them to flourish in ways they hadn’t felt possible only a handful of years prior to when we catch up with them in Hearts of Steel.

Cheekily her path intersected with Liam’s at the most interesting of moments – it was during that encounter where we could see the full growth of Maggie as a businesswoman but also, as a woman who hasn’t let herself to consider a life outside of her business. She was strong and focused and wickedly tenacious in how she dealt with a man who didn’t even believe she deserved to be paid for the ice cream he ordered for a wedding. Liam for his part took a bit of an outsider role in this scene – observing her from afar and ensuring her safety as well. For his part, what I found most interesting was how his story reconnects to Carved in Stone and brings the saga full circle from where it had first started.

I knew then as I reached the end of my time within my #25PagePreview that I was going to delight in the joys of reading this saga and feeling myself moved emotionally through the stories Camden had interconnected through it, too. That is one reason I love reading INSPY Literature – for the uplifting drama and the heart-spun connections of the characters who are trying to overcome their circumstances and find a positive way forward in their lives.

On the Historical INSPY writing styling of Elizabeth Camden:

Camden has interwoven a very intricately and complex family history for the Blackstone’s – wherein, you are not entirely a champion of them overall but there are key people in their family who are stepping away from the foils of the past and emerging into the future with the integrity their ancestors didn’t always match in their own actions. I loved how you had to unearth their shady history bit by bit as the story (er, stories) unfold as Camden pieces out the details as you grow further attached to her characters and the lives they are leading inside the series.

She has a clever knack for enveloping her readers into the backhistories of her characters’ whilst moving the narrative forward in the present. She also gives a pause of concern for those histories as well as an extension of suspense within the present timeline of what is going on with her characters in the foreground. Meaning, that at any given time, you’re not quite sure what is going to happen next and I loved that momentum that she established within Carved in Stone as it set a wonderful tone for the series. Especially considering the Blackstone’s are what I would consider a morally grey family despite the fact that some of the Blackstones’ (such as Gwen) are not entirely cut from the same cloth as the rest of the family.

Camden never shies away from talking about the harder points of life afflicting her characters’ as well – especially how we first saw Maggie struggling against street thugs and how that incident had a profound effect on her as well. Camden dives into the heart of what a survivor looks like through adversity and circumstances as well as champions the strength of family and conviction of individual spirit. That is one of the reasons I love to read her stories because of the drama and the backbone of faith fuelling her writing style.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Hearts of Steel blog tour banner provided by HFVBTs and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

By clicking this banner you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Carved in Stone”, “Written on the Wind” and “Hearts of Steel” were provided by the publisher Bethany House (courtesy of Baker Publishing Group) and are used with permission of the publisher. Whereas the author biography, author photograph of Elizabeth Camden, synopsis for “Hearts of Steel”, the blog tour banner and the HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, #25PagePreview banner and the Comment Box Banner.},

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2023.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Saturday, 4 February, 2023 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, 19th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Brothers and Sisters, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, New York City, Romance Fiction, the Gilded Age

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)