Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Read an excerpt from A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the book tour for A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden. Today I have an exclusive excerpt for you to enjoy before you download your own copy of this Christian historical romance. You can also preview the rest of the books in the series. Follow the rest of the tour for more excerpts and reviews. And also check out the Instagram tour! 3 winners in this giveaway!

A Desperate Hope
(Empire State #3)
By Elizabeth Camden
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
February 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

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.

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Read an excerpt:

She couldn’t do it. If he asked her to go to Timbuktu, she’d find a way to get there and complete the job on time and under budget. But Duval Springs? No. It wasn’t possible.
“Why me?” she asked calmly. “There are a dozen other employees with more experience on this project.”
He finally looked up. With his neatly groomed blond hair and fine blue eyes, Fletcher had a patrician air that was easy to admire. “No one wants the Duval Springs assignment. It’s a remote town without plumbing or electricity, the residents are hostile, and the assignment lasts four months. It’s going to the lowest man on the totem pole, and that’s you.”
Duval Springs had just lost a five-year battle against the state. New York City needed water, and it was having to go far afield to find it. Duval Springs was almost a hundred miles north of Manhattan, but it was about to be wiped off the map so that the state could flood the valley and build a reservoir to serve the four million residents of New York City.
“Why can’t I continue working on the account from here?” she pressed.
“In the interest of fiscal responsibility, I am combining the accounting work with appraisal duties. And property appraisals can’t be handled from the city.”
Eloise was taken aback. “I don’t know anything about property appraisals.”
“Can you count?”
The question was so absurd that the only response it deserved was the lift of a single eyebrow.
“Then you can do this job,” he replied. “We’ve already had people in the valley demand unrealistically high valuations for their property, so I developed a simple formula to expedite the process.” He presented her with a two-page chart, and as he outlined the technique, she warmed in admiration.
“Who designed this system?” she asked.
“I did.”
It was a miracle of simplicity, so logical and efficient that her respect for him climbed higher. Although she’d never written a property appraisal in her life, this chart boiled the task down to clear, easy-to-understand principles, and the formulas removed all sentimentality from an inherently volatile situation.
“I like the way you think,” she said simply.
He seemed surprised, but only for a moment. “You do? Most people find me horrible.”
“Everything you just said makes perfect sense. I admire the straightforward rationality of it.”
She thought she glimpsed a flash of pleasure, but he quickly retreated behind his austere demeanor. “But can you apply it?”
Her confidence surged. She’d already memorized the chart of simple mathematical equations and gave it back to him before scanning the interior of his office. She noted the wood paneling, the number of electrical outlets, and the arrangement of windows. It took less than a minute to apply the formula and perform the math in her head.
“The value of your office, stripped of furniture and moveable equipment, is $435.”
That took him aback. He stood and glanced around the room, mental calculations going on behind his cool features. She hid a smile when he had to peck out a few numbers on his adding machine to tally the numbers.
A look of admiration crossed his face. “The assignment is yours.”
“I respectfully decline.”
Fletcher leaned back in his chair, flummoxed by her refusal. “Are you . . . do you perhaps have mixed loyalties?”
Her eyes widened, but she kept her voice calm. “Why should I have mixed loyalties?” He can’t possibly know.
“I gather you grew up not far from Duval Springs, correct?”
“Close. The house where I lived was at the top of the valley, but I’ve never actually set foot in Duval Springs.”
She and Alex had met in an abandoned apple orchard halfway between the mansion and the village. At the time, those summers had been magic, but now the memory brought only hurt and embarrassment. The years that followed had been brutally hard, but she’d survived. Her shattered heart had mended, and she covered it with a layer of smooth professionalism, but coming face to face with Alex might crack that hard-won veneer.
“I’m an accountant,” she reminded Fletcher. “We do our work from an office.”
“All the other accountants in the office work too closely with the engineers for me to send them upstate. You are the only person I can afford to send. Eloise, I need you.”
They were the three words she was powerless to refuse. Some women might crave wealth or beauty or popularity. Eloise craved being needed, even if it meant she’d have to endure seeing Alex Duval again. Fletcher needed her, and she wouldn’t let a disastrous, long-ago love affair interfere with her responsibilities.
“Then of course I shall go.”

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

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.

Tour Schedule

Bookstagram Tour

Check out the Bookstagram Tour:
February 17th (launch): @prismbooktours
February 18th: @heidireadsblog
February 19th: @suziewaltner
February 20th: @girlandherbooks
February 21st: @singinglibrarianbooks
February 22nd: @betherin02
February 23rd: @all.the.lovely.pages
February 24th: @christenkrumm

Tour Giveaway

One Grand Prize winner will receive print copies of all three books in the Empire State series: A Dangerous Legacy, A Daring Venture, and A Desperate Hope
Two additional winners will receive a print copy of A Desperate Hope
- US only
- Ends March 1, 2019

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