BOOK REVIEW: CHRISTMAS EVE DAUGHTER – A TIME TRAVEL NOVEL by Elyse Douglas

The Christmas Eve Daughter: A Time Travel Novel
by Elyse Douglas

As a time-travel story, this is not quite it. The story absolutely includes time travel, but it’s what we in the science fiction world refer to as “tourist time travel” where there is no technology involved and no “other world” surprises, either. Time travel is not what the story is about, but rather simply a means of “getting there and back.” It’s just transportation, not the storyline.

In this kind of tale, the ‘traveler’ steps through a (suddenly appearing out of nowhere) wormhole or discovers a magic medallion, a lantern, a piece of clothing, a special page in a book … and miraculously finds her or himself in the past. After which, it’s time for romance.

Everyone lives happily ever after.

This being book two in the series, happily ever after is interrupted by the discovery that the man who came from the past has a previously unknown daughter. Will the magic time-travel lantern work one more time? Can the beautiful couple from modern New York go back in time and rescue the young woman?

This is not science fiction. It’s a romance novel with that includes time-travel. In fact, the formula for the book is identical to every romance I have ever read, except instead of traveling to a different physical location on Earth, the characters — all of whom are beautiful — travel through time.

As a former editor of the Doubleday Romance Library, I know a formula when I see one. As this kind of writing goes, the book is silkily written and well-edited. Very clean. If you are a fancier of romantic fiction, you will like it. It adds just a hint of “magic” to a traditional story.

Elyse Douglas is a good writer with a smooth touch. If I were still editing the library, she would get my vote.


About Elyse DouglasChristmas Eve Daughter: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Douglas began writing novels in college while studying music at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  He traveled the world as a professional pianist for many years.  He has also worked as a copywriter and corporate manager.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include The Christmas Eve Letter (A Time Travel Novel), Christmas for Juliet, The Summer Letters, The Christmas Diary, The Summer Diary, and The Lost Mata Hari Ring. They live in New York City.

Website: www.elysedouglas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Facebook: www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

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Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

28 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: CHRISTMAS EVE DAUGHTER – A TIME TRAVEL NOVEL by Elyse Douglas”

    1. If you like romance, it’s a fine read. It’s not really my kind of read, but it used to be, back when I was running the Romance Library, One day, I just put one down and never picked up another. But they are great reads when you are looking for something that doesn’t require any real “thinking.”

      This particular writer is really very good. She should try writing other things, too.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think in the romance genre, it’s rather more common than other places. The genre calls for a woman author, so it’s easier to write together and she gets the author credit. It’s one of the few very solid ways to make a living as writers. Romances are a very dependable income source for writers.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Neither is really my kind of book. I like grittier reading. When I was working all the time, “soft” reading was fine. My brain was on “off” by the time I got home. As for the Time Traveler’s Wife, I didn’t like the book. I didn’t like the characters, didn’t like the plot. I didn’t like anything about it. I know it got great reviews, but personally, not for me. And I’m a sci-fi fan. Mike Carey. Kim Harrison, Clifford Simak. Jim Butcher. And in non-science fiction, I have very broad tastes. So I think it’s OK to NOT like a book. I am not required to like all of them.

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          1. Definitely understand your sentiments expressed here. Enjoying reading the reviews on some of the authors you’ve listed. With your thoughts in mind, I’m wondering what you may think of “The Mexican Flyboy” written by Alfredo Vea, a criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco. It’s grittier, has science fiction/magical realism elements, and also includes time travel as well. World Literature Today magazine wrote a review in 2016: https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2016/september/mexican-flyboy-alfredo-vea

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  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. The book is not billed as science fiction at all. It is in the historical fiction/romance category.

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  2. You nicely differentiate what makes a sci-fi time travel subject different from a romance novel that uses ‘time travel’ as a bridge to a different point in a character’s story line. I have to get over my absolute hatred of time travel as a device to even consider picking up a book that contains the concept. That said, I absolutely loved it in the Harry Potter novel in which is turns out to be a key plot device. I think I prefer stories where you have two different time lines juxtaposed and the only cross-over is the discovery of letters to bridge the characters (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society being one in this style. I highly recommend it. Or another one where you jump back in points of the story to reveal facts discovered about a historical character that is being researched in a different time. A. S. Byatt wrote Possession and I just couldn’t put that one down. The last recommendation in which time travel is both invented and subsequently destroyed by its creator is the series by Jasper Fforde about his title character Thursday Next. I absolutely love the dry British wit of the writer and the comedic, over-the-top seriousness of his re-imagined England in which cheese is a contraband food and literary conceits can be crimes punishable by. It’s been years, so I can’t remember all those juicy points of fact that make a review more than a single statement of fact: “One damned fine book.” I generally avoid recommendations, because I fear putting someone off a book with my effusive intensity over something I loved. That, and I sometimes believe books find us when we are ready for them. It’s one of the few instances of magic I actually believe in.

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    1. I REALLY loved the Thursday Next series. I was so sorry it ended. I’ve read Fforde’s other stuff, but never like them as well. I have his most recent book but haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s on my list. If you like Jasper Fforde, you would probably also love Terry Pratchett. Terry Pratchett’s books are … well … just amazing. And hilarious in ways I couldn’t begin to explain.

      I also like the way Connie Willis used time travel as a way of “importing ” readers so they could experience a different time from the inside, as it were.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was and still am a huge Pratchett fan. The world lost a great mind when he died! I don’t know Connie Willis though. I’ll have to check her out!

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        1. Connie is a brilliant writer. Some of her short works, like “Bellwether: A Novel” is hilarious. Her Cambridge Time Travel series isn’t funny at all, but it’s amazing history. The one about the Black Plague in England (“The Doomsday Book”) is super but grim, but “To Say Nothing of the Dog” is funny. She’s won a lot of Hugo awards and her time travel stories are really histories. She did two about the blitz in England which are absolutely remarkable.

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