Because of the Camels

 2013 North Texas Book Festival Award – Finalist, Adult Fiction

2013 Texas Association of Authors – Best Historical American Fiction

2013 Winner, Best Historical Fiction, Laramie Awards for Western, Pioneer, and Civil War Fiction 


All that Elizabeth McDermott knows about camels is the story of the three wise men. But in one dramatic year, camels change her life. In 1856, when the US Army imports camels to Texas, the young Galveston debutante and her family are uprooted to accompany the camels to San Antonio. On the trek, she makes three improbable friends: Alex, affable nephew of the Yankee commander; Hassan, handsome Egyptian camel handler; and Nate, restless grandson of the Matagorda lighthouse keeper. The camels’ antics amuse and astonish, but tensions rise between those who envision a Camel Corps defending the West and others who find the beasts too foreign. Elizabeth worries as her new friends become embroiled in the conflict. Far removed from her sheltered upbringing, she suffers tragic loss, confronts the horrors of slavery, and finds love. One thing is certain: her fate is firmly linked to the camels. A fictional account of actual events, this cross-cultural adventure gives voice to an ensemble of feisty women, Muslim camel men, African-Americans, immigrant Germans, and colorful Texans, all brought together by the great American camel experiment.

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Because of the Camels is available in trade paperback and Kindle formats.

Author Signed Copies

Get a copy signed by the author, Brenda Blair. Signed copies make great gifts or a nice addition to your own bookshelf. The price is $22.95 ($16.95 plus $6.00 shipping and handling and includes sales tax for TX residents). Please note that the books are not gift wrapped and shipping is by USPS. Please fill in the boxes below to tell the author how to autograph the book.

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Ebook available on Kindle and from the iTunes store.

Books In Stores

Readers can buy a copy of Because of the Camels from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local retailers including: In Texas:

In Mississippi:

  • Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home, Biloxi

In Ohio:

In Pennsylvania:


Because of the Camels is available through Ingram as well as directly from Siwa Publishing. For direct wholesale orders, please contact us.