Wednesday, August 06, 2014

THE HESITANT HEIRESS - Dawn Crandall - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, here's another debut author. She and I also share the same agent. I'm thrilled to introduce her first book to you. 

Bio: A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes and Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit working in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.
The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Welcome, Dawn. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Honestly, there is a lot of me in Amaryllis Brigham. When I started my second book in the series (before I had Joyce as my agent), it was just for fun as well, and also to prove to myself that I could write another character from first person POV that didn't sound just like Amaryllis. I ended up with a character so opposite of me, it was quite interesting to write.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m actually quirky about 100% of the time because I have ADD. It’s very difficult to just pick one instance. J But probably the most important one was, while I was single and meeting friends to go camping near the Indiana Dunes, I sabotaged my future husband’s bags and threw them in my car telling him he should probably ride with me. He was the only guy in the group who would never talk to me, and that drove me nuts! I quickly found out that it was because he had a crush on me … and we began dating about a month later. J   

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I always enjoyed writing in school, but I never ever in my wildest dreams thought it was possible to actually be one—at least a published writer! So I didn't write for a long time ... basically from the time I was 16 until I was 32. When my husband found out I'd always wanted to write a book, he let me quit my job to work on my book. That was in 2010, and The Hesitant Heiress is the book I wrote. :)

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love very complex, historical romance books that keep me guessing and in which everything adds up in the end.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Considering I just had my first baby this spring, and the three books from my debut series are all coming out before he'll even be one years old—it's been kind of crazy. I love being a mom though! It's being a "mom of a newborn who writes books" that seems a bit challenging.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have a list of names that I really like, ones that I've collected over the years. I pick them up here and there and then try them out until they fit. I’ve actually had a lot of the characters in The Hesitant Heiress since college, because although I wasn't writing back then, I was thinking about the book I wanted to someday write.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Marrying the best guy I've ever met in 2005 AND finally having my son in March 2014.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a cat. I have three cats; Lilly, Pumpkin and Clover, and I love them so much.

What is your favorite food?
Chicken Korma (Indian curry)—I think I could eat it all day, every day.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I couldn't decide whether to write in first person (the way I wanted to!) or third person (the way most people do). Finally, I decided, since I was writing it for myself, it would be written from first person.

Tell us about the featured book.
I wanted to write a novel reminiscent of old classical romantic suspense novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca—but I also wanted to tie in a very relevant spiritual thread. The heroine, Amaryllis Brigham, thinks she knows what she wants—as well as how she will achieve it. But as circumstances beyond her control keep her from her goals, she finds that accomplishing her dreams of founding a music academy in Seattle are only secondary to finding the peace she desperately wants pertaining to the events leading to her mother's death eleven years before.

{The blurb from GoodReads:}

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own … and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

Please give us the first page of the book.
February 16, 1890
Boston, Massachusetts
“Miss Brigham, may I have a word with you?” Professor Silvious strolled down the aisle toward the stage of The Boston Conservatory of Music’s auditorium.

I’d just finished playing Chopin’s Raindrop, a favorite of mine. I’d long been in the habit of taking every chance I could get to play the grand piano at the center of the stage in the auditorium, but I never could rid myself of the nerves that doing so created in the pit of my stomach.

“Yes, sir.”

Professor Silvious always had a frown on his face, ever since the moment I’d met him over three years before, so it didn’t surprise me to see it there now.

He stopped short, evidently deciding that the central aisle of the empty auditorium was as good a place as any to tell me what was on his mind.

“Miss Brigham, I received a letter today concerning you.” The tone of his voice was sharp, as if I’d somehow offended him by forcing him to receive said letter. He stood stoically, both hands behind his back, as I walked the remainder of the way to stand before him.

“Was it from my Aunt Claudine?” I could not imagine who else would have bothered. She was the only one who wrote me anymore, the only person who seemed to care I even existed. My cousin Lawry had been a faithful correspondent for a few years, but after his graduation from Dartmouth, his letters had stopped.

“No, it was not from your Aunt Claudine. If you indeed have an Aunt Claudine, that is.”

“Claudine Aberna—”

“Yes, I know who Claudine Abernathy is, Miss Brigham—it’s her connection to you I highly doubt. And the letters you say you’ve received from her while she’s been conveniently out of the country these last three years.”

“I have every one of them, if you’d like to see them.” I’d saved them all, rolled up and tied together with a black ribbon, hidden in my hollowed-out version of Great Expectations.

“This letter is the only one I need to see, Miss Brigham. And from what it tells me, you are not the kind of young woman we at The Boston Conservatory wish to be affiliated with…no matter your talent.”

I swallowed hard. “Whoever sent the letter is obviously lying.” It was unheard of to speak back to a professor in such a manner, but who else would defend me if I did not defend myself? There was no one.

“There’s no contest when it comes to my judging the truth of this letter. You are a young woman with an unknown past, no relatives, and now a very trustworthy account from Bram Everstone against you.”

It took only a moment to understand what was happening. The professor would, because of some slanderous letter, believe the worst of me.

Me—Amaryllis Brigham, whose most fervent desire was to be good.

“I am the epitome of self-control and perseverance, Professor Silvious. There can be no truth—”

“So says you. But we know absolutely nothing of your life before the age of fourteen. You seem to have appeared out of the woodwork, which is where you will return. We cannot have someone of your ilk contaminating the good standing of our institution.”

“You mean—”

“I mean, Miss Brigham, from this moment on, consider yourself expelled from The Boston Conservatory without references.”

“But I—”

“It matters very little what you think or what you say. The decision is final.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Book Review Blog: 
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst

Thank you, Dawn, for sharing your debut novel with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Hesitant Heiress  -
Hesitant Heiress (The Everstone Chronicles) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you for featuring my debut novel today, Lena! It was so much fun, and I look forward to getting to know your blog readers! :D

Sierra Faith said...


Rebecca said...

This is definitely on my TBR list.

Dawn Crandall said...

Welcome, Diana, Sierra and Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by to enter into the giveaway! :) I hope you all get a chance to read it! I had a super fun time writing it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! I've always loves books like the Brontë sisters' work and Jane Austen and love historical fiction.
J.C. -Indiana-

Shannah McClamrock said...

I am so looking foreward to reading this book. I'd love to win!

Shannah McClamrock, NC

Dawn Crandall said...

Welcome, JC and Shannah! This is fun finding out where everyone is from! And so many from my home state of Indiana so far! :)

KayM said...

Oh my goodness. How horrible! This sounds like a very intriguing story.

Melissa Jagears said...

Ha! Newborn mommy writer is Insane! Add Homeschooling to that. *Keel over* "Die*

Signed, dieing in KS....:)

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Kay! Yes! Making terrible, horrible things happen to our heroines and heroes is a Writer's favorite thing to do!! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Melissa! Yes, I am totally is awe of you!! There is NO WAY I would be able to write, homeschool AND take care of a baby!! Just writing and launching a book series would be nice! :D

Patty said...

I feel for Amaryllis from just this brief excerpt. I look forward to following her journey.

Patty in SC

Heidi Robbins said...

I've been following her blog tour and am really looking forward to starting this series! Thanks for the giveaway!

Heidi, CA

Dawn Crandall said...

Hello Patty! Thanks for stopping by! I'm super excited about Lena sharing that first scene with her readers!

Thanks for following, Heidi!

And I MUST rectify what I said earlier to Melissa! I meant writing and launching a debut book series... with a baby... would be nice! I love my Rhett!! I would trade all this for him if I had to!! :)

Amy C said...

Thank you so much for the lovely interview with Dawn. I love the cover of her debut and it sounds really good.
Amy C

Mary Preston said...

A fun sabotage story with the baggage.

THE HESITANT HEIRESS sounds marvellous.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

161Would love to win.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Lisa Stifler said...

Hi dawn, It's nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing about your new book. I look forward to reading it. The cover is lovely. Thank you for this chance to win.~Blessings~ I live in Virginia.

Vera Godley said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Congratulations on a debut novel.

North Carolina

Holly I. said...

Sounds very intriguing! I too love the Bronte Sisters and Jane Austen. I also have a wife timeline in the Historical Fiction that I love.
Congrats on your first novel, Dawn, it sounds like a winner. Will definitely add this to my TBR list. :)
~Holly in Morehead, KY

Holly I. said...

LOL, my first comment should say "wide" timeline. :)

Britney Adams said...

I loved getting to know Dawn and look forward to reading her novels! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!!

Britney Adams, TX

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Amy C! Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaways! :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping, Mary P! Yes, the sabotage... it was actually done out of pure curiosity, but by the end of the weekend, I pretty much knew he was the one. :) And he insists that he would have eventually made a move without my "encouragement"--and I'm sure he would have. He'd never asked a girl out before, and I was the one he was set on. :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Cindy! I would love you to win as well! And yay! Another Hoosier!!! :D I hope you enjoy the book when you get a chance to read it! :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Hello Lisa S! Thank you for stopping to read my interview and about my debut novel! I cannot wait to find out who wins the eBook! I have so much fun sending them out to the winners!!! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Vera G! And thanks for stopping by! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Holly! Thanks for stopping by! I didn't read Jane Eyre until after I'd graduated from college--and then I couldn't believe I had taken so long!

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Britney! Thanks for stopping by and entering the contests! :)

sm said...

Love to read this book of historical fiction. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amada Chavez said...

This has jumped to the top of my MUST READ list!!! I thought the description was great, and then when I read the interview I just LOVED your answers Dawn!!!! Yup must read and review this one! ;)

Amada (pronounced:, NM

aerykah said...

This sounds like a really good book! I would love to read it! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

~Aerykah in Oklahoma

kam110476 said...

Hi Dawn & Lena! I've been reading about The Hesitant Heiress for a few weeks now and can't wait to get my hands on this whole series! Thanks so much for a chance to win a copy of THH!
Kristen in OK

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Sharon! I hope you enjoy THH when you get a chance to read it! :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Hello Amada!! I'm so happy you're so excited about my debut--and my interview! Thanks for stopping! I hope you enjoy! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi again, Aerykah!! I really like your name!! Thanks for stopping to enter the giveaways again! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Kristen! Thanks for stopping by and entering the contests!!! I love sending out the prizes!! I just sent the weekly prizes for week one and two today! :) So exciting!!! :D

R Merr said...

I live in Maine so I love the parts of this book that are set in Maine. It's a beautiful state :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Dawn.This sounds like a WOW book as our debut. What a horrible thing to be said to an unexpecting person. I'm sure he will have to eat his words, tho he will probably have some excuse instead of just saying he was wrong. I would really, really love to win your new book. Thanks for the give-away. Lena, thanks for introducing Dawn.
Maxie , from Texas.

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping by, Maxie! :)

Liz R said...

Really does sound like a good read! It's on my TBR list!

Liz R in Alabama

Merry said...

The Hesitant Heiress sounds like it has that Gothic feel of Jane Eyre. Please add me!
Merry in MN

Merry said...

I love historical romance and The Hesitant Heiress sounds so interesting with a musical theme woven in. Please add me!
Merry in MN