Welcome back, Dawn. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write historical romantic suspense from the first person point of view of the heroine. They’re set in
New England during the
Gilded Age (1890s), but the characters do travel to other locations as well. I
adore writing my books from the first person point of view of my heroine, and
then introducing her to and convincing her to fall in love the hero, who is
usually the last person she would ever see herself falling in love with.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Definitely last March, the day my son was born.
How has being published changed your life?
I really don’t feel like having my books published has changed my life much, but that might be because I’m so distracted by the baby who takes up so much of my time and attention!
What are you reading right now?
A Lady at Willwgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m still working on the third book in The Everstone Chronicles series, The Captive Imposter, from Whitaker House. After this series in complete, I’m hoping to continue writing stories for a few other characters introduced in this series.
What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to spend a summer in Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island—which is where
How do you choose your settings for each book?
My husband is from
and we go there every summer. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Maine and all of New England
as we would drive through.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Writing books while having a seven-month-old baby around! I keep my notebook near, and also oftentimes write my chapters on my iPhone.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Join ACFW! I would not be published if I did not join ACFW and go to my first national conference where I met my agent.
Tell us about the featured book.
One accidental kiss. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt's world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn't have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.
When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption... and quite possibly the love of her best friend?
Please give us the first page of the book.
June 19, 1885, Mount
Bar Harbor, Maine
“Come on, Meredyth…” Vance Everstone urged with a smile.
“Only if you go first,” I called down as I sat upon a large boulder, positioned higher than his broad six-foot frame.
Vance suddenly seemed so grown up as he gazed at me with that crooked grin. In that moment, I had the first inkling of what it might be like to have Vance Everstone fall in love with me. I had loved him, had waited for him to love me—for years while I’d been at boarding school, and then as I’d suffered through my first season while he’d finished his last year at Harvard.
I wasn’t truly afraid of going into the cave or of anything that might be inside those familiar caverns. They were accessible only during low tide along the coastline of my family’s summer cottage on
Desert Island. However, Vance didn’t know anything about my fears
or the lack thereof. All he knew, as evidenced in his eyes, was that I had
changed in the last year.
And I had changed. I would soon turn nineteen, and I’d finally grown up enough for Vance Everstone to notice me. I was finally more than just my brothers’ little sister.
We’d known each other since the day I was born. Every summer, our families would sail from
Boston to Bar Harbor to enjoy the cooler weather. And for as long
as I could remember, the boys had ruled the summers: the three Everstone
brothers, my three older brothers, and Lawry Hampton, whose family lived in the
house between the Everstones and the Summercourts.
This left me with only Estella Everstone, who had just turned fifteen, and Ainsley Hampton, who was only twelve. It was apparent, at least to Vance, why I would want to seek out his company that day. He was the most intriguing person in the whole bunch, and he knew it well.
Vance’s only response to my declaration was a hooded look, added to the assertive gaze he’d already been giving me. I knew he could see my wet and sandy bare feet, as well as my ankles. The very same ankles he’d seen above those bare feet my entire life.
Instead of tucking my feet beneath my petticoats, I lifted them an inch higher. I extended my right foot, moving it this way and that, and laughed. “What dirty feet I have!”
He took a step closer to the high rock I sat upon and grabbed my foot, gently brushing off the sand. Then he did the same for my left.
The touch of his hands on my skin made me uncomfortable, but instead of shying away from the feeling, I wanted more. It became almost addictive.
When he finished brushing off the caked-on sand, he placed his hands firmly upon my ankles and positioned my feet against his chest, particles of sand getting all over his white shirt. He stood there, holding my ankles, staring at me with a new look in his eyes. One I’d never seen before.
I didn’t know what it meant, but I wanted to find out.
He suddenly let go of my ankles and stepped back. I wasn’t prepared for this, and I slid down the gently sloped rock, landing upon my feet directly before him.
His deep brown eyes took me in, and he repeated his question: “I dare you to go into the cave, all the way to the back—where it’s deepest and darkest.”
It was the same request, the same exact phrase we’d always taunted each other with, ever since we were children, playing together on those very rocks. However, with no one else present, it sounded like a completely different kind of question.
With a brand-new, soaring self-confidence, I stood my ground. “I’m not going in there alone.”
It took him a few seconds of deliberating to decide whether to remain standing only inches from me or to do as I’d requested.
“Mere.” He almost choked on my name. He surprised me by taking my hand and leading me into the familiar crevice of the tall, mountainous rocks. It really wasn’t that dark in the caves during the morning hours, and so we could see as we followed the rough, uneven floor of the cave until it narrowed—and that was where we stopped.
“When did you get so beautiful?” In the time it had taken for him to lead me to this place, my confidence had doubled, if not tripled. I loved the way I felt with his eyes on me.
Knowing that I’d produced that look created a new power within that I hadn’t known I possessed until that moment. I stepped closer, testing it.
“I must say, this old dress makes you appear rather…uncivilized.” Vance fingered the tattered ruffles of my torn-up, ratty dress and then my collarbone just above them. Emboldened, I took his other hand and placed it at my waist. Since I wore a corset under my dress, I really didn’t think I would be that affected by this touch—but that was before both his hands were sliding up and down the material of the bodice.
Watching Vance’s face as he apparently enjoyed himself pushed my new feelings along and made me wonder, if he liked touching my feet and my waist, what else would he enjoy?
I soon found out. His fingers grazed my arms, traveling upward, past my collarbone again, then tunneled through my hair at the back of my neck, setting my long tresses free.
“Vance.” His name upon my lips darkened the desire on his face. I had yet to touch him after years of wanting to, and I was deliriously happy to find I could now make him want me.
My hands were behind me, pressed against the rough wall, out of the way. For all my bold thoughts, I didn’t know if he would welcome my doing the same things to him…or if I dared. This was all too new, and while he was enjoying my newfound beauty, which I had presented to him willingly, I wasn’t sure if I had the courage to enjoy him in the same ways.
It was simply enough to enjoy him with my eyes.
“Meredyth, where are your hands?” he breathed.
I pulled them out from behind me, palms up, between us, splaying my fingers for him to see.
“What are you doing with them?”
“I noticed,” he said with a smile. He took hold of them and caressed my palms with his lips, then moved on to my wrists, which made my blood boil.
Without another thought, I put my arms around his neck, drew his face to mine, and kissed his lips. It was a tentative, almost innocent, first kiss, but when I realized how ardently he kissed me back, my boldness grew once again. I pressed myself to him, clutching his neck. I let him delve deeper and deeper into that kiss until it was all I knew.
Finally, Vance Everstone wanted me. Surely, he loved me.
I sank into the kiss, relishing the power of the emotions I’d evoked from him, kissing him back with equal desire. He pressed me against the hard, jagged wall. The force of the rocks in my back, and his groping hands as he grabbed at my skirts, brought me to my senses.
“Vance.” I pushed at him with my fists.
His ragged breath passed my ear as he kissed my neck, not slowing in his exploration of my skin.
The balance of control had suddenly shifted, and my confidence turned to distress.
I tried to break free from his kiss, from his ever-searching grasps of my skirt. “Vance!”
He didn’t listen; he only continued to kiss me more urgently. I didn’t know how to stop him. I’d set this in motion without having the power to stop it. Shame replaced my earlier courage as the course of my actions became all too clear. I’d led him to that cave—to me—never knowing where my actions were headed.
Until it was too late.
Quite a dilemma. How can readers find you on the Internet?Facebook: facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst
Book Review Blog: www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst / www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst
Author Website: www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com
Thank you, Dawn, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Bound Heart, The (The Everstone Chronicles)
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 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: