“The Hesitant Heiress” Blog Tour: REVIEW + Interview & Giveaways

I’m so happy to be participating in author Dawn Crandall’s blog tour for her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress (The first in “The Everstone Chronicles” series)! I’m posting a review, an interview with Dawn, and giveaway information today. Dawn has provided ONE ebook copy of The Hesitant Heiress she’s giving away to one of my visitors, in addition to the weekly and grand prize associated with the tour (more on that in a bit). Dawn’s having a 6 week long Blog Tour, with many giveaways and extras (see the complete schedule here).CAMDEN ENDORSEMENT

SynopsisAfter 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.

My thoughts: I loved the mystery and suspense of this story! Dawn has penned a very intriguing historical romance, skillfully maintaining suspense through the whole story. Throughout it, you’re given tidbits of Amaryllis’s history that have shaped her character.  Also, Dawn keeps you guessing about the romance – will Amaryllis end up with Nathan, the man she’s falling in love with, or with another friend who would make a most convenient match?

Amaryllis is a complex character, very independent and intelligent. She is trying to find her way in a society too stuffy for her, yet not willing to sacrifice her own happiness for money. She feels as though she’s not had any control over some of her past life events, and this has borne a deep longing for consistency in her life. I enjoyed the fact that she wants to use her God-given musical talents to help others.

I thought the cast of characters was reminiscent of an Austen story, with several friends, family, and acquaintances having an active role in Amaryllis’s story. This was a nice element, because in some stories the cast can be small and restrained, when in reality, some of us have many people directly involved with our daily lives.

I also enjoyed the late 1800’s New England setting of Boston and coastal Maine, complete with elaborate mansions, parties, and visits to the ocean.

Faith in God was a prominent feature of the story, and the characters learned and grew as a result of God’s leading. One thing in particular I noticed was the theme of love – God’s love is given to us freely, even when we don’t deserve it or feel undeserving ourselves. We sometimes find God’s love in unexpected places, like in a new friendship, the support of our family, or in romantic love.

Guess what??? You can click the picture below to read the first chapter of The Hesitant Heiress for free!FREE CHAPTER ONE


What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book! It was always one of those things that my heart thrilled at the thought of! I wanted to tell a captivating story about a heroine who struggled through feelings of not being good enough. I guess I was inspired by my own life, because I often struggle with that myself. What I wanted most of all, through the process of writing the book, was to have fun.

What spiritual message or theme do you want to communicate to readers with this story?IMG_3368 (683x1024)

That God does indeed know what He’s doing, and that He even works through our fumbling about as we’re trying to make sense of things.

What was most challenging about writing a story set in this time period?

Honestly, I didn’t feel like there was much of a challenge in writing a story set in 1890! I live history so much–I just wanted to be there, sort of like in the movie “Somewhere in Time”… (that probably dates me, but oh well!). However, when I tried my hand at writing a contemporary romance (from first person, of course), that is when I realized how much more difficult it is to write historicals! Writing a story set in the time in which I live was so much easier!! But I won’t stop writing historicals. I just seem to have more in common with characters from a hundred years ago compared to characters based in today’s world.

Just for fun:

Do you have any hobbies?

My hobby used to be writing. And reading. I guess I’m pretty boring, because those were the two things I liked best before having my son in March! Now it seems my biggest hobby is taking care of him… which I love! He’s such a good baby! God knew I would need a content baby while working at launching this debut series from Whitaker House— all of which will be released before his first birthday!

If you could live in any other time period in history, which would it be and why?

I would totally choose my 1890s. Yes, they are already mine! I’ve been living there for a few years now, actually. 🙂 I’ve had to, to be completely immersed in the world I wrote from. I love the dresses, the buildings, the simplicity, the way people had to interact with each other. Everyone moved in such smaller circles back then–I think I would have fit in rather well.

 Thank you, Dawn, for answering my questions! It’s always so fun to get to know an author better 🙂

Dawn and Rhett{About Dawn Crandall}

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & 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 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.


Facebook: facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst

Book Review Blog: APassionforPages.blogspot.com

GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/dawn_crandall

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst

Email: dawncrandallwritesfirst@gmail.com

Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Dawn-Crandall

Without further ado, to enter ALL GIVEAWAYS associated with this blog tour:

Comment on THIS POST, answering the question “What is your favorite historical era?”, including an email address to contact you. That’s it. You’ll be entered for everything (details below).

The details:

Giveaway on THIS blog:

Dawn has graciously provided an ebook copy of The Hesitant Heiress for me to giveaway to one person who comments on this post {answering the question above, including your email address}. Winner will be contacted by email on August 11.

Blog Tour Giveaway:

Dawn is giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour, and then one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on my post {answering the question above, including your email address} will be entered into the drawing for this week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on Dawn’s author blog (www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com).

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

 Thank you, Dawn [and Whitaker House Books], for providing an ARC for me to review during the blog tour, and for agreeing to the interview!

So, what’s your favorite historical era?  [comment to enter!!!]

39 thoughts on ““The Hesitant Heiress” Blog Tour: REVIEW + Interview & Giveaways

  1. I think I’m fickle with what is my favorite historical time period. For awhile, I would say Civil Wat era, then Revolutionary War era. The last month, has been World War II.
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    • Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by again! I have the same problem when I’ve read a book of a certain era. I love history so much, I’d actually love to experience any kind! Like going to living museums! I love doing that!

    • You sound like me, Amy! There are several historical periods that have been my favorites at one time or another. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Tough one here, but I would definitely say the 1800’s if I can’t pick present day. I have dystonia…so The Lord really blessed me in living in a time where conveniences and modern medicine allow me a better life! God knows what he us doing,huh? Plus in great books like Dawns, I can visit other times and places! 🙂 ewe _ r_merritt( at)yahoo.com

    • Yes, God definitely knows what he’s doing. But it’s fun to visit other times and places through books, too.Thanks for dropping by!

  3. My favorite historical era is probably Regency England. I love reading novels by Jane Austen, some Georgette Heyer, Julie Klassen, Catherine Palmer, Sarah M. Eden, and Julianne Donaldson.

    Dawn, you certainly have a precious baby! You probably get asked this all the time, but are you a fan of Gone With the Wind or do you just like the name Rhett? Is it a family name?

    • GWTW has always been one if my favorite books ever since I was in high school, but I lived that it was an old, traditional and uncommon name. I’ve had a lot of friends who have had babies in the last fifteen years… and I just couldn’t name him something one if them had already used, even if it was friend from college who lives hours away. 🙂 And my husband liked it becuase it’s a strong “man’s man” kind of name. 😀

    • Sylvia, I enjoy the Regency Era, too! You’ve mentioned some great authors. The Hesitant Heiress reminds me of that era, even though it’s a Gilded Age story set in America. Thanks for visiting!

  4. I love the picture of you and your new baby! He’s so handsome 🙂 My favorite era to read about is the Old West since I’m fascinated by pioneers and cowboys. I attribute it to Little House on the Prairie and rodeos 🙂

    • Hi Heidi! I love that era, too! I think I could have lived in the west on a horse ranch. My mom read the Little House books to me before I could read well. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I never read The Little House on the Prairie books, but I was obsessed with watching it every day after school when I was little! And I do love a good western–even contemporary ones like the Montana series Denise Hunter did a few years back. I actually took my Honeymoon to the “Old West”–we stayed at a hotel in Durango, CO called the Strater Hotel, which was built in the 1880s, and I think has been owned by the same family ever since. We stayed in the room next to the large room Louis Lamour lived in for a number of years while he wrote some of his westerns. I’m sure it was inspiring!! I loved that hotel, and the towns of Durango and the nearby mining town of Silverton! 🙂

    • That’s definitely a variety of eras! You sound like me – I enjoy pretty much any era, from Biblical fiction to Regency to WWII + more! Thanks for commenting!

  6. Congratulations to Janella, the winner of an ebook copy of “The Hesitant Heiress” (provided by Dawn. Thanks, Dawn!!!!). Thank you to everyone who visited and commented to enter. Good luck with the other Blog Tour weekly prize and grand prize!!

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