The Hesitant Heiress Paperback Release Tour + more

Have you heard the awesome news? Author Dawn Crandall’s debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress, is the first of her series to release in PAPERBACK! The series is so popular in eBook form, readers and fans are having their request granted this year for the whole series to release in paperback (Yay for me! I’m a huge fan). The first book released on September 8th, and Dawn is celebrating with all sorts of fun giveaways.

In this post, I’m sharing the exciting release info, an favorite excerpt chosen by Dawn, and the giveaway info.

If you missed them, see my review of The Hesitant Heiress  and an interview with Dawn here, and my post about the whole series here. The Hesitant Heiress is the 2015 winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, a 2013 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards, and a 2015 finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards.

HesitantHeiressA note from Whitaker House publishers: The three books consisting of Crandall’s award winning eBook series written from first person point of view officially begin to release in paperback this Fall. Set in 1890s among New England’s upper crust, the series features a host of colorful characters whose adventures intertwine from book to book.

The first in the series, The Hesistant Heiress, will release September 8, 2015, and is filled with suspense and intrigue centered on heroine Amaryllis Brigham who is poised to inherit a fortune—if she marries within a year.

Book 2, the The Bound Heart releases in paperback on October 6, 2015 and Book 3, The Captive Imposter, on November 3, 2015. The first two series books of The Everstone Chronicles were semifinalists and The Captive Imposter a finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Writing Contest for unpublished writers before the manuscripts were contracted through Whitaker House.

These books are definitely going to be on my Christmas list this year! *hint hint*

An Excerpt from Dawn: Now, I get to share an excerpt from The Hesitant Heiress that is one of Dawn’s favorite passages!!! It happens to include my FAVORITE quote, too, about Amaryllis’ piano playing! Enjoy!

From Chapter 19 of The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall~

My heart skipped at the thought of how easy it was for Nathan to win everyone’s favor without trying.

Even mine.

Just as I was about to turn in search of Meredyth, Nathan turned around and looked directly at me, as if he’d been watching for me. He said something quickly to Dr. Wellesley, then stepped down from the stage and started walking up the aisle in my direction.

I turned around and headed up a nearby staircase.

As I hurried through the upper hall, I heard him coming up the stairs two or three steps at a time and knew my flight was pointless. Still, I made it to my favorite music room, my “office,” at the far end of the hall and closed the door behind me, wishing the small rooms had locks on them, or that I knew where Meredyth was hiding.

I sat down at the piano, which almost filled the tiny room, and dove right into playing my favorite part of Chopin’s Raindrop as loudly as I possibly could. I knew Nathan would eventually find me, anyway. I also knew perfectly well the reason I was so afraid of seeing him face-to-face and alone. He had an odd way of always knowing what I was thinking, and I could not allow him to read my heart.

Not considering how I felt about him.

The music room door finally creaked slowly open. He stood, leaning against the doorjamb, watching me, until I came to a good place to stop. “What are you doing here?” I asked, still sitting at the piano, staring at the keys.

“I came to see you.”

He’d barely said a single thing to me in the last few weeks of attending the same social functions, so that was definitely not what I’d expected to hear. I’d actually resigned myself to the belief that the game between us was most definitely over. He’d won, and we both knew it.

“You knew I would be here?” I stood, my fingers nervously fiddling with the keys of the seventh octave, my eyes still glued to the piano.

He moved into the room. “I wanted to tell you that I’ll be traveling to Bangor during the next week or so; my father is selling one of his hotels and wants Will and I to be there. I’ve already told Claudine. Both Lawry and Garrett are coming with me. From what I gather, Claudine’s already preparing to take you up to Maine for the summer, and you’ll likely be there by the time we’re finished taking care of business.”

“Oh, you know all that, do you?” I pretended not to be too interested.

He stepped forward, resting his left hand on the first octave. As he stepped closer, his fingers trailed loudly along the keys until they reached mine. He took hold of my hand and held it between us.

“I’ve noticed for a while now, Amaryllis, that your heightened frustrations can be accurately measured by the passion with which you play the piano. Your piano playing has become alarmingly turbulent as the months have gone by.” He smiled down at me, caressing my palm with his thumb. “Not once have you played anything as calm and relaxing as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata since the night of Claudine’s dinner party back in March.”

“And I suppose you think there’s some lesson for me to learn by such an observation?” I finally allowed my eyes to meet his. My breath caught in my lungs—he stood so stoically, so seriously. Oh, why wouldn’t he simply leave me alone?

“That there is.” He took a step forward, backing me to the window, keeping hold of my hand—as if I truly wanted to get away. “The very same lesson I’ve been trying to get through to you for months now.”

He stood there a moment, staring down at me, before letting go of my hand and reaching into his coat. He produced a small white envelope sealed with a red wax letter E . He held it before my face with two fingers, brushing the edge of it against the bridge of my nose.

I cautiously took it from him.

He leaned in, his eyes clearly focused on my mouth. I held my breath as he bent even closer and whispered next to my ear, “Be prepared, Amaryllis, for those fewer words…since that is what you seem to want so badly.”

I ❤ this book! Doesn’t this make you want to read it NOW!?

The giveaways: FIVE paperback copies in a Rafflecopter giveaway (click to enter), and 5 paperback copies in a Goodreads giveaway (enter below).

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

The Hesitant Heiress

by Dawn Crandall

Giveaway ends September 29, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Good luck with your giveaway entries and thanks for visiting!

“The Captive Imposter” Review + Blog Tour + Q&A

Hey, hey, it’s release day for Dawn Crandall’s book, The Captive Imposter!!! I’m so excited to share my review of it today and participate in her blog tour. Dawn has also answered a few questions of mine for this post! Expect much gushing from me. Dawn is hosting daily and weekly giveaways on her Facebook page for the duration of the tour, from now until her Facebook Party on April 24. For her complete blog tour schedule and to connect with Dawn, visit her website here.

The Captive Imposter Kristy Cambron endorsed

Many of you already know how much I love Dawn’s previous books in “The Everstone Chronicles” series: The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart (this one made it on my list of top books from 2014!). The Captive Imposter is just as awesome, I promise. It FINALLY gives Estella Everstone her own (well-deserved) story time.

Without further ado, here’s a quick synopsis of the book plot from Goodreads: 

Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.

My thoughts on the story:

One of the things Dawn is so skilled in portraying within a story is many secrets. All of her stories thus far have 11062744_10205550334931088_2555500445048911149_oweaved a bit of suspense with the characters’ identities. The danger of some secrets, though, is that they have the potential to hurt loved ones and cause ripple effects if revealed. At the start of Estella’s journey, she is hiding her true identity behind the facade of a lady’s companion, Elle Stoneburner. With subtle hints, though, other secrets surrounding Estella’s circumstances are slowly made known. This includes her family’s past connection to the Blakeleys. I won’t say more than that, but when she is unexpectedly falling in love with Dexter Blakely, her many secrets complicate matters. A lot 🙂

The arc of these characters is broad and pleasant to observe as the reader. Estella changes because of her displaced circumstances — she finds a new freedom of being herself within the secret identity. She also finds a renewed faith in God because of Dexter and his encouraging nature. Dexter, a complex yet straightforward person, is proven humble by some of his experiences with Estella and his family. His character’s strength really anchors his whole family and helps Estella to see what a romantic relationship can be.

There is a bit of a twist to the story that really propels the characters into a pickle. I’ll just say that Dawn knows how to throw out a few surprises!

Dawn has delivered another entertaining, heartfelt, swoony, and faith-filled story. Her characters are likable and witty, and her plot is layered and full of secrets. The setting in the mountains of Maine is picturesque and unique at the same time. I want to visit the fictional Everston resort now!!! (Fun fact: the setting was inspired by a real resort in Maine, the Mount Kineo House. You can see pictures of it on Dawn’s Pinterest Board.)

If you enjoy historical romance, the Gilded Age, suspense, or being challenged in living out your faith in God, I would encourage you read The Captive Imposter!

A HUGE thank-you to Dawn and Whitaker House for the ARC review copy. 

Dawn has graciously answered a few interview questions for this post! Read on for more about The Captive Imposter.

Facebook Party ButtonThere are several mentions of classic literature and its characters in this novel (Austen, Gaskell, Bronte, etc.). Are these some of your favorites? Do you draw any inspiration from them?

Oh yes, classics were my first favorite books! It started with Little Women, Gone With The Wind and Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier), but I then quickly delved into Les Miserables, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre and everything Jane Austen. These are still many of my most favorite books!

One thing I’ve loved about each book in this series is your inclusion of quotes or quips from well-known authors or figures at the beginning of each chapter. How do you discover or gather them? 

I just love tying quotes from the classics to my chapters! It was just one of those things that came to me while I was doing things around my kitchen one day–I came across my coffee mug that says “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)–which I bought while writing The Hesitant Heiress (my debut, book one of The Everstone Chronicles series) because it embodied how Amaryllis Brigham so often felt. That day, I put it at the beginning of the chapter in the middle of the book in which her heart begins seeing things concerning Nathan Everstone in a new way. After that, I went about collecting meaningful quotes for all kinds of themes knowing I’d use them in all of the books I’d end up writing. I’ve always loved quotes that can say so much with so few words. 🙂

I absolutely love your Pinterest inspiration boards for all of your novels! Tell me more about the one for The Captive Imposter.IMG_3368 (683x1024)

I do have it–very randomly–started! I haven’t had much time in the last year (having a baby and three books come out!) to keep up on my Pinterest boards for The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter, but I will definitely get to it once the craziness of The Captive Imposter blog tour is over. They will be just as extensive as The Hesitant Heiress board once I’m finished with them!

I’m thrilled to see that you have a Pinterest board for a future Everstone Chronicles book 4! Can you share any details of its plan?

Yes! I’m not sure of the name yet, but Book 4 is definitely in the works! I really look forward to writing Vance and Violet’s story! It’s not technically part of The Everstone Chronicles, but a new unnamed three-book series about minor characters readers will have met while reading the first series. I’ve never written an “anti-hero” before, but I’m super excited! I have it all planned out–the story will start out at Everston, but will then move back to Boston.
From talking with Dawn, it sounds like Vance might have a chance to play the part of a hero — if he’s up for it. I can’t wait to catch up with these characters in another series!
Thank you so much, Dawn, for taking the time to answer my questions! For more about Dawn and this series, see my initial interview post with her from The Hesitant Heiress blog tour!
What about you? Have you read any of Dawn’s previous books? Are you a fan of the Gilded Age?