Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One of My Friends is a Published Writer!!

By K. L. Bridgewater

I know the title is funny, but this is a review of my fellow Hoosier writer and friend, Dawn Crandall, and her first book, The Hesitant Heiress. I received an Advanced Reader’s copy from Dawn to read her book and talk about her book on this blog and write an honest review on Amazon or Good reads.  Of course, when she asked, I felt flattered. I have only been asked by one other writer, Melissa Tagg, to review her latest book, Here To Stay before it released.

The Hesitant Heiress (The Everstone Chronicles, #1)On August 1st, Crandall’s first book in the Everstone Chronicles, The Hesitant Heiress, was published by Whitaker House. Crandall's POV (Point of View) is different than majority of romance books. She writes in first person, so the reader feels like he or she is actually in the skin of Amaryllis Brigham as she explores 1890's Boston.

Amaryllis Brigham, an early twenties woman, during the Gilded Age learned she is an heir to a fortune, but she can only have access to the money once she marries. After being expelled from Boston Conservatory of Music on the rumors of a false letter, she moves in with her aunt, where she is introduced to the wealthy of the community.

Nathan Everstone, returns to Boston with Amaryllis’s cousin, who she actually has fond memories of from when they were children. Vowing to herself not to marry for the sake of earning the money coming her way, Amaryllis promises to return to her family home in Washington . . . without a husband or the money.

But Nathan has changed a lot and appears to be just the type of guy that Amaryllis can see herself falling in love with. Of course, the story is riddled with complications and trouble for the emotions between Nathan and Amaryllis. Past lovers. Jealousy. The person controlling the aspect in her life.  

The Bound Heart (The Everstone Chronicles, #2)With a historical surroundings of the Gilded Age, I enjoyed exploring the lives of the rich and famous from the era of the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers. The story showed trips to the countryside for the young people while they partied and made each other jealous. Emotions ran wild between the characters in the plot.

While I truly became immersed in the relationship between Amaryllis and Nathan, I had only one issue with the plot. The problem was the whole scene with the person controlling Amaryllis past. Someone wrote a letter to the Boston Conservatory of Music, unjustly expelling her from the music program. Toward the end of the book, we find out who the person is and his reasons for wanting to ruin Amaryllis’s life. Most of the story didn’t mention anything about this person or the role he played in the story. As an avid reader of suspense, there is usually a trail of incidents that suggest something sinister is going to happen, but this plot never mentioned an outside source wanting to harm Amaryllis and destroy her future.

The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles, #3)If you are a fan of Jane Austen’s writing with character driven plots where the entire story focuses on the emotions and lives of the characters, then this is the book for you. The characters drive the whole story. Personally, I enjoyed The Hesitant Heiress and wondered if Nathan and Amaryllis actually will find love in each other and earn her inheritance. The character of Amaryllis were relatable and interesting. The rest of the characters stood out, not being cardboard cut-outs to color the backdrop. Faith and drama fill the pages with purpose and deepened the personality of the characters.

  There are two future releases in the Everstone chronicles. The second book, The Bound Heart, releases in November 2014, and The Captive Impostor releases in February 2015.

Dawn Crandall writes long inspirational historical romantic suspense from first person point of view. She has a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University and lives in northeast Indiana with her ever-supportive husband, her three cats [Lilly, Pumpkin and Clover] and their newest addition, a little baby boy. Member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since July 2011. Secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter, and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She loves to connect with her readers and you can follow her at apassionforpages.blogspot.com, dawncrandall.blogspot.com, her Facebook account (www.facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst ), or see her Pinterest board (http://www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst/novel-1-the-hesitant-heiress-by-dawn-crandall-book/ ).
Author Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall is giving away prizes with her new book at the end of every week and a grand prize at the end of her blog tour at the end of August. All you have to do is answer the posted question at the end of my blog with your e-mail address, which will enter you into the drawing each 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). Here is the prizes:

 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.

Here is also the link on Dawn Crandall's blog, which lists all the blogs that are participating in The Hesitant Heiress blog tour. Leave a comment on their blogs to have more chances to win!!!

Here is the question to be entered in the drawing:

What do you like most about Christian romance and historical novels?

Don't forget to leave your email address to be included in the drawing.


  1. I like Christian romance novels because the characters turn to God for their salvation, guidance, refuge, and their needs. The romance has a moral base that keeps the characters from crossing the line and makes them stay within the boundaries that God has set in place. Some of them don't make the right choices, but they realize it's wrong. These characters have a conscience and listen to it. I read a secular, clean novel several months ago. It was very well-written and clean, but left one without hope. The heroine struggled with verbal abuse from her family, along with a desire to be loved. The book had a great hero, but I still felt empty at the end. I kept thinking if only someone would introduce this girl to Jesus.

    Historical novels are neat because (if they are well-researched) one can get a glimpse into what life was like in another time period. We will never have that experience in our real life, but we can get a good understanding of times past by reading these kind of books.


    1. Thanks Sylvia for the kind words. I enjoy characters who find redemption at the end of a novel and realize their need for Jesus.
      I also enjoy historical novels to experience another time period. I love Sarah Sundin and Julie Lessman's books.

    2. Thanks for stopping by and entering the contests, Sylvia! That;s why I like to write historicals too. I love "being there." :)

  2. For me, it's nice to know that no matter what circumstances might be, there is still hope to be found in the Lord. With the romance aspect, there can still be passion and attraction, without it being cheapened by gratuitous scenes and details that simply aren't needed. Historicals transport me back to another time & place, sometimes a simpler time that I occasionally yearn for but can only experience through story. And if I can learn some new facts, all the better!

    Thank you for the chance to win! I'm really looking forward to reading Dawn's books!


    1. Thanks Beth. Dawn does a good job at transporting her readers to the 1890's Boston. I, also, enjoy reading books without gratuitous scenes and cuss words. I wish secular writers would understand you don't have to have those to write a good book.

    2. Hi Beth! Thanks for commenting and entering the contests again! :)

  3. Thanks for the review, Kelly! I know you're a different kind of suspense writer than I am. I'm not really one at all, it's only that since the books are written from first person pov the heroine needs to discover the truth of certain situations as she goes through the book. If she (being the only pov) knew who the "bad guy" was throughout the book there wouldn't have been much of the kind of suspense I was going for in the story. :D

    1. Thanks, Dawn! I truly enjoyed your book and will still recommend it to my friends.

  4. What I like most is that they are clean and most of them have a spiritual message that they convey. I like to learn something worthwhile as well as be entertained. The Hesitant Heiress fulfilled both of those! Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. I love that they are clean, share my values, and have a happy ending! I know that not all may fit that criteria, but more so than any other genre :) For the most part I feel uplifted when I have finished the book.

    Looking forward to reading your series! I love the covers!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi! I love the happy endings the BEST!!! But aren't they so much better when you cannot see HOW ON EARTH it's going to work out to be happy... and THEN it is??? Those are my favorite! Julie Lessman did an AMAZING job at that with A Heart Revealed!

  6. I like being able to experience a time in history that I wouldn't be able to see otherwise (I'm still waiting on the Doctor to show up with the Tardis and let me do some space/time exploration!)