Coming Soon to the Pen, Please Welcome Debut Historical Author Dawn Crandall!

Genres: Christian Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

*Side note: Today my newborn son is just one week old, more blog posts and catch up to come in the future! However, I had a good two weeks or so of early and prodromal labor and spent that time reading, reading, reading. The first book I read at the beginning of that was The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall. While I have not yet reviewed it, review to come – never fear!, I loved it and cannot wait to read the rest of the series/trilogy. I read it less than 24 hours and these days for me that is absolutely saying something! Now, let’s meet Dawn… Oh, and btw I’m not the only one with a newborn!

Dawn and Rhett

• What made you interested in writing Christian Historical Fiction?

I’ve been in love with history for as long as I can remember. My favorite places to visit as a child were always places like Conner Prairie in Indiana or Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. However, when I decided to choose The Gilded Age as the setting for my books, it had a lot to do the dresses of the time period, the neighborhood of Back Bay in Boston, and the way the elitists of the time would flock to the coastal towns of New England for the summers.


• Are there any other Christian Historical Fiction authors that you think your readers would enjoy?

Sarah Ladd, Jody Hedlund, Elizabeth Camden, Julie Lessman, Julie Klassen, Lori Benton, Kate Breslin, Kristy Cambron all have written the kinds of books I can get lost in… which is hard to do when you’re an author and writing books is your job.


• Are there bits and pieces that were cut in editing that you might ever share with your readers?


Actually, there wasn’t much changed content-wise when my editor at Whitaker House did their edits. However, I did originally have a prologue at the beginning of The Hesitant Heiress. I took it off when I first sent my partial book proposal to my agent because I wanted to send to the end of chapter three. Because my agent basically signed me less than two weeks after I sent her the proposal it never really came up. I figured it wasn’t needed after all, and that I’d written it mostly for myself. I’m not sure how I would share it…it’s about 4,000 words!!!

• What is your favorite scene from The Hesitant Heiress?


A lot of my favorite scenes are the ones involving the hero, Nathan Everstone, but if I had to choose only one, I would choose the scene that makes up Chapter 19.


• How would you relate your writing experience and research to some Creative Madness?


I definitely think it’s a creative madness! I have ADD… I have a difficult time doing anything in any kind of orderly fashion, so I’m still pretty amazed that my agent, publisher, friends and readers have come to the conclusion that I am able to write books that are worthwhile! I can’t organize ANYTHING, but I can tell a story with 90,000 words? Okay. Every time I start a new book, I still don’t think it’s possible.


• What is something that you have never told anyone in an author interview?


That my newborn son’s name is Rhett. I usually just say I had a baby in March, and that it was a boy. 🙂

aD bOX 2
• Please, please tell us about your next planned project…

My debut series from Whitaker House Books consists of three books, all three of which were mostly finished when I signed my book contract. The second one in the series, The Bound Heart, comes out in November, and the third, The Captive Imposter, releases in February 2015.


BoundHeart CaptiveImposter

{About The Hesitant Heiress}

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.

As a writer, I’m sure your reading time might be limited from what it once was, but please share what is your favorite book you’ve read of all time?


I have soooo many, but I always seem to have Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen at the very top of that list. 🙂
– Favorite book recently? Burning Sky by Lori Benton
– What are you reading right now? Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

What was the first book you really remember reading that stuck with you and gave you a love for books?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier… I didn’t know a thing about it, but in high school we were supposed to read for 20 minutes before school. So I went to the library in search of something better than the John Grisham books filling the shelf in my homeroom. I remember reading that first line in first person and being hooked for life… “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”


Can you share some of the exciting things God is doing in your life right now?


Last summer, after coming to terms over the years with the fact that I wasn’t able to get pregnant… I surprisingly did just that!!! I actually started writing this series in 2010 when I realized the family I’d always counted on having wasn’t happening. Now I have a historical series being published—which has always been a long-buried dream of mine over the years. Not that I thought it would ever EVER happen. My primary goal in writing my first book, (The Hesitant Heiress) was to have fun. So I did. The only reason it ever had a chance at publication was because my husband never stopped believing in me. So now I have my Little Rhett as well as all three of my books set to be released within the year of his birth. Not quite how anyone I know would plan to do things… but obviously, just how God wanted it to happen all along.


Upon writing your debut novel The Hesitant Heiress, did you know that you would be continuing the series in The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter?


With the permission of my agent, I kept writing my series instead of moving on to writing other “firsts in a series” to shop around to publishers. I only had the first book (mostly) finished when I signed with my agent in 2011, but I’d already begun the second. When that second was finished, my first book proposal had been on submission for over a year, but my agent was confident it would sell, and so had me write the third book as well.


Do you have a personal or author blog? What topics do you post about most?


I started out blogging in 2011 writing book reviews. I still have the blog, but I don’t read nearly as much as I used to because I have a newborn. 🙂


I have read different places about the dialogue of choosing this title, could tell us a little more about that? Is the finished title your working title as well?


For years I’ve been calling my books simply by the first names of the heroines: Amaryllis Brigham, Meredyth Summercourt and Estella Everstone, kind of like Jane Eyre since they are all written from first person point of view in much the same way. When Whitaker House decided to publish them, they asked me to think up a little more suspenseful titles, and they picked the ones they liked best. I really wanted to call Amaryllis’ book “The Reluctant Heiress,” but I guess that title is used a lot. So they switched it to The Hesitant Heiress, which I love just as much.


Watching publishing over the last few years I noticed a trend in topics and time periods that often mesh or are related. If you could write any and all books that you desired with no limits, who would your characters be and where would they be set?


I think I would continue writing more books in The Everstone Chronicles series. There are so many interesting characters introduced to the readers along the way throughout this series, characters that have so much going on in the sidelines, they just seem to be begging to have a book written about them! I know you don’t know them yet, but the ones I’m really excited to someday write are about Vance Everstone, Nicholette Fairbanks and Daphne Hampton.


For those of us, who cannot wait for more from Dawn Crandall, please tell us more about The Bound Heart


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 of deceit 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?


In my family we love books and we’re just starting on a homeschool adventure with my preschooler. What was your school like? What were you like in school?


I went to public school in a small town in Northeastern Indiana. And I hated school 99% of the time. I had ADD but no one knew about that stuff back then, they simply help me back in third grade because I wasn’t paying attention. The only time I ever liked school was when it was time to write or draw. I excelled at those things and nearly flunked everything else. When I was seventeen I became a Christian, started attending a youth group (which was the first time I’d ever really done anything social apart from attending public school), and learned about ADD. So, for my junior and senior years of high school, I actually made good grades, which is the only way I ever got into college!

three photo mug

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 published, he let her quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writingThe 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 premarriage 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.

Giveaway option – a digital edition of the new release, The Hesitant Heiress

Each of the blog readers who comments on tour posts (including their email address} will be entered into the drawing each week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on my author blog ( You can have them answer a question or something if you’d like. That’s always fun. 🙂

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.

Links to share:
– website –
– twitter – @dawnwritesfirst
– facebook –
– pinterest – /dawnwritesfirst
– blog –
– GoodReads –




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(No spam, I promise. Just creative madness ramblings, reviews and life-stories, with quilting and cross stitch inspiration in between!)

About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her eight-year-old AppleBlossom, three-year-old Almond Blossom (the Rascal boy!), six-year-old OrangeBlossom (the Princess), and newborn Mermaid Warrior in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.


  1. Anchor Whitaker

    Lovely, just lovely!

  2. I’m looking forward to reading this! Thanks for the giveaway and for the very interesting post. Danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

  3. I am biased, I know, but this is an amazing debut and wonderful series! Being Dawn’s crit partner I’ve had to sneak peek:) And seeing how I write and read mainly third person contemporary, it blew me away how much I loved these stories! So excited to watch them make the way into readers’ hands!

  4. Anna Weaver Hurtt

    Please drop my name in the giveaway! writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

  5. Wonderful interview, Ladies! Congrats to you both on your new babies 🙂

  6. Lovely interview…you must be so excited to have a precious little one.We couldn’t so we adopted our miracle girl! Best wishes on this book…a great read! Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. I guess I’ll ask the question…. Sometimes I refer to my having ADD as my superpower. What about you could be considered a superpower?

    • I am so happy about your release of this book and I think it’s such an unexpected blessing that your son was born the year you debuted as a novelist. I am also very happy that books 2 and 3 are already in the works to being published. Yay!!!! God is good and he has blessed all of us lovers of books and Christian Fiction with an amazing new author!

    • Lane Hill House

      so thankful to have this gift from God
      Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  8. wonderful! My husband and I also had thought we might not become parents and now we are parents to 2 beautiful girls! We are so blessed, and God has been so good to us!

  9. So glad you had your precious little one and had your book published. I couldn’t give birth so we adopted our miracle daughter. Best wishes on being a new mommy and writer. Ewe_r_merritt(at) yahoo(dot)com

  10. Looks like a must read.

  11. Robin and Tom Rossmanith

    Congrats Dawn! This book and your adventure to becoming an author and mom sounds amazing!

  12. I would say my stubbornness. The Lord has allowed me to channel it to be a huge help in keeping going when my Dystonia is determined to keep me down! 🙂

  13. Oooh! I would love to read these books.

    Congrats on the babies… I have 3 boys, no longer babies.:/ Enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂

    • Thanks, Tam631! We just need an email address to enter you into the contest in case we need to contact you about a win! I hope you enjoy them!

  14. Rhonda Gayle Nash-Hall

    lovely interview and adorable little Rhett! I love the mugs of the book covers too!!!! Rhonda

  15. I just love those covers–gorgeous! And the story sounds fantastic, too. 🙂 Seriously, thanks for the interview and for the giveaway; I’m really looking forward to reading this series! danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

  16. Thanks for stopping by Rhonda! I was having a difficult time seeing all of the comments on here! i’m glad I checked back one more time to see your comment!

  17. Thanks, Bonnie! I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it!

  18. Melissa, Thank you for stopping and sharing! It is so wonderful to have a baby after trying for so long… and actually giving up. He truly is a dream come true. 🙂

  19. Thanks for entering, Kathleen! I can tell that you really want to read this book! I feel honored! 🙂

  20. Thanks for stopping, Anna! I’ve entered you!

  21. Hi Susan! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words… and your awesome friendship!

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