Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature- Dawn Crandall

Today I welcome author: 
Dawn Crandall

To win an eBook copy
The Hesitant Heiress

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.
International readers, too!

I have met Dawn through the ACFW loop. Her excitement for this new release is bubbling over and quite contagious. I can't wait to read this story. I asked Dawn to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

The Giver of All Good Things

When I was sixteen, I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. And then I discovered the movie Gone With The Wind… and then the book by Margaret Mitchell. I didn’t know I liked to read until then, but even more than that—I didn’t realize what an amazing thing it could be to write a book. So I told myself I would do just that. I would write a book. Someday.

Well, then I became a Christian and was at the same time diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder. I started taking medication to help (drastically) with my grades, basically became a whole new person to anyone who knew me… and quit thinking so much about books and writing one.

I attended Taylor University, graduated, worked at Barnes & Noble, met my husband at the church we attended, got married and moved to a new city. All the while I took the medication for my ADD because I felt that I associated better with people with it, and I pretty much needed it to work any job.

Then I decided to stop taking the medication in case I was to get pregnant. By this time, my husband had already found out about my desire to write a book and encouraged me from that very day to write it. Could someone with ADD focus enough to write a book? I’m seriously one of those people who have a very difficult time finishing any kind of hobby project. Most things just don’t mean enough to me to keep my attention long enough to complete. But I found that this book writing thing was much different. I found that because writing was my absolute favorite thing to do, I could sit at my laptop all day long and write up the scenes which were so vividly racing through my mind. 

Having ADD basically boils down to having a stream of ideas and hypothetical situations running through my mind at all times. My imagination is often on hyper-drive. Music and photographs often help me as prompts, and sometimes all I need is a word, and a whole scene comes together in my mind. It doesn’t really make sense to me how I’m able to capture 90K words into a Word document and take a reader on a complex emotional journey through the eyes of my heroine. It’s fun! And it’s complicated…. and I love it.

I was sixteen, and not even a Christian yet, when the desire to write a book struck my heart. I was thirty-two when I actually began writing The Hesitant Heiress in 2010. I don’t know why it had to take me so long to get around to it; why I never realized how drastically my creative thinking was hindered by taking the ADD medication. I don’t understand God’s will for my life sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Even while I couldn’t write because of the medication, and while I couldn’t get pregnant for some unknown reason… He was in control, and He was building everything up for a few big surprises.

Kristy Cambron, Sarah Ladd,
Dawn Crandall
In 2011, I joined ACFW and my husband sent me to the national conference. I had two agent appointments and a paid critique meeting. I was about to cancel my agent appointments when I went to my paid critique. I thought my book was dumb, that I was dumb for going to conference… I was completely out of my league… why was I there? I hadn’t even finished my manuscript. I was jumping the gun and had spent way too much money for no reason. But that wasn’t what author Andrea Boeshaar told me. She told me my first chapter was amazing, that the writing was better than a lot of books that were already published…. and she told me to go to my agent appointments.

God knew I needed that! Who wouldn’t love to hear such things? I went to my appointments and received two requests for partial proposals. I didn’t even know what a proposal was, but I found out and made one. I did include a chapter outline though, and I think that helped… because within the week I had a contract for representation from both agents in my email box. I chose Joyce Hart as my agent and went about finishing my novel. All of 2012 went by with my book on submission to a handful of publishers. The second manuscript The Bound Heart, November 2014 for my series became a semi-finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest. 2013 went by as well. I wanted to quit. 

I had a really hard time writing book three The Captive Imposter, February 2015 because my confidence was going down the drain. It must have been a fluke that two incredibly sought after agents had wanted to represent me upon first sight of my first three chapters. It must have been a fluke about the Genesis contest. Book one became a semi-finalist and book three became a finalist in the 2013 Genesis Contest. How much more “half-way there” could I take? 

Well…. about a month later, God taught me a great big lesson. It didn’t have anything to do with a book, writing, or seeing my name in print. It had to do with another dream I’d always had but had given up on. I found out I was pregnant, and suddenly I didn’t care so much about getting my long-sought-after book contract. I still wanted it, of course! But, it wasn’t the only thing I had to think about anymore.

When I signed my book contract with Whitaker House in December 2013, I was six months pregnant. And when my debut novel released this August, my son was 4 months old. It’s crazy how God had it all work out… because I was convinced that having my book-baby published was what I wanted more than anything. And was I wrong. There really is nothing compared to holding my baby boy in my arms and seeing him laugh and smile. Even if this isn’t the timeframe I would have chosen for myself, I trust God knows what He’s doing. He’s blessed me this year… yes, with what seems like a little too much to do… but I’ll take it!

To learn more about Dawn go to these sites:

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.  

You can read the first chapter of The Hesitant Heiress for free. Simply go to this link: First Chapter of The Hesitant Heiress

As part of her book launch, Dawn is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews, book reviews and giveaways. She’s giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour and one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on this blog. Many of the blogger’s posting in the blog tour are also giving away a digital copy of The Hesitant Heiress.

a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

(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.

Future Books by Dawn Crandall

The Bound Heart will release in November, 2014

The Captive Impostor will release February, 2015

To enter the contest for  
Dawn Crandall's eBook: "The Hesitant Heiress"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Open for International and US for eBook winner! 

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Dawn, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

Sometimes we don't see God's plan. He truly is the giver of all good things. What has God blessed you with recently?


Virginia Winfield said...

I want to win. This looks like my kind of book.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Virginia. I'm so glad you came! Yes I agree, Dawn's book looks to be a great read. We have some virtual coffee and tea this morning. It's one of the last days we can sit out on the beach and chat. (I actually leave on a lake). The birds are chirping this morning...probably at my cat.

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping by, Virginia! I do hope you enjoy reading The Hesitant Heiress when you get the chance! :D

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Good morning Mary and Dawn. This interview has been such a blessing to me this morning because in a few hours I will attend the funeral of a dear friend and fellow church member. After a 4 1/2 year fight with cancer, she has finished her race and is enjoying her reward. Sadness, yes, but also great joy that she was ready AND she persevered! God blessed me with her friendship and you have reminded me of this!

As I read of your desire for both a baby and a published book, I also see your perseverance and God's blessings to you. You asked if God had blessed me recently. I have one daughter and she had never planned to have children so I had long given up the dream of being a grandmother. But now, at the age of 63, I have been blessed with a beautiful and perfect blessing~~Isabella Hope will be six months old on August 27th and I have never known more love or joy. I don't know if I will live to see her grown but I pray that I will have more years to love her and help guide her. God has truly blessed me in this season of my life!

Dawn, your little boy is beautiful also and I look forward to reading your books. Thanks to both you and Mary for this interview and giveaway.

Connie Saunders

Mary Vee Writer said...

Sweet Connie. Thank you so much for sharing. My first thoughts go to your first Christmas with a grand baby this year. What a wonderful time of celebration it will be for you.

I am praying for you today. It will be one with wet tissues. God knows your heart and is giving you a hug of tender compassion.

R Merr said...

I never tire of hearing the wonderful story of having your precious baby boy. I'm always amazed, but shouldn't be, how and when God works in our lives. So many precious memories to make in the future as well! God bless! Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com

Patty said...

What has God blessed me with recently? So glad you asked... I know a bit about waiting. At the age of 41 God blessed me with a wonderful fiancee'. Of course I met him when I was 40=) We did give the relationship a little time to develop! I wouldn't say I had given up hope of ever marrying, but I was getting a bit worried.

Congrats on your book release Dawn!


Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome! I'm so glad you joined us today. Not only does God bless in our own lives, but I especially enjoy reading what He does in other people's lives, like Dawn's. God has a way of spreading the joy of the moment that way.
Thanks so much for joining us today!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Congratulations, Patty!! God certainly has blessed you. And, like you say, we never know when the blessings will come, but God does bless His kids. We have a kind and good Father.
Thanks so much for joining us today!!

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Connie! Thanks for stopping by! And thank you for such a wonderful comment. :D

Dawn Crandall said...

I still can't believe I have him some days! He's such a good little boy! :) Thanks for stopping, Rachael! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Yay, Patty! That's so great to hear! I'm glad you stopped by to share! :D

Anonymous said...

Wow that is so truly amazing! I'm glad that God never forsakes us even when at times in our life were tired of waiting or want to give up! So inspirational and I'm glad your book got published because it's awesome! Can't for the rest of the series! :D

Unknown said...

Just out of curiosity, what house was used on the artwork on the front cover of the Hesitant Heiress?

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Laura! I'm so glad you thought The Hesitant Heiress was an awesome read. :) And thanks for stopping again along the blog tour! :D I can't wait to see what you post next week. :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Karen, I actually don't know anything about the details of what the graphic designer at Whitaker House used for the covers. Do you think you recognize it? It would be interesting to know. :) Thanks for stopping! :)

Heidi Reads... said...

It's such a blessing to be able to look back and see things in a different perspective. I feel the same way about adopting our daughters- I never would have planned things this way, but God made the puzzle pieces of our lives fit together so perfectly and better than I could have imagined!

colorvibrant at gmail dot com

Janka H. said...

Thanks for the lovely giveaway!!!

As for the blessings - I feel very blessed with my friends - constantly and again and again. What a source of inspiration, strength and love they are! I am truly thankful.


Dawn Crandall said...

That's the way I like to look at the stories in my books as I write them too. I want my characters, at the end of the book, to see how everything--even things they didn't understand, or would have rather not gone through-- worked out for the best in the end. :) Thanks for stopping again along the blog tour, Heidi! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Good friends are definitely a blessing in the world we live in! Thanks for stopping, Janka! :D

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks so much for joining our chat today. So, you've read the book? Fantastic.
I, too really appreciated Dawn's reminder that God never forsake us. We just never know when something is going to trip us up. Having these words embedded in our minds really helps.
I look forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Karen, We have a mystery! Maybe you do recognize the house. Wouldn't that be amazing??
Thanks so much for joining our chat today. Feel free to grab some virtual sweets before you leave....they are calorie free :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a blessing you are to the daughter you adopted. I have been involved in the foster network and have seen the sadness of those who want to be adopted. Thank you so much for giving a home and love to someone.
I'm so glad you stopped by today and shared with us.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Janka. Friends give us so much. God knows we don't want to be alone, He created us to be with others. Don't you feel a certain craving for conversation at times? Yeah. And then one of your friends "happens" to call or get a hold of you through social media? Too cool for words. God is so good to us.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing.

Janice said...

This was a great interview! Thank you for the chance to win the book.

Blessings, Janice

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi! You were able to comment tonight. That's great. Sorry about the problems the other day. :)

Mary Preston said...

A fabulous post thank you & all of the books look amazing.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Mary. You were up early this morning. Good thing I had the virtual coffee going. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with Dawn and me. Have a lovely day.

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Janice! Thanks for stopping! I'm glad you enjoyed the post! :D

Anonymous said...

What a great interview! I would love to read these books!! Donna d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

What a great look into your writing journey, Dawn! I love hearing stories of triumph over difficulties and yours is a great one. God is good and I'm so glad you've been blessed with 2 births! (child and book!) Sounds like a GREAT read!!! sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Donna! So nice to see you. Thanks so much for stopping by this evening. We have virtual death by chocolate cake...yum. Don't forget your piece. We have had such fun with all our friends who've stopped by.

Mary Vee Writer said...

My good friend, I'm so happy you've come. Dawn, the rest of the gang and I have been waiting for you. Dawn has shared such an amazing testimony. I'm so glad we all have been able to read it.

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you about the books, Mary! I try my best to come up with captivating story lines. :) Thanks for stopping to read! :)

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping, Mary! And I'm glad you think so! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Hi Donna! Thanks for stopping by for the giveaway! I hope you enjoy them! :D

Dawn Crandall said...

Thank you, Sherrinda! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post! Yes, with the whole series coming out every three months... I'll have had my son and all three books released from Whitaker House within the year!! Kind of crazy! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'm so glad you joined us this weekend, Dawn. We had a great time!

Unknown said...

Would love to read this book! Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway! :)
Rachel (smileytwin10{at}gmail{dot}com)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Rachel! Welcome. I'm so glad you were able to stop by and read Dawn's post! Be sure to grab some virtual pastries (calorie free and delicious!!) I look forward to seeing and chatting with you again.

Dawn Crandall said...

Thanks for stopping along the blog tour, Rachel! :D