Friday, November 7, 2014

A Guest Post About THE BOUND HEART + a GIVEAWAY of the book!

Once again, Dawn Crandall has written a timeless novel that has left me thinking about it for days afterwards.

The Bound Heart is the story of Meredyth Summercourt who made a few appearances in Dawn’s debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress.

Several years after participating in a shameful act of sin, Meredyth believes that the only atonement for her part in this is to marry and bind herself permanently to her former crush, Vance Everstone. While waiting for him to “make it right” toward herself, Meredyth Summercourt is discovering truths about herself and her relationships with God and others. One of these relationships is with her childhood friend Lawry Hampton. Lawry (who was also introduced to us in book one) has loved Meredyth for years.

The Gilded Age, in Boston and Maine, is the setting for The Bound Heart. This novel was just as good as the first one in the Everstone Chronicles, but in a completely different way.

Meredyth and Lawry each come to the conclusion that their lives are missing something. Both are Christians, but find that their lifestyles of wealth, fashion, and parties aren’t fulfilling. They appreciate their blessings and still enjoy them, but realize that there is more to life. They can use the money, time, and status that God has given them to help others less fortunate than they. I like how Dawn showed Meredyth and Lawry ministering to the orphans like the Bible admonishes us. The author doesn’t lower the importance of financial support in favor of helping in a physical way. She shows us that both are equally important in ministering to the needs of others. Sometimes friendship is the most important in meeting a need. The hero and heroine both show all aspects of this and are being good examples for us to follow. It’s an important lesson for all of us. I get involved in my own world and don’t always look for ways to be a light and help to others. This is a good reminder.

Our heroine, Meredyth Summercourt, is a tall, bold, and affectionate young woman. Whatever she sets her mind to do is done with her whole heart. She thinks she has to sacrifice genuine love in order to pay or her own sins. Meredyth has to learn that her debt has already been paid. God forgives when we ask and holds it against us no more. I appreciate Dawn’s tactful approach to the subject of sexual sin. She describes enough for one to understand the situation, but doesn’t go too far.

What can I say about Lawry? I almost cried a couple of times while reading some of his scenes. He is such a depiction of Jesus. Over and over again, Lawry, waited with patience for Meredyth to love him back. He was always there for her with friendship, a listening ear, an example of putting others first, and love. Lawry Hampton is her rock. He is also handsome, muscular, and gives some swoon-worthy kisses and speeches. Even after saying all of that, it’s still his love that makes him stand out above the rest. Lawry loves Meredyth fiercely and passionately, but tenderly.

The Bound Heart is an emotional book about unworthiness, atonement, and love that conquers all. This novel didn’t have near the amount of scene description and air of mystery as book one did. I adore well-written setting details in a historical novel, so missed that here. Even though I wished for some of these things, I realize that they might have not been appropriate in this kind of emotionally gripping story.

If you enjoy the writings of Julie Klassen, Charlotte Brontë, and Julianne Donaldson then this is the book for you. Dawn Crandall writes from in first-person viewpoint with a wonderful mix of romance, rich detail, and a little humor and suspense.

The novels of Dawn Crandall are already on my top favorites list and I’m eagerly waiting for her next one!     

Review by Sylvia Miller 

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

GIVEAWAY of 3 eBook copies of either The Hesitant Heiress or The Bound Heart

The Hesitant Heiress, Book 1

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.

The Bound Heart, Book 2
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 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?

This GIVEAWAY runs from 
November 4th to November 24th

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Writer's Review of “A Lady at Willowgrove Hall” by Sarah E. Ladd

{More about A Lady at Willowgrove Hall }

Her secret cloaks her in 
isolation and loneliness.
His secret traps him in a life 
that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own–one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

{My Review}

Sarah Ladd's third book was a great ending to a debut series

Sarah, as always, writes with precision and passion. The characters were as vivid as expected, and the setting of Willowgrove Hall that she's drawn with her words was just as any avid regency reader could wish. I loved the hero and heroine, and how their secrets, and actions regarding them, so believable

And can I mention the cover? I've loved all of Sarah's covers, but this one, with the stone wall and inner garden is my favorite!  

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd released October 2014. It currently has a rating of 4.18 out of 5 stars (from 152 ratings) on Goodreads.

{More About Sarah Ladd}


Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance and a finalist in the Debut Author category of the 2014 Carol Awards. The second book in the series, The Headmistress of Rosemere (2013), was on the ECPA best-seller list for several months. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Find out more about Sarah at
Award-winning author Sarah E. Ladd examines how to escape the clutches of a tainted past in the final installment of her Whispers on the Moor series. A Regency-era novel, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall cleverly shows that even though our pasts may be shameful or painful, God can take the darkest personal histories and turn them into the brightest futures.

***Learn more and purchase a copy at Sarah’s website.


Celebrate with Sarah by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 2nd. Winner will be announced November 3rd here

Read the Whispers on the Moors Series!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall's second book, The Bound Heart, in her debut series, The Everstone Chronicles, with Whitaker House Books releases November 3rd. The Hesitant Heiress (August 2014), The Bound Heart and the third in the series, The Captive Imposter (February 2015) are full length historical romantic suspense novels written from first person POV in the Gothic style of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Well! Look who is in this month's Clash of the Titles competition! The Hesitant Heiress!?!? Please vote!! :D

Clash of the Titles presents four brand new inspirational novels. One’s set in a Bible camp for tweens or the tweens in your lives. Hopes and dreams are threatened in another. In the third, a town’s in need of a miracle. Two people work to cure a deadly disease in the fourth. Which one will you read first? Browse the books, then, using the voting box below, let us know the title you’ll put at the top of your to-be-read list.

SPEAK NO EVIL by Mary Hamilton
Having his younger sister at summer camp will be a pain, but Taylor Dixon, 15, never expects the pain to go so deep. When she falls for his snobbish cabin mate, a war of words and pranks escalates, threatening to land him in jail and destroying his dreams for the future—until a lesson learned from an old engine sets him free from the prison he built himself.

With the rare ability to play the piano by ear, Amaryllis Brigham wants nothing more than to someday found a music school. However, someone keeps undermining her hopes and dreams, and she's sure it's Bram Everstone--the father of the one man she's ever come close to falling for.

MIRACLE IN A DRY SEASON by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Perla Long wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter where her past can stay hidden, but she ends up in a town in desperate need of a miracle. Bachelor Casewell Phillips sees everything he wants in a woman in her, but can’t get past the sense she’s hiding something.

WITH EVERY BREATH by Elizabeth Camden
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a statistician is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and the only reason he seeks her out now is because of the one thing they share in common: the competitive drive to cure the world’s deadliest disease.

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