Hi Friends,

Reading aloud is such a wonderful way to bring family and friends closer together and share a special experience. We homeschooled our five children, and reading aloud was always one of my favorite parts of the day. We read the Bible aloud, and we often read historical fiction or award-winning children’s books to compliment what we were learning. We also have a special collection of Christmas books that we bring out each December to enjoy together. Here are some of our favorites:

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechoski

“Christmas is pish-posh,” grumbles Jonathan Toomey, the best wood carver in the valley. He’s a Scroogelike recluse; but he has a gentle grouch, and it turns out that he hides a sad secret. He is transformed, not by Dickensian ghosts, but by an eager seven-year-old boy and his widowed mother who ask him to make carve a Christmas creche. The spirit of Christmas heals a sorrowing woodcarver’s heart in this splendid edition of a holiday classic. Lynch’s beautiful illustrations, in shades of wood grain, are both realistic and gloriously romantic, focusing on faces and hands at work before the fire and in the lamplight. This is wonderful read-aloud story that even young children will enjoy.

 

Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp

The warm, wonderful, real-life tale of the family that brings the Christmas spirit to life on a street corner in Manhattan. Every holiday season for nearly twenty years, Billy Romp, his wife, and their three children have spent nearly a month living in a tiny camper and selling Christmas trees on Jane Street in New York City. They arrive from Vermont the day after Thanksgiving and leave just in time to make it home for Christmas morning—and for a few weeks they transform a corner of the Big Apple into a Frank Capra-esque small town alive with heartwarming holiday spirit.

Christmas on Jane Street is about the transformative power of love—love of parent and child, of merchant and customer, of stranger and neighbor. The ideal Christmas story, it is about the lasting and profound difference that one person can make to a family and one family can make to a community.

 

An Edwardian Christmas by John L. Goodall

This small book is a treasure! It is all illustrations with no text, but each page follows the story of a family visiting wealthy relatives in a large country house during Edwardian times. Depicted in loving detail, is Christmas as it was at the beginning of the twentieth century, indoors and out, above stairs and below, as seen through the eyes of a boy and girl. My favorite illustrations are of the family walking to church by starlight, and everyone gathered to play games on Christmas Day. It was first published in 1978, so you may want to look for a used copy online.

 

Peter Spires Christmas!

This is also a wordless picture book by the Caldecott Medal-winning artist of Noah’s Ark, and it contains more than ninety full-color paintings capturing the spirit and joy of Christmas through the delights of three young children. My children all loved this when they were young, and it can be enjoyed by preschoolers through adults.  First published in 1996, you will also want to look for a used copy online.

 

Some of the other books in our Christmas Book Collection include:

Esther’s Gift by Jan Karon, A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg, The Christmas Cross by Max Lucado, A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingles Wilder, Mary’s First Christmas by Walter Wagerin Jr., Christmas at Long Pond by William T. George, Santa Are You For Real by Harold Myra, The Nutcracker, A Three Dimensional Story Book Illustrated by Michael Welply, and The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald.

Do you enjoy reading aloud? Can you add a favorite Christmas story to our list?

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

Hi Friends, I hope you are enjoying preparing for Christmas. I’m sharing a Christmas memory today, and I thought you might like to share one with me. Leave a comment below including one of your favorite Christmas memories and you’ll enter the drawing for one of my Christmas books pictured below. Keep reading for more info.

I grew up in Oregon, so having a live Christmas tree brings back wonderful memories of my childhood Christmas celebrations. There’s nothing like the scent of a frosty Douglas fir to make me feel like it’s really Christmas.

treeWhen our five kids were young, we visited a Christmas tree lot not too far from our house to choose our tree. Then we’d spend the evening drinking cocoa, eating popcorn, and adding lights and decorations to our tree. Over the years we’ve collected lots of ornaments from places we’ve traveled, and we’ve received several others as gifts from friends and family. Each ornament has a story . . . the wooden ornament shaped like Africa with a heart painted on Kenya is from the year our family spent there as missionaries. Then there is the Santa in running gear from the year my husband ran in the Honolulu Marathon, the blue and white Delft shoes from my time in Belgium as a short-term missionary, and the little gingerbread house to remind me of the year I was a finalist in a gingerbread house decorating contest. Baby booties, a ram’s horn, crochet snowflakes, and homemade ornaments from the kids . . . they all have a special meaning and bring a smile as we hang them on the tree.

When we became empty nesters we bought an artificial tree and enjoyed that for a few years. The needles didn’t drop on the rug and the ornaments stayed in place . . . but it wasn’t quite the same. So a few years ago Scott and I decided it was time for a real tree again. We visited a Christmas tree farm only a few minutes from our church in Robbinsville, NJ, and hiked through acres of evergreens in search of our perfect tree. It was so much fun, we’ve gone back each year since, and every time we’re finished decorating, I’m sure this year’s tree is the best one yet.

As you can probably tell, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and I enjoy including Christmas scenes in my books. I loved learning about Swedish Christmas traditions and including those in my novella, A Trusting Heart in Mountain Christmas BridesSnowflake Sweethearts is set in the Northwest, so I included a Christmas tree cutting scene and holiday celebrations. I researched English Christmas traditions to include in The Governess of Highland Hall, and I featured some fun New York City holiday sights and events in Moonlight Over Manhattan. A Joyful Christmas and Waiting for His Return contain my novella Though the Mountains Tremble which is set during the Civil War.

I hope you have a wonder Christmas season, make some special memories with family and friends, and enjoy some heartwarming holiday stories!To enter the giveaway please leave a comment including one of your holiday tradtions and tell me which book you’d like to receive. I will choose one winner on December 15th after 9:00 pm. I’ll contact the winner by email.

Merry Christmas,

Carrie

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 10/15 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 10/18 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final Stop. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

My name is Carrie Turansky and I write historical and contemporary  novels and novellas set in the US and England. I’m excited to tell you about my novella, Shelter in the Storm, one of six historical holiday novellas included in A Joyful Christmas.

When North and South went to war in 1861, a small legion of men in civilian clothes went with them. Instead of weapons they carried pencils and pads of paper, and instead of setting out to take Richmond or Washington, their goal was to capture on paper the look of the war. They were the battlefield artists, the men who brought home to the people behind the lines the scenes of battle that were deciding the fate of the nation.

One of the most famous was Alfred R. Waud, the man Harper’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper called “Our Special Artist.”

Portraits of the great generals, scenes in camp and field, the look of battle –all came from Waud’s pencil. Along with his drawings he often sent firsthand accounts of what he had seen, acting as an informal reporter as well as an artist. People of the Union literally saw the Civil War through his eyes.”

Alfred Waud went to great lengths to travel with the troops in order to bring the news of the war home. He was dedicated to the Union cause, and I wanted the hero in Shelter in the Storm to reflect many of those same qualities — faithfulness, courage, and dedication. A Joyful Christmas is an inspiring and romantic holiday collection sure to lift your spirit. Here are some samples of Waud’s artwork.

Here are the Stop #3 Basics:

You can order A Joyful Christmas online at Amazon, Christianbook.com, Barnes & Noble or visit your local bookstore.

Clue to Write Down: of COVID

Link to Stop #4, the Next Stop on the Loop: Susan Sleeman

But wait!  Before you go, I’m giving away an eBook copy of  Moonlight Over Manhattan, a heartwarming contemporary romance.  To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be chosen by random and notified on October 20 by email. Hope you enjoy the hunt!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hi Friends, A Joyful Christmas releases September 1, and it’s available for pre-order now.  To celebrate the upcoming release I’m giving away one paperback copy to a US or Canadian reading friend who leaves a comment on this blog post. Read on for the details.

A Joyful Christmas Giveaway!A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart

Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations, including my Civil War novella A Shelter in the Storm

The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man? This novella was previously published in A Blue and Gray Christmas and also as an individual novella titled Waiting For His Return. If you haven’t read it yet, or if you’d like to order a copy as a gift for a friend, just visit this page for links to your favorite retailer.

The Six Novellas Included in this Collection:

A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom? 
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.
 
A Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

To enter the giveaway please tell me one of your favorite Christmas memories in a comment on this blog post. I’ll choose a winner on September 1,after 9:00 pm ET. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian reading friends.  I’ll notify the winners by email. Good luck!

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading!
Carrie

 

Hi Friends, It’s release day for Waiting for His Return! I’m excited to share this heartwarming holiday novella with you, and I have a special giveaway to celebrate the book launch. The story is set in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Civil War. The hero is British-born artist, James Galloway, who travels with the Union troops drawing battle scenes that are sent back to Harper’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper.

When James is attacked and left for dead at the side of the road near the Thornton’s home, Rachel Thornton takes him in and uses the skills she has learned from her physician father to save James’s life. Her father, sister, and two loyal servants also lend a hand. But the battlefront is moving closer to Nashville, and with it, increasing danger for James, Rachel, and her family.

James and Rachel grow closer as he recovers, but he has a commitment to fulfill for Harpers Weekly. Rachel has already lost one man she loves, and she is reluctant to give her heart to another man who may soon become a casualty of the war. 

With Christmas coming, Rachel waits for news from James. Will he find his way back to her, or will she be left waiting for his return?

 Waiting for His Return was originally published in A Blue and Gray Christmas and was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award. It has been revised and updated for new readers to enjoy. The eBook is available on Amazon for $2.99 for a limited time. Download your copy today and start reading to enjoy this story!

To celebrate the launch of Waiting for His Return I’m offering a special giveaway for my reading friends!  The gifts include two adult coloring books, drawing pencils, and fine line markers, plus an Oh Holy Night Gift Set with mug, plate, tote bag, bookmark, pen, and devotional book. To enter the giveaway just share this post on social media or with a friend via email, then leave a comment below, telling me where you shared it. The winner will be chosen Monday, November 13th and notified by email. Thanks for helping me celebrate and spread the word about Waiting for His Return!

****Thanks for stopping by! The winner has been chosen – Jeanie Dannheim – and the giveaway has closed. Happy Reading, Carrie

 

 

Hi Friends, As we move into November and the season of Thanksgiving, I want to say thank you to my loyal readers. I hope you’ll download your free copy of Moonlight Over Manhattan! And if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll post a review on Amazon and tell your friends about it. Word of mouth is the best publicity around. Thank very much!

This heartwarming novella is set in New York during the fall and includes Thanksgiving and Christmas events for the hero and heroine, Justin and Sarah. There’s also a sweet grandmother and her cute dog to add humor to the story. I think you’ll be encouraged by Sarah’s faith journey and the sweet romance.

It is free on Amazon 10/24 – 10/28. Thanks for helping me spread the word! Download your copy here: http://amzn.to/2yLeBI6

Until next time, happy reading,

Carrie

 

Hi Friends,

Each month this year I’m giving away two books to reading friends who are subscribers to my author email newsletter. To enter the giveaway please sign up for my email newsletter in the box on the right at the top, and then leave a comment below. If you are already a subscriber, just mention that in your comment.

This month I’m giving away my newest release, Mountain Christmas Brides, a nine-novella collection by various authors and Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Both are inspirational, historical, and set in the US. To learn more about these stories and their authors just click on the cover below. Because of mailing cost, US entries only.

Mountain Christmas BridesRoom for hope

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading!

Carrie

Refuge at Highland HallHi Friends, When I was researching the events of World War One for my novel, A Refuge at Highland Hall, I read about a spontaneous truce that began on Christmas Eve and carried through to Christmas Day 1914, only a few months after the war started. It’s interesting to consider how the meaning of Christmas could inspire these men to put down their guns and set their differences aside even for a short time. Take a look at this video about what happened that Christmas on the front line. And below that is another three-minute video about the history of this event. Both are inspiring and worth watching!

WW1 Christmas Truce

History behind WW1 Christmas Truce

Whatever struggles you’re facing this holiday season, I hope you’ll allow God’s peace to calm and comfort your heart. As you celebrate with family and friends may the true meaning of Christmas lift your spirit and draw you closer to Him!

EdwardianBrides_851x315_presale

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Carrie