A GoodReads Giveaway!

Top of bookmarkHi Friends,

I’m excited as the release to The Governess of Highland Hall is drawing closer! In less than three weeks you’ll be able to step back in time, to 1911, and join Julia Foster on her adventures as the new governess at the beautiful English country estate owned by Sir William Ramsey.

Here are what some people are saying about The Governess of Highland Hall:

There is much to like about Carrie Turansky’s The Governess of Highland Hall: A sweet, noble heroine, a proud, yet vulnerable hero, and a Downton Abbey-inspired setting. Endearing supporting characters and two romances add to the pleasure. Fans of Christian fiction and Downton Abbey will enjoy this story!

~Julie Klassen, best-selling author of The Tutor’s Daughter

“In The Governess of Highland Hall, Carrie Turansky weaves a compelling cast of Edwardian characters into a sweeping, faith-filled romance with all the upstairs and downstairs intrigue of “Downton Abbey”.

~Cathy Gohlke, Christy Award-Winning author of Promise Me This and Band of Sisters

“Prim and proper and perfectly wonderful, The Governess of Highland Hall is an exquisitely woven “Downton Abby” tapestry of English nobility and their servants. With the utmost sensitivity and skill, Carrie Turansky has penned a breathless Edwardian love story not to be missed!”

~Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series

The Governess of Highland Hall is as delightful as an English high tea, replete with an endearing cast of characters living on a grand English estate and flavored with memories of India. Carrie Turansky lends a lovely, fresh voice to a fascinating era! 

~Laura Frantz, Author of Love’s Reckoning

Are you ready to read the story? Here’s a chance to win a free copy. Just follow this link to GoodReads! http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/58340-the-governess-of-highland-hall

Goodreads Giveaway

 

When a Love Story Makes You Cry

 

My HOpe is FoundHi Friends,

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Joanne Bischoff, the author of the Cadence of Grace Series. I loved Be Still My Soul, and Though My Heart is Torn, books 1 and 2.  So I was thrilled when I received the manuscript for My Hope is Found, book 3, to read early for endorsement. It is wonderful! I highly recommend starting with Be Still My Soul so you don’t miss any of Lonnie and Gideon’s story!

 

Joanne is doing an awesome giveaway, and I am adding to it. Please read all the way to the bottom for details.

When a Love Story Makes You Cry, by Joanne Bischoff

Recently, I had the privilege of reading Carrie’s novel, The Governess of Highland Hall, for endorsement. My husband and I were heading to St. Louis for the 14th annual Christy awards, and having Carrie’s manuscript in hand, I packed it in my suitcase for some in-flight reading. When we and all the passengers were buckled into our seats, I was immersed in the story that Carrie was so beautifully weaving. I’m a nervous flyer, so I get a bit of anxiety when the plane lifts off—so my solution was to keep my nose in her book as we sped down the runway.

There’s a tender, beautiful scene that takes place in the gardens on the great estate of Highland Hall… and in that moment, just as the plane was gearing up to lift into the air, I had tears in my eyes. I’m quite certain I looked like the nervous flyer that I was, but the tears had nothing to do with the liftoff and everything to do with the pages before me. I love it when a book does that. When a book hits our heart in such a way…that the tears come.

Joanne BischoffFor those of you who know me, I write Appalachian Romance and one of the things I always try to pour into each story is an emotional connection between the reader and the characters. But tears and…romance? How can that be?

Love takes on so many shapes and forms. It has the ability to move us in incredible ways. Stretch our hearts taut with yearning—in the way that only love can. Because of this, love stories can at times, make us cry. I often think that books should come with a little secret pocket to hold a few Kleenex. That and a small box of dark chocolate! For extra emotional support, of course. As an author, it’s been so special to receive notes from readers who have been reading the Cadence of Grace series and hear them share the emotions they experienced. Here are a few snippets:

“Oh, you should have warned me that I would need a tissue…BOX! I am about half way through the book and half way through a box of tissues…I am excited to see how this all plays out.”

“I’m sitting at my son’s baseball practice reading chapter 20 of book 2 with tears rolling down my face. Amazing writing!”

“How long does it take to read a 334 page novel? Between working, sobbing, preparing meals, sobbing, jumping up in reckless abandon because I’m flooded with emotion and sobbing some more… Thank you, thank you!”

There’s just something about being a girl. And the fact that sometimes…we just need a good cry. A bit of angst. That will they won’t they—it’s good for the soul—love story cry. But how can a love story break your heart? How can it still be a romance?

How can it still satisfy?

It satisfies because as women we understand the chase. The depths that yearning can take us to. The unknowing if it’s all going to work out, all the while hoping that two people can find one another. Love—it’s a beautiful thing. We see it played out in scripture, the greatest love story of all time. We reach for an inspirational romance because as the tears roll down, we hunger for victory. It’s the knowledge that hope and love are laced throughout, growing stronger with each turning of the page. It’s what has our nose in the pages, the phone ringer set to silent, a few Kleenex on hand, and a full, full heart.

Have you read a love story recently that’s tugged at your heartstrings?

***

Thanks for visiting us on the “A Book For Every Reader” blog tour! Leave a comment below to be entered to win not one but TWO books! One of Joanne’s and one of mine. Also, to enter in the grand giveaway prize which includes some country goodies and an e-reader, simply hop on over and fill out the entry form: http://www.joannebischof.com/extras/blogtour/

You’ll also find the official details. Winners will be drawn on September 28th and contacted via email. Thank you for joining us!

Christy Award-finalist and author of The Cadence of Grace seriesJoanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.

Thirty-Five Years and Counting!

Scott and Carrie on their wedding day, September 9, 1978

Scott and Carrie on their wedding day, September 9, 1978

Hi Friends, Today my husband Scott and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. What a milestone! We are grateful to God for the love and grace he has showered on us and for the strength and wisdom He provides each day.

Marriage is not for sissies! It takes committment and determination to work through differences and overcome challenges. But with faith in God and a desire to follow His principles for marriage and family life He can help you build a strong and healthy marriage and family. I am blessed to be married to a godly man like Scott. His devotion to God and faithful heart are very unique in an age when so many men are self-focused and not interested in spiritual matters.

I admire Scott for so many reasons. He is a diligent student of God’s Word and is always looking for practical ways to live out those principles and help others do the same. I am the blessed recipient of much of the wisdom he has absorbed from all those years of teaching the Word each Sunday. He is the real deal . . . the same at home as he is in the pulpit. He speaks the truth in love and is encouraging and supportive. He cheers me on when I am successful, and he listens and sympathizes when I’ve had a rough day. That’s love.

Scott turansky, Carrie Turansky“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 

So Happy Anniversary, honey! Thanks for thirty-five great years together!

 

Why Historical Cozy Mystery?

Hi Friends, let’s welcome Julianne Deering, the author of RULES OF MURDER – A Drew Farthering Mystery. Set in England on a grand estate, I thought those who enjoy English historical novels would like a chance to learn more about this story and author.

Rules For Murder“I didn’t imagine being a writer from the time I was a little girl.  Actually, I kind of had a hard time knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and took the path of least resistance (and most likely to lead to making a living):  a degree in business.  But even when I was studying to be an accountant and to eventually get my CPA certification, my imagination was tugging me in a different direction.  When I was supposed to be listening to lectures on business law and stock splits and statistics, my mind was wandering around a medieval kingdom with a hero-prince whose loyalties and emotions were as divided as his father’s kingdom.

But even when I was scribbling away on scenes of love and war and desperate angst, I never dreamed I’d ever let anyone actually read what I wrote.  I never thought I would be a “real” writer.  Then, once my medieval trilogy was published, I realized that I had a lot of eras and genres I wanted to explore.  I wrote a novel set during and after the American Civil War.  Then, because I loved to read the classic mysteries of the 1920s and ’30s, the Agatha Christies and Margery Allinghams and Dorothy L. Sayerses, and because I especially loved watching them on Masterpiece Mystery, I decided I had to give their type of story a try.

I had come across the famous Decalogue of Father Knox, his ten commandments of what not to do in a properly written murder mystery, and I thought it would be great fun to write a story that breaks or at least bends all those rules.  I wanted to include all the classic elements of this type of story:  the old manor house with the stodgy butler, the young playboy who solves crime as a lark, the gung-ho best friend, the beautiful American girl who’s in Europe on holiday, the society parties, the clothes, the cars, and of course, the much put upon police inspector.

I had a wonderful time playing with these characters and their attempts to solve the mystery.  I loved figuring out how to include each of Father Knox’s ten commandments in the story as well as exploring the differences between American English and British English and trying to get all the period details just right.  I loved trying to fit all the pieces together so they wouldn’t give away the perpetrator before the end but where the clues would still be there for anyone to pick up if they could.  Mostly I just had fun.

So, how did a Texan with a degree in business who also writes medieval romance end up writing historical cozy mystery? It was just my imagination.

Back Cover Blurb:

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.

Bethany House has more, including Author Q&A, discussion questions and an excerpt, here: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/rules-of-murder/343331

Julianna DodsonJULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).

Books by Julianna Deering’s alter ego, DeAnna Julie Dodson:

The Chastelayne Trilogy: In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed, To Grace Surrendered

Annie’s Mysteries: The Letter in the Attic, The Key in the Attic, The Diary in the Attic, The Legacy in the Attic

You can find Julianna and DeAnna on the web at: www.juliannadeering.com,  www.deannajuliedodson.comhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering,  Twitter: @deannajuldodson

 

 

Following the Research Trail to Highland Hall

At Highclere Castle-Downton Abbey

At Highclere Castle-Downton Abbey

Hi Friends,

In January of 2012 I had a short conversation with an editor and asked her, “What are you looking for?” She smiled and said, “I wish I could find a novel set England at the same time as the popular British TV series Downton Abbey, with a brooding hero and a loving governess heroine. Sort of like Jane Eyre.” I returned her smile and nodded, wishing I could write a story like that. I loved Downton Abbey and Jane Eyre, and I had a desire to write historical fiction, but writing a story set in another country, one hundred years ago, would be a challenge and take a lot of research. Still  . . . I couldn’t get that editor’s words out of my mind.

I shared those ideas with my friend Cathy Gohlke, who had recently published a beautiful novel, Promise Me This, which is set in the Edwardian Era. She encouraged me and loaded me up with research books, and I set off on my journey to research and write The Governess of Highland Hall, book one in the Edwardian Brides Series. Here is the trail I followed as I researched The Governess of Highland Hall.

Starting My Research

I started by looking online at the big picture to get general background information about England and the Edwardian Era. Many of these articles referenced books and other articles. I followed that up by visiting the library and checking out several of these books. I focused on the lifestyle of wealthy aristocrats who lived on a grand estate and the loyal servants who worked there. I wanted to get to know my characters’ corner of the world so well that I could move around there in my imagination, and I could picture them walking down a street or sitting at a table in a restaurant and know exactly what they would see, hear, feel, and smell. I wanted to research until the historical part of the novel becomes almost second nature so I could focus on the story.

The Difference between Primary and Secondary Sources

History books and biographies can be very useful in research, but they are what are known as “secondary sources.” I always try to track down “primary sources” when possible. A primary source is something that was created during the time period itself, such as a newspaper, magazine, journal, diary, historical document, movie or radio broadcast, or a firsthand account from someone who actually lived through the moment and recorded an oral history, interview, or autobiography. Historians and biographers build their works by examining primary sources. As an author of historical novels, I  try to go directly to the source when possible, so I get an unfiltered view. I found the diaries and biographies of servants very helpful. I also read a collection of letters exchanged by a wealthy aristocratic family.

Contacting Experts

When I was working on the Governess of Highland Hall, I was hoping to find someone who lived in England and had knowledge of the Edwardian time period. I found another author who loves the time period and has done a ton of research. She was an excellent source of information, and she answered several questions for me. Then I found a reviewer who gave another novel set in that time period a low rating because she believed there were many historical inaccuracies. That sent tremors through me. I knew no matter how much research I did, I was bound to make a few mistakes. I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to read my book before it was published to help me spot any mistakes. She agreed and helped me find some phrases that sounded too American and questioned a couple historical points. I was able to check and change those, and I was very grateful for her help!

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

Taking a Research trip!

Last summer my husband and I traveled to England and toured the area where the Edwardian Brides Series is set. I wanted to absorb the atmosphere and see England first-hand. We enjoyed touring historical country estates and beautiful gardens. We stayed in the Berkshire – Oxford area and visited Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed. Then we visited the Costwolds, which has some lovely little villages that look like they did 100 years ago. And finally we toured The Peak District, taking in a grand English country fair. What a great way to carry out my research!

Are you the type of person who enjoys research? When you’re choosing a historical novel to read, what’s your favorite time period?