Farewell to Downton Abbey Invitation

design3 for fbHi Friends,

I hope you’ll plan to join us on Facebook, Monday, March 7, for the Farewell to Downton Abbey Online Tea Party! The final episode of Downton airs Sunday, March 6, so we’ll be ready to talk about our favorite characters, plot twists, and romances as well as some of our favorite books.

I’ve invited two fellow authors who write Downton Abbey Era stories to join us for the party: Kate Breslin, the author of For Such a Time and Not By Sight; and Pepper Basham author of The Thornbearer and The Thorn Keeper. We will each hostess for thirty minutes and will be giving away copies of our books, including my latest novel, A Refuge at Highland Hall. 


Grand Prize Gifts: Downton Poster, Downton tote bag, DVD of Season 6, Downton Tea, Downton Motorcar Ornament, Teacup pictured below, English Rose Soap and Peacock Note pad pictured below.

Tea CupKate's GiftsThe party takes place on the event Facebook page, 8:00 – 9:30 pm Eastern Time; 7:00 – 8:30 pm Central Time; 6:00 – 7:30 pm Mountain Time; 5:00 – 6:30 pm Pacific Time.

We’ll be giving away these fun Downton Abbey themed gifts as a grand prize to someone who participates by commenting before and during the party. So choose your Downton Era dress, hat, and a tea time treat, and share them on the Facebook page. RSVP for the party at this link!

We’ll send out a reminder to all those who say they are going, so it’s a good idea to let us know. We hope to see you at there!

Blessings and Happy Reading,



GoodReads Valentine’s Giveaway

The Dowager on Love


Happy Valentine’s Weekend . . . With words of wisdom from the Dowager Countess!

It’s GoodReads Giveaway time! We’re giving away 5 copies of A Refuge at Highland Hall. I hope you’ll enter the giveaway between Feb. 12 – 20, and put A Refuge at Highland Hall on your To Be Read List. Here’s what readers are saying about this book:

Refuge at Highland Hall

“Laughter, tears, romance, and God’s unfailing love and sovereignty, all in a Downton Abby-like setting can be found in this amazing book.”

“This book is very hard to put down. I started it last night and picked it up today after church. I couldn’t put it down until after I finished it. Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up!”

“The history in this story is phenomenal, and it made the trip back into the past WWI era so enjoyable. As I read, I felt like I was living the story along with the characters. This book is a must if you enjoy historical fiction. And this one is a nice clean read! One that anyone will enjoy!”

Just follow this link below to enter the Giveaway!

Happy Reading,


Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

A Refuge at Highland Hall

by Carrie Turansky

Giveaway ends February 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Discover These Amazing Downton Abbey Filming Locations


Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season is well underway, and I’m eager to see what will happen to the characters I’ve grown to love. I’m anticipating tears when I watch the final episode, and I have to say goodbye to the Crawley family, their staff, and friends. But until then, I’m cheering for them and hoping each one will have a happy ending. They’ve given me many hours of enjoyment and great inspiration for my novels.

I’ve traveled to England twice in the last few years on research trips. Both times I visited Downton filming locations to see what I could learn and get a sense of the era and soak up the ambience. Visit my Research Page for photos from those trips.

In my online research I came across this map created by the Wayfair.co.uk team, and they gave me permission to share it with you. If you’re a Downton fan who’s planning a trip to England you’ll want to put some of these locations on your itinerary. If you can’t fly off soon, then you can take a virtual trip via the map and Google Image Search!

Click on the icons below for more information on each location, and for an overview of all of the film locations click on the pull-out tab to the left of the title.

Map and original post: http://www.wayfair.co.uk/aresidence/2015/12/04/downton-abbey-filming-locations/

Top Ten Downton Abbey Filming Locations

  1. Highclere Castle

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

My husband Scott and I visited Highclere Castle on a beautiful September day and enjoyed a memorable tour of the house and gardens. Highclere is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived there since 1679. Highclere Castle is awe-inspiring and represents everything that makes Downton Abbey so great.

Exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity are filmed at Highclere, using actual furniture in the home. We fell in love with this beautiful house! Highclere has to be number one on any Downton Abbey fan’s list. For more about our visit to Highclere, click over and read this bog post.

Downton’s Downstairs’ scene are not filmed at Highclere but at Ealing Studios in London. The downstairs at Highclere has a large kitchen to prepare food for events held there. Part has been converted into a tea room and another section holds a museum full of Egyptian artifacts brought back by one of the Earl’s on his expeditions to Egypt.

2. Bampton, Oxfordshire

Bampton Church

Image: World Wide Waftage.

Bampton village, Oxfordshire, doubles as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton throughout the series. Bampton is a great place to take a stroll as there are a number of different filming locations to be found, the most iconic being St Mary’s Church. It’s know as St Michael and All Angels Church in Downton. This is where we’ve seen many key moments, including Lavinia’s burial in season two, Mary and Matthew’s wedding in season three, and Lady Edith being left at the altar.

3. Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Geograph, Rabbi WP Thinrod

Once a working farm, Cogges Manor Farm is now a heritage center and in Downton Abbey it’s known as Yew Tree Farm. The farm has appeared throughout the past three seasons, first as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Drewe and later as Mr. Mason’s new farm. Edith often visited the Drewes in season five to see her daughter Marigold. In season six Daisy and Mrs. Patmore help Mr. Mason move in to his new home at Yew Tree Farm.

4. Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute

Carrie and Cathy at Inveraray Castle, Scotland

On a beautiful day in May, when the azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom, fellow author Cathy Gohlke and I visited Inveraray Castle in Scotland. This impressive castle is found on the west coast and is the home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. The castle doubled as Duneagle, the home of the Grantham’s cousins, Lord and Lady Flincher, parents to Lady Rose. They visited the castle in the season three Christmas special. For more about our visit to Inveraray Castle, visit this blog post.

5. Lancaster House, London

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, James Stringer

Lancaster House is a mansion that was once part of the St James’s Palace complex. It’s one of London’s hidden treasures that has made its way into Downton life. The interior of the magnificent and glamorous house was used to portray Buckingham Palace in the Season four Christmas Special, where Lady Rose gave her debutante presentation. You can view at the outside of Lancaster House anytime you like, or you might be lucky enough to attend an event there and admire the dazzling interior.

6. Horsted Keynes Station

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Ed Webster

Part of the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes Station in Sussex is a preserved railway station that we’ve seen many times as the Downton Railway Station. For those that love the idea of travelling on a steam train and experiencing British life from days gone by then this is the place for you. One of my favorite scenes was filmed here, the day Mary saw Matthew off to war, gave him the little stuff dog, and wished him such good luck. I still tear up every time I see that scene. This is also where Richard Carlisle’s proposal to Mary, and where a very pregnant Mary urgently needed to go to hospital. It’s also where Mr Carson reconciled with Charles Grigg before he goes off to Ireland.

7. Basildon Park, Berkshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Jim Bowen

Basildon Park doubles as the interior for Grantham House, the family’s London residence. This was the grand setting for the preparation for Lady Rose’s coming out ball in season four and for Rose and Atticus’s wedding. You might also recognize Basildon Park from the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice where it was used as Netherfield Park.

8. Downton Abbey London locations

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Peter Roberts

The Crawley family often traveled to London, and there are several London locations to visit. Some highlights are the Prince Albert Memorial, London Charterhouse, the Chepstow Villas (Edith’s flat), Lincoln’s Inn, The Savile Club (called the Lotus Club in season four), Rules Restaurant, St James’s Park and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens was the setting when Lady Mary told Lord Gillingham that she wanted to break off their relationship.

9. Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire


Image: Wikipedia

Grey’s Court was used in the third season of Downton Abbey and was called Downton Place. It was considered as a potential downsizing home for the Crawley family after Robert’s bad investment. The family enjoyed a picnic on the lawn of this peaceful estate, including newlyweds Mary and Matthew.

10. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Flickr, Smudge 9000

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as Brancaster Castle in the season five Christmas special. This beautiful castle was transformed to become the holiday base for Lord Sinderby’s shooting party, where Sinderby’s butler, Stowel, caused quite a stir. This is where Lady Mary meets Henry Talbot, and Lady Edith meets Bertie Pelham.

The state rooms inside were used extensively as well as the grounds themselves and there’s now a brand new Downton Abbey exhibition there which features photography, costumes and props from the episode (rumor has it we’ll be seeing this location again in this year’s grand finale).

There are many more impressive sites to explore on the map! Thanks again to the team at Wayfair.co.uk. for sharing it with us!

When Downton Abbey ends, and you’re longing to step back into the Edwardian era, I invite to enjoy reading my English historical novels, The Edwardian Brides Series. Visit my Book Page for more details!

Highland Hall Series

Until next time, Happy Reading,


February Giveaway!

Winter Reading

Hi Friend,

This month I’m hosting a giveaway for my email newsletter subscribers. To enter the giveaway, visit my website and sign up for my email newsletter, then leave a comment on this blog post. If you already subscribe to my email newsletter, just mention that in your blog comment, and your name will be included in the drawing. Dont’ be confused, I have a blog and an email newsletter. The email newsletter goes out every other month to subscribers with book release updates. I post blogs 2-3 times a month with articles related to research, travel, movies, and all kinds of fun stuff like these giveaways. You can subscribe to my blog posts as well.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m giving away three romantic stories, The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide, and One Upon a Winter’s Heart by Melody Carlson and Married ’til Monday by Denise Hunter. I enjoyed them and recommend them to you! For more info about these books click on the covers below. I’ll be drawing the names of two winners at the end of the month.
The Memoir of Johnny DevineOne Upon a Winter's HeartMarried 'til Monday

I’m working hard on my next novel, Shine Like the Dawn, which is an English historical romance with family drama, faith, and a bit of mystery. You can check my progress on the homepage of my website to see how I’m doing. I have two novellas releasing this fall, “A Trusting Heart” in Mountain Christmas Brides, and Moonlight and Mistletoe, a fun contemporary Christmas story set in New York City. Thank you for being a faithful reader!

Blessings and Happy Reading,