British Blooms and Books Giveaway

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Hello, Gentle Reader, and welcome to the first annual British Blooms and Books giveaway! This week, we’d like to celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show with you. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ websites (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction given in each post, and then leave a comment on each to be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US entries only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Thank you for stopping by!

Visiting English Gardens

Hi Friend, Carrie here….

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The Garden at Highclere Castle ~ Downton Abbey

I’ve been blessed to take two research trips to England in recent years, and visiting gardens there has been one of the highlights of those trips for me! In September 2012 my husband and I visited Highclere Castle and spent time in the gardens before we toured the house. We walked through the walled flower garden, the all white garden, and the secret garden. What a fun experience to see where Downton Abbey was filmed and imagine the characters there with me.  In The Governess of Highland Hall several scenes take place in the gardens and greenhouse, so I had those memories of Highclere to help me visualize my characters as I wrote those scenes.

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Tyntesfied with Cathy Gholke and Carrie Turansky

Cathy Gohlke and Carrie Turansky visit Tyntesfield ~ Highland Hall.

In 2014 I returned to England with my author friend Cathy Gohlke and we visited Scotland, The Lake District, and Tyntesfield, the estate I had in mind as I wrote the Highland Hall novels. Touring the house and gardens there was very inspiring! In The Daughter of Highland Hall the heroine, Kate Ramsey, and her aunt visit the Royal Horticultural Society Exhibition in London, which was held on the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital. It was so successful that the Chelsea Flower Show has been held there since 1913. I enjoyed reading about the history of the flower show and adding some of that information to The Daughter of Highland Hall, including the Royal Family’s appearance at the event.

Highland Hall Series

The third book in the series, A Refuge at Highland Hall, takes place during World War One. Penny Ramsey brings orphans to Highland to escape the bombing in London. Taking the children outdoors to spend time in the gardens and parkland was one of the ways Penny kept the children busy. Those memories of my visits to Highclere and Tyntesfield helped me bring those garden scenes to life in my books.

Carrie and Cathy in the Inverarary Castle gardens in Scotland.

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle, Scotland

I hope you enjoyed this virtual garden tour! To enter the grand prize drawing: Please sign up for my newsletter (the sign up box at the top on the right of this page) and comment below. If you are already a subscriber just mention that in your comment.

One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ websites and agrees to the boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of the six books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Winner’s name will be drawn via random.org after May 28th.

Tea Hat Petit Fours.

Tea Hat Petit Fours. (Photo from Divine Delights)

Finished? Well done! Please visit these five other fabulous authors of English historical novels to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.

Sandra Byrd’s Page: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Melanie Dickerson’s Page: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2016/05/british-blooms-and-books-6-book-giveaway.html

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Page: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/#!british-blooms-and-books/dtpk9

Julie Klassen’s Page: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Roseanna White’s Page: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2016/05/british-blooms-and-books-contest.html

A Fun Event for Readers, Reviewers, and Authors

Carrie in Blue ShirtI’m excited to be one of the authors taking part in the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event, and I wanted to be sure you had all the information so you can plan to attend! I’ve invited the three women who are organizing the event to to be my guests today to tell you all about it. Welcome, Bonnie, Carrie and Annie!

Come join us at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event (CFRR) in Nashville, TN this summer! Our event theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  Enjoy speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings with your favorite Christian fiction authors! With 30+ authors, food, swag (including free books), games and TONS of giveaways, you don’t want to miss this event!

When is it, you ask?

August 24, 2016
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

For more information, including schedule, authors list, registration info and other logistical questions, check out our website HERE, or click on the image above.  Registration is now open! Late registration begins on June 16th. Once capacity is reached, registration will close. So hurry up and register!

Standard Registration Fee: $98
Late Registration Fee: $120

To go ahead and register, just go right HERE.

AND for the first giveaway at the event, all those registered can enter for the chance to win a BOX of Christian Fiction from the stewards of the event.  Just click on the image below to enter. (Link also available on our website).

We hope to see you there!

Time to Celebrate Moms

happy-mothers-day-images8May is the month to celebrate moms and show our love and appreciation for all they have done for us. Read on for a special Mother’s Day Giveaway!

My mom, Dorothy Swain, was a wonderful artist, quilter, seamstress, and writer. She enjoyed decorating our home and making it a special place. We used to joke about never trying to walk through the living room in the dark because Mom might have rearranged the furniture since we’d last looked. From the time I was a young child, she put a paintbrush in my hands and encouraged my creativity. I’m very grateful for that. Mom used to sew most of my clothes. I remember seeing her bending over the sewing machine when I went to bed and then waking up to find a new dress finished and ready to wear. Mom passed away before my books were published, but I know she’d be happy to have another writer in the family. In the photos below: Mom and I on Easter, I think I’m three years old. On the right: Mom and I at my cousins wedding when I was 21.

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My Mother-in-law, Shirley Turansky, is a treasure. She continues what my mom started, encouraging me to use my gifts and talents. She is a huge supporter of my writing and often tells her friends about my books. I am very blessed to have these wonderful women in my life. In the photos below: My mother-in-law Shirley and I at the beach in Hawaii. On the right: Carrie, Shirley, and my daughter-in-law, Melinda.

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Now I hope to pass on that blessing and encouragement to my daughters Melissa, Lizzy, and Megan, my daughters-in-law Melinda and Galan, and my granddaughters Hanalei and Sahlor. In the photos below: My daughters Megan, Melissa, and Lizzy. Bottom left: My daughter-in-law Galan with her daughter Sahlor and my son Ben. Bottom right, my granddaughter Hanalei.

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Galan, Ben and SahlorHanalei

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away an audio-book copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall or A Refuge at Highland Hall. To enter the giveaway tell me one reason you appreciate your mom in the comments below. Giveaway ends Monday May 9th, 9:00 pm Eastern time. The giveaway is for US residents only.  ***Update: the winner of the Mother’s Day Giveaway is Martha Artyomenko!

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Blessings and Happy Mother’s Day!

Carrie

May Giveaway for Readers

Hi Friends,

Each month this year I’m hosting a special giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. The email newsletter goes out every other month with book news, readers’ events, contests, recipes, and encouraging articles. I hope you’ll subscribe, and then leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. If you already subscribe, just mention that in your comment and I will put your name in the drawing!  The April winner was Janet Dowell.

The Christy Awards committee just announced the finalists for this year, so I’m giving away two book on that list. The first is Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke. This amazing time-split novel tells the story of a daughter searching for answers about her mother’s involvement in WW2 Germany.  The second is The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton. British settlers and Oneida tribe members cross paths on the New York frontier in the mid-1700s.  If you enjoy well written historical novels, then I think you’ll love these two books! Being Christy Award finalist is a huge honor, and I’m so happy for these author friends! Visit Cathy’s website for more info about her and her books, and visit Lori Benton’s website too!  This giveaway is for US readers only.

Blessings and Happy reading!

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