Hi Friends,

Welcome to the second annual British Blooms and Books Giveaway! This week, we’re celebrating the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and some lovely historical novels set in England. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and leave a comment on each blog. You’ll be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by!

Touring the Gardens at Cragside ~ Morningside Manor

Cragside House and Gardens are the inspiration for the setting of Shine Like the Dawn, my latest English historical romance. When I first researched the story I was fascinated by the photos I saw of the beautiful gardens surrounding Cragside House. And when I read the story behind them, I was even more eager to include those amazing gardens in my story.


Cragside house was built on a rocky moor area with few trees, but William Armstrong, the original developer and owner of Cragside decided to create a lush woodland garden around his home with three lakes, miles of carriage drives, bridges, and beautiful rock gardens. 

Rhododendrons and azaleas flourish there and make a sunning display each spring. I hope you enjoy these photos and video tour. Viewing them will add to your enjoyment when you read Shine Like the Dawn!

To enter the giveaway, Please sign up for my newsletter in the box on the upper right hand column of my blog post (if you’re already signed up, just let me know in the comments). Then, comment below and tell me one of your favorite flowers, and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win the grand prize! Thanks to broadoak2006 for this beautiful video tour of Cragside!   

Devine Delights Tea Hats Treats

Giveaway Rules: One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Name will be drawn via random.org

Please visit these other fabulous authors of historical novels set in England to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.

Links to the other authors:

Melanie Dickerson’s Post link: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2017/05/second-annual-british-blooms-books.html

Melanie Dobson’s Post link: http://melaniedobson.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Julie Klassen’s Post link: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Roseanna White’s Post link: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2017/05/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books.html

Sanda Byrd’s Post link: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Until Next Time . . . Happy Reading!



179 replies
  1. Sabrina Templin
    Sabrina Templin says:

    That was a beautiful video of all the flowers and the structures. I am a newsletter subscriber. And one of my favorite flowers are grape hyacinths. 🙂

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Sabrina, thanks for stopping by! I love grape hyacinths too! I have lots of them in my front and back flower gardens. They sure brighten up the garden in the spring, and they’re an especially nice contrast to the bright red tulips.

  2. Jessica Weber
    Jessica Weber says:

    I’m a newsletter subscriber. I love all flowers, as long as I don’t have to grow them! Lilies and peonies are my favorites

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Jessica, I love lilies and peonies too. I have some pretty pink peonies that are blooming in my yard right now.

  3. Katie Seehusen
    Katie Seehusen says:

    Well I actually don’t know the name of my favorite flower, haha. When I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy, there was a where everyone goes to the graves of their loved ones and decorates them in some way. We went to go see and on one grave there were these beautiful white flowers that had the shape kind of like bluebells. Since then I have been trying to figure out what they are and I can’t. I would love to find out.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Katie, I’m not sure of the name of those flowers . . . but I’m responding to your comment while I’m in Italy this week! We’re in Rome now and will visit Florence next week. I’ll be on the lookout for those white flowers.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Jeanne, thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed Shine Like the Dawn. My next English historical novel will be coming out early in 2018. The title is Across the Blue. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

  4. Jennifer Hibdon
    Jennifer Hibdon says:

    Thanx for the giveaway. The flowers are gorgeous!!!! I love the spring flowers. Hyacinths and irises are favorites. I am a subscriber to your newsletter.

  5. Becky Smith
    Becky Smith says:

    I have several of your books that I want to read soon. I need to have a “binge” week! Love the little Tea Hat treats, and all the pictures and flowers. Look forward to reading Across the Blue, also!

  6. Paula S.
    Paula S. says:

    I signed up for the newsletter. My favorite flowers are lilacs. We had a bush in the back yard a couple places we lived. I even transplanted one at another place. The large yard across the street when I was growing up had lilacs all around the perimeter.

  7. Bree M.
    Bree M. says:

    Westeria, sweet pea flowers, and columbines are my favorites. Along with peach, yellow, and pale purple roses!

  8. Beverly
    Beverly says:

    I just signed up for the newsletter. I’m looking forward to following you in the future!
    I can say that as a proud Southerner, my favorite flowers are our traditional azaleas.

  9. Rachael
    Rachael says:

    Subscribed to the newsletter, although I’m pretty sure I already was one. I love pansies and roses. Not sure I have a favorite flower, but I do love the beauty of flowers.

  10. Diana Guz
    Diana Guz says:

    Shine Like the Dawn has a stunning cover!! I am signed up, thank you so much for the generous giveaway!

  11. Winnie Thomas
    Winnie Thomas says:

    I’m signed up for your newsletter. Your new book looks and sounds so fascinating. It’s on my wish list. My favorite flowers are perennial phlox and asiatic lilies.

  12. Elly
    Elly says:

    I signed up for your newsletter. One of my favorite flowers is firewitch dianthus. They’re so simple and they smell light and so good!

  13. Leslie S. Lowe
    Leslie S. Lowe says:

    Hi Carrie! My favorite flower is the old English cottage rose that is so full it looks like a little cabbage. Since I can’t enjoy their blooms all year round due to their climate, I have been enjoying African violets for their varieties, fuzzy leaves, and glitter on the petals that bloom all year round, even when there is a blizzard outside.

  14. Gail Hollingsworth
    Gail Hollingsworth says:

    Subscribed! I love roses, they smell so good! But carnations last a long time so I get to enjoy them longer.

  15. Joan Kurth
    Joan Kurth says:

    I subscribed! I love my lilacs in May and my peonies in June. (I live in southeast SD) My indoor flowers I enjoy are my African violets.

  16. Karen
    Karen says:

    I’m already a newsletter subscriber! I always look forward to your monthly notes! ?

    I think that my favorite flower is the daffodil. It has such a unique shape and beauty to it. I love its cheerful reminder of spring!

  17. Margie
    Margie says:

    Thank you for sharing the video…one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!! Roses are one of my favorite flowers….I am already subscribed to your newsletter….Love your books!!!

  18. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    That was beautiful my favorite flower is the old English rose I have one growing in my yard thanks to the original owner of our home!

  19. Diane Bucci
    Diane Bucci says:

    Signed up already for your newsletter ? tulips are my favorite flower!!! They make my kitchen so cheerful and inviting when I have them on the table!!!

    JEANNE CREA says:

    Hello! I am new subscriber. Love the photos and the slideshow. My favorite flowers are lilacs, and I love seeing flowering trees and bushes.

  21. Judy Welbaum
    Judy Welbaum says:

    Wow…the video was wonderful and the music.
    I love Cleomies…and truly all flowers….it is a passion of mine plus reading Christian Fiction.

  22. Caryl Kane
    Caryl Kane says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter. Bluebonnets are one of my favorite flowers.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

  23. Arletta
    Arletta says:

    For outdoor plants, then lilacs are my favourite flowers. But if you’re going to buy me flowers then shower me with “wildflower” type of flowers.

  24. Megan Potter
    Megan Potter says:

    Oh my goodness! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Shine Like the Dawn. I can’t wait to read it!! Daisy’s and Sunflowers are my favorite flower. Thanks so much for this giveaway!! I signed up for your newsletter.

  25. Sara Johns
    Sara Johns says:

    I believe I’m already a subscriber but I signed up again just in case- didn’t want to miss out on this fun giveaway. In answer to your question, my favorite flower is a Sunflower. As a child, my grandfather would grow some in his fields just for me and I’ve loved them since.


  26. Sonnetta Jones
    Sonnetta Jones says:

    I love hibiscus and birds of paradise. I just love a colorful arrangement. It can brighten ones day.

    Sonnetta Jones

  27. Polaris Northstar
    Polaris Northstar says:

    I just subscribed to your newsletter. As for a favorite flower… I don’t think I could pick just one… but for the sake of the question… I will say I love the bright blue color of the Bachelor’s Button.

  28. Tammy Cordery
    Tammy Cordery says:

    What a great prize to win. My favorite flower is lily of the valley. I love that flower. I already subscribe to the news letter.

  29. Lynda E.
    Lynda E. says:

    I am a subscriber–thanks for the giveaway! I love lilacs, but can’t seem to get mine to bloom every year.

  30. Rosalyn
    Rosalyn says:

    I signed up for your newsletter.
    I am a lover of flowers, so it’s hard to pick a favorite! 🙂
    Spring flowers, I think tulips are my favorites,
    but in the summertime, I love roses!

  31. Connie Scruggs
    Connie Scruggs says:

    I don’t love flowers because of my allergies. My grandma had a gardenia bush when I was growing up, and I liked it when we cut some of the flowers and floated them in a pretty bowl, so I guess that’s my favorite.

  32. Pam Graber
    Pam Graber says:

    I’m already a newsletter subscriber, Carrie. My favorite flower is the lilac, followed closely by the Lily of the valley. Love the scent of both.

    • Kathy Anastos
      Kathy Anastos says:

      I forgot. I love all flowers, but my favorite in the Midas Touch Rose. It has the most wonderful yellow color and even the leaves have a spicy scent.

  33. Christine McMahon-Chase
    Christine McMahon-Chase says:

    I’m already a newsletter subscriber. One of my favorite flowers is the lilac. Our town has the Spokane Lilac Festival every year in May. It’s awesome!

  34. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    I’m already a newsletter subscriber. Some of my favorite flowers are hydrangeas, tulips, and hyacinths. Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Anne L. Rightler
    Anne L. Rightler says:

    Lilacs and roses are a favorite but for my summer porch, I always get red geraniums…they are so hardy! I get your newsletter and thank you for the opportunity to win some books!

  36. Amy
    Amy says:

    I’ve signed up for your newsletter! My favorite flower are roses. I love how fragrant they are and how they look while still in the bush. They’ve been my favorite since I was a little girl.

  37. Margaret R Walker
    Margaret R Walker says:

    My favorite flowers are roses, especially in rose gardens. However, I do miss the giant rhododendrons that I grew up with at my Seattle home!

  38. Lisa Cullett
    Lisa Cullett says:

    My favorite flower is probably the lilac~ so fragrant, pretty, and deer don’t like them! Thank you for the opportunity to win your book!

  39. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    One of my favorite flowers is the peony. Thank you for the giveaway and thank you for the video tour. Lovely house and grounds.

  40. Abby
    Abby says:

    Those are lovely! Flowers always make me smile except for roses which I always equate with death for some reason. I love lilacs. They are gorgeous especially the deep purple and they smell heavenly. I always have a case on my counter while they are in bloom.

  41. Julie
    Julie says:

    Looks great! My favorite flower – hmm. That’s a tough one. I love the scent of lilacs and their beautiful purple, lavender, and white colors. I also like any flower my grandchildren give to me!

  42. Carol Ann Pileggi
    Carol Ann Pileggi says:

    I’m looking forward to reading Shine Like the Dawn, and i loving gardening. My favorite flower my be Hydrangeas. I signed up for your newsletter.

  43. Julie Waldvogel
    Julie Waldvogel says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. My favourite flower is the Lily. It’s a messy flower, but it truly is beautiful.

  44. Susan Carroll
    Susan Carroll says:

    Many years were spent in Oregon, where the Rhododendrons and azaleas are gorgeous every spring. It would be magical to see them in England, if only in my heart.

  45. Mary Koester
    Mary Koester says:

    One of my favorite flowers is wisteria. I have beautiful vines in my yard. I already receive your newletter. Thanks so much!


  46. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    God made so many beautiful flowers it’s hard to choose just one, but lilac has to be one of my top picks.
    Your new book cover is eye-catching. Good job!

  47. Dawn Hogue
    Dawn Hogue says:

    What a great collection of books! Thanks for the giveaway! I love gerbera daisies and lilacs — not necessarily together, tho 🙂

  48. Anna D.
    Anna D. says:

    There are so many beautiful flowers on this earth is difficult to choose just one favorite! Right now, my blue hydrangeas are beginning to bloom, so I’ll go with those :). And I have signed up for your newsletter.

  49. Patty
    Patty says:

    I subscribed to your newsletter, maybe I already had but I did it again just in case!
    I love seeing the daffodils in the spring, probably because they are the first flowers we usually see around here,

  50. Laurel
    Laurel says:

    i think I already subscribe but I signed up again, just in case. 🙂 I am thrilled about this giveaway and would love to win! 🙂

  51. Linda Hutchins
    Linda Hutchins says:

    I am subscribed to your newsletter. The flowers in this post are gorgeous! I love all kinds of flowers, but lilacs remind me of the house where I grew up. I planted 3 bushes where I live now and love their fragrance!

  52. Pam K.
    Pam K. says:

    I signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for sharing the video of this stunning property. The colors and textures of the plants are lovely. I was happy to see a photo of an iris; they are one of my very favorite flowers.

  53. Stephani Fannin
    Stephani Fannin says:

    Those pictures of the gardens are beautiful and make me really anxious to read your book! My favorite flower would be a purple orchid–even if I do struggle keeping them alive lol. Thank you for participating in this giveaway! I just signed up for your newsletter.

  54. Penny J.
    Penny J. says:

    I just signed up for your newsletter. One of my favorite flowers are the beautiful white Easter Lilies. I love them, and had them in my wedding bouquet.

  55. Sandra Murphy
    Sandra Murphy says:

    Signed up for the newsletter and look forward to your posts. My favorite flower, hands down … the peony. The books above look lovely.

  56. Mary Lynch
    Mary Lynch says:

    Your video was so beautiful…i will watch it many times. And I would love to read your books just as much. Flowers in stories…love them so much. Thank you for the video!

  57. Karen
    Karen says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your book.
    I am already signed up to receive your newsletter via email.
    My favorite flower is the daffodil, partly because of their fragrance, partly because yellow is my favorite color and partly because they are one of the earliest sign of Spring’s arrival.

  58. Gretchen Bauder
    Gretchen Bauder says:

    Oh to choose only one flower! I love Gerber daisies for a bouquet and dwarf irises that are deep purple for a garden ? however, I love both the beauty and smell of cherry blossom trees! I love your books and eagerly await the chance to read them!

  59. Mimi
    Mimi says:

    My favorite flower is probably the peony. Mine have already bloomed for the season sadly. Your video was beautiful! I would adore seeing that in person. I’m already one of your subscribers.

  60. Jen Waugh
    Jen Waugh says:

    I’ve already signed up for your newsletter! I love your writing, and the book covers are always beautiful. My favorite flower are Carnations no matter what the colors are!

  61. Sandra Burson
    Sandra Burson says:

    My favorite flower since I was a child is snapdragons, to me they look like people talking, when you squeeze them. 🙂

  62. Ashley Hinz
    Ashley Hinz says:

    Melanie Dickerson’s blog post is one that won’t let me comment. I’m not sure why.

    Already subscribed.

  63. Martha T.
    Martha T. says:

    I like a lot of flowers,so,it’s hard to pick just one. Daisies and roses are among my most favorite!

  64. Erika
    Erika says:

    I really enjoyed the video. What a beautiful place. I love many different types of flowers. It is hard to pick only one. I think roses would be at the top.

  65. Mary Kay Moody
    Mary Kay Moody says:

    Hi Carrie, what a lovely tour. One of the best photos I’ve ever seen of the Monkey Puzzle Tree! Hard to pick just one flower ~ perhaps peonies, they are so lush. Love roses and azaleas and lilacs and miss them.

    I am signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for this British Blooms & Books Giveaway.
    Blessings, Mary Kay

  66. Mary W
    Mary W says:

    I am already a subscriber of your newsletter and it’s a good thing I am! This is how I found out about this giveaway. Thankfully! I love these types of books and read every day when I go to bed for the night.

    My favorite flower is a daisy. Perhaps they’re just a humble flower but they always remind me of happiness and sunshine.

    Many thanks for your part in this beautiful giveaway!

  67. Phyllis Horn
    Phyllis Horn says:

    I’m a subscriber already. I love peonies so much!! Just wish they lasted a little longer. I would love to read your book “Shine like the Dawn” the cover is gorgeous!!!

  68. Suzanne Sellner
    Suzanne Sellner says:

    I loved the video and subscribed to your newsletter. My favorite flowers are flowering magnolias, and several years ago my husband gave me a flowering magnolia tree with the beautiful pink blossoms that herald the onset of spring in Houston, TX. We’ve had 4-5 magnolias with the waxy leaves and gorgeous white blossoms in our back for about the last 40 years and love those too.

  69. Rebecca Tellez
    Rebecca Tellez says:

    Loved Shine Like the Dawn and really enjoyed the video. Already a subscriber to your newsletter. Choosing a favorite flower is hard but peonies and lilacs and roses.

  70. Donna B
    Donna B says:

    I signed up for your newsletter. My favorite flowers are roses and tulips. I’m looking forward to reading these great books!

  71. Jennifer Torres
    Jennifer Torres says:

    I signed up for your newsletter. 🙂
    My favorite flower is a Gardenia. Not only are they beautiful but their fragrance is amazing too!

  72. Anne Payne
    Anne Payne says:

    I love all kinds of flowers! I suppose my favorite is a Carnation because they last so long in a bouquet. I’ve never grown them though. As to that, I would say Roses. I’m not usually one to cut them and bring them in because they don’t last long that way. Yellow and pink are my fav colors. This year, I have some beautiful yellow Petunias I potted, along with some that have a variegated purple-like bloom but it’s a smaller variety. Gerbera Daisies are a fav too. I love the scent of Lilacs, Lavender, and Gardenia! I like them all!!! 🙂

  73. Kathryn Voss
    Kathryn Voss says:

    I already subscribe! My favorite flower is the daffodil. They are so happy looking after the long winter.

  74. Valerie Stoj
    Valerie Stoj says:

    The video was stunning – a brief trip to another part of the world. It’s easy to see how many artists and writers have been inspired by the beautiful English countryside.
    I signed up for your newsletter. Thank you for participating in this generous giveaway.

  75. Susan Mather Barone
    Susan Mather Barone says:

    My favorite flower is the daisy and thankfully I have no problem growing those. I think they’ve taken over the yard thanks to our lovely squirrels digging around.

  76. Leona Olson
    Leona Olson says:

    What a video. Loved it. I love peonies and lilacs that we have in Minnesota. I am from West Texas and did not have them there. I subscribed to your newsletter.

  77. Laura Reisnel
    Laura Reisnel says:

    Amazing video! Thank you! My favorite flower? Feels like choosing a favorite child! I named my daughter Lillian Rose… see the favorites there? LOL
    But all time favorite would be the sunflower
    Very excited to read this book!

  78. Melissa Lake
    Melissa Lake says:

    I’m already signed up for your newsletter. My favorite flower is hard-I love so many! I’ve always liked lilacs and also daisies.

  79. Ruby Edwards
    Ruby Edwards says:

    Enjoyed the video and the music.
    A favorite flower, that is a difficult choice. At this time of year I always enjoy honeysuckle. Not a showy flower, but I do love the fragrance. Lilacs are another favorite for the scent. I love roses for their delicate petals and the variety of colors.

  80. Dianna
    Dianna says:

    I love to garden, and flowers are my summer pleasure. I love all of them, from zinnias to hydrangeas to petunias.

    Also, signed up for your newsletter!

  81. Bethany
    Bethany says:

    I subscribe to your newsletters and Iris are a current fav. (then peony, then rose, you understand… 🙂 )

  82. Lucy Reynolds
    Lucy Reynolds says:

    I love my flower gardens. One of my favorite flowers are wild violets. I already receive your newsletter. Blessings

  83. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    I love flowers. My grandmother always had a variety growing, especially lilac’s and irises. Subscribed to your newsletter.

  84. Grace M. Morris
    Grace M. Morris says:

    Your book looks cool. Favorite flower…. I love flowers picking a favorite is so hard! I like snapdragons. I subscribed to your newsletter.

  85. Karen
    Karen says:

    Hi Carrie! I received your email in regards to this contest thus morning. ? My favorite flower is the Gardenia. It had a beautiful scent.

  86. Catherine Lemanski
    Catherine Lemanski says:

    I have always love peonies and look forward to early spring when they bloom. I am a subscriber of your newsletter.

  87. Crystal Balzer
    Crystal Balzer says:

    Thank you for the giveaway! I am already a subscriber. My favorite flower is the lily, specifically the stargazer lily!

  88. CutePolarBear
    CutePolarBear says:

    I’m subscribed to your newsletter and I would love to enter! I really enjoy reading historical fiction. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!


    • CutePolarBear
      CutePolarBear says:

      Also, my favorite flowers may be yellow dandelions. They are so pretty, and it takes no work on my part to watch them grow!

  89. Juanita Decuir
    Juanita Decuir says:

    I hope I made the giveaway on time, had difficulties posting, proving I am not a robot and recovering webpage that I gave up until something told me to try again, so, here I am, gave my e-mail to all the authors participating and Commented…hoping all was posted…thanks for the chance!…blessings to ALL.

  90. Mary E. Massey
    Mary E. Massey says:

    I’m excited to see a new author that I will be trying/reading books from! Julie Classen told me to come here !


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