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….


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.


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 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:

Melanie Dickerson’s Page:

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Page:!british-blooms-and-books/dtpk9

Julie Klassen’s Page:

Roseanna White’s Page:

170 replies
    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Yay, Haley, you are the first person to visit and sign up! Thanks! I hope you enjoy the British Blooms and Books blog tour and giveaway!

  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    Signed up for your newsletter! I’ve never read any of your books, but I believe I found a new author that I’ll love reading. Can’t wait!!

  2. Becky Smith
    Becky Smith says:

    Your book covers are sooo beautiful! All of the research that you do to make your books more genuine is amazing! Loved this blog and all of your beautiful pictures!!!!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Becky, I enjoy the research. That’s how I find the stories. I’m researching a new book now, and it’s going to include some history about the beginning of aviation in Britain in the early 1900s. Those were very daring flights!

  3. Anne Rightler
    Anne Rightler says:

    Loved your blog pictures. Signed up for your newsletter. Thank you so much for sharing/hosting the giveaway. Here’s hoping!

  4. Stacey Cochran
    Stacey Cochran says:

    Signed up for your newsletter! I have never read any of your books, but the covers have drawn me in. I think you may have a new reader!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Stacey, I am very happy with my covers! Thanks for the compliments!
      I’ve been blessed to give some input for the models, clothing, and hats. That’s been fun. Happy Reading!

  5. Lucy Reynolds
    Lucy Reynolds says:

    Hi, Carrie. I already receive your newsletter and as you know I love your books. Have a blessed and happy day.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Lucy, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy visiting all six posts. I love these authors’ books!

  6. Katherine Good
    Katherine Good says:

    I haven’t read any of your books, but they’re going onto my reading list now! Signed up for your newsletter.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Katherine, thanks for adding my books to your reading list! I hope you enjoy your time at Highland Hall!

  7. Rachael K
    Rachael K says:

    Already a subscriber! Your pictures are beautiful; I love the lavender lining the walkway (or that’s what I’m assuming it is).

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Rachael, you’re right. That is lavender lining the wall at Highclere gardens. Lovely and it smelled so nice!

  8. Joyce Reavis
    Joyce Reavis says:

    I’m already a subscriber, but would love to win any of these books. English romance books always have been my favorite. Thanks.

  9. Crystal Rovnyak
    Crystal Rovnyak says:

    I just subscribed. I love the style of your books. I cannot wait to read them. They are on my to read list! I am so excited about this giveaway!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Jennifer, I just turned in my next book to my editor. The title is Shine Like the Dawn, and it releases February 2017. I’m researching the next story after that now. : )

  10. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I really enjoy your books. And I love that you’re reading Anne of Green Gables right now-even though it’s not British, it is my all time favorite books.

  11. Christina
    Christina says:

    Hi Carrie
    I signed up for your newsletter and look forward to reading it. I have your books in my TBR pile and can’t wait to read them.

  12. Cindi
    Cindi says:

    My twins recently came back from serving missions in England and this has sparked a real interest in anything and everything English! Some of the friends they met over there came over to the states to visit and made us some Yorkshire pudding. YUM

  13. Debbie Clatterbuck
    Debbie Clatterbuck says:

    What a fabulous giveaway. I love the blog post too. I have all of the books listed on my TBR list except A Noble Masquerade. I have already read that one and love, love, loved it. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone. Oh by the way I think I’m signed up for your newsletter. when I entered my email address and pressed Sign Up it took me to a picture of one of your books.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Debbie, I checked and your email address was added to my newsletter list, so it went through just fine. Thanks!

  14. Rachael Merritt
    Rachael Merritt says:

    Already signed up for emails. I have all three books in this series. I read somewhere that a rich person from England visited the colonies a very long time ago. He wanted to know what colonists had against flower gardens. It us interesting that though many, many, Americans came from England…English gardens are far prettier than the ones here.

  15. Valerie S.
    Valerie S. says:

    This giveaway is a wonderful “virtual reality” tour of the English countryside – thank you! I’ve never seen an all-white flower garden, but I’m sure they are beautiful. The Edwardian Brides trilogy is on my TBR list!

  16. Loraine N.
    Loraine N. says:

    Oh, I’m so jealous that you got to visit Highclere Castle. What wonderful pics you have here.

    I’m a subscriber to your newsletter. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Julie Jobe
    Julie Jobe says:

    Wow! What beautiful pictures! I would love to visit those places one day! I’ve signed up for your newsletter, just waiting on the confirmation email. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Tina Turpin
    Tina Turpin says:

    Hi Carrie! Of course, I am already a subscriber and fan. 😉 This is such a fun contest. I love petitfours and the hat design is absolutely adorable. Looking forward to your books to come! Big reader hugs to you.

  19. Donna Brookmyer
    Donna Brookmyer says:

    I’m already a subscriber to your newsletter. What beautiful pictures! Thanks for this giveaway.

  20. Tristan
    Tristan says:

    What a lovely ‘job requirement’ – doing research trips! I appreciate the authenticity it brings to a story. Thank you for writing.

  21. Nancy Luebke
    Nancy Luebke says:

    I just signed up. I loved the pictures showing the flowers. Thinking of the white garden, which was probably amazing, made me think of an old bush type plant that we found on our little farm. It is called the old fashioned Bridal wreath. I’ve been fasinated with it ever since we first found it.

  22. Jordann
    Jordann says:

    Just signed up for your newsletter! I enjoyed reading The Governess of Highland Hall and am looking forward to reading the others in the series!! What a great giveaway!

  23. Breeze Henke
    Breeze Henke says:

    Can’t wait to read your books! This contest has introduced a new author & I love that 🙂 Signing up for newsletter as well ☺️

  24. Dana Michael
    Dana Michael says:

    I would love to go to England. Sounds amazing! I just subscribed to your newsletter!! Thanks so much!!

  25. Victoria Rodabough
    Victoria Rodabough says:

    Thanks for doing a giveaway! I love Melanie’s books so I hope I have the opportunity to read yours as well!

  26. Amanda Teague
    Amanda Teague says:

    Hello! I’m a subscriber already and have read your novel The Governess of Highland Hall. I can’t wait to read your other novels. I love that you have been to these places, the photos are gorgeous!

  27. Susan Roeper
    Susan Roeper says:

    I already subscribe to your newsletters. I love your Highland Hall books and am ready to read Refuge at Highland Hall. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. Debora Wilder
    Debora Wilder says:

    I subscribed to your newsletter. I loved reading about your visits to England and the gardens that you saw. They sound like wonderful trips.

  29. Winnie Thomas
    Winnie Thomas says:

    I love your pictures. They remind me of my visit to England and Scotland a few years ago. Your covers and book descriptions are so enticing! Thanks for the fun giveaway. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  30. Phyllis Horn
    Phyllis Horn says:

    Carrie, enjoyed your lovely comments. Your book covers are so beautiful and the book titles sound so interesting, my daughter and I visited Grasmere in the Lake District a few years ago, it is just so quaint. Love English gardens, and love how you mentioned them in your book and even including the Royal family. Look forward to reading these in the garden ?

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Phyllis, that’s fun to hear you visit Grasmere in the Lake District! Did you try their famous gingerbread? I visited Grasmere in 2014. So lovely! My favorite area in England!

  31. Sonnetta Jones
    Sonnetta Jones says:

    England is on my list of things to do. I grew up in a former British Colony so I am influenced by some of their trsdtions. I still celebrate Boxing Day although I have to wirk. I love my tea. I am actually going to a Hat and Tea Party next month.

  32. Lisa Garrity
    Lisa Garrity says:

    Hi Carrie,
    I’m already a subscriber but also enjoy England and gardens. I would love to travel to England someday but it’s fun to follow along with your travels too!

  33. Susan Heim
    Susan Heim says:

    I signed up for your newsletter! Your books sound wonderful, and I really enjoyed reading about your trips to England. I haven’t been there since I was 17, so I would love to return there again.

  34. Trisha
    Trisha says:

    I’ve signed up for your news letter. I enjoyed reading Governess and looking forward to reading the next two in the series.

  35. Pam K.
    Pam K. says:

    I loved the photo of the lavender. My daughter gave me a lavender plant as part of my Mother’s Day gift; I’m hoping it will grow well here.
    I signed up for your newsletter. I haven’t yet read your books but this series is on my “want to read” list.

  36. Linda Horin
    Linda Horin says:

    I signed up for your email, even though I think I might have already been signed up, lol. Thanks for this contest. I hope to visit the site of Downton Abbey filming some day also!

  37. Betty Strohecker
    Betty Strohecker says:

    I just subscribed. I already own The Governess of Highland Hall. Thanks for such an amazing giveaway!
    The garden pictures are beautiful!

  38. MarshaJ
    MarshaJ says:

    I’m so excited for the opportunity to win these awesome books! I’ve always loved fiction set in Britain, and it’s so refreshing to have Christian authors in this genre. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  39. Andrea Byers
    Andrea Byers says:

    Love these castles and the garden pics you posted. I am fascinated by castles, which we don’t have here in that states that I know of. Signed up for the newsletter.

  40. Mallori
    Mallori says:

    I have yet to read any of your books, but they are definitely on my TBR list. I look forward to getting my hands on them! I subscribed to your newsletter.

  41. Brenda Murphree
    Brenda Murphree says:

    I love the tea hats and of course the books would be wonderful to win! I’m definitely going to read some or all of these books some day! Thanks for the opportunity to win a book!

  42. Emily
    Emily says:

    I enjoyed the pictures and am so jealous of all your travels! 🙂 I have subscribed and am loving this giveaway.

  43. Trixi
    Trixi says:

    How fun to see an English garden personally on a research trip! They look beautiful from the pictures but they must have been stunning in person 🙂 Thanks for sharing them!

    I’m already a subscriber to your newsletter! Its been fun participating in the British Blooms and Books giveaway 🙂

  44. Linda Hutchins
    Linda Hutchins says:

    I just subscribed to your newsletter and am looking forward to reading your books. Thanks for the garden tour pictures!

  45. Rachel Koppleberger
    Rachel Koppleberger says:

    I’m a newsletter subscriber. Thank you for the chance to win.

    Rachel K.
    Time4us2havetea (at) yahoo (dot) ccom

  46. Rebecca Tellez
    Rebecca Tellez says:

    Just signed up again for your newsletter and your blog posts. Carrie, reading this just brings your books more alive to me. Now I know that all the places I found so inviting in the trilogy are real places of memory to you, it just adds something to the reading. Thank you for the chance to win and thanks for following God’s call on your life. We are all richer.

  47. Susan C.
    Susan C. says:

    What a fun giveaway! I have really enjoyed reading all of the author posts. I already subscribe to your newsletter.

  48. Karen
    Karen says:

    That’s so wonderful that you got to travel to do research! I do believe that if I was ever an author (haha, not likely), I would enjoy the research trips the most. I do love to travel, although it’s all domestic travel due to budget constraints. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us! I’m a very visual person, so I enjoy having something to picture while reading!

  49. Alison Nichols
    Alison Nichols says:

    Just signed up!

    I absolutely love Refuge at Highland Hall! I haven’t read any of your other books, but that one was amazing! I highly recommend it!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Alison, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed A Refuge at Highland Hall! You might enjoy reading Julia’s story in The Governess of Highland Hall and Kate’s story in The Daughter of Highland Hall. Happy Reading!

  50. carylkane
    carylkane says:

    Hello Carrie! I am so excited that you are participating in this lovely tour. Thank you for the giveaway. I already subscribe to your newsletter. 🙂

  51. Bree M. NarnianWarHorse
    Bree M. NarnianWarHorse says:

    Just got to sign up for your newsletter! And thanks for being a part of this fantastic giveaway – I love being introduced to authors I’ve not read yet. 🙂

  52. Lynn Blosser
    Lynn Blosser says:

    Signed up for your newsletter. I really enjoyed the pictures and hearing about how the gardens inspired you. I’m looking forward to your next book.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Lynn, thanks for stopping by. My next book is coming out Feb. 2017: Shine Like the Dawn. It’s set in England in the early 1900s. It has a bit of a mystery as well as family drama, romance, and inspiration. It releases Feb. 2017. Happy Reading!

  53. Alicia Clingman
    Alicia Clingman says:

    I just tried to subscribe and I’m not sure if it worked! But I hope it did!! I would love to win! But I’ll check out your books anyways! 🙂

  54. Laura Waltz
    Laura Waltz says:

    I love your books and have read this series. Would love to win and re-read the one you included in the giveaway. I am excited to read your next book you write and see how gardens play a part in it. 🙂 Subscribed as well.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Laura, that’s fun to hear you’ve enjoyed the Highland Hall novels! I’ve turned in my next book to my editor. It’s called Shine Like the Dawn and it’s also set in England in the early 1900s. It has a bit of a mystery as well as family drama, romance, and inspiration. It releases Feb. 2017. Happy Reading!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Thank Janine! I’ve enjoyed working with Jones House Creative to build my website. They’ve taught me how to update the pages and keep things working. I’m grateful.

  55. Shaun Renee Paulsen
    Shaun Renee Paulsen says:

    I have never read one of your books. The Daughter of Highland Hall sounds like a good book to add to my personal library.

  56. Kara meggers
    Kara meggers says:

    I never did like reading till growing up…but finally in my 20s I took a chance on Beverly Lewis, and fell in love with reading….I even got to meet her, and then it was a challenge finding another author to also fall in love with, and that’s when I discovered Julie klassen…and now I’m addicted to her!! I sure am glad I’ve discovered the love if reading!!! and am now anxious to find new authors to fall in love with

  57. Polly Schneider
    Polly Schneider says:

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read any of your books, but they look so interesting. I love historical fiction. I am already a subscriber to your newsletter.

  58. Bree Herron
    Bree Herron says:

    I subscribed ! breannaherron (at) gmail dot com thank you for bringing some wonderful flowers to my Wyoming barren spring! Happy reading!!

  59. Brianna
    Brianna says:

    I have subscribed for your newsletter. I actually have not yet read any of your books. They look very interesting though!

  60. Liza
    Liza says:

    Just subscribed! Your books (and travels) look so interesting! I’d love to visit a castle, particularly the castle Dunans in Scotland.

  61. Megan Wilson
    Megan Wilson says:

    I subscribed. 😀 Thanks for the awesome giveaway. The hat petit fours are SO cute and I bet they taste good! Highland Hall looks amazing. I bet Scotland was wonderful! All these books sound wonderful. Thanks again!

  62. Rosalie
    Rosalie says:

    I am already subscribed to your emails. I love your book series, the Highland Halls. It brings the world of Edwardian England to me and opens up my eyes to see and understand the times and customs of during that period. Thank you for sharing your gift and love of writing I love reading updates on your process and background research when writing a book.

  63. Diana
    Diana says:

    Oh my goodness! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love your books! Thanks so much for the giveaway! I just subscribed.

  64. Sherri P.S.
    Sherri P.S. says:

    What an inspiring blog. It has made me want to be there and visit all those places that you went. Wow!

  65. Nicole Wilson
    Nicole Wilson says:

    Subscribed! Thanks for the giveaway! I haven’t read your books, but it’s always fun to discover a new to me author.?

  66. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    Would love to make this trip someday! Until then, I’ll live vicariously through your books! Thanks for the giveaway! I’m already subscribed. ?

  67. Amber Ludwig
    Amber Ludwig says:

    Subscribed! I’ve yet to read any of your books, but anything with flowers, castles romance and a bit of adventure intrigue me! =)

  68. Sheila Moore
    Sheila Moore says:

    I have signed up for the newsletter and can’t wait to read your books. I love flower gardens, tea and all things about castles too. Thank you for your giveaway

  69. Kathy Davis
    Kathy Davis says:

    I just subscribed to your newsletter. I’m excited to have a new author to follow, and a new book idea.


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