Pinterest 101 for Writers & Readers

I have a background in art and I’m a very visual person. I’ve always collected photos for my characters and settings, so when I discovered Pinterest . . . it was love at first sight or should I say first pin! For me, it’s a great way to take a break, relax, and see some beautiful images . . . as well as build connections with readers.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world. It’s now number three behind Facebook and Twitter. So it makes sense for writers and readers to learn the basics and use Pinterest to connect with reading and writing friends.

So what is Pinterest? It’s a visual discovery tool that people use to collect, organize, and share ideas for projects and interests. People create and share collections (called boards) of images (called pins). Any time you find an image on the web that you like, you can pin, or lately they say save, that image to one of your boards to view again later or share with others. You can also download images from your computer to Pinterest, but the first method is better because it links back to the place you found the image.

Maggie’s Millinery Shop

Shine Like the Dawn Releases 2/21

 

How can authors use Pinterest? Kimberley Grabas, author of Your Writer Platform Blog says, “Your goal should be to teach, entertain and inspire your audience on Pinterest. In return, Pinterest will grant you the ability to increase awareness of your author brand, drive more relevant traffic to your website, and increase your book sales.”

People head to Pinterest to find solutions, get ideas, and be inspired. Plus pinners are buyers . . . so authors can use Pinterest as a marketing tool. But like all social media, it’s important to avoid too much self-promotion. Pinterest is a quieter platform where you are mainly sharing images and connecting with readers who share similar interests.

Here are some specific ideas for authors. Create boards for each of your books and feature the cover, characters, setting, clothing, and events that happen in the story. Link those images back to your website and blog to help readers connect with you and purchase your books. These boards can be a great help to the artists who designs your covers. Visit my board for Shine Like the Dawn, my next English historical romance that releases February 21.

Morningside Manor

Northumberland, England

 

Since I write historical novels I have boards for different time periods with clothing, cars, people, and events from those eras. Those boards are a good place to keep images that link back to research articles. Authors who do this exceptionally well are Lori Benton and Laura Frantz. Check out their book boards! 

My last three novels and Shine Like the Dawn are set in the same era as Downton Abbey, and one of my marketing goals is to reach out to fans of that show. So I have a board for Downton Abbey and another for Highclere Castle, where Downton was filmed. Those are my two most popular boards with the highest number of images saved. They have helped me connect with many Downton Fans and introduce them to my books.

You can pin/save images from your blog posts or author email newsletters and link people back to your website. Pin images that lead readers to 5-star reviews and blog interviews. When it’s time for a cover reveal, launch week, or a special promotion, pin those images and share them with those who follow you on Pinterest.

You can also create boards that allow you to share your interests with others on Pinterest. I have boards for Tea Time, English Country Gardens, People I admire, Favorite Authors, Romance, Books Worth Reading, Favorite Recipes, To Your Good Health, Childhood Memories, Kids, Favorite Movies, Doors, Christmas, Favorite Verses and Quotes, Places I’d Like to Go, Scotland, England. These kind of boards give readers a taste of who you are and offer added value. Take a look at my boards.

Morningside Manor ~ Cragside

Ancient Hadrian’s Wall

 

For a great step by step tutorial on how to set up a Pinterest account, get started, and use Pinterest visit Your Writer Platform.  And for more great ideas about how you can use Pinterest to connect with readers visit: http://www.copyblogger.com/pinterest-marketing/

Are you active on Pinterest? Leave a comment below with a link to your boards and we can connect there!

Until next time, Happy Reading . . . and pinning!

Carrie

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

Things I Miss About Downton Abbey

Farewell to Downton Mary

Are you missing Downton Abbey? In the last six years it became one of the most popular British dramas of all time with millions of viewers around the world. I loved the show, and I was sad to see it end. It was a great inspiration for my English historical novels and a wonderful resource for my research on Edwardian life. But what exactly am I going to miss about the show?

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The House:  The show is set at Highclere Castle, which is stunning. It’s a wonderful example of Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture, and if it reminds you of the Houses of Parliament that’s because they shared an architect. The house became a silent character on the show. It gave the show a weighty permanence, no matter what happened to the characters that great house didn’t change. And that’s amazing. Highclere Castle itself is one of Britain’s greatest stately homes, and I loved visiting there in 2012, when Downton was just beginning to become popular.

Downton Costumes

MaryCora in a hat

The Clothes:  The fashions are one of my favorite aspects of the show. Not only were the costumes beautiful, it was really fun watch styles change from 1912 – 1925. The Edwardian era was a time of great change for Britain and you could see it in the fashions. Remember the scandal when Sybil wore trousers! And oh all those lovely hats! I was delighted to visit the Downton Costume Exhibit when it came to Winterthur Museum in PA a couple years ago.

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The Melodrama:  It was often said that Downton was a soap opera about posh people. The show was definitely melodramatic, but I would argue that was a strength, not a weakness. I’m going to miss all the trials and tribulations of the characters. Whether it’s moving the body of the Turkish guest in the middle of the night, or Mrs Patmore facing struggles opening a B&B, I loved it all.

Downton Abbey

My Favorite Characters: Upstairs and downstairs, I had my favorite characters, and I’m going to miss them all. Despite all the trouble someone like Miss O’Brian or Thomas created, their scheming added the needed conflict and drama. One of my favorite characters was Sybil for her strong spirit and her love for Tom Branson. Another favorite character was Matthew, he helped the audience understanding the complex world of the British aristocracy in the early 20th century. Just like everyone else, I was devastated when he died. But I still enjoyed the show after that. These characters feel like friends and they will be missed. And who’s not going to miss The Dowager Countess – Violet’s brilliant quips?

Downton Characters

The Time Period: The early 20th century is such an interesting time. Britain was on the cusp of massive change, brought on by the tragedy of the First World War. I’m also interested in the interwar years, and it was fascinating to watch them drop hints at what was to come, like Edith’s lover being murdered by Nazi thugs. I’m a little sad we won’t see Downton continue into the World War II era – that really would be the end of the Great House era, and when Downton would probably be opened to paying visitors. Let’s hope if they do make a movie they will fast forward to the pre-war years and we can watch events unfold through the eyes of the children, now grown up.

Farewell to Downton Carson

Click on the image to watch a farewell to Downton Abbey short video.

The Reminder That We Can Still Have Manners:  At Downton their was always a proper way of doing things, especially under the influence of Mr. Carson, the butler. Our modern age can sometimes seem crass and shallow in comparison. Downton is a fictional reminder that we can still use good manners without being snobby.

Mary Edit Rose

Thanks to the Anglotopia for some of this info! If you love all things British, then you’ll want to visit their blog!

If you love Downton Abbey, then I think you’ll enjoy the The Highland Hall novels. Book 1 is The Governess of Highland Hall, Book 2 is The Daughter of Highland Hall, and Book 3 is A Refuge at Highland Hall. They are set in England in the same time period as Downton Abbey, 1911 – 1915, and they have similar upstairs – downstairs drama and romance, as well as inspirational themes. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Happy Reading!

Highland Hall Series

What will you miss about Downton Abbey now that it’s gone? Do you think they will make a movie? Let me know in the comments!

Two Special Events for You

Hi Friends,

I’m looking forward to two opportunities to connect with reading friends. I hope you’ll check your calendar and see if you can join me. I’d love to meet you!

tea partySaturday, April 16 ~ Downton Abbey Meets Peter Rabbit English Tea Party: I’ll be meeting new friends and signing books at the United First Presbyterian Church at Larison’s Corner, 1000 Old York Road in Ringoes, New Jersey, 1:00 – 4:00 PM.  The event will feature traditional English tea foods, hot tea, Downton Abbey trivia quizzes, Come in Downton Abbey attire and get a prize. There will be a children’s tea with crafts related to Beatrix Potter’s 23 tales. Take a photo with Peter Rabbit. Learn more about the author Beatrix Potter. Cost: Adults, $7; ages 12 and under, $3; under age 3, free. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Round Valley 4H Horse Club. For more information, visit the church website or call 908-722-5812.

cfrr logo without header SMWednesday, August 24 ~ Christian Fiction Readers Retreat: I’m one of the participating authors at this special event for readers, bloggers, and authors in Nashville, Tennessee. Come and enjoy the day with some of your favorite Christian fiction authors including Laura Frantz, Julie Lessman, Ruth Logan Hearn, Mary Connealy, Melanie Dickerson, Mesu Andrews, Kate Breslin, Pepper Basham, and many, many more! I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion, enjoying lunch with readers, and signing books. For more details and to register please visit this website.

Carrie in Refuge HateI hope to see many of you at one of these events . . . but if not, we can stay connected on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Until then, Happy Reading,

Carrie

Discover These Amazing Downton Abbey Filming Locations

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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

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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,

Carrie

Books Like Downton Abbey ~ Part 2

Downton Abbey Cast

Hi Friends,

The new season of Downton Abbey has finally arrived . . . but what will Downton fans do when season six comes to an end? They could watch reruns of the series, or they could read novels set in the same time period. Here are several that I’ve enjoyed and my three latest, which are all set in the early 1900s in England:

Not By SightNot By Sight by Kate Breslin

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain’s attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country’s cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball. But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

The Lost HeiressThe Lost Heiress by Roseanne White

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother. As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

GovernessThe Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

DaughterHighlandHall_cvrThe Daughter of Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love-and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

Refuge at Highland HallA Refuge at Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series set in 1915 England and France the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war.

The ThornbearerThe Thornbearer by Pepper Basham

From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.

When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?

In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.

As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

The Thorn KeeperThe Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope? Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice. When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever. Releases February 28, 2016!

Hope RisingHope Rising by Stacie Henrie

What a heart-warming, emotion wringing, beautiful tale of love lost, found and given during a very hard time. This author paints a picture with words of war time sufferings, pains and triumphs for those of us who will never know. A story that flows and takes you along for the well-written ride of a book life-time. War-time nurse Evelyn has some tough life changes happening to her. Corporal Joel has to deal with injuries, healing, and guilt. Sorrow and changes haunt them both as they try to discover if an answer is sitting right in front of them. Gods answer to their dreams is not what they expected but amazingly so much more than they ever could have dreamed! I truly loved the budding romance between these two memorable characters. It was beautiful and believable. The secondary cast of characters were engaging and interesting as well. The perfect pairing of war-time information and background mixed with the lives and feelings of these people made this a deeply engaging page-turner.

A Hope RememberedHope Remembered by Stacie Henrie

Nora Lewis just wants an escape after losing her fiance in the Great War. When she inherits property in England, she boldly packs up and leaves America for a fresh start. But, if not for her dashing new neighbor, Colin Ashby, she’d be lost. Even as their friendship deepens, Nora knows a British aristocrat would never be free to love an American orphan, no matter how much the war has changed the world …

After his brother’s death in the war and his own experiences as a pilot at the front, Colin returns home broken, only to discover his family’s estate is also in ruin. The pressure is now on him to save his home and the Ashbys’ place in society with a well-bred match to a wealthy heiress. Too bad he finds more of a kindred spirit in Nora, the beautiful American next door. She, too, has faced the rigors of war and survived. Now the ex-soldier will have one more battle to fight–this time for love.

Did you read my earlier post: Books Like Downton Abbey Part One?

Downton Abbey Read Alike Poster_2

Happy Reading to All!

Carrie

 

Dowton Abbey, Poldark, and The Crimson Field

Downton AbbeyHi Friends,

Are you missing Downton Abbey? Fans of the popular British TV Series have found some new, exciting programs to enjoy while we wait for the sixth and final (snif-snif) season of Downton.

I’ve enjoyed Poldark and The Crimson Field, both of which are airing on PBS now. I wanted to recommend them to you, and give you a little more information about them so you can decide if you’d like to tune in.

 

Aidan Turner - PoldarkPoldark

Aidan Turner stars as Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall, England, after fighting in the American Revolutionary War to discover that his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is about to marry his first cousin. Also starring is Eleanor Tomlinson as the fiery servant Demelza, a strong-willed miner’s daughter who runs away from home and finds refuge in Poldark’s household.

I’ve enjoyed the family drama, romance, adventure, and learning more about Cornwall, England, in the late 1700s.

DemelzaPoldark is based on a beloved series of novels by Winston Graham. The first, Ross Poldark, was published in 1945; the last, Bella Poldark, appeared in 2002, a year before Graham’s death.

There will be 8 episodes, and 2 – 5  are available free on the PBS websites. The DVD is also for sale there and at other online sites.

The Crimson Field

Crimson Field

In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses and women volunteers work together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches during World War One. The hospital is a frontier: between the battlefield and homefront, but also between the old rules, hierarchies, class distinctions and a new way of thinking.

Kitty (Oona Chaplin), Rosalie (Marianne Oldham) and Flora (Alice St Clair) arrive as the hospital’s first volunteer nurses and struggle to be accepted by the established medical team. The girls are flung head first into a world for which nothing and nobody could have prepared them, but it is also an opportunity to break free of the constraints and limitations of their lives back home.

Sarah Phelps, one of British television’s most exciting and original writers, tells this story of World War One’s front line medics — their hopes, fears, triumphs and tragedies.

Episodes 1 – 5 are available to watch on the PBS website now.

Lady MaryLady Edith

And now take a look back at a video of the 50 most memorable moments of Downton Abbey.

Have you watched either of these new series? What did you think?

Until next time, Happy Reading and Happy Viewing,

Carrie

Come and Join Me for a Book~Signing Luncheon Tea!

Paris in a Cup Tea PartyHi Friends, If you live in the Orange County, California area, I hope you’ll join me and my friends Valerie and her sister Cheryl, who is the owner of Paris in a Cup, as we launch my newest book, The Daughter of Highland Hall, Saturday, October 18th with a book signing luncheon Tea. The Meet and Greet and book signing starts at 10:30, and the Luncheon begins at 11:00 am.

Daughter Highland HallFans of Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy this pure and inspiring romance, taking place in Edwardian England amid a clash of cultures and changing times. This is book 2 of the Edwardian Brides Series, but don’t worry this enjoyable read stands alone. In case you want to start with the first book in the series, The Governess of Highland Hall, I will have extra copies on hand for you to purchase.

I’ll be sharing about my visit to Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed, and how that series inspired my novels. I’m dressing up Edwardian style, and you’re welcome to dress up if you’d like, but that’s optional. Your paid reservation includes a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall, a lovely lunch prepare by Chef Josh Backstrom, delicous tea, a question and answer time, and applicable tax and gratuity. The cost is $49.95. Seating is very limited; reservations are prepaid and are non-refundable.

Tea FoodTo make your reservation visit www.parisinacup.com or call 714-538-9411.

Paris in a Cup is a lovely Tea salon, visit their website to see the photos.

To learn more about The Daughter of Highland Hall visit this page.

I hope to see you there!

Carrie

Visiting Downton’s Duneagle: Inverarary Castle

Hi Friends,

On my recent trip to Scotland I was very excited to visit Inverarary Castle which was featured in the last episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3. The Crawley family traveled to Scotland to visit Duneagle (Inverarary) and spend time with Lady Rose’s family, including Robert’s cousin Hugh (Shrimpy) and Susan, his unhappy wife. While they were there the men went stalking (hunting) and fishing, the women enjoyed walks in the garden and a picnic by the loch, and everyone took part in the ghillie (servants’) ball.

I enjoyed touring the castle with author and friend Cathy Gohlke along with forty-one new friends, all women, who were on the tour led by author Liz Curtis Higgs.

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle

Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, the Chief of the Clan Campbell. This impressive castle is located on the shore of Loch Fyne, one of Scotland’s longest sea lochs and has been the Campbell family’s home since the 17th century.

We walked through several beautifully decorated rooms including the Dining Room and Armoury Hall, which were featured on Downton Abbey.

Inverarary Castle Dining Room

 

The Armoury Room Inverarary Castle

The Armoury Room Inverarary Castle

I loved the small circular dish room and the beautiful paintings upstairs in the bedrooms.

Queen Victoria's daughter who married into the Campbel Clan

Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, who married John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll.

Azaleas and many other flowers were blooming in the beautiful gardens.

Inverarary Castle Gardens

Do you recognize this view of Inverarary Castle below? Mr. Bates and Anna found Rose hiding from her mother under those arches.

IMG_1441The castle and gardens were wonderful! I can see why the producers of Downton Abbey chose it for their Scottish location. It gave me lots of wonderful story ideas!

Until next time, happy reading!

Carrie

 

Visiting Highclere Castle Gardens

 

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle, the home of the Count and Countess of Carnarvon.

Hi Friends,

One of the highlights of our visit to England was touring Highclere Castle and gardens where Downton Abbey is filmed. What a beautiful spot! There are several sections to the gardens…so come along with me on a tour.

Just a short walk from the house we passed under the arched entrance where birck walls surround that first section of the garden. Climbing roses gave off a lovely fragrance, as did the lavender under the arches.

Walled garden at Highclere Castle

Climbing roses on the walled garden at Highclere Castle.

Highclere-Castle-Garden-brick-Georgian-Wall

Arched wall surrounding Highclere Castle Garden.

Several scenes in The Governess of Highland Hall take place in a garden and greenhouse like the one at Highclere, so I could almost imagine Sarah Ramsey and Clark Dalton stepping through the greenhouse doorway or Andrew or Millie Ramsey running down the garden path.

Carrie and the Greenhouse

The Highclere Greenhouse

roses in the greenhouse

Roses growing in the Highclere Castle greenhouse.

The next area we visited was the lovely all white border garden. I especially enjoyed seeing the large white hydrangeas.

All white garden

The all white border garden at Highclere Castle.

white hydrangea

White hydrangea bushes.

Then we saw the sign for the secret garden and followed the pathway into another delightful garden with curving borders of unique flowers.  Lovely!

The Secret Garden

Entrance to the Secret Garden

Entrance to Highclere’s Secret Garden.

highclere castle garden

The Secret Garden at Highclere.

Roses in Highclere garden

Roses in Highclere Gardens.

Butterfly Bush

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

The Governess of Highland Hall It was a very special day for us, and one we will long remember. Do you enjoy touring gardens? Would you like to visit Highclere? Even if you can’t fly off to England, you can experience life in Edwardian England by reading The Governess of Highland Hall…and next October, The Daughter of Highland Hall!

Until next time…Happy Reading!

Carrie