2017 British Blooms and Books

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!

Carrie

 

Honoring Mom

Hi Friends, 

****Update: the winner is Bethany Brewer!

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Do you have plans to celebrate and honor the special women in your life this weekend? I’ll be enjoying Mother’s Day morning with my Calvary Chapel Living Hope family, and then in the afternoon I’ll get together with family and a few friends for a picnic lunch, hopefully outside on the patio. It’s a beautiful time of the year in New Jersey, and I often plant annual flowers in my yard on Mothers Day weekend. Geraniums, marigolds, and snapdragons are some of my favorites. Here’s one of my patio pots.

My mom, Dorothy Swain, with me at my cousin’s wedding.

I’ll also be remembering my mom, Dorothy Swain, and thanking the Lord for her influence in my life and the gifts she’s given me. One gift is the love for art and creativity. She was an accomplished painter, commercial artist, and quilter. She also used her artistic skills to remodel and decorate our home. She encouraged me to try painting at an early age and made sure I had art supplies to continue exploring and developing my artistic abilities. I also love decorating my home and bringing beauty there for my family to enjoy.

This painting by my mom features a historic home in Astoria, Oregon, and hangs in my living room.

Another gift my mom gave me was a love for family and especially a desire to collect family stories and pass them on to the next generations. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories she collected and viewing the drawings she made to go with them. My mom was a writer as well as an artist and some of her articles were published in our local newspaper. 

Mom’s love for stories sparked my creativity, and I think she’d be very happy to see me writing historical novels that often feature families and beautiful settings. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away an audio book copy of Shine Like the Dawn. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post and tell me one interest or quality you share with your mom. I’ll announce the winner on Monday 15th. You can order a paperback or audio copy of Shine Like the Dawn by visiting my website

Happy Reading until next time,

Carrie

The Elusive Miss Ellison

Hi Friends, today I want to introduce author Carolyn Miller and give you the inside scoop about her new Regency novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, and her book launch giveaway. Keep reading for details!

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way. Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

{MORE ABOUT THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON}

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Kregel, February 2017)

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Find out more about Carolyn at https://www.carolynmiller.org.

Giveaway ~ Shine Like the Dawn

 

Hi Friends, 

My new English historical novel, Shine Like the Dawn, released earlier this week, and we are continuing the celebration with a fun Prize Package Giveaway for my readers! Please read on to enter the giveaway, but first here’s a description of the story:

“In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister, Violet. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. When Maggie discovers her father’s journal she begins to wonder if what happened to her family might not have been an accident.

Maggie’s childhood friend, Nathaniel Harcourt, returns from serving in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to Maggie’s family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie is uncertain if she can trust her old friend, especially when his family may be tied to the tragedy that changed the course of her life. Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate–and being reconciled with God? Will the search for the truth about the tragedy draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

Enter the Prize Package Giveaway by filling out the Raffllecopter form below and help us spread the word about Shine Like the Dawn. The prizes include a set our journals, a pen set, a reading journal, and a copy of Shine Like the Dawn! The Giveaway runs through March 6th. Good luck to you! 

You can read Shine Like the Dawn’s prologue and first chapter on this page. Visit your local bookstore or order your copy online.  

 

I’m also delighted that Shine Like the Dawn is being featured on a Celebrate Lit Blog Tour February 21 – March 6. Follow the tour and enter the giveaway! For more info visit the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour Page.

Thank so much for purchasing your copy of Shine Like the Dawn and joining in the celebration with me!

Until next time . . . Happy Reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shine Like the Dawn ~ Book Launch!

Hi Friends, 

It’s Release Day for my new English historical novel, Shine Like the Dawn, and I can’t wait to share this story with you! Please read on for some fun events and giveaways happening this week and next!

When you read Shine Like the Dawn you’ll be swept away to England in 1903 with family drama, inspiration, romance, and a mystery. Visit your local bookstore or order your copy online.  Here’s a summary of the story:

“In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister, Violet. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. When Maggie discovers her father’s journal she begins to wonder if what happened to her family that day on the lake might not have been an accident.

Maggie’s childhood friend, Nathaniel Harcourt, returns from serving in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to Maggie’s family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie is uncertain if she can trust her old friend, especially when his family may be tied to the tragedy that changed the course of her life.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate–and being reconciled with God? Will the search for the truth about the tragedy draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

You can read Shine Like the Dawn’s prologue and first chapter on this page.

I hope you’ll join me on my Facebook Author Page Tuesday – Saturday, Feb. 21 – 25, at 3:00 pm Eastern for some fun live video chats. I’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn, the characters, the setting, and more. You can ask questions and leave comments, and I’ll have a new giveaway each day. Even if you can’t listen live you’ll have 24 hours after each video posts to leave a comment and enter the drawing. Here are some of the fun prizes you could win: A lovely garden tea towel, A Keep Calm Tea Canister Set filled with some of my favorite teas, one of two pretty mugs, and pen and note set.

 

The Book Launch Celebration continues with a prize package giveaway hosted here on my blog February 25 – March 6.  Stop by and enter for your chance to win some lovely prizes including a signed copy of Shine Like the Dawn, a journal set, a pen set, and a lovely reading journal.

 

I’m delighted that Shine Like the Dawn is being featured on a Celebrate Lit Blog Tour February 21 – March 6. Follow the tour and enter a four-book giveaway! For more info visit the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour Page.

Thank so much for purchasing your copy of Shine Like the Dawn and joining in the celebration with me!

Until next time . . . Happy Reading!

Carrie

September Giveaway for Readers

Hi Friends,

Each month this year I’m giving away two books to reading friends who are subscribers to my author email newsletter. To enter the giveaway please sign up for my email newsletter in the box on the right at the top, and then leave a comment below. If you are already a subscriber, just mention that in your comment.

This month I’m giving away my newest release, Mountain Christmas Brides, a nine-novella collection by various authors and Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Both are inspirational, historical, and set in the US. To learn more about these stories and their authors just click on the cover below. Because of mailing cost, US entries only.

Mountain Christmas BridesRoom for hope

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading!

Carrie

July Giveaway for Readers

Hi Friends,

This month I’ll be giving away two historical romance novels, A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander and Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson. To enter the giveaway, sign up for my email newsletter (box on the right), and then leave a comment below. If you’re already a subscriber, just mention that in your comment. Thanks for staying connected! For more information about these books just click on the covers.

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Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor: Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways. Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

A Lasting Impression: Set at Nashville’s historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after the Civil War, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves–and each other–for who they really are.

I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer with lots of sunshine and good books!

Blessings and happy reading,

Carrie

 

British Blooms and Books Giveaway

BritishBloomsandBooksCoverGraphic

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….

Highclere-Castle-Garden-brick-Georgian-Wall

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!

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!

Secrets She Kep 22822928