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

Answering Your Questions

Hi Friends,

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream, or what are you reading now? I’m often asked questions like these for guest blog posts. Michelle at New Horizon Reviews asked some fun, creative questions, and I thought you might enjoy reading my answers.

(1) Can you briefly describe your new novel?

I’ll share this endorsement from Cathy Gohlke, the author of Secrets She Kept and Saving Amelie.

“From the first compelling page to the last heart-lifting moment, Shine Like the Dawn drew me in, made me smile then cry—all while keeping me on the edge of my seat. Turansky’s latest English historical romance, rich in mystery and intrigue, brings to life warm and memorable characters nestled between a charming Edwardian village and its local grand estate. Uplifting and highly recommended.”

(2) What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Christian fiction has the power to reach past our intellects and touch our hearts. Like Jesus, with his parables, and Nathan the Prophet , with his stories, our novels can have a powerful impact when they are well-told. Christian fiction offers a hopeful message because it is written from a Biblical worldview. And the world needs hope now more than ever.

(3) What is your favorite jewelry piece, and why?

My favorite piece of jewelry is my wedding ring. It’s vey special because I lost the diamond out of my original ring. So my husband bought me this new ring and got down on his knee to ask me to marry him (again) on Christmas morning in front of all the family. I was so choked up I could hardly say yes . . . but I finally managed to give him my answer and a kiss. He’s a keeper!

 

(4) What are your ideal writing conditions?

My idea writing conditions would be sitting in a recliner with my laptop in a quiet and clean house with instrumental music playing on my headphones. Ahhh . . . I can feel the words flowing just thinking about it.

(5) Are there any secret wishes hidden in your new book?

Maggie Lounsbury, the heroine, wishes she could discover the truth behind the tragedy that happens to her family at the beginning of the book. She keeps her quest a secret for a long while until she decides whom she can trust. Nate Harcourt, the hero, wishes he could convince Maggie that he has her best interests at heart and that he truly cares for her.

(6) Just for fun, What’s on your nightstand?

On my nightstand you’ll find several books including Jesus Today by Sarah Young and The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller, two copies of the Focus on the Family Magazine, and soft earplugs that keep my ears warm and keep it quiet at night.

(7) Can you give your reader’s a peek into what’s next?

I’m working on my next English historical novel, Across the Blue, that comes out early in 2018. It’s set in 1909 in Kent England. The hero is a young pilot and airplane designer who wants to be the first to fly across the English Channel and win the prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper of London. The heroine is the daughter of the wealthy owner of the Daily Mail. She is an aspiring journalist who believes covering the hero’s story will help establish her career, but her parents want her to focus on marrying well and helping them move forward in society. Romance, adventure, inspiration, and secrets from the past make this a fun story to write and hopefully for you to read.

(8) Another, just for fun, What do you drink while in the writing mode?

I love tea! Hot tea in the cold months: Earl Grey, Mint, and Chai are my favorites. In the summer I like iced Tazo Passion tea.

(9) What other books have you published?

Shine Like the Dawn is my 17th novel and fourth English historical novel. The Edwardian Brides Series includes The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge and Highland Hall. I’ve written several small-town, family centered contemporary romance novels for Love Inspired including Along Came Love, A Man To Trust, Seeking His Love and Surrendered Hearts. I’ve also written several historical and contemporary novellas. I hope you’ll to stop by my website and take a look at those. You can see photos of the characters and read the first chapters there.

(10) What is your most memorable moment?

I’ve been blessed with so many great moments in my life. It’s hard to choose one, but I’ll share one related to my writing. In 2014 I traveled to England on a research trip with my author friend Cathy Gohlke. We spent the day at Tyntesfield Estate near Bristol. That’s the estate I had in mind as I was writing the Highland Hall novels. It is so beautiful and full of history, with lovely paintings, furniture, and sculptures. After seeing so many photographs and imaging the setting for more than a year it was such a thrill to be there and see it all in person. It’s owned by the National trust and open for tours. The staff were very kind, and when they found out I was an author setting a story there, they gave us a private tour of several areas of the house that were not open to the pubic. It was a marvelous day that I will always remember and be so thankful for.

If you’d like to read other interviews or reviews for Shine Like the Dawn, please visit my Review Pinterest board! Ready to purchase your copy? Visit my website for links to your favorite retailers. 

Oh . . . my favorite flavor of ice cream is jamocha almond fudge and mint chocolate chip is a close second.

Until Next Time . . . Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

Balancing Justice and Mercy

Hi Friends,

It’s been a busy month with the release of Shine Like the Dawn, and I’ve had lots of opportunities to connect with new reading friends. One question I’m often asked is, how does your faith impact your stories, and how do you weave in faith elements? So I thought I’d tell you about the spiritual themes from Shine Like the Dawn.

I’ve enjoyed writing several English historical novels set in the Edwardian era over the last few years including The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall. They all contain family drama, romance, and inspiration. But in my latest novel, Shine Like the Dawn, I decided to also include a mystery. And for my heroine, Maggie Lounsbury, solving the mystery becomes a very personal search for justice.

As I wrote the story I found inspiration in the theme verse, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, and your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5 – 6

Cragside, the inspiration for the hero’s estate, Morningside Manor

Maggie suffers a great loss at the beginning of the story, and her search to understand why it happened and who is responsible are key plot points in the novel. Maggie’s losses shaped her personality, and she has become stronger and more determined because of them. Those losses also hardened her, and she distanced herself from the Lord. She questions God’s love and justice, and is determined to find the answers to her questions herself. But through the kindness of the hero and wisdom shared by her grandmother, Maggie’s heart begins to soften. As she continues on her journey to solve the mystery she eventually sees the way God balances Justice and Mercy. This renews her relationship with God and opens the way for forgiveness and restoration.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Shine Like the Dawn and feel as though they’ve been swept away to Northumberland, England in 1903, but I also hope you’ll be challenged to explore what it means to forgive and reflect God’s mercy to those who have hurt you in the past. Those are lessons that touched my heart as I wrote this story, and I trust they will touch my reading friends too.

Shine Like the Dawn is available in paperback, eBook, and audio. The Dutch edition will release in June. To read the first chapter, purchase your copy, and see more images of the characters and setting please visit this page.

Until next time . . . Happy Reading,

Carrie

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 Quotes

Hi Friends,
Today I wanted to share some quotes from my new English historical novel, Shine Like the Dawn. I hope they will give you a taste of the story. You can read the first chapter and find out more about the this new novel by visiting this page.

I hope you’ll join in the book launch celebration this week! I’m chatting with friends each day at 3:00 pm EST, 2:00 CST, 1:00 MST, and 12:00 noon PST on my Facebook Author Page and offering a daily giveaway. Click on over to this post and find out more about the Facebook Live Chats, blog tour, and special giveaways for you!

Thanks to my early readers, Rebecca Maney, Jordann Renee, and Rebecca Tellez for suggesting these special quotes!

I’d love to hear your favorite quote from Shine Like the Dawn!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

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

Listen and Enjoy Audio Books

Hi Friends, 

When my novel, The Governess of Highland Hall, came out as an audio book in 2013, I decided to try a free trial membership at Audible so I could listen and see how the narrator had interpreted the characters and story. Once I started listening, I discovered I loved the audio book experience! Even though I knew my own stories so well, it was really enjoyable to hear someone else reading it aloud.

Since then I’ve listened to a new book each month, including old classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice; and new novels by some of my favorite authors like Cathy Gohlke, with Secrets She Kept, and Laura Frantz with The Colonel’s Lady and Moonbow Night.

 

All three books in the Edwardian Brides Series are available on audio and Shine Like the Dawn is also releasing in audio, eBook, and paperback on February 21st. Anne Flosnik is the narrator of the audio version, and I’m so pleased that she was chosen to read Shine Like the Dawn!

 

Anne is an accomplished British actress with lead credits for stage, TV, commercials, voiceovers, and audio books. She has over 450 audio book titles, in all genres, to her credit, along with several awards and distinctions. These include an American Library Associate Special Service for Children Award, three AudioFile Earphone Awards, USA Today Recommended Listening, and four Audie Nominations, including “Anna And the King of Siam,” the book on which “The King and I” is based.

Do you enjoy listening to audio books? What are some of your favorites?

Until next time – Happy Reading and Listening!

Carrie

 

Cover Design for Shine Like the Dawn

Hi Friends,

Did you know it takes a team of people several months to create a book cover? I’m grateful for the team at WaterBrook Multnomah who have given me such great covers for my Highland Hall novels and now Shine Like the Dawn. Each cover is unique, yet there are are some design elements that tie them together and let readers know this is a Carrie Turansky novel.

Early in the cover design process I fill out an author questionnaire and share my ideas. I use Pinterest to save images of my characters, settings, clothing, and anything relevant to the time period and story. These are a great help when it comes time to give the artists, editors, marketing team, and photographer my ideas.

I was an fine art major in college, and I enjoy being invited into the cover process. I’ve help choose the models that represent the heroines and give input about their clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, and hats. Those are fun assignments, and I enjoy exchanging email with WaterBrook designer, Kristopher Orr. He connects with freelance photographer Mike Heath, and together they orchestrate a cover shoot and put together several cover mockups to show the team at WaterBrook.

 

Shine Like the Dawn is set in Northumberland, England, and many of the scenes take place in the beautiful garden at Morningside Manor Estate. Kristopher decided on a garden setting, and I chose a royal blue edwardian dress and hat for our cover model to wear. These are some of the images Mike Heath captured during the cover shoot. Aren’t they great? The team at WaterBrook chose the image below because of the lovely color combination, garden background, and the heroine’s expression, which shows a sense of mystery, and that’s an important element of this story.

The cover model is Brittany Nichole Stuart. She lives in Colorado and is a photographer who also does modeling. She blogs at Miss Beautymark and likes to encourage women through art, faith, and fashion. Thanks, Brittany, for capturing the spirit of Maggie! 

Shine Like the Dawn releases February 21! I hope you’ll preorder a copy and take advantage of the special BOGO offer to receive a free copy of one of my Highland Hall novels. If you’ve already read all three, consider ordering one for a friend as a gift!

Blessings and Happy Reading, Carrie

Cragside ~ Shine Like the Dawn’s Morningside Manor

Hi Friends, 

Early in my research for Shine Like the Dawn, I was looking for an English estate that would give me an inspiring setting for the story. A photographer who had taken the photo of Tyntesfield that was used on the cover of  The Governess of Highland Hall and A Refuge at Highland Hall suggested I might like to investigate Cragside. I did a Google search to see what I could discover about this estate and the family who built it. The more I learned about Cragside, the more it captured my imagination! 

Cragside House, with its beautiful gardens and woodlands, is situated near Rothbury, in Northumberland,  England, not far from the border with Scotland. It was the family home of Lord William Armstrong, Victorian inventor and industrialist. Cragside was the first building in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, and a walk around the property reveals a wealth of ingenious inventions including fire alarm buttons, telephones, a passenger lift, and a Turkish bath suite.

Armstrong was a landscape genius, and he constructed five lakes and planted over seven million trees and shrubs.  Built on a rocky crag high above Debdon Burn (river), the estate has more than 30 miles of footpaths and one of Europe’s largest rock gardens sloping down the valley to the Debdon Burn. The Iron Bridge, one of the oldest of its type in the UK, crosses the burn. Cragside’s garden is breathtaking, whatever the season, but especially in the spring when the rhododendrons and azaleas bloom. 

Today this magnificent estate is owned by the National Trust and can be explored on foot or by car. Visitors will love the tall trees, tumbling streams, and beautiful flowers. Visit the National Trust website for more information.

The mysterious house with it’s jumbled rooms and unique inventions provided the perfect setting for Shine Like the Dawn. A few of the events in the story are taken from events I read about in the biography of William Armstrong, but most come from my imagination. However, the lovely house, beautiful gardens, and quirky inventions are real and were fun to include.

If you’re ever in Northumberland, I hope you’ll stop by Cragside for a visit. Be sure to take lots of photos and share them with me! Until then, take a look at my Cragside Pinterest board and watch this video tour of Cragside Gardens below. Oh, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Shine Like the Dawn so you can read how I wove these details about Cragside into the story! It releases February 21, so there’s not too much longer to wait!

Blessings and happy reading!

Carrie

 

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