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Hi Friends,
It’s finally time for the release of the Governess of Highland Hall! I am so excited for you to meet Julia Foster and William Ramsey, and all those who live on the beautiful country estate called Highland.
We had a wonderful time at the local book launch on Sunday, Oct. 13th. But I know many of you live too far away to come, so here’s how you can join in the fun!
Joanne Bischof, Carrie Turansky, and Julie Lessman.

Joanne Bischof, Carrie Turansky, and Julie Lessman.

Online Facebook Party
Everyone is welcome to join us on Tuesday October 15th for an Online Facebook Book Launch Party, 7:00 – 8:00 pm Eastern time. It will be a Livestream video chat from my Author Page (look for the bright red Livestream button under where you like the page to connect to the event). I’ll be giving you the behind the page info on The Governess of Highland Hall, answering your questions, and giving away copies of the book and some fun prizes including Downton Abbey DVDs, Calendars, and Cookbook, plus teacups! Authors Julie Lessman and Joanne Bischof will be calling in as my special guests, and they will be giving away copies of their books too! Please RSVP  for the Facebook Party, and we will send you a reminder so you don’t miss the fun and prizes!
Prize Giveaway #1 – Over $40.00 Value
• Tea Infuser
• Downton Abbey Season 1 DVD
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
Prize Giveaway #2 – Over $30.00 Value
• The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbooks
• Tea Infuser
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
Prize Giveaway #3 – Over $40.00
• Tea Infuser
• Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
Prize Giveaway #4 – $30.00
• Tea cup and saucer
• Tea Infuser
• Lady Alminia and the Real Downton Abbey Book
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
Prize Giveaway #5 – Over $30.00 Value
• Tea cup: http
• Tea Infuser
• Downton Abbey Page-a-Day Calendar
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
Prize Giveaway #6 – Over $40.00 Value
• Tea Infuser
• Downton Abbey Season 3 DVD
• 1 copy of The Governess of Highland Hall
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Online Giveaway
Everyone is welcome to enter the Highland Hall Novel Tea Giveaway for a chance to win one of three full-to-the-brim English Tea and Downton Abbey themed gift baskets.

 

 

Prize Package 1: Over $120.00 Value

Downton DVD

  • Tea Set
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Tea Infuser
  • Downton Abbey, Season 3 DVD
  • Silver and Faux Pearl Pendant
  • 2 copies of The Governess of Highland Hall

Prize Package 2: Over $80.00 Value

cuppa

  • Tea cup
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Tea Infuser
  • Tea Spoon
  • The World of Downton Abbey book
  • Secrets of Highclere Castle DVD
  • 2 copies of The Governess of Highland Hall

Prize Package 3: Over $60.00 Value 

tea cup

  • Tea cup
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Tea Infuser
  • Tea Towel
  • Downton Abbey Calendar
  • Pride &Prejudice Bookmark
  • 2 copies of The Governess of Highland Hall
The Highland Hall Novel Tea Giveaway starts Oct. 7th. To be entered in the drawing, please fill out the form below. Winners will be drawn on Wednesday, October 16th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank You!
I appreciate all my reading friends who have stopped by to help me celebrate the release of The Governess of Highland Hall! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, just click here.

 

The final cover design

The final cover design

Hi Friends,

Did you know it takes a team of people to create a beautiful book cover? I never realized how many people were involved, but I am grateful for each one who contributed to the process of designing the lovely cover for The Governess of Highland Hall.

I was an art major in college, and book covers are important to me, especially my book covers! So I was pleased when the team at WaterBrook Multnomah asked for my input. They allowed me to choose the model to represent the heroine from a group of three. Then they invited to give input about her clothing, hairstyle and hat. I sent in photos of the manor house that I had in mind as I wrote the book, and the designer was able to use that exact house on the cover!

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Governess_Comp_4

Governess_Comp_7Photographer Mike Heath of Magnus Creative did the photo shoot of the heroine last January, and he sent all those photos to WaterBrook Multnomah designer Kristopher Orr who did an awesome job pulling all the elements together in the final design.

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The final cover design

The final cover design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The design on the left looked great, but I asked for a few changes, and they were kind enough to consider those ideas in the final version on the right.

Can you spot the changes that were made to the final design?  There are at least eight. Some are quite small, so click on the cover to enlarge it and look closely. The first two people who correctly list those changes in their comment will receive an Advanced Reader Copy of The Governess of Highland Hall. US addresses only. Good luck!

Early in 2012 when I started working on ideas for The Governess of Highland Hall, I wanted to find an English country estate for my setting. I am a visual person, and finding images for my characters and setting brings the story to life for me. I loved visiting Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed, and I wanted to find an estate that gave a similar impression but was unique. After a short search online, I discovered Tyntesfield, and I was delighted when I followed several more links to other images and articles. It was the perfect inspiration for the Ramsey family’s Highland Hall.

The marble fireplace in the great hall at Tyntesfield

The marble fireplace in the great hall at Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a beautiful Victorian Gothic Revival house and estate near Wraxall, North Somerset, England. The house is a Grade I listed building and now is owned by the National Trust of England.

The house is named after the Tynte baronets, who had owned estates in the area since about 1500. The location was formerly a 16th-century hunting lodge, which was used as a farmhouse until the early 19th century. In the 1830s a Georgian mansion was built on the site, and it was bought by William Gibbs, an English businessman, who made his fortune by importing guano (bird droppings) from South America that was used to make fertilizer. Gibbs became the wealthest non-noble in England for a time. Gibbs had a beautiful chapel added in the 1870s. The Gibbs family owned the house until the death of Richard Gibbs in 2001.

The great hall and gallery above

The great hall and gallery above

Tyntesfield was acquired by the National Trust in June 2002 after a fundraising campaign to prevent it being sold to private interests and to ensure it would be open to the public. The house was opened to visitors for the first time just 10 weeks after the acquisition, and over 189,000 people visited Tynestesfield in 2012. I hope to visit Tyntesfield in person next spring.

Several of the scenes in The Governess of Highland Hall are set in the great hall, the gallery, and the nursery. So I thought you would like a peek at those areas of the house.

Julia, Andrew, and Millie spend a lot of time in the nursery.

Julia, Andrew, and Millie spend a lot of time in the nursery.

What do you think it would be like to live in a house like this?

Would you like a sneak peek at the first chapter?

Still eager for more? Here is my Pinterest board with lots more photos.

Carrie