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Books Like Downton Abbey
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Hi Friends,
Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  Scott and I loved visiting Highclere where Downton Abbey was filmed a few years ago. That was a great inspiration for my English historical novels set in the Edwardian Era. 
 
If you enjoyed Downton Abbey and would like to read some inspiring novels set in that same time period in the US and England, here’s a list for you! Happy Reading!
 

The 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’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.

The 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.

A 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.

Penny 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.

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

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. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate–and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the edge of poverty in London in 1908, leaving their mother to support her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Not 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.

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin

In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life—a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel’s half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

The 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?

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she’s never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’ll end up in more danger than she fled. 

A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

The 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 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. 

Promise Me This, By Cathy Gohlke

Michael Dunnagan survived the sinking of the Titanic, thanks to the courage of Owen Allen, and promised to help Owen’s family, his younger sister, Annie, in England and the rest of the family living in New Jersey, since Owen could not. Michael started to communicate to Annie through letters, but her anger over her brother’s death was steeped in each of her responses. Eventually, Annie begins to lay aside her anger and their letters become friendlier. Michael saves up enough money to bring Annie to America just as WWI breaks out in Europe…then all communication with Annie ceases!

 

Band of Sisters By Cathy Gohlke

 Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

 

My publisher, Penguine Random House, created this lovely poster for libraries showing more books like Downton Abbey:

Until Next Time . . .  Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

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

Jocelyn GreenHi Friends,

I’ve been invited to participate in the Writer’s World Blog Tour by fellow author and friend, Jocelyn Green. Jocelyn is an award-winning author of multiple fiction and nonfiction works, including Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she co-wrote with Dr. Gary Chapman. Her first novel in the Heroines Behind the Lines series, Wedded to War, was a Christy Award finalist, and the gold medal winner in historical fiction from the Military Writers Society of America. A native Northerner, she and her Southern-born-and-bred husband live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, with their two children. Her goal with every book is to inspire faith and courage in her readers. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com and www.facebook.com/jocelyngreenauthor.

Jocelyn’s Writer’s World Tour blog post went up on August 4th. Please check it out here: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/blog-2/

Carrie TuranskyNow it’s my turn to answer the blog tour questions.

  1. What are you working on now?

I’m writing A Refuge at Highland Hall, Book Three in the Edwardian Brides Series. It’s an English historical romance set during World War One on a large country estate in Berkshire. This is the same time period as Downton Abbey Season 1 and 2, and I hope to capture a similar emotional tone in this series. The books feature a wealthy aristocratic family and their loyal staff members as they go through the ups and downs of life and love, and face the changes The Great War brings to everyone at Highland Hall. Penny Ramsey, the young heroine of this story, faces many challenges, including helping the man she loves find hope and a renewed faith after he is critically injured in the fighting. I’ve plotted out the story, but I’m just writing chapter three, so I have a long way to go. But Book One, The Governess of Highland Hall, is available now. Book Two, The Daughter of Highland Hall, releases, October 7th. For more info about the series I hope you’ll visit: www.carrieturansky.com

  1. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Daughter Highland HallThere are a growing number of CBA authors setting novels in England, but there aren’t too many who write novels that take place during the Edwardian era, so that makes my books unique. I love doing in-depth research, and then I enjoy using what I’ve learned to bring the time period to life for my readers. Some have told me my descriptions help them see what’s happening in the story, and they enjoy that aspect of my writing. Others have said they like the way my characters work through difficulties and live out their faith. I’ve taken two recent trips to England to help me develop this series, and I think that has helped me create a realistic setting that my readers enjoy.

  1. Why do you write what you do?

I am a romantic at heart and an optimist who believes that love, especially God’s love, can overcome great obstacles and bring healing and hope to broken lives. My characters face great struggles, but I always write a happy ending for them. Good overcomes evil. God’s grace and truth offer hope in the most difficult situations. I like to weave spiritual themes into my novels through the conflicts my characters face. The way the characters work through the challenges often shows my beliefs about the importance of love, faith, and family relationships.

  1. How does your writing process work?

The governess of Highland HallI like to start by researching a time period, an area, or an incident in history. Also love to read diaries and biographies of people who lived during that time period. Following those research trails helps me find my stories. I need time to absorb it all and mull it over for a few weeks. Then I use writing tools like Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy resources and Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Pro to work on the characters and synopsis. I sometimes write note cards for each scene. Then I start writing chapter one and move ahead in the story. I wish I could write faster, and that’s something I am working on with this book. I’m trying to free myself up to get the first draft done more quickly and then have more time for revisions after that. Some days the words flow, and other days it’s a painful struggle. But it’s always a joy to type “The End” and know readers will be carried away to England to share the journey and experiences with my characters.

The Tour Continues!

I’ve tagged three of my author friends to join the tour. So I hope you’ll jump aboard with us. Cathy Gholke, Terri Gillespie, and Sherri Wilson Johnson will be posting on August 18th. Here’s a bit about these interesting ladies and links to their blogs:

Cathy GohlkeCathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Saving Amelie, Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, Cathy and her husband divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore. Visit her online at her website: http://authorcathygohlke.com

Terri GillespieTerri Gillespie has been writing stories since her grandmother set up an ancient Royal typewriter on a metal table and stool. As her brothers and cousins played outside on their grandparents’ small farm, Terri typed and illustrated adventure stories about horses, dolphins and elephants. Today her stories are adventures of a different kind—contemporary fiction and nonfiction about women who have been wounded by life and long for identity and purpose. Her novel is titled She Does Good Hair and she’s written a women’s devotional, Making Eye Contact with God. When she’s not writing—or reading—she and hubby Bob work together on various corporate and institutional video productions. They celebrate a major collaboration this year, their 40th wedding anniversary. Terri loves to connect with her readers via her website: www.terrigillespie.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriGillespie, Twitter: @TerriGMavens, and Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terrilgillespie.

Sherri Wilson JohnsonSherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, and a former homeschooling mom who’d rather have laugh lines under her eyes than worry lines across her forehead. She lives in Georgia with her husband, her two children and her Chihuahua, Posey. Her favorite thing to do when she’s not with her family is to curl up with a good book or to work on her current work-in-progress. She loves to dream of visiting romantic places and is passionate about the Lord, motherhood, homeschooling, and writing. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More and Song of the Meadowlark. Her third novel, To Laugh Once More, releases in September. She is a columnist with Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries. Visit Sherri’s blog: http://sherriwilsonjohnson.com/blog/ 

Where Two Hearts MeetHi Friends,

My latests book, Where Two Hearts Meet, features two sisters, Allison and Tessa, who own a financially strapped teashop in Princeton, NJ. The sisters are praying for an early spring and a return to more foot traffic on Nassau Street. Then a large check arrives and saves their business. But they have no idea who sent it. Could it be from Peter Hillinger, the businessman who owns the shop next door and wants to win Allison’s heart? Or is it from Tyler Lawrence, Allison’s old boyfriend, who has returned to town claiming a renewed faith and a changed life. Allison doesn’t know who to trust. Should she follow her head or heart, or is there Someone else who can guide her toward the best path for her future?

I loved writing a story set so close to home. Princeton has a classic, small town feeling with many great shops and restaurants. Nassau is the main street through town, and it’s the perfect place for a teashop. Historic Princeton Univeristy is just across the street. It was fun to include several local businesses and sites in the story.

Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ.

Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ.

 

Princeton University

Beautiful Princeton Universit

Have you ever visited a teashop? That’s one of my favorite things to do with friends. I’ve been to a cute shop in Elkton, Maryland, with authors and friends, Cathy Gohlke and Terri Gillespie, to celebrate Terri’s birthday. And we’ve also visited a teashop in a beautiful historic home in Jim Thorpe, PA.

I hope you’ll enjoy your “visit” to the Sweet Something Teashop and getting to know Allison and Tessa. Where Two Hearts Meet is available as a paperback or Kindle eBook. I want to bless my blog readers with a special discount! The paperback is only $7.95 when you order it from Createspace using this link and discount code: X29FG5H4 today through May 31. Where Two Hearts Meet would make a great for your mom, sister, or friend.

Author friends Terri Gillespie, Cathy Gohlke, and Carrie Turansky.

Author friends Terri Gillespie, Cathy Gohlke, and Carrie Turansky at a teashop in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Until Next Time – Happy Reading!

Carrie