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

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

Daughter of Highland Hall ~ Book Launch Giveaways


TDHH_LaunchGiveaway_Graphics

Hi Friends,

It’s time to celebrate the release of The Daughter of Highland Hall, Book Two in the Edwardian Brides Series!

The official launch date is October 7th, but we’ll be celebrating all month with special events, and we’ll be giving away five prize packages right here on my blog. Keep reading and make plans to celebrate with us!

Paris in a Cup Tea PartyCalifornia Book Launch: Downton Abbey Inspired ~ Book Signing Luncheon Tea at Paris in a Cup in Orange, CA, on Saturday, October 18th, 10:30 am. I’ll be sharing about my visit to Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed and tell the story behind my new book. Paris in a Cup is lovely, and the food is awesome! This is event is almost sold out, but give them a call and see if there is still room for you to attend.

The Daughter of Highland Hall Giveaways:  We’re offering five Edwardian Prize Packages, and we’re giving the first one away on Launch Day, Oct. 7th. But you can continue to enter all month. The other four prize packages will be given away on October 10, 17, 24, and 31! Check back each Friday to see if you are a winner.

Book Launch Giveaway

October 7th Prize Package “Tyntesfield Treasures” includes items I brought back from my last trip to England. Tyntesfiled is the beautiful estate that is the inspiration for Highland Hall. This package includes: Tyntesfiled tea towel, Tyntesfield mug, Tyntesfield Chapel stained glass sun catcher, Vintage Tea Time Recipes Cookbook, and a signed copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall.

*****Congratulations to Mikaela! She is the winner of the first Prize Package. She left this comment: I love reading historical fiction because it gives me the chance to “live” in another time. “The Governess of Highland Hall” is one of my absolute favorite books and I cannot wait to get my hands on “Daughter of Highland Hall.” Mikaela, be watching for my email. I’ll need your mailing address! : )

October 10th Prize Package includes a Downton Abbey 2015 Calendar, An Edwardian style necklace from Belle on a Budget, A lovelyEnglish bone china tea cup, and a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall.

******Congratulations to Sally S. from Happy Valley, Oregon. She is the winner of this prize package!

October 17th Prize Package includes a canister of Downton Abbey Tea, London Clock Tower necklace, a lovely English bone china tea cup, and a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall.

********Congratulations to Sara Kate! She is the winner of this prize package!

October 24th Prize Package includes a Downton Abbey Puzzle, An antique key beaded pendant from Belle on a Budget, a lovely tea cup, and a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall.
********Congratulation wo Kathleen E. Belongia! She is the winner of the 4th prize package!
October 31 Prize Package includes A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey hard cover book, Set of four Downton Abbey Coasters, an lovely English bone china teacup, and a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall.
*******Congratulations to Brenda P., from Mobile, Alabama who is the winner of the final Prize Package!

A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey

Pendant

London Clock Tower Necklaceshopping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Downton Abbey Finale Viewing Party Prize Package!

Main-Image-Downton-Abbey-Series-4Hi Friends,

Downton Abbey Season Four premieres on January 5th on PBS, and I can’t wait! I’m excited to see what will happen to all the characters, and I plan to follow them through this new season.

Season three had a rather shocking ending . . . but I’ll be cheering for Mary and eager to see how she overcomes her grief and moves forward as George’s mother and as the new partner in overseeing the estate. And what about Edith—will she finally find happiness? I’m hoping Anna and John Bates will enjoy married life and perhaps have a baby. And then there’s Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Daisy, Mrs. Patmore, Lord and Lady Grantham and my favorite, Violet – the Dowager Countess.

The Governess of Highland HallMy enjoyment of Downton Abbey inspired me to write the Edwardian Brides Series. Book one, The Governess of Highland Hall, released last fall, and I am hard at work on Book 2, The Daughter of Highland Hall which comes out this October. Book 3 is also in the works and will follow the Ramsey family of Highland Hall into WW1.

To celebrate Dowton Abbey’s new season and The Edwardian Brides Series we’re hosting a, “Win a Downton Abbey Finale Viewing Party” contest, where you can win treats and Downton Abbey-themed items for you and your friends. It will run through February 9, 2014. US residents only.

Downton Pize PackagePrizes include:

  • Downton Abbey DVDs, Seasons 1, 2, and 3.
  • A Downton Abbey Tote Bag
  • Downton Abbey English Rose Tea
  • Four Tea Cups, Scone Mix, and Lemon Curd
  • The Governess of Highland Hall, four copies

Downton Viewing Party2Are you a Downton Abbey fan? Will you be watching too? Be sure to fill out the entry below and share this contest with your friends!

Happy viewing and  happy reading!

Carrie


Books Like Downton Abbey

 

Main-Image-Downton-Abbey-Series-4
Hi Friends, Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I’ve enjoyed the series, and I loved visiting Highclere where Downton Abbey is filmed. Here’s a list of inspirational novels set in the same time period, the early 1900’s in England and the US. Happy Reading!

GovernessFINAL_HAT_CVR-11)    Edwardian Brides Series, by Carrie Turansky

Book 1: The Governess of Highland Hall 

Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?

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.

While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

Promise me This2) 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 Sister3) 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.

Love at Any Cost4)  The Heart of Sanfrancisco Series, By Julie Lessman

Book 1 Love at Any Cost 

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can’t buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.

Dave to Love Again5) Book 2: Dare To Love Again

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he’s a fraud just like all the rest of the men she’s cared for. Does she dare love again?

The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman’s passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie’s passion-filled novels.

Bees in the Butterfly Garden6) The Gilded Legacy series by Maureen Lang

Book 1: Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family or dreams of a future that include anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

All in Good Time7) Book 2: All in Good Time

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

Glamorous Illusions8)  The Grand Tour Series by Lisa T. Bergren

Book 1: Glamorous Illusions

When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

9) Book 2: Grave Consequences

For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future—her very life—depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger.

And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences.

Glittering Promises10) Book 3: Glittering Promises 

Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes—regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms—in order to remain true to who she really is.

And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not.

Heiress11)   Daughters of Fortune Series, by Susan May Warren

 Book One: Heiress

The beautiful heiress daughters of newspaper magnate August Price have been given everything their hearts desire. But what if they want only to be loved–without an enormous price tag attached? When one daughter pursues a desirable marriage, she secures for herself a comfortable and glamorous life. But among the duties of privilege, will she also find the happily-ever-after she seeks? Her sister rejects the trappings of wealth, choosing instead to build a new life on the still-untamed frontier. Will she find happiness in independence or discover that she’s left her heart behind in New York’s glittering society? Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, each woman discovers that being an heiress just might cost her everything–including the chance for true love.

Baroness12) Book 2: Baroness

Lilly and Rosie, daughters of an empire coming of age in the roaring twenties, can have anything they want…except freedom.  Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the empire, they have their lives planned out for them.  But, Lilly, Esme’s daughter longs to return home to Montana, to adventure outside the confines of New York City.  And Jinx’s daughter Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen.  But following their dreams – from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers will take all their courage.  And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?

Duchess13) Book 3: Duchess

When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she’s wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she’s finally silenced the voices—and grief—of the past. Her future shines bright…until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies—plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life.

Ashton Park14) The Danforths of Lancanshire Series

Book One:  Ashton Park by Murray Pura

Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park. The year is 1916. The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform–and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

Readers will follow Ashton Park’s charming upstairs/downstairs characters through the perils of war and the affairs of the heart with relish.

Beneath A Dover Sky15) Book 2: Beneath a Dover Sky

The second book in the series transports the reader back in time to 1924 as Sir William—recently named Lord Preston—celebrates his sixtieth birthday at the Danforth summer home in Dover. Although the ravages of World War I are in the past, new threats loom as a man named Adoph Hitler publishes a book called Mein Kampf. Is he a danger to Europe? And what of Lord Preston’s growing friendship with an up and coming political leader named Winston Churchill? On the home front, one of the Danforth daughters, the recently widowed Catherine, sells her home in Belfast to spend more time at Dover—where she finds herself annoyed at the impertinent German theologian her father has befriended. The entire Danforth family faces many changes as illness and tragedy strike. Young Edward finally makes his move into the political arena while Michael and Libby welcome a new family member. Readers will be captivated by the upstairs/downstairs interplay as they once again savor this compelling saga of the well-loved Danforth family overcoming obstacles by placing their trust in the God who has always been faithful.

More books like Downton Abbey:

Downton Abbey Read Alike Poster_2

Can you add any more to the list?

Amanda Dykes contributed to this post which was originally written for NovelCrossing. To learn more about Amanda check out her website.