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

 

British Blooms and Books Giveaway

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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….

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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

Discover These Amazing Downton Abbey Filming Locations

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Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season is well underway, and I’m eager to see what will happen to the characters I’ve grown to love. I’m anticipating tears when I watch the final episode, and I have to say goodbye to the Crawley family, their staff, and friends. But until then, I’m cheering for them and hoping each one will have a happy ending. They’ve given me many hours of enjoyment and great inspiration for my novels.

I’ve traveled to England twice in the last few years on research trips. Both times I visited Downton filming locations to see what I could learn and get a sense of the era and soak up the ambience. Visit my Research Page for photos from those trips.

In my online research I came across this map created by the Wayfair.co.uk team, and they gave me permission to share it with you. If you’re a Downton fan who’s planning a trip to England you’ll want to put some of these locations on your itinerary. If you can’t fly off soon, then you can take a virtual trip via the map and Google Image Search!

Click on the icons below for more information on each location, and for an overview of all of the film locations click on the pull-out tab to the left of the title.

Map and original post: http://www.wayfair.co.uk/aresidence/2015/12/04/downton-abbey-filming-locations/

Top Ten Downton Abbey Filming Locations

  1. Highclere Castle

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

My husband Scott and I visited Highclere Castle on a beautiful September day and enjoyed a memorable tour of the house and gardens. Highclere is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived there since 1679. Highclere Castle is awe-inspiring and represents everything that makes Downton Abbey so great.

Exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity are filmed at Highclere, using actual furniture in the home. We fell in love with this beautiful house! Highclere has to be number one on any Downton Abbey fan’s list. For more about our visit to Highclere, click over and read this bog post.

Downton’s Downstairs’ scene are not filmed at Highclere but at Ealing Studios in London. The downstairs at Highclere has a large kitchen to prepare food for events held there. Part has been converted into a tea room and another section holds a museum full of Egyptian artifacts brought back by one of the Earl’s on his expeditions to Egypt.

2. Bampton, Oxfordshire

Bampton Church

Image: World Wide Waftage.

Bampton village, Oxfordshire, doubles as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton throughout the series. Bampton is a great place to take a stroll as there are a number of different filming locations to be found, the most iconic being St Mary’s Church. It’s know as St Michael and All Angels Church in Downton. This is where we’ve seen many key moments, including Lavinia’s burial in season two, Mary and Matthew’s wedding in season three, and Lady Edith being left at the altar.

3. Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Geograph, Rabbi WP Thinrod

Once a working farm, Cogges Manor Farm is now a heritage center and in Downton Abbey it’s known as Yew Tree Farm. The farm has appeared throughout the past three seasons, first as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Drewe and later as Mr. Mason’s new farm. Edith often visited the Drewes in season five to see her daughter Marigold. In season six Daisy and Mrs. Patmore help Mr. Mason move in to his new home at Yew Tree Farm.

4. Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute

Carrie and Cathy at Inveraray Castle, Scotland

On a beautiful day in May, when the azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom, fellow author Cathy Gohlke and I visited Inveraray Castle in Scotland. This impressive castle is found on the west coast and is the home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. The castle doubled as Duneagle, the home of the Grantham’s cousins, Lord and Lady Flincher, parents to Lady Rose. They visited the castle in the season three Christmas special. For more about our visit to Inveraray Castle, visit this blog post.

5. Lancaster House, London

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, James Stringer

Lancaster House is a mansion that was once part of the St James’s Palace complex. It’s one of London’s hidden treasures that has made its way into Downton life. The interior of the magnificent and glamorous house was used to portray Buckingham Palace in the Season four Christmas Special, where Lady Rose gave her debutante presentation. You can view at the outside of Lancaster House anytime you like, or you might be lucky enough to attend an event there and admire the dazzling interior.

6. Horsted Keynes Station

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Ed Webster

Part of the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes Station in Sussex is a preserved railway station that we’ve seen many times as the Downton Railway Station. For those that love the idea of travelling on a steam train and experiencing British life from days gone by then this is the place for you. One of my favorite scenes was filmed here, the day Mary saw Matthew off to war, gave him the little stuff dog, and wished him such good luck. I still tear up every time I see that scene. This is also where Richard Carlisle’s proposal to Mary, and where a very pregnant Mary urgently needed to go to hospital. It’s also where Mr Carson reconciled with Charles Grigg before he goes off to Ireland.

7. Basildon Park, Berkshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Jim Bowen

Basildon Park doubles as the interior for Grantham House, the family’s London residence. This was the grand setting for the preparation for Lady Rose’s coming out ball in season four and for Rose and Atticus’s wedding. You might also recognize Basildon Park from the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice where it was used as Netherfield Park.

8. Downton Abbey London locations

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Peter Roberts

The Crawley family often traveled to London, and there are several London locations to visit. Some highlights are the Prince Albert Memorial, London Charterhouse, the Chepstow Villas (Edith’s flat), Lincoln’s Inn, The Savile Club (called the Lotus Club in season four), Rules Restaurant, St James’s Park and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens was the setting when Lady Mary told Lord Gillingham that she wanted to break off their relationship.

9. Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire

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Image: Wikipedia

Grey’s Court was used in the third season of Downton Abbey and was called Downton Place. It was considered as a potential downsizing home for the Crawley family after Robert’s bad investment. The family enjoyed a picnic on the lawn of this peaceful estate, including newlyweds Mary and Matthew.

10. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Flickr, Smudge 9000

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as Brancaster Castle in the season five Christmas special. This beautiful castle was transformed to become the holiday base for Lord Sinderby’s shooting party, where Sinderby’s butler, Stowel, caused quite a stir. This is where Lady Mary meets Henry Talbot, and Lady Edith meets Bertie Pelham.

The state rooms inside were used extensively as well as the grounds themselves and there’s now a brand new Downton Abbey exhibition there which features photography, costumes and props from the episode (rumor has it we’ll be seeing this location again in this year’s grand finale).

There are many more impressive sites to explore on the map! Thanks again to the team at Wayfair.co.uk. for sharing it with us!

When Downton Abbey ends, and you’re longing to step back into the Edwardian era, I invite to enjoy reading my English historical novels, The Edwardian Brides Series. Visit my Book Page for more details!

Highland Hall Series

Until next time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

Escape to England Giveaway

Carrie TuranskyHi Friends,  Just a quick note to tell you about a fun giveaway that’s going on now through December 1. I’ve teamed up with English historical authors Julie Klassen and Sarah Ladd to connect with readers and giveaway some books and prizes!

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Entering is easy. Just follow the link at the end of this blog post to our giveaway page on Facebook. Fill out the Rafflecopter form there and you could win a copy of all three books, a lovely English bone china teacup, tea, chocolate, and a DVD of Pride and Prejudice!

Would you like to know more about Sarah’s book, A Lady at Willow Grove Hall, and Julie’s new book, The Secret of Pembrooke Park? Just click on the titles to visit their websites. They are both talented authors with wonderful books I recommend to you!

To enter the giveaway go to: http://on.fb.me/14GEJCf

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

Visiting the Lake District ~ Home of Beatrix Potter

The Lake District

Lake Windermere

Hi Friends,

One of the highlights of my trip to England was visiting the Lake District, which is the northwest section of England. The azaleas, rhododendrons, and bluebells were blooming, and new lambs frolicked in the pastures. I fell in love with this beautiful area, and I hope to go back one day.

Cathy Gohlke and I stayed in the lovely village of Windermere, which is on one of the largest lakes in the area. We enjoyed touring the countryside, taking in views of the lakes and valleys (called fells), and visiting several other villages including Grasmere, Keswick, and Ambleside.

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Beatrix Potter at the door of Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit and many other children’s stories, owned several farms in the Lake District, and she wanted to preserve the land for future generations to enjoy. In her will she left much of her land to The National Trust. Besides writing and illustrating children’s books, she was involved in raising prize-winning sheep.

We visited Beatrix’s Hill Top Farm and enjoyed walking through her home and garden. Guides in each room showed us scenes from her books that were actually views of her home and garden. I read a book about Beatrix while we were in England, and I loved learning more about her life and her writing. Very inspiring!

Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm and Garden

Wordsworth's Garden

William Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden

The poet William Wordsworth is also from the Lake District. We visited his school and the churchyard where he and his family are buried. There was a lovely daffodil garden planted there in his memory. We also ate the most delicious gingerbread made in a tiny shop in Grasmere. It was a bit chewy like a cookie…spicy and sweet. the perfect treat to have with our afternoon tea!

Gingerbread shop sign

The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

 

 

Have you ever read any of Beatrix Potter’s books or William Wordsworth’s poetry?

Cathy and I are both thinking about setting more stories in England ….

Until then, Happy Reading!

Visiting Highclere Castle Gardens

 

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle, the home of the Count and Countess of Carnarvon.

Hi Friends,

One of the highlights of our visit to England was touring Highclere Castle and gardens where Downton Abbey is filmed. What a beautiful spot! There are several sections to the gardens…so come along with me on a tour.

Just a short walk from the house we passed under the arched entrance where birck walls surround that first section of the garden. Climbing roses gave off a lovely fragrance, as did the lavender under the arches.

Walled garden at Highclere Castle

Climbing roses on the walled garden at Highclere Castle.

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Arched wall surrounding Highclere Castle Garden.

Several scenes in The Governess of Highland Hall take place in a garden and greenhouse like the one at Highclere, so I could almost imagine Sarah Ramsey and Clark Dalton stepping through the greenhouse doorway or Andrew or Millie Ramsey running down the garden path.

Carrie and the Greenhouse

The Highclere Greenhouse

roses in the greenhouse

Roses growing in the Highclere Castle greenhouse.

The next area we visited was the lovely all white border garden. I especially enjoyed seeing the large white hydrangeas.

All white garden

The all white border garden at Highclere Castle.

white hydrangea

White hydrangea bushes.

Then we saw the sign for the secret garden and followed the pathway into another delightful garden with curving borders of unique flowers.  Lovely!

The Secret Garden

Entrance to the Secret Garden

Entrance to Highclere’s Secret Garden.

highclere castle garden

The Secret Garden at Highclere.

Roses in Highclere garden

Roses in Highclere Gardens.

Butterfly Bush

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

The Governess of Highland Hall It was a very special day for us, and one we will long remember. Do you enjoy touring gardens? Would you like to visit Highclere? Even if you can’t fly off to England, you can experience life in Edwardian England by reading The Governess of Highland Hall…and next October, The Daughter of Highland Hall!

Until next time…Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

 

 

Discovering the Setting for The Governess of Highland Hall

993354_10151763649586967_1872496112_nEarly 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