Writer’s World Blog Tour

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/ 

Time for Tea with Friends!

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

Costumes of Downton Abbey

Fellow author Terri Gillespie and I at the Costumes of Downton Abbey at Winterthur

Fellow author Terri Gillespie and I at the Costumes of Downton Abbey at Winterthur

Hi Friends,

Last week I visited Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, DE, where they are hosting a wonderful exhibit featuring 40 historically inspired costumes from the hit British TV series, Downton Abbey.

Downton-Edith-Wedding

The exhibit includes Lady Sybil’s controversial harem pants, Mathew Crawley’s cricket whites, and Lady Edith’s ill-fated wedding gown. The downstairs staff is well represented with uniforms for almost all the primary characters, including Mr. Carson, Mrs. Patmore and Thomas Barrow. Not surprisingly, their clothes pale in comparison to the glamor of the ensembles from the upstairs Crawley Family.

Downton Staff Costumes

You’ll see many of Lady Grantham’s and Lady Mary’s beaded gowns, as well as velvet eveningwear from the Dowager Countess and Martha Levinson. The upstairs men are represented with dapper sporting and hunting attire and eveningwear.

DowntonExhibit_2014_3

But the exhibit isn’t just made up of mannequins decked out in period clothing. The curators tell the story behind the costumes in many ways. For Mathew’s dramatic proposal to Mary, her burgundy gown and his tuxedo are displayed in front of the film clip of their engagement.

Downton Costumes

Nearby on the wall is an enlargement of the corresponding dialogue from the script. There is also an explanation from the costume designer about why the show chose to keep her dress from being too ornate (they didn’t want to distract from the scene’s action), while special lighting creates the romantic effect of snow falling all around you.

Downton Costumes

More footage, photos and scripts segments can be found posted throughout the exhibit. You’ll also find interesting explanations about how some of the costumes were made, which ones are actually vintage or incorporate vintage fabrics.

Downton Abbey CostumesThe exhibit also includes descriptions that explain the clothing’s historical context. If you wondered why Lady Mary wore so much lavender this season, the exhibit explains that during the Downton era, it was considered the appropriate color for mourning dress—which is why it was also worn by the Crawley women at Baby Sybil’s christening.

 

Downton Costume ExhibitWinterthur visitors are allowed to take photos of the Downton exhibit garments, which is rare at any museum, and a real treat for fans who want photos of themselves standing near their favorite costumes. Barring a trip to Highclere Castle in England, where the series is filmed, photographing oneself at this elaborately detailed exhibit is probably as close as fans can get to actually entering the world of Downton.

Downton CostumesCostumes of Downton Abbey will be at The Winterthur Museum until January 4th, 2015. Tickets are timed and should be bought in advance, as the show is already selling out on some days. Admission: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $5 for children 2 to 11. Visit winterthur.org or call 302-888-4600. Would you like to take a video tour?

Top of bookmarkIf you’re a Downton Abbey fan, I think you’d enjoy The Governess of Highland Hall.

“With its engaging cast of characters, a setting reminiscent of “Downton Abbey” and a storyline that celebrates faith, family and friendship, The Governess of Highland Hall is more than an historical romance.  It’s a book that’s sure to delight Carrie Turansky’s current fans and bring her many more.”

~Amanda Cabot, bestselling author of Christmas Roses and With Autumn’s Return

For more information about The Governess of Highland Hall or any of my books please visit my website.

Which is your favorite Downton costume?