Google Searches, Little Green Men, and More…

17288762Hi Friends,

It’s surprising what you find doing a Google search!  Today I was looking for a painting I’d seen at Tyntesfield, the estate I have in mind as I write my Highland Hall books, and I found a blog post written by the photographer whose photo was used on the cover of The Governess of Highland Hall. When the book came out he recieved a copy from my publisher and wrote about it on his blog – Little Green Men Photography.

This quote stung a bit:  “Reading the blurb on the back, it’s clear that the story is some kind of Edwardian bodice-ripper, unashamedly cashing in on the current popularity ofDownton Abbey.”

Hmmmm, an Edwardian bodice-ripper? I think he must not have read the story. I wondered if I should respond and leave a comment on his blog to set the story straight or let it go. After a thinking a about it a few minutes, here is the comment I posted:

Hello, I’m the author of The Governess of Highland Hall, and the one who pointed the art director to your lovely photo for possible use on the cover. Your photos were a great help to me as I wrote the story and imagined what my characters would do and see at Highland Hall. I watched a documentary about Tyntesfield and found several more photos online that I saved on a Pinterest board . . . but yours were the first. Thank you for sharing them!

I was very excited to finally visit Tyntesfield last May. What a delight! It is even more beautiful in person than in the photos. The National Trust staff was very kind and gave me a private tour of several of the rooms that were closed to most visitors. It was a wonderful day that I will never forget. I took a lot of photos myself that day.

Daughter Highland HallI’ve gone on to write two more books in the series. The Daughter of Highland Hall released last October. It is mainly set in London, and now I’m working on A Refuge at Highland Hall, which releases this coming October. This story brings us back to Highland Hall (Tyntesfield) and follows the Ramsey family through WW1. The hero is a very brave and daring British pilot who must learn how to build a new life after he is injured in the war, but not before he takes down a German zeppelin. I enjoyed the research and learning more about WW1 in England and France. I try to give my readers a look back at history as well as romance, family drama, and inspiration.

The Governess of Highland Hall is not a bodice-ripper. My novels are inspriational, clean-reads that can be enjoyed by teens through greatgrandmothers with no embarrassment. I’m very happy about that, and so are my readers. The Governess of Highland Hall has done well in the US and has been translated into Dutch. It’s been a finalist for two national writing awards and has some great reviews on Amazon.

I hope you’re pleased to see your photo used for the cover. I would’ve sent my thanks earlier, but I just found this blog post when I Googled Tyntesfield images. I hope you keep taking and sharing great photos! You never know who you will inspire!

Want to read the books for yourself and see? Just click on over to my book page.

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When we or our work are criticized or belittled, we have a choice how we respond. It felt great to set the record straight, yet do it in a way that I hope was kind and informative. I hope the Little Green Men agree! :  )

***Update, check out Ian Wilson’s reply to my comment. It seems I’ve won a friend who is eager to share more photos with me for future projects.

Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

New Audio Book and Giveaway

Daughter of Highland Hall AudioHi Friends,

Have you ever listened to an audio book? When The Governess of Highland Hall released in audio a few months ago, I decided to download it and listen. And I was surprised to discover I loved hearing the story read aloud, not just because I’d written it, but because the narrator’s style and pace allowed me to picture the story in my mind and enjoy it in a new way.

Since then I’ve listened to Jan Karon’s new book, Somewhere Safe and Somebody Good, and I loved it! I listened to Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, both by Julianne Donaldson. They are beautiful Regency romances, very clean and proper. And I also enjoyed Sarah Ladd’s newest book, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall. I recommend all these books to you!

Governess Audio CoverWould you like your own audio copy of The Governess of Highland Hall and The Daughter of Highland Hall?  Just visit my book page, and you’ll find links to Tantor Audio and Amazon for Audible.

If you’d like to try out an audio book and see if you enjoy listening, Aduible, an Amazon company, offers a free 30-trial period. That’s what I did for the first month, thinking, “I’ll just try it for free and then close my account. But I enjoyed it so much, and the price was so reasonable, that I decided to continue on. Here’s a link to Audible to learn more.

cturansky-2lowI’d like to introduce two of my reading friends to the joy of listening to audio books, so I’m giving away a CD set of The Governess of Highland Hall and another CD set of The Daughter of Highland Hall this weekend. Just leave a comment below and tell me which set you’d like. I’ll choose a winner for each set on Sunday evening, Novemlber 9th and post the winner on Monday.

Thanks for your interest in my books and for sharing the journey with me!

Blessings and Happy Reading . . . and listening,

Carrie

New Daughter of Highland Hall Audio Book!

61z+7PIdeqL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_Hi Friends,

I have some exciting news to share! The Daughter of Highland Hall. The story is read by Veida Dehmlow, a very talented British narrator, and she does an excellent job giving the characters different voices and bringing the story to life.

Audio books are great to listen to while you exercise, drive, clean house, or take a walk. They are especially nice to listen to on road trips. You can take the story with you wherever and whenever you’d like to listen!

The Governess of Highland Hall Audio Version is available from Tantor Audio Books: $10.00 to download, $15 for MP3 CD, or $20 for Audio CDs or from Amazon: $20.24, or Free with Amazon Audible 30 day free trial.

Do you enjoy audio books? What is your favorite time or place to listen to one?

Happy Listening!

Carrie

 

Giveaway ~ Celebrating 100 5-Star Reviews on Amazon!

The governess of Highland HallHi Friends,

The Governess of Highland Hall has received over 100 5-Star Reviews on Amazon, and it’s time to celebrate! As a way to say thank you to my friends and help more readers discover this story . . . I’m hosting this fun giveaway of Highland Hall themed gifts. See the photo and list of items below.

I purchased the recipe book, tea towel, and bluebell sachet in England on my last trip. So they’ve traveled all around the UK and back home with me . . . and I’m excited to share them with you!

Giveaway  Celebrating 100 5-Star Reviews

The items in the Giveaway include:

  • Two English Bone China Teacups
  • Tea Towel from England’s Lake District (Home of Beatrix Potter)
  • Bluebell Sachet
  • Vintage Teatime Recipe Book
  • Scone Mix
  • Orange Marmalade and Raspberry Jam
  • Box of Twinnings Tea
  • The Daughter of Highland Hall Postcards and Bookmarks
  • An Autographed Copy of The Governess of Highland Hall

Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive email updates from me, so you’ll be the first to know when I have a new release or free eBook available.

The Giveaway runs from August 2 – 8. I’ll notify the winner by email after the giveaway closes. Please share this link with your friends!

****Update! The Winner of the giveaway is LouAnn C. Congratulations! I’ve emailed you with details on how to claim your prize. I hope you enjoy a specail teatime with a friend.

Happy Reading,

Carrie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creating the Cover Design & Giveaway

 

The final cover design

The final cover design

Hi Friends,

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

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

GovernessGoverness 1

 

Governess_Comp_4

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

GovernessHighlandHall

The final cover design

The final cover design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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