Refuge at Highland HallHi Friends,

Last Fall when WaterBrook Designer, Kristopher Orr, started planning the cover for A Refuge at Highland Hall, he invited me to give feedback about the choice of cover models and the costume she would wear. We also discussed the setting and mood and what else we could include on the cover to draw readers into the story.

I wanted Penny Ramsey’s clothing to show that the story is set in 1915. We found several dresses that looked like they fit the period and could be rented from a theatrical costume company for the photo shoot . . . but we couldn’t find the perfect hat.

Dresses for Refuge Cover

These are the dresses we considered for the cover. The lavender dress on the far left was the one chosen. The young woman on the lower left is how I imagined Penny looked as I was writing the story.

I decided to “Google” Edwardian Hats, and that search took me to Etsy where I discovered Darna Michie and East Angel Harbor Hats. After exchanging a few emails, Darna very graciously agreed to design a hat for us for a very reasonable price. My publisher paid the same amount they would’ve spent to rent a hat, and I chipped in the rest, with the understanding they would send me the hat after the photo shoot.

Cover Shoot for RefugeRefuge Cover image 2

As you can see from the cover shoot photos above, the dress was more blue than we realized, so Kristopher did a little photoshop magic to adjust the color of the dress to match the hat. I think the dress color in the final design is just right!

Thank you Kristopher, for your amazing work on my covers! Thank you Darna, for designing such a special hat. It really gives the cover that authentic look, and we’ve already received so many complements.

I love to dress up in costume for speaking events related to my books, and I can’t wait to wear this lovely hat and the dress that was made to look very similar to the one on the cover!

Refuge Cover HatI’ll be wearing them at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference Genre Dinner next week in Dallas. I’ll wear them again for the Open House, celebrating the release of A Refuge at Highland Hall, at my home in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Saturday October 17th 2:00 – 4:00pm. And you’ll find me dressed up at the Paris in a Cup Costume Tea Party on Saturday October 31st, 11:00 and 2:30, in Orange, California. I’d love to meet you at one of these events! For more information, please visit my Extra Page at my website.

Do you like to dress in period costumes or wear unique hats? Please tell me more!

12 replies
  1. Karen Matlack
    Karen Matlack says:

    I love the final look for the cover. I’m not a dress up in costume person (anymore) since I taught in elementary school. There, I would dress up for different reading units, social studies units, even science (Miss Frizzle and the Magic School Bus). Now I just enjoy watching period costumes on different television shows, especially on PBS. It is fascinating to learn about the people, the clothes, the culture, and to immerse myself in the story.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Karen, that’s fun to hear you dressed up when you taught elementary school. I’m sure your students loved that! I enjoy those historical dramas on PBS too. Poldark is a new favorite. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. Joanne Bischof
    Joanne Bischof says:

    Such a fun story! I think it’s so neat how this hat came about. What a special keepsake and you look darling! The final cover is amazing. I love all the covers in this series, but something about this one is my favorite.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Joanne, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words about my covers. I love this one too! I think the color of the dress and the hat add a lot to the design. It is going to be fun to wear it!

  3. Ruth ONeil
    Ruth ONeil says:

    Not that it has anything to do with writing my books, but our family did a lot of dressing up while I was growing up. My parents were involved in something similar to Civil War reenacting and costumes were often part of the events. My mother was an avid seamstress and made many, many ball gowns. I think dressing up is part of a fun life. It’s nice to pretend to be someone else from another time once in a while.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Ruth, I loved hearing that you grew up in a family that enjoyed dressing in historical costumes. That sounds like a lot of fun!

  4. Terri Gillespie
    Terri Gillespie says:

    What a fun blog, Carrie. You’re growing quite the collection of period costumes. And, girlfriend, you look very fetching in that hat! Can’t wait for your release event! See you there!

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Thanks Terri, this hat is especially fun to wear, knowing it was worn for the cover shoot for Refuge. : )

  5. Kristine Klein
    Kristine Klein says:

    Fun story. The hat is so pretty! I have a collection of vintage hats that I bring out when I have tea parties. Everyone gets to pick out a hat to wear during the tea party. My older sister has retreats for hurting women and the first time she did this I drove 5 hours to put on a tea party for the women. She specifically requested that I bring the hats. The women weren’t so sure when I ushered them out to where I put the hats (right in front of a big mirror). I left the room to wait for them to come and get seated at the table. Pretty soon I could hear them giggling like little girls as they tried on all the hats. There is something about the hats…

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Kristine, what a wonderful way to encourage those women! That’s such a great idea. I love it! Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

    • Carrie Turansky
      Carrie Turansky says:

      Hi Johnnie, thanks for stopping by! I do love my special hate! I’m wearing it this week at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference genre dinner. Authors all dress up in costume like characters in their book. It’s a lot of fun!

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