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Books Like Downton Abbey
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Hi Friends,
Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  Scott and I loved visiting Highclere where Downton Abbey was filmed a few years ago. That was a great inspiration for my English historical novels set in the Edwardian Era. 
 
If you enjoyed Downton Abbey and would like to read some inspiring novels set in that same time period in the US and England, here’s a list for you! Happy Reading!
 

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

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’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.

The Daughter of Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin, Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love.

A Refuge at Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series set in 1915 England and France the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected.

Penny writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war.

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate–and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the edge of poverty in London in 1908, leaving their mother to support her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain’s attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country’s cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball. But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin

In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life—a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel’s half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

The Lost Heiress by Roseanne White

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother. As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she’s never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’ll end up in more danger than she fled. 

A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

The Thornbearer by Pepper Basham

From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.

When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?

In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.

As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

The Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope? Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice. When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever. 

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 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.

 

My publisher, Penguine Random House, created this lovely poster for libraries showing more books like Downton Abbey:

Until Next Time . . .  Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

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

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


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

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