Google Searches, Little Green Men, and More…

by | Jan 22, 2015 | My Books, Research, Uncategorized | 14 comments

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.

I’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.


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,




  1. Cathy Gohlke

    Well and graciously said, Carrie! Keep writing what you write. We all need more of it.

  2. Carrie Turansky

    Thank you, Cathy. You have always been such a great encourager and friend! I really appreciate you!

  3. Jennifer Hibdon

    Way to go, Carrie!!!!!!! So well done!!!!

    • Carrie Turansky

      Thanks, Jennifer. It was quite a surprise to read that blog. I’m sure he didn’t read the book. He’d be in for quite a surprise if he did. : )


  4. Janet Kerr

    I bet your response surprised the photographer. Instead of taking him to task over his comments, you were most gracious, and your sincerity rings true. You’ve set a good example for the rest of us.
    I agree the photographs are good, and it’s nice the photographer shares them.

    • Carrie Turansky

      I agree Janet. His photos were very helpful to me, and I was glad we could feature one my one book cover. It really set the mood for the story.

  5. Pam Halter

    When I first read he thought your book was a bodice ripper, I laughed out loud. Yes, he surely did not read the story. But I love the way you handled your response on his blog! I hope he responds in kind.

  6. Cathy Richmond

    Very professional, Carrie! I would have told him bodice ripping is a cliché and he needed a more original insult!

    • Carrie Turansky

      Thanks, Cathy. It has been fun to see how the situation has turned from negative to positive.

  7. LouAnn Christie

    I am not sure what ‘bodice ripper’ is suppose to mean, yet in reading your reply I would guess its not good. You had a very gracious reply so now I hope perhaps maybe he’d read he book(s).

  8. Pamela Meyers

    Carrie, my mouth dropped when I saw your post on the ACFW loop that someone called your book a bodice ripper. It gave me a good laugh. I love how you handled it so professionally with your warm reply. You truly have made a good friend with the man and maybe one of your most ardent fans :-).

    • Carrie Turansky

      Thanks, Pam. I was pretty surprised to see it described that way too. I’m glad it turned out well in the end.

  9. Ian Wilson

    As has probably been gathered by now, absolutely no offence was meant by the blog post; it was simply my stupid British sense of humour getting the better of me. (We even spell “humour” correctly on this side of the Atlantic, note!) I was very grateful that Carrie contacted me, as it’s always good to hear personal stories related to pictures I’ve posted. Completely coincidentally there was a second approach regarding Tyntesfield, but this time from a lady who used to live there during the period when it was a “proper” stately home. Something similar happened this summer too, after visiting the Outer Hebrides (off the west coast of Scotland). I was contacted by a lady in a remote village whose cat I had photographed in the shade of her mail box, and I was delighted to be able to send her a couple of prints. It really can be a very small world sometimes…

    Ian (one of the Little Green Men).

    P.S. You can blame my two daughters for the name. When they were much younger, the family moved to a house in Green Man Lane, and they decided that this must make us the “little green men”. Needless to say, the name has stuck!

  10. Carrie Turansky

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Ian. I’m glad we connected. I wonder if your daughter might enjoy reading The Governess of Highland Hall. I’m busy finishing up Book 3 now. Thanks for the tips about a next possible location – settting for my next series.


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