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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 25 June 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – NO OCEAN TOO WIDE by CARRIE TURANSKY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – NO OCEAN TOO WIDE by CARRIE TURANSKY

 

THE BLURB

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the 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 poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for 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?
Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels and novellas set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down!” . . . “Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written” . . . “My new favorite author!” Visit her website and sign up for her email newsletter at Carrie Turansky.com. Follow Carrie on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW

This right here is why I love historical fiction for!

Ms. Turansky has pulled pages from history and wrapped them in a poignant and heartrending story! I have known about orphans of the era from the likes of Oliver Twist and Sara Crewe (one of my favorite childhood stories) but I had never heard of British children’s homes sending children to Canada.

The rigidness of the homes, the indifference of the matrons, the inflexibility of the rules—all worked against the welfare and better interest of the children.

Ms. Turansky’s storyline was most revealing and disheartening. That Katie and Garth and Grace were not orphaned had no bearing on their treatment or their plight. The obstacles their sister, Laura, faced at every turn broke my heart—and infuriated me.

Some of the dialogue didn’t seem true to the era, but the details—letters sent via post (no text messages and phone calls) the constraints of society, the broad gap between aristocracy and the lower class—made this story authentic and pulled this reader in.

I look forward to Garth and Grace’s stories.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

FOUR FEATHERS

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, No Ocean Too Wide, Carrie Turansky

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 21 February 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – CARRIE TURANSKY – GIVEAWAY WINNER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – CARRIE TURANSKY – GIVEAWAY WINNER

“Touching Hearts With Stories of Faith and Love”

 

“…  spent many happy hours, lying on our porch swing reading. Those lazy days gave my imagination a chance to grow, and they helped me develop a love for well-told stories.”

 

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

JODI HASSEL

Carrie will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels and novellas set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down!” . . . “Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written” . . . “My new favorite author!” Visit her website and sign up for her email newsletter at Carrie Turansky.com. Follow Carrie on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

http://carrieturansky.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky

https://www.instagram.com/carrieturansky/

 

 

“My goal for each book is to create a story that touches your heart and lifts your spirit.”

GIVEAWAY

Carrie is offering a free e-copy of Seeking His Love, or a paperback copy to a US reader.

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Carrie Turansky, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 16 February 2019 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES

WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES

 

I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.

 

 

LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES

 

Today’s recipe generously provided by Carrie Turansky.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 ¼ cups          flour

2 tsp                baking powder

½ tsp               salt

½ tsp               baking soda

4 tbs                sugar

½ cup              cold butter

¾ cup              buttermilk

1                      egg

¾ cup              blueberries

grated zest from lemon

 

 Streusel Topping:

¼ cup        rolled oats

¼ cup        brown sugar

1 tbs          butter, melted

1 tbs          flour

Lemon Glaze:

½ cup        freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups        confectioner’s sugar

1tbs           butter, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the dry ingredients of the scone into a food processor.
  • Cut the cold butter into cubes and put into bowl of food processor with the lemon zest.
  • Pulse the mixture until the butter is the size of peas.
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl, add the blueberries and toss with the flour.
  • Mix together the buttermilk and egg and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Fold mixture together gently, being careful not to break the berries.
  • Press dough into a large circle on a flour surface.
  • Cut out dough with a biscuit cutter.
  • Sprinkle streusel on top of them and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
  • Bake the scones for 18 -20 minutes until golden.
  • Mix together the glaze, adding as much powdered sugar as it takes to make the consistency you want.
  • Let scones cool a bit before drizzling with the lemon glaze.
  • Serve while warm and fresh.
  • Scones may be re-warmed in a 350 F. oven for 5 min.

 

Today’s recipe generously provided The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky.

If you try this recipe and bake some scones, be sure to let me know how you liked them. Happy baking!

If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

NOTE: All recipes must be original or used with permission.

#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, Lemon Blueberry Scones, Carrie Turansky, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 14 February 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – CARRIE TURANSKY

 

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – CARRIE TURANSKY

“Touching Hearts With Stories of Faith and Love”

 

“…  spent many happy hours, lying on our porch swing reading. Those lazy days gave my imagination a chance to grow, and they helped me develop a love for well-told stories.”

 

Please give a happy feathered welcome to Carrie Turansky!

FAST FAVES

Cake or Cookies – Cookies please  

Dogs or Cats – Dogs, they’re are more cuddly. 

Eggs or Pancakes – I love a perfect poached egg. 

Facebook or Twitter – Definitely Facebook

Paperback or Kindle – Paperback. I Love holding the book in my hands.

Thornton or Darcy – Mr. Darcy

Yoga Pants or Jeans – Yoga pants for a relaxing writing day. 

 

rem:  Hullo, Carrie, welcome. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CARRIE:  I was born in Oregon and lived there until I married Scott and we moved to Hawaii. We lived there for eight years where our three oldest children were born. Then we moved to New Jersey where Scott took a new ministry position, and we adopted our two youngest daughters. We’ve lived in New Jersey for more than thirty years. The children are all grown, and now we get to enjoy our six grandkids.

rem:  Sheesh! From Hawaii to New Jersey—talk about culture / climate shock! Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

CARRIE:  I was editor of my high school yearbook. I inherited a family farm in Oregon. I collect teddy bears and love sharing them with my grandkids and young visitors.

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

CARRIE:  “The best is yet to come!”  I like this quote because it reminds me that believers have a glorious future, and eternal life starts now.

rem:  So much yes!!! What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

CARRIE:  A lifetime pass to the National Parks.

rem:  That’s one awesome random thing! #winkwink What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

CARRIE:  Favorite movie: While You Were Sleeping. Favorite TV show: Downton Abbey

rem:  Well, of course! If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

CARRIE:  I’d love to go back to Edwardian England and see some of the places and events I’ve written about in my books, like the first flight across the English Channel, and Armistice Day at the end of World War One.

rem:  Take me with you??? Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CARRIE:  There are so many great verses that I love. This is one I am memorizing now with the small group of wives I’m mentoring. “Make me walk along the path of Your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” Psalm 119: 35. It reminds me that my happiness doesn’t depend on people or circumstances. Walking along the path the Lord outlines in his His Word is where I’ll find true and lasting happiness.

rem:  That is so very true—apart from Him, any happiness is shallow, thin, and fleeting. If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

CARRIE: I’d enjoy an evening with Anne of Green Gables. I’d love to hear more about her life before she came to live with Marilla and Mathew, and I’d also like to know what her life was like after she married Gilbert.

 

rem:  What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

CARRIE:  Christian fiction can bring hope and inspiration to readers when we weave God’s principles and love into our stories. Readers can learn from the experience of our characters, consider the choices they make, and see the outcomes, both good and bad. Writing Christian fiction has helped me grow stronger in my faith as I learn to trust God for the story and write it with His help and inspiration. It’s also challenges me to think through issues and conflicts my characters face, and then look for the wisdom and practical help they need to deal with those issues. As I write about my characters’ struggles, I learn along with them how to live out my faith each day.

rem:  Methinks that we as authors sometimes focus on what our readers gain from our stories, and forget the impact of writing them! Not so unlike going on a mission trip—I was very much affected after my first trip! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

CARRIE:  I want to be swept away by clear descriptive writing and interesting characters. I’m not sure I have a pet peeve, but if there are a lot of mistakes in a story, either factual or typos, that will break the spell for me. Too many of those, and I may put the book down.

rem:  That bugs me, too. One or two, here and there, though, actually makes me less self-conscious of my own faux pas! What would you do if you weren’t writing?

CARRIE:  I enjoy the balance I have in my life now –writing one book a year, partnering in ministry with my husband, and enjoying our family and friends, so I’m not sure what else I would do, probably more of the same.

rem:  Now, that’s a good description of a happy life! What are you reading right now?

CARRIE:  I just finished listening to Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielki. It’s an excellent WW1 novel, and a great debut! I’m eager to read her next one, The Songbird and the Spy.

rem:  I’ve seen her book and wanted to read it—now it’s a must read! What do you munch on while you write?

CARRIE:  I’m more likely to drink a glass of ice water with lemon or a cup of hot tea.

rem:  You are so disciplined! You have visited England and Scotland for research. Tell us a little about those visits. (P.S. #totallyjealous!)

CARRIE:  I’ve been blessed to take two research trips to the UK. The first trip was with my husband Scott. We toured Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed. That was amazing! We also toured villages in the Costwolds, and Chastworth House in the Peak District, which was Mr. Darcy’s Pemberly in the latest version of Pride and Prejudice. On the second trip my traveling companion was my dear friend and fellow author, Cathy Gohlke. We toured Tyntesfield, the beautiful estate I had in mind when I wrote the Highland Hall novels. Then we visited the Lake District and Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm. After that we joined a tour group led by Liz Curtis Higgs and visited several castles, gardens, and islands in western Scotland.

rem:  When I get to go, the Cotswolds is first on my destination must-see! You have stories set in the Edwardian era and current day. What is your favorite to write and why?

CARRIE:  I like both. I’ve enjoyed learning more about Edwardian England, 1900 through WW1. That’s such an interesting time period with many changes in technology and culture. I especially enjoyed learning about Christians in that time period and how they impacted their society.  Writing contemporary stories is also fun for me.

rem:  You’ve got that right, Carrie. So very much changed in those early years of the 20th century. Things we take for granted were still luxuries then. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

CARRIE:  I started writing in mid-life after our family spent a year in Kenya, East Africa. When I came home I missed it so much I thought writing a story set there would help me relived my experiences. I joined a writers’ group at my local library, and shortly after that, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers. I wrote five full-length novels and two novellas before the first one was published in 2005. I’ve had 20 novels and novellas published since then. I’ve enjoyed the journey and made many wonderful friends in the writing and reading community.

rem:  It is such an amazing community in the writing world, isn’t it! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CARRIE: I have a corner desk in my dining room, and I usually take care of email, social media, and business there. When I want to focus on writing, I take my laptop around the house to a cozy chair or the couch. In the warmer weather I like to sit outside on my back patio and write there.

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

CARRIE:  Sometimes I struggle with distractions and that can slow me down. Turing off the Internet and putting on my headphones helps we stay in the writing zone. I also listen to instrumental music to help me focus.

rem:  Ah yes, focus, that elusive zone… What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

CARRIE:  I enjoy finishing the story and sending it out to readers. Hearing from them, and knowing it has had an impact on them is also a highlight for me. Developing friendships with other authors and seeing them succeed is also a real joy.

rem:  Hearing from readers is right there with the moment that first copy is finally in our hands! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

CARRIE:  I think one of the most difficult things about publishing is how often you have to wait. We wait to hear from an agent, then we wait to hear from an editor. We wait for a contract, and we wait to see the cover and hear the marketing plan. Then we wait for the book to come out and wait for readers to read and review it. We have a lot of opportunities to develop patience and trust the Lord for His timing!

rem:  Waiting! UGH! That is all! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

CARRIE:  Recommendations: After you finish the first book, revise it and send it out or put it in the drawer. Don’t rewrite it so many times that you never go on to write the next book. You learn by writing, so keep going and plot out your next story. Read many different authors and carefully observe what you like about their writing. Build a network of writing and reading friends, and be supportive of those authors. Things to avoid: Don’t criticize other authors and their books. If you don’t care for a book, keep that to yourself.  When you have an issue with your editor or publishing team, don’t fire off an angry email. Give yourself time, discuss it with your agent first and take his or her advice to formulate your response. Guard your reputation with you publishing team, and don’t be a difficult or demanding author.

rem:  That’s some good wisdom right there. How do you choose your characters’ names?

CARRIE:  I keep a running list of names I like, and I also look online at the most popular baby names in the year my character was born.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

CARRIE:  I know the basic outline of my story, especially the beginning and the end. I like to leave some of the ups and downs in the middle unsettled so I can have the fun of seeing what will happen to my characters as I write.

rem:  Sounds like your stories surprise you as you write almost as much as the reader when they read! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CARRIE:  Seeking His Love released February 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day! It’s a contemporary inspirational romance, the first of three books in the Bayside Treasure Series. The heroine, Rachel Clark, is a drama teacher who moves to Fairhaven, Washington, to make a fresh start and direct a Christian youth theater program. Her group needs a new place to hold after school rehearsals and summer drama camp, and that’s how she meets the hero, Cam McKenna. He owns a frame shop and oversees an artist’s co-op in an old school building with a great auditorium that is perfect for Rachel’s group, but Cam is not sure he can tolerate all those kids running around his building.

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

CARRIE:  Cam has to take care of Kayla, his fourteen-year-old niece, for the summer while her mom is undergoing cancer treatments. I loved writing about the interaction between Cam and Kayla and the drama that goes along with having a teenage girl in his life. He ends up needing Rachel’s practical help and advice, and that draws them closer. Rachel offers his niece a scholarship for drama camp, and that created several more fun scenes to include in the story.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

CARRIE:  I read several articles about teachers who were accused of inappropriate relationships with students, and I wanted to explore what would happen if a teacher was falsely accused. How would she handle a difficult challenge like that? How would it impact her faith and relationships? What lessons would be learned by all those who were involved?

rem:  That’s some heavy stuff! So good to have a Christian perspective to it! Please give us the first page of the book.

CARRIE:

            A shiver of anticipation raced up Rachel Clark’s back as she stepped into the dark auditorium of the old Fairhaven Elementary School. Cool air ushered a dusty smell toward her, teasing her nose. With only the dim glow of the Exit signs to light her path, she made her way down the sloping aisle toward the stage.

            The house lights came up. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, then took in the scene. Rows of padded folding seats in three sections filled the cavernous hall. Two carpeted aisles led to a large proscenium stage with a wide, bow-shaped apron and a plush burgundy curtain.

            Warmth and wonder tingled through her. “This is perfect.” She turned and searched for Hannah Bodine.

            The silver-haired curator of the local historical museum poked her head out from the sound booth at the back. Dressed in a flowing tropical-print blouse and coral Capri pants, she stepped into the aisle. “Do you like it?”

            “Yes, it’s exactly what we’re looking for.” Rachel hurried forward and mounted the steps. Waltzing to the middle of the stage, she scanned the auditorium. “Do you know how many seats there are?”

            “Let’s see.” Hannah strolled forward, counting the rows of burgundy chairs. “Looks like almost four hundred.”

            Rachel smiled and nodded. “That’s a hundred more than we have now.” With a larger house they could increase their ticket sales and income, something she and her small staff desperately needed if they were going to hold on to their jobs.

            “I think this would be a good home for your group,” Hannah added. “Why don’t I take you to meet Cameron McKenna, and you can make arrangements to speak to everyone at the co-op meeting tonight.”

            “That would be great.” Rachel ran her hand along the velvet curtain as she crossed the stage, memories of past performances making her smile.  She descended the wooden steps and met her friend down in front.

            “Thanks, Hannah. This is really an answer to prayer. I was beginning to think we were going to be a homeless theater company.” Rachel crossed her arms and rubbed away a chill brought on by that thought.

            “It works out well for all of us. The school district is raising our rent.” Hannah sighed and shook her head as she led the way up the aisle. “You’d think they’d be happy to receive any income from this old building. It sat empty for two years before we got together to rent it. We’ve made a lot of improvements, but if we want to hold on to it, we have to rent the remaining space.”

            Rachel nodded. It sounded like the Fairhaven Artist’s Co-op needed her as much as she needed them. She blew out a deep breath and tried to relax her tense shoulders. This would work. It had to.

            Finding the position as director of Northcoast Christian Youth Theater had been a miracle. She didn’t want to think about disbanding and looking for another job. Returning to teaching wasn’t an option, not after everything that had happened. She pushed those painful memories away and followed Hannah into the main hallway.

            “That’s Cam’s frame shop.” Hannah motioned toward the open door across the hall. “He handles all the finances for the co-op. He can give you the particulars about renting with us.”

            Rachel stepped forward, eager to meet him and discuss the details.

            Hannah held out her hand to slow her down. “Cam might be a bit resistant to the idea. He’s a little . . .” She bit her lip and glanced toward the ceiling. “Well, I suppose I should let you make up your own mind. Just be patient with him, dear.”

 

rem:  That certainly pulls the reader smack into the middle of the action! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

CARRIE:  I hope readers will be inspired to consider the importance honesty and forgiveness in their relationships. rem: oh, yes, both are so very important! I also hope they’ll enjoy the sweet, inspiring romance and gain some insight from Cam and Rachel’s relationship.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

CARRIE:  I love connecting with readers! You’ll find me on Facebook and Instagram and on my blog. I hope you’ll connect with me there, and we can share our love for reading and writing!

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

CARRIE: Thank you, Robin!

 

 

http://carrieturansky.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky

https://www.instagram.com/carrieturansky/

 

 

“My goal for each book is to create a story that touches your heart and lifts your spirit.”

“… I feel blessed that God has allowed me to share the stories He puts in my heart.”

GIVEAWAY

Carrie is offering a free e-copy of Seeking His Love, or a paperback copy to a US reader.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Thursday 14 February and end at 12:oo A.M  on Thursday 21 February. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

 

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b6/?

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Carrie Turansky, Giveaway, Seeking His Love

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