Author Interview Sondra Kraak – Blog Tour – Two Ways Home (Love that Counts #2)

I’m so happy to have Sondra Kraak here today to talk about her book Two Ways Home, #2 in the Love that Counts series. I really enjoyed this fantastic story, full of whit  and delightful characters that stick with you long after you finish the book. 

S.KraakA native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was a Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015). Sondra has since published three novels. You can connect with Sondra at:

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon // Goodreads

A little bit about Sondra’s book Two Ways Home (Love that Counts #2)

31425029Washington, 1892

Mary Smith was never one to back down from a challenge. Her father’s health may be failing, but their dairy farm was her mother’s dream, and Mary will do whatever it takes to keep her father from selling it—even if it means sneaking off to the next town to earn money by playing the piano in a questionable establishment. No one seems to understand why home is so important to her, least of all her childhood nemesis who’s just wandered back into town.

When injured Texas Ranger Luke Thomas is forced to return to Pine Creek, Washington, he’s hailed as a hero and thrust into the town’s first race for sheriff. But no one knows the secret he carried to Texas, nor the secret he’s brought home. Setting his perfect aim on returning south, he refuses to get tied down by the town’s admiration, his brother’s disapproval, or the spirited, hardworking dairy girl who’s less annoying than he remembers.

But strange things are happening at the Smith dairy and in Pine Creek, and Luke’s instincts tell him Mary is in far more trouble than she realizes. One thing is certain: “home” is about to get more complicated for them both.

Full of wit and romantic tension, this Christian historical love story sets forth the true meaning of coming home.


Welcome Sondra, I’m thrilled to have you here today and to get to know you and your fabulous books better.  Let’s begin with a few fun getting-to-know you questions and then we will dive into the book.

coffee-1629158_640Trisha:  What is your favorite beverage?

Sondra: Sadly, coffee. That’s extremely indistinctive and ordinary. I drink it black, which is even more boring

Trisha: I also enjoy a good cup of coffee, however, I prefer mine with cream.


Trisha: What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Sondra: Baths (void of bubbles). I would take one every night if I could. And Calvin and Hobbes comics. And if the use of parentheses could be considered a guilty pleasure . . . I’m guilty.

Trisha:  My husband and Son love Calvin and Hobbes and through them I’ve gained an appreciation (we have a few Calvin & Hobbes comic books.) By the way, you are in good company with the parentheses my friend!


Trisha: Is there a place you have wanted to visit but haven’t yet?sphinx-1175828_640

Sondra:  Jerusalem, Cairo, Aleppo. Unfortunately, not the safest area of the world to visit, so other than Jerusalem, this will remain an unrealized dream. Unless I go into black ops but considering my love for routine and safety, I don’t see that happening. Realistically, I hope to visit Hawaii, the only state I haven’t visited. Even more realistically, I’d love to visit the Belmont Mansion where some of Tamera Alexander’s novels are set (just five hours away from where I live! (see, more parentheses)).

Trisha: Only Hawaii left? Wow, I have some catching up to do!


Trisha:  What is your favorite Bible verse?

book-1209805_640Sondra:  I truly don’t have one favorite verse because I love, love scripture so deeply and have been reading it since I could string letters into words. I do love the Psalms, though. They give voice to every emotion and experience. Favorite Psalms are 16, 27, and 119. Especially 119. My heart swells just thinking about delighting in the law of the Lord.

Trisha: Psalm 91 is my personal favorite, I also really like Psalm 119.  Likewise, I cannot pick only one favorite.


Trisha:  In your research for Two Ways Home, was there anything that surprised you?

LeanderSondra:  The history of the Texas Rangers is fascinating. Leander McNelly was Luke’s inspiration as a boy for joining the Rangers, and reading about McNelly’s escapades was fun. So much lawlessness back then and even the lawmen didn’t follow protocol all the time.

Trisha: That is an interesting piece of history.  I went searching and found this photo of Leander McNelly at The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum  (click on the link to discover more about the Texas Rangers).


Trisha:  What was your inspiration for Mary and Luke’s backstory? (Their childhood friendship that grew as they did, into a deeper relationship)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sondra:  I love friendship romances where the hero and heroine start out with a deep level of knowing each other. Despite their teasing and surface annoyance with each other, Luke and Mary have that solid foundation. My own childhood played into the inspiration. I grew up running around with friends and getting into mischief while our parents were at Sunday evening prayer meetings. I imagined that same interplay between the children of Pine Creek. What I love about Luke and Mary is that they had a four-year separation, which is a lengthy time not to see each other, making their reunion at the start of Two Ways Home like a fresh beginning to their friendship.

Trisha: I agree, friendship romances are a favorite of mine also. Maybe because that is how my husband and I began. (photo credit:


Trisha:  What was most difficult to write about when writing Two Ways Home?

desk-2158142_640Sondra:  The ending. The original ending was different, and my critique partner said it wasn’t working. (My idea was to avoid melodrama, but in doing so, the ending came out flat and disappointing). So how things resolved with Mary’s stalker had to change. I raised the stakes, making things more serious.

My biggest issue in writing, in general, is transferring abstract ideas into a plot. I can think metaphorically about what home is and how Mary and Luke both miss the point of it, but to craft a story that shows this was difficult. I’m still new to fiction writing with lots to learn. Two Ways Home is only my third manuscript (second published). I feel like I’m still discovering how the story flows from me and how to balance what elements I think a story needs to have with what it organically needs.

Trisha: I really enjoyed the drama in the ending. It kept me on my toes! But I do understand the challenge of transferring the outline and abstract ideas into a plot. I began writing a book awhile back (shhh, my little secret), and while I have a great beginning and a full timeline, fleshing out the middle and filling in the plot has slowed me down.


Trisha:  What book are you working on next?

forge-2148866_640Sondra:  Three Words and a Kiss. This is Cam’s story. He’s the blacksmith in Pine Creek, and sort of the minister, too, since he preaches on the weeks the traveling minister isn’t in town. Readers have already matched him up with Grace, Luke’s sister because she’s loved him for years. Sorry. Not happening. Cam’s just not into her (which is author speak for I’m not into her as heroine material). He’s into smithy work and preaching.

Until Samantha Klein comes to town, heiress, investor, and new owner of his smithy. Her presence flips his world upside down, stripping him of all things familiar. Samantha—bless her spontaneous, compassionate heart—is instantly attracted to her employee, despite his refusal to teach her the trade. Coming out of a wealthy family in which she was ignored, she has a heart for anything wounded, disregarded, or victimized—including a duck. When the trouble she fled in Seattle follows her to Pine Creek, her penchant for helping the downtrodden threatens to overthrow the peace and simplicity of the town.

Trisha: I can’t wait to read Three Words and a Kiss!  I completely understand about Grace. While I see where the others are coming from, she really just isn’t the right one for Cam. I look forward to getting to know Samantha.

Thank you Sondra for visiting, it was fantastic to talk with you about Two Ways Home and about your upcoming book Three Words and a Kiss.

Friends, now it’s your turn:

I’d love to hear from you, Did your love story start out as a friendship story?
Do you have any questions for Sondra?

The fun isn’t over yet!  You will want to hop on over today, and visit my blogging friend Kathleen Denly’s  blog page for some fun and games!

Blog Tour Stops

Saturday, May 20th — Fiction Aficionado — Interview & Excerpt
Monday, May 21st — Kathleen Denly — Game
Monday, May 21st — Joy of Reading — Author Interview
Tuesday, May 23rd — Faithfully Bookish — Setting Spotling
Wednesday, May 24th —  A Baker’s Perspective — Character Spotlight Heroine, Mary
Thursday, May 25th — Singing Librarian Books — Character Spotlight Hero, Luke


To find Sondra’s books on Amazon, click the links below:

 One Plus One Equals Trouble (Love that Counts #1)

  Two ways Home (Love that Counts #2)

  Such A Hope (Paths of Grace #1)


Trails of Love and Grace (1)



Author Interview & Giveaway with Stephenia H. McGee – In His Eyes

I am thrilled to have Stephenia H. McGee visiting today to chat with us about her newest book In His Eyes (my review).  In His Eyes was released on May 5, 2017


Stephenia H. McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in the South


For those not familiar with Steph’s lasted book that just came out this past Friday…


Mississippi, 1865. A time when war has stolen men’s souls and left their women and children aching for sanctuary.

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer’s widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.

Welcome Steph, I’m so happy to visit with you today! Let’s get started with a few fun questions and then we will discuss In His Eyes.

Trisha: What is your favorite beverage?
Steph: Sweet tea. After all, I am a Mississippi gal. 😉
Trisha: Yes, the perfect summer drink!

Trisha: What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
Steph: Hmm…ultimate guilty pleasure would have to be a hot bath, a good book, and a huge slice of red velvet cake.
Trisha: Can’t go wrong with a hot bath, a good book and a slice of red velvet cake!

Trisha: Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?
Steph: I would like to see a lot of places. I love to travel. I’d love the chance to get to go back to Italy and get to see Florence this time, and I have always wanted  to see Scotland, Ireland, and Greece.
Trisha: Sounds like you have some fun places to visit. Scotland is on the top of my list.

book-1209805_640Trisha: What is your favorite Bible verse?
Steph: John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches.     If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV) This verse reminds me that I have to stay connected to Him daily. When I do, life is fruitful, and when I don’t I feel empty.

Trisha: In your research for In His Eyes, was there anything that surprised you?
Steph: Well, during my research for the locations and battles I wanted to use, I got sidetracked by this fascinating article on “The Angel’s Glow”. After the battle at Shiloh, there were soldiers that reported glowing wounds. As you can imagine, this unnerved them quite a bit. Then, strangely enough, the soldiers who had glowing wounds healed far better than those who didn’t, so they dubbed the glowing wounds as being touched by angels. 150+ years later it was discovered that a bioluminescent bacteria happened to have just the right conditions in the soldier’s hypothermic bodies to feed on the infection. It didn’t directly have anything to do with this particular novel, but it really took me by surprise. That is one of my favorite things about writing historical fiction—all the interesting things I find during my research.
Trisha: That is interesting! Yes, I love uncovering interesting historical details also.

Trisha: What was most difficult to write about when writing In His Eyes?
Steph: This book was a journey for me. I felt God asking me to dig deep and walk through some of Ella’s discoveries with her. I share some of her insecurities, and He kept nudging me to lean on Him as I wrote. The dream chapters in particular took a lot out of me. It was emotionally draining, and I spent most of the time writing them with tears on my cheeks, but I know that He taught me something through it. It’s my hope that there is a reader out there somewhere that He has the same message for and that this story can help point them toward Him.
Trisha: I love that! The dream chapters were quite powerful, I really enjoyed those.

Trisha: Reading the second half of the book a song kept playing in my mind; Did you have a song or songs that you thought of while writing?
Steph: I think that Jordan Feliz’s song Beloved could really be a theme song for Ella! This song came on the radio a lot while I was writing this book, and it felt like He used it to keep inspiring me. I’d love to know what song you had in mind during the second half.
Trisha: Oh, that’s is a good song! The song that kept coming to my mind was Jason Gray’s song “Remind Me Who I Am” from his album A Way To See In The Dark

Trisha: I enjoyed reading Ella’s dreams; what was your inspiration for her dreams?
Steph: At one of the classes I attended during the ACFW conference last year the teacher handed out notebooks. And I think this is super cool—he prayed diligently over them and God led him to write a from God note in each one. He prayed over them again and then handed them out to the attendees—each with their own note from God. The way people reacted and how each note really meant something to the one who received it was amazing to watch. Mine said, “Use your stories to give others a glimpse of the not yet. This is a season where we will go into new lands and dream new dreams.” Not too long before that, I had a dream where the colors were unreal and the place was stunning. I must have reread that note a hundred times, it so stirred me. A couple of months later as I began to pray over the next book I wanted to write, those words came back to me, as did my dream of that place of color and light. I didn’t do the things Ella does during her dreams in the book, but the place I saw in my own dream really stuck with me and           inspired the story.
Trisha: It is quite humbling how God whispers to our hearts and leads us to help and bless others.

Trisha: Will there be future stories at Belmont Plantation? And, what book are you working on next?
Steph: As of right now, this is a stand-alone book and I do not have any others planned for Belmont. My readers have been asking me for a couple of years for a new book in my Ironwood Plantation Family Saga, so my fall book will be set in the 1890s with Lydia and Ruth’s (from The Whistle Walk) daughters.
Trisha: Oh, that’s great! I look forward to reading it. Thank you Steph for visiting today, it sure was fun to sit down and talk about In His Eyes!

IHE  In His Eyes

24926454  The Whistle Walk (Ironwood Plantation Family saga #1)

33826065  Heir of Hope (IronWood Plantation Family saga #2)

Friends, Steph is graciously offering one digital copy of In His Eyes to one lucky person. Entries are open to USA residents. Contest will run for one week. The winner will be notified via email and announced on this page at the close of the contest.

To Enter Giveaway:

1.) Comment below, sharing with us a historical place you have visited or wish to visit
2.) Make sure to CLICK HERE to enter the Raffelcopter.

Giveaway ended.


Kay G.

Author Interview with Heather Day Gilbert & Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have visiting with us Heather Day Gilbert.  I enjoyed reading her Viking saga books “God’s Daughter” & “Forest Child”.  I’ve invited Heather here today to talk with us about both of these books. (read my review)

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, a Grace Award winner and bestselling author, writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather writes Viking historicals and Appalachian mystery/suspense. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.” Find out more on

Webpage // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest 

For those who may not be familiar with the Viking Saga, A quick review of the books “God’s Daughter” and “Forest Child”

GodsDaughterGod’s Daughter

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America. In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America. Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir—daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America. This novel is heavily based on the Icelandic Sagas and is written from a Christian worldview.


FCForest Child

Viking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother. Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland. Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. This immersive tale is Book Two in the bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.


Thank you Heather for stopping by today.  It is a pleasure to have you here to visit and talk about the Viking’s Saga.   Before we talk Vikings, let’s ask a few getting-to-know-you questions.

coffee-1629158_640Q:   What is your favorite beverage?

Heather:   Hands down, it’s coffee!

Ahhh, yes!  Must start the day with a cup of coffee.



Q:   What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
Heather'sGardenHeather:   I love to stroll around in garden stores looking at plants/flowers, which bores my kids to death. I also love playing video games, which doesn’t bore my kids, but gives them lots to laugh about due to my inferior skills. LOL

LOL! I’m pretty sure that is why my son asks me to play video games with him also! 


Q:   How often do you people watch?

Heather:   You know, I don’t do this as much as I like. Since we live in a rural area, I don’t get out a lot, and when I do, sometimes it takes something really strange/unique to catch my attention since I’m usually distracted by watching my kids. On the other hand, I tend to brainstorm every chance I get.

We also live in somewhat of a rural area, but the occasional trip to the mall can be entertaining when people watching. 


Iceland.birdQ:   Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?
Heather:   Oh, YES! Newfoundland, Iceland, and Greenland—where my Viking characters really lived. Also Norway and Sweden, where my great grandpa/grandma lived before they came to the USA. Wales and England also look beautiful—my hubby is part Welsh. And given how much I loved that show Yukon Men, Alaska would also be fun.

Those all sound like fantastic place to visit. I too have wanted to visit Norway & Sweden. 


book-1209805_640Q:   What is your favorite Bible verse?
Heather:   Psalm 73:25-26: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I love this verse because our lives are constantly shifting, people let us down, and we lose those we love. But in the end, God is the Great I AM and we will be with Him someday.

Oh, that’s a fantastic verse and a beautiful reminder that no matter what changes in our lives God never changes!


VikingFoodQ:  In your research for the Vikings Saga, was there anything that surprised you?
Heather:   Sometimes I was surprised by foods they didn’t have (like potatoes). I was also surprised a couple of times when I brainstormed what my characters would do, then I checked the sagas, and I realized they HAD done that. Maybe I’d remembered it from reading it, but it was always a nice little surprise. 🙂

That has got to be a great feeling, knowing that your initial idea was spot on!


GuildridFreydisQ:   What was most difficult to write about when writing about Gudrid?  Freydis?
Heather:   Great question. For Gudrid, she doesn’t really share my personality. She’s always looking back to the past, she’s pretty easily depressed, and given the choice to run or fight, she’ll run or retreat into herself. I’m so much more like Freydis—I just charge ahead, trusting I’ll make things work. Fight trumps flight. 😉 So Gudrid was a bit harder to write, but she resembles people I know, so it was easier to guess how she would react to certain situations. And the toughest thing about writing Freydis is that I was in her head (I write in first person, present tense, so it’s VERY alive in my mind), and that means I was “there” when she did a super violent thing. My readers prayed me through as I wrote that scene.


ForestChildMimeQ:   Which of these strong leading women (Gudrid & Freydis) is your favorite?
Heather:   I loved Gudrid best when I wrote God’s Daughter, but then I wrote Forest Child and I was pretty surprised by how Freydis grew on me. So I think Freydis is my fave, but I would be FRIENDS with Gudrid. LOL

That really is a tough question.  I couldn’t pick a favorite myself.  I liked each for different reasons.


GuildridQ:   When writing Gudrid & Freydis, who did you use as a character inspiration for their appearance?
Heather:   For Gudrid, I loved Amanda Seyfried. Naturally blonde hair, wider-set green eyes—just a knockout.

FreydisFor Freydis, I initially liked Tilda Swinton just because of her quirky, gangly redheadedness, but toward the end, I thought Queen Aslaug in the Vikings miniseries really resembled her. So the cover art for her was spot-on how I’d pictured her, since the woman looks like Aslaug to me.


I enjoyed looking thru the photo’s on your Pinterest board for both of these books.  It really gives a visual insight to what you had in mind when writing the stories. (click here to visit Heather’s Pinterest board)


Q:   Can we look forward to reading more Viking stories? VikingLongBoat

Heather:   I do hope so, but right now, I do feel my saga is finished (at least the one that was based on real people/events from the sagas).

LeifHowever, I do keep thinking about Leif Eiriksson. 😉

We’ll see!


Ohhh, a story about Leif Eiriksson would be a good one!  Thank you Heather for stopping in for a visit.  It sure was fun chatting and learning more about these fantastic characters in your books!

Heather:   Thanks so much for letting me visit!


You can purchase both God’s Daughter






and Forest Child at Amazon or where ever books are sold




Heather is giving away ONE digital copy of either “God’s Daughter” or “Forest Child” for two blessed individuals.

 (the winners may each choose which digital book they would like).

The giveaway will run for one week, the winner of the digital book will be announced on this page at the conclusion of the contest. For additional information please review the Disclosure & Policies page.

To enter the giveaway

FIRST: comment below which book you would like to win and please include any question you may have for Heather.

SECOND: CLICK HERE to enter the Raffelcopter and follow the directions within.


**** Giveaway has ended ****
Winners of the digital copies are:

Arletta B. – God’s Daughter
Connie S. – Forest Child

Author Interview: Carrie Turansky

I’m beyond thrilled that Carrie Turansky has agreed to stop by for an fun interview, (and a surprise tea party).  Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Carrie today!

cturansky-2lowCarrie Turanksy has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and three grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends.


You can connect Carrie at these locations:   Web Page / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest


Welcome Carrie, it is so very nice to have you join us today.  With the release of your 17th novel shine-like-the-dawn Shine Like the Dawn beginning to slow down and your schedule a little less hectic, I thought it would be a good time to have you stop in for a brief interview.  I’m so happy to have you here today!

A brief excerpt of my review:

“A gentle reminder that even through the messy bits of life, the heartbreak, the disappointments, and unmet dreams, that God is always with us. His plan is perfect, even when we can’t see it.”


Trisha: Let’s get started with our fun interview questions, shall we?

Q:   What 7e3ee79caa15de6e986e5b63ce69311ais your Favorite Beverage?
Carrie: On cold days I enjoy hot tea. Earl Grey and mint are my favorites. On warm days I enjoy iced Passion Tazo tea. I’m also trying to drink my water every day.

Trisha: Yummy! Iced Passion Tazo tea is also a favorite of mine.  


Q:   What would you say is your Guilty Pleasure?                                                Carrie:  I make some really delicious homemade chocolates with cocoa, carob, a dash of salt, melted coconut oil, and stevia. I add some roasted almonds too. Yum!

Trisha: Those sound delicious! I’m ready for a tea party now. 


Q:   Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?                                           Carrie: There are several places in England I’d like to visit, including Northumberland where Shine Like the Dawn is set, and Kent, where my next book, Across the Blue, is set. There are so many beautiful historic estates, gardens, and lovely sights to see!

Trisha:  You have some fun vacation spots in your future!


Q:   What is your Favorite Bible Verse?          Carrie: I have so many that give me strength and encouragement! One of my favorites is:    “Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.

Trisha: such a wonderful reminder that God desires that we do everything in Love.



Q:  What was your inspiration for Maggie’s character in Shine Like the Dawn?
Carrie: I’ve always wanted to write a story where the hero and heroine were childhood friends who grew up and fell in love. So that was the first idea I had in mind when I started developing Maggie’s personality. I had a much clearer image of Nate, the hero, when I first plotted out the book. But I knew Maggie was going to face a tragedy at the beginning of the story, so I thought about how that would impact her and what kind of character she would need to be to live through that and move forward in life. As I started writing those early scenes in the story, Maggie took shape and became a living breathing person for me.

Trisha: Maggie’s tragedy stuck a cord with many as well as her struggle with trust and forgiveness, it also helps make her more down to earth. 

ShineMeme_02-1 2


Q:   Did you find anything challenging when writing Shine Like the Dawn?

Carrie: Writing a novel that included a mystery was a real challenge for me. I don’t watch mystery or crime TV series, and I don’t often read mysteries . . . so I don’t know why I thought I could write a novel with strong mystery elements! Thank goodness I have good author friends who helped me brainstorm the story when I reached the midpoint and wasn’t feeling very confident about the direction I was going. They really helped save the day! My editor also enjoys reading mysteries and watching crime series, so she was a great help too.

Trisha:  I would have never guessed!  The mystery in the book was well done, I enjoyed trying to figure out what would happen next.  


Q:   Will there be a book in the future about Maggie’s little sister, Violet?
Carrie: That’s a fun idea! Right now my publisher has asked me to write stand-alone novels rather than series. I usually write one book a year, and readers don’t like to wait for a whole year to continue a series. Bookstores also don’t want to stock books 1 and 2 a year or two later. So for now, I have no plans to write Violet’s story. But I do have an idea for a WW1 novel featuring a heroine who loves horses and helped care for military horses during the war. The drama of that time period would make it a great book to write.

Trisha: Violet was such a fun character.  I do understand that it is more difficult to sell a series when too much time has elapsed between.


Q:   What book can we look forward to reading from you next? 
Carrie:  I’m working on my next English historical novel, Across the Blue, that will come out early in 2018. It’s set in 1909 in Kent England. The hero is a young pilot and airplane designer who wants to be the first to fly across the English Channel and win the prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper of London. The heroine is the daughter of the wealthy owner of the Daily Mail. She is an aspiring journalist who believes covering the hero’s story will help establish her career, but her parents want her to focus on marrying well and helping them move forward in society. Romance, adventure, inspiration, and secrets from the past make this a fun story to write and hopefully for you to read.

Trisha:  Across The Blue sounds like a fascinating story.  I’ll be adding it to my watch list!  Thank you Carrie for taking time from your writing to stop by and visit with us.  It was fun getting to know a little bit more about you and about Shine Like The Dawn.

You can find a short list of Carrie’s most recent released books below.  These can be found at many locations where books are sold.

Recent Books by Carrie Turansky:

The Governess of Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah, Carol Award Finalist

The Daughter of Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah

A Refuge at Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah, Maggie Award Finalist

Shine Like the Dawn, WaterBrook Multnomah, 2/27/17

Friends: What is your favorite book by Carrie Turanksy?  Please add any questions you may have for Carrie in the comments below.