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“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review and Giveaway ~ The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky


Can a titled gentleman and a lowly governess find happiness together at Highland Hall?

With his inherited estate in serious financial distress, Sir William Ramsey is seeking ways to save his family inheritance and raise his two young children alone, since his wife's death two years earlier. He's also recently become guardian to his brother's teenage daughters, Katherine and Penelope. With little experience in managing an estate, let alone children, we see the struggles that William faces and how it effects his relationship with those he cares for.

Enter Julia Foster, missionary and now governess at Highland Hall. Julia is young in Williams' eyes and hired on a trial period. Julia shows an amazing restraint toward the teenage girls' rude and condescending behavior. Because her deep relationship with the Lord is evident, she instills trust and confidence in those she is surrounded by. Therefore, William seeks out her advice on managing the estate and its difficulties. Financial belts must be tightened and it is funny to see how the children and household staff respond to the new 'rules'. Upstairs and downstairs antics abound without any inappropriate behaviors. There are a lot of characters in the story but they're easy to keep up with.

Positive changes begin to happen at Highland Hall but a devious plan is hatched too. Who will take it upon themselves to try and undermine the budding relationship between William and Julia? I have to say, I was getting a bit nervous toward the end of the book. It was looking as if it was going to be a cliffhanger and I was not going to be happy with that. Of course, that enchanted me all the more with Carrie's writing ability. This story is intricately woven together to create a splendid family dynamic, both upstairs and down. Plus, seeing William grow into a more affectionate father, and desiring to spend more time with his children, was a precious thing to see. I was completely besotted with The Governess of Highland Hall for all 314 pages!

Overall, I think any Historical Fiction fan will enjoy this delightful blend of Edwardian Era mixed with a trifle of Jane Eyre. Thanks to the author for sending me a copy for review purposes. I wasn't required to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book.


Waterbrook Multnomah has graciously offered a copy to one of my blog readers.

Answer one of these questions from Carrie to be entered.

If you could visit England, what would you like to see? 
or 
What is one of your favorite time periods for historical novels?

Simply saying "I want to win" will not count!

US ONLY. Complete giveaway rules here.

Giveaway ends Sept 30th. 

50 comments:

  1. I would love someone who knew the city to drive me around London, but then I'd love to travel the countryside and visit the small villages and meet the people.

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    1. Hi Terri, oh yes, the countryside is so lovely! I hope we get to go there together one day!

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    2. I am going to hide in one of your suitcases, ok?

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  2. I have been lucky enough to visit London, Bath and Bristol. If I’m ever lucky enough to return to the UK, I want to visit the Cornwall area. Everything I’ve read about it makes it sound so beautiful!

    Looking forward to reading THE GOVERNESS OF HIGHLAND HALL. I would then like to post a review on our blog, bookworm2bookworm.

    Thanks so much for the great giveaway.

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    1. Hi Connie, I hope to go to the Bristol area on my next visit. That's where Tyntesfield is located, the estate I have in mind as I am writing about Highland Hall. Visit my Pinterest Board for some lovely photos. Thanks for your interest on The Governess of Highland Hall. I appreciate those reviews!

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  3. I've long been a fan of Regency novels, ever since I stumbled upon Georgette Heyer novels back in high school. If I visited England, I would want to see as much of the historical sights as I could -- the Tower, the Thames, the palace ...

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    1. Hi Beth, I love Regency novels too. We spent some time in London on our first trip there a few years ago. The Tower of London was great. I loved seeing the crown jewels. : )

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  4. I would love to visit England! I think I would start with London and work from there. I have missionary friends in Birmingham, so would have to stop by and visit them for sure!
    Thanks for the chance to win, sounds like and interesting book. I can't imagine having two of my own little kids, and them taking in two teenagers...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Patty, Thanks for stopping by. Visiting England was a real treat! I hope you have an opportunity to go some time.

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  5. Castles! Any and all of them!

    But Scotland's my dad's home. And my blood comes from there ...

    ;-}

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    1. Hi Linda, I love castles too! I hope to go to Scotland on my next trip to the UK. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I was fortunate a couple years ago to have the opportunity to spend 3 days in England (not nearly long enough). I loved exploring London and seeing a bit of the Lake District. If I ever get to go back, I would love to go to Oxford and I would also like to see more of the countryside! And of course, more time in London and the Lake District would be absolutely wonderful!

    I can't wait to read The Governess of Highland Hall!

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    1. Hi Amy, thanks for your comment. Oh, I want to go to the Lake District on my next visit and see Beatrix Potter's home. I hear that's a very lovely area. We did tour Oxford and that area, and it was great. Highclere Castle where the filmed Downton Abbey is not too far away. I loved touring Highclere. That was a real highlight for me!

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  7. If I could visit England I would like to visit some of the locations in the Jane Austen books and films. A couple of tea shops would definitely be on my list as well.

    One of my favorite things to do when I read English novels is to go to Google maps and look up general locations and tour around the countryside and villages over there. It makes me feel like I'm part of the story and sets the mood.

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    1. Hi Sylvia, we visited a couple of lovely tea shops. That was great fun. I hope you are able to go to England some day. It was a real treat! The Governess of Highland Hall is set in Berkshire, not too far from London, but it's inspired by Tyntesfield which is near Bristol in North Somerset area. I love Google maps too. They are great for research.

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  8. I'll answer both!

    Oooh, England!! My dream vacation! I would love to tour one of the Royal residences or a titled estate! As for 'modern' England, I'd have to take a spin on the London Eye!

    A favorite time period is hard for me to narrow down, because I love historicals in general and each have their unique feel that I enjoy. Anything pre-WWII.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Stephanie
    mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Hi A Cooking Bookworm - what a fun title. : ) Touring historic estates was one of my favorite parts of our last trip to England. I hope you are able to go some time! Happy Reading!!

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  9. I would love to visit all the castles in England and the countyside. My favorite time is the 1800's. Love all the books from there. Thank you for the chance.

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    1. Hi Pam, castles and countryside - my favorites too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. When I go back to England, I want to visit Cornwall and York (again). I also hope to visit Ainwick Castle (Hogwarts), Ionia, and other early Christian places. Love, love, love England.

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    1. Hi Diane, thanks for stopping by! I haven't been to Cornwall, but I would love to go some day!

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  11. My favorite historical fiction period is the Victorian/Edwardian period. As long as I can remember, I have loved England. The first time I went to England (on a European summer study abroad program for college in 1978), I went to London, with a side trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see a Shakespeare play. However, I had a cold during the six days I was there, so I didn't see very much because I was sick in bed. I did have some historical novels with me to read in bed, so I was able to "see" England through the novels. In 1982, I went back to England on a YWAM Summer of Service. I saw Wales, London, Brighton, and Edinburgh, Scotland. When I had to leave to go home at the end of the service, I cried when stepping on the plane because I did not want to leave the land that was my heart's home. There is no place on Earth I would rather visit. I would love to spend a few months there, riding horses from place to place, and seeing all of the places that the novelists have written about over time. I would also like to do research for my own historical novel set in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

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    1. Hi Kathy, that's wonderful to hear you've spent time in England with YWAM. What a great way to see the country and grow in your faith. I hope you will enjoy The Governess of Highland Hall. I would love to hear more about your book. If you see this, email me or send me a message of Facebook with some info. Blessings and Happy Reading and Writing!

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    2. Hi Carrie. I'm not sure how to contact you via email. What information did you need from me? My email is kmatthes214@yahoo.com

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  12. If I was in England, I would want to see locations connected with authors et. al. Jane Austen, Wm. Shakespeare etc.

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    1. Oh I agree. I enjoyed visiting the Peak Distric and seeing Chatsworth, which was Mr. Darcy's home in the latest Pride and Prejudice film. We also attended a wonderful country fair on the grounds at Chatsworth. What a fun experience. I hope you are able to go to England some day!

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  13. If I visited England I would love to go to the coast, especially the area around Cornwall. Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Library Lady, I'm glad you stopped by! I'd love to visit Cornwall too! Have you read The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen? It is a wonderful story set in that area. Julie did a lot of reasearch and brings in some very interesting history about that area.

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  14. Great review! I have wanted to visit Great Britain for quite awhile now and the main things I want to do are see some of the historic places, view the countryside, and visit anything to do with Doctor Who!
    As for favorite time period for historical novels WWII wins hands down!

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    1. Hi Abbi, thanks for stopping by! Have you read Sarah Sundin's WW2 novels? Theyare some of my favorite historical novels.

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    2. Yes! I absolutely love her books-so amazing!

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  15. I was blessed to be able to spend over a week touring England, Scotland, and even a wee trip into Wales. It was lovely. We saw so many wonderful things. St. Paul’s was not open for visitors when I was there (only the gift shop was!), so I would love to go back and actually be able to go inside. I love old churches and cathedrals. I would also love to see Highclere Castle. Oh, and I would love to visit Portabello road.

    Thanks for offering this giveaway!

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    1. Hi Emma, Your trip sounds wonderful! I hope to go to Scotland next spring. We did go to Highlclere Castle/Downton Abbey, and that was great! The house is so beautiful!

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  16. If I could go to England, I would love to have a tour guide. Love to see London, castles and the countryside. Thank you for sharing and please enter me in the giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. A tour guide is a great idea. I hope you get to travel there some day. Blessings and happy reading!

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  18. I hope we all get to visit where our heart desires someday. But not all at the same time...we might shock the nation with our enthusiasm for all things English :)

    Please share about the giveaway with your friends! We want to show our support for Carrie and her writing ministry/career.

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  19. If I went to England, I would love to see Buckingham Palace. This sounds like a great book! I would love to add it to my book basket! rmaney@firstarpchurch.org

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    1. Hi Rebecca, We visited Buckingham Palace, and here is a tip. If you tell the guard you would like to sign the Queens guest book/registry, you are allowed to walk inside the gate and into the place. You will be allowed to sign your name there. It was fun to walk into that part of the palace, even if it was just to sign in. : )

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  20. I would love to visit London but the countryside really draws my attention... it looks so beautiful! The Governess of Highland Hall sounds wonderful, thanks for a chance to win it.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  21. I LOVED England and I LOVED The Governess of Highland Hall! I'm looking forward to visiting the Lake District and seeing more of the countryside, especially en route to Scotland. I've been to London, Dover, several spots on the southern sea coast, Stonehenge, Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon and other places. Those memories are such blessings to me!

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  22. I have never been outside the US but would love to go to Ireland. I picture green, sunny days. Also Whitby, England where some of my ancestors were from.

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  23. I like to read novels set in the Civil War era but also the Victorian Age. atouchofheaven2010 at gmail dot com

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  24. If I could visit England (and I hope to go at least once in my life, being an Anglophile) I would get off the plane, kiss the ground and be the most happy. I would love to visit small churches around the countryside, a few good pubs and all of the estates that once housed the famous..... I would especially love to see the tomb of Elizabeth I.

    My favorite time period... gosh I have so many. I love the old west, I love the 1920s, the 40s, the 60s and of course the 80s (the decade of my youth!).

    libgirl2 at gmail dot com

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  26. If I could visit England, what would I like to see? I would love to see the coastal port towns, see the cliffs and try the delicious foods...ride a horse across the countryside of small farming communities and stay in cottages with thatch roofs...fish on a boat or sail on a tall ship off the coast of fishing villages...shop in local shops for handmade items, like cloth and lace...drink teas of all flavors and sit by a roaring fire and read Jane Austen.

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  27. This looks like a *fabulous* book to read! I love the governess/Lord type of romance stories. I especially like how Ms. Turansky includes deep faith in here. As for historical period pieces, I think my favorite time would be the 1700's through the late 1800's, as well as WW2 stories. Wait. Then there's WW1 that I find fascinating, so let's include that...look. I like almost all of them!

    Thanks for the fun!
    amandaloves2write at gmail dot com

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  28. This is exactly the type of book I enjoy, so I can't wait to discover Carrie's writing. The trailer was great, by the way. Like someone else mentioned, I've been a fan of this era since I discovered Georgette Heyer as a teenager.

    My daughter is a missionary in Germany, so I thought we might get to England on my last visit with her, but it was too far from Tuebingen and cold back in March! I'm not interested in cities or landmarks, but rather the beautiful countryside and small villages, if there are any left. Areas like Yorkshire, home of James Herriot. I'm still watching his "All Creatures Great and Small" series on Netflix, by the way.

    Thank you for a great giveaway!
    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  29. If I went to England, I would like to visit London, but also some of the smaller, more remote areas. I like almost all historical fiction, but one of my favorites is the old west.
    susanmsj@msn.com

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  30. England is one of the places on my "bucket list". I sooo want to see the castles and wander the countryside to see all the places I've read about. As for time period - I love so many that it's difficult to choose. I do love the mid-late 1800's - so guess that's my choice.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    tweezle at gmail dot com

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  31. I have only been at Heathrow Airport enroute to Germany and Israel. I'd love to see more of London. I love historical and Biblical fiction. I'm also a fan of Jane Austen and would love to visit the places she writes about. I've been watching Foyle's War on DVD and would love to go to Hastings. I love the ocean and would love to see the White Cliffs of Dover. I've read all of Julie Klasson's books. Yours sounds like one I'd very much enjoy reading too.

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I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.