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Yesterday I shared my review of Carrie Turansky’s new novel, Across the Blue. An interesting little tidbit I didn’t share, though: I read the entire book either on a plane or sitting in an airport! That wasn’t intentional, but it was a fun spin to read a story about early attempts at long flights while crossing our nation above the clouds.
I am excited to have Carrie visiting to share a little about herself and Across the Blue. I had the privilege of meeting this sweet lady last fall and have been looking forward to introducing her to you! But before I do, let’s take a quick peek at her story.
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 be the first 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 win that race across the Channel and gain 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?
Welcome, Carrie! What inspired you to write Across the Blue?
Last summer when I visited the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC I saw an exhibit about the Wright Brothers and early aviation. That sparked my interest. I jumped into research about the beginning of aviation in Europe and America, and I learned about the race to be the first to fly across the English Channel and about the first International Air Show at Rheims, France, which took place in 1909. I focused my research on the pilots preparing for that race and the wealthy newspaper magnet who offered the prize with the goal of promoting aviation’s growth in England. My characters and the plot rose out of that research. I’m drawing from my two research trips to England as well as the biographies of Lord Northcliffe, the owner of several London newspapers, The Wright Brothers, and several books on early aviation, Brodsworth Hall, and women journalists in the early 1900s. I hope readers will enjoy learning about early aviation and especially learning a bit about the type of people who took aviation from being a dream to a reality, as well as enjoying a heartwarming, inspirational romance set in Edwardian England.
I loved that opportunity to learn about a part of history I hadn’t really thought of much before. It was hard to choose a favorite character. Do you have a favorite, and why would you choose that one?
Isabella Grayson is my favorite character in Across the Blue. She has an inquisitive mind and is determined to become a journalist at a time when women were usually excluded from that profession. She has gumption, and yet she is also kind and caring. I think readers will connect with Bella and enjoy getting to know her.
She’s a fun character, and just the type to make an impact on her culture. 🙂 Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
The setting for Across the Blue is Kent, England, especially the White Cliffs of Dover. That’s the closest point to France, and it’s where pilots planned to take off and land for that first flight across the Channel. I loved learning more about Kent and some of the special places there, including Canterbury and Leeds Castle. I have been to England four times, but I have not been to Kent yet. It’s definitely on the list for my next trip!
We’d also love to know a little about you. Would you share five fast favorites? What is your:
Favorite color? Blue.
Mine, too. 😉 Favorite season? Spring.
Favorite beverage? Earl Grey Tea with Lavender.
Favorite vacation destination? England!
Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate chip mint.
Did you have a favorite story/book as a child? Why was it a favorite?
My favorite book as a child was One Morning In Maine by Robert McCloskey. It’s the story of a young girl who loses a tooth while she’s on the beach digging clams with her dad. She’s heartbroken that she won’t be able to make a wish on her lost tooth, but then she finds a feather and decides to make her wish on the feather, because it was lost by a bird. The illustrations are very realistic, and it reminded me of visiting my grandparents at the beach in Oregon and digging clams with my dad. It’s just a delightful story. I recommend it to everyone to read aloud, especially if you have a child with a loose tooth!
That sounds like a cute story! Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy flower arranging. I’ve done the flowers for many church events and for several family weddings. I also enjoy working in my flower gardens and growing flowers to cut and enjoy at home.
I admire that talent. Unfortunately, I don’t share it in any degree… Speaking of shared talent, which authors have had the most impact on your writing?
Author Cathy Gohlke and I often take writing retreats together and have also traveled to England and Scotland for research. Cathy’s encouragement and example are a great inspiration to me. I love her books! Reading them and spending time with Cathy always challenge me to dig deep, write from my heart, and tell stories that have a lasting impact.
It was quite a privilege to visit with you both last fall! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Carrie!
Your turn! Let’s talk flowers. Do you enjoy growing and/or arranging flowers? Which flower is your favorite?
More about Carrie:
Carrie Turansky 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 nineteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and five 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 through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Across the Blue Giveaway:
Carrie has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of Across the Blue. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.