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Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Christmas Mail-Order Brides" Book Giveaway!

We're doing a GREAT Giveaway today. It's a book that will help put you in the mood for the upcoming holidays! But first....the rules.

This isn't your typical book drawing. Instead of doing a 'canned' interview with our two authors (Carrie and Vickie) in advance, I let YOU, the reader, be the interviewer and ask the questions. In fact, you must ask a question or make a specific comments about one of Carrie or Vickie's books that you've read, to enter. Anyone who simply states they want to be entered in the drawing will miss out, as it shows you didn't read these directions.

Marriage Arrives by Mail-Order—just in time for Christmas!

Three unmarried women contact Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character seeking husbands and travel the Transcontinental Railroad hoping love awaits them.

Annika Bergstrom, a Swedish immigrant, travels to Wyoming where her intended, Chase Simms, has disappeared, leaving his father and brother saddled with her future. When her groom returns, will her heart still be free to give?

Enroute to Nevada, Jolie Addams's stagecoach is robbed, placing her in a compromising situation with wounded fellow passenger, Clay HJackson, when they are forced to spend a night on the trail alone. together. Will Joile's fiance be understanding?

Elizabeth Lariby packs up her life of secrets and heads to Nebraska for a new start, but her fiance, Zane Michaels, also has secrets that could doom the new marriage. Can they learn to trust each other?

When Amelia Mayberry decides to end her matchmaking service, she still has one prospective groom waiting to be matched. Will traveling to California to meet Lennox Baily set things right or create new conflicts?

Will this Christmas season bring hope to those seeking lasting love?

ALSO--double your chance of winning. Become a follower of my blog and get your name put in again. It's that easy. Two chances to win! So come on gals, think up some great questions for our two guest authors today and as always, thanks for visiting!

Carrie Turansky
Click HERE to go to Carrie's web site

Vickie McDonough

Click here to go to Vickie's web site


"Four delightful stories of adventures in love. It's fun to read the twists and turns the writers came up with to develop story lines that capture your heart and imagination. I read the book in two days outside of work, couldn't wait to see how they would end. I highly recommend this book, perfect book lovers gift for this upcoming Christmas season." Review by P.J.

Lovely Annika Bergstrom, a Swedish immigrant, travels to Wyoming to meet and marry a man she's never met—only he doesn't know it! Well meaning family initiated the "romance" in the best interests of the widower Chase Simms. The problem is, Chase is not interested, and Annika finds his brother, Daniel, more the type of man she can count on and respect. Family and romantic tension abound in Turansky's story that well portrays what it meant to become a mail-order bride—burned bridges and facing an uncertain future with an unknown man. I loved that the author was able to bring an intriguing plot twist with such tension, compassion, romance and surrender to the Lord—all in a short space. I've not read the other stories yet, but I was caught up in the storytelling of "A Trusting Heart" and look forward to reading more from this author." Reviewed by Cathy Gohlke

Christmas Mail-Order Brides

By Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel, Carrie Turansky

Published by Barbour, ISBN: 978-1-60260-969-3, 350 pages, $7.99

Available at, and local bookstores.

Disclaimer--I wasn't paid or given anything to do this drawing.


Lauralee Bliss said...

Carrie and Vickie, I so enjoyed working with you on "A Blue and Gray Christmas" last year. I would love to know what's in store for you both with your writing in 2011! Blessings to you on this new collection for Christmas. I hope it goes well.


Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Lauralee, Thanks for asking about my next books. I just received a 2-book contract from Love Inspired. These next books will be set in Fairhaven, Washington, the same setting as my last LI, Seeking His Love which just came out in October. These new books will come out Feb and Nov of 2012.

Then I have two historical romance proposals that I am sending out. One is a Civil War novel, and there is an editor who has already said she wants to read the complete. So that's what I will probably work on after the LI novels are finished.The other is set in Wyoming in the 1880's, sort of a My Fair Lady Goes West idea.


Vickie McDonough said...

Hi Lauralee. It's great to hear from you. The final book in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides series releases next April. It's called Finally A Bride. I also have a South Carolina historical series that releases next year with Heartsong. I have two other things in the works but I can't make an official announcement just yet.

K said...

This book sounds so good!

I would be interested in knowing how you both come up with names and personalities for your main characters!


P.S. I subscribe to your blog via RSS feed, Miralee! :)

Vickie McDonough said...


I started out mainly just using names I liked and ones that worked well for a historical book. I also look online for popular baby names in the time period that my characters would have been born. Many historical names were Biblical ones or family names. For this story, I used Jolie for my heroine. That is the name of one of my good friend's daughters, and I thought it worked well for this novella. I can't remember how I chose Clay. I knew I wanted names for brothers that were similar, so I picked Clay and Clint. There's no special method. It's getting harder to find names I like since I've written so many books. I'm having to get creative. One other thing I do is use Ethnic names. I'm part Irish, so I've had several Irish heroines and had fun with their names. One of my favorites is Larkin Doyle from A Bride By Christmas.

Great question, Kim!

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi K, I use lists of baby names from the internet. If I'm writing a historical novel, I will look back at census records or birth records from the year my character would be born.

For my novella in Christmas Mail-Order Brides, I wanted a Swedish name, so I did a little online searching until I found one I liked.

Personality types for my characters are fun to come up with. I usually think of qualities I like in people I know and tweak those to come up with my characters.

Happy reading,

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm a follower. Do you have any pointers on how to give readers tingles (like Vicki's Second Chance Brides gave me)? Your romantic tension was excellent.

Jo said...

This sounds so good. Sure would love to red it.


Charity said...

I have never read any books by Carrie but I did read Vickie's Anonymous Bride. Trying to win the other one on a giveaway somewhere:) Anyways, are both of you scheduled writers? Or do you write when the urge hits? And do you do your research ahead of time?


Martha A. said...

just a note....the link to Vickie's website, is not working, it has a blogger address in front of it...

Vickie, you seem to enjoy the mail order bride books....I do too! I loved the first one in the Boardinghouse brides series, The Anonymous Bride.

Have you read many real stories about mail order brides in your research?

Miralee Ferrell said...

Just a quick note to thank all of you gals for stopping by, and to let you know (thanks Martha for the heads up) that the link for Vickie's website is working now.

Blessings and happy reading!


Anne Payne said...

I haven't read any of Carrie's books, but will be looking for them! My questions are: 1)Have you traveled to all the places that you set your books in? 2)Would you want to live in the time period you set your books in? 3)How do you keep coming up with fresh ideas that are always so engrossing for readers?


Anne Payne said...

Forgot to mention I am a subscriber as well!


Jo said...

Since you are two separate individuals working on the same book, did you find it difficult to write? Did you each write separate chapters or collaborate to work on them together?


Carrie Turansky said...

Good morning friends- wow, these are great questions!
Ann asked how do you create an emotional/physical response in reader - tingles.
I first try to create characters that readers will love, then I put those readers in dangerous or highly emotional situations that readers can identify with, and hopefully, there is that connection with the characters, and readers feel a response.

Charity asked if I schedule my writing. Yes, I use a calendar and daily word count to keep me on track. This is especially important when I have a deadline!

Martha asked about true mail-order bride stories I might have found in my research. I enjoyed reading Hearts West and Romances of the Old West. Both those books included true mail-order bride stories and gave me some good ideas for my novella.

Ann asked if I'd lived in the areas I write about. My first three books were set in places I have lived. After that I decided to branch out and do more research and traveling. I have been to Wyoming where my novella for this book is set.

Ann also asked if I'd like to live in that time period. I enjoy reading historical stories, but real life was pretty hard in the 1880's, so I think I am happy to live in the twenty-first century.

Ann also wanted to know how I come up with ideas for my books. I find most of my ideas through research and reading about a particular place and time. Sometimes an article in the newspaper will also stir an idea for a story.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy reading,

Vickie McDonough said...


Tingles! Cool! I think you have to establish an attraction between the hero & heroine and then stick something in between them that causes conflict. It's a bit hard to explain. They are attracted to this person, but they know they shouldn't be, but for the life of them, they can't help it. Or, maybe they're too stubborn to admit there's an attraction.

I recently read a book with excellent romantic tension: A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. It was excellent. Julie Lessman also writes tension well.

Vickie McDonough said...


Writing is both a business and ministry to me. It's a way to bring in some extra income for my family but it's also a way for me to share my faith and encourage readers that I will never meet. But, besides writing, I'm primary caregiver to my semi-handicapped mom and I babysit my granddaughter twice a week.

I write most days. Some days much more than others. I had a deadline this week and ended up staying up all night in order to finish my book and get it turned in. You'll find that a deadline can be a powerful motivator.

As far as research, I do a lot ahead of time, but there are always little details you have to check. I just finished a book set in 1810 Charleston area. I was having to stop and look up words to see if they were used then, had to frequently look up info on clothing, hairstyles, and food. But I visited Charleston last and going there helped me formulate my ideas for this series. I'm going to Kansas this weekend to research a prairie series I'll be doing next year.

Vickie McDonough said...


Yes, I've read a bunch of real-life mail-order bride stories and have several research books about them. It helps a lot to read these. I get ideas for things I could do in a book.

Sorry about the link. My website is

Vickie McDonough said...


1. I try to travel to most of the places I write about. There's nothing like seeing it for real and experiencing the locale. You can also find excellent books on an area when you visit there. Although I did have a book set in Ireland and one in Virginia and I haven't been there yet.

2. As much as I enjoy writing about the 1800s, I don't know as I'd really like to live in that time period. How would I survive without my laptop and email? :) Can you imagine wearing one dress all week and only bathing on Saturday? And that was extreme for some. Others only bathed once a month or annually. Talk about stink.

3. You can get ideas everywhere--from a movie, reading someone else's book, newspapers, researching books and online sites, etc. When I get stuck, I brainstorm with my writing buddies. One of them actually came up with the idea for the bride contest in The Anonymous Bride.

Great questions!

Vickie McDonough said...


The way these novella collections work is one person who has a good idea for a set will contact other authors they'd like to work with and get together a team. The we decide on how the four novellas in the collection will be connected. Sometimes they are closely connected like in series about siblings and others are connected by theme.

Each author writes their own novella but it helps a lot if each author in the series proofs the other ones and checks for inconsistencies.

There's always some give and take in these collections but generally the authors work together well.

DebbieLynne said...

Looks like you two are staying busy! So what are you wearing and you have to tell the truth. Oh wait! That's my blog I do that. heehee. Okay, serious question. Titles! Do you write your own titles and get to keep them or does the publisher usually name them? And if you write your own what do you look for in a title?

Carrie Turansky said...

HI Debbie Lynn,
Fun questions! For the 5 novella collections I've done with Barbour, they used all our suggested titles except one - Wedded Bliss. The editor came up with that one. My other titles with them are: Kiss the Bride, A Big Apple Christmas, A Blue & Gray Christmas, and Christmas Mail-Order Brides.

For the two novels I've done with Steeple Hill, I worked with the editor to find titles. We brainstorm a list of words and ideas from the book, then we keep moving those around until we come up with a title that we both like and that we feel fits the story. So they are Along Came Love, and Seeking His Love.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks, Vicki! Good tips.

Vickie McDonough said...


The publisher I've been writing for has left 97% of my titles as I suggested. I think they've only suggested changes on 1 or 2 of mine.

I look for a title that I think will be intriguing to a reader but at the same time tells them something about the story.

Trinity Rose said...

This is a neat way to do an interview. First I follow your blog Miralee.
To the other two ladies, are Christmas books more fun to write and what do you like about mail-order bride stories? I met my husband through a pen pal club, but we met before we decided to get married. Have been married for 27 years now. Thanks for the giveaway.
Many blessings,

Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Trinity Rose, That was fun to hear you met your husband through a pen pal club. Thanks for sharing. I did enjoy writing a mail-order bride story, and mine has quite a unique twist. I don't want to give it away and spoil the fun for readers, but I think you will enjoy it.

I have written three novellas set at Christmas time. I love the Christmas season. People seem to be more open to hearing the message of Christ, and they also seem to read books set at that time of year.

Miralee Ferrell said...

Trinity Rose, you're the winner of the book drawing, congratulations!!

The drawing is now officially closed, but thank you all for stopping by and for the excellent questions you asked!

I'll be hosting Andrea Boeshaar and Melanie Dobson in the next couple of wks, so be sure to stop back in.

Miralee Ferrell


I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You :-)


apple blossom said...

I love Christmas books. Was just wondering if you would share a christmas memory or tradition you keep in your family.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

I'm a follower of this blog thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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