29 October 2011

Carol Award Winner Historical Novella 2011 – Carrie Turansky

A Trusting Heart
by Carrie Turansky
In Christmas Mail Order Brides 
“Travel the Transcontinental Railroad in Search of Love”
(Barbour, 2010)

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

I read this novella in paperback version as part of the four novellas in one collection in Christmas Mail Order Brides.  This was 90 pages and I read it in one night, actually got up from bed to finish the end.  Carrie Turansky received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol award for this novella.

Readers – Annika is a Swedish immigrant who was orphaned and worked in Chicago until she agreed to marry the young man who she thought she was corresponding with – a widower with a young child.

When she arrives in Wyoming she instead meets his younger brother, Daniel.  Her betrothed doesn’t even come to meet her. That is because he has no intention of marrying her but was threatened by his Pa, who wrote the lovely letters that made Annika want to accept the proposal!  Little Mariah and Annika form a bond as Daniel falls for his brother’s fiancé.

Great holiday read.  I highly recommend it even if you only read the first novella by Carrie, like I had to do.  Three other lovely authors also contributed their novellas – Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, and Therese Stenzel.  Savor them on another wintry evening, too!

Lovely voice, tight writing, nice story line, and loveable characters.  I will be reading more of Carrie Turansky’s novels!  I was privileged to share a table with her at the ACFW conference and hope she gets a very special man’s story written.  I won’t spill the beans but I love this particular American hero. 

Bibliotherapy elements: Grieving, abandonment/separation, and life transitions.

(Authors – I felt this was a great example of the use of Swaine’s methods from “The Selling Author” which is a book I recently rediscovered after reading it thirty years ago. Because it is a novella the writing had to be tight. She effectively uses all of his techniques with great results.  I am going to be honest, as a writer I was a tad distracted by catching the various ways Carrie Turansky made use of these methods. This should not be a problem at all for a reader, however, because her mastery moves the story forward.)

Giveaway:  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy!  And your email addy!


  1. Oh man! First comment doesn't usually win but I'm entering anyway :o) I love Christmas books and mail-order bride stories are always fun to read.

    You ladies ROCK on this blog!


  2. Thank you, Anne! Not only do we ROCK, we are also the BOMB, as another of our followers stated last week! LOL!

    Carrie, another great review of another great book by Carrie Turansky! I am amazed at how much subject matter, for lack of a better term, Carrie manages to fit into a smaller book! This sounds like a delightful book to pick up for Christmas gifts, and one for me as well! Love reading those Christmas books by the fireplace!

  3. I love reading Christmas novels. Please do enter my name and thank you for this opportunity.

  4. This is a Great gift idea - it looks so attractive and interesting. (Is Carrie Turansky related to Scott Turansky, the parenting author that I think so highly of?)
    Would love to win this: jksfamily5@gmail.com

  5. Waving Anne! Isn't that a pretty cover, too? Diana, fireplace in SC - you don't turn the gas on do you? I remember Thanksgivings with the air on in Charlestong! I love Cythia's name!!! Susan, I forwarded your Q to Carrie Turansky!

  6. Hi Friends, It's snowing like crazy here in NJ today....that has put me in the mood to think about the coming holidays.

    Susan, Cynthia and Anne, thanks for stopping by.

    Susan, yes, I am married to Scott. He is the author of several parenting books including Parenting is Heart Work, Parenting Shifts, Good and Angry, and Say Goodbye to Whining and Complaining. : )

    Carrie and Diana I am grateful for this opportunity to connect with readers. Thanks so much.


  7. Carrie, for awhile we used real logs, but oh, the cleanup was awful and I happen to be a lazy southern women! LOL! With the gas logs, when it gets too hot in here, it will automatically cut off, and then back on. It looks realistic though, the logs have a reddish blue glow in the center where it looks as though the log has burned out...right purty! Almost as lovely as Cynthia's name.:)

  8. I love mail order bride stories. That's why I write them. Please enter me in your drawing. Hi Carrie. *waving profusely*

    Debra Ullrick
    christianromancewriter [at] gmail [dot] [com]

  9. I love the cover! The colors are perfect against the beautiful snow :)

    It's cool here but thankfully not snowing like up North! Hope you're staying warm, Carrie T.
    I do wish for a white Christmas, though :o) We had one last year!

  10. Hi Debra, I'm waving back at you! Thanks for stopping by. : )

    Hello, Anne! Thanks for your kind comments about the cover. I was very happy with the cover design. Barbour has some very talented artists who create these covers for us.
    Carrie T.

  11. I would so love to read these books!! I love the cover and I love love christmas books. thank you for posting on our facebook page ..

    Julie L

  12. I would love to win the book. My hubby and I met almost 28 years ago through an advertisement that I put in a magazine. We have been married for 26 1/2 years. That is why I love reading stories about mail order brides. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Debbie Clark

  13. I sure hope Carrie Turansky has power! I heard in some places there is so much snow that there are power outages. Yikes! And in October!

  14. Congrats to Debra Ullrick, our winner! Debra, I will send you an email and will need your snail mail addy! Blessings!

  15. Oh, and I picked using random.org. Thank you Julie and Debbie for coming by, too! I have another Christmas book giveaway coming up in two weeks - Susan Woods Fisher. Come back by! Blessings!

  16. Thank you! Can't wait to read it!! I just replied to your email and sent you my snail mail addy.

    Thanks for the wave back, Carrie T.!

  17. Congratulations, Debra! I'm trying not to pout :)

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. thanks for the chance to read this beautiful novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  20. I love love love her books. Of course the fact that I'm a MacLeod has absolutely nothing to do with that ROFLOL. How I win! BTW, I live in Canada if that is a problem with the draw.

    wyndyc at gmail dot com


Google Analytics