Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Settings So Real You'll Be Tempted to Pack a Suitcase.

with guest Lisa Carter

The best novels transport readers to a vivid place and time. The setting becomes a character in its own right. This was especially challenging in writing Under a Turquoise Sky, better known by one reader as “the Charlotte to Shiprock romance-a-thon.”

Somewhere beyond the towering mesas and sandstone cliffs, Aaron pulled onto a secondary road, more ruts than pavement. Kailyn scrabbled for the ceiling to steady herself. Her teeth rattled.

Kailyn pointed at the striations of purple, red, orange and pink that banded the buttes. “It’s beautiful here.” Mountains stretched in every direction. A cluster of trees, wreathed in the golden yellow of late September, ribboned the bosque alongside a desultory riverbed.
But suppose your story is set in a place you’ve never been? Short of time travel, you may never be able to personally experience an 1864 Civil War battlefield or dystopian sci-fi adventure. Barring culture hopping, you may never know what it’s really like to hobnob with the rich and famous at Cape Cod. Finances, children and careers can make research trips difficult.

“Would you look at the colonial Spanish architecture?” Her lips parted. “The pink terra cotta tiles.” Kailyn pivoted in the middle of the street. “Orange-red adobe walls.” She pointed at a turquoise-painted door.
“Like the sky,” Aaron explained. “Very Santa Fe. Very Southwest. Land of Enchantment.”

She grinned. “I’m starting to be enchanted.”
Yeah, him, too.
What’s a writer to do? As a “destination writer”, readers expect to be carried away to a different time or place in my novels. And creating unique, captivating settings is half the fun for me. Sometimes my stories are located in actual settings. Or, I’ll use a real life setting as a model for the fictional storyworld I’m creating. But either way, here’s what I do—

I.    Target Your Research

A.    Virtual Visits

1. City websites

2. Travel articles/blogs

3. “Fly” to a real life geographic model with Google Earth 

4. Photo-sharing sites like Pinterest and Google Images

B. Have Book . . . Will Travel—Interlibrary loan is a researcher’s best friend.

1. Guidebooks and maps—Here’s a fun fact I incorporated—

“Only thing to know about New Mexico is to be able to answer the
question, ‘Green or red’.”

“Chile. Do you want green or red chili peppers in your food?”

Kailyn frowned at Aaron. “In your breakfast?”
“In every meal, dzani. Breakfast, noon, and night.”

2. Travelogues, diaries, biographies and fiction written during the same time period to capture the essence of fashion, food and social mores. Essential in writing Beneath A Navajo Moon.

II.    Consult Local Experts— There is no substitute for local knowledge.

1.    Small history museums or historical societies are often eager to find someone interested in their topic. 

2.    Make your initial research count before contacting “live” people. Don’t waste their time.

3.    Become the expert. If you’re writing a Scottish medieval, take a Highland dance class. Take part in Living History weekends, Civil War reenactments or Pioneer Days. For Under a Turquoise Sky, I attended the Writers Police Academy for insight into law enforcement.

III.    Employ Your Imagination—Take what you know and transfer that to the page.

1.    Can’t afford to travel to Hawaii? As in Aloha Rose, you can capture what it’s like to be at any beach—from Santa Monica to the Outer Banks to the Caribbean. 

2.    Ever move to a new school, neighborhood, city or church? Your emotions will parallel those of a dystopian character venturing into the unknown or a pioneer setting off across the American frontier.

IV.    Utilize All Five Senses— Sensory details, even small ones, can bring setting to life. But like adding spices, a little goes a long way. Visual is easiest.

1.    Character or location specific fragrance? Smell is the most elusive and yet evocative sense for readers. As for my high-maintenance, on the run Southern belle—

 “Does hiding from the Mexican Mafia mean anything to you, Kailyn?”
She responded by wrapping her arms around Aaron’s shoulders. The familiar magnolia scent caused his senses—and his good sense—to reel.
2.    Taste

“Why do you have to make everything so difficult, Kailyn?”
 Kailyn grabbed Taco’s leash. “I don’t know who stomped all over your tortilla, but I can’t talk to you when you act this way.”
3.    Auditory 

For Rez cadence of speech, I watched episodes of Navajo Cops. And studied cultural nuances.

Dzani, woman. 

Unlike Latinos, the Diné weren’t big on terms of endearments. And the way Aaron said it, is what it was. That and the look in his eyes.

4.    Touch

Kailyn brandished the skillet. “When’re you going to learn life is full of cacti.”
Aaron backed off a step. 
“And you make the choice to sit on it or not.”

Make it a game to see how many of the senses you can sprinkle into each scene.

In Revision and Self-Editing, James Scott Bell reminds writers that a great setting can offer conflict of its own and influence story outcome. Our job is to know characters inside and out. Therefore, we must know our settings, too.

Love at first sight between Aaron and Kailyn in Under a Turquoise Sky? Uh . . . not so much.
Kailyn lifted her chin. “Please don’t hurry back on my account.”
Aaron sauntered to the door. “Sure thing, ’cause it’s always such a blast being with you. As much fun being roasted over a bonfire. Slowly.”

But more than bullets will fly between these two. And though I’m a destination writer, the joy is definitely in the journey.

Which storyworlds from films or books are most memorable to you? Why?

Leave a comment to be entered into a giveaway of Under a Turquoise Sky. Two winners will be chosen.


Blending Southern and Native American fiction, Lisa Carter writes “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder”. Her latest release is Under a Turquoise Sky. She is the author of two previous romantic suspense novels, Carolina Reckoning and Beneath A Navajo Moon; and Aloha Rose, a contemporary romance in the Quilts of Love series. She and her family make their home in North Carolina. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys teaching writing workshops and researching her next exotic adventure. She has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. Connect with Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Under A Turquoise Sky

Secrets and danger deep in the canyons and arroyos of the Navajo Nation.

When Aaron Matthews is assigned to protect the only witness to a drug cartel execution, he hides Kailyn Eudailey in the safest place he knows—the vast, untamed wilderness of the Navajo Nation. 

On the run from Charlotte to Shiprock, sparks fly between a no-nonsense federal agent and a high-maintenance Southern belle who brings her frou-frou pooch along for company. “That dog's coyote food,” Aaron warns Kailyn. 

He warns her about a lot of things that could get the both of them killed if she doesn’t follow WITSEC protocol to the letter. Problem is—nobody warned him to guard his heart.
Now Aaron’s broken past and Kailyn’s explosive present are on a fast-paced, collision course in this brilliant plot-twisting suspense about murder and mercy, great loss and greater love under a turquoise sky.

DiAnn Mills, author of Firewall—“Only lightning can strike faster than the action in this thrilling romantic suspense.”


  1. I so agree, Tina and Lisa...I am often time traveling when a book takes me to another time. Right mow I'm living in 1944 as I'm reading SAFE HAVEN by Anna Schmidt. I would love to read Under A Torquoise Sky!

  2. I love those WWII era novels. Happy reading. :)

  3. I'm currently living on the prairie in the 1880's.

    Great tips, Lisa. Thanks.

    The coffee pot is set for morning.

  4. Nothing like a good prairie romance. Why do you think we love them so? Is it the simplicity of life?

    And I'm looking forward to the coffee, Helen.

  5. Welcome back, Lisa. I absolutely love that trailer and I don't usually care for them. How does that work with the music that is accompanying it?

  6. I think we love them because we want to be part of Laura Ingalls Wilder's family.

  7. Hi Lisa:

    This is the ideal post from my POV! I am a setting-driven reader. I’ll buy books because of the setting.

    “Which storyworlds from films or books are most memorable to you? Why?”

    To me the dean of this genre is Tony Hillerman. Here's my list:

    1. Tony Hillerman, Navajo lands, because of the setting and sociology.
    2. Judith Van Gieson, Albuquerque, setting and action mystery. Also her poetic prose is a joy to read.
    3. Stuart Woods, Santa Fe, location and style of mystery. (Just the Santa Fe novels).
    4. Jake Page, Santa Fe, location, art world, unique blind detective.
    5. Michael McGarrity, Santa Fe, inside police department and insider view of life in Santa Fe and hero’s love interest who is a career Army officer.

    I also like Donna Leon who has done for Venice what Hillerman did for the Navajo people and location. I’ve been to Venice many times and Leon has become an insider and her books are like a return visit. Donna takes you into the homes of the Venice natives and you see how they live and what they think. This has taken years as the people of Venice are very closed to outsiders. Their language is almost unintelligible to Italians which brings great joy to the native Venetians.

    Then there’s M.C. Beaton with her Scottish Highland policeman, Hamish Macbeth. Again this is like reading Hillerman. Beaton is a first rate sociologist. Her Regency novel writing insights translates well in small village Scotland.

    Last is Nevada Barr because her novels take place in national parks all over America. She gives the inside scoop on working as a park ranger and this is almost as interesting as the crimes she solves.

    Setting sells books. I know. I buy them. Please put me down of the drawing. I see a lot to like in your cover art!

  8. I'm currently living in the 1889s Kansas. I love being transported to another place and time. When an author can achieve that with me, they go on my 'to be read again' list. That list keeps growing as there are so many wonderful talented authors out there these days.

    I would love to win a copy of your book Under a Turquoise Sky. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  9. Lisa, Mindy Obenhaus was with us in August, talking about her Colorado setting, and both of you have managed to breathe life into the area surrounding your work. Beautiful!!!!!

    Thank you so much for being here! It's lovely to see you, but also to glimpse those turns of phrase.

    Helen, I've got the coffee and I'm leaving a platter of bagels from my fictional Polish/Jewish bagel shop in 1947 Manhattan! Chewy, warm and fresh, you'll love them, the smell alone is enough to bring weary winter workers into the store.


  10. I have read a few books since trips to the states and go Oh I remember that place. Robin Jones Gunns book Under a Maui moon I was able to go Oh wow I remember that place or I was there. Other books in the states where I have been I can go Oh I know that place (such as cracker barrel) or I remember that. Or when I was travelling I saw signs to different places and I would say Oh I read about that place in a book.

  11. Tina, my video is done on Animoto which has an extensive music library to which they own the copyright and by subscribing you are entitled to use. I buy stock images, write the script and put them together with the music I've selected. It helps that my husband is a graphic designer. :)

  12. Thanks VInce for chiming in. I love the Under The Turquoise Sky cover, too. You and I must read the same authors. I especially love the late great Tony Hillerman and vicariously venture to Scotland with M.C. Beaton.

  13. Thanks Cindy W. for chiming in. There is something about books set in the 19th century that so capture the American spirit.

  14. Thanks for your kind words, Ruth. Glad you brought some food to go with Helen's coffee. :)

  15. Jenny Blake—I'm with you. Love me some Hawaii. Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Thanks for these great tips.

    I have bought books based on setting alone. If your story is set in Paris, I'll probably buy it. One day I hope to make it to Paris, but until then I enjoy reading about it.

    I love your book cover, and your story sounds great.

  17. YOU DID YOUR OWN VIDEO??? Amazing job!!!

  18. I can't say I buy books based on setting. Must think on this. But I do based on covers and Lisa's covers are amazing.

    What is your tie to the Southwest?

  19. Going to be at ACFW, Lisa?

    And what projects are you working on next?

  20. Okay, I thought about it, and I do buy non fiction books based on setting. Typically, France and Italy. Thanks for the reminder, Jackie.

  21. Hi Lisa~
    Books set in different parts of the country are fascinating to me as I live on the east coast and have only been west once for a Grand Canyon trip.

    Your beautiful cover reminds me of some of the sights I saw on that trip and your suspenseful storyline looks like a great read.

    Please enter me in the drawing and thank you for sharing with all of us.

  22. Thanks for the helpful post, Lisa! I really need to venture out and maybe try something different from my usual. I keep thinking I may set a future series in Kentucky, where I was born and raised. A nice excuse for going home for a visit! :)

  23. Lisa, I love this post. I am adding your newest book to my wish list. Have a great day!

  24. Jackie, funny you should bring up Paris. My youngest daughter insists my next book needs to be about Paris—so we can travel to Paris for research purposes you understand. I may have created a travel monster. :)

  25. I love the covers Abingdon creates for my books, Tina. My in-laws retired to the Colorado side of the Four Corners region. We've taken a lot of trips there over the years. The Southwest fascinates me.

    I am going to ACFW. Anyone else attending from Seekerville?

  26. Tracey Hagwood, if you loved the Grand Canyon—you'll love Monument Valley. We actually drove there after visiting the Grand Canyon. My Beneath a Navajo Moon cover is an actual photo of the hauntingly beautiful Monument Valley.

  27. Missy Tippens, you really should do a series based on your home state. And I know all the Missy Tippens fans will agree. :)

  28. Wilani Wahl—Thanks for joining in the discussion. I love your name. :)

  29. Love this, Lisa! I'm a setting gal myself, so this was perfect!

  30. Love your novel settings, too, Mindy Obenhaus.

    Hope to see you in St. Louis.

  31. As far as ACFW-Mary, Tina, Pam, Glynna, Janet and Debby will be there officially. Unofficially, Julie and Audra.

  32. Welcome, Lisa! Thanks for sharing these excellent tips for bringing settings to life!

    And the cover of Under a Turquoise Sky is gorgeous!!!!!!

  33. LISA!!! Welcome to Seekerville, and GREAT POST!!

    I'll tell you what -- you nailed setting in Under a Turquoise Sky, my friend, and I can still see, taste, and feel the of the Southwest and the reservation. A whole new world for me as a reader, and you did it -- and the story -- SO very well!

    Yes, I'm not officially attending the conference, but I live in St. Louis, so I will be in the lobby writing and visiting with my agent, editor, and publisher as well as tons of great friends, so hope to see you too!


  34. Yay for all you Seekerville ladies attending ACFW. Hope our paths will cross.

    If you find a Chick Fil A in St. Louis, let me know Mindy.

  35. Julie—hope we can chat while hanging out in the lobby. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I've learned so much from your writing.

  36. Myra—I love the cover, too. Puts me in the mood for an amazing breakfast at the Teoclote Cafe in Santa Fe.

  37. Welcome to Seekerville, Lisa! Thanks for the great tips for researching setting. Your excerpts do tempt me to re-visit the beautiful southwest.

    I set most of my historical romances in small midwest towns. I use the setting to create a sense of belonging, of a simplier time, but of course when towns are peopled there's inevitable conflict. :-) The stuff of stories.

    One of the most memorable settings for me is the south in Gone with the Wind.

    Love your creative tagline Sweet Tea and a Slice of Murder.

    I'll be at ACFW. Look forward to seeing you. Won't be long!


  38. I love your tips here, Lisa! Pinterest has become my friend for seeing parts of cities I write about. I love looking at the pictures of unique landmarks. I also appreciate your ideas for immersing myself in the culture (i.e. taking dance lessons). And adding in senses. Smell and taste are the trickiest, depending on the scene I'm writing.

    One setting I love is the way Ireland is portrayed in the movie, Leap Year. SO beautiful!

  39. We were in Santa Fe during the Indian Market. The jewelry was amazing! I bought a opal and torquoise silver bracelet that I love made by a Diné Native American. The town was teeming with people. I want to return during a quieter time and soak up the atmosphere of the area .


  40. Janet—You can get great deals on turquoise anytime of the year—as did my fictional character Kailyn—among the Dine vendors at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.

    Road trip anyone?

  41. I love it when I'm reading a book and the setting is like an additional character! Thanks for the tips...I'll be saving these.

  42. Jeanne—Love Ireland, too. It really is as green as photos show. And I love books set there as well. :)

  43. Janet—Gone with the Wind is required reading (or should be LOL) for Southern girls. What a storyworld Margaret Mitchell created.

  44. Jennifer Smith—I write what I like to read. And like you, I love when the setting becomes a character within the novel. Happy writing.

  45. Lisa, great suggestions for researching other places. As for books in which the setting is a character, I have to mention Willa Cather. The Nebraska setting of the 1800's is crucial to the elements of her stories.

    Please enter me into the drawing.

  46. Lisa, great to know you are a destination writer because I love a book that takes me to another place. Lately, I've been transported to Lake Tahoe and the mountains of Colorado.

    Thank you for your research ideas. What excellent examples from Under a Turquoise Sky! Beautiful cover and trailer!

  47. I love setting books that take me there. Being a Colorado native, I enjoy the books that use areas of Colorado because I can REALLY see the setting then.

    The first set of books where the world created was one I wish truly existed was Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series I read as a kid. Of course, I wanted to be a dragonrider too - seeped in the sci-fi fantasy books I so enjoyed.

    Love your covers. will have to wait to see your trailer at home. Work machines blocking the video. :(

    Always in for a chance to win a book (please). Love this post today. Love the reinforcement of using the five senses to make our settings and stories pop.

  48. Lisa, another reason to return to Santa Fe! Our niece is getting married next year in CO. We're talking about extending our trip and returning to NM. Your great descriptions and pictures cinches it for me.


  49. Lisa, that is an amazing book cover! Even before I knew anything about the book, I knew where it took place.

    Place/setting is an important part of a book for me. Agreed about M.C. Beaton and Tony Hillerman for their great ability to create setting that pulls me in. I'll add Craig Johnson for his Absaroka County and environs.

    Thanks for an informative post.

    Nancy C

  50. Hi Lisa:

    I love the idea of the destination writer. I’ll buy books set in locations that I intend to visit. “Ill Wind” for example was bought for a trip to Mesa Verde. This is how I discovered Nevada Barr (this made her at least 10 book sales). The thing is I was looking at book covers to spot a story at that location. I was not looking for given authors or even specific genres.

    As a marketing person, I like to see authors use high demand, much visited settings. Tell whatever story you want to tell but set it in a location that will bring in many readers who don’t know you and don’t even read in your genre. Why give up such a strong marketing tool? If millions of tourists go there every year and millions more dream of going there or returning there again, then look at the drawing power that cover art can bring to your book.

    This is what I mean when I tell authors to “build the marketing into their books before they write the first word”… don’t just write anything and then ask the marketing people to work their magic and sell it. Give marketing help!

    Will you tell us the destinations you’ve already written about and where you are going in the future?

    Right now I’m looking for a novel that takes place in Sedona. That's my next dream destination.


  51. P.S. I should have mentioned that Tina is the idea writer from a marketing POV. Her new setting is an idyllic Colorado mountain setting that she humbly calls “Paradise”. That’s like giving the marketing team a 24 point lead before the game even starts.

  52. I like to find video of the area. Amazing what's available on YouTube. Of course I'm out in the country so I'm looking for landscape, plants, rocks. What does it really look like there. What will your horse be riding through.

    But search for State Parks near your location, very often they have a lot of great pictures of an area and even some fantastic videos.

  53. Love this post. Thanks, Lisa!

    And..this line made me LOL: “I don’t know who stomped all over your tortilla, but I can’t talk to you when you act this way.”

  54. I'm echoing the previous comments, but had to go on record saying I LOVE your cover and the rich colors. Thanks too for the great tips incorporating the setting into all five senses. While my settings so far have stuck close to home, this post makes me want to take a virtual trip with my readers.

    ACFW here we come!

  55. Lisa~
    Actually, the Grand Canyon trip I went on was a bus tour and we did go to Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell and Zion National Park. we packed a lot in those 8 days, one of my favorite trips ever!

  56. Sandi Smith—You are so right about Willa Cather. An iconic destination writer. :)

  57. Sherida Stewart—Thanks for your encouraging words. Do you have any favorite destination novels set in Colorado?

  58. DebH—The five senses is the key to making scenes, settings and characters come to life. Thanks for joining in the conversation. :)

  59. Janet Dean—My in laws retired to CO and if you get a chance sneak in a visit to Mesa Verde. I'd love to go back to Santa Fe, too. The Georgia O'Keefe museum was closed for renovation and would love to see that. Also, loved my sidetrip to Taos. In fact, the turquoise cross I bought there from a Puebloan gentleman out of his house was part of the inspiration for Aaron's cross in Under a Turquoise Sky.

  60. Nancy (Chill N)—So so love the Craig Johnson series. So so hate Longmire has been cancelled.

  61. Vince—You are so right about doing what I call frontloading the marketing into the writing of your novel. Carolina Reckoning took place in Raleigh, North Carolina. Aloha Rose on the Big Island of Hawaii. Beneath a Navajo Moon—Arizona side of Navajo Rez and Under a Turquoise Sky on the NM side of the Rez. Upcoming novels—Vines of Entanglement returns to Raleigh. Another late 2015 set in NC mountains. A new book with Love Inspired (romance only, I don't kill anyone on paper) is set in one of my favorite places on earth—the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
    And I'll be eager to read your Sedona dream destination novel. :)

  62. Lisa, I will check out Mesa Verde!

    We went to Taos while we were in the area. That's where I bought my storyteller, my all time favorite memento. We also took the reservation tour.


  63. HI Lisa,

    I'm late today because I've been packing for the WRITERS' POLICE ACADEMY. Heading to NC tomorrow. How fun to see that you attended. I know I'll learn a lot!

    Love your writing! Under a Turquoise Sky is calling my name. Delightful excerpts that make me want to read the entire story.

    Hope to see you at ACFW.

    Good to hear that you're writing a LI as well! LI's gain, for sure.

  64. Great ideas Mary Connealy on using Youtube as a research tool. I love to include the flora and fauna into a setting, too.

  65. Pam Hillman—The tortilla thing makes me hungry right now. Tex-Mex anyone? :)

  66. Candee Fick—Thanks so much for your kind words. I love the covers Abingdon does for my novels. Hope our paths cross at ACFW.

  67. Tracy Hagwood—Sounds like it's past time for another Southwest adventure in your life. Maybe Santa Fe or Taos? I loved the Native American cultural center in Albuquerque, too.

  68. Janet Dean—When you go to Mesa Verde, be aware of the many ladders you'll climb to get in and out of the heritage site. Also Bandolier National Monument is a great place for hiking and viewing ruins if you're in NM.

  69. Debby Giusti—I'll see you tomorrow at the Writers Police Academy. Loved it last year. Such fun. Can't wait.

  70. I sm sooo jealous. I am putting that on my wish list for next year!!!

  71. Debby:

    I wish I was going to the Police Academy. Just about fifty years ago I went to a real police academy. And they paid me. : )

    WARNING: If you take an unarmed defense instruction session, be sure to learn how to ‘take the beat’ before the instructor flips you over his shoulders and slams you down on the mat. The beat helps you distribute all those foot-pounds of energy. : )

    TINA: Before you go next year, be sure to join the “Sisters in Crime”. They get a $155 discount! I’m so jealous. I’d love to attend and I’d love to get that deduction.


  72. Vince—Thanks for the tip. :)

    Tina—I belong to SinC. You'll love WPA. So much fun. Last year I went with SWAT to practice storming a building. Did I mention how fun it is to kick open a door????? :)

  73. Just wanted to say a quick "Happy Birthday" to Janet Dean! Hope it's a good one, Janet!!!

  74. Vince, I'm laughing over here! True on multiple counts, but the brilliance of naming a town "Paradise" is PERFECT....

    "Redemption River" was another great name, Linda Goodnight came up with that one.

    Now I must think up a great name for my wedding industry trilogy, but first I'm leaving some fresh, home-baked cookies here! I was without internet mid-day or I'd have dropped them by sooner!

    Chocolate chip with chopped milk chocolate nuggets besides.

    How can that possibly be bad????

  75. Lisa,
    Great tips on location. The minute I saw your cover, I knew the location. We have ridden Monument Valley three times and each time the ride was different and fabulous.

    They also have a jeep tour through the valley, but it can't compare to the view from the back of a horse--dunes, mesas, scrub, amazing landscape.

    Thanks for taking me back.

  76. Ruth—You are too good to us. I'm going to take 2 chocolate ones—for medicinal purposes only of course.

  77. Becke—I've done the jeep tour, too. The vistas are awe-inspiring in every season.

  78. Dear Lisa, Thanks for the post on setting. I like how your snippet showed how you used little details (in this case, local food) to help the reader feel like she's in a different locale.

    I've always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island because of L.M. Montgomery. Right now, I'm reading one of my favorite authors who has set all of her mysteries in Aspen Meadow, Colorado. It's always made me appreciate not having to install snow chains on my tires.

    Thank you for the tips on setting.

  79. You're welcome, Tanya. I've always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island because of reading the Anne of Green Gables books, too.

    And as a teenager I loved the Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart books—they I believe were destination writer also—because each of their books carried me to another place. And many of those places are on my bucket list now. :)

  80. Thanks Tina and Seekerville for hosting me and Under a Turquoise Sky. Happy reading and happy travels to you all.

  81. What a wonderful post thank you. I am currently visiting Tudor England.

  82. What a great article! Thanks for sharing!

  83. Mary Preston—Wrote my master's thesis on Tudor England. :) Have fun.

  84. Edwina—Thanks for stopping by. Happy reading.

  85. There are those books that take me to a town or place I'd love to live! I've often finished a book and thought I'd love to live there.

  86. Wow, I'm bookmarking this post for all the tips! Is it okay to say that I already love your writing style, just from the examples here? :)

  87. My Das was in WWII so I am partial to books set in that era! i would love to win a copy of Under A Turquiose Sky - this looks like one I need to add to my TBR list - thanks for the opportunity:)