Across the Blue
Love soars to new heights in this Edwardian romance filled with adventure, faith, and inspiration, but how much will it cost Bella and James to follow their dreams?
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?
Guest Post from Carrie Turansky
Following your Dreams
By Carrie Turansky
In Across the Blue, Bella Grayson and James Drake both go to great lengths to pursue their dreams. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers, but in 1909 England, aristocratic young women did not work as journalists. A young woman’s path was set by the unwritten rules of society. At eighteen she was presented at court, and then she took part in the London social season and hoped for a marriage proposal from a young man from a wealthy family, with an estate and title. Marriage, having children, and taking part in social and charitable events was the prescribed course for their lives.
But Bella has a different future in mind. She wants to marry for love, and she won’t settle for anything less. She also wants to write articles about the important events of the day that will inform and inspire people. She wants to be a world changer, and that is a very unique role for a woman in England in the Edwardian Era. At that time women didn’t have the right to vote yet and very few pursued any kind of career.
James is an aviation pioneer, and his dream is to build an airplane that will allow him to be the first to fly across the English Channel. This is no easy accomplishment, and he faces many challenges as he pursues his dream. Aviation is brand new. Wilbur Wright demonstrated his airplane in France the year before and stunned Europeans with his skill. With the help of his mentor, Professor Steed, James conducts experiments, refines his design, and makes countless test flights. It takes great courage and determination to overcome setbacks and make it through near fatal crash landings, but James has his heart and mind set on perfecting his airplane and reaching his goal.
What about you? What hopes and dreams do you have for your future? What goals would you like to accomplish? As you think about your dreams and future plans I hope you’ll gain some insight from James and Bella’s experiences in Across the Blue. When they considered the cost of pursuing their dreams they realized their plans and choices impacted others as well as themselves. James and Bella believed striving for their dreams is important, but they learned it must be balanced with commitments to family and friends, and most of all a commitment to following the Lord on the path He has for them.
Following our dreams and working toward accomplishing our goals, especially those the Lord puts on our heart, is important. However, sometimes we may have to put our dreams on hold and wait for the right time and season. We don’t need to be discouraged when this happens. As we listen to the Lord and ask Him to guide and direct us He will show us the right path at the right time to follow it.
Just like James and Bella I hope you’ll pursue your dreams but also hold them with an open hand, allowing the Lord to guide and direct you each step of the way. When you do I’m confident you’ll be headed toward seeing your dreams become reality in His time and in His way. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
With that wonderful promise in mind, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Across the Blue and joining Bella and James as they they pursue their dreams. You’re in for high-flying adventure, romance, and inspiration, and I can’t wait to share this new story with you. Happy reading to you!
Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.
Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Book Review by Bree Herron
You know when you hear a book is going to be like one of your all time favorite t.v. shows, and you can’t help but hold your breath while reading, in hope of the book being that good? Well, this book was beyond my Downton Abby dreams, it should be a show on its own. I couldn’t believe how much I loved reading this story.
Bella is that woman that a reader just loves. I was a fan (need a t-shirt please) right away, she was not only charming when needed but very keen and witty. Yes, I said witty. One interesting dynamic of Bella’s life is her relationship with her father. It isn’t easy to have such a powerful man as a father, and Bella certainly has a lot on her plate with this and being the woman with a backbone. James is cute, I truly believe in my mind that he is positively handsome and kissable. Bella could agree. James has a past that is clouded in fog, not knowing his roots he focuses on the skies above.
I have to say this book also contains some of the greatest secondary characters I have ever read. I loved the professor and his awkwardness. Bella’s mom was a great example of what was expected of a female during this time, and she certainly had some dramatic moments. But these were just a few of the gold nuggets in this book.
All the aviation moments were fascinating to me. Each detail about planes and travel back then, came across as well researched yet very interesting. I thought about how far we have come from moments of studying birds to fly. James in his flying machine reminded me of a new bird learning to soar and it was uplifting.
Did I mention my love of Downton Abbey? Well, think of that setting but only in your most vivid imagination. Did it work? Were you transported to England? I know I was when I was reading this book, and the Edwardian period is detailed to perfection, so much so that I swear I was truly traveling through the pages of the book.
This book will have you soaring in ths ky of tthe book. I couldn’t imagine a better story to have read for this month, and year. Truly, this book is award deserving and should be on your bookshelf.
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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Carpe Diem, February 22
Blogging With Carol, February 22
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Reading Is My SuperPower, February 23
Karen Sue Hadley, February 23
Christian Bookaholic, February 24
Mary Hake, February 24
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The Power of Words, February 25
History, Mystery & Faith, February 25
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Maureen’s Musings, February 26
Rachel’s Back Talk, February 26
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Radiant Light, February 27
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The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
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Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 1
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Have A Wonderful Day, March 2
margaret kazmierczak, March 2 (Interview)
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Neverending Stories, March 3
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 3
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Kat’s Corner Books, March 6
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For The Love of Books, March 7
To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Shine Like the Dawn and $30 gift card to Christianbooks.com!! Find out all the details and enter to WIN at Across the Blue Celebration Tour Giveaway.
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