Once Upon A Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Synopsis:

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan-favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed each of the three stories in this charming Dickens Christmas collection. The first two stories, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts each were first printed on their own. The new story in this collection is The Old Lace Shop. Since I have previously reviewed (and loved) the first two stories on their own, I will focus my attention on this review primarily with the new story, The Old Lace Shop.

Right from the very first page our heroine, Bella captured my sympathies and my heart. She chose to rise above the situation she found herself in and grab life by the reigns. Unconventional and determined, Bella is a strong heroine. I enjoyed watching her grow in this story.

Edmund Archer kept me on my toes. One moment I liked him, and the next I wanted to purse-whomp him. He was full of surprises! He isn’t the picture-perfect hero, he has his flaws. But just maybe that is what makes him so endearing, and unforgettable.

The setting of the story, while industrial, and dreary in its drab corner of England, is lit by its vivacious characters that rise above the backdrop and add color and life into their surroundings. I appreciate the fact that the author invites us into a less seldom view of a Victorian Christmas.

This collection of stories makes the perfect gift for the book-lover on your list and it is sure to become your new favorite Christmas tradition!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

2754194 I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

 

Pick up your copy:

Once Upon A Dickens Christmas

 

Author Interview & Giveaway with Michelle Griep

Welcome! I am thrilled to be visiting with Michelle Griep today and chatting about her latest book 12 Days at Bleakley Manor. Join us for a fun chat, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Be sure to share the post with your friends also. You can read my review by clicking here.

2754194Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Goodreads

12DaysAtBleaklyManorEngland, 1851: When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It’s always fun to get to know the authors behind the stories that we enjoy and love. Let’s get started with a few getting to know you questions and then we’ll chat about the book.

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

cornucopia-1789664_640Michelle:  I adore autumn. The colors. The scents. The double dark hot chocolate with marshmallows. Plus my favorite holiday is in the fall: Thanksgiving.

Trisha: Fall is a beautiful time of year, and I do so enjoy the yummy foods of fall. Fresh crisp apples, and juicy grapes!

coffee-2593577_640Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Michelle:  Slapping on my jammies and crawling into bed with a good book.

Trisha: That does sound like a cozy way to end the day!

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

love-2614754_640Michelle:  My all time fave is Robin Hardy’s Streiker’s Bride trilogy. Absolutely awesome. I came to know God’s love for me in a whole new way after reading that series.

 Another series I loved was Tahn by L.A. Kelly It’s kind of a medieval but kind of not. The plot is thrilling and I love the character arcs.

 

podcasts-2633018_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Michelle:  A quirky mix of James Brown and the Last of the Mohicans sound track.

Trisha:  Oh, I too love listening to movie soundtracks. The Last of the Mohicans is a favorite of mine.

 

vintage-1706208_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

 Michelle:  The characters for Bleakly Manor came first. As much as I admire Dickens writing, it’s his characters that first and foremost grab a reader by the throat. I thought it only fitting to steal a few of his and tweak them to my liking.

Trisha:  The characters in this story are so vivid and rich in detail! I was hard pressed to pick a favorite.

 

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Michelle:  Miss Scurry turned out to be quite a sweet old lady. At first, I thought she might be a bit more mysterious, but she ended up being an all-around nice senior.

Trisha:  Yes, I wasn’t sure what to think of her at first, but you are right, she turned out to be quite charming.

 

desk-1148994_640Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Michelle:  Only midnight. After that, I turn into a pumpkin and things get real messy.

Trisha: Haha! I often don’t make it much past 11 pm myself.

 

correcting-1870721_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Michelle:  Nothing, actually. It takes me forever to write a manuscript compared to other authors, but that slow pace allows me to think carefully about what I’m putting in and why. It’s a rare manuscript of mine that I’d have to cut any scenes.

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It was truly a pleasure to have you here. Please do come visit again!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Michelle is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “12 Days at Bleakley Manor”  The winner may choose a paper copy or e-copy (paper copy USA only). Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“If you could step back in time to the Victorian era, would you?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*** GIVEAWAY ENDED  ***
Congratulations: Janice M.

IMG_1078

Recap – August 2017

August sure has been fun! I reviewed 10 books, and interviewed 2 authors. We also had a special bonus; A Cover Reveal for Sarah Monzon’s new book “The Esther Paradigm” (which is available for pre-order on amazon).

Join me for a fun look back at August 2017 as we have a quick recap of the books reviewed, and the author interviews that took place in August.

Clicking on any of the titles will take you to that post.

Books Reviewed:

ToWagerHerHeart  To Wager Her Heart 

VowUnbroken  Vow Unbroken

ThePromiseOfBreezeHill  The Promise of Breeze Hill

Freedom's Ring   Freedom’s Ring

MHBISV  My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley

32867786  Embracing Hope

Many Sparrows  Many Sparrows

12DaysAtBleaklyManor 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

TheLastSummer The Last Summer

ChristmasAtCarnton  Christmas at Carnton

Author’s Interviewed:

CarylMcAdoo  Caryl McAdoo

LoriBenton2  Lori Benton

Cover Reveal & Author Interview

TheEstherParadigm The Esther Paradigm

 

Let’s Connect:

Which of the books reviewed in August are you looking forward to reading?
Maybe you have read one of the books featured in August, which one?

12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #1) by: Michelle Griep

Synopsis:

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

 

My Review:

As I opened the pages and began to read I was instantly catapulted to December 24, 1850. It may have been early August in reality, but in my mind’s eye, I was there in the story. I could smell the musty drapes and wood smoke; I could feel the sting of the cold on my fingers and toes. My senses sprang to alertness as I tried to discover who was behind the mysterious transgressions. Would my favorite characters make it to the end of the story?

In just under 200 pages, Michelle Griep has penned a spine-tingling Christmas mystery to rival that of Charles Dickens himself, and I was blissfully along for the ride.  Kept on the edge of my seat with curiosity until the very last chapter when, like a beautiful Amaryllis, all was expertly revealed.

Underlying the twists and turns of this delightful page-turning story, the magnetic characters, and the realistic detailed setting is the gentle reminder of our Savior’s love,  we are all “inherently precious” and “we have all fallen from grace, yet it is grace alone that saves the worst of us.”

Bottom line: I loved this fantastic 5-Star book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

 

Favorite Quote:

“One does not question an opportunity, my dear.One simply mounts it and rides.”
– Aunt Deb

About the Author:

2754194I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

 

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

 

Let’s Connect:

What do you enjoy most about Christmas books?

IMG_1078