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

 

The Noble Guardian (The Bow Street Runners #3) by Michelle Griep

A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure

Synopsis:

The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, love is finally within reach. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentleman bachelors in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But to him she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her on the rest of her journey. He refuses until she offers him the thing he desperately needs to achieve his goal: money. Delivering her safely will earn him more than enough to settle into a quiet life.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

The Noble Guardian (The Bow Street Runners #3)

My Thoughts:

With page-turning action and drama, you won’t want to put this story down! I fell in love with these characters. Even the secondary characters give so much to this story. There is plenty to love and enjoy within the pages of The Noble Guardian!

Abigail Gilbert has big plans for her future, she just didn’t plan on the unexpected adventure that awaits her along the way. Abigail may have been raised in a fine, fashionable home, but the lack of love she received left deep scars, not to mention that her planning for a love in her future may be more dream than reality. As her plans begin to unravel and her future becomes not at all what she expected will she stay the course or discover a new dream for her future?

Captain Samuel Thatcher is a man of few words. But if ever you needed someone in your corner to rescue you, this is the man for the job! He is observant and cunning, not much of anything slip past him. Behind his gruff exterior, Samuel has a tender heart, not that he’d admit that to anyone. Samuel is dependable, courageous, and quite the capable protector. You are sure to fall for this dashing hero!

I enjoyed every moment of this delightful story! It has something for everyone. Dynamic characters, engaging story-line, action, adventure, deep faith, and lots of heart. This is a story for the keeper shelf, a story that you’ll want to pull out and enjoy again!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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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

Click on the title below to snag your copy today!

The Noble Guardian (The Bow Street Runners #3)

  The Innkeeper’s Daughter (The Bow Street Runners #2)

  Brentwood’s Ward (The Bow Street Runners #1)

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Author Interview & Giveaway with Sarah Sundin – The Sea Before Us

Welcome reader friends! I am super excited to have Sarah Sundin visiting with us today.

SarahSundinSarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

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

For those who may haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this wonderful story is one you won’t want to miss out on reading! To read more check out my review (click here).

TheSeaBeforeUsIn 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

  The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Sarah Sundin! Thank you Sarah for vising with us today and taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions.

Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Sarah: Autumn. I’m a November baby, I adored going back to school, and I love cool weather.

Trisha:  Autumn sure is a beautiful season! I love all the colors. It’s like nature’s last hurrah before winter sets in.

 

Q: What is the best part of your day?

Sarah: Early afternoon to early evening is my most productive time. I’m not a morning person, so I’m barely coherent before noon. In the afternoon my creativity and energy finally arrive. And then my husband comes home from work, which makes my day. And not just because he’s the one who loves to entertain our high-maintenance yellow lab.

Trisha: Evening is family time in our house also. It’s my favorite part of the day!

 

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

Sarah: Before 2000, I’d read little Christian fiction, other than This Present Darkness and the Left Behind series. Our kids were still little, and taking time to read felt almost selfish. When I started writing in 2000—and I knew I wanted to write for the Christian market—I had a good excuse to begin reading again. I started with Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series and loved the combination of romance, faith, humor, and realistic characters.

Trisha:  Sounds like you picked out some good stories!

 

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Sarah:  Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Harry James, and Artie Shaw.

Trisha:  I should have guessed! You know, too love listening to these singers/artists. Now I have the song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” playing in my head, I sang that song in choir! My grandmother use to play “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller on her record player and we’d dance with the broom and dust cloth while cleaning. Fun memories!

 

Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Sarah:  At the “big picture” level, the plotline for the Sunrise at Normandy series came first—I wanted to have three brothers fighting on D-day from the sea, the air, and the ground. To make it work, the brothers had to be estranged. Once I knew that, the characters came to life and drove the plots for each of the three novels.

Trisha: I’m really looking forward to reading the other two brother’s stories!

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Sarah:  Mr. Fairfax, the father of the heroine, Dorothy Fairfax. World War II has caused him great suffering, and he doesn’t bear grief well. He started off in my mind as a fairly negative character, but I grew to have great sympathy for him, and I love how he grew during the story. The scene that made my cry when writing involves Mr. Fairfax and Dorothy.

Trisha:  Yes, I think I know what scene you are talking about with Dorthy and Mr. Fairfax!

 

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Sarah:  In college, I was the queen of the all-nighters. I can’t do that anymore. My husband has been a good influence on me, and I keep regular hours (my eighteen-year-old self is SO ashamed of me). So the latest I stayed up writing The Sea Before Us would be 10 pm. But usually I wrap up my writing for the day by 6 pm.

Trisha:  Oh, I’m with you! My ability to stay up super late, has diminished.

 

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Sarah:  Nothing actually. I’m an outline-oriented writer, and I think through my plots before I start the rough drafts. But something appeared in The Sea Before Us that wasn’t in my original draft—the prologue. Three years before the story begins, a tragic string of events thrust the three Paxton brothers apart. In my original draft, this story was revealed by Wyatt Paxton in conversation and memories. But it felt kind of flat. I played with the idea of adding the incident in a prologue, but kept rejecting the idea. When I turned the manuscript in to my editor, I mentioned the idea of a prologue. She said, “Write it now!” So I did. It only took about two hours, because I already knew what happened and I’d already imagined the scene from the perspective of each brother. It flew! And it was probably the most emotional scene I’ve ever written—it really shook me up. I’m getting great feedback from readers, so I’m very glad I added it!

Trisha: I’m glad you added the prologue! That was fantastic!

 

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)

Sarah:  The Sky Above Us will be released in early 2019. It features Adler Paxton, a P-51 fighter pilot who flies over Normandy on D-day, and Violet Lindstrom, a Red Cross worker at Adler’s air base. I just finished my publisher’s first edits on the novel, and I’ve seen the early work on the cover! Can’t wait to see the official book cover! The last book in the series, The Land Beneath Us, will be released in early 2020, and it tells the story of Clay Paxton, an Army Ranger on D-day.

Trisha:  I’m super excited to read Adler’s story and Clay’s as well! Thank you so much for visiting today!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Sarah Sundin is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “The Sea Before Us” Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. 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 using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you stay up late reading? What is the latest you’ve stayed up reading?”

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

 

* * * * *  GIVEAWAY ENDED * * * * * 

Winner is: Tami L.

 

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First Line Fridays – Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

This week I’m featuring Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke! For those who enjoy reading Historical Christian Fiction set in the Word War II time period, this is a can’t miss story! Don’t miss my full review – Click Here

 

UntillWeFindHome

May 1940

          Lightning crackled, splitting the night sky over Paris, illuminating letters painted on the bookstore window across the street: La Maison des Amis des Livres. Driving rain pounded the loose shutters of Shakespeare and Company, making them rattle so that Clair Stewart dropped the heavy blackout curtain into place.

 

The story starts with a bang! Do you wonder why Claire is looking out the window? Is she watching for someone? Hmmm…. You’ll have to pick-up a copy to find out!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

UntilWeFindHome2

The Regency Brides Collection

Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…
Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love….

Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago.

Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism.

Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans.

Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret.

Esther is empowered to choose between two men.

Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash.

Jamie and William face a daunting London season together.

Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?

My Thoughts:

With a star-studded group of talented authors, and a central theme of love during the regency period, you can’t go wrong!

If you enjoy reading sweet love stories set during the Recency period then you will not want to miss out on picking up this wonderful book. Two of the authors in this collection were new to me, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed their stories as much as the stories written by my favorites.

Each story has it’s own dynamic cast of characters, with their own set of challenges, and a tender love story. Several of the stories I wished had been longer. But of course, there are limits to how long a story can be when it’s in a novella collection.

I would recommend this collection of stories to anyone who enjoys reading stories set during the Regency period.  I give this collection 4.5 stars.

(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 Quotes:

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About the Authors:

Clicking on the Author’s name will take you to their web page.

2754194  Michelle Griep

AmandaBarratt  Amanda Barratt

Angela Bell  Angela Bell

SusanneDietzeHeadshot  Susanne Dietze

NancyMoser  Nancy Moser

MaryLuTyndall  MaryLu Tyndall

EricaVetsch Erica Vetsch

 

Click on the title below to add this wonderful book to your collection:

  The Regency Brides Collection

 

 

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson-Politano

Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.

Synopsis:

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family–who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father’s family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift–the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother’s mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she’ll have to extract clues from relatives–and one enigmatic houseguest–who often seem reluctant to give them up.

My Thoughts:

LadyJayne4From the first chapter till the last word on the page, I was captivated. Lady Jayne Disappears far exceeded my expectations. This debut book of Joanna’s is simply stunning in its culmination. I finished this book in a clouded euphoria, leaving me speechless. My copy of the book is filled with sticky flags, marking favorite quotes, scenes, and other notable parts of interest. I actually ran out of one kind of stickies and opened a second (It’s that good).

Bibliophiles will fall in love with Aurelie, a bibliophile in her own right, and an author. A delightful story within the story and a mystery to uncover. This is a book you will want to enjoy once and return again to savor a second or third time.

LadyJayne2Beyond the twists and turns of a captivating plot and exciting characters is an overreaching theme of being true to oneself and to who we are in God. A gentle reminder that we should not aim to please people, or even to esteem ourselves, but to strive in all we do to please God first.

 
With characters so vibrant and realistic, they seem to waltz off the page and into the room with you. I give this book 5 stars, and happily, recommend it to any and all who enjoy a good story rich with both characters and detail.

(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.)

Bonus:

Click here for a Sneak Peek at the Prologue & First Chapter!

Favorite Quote:

LadyJayne5

About the Author:

Joanna-Davidson-Politano  Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

  Lady Jayne Disappears

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The Keeper of Her Heart by: Stacy Henrie

Synopsis:

Even at a young age, Ada Thorne knew that she would marry only for love, never money. So when she finds herself irrevocably drawn to Ned Henley, the lowly gamekeeper on a neighboring estate, she defies her parents and society by eloping with him to London to build a new life.

Without her family’s support, life in the city is far more difficult than the one of ease and privilege Ada has always known. She’ll find herself relentlessly tested in ways she never imagined—especially when Ned, answering the call of duty, enlists to serve his country in World War One.

Alone and near poverty with a child to raise, Ada’s resolve will be strained at every turn. And as she struggles to remain true to her convictions and live life on her own terms, Ada will embark on a journey of courage, faith, and love that will surpass even her own humble dreams . . .

My Thoughts:

While this story starts out a bit slow, it doesn’t waste time with needless information. It wasn’t too long before I was enveloped in the story and drawn along into the lives of Ada and Ned.

Ada exemplifies a tremendous amount of resolve to not only leave her parents, and the life of comfort and ease, but also to step out in faith. Ada learns to lean on God through the good times and the bad times, and she comes to understand that bad things happen to us all, but the universal truth is that God never leaves us.

This story is set in the early 1900’s England, and goes thru the time of World War I. Readers will gain an intimate glimpse of what life may have been like for those in London during the air raid and bombings. As well as how the war changed the workforce in England, as more women joined the workforce.

I would highly recommend this poignant, well-written story to anyone who enjoys not only reading stories about WWI but also stories with strong heroines. I give this robust story 4.5 stars and I look forward to reading more from Stacy Henrie in the future.

(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:

“I know this – God is not a punishing being. He weeps for us and with us. His love isn’t just evident in the happy times. He’s there with us in the sad times too.”

About the Author:

Stacy HenrieUSA TODAY bestselling author, has always had a love for history, fiction, and chocolate. She earned her B.A. in public relations before turning her attentions to raising a family and writing inspirational historical romances. Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a mother to three, Stacy loves to live out history through her fictional characters. In addition to author, she is also a reader, a road trip enthusiast, and a novice interior decorator. Her books include Hope at Dawn, a 2015 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist for excellence in romance.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

 The Keeper of her Heart

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