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Have you had the privilege of meeting Michelle Griep? She is a delight! If you missed meeting her previously (she shared The Captive Heart and The Doctor’s Woman here), you’re in for a treat today. Her newest novel, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, is the start of a new series, Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Before we begin our visit, let’s take a look at the story.
A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love?
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
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, 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.
Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series–a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale–by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.
Can’t wait to read 12 Days at Bleakly Manor? You can find it here:
Welcome back, Michelle! What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
The whole premise of all the three stories that will eventually make up the Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series is second chances. Think about it . . . Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus coming down to earth, God’s son, for the express purpose of giving man a “second chance” by dying on the cross. That’s pretty amazing. So via story format, I explore the realm of giving extending grace to those who don’t necessarily deserve it. Just like us, eh?
It’s easier for us to accept a second chance than to extend it, isn’t it? We’d love to get to know you a little better. Did you have a favorite story/book as a child? Why was it a favorite?
Okay, so I was a hair older than being a child, but in my pre-teen years I adored Nancy Drew. Every Friday night I’d make myself an open-faced tuna sandwich and curl up in bed with a Nancy Drew mystery. I’d stay up until I finished the whole thing. Shh. Don’t tell my mom.
I loved this series because Nancy was such a confident, adventurous gal, plus she was smart. Quite a great role model, wouldn’t you say?
I love that stories have the potential to impact young lives like that! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
This is a no-brainer. Ironbridge, England. I adore Ironbridge. It’s not a tourist destination, per se, and actually I discovered it quite by accident. The small town is nestled in the Severn River valley and I swear you’d think you’d entered a warren of hobbit holes. It’s just that sweet. I’ve been there twice and I’ll go back as many times as I can.
How fun! Some of the best places are indeed those accidental discoveries along the way! If you could travel back in time to the general time period of your novel, which one person would you most like to meet?
I would love to meet Charles Dickens. What an innovative, interesting man. He truly had a heart for the downtrodden and he was so creative in the ways he expressed that. He used to take late night walks into the wee hours of the night down in the slummy areas of London, just to be amongst the people.
You can certainly hear that “heart” in his stories. Let’s take that thought a step further. If you could live during the time period of your novel, would you? Why or why not?
No way. One word: sanitation. Oh, yeah, and one more word: eew. Need I say more?
LOL — there is definitely that… Authors are busy people. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time, so that you can maintain your sanity?
Whoa . . .I don’t know who started the nasty rumor that I’m sane, but let’s put a stop that right here and now.
I do share about a lot of authors, but not with the intention of tarnishing their reputations. 😉 Can you give us any hints about what you’re working on now?
I’d love to. Currently on finishing up a French and Indian War adventure/romance that will be the third in the Mayflower Brides series, coming out next year. My book is The Captured Bride. Here’s a blurb:
Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought. Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?
Ooh, that sounds good! We’ll definitely have to watch for that one! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today, Michelle!
Your turn! Have you ever discovered an off-the-path destination you really enjoyed? (During a trip this past spring, a friend and I discovered the tiny town of Bay St. Louis, MS. It was not one of our intended stopping places, but we really enjoyed walking around. For those of you subscribed to my newsletter, I’ll share some pics with you in my next newsletter! And if you’re not signed up, go ahead and do that now so you won’t miss out!)
More about Michelle:
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.
12 Days at Bleakly Manor Giveaway
Michelle has generously offered to give away a copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (winner’s choice of paperback or e-book). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.