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Are you ready for Christmas stories? Last year we visited with Michelle Griep about the first in her Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series (12 Days at Bleakly Manor), and I am happy to have her back to share the next in the series, A Tale of Two Hearts. Before we visit, let’s take a quick peek at this newest story.
London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.
William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.
William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
Can two hearts survive such deception?
Welcome back, Michelle! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
Charles Dickens has always been one of my top ten favorite authors. But sadly, though he’s well known and everyone’s seen at least one production of A Christmas Carol, not many people read his works. His language is a bit archaic, but oh wowzer, can he write! His characters are memorably quirky and his descriptions divine. It was my goal in writing the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series to inspire an interest in his works while also bringing the true meaning of Christmas to light.
It does seem the younger generations are losing the appreciation for some of these classics. Do you have a favorite character from A Tale of Two Hearts? Why is this character your favorite?
Picking a favorite character is like picking a favorite child. Can it even be done? But if forced, I’d have to say that I admire heroine Mina Scott mostly because she shares my passion for reading.
It’s hard not to like a character (or person!) who likes to read. 🙂 Speaking of reading… Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?
Paper, hands down. I have an e-reader and I use it occasionally, but it’s not my favorite. I’m one of those monsters who dog-ears the pages and highlights and underlines and basically lives inside each and every story.
Gasp! I suppose your books are your own to do as you please… It is hard to dog-ear and mark up an e-copy, though! What accomplishment means the most to you?
Teaching my four children to read. I homeschooled each of them and I love that they love to read.
That’s an awesome accomplishment for sure! Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7
Let’s be real here, shall we? Sometimes life is sucky. This is the verse that gets me through my blackest times because even when things turn black and ugly, I know that God is there, that He knows me like none other.
Yes! What a sweet encouragement, and from a book we don’t often dig into. Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
You bet! I’m currently working on the 3rd and final story in the Bow Street Runners series. Book I was Brentwood’s Ward, followed by The Innkeeper’s Daughter, and now I’m working on The Noble Guardian. Here’s a blurb:
Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.
Horse patrol captain Daniel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But 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 for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal . . . money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.
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.
That sounds like an interesting journey! Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Michelle!
Your turn! Do you read Christmas stories all year long, or do you start sometime closer to the holidays?
More about Michelle:
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, 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, Twitter, or Pinterest.
A Tale of Two Hearts Giveaway:
Michelle has generously offered to give away a copy of A Tale of Two Hearts (winner’s choice of paperback or e-copy). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.