Books,  Celebrate Lit

Hidden Gems

Gems, the Bible is one big pile of perfect gemstones, but very often in other books you can find a little gemstone chipped off the beautiful stones in God’s Word. And this book was not an exception.  Such as this quote:

“ ‘…. I suppose I feel like a character in a book, not knowing how the plot will twist – and am unable to flip to the last page to find out.’  Effie shook her head. ‘But your story is already written, and it does have a happy ending. Are we not promised heaven when we die.’

‘It’s not the dying part that concerns me. It’s the in-between now and then.’

‘Ahh, love … if we knew how things would turn out, then there’d be no need for faith, aye?  My mother – God rest her – always told me to think of eternity, then live backward from that. Such a view has a way o’ whittlin’ down our current troubles to a size we can crumple up in to a ball and toss aside.’ The words sank in deep, convicting and healing. Her friend was right.”

And here’s the book:

About the Book

Book Title: A Tale of two Cities

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2018

Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical 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 as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such a deception?

My Thoughts:

This little fictional story honored God and was a great pleasure to read because of that. It took place around Christmas-time, but that wasn’t the main subject, so it was a nice read any time of year, if you prefer to keep your Christmas related reading within the season.

What I liked:

I don’t use the word “charming” much, but this time I will. Tale of Two Hearts was a charming, Dickensian book, taking place in the time of Charles Dickens who makes a cameo appearance.   The writing was very much similar to the older Victorian writing without the propensity to be tedious and long winded.  Any reference to romance was not very cheesy, it was sweet and fit the style of writing very well.

What I didn’t like:

I can’t think of anything I didn’t like … hmmmm … nope, not a thing. It was a joy to read.

What others might not like:

The whole deception thing might cause some people trouble. It also caused the perpetrators trouble too, they did not take it lightly and there was definitely conflict within them.  But think of it this way, that it was to help someone in the long run. Like people undercover or people who do espionage, they have to be deceptive to help others and get the bad guys.

5 stars for this one and as I occasionally say, I’d give it many more, if I could.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle

Victorian Christmas Foods

So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?

In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.

Victorian Oyster Stew

Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.

Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.

Drinking Chocolate

What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.

And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruit cake.

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.

If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

Blog Stops

Kat’s Corner BooksOctober 2

Creating RomanceOctober 2

Just the Write EscapeOctober 2

The Avid ReaderOctober 2

Genesis 5020October 3

The Power of WordsOctober 3

Just CommonlyOctober 3

Baker KellaOctober 3

Among the ReadsOctober 4

Fiction AficionadoOctober 4

Godly Book ReviewsOctober 4

Inklings and Notions , October 4

Captive Dreams WindowOctober 5

Christian Author, J.E. GraceOctober 5

Proud to Be an Autism MomOctober 5

MultifariousOctober 6

Reading Is My SuperPowerOctober 6

The Christian Fiction GirlOctober 6

Texas Book-aholicOctober 6

RemembrancyOctober 7

Splashes of Joy , October 7

Blossoms and BlessingsOctober 7

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsOctober 7

Back Porch ReadsOctober 8

A Reader’s BrainOctober 8

Christian Chick’s ThoughtsOctober 8

Janice’s Book ReviewsOctober 8

Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, October 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSOctober 9

Carpe DiemOctober 9

Stories Where Hope and Quirky MeetOctober 10

Britt Reads FictionOctober 10

Luv’N Lambert LifeOctober 10

A Baker’s PerspectiveOctober 10

By The BookOctober 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyOctober 11

Book by BookOctober 11

BigreadersiteOctober 11

More Of HimOctober 12

Pause for TalesOctober 12

With a Joyful NoiseOctober 12

Have A Wonderful Day , October 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book ImpressionsOctober 13

Bibliophile ReviewsOctober 13

Tell Tale Book ReviewsOctober 13

Vicky SluiterOctober 14

Daysong Reflections , October 14

To Everything A SeasonOctober 14

Henry HappensOctober 15

All-of-a-kind MomOctober 15

Reader’s Cozy CornerOctober 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesOctober 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click HERE to enter the promo giveaway.

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