Book Review + Giveaway!: A Tale of Two Hearts

11 Oct

A tale of two hearts FB banner copy

About the Book

A Tale of Two Hearts cover

Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts

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?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Headshot Michelle GRIEPMichelle 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.

 

 

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.

 

My Impressions:

A Tale of Two Hearts will delight a wide variety of fiction fans — those who love historical romance, classic fiction, or a heartwarming Christmas-y book. Michelle Griep’s second novella-length book in the Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series is the perfect partner for holiday reading. Get a mug of cocoa or tea and a fuzzy wrap and be prepared to be entertained!

Set in London in the days leading up to Christmas 1853, A Tale of Two Hearts definitely has a Dickensian feel. Main character Mina Scott is a Dickens enthusiast and every chapter is introduced by a quote from one of his works. Mina even gets a quick glimpse at the famous author as she plays her part in securing the fortunes of handsome Will Barlow. The novel tells the story of Will and Mina and their charade of marriage so that Will’s Uncle Barlow is protected. At least that is the justification they have for the make-believe and deceit. Secondary characters add intrigue and complications to the their plan, and the story becomes more twisted and snarled as it progresses. Both Mina and Will grow up through the course of the book learning that lies will entrap and that a make-believe life is no match for the goodness of reality. Both characters also grow in their faith. One of Mina’s friends shares an interesting view on faith — 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 into a ball and toss aside.” (p. 111). I loved that and other bits of wisdom that are shared throughout the book.

A fun and quick read, A Tale of Two Hearts is a good choice to add to your Christmas reading list.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Creating Romance, October 2

Just the Write Escape, October 2

The Avid Reader, October 2

Genesis 5020, October 3

The Power of Words, October 3

Just Commonly, October 3

Baker Kella, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Fiction Aficionado, October 4

Godly Book Reviews, October 4

Inklings and Notions , October 4

Captive Dreams Window, October 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 5

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 5

Multifarious, October 6

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 6

Remembrancy, October 7

Splashes of Joy , October 7

Blossoms and Blessings, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Back Porch Reads, October 8

A Reader’s Brain, October 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 8

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, October 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 9

Carpe Diem, October 9

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10

Britt Reads Fiction, October 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, October 10

A Baker’s Perspective, October 10

By The Book, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Book by Book, October 11

Bigreadersite, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

With a Joyful Noise, October 12

Have A Wonderful Day , October 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 13

Bibliophile Reviews, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13

Vicky Sluiter, October 14

Daysong Reflections , October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Henry Happens, October 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 15

Giveaway

cd62edc0-0105-4e08-a6e7-50bcf86b86ca

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 the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Book Review + Giveaway!: A Tale of Two Hearts”

  1. attennos39 October 11, 2018 at 6:22 am #

    Will a relationship that starts with deception prosper? What does that tell you about the characters and will the reader accept their lies as justification?

    Very interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. susiesellnergmailcom October 11, 2018 at 7:33 am #

    I’m curious to see what complications arise from this charade of a marriage and how they are solved. A Tale of Two Hearts sounds like a fun book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lori Smanski October 11, 2018 at 9:18 am #

    Thank you for your review. Oh my this sounds wonderfully engaging. I love that each chapter starts with something from Dickens. A sham can quickly turn into many things other than what it was first intended. Now I am curious to see how they work this out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra Branigan October 11, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    Thank you for the review and hosting the book. Looking forward to that cup of cocoa.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chanel M. October 14, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

    Great review! And I love the quote you featured.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: