Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Book Review (+ Tour Giveaway): Phoebe’s Light

26 Feb

About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Impressions:

Fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s contemporary and historical Amish books are going to love the new direction this author is taking. Phoebe’s Light is an historical romance novel featuring the New England Island of Nantucket. I loved the setting, the creatively told dual story lines, and the characters that found a way into my imagination and heart.

Phoebe Starbuck, descendant of the hardy settlers of Nantucket Island, is a determined young woman — determined to turn her family’s fortunes around and determined to have her heart’s way. She has faith in God, but only as far as it goes along with her own plans and dreams. Matthew Macy left the Quaker fellowship years ago. He also left behind his belief in God’s goodness. Danger and secret betrayal are companions on the two’s journey. But so is God’s provision revealed in a forgotten journal from the past.

I loved the dual story lines Fisher weaves together. The main story is told in a straightforward third person style, but is supported through the journal entries of an early Nantucket settler, Mary “Great Mary” Coffin. Fisher deftly adds historical details and figures to create a fictional story that is believable and riveting. Her portrayal of colonial Nantucket and its whaling trade are spot on. She sprinkles the narrative and dialog with phrases from the day and industry that is long gone. But you won’t be lost, there is a great glossary included at the beginning of the book. I also learned a great deal about the Quakers as Fisher naturally includes their beliefs and practices within the novel. Characters are real and relatable with their struggles, doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The two main characters’ faith journey is realistically portrayed as well. The romance is sweet and satisfying, as is the epilogue that brings the reader closure on all the doings on the island. Fisher’s signature voice shines through. The only complaint I have is the use of a few modern phrases that jolted this reader from the story. But those were few and didn’t spoil the overall reading experience.

Phoebe’s Light is just the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series. It’s a great start, and I look forward to many more visits to Nantucket!


Audience: older teens to adults.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Revel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins


1 ¼ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 cup grated carrots (4 large)

1 apple, shredded

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla


Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15

A Simply Enchanted Life, February 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 15

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes, February 15

Girls in White Dresses Blog, February 16

With a Joyful Noise, February 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16

A Greater Yes, February 16

ASC Book Reviews, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Book by Book, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

The Power of Words, February 18

Two Points of Interest, February 18

Splashes of Joy, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Karen Sue Hadley, February 19

Blossoms and Blessings, February 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 20

All of a kind Mom, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 21

Baker Kella, February 21

Mommynificent, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Lighthouse Academy, February 22

Readers cozy corner, February 22

Mary Hake, February 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Have A Wonderful Day, February 23

Faery Tales Are Real, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

Carpe Diem, February 24

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, February 25

Red Headed Book Lady, February 25

Just the Write Escape, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

By The Book, February 26

For The Love of Books, February 26

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)

Maureen’s Musings, February 27

Connie’s History Classroom, February 27

proud to be an autism mom, February 27

Bigreadersite, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 28

Pursuing Stacie, February 28


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0


First Line Friday — Valentine’s Day Edition

16 Feb

I am sharing a book that has been on my TBR shelf a long time — A Heart Most Worthy. It really fits the Valentine’s theme with its beautiful pink and lacy cover. I love Siri Mitchell‘s books, and really need to find time to read this novel. The line isn’t actually the first, but the first to introduce one of the main characters. Have you read this book? I’d love to know why I should move it to the top of the pile.

Meanwhile share your first line in the comments, then head over to Hoarding Books to find out what other Valentine’s goodies await.



The elegance of Madame Forza’s gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star crossed encounter with the grocer’s son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza’s most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

Book Review (+Tour Giveaway): No Small Storm

12 Feb

About the Book


Title: No Small Storm

Author: Anne Matteer

Genre: Historical/Historical Romance

Release Date: August, 2017


September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island

Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.

Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.

With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.

But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen — or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Impressions:

Anne Mateer has created a sweet romance perfect for Valentine’s Day reading, or really anytime you want a love story with endearing characters and an historic setting inspired by true events. With its setting in the early years of the US, it brings to life our fledgling nation and the men and women determined to make a new start in a new country. Fans of historical romance will love this one!

Remembrance Mem Wilkins is on her own, a very decidedly uncommon occurrence for a young lady of the early 1800s. Left the family farm after the death of her father, she is determined to keep her independence without the help of anyone, especially a very intimidating neighbor set upon gaining her property through the conventional means of marriage. But Mem, though already on the road to spinsterhood and with a failed romance in her past, wants nothing but a true love match, one that won’t take her financial circumstance into consideration. Simon Brennan, father and widower newly arrived from Ireland, has not much to recommend him — no money or name — but with a fierce pride that keeps him focused on establishing his own fortune. The two are irresistibly drawn together, but can they overcome the obstacles they alone have set up?

I really liked the main characters (and many of the supporting ones) in No Small Storm. Both Mem and Simon are engaging, and their chemistry is strong — just what a good romance needs. Both have independent natures and strive to achieve their goals on their own. But that independence, mixed with a good dose of pride, keeps them from asking help of others and from God. Circumstances show them that all they have is from God. And that’s all they need. The historical touches in the novel were spot on — dress, manners, customs. But No Small Storm has the added bonus of a real-life event that makes a difference in the town of Providence, Rhode Island and in the lives of the characters. No spoilers here, but I have to say this novel made me thankful for modern weather forecasts. 😉

A quick read, No Small Storm is a good choice for when you need some romance mixed with history.


Audience: older teens to adults.

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

About the Author

Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.

So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!

I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms were commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.

And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water, but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?

That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the in those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!

Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and they salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.

Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Carpe Diem, February 6

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 7

The Power of Words, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 8

Inklings and notions, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Kathleen Denly, February 10

History, Mystery & Faith, February 10

Bukwurmzzz, February 11

Views From the Window Friend, February 11

By The Book, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 12

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 13

Mary Hake, February 13

proud to be an autism mom, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 14

A Greater Yes, February 15

Janices book reviews, February 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 16

A Baker’s Perspective, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 17 (Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy)

Bigreadersite, February 18

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 19

Pursuing Stacie, February 19




To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies — including a Pride and Prejudice fleece throw, a “reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry, a Secret Garden litograph tote bag, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c604

First Line Friday — The Sea Before Us

26 Jan

This week I am sharing the soon to be released WWII-era novel, The Sea Before Us. This is the first book in a new series (Sunrise at Normandy) for Sarah Sundin. I have loved all of Sarah’s books and am excited to share this one with my book club later this year. This one releases on February 6 — check it out!

Please leave me a comment with your first line, then head over to Hoarding Books to share in the fun with other bloggers.



In 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.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of ten novels, including the The Sea Before Us (coming February 2018) and the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the INSPY Award, and her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

Top 10 Tuesday — New To Me Authors

2 Jan

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is 2017 New-To-Me Authors. As often as can, I try to include on my reading list authors I have not read. It’s easy to stick to the tried and true, but you really miss out on some wonderful books if you don’t expand the horizons a bit. I am sure that many of the authors on my list will be familiar names to my readers, but I had not read them before 2017. My bad! 😉 How about you? What new author did you read and love this year?


Top New To Me Authors of 2017

Karen BarnettThe Road to Paradise

Christine DillonGrace in Strange Disguise

Michelle Griep12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Debra E. Marvin The Case of The Clobbered Cad

Joanna Davidson PolitanoLady Jayne Disappears

Dina L. SliemanDauntless

Amy K. SorrellsHow Sweet The Sound

Ann Marie StewartStars in The Grass

Claire WongThe Runaway

Which new-to-you author did you discover in 2017?




Audiobook Mini-Review: A Spy’s Devotion

27 Dec

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life — but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance — until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England — and the man she is falling in love with — need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?


Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author whose two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and being with her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.


My Impressions:

As I have shared on numerous occasions, I listen to audiobooks during my morning walks and am always on the look out for a book that is easy to pick up day after day for an hour at a time. I have read several of Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings and knew that her writing style is a perfect match for my reading preferences. So when I saw that she had written a Regency-inspired novel with spies, I couldn’t resist. I am so glad that I picked up A Spy’s Devotion, book 1 in Dickerson’s Regency Spies of London series. It definitely checked all the boxes — Regency romance, mysterious goings-on, and a clean and inspiring reading experience. Dickerson captures the manners and customs of the Regency period and combines them with the intrigue of the Napoleonic Wars. The characters are endearing and complex, and the romance, which is not without obstacles, still ends in a happily-ever-after. The narrator of the audiobook does a good job of capturing the time and place.

A Spy’s Devotion was a great listening experience, and I look forward to reading more in the series.


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review (+ Giveaway!): 12 Days at Bleakley Manor

14 Dec


About The Book

Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

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.

Click HERE to purchase the book.


My Impressions:

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep is a fun Christmas read. With its Victorian setting and a big nod to Charles Dickens, it captures the spirit of the season. This novella has quirky characters galore (with equally quirky names a la Dickens), a heartwarming message of second chances, and sweet romance just perfect for a long winter night’s reading experience. This one is a recommended read!

Clara Chapman was left at the altar months before this cold December. With her fortune gone, stolen she believes by her fiancé, she is living in reduced circumstances. An invitation to Bleakly Manor for the Twelve Nights of Christmas celebration promises a way out of her financial difficulties — if she stays the full 12 days. Benjamin Lane was arrested on the way to his wedding and has been held without trial awaiting transportation to Australia. He has become bitter and vengeful, but a chance to be released and restored to society has him also at Bleakly Manor. Clara and Ben, along with 8 other guests, are all hoping for their deepest wishes to come true.

A bit A Christmas Carol and a bit Then There Were None, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor has all the ingredients for a quick, quirky, and thoroughly satisfying read. The characters provide amusement and intrigue as the mysterious Master of the house manipulates the action. Odd occurrences and threats put them in danger, and they and the reader never know who is to blame. The novella is filled with Victorian details, especially those that surrounded the Christmas celebrations of England. I really enjoyed the trip back in time. The romance is filled with obstacles of betrayal, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings, but also the promise of love restored. When all seems chaos, the characters depend on a God that is in control.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor is the first in Griep’s Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series, and it has definitely made me want more. A great start for a promising series!


Audience: adults.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About The Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.


Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…


Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.


Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.


“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.


Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.


Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.

And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.

And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.


Blog Stops

Bukwurmzzz, December 14

Faery Tales Are Real, December 14

A Baker’s Perspective, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 15

Have A Wonderful Day, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Carpe Diem, December 16

Cafinated Reads, December 16

Just the Write Escape, December 17

A Greater Yes, December 17

Remembrancy, December 17

Allofakindmom, December 18

History, Mystery & Faith, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18

amandainpa, December 19

Kat’s Corner Books, December 19

Mommynificent, December 19

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 20

Bookworm Mama, December 20

Vicky Sluiter, December 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 21

To Everything A Season, December 21

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 22

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)

My Writer’s Life, December 23

Janices book reviews, December 23

For The Love of Books, December 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Red Headed Book Lady, December 25

Raining Butterfly Kisses, December 25

Bibliophile Reviews, December 26

Blogging With Carol,December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 27



To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8