Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
Today I have Michelle Griep visiting. She’s talking about her novella, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. Have you had a chance to read it? If not, pull up a chair and learn a bit about it.
About the Book
The Blurb: “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.”
Toni: Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to join me today. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor has an intriguing premise, how did you come up with the idea?
Michelle: Honestly? It wasn’t exactly my idea. My publisher contacted me asking if I’d like to write a Christmas series. It would need to be set in Victorian England and it would have to involve Charles Dickens in some way, shape or form. So with those parameters in mind, voila! Bleakly Manor was born.
Toni: And you came up with an idea. Awesome! So I guess it’s safe to say you love Christmas. How did you add the charm of the season but keep the mystery?
Michelle: I adore Christmas . . . the food, the lights, the food, the decorations, and don’t forget the food!
It was a bit tricky trying to hold on to that mystery element without spoiling the Christmas fun. I tried to solve that dilemma by incorporating actual Victorian Christmas traditions.
Toni: Oh, I definitely won’t forget the food. 🙂 Clara and Ben have a second chance at love. What made you examine second-chance love?
Michelle: Jesus. I know. That’s a standard Sunday School answer, right? But think about it . . . At Christmas we are celebrating God sending down his only son to give us a second chance at living forever with Him. We are all given this chance. The question is what will we do with it?
Toni: He’s the perfect answer! You’ve written a few books. What has been your favorite thus far?
Michelle: Actually it’s a book that’s currently out of print (which I hope to remedy some time in the future when I get a chance). Undercurrent is book I in my Vikings Saga trilogy. Those big, beefy Vikings captured my heart.
Toni: I still want to read The Captive Heart. *sigh, too many books* What are you currently reading?
Michelle: Just started Light Bird’s Song by Sydney Tooman Betts. So far, so good!
Toni: I’ve seen that here and there on social media. What are three elements that are always present in your writing and why?
Michelle: 1. I always incorporate Biblical truth. Not the beat you over the head kind, but usually more subtle or played out in the plot. Why? Because if I’m not sharing God’s word, what’s the point?
2. Unique phrasing. I love to word things in ways that make people think. I admire this in other great works of literature and try to emulate it.
3. Quirky characters. We are all unique in sometimes very hilarious ways. I always try to put in one or two characters just for the purpose of making the reader smile.
Toni: Sounds like they’ll make up a great read. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers before you go?
Michelle: Readers, you are the ones who make this writing gig all worthwhile. Did you know you have that much power? I encourage you today to drop a favorite author just a quick email letting them know you appreciate their writing. Trust me. . .you WILL make that author’s day!
Toni: Fantastic advice! Thank you so much for coming. Readers, do you have any questions for Michelle?
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, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.