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 your copy.
I may be dense, or just need to brush up on my classic literature, but I didn’t realize that this book was related to a Dicken’s classic until I was reading about the next in the series at the end. Thus, this review will not comment on whether or not the author did that compassion justice. Instead, I will be relating it to a more modern piece of entertainment, Clue.
I love Clue. I’ve always loved the game, the mystery, puzzling out just who did it. Once I was old enough, I also saw the movie, and now I own it. I was so excited when I watched the DVD the first time and it had an option to pick one random ending from three and you would never know which was going to be selected. It still thrills me even thinking about it. Unfortunately, it’d be extremely difficult for Michelle to pen three different endings, and then make us randomly flip to the page to select a different one, but all of the other essential reasons of why I love Clue, Michelle did in such a creative fashion.
I can’t say I was surprised by the ending, but that is because I suspected EVERYONE at some point, it’s the nature of the story arc. But, I also was surprised because it was brought together and the motivations behind it weren’t what I was puzzling together in my imagination. The mystery of who will die next and who was behind it all is what kept me turning pages because I had to know. Also the anxiety of knowing there could be only one winner, but we have both a hero and a heroine! I want them both to win! It was agonizing.
For regular readers of my blog, you will be happy to know I DID NOT, I repeat, DID NOT, read the end until I got there. Aren’t you proud? In this case, I just knew it would ruin the mystery and allure of everything and Michelle wrote it in such a way with clues coming steadily that I didn’t feel the all consuming desire to know how it turned out before I got there.
So, that should tell you something. If you’re a fan of mystery, give it a try.
Side note: If you’re looking for a fluffy cheery Christmas read, this isn’t it. It’s a bit morose, but I ensure you, a very satisfying read.
What about you? Do you like Clue? Let me know in the comments below!
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
Guest post by Michelle Griep
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.
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A Baker’s Perspective, December 15
A Reader’s Brain, December 15
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Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Carpe Diem, December 16
Cafinated Reads, December 16
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Allofakindmom, December 18
History, Mystery & Faith, December 18
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amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
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Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 20
Bookworm Mama, December 20
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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
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For The Love of Books, December 23
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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