A Tale of Two Hearts – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

About the Book

img_0004Book 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?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I confess I didn’t understand enough of the references to other books in this novel; clearly I need to brush up on my classics. But, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it! A Tale of Two Hearts to me is really a tale not just about two people falling in love, but two people learning that it’s important to be themselves and to be honest. Both Will and Mina struggle with their own insecurities and while they set out with the best of intentions, their methods may not be the best choice, but this is one of those stories where if I was in their shoes, I’m not sure I would’ve made a different decision.

I appreciate how Michelle kept the story within social norms of the time period. For two people to act married and not be put them in situations that would’ve been scandalous, and this is reflected in both characters actions; their behavior wasn’t changed for modern audiences (i.e. it’s ok to be alone together for awhile, etc.).

If you’re looking for a drama where Christmas is an aspect, but doesn’t overwhelm the story and where characters learn to give others another chance, this story is for you.

I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

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 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

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

Christmas with the Cowboy – JustRead – Giveaway

christmaswiththecowboy_BlogBanner

Welcome to the JustRead Publicity Tour’s BLOG TOUR for Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe.

ABOUT THE BOOK

9781335509796Title: Christmas with the Cowboy
Series: Big Heart Ranch, Book 3
Author: Tina Radcliffe
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: September 18, 2018

Home for the holidays
A second chance at love on Big Heart Ranch

Former Navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | Book Depository | BAM! | Book Bub

MY REVIEW

Zach has finally come home! Or so Emma believes. I enjoyed this sweet Christmas read, emphasis on CHRISTMAS. It’s filled with all Christmas all the time with Emma slowly but surely converting the Christmas crumudgeon, and two little cuties help!

One thing I like about this story of a sister-brother -in-law falling in love story is that Zach respected Emma’s and Steve’s relationship- he never tried to convince Emma otherwise at some time in the past and Emma truly loved Steve; her feelings for Zach didn’t morph until in this story. That is something that this troupe in general often annoys me – the whole “I had feelings for you, but I married your brother anyways for whatever reason.” Tina did no that which made me like the characters and connect more. I also respected Zach and admired him even, for choosing to remove himself from the situation. While I don’t agree with avoiding his family, I get it.

The secondary characters are also great. This is the first book in the series I’ve read and I didn’t feel like I missed anything, but I’m definitely going to catch up!

I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina March 2018 2Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency (a branch of the NSA) stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tinamanages Seekerville, 13 author blog which is starting its tenth year. Seekerville is a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers award winner.

Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. In 2016 Safe in the Fireman’s Arms was a Holt Medallion Merit Award finalist and a Detroit Bookseller’s Best finalist and a NERFA finalist. She has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

TO CONNECT WITH TINA: website, facebook, twitter, pinterest,instagram, Book Bub

Tina also have a great newsletter filled with fun facts and great giveaways for her newsletter subscribers. Sign up for her newsletter HERE.


GIVEAWAY

christmaswiththecowboy_Blog_GiveTina has graciously offered (1) winner an awesome Christmas with the Cowboy prize pack that includes:

  • An autographed copy of Christmas with the Cowboy
  • LED Christmas Bulb Necklace
  • $50 Amazon gift card.

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Complete prize open to US mailing addresses only. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


TOUR SCHEDULE

(All stops expected to post by 11:00 AM EST)

Launch Page @JustReadTours
Launch Page @JustCommonly

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

A Love Inspired Christmas – 2017

I set out in late November to try to read as many of the Love Inspired Christmas stories for 2017 as possible. I didn’t succeed in reading them all, and in fact still have a stack that I checked out from the library still not read, but it was a valiant effort. Here’s a list of which ones I did read and putting them into three categories.

Must Read

My favorite of this set of Love Inspired is a series: Texas Ranger Holidays. I has three books, that while not quite standalone, wrap up enough of the threads in each. I actually started with book two, but didn’t feel like I missed out, and like it so much I went and got the first one, which is technically a Thanksgiving story.

Others I really liked:

Good Reads

Unfinished/Ok Reads

These few I just couldn’t get into for whatever reason. As I was reading fast trying to get through them all, if it didn’t really pull me in in the first couple chapters or I didn’t like the characters, I put it down. If it was another time of year, I probably would’ve stuck it out. Some I did finish, but still didn’t intrigue me like the others listed above.

 

Happy Harlequin Holidays!

First Line Fridays – One Enchanted Noël

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. This is book #3 in Melissa Tagg’s novella Christmas series. While you can read this one independently, I encourage you to pick up the first two as well. Now all three are also available in one set.

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One Enchanted Noël by Melissa Tagg

“Usually on nights like this – with snowfall glimmering under the hazy glow of lamplight, a peaceful hush hovering over the town square – Leigh Renwyecke could almost forget.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

 

First Line Fridays – Christmas Double Cross

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. I didn’t realize when I picked this off the library shelf that it’s actually #2 in the series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything starting in the middle. That said, I’ll for sure go checkout book #1 and #3!

xmas double cross

Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey

“Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn shifted his borrowed Dodge Challenger into Park and left the engine running, the heater combating the near-freezing temperatures of an El Paso winter evening.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.