I have to admit that I haven’t read either “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens or “Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie as mentioned by other reviewers but I enjoyed “12 Days at Bleakly Manor” nonetheless. And yes, I would like to read both of those books if only to understand their references here.
The gorgeous cover prepares the reader for a delightful Victorian Christmas adventure with just a hint of darkness inside but oh my, some of the characters and happenings were quite unexpected. It was such fun watching what transpired and anticipating what might happen next. Everything about this book was so clever and I loved the surprises at the end!
I cannot say more because I fear I might give everything away. Just take my word for it, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of “12 Days at Bleakly House” for your holiday reading. I warn you though that you might not want to wait that long to read it.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Barbour Books. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several novels by Roseanna M. White but “A Name Unknown” is absolutely the best one thus far. I honestly can’t imagine the next one being any better but if this author continues at this rate, anything is possible.
The story features two strong characters, both of whom are hiding secrets. Each of them also believes themselves to be unworthy of the other’s attention. I loved watching the healing that took place in their hearts as they got to know each other through their written notes and study of scripture. Plenty of drama, mystery, humor, and a special romance captured me from the beginning and didn’t let go until the very end. I loved the fact that neither Peter nor Rosemary were typical characters. The ironic fact that best-selling author Peter struggled with a stutter made him all the more endearing. And Rosemary’s attitudes and ideas formed by her unfortunate background were bound to come crashing down.
“A Name Unknown” is a wonderful story of changed hearts and unbiased love that was a joy to read. I hope you will take a chance on it too.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and Bethany House. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
She’s Out to Steal His Name. Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets–instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she’s offered the challenge of a lifetime–determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown–so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth–about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of nine novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
A Regency romance with a touch of suspense, “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” has everything I look for in a novel. This particular book contains an unexpected twist that made it even more enjoyable for me. Quite often the young lady has her future husband chosen by her parents despite her attraction to another man. Charlotte’s story does not play out quite as I supposed it would but that’s all I have to say about that. You must read this most excellent novel to find out for yourself.
I really did love this book. Although Charlotte was a bit immature and flighty at the beginning, she eventually began to grow in both maturity and spiritual understanding so I liked her character much better by the end. William was an excellent hero – quiet and somewhat brooding but with a heart for the Lord. It was also such fun to see how he handled others, especially Charlotte’s mother, so tactfully yet forcefully. It was also nice to see Nicholas and Lavinia taking a prominent role in the story.
Well written with a strong plot and realistic characters, this novel beautifully illustrates the real meaning of true love. A touching story that explores deep emotions, it is one that will take its place on my keeper shelf.
The second book in Carolyn Miller’s debut series, “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” reinforces my determination to read every book this author releases. I eagerly anticipate the release of her next novel, “The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey”.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Kregel Publications. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Her heart is her own–but her hand in marriage is another matter
Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.
William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte’s father’s pick, not the young lady’s own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return–and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte’s sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean, and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.Find out more about Carolyn at https://www.carolynmiller.org.
I have been hearing good things about Pepper Basham for awhile and have even purchase some of her books. Unfortunately my review calendar has not allowed much time for reading books not on it. I was excited to actually put “Just the Way You Are” on my calendar so I could see for myself what everyone was talking about. Just wow!
First of all, this author has an amazing gift with words. The dialogue was so natural and engaging. Characters were strongly defined with enough of both good traits and flaws to make them realistic. Of course at least one character exhibited quite a few more flaws than the others. I was captivated at the opening scene and didn’t want to put the book down until I finished it.
If you can imagine laugh-out-loud humor combined with sizzling romance and topped off with strong faith, that is what you get with “Just the Way You Are”. The book is filled with so many perfectly quotable lines that I would find it difficult to choose a favorite. I loved both Eisley and Wes. Eisley could be such a klutz but was always able to laugh at herself and move on. Wes turned out to be so different from what one would expect of a man in his position and it was easy to see why Eisley would fall for him despite her vow to avoid romance.
“Just the Way You Are” is a fun yet serious look at learning to see ourselves how God sees us and following His plans for our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed Basham’s pairing of two such opposite characters from opposite sides of the world. I look forward to another visit to Pleasant Gap. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grace salvage their unexpected romance?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.
GUEST POST FROM PEPPER BASHAM:
Thank you so much for featuring my newest novel, Just the Way You Are, on CelebrateLit. I am THRILLED to be a part of this and to share a story that is very dear to my heart.
Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.
Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?
Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?
(Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) J I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel J
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic J
Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.
How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.
And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?
Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.
April 6: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 6: cherylbbookblog
April 6: Fiction Aficionado
April 7: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
April 7: Smiling Book Reviews
April 7: Singing Librarian Books
April 8: Bookworm Mama
April 8: my site/autism mom
April 9: Quiet Quilter
April 9: Inklings and notions
April 10: Faithfully Bookish
April 10: Back Porch Reads
April 11: Robin’s Nest
April 11: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
April 12: Blogging With Carol
April 12: Just the Write Escape
April 13: Cordially Barbara
April 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 14: His Grace is Sufficient
April 14: A Greater Yes
April 15: Just Commonly
April 15: 100 Pages per Hour
April 16: Book by Book
April 16: A Baker’s Perspective
April 17: Splashes of Joy
April 17: Christian Bookaholic
April 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
April 18: Karen Sue Hadley
April 18: History Mystery & Faith
April 18: Through the Open Window
April 19: Henry Happens
April 19: Baker Kella
April 19: Daysong Reflections
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ?
A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3e0