The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep on Tour with Celebrate Lit (Plus a Giveaway!)

About the Book

Book: The Noble Guardian

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June, 2019

A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure

The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal. . .money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Abigail (Abby) Gilbert hopes to one day marry “the love of her life.” She believes her chance is at hand when her cruel stepmother tosses her out, along with her maid, telling her to go to Sir Jonathan at Brakewell Hall. Even though her father arranged the marriage, Abby believed the marriage was one of love and not for money or convenience.

Captain Samuel Thatcher, requisitioned to protect travelers from highwaymen, doesn’t need to care for someone he initially believed to be an aristocratic, head in the clouds girl. However, circumstances dictate otherwise!

Griep integrates historical characters under a fictional umbrella, creating a suspenseful, hair-raising escapade for our hero and heroine. Also, she seamlessly blends her faith, illustrated through the main characters, into the story naturally and logically.

I enjoy all of Michelle Griep’s novels, and this one, like the others in the trilogy, along with her other books, didn’t disappoint!

The Bow Street Runners Trilogy concludes with The Noble Guardian.

I received the book from NetGalley through Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, 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 http://www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

More from Michelle

Highwaymen Aren’t All Glamorous

Highwaymen are often romanticized in historical romances, but the truth is these fella’s were generally not compassionate thieves at all. They were cutthroat robbers who sometimes killed. Here’s a brief history so that you’re in the know.

The term “highwayman” simply means a thief who steals—usually at gunpoint—from travelers on the road. Not all, but some of those attacks turned deadly, the robbers not wishing to leave anyone behind who could identify them. Others wore masks for the same purpose.

Long, deserted stretches of roads that were main thoroughfares were the particular favorite haunts of these men. Criminals would choose remote highways that supplied regular traffic going to and from major destinations, such as Hounslow Heath, about fifteen miles outside of London.

To combat these villains, in 1805 the Bow Street Horse Patrol was created. There were about sixty men hired to protect travelers on the principal roads within sixty miles of London. Most of the men had served previously in a cavalry regiment. Their most successful achievement was to rid Hounslow Heath of highwaymen.

And that’s where I got the idea for my hero, Samuel Thatcher, in The Noble Guardian. He’s a rough and tumble man who’s tired of life and the wickedness of man. Mostly he’s just biding his time until he retires—that is until he rescues Miss Abigail Gilbert from the clutches of one of the worst offenders of all…Shankhart Robbins.

Sound like an adventure? It is. Settle back with your own copy and see what it’s like to ride the rugged heath in a carriage, bounding along—until you hear the crack of a pistol.

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, June 8

The Power of Words, June 8

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 8

Inspiration Clothesline, June 9

With a Joyful Noise, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 9

Back Porch Reads, June 10

Among the Reads, June 10

Captive Dreams Window, June 10

Genesis 5020, June 11

Inklings and notions, June 11

Blogging With Carol, June 11

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 12

As He Leads is Joy, June 12

Connie’s History Classroom, June 12

Carpe Diem, June 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 13

Abba’s prayer Warrior Princess, June 13

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 14

Wishful Endings, June 14

Stories By Gina, June 14

Through the Fire Blogs, June 15

Just the Write Escape, June 15

Blossoms and Blessings, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

Hallie Reads, June 17

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 18

janicesbookreviews, June 18

Moments, June 18

Bigreadersite, June 19

Godly Book Reviews, June 19

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 20

Remembrancy, June 20

Daysong Reflections, June 20

A Reader’s Brain, June 20

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Pause for Tales, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Noble Guardian!!

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/e31b/the-noble-guardian-celebration-tour-giveaway

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A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer Hosted by Hoarding Books

First Line

Laurel swung her feet from the armrest of the sofa to the floor and sat up.

About the Book

For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.

Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.

Langdon Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Langdon meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents’s command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Langdon decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?

NOW, it’s YOUR Turn!!!

Grab the book you are currently reading, open to chapter one, and post the first sentence (or the second sentence) in the comments below.  Then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the First Line Friday pages this week. Just click on the FLF box below.

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Title: Flights of Fancy

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age

Release date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Click here to order your copy!

Can I just say, I LOVE Jen Turano’s books? I have always enjoyed historical and humorous fiction. When you mix those two together…well, you get a Jen Turano book!

Flights of Fancy is Turano’s newest book, the first in her American Heiresses series. True to her typical style, there are lots of laugh out loud moments garnered from the situation Isadora “Izzie” Delafield, American heiress, finds herself in. However, not everything is “hunky-dory” in her life.

Fleeing from a precarious situation involving a dastardly Duke her mother wants her to marry, Izzie finds herself at the Glory Manor. Glory Manor is home to a menagerie of animals and people, including cows and chickens that prefer the indoors and four adorable orphans.

Between the “normal” goings on at Glory Manor, there are undercurrents of menace, too. As the characters begin to learn more about each other, they also learn more about themselves and their purpose in life.

Flights of Fancy doesn’t have as much of the Gilded Age as most of Turano’s books have; nonetheless, it is still very enjoyable. She has a way of interweaving valuable life lessons and Biblical insights into her stories that leave you thinking about your own life.

I received the book from NetGalley and Celebrate Lit through Bethany House Publishers. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?

The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?

Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?

I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”

Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10

Among the Reads, January 10

Through the Fire, January 10

To Everything A Season, January 10

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 11

Southern Gal loves to Read, January 11

Back Porch ReadsJanuary 12

KarenSueHadleyJanuary 12

Godly Book Reviews, January 12

Daysong RefectionsJanuary 12

Livin Lit, January 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 13

The Becca Files, January 13

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Rebekah’s Quill, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15

Just the Write Escape, January 15

Stories By Gina, January 15

God’s Little Bookworm, January 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16

Splashes of JoyJanuary 16

Janices book reviews, January 16

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Maureen’s Musings, January 17

Bibliophile Reviews, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Baker Kella, January 18

Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Captive Dreams Window, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20

Life with the Tribe, January 20

Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21

Inspiration Clothesline, January 21

amandainpaJanuary 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Pause for Tales, January 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23

Live Love Read, January 23

A Rup Life, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Release Day for Robin Lee Hatcher’s New Book-Who I Am With You!!!

Congratulations to Robin Lee Hatcher!!!!

About the Book (Publisher’s Summary)

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead, she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. 

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

#RobinLeeHatcher #WhoIAmWithYou

Yesterday’s Christmas (A Season Passed Book 2) by A. M. Heath

Book Description:

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her mind reluctantly travels back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home …

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who had spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to crumble, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

Tour Schedule

Nov. 5: 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Spotlight

Nov. 6:
A. Kaylee Harrison @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Plus Interview!

Nov. 7:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings

Nov. 8: 
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

Nov. 9:
Debbie Curto @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Plus Interview!

Nov. 12: 
Deana Dick @ Texas Book-aholic

Nov. 13:
Robbie Pink @ Captive Dreams Window

Nov. 15:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Plus Interview!

Nov. 16:
Faith Blum @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Spotlight and Interview

Entry link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7851a9012/?

 

My Review

Have you ever read a book and felt like you just stepped right into the story and became a part of it, either as a fly on the wall or as one of the characters? That is how I felt when reading A. M. Heath’s Yesterday’s Christmas.

Loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, Yesterday’s Christmas is written with a dual timeline between 1954 and 1985.

Life in 1954 wasn’t without its hardships, but young love conquered all. I laughed so hard when Betty Marshall was stranded at Glenn Tanner’s house and was forced to make breakfast for him and his grandfather. I saw my Mom and Dad, newly married in 1953, when my Mom couldn’t even boil water without burning it (though for very different reasons than Betty). I cried when Betty and Glenn were in 1985. I thought of my parents again, still married, but facing a lot of problems.

Heath has packed a lot of story and Biblical wisdom in her newest book. How many times as a wife did you feel your husband neglected you for work, or sports or any of a myriad of other reasons; and how many times as a husband did you feel your wife didn’t appreciate or understand why you worked so hard or needed to decompress with TV, or sports or whatever.

Betty had slowly but surely let anger and bitterness take over her life. However, God had a wake-up call for her; she just needed to listen and remember…” The secret to happy marriage is this: It’s never the wrong time to dance with your beautiful bride.”

Yesterday’s Christmas is book two in A Season Passed Series, but it works very well as a standalone.

I received a copy of this book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Author Bio:

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

Author Links:

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Blog: https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AMHeathfanpage/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8302606.A_M_Heath

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aheath2257/?eq=a.m.&etslf=5672

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAMHeath

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts

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

If you love Dickensian stories without the heavy, ponderous themes, then you will love Michelle Griep’s newest book, A Tale of Two Hearts, the second book in her Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series. I enjoyed it as a follow-up to 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, the first book in the series. However, both of these books work very well as a stand-alone book.

Mina Scott decides to accept the offered opportunity to be the pretend bride of her dream husband, William Barlow, to secure William an inheritance and save his uncle. She hopes to capture William’s heart. However, she didn’t count on two devious, scheming cousins, nor did William.

Griep takes us on a fanciful journey through the streets of London and into the countryside, for an enchanting and charming tale of Victorian England. Her different characters vary between beguiling, charming and charismatic to deceitful, false-hearted and callous to the extreme. As you get to know the characters and their motivations, you catch yourself torn between applauding some and booing others.

I couldn’t help caring for Mina, and who can blame me, she loves books almost as much as I do! And I fell in love with Uncle Barlow; he is such a loveable person full of joie de vivre, plus he loves quoting Dickens and reading, too!

The story illustrates God’s love, forgiveness and redemption for all. A Tale of Two Hearts is an enchanting story that can be read at any time but is particularly appropriate for the Christmas season.

I received this book from CelebrateLit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

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 fruitcake.

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

Rebecca’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens-Book Highlight and Giveaway-Celebrate Lit Tour

About the Book

Book Title: Rebecca’s Legacy

Author: Betty Thomason Owens

Genre: Gentle Romance, 1950s Romance

Release date: August 2018

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?
Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?


About the Author

Betty Thomason Owens has been writing for almost thirty years. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. Her writing credits include Amelia’s Legacy and Carlotta’s Legacy, in the Legacy Series, Annabelle’s Ruth and Sutter’s Landing, in the southern historical Kinsman Redeemer Series. When she’s not writing, Owens is a part-time bookkeeper, who loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Guest Post from Betty

Amy Juliana Emerson’s birth occurred about halfway through book one of the Legacy series, Amelia’s Legacy. I knew even then—this girl was going to be special. She had inherited her father’s smile with a dimple in her cheek. Amy Julianna was destined to be a daddy’s girl.

In Book 3, Rebecca’s Legacy, Amy comes of age. It’s 1947, and she’s graduating high school—barely—her grades took a nosedive during her senior year. In typical teenage fashion, she chafes against her parents’ authority and decides that Amy knows best how Amy should live. Those of you who read Amelia’s Legacy may think that sounds familiar. Yes, she’s a lot like her mother.

Amy submits to Dad’s orders while she devises a plan for a complete break from the famous Emerson clan. One that will end with her freedom, once for all. Her plan might have succeeded, if it hadn’t been rudely interrupted by a—oh, wait, I can’t tell you that—it would spoil the story!

I love this book. I was captivated by its young heroine from the moment she began her self-motivational chanting that ends with, “be a queen.” She uses it to reset after a troubling circumstance. She also uses it when she needs to make the best possible first impression.

Matthew Wordsworth caught on right away. This girl is a princess who needs a “set-down”. And Matt has no doubt it will happen at some point.

Amy is an American princess, very much in the limelight. All of Springfield has witnessed her humiliation and near failure. Now, they watch as she submits to her dad’s authority. What will happen to this willful girl with the sullied reputation?

Amy is waiting for her chance to break free. She may be down, but don’t count her out. She may be on the wrong person’s radar in imminent trouble, but the Emersons have a backup plan.

I loved writing Amy’s story. She’s unpredictable and a bit of a firecracker, but she’s vulnerable, too. Her character surprised me at times. She had a goodness that worked its way to the top and finally won.

That’s one of my favorite things about writing by the seat of your pants—the unpredictability—it ignites my interest as I write, and keeps me moving ahead, even when I don’t know where the story will take me.

Gert’s Diner’s English Chess Pie*

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ butter, melted

1 cup chopped English walnuts

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Whipped cream (optional)

Combine sugars and flour in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and butter, beating well. Stir in nuts. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool slightly (best when served warm). Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

*Gert’s Diner is the fictional café where Matt and Amy stop for lunch en route to Perry’s Landing.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Remembrancy, August 12

Inklings and notions, August 13

Baker Kella, August 14

proud to be an autism mom, August 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 16

Reading is my Super Power, August 16 (Interview)

Janices book reviews, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 19

Carpe Diem, August 20

A Baker’s Perspective, August 21

Power of Words, August 22 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczak, August 23 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, August 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Betty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d0d7/rebecca-s-legacy-celebration-tour-giveaway

More Than Meets the Eye (A Patchwork Family Novel Book #1) by Karen Witemeyer

My Review

The prologue to Karen Witemeyer’s book, More Than Meets the Eye, more than makes you cry as it is so heart-wrenching!  You want to pick the three Hamilton children up, dust them off and bring them home with you to love!

We meet up with the Hamilton children again, after the prologue, 15 years later. They have managed to make a wonderful life for themselves in Pecan Gap, Texas. Zach, the eldest has managed to work hard, save money and provide well for his younger siblings. There are only a couple of problems; Evangeline is an outcast because of a condition called heterochromia, and Seth suffers from severe, sometimes life-threating, asthma. Oh, yea, they also have a stranger camping out right on their property line, too-what’s that all about?

I at once admired and was sometimes frustrated with Evangeline. Nothing seemed to get her down. She was spunky and quirky, but she also took some very foolish and fool-hardy chances.

The novel addresses many Biblical truths and lessons applicable to life. Characters struggled with their thoughts and emotions, causing you to identify with them easily.

I really have no complaints about this story. However, I feel a couple of plot elements were wrapped up a little too quickly and tidily. Overall, though, it was very good-I stayed up all night recently in order to finish it!! I couldn’t wait to see how it ended, and yet, I didn’t want it to end either!

I enjoyed this first book in A Patchwork Family Novel series very much. I was vested in the characters from the beginning. I admired their spunk and hard-working attitudes. I cried, laughed and rejoiced along with them and their friends.

I received the book from Bethany House Publishers and the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

The Captured Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower – Book 3 by Michelle Griep

My Review

I so enjoy historical fiction, and Michelle Griep’s book, The Captured Bride, captured my attention and didn’t let go!

Mercy Lytton is a scout and tracker for the government when she is tasked with ensuring she gets a traitor, Elias DuBois, to a nearby fort. Against her better judgment, she agrees to pose as his wife.

As I read the story, I was so engrossed in it, I didn’t even realize I had read through the night (granted I didn’t start until a little after midnight, but still…!)!!

As Matthew, a ranger and fellow scout, and Mercy set out on the journey to deliver Elias, I became completely engrossed in the setting. The journey, fraught with peril, left me breathless at times, and calmer at other times.

Many times, as Mercy sets out on her scouting expeditions, I could feel the ground beneath her feet, the wind stirring the tree limbs and the birds calling to each other as she listened intently in order to separate normal sounds from those made by man.

Exhilarating, alacrifying and at times breath-taking, The Captured Bride, is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction!

The Captured Bride is the third book in the Daughters of the Mayflower. However, it stands-alone as I didn’t even realize it was a sequel until I was writing the review.

The story also captured my imagination because I have Native American heritage, and cousins with the last name of DuBois.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

***********************Caution*********************

There are some scenes of violence.

Publisher’s Review

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. 

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt

My Review

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York is written by Amanda Barratt, a new to me author. The book is also her first full-length novel, as she’s only written novellas in the past.

I enjoyed learning about funambulism through Drew Dawson, a main character. I also liked Drew’s character and his devotion to his invalid sister, Hope, whom I also liked. I was pulling for them to be able to make a better life for themselves as I read the story.

I didn’t care much for Adele Linley, an English aristocrat looking for a wealthy husband in America to save her family’s home and land. She tended to rush into things headlong, heedless of the consequences. Her tendency to do this created a major catastrophe.

I didn’t care for most of the other characters in the novel. They were rude, snobby, self-centered and cared little for each other, even though many of them were related. I never grew to like Adele, either. Right about the time I may have started liking her, she did something so genuinely terrible, heart-breaking and life-changing for other characters that even though it worked out in the end, I still cared very little for her.

One minor character I really liked was the butler, Delany, who was from Texas. I liked how he stayed true to himself and to the Dawsons in their times of need (and I’m partial to anyone from Texas!).

One sign of a good book, I have heard said, is it brings out strong emotions within you. If this is true, then My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, fits the bill.

One note of caution. However, there are a few scenes of semi-graphic violence.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?