12 Days at Bleakly Manor #1
12 Days at Bleakly Manor #1  -     By: Michelle Griep
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12 Days at Bleakly Manor #1

Shiloh Run Press / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 168322258X
ISBN-13: 9781683222583
Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Publisher's Description

". . .a setting and plot that would make Agatha Christie herself sit up and take notice."
—RT Book Reviews

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.

Author Bio

Michelle Griep has 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.

Editorial Reviews

"A Victorian treasure filled with atmospheric mystery, humor, romance, unexpected twists, and quirky characters that would make Charles Dickens proud. Michelle Griep has penned a winner!"
—Julie Klassen, bestselling, award-winning author

"Hands down, the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time! With a plot reminiscent of a mystery dinner theater, the author gathers a cast of characters you will not soon forget into an English manor where murder, mayhem, and mystery ensue. Add in a speck of romance and a sprinkle of humor, and you have a masterpiece of literary entertainment."
 —MaryLu Tyndall, award-winner author of the Legacy of the King's Pirates series

"Fans of Victorian Era romance will swoon over 12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep. Her characters are mesmerizing, her writing flawless—a winning combination!"
—Elizabeth Ludwig, author of A Tempting Taste of Mystery

With an intriguing nod to Dickens’ Bleak House, plus a setting and plot that would make Agatha Christie herself sit up and take notice, Griep’s latest will be a hit with fans of Victorian mysteries. In this reverse-of-sorts And Then There Were None, the eccentric characters are layered with slowly revealed stories designed to keep readers’ minds whirling with the possibilities. A thread of romance runs throughout the story, accentuating but never overwhelming the plot. Best of all, perhaps, is the setting, which wraps readers in cozy warmth and simultaneously sends chills down their spines.

Product Reviews

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  1. stampincass
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Delightful Second-Chance Romance
    August 11, 2017
    stampincass
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher. Here is my honest review.

    I'm a sucker for a second-chance love story. This book follows Clara and Ben as they battle to overcome past hurts and bitterness. Several times, Clara asks: "Why God, why?" for various hardships and disappointments that she must face. This resonated with me since I think it's something we can all identify with in one way or another. Early on in the reading, as characters are introduced and the plot progresses, it felt like a cross between Clue (the boardgame) and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I felt sure that the master of Bleakly Manor would appear, but alas, Griep only gave a slight tease as to who he was. Overall I enjoyed this story very much; I love sweet Christmas romance stories and this one with a mix of intrigue was refreshing.
  2. Karen R
    WA
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great fun!
    August 5, 2017
    Karen R
    WA
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Wow, what a refreshingly unique tale of mystery and romance set over the holidays in 1850's, England! I enjoyed following this group of colorful characters through the Twelve Days of Christmas in the manor house, each with their own motivation for being there. A bit of other classic tales cleverly mixed in gave it an authentic flavor; one slice Dickens, Christie and a bit of Dumas. Lyrical, descriptive writing, with quotable lines added to the reading pleasure, plus some action. A choice between seeking revenge and holding onto bitterness, versus choosing to love and forgive, was a prominent theme.

    Recommend to readers who enjoy historical mystery and clean romance, with some faith.

    (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
  3. Vickie
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderful Victorian Era Mystery!
    July 27, 2017
    Vickie
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Clara Chapman was left at the altar by Benjamin Lane who seemed to disappear. Along with her family's fortune and that of the company Ben and her brother worked for. Impoverished and shunned by those she thought were friends, she has lived the past year with her sickly aunt. She receives an invitation to spend the Twelve Day celebration at Bleakly Manor. If she stays the entire time she will receive five hundreds pounds.

    Benjamin Lane was stopped on his way to the altar, arrested and tried without ever having seen the charges or who his accuser was before spending time in prison, branded and heading for transportation. On the eve before transportation he receives an envelope stating that if he remains at Bleakly Manor for the Twelve Day celebration he will receive his freedom. If he leaves, he will be shot for attempting to flee.

    Both arrive at Bleakly Manor and are shocked to see the other whom they feel betrayed by. They are joined by others who also have received invitations with a promise of reward should they remain the entire time. They are a strange lot that do not make for a comfortable house party. They never see the master of the house and have no clue who their host is. Accidents begin to whittle down those who are there. Who will be the last one there to win the promised prize?

    One of the quotes from the book that stood out is when Ben says "Sometimes all we have are questions." He shook his head. Lord knows he'd had his share of them while rotting in a gaol cell. "But there's really only one that matters." She blinked, an endearing little wrinkle bunching her nose. "What's that?" "Is God in control, or is He not?"

    This is a book about second chances for all the house guests that will reveal their true character.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the series. I received an advance copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
  4. Blue Jeans & Teacups
    California
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    *Wow! Game of Clue set in 1850 London*
    July 26, 2017
    Blue Jeans & Teacups
    California
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This story had so many twists and turns and really kept me guessing. It very much reminded me of the game of Clue with its quirky characters and mysterious manor. It kept me guessing all the way through. Each person had received an invitation to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas (Dec 25 to Jan 5). Each guest received a cryptic invitation and would win a gift important only to them IF they could last the entire time. Kindhearted Clara and honorable Benjamin each received invitations, not knowing the other had as well. Each had suffered much, and finding their way back to each other was unexpected for both, but because of their faith and buried love for one another, it was not as difficult as they would have imagined. The big reason for the mystery was not one I would have guessed AT ALL! What a fun and unique surprise. A favorite supporting character was Miss Scurry and her box of friends. She was a kind hearted elderly lady who just wanted companionship.

    I enjoyed this story very much, and the cover is gorgeous!

    To be released September 2017, Shiloh Run Press, 182 pages, 31 chapters

    I received an advance eCopy from NetGalley., in exchange for my honest opinion which I am privileged to provide, with no further compensation.

    SERIES: Once Upon A Dickens Christmas

    Book #2 A Tale of Two Hearts is expected in Fall 2018
  5. Magister
    Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A real page turner!
    July 8, 2017
    Magister
    Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Wow - I read this book in one day, because I just HAD to see what weird twist the next chapter held! This book is different from any fiction I've read recently. It touches on faith, romance, mystery, history - but the combination of these familiar ingredients turned into a dish I didn't expect.

    Though the characters have just been through the worst year of their lives, and the "12 days" referred to in the title are full of anxiety and danger, this dark tale still has some winsome moments and a satisfying ending. It was hard for me to really like any of the characters introduced after the first two chapters, but I found Ben and Clara intense and endearing. Together they try to figure out who has brought them to Bleakly Manor, and why. As Ben admits, they have more questions than answers. "But there's really only one (question) that matters...Is God in control, or is He not?" Pushing past temptations to fear or fold, their actions answer loudly, YES!

    Michelle Griep is a talented author whose books show that she cannot be limited to one genre. Her previous books have moved me to tears and to laughter. This one kept me puzzling right up to the final chapters...and looking forward to the next installment in this "Dickens Christmas" series.
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