It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (+ guest post)

Posted December 1, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, giveaway, historical, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2019, Michelle Griep, romance / 24 Comments


today’s book: once upon a dickens christmas by michelle griep

Christmas is only 24 days away according to Google (if we get to Dec 25th and we have days left over, blame Google, not me lol.), BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!

So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s next featured book is a set of 3 charming Christmas tales set in Victorian England + the author shares some unique Victorian Christmas traditions!

ONCE UPON A DICKENS CHRISTMAS
SERIES:
Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #1-3

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Shiloh Run Press

RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2019
PAGES: 448

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: 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.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

 

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3 Unique Victorian Christmas Traditions

by Michelle Griep, author of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Hankering for a merry olde English sort of Christmas this year? All Dickens and holly and ivy? Well, why not? Some of our best traditions come from the Victorian era, from Christmas trees to Christmas cards. But if you really want to be authentic this holiday season, here are three lesser known customs that you might want to incorporate.

Wassail

The best traditions always involve food, don’t they? Or drink, as the case may be. “Wassailing” is an Old English custom from Saxon times. The drink itself is a beverage that contains apples, ale, and spices. “Wassailing” was the practice of wandering around with an empty bowl, singing songs at people’s houses and expecting them to fill your bowl or cup with wassail in return. Before drinking one person would shout, “Wassail!” and the other would respond with, “Drinkhail!”

Christmas Crackers

I’m not talking about those little round crunchy things to slap some cheese on or dunk into some dip, though I do like those kinds, too. The kind of crackers I’m talking about are served after dinner but don’t go in your mouth. They are round tubes filled with a treat, a crown, and some sort of novelty, and when you open one with a partner, they make a loud snap. Here’s the history…

In the early 1850s, Tom Smith, a London confectioner, came up with a great marketing scheme. He started adding a printed motto to his sugared almond bon-bons and sold them in a twisted paper package. The story goes that he was inspired to add a “bang” when he heard the crackle of a log he’d just put on the hearth. So, he started making those twisted paper packages longer, kind of log shaped, and made it so each would produce a surprise “bang,” or a “crack” when it’s pulled apart, hence the name “Crackers.”

Later additions were tucking in a small gift, and in the early 1900’s a paper crown was added. Why a crown? Well, besides the fact that this took place in England, the idea is thought to have originated from Twelfth Night celebrations, when a king or queen was appointed to reign over the festivities.

Boxing Day

Don’t panic. This isn’t a punch-you-in-the-head kind of boxing, but more about actual boxes. This holiday is celebrated the day after Christmas Day. Tradesmen and servants would receive gifts from their masters, employers, or customers. These gifts would be boxed up, hence the name Boxing Day.

And guess what? It’s still celebrated today. But since most people don’t have servants to give gifts to, it’s commemorated in slightly different ways. Some people give to the less fortunate or spend the day volunteering. Both are great ideas. But honestly? Most Brits go shopping. Yes, you heard me right. Boxing Day has turned into a veritable “Black Friday” in England.

These three traditions and a whole host more are highlighted in story form in my latest release Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Here’s a short blurb for each tale in the collection…

12 Days a Bleakly Manor: 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.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

Victorian or not, take the time to enjoy the holiday season. A very merry Christmas to you and may God bless us, everyone!


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 www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Michelle Griep is offering one of my readers a signed, print copy of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What interests you most about Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep? Which of the 3 Victorian Christmas traditions mentioned in this post would you most like to do?

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24 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (+ guest post)

  1. Carl

    We always maintain the Christmas Crackers tradition. You’re not allowed at the dinner table without your crown.

  2. Faith Creech

    When we lived in Canal we celebrated Boxing Day. Also that’s my birthday! I also would love the tradition of wassail. Sounds so delicious! Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Caryl Kane

    I love the tradition of Boxing Day. It is a great way to show the love of Christ to others. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. Dianne Casey

    I like the Boxing Day traditions. Sounds like a great holiday read. Thanks for the chance. Happy Holidays!

  5. Becky D.

    I love learning about the history of Christmas traditions! Boxing Day & wassailing both sound the most interesting to me… I used to go caroling every year. Singing for a beverage… 🤔😊

  6. Connie Scruggs

    I love singing and spiced cider, so wassailing sounds fun. I like historical fiction, so I really want to read this book.

  7. Kay Garrett

    I’ve wanted to read “Once Upon a Dickens Christmas” since I first heard about it. Love anything to do with Dickens. It just screams Christmas to me. Like that it’s three stories – more to enjoy that way.

    Like the idea of the Boxing Day. It’s always good for the soul to do for others unselfishly and to do it not on the holiday makes it even better to me. Love to sing, but not good at it. I do love spiced cider though. 🙂

  8. Lisa Stillman

    Twelve Days at Bleakley Manor interests me because of the mystery. I like Boxing Day. Doing for others, especially those needing it most, makes me happy.

  9. Despite having several of Michelle’s books on my Kindle, I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. 😛 This one interests me because of the title and setting. I love Dickens’ A Christmas Carol!

  10. Vivian Furbay

    i’ve read some of Michelle’s book and she is a good author. Looking forward to reading this one.

  11. Nancy

    I am a Dickens fan (although I prefer A Tale of Two Cities). Also enjoyed reading George Orwell’s reviews of all his work. I believe Christmas (& all year long) should be about love for each other. As a person with Canadian heritage, I would love for Boxing Day (sharing our leftovers) to become a tradition here in the USA. Forgot to add in the Rafflecopter that I follow you on Facebook. Thanks for the chance.

  12. Pam Lunsford

    I love Learning about the history of Boxing Day and Wassailing. I’m sure there’s been a lot of laughter through the ages playing the Cracker game.

  13. Debra Branigan

    What interests you most about this Christmas read? It sounds lovely and I enjoy reading about this time period.
    Which of the 3 Victorian Christmas traditions Michelle talked about would you most like to do? We actually have fun every year with Christmas crackers which reminds me that I have to purchase them soon!

  14. My mother, who has passed, always had Victorian Christmas Crackers placed on the table at Christmas above our plates than after dinner we would go around each pulling and popping to find out who was a queen or got a shiny ring. So yes I agree just “Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season…” I would love to win and would so enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories. Thank you Michelle Griep for the happiness you give away through your stories.

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