Michelle Griep Speaks Up!

Michelle GRIEP


Everyone’s Story welcomes back popular Christian fiction author, Michelle Griep. Both Michelle’s  feature and BookGiveaway offered this week is in perfect time for the holiday season–I hope you’ll check them out and enjoy. Great ways to de-stress, for sure! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


**And exciting personal news to share: my novella, And You Came Along, is now available. Ho ho ho. Please check it out below Michelle’s feature.


Bleakly Manor COVER



Michelle is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 signed paperback edition of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. The winner will be announced Friday morning EST on December 8th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.


5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays by Michelle Griep

It’s that time of year. Shopping. Parties. Caroling, cooking, decorating, wrapping and—Ack! Stop the merry-go-round. I want to get off. How about you? Are you ready to stop the holiday madness? Do you even know how to stop the madness?

Choose rest.

No, seriously, choose rest. Pencil it down on your To Do list. Write it on your calendar. Every day, set aside fifteen minutes of absolute down time. I’m not talking sit down on your fanny and whip out your iPhone so you can check your email for a quarter hour. I’m saying put your feet up and unplug in a quiet room. Why?

Because creative people must have time to be mentally recharged.

Downtime is essential to the mental process. Rest is too important to leave to chance, and at this time of year, that chance is miniscule non-existent.

But I hear you. As an author, I’m under deadlines galore. Tossing in the holidays and extra expectations sometimes sucks every minute out of my schedule, leaving zero for me to do the very thing I’m advocating here. Never fear, my friends, for I’ve got a handy dandy list of ways you can rest even without closing your eyes or putting up your feet.


5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays

  1. Put on some music in the background.

Prudent choice is a must for this one. Play some serene music in the background, not hard-core Christmas jazz. Think peaceful piano or soothing saxophone. Even simply classical has a way of calming down stress.

  1. Drink water.

This sounds like a stupid, made-up way to relax. It’s not. Oftentimes your body rebels and ramps up the stress hormones because you are dehydrated. Fill that water bottle. Drink it down. You will feel better for it. And no, egg nog or pepper mochas do not count.

  1. Breathe.

Again, this seems like a no brainer, but sometimes it takes a conscious effort to do the things your body needs. Like breathing. Take a deep breath, then empty out your lungs. Repeat that 5 times.

  1. Stretch.

Loosening the muscles has a way of shaking off some of the tension of your crazy schedule. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this or even slap on any yoga pants. Just an overhead stretch or two will often do the trick.

  1. Walk it out.

When you’re running errands, skip the parking lot road rage. Take the farthest spot and walk to the store. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll be one less car fighting for a close parking space.

There you have it. Some very simple ways that are free to reduce your holiday stress. It’s essential you take care of your body this holiday season—because nobody else will. They’re too busy getting ready for Christmas.

Oh, and one more thing. The best way of all to reduce stress is to kick back with a great book, and have I got one for you . . .

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

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.

Michelle’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @MichelleGriep speaks up on: 5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays. #Writing (Tweet This)

Author @MichelleGriep shares what most #writers and #readers neglect during holiday season. (Tweet This)

Like #Historical #Inspy reads? Check out @MichelleGriep’s #BookGiveaway of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: 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.

Places to connect with Michelle:





Michelle and I look forward to your comments.



Jacey and Zander’s story, And You Came Along, is now out!!


Barnes & Noble




32 comments to Michelle Griep Speaks Up!

  • Those are some great tips to relaxing! Reading has also been found to be very relaxing.

  • This sounds like a book a would enjoy, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

  • Bonnie Roof

    Loved your post, Michelle – good ideas anyone should be able to follow – and would love to read 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. Such an interesting story line!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!! Elaine – hi, and thanks for hosting Michelle!!

  • Susanne

    Great advice! The book sounds like a great Christmas read. 🙂

  • Great advice! I usually have classical music playing in the background. And 12 Days at Bleakly Manor sounds great!

  • Marilyn R

    I enjoyed hearing Michelle Griep speak up after relaxing during the holidays, which is useful at any times. I’ve seen some great reviews for 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and definitely want to read this book this Christmas season. (maybe I’ll win a copy : ) Thank you for the giveaway, Michelle.

    Elaine, And You Came Along is a wonderful novella to read this Christmas season. I even recommend another story about Zander and Jacey. Have a blessed week.

  • KayM

    It is really hard to relax this time of year. I’m still not sure that I’m recovered from Thanksgiving–LOL! One way I relax is to try and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie each evening. This year I was able to send one of my granddaughters to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Black Friday to pick out hoodies for my grandchildren, so that saved me a big headache! (I generally get them all hoodies for Christmas–something they really like). I do the rest of my shopping online at my convenience, so that is more relaxing than going out to shop. Blessings, Michelle and Elaine, and Merry Christmas.

    • elaineadmin

      Maybe because I’ve worked retail for years, but shopping doesn’t even rate on my list of de-stressing… unless it’s a cute little gift shop or bookstore my husband and I stumble on during an outing. Hmm. Let me clarify: a bookstores is *always* relaxing no matter what time of the year!

      Always great to see you, Kay. And may you also have a blessed Christmas.

  • Janet Estridge

    I will be going Christmas shopping with my sister. She will be shopping and I’ll be sitting
    down with a cup of hot tea watching all the other people around me go crazy.

    • elaineadmin

      Make that a latte and that’s my type of shopping… throw in a few book lovers and that’s even better 😀 Thanks for visiting, Janet.

  • Yes!!! I love Hallmark Christmas movies!!!

  • Did we already have Thanksgiving? And is Christmas getting closer. Oh, my! Time? I don’t know where it goes, but I do not think it sticks around long enough. 🙂 My way of relaxing might be to go outside … get away from the house, carrying a camera, and seek out interesting things to take pictures of. It’s amazing … how many stories I can think of writing, when I look at pictures I take. There just isn’t enough time in the day!

    • elaineadmin

      Great suggestions, Karen… though a major drawback here in the NE is it’s deer-hunting season, which makes it awfully dangerous to take a walk in our rural area. I agree about the time escaping, though on a upbeat note that means we’re one day closer to spring. Like my optimism? 😊

  • I love the intrigue of spending time in an English manor for a handsome sum. Built-in mystery and suspense. Love it. Love English manors. Love Charles Dickens. I play classical music and love listening to it as well as Christmas hymns and songs. You forgot hot chocolate along with drinking water! And watching the marshmallows melt on top.

    I thought you’d be interested in the etymology of marshmallow as it has some interesting connections to your novel.

    marshmallow. Old English mersc-mealwe “kind of mallow plant (Althea officinalis) which grows near salt marshes;” from marsh + mallow. The confection (so called from 1877) originally was made from paste from the roots of this plant. The Greek word for the plant, althaea, is from althein “to heal.”

    • elaineadmin

      Ah, another classical music lover! Thanks for visiting with us today, Chris. And thanks for the history of marshmallows–I never knew they were around so long!

      Hope to see you again, and Merry Christmas.

  • Patty

    Some good tips there! I am pretty good about getting my sleep at night but don’t often stop to rest during the day.
    Drinking water is an easy thing most of us can do. I’m on my second 20 oz bottle of the day☺

  • elaineadmin

    I’m speaking for myself, but am pretty sure for my viewers too–based on the lovely comments left–I really enjoyed my guest, author Michelle Griep’s, appearance this week. Michelle, thanks for another wonderful and uplifting week!

    Thanks too for your BookGiveaway of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. And the winner of this novel is…

    Karen. Congratulations, Karen. Both Michelle and I will contact you via direct email.

    May you all be blessed with a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

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