Friday, January 16, 2015

Author Michelle Griep discusses Coffeehouses and her new Regency, Brentwood's Ward! Giveaway!

Please welcome a VERY SPECIAL guest today, my good friend and outstanding author, Michelle Griep!! Some of you may remember Michelle because I'm always touting her praises. She's definitely at the top of my list of favorite authors.  And guess what? She has a new release out this month! It's a regency/detective/romance/mystery/incredible story that you won't want to miss!!  

But first, Michelle has some interesting information on CoffeeHouses and History! 

Coffeehouses: Nothing New Under the Sun

Guest post by Michelle Griep

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee. And that’s pretty close.”

Hipsters may think they’re trendy by hanging out at the local coffee house, but nursing a cup of java while discussing the politics of the day has been around a long, long time. In England, this dates back to the seventeenth century. Surprise! Who’d have thought those proper tea-drinking Brits even knew what coffee was?

Here are a few fun facts:

  • First coffee house opened in Oxford, 1650.
  • In the 17th and 18th century, there were more coffee houses in London than today.
  • A mug o’ joe cost a penny, which was a great price because you also gained an education. It was said that a man could “pick up more useful knowledge than by applying himself to his books for a whole month.” Hence the nickname: Penny Universities.
  • English coffee houses started the custom of tipping servers. Patrons who wanted good service and better seating would put some money into a tin labeled “To Insure Prompt Service (TIPS).

 In my Regency era historical, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, I highlight the coffee house phenomenon by setting a scene at The Chapter Coffee House. Women of the times didn’t usually frequent such establishments, but this historical venue is a little different. It was a known haunt of booksellers, writers, and literature hounds. Even Charlotte Brontë visited on occasion.

And just in case you’re wondering if historical coffee would taste the same as today’s brews, here’s a recipe so you can try it yourself:

Coffee ~ A Regency Recipe

Put 2 oz. of fresh-ground quality coffee into a coffeepot. If you must take your coffee extremely strong, use 3 oz. Then pour 8 coffee-cups worth of boiling water atop. Let it rest for 6 minutes. Then add in 2 or 3 isinglass-chips and pour one large spoonful of boiling water on top. Set the pot by the fire to keep it hot for 10 more minutes, and you will have coffee of a supreme transparency.

Serve with fine cream and either fine sugar as well, or pounded sugar-candy.

Whether you love coffee, or love to hate coffee, there’s no denying its deeply imbedded in societies all around the world, present and past. And if you’re looking for a great read to go along with your mug o’ joe, here’s a blurb for BRENTWOOD’S WARD . . .

Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine booksellers.



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.

Follow her adventures at her blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit, and don’t forget the usual haunts of Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Isn't she adorable?  

Anyway, Michelle is willing to give away a copy of Brentwood's Ward to one lucky winner! (Ebook anywhere and paperback only in the US)  So please leave a comment for Michelle with your email address and I'll draw a winner next Friday. 



  1. Thanks for hosting me, my friend. And best of luck to you, readers!

  2. Hi, MaryLu!!

    Yes, Michelle is adorable - love her pic!! I would also love to read "Brentwood's Ward"!! Noela's review of it on OWG earlier this week whet my appetite and desire to discover those mysteries and secrets surrounding Emily. Loved the interesting info on coffee, Michelle - although, my beverage of choice - while reading your novel - will be tea or hot chocolate, lol.

    Love, hugs and prayers - MaryLu!!

    Shared post!!

    1. No problemo on the java . . . I love tea as well!

  3. Hey Michelle! Fancy seeing you here! Of course, you know that I LOVED Brentwood's Ward....perhaps your best book to date.
    Yes, MaryLu, she is adorable and she has the best (if not weirdest) sense of humor. I love coffee, but I am not willing to go that far to make a cup.
    Anyone who has yet to read Brentwood's Ward is in for a treat and lots of intrigue. I truly loved this book. Put me in your drawing, please....I only have the Netgalley version and would love a signed copy.
    God bless and hugs to you both!

    1. HAHAHAHA! My kids tell me daily that I'm weird, so I'll take that as a compliment!

  4. Friday 16th,
    "Hello, MaryLu and welcome Michelle" !!!
    I have read some of your novels Michelle, and enjoyed them thoroughly ! Now, even though I am not a 'coffee-drinker' (well, not unless you count French Vanilla Cappacinos) ... I found the history interesting.
    Your newest book "Brentwood's Ward" sounds intriguing, for sure, and I'd love to win it.
    Now even though I am a Cndn resident, I do have a U.S. Postal Stn address, as I would love a copy of the novel itself.
    Thanks for being with us today, and to MaryLu for hosting.
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

    1. You bet french vanilla cappucinno counts as coffee! YUM!

  5. Hello Ladies! I agree there is nothing better than a good strong cuppa coffee & a book that is a
    'regency/detective/romance/mystery AND an incredible story' .... I agree with MaryLu !!
    This is definitely a book I want to read...
    dkstevensneAToutlook DoTCoM

  6. What interesting information about coffee houses. I am really looking forward to reading your new book Michelle. Thanks for the giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

  7. LOVED the fun facts about coffee! LOL! and the T.I.P.S fact is great! :D Thanks for the chance to win!

    Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced:

    1. Oops for got my email addy!


    2. Yeah, that whole TIPS thing was an interesting tidbit, eh?

    3. Especially for what it stands for. I always wondered why it was called tips! LOL! Makes me feel bad for those that couldn't afford to tip well! :D

  8. I'm not a coffee drinker but did find this information interesting. I certainly didn't know there were coffee houses in England in the 1700s. I think Michelle's book sounds intriguing; I'd love to win it. Thanks for giving a copy away.


    1. It's ok that you don't like coffee . . . my husband doesn't either and I still keep him around.

  9. Michelle, I'd take that coffee any day! I'm so thrilled for your new release. I'm always telling people about A Heart Deceived and the themes of mental illness tackled in it.

    Thanks for sharing this MaryLu. Here are two wonderful people in the same place. Yay!

  10. Hello Michelle. Enjoyed hearing about the coffee houses. Coffee is still a big seller. I used to drink a lot but like it real weak so was too strong everywhere I went. But before losing my husband 17 years ago, I just got where I didn't enjoy it anymore. In earlier years we had coffee all day. Thanks MaryLu for hosting Michelle. I would love to win her book.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  11. Oh, I've been interested in this book and I'd love to win it :)

    I'm not a coffee drinker, but my family is and I admit I love the smell of it :D


    1. No worries. My husband isn't a coffee drinker either but I still keep him around.

  12. Like Hayden, I love the smell of coffee but I don't drink it.

    This novel is definitely on my to-read list.


    1. Mmm! It DOES smell fantastic! Especially in the morning.

  13. Ah, ha! So that's what where "tips" came from? Fascinating! I'm one of those coffee drinkers that can only do it with lots of chocolate, cream, sugar, and other additives (yum, whipped frappes)! I'm an uncommon grad student, I guess, LOL. I love tea though!

    Thanks for the chance to win --I love the cover ... Emily's dress looks quite similar to one that my classmate from theater costume design created! =)

    1. Whoops, continuing the trend of forgetting to add you email! jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

    2. I had nothing to do with the cover but wish I did! And super wish I owned a dress like that!

  14. Aha! Now I know more about this book and that it's highly recommended! Amazon has it as probably the top recommendation for me, but I'd never read one of this author's books. It sounds so cool! I would love love love to win it :). I'm an occasional coffee drinker when the need arises and tea just isn't cutting it, but mostly I drink tea. Thanks for the giveaway!
    genuinegagirl (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Good luck! Fun fact: my daughter's name is Callie.

  15. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but do love a good Frappuccino! I really enjoyed A Heart Deceived and would love to win Michelle's newest relaease.


  16. Hi, Michelle and MaryLu! What an intriguing post and an interesting piece of trivia about Charlotte Bronte. I don't care for coffee, but love the smell of it brewing. Crazy, I know. I would love to win a copy of Brentwood's Ward! Thx for the opportunity!