Inspiration. . . You Never Know When it Will Strike
Today we offer a Guest post by Author Michelle Griep!
Some people listen to music to fire-up their muse. Others take a stroll out in God’s great creation. And what’s not inspiring about art masterpieces or great pieces of literature? These are all fantastic ways to spark free-thoughts and creativity.
But never underestimate the potential in a ratty old yellow-paged newspaper.
My recent trilogy about the Bow Street Runners all stemmed from a small advertisement I came across in an old London newspaper. It encouraged the public to send a note to the Bow Street magistrate as soon as any serious crime occurred so that a “set of brave fellows could immediately be dispatched in pursuit of villains.” That one short phrase opened a floodgate of questions in my mind . . . Who were those fellows? What made them brave? Why would they willingly pursue dangerous criminals?
And so was born The Bow Street Runner trilogy: Brentwood’s Ward, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, and The Noble Guardian.
The first story is set in the streets of Regency London, from the grit of the alleys to the sweep of a grand ballroom. The second story takes place in Dover. Why the change of scenery?
A few years ago I visited the famed white cliffs, and while I was hiking, I came across several caves. Smuggling used to be prevalent in that area and it got me to thinking . . . could one of the caverns I’d peeked into have been a hide-out for stolen goods? What kind of goods? Who would put them there? Those are the questions that spawned The Innkeeper’s Daughter.
On that same trip we headed back up to London and visited the famed Hounslow Heath. It’s not as vast and open as it used to be, but there’s still a fair amount of unoccupied wild land. The heath is famed for being the haunt of highwaymen. We ate dinner at The Spaniard’s Inn (a known hangout for those rascals) and ended up walking quite a ways back to our tube stop in the dark. It was a tad creepy—which of course got me to wondering . . . how scary would it be to get stopped and robbed? Would anyone protect us? How dangerous is this area? And that’s where The Noble Guardian was born.
So, a newspaper article, hiking a trail, and staying too late at a restaurant were my unlikely places of inspiration. Motivation really can happen anywhere. Just be sure to keep your eyes open and dare to raise questions.
Deb here: And we're very thankful for that newspaper article, Michelle! I have both of these stories in audiobook which means I can (and have) enjoyed them more than once...okay, more than twice!
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“I fell in love with Michelle Griep’s Bow Runner series from the very beginning. Having read Brentwood’s Ward at least four times, it’s nice to know that book three in the series, The Noble Guardian, releases in just a few weeks!”
Nicholas Brentwood is a member of the elite Bow Street Runners; a highly trained law enforcement agency for hire, who does not make enough money risking his life for others to provide adequate care for his beloved, terminally ill sister. When offered a lucrative bodyguard position, he accepts; albeit with extreme caution after discovering that others have turned it down.
Emily Payne is beautiful, stubborn, and spoiled; and the fact that her father has hired a personal guard before leaving England on a business trip, has her extremely vexed. Nicholas Brentwood is a formidable character and leaves little room for argument while he investigates potential dangers that hover just below the surface of her pampered lifestyle; even posing as Emily's "cousin"; accompanying her to highly touted social occasions, and joining her on multiple shopping excursions.
The depths of this book are extraordinary; characters who long to be cherished, friends who cannot be trusted, family members who have regrettably "sold their soul", heroes willing to face down evil in its worst form, displays of courage and honor and faithfulness that are remarkable, surrounded by a constant reminder of a God who embodies everlasting love. The cruelty of human nature is gentled by mesmerizing romance within the chapters of this story, which emerges with dignity and grace.
"Brentwood's Ward" is truly an astounding read!
THE INNKEEPER'S DAUGHTER:
"There is nothing more - nor less - than trusting God. Therein surrender, and you will find rest."
Innkeeper Johanna Langley is bone tired; tired of trying to make ends meet, tired of chasing down her errant brother, tired of carrying the burden of her family's livelihood on her young shoulders. The old dilapidated Blue Hedge Inn stands just one payment shy of foreclosure, which would send all three members of her family to the poorhouse, when Joanna literally falls into the arms of an handsome stranger on their doorstep; Alexander Morton needs lodging and he is eager to reward their hospitality with bright gold guineas.
Officer Alexander Moore, a celebrated Bow Street Runner, has just been handed the chance of a lifetime or a dreaded death sentence depending on the outcome; find the traitor and "ingratiate, eliminate, then extricate". If only it didn't involve gambling away his entire future at the cost of dimming the lustre in Joanna Langley's beautiful eyes. She's a rare beauty, but Alex has his orders, and they involve the daughter of a viscount, not an innkeeper.
Danger lurks around every corner in this alluring story, where everyone is exactly who they aren't and "broken things are always the beginning of better things". It's Michelle Griep at her very best!
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.
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ENTER REBECCA's GIVEAWAY of a paperback of BRENTWOOD'S WARD:
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