Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Monday, November 6, 2023

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Garden of the Midnights by Hannah Linder


About the Book

Book: Garden of the Midnights

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release Date: October, 2023

Danger Lurks at Rosenleigh Manor

Enjoy another Gothic Style Regency from Hannah Linder.

The accidents are not a matter of chance. They are deliberate. As English gentleman William Kensley becomes aware of the danger at Rosenleigh, he pleads for truth from the only man he can trust—until that man is murdered.

As the secrets unfold into scandal, William’s world is tipped into destitution—leaving him penniless and alone. His only comfort is in the constant love of Isabella Gresham, but even that has been threatened. When a hidden foe arises from their acquaintances and imperils Isabella’s life, will William be the only one willing to rescue her? And even if he saves Isabella from her captors, will he still have to forsake her heart?


Click here to get your copy!

Review: While it did take me several chapters to get into this book, I find that it does have a gripping story. The main characters are likeable and atypical. While regency is not my favorite of my commonly read genres, I do enjoy a well-written foray into the genre, and that was what this was. Gripping and heartbreaking, while also humorous and warming. I will point out that for the second time in a row, this author went with the thought of her as a sister but then she's not trope and it is mildly concerning, but overall, a nice read.

I did receive a copy of this book to review, but all opinions are honestly my own.

About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.


More from Hannah

Sometimes, the things we say we’ll never do are exactly the things we find ourselves doing.

Back when I was still wearing two braids and walking around barefoot everywhere, I told myself I would never make a speech. Never. But by the time high school graduation came along, despite a thousand firm declarations that I wouldn’t, my mother shook her head. “I think you should do it,” she said—and because mothers are usually right, I did.

Granted, I read the speech off a folded sheet of copy paper because I was too nervous to face the crowd. And my knees were jelly. And I stood off-centered on the stage instead of behind the pulpit like anyone else.

But I did it.

For the rest of my life, I’ll look back and remember what it felt like. Standing on the stage, reading my heart, hearing the sniffles and glancing up to see tears glistening in the eyes of endless people I love.

That was special. Mother was right.

Want to know another thing I said I would never do? Re-write a novel. I’ve heard the stories all my life. The author second guesses their own ability and burns their manuscript. Then, years later, they rewrite the story that echoes through the ages as a classic. Or the novelist loses their entire document to a computer crash, so with a blank page and a blinking cursor, they start anew.

I never thought that was something I could do.

I never wanted to.

If I ever lost a novel or was prompted to start over, I would abandon ship and try for a different vessel. Anyway, that’s what I told myself.

Garden of the Midnights was the story I wrote many years ago when I was younger, when I knew less about manors and England and history. I made mistakes. I broke writing rules. I did too little research and too much overwriting…but it had my soul. Somehow, it was alive. The characters breathed. The tears in their pillow, the aches in their throat, became a part of who I was and what I felt.

This was the one. The story I loved most.

But the edits and the mistakes and the problems overwhelmed me. Like the fearful girl in braids who refused to make a speech, I wanted to throw in the towel and say with even more defiance, “I will never re-write a novel. Never.”

But Mother knew what was needed. She knew the story was too much a part of me to tuck away in some drawer, forgotten and dusty, unread by anyone. So she nodded her head and said, “I think you should do it.”

I didn’t want to.

I was afraid because it wasn’t easy.

But because mothers are usually right, I did. Now, Garden of the Midnights is ready. My heart is still tangled in all the words, all the twists, all the secrets—but this time more, because the book has yet another part of me. The part that was fearful. The part that was too close to quitting. The part that finished anyway.

For the rest of my life, I’ll look back and be thankful. When someone writes me a note that they enjoyed the book, or gets a whimsical tone to their voice when they talk about a scene, or looks up from the pages with tears shimmering in their eyes.

That will be special. Mother was right.


To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 28

Melissa’s Bookshelf, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, October 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 30

An Author’s Take, October 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Book Looks by Lisa, November 1

Alena Mentink, November 1

Connie’s History Classroom, November 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 3

Sylvan Musings, November 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 4 (Author Interview)

To Everything There Is A Season, November 4

Blogging With Carol, November 5

For Him and My Family, November 5

Betti Mace, November 6

Live.Love.Read., November 6 (YOU ARE HERE)

Wishful Endings, November 7

Cover Lover Book Review, November 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Holly’s Book Corner, November 8

Splashes of Joy, November 9

Labor Not in Vain, November 9

Pause for Tales, November 10

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Guest Post: Kirsten Fichter: Rumpelstiltskin Retellings We Need

Guys! It's one of our favorite guests to host here on the blog! Today is release day for the fabulous Kirsten Fichter and her new Rumpelstiltskin retelling, A Bit of Gold, and she has kindly agreed to stop by and share some love with us!

Amazon Link to Buy

Rumpelstiltskin Retellings We Need 

Rumpelstiltskin is a fairytale that is quickly amassing fans, probably more so than most fairytales. That has largely been due to the fact that we’ve had some great Rumpelstiltskin stories popping up over the years, and they’ve left quite an impact on both the reader and the viewer. But as many great retellings there are out there, we still have quite a few left that I would love to see come out. So, let’s get right into it, shall we?

Non-magical Fantasy. For me, personally, a fantasy book with no magic is the way to go. That’s what I write, and that’s how I wrote my own Rumpelstiltskin retelling – A Bit of Gold: A Rumpelstiltskin  Story. But mine is just one story in a non-magical setting. I would love to see how other authors tackle  this story and retell all of the important elements without magic.

Cyber Tech/Crime. Rumpelstiltskin can make gold. That much is fairly obvious, but maybe this time it isn’t actual gold. Maybe it’s digital gold. I’ll be honest, I don’t truly understand all that goes into things like Bitcoin, but I would love to see Rumpel go online. He’d probably wreck the internet faster than Ralph did. And make a fortune while doing do. Pun intended.

Historical. Honestly, historical retellings are some of my absolute favorites. Yes, they tend to be non- magical, but I love when people get to retell cool historical events from the POV of a fairytale. Rumpelstiltskin in Versailles, anyone? Or in the Aztec nation? Rumpel also seems to fit nicely into something Regency. I need them all, yes.

Dragon Fantasy. Please tell me you know where I’m going with this one. The gold is the key! Dragons are notorious for collecting and hoarding gold. If one were smart enough, he’d pluck up ‘ole Rumpelstiltskin himself to spin endless gold for his hoard. Imagine Rumpel in a dragon’s lair. OR… would it be better to have Rumpel turn into a dragon himself (a.l.a Eustance Clarence Scrubb) for his greedy, golden thoughts? Oh, it’d be glorious! Someone, please get on this right away!

Wild West. Two thoughts here concerning our titular character involved in the Gold Rush. Either  Rumpel is a miserly old geezer, looking to keep away from all society and quietly spin his gold in  peace. One wrong move, and BAM. Squatters are pouring in from everywhere, searching his land up  and down, right and left for this mysterious supply of gold. OR… Rumpel discovers his own gold mine  and uses his newfound wealth to trick townspeople into handing over things of value (like real estate)  in not-so-honest deals.

Family Comedy. So, that’s not exactly a genre, but I’m labeling it this because this idea can go into a TON of different sub-genres. We all know Rumpelstiltskin is after the queen’s baby, but what would happen if Rumpel actually GOT the baby? Would the queen fight to get her child back? Would Rumpel make a good foster father, or even consider adopting the baby? What if Rumpel won the baby accidentally, and is now strapped with looking after a child he hadn’t planned on? I need more Rumpel  vs. baby stories. The idea is pure GOLD. (The puns are strong with this post; sorry.)

What about you? What Rumpelstiltskin retellings do you need on your bookshelf? What did I miss? Let us know what your perfect Rumpelstiltskin retelling would be in the comments! 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Audiobook Review: When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other without any time passing. She has one conscious mind but two very different lives and bodies. 

In colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the royal governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives—and any hope of love—are put in jeopardy. 

Libby's life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing-room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about—women's suffrage—is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an undesirable English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe further complicates matters and forces her to make sacrifices she never imagined. On her 21st birthday, Libby must choose one path and forfeit the other forever—but how can she possibly choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

 I can't believe that it took me until this week to discover this series! It is phenomenal. Also, fair warning, there may or may not be spoilers ahead. I'm not sure how to write this review without spoilers. I'll try... To begin with, the narrator was absolutely perfect. I'm super picky about narrators, and I'd just as soon turn off an audiobook rather than listen to someone who makes me crazy. The story itself? I couldn't get away from it. I listened in my free time, during my lunch break, late at night, doing dishes. The story had a grip on me that I just can't explain. Usually, I don't care too much for Revolutionary War settings, but this one was just lovely. It may have been Mama that made it so great. Even I didn't know how I wanted to story to end. And Henry... oh, Henry. This is where it might contain spoilers so just skip the rest if you don't want to know why I love Henry and also how I feel about the ending. Seriously, though, I thought. I had one flash of a thought about halfway through, and then I dismissed it. It was ludicrous. Except that it wasn't. And I also am amazed that somehow I went from only loving 1774 to slowly wanting more and more of 1914. It was marvelous craftmanship there. I want you to know that the last two chapters, I lay abed sobbing through the whole bit. I couldn't stop. It may be one of the most touching stories I have read this year. (And yes, I already read book 2. It is also amazing, but will get it's own review later. And yes, I have also pre-ordered book 3.) Highly highly highly recommend to lovers of historical fiction. One of the best uses of a dual timeline that I have ever seen.