Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hannah Linder: Beneath His Silence

 By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: Beneath His Silence

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?


My Thoughts:

Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder combines a Jane Eyre type story with a mystery. When readers start the story, they will notice a number of similarities to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. An old house with a Lord who has rumors spread throughout the countryside about him. Even though the story is not a mirror image of the Jane Eyre plot, it does have some similarities, so the story does ring as not original. The plot does feature a mystery, and the story does move through the daily lives of each characters. While the plot does ring familiar, I wanted more explanation near the end of the mystery. What actually happened to Ella’s sister? Was the reasoning behind the person upstairs realistic? It was truly never explained either. I wanted more backstory on his story. As for the romance, it was awkward and weird at times. When Ella and Lord Sedgewick started to feel emotions toward each other, I, personally, did not buy it. The snide remarks that they have been sharing the whole story kind of kept their emotions at a distance. Overall, Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder was a nice try for a debut author, but I needed more backstory and information to make the story realistic and believable.

I received a complimentary copy of Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Purchase Beneath His Silence

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 winner, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). In way of career, 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, National, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and 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

More from Hannah

People always ask me what inspired a story. Where did I get the idea? Who was my inspiration? What true-life event motivated these characters into existence? 

And the truth is, I don’t know. I’ve never known. When I was younger, I’d look clueless and shrug my shoulders. A few years ago, I would have probably answered “people”—and maybe there’s truth in that. People do inspire me. The way they walk, the places they go, the things they do, the way they dress. 

But lately…well, I think it’s more than that. I don’t think it’s people so much as feelings. The nitty-gritty. The raw emotions, caught deep in someone’s chest, at the most pivotal points in their life.

Like the old man seated at a booth, alone in a restaurant, with his veiny hands cupping a mug of coffee. It’s not his shabby fedora that inspires me. Or the knotty cane leaned against his seat. Or the envelope stuffed into the pocket of his woolen overcoat. 

It’s the look on his face. The slow blinking, the red nose, the flash of moisture as he takes another sip of coffee. Why does he sit alone? Who left him? Who caused the tears? What emotions render that lost, helpless, longing expression—and how will he cope? 

If you would ask me what inspired Beneath His Silence, I probably wouldn’t have much of an answer. No concrete idea or moment would rush to remembrance. If anything, inspiration for Beneath His Silence was nothing more than a small thought. A feeling. 

I wanted to write about a girl who learned to love someone she hated. I wanted to explore every aspect. The poison of her hate. The weight it pressed into her heart. The process—slow, startling, and healing—that sucked out that poison and replaced it with something unexpected. Love.  

I guess that’s what I love about writing. Not the people. The characters. Not even the storylines and the plot twists and the fun settings.  

I love the emotion. That’s what inspires me. 

And if you find yourself in the pages of Beneath His Silence, I hope it will inspire you too.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

To Everything There Is A Season, November 29

Where Faith And Books Meet, November 30

Inklings and notions, November 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 30

Book Looks by Lisa, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Betti Mace, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Remembrancy, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 4

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 5

Rebecca Tews, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

Through the Fire Blogs, December 8

Holly’s Book Corner, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Bizwings Blog, December 9

Melissa’s Bookshelf, December 9

Pause for Tales, December 10

Cover Lover Book Review, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 11


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.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Amy Lynn Green: The Blackout Book Club


By Kelly Bridgewater

In 1942, an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn't be more different--a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.


My Thoughts:

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is an exciting viewpoint of a book club that meets during World War II. Green does a wonderful job at crafting a novel that takes readers through the normal life of the women and certain men who are left behind as they run the American factories and wives of the soldiers. It was nice to see her attention to detail as the story showed a different side to the warfront. The characters were handled nicely with many hurts as they adjusted to life during this time with Blackout curtains and not allowed to be out after a certain time. Even raising kids during this time was difficult. The plot is told through the eyes of the characters and the pages of the “minutes” of the Blackout Book Club as they form a bond that comes to the rescue near the climactic moment near the end of the novel. Overall, The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is definitely a different World War II story than what I am used to reading because it takes place stateside, which I liked a lot. A nice book to add to any World War II fans’ collection.

I received a complimentary copy of The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Blackout Book Club

Friday, November 25, 2022

Dream Jobs

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Do you work at your dream Job? What is your dream job?

When I was a little girl, I used to teach all the kids in the neighborhood during the summer. I enjoyed it. I loved seeing their eyes light up. I loved assigning homework, which they never completed and returned.

My mom was for sure that I was going to be a teacher. Nope. I did not.

I did teach College Level Writing classes when I attended Graduate school. Even won an award because I was nominated by one of my students because she loved me as a teacher.

But I did not pursue this career.

When I hit fifth grade, I wanted to be an astronaut.

Our school took a field trip to a planetarium, and we learned all the stories behind the constellations, and I was hooked. I wanted to spend more time in the stars.

I remember my Daddy taking a telescope and sitting outside with me at night and looking at the stars. Good memory.

I went to a Magnet middle school for Math and Science, so I could pursue this dream.

Once I hit my junior year, I knew that Science was not for me.

I enjoyed reading and writing my whole life, so I thought a journalist. I could write stories. I was on the newspaper my junior and senior year in high school.

But I did not like focusing on non-fiction stories.

I enjoyed fiction.

In college, I started to pursue the steps to becoming an Acquisitions Editor for a publishing company. I have the BS in English with a Minor in Creative Writing. I have a MA in Writing.

But no experience.

I would love to sit and read books all day. Yes, we should publish this one. No, we should not publish this one.

OR I would love to get my tail end into gear and actually compose tons of novels that I have written outlines for.

Are you working at your dream job? What is your dream job?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson: Dark Fall

By Kelly Bridgewater

When a remote Peruvian village is reduced to ash in seconds, the Shepherds face a horrific question: Is this the work of a man-made weapon of unthinkable power, or is God raining down judgment from above, as some believe?

As the recently installed leader of the Joshua Bravo team, Jedidiah Johnson shifts into covert operation mode to follow rumors of a new energy-based weapon able to incinerate a target—even a human target—with no warning. With the assistance of the CIA, Jed’s team deploys to Hong Kong to extract the Chinese scientist who helped develop the weapon.

What the Shepherds learn from Dr. Zhao confirms their worst fears: The weapon is real and has disappeared from the testing facility where it was held. With help from the Watchers, Jed discovers that Victor, the leader of the Dark Ones, has the weapon and intends to use it to wreak untold damage and destabilize the faith of millions. But as Jed and his team race the clock to find and disable the weapon, Victor begins to unfold secret plans for another attack . . .

And this target is much closer to home.


My Thoughts:

Dark Fall by Brian Andrew and Jeff Wilson follows the harrowing tale of the Shepherds who see the interaction with the demon world. While on a life saving mission, they are trying to find out what the weapon is and how to stop it before it destroys much of mankind. The action is definitely a moving target as the story progresses. My favorite part is the last thirty percent of the novel where the main climactic moment of the whole series come to a head. With plenty of action and movement, Wilson and Andrews will take readers on a ride through the demonic world and understand the overarching power of God and how he can defeat all of them. THe storyline was different, yet familiar to readers of spiritual darkness like Frank Peretti, but they allow soldiers who are trained in armed forces to deal with this type of evil. Overall, Dark Fall by Andrews and Wilson had enough action to keep this suspense loving reader actively involved, but it also forces me to wonder how deep my faith is. A great question to ponder.

I received a complimentary copy of Dark Fall by Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson through Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Dark Fall

Friday, November 18, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I pray you have a day filled with family, good food, and maybe some crazy board games, which is what our family does after eating and cleaning up.

If you do not have the family to spend time with because of family strife or you live too far away. I pray you find some friendly friends that will allow to crash their day and have a wonderful time.

Plenty of moments to make memories.

Plenty of good food!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Jenni L. Walsh: The Call of the Wrens

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Introducing the little-known story of the daring women who rode through war-torn Europe, carrying secrets on their shoulders . . .

An orphan who spent her youth without a true home, Marion Hoxton found in the Great War something other than destruction. She found a chance to belong. As a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service—the Wrens—Marion gained sisters. She found purpose in her work as a motorcycle dispatch rider, assigned to train and deliver carrier pigeons to the front line. And, despite the constant threat of danger, she and her childhood friend Eddie began to dream of a future together. Until the battle that changed everything.

Now, twenty years later, another war has broken out across Europe, calling Marion to return to the fight. Meanwhile, others, like twenty-year-old society girl Evelyn Fairchild, hear the call for the first time. For Evelyn, it’s a way to prove herself after a childhood fraught with surgeries and limitations from a disability. And with the re-formation of the Wrens as World War II rages, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a difference in the world at seventy miles per hour.

Told in alternating narratives that converge in a single life-changing moment, The Call of the Wrens is a vivid, emotional saga of love, secrets, resilience—and the knowledge that the future will always belong to the brave souls who fight for it.


My Thoughts:

The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh introduces readers to a world of brave women during World War II who rode motorcycles to deliver messages across and through enemy lines. Being an avid reader of World War II novels, I have never heard of motorcycle riders. Bicycle riders, yes, but not motorcycles. The first thirty percent of the novel was setting up understanding the two heroines and their lives before they are thrown in the dangers of the World Wars. At times, it seemed to be going nowhere. Walsh was leading up to the war, but it seemed a lot of time to spend in the backstory that could have been sprinkled later on in the actual story. Story felt realistic and unique, but it did drag for a while and not keep my attention for long. There was a romance in the past timeline, but I did not know if I liked it or not. Felt realistic enough to go with the story, but I did not care about their relationship at all. Walsh does a good job at crafting the novel. Her writing was nicely done, but I need more movement in my stories to capture my attention. Overall, The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh was a unique and different storyline, but the plot needed more action.

I received a complimentary copy of The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh from Harper Muse Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Call of the Wrens

Monday, November 14, 2022

Susan May Warren: Sundown

By Kelly Bridgewater

Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn't trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled--and smart--woman.

A few of her stories prove true--he's found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

But Colt's not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it'll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they've vowed to protect.

Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.


My Thoughts:

Sundown by Susan May Warren nicely ties up the three Kingston’s brothers’ trilogy. With plenty of action, drama, and romance, Warren does not leave her readers’ much room for breathing or taking a break. Sundown is the type of novel that needs to be read in one sitting.  Warren surprises the readers with some familiar characters from her previous novels. The romance does round out the story and help develop the characters deeper. Some of my favorite parts of Warren’s recent stories are the third-party character who speaks truth into the characters. The moments of truths dig deep into my heart as well as the characters. Makes me want to think about those words for a little bit longer. The setting and description are nicely handled. Readers will feel like they are in the places and can feel the cold air across their face as Warren details them. Overall, Sundown by Susan May Warren is thrilling way to end a series features three brothers. I recommend all fans of Warren’s writings to pick up this book.

I received a complimentary copy of Sundown by Susan May Warren from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Sundown

Friday, November 11, 2022

National Novel Writing Month

By Kelly Bridgewater

Every November, it is National Novel Writing Month.

This is a program that tries to help writers craft that novel that they have been wanting to write. There is a website that writers can join where they keep track of your daily word counts.

The goal is to complete 50,000 words during the month of November.

No, this is not an actual novel. Most 325 -350 page novels are actually anywhere from 90,000 plus words.

But this does help or can even bring fear to a budding author who has that novel that is dying to come out.

I have completed it twice, first time in 2013 and the second time in 2016. I have both times written 90,000 plus word novels in that month. It is good to sit down and force yourself to write every day, but there are days that it is really hard to write anything. The characters and the plot do not want to cooperate. I have struggled with putting the words down on the page.

The website does have sponsors that are willing to donate a little discount of their services or even free items if you actually complete the 50,000 word challenge by November 30th.

How about you? Have you ever done a challenge like this or even completed this National Novel Writing Month? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Hallee Bridgeman: Honor's Refuge

 By Kelly Bridgewater

When she was just five years old, Melissa Braxton watched her father take her mother's life. Separated from her sister, Lola, at that time, Melissa grew up with a strong desire to help those stuck in abusive relationships. It's why she became a family therapist and opened a domestic abuse shelter.

After losing a leg to a gunshot wound in the line of duty, Phil Osbourne has felt like a man without a purpose--until he hears Melissa's story and decides to use his Special Forces contacts to track down her missing sister. He knows what he discovers will break Melissa's heart. What he doesn't realize is that helping the women reunite will bring the cartel down on them like the Category 5 hurricane striking Miami.

Bruised yet not quite broken, Melissa and Phil battle the storm and the cartel, calling on strength they didn't know they had to escape death, save the innocent, and--just maybe--find healing in each other's arms.


My Thoughts:

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman was much better than the previous two books in this series. The plot still had a lot of down time, but there were moments thrown in where the readers were actually paying close attention to Melissa and Phil’s story as they tried to help one abused victim. The climactic moment near the end of the novel was a struggle for the characters, but it was nice to see Phil in action even though he has one less leg. Melissa is a brave woman who puts herself in the line of danger to help abused women to escape their abuse partners and learn how to move forward. Bridgeman does a good job at showing the guilt some of these women feel from their abusers. Of course, what romantic suspense novel would be without a touch of romance to the story. It was not overwhelming, but the happily-ever-after moment at the end of the novel was predictable and unoriginal. I wish romantic suspense novels would stop ending like that. Overall, Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman had more suspense with a touch of romance.

I received a complimentary copy of Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Honor’s Refuge

Monday, November 7, 2022

J'nell Ciesieskli: The Brilliance of Stars

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Amid the chaos of the Great War, two master assassins risk it all for love.

Washington DC, 1914. Ivy Olwen knows how to survive on the streets without two coins to rub together. But when she finds herself whisked into a secret society that seeks to maintain the balance of good and evil in the world, she can’t believe there’s more to life than just surviving. In the hallowed and historied halls of Talon, she learns European languages and ballroom dancing, as well as demolitions and sharpshooting—in short, everything a spy and assassin will need to survive in the field.

The first day Jack Vale meets Ivy, he knows she is not to be underestimated. The second day, he knows his heart will belong to no one else. Between sparring bouts and constellation gazing, Jack takes Ivy under his wing, and the two form a bond that soon turns to love.

While the rest of the world tumbles into war, the two embark on an official mission to take down a madman who has left a trail of blood and murder across Russia. Little do they know the unfathomable peril waiting in the wings of a chaotic Europe.

When Jack and Ivy are thrust into encounters each more terrifying than the last, Ivy must determine how far she will go to save the man she loves. Equal parts historical fiction and adventure novel, Ciesielski’s epic tale of espionage and romance will leave readers both enchanted and thrilled.


My Thoughts:

From the first chapter of The Brilliance of Stars by J’nell Ciesieskli, she introduces the readers to a world of spies and trouble. Right away, the story jumps into the action. There are plenty of backstory to develop Ivy’s character. Jack is just sprinkled in with a little bit of his backstory. Readers are given hints, but readers do not fully understand what his story is and why it is important to the development of his character. Whereas, Ivy has a deeply hurt background that helps motivate her movements in the story. The romance takes away the reader’s breath. Many moments of the heroine and hero jumping through the hoops to try to stop the overarching pending danger. Plenty of action when the climactic moments occur, but there are moments of taking a deep breath and watching the characters relax and plot their next movement. The story does end in a cliff-hanger, so who knows how long it will be until the next book. Definitely something that I have to keep on hand because I will probably have to read again before I read the next book in the series. Overall, The Brilliance of Stars by J’nell Ciesieskli started with a bang, then flipped to some training and background, but then it jumped back into the high tension moments. I think this was a nicely handled World War I spy novel, but I can not wait to read the next novel.

I received a complimentary copy of The Brilliance of Stars by J’nell Ciesieskli from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:   4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Brilliance of Stars

Friday, November 4, 2022

My Birthday Month

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I enjoy having a birthday in November.

Cooler weather.

(If you can’t tell yet, I really like the cold weather.)

Dreary skies. Sun gives me major headaches.

Maybe a light mist.



Putting up the Christmas decorations AFTER Thanksgiving.

Black Friday Shopping.

I do not shop on Thanksgiving.

Time to spend indoors with a good book.

Hot drinks.

Cozy clothes. Sweaters. Flannel pajamas pants. Slipper socks.

What about you? How is your birthday month? Do you like the month you were born in?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Hallee Bridgeman: Word of Honor

 By Kelly Bridgewater

FBI Special Agent Lynda Culter is investigating an ecoterrorist organization in the Alaskan wilderness when her partner is taken captive and murdered before her very eyes. The only person who can identify the key players, Lynda gets assigned to take part in a joint operation in Istanbul to take the organization down.

As a woman in a Muslim country, she'll find it much easier to move around undetected with a fake husband. Unfortunately for her, the man assigned to play the role is none other than US Army weapons specialist Bill Sanders--the man who crushed her heart into a million pieces back in college.

With a cargo bay's worth of hurt and baggage between them, these two consummate professionals must play their parts perfectly if they hope to stop those responsible for bombing oil pipelines, killing innocent civilians, and threatening to destabilize the oil markets. But love long buried has a way of resurfacing at the most inopportune times--and protecting Lynda has become Bill's primary focus.


My Thoughts:

Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman had an interesting concept and suspense right from the opening chapter. Readers will be delighted to see the innerworkings and the laying of the plans and how they were going to intercorporate these elements into their plan. The weapons used were interesting to follow also. While the characters were uncover, they were trying to capture the bad guys, but the plot featured a lot of planning and moving around behind the scenes. Not many bullets flying or running from their lives. They visited a mosque three times a day for prayer, noticed the participates, and then returned nicely to their hotel rooms. If the characters are in a foreign country, eventually, something should give them away. Enough to have them on a run as they try to sabotage and capture the villains. On the other hand, the romance is between a pair of people who were in a relationship ten years ago, and now must be in a relationship again. Questions unanswered and emotions rekindled. Overall, Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman was too slow for a romantic suspense for my taste. I need more action.

I received a complimentary copy of Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase Word of Honor