Friday, December 29, 2023

Favorite Stories of 2023

 By Kelly Bridgewater

One of my favorite posts of the year. I read over 120 books this year, and I love to sit back and share my favorite books of the year with my followers. 

Without further ado, here are my favorite books this year (Covers come from Goodreads unless noted.)

The Looking Glass Illusion by Sara Ella

The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson

The Glass Slipper by Michele Israel Harper

Man of Shadow and Mist by Michelle Griep

In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer

Lost in Wonderland by Tabitha Bouldin

What about you? Have you read any of these books? What were your favorite reads this year?

Monday, December 25, 2023

Renee Ryan: The Paris Housekeeper

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Paris, 1940

German tanks rumble through the streets of Paris, forcing frightened citizens to flee. But not everyone has the luxury to leave. Camille Lacroix, a chambermaid at the world-famous Hôtel Ritz, must stay to support her family back home in Brittany. Desperate to earn money, Camille also acts as a lady’s maid for longtime guest Vivian Miller, a glamorous American widow—and a Nazi sympathizer.

Despite her distrust of the woman, Camille turns to Vivian when her friend and fellow hotel maid Rachel Berman needs help getting out of Paris. It’s then that Camille discovers that Vivian is not what she seems… The American has been using her wealth and connections to secretly obtain travel papers for Jewish refugees.

While hiding Rachel in an underground bunker under a Nazi’s nose, a daring escape plan is hatched. But as the net grows tighter, and the Germans more ruthless, Camille’s courage will be tested to the extreme…


My Thoughts:

The Paris Housekeeper by Renee Ryan is a dark look into the world of the Nazi's and their control over everyone during World War II. The story is told from three point of views. A Jewish girl, a French girl, and a wealthy American. The story starts in the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France. Ryan did not shy away from the abuse and horror that was given and taken by the American. The plot is disturbing, horrific, yet informative of the realities of World War II. Definitely a plot that captured my attention and did not let go. It was different and unique from all the World War II stories that I have read. Each of the heroines were brave and fought against the injustice done to them. Each of them put their own comfort on the lines to save someone else. A concept that is rarely heard of anymore. Everytime I read stories that show the horror that people did to others during this time period, it always makes me cringe and wonder what I would do. With the way that the American economy is going, I might find out sooner than later. Sadly to admit. Overall, The Paris Housekeeper by Renee Ryan is an informative tale of horror and bravery during World War II Paris, France. I really enjoyed this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of The Paris Housekeeper by Renee Ryan from Love Inspired Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Paris Housekeeper

Friday, December 22, 2023

Most Anticipated Suspense for Spring 2024

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Most Anticipated Suspense Novels being published during the Spring of 2024. 

All Images Come from Goodreads

Fragile Designs by Collen Coble

Cold Threat by Nancy Mehl

Double Take by Lynette Eason

Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley

One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey

One Last Shot by Susan May Warren

Fatal Domain by Steven James

One Final Target by Janice Cantore

What about you? I'm always on the lookout for a new Suspense book. Please leave any suggestions below. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Candice Sue Patterson: When the Waters Came

By Kelly Bridgewater

An act of greed or an act of God?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Pastor Montgomery Childs has tended his flock in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for two years. While his pews are full every Sunday, he most desires to see a reckoning between God and the kings of industry who recreate on Lake Conemaugh. The pleasure grounds, flowing alcohol, and business dealings of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club taunts Monty as he works to heal the wounds inflicted from his own privileged childhood among Pittsburgh society. Like Noah, Monty prays against the evil surrounding him, but he never expects God to send a flood.

It takes five days for the Red Cross to respond to the Johnstown flood disaster, but when it does, Annamae Worthington is ready to help. Apprenticing under Clara Barton has prepared her for the job, but nothing can prepare her for the death and destruction that awaits. As if the survivors haven’t suffered enough, typhoid fever ravages the town, resurfacing suppressed emotions regarding her father’s death.

Narrowly surviving the flood and the horrifying things he’s witnessed, Monty’s faith is floundering. Then a Red Cross nurse puts him to work helping with the typhoid fever victims arriving at the hospital tents every hour. Monty and Annamae work together distributing disinfectants and supplies, housing orphans, and serving those left behind. Slowly, his faith resurfaces. A kinship forms between them neither can ignore. But when an investigation into the collapsed dam points to the South Fork Hunting and Fishing Club, secrets emerge that may tear them apart.


My Thoughts:

When the Waters Came by Candice Sue Patterson showed one of America’s horrors stories of how a small American town was destroyed either by man’s negligence or an act of nature. Patterson’s story does start with the flood occurring, but then the rest of the story focuses on the clean up of the town. Of course, the story features a romance between the minister and the Red Cross nurse from Washington D. C. As the town builds back into some form of normalcy, the characters; journey for love mirrors the town’s transformation. As a lover of suspense novels, I could not wait to see the error mentioned on human’s behalf to come to justice. The story kept propelling in that direction, and it kept me glued to see what would come of this ending. On the other hand, the setting is detailed enough that I kept watching the town come back to life. It was nice to see the remaining town people come together to work on rebuilding their personal and town lives. Overall, When the Waters Came by Candice Sue Patterson showed a horrible part of American’s history, but also showed the determination of the American people to bring this town back to its humble standing.

I received a complimentary copy of When the Waters Came by Candice Sue Patterson from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:   4 out of 5 stars

Purchase When the Waters Came 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Most Anticipated Historical Romance Spring 2024

By Kelly Bridgewater

The title says it all.

Here are the Most Anticipated Historical Romances for Spring 2024: (All Images come from Goodreads.)

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin

While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden

If the Boot Fits by Karen Witemeyer

Set in Stone by Kimberely Woodhouse (From Amazon)

Elusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano

The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep (From Amazon)

All My Secrets by Lynn Austin

What about you? Know of any other books that I should add to this list.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Tea Cooper: The Butterfly Collector

By Kelly Bridgewater


A botanical illustration of a butterfly, a missing baby, and a twisty mystery fifty years in the making.

1868, Morpeth. Theodora Breckenridge, still in mourning after the loss of her parents and brother at sea, is more interested in working quietly on her art at the family’s country estate than she is in finding a husband in Sydney society, even if her elder sister Florence has other ideas. Theodora seeks to emulate prestigious nature illustrators, the Scott sisters, who lived nearby. She cannot believe her luck when she discovers a butterfly never before seen in Australia. With the help of her maid Clarrie and her beautiful drawings, Theodora is poised to make a scientific discovery that will put her name on the map. Then Clarrie’s newborn son goes missing and everything changes.

1922, Sydney. When would-be journalist Verity Binks is sent an anonymous parcel containing a spectacular butterfly costume along with an invitation to the Sydney Artists Masquerade Ball the same day she loses her job at The Arrow, she is both baffled and determined to attend. Her late grandfather, Sid, an esteemed newspaperman, would expect no less of her. At the ball, she lands a juicy commission to write the history of the Treadwell Foundation, an institution that supports disgraced young women and their babies. As she begins to dig, her research quickly leads her to an increasingly dark and complex mystery—a mystery fifty years in the making. Can she solve it? And will anyone believe her if she does?


My Thoughts:

The Butterfly Collector by Tea Cooper is a unique story set in Australia. With a fifty year old mystery involving a missing baby and monarch butterflies, Cooper crafted a different story with a twist. I enjoyed the parts of the mystery when the heroine, Verity tried to piece together the pieces to figure out why the butterfly painting looked familiar. Even though the setting is unfamiliar to most American readers, Cooper makes the setting familiar, yet mystic at the same time. The characters are deeply developed with hurts and familiar lifestyles. Surprisingly, something so small as a butterfly could craft an entire story that shows the hurts and betrayals done by certain people that has a butterfly effect fifty years later in a different part of the continent. Overall, The Butterfly Collector by Tea Cooper was nice to read and captured my attention. Just like all the other Cooper stories that I have read, this one was nicely written and handled. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Butterfly Collector by Tea Cooper from Harper Muse Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Butterfly Collector

Friday, December 8, 2023

Top 5 Books to Give as Gifts

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Usually for Christmas, I hunt sales at Thriftbooks, Amazon, or Christianbook and then gift myself the books that I want to read. There is usually a stack under that tree that I tie a bow around, but I don’t spend the time wrapping since I already know what the books are, and they are for me.

Today, I want to share 5 favorite books that I love. (Images and Synopsis come from Goodreads.)

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Heiress by Susan May Warren

The Knight by Steven James

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright


Don't forget to read and purchase books just in time for Christmas! 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Julie Klassen: A Winter by the Sea

By Kelly Bridgewater

Royalty comes to Sidmouth, bringing unexpected danger and the sweet possibility of romance. . . .

When the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their daughter--the future Queen Victoria--rent neighboring Woolbrook Cottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon to host three of the royal family's male staff in their seaside house. But they soon realize they've invited secrets and intrigue into their home.

Meanwhile, Emily Summers longs to become an author. A local publisher offers to consider her novel if she will first write a Sidmouth guidebook for him. Emily agrees and begins researching the area with help from the Duke of Kent's handsome private secretary. But a surprise visitor from her past shows up at Sea View, leaving Emily torn between the desires she's long held dear and her budding dreams for the future.

Return to the Devonshire coast with the Summers sisters, where loyalties are tested, secrets come to light, and new love emerges.


My Thoughts:

A Winter by the Sea by Julie Klassen features Emily and Sara. I really enjoyed the beginning of the story when it showed the Christmas celebration at Seaview. It was sweet, reminding me a lot of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. As a budding writer, I can empathize with Emily as she wants to make her name known through her writings, but it takes a little bit of practice and time. As for her, it would definitely be harder to be recognized because she is a woman. As for the character of Emily, she is sweet, caring, and looking for love. If the first novel, she wanted Charles Parker to come back, but this time when he does come back, she has grown and matured. Having the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their daughter stay next door created a little intrigue and eccentric characters who were lower staff stay at Seaview. Of course, what Regency novel does not feature romance between the characters. Klassen slowly introduced the trail of emotions as the characters dived into each individual life and learn to love each other slowly. Overall, A Winter by the Sea continues a nicely crafted family saga; however, there were moments in reading that I could not wait to come across some further action.

I received a complimentary copy of A Winter by the Sea by Julie Klassen from Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:   3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Winter by the Sea

Friday, December 1, 2023

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Bookworms

 By Kelly Bridgewater

At least for me.

I love receiving gifts that nurture my writing and reading soul. The only way I receive them though is to buy them for myself.

But  . . . I do enjoy receiving them.

Here is a lists of some of my favorite gift ideas:

Pilot G-2 gel pens: These write so smooth and crisp. I enjoy writing in my planner or in my notebook ideas with these pens. Do you have a favorite pen that you gravitate toward?

College Ruled Journals or Legal pads: All of my journals and writing paper need to be college ruled. It is hard to find because most companies want to print their novels in wide-ruled, which I hate. I become excited when I see a college rule legal pad or journal. This is why I purchase about 20 college ruled spiral bound notebooks when the school year starts because I can use those for my writing. Plus, they are about 10 cents apiece.

If able to, a gift to a reading retreat. Baker Book House has one in May and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) has one in September.  A nice three day weekend with other readers and the authors you enjoy spending time in one place. It is nice to get away and hang with other like-minded readers.

Free time: This is hard for mothers and possibly fathers who have little children still at home, but if the other spouse can allow the writer or reader some alone time to read or write their novels. Free time to think creatively is a HUGE bonus.

Gift cards: I LOVE this one. Give me an Amazon gift card. As an avid reader, I love to download free books to my Kindle Paperwhite, so I am excited when I can store e-giftcards to my Amazon account, so when a book I want goes on sale, I can purchase it without remorse. Starbucks giftcard. Some people live on Starbucks coffee. I, personally, can’t stand their coffee. $6 for a coffee that is nasty. That is highway robbery in the modern era. Not even a status symbol. Shows you have no brains.

What about you? What do you wish was under the tree for Christmas?


Monday, November 27, 2023

Susie Finkbeiner: The All-American

By Kelly Bridgewater

Two sisters discover how much good there is in the world--even in the hardest of circumstances

It is 1952, and nearly all the girls 16-year-old Bertha Harding knows dream of getting married, keeping house, and raising children in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Bertha dreams of baseball. She reads every story in the sports section, she plays ball with the neighborhood boys--she even writes letters to the pitcher for the Workington Sweet Peas, part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

When Bertha's father is accused of being part of the Communist Party by the House Un-American Activities Committee, life comes crashing down on them. Disgraced and shunned, the Hardings move to a small town to start over where the only one who knows them is shy Uncle Matthew. But dreams are hard to kill, and when Bertha gets a chance to try out for the Workington Sweet Peas, she packs her bags for an adventure she'll never forget.

Join award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner for a summer of chasing down your dreams and discovering the place you truly belong.


My Thoughts:

The All- American by Susie Finkbeiner captured all the feels of a 1950’s family with two little women who are working toward their dreams and their family life. As a reader, I enjoyed how realistic the young girls are. Finkbeiner did a wonderful job at creating the fear from the threat of Communism and how it affected both girls. The plot brought back memories of being the tomboy who wanted to play hockey since I was eleven years old. Of course, I live in a place where hockey is not played, so no luck. Whereas Bertha works really hard to see her dreams of playing for the Sweet Peas become a reality. On the other hand, I empathized with Flossie who has her nose in a book all the time. I was that little girl too. Touch of a teenage romance. Not swoony or takes over the whole story. Finkbeiner did a wonderful job at showing the budding feelings but keeping it low key. Overall, The All-American is a wonderful coming of age novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. A good novel to recommend for young ladies in today’s culture.

I received a complimentary copy of The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The All-American

Friday, November 24, 2023


By Kelly Bridgewater

Hopefully, every company in America has decided to remove the request for weekly testing or the requirement for the Covid “vaccine”.

It is not legal or constitutional.

My medical history has nothing to do with what my skills are needed to do a job.

My son has been tortured by his employer since he refuses to take the vaccine. He only works two days a week, and they do not want to do the testing on the days that he works.

I have to do it every week. Always has been negative.

BUT . . .

Many people that I work with who took the jab have been sick a number of times with Covid. Why are they not being tested every week?

Does not make sense at all.

The shot does NOT work, and you have no science to prove it does.

There are 14 know pages of side effects for the shot. That is 13.5 pages more than any other shot aka vaccine that has ever been created.

But the government wants to treat everyone like they are lab rats and force them to take the shot. Even though it does not work.

Companies should not be able to force any perspective employee from earning the position because they refuse to take the shot.

Schools can not refuse to admit students because they were more educated than the higher ups.

Our countries priorities have fallen drastically.

What about you? Do you believe it is right for the government to mandate this? Why or why not? 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Rachel Fordham: The Letter Tree

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Mere words can’t end their families’ feud, but the Campbell heir and the Bradshaw heiress plan to write a future together.

Buffalo, NY, 1924

Laura Bradshaw adores stories with happily ever afters. But since her mother died seven years ago, the Bradshaw Shoe Company heiress has been as good as locked away in a tower. Her overbearing father cares little for her dreams, throwing himself instead into his tireless takedown of his competitor, the Campbell Shoe Company. However, Laura has been gifted with a reprieve: a mysterious friend with whom she’s been exchanging letters.

As heir to the Campbell Shoe Company, Isaac Campbell is a sought-after bachelor who has never felt an inkling of desire for the women who constantly bat their eyes at him. His thoughts are consumed by an oak tree in the Buffalo Zoo—or rather, the mystery woman he exchanges letters with courtesy of the tree. She’s been one of Isaac’s only joys in a life consumed by his father’s tireless hatred of Bradshaw. A hatred that, Isaac is coming to realize, may affect him more personally than he ever imagined.

When Laura’s father orchestrates a match between her and an important business owner, she resolves to pursue her only chance at freedom. But Isaac believes their story isn’t bound for a tragic ending. He’s certain there’s more to the Bradshaw-Campbell feud than meets the eye. And he won’t stop digging until he uncovers the truth that might bridge the divide between him and the woman whose words have captured his heart.


My Thoughts:

The Letter Tree by Rachel Fordham begins at a tree in the Brooklyn Zoo. At first, the story seems a little intriguing with the concept of a blind person that Laura Bradshaw crafts letters to and sticks into the trunk of a tree. I love the idea of Laura missing her mother and clinging to her books, which remind her of her mother. My father taught me my love of reading, and he passed away eight years ago. There are some books that I look at, and they remind me of him. Laura was a nicely developed character with hurts and a deep longing for love, animals, and her happy-ever-after. Isaac, on the other hand, is a man who, at the beginning of the story, really did not have any goals and dreams. As the story progresses, he changes and matures. The plot flowed well. I enjoyed the twist to the Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet type story. Now don’t think this is a Romeo and Juliet story because it is not. Just some similar ideas in the plot. The writing is fantastic and kept my attention throughout the entire story. Overall, The Letter Tree by Rachel Fordham may start to read like a familiar story, but it moves delightfully through the imagination, capturing those moments of innocent love while trying to seek justice at the same time.

I received a complimentary copy of The Letter Tree by Rachel Fordham from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Letter Tree

Friday, November 17, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

 By Kelly Bridgewater


As we come to the close of another year and move into a season of Thanksgiving, remind us to be thankful for what we have.

A roof over our head, food in our belly, and the grace of your love.

Allow us to share what you have provided to us with others who might not have as much. Be thankful for what we do possess.

Learn to love and keep on loving others around us.

Shelter the poor. Keep them fed. Feed them physically and spiritually.


Enjoy your time with your family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Jen Turano: To Spark a Match

 By Kelly Bridgewater

"Turano takes readers on a lighthearted romp through matchmaking season . . . . This is a delight."--Publishers Weekly on A Match in the Making

After five unsuccessful Seasons on the marriage mart, Miss Adelaide Duveen has resigned herself to the notion that she's destined to remain a spinster forever--a rather dismal prospect, but one that will allow her to concentrate on her darling cats and books. However, when she inadvertently stumbles upon Mr. Gideon Abbott engaged in a clandestine activity during a dinner party, Adelaide finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue that resembles the plots in the spy novels she devours.

Former intelligence agent Gideon Abbott feels responsible for Adelaide after society threatens to banish her because of the distraction she caused to save his investigation. Hoping to return the favor, he turns to a good friend--and one of high society's leaders--to take Adelaide in hand and turn her fashionable. When danger surrounds them and Adelaide finds herself a target of the criminals in Gideon's case, the spark of love between them threatens to be quenched for good--along with their lives.


My Thoughts:

To Spark a Match by Jen Turano carries a mystery wrapped in a matchmaking bow. The heroine, Adelaide, is a riot. She is always in a sticky situation especially when the hero, Gideon, is around. How so many odd situations happen to one person is beyond me. But Turano does a wonderful job at crafting a character with heart who honestly does not care what the Four Hundred think of her. Even when she is “accepted”, Adelaide does things like taking two wallflowers to sit at her table at a ball, that they usually frown upon. I love the idea of the bookstore and the trouble that it brings to the plot. Gideon, on the other hand, sparks with charm as he does not admit to himself that he actually finds Adelaide’s mishaps adorable. The setting is nicely handled. I would love to visit some of the remaining Four Hundred homes just to tour them and see them wrapped in nicely tuned history. Overall, Jen Turano crafted another novel in her romantic comedy style that features a funny heroine who always ends up in hilarious situations, but always the love of the two people always wins in the end. If readers are not familiar with Turano’s writing, then I highly suggest picking up any of her books.

I received a complimentary copy of To Spark by Match by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase To Spark a Match

Friday, November 10, 2023

My Birthday Month

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I know a friend of mine that had a birthday on February 20th and her husband commented that they spend the whole week pampering her. No household chores. They cook the meals. Allow her “free” time without her seven kids bothering her.

I also have an aunt that says the whole month of November is all about her. She chooses where to go out to eat and where to visit.

These months or weeks are all about them.

Since my birthday usually falls during the week of Thanksgiving, I do not have that luxury. I make the Thanksgiving meal and clean the house since extended family is coming over. Most times, my husband and kids even forget my birthday with all the hustle during that week. If it is after Thanksgiving on Black Friday or that Saturday, we go shopping and decorate the house for Christmas, so my birthday is not that important.

With me working 45 hours a week and then going straight home to homeschool our youngest, I really do not have a lot of me and alone time.

I do not know what I would if I had time spent just focused on me.

What about you? Does birthday last longer than the day of your actual birthday? What do you do or request?

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Hannah Linder: Garden of the Midnights

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: Garden of the Midnights

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release Date: October, 2023

She begged him once more to meet in the garden at midnight.
"If you love me," said the letter.
But if he loved her, he would not come at all.

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 Manor, he pleads for the truth of his past 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 friendship and love of Isabella Gresham. If he does not have their nonsense at the seashore, their laughter, their reckless adventures, has he anything at all?

He should have known that would be ripped from him too. When a hidden foe arises from their acquaintances and imperils Isabella's life, William may be the only one willing to risk his life to rescue her. But even if he frees Isabella from her captors, will he still have to forsake her heart?

Some sacrifice everything for love. Others sacrifice love for everything else. In this haunting tale of rigid social prejudices and heart-aching regrets, the greatest decision of their life will be determined in the garden of the midnights.


My Thoughts:

Garden of the Midnights by Hannah Linder is a unique, yet odd title. As I was reading the novel usually the title makes sense, but this time, I did see where Linder would reference the phrase in the story, but it still felt like it did not belong. As for the plot, it had many twists and turns and an odd suspenseful moment. Linder does a wonderful job at crafting the setting and the time period. They do ring true for a Regency time period novel. She did a wonderful job at crafting this. She does a wonderful job at creating suspense moments that will have the reader guessing how this novel would end. The heroine, Isabella, was a typical rich girl from the Regency period that wanted to marry for love, which I honestly do not blame her. She saw through Mr. Livingstone’s façade and wanted more for her life. On the other hand, William, the hero, had to come to some hard truths about his beginning to his life and how to deal with that. Overall, Garden of the Midnights by Hannah Linder is a predictable Regency romance with some elements of a modern suspense novel twisted into the overarching climactic moment.

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

My Rating: 4out of 5 stars

Purchase Garden of the Midnights

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


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.

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

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


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.