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Saturday, October 28, 2023
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 imperilsIsabella’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?
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.
I love how the book starts quickly with a mystery that grabbed my attention from the start. A young boy who never knew his father has suddenly finds out that he has been told lies about his past. William finds himself wondering what is going on when accidents start happening to him or around him. Is someone trying to harm him? Do they have a grudge against him? Maybe someone is not happy about his inheritance. The author intrigued me with this story and the time period as well. He travels to London to find answers.
Isabella is a good character. I liked watching her find her way in faith as well as her future. When she and William meet I just knew there would be sparks between them at sometime. I do like how the author allows readers to get to know her better and didn’t rush her into a romance right away. We get to see how different people lived during this time period. It was intriguing to see that the higher class were at times snobs, but our two main characters always showed grace and thrived on treating everyone with respect.
There is mystery surrounding our characters and I had to find out if William gets the answers he searched for all his life. Why did people keep secrets from him about his upbringing? Forgiveness is a big factor in the story, which I thought the author did a great illustration of. Overall the book is really good and offers a good look at a society where some people were taken advantage of.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
How Is a Missing Military Working Dog Related to Two Local Fires?
Snuggle with your trusty hound and settle into a small-town mystery in book 6 of the Gone to the Dogs series.
Air Force veteran Dr. Lane Bishop and Nora Hernandez’s romance has cooled. He is busy working as a researcher at the vet school, and she’s busy with her restaurant and opening an antique shop. What Lane hasn’t told her is his PTSD, which manifests mostly with nightmares, makes him believe he’s damaged goods. But that is about to change when he meets a stray pup that acts a lot like a military working dog.
When a tornado hits Brenham, there is damage in the downtown area and a fire is ignited in Nora’s new store. A Belgian Malinois dog is seen at the fire and later Lane sees him at a wedding venue where an explosion occurs. Not long after, a second explosion rocks Brenham and sends Nora and Lane on a hunt for the person responsible. Will the pair find the guilty party before more damage is done to the city’s landmarks? And will Lane find the words to tell Nora how much he loves her before it’s too late?
Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.
When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.
Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.
More for Kathleen
You’ve most likely seen military working dogs (MWDs) on television shows or in the news. Maybe you’ve seen police dogs in action or read about them. They’re often fierce looking and always well-trained and intelligent. Along with their handler, the MWD is a brave and not so secret weapon in the military and law enforcement world. And did you know that an MWD always outranks his or her handler? It’s true.
I was very aware of all of this, but I had no idea what happened to these dogs when they were too old or perhaps physically unable to continue in their roles. People retire from their careers, so it makes sense that MWDs would as well.
I first learned about retired MWDs from watching my friend Ronie welcome a gorgeous Belgian Malinois, Vvolt, to her family. Anyone who knew the family or came to know Vvolt through social media fell in love with that dog. With his ears cocked just so and his bigger-than-life personality, I knew I had to write about him someday.
When I was given the opportunity to co-write a cozy mystery series with my dear friend, Janice Thompson, I knew one of those books would have to include an MWD. Because MWDs are used in so many situations, from military police work to bomb sniffing to PTSD care and more—I had to narrow down the choice of what my dog would be doing. I won’t give anything away, but I can tell you that Pal, the fictional Belgian Malinois in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is very good at what he does. He also loves a good Whataburger when his regular kibble isn’t available, but I digress.
When I set out to create the personality for Pal, I looked to what I knew and loved about Vvolt. Big personality, toothy grin, and the ability to run and jump like a champ were all included in my dog’s version of the MWD. And like Vvolt, my MWD develops a strong bond with his handler and the family who welcomes him into their home. Pal is loyal, friendly, and apt to stand between his people and danger at the slightest provocation.
Pal’s person in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is Dr. Lane Bishop, a Texas A&M University research veterinarian and Air Force veteran. Lane deals with nightmares that came out of his military experiences. As you can imagine, this causes an issue or two with Nora Hernandez, the woman Lane adores but has not shared his worries with.
Then along comes Pal, a stray (or is he?) with a habit of disappearing and then turning up at the most unlikely places just when he’s needed. I won’t give away the story, but let’s just say that sometimes it takes an animal to show the humans what needs to be done.
NEW LEASH ON LIFE is the story of new starts and second chances, of how God can doesn’t just use humans to achieve His purposes. For this and so many other reasons, the tale of Lane and Nora and Pal is dedicated to the memory of Vvolt and his people.
Well done good and faithful servant.
If you haven’t read the first books in this series, stop everything you are doing and go read them. That way you become friends with the people in this quaint little town. Each character has a reason to be in the story and they enhance each other. I loved getting back to the town and getting caught up with all the people. I adored the setting and how much the community helps each other out.
This book focuses on Nora and Lane. These two have danced around a serious relationship for too long. Now it is time for one of them to step up and get this romance serious and moving forward. The author does give us quite a bit of information about them. I did like their story but some I think could have been left out.
The town is threatened by severe weather that has everyone on pins and needles. If you haven’t been in a tornado before, it not something you ever want to experience. As Lane and Nora figure out where they are going with each others there is also a mystery going on. The dog in the story was a highly trained dog and I really wanted to read more about him.
With everything going on in the book, I think it fell a little short on the cozy mystery feeling. There was too much focus on would Lane and Nora ever get together. It was a fun read but just missed the mark a little for me.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit . The review is my own opinion.
Will their lives and romance survive the trouble coming their way?
Becky Pruitt has always prided herself on knowing everything that’s happening on her successful ranch, so an unexpected admission from her foreman, Nate Paxton, comes as quite a surprise. With the notorious Deadeye Gang on the loose, Nate–a former U.S. Marshal–believes Becky’s ranch is the best spot for a group of Marshals to use as a base to hunt them down.
The timing couldn’t be more crucial for the town of Pine Valley, and Becky feels obligated to help. But after escaping the grasp of her harsh father, she’s never liked giving up control, of her life or her ranch. If there’s anyone she can trust with her ranch, and her heart, it might be Nate. But the outlaws won’t go away quietly, and as danger draws ever nearer, Becky and Nate are faced with impossible choices that will test their growing bond.
Mary Connealy (maryconnealy.com) writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than 1.5 million books and is the author of the popular series Wyoming Sunrise, The Lumber Baron’s Daughters, Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
More from Mary
Becky Pruitt has a problem. Her ranch is being invaded by good guys.
Becky wants the Deadeye Gang caught and thrown in jail as much as anyone, but the lawmen asking her to hire them on at her ranch aim to do their investigating while working undercover as cowhands. She runs a good ranch, however, and doesn’t like the idea of a bunch of low-skilled men making her look like she’s hired them foolishly.
Yet she goes along with it, suspicious and annoyed, because her foreman, Nate Paxton, a man she trusts, convinces her that these men are honorable. Then the three lawmen she hires, all of them U.S. Marshals, urge her to send every single one of her regular cowhands—except Nate, a former Marshal himself—off on a cattle drive.
Now she’s got Marshals cropping up everywhere. Her ranch isn’t being run in a way that suits her. She’s got trouble with her father, and an important speaker is coming to town to talk about women’s suffrage. So much is distracting her when all she really wants to do is make sure her herd is being tended properly.
Before long, Nate starts to question the behavior of the U.S. Marshals Service. They’re secretive to the point that they put him in jeopardy a few times before he decides to quit. Here he’d found a decent job on a top ranch, and he even shared a few special moments with his pretty, feisty boss that gave him ideas of how he’d like to change things around a little just so he could be with her. And then his brother, who’s still a U.S. Marshal, invades the ranch with a few fellow lawmen. Quite a few.
Meanwhile, the Deadeye Gang is more dangerous than ever. The woman coming to Pine Valley to speak is now at risk, which makes Becky frantic to protect her. The cattle aren’t being looked after like they ought to be. And yet Nate finds himself being drawn closer to Becky with each passing day. He’s determined to stand firmly between her and danger, but he’s got to keep up with her to do that. He soon discovers that nothing is easy when it comes to the hard-charging Becky Pruitt.
Wyoming Sunrise is a series I wrote in which I cast women as having nontraditional jobs: Forged in Love has a woman blacksmith, Laws of Attraction a woman justice of the peace, and Marshaling Her Heart a woman rancher. Those are all nontraditional for sure, but not really in my case personally. I must force myself not to make all my heroines feisty lady ranchers. It’s almost a reflex at this point. I fought that reflex as hard as I could, but I decided it would be okay to sneak one lady rancher into this series, and that’s Becky Pruitt. I slipped her into the western vernacular, the tough attitude, the riding skirts and boots and Stetsons—and I loved it.
Marshaling Her Heart is my first true lady rancher, and so I let loose and had fun with Becky. The foreman Nate recognizes intelligence and competence in his boss, and he’s smart enough to take orders from her because he knows those orders are the right way to run the ranch.
Add in the backdrops of the other books in the series, the vicious, stagecoach-robbing Deadeye Gang, the coming of the lady suffragist speaker to town, and you’ve got a story full of trouble, action, adventure, romance, and fun.
Get ready for a rough and tumble look at the Wild West in this exciting story. With a threat of the DeadEye Gang causing havoc wherever they go, the town needs to band together to capture them. Becky has been running her ranch for awhile and has very trusted men working for her. A plan is set that involves her ranch as a place to surprise the gang as undercover Marshalls are now working at the ranch. She is not happy at all as things aren’t getting done the way she wants. The ranch is her livelihood so her friend Nate better step up and convince her that the plan will work.
Nate wants Becky to trust him because he does have her best interest at heart. I really like how he stood up to Becky’s dad when he tried to hit her. Respect is given in the town to women and Nate will not stand for anyone to strike a woman. I know Becky appreciates him looking out for her but is there an attraction developing between them?
The book delivers lots of action and danger which keeps readers entertained throughout the book. I enjoyed getting to know Nate better and seeing what an humble man he is. Get ready for action as this story gives readers laughs, strong women characters and a few surprises along the way.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Would Amy ever see him as anything other than a former Loyalist who destroyed her home?
One more building, one more road, one more disaster reconstructed.
But George Elliot remains trapped in the past, reliving his role in the destruction of Charles Town. Through the support of his family and two Patriot generals, he is allowed to pursue a life among them but struggles to find purpose. Forgiveness lurks but has not quite settled his unsteady heart.
Amy Engle strives to help the men who are alive but hurting through her work at the hospital. Some men fail to grasp God’s forgiveness and struggle to heal mentally from the brutality of war…George Elliot being one of them. These men need a place to heal, and Amy proposes to open a mission to do just that with George at the helm. Amy’s prayer is that this will give George purpose and confidence.
What she didn’t count on was her heart’s commitment to the man.
With the devastation of war that left nothing unscathed, the people of Charles Town could use a dose of Christmas miracles. If there are any that remain after the devastation of war.
Can they determine in their hearts to find comfort in love, promises, and forgiveness?
Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, Bring Me Near, Draw Me to Your Side, and Wait for Me– Revolutionary Faith Series Books 1-5, Labor of Love and Promise of Purity, Gardens in Time Series Books 1 and 2, and Room for Love, Suamalie Islands Year One. Besides researching her novels, she enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish online. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband and rescue pets. Her two adult children and t
wo grandsons keep her up to date and young.
More from Marguerite
I have desired to revisit my beloved characters and charming Charles Town. The Lestarjette family and their potential adventures sprout to life in my imagination if not on paper. Marriages, jobs, children, new nation?
In Promise Me Christmas I get a glimpse into the colorful lives of familiar heroes and heroines, villains and enemies, major and minor roles as after war scenarios surface. As minor, supporting characters make their presence known, I realize in life there are no minor roles. Each human being has a purpose and a God-given mission.
Think about all the people who stand in the peripheries of your life. They are as important in the scheme of life as your close family and friends. In this novella, I hope to emphasize God’s promises and hopes through people who are flawed, hurting, healing, and making efforts to exist and prosper in a town devasted by war, death, and poverty.
We might not have gone through a war, siege, and occupation by enemy forces, but we can grasp the hopes and promises of Christmas through the lenses of sickness, death, broken relationships, financial woes, and natural disasters.
I hope you enjoy this Christmas novella from my heart of hope and promises to yours.
Oh how I love this time period and the beautiful way the author helps us travel back in time. With her creativity, readers feel like they have time traveled to 1783. It sure was a time of rebuilding and rekindling broken relationships. George is so down on himself for things that he did to help out during the war. He had good intentions but he can’t forgive himself. Some people may be partly to blame since they tend to blame him for being a traitor of sorts. Of course he wasn’t but how can he justify himself to everyone?
I loved how we see George wanting to rebuild a relationship with someone he cares very deeply for. I was cheering him on as he became bolder at times. I wonder if he realizes that the very person he cares for shares the same feelings for him?
Any has decided that her mission is to help George. Now she must get him to see his worth. What a surprise she received when George asks her to go to the ball with him, so “rescue George from himself ,” has begun. I loved this so much because Amy wanted to show George that God has forgiven him. Now he needs to forgive himself and learn to trust again. The scene at the ball was an unnecessary bash of George. We still see people who don’t trust George and call him out in the middle of the ballroom. Thank goodness there were some who stood up for George. Surely he will see that not everyone thinks he is a bad person.
I loved how the author slowly gives George a desire to change and accept that he has been forgiven. Old relationships rebuild and redemption is felt by someone who once was lost.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”