Happy Holidays…and say hello to our newest coblogger!

December 23, 2013 2013, site annoucements, Wendy 88

tierHope you all are having a lovely holiday season!

Last Friday, Kate and Tonya and I took a little break from the hustle and bustle as we met up for a Midnight Garden Christmas Tea, where there was much bookish discussion and merriment. Over tiny sandwiches and pastries and tea, we chatted about the books we’re currently reading as a harpist played in the background. The hand-painted china was SO pretty (Kate said it was like fairy china) and I dearly wanted to take the cunning little silver spoons home.

We also exchanged some presents. Do you give bookish gifts? I picked special ones for each of my ladies. I got Kate Tell the Wolves I’m Home because I want to make her cry; I got K Soulless because she couldn’t be with us for our tea, so she can enjoy the werewolves having tea with Victorian ladies instead; and I got Tonya To Love and to Cherish, one of my favorite historical romances of all time, partly because it reminds me of Anne of Green Gables. It was a lovely afternoon, in lovely company.

Also: isn’t Kate’s hat amazing? Tonya and I were sad that we didn’t think to wear hats, too.


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kate and tonya 2Coming in 2013

We talked about our plans for The Midnight Garden next year as well. Tonya’s going to be scaling back a bit, but she’ll still be around to write special monthly features. Since we’ve had a number of requests, we’re also going to be hosting a series of classic YA/Middle Grade readalongs next year! If you have suggestions for books you’d like to read with us, please let us know.

Another fun thing that Kate and I have been working on: the two of us will be launching a spinoff adult romance blog early next year. You heard that right: romance! This genre doesn’t always get a huge amount of respect, and we’re aiming to help change that with recommendations for romances that we enjoy. We’ll be actively seeking contributing writers and guest contributors soon, so if you’re interested in occasionally or regularly reviewing with us, drop us a line or let us know in the comments. We’re working on contributor guidelines, and will have those up in the next few weeks with the blog launch.


divider vine croppedIntroducing Kim!

We’re also very pleased to welcome our newest co-blogger to The Midnight Garden. Kim is somewhat of a new friend, but we’ve had so many wonderful bookish discussions with her recently here that we just know she’s a kindred spirit. If it weren’t enough that she’s so passionate about literature and deer frolick outside her house in the snow, she also understands the importance of clotted cream and immediately requested that The Golden Compass be on our list when she heard we would be hosting more readalongs. Spoiler alert: it already was. I’m telling you, it’s scary and magical how perfect a fit she is for us.

Here’s a little more about Kim,  in her own words:

Kim spends a disproportionate amount of time daydreaming about her future warrior queen status once the dystopian apocalypse is finally upon us. Watching an inordinate amount of television, cross stitching, playing the baritone horn, and what can only be described as “the ability to eat cheeseburgers inhumanly fast” are among her other passions. She is absurdly pleased to share a birthplace with the oldest public library in the US.

An avowed “science enthusiast”, she is determined to see a Bortle scale Class 1 sky before leaving this fair planet. She spent a semester in London and has been in love with all things English from a young age. Her favorite books are those that leave her either achingly happy or achingly sad. There is rarely an in between. She has a real weakness for under-appreciated female characters. She also has a special passion for supporting and promoting diversity in YA.

Her career so far has been spent in the Philly startup scene but she is looking forward to leaving that all behind in pursuit of solely bookish vocations. She currently resides by a mystical lake at the edge of an enchanted forest.

You may find Kim online on Twitter, Tumblr, GoodReads, and Instagram.

kimShe is so smart and sweet and chatty, and I just know you guys are going to love her. Look, she has a Harry Potter book in her photo, for heaven’s sake.

Please welcome her to the blog, and be on the lookout for her first review in January. Just FYI that we’ll be taking a break most likely until December 31st, when our Favorite Books of 2013 lists go up. Phew! Lots of great stuff going on, we hope you’ll join us as we head into the new year.


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Happy, happy, happy holidays!

No matter where you are and no matter what you’re celebrating, we hope you’re having a beautiful holiday season, full of good books and good friends and good cheer. We’re so happy we get to share our favorite books with you, and look forward to chatting with you soon!

kate and tonya 1


 Wendy signature teal






88 Responses to “Happy Holidays…and say hello to our newest coblogger!”

  1. fishgirl182

    Sounds like you guys have some really fun things planned for next year. And yay for a romance blog. My blog originally started that way, too. I was contributing (and still am) to my friend’s YA blog and wanted to write about fun, smutty books and started my own blog for it. It definitely does not get enough respect. Can’t wait to see what you guys do in 2014. And welcome, Kim!
    fishgirl182 recently posted…Manicure Monday (46): Lush

    • Kim

      Thank you, dear Tabitha! :) Saying “salutations” never fails to remind me of Charlotte’s Web :p :)

  2. starryeyedjen

    Welcome, Kim! I can already tell from your bio that I am going to enjoy reading your reviews! :) I hope you ladies all had a fabulous holiday! Oh, and I want Kate’s hat…that thing is gawgeous! I look forward to checking out the romance blog and seeing what else you guys have in store for 2014!
    starryeyedjen recently posted…The Best of 2013

  3. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I am not sure what news I’m the most excited about! The fact that you ladies actually met and had tea in fairy-china cups? That Kim is joining the excellent team here at The Midnightgarden? That you’re creating another blog for romance reviews?

    As you might already know, I love romance, and I agree, it’s not always that easy to find some really good ones, but once I find a series I enjoy, I’ll share my love for it everywhere :)

    I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas (or other holiday if you celebrate something else) and I wish you a very Happy and Healthy 2014 – filled with success, love, joy and happiness :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #12

  4. Johannah

    Hooray for a romance spin off blog – I’m super excited about that! Funny, I decided back in November that I’d dedicate 2014 to romance and fantasy reviews. I do need some awesome recommendations for romances! And I think a good chunk of the reason romances are so down played is because of that fifty shades of crap that was published. EVERYONE (except me) read it. Some lady that was old enough to be my grandmother told me I needed to read it… and I tried, but the bad editing made my head hurt. And a library friend of mine told me how sexist it was against woman and I was just so turned off at that point.

    And *runs over and hugs Kim* Welcome! I secretly stalk Wendy here on her blog and read it religiously – including her tweets. I’m simply in love with her and can’t wait to fall in love with all these new bloggers on the midnight garden! :) :)
    Johannah recently posted…Renovating for 2014

    • Kim

      Thank you, Johannah! *hugs*

      If you like fantasy *with* romance then seek me out. Have you read the Throne of Glass books? Definitely my favorite fantastical romance reads this year. I just love them. Grab your tissues and prepare for feels, though.

  5. Deyse

    The Romance blog will be focus on the Adult gender? I really liked a few romances that I read, but after a couple of bad choices I quit looking for it, you guys are probably going to create a new hype around the literary blogs!
    Deyse recently posted…The Seers, by Julianna Scott

  6. Tanja

    Lovely picture ladies :) First of all Kim welcome! I cannot wait to see your reviews. Ladies I cannot wait to see that spin off blog. Sounds really interesting. There will be plenty of things going on this next year and I cannot wait to see them.
    Till then Happy Holidays :)
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#76)

  7. Dreams

    Happy holidays everyone! And welcome Kim!

    I missed the last readalong, so it’s great to hear that there will be more in the future. And a romance blogspin off, great idea. Looking forward to all the good stuff 2014 will bring.
    Dreams recently posted…Happy Holidays!

  8. Pili

    Oh dear… tea time with clotted cream and (hopefully) scones and book discussions! I’ve probably described my perfect afternoon!
    I’ll be more than happy to join some of the read-alongs next year. The Golden Compass is a brilliant book part of a brilliant series, but the last book totally wrecked me emotionally, so I don’t think I can re-read the whole series anytime soon!
    Welcome Kim! Lovers of all things English unite!

    Happy Holidays ladies!
    Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Angelbound by Christina Bauer!!

    • Kim

      Thank you for the welcome, Pili! That really does sound exactly like my type of afternoon. For absolute perfection, I additionally require a gently falling rainstorm :)

      Oh and don’t get me started about The Amber Spyglass. I am never over it. Never! Whenever I’m particularly devastated by the trials of another fictional couple, I remind myself that if I can handle Will and Lyra I can handle anything.

  9. Nadia

    Welcome Kim! :)

    So excited about what you girls will bring into the blog in 2014, and the spinoff too! One of my favorite books blogs for sure, and some of my favorite bloggers too!

    Hope you have lovely Holidays!

  10. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I love the tea picture–beautifully taken :-) I look forward to your new read-alongs for MG as well as Kim joining your ranks. I don’t read much MG but am thinking I have been missing out on some wonderful stories. I’m also not a big fan of romance but I’d be curious to see what you recommend.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

  11. Jasprit

    Awww Kate your hat is so cute! I wish that I lived closer to Rachel, so that we could have cool meet ups like you guys! Kim sounds utterly fantastic! I can’t wait to read her reviews on the blog. And how exciting is everything that you have planned next year? Hope you ladies enjoy your break! :)
    Jasprit recently posted…Showcase Sunday #42

    • Wendy Darling

      Totally agree that romance is under-appreciated, and so often looked down on by literary snobs. It’s frustrating to read reviews that seem to be apologetic about the reviewer’s reading material, and there’s such a huge amount of sexism in attitudes about genre fiction. Men have escapist fiction too, but no one insults their intelligence or passion or worth because of that.

  12. Rashika

    The Romance Spin-Off Blog is a WONDERFUL idea Wendy! :D
    Was this inspired by a certain (incredibly offensive) article?
    I’d love to help you guys out but I probably won’t get much time during the first half of next year, the second half won’t be as bad so if you guys still need help then I’d love to help out! :)

    And also, HI KIM! *waves to you*

    • Wendy Darling

      We’ve actually been working on the romance blog behind the scenes for a few months, Rashika–it takes some time to pull this stuff together and of course, we’ve been busy with WP migration, redesign, new bloggers, and the holidays, too! But yeah, dumb articles like the one you’re referring to are definitely part of the reason we think there’s room for smart (but fun!) romance reviews. I read that a few days ago when Jennifer Armentrout linked me to it.

      • Rashika

        I am really excited to see what you guys bring. I don’t follow a lot of romance blogs myself but I really want to see what you guys come up with. I actually read it because of that as well but seriously, people need to respect the genre a lot more, there are some wonderful romance books out there.

        • Wendy Darling

          Aw, thanks! I totally agree, there are some great romance books out there, but like any other genre, you just have to dig to find the gems. Hopefully we can help with that.

  13. Liz

    Hi Ladies and Happy Holidays!

    I am very excited to catch up with your new romance blog next year, great news!

    Best wishes for a great 2014!

    • Wendy Darling

      Tonya and Kate are just the cutest. You can’t see it well in the photos (it was evening by the time I took their photos, and the hotel kept dimming the lights), but Tonya had the most awesome pair of red glasses on, and her hair is a beautiful shade of auburn right now.

      I read romance voraciously as a teenager, but I stopped sometime after college. I read a bunch of them this year though, and realized how much I missed them! It’s going to be fun. :)

  14. Lucy

    Happy holidays, Midnight Garden ladies! I love that you had a lovely holiday tea get-together :) And it does look like fairy china!

    Welcome to Kim! Looking forward to seeing your reviews in the new year.

    And I for one am very excited about the romance blog spinoff! Definitely looking for more romance recs.

    Can’t wait to see your best of lists in January! Cheers!
    Lucy recently posted…Debut Author Interview with Lydia Kang (Control)

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m always looking for great romance recs, too, but it’s so hard to find good ones! That’ll be a good place for us to post reviews of NA books as well. We do post some crossover titles here on TMG, but some of the NA themes are so overtly sexual that I haven’t felt comfortable doing so…and now we’ll have a place.

      Happy holidays, Miss Lucy! Look forward to comparing best of lists with you.

  15. Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    Welcome, Kim! Sounds like you’ll fit right in with these lovely girls. :)
    The Golden Compass is AMAZING and was such a fantastic audio (they’re narrated by Philip Pullman). I’ve been considering a re-read of Little Women because I just picked up a new copy. I’ve always wanted to do a re-read of Anne of Green Gables because I can barely remember actually ever reading it so that definitely needs to be corrected.
    Oooh an adult romance blog?? Very intrigued by that, can’t wait!
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 23rd, 2013

    • Kim

      Thank you for the warm welcome, Bonnie :) I didn’t know that Philip Pullman narrated the audio versions! I will definitely have to check that out. I did a re-read of Anne a few years ago and it was as lovely as I remembered. I’ve recently been feeling a pull to go back to it again, though…Daydreaming about PEI in the meantime!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’ve been wanting to reread LITTLE WOMEN for ages! I love the idea of doing it as a readalong, maybe it would suit for next Christmas? And we are definitely doing an Anne readalong, partly because three of us love it (Tonya, Kim, and I), Kate has always meant to read it, and K is a Canadian and has somehow never read it!

      And omg, I had no idea PP did a narration! I used to have the first book on audio, but it was a different person–I must look into this ASAP. It’d be a nice way to experience them again.

      Yesssss, romance. Sexy times. Fun. :D

      • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

        I was shooting for this Christmas but I’m clearly running out of time. Next Christmas sounds lovely. And apparently it’ll be next year for Little House re-read too.. where has this year gone?!

        I always find myself at a loss when it comes to writing romance reviews so I don’t typically. Strangely enough I turn into a prude when it comes to discussing it. I’m reading Unteachable right now and I keep contemplating a review and every time I try to write up some notes I just start giggling. Lol
        Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 23rd, 2013

        • Wendy Darling

          I didn’t have the time to reread all the Little House books this year, either. *sigh* I read THE LONG WINTER a few weeks ago, and I might squeeze in one more before Christmas, but we’ll have to see. But yes, maybe the two of us can make that happen next year as a readalong, too. :)

          I used to be a bit uncomfortable reviewing romance on GoodReads, because there are a lot of kids who follow me, so I was always sort of self-censoring. I don’t even post most of the ones I’ve read to my feed for that reason, mostly people just come across them in other ways. I think romance is going to be so easy to review, though–somehow I feel less pressure to write a “great” review and I just wanna talk about it like you would with girlfriends, if you know what I mean. We’re doing this just for fun, with zero expectations whatsoever.

          I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE READING UNTEACHABLE! It was actually that book that made me think about how much an adult space was needed for reviewing things. We do post some crossover titles here, but something like that is so overtly sexual that I don’t think it’s quite the right fit here at TMG. I know what you mean about the giggling, though. I couldn’t stop laughing when I was trying to write my review of DRAGON BOUND way back in the day. HOT DRAGON SEX, c’mon.

            • Wendy Darling

              Honestly, I think I take reviewing far too seriously in general. I’ve had this reviewing block since summer that I can’t quite shake, even for books I really love. (I’ve been sitting on a couple in particular that I’m very ashamed about.) I think I’ve written useful and entertaining reviews, but not “great” reviews, and it kind of gets me down even further! I’m trying to let go of some of that, though, and just have more fun with stuff in general.

              And omg, Bonnie, definitely read DB. It will make you laugh, and it’ll make you want to find a dragon to make out with.

              • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

                I’ve been feeling the same even after my break but I’ve been trying to read books based on mood. Also I’m not trying to force a review if it’s not a review book. If a review happens it happens but it feels good just to read and not have to worry about analyzing so much sometimes.

                hahaha Can’t resist dragons. Reminds me of Allyson James’ series… did you read that? Stormwalker? There are yummy dragons (or at least one yummy dragon) in that series.
                Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 23rd, 2013

                • Wendy Darling

                  It really is freeing not to have to worry about reviewing. I read a lot of books that I didn’t review this year, I have to try to get over the guilt of that. Also, rereading is something I miss! Hence the classic YA/MG readalong series, we’re just going to force everyone to do them with us, hee hee. I think this time of year makes it hard, too. I hope you get out of your reading/reviewing funk soon, and I wish the same for myself.

                  And no, I haven’t read the AJ series! I think Kate might’ve though? I have a thing for dragons, so it sounds like I must get it.

    • Audrey

      I re-read Anne of Green Gables about five years ago and discovered that it was hilarious in ways that I wouldn’t have picked up on the last time I read it (maybe at 11?). My book club just did another re-read of Anne of Green Gables and I picked up on even more things that I think I missed last time. I highly recommend a re-read, with or without a read-along.

    • KIm

      *waves back* Hi, Sunny! :) You really, really need to read The Golden Compass (*everyone* does)! I hope you’ll join us for the (re)read!

    • Wendy Darling

      There was a baby sitting near us that was absolutely mesmerized by Kate’s hat. If he’d had the power of speech, I’m pretty sure he would have proposed.


    • Wendy Darling

      Hooray for another HDM lover! I have not read any Wrede, but that series title sounds amazing. I think these rereads are going to be with books that at least one of us has read and loved (we learned our lesson with The Book Thief, hah), but I’ll definitely have to check that out sometime. Thanks for the rec!