Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Review & Giveaway: A Hope Fulfilled by April W. Gardner


About the Book


Book: A Hope Fulfilled

Author: April W Gardner

Genre: Biblical Fiction (Obadiah)

Release Date: November, 2023

One Hebrew slave’s courage and faith opens the gate on Edom’s demise.

Tikvah, a Hebrew slave in Edom, lives in hope of once again seeing Jerusalem, the Holy City. When a Babylonian general and his dashing Jewish liaison arrive at her master’s house, whispering plans of Edom’s destruction, she senses Yahweh at work. After all, there’s a prophecy foretelling His justice upon the kingdom. Tikvah clings to that promise while obediently following the call of service into the heart of danger. If only there were a promise she would come out the other side alive.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

April W Gardner is an indie author whose great passion is historical romance with themes of Native American and Southeastern U.S. culture. Copyeditor, mother of two grown children, and non-trad college student, April lives in South Texas with her husband and two German Shepherds. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.


My Thoughts

I did not want the book to end. Who pays attention to prophecies of minor prophets to the tune that they will come to mind at the slightest reference? I confess, I was not able to do so and that in part drew me into the story.

April has a wonderful way with words, a lovely light touch that conveys so much and evokes clear imagery. The tilt of a chin - defiance, the touch of an ankle - forbidden, the staring of sightless eyes - noble and loving.

Tikvah's faith and her conversations with Yahweh, rang true because that's how I feel and communicate as well. Her relationship with Shimshon was beautiful. They took care of each other and shored each other's faith up. They would only be pushed so far, when it comes to their faith. I got some Esther vibes when Tikvah said, 

"You give yourself too much credit, soldier. Yahweh alone places me in danger, and Yahweh alone will see me through it." In whatever form that might come. "I am honored to be His servant."  - Page 81

I read someone's review on Amazon that said the romance between Tikvah and Kala, the Jewish liaison to Babylon's army, was unnecessary and shouldn't have been in the story. I disagree. The modesty shown verses what we see daily is beautiful. If less is more was a courtship, then that would be the example. It was beautifully done.

I'm afraid my love of this book has boiled down to one big ramble of superlatives but there is so much to love: from the evocative cover, to the story of hope and trust in God despite hardships and dehumanizing abuse to the many minute daily triumphs that can be seen and felt. 

I became Tikvah and came out better for it. It made me examine my walk with God. No one is overtly subjugating me, I am not up for daily floggings, for which I am happy, but how has that allowed me to become lax in my worship, cocky in my own abilities and less dependent on the God who created me and sacrificed Himself for me? 

I rated this book 5/5 - content, history, cover, characters, pace.

If you are able, please get a copy of this book. I received a complimentary copy and this review is written voluntarily. 



More from April

So…Obadiah? Who ever heard of Obadiah as the backdrop for biblical fiction? I hadn’t. But that’s not where A Hope Fulfilled began…

In late December 2021, while deciding on a Bible reading goal for the upcoming year, I pondered which sections of the Bible I knew least. The minor prophets came to mind right off, then camped there as I asked myself what I knew about these little books.

I’d heard a million sermons preached from one or another of them over the years, but could I give even a one-sentence summary on any of the twelve? That question required a moment’s thought, which produced Jonah and the big fish, Hosea and his harlot wife, Joel and the locusts, Amos and… Uh, er, uh…

This was a problem. After burning some brain cells on the matter, I finally hung my head and admitted I was a minor failure. If I’d been tested right then on the minor prophets, I would have received a big red F.

How was this possible? I’m a missionary’s kid who never missed a church service, for goodness’ sake. This was unacceptable. I had an MK reputation to uphold.

Kidding, kidding. But the point remains. After 4.5 decades in church, I should be able to state every book’s title and theme. At a minimum. Anything less is spiritual laziness.

With that challenge in mind, I hitched up my trousers and set to work. My task? One minor prophet a month. I would read each one again and again, really drilling them home, absorbing their messages and banishing my spiritual “shame.”

By April, and my fourth read of Obadiah, I stared at my Bible, the verses swimming before me, and admitted to a second problem—despite my faithful rereading, the first four books were all running together in a mental smear of prophety messages.

Warning, judgment, doom, gloom. There was hope in there, too, of course. Praise God. And a harlot wife. I had that one down. But I was no closer to being able to distinguish them, to really understand the books with any kind of true ownership.

Since I’m a goal-girl, it made me a little sad to set aside my twelve-prophet year, but there was no getting around it. If this was going to work, I would have to go deeper, get messier, put on my work gloves and knee pads, and start digging.

New goal! Understand Obadiah. I’d worry about the rest once I had this one down. Fifteen months and three written books later, here we are, celebrating the release of my first biblical fiction, A Hope Fulfilled.

So, how did I get from studying a minor prophet to writing biblical fiction? The journey from point A to point B wasn’t very long. The series (A Fire and a Flame) started out as a Bible commentary for women, but when I got to exploring the history around Obadiah, my fiction brain kinda took over. It does that sometimes. Silly brain.

I did finish the commentary, but as soon as I allowed myself to ponder all the what-ifs of the event, the novella practically wrote itself.

Obadiah gives a fiction writer almost no details to build on. So, A Hope Fulfilled is what one might call an artist’s rendition of what might have happened during the fall of Edom. There were probably Hebrew slaves in Edom. One of them probably knew the prophecy of Edom’s doom. And that somebody might have, just might have, longed to help God’s justice play out.

Thus, Tikvah and her story, A Hope Fulfilled, were born.

Blog Stops

Dee S White, March 20

Holly’s Book Corner, March 21

The Lofty Pages, March 21

Book Looks by Lisa, March 22

Exploring The Written Word, March 23

Books You Can Feel Good About, March 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 25

Lots of Helpers, March 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 28

The Printed Edge, March 29

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

She Lives To Read, March 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 1 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2


To celebrate her tour, April is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card and a paperback set of the A Fire and a Flame!!

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


traciem said...

What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great read.

D.S. White said...

Hi Tracie,

Action with a strong female lead, so Tikvah, was on point for me. There were no karate kicks or headbutts, but her very refusal to be cowed was like a huge, take that! Why? Because I have been a victim of abuse and date-rape and there is no feeling as helpless as that and I lost my faith for a bit. So even in the characters I read, I desire to see that they are able to hold the line of faith no matter what, and if they are female, even better.

Hope that wasn't more than you wanted to read.

April Gardner said...

Hello, Dee!

Thank you so so much for featuring A Hope Fulfilled today. And I'm pleased that Tikvah resonated with you so well. You read her exactly how I intended, so score!

I'm a fan of strong female leads too. I want to see my heroines rescuing themselves, but I confess that every now and then I don't mind them being rescued by a good man!

Thanks again for having me here.

Michael Law said...

This looks really good. Thanks for hosting this tour.

Tami Vollenweider said...

Who influenced you to be a writer?

D.S. White said...

Hi Rita,

It's my favorite book so far this year. It has made the "books you want to hug" list. Give it a try.

D.S. White said...

Hi April!

Sorry I missed you. After reading your work I feel as though we are old friends, lol. Yay! I glad I read Tikvah as you wrote her. It was truly a pleasure hosting you. Ditto on the rescued by a good man!

D.S. White said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for stopping by. It is really a good book!

April Gardner said...

"feel as though we are old friend"-- that's a first for me, Dee! I'm adding it to my Happy File <3

D.S. White said...

Hi Tami,

I've been reading since I was and began writing songs and poetry around fourteen. I began writing a salacious novel during eleventh grade that I never finished. I got the confidence to write it after speaking with my 11th-grade teacher. I enjoyed Enid Blyton and Judy Blume in those years. In my twenties, I read Terry McMillan, E. Lynn Harris, and a slew of black authors who came onto the scene.

D.S. White said...

Awww. I'm tickled pink that I made your happy file. Sometimes when I watch a movie or read a book, I can sense the spirit in the writing which stays with me for a couple of days. That's why I'm careful about what I read because if it's a yucky spirit, I'm stuck with that for a couple of days as well.

I walked out of the second or third Batman movie, it felt as though they changed writers and the person's spirit was really dark.

April Gardner said...

Dee, I remember having a negative reaction to the last Batman movie too. It sat wrong with me. Yes, it was dark!

It's wise to fill our minds only with the things that uplift. Phil 4:8! <3

Anonymous said...

This book, A Hope Fulfilled sounds so good, I would love to read it and the other books in the series as well. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

judi said...

Well done Biblical fiction can be so helpful for getting a richer understanding of the culture surrounding Scripture. I've enjoyed quite a few works like this and yours sounds wonderful!

DVDgal75 said...

Sounds good

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your review of A Hope Fulfilled, I am looking forward to reading this story myself

DVDgal75 said...

Thank you for sharing

D.S. White said...

Yessss. I totally agree. I was sucked in. I got great visuals and felt as though I was Tikvah a few times.

D.S. White said...

I fully recommend this one. I have not read the others but I intend to.

D.S. White said...

Yes. I guard what I watch, listen to or read.

D.S. White said...

It really is. Thanks for stopping by.

D.S. White said...

Hi Bea, great to see you. I will check out your review.