Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!

Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 6 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Midnight Runner” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curiosity was Piqued:

My curiosity to read this novel was piqued as I do happen to be drawn into story-lines where the lead characters are caught inside compelling dramas. I like reading about strong female characters who overcome adversity and as I routinely mention, I have a particular fondness for Southern Lit which can be quite an emotional and difficult read (depending on the novel).

What stood out to me before I went into reading Midnight Runner is how two girls of seemingly different backgrounds find their lifepaths intersected with each other’s — to where it would appear on the onset, a choice has to be made about how to move forward or how to stumble backwards. This is most definitely a novel of flight in order to survive and overcome a past that is not wrought out of happy circumstances, yet the title lead characters spoke to me within the small space of the synopsis to implore a closer examination of their story.

I fancy historical fiction moreso than I ever realised, so for this to be set within the Medieval Ages (I marked this as 15th & 16th Centuries as the ‘exact’ date is unknown) held a certain cross-appeal for me. Books are my method of time travelling, and if I can find a way to cart myself back as far as I dare to stretch my imagination, I want to go where an author will lead me! I’m just never quite as certain if where I end up is somewhere where I want to settle for a long period of time! Ha! The journey itself is what envelopes me into a character’s shoes and into the heart of where a novel resides.

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Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!Midnight Runner
by Marilee Jackson
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Run." The soft whisper in her ear cut through the pitch-black hiding place. After the nightmare she had just endured, he was the only person she could still trust.

She waited. The silence surrounded her life a heavy blanket.

"Run!" he shouted, and they took off in opposite directions.

Orphaned, mistreated, and misunderstood, Moira has always dreamed of building a new life in the royal city. But when she finally arrives, her ambition gets the better of her. And little orphan Moira becomes a person she never imagined.

Isobail has never been ambitious. She wants nothing more than the simple life she's always enjoyed. But when she's recruited to work in the royal city, she finds her dreams changing.

This medieval tale of secrets, mistaken identities, romance, and long-sought redemption is sure to captivate readers. With a compelling story and characters that will keep you guessing, this book will change how you feel about villains and heroines, loss and love.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 10th February, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 272

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #MidnightRunner

About Marilee Jackson

Marilee Jackson is an avid reader and has dabbled in writing since the third grade. She stays home and chases her four rug rats around. She lives in a tiny Arizona town (don’t blink you’ll miss it) with her amazing husband and their four children. Midnight Runner is her first novel.

My Review of Midnight Runner:

One key ingredient I love finding inside a historically enriched thriller is the auspicious opener where despite the insane odds stacked against a character whose barely a whisper on the page — you are huddled with them in their moment of frightened angst a needle prick away from having your own heart lurched out of your chest!

What followed forward from a scene of despair, was twelve years of physical and emotional abuse from a family who were not even kin of the orphaned child who was left behind when her dear Ma had passed. Childbirth took the mother, yet Moira was resolute in her courage and her strength to rise above the caretakers who only wanted a girl of service not a second daughter. Her life was a ritual of tasks which held certain disadvantages to a spirited girl with a will to buck those who wished her life to be turnt quite miserable against the hours in which she drew breath.

As I read Moira’s childhood passages, part of my mind was inclined to put the book down, yet embers of her fiery spirit shined out of her character’s heart as she was skilled in surviving and finding a way through adversity rather than wallowing inside it. She never accepted her blighted existence nor did she determine it was the only way in which she would live. It’s hard to say why I kept reading, other than the fact her thoughts of forging a path out of her circumstances resonated with me, and despite the flinch of seeing what she had to go through, she reminded me of a character I had recently encountered whose faith in herself was compelling her forward. It was the echoes of that previous story that held me steadfast inside Midnight Runner, as despite incredible odds, there are certain stories that pull a reader through a difficult sea of emotionally compelling narrative to seek the greater truth of where the journey of the character can take the reader. For this reason, I decided to carry-on!

{ I sorted out the main issue I had with the story before proceeding forward; it wasn’t the content as much as whom the content was being marketed towards; hence why I expanded my thoughts below this review. }

Despite the impasse I felt I had run into whilst reading Midnight Runner, I must give credit to Jackson for anchouring me into the story via Moira herself! As I had tweeted, despite my rankling thoughts on how this was sitting with me, Moira herself kept tucking into my ear; willing me forward and with each page I turnt I was finding myself more compelled to follow her!

The interesting bits for me started to happen when Moira met Brian and she had to unwind her thinking about how men, as her only role models thus far along in her young life weren’t the best of the crop to guide her on her path. Her feisty spirit emerges in her ‘thoughts’ rather than her spoken ‘words’ as she acts demure but she’s full of moxie, if only she would let Brian see that side of her! He’s a besotted gent she found at the Inn she hauled inside on her way to freedom. A random Inn wherein the whole of a towne congregates and partakes in wicked good food, ale, or whiskey. A community watering hole where the centre of conversation and the world collide.

By Chapter 15, my heart couldn’t move forward with the story, because I was too attached to Brian and what Moira did to him as a wife and mother was too disheartening for me. Even if she were consumed by raw fear, I would have felt she might have tried to see how he would react before she fled. Everything felt quite rushed from their hasty marriage to her flight — the title of the story is quite apt because Moira is a midnight runner as she takes flight into the darkest part of the night in order to flew from what frightens her. When she left her guardians it was one thing, but when she left the small towne and a loving husband it was quite another.

For me, I would have liked to have seen her talking things out with Brian even if she didn’t know how to express what she was afeared of the most, if only she had tried. She is definitely a character that is difficult to attach yourself too because your half trying to sort out the reason she has inside her head and half wondering if she’s too selfish. Ironically, it was when her stars changed for the good that I exited the novel — as it felt a bit cliche that in the midst of running again Moira runs into the one person who knew her paternal roots and could uproot her safely to a life she never knew? It was too thunderstruck for belief that a tormented husband succumbs to depression and despair whilst his wife is plucked out of the darkened woods whilst secured in court escort.

Afterthoughts on behalf of the style & choices of Marilee Jackson’s writing:

{ note on content | age of prospective readers }

I am at a bit of an impasse if I would say the scenes leading up to Moira’s flight from her guardian’s home were enjoyable to read but rather, they were alarmingly realistic and keen on descriptive details that gave you the grit and mire of living with people whose only concern is your obedience. I couldn’t go so far in my own mind to call them her ‘adopted family’ because they merely saw an opportunity to take in a young child and use that child for cheap labour around their house. This practice was used many times in real life throughout our own living histories of the historical past, where children were indentured and put to service. The truth does not paint the light brighter nor does it deflect from the horror of what they had to endure. Personally, I might have taken a different route to draw out attention to her plight, as part of me felt portions of this first bit of Midnight Runner were a bit forced to the page.

I haven’t read the original story for Cinderella as I determined over this past year, I am one who grew up with ‘after canon’ and/or ‘re-tellings’ to most fairy-tales to the level of where realising the truer stories are quite darkened and spun of a tone outside of the light to where I might not be able to alight inside them at all. (partially this was brought to my attention around the time I read Bitter Greens) I still recall the moment of clarity on this issue where Ms Courtenay and I learnt the truth about ourselves and the world of fairy-tales! (this refers to a #ChocLitSaturday convo on Twitter)

Some stories I read without censor, (here I refer to where I let my mind suspend the factors of what turn me off) and other times I find myself bucking the text as it is written. Midnight Runner appears to be a rendition of Cinderella but with a uniquely new bent on the fairy-tale of old. It stands on it’s own merits, but there are elements a classical reader will denote as being reminiscent of it. Yet my mind worked overtime trying to sort, assess, and determine if it were a story I could drink in. After all, I put down The Tale of Despereaux opting instead for the motion picture which kept the bits I felt were relevant and excluded the bits I felt took the story too far outside where the age it was marketed towards would be considered acceptable. I find myself betwixt the same thoughts now with Midnight Runner as instead of YA, I would consider this Adult or Upper YA (as yes, I have found this new term being used in the book blogosphere) where mid to late teens are the targeted audience rather than tweens who are entering their teens.

*I would honestly categorise this as ‘historical fiction crossed with women’s fiction’ due to the elevated context of Moira’s story-line. She’s 18 by the time the key bits of Midnight Runner start to evolve where her life will affectively change; thereby it’s either NA (New Adult) or straight-up Adult fiction for me.

Fly in the Ointment:

I had several misgivings about the representation of foster care and foster-adoptive families in the novel because being a future Adoptive Mum myself, I do notice a few things others might not mind to pick up on in the story-line. For instance there is a shifting between saying “foster daughter”, “adoptive daughter”, and “servant or housemaid” however it should be clear and concise what relation Moira is to the Bards. No one would hope for a child to be in their keep, mind, but to be fair to the story their connection to her was never properly defined. It was merely around the blurred edges of when her mother died. And, by eighteen their control over her is severed one way or the other, so to have the Bards still seeking her in full custody was a bit out of step with reality. Even in different time settings, either the age of maturity (and those ages differ per generation) or at the rite of marriage, severance from guardians is mutually respected. I couldn’t quite understand why they pursued her once she left, at least not for the reasons that were given.

The disparity of Moira’s actions and the questionable rationing she did to believe that what she was doing was right and true rankled me most. It is not an uplifting novel nor is a good guide on how to make better choices because when she’s given a second chance she wiggles herself out of it. She never takes responsible when kindness is given to her almost as though she is incapable of touch and love. This can be a true trait as sometimes those who are mistreated form a shell around themselves that is not able to be broken however, it is simply too darkly underlit for me personally.

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Midnight Runner Book Trailer via Marilee Jackson

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “Midnight Runner” Blog Tour can be found here:

Midnight Runner Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & MediaSorry for the delay if you were attempting to visit me earlier in the week! A migraine disrupted my reading of this novel and the novels I am reading for Valentine’s weekend; all of which are posting but the times are a bit off from where I had originally intended them to appear! Thank you for your return visits and I look forward to your comments!

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Find out which Cedar Fort novels & cookbooks I hosted in 2014

+ which ones are coming in 2015!

This Valentine’s weekend I am hosting:

Letters to my Future Husband Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media


The Lazarus Game Blog Tour by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

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If you LOVE techno-thrillers drop by my post on behalf of ERUPTION!

Whenever I find a novel I simply feel could benefit from a reader who can appreciate it more than I can myself, I am adding the title to my List on Riffle entitled: Stories Seeking Love from Readers. I have included “Midnight Runner” as I was simply disappointed where the story segued out from where I was hoping it would take me in the end. Honestly I struggled to connect to this story as for me Moira initially gave me a reason to stick with it, but in the end it was Moira who untethered my curiosity and made me want to put the book down. I am hoping another reader who regularly reads: young adult fiction, new adult fiction, historical fiction and/or women’s fiction will find something inside the story to anchour them rather than find their heart took flight like mine did.

{SOURCES: Author Biography, Book Synopsis and Book Cover of “Midnight Runner”, the blog tour badges, and the Cedar Fort badge were provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used by permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. The book trailer for “Midnight Runner” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life


About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov in 15th Century, 16th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Midwife | Midwifery, Orphans & Guardians, Psychological Abuse, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Women's Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

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6 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Jackson,

      I apologise for the delayed response – somewhere between chronic migraines and life being lived, I became a bit further delayed in responding to blog comments over the past several years! I’m about to enter my seventh year as a book blogger and I wanted to start to make amends to those who’ve left me comments this February, 2020! I was finally able to add-in my reading tweets as well to the bottom of the post – as a lot of my tweets are missing from a variety of reviews and features; all of which I hope to one day restore. I remember enjoying my progress into the story and wondering what you’ve been writing after this one published. I did just run a search for your latest releases but I couldn’t find any and I felt that was quite sad because I was truly curious to see what you’d tackle next. I hope you’ve continued to write even if you’ve decided to take a hiatus from publishing.

      I was thankful to be a part of your blog tour and hope the years have been kind to you.

    • I was thankful to hear your takeaway thoughts on behalf of this release – especially as I felt the author had a lot of stories to tell and I was looking forward to following her career. Sadly, tonight I’ve discovered nothing has published since this debut novel and I am hoping (at least) she’s been continuing to write even if she took a hiatus from publishing. I wonder what your thoughts about it were once you had the chance to read it. Sorry for the late response – not all the comments on my blog could be responded to as they were received over the past several years. I credit my chronic migraines to that for the most part and as I embark towards my seventh year as a book blogger, I’m spending the month of February responding to the comments I’ve enjoyed receiving.

      On that note, I always appreiated the time you spent on my blog and I know there came a day where you moved on and read others’ blogs – but the hours you spent here meant the world when I first starting out – so thank you for those encouraging notes, compliments and comments. They helped me during the days where I didn’t have as many followers & readers as I do know who engage with me. Likewise, I hope your blog continued to grow and you’ve been enjoying your involvement in the blogosphere and the social aspects of book world wherever your journey took you.

      • wow, Jorie…it’s been a VERY long time, to say the least, so was shocked when I accidentally clicked on a link that was showing me replies I guess through WordPress? Anyway, I’m SO sorry to hear about your migraines :( In reality, I haven’t been able to keep up with the majority of blogs I was enjoying. I’m lucky when I post on mine!. And, sadly, I’m working on making the decision of really pulling away from a lot of stuff online in connection with my KidLit/book love life because my health and life are forcing me to scale back for quite a while in the hopes I can find a way to get better. It’s critical I do it, for sure. I hope things are generally well for you in your life! I struggle in many ways, but I have my precious granddaughter–the one joy, the one true bright spot :)

        • Good evening, Donna,

          I elected to respond to this message privately – however, I did want to say, without our family and our faith, we’d all surely be lost because they are the two anchours which enable us to thrive whilst we’re living our lives. I am so thankful to hear you have family closeby and as you said, your grand-daughter will be providing you with such a beautiful Light of Joyfulness! I am sorry to hear you need to pull back and take a sabbatical but you have a lot of strength and I hope as you feel better and have a renewal of spirit in you, perhaps you can return? I’ve appreciated getting the chance to know you.

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