Monday, April 29, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd (Review & Giveaway)

From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.

Like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage—or your life?

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiancĂ© has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust—a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

Roses Have Thorns, the third installment of the Ladies in Waiting series, is actually the first book I have read by Sandra Byrd, but it won't be my last! This author's passion for the Tudor era is evident throughout the book and the research she must have done is phenomenal! I loved learning more about this time in history and about lesser-known people who were a part of Elizabeth I's court.

Though Roses Have Thorns spans many decades, the story is never dull or bogged down, but moves along at a very enjoyable pace. In fact, once I started it I hated having to put this book down, and so I finished it rather quickly - in a little over a day.

I highly recommend Roses Have Thorns to fans of historical fiction. I hope to be able to read the first two books in this series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, very soon; but, I don't think these books have to be read in order - especially if you already know about this period in British history - as each one is about a different queen.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (April 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439183163
ISBN-13: 978-1439183168
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
Available to purchase at Amazon | B&N | CBD


After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, will publish in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has also published many nonfiction articles and books. She is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype.
Connect with Sandra on Twitter (@sandrabyrd) and Facebook

To be entered to win Roses Have Thorns, complete the mandatory entries in the Rafflecopter form below. After you complete the mandatory entries, more will be unlocked and you may complete which ever of those you would like. Giveaway open to U.S. only and ends on May 15th at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I read alot of historical fiction, but this is not an era I have read much about. I look for ward to the opportunity!

  2. Hi Sandra. How did you become interested in writing historical fiction? Thanks for a chance to win a copy of your wonderful book.

  3. Can't wait to read this book! It looks so good and I really enjoyed all the history in To Die For and The Secret Keeper.

  4. I've read some of Byrd's Christian Fiction books and enjoyed them. I am wondering why she chose to begin writing historical fiction, which is so different from what she was writing initially.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I would love to win this for my daughter, this era is her favorite to read about.


  6. My book club read To Die For last summer. I wasn't sure I'd like it because of the time period, but it was very good. One of our members loves that era so devoured the book and the next in the series as well. I like that the books are so well researched.
    Thanks for the giveaway. It would be nice to win Roses Have Thorns.


  7. I love Sandra's books thanks for chance to win

  8. I love historical fiction. I am wondering if the name choice of von Snakenborg was on purpose.

  9. I love fiction about British royalty! Probably my favorite time period is that of Henry VIII. He wouldn't love to learn about him. He was impulsive, good-looking until he grew fat, and had six wives! Two of which he executed, one he called his sister, another he outcast and the last one only made it out alive because he died first! Craziness!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  10. I love the Tudor period! And I'm a big fan of Gregory.. :) this book sounds really good! Would love to read it!

    Ps-- I'm a new follower :)

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

  11. As a textbook acquisitions editor, what was the weirdest thing to cross your desk?

  12. Read the first two and loved them! I would love to read this one too. I love books that are based on things that actually happened and or real people from history.:)

  13. I don't want to enter the giveaway, cause I'm not writing from the US, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the review, and since I'm *slightly* obsessed with Elizabeth I, this is so going to my GoodReads TBR list! Thanks!

  14. This would be my first historical fiction about this Era, I believe. This book looks great! :-)

  15. I tried to click to give you Klout, and it closed before I was able to. I am sorry about that! I was trying to sign in. Can I click the link and give you Klout tomorrow and not count it as an entry? So sorry about that!

  16. Please visit this link for the giveaway post I put about Roses Have Thorns. I accidentally pressed enter before I had put it on the rafflecopter!

    I very much appreciate it:)

  17. Thanks for the giveaway, this one looks good!

  18. Sounds like my kind of book. I just love the history and would enjoy reading it. Thanks for having the giveaway.