“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Contemporary Romance with Depth--"Blue Ridge Sunrise" by Denise Hunter--Review

My Review:
From the cover I was expecting a fun, cute romance.  Instead, "Blue Ridge Sunrise" by Denise Hunter is a romance with a lot of deeper issues being explored; such as family drama and dealing with past mistakes.  The first half of the book is dealing more with Zoe, our main female protagonist, returning home and facing her past.  Because of this there are flashbacks to Zoe’s past; a lot of which were bad decisions she had made.  I didn’t enjoy the first half as much because there is more mature content and I was really frustrated with Zoe.  The second half is where I started to like the book a lot more and I give Ms. Hunter kudos for the transformation Zoe goes through and her character arc. 

In the end, Zoe and Cruz (the hero of the book), learn a lot of lessons.  Zoe’s friend reminds her to find her identity in God and not any man.  Zoe realizes she has been trying to control things when God should be in control and she should pass things by God before acting.  Cruz’s faith also grows throughout the novel.  The only thing that is a little troublesome is that Zoe and Cruz made mistakes in the past, but I don’t really see them acknowledging specifically that what they did is wrong.

Of course, I love the romance!  Cruz is a great guy and it’s so sweet how he is so protective of Zoe and never stops loving her.  Ms. Hunter is an amazing writer and her style is easy to read.    Overall, I liked the book.  I think fans of contemporary novels and romance with some depth will really enjoy this book!

Content: This book definitely falls in the category of edgy Christian fiction with a PG-13 rating.  Some examples of the content are: the word hell is used; a couple shares a hotel room and sleep together when they aren’t married; people are at a bar and drink alcohol; a man is physically and emotionally abusive towards his girlfriend; a man calls a woman a derogatory name, but the word isn’t written; reference to someone being a drug addict.              
Rating: I give this book 3 stars.

Genre: Contemporary; Christian fiction; Romance.

I want to thank Denise Hunter, The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.                                                                            
Author Bio:
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books, including "The Convenient Groom" and "A December Bride" which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are currently enjoying an empty nest.

You can learn more about Denise by visiting her FaceBook page.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"An Hour Unspent" by Roseanna White Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!

an hour unspent FB banner copy

An Hour UnspentAbout the Book


Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancĂ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

You’ll want to steal some hours for yourself to read this wonderful conclusion to the “Shadows Over England” series!  “An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna White is the third and final book in the series.  I have read the first two books in the series and would recommend reading all three in order, as many similar characters appear in more than one book.  But it could be enjoyed as a standalone as well.
Since reading the first two books, I have been eager for the remainder of Barclay’s story.  Ms. White does a wonderful job fleshing out Barclay’s character and writing a heroine for him (Evelina).  I love the relationship between Barclay and Evelina.  Both characters go through journeys of faith throughout the story.  Barclay is a fairly new Christian at the beginning of the book.  It’s great to see how honest Barclay tries to be; he is struggling with trying to do the right things.  It’s inspiring to see the way this thief grows in faith.  Barclay realizes God doesn’t always take away the bad, but if we ask, God gives us the strength to deal with it.  Evelina sees God as a Great Clockmaker, who sets things in motion but then leaves His creation alone.  She learns that like a great clockmaker who is fine tuning his clock and continually working on it, God is doing the same with our lives.  He really is involved with and cares about each of His children. 

“An Hour Unspent” is all about family and relationships.  Many of the characters in the story learn that people, not things, are what really matter.  Family is what really makes you rich.  One shouldn’t spend all their time regretting what they haven’t done, but instead, spend the time they do have with the people who count, especially family.  I love the many ways family is portrayed in this story; with biological, broken families and a family of thieves who always looks out for one another.  I don’t particularly like reading about war or this time period and I found the story a little slow at times.  This is why I didn’t give it five stars, but it is worth the read for me!

Ms. White has employed well-written characters and universal themes in “An Hour Unspent!”  This is one I would recommend, especially if you love historical fiction and this time period. 

Content:  This is a clean read with a PG rating.  Some examples of the content are: a man notices a woman’s curves; talk of a man possibly having a mistress; mention of drunkards; people curse, but the word isn’t actually written; characters mention wanting to drink champagne.

Rating:  I give this book 4 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Romance; Mystery

I want to thank Celebrate Lit, Roseanna White and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Roseanna 2018About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30
The Power of Words, October 30
Back Porch Reads, October 30
Faithfully Bookish, October 31
Genesis 5020, October 31
Fiction Aficionado, November 1
Among the Reads, November 1
The Lit Addict, November 1
Multifarious, November 2
Godly Book Reviews, November 2
Madeline Clark, November 2
Bookworm Mama, November 3
Bigreadersite, November 3
Blogging With Carol , November 4
Life with the Tribe, November 4
The Becca Files, November 4
Kathleen Denly, November 5
Cordially Barbara, November 5
Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6
Carpe Diem, November 6
Maureen’s Musings , November 8
Book by Book, November 8
Just Commonly, November 8
cherylbbookblog, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day , November 9
With a Joyful Noise, November 9
KarenSueHadley , November 10
Baker kella, November 10
Bibliophile Reviews, November 10
Inklings and Notions , November 11
Henry Happens, November 12
Texas Book-aholic, November 12


To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"Becoming Mrs. Lewis" by Patti Callahan Review and Blog Tour


About Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis  

Hardcover: 432 Pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2018)

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Check out this audio clip of chapters 1 & 2: CLICK HERE


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Review

I love C.S. Lewis and even studied his life and works in college—so when I heard there was a story about his wife, the book immediately became a highly anticipated read!  And upon reading “Becoming Mrs. Lewis,” I was happy to discover that the author, Ms. Callahan, possesses a superb and very engaging writing style!  

“Becoming Mrs. Lewis” by Patti Callahan is the story of Joy and how she became C.S. Lewis’s wife (hence the title).  It’s not as much a love story as more of a picture of Joy’s journey (intellectual, spiritual and physical).  Joy Davidman struggles with a lot at the beginning of the book.  It is a raw portrait of a woman in a bad situation, who sometimes makes wrong choices.  She tries to find God in the midst of her struggles and to make sense of things.  She is somewhat of a feminist and ahead of her time.  She has a lot of courage.  I love reading the letters between Joy and C.S. Lewis as she reaches out to him and they develop a strong friendship.  I did start to question her feelings for Lewis though and the decisions she made while still married to another man.  But I was so happy to see that she realizes her obsessive love for Lewis and that all of her life she’s been going to the wrong places to find the love she desires.  Instead of seeking men to find the love she needs, she needs to go to God for this love—and she does!  I was also happy that Lewis kept his distance and did not allow anything to happen while she was still married.

For all the C.S. Lewis fans, there are plenty of nuggets about Lewis sprinkled throughout the book, on both his life and writing.  Ms. Callahan obviously did extensive research.  I love getting to hear a lot of Lewis’s thoughts and references to his works.  His discussions with Joy are fascinating.  I especially love when they talk about and describe “fairy land” and their longing for it.  It is interesting to hear Lewis describe his conversion, which came about by a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien (author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”) about the One True Myth (Christ and the Kingdom of God).  I do remember hearing in college some controversial things about Lewis and his relationship with Joy.  Lewis wasn’t always a conventional, conservative Christian.  I think instead of trying to glorify Lewis and Joy, the author seeks to portray a portrait of two people with human sins and struggles, who also love God and have both contributed great works to Christian literature and thinking. 

Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating and it’s more geared towards adults.  Some examples of the content are: a child is physically abused; a man has PTSD; a woman’s husband has an affair and drinks; a woman curses, but the word isn’t actually written; a man attempted suicide in the past; a woman had an affair with a married man; a man smokes; the main character recalls her experience of seeing a person commit suicide; a reference to making love; the Lord’s name is taken in vain; talk of affairs and sex (nothing explicit).

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical fiction; Romance

I want to thank TLC Book Tours, Patti Callahan and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.


About Patti Callahan

Patti Callahan (who also writes as Patti Callahan Henry) is a New York Times bestselling author. Patti was a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, has been an Indie Next Pick, twice an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. Her work has also been included in short story collections, anthologies, magazines and blogs. Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

Connect with Patti


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Instagram Tour Stops

Monday, October 1st: @Rissi006
Monday, October 1st: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Tuesday, October 2nd: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Wednesday, October 3rd: @girlsinbooks
Wednesday, October 3rd: @readingbringsjoy
Thursday, October 4th: @bookishmadeleine
Thursday, October 4th: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, October 4th:: @theardentbiblio
Saturday, October 6th: @acozyreader
Sunday, October 7th: @theliterarybirds

Review Tour Stops

Monday, October 1st: View from the Birdhouse
Tuesday, October 2nd: @prose_and_palate and Prose and Palate
Wednesday, October 3rd: Book by Book
Thursday, October 4th: Amy’s Book-et List
Friday, October 5th: Running Through the Storms
Monday, October 8th: Really Into This and @mountain_reader_
Tuesday, October 9th: Blooming with Books
Wednesday, October 10th: @createexploreread
Thursday, October 11th: Jathan & Heather
Friday, October 12th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, October 15th: @kim_reads
Tuesday, October 16th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, October 17th: Openly Bookish
Thursday, October 18th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, October 22nd: Fiction Aficionado
Monday, October 22nd: @novelmombooks
Tuesday, October 23rd: Read Eat Repeat
Wednesday, October 24th: Faery Tales are Real
Thursday, October 25th: Girl Who Reads
Friday, October 26th: What is That Book About

Friday, October 19, 2018

Review of Campaign Monitor-- A user-friendly email marketing platform provider!

I recently had the opportunity to test out an email marketing platform provider called Campaign Monitor.  I'm always trying to find better ways to promote my blog and Instagram, so I thought Campaign Monitor would be perfect for that.  Through Campaign Monitor’s web-based platform I’m able to send out a newsletter to promote both my blog and Instagram and update my followers on the different tours and giveaways happening on my blog and Instagram. 

With Campaign Monitor, I took advantage of the free trial, but did spend time also looking at what was included in their other packages.  Their Basic Package—$9 per month—includes email design tools, technical support, subscriber management and more, which I thought was a lot for the price!  You can see a list of the three plans and what they include here: 

There is so much included in this platform, one could spend hours perfecting their campaigns and making them look professional.

I was able to create a test campaign from one of the many pre-made templates available on Campaign Monitor’s website (I chose a sample template that was promoting a deal on an organic juice because I’m all about organic and healthy foods!). I sent the campaign emails out to some of my family members.  The template was easy to use and I had several options for importing the list of email addresses or just entering them manually.  I thought a nice feature was that I could choose to send emails out to targeted audiences if I wanted.  You can also use apps connected to Campaign Monitor that help in this area.  I easily was able to name the campaign, use the provided ad and enter my recipients’ email addresses and the campaign was sent.  You can see a full list of Campaign Monitor’s features here:

I was also impressed with the insights Campaign Monitor can give you once you’ve sent out your email campaign. These insights help you better your future campaigns.  I am hoping to spend more time on this site to use it as I mentioned above for my blog and Instagram.

I liked how much content this site has and how user-friendly it is!  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a business or website who wants to easily grow their product!
Disclosure:  This review has been provided at the request of Campaign Monitor and Anagram Interactive. I want to thank them both for their partnership and sponsorship.  A small amount was provided to me so that I could access all of the available features on their website. A positive review was in no way required as part of this partnership. The views expressed here are my own.  All pictures are from Campaign Monitor’s website and used with permission (except for the logo).
Link to the main site: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/b/


Thursday, October 18, 2018

"A Duel for Christmas" Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!

a duel for christmas fb banner

ChristmasDuel_frontAbout the Book

Book Title: A Duel For Christmas
Author: Rosanne E. Lortz
Genre: Regency Romance, Romantic Suspense
Release date: October 1, 2019
After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.
The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

Click here to purchase your copy!

 My Review

“A Duel for Christmas” by Rosanne Lortz is a wonderful read, especially for the holidays!  Although this is the third book in the “Pevensey Mysteries” series, it’s the first book from the series that I have read.  It can definitely be read as a standalone. 

I enjoy how “A Duel for Christmas” opens with a ball and how the book is sectioned off into the twelve days of Christmas.  One can never go wrong with a ball in my opinion!  Scenes at the ball remind me a lot of “Pride and Prejudice,” with a particularly great dance scene including witty banter.  The many familiar themes—a couple going from hating each other to loving each other, an annoying cousin who proposes marriage, an absent father, etc.—all brought me smiles with the nods to “Pride and Prejudice.”  Ms. Lortz has a special way with words and includes lots of Regency details.  However, I did feel the story is a little slow at times and I wanted to see more of Maud, one of the protagonists, in the second half of the story, which focuses more on the murder and investigation.

“A Duel for Christmas” has a great cast of well-written characters.  I enjoy the chemistry between the two main characters, Maud and Geoffrey.  It does feel a little weird that they have only had a few encounters before they feel they are in love with one another.  I understand the hasty marriage proposal and Maud’s dire situation, but the instant love is a little unrealistic for me.  I liked meeting Pevensey, who the series is named after, and I suspect he makes an appearance in the other books as well.  It is fascinating to see how the investigation surrounding the murder plays out.  I am very thankful there are no gruesome details or overly scary scenes.

Overall, “A Duel for Christmas” is a book filled with romance, mystery and history!  It’s a “Pride and Prejudice” meets murder mystery type of read, sprinkled with Christmas cheer! 

Content: I would give this book a PG-13 rating (but on the lower end of PG-13 spectrum).  Some examples of the content are: reference to a woman’s bosom; men gamble; people drink alcohol; the word bastard is used in reference to a man born out of wedlock; people get drunk; the words hussy and trollop are used; a man swears but the word is not actually written; God’s name is taken in vain; a woman talks about giving a man certain liberties; someone is pregnant out of wedlock; mention of sex and a man’s “needs” needing to be met.

Rating:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

Genre:  Historical fiction; Mystery; Romance

I want to thank Rosanne E. Lortz, Celebrate Lit and Madison Street Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author

Author PhotoRosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.
Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

Guest Post from Roseanne

The year is 1120. The place is the English Channel. A ship puts off from the French port. The passengers have been drinking, far too heavily. A submerged rock shatters the hull of the ship. The vessel goes down into the watery depths, and with it the heir to the English throne.

This incident from Medieval history was the inspiration for my Regency novel, A Duel for Christmas. Set in the early 1800s, the novel has a dash of suspense, a few tablespoons of murder mystery, and a heaping cup of sweet romance all blended together to make the perfect holiday read.

Lady Maud Worlington has just returned to London, determined to reclaim life on her own terms, but when an impulsive and unforgettable kiss creates a connection with Geoffrey, the Duke of Tilbury, she must decide if he can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her. A watery death, financial ruin, and a nefarious shadow from the past dog their steps as the Twelve Days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

Blog Stops

Just Commonly, October 13
Blogging With Carol, October 14
Remembrancy, October 14
Carpe Diem, October 15
Texas Book-aholic, October 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 18
Wishful Endings, October 18
More Of Him, October 19
Bibliophile Reviews, October 20
Lis Loves Reading, October 21
Mary Hake, October 22
Simple Harvest Reads, October 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Book by Book, October 23
Bigreadersite, October 25
Godly Book Reviews, October 26


To celebrate her tour, Rosanne is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d434/a-duel-for-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, October 12, 2018

"The Game of Hope" by Sandra Gulland Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!



Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Viking Books for Young Readers
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
For Napoleon’s stepdaughter, nothing is simple — especially love.
Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother’s dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother Josephine has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.
Where will Hortense’s future lie?
Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.


My review

“The Game of Hope” by Sandra Gulland combines two of my favorite genres:  Young Adult and Historical fiction!  It is a coming of age story of Hortense de Beauharnais, the stepdaughter of Napoleon.  I feel like her story will resonate with a lot of readers.

It’s fascinating to see the events surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte and his leadership, as well as the aftermath of the French Revolution, through the eyes of his teenage stepdaughter.  I love how Ms. Gulland portrays the family and their relationships with one another.  There is often a lot of drama, but their relationships evolve throughout the course of the story.  Throughout these evolutions, one can sense the importance of family.  “The Game of Hope” also shows the value of remembering the past and forgiving.  I especially enjoy reading about the relationship between Hortense and her brother.  There are some great friendships and side characters as well.

“The Game of Hope” is rich with historical accuracy and details!  It’s also told in a way that will resonate with young adults (it’s not too bogged down with the details and it has faster paced chapters).  I find it fascinating to see what Hortense’s life would be like.  She experiences so many everyday things (like living at a boarding school and having her first crush); but also huge, out of the ordinary events (like surviving mobs and moving into a palace).  The story is a secular read, so it does contain some more content than the books I usually feature.  I think it would be appropriate for mature teens (see content below for more information).

“The Game of Hope” is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a teenage girl who finds herself caught in events beyond her control.  The book is a beautiful testament to family, friendship and learning to be confident in oneself. 

Content:  I give this book a PG-13 rating.  There’s more content in this book than the books I normally read, so rather than listing each instance, here’s a few examples:  talk of a woman’s menstrual cycle; a girl mentions she is chaste; the word Negro is used in context: a main character finds a book about sex and is disgusted; mention of demons and spirits; talk of people having affairs; people tell fortunes; the word whore is used; a girl refers to her breasts; a dress is low cut; talk of a person committing suicide; reference to people being drunk.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

Genre: Historical fiction; Young Adult

I want to thank Sandra Gulland, Penguin Teen, Penguin Random House and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Praise for The Game of Hope

“Gulland, who’s clearly done her research, includes plenty of documented moments and people from Hortense’s life, which cultivates a rich sense of atmosphere . . . Teen fans of historical fiction fascinated by the period will find plenty to appreciate here.” — Booklist
“Gulland has built a career writing historical fiction for adults … . Her pitch-perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in The Game of Hope. — Quill & Quire
“[The Game of Hope] captures the essence of the period. It is not just a story about a girl; it is about the time; it is about the people whose lives she touched and about the changes spurned from the revolution. That is what makes it so grand and captivating.” — Cyn’s Workshop Review
“Sandra Gulland’s writing is enchanting and beautiful.” — Krimsuun Pages

About the Author

Sandra Gulland is an American-born Canadian novelist specializing in historical fiction. She is the author of the internationally bestselling trilogy of adult books based on the life of Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte, as well as two novels set at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, translated into thirteen languages, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.
Sandra Gulland’s novels include The Josephine B. Trilogy, The Shadow Queen, Mistress of the Sun, and The Game of Hope.



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 8
Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, October 9
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, October 10
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, October 11
Excerpt at A Dream within a Dream
Friday, October 12
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Monday, October 15
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, October 16
Review at Creating Herstory
Wednesday, October 17
Review at Reading the Past
Thursday, October 18
Interview at Creating Herstory
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Friday, October 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, October 20
Review at Introvert Booklover
Sunday, October 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, October 22
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Game of Hope to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below (click on the direct link).
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US Only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.