Blog Tour + My Review: Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

Roses Have Thorns:
A Novel of Elizabeth I
By Sandra Byrd
Copyright 2013
Howard Books
ISBN: 9781439183168
The Story:
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.

My Thoughts:
Sandra Byrd has done it again. Just when I thought I couldn't become anymore intrigued by Tudor history she pens another stellar book that makes me want to know more, more, more! Each story in the Ladies in Waiting series, Roses Have Thorns included, has an authentic feel. From clothing, to court life, to dialogue you can't help become immersed in the story and feel as if you are a part of it. The best thing is that not only are historical settings and figures brought to life but romance as well. 

From the beginning we follow 17-year-old Elin von Snakenborg from her home in Sweden as a young woman unsure of what her future holds to a mature, married woman with a family. The perils she faces as part of Queen Elizabeth's inner circle mingle with those of her own personal life and one is always left unsure of whether or not Elin, later known as Helena, will find true happiness and love. I for one was a little worried that Helena's husband, who will remain unnamed to prevent spoiling the story, was guilty of cheating but he redeemed himself to become one of my favorite characters in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed Roses Have Thorns and I am sad to see this series end. I can't get enough! Drama, romance, history, this book has it all in spades.

~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~

Order a copy of Roses Have Thorns HERE.

My review of To Die For.

My review of The Secret Keeper.

*I received a complimentary ARC from the author. I was not obligated to provide a positive review. *

Meet Sandra:
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. 

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Visit Sandra's blog HERE and enter to win a copy of Roses Have Thorns, an Elizabethan inspired necklace, or a $25 e-gift certificate to! 

Also, stay tuned to this blog for your chance to win a copy of Roses Have Thorns and many other new Christian fiction releases this week!

Happy Reading!


  1. Thank you, Renee! You've done a fantastic job on this tour.

    1. Thank YOU, Sandra! I loved being a part of this tour and hope everyone else who participated did too!

      Renee C.

  2. Thank you so much for getting me involved on this tour -- loved the book! :)

    1. I'm so glad you were a part of the tour and that you enjoyed the book! Thank you!

      Renee C.


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