Monday, May 30, 2011

Two weeks to THE REVENANT -- Hapless Hearts Giveaway [NOW CLOSED]

First . . . on this Memorial Day my heartfelt thanks go out to all the men and women of the military who have sacrificed so much in their service to our country.

The second order of business is to announce the winner of last week's giveaway. The person who will receive copies of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and VILLETTE, plus swag, is . . .

April X!!!

And now on to the next giveaway . . . this week's theme is thwarted love, or what my husband alliteratively termed "hapless hearts"!

*Mini etymology lesson: hapless meaning "unfortunate," from Middle English "hap" > Old Norse "happ" luck, chance; akin to Old English "gehæp" fit, convenient. Hee!

What do I love about them?

I love stories in which the impediment to true love is something bigger and darker than a mere misunderstanding. Stories where, in an ideal world, the relationship would be strong, passionate and long-lasting . . . but in reality it just can't be. Perhaps it is a social or cultural taboo that gets in the way. Or maybe these two lovers can't be together without one of them losing something essential to them or compromising him or herself in a way that is unendurable. Take Jane and Rochester from Jane Eyre (seen above in the 2011 film) -- SPOILER ALERT (???) -- they can't be married. Rochester offers an alternative, but Jane refuses to compromise herself. She would rather give him up than lose herself entirely. Thus, NEITHER can be happy. Bless their poor, hapless hearts!

What does it have to do with The Revenant?

There are several characters in The Revenant who fall for the wrong person; in some cases, these "hapless hearts" find themselves in danger. Our protagonist, Willie Hammond, is drawn almost against her will to Eli, a student at the Male Seminary. The attraction is doomed, however, because she is posing as a teacher and desperately needs the job in order to maintain her independence. Complicating matters is this -- the stronger her attraction grows, the less certain she is that Eli can be trusted. What is he hiding? Will learning his secrets lead her into danger?

What am I giving away?

VOYA called Maurissa Guibord's Warped "an entertaining and thought-provoking tale" and in a starred review School Library Journal raved that Guibord's "absorbing and mesmerizing read has it all—fantasy, romance, witchcraft, life-threatening situations, detective work, chase scenes, and a smattering of violence. Imaginative and compelling, it's impossible to put down." This story of two young lovers from very different places and times reminded me, in the best way, of Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor, only with a stronger fantasy spin (& for those of you who've read the book, WARPED offers all the romance without the nekkid bits). The chemistry between Tessa and Will is palpable -- they need to be together -- but how can they bridge their temporal divide? The super cool thing about the copy I'm offering is that Maurissa Guibord signed it specifically for this giveaway when we were together in Salem, MA. Yay!

In addition to Warped, I am offering Kristi Cook's Haven, a novel that would have worked perfectly for my boarding school giveaway (if not for a monstrous lapse on the part of my brain), but also fits the Hapless Hearts theme quite nicely. Booklist said this story of a girl who has visions in which she's fated to kill the boy she loves, "reads like a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers, and it will find a wide audience among female fans of gothic novels." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books called it "seriously sexy." With its appealing heroine, gothic setting, romantic tension and paranormal mystery, this novel is sure to please!

The weekly giveaways are open to residents of North America only. International readers may still comment to enter the drawing for a finished copy of The Revenant.

How does one enter?

1. Leave a comment that includes a name and some way to contact you. This is really all you have to do to be entered for the weekly giveaway AND to put your name in the drawing for one of two finished copies of The Revenant. This isn't required, but I'd love for you to share in the comment your favorite "hapless hearts" (doomed or thwarted lovers -- and it's totally okay if they eventually overcome their obstacles and get together because that's the way I like it!).

2. If you'd like an extra entry, please tweet a link to this contest. Something like: Win copies of WARPED and HAVEN at @soniagensler's Two Weeks to THE REVENANT Giveaway! (Please let me know in the comments that you've tweeted -- a link would be fabulous!)

You have until 11:59 pm Saturday the 4th (CDT) to enter -- good luck!


  1. I don't really know why I like hapless hearts. They always make me feel so depressed, but because of the HEAs I read about I guess it balances things for me to see that things don't always work out, no matter how much you want them to. I guess we're all masochists for liking them :-)



  2. I both love and hate the hapless hearts stories/films. Even though the characters always have a reason for why they can't be together, it breaks my heart nonetheless. The movie Becoming Jane made me cry so much that I didn't even want to rewatch it, despite the fact that I really liked the film.

    Ann @semisweet (

  3. Petra and Ann -- I know hapless hearts can be very depressing. I guess I like them best when they CAN work things out and find a way to be together. Ann, your example of Jane and Tom Lefroy is a good one. A similar favorite of mine is John Keats and Fanny Brawne from BRIGHT STAR -- I cried so much!

  4. Thanks for this! I'd love to enter. :)

  5. Ugh, I loved Becoming Jane but it BROKE MY HEART. ::dies on floor::
    I don'like angst, per se, but I do LOVE me a good doomed romance. It makes everything seem so much more...intense.

    I tweeted about your giveaway here -!/xLeeDx/status/75214357075734528

    I'll go sit in the corner now and cry over that pic from above (Jane Eyre) OMG. :')

    Lisa @ Fic Talk


  6. Yay, another Jane Eyre 2011 fan!

  7. My all time favorite haplass hearts are Romeo and Juliet. There are many more but this one, I think, will always be the one that moves me most.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  8. Thank you for the opportunity. Two weeks away, can't believe it! Congratulations! Thanks for the opportunity to win some new books!

  9. I have to agree with Lee Becoming Jane just broke my heart I was so sadfor her I just wanted her to be happy like her characters that she writes. But she became stronger because of it.


  10. Heya! GREAT giveaway! Thanks for hosting this and congrats on your book birthday! WOO HOOOO!

    Monica-Marie Holtkamp
    nurse_moni at yahoo dot com!/SeeingNight/status/75243370833911808

    That's my retweet since I couldn't get my copy & paste to work on my Twitter! LOL

  11. Travis and Mary from the Forest of Hands and Teeth...I don't want to spoil anything.
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  12. Tally and Zane from the Pretties, so so sad.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  13. Tristan and Isolde!!! Old skool, baby! ;P

    (Also, I retweeted)

    mbradenwf AT gmail DOT com

  14. Hey, I would have to say Logan Keeley and Aura Salvatore...It just kills me that they can'e be together. I also just finished reading Shift so they are the most fresh heartbreak on my mind. :)

  15. Hey! I want to really read your book!

    (International Fan)

  16. Awesome, I can't wait to read THE REVENANT! And I've been wanting to read Haven since it came out :) Also, I tweeted about it: h_anastasiu

    and you can reach me by email: heathbo[at]yahoo[dot]com

  17. Great contest! The books sound very interesting and I can't wait to read them!

  18. Thanks for this, Sonia, is so sweet of you!

    Name: Andrea


    Well, I really liked Clary and Jace in The Mortal Instruments. They were like, totally doomed. But fortunately they work things out. Love them!<3

    Twitter link:!/AndreaN4/status/75715402394644480

  19. I'm in the Romeo and Juliet camp as well.


  20. Awesome giveaway! New blog follower :) I would have to agree w/Misty; Tristan and Isolde.... *sigh*

    please enter me :)


  21. Would love to win this. Can't wait to read these books :)!/CherylSab/status/75912355967549440

  22. Thanks for the giveaway!! I'm an international entrant, to win The Revenant ;)

    Doomed lovers? I LOVE Romeo & Juliet, but I just finished Starcrossed by Josephine Angelinin and I ADORE Helen & Lucas! I'd definitely recommend you check out Starcrossed!


  23. Guess I'm feeling a bit morbid today b/c the Hapless Heart book I'm thinking of is Wuthering Heights. It doesn't get more hapless, or dreary, than that.
    Thanks for a great giveaway!
    I tweeted

  24. *Sigh* I think my favorite Hapless Heart books are the Fallen series by Lauren Kate & The Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick...They make me so sad & happy at the same time. haha




  25. My favorite hapless hearts are Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu from Dream of the Red Chamber, closely followed by Catherine and Heathcliff.
    "Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!" ::sigh::

    Here's my e-mail address: moltennotebook (@) gmail (dot) com

    And a link to my tweet:!/moltenbook/status/75911579283111936

    Thanks for offering this giveaway. Looking forward to reading The Revenant!

  26. Wow, you guys are coming up with great examples, both classic and new!

    Moltennotebook -- LOVE the Wuthering Heights quote!

  27. FABULOUS contest and thank you for including international readers :) I've had my eye on The Revenant for a while now and definitely want to read it!

    I've tweeted a link:!/lynseynewton/status/76397997616939009

    Lynsey (AT)narrativelyspeaking(DOT)com

  28. Thanks so much for the fabulous contest! :) I would love to win these two. My favourite hapless hearts.. hm. Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy, maybe?

    (+1) Tweeted:!/thestoryqueen/status/76399362166620160

    Thanks again!

    Sonia (I know, it's a fabulous name ;))

  29. Thank you! My name is Ashley!

    Here is my email:

  30. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite romances....It's so amazing how Jane decided to leave instead of accepting his compromising offer.!/magabygc/status/76632750794358784

    Please enter me in both giveaways if I can enter with my USA P.O.Box.

    magabygc at

  31. I would love all these books. So please enter me. I also tweeted @ebyss would be me.

    Um...have you ever seen the show with Brad Pitt, Legends of the Fall. I thought that movie was so sad because everyone he loved died.

    Thanks for hosting an awesome contest

  32. Would love to win! thanks for the giveaway!

    email: wefancybooks AT gmail DOT com

    Extra Entry


  33. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Doomed lovers? ... I guess my current favourite would be Lena and Alex from DELIRIUM. Or Cassia and Ky from MATCHED. Gah! So hard to choose!

    Extra entry--tweeted:!/hilalapiggie/status/76650720518094848

    hikablack AT gmail DOT com

  34. My favorite hapless hearts are Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet is so strung up on this idea of revenge, bound by his vow, that it comes to mean more to him than Ophelia, and Ophelia- sheltered and protected all her life by her father and brother- is too fragile to survive what he's doing, is incapable of waiting it out to see what the result will be. I'm one of those strange people who believes they really were in love, that his promises to her were a real thing, but he had to put them below his vow of vengeance, adding to the tragedy. Not exactly a happy ending for either of them, though...