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 . . .
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! http://tinyurl.com/3k4goxb (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!
Verne in Bogotá by Juana Medina
2 hours ago