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Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm giving away a copy of A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell

I am so excited about giving away a copy of this book. I loved it! It's going to be on my favorite fiction reads for 2008 list for sure. Also, a copy of my review is posted on the Baker/Revell site. Is that cool, or what. I guess they liked what I had to say, too. Anyway, if you want to win a copy of this amazing story, tell me why when you post a comment and I'll enter your name in the contest to win it. I will pick a winner on Wednesday! Best wishes and don't forget to leave me a way to reach you if you win!

About the book:

Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. Her destiny is least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture the love of a man bound to the queen.

My review:

First, let me say that the cover is the most beautiful historical fiction cover I have ever seen. Second, I don't recommend reading this book if there are a lot of distractions. To get the full effect of the author's voice and the setting you need to be in a place where your concentration is not easily broken. Do this and you'll get sucked right in. I had to set aside blocks of time read to this book because it's not the kind where you can just read a page here and there. Once I got a chance to really read it, I became distressed that I had to wait to finish it. But life gets busy. At any rate, this book kept calling me to read it and that rarely happens to me with books, which is why I gave it five + stars.

Siri writes real thoughts and real life. The ugliness of that plague, people being quartered and beheaded, etc. was not glossed over, nor was it written for shock value. It was simply told truthfully and that made the setting feel more real to me. Someone mentioned there being less content about God and faith than in secular novels. I disagree. I saw more content with a spiritual thread than is even found in some CBA fiction. However, the content was limited to the era and thus constrained by the culture. To write a viewpoint much different from how Siri wrote it, well, that would not have worked and would have blow the author's credibility. She had to show the way it really was.

I found this story very romantic as well. At first I wanted to smack Lytham around, but Siri redeemed him well. He became quite the hero, but was still flawed. Some of the marital conflict was hilarious and overall quite entertaining. I could feel their emotion and it was fabulously written. The love scenes were realistic, too, but tastefully done.

I despised the older woman who was continually advising Marget. And what happened with Lytham's former wife was simply tragic. Marget was innocent and the advice given nearly ruined her. The grieving she experienced was so real to me that I cried for Marget several times. It wasn't a heavy, lingering feeling from her pain, though, because I had not experienced the same thing. But I could identify with her. And like in the story about the Titanic, where you know the ship will sink, I kept reading with the anxious feeling of knowing that the cosmetics were poisoning her and I couldn't stop her from returning to court. I totally bought into the tension in this story.

Siri always makes me think about our culture and other cultures when she writes. I could see how women over the centuries have done just about anything to look beautiful. I found that concept fascinating and told many people about this story because of it. What a great premise! I'd always wondered why courtiers had such a high rate of infertility. If you wanted to be a mother, chances were better if you stayed far away from the queen and her court.

I also found the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth to be very well done. There was so much richness and depth to this story, I could go on for hours. But in short, the definition of love and faithfulness is explored in detail in A Constant Heart, and the way the author showed the many different perspectives was nothing short of brilliant. If you love realistic historical fiction that is honest and contains some edgy content, you'll want to devour this book!


Alyce said...

This book sounds so good! I added it to my wish list. The story appeals to me because I like stories about royalty and historical fiction about the UK, so this seems like a perfect fit.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Sandy said...

You are right, the cover is beautiful..that was my first thought when I saw it..then as I was reading, the review of the story has pulled me in wanting me to read more. mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

Katie said...

Please enter me in your drawing thanks

Lindsey said...

What a great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this because of the time period it takes place in (I'm newly interested and haven't read enough of this history) and now because I know it's "real" like you say in your review.

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

ladyufshalott at

Carole said...

I've read mixed reviews on this book, but still wanted to read it. Then your review sealed the deal, so to speak. I liked your advice about making blocks of time to read, which I plan on doing. Thanks for the contest, Michelle.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Abi said...

Love the cover too. I'd love a chance to win the book too.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this!

Sherry said...

The cover is so appealing that it draws you to the story before you ever open the book. The story sounds very good. So please enter me in the contest.

The Daily Bee said...

I've been dying to get this book! Siri Mitchell is one of my favorite authors. Your reviews always make me run out to buy the book and so far, all have been excellent!

I'd, of course, love to win this!

Anonymous said...

oh l am a sucker for this time period and all the history that goes with it... this looks like a book to cuddle up with a cup of tea with and let time take me back in history... looks great! Percy, you know who l am and how to reach me! ;)

Michelle said...

I am so excited about reading this book. I have just recently started reading Sir Mitchell's books but I have enjoyed each one to date. She does well with pulling you into the story and making you wish it would never end. Also, Michelle Sutton's review definitely whet's my appetite for "A Constant Heart."

Jendi said...

That is a great review. Congrats on getting it posted on Baker/Revell!

I know the religion was there, but I wish there would have been just a tad more of it.

However, I did love the book. [I'm not entering to win. I have it.]

I agree with you about Lytham, the older lady, his first wife, and the makeup. I wanted her to please her husband and look like a courtier, but I didn't want her to poison herself!

I cried about the babies. I had 2 miscarriages.

I started this book in a bubble bath at 9:30pm and didn't put it down until I finished it at 1:30am. It was worth it!

Purely Sony said...

I want this book!!! It is actually on my wish list and I think it would be great if I won it! :-)
I can’t wait to read it!

Thanks! :0)

Anissa said...

I love historical fiction (esp court fiction). I'll have to add that to my reading list...

KC said...

I am a Siri fan. I really enjoyed Kissing Adrien and TCND, Chateau of Echoes was pretty good and Moon Over Tokyo was nice, too. When I saw she was coming out with an historical, I thought: No, no, no. She's such a good chick lit writer. But I guess she had to write what was on her heart. Anyway, after reading several reviews and Siri's own words about why she wrote the book, I am quite keen on reading it now.

Jenn said...

love t this book, I only read historical fiction books. I never read anything set after WW2 .

Krystle Smart said...

Siri Mitchell is an amaizing author! why wouldn't anyone want this magnificent book?? well i sure do. it's summer holidays, what better way to enjoy it than with one of Siri's books!

I would love to enter the draw, thanks heaps xx

hspruitt said...

I would love to win a copy of Siri Mitchell's new book because I love historical fiction! I'm excited about having historical fiction to choose from that is based outside of the United States. I also have read several of her other books and have enjoyed them as well.

Thanks for the review and the contest! (

Jennifer said...

I adore historical fiction and this book sounds like a brilliant read. I enjoyed your review and thank you for giving me the opportunity to win this fabulous book.

knittingmomof3 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I haven't had the opportunity to read Siri's latest book. I have read all of her other books and am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to read this one. I have to say that "The Cubicle Next Door" and "Chateau of Echoes" are currently tied at first for me for Siri Books. I'm anxious to see if I like this one even more than those two. Thanks for the opportunity. ~ Sara
saraeb1271 at aol dot com

windycindy said...

This book deserves my quiet time spot on the sofa near our fireplace. I can see the book in hand and a hot chocolate on the table. Please enter me in this rich, historical love story book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

PopinFresh said...

Please enter me in this drawing, this book looks fantastic.

~ Popin

jenna said...

This book sounds great! I think historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. That fact that you said you have to read it in time blocks makes me want to read it even more! As a busy mom, I'll take any excuse to have a chunk of time to myself.
frog123 (at) cyipcom (dot) net

blueviolet said...

You write such wonderful reviews that no one would dare cast aside one of your selections! This one is no exception.

Andrea said...

I love reading and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I would love to read this and then blog about it.

christmasinmarch {at} gmail {dot} com

Celeste said...

Please enter me in your contest! I love reading all of Siri's books and I know I would enjoy reading this one as well! celestesoleil at gmail dot com

lisa said...

I read your review on this book and was fascinated. I'd love a chance win!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Sara said...

Hello! Thanks for the review it was great. I love Siri Mitchell and can't wait to read this book. :) Please include me in your drawing.

sasscfrass at hotmail dot com

Holly said...

I've read an excerpt of this and was excited to read the rest, but have been unable to do so. It seems like it would be similar in style to Philippa Gregory, but not so graphic, which I think is just great. I'd love to win a copy, please enter me.


Lori said...

Book sounds wonderful, please put me in the drawing. Thank you.\

rebornbutterfly said...

i can't believe the amount of people here!
i'd love to read any Siri Mitchell books and this one sounds exceptionally good!

Shauna said...

I LOVE Siri Mitchell and still swoon over Kissing Adrien. I'd love to read this one. Enter me, please!

Michelle Sutton said...

And the winner is...


cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Thanks everyone!

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