First Line Friday — Roses Have Thorns

5 Jun

Happy Friday! I headed to my newly organized TBR shelves to search out an intriguing first line to share. I have had Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd waiting a long, long time. This book is set in the Tudor court of Elizabeth I. I love this time period and really should read this book. Have you read it? I would love to know your thoughts on why it should be on the top of the pile.

I may have been a maiden just shy of seventeen years of age, but I was no simpleton.

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance 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.

Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary 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 a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a nonfiction author with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional was named by Called Magazine, the #1 magazine for Christian Women, as among their favorite, must-read books for Fall, 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping writers develop their talents and their work through content coaching and line editing, and has mentored hundreds of writers. For testimonials about her editing and book coaching, please visit


For more fabulous first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.



15 Responses to “First Line Friday — Roses Have Thorns”

  1. lelandandbecky June 5, 2020 at 8:47 am #

    Happy Friday! My first line is from “The Heart of a Hero” by Susan May Warren:

    “In the daylight, Jake Silver wasn’t the devil.”

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:13 am #

      Cute line!

  2. MrsDMVH June 5, 2020 at 9:23 am #

    Oooo intriguing! Happy Friday!!

  3. bellesmoma16 June 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm #

    Happy Friday!
    Today on my blog I’m sharing the first line from The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton:
    I’m currently on chapter 16 so I will share the first line from there.
    “The Joanna’s loss was a blow to Severn’s economy, that of her crew a sorrow, but Captain Kelly’s death struck deepest.”
    I hope you have a great weekend filled with relaxing reading time! 🙂❤️📚

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:13 am #

      Loved that book! Eagerly awaiting the next one.

  4. Paula Shreckhise June 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm #

    My first line is from STORIES THAT BIND US by Susie Finkbeiner

    My Norman had never understood why I liked to hang laundry on the line when I had a perfectly good dryer inside.

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:12 am #

      Can’t wait to read this book!

  5. Anneliese Dalaba June 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm #

    I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds fascinating. On my blog, I’m featuring Gods at War by Kyle Idleman. Here, I will share the first line from Chapter 25 from my current read, Nathan’s Nurse, by Zina Abbott. “December 30, 1881. The strap of his tow sack full of clean and mended clothes pressing on his shoulder, Nathan maneuvered his way along the path in the snow beaten down by the men traveling from their homes in the married miners’ housing to their jobs at the mine.” I hope you will enjoy a relaxing weekend.

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:12 am #

      This is the 3rd book of a trilogy. I’ve only read book 1 which is about Anne Boleyn. It was very good.

  6. BeautyInTheBinding (@BeautyInTheBind) June 5, 2020 at 6:59 pm #

    Today, I’m sharing the first line from The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep: “Death prowled the cellblock like a dark animal seeking prey — especially the weakest.”

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:11 am #

      I love Griep’s books. This one was very good.

  7. Kelly-Ann Deffenbaugh June 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm #

    Happy Friday!!
    Today on my blog I shared the first line from Misty Beller’s Love’s Mountain Quest. “The woman stood in the wind, skirts billowing, hair flying, as though the gusts swept away all her inhibitions.” I just finished it and it was really good!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:10 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. thebeccafiles June 5, 2020 at 8:39 pm #

    Happy Friday!
    Today on my blog I shared the first line from The Comparison Girl by Shannon Popkin but I’m currently reading The Way of Love by Tracie Peterson so I’ll share the first line from my current chapter (5) here: “Mrs. Weaver joined the boardinghouse residents for breakfast the next morning.” Hope you have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary June 6, 2020 at 6:10 am #

      Hope you do too! 🙂

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