“By the Sword” and “Upon Secrecy” Book Reviews & Giveaways

By Shannon Gosney
In Book Review
October 29, 2009

I love books that talk about our American history, particularly the Revolutionary War.  I had the opportunity to review 2 wonderful books called By the Sword and Upon Secrecy.  Both books were written by author Selene Castrovilla and were amazing stories.  My heart pounded in a few parts of the book, as if I was right there in the story.  The illustrations were wonderful, thanks to Jeff Crosby and Shelly Ann Jackson!

By the Sword

By the Sword is about a young teacher named Benjamin Tallmadge, who is in the midst of the Revolutionary War.  He sacrifices his dreams and career to enlist in George Washington’s army.  In the story, we follow Benjamin and his beloved horse, Highlander, into the combat at the Battle of Long Island.  With bullets flying by him and people losing their lives around him, he feels the real effects of the Revolutionary War.  Will he make it with his trusting horse by his side?  Read it and find out!

Upon Secrecy

Upon Secrecy takes place in July 1780.  It’s been 4 years of war and France was joining the fight with George Washington’s troops.  The French were sailing into Newport, Rhode Island with needed soldiers, supplies, and weapons.  George Washington worried that they would make it in time and that the British wouldn’t find out and attack the French fleets.  Washington needed answers quickly!  He turned to the Culper Spy Ring, his most trusted source.  For 2 years, the Culper Spy Ring provided Washington with accurate information, but how long would it take them to get the information to him.  Follow the Culpers as they travel through British-occupied territory and try to make it in time to George Washington!

1 lucky reader on The Mommy-Files will win both By the Sword and Upon Secrecy!!!


– Why do you want to win this giveaway?


– Vote for The Mommy-Files on Top Mommy Blogs – 1 ENTRY
– Follow me on Twitter (themommyfiles) – 1 ENTRY
– Tweet about the giveaway – 1 ENTRY DAILY
– Follow me through Google Connect (new on the right side of the blog) – 1 ENTRY
– Subscribe to my blog – 1 ENTRY
– Add my Mommy-Files button to your blog and include the URL – 1 ENTRY
– Add my Holiday Gift Guide button to your blog – 1 ENTRY
– Comment on any Non-Giveaway post – 1 ENTRY per post comment (no limit)
– Blog about this giveaway and include the URL – 5 ENTRIES


– Contest will close at 11:59 p.m. PST on November 12th, 2009! Any entries after this time will be deleted!
– Contest open to U.S. residents only.

I received copies of the books “By the Sword” and “Upon Secrecy”for this post!  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

About Has 4152 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

86 Responses to ““By the Sword” and “Upon Secrecy” Book Reviews & Giveaways”

  1. Wendy says:

    These would be great for my son for Christmas. Would love to win to help with my Christmas shopping.

  2. Wendy says:

    I subscribe.

  3. jakell meckley says:

    great for a christmas gift for my little brother 🙂

  4. jakell meckley says:

    have your button

    e-mail for access thanks!

  5. jakell meckley says:

    i subscribe

  6. jakell meckley says:

    follow via google friend

  7. jakell meckley says:

    follow on twitter (cthmommy)

  8. I try and try to get my son to read. Sometimes he will, but he is interested in Revolutionary War stuff. Hopefully it will spark his interest. Thanks for all the great giveaways.

  9. I follow you on google.

  10. I left a comment on your joke of the day!

  11. Jaime says:

    These would make wonderful Holiday gifts, great giveaways

  12. Jaime says:

    twitter follower

  13. Jaime says:

    google friend

  14. Jaime says:

    email subscriber

  15. Benita G. says:

    I love reading about wars.


  16. Benita G. says:

    Email subscriber.


  17. Heather McD says:

    I’d love to win this because I love history and want my sons to love history too

  18. Heather McD says:

    I follow on twitter

  19. Heather McD says:

    I’m a subscriber

  20. susan varney says:

    i’m an avid reader love to win the prize

  21. Renee C says:

    I love books that can make history come alive!

  22. Ann F says:

    I’d like to win this for my husband who like reading about history

  23. Jill L says:

    I would love to win this for my son. He really loves to read and we are always looking for new books. Another reason is that I need some more things for under the tree.

  24. christopher h says:

    youngest would really enjoy them

  25. Tracey Byram says:

    These would be good books for me to read to Liz and Tristan.

  26. I would love to win this for my son Ben. He needs new books and it’s so important to read!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Bridgette Groschen

  27. I voted for you on Top Mommy Blogs. Good Luck!

  28. I follow you on Twitter. Thanks!

  29. I follow your blog on Google Friend Connect. Thanks!

  30. I subscribe to your blog by email. Thanks!

  31. Nanci K says:

    My son Alex would like to read this.

  32. autie says:

    it would get my brothers to read

  33. angie says:

    These books would be great for my sister’s classroom.

  34. Tanya says:

    I would love to win this giveaway Thanks

  35. Tanya says:

    Twitter Follower (starryeyed24)

  36. Tanya says:

    I have the holiday gift guide button

  37. sarah says:

    i love to read!

  38. corrie says:

    i wanna win for my son austin.

  39. Daniel M says:

    really like reading about history, even fiction that makes for a good story

  40. Steve Scott says:

    My son’s reading addiction is breaking the bank.

  41. I am always looking for books that are going to be exciting to read, and still be educational, this seems right in that area!

  42. Would love to add tehse books to my daughter’s homeschooling library- they look terrific!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  43. Follow on twitter: moziesme

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  44. also a Google connect follower

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  45. Erma says:

    It looks like a cute book.

  46. Ed Nemmers says:

    For my niece Hannah!

  47. Christina S says:

    My husband rides horses for a living, my son would get a kick out of reading this.

  48. Daniel B says:

    because they sound good and i would love to read them

  49. Daniel B says:

    – Vote for The Mommy-Files on Top Mommy Blogs – 1 ENTRY

  50. Angela Winesburg says:

    I would love to win this for my daughter, thanks!

  51. Susan Smith says:

    Looks like a good book

  52. nan lara says:

    i think these would be 2 great books for my nephews who love to read adventure books

  53. nan lara says:

    i follow

  54. susan smoaks says:

    i want to win this giveaway for our daughter

  55. susan smoaks says:

    follower on twitter @mrstls

  56. susan smoaks says:


  57. susan smoaks says:


  58. Sherri B. says:

    My nephew is a huge history fanatic and would love these!!! He is an avid reader and I do all I can to encourage him. I would much rather see a book in his hand than a game controller!!! Thanks!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  59. DanV says:

    I’d like to win it because it’s an intriguing set of books

  60. Rachel Newman says:

    I work at an after-school program and would love to share this with my students.

  61. Gianna says:

    Sounds like an interesting read 🙂

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