Books, TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

July has almost gone, and we have five months left in 2016. How goes the TBR reading? I finished my spring classes just after last month’s Check In and have been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Summer hours at the day job mean that I’m up too early in the morning for my taste, but I’ve been getting some pages read before bed.

Photo Credit: Herzi Pinki
Photo Credit: Herzi Pinki

Helps me sleep, too 😉

In audiobooks, I finally finished listening to Dragonfly in Amber (which I started last year–thanks goodness I’d already read it, or I wouldn’t remember what was going on between listens!). I have about thirty books on to To Be Listened To list, and I’m not sure what to start next…but I bet it’ll be shorter than Dragonfly!

In e- and print books, I’ve made it through three of the eight entries in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series and am working on a fourth (A Week To Be Wicked–Minerva and Lord Payne are so much fun together!). This whole series is amazingly well done, and I suspect I’ll be working my way through the rest of Tessa’s back list when I get a chance. I also started M. Louisa Locke’s Victorian San Francisco Mystery series. I bought the first three a couple of years ago and am wondering why I waited so long to get to them. That’s one of the things I love most about the TBR Challenge–finding gems in my bins and collections that I didn’t even know I had 😀

Books, TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

The Bullet Catcher's DaughterHappy summer, Northern Hemisphere! And happy winter, Southern Hemisphere! Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already? Are you halfway through your TBR Challenge books?

I am not halfway through, but I am (finally) making progress. The Day Job has been quiet–literally–so I’ve been listening to Dragonfly in Amber once again, and am about 3/4 of the way through it. It’s been a few years since I read the book and Davina Porter does such a wonderful job as narrator, so listening is a pleasant way to pass the time at my desk.

I’ve also been taking breaks from coursework (one more paper left to write!) with books to refresh my ANightToSurrender-400x646brain and sped through The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter (my first foray into Steampunk), which was fun and mysterious and intriguing…and that’s just the series title: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire. I’ve already put the other two books in the series on my list and can’t wait to read them! I’m in the last few chapters of A Night To Surrender, too, which as been such a wonderful diversion from reading disabilities and classroom assessments. I have yet to read a Tessa Dare book that isn’t fabulous, and the rest of the Spindle Cove series is in my TBR collection, so you can bet I’ll be visiting there again 🙂

 

Books

Favorite First Lines

Since school started last week, I’ve been up to my neck in summer reading papers. So I thought now would be a good time to celebrate one of the fun parts of reading by sharing the opening lines of some of my favorite romances.

dicksee-romeo-and-juliet

“When Tiberius Lamartine Flynn heard the tree singing, his first thought was that he’d parted company with his reason.”  —Grace Burrowes, Once Upon a Tartan

“In the tender green time of April, Katherine set forth at last upon her journey with the two nuns and the royal messenger.” —Anya Seton, Katherine

“The spy called Saint hunkered down in the bottom of the wardrobe she’d occupied for the last four hours and attempted to stifle a yawn.” —Shana Galen, Lord and Lady Spy

“Kate squinted up at the sky. Her nine-year-old imagination raced as fast as the wooly clouds that floated above her. A lamb, a dragon—and that big one, surely that was a giant with a horrid hooked nose.” —Anne Easter Smith, A Rose for the Crown

“ ‘Whatever fool claimed females to be the weaker sex never met my sister.’ ” —Candice Hern, The Best Intentions

“He was dead. However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd in the circumstances.” —Diana Gabaldon, Voyager

“Everyone knew that Sophie Beckett was a bastard.” —Julia Quinn, An Offer From A Gentleman

“Not every fairy tale begins with a prince or a princess. Some begin with a kiss that turns a man into a frog, or a tumble on the road that turns a basket of eggs into scramble.” —Eloisa James, Storming The Castle

“Gwen’s pulse beat so loudly in her ears, the sound drowned out the rumble of voices in the hall. He was here! And he still loved her!” —Sarah Woodbury, The Uninvited Guest

“So this was how it felt to be a conquering hero.” —Courtney Milan, Unveiled

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Okay, so which ones did I forget? What are some of your favorite first lines?

Uncategorized

Liebster Award for And Then He Kissed Her!

Way back in May, my little blog here was nominated by Badass Romance for a Liebster award. How cool, right? Some recognition for the work I’ve put in making lieber-awardthis little slice of the internet historically accurate and infinitely interesting!

Well, sort of.

The Liebster is a cross between an electronic thumbs-up and a chain letter. It’s a way for bloggers to recognize blogs they think are awesome, yet have 200 or fewer followers. It also requires its recipients to post facts and answer questions about themselves and their blogs, and to continue the chain by nominating other blogs.

What an honor! 😉

In all seriousness, I’m thrilled that Pamela thought of me when she drew up her list of nominees/winners. Not only did I get that nice warm-fuzzy feeling because she likes me (yay!), but I got to poke around on her blog, too. I found a well-spoken woman with similar tastes in books–a kindred spirit!

And now, to fulfill my duties as a Liebster award recipient:

11 Random Facts about Cora Lee

  1. I have lived in 3 different states, but never outside the Eastern Time Zone.
  2. I bought my first graphic novel at the age of 30.
  3. My favorite sport is ice hockey.
  4. I only became a tea drinker when I returned to the Midwest, and that was under duress—winters are cold here, and one can only drink so much hot chocolate.
  5. Miami-20111220-00069I have owned 3 dogs as an adult, each one larger than his predecessor.
  6. Even though I write historicals, my characters and scenes are often inspired by modern music (Linkin Park, Queen, Maroon 5, The Platters, etc).
  7. I’ve found at least one song that I like in every musical genre I’ve ever heard (check my iPod—you’ll see!).
  8. I’m terrible with plants. Dogs and cats will remind you to feed them, but flowers don’t talk.
  9. My favorite color is blue.
  10. I have a fondness for both Richard III and Henry VII.
  11. When we investigated careers in the 9th grade, one of the three I chose was “writer”. (The other two were, I believe, “teacher” and “pilot”.)

11 Questions Posed by Badass Romance…and Their Answers

  1. What is your favorite actual trophy or other award you can put on a shelf or hang on a wall?  My First Place certificate from the Ignite the Flame contest last year, run by the Central Ohio Fiction Writers.
  2. Jane Eyre or WutheringHeights?  I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet, but I remember Wuthering Heights being a bit too Gothic for me.
  3. John ThorntonWhat book is the most recent addition to your DIK [desert island keeper] shelf?  The audio version of Georgette Heyer’s Sylvester (and not just because it was read by Richard Armitage 🙂 ). Yes it was abridged, and I normally hate that, but Phoebe was magnificent, and Tom was a wonderful side-kick. The story itself was a lot of fun, too—I found myself laughing quite a lot as I listened.
  4. What book is at the top of your TBR stack? There are so many, it has ceased to be a stack and has developed into several bins and a huge Kindle collection. The last book I ordered was Bosworth by Chris Skidmore, and I’m looking forward reading it…hopefully soon.
  5. What book keeps getting remaindered at the bottom of your TBR pile, and do you think you’ll ever get around to reading it? I’ve had Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy for a couple of years now, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to it. I love the Jack Ryan novels, but there was such a long time between them I’ve forgotten a lot of what happened in the previous books.
  6. What language do you wish you were fluent in?  It varies. Usually it’s French, because that would be immensely helpful in reading and researching British history (which is linked with French history at least since the Norman Conquest).  Sometimes it’s Middle English (which is quite different from our modern variety). Lately, though, it’s been Russian—I’ve been on a spy movie/TV show/novel kick lately, and the bad guys are often (still) Russians. I only remember a few words from my college classes, and I’d like to know more 😀
  7. English_russian_dictionaryMedieval castle or Mediterranean villa?  The villa would certainly be better for my health than a drafty old castle, but I’d have so much more fun exploring the castle!
  8. What did you eat for breakfast?  Blueberry waffles.
  9. How do you feel about time travel plots?  I like them if they’re set up well. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and Sarah Woodbury’s After Cilmeri series are two of my favorites.
  10. What is your favorite carnival ride?  Ferris Wheel
  11. What blog did you find this week that you love? (time to start thinking about your Liebster nominees!) http://romanceaddict91.wordpress.com/

11 Liebster Nominees

http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com/  Reviews of a romantic nature and much more.

http://susanaellisauthor.wordpress.com/  For readers and authors of historical romance.

http://regencyredingote.wordpress.com/  Historical snippets of Regency England.

http://cavalrytales.wordpress.com/  British cavalry in the 19th century and other jottings.

http://katherinebone.wordpress.com/  Rogues, Rebels & Rakes

liebsterblogaward

http://lauriebenson.net/  Laurie Benson’s Cozy Drawing Room

http://romancereadergirl.com/  Reading and chatting about romance.

http://janeaustenslondon.com/  Walks through Regency London.

http://philippajanekeyworth.wordpress.com/  Writing, Wit & Wonderings

http://rakesroguesandromance.com/  Historical Romance–because passion lives forever.

http://amypfaffauthor.wordpress.com/  Regency romances with a touch of magic.

11 Questions for the New Liebster Recipients

  1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, during any time period, where would you go? What would you do there?
  2. Who is your favorite fictional character?
  3. Emma_2009msAre you a dog person or a cat person?
  4. What is the best book you’ve read in the last year?
  5. Have you ever seen a film adaptation of a novel you’ve read? If so, which was your favorite?
  6. Have you ever seen a film adaptation of a novel you haven’t read that made you want to read it?
  7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  8. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
  9. Do you have a writing cave or a reading nook? What does it look like?
  10. If someone was new to your favorite genre, what book would you recommend they start with?
  11. Mr. Darcy (from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice) or Mr. Thornton (from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South)?

There you go new Liebsters! Have fun!

And thank you readers for sticking with me through this unusually long post! I hope you learned some things today, and that you found some new blogs to check out 🙂