Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites: Fall Back In Time Event

This week’s Favorite comes to you courtesy of the Historical Romance Network. It’s their Fall Back In Time event to celebrate historical romance. All you need to do to participate is take a picture of yourself/your pet/your kids’ toys/your favorite coffee mug with a historical romance novel and tag it with #FallBackInTime. Say why you love that particular book/series/author/time period (if there’s room on your post) and share the posts of your fellow historical romance junkies 🙂



Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: Regency Turns 80

Our Favorite this week is a celebration! Eighty years ago Georgette Heyer published her first Regency romance novel, and The Beau Monde is commemorating the anniversary with a series of articles. Pieces for Regency Buck (written by Alina K. Field) and An Infamous Army (by Shannon Donnelly) are already posted, with more to come throughout the year for each of Heyer’s Regency romances and some of her non-Regency historicals. Check them out and sigh over your favorites, find new-to-you gems to read…or remind yourself which titles are already on your TBR list 😉


Books, TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge 2015


In the immortal words of John Lennon, “another year over and a new one just begun”. It’s time (if you haven’t already) to make those resolutions for 2015–including one for your TBR pile.

My TBR Challenge was such a personal success last year that I’m doing it again! 2015 is very uncertain for me–my teaching career is up in the air right now (Will I ever teach again? When? Where? How? If not, what else will I do?), and thus so is my writing time (How much energy will I have to devote to a day job? How will my health hold up? The bills have to be paid, but will I be too tired to do anything else?). So this year’s TBR Challenge is a way for me to take a measure of control in addition to finally reading some of the books languishing on my shelves and Kindle.

I’ve tweaked the rules slightly for this year:

1. How many books from your TBR pile will you read? I’m upping my goal to 18 books this year over the 12 I chose for last year. I have so many books floating around the house that 12 felt like just a drop in the bucket, and I’m hoping to make more headway this time around.

2. How long have your books been waiting? For the purposes of this challenge, the books I read must have been acquired by me or placed on my library TBR list (which is also getting out of hand) before August 1, 2014. This means I can’t buy new books in January and count them toward my TBR Challenge come September–which I found myself doing at least once last year, and kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge.

3. How will you hold yourself accountable? Like last year, I’ll post here once a month to share my progress and see how you all are doing. I found the Goodreads shelf and the dedicated page on this blog were enormously helpful, too. I’m a very visual person and being able to see the collection of books that I’d read gave me a nice sense of accomplishment, which made me want to read more TBR books 🙂

Who will take up this challenge with me? Who will commit to wading through the mountains of books you’ve spent your hard-earned money on, but never read? Leave a comment here or on the 2015 TBR Challenge page with your goal: how many books will you tackle this year?

Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: Best of 2014

In a year of Friday Favorites, which one was the most popular? None other than Richard Armitage reading Georgette Heyer! This post received more views than any other post on And Then He Kissed Her in 2014. I joked at the time that, if I became famous, it would be because of Richard Armitage…and I may not have been far off 😉

Check out the original post here, which includes an excerpt of Richard reading Venitia, interviews conducted during his work on The Convenient Marriage, and links to other audio samples and projects.

John Thornton

Books, Writing Life

Reading/Writing Fun: Quick 5

I saw the reading version of this on Carol Cork’s blog and thought, since I am both a reader and a writer, that I’d adapt it a bit and do both activities. Here’s what I’m working on. What are you reading and/or writing?

Photo Credit: Johannes Jansson
Photo Credit: Johannes Jansson

Reading Fun

1. Which novel are you currently reading and the author? Undeniable Rogue by Annette Blair

2. What is the opening line of the book? By this time tomorrow, he would be wed.

3. What are the hero and heroine’s names? (on the remote chance you’re not reading a romance, give the name of the main character). The hero is Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe. The heroine is Mrs. Sabrina Whitcomb.

4. What is the first sentence of the second paragraph of Chapter 9? Then he placed her hand on his arm and covered it, possessively, with his own.

5. What’s next on your TBR pile? Any one of about 400 books!


Writing Fun

1. Which novel are you currently writing? A second-chance Regency romance titled The Only Exception.

2. What is the opening line of the book? Kate Sedgley stood in the center of her uncle’s study, waiting for him to finish writing in the leather-bound ledger on his desk.

3. What are the hero and heroine’s names? (on the remote chance you’re not writing a romance, give the name of the main character). The hero is John Kendall, Earl of Wrexham. The heroine is Miss Katherine Sedgley, otherwise known as Kate.

4. What is the first sentence of the second paragraph of Chapter 9? I haven’t gotten to Chapter 9 yet 😀

5. What’s next on your TBW (To Be Written) pile? The untitled Christmas novella I started working on a few weeks ago (I’m working on it simultaneously with this one, actually).


Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

It’s March fellow readers! Has your TBR pile gotten any smaller?

IMG-20140218-00029I have to say, doing this challenge here on the blog where everyone can watch my progress has been motivating. I’m actively searching for more time to read to ensure I make my goal…sometimes to the detriment of my to-do lists!

One thing that’s helped me this month is finding books in different formats. I snap up little mass market paperbacks at my local library used book sales, but when I get home I have such a hard time reading that tiny print! The book goes in the TBR bin and ends up staying there. But I live in an area with a IMG-20140218-00030wonderful library system–what they don’t have, they can get. So I looked up my mass market paperbacks and found larger version that are much easier to read.

Presto! Two more books climbing out of the TBR bin!

Are you making progress with your commitment? If you missed the beginning of the challenge, it’s not too late to join in the fun! Check out my TBR Challenge Page for more details.

Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites: Prue Batten’s Guy of Gisborne

I write Regency romances, but I also adore medieval novels–and this week’s Favorite is a series I can’t seem to get enough of. Based on an alternate history where Guy of Gisborne looks like Richard Armitage and has nothing to do with Robin Hood, Prue Batten’s Gisborne series is one of my favorite medieval stories. She saw the good in a “bad guy” (if you’ll pardon the pun) and gave him a chance to be the hero, with wonderful results!

Read here about the evolution of Prue’s version of Guy of Gisborne. Click on the pictures to learn more about each book.

Book of PawnsBook of Knights


Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In


Okay, so it’s been almost exactly a month since I posted my TBR Challenge. How’s it going? How many of you have begun reading books long forgotten? How many of you forgot your pledge?

My own first action was to take stock of my supplies, so to speak. I am one of those compulsively organized people, so my books are already grouped together based on their subject matter. But I have so many still to read, I wasn’t even sure what books were in each group!

IMG-20140214-00028I did find a couple of duplicates–I’d bought a book twice not realizing that I already had it at home. Happily, these were books from the local library used book sale, so I didn’t spend much money. And the duplicate copies will go right back to the library for re-sale, so it works out 🙂

One thing that surprised me, though, was that I found whole series on my Kindle I didn’t know I possessed. I’m notorious for buying the first book in a series when it’s on sale, but forgoing the rest until I’ve had a chance to read the first. I discovered a lot of those as well, but I also found the first five books in Julie Ann Long’s Pennyroyal Green seriesPennyroyal Green series, all of Annette Blair’s Rogue series, all four of Jacquie D’Alessandro’s Regency Historical series, and several “boxed sets” that I bought and didn’t remember I had.

Once I had figured out what was here, the tough part began: which book do I read first? I have more time for reading now, because I’m still not working. But it was really difficult to pick a book–too many choices is almost worse than not enough choices! I finally just grabbed one without looking…and was rewarded with Ellis Peters’ lovely Brother Cadfael 🙂

So how are you fairing this month? What has been the hardest thing about this challenge? Any surprises so far?

You can also check out my TBR Challenge page to monitor my progress or add your thoughts on the books I’m reading.


Free Books Worth Reading

I work at a small school and bring home a small paycheck. I’m also looking for a new place to live, so I’m trying to save as much money as possible. How, then, does a girl get her reading fix on a tiny budget?

Answer: free books. Good ones.

The Devil You Know by Victoria Vane—today’s the last day to snag this erotic Georgian novella. I haven’t read this one yet, but I read A Wild Night’s Bride, the first in the series, and liked it a lot. DeVere is definitely a wounded soul, for all he tries very hard to hide it, and those are some of my favorite heroes. I’m very excited to get to know him better, and see his wounds healed.

Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury—the first in the After Cilmeri series, this time-travel romance is technically YA, but I didn’t realize it until I was halfway through the series (which becomes a time-travel/alternate history/ series with romantic Medieval maiden and knightelements). It takes place in medieval Wales, when modern-day Meg finds herself transported to the court of Llewlyn the Last. He’s one of my historical favorites, so I may be a bit biased, but I liked this book immensely, and devoured the rest of the series.

Forevermore by Lauren Royal—a short novella set in 1667 England. A Scottish gentleman woos an English woman who is not only a widow with a daughter, but several years older than he is. It’s a quick read, but so good I want to dive into the rest of the series (and this is my first experience with Lauren Royal).

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan—a Regency romance where the duke isn’t the main character. The hero this time is his employee, tasked with “fixing” the duke’s problems (in this case, a governess named Serena who has been ill-used by said duke). It’s a long novella or a short novel (about 200 pages), so the story develops well, but doesn’t get bogged down in too many details.

Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brandt—I haven’t read this Georgian romance yet, but I devoured Salt Bride and have heard wonderful things about this series. A young pamela-richardsongirl is drugged and wed to a rebellious lad in the dead of night. She’s returned to her bed, he’s shipped off to the continent. They meet again as adults. Are you curious about what happens next? I certainly am!

The Wild One by Danielle Harmon—a Georgian romance featuring an irresponsible but good-hearted lord, and his dead brother’s American fiancée. I’m always wary of period romances that include American heroines because they’re frequently portrayed as ill-mannered, but necessary because of their large dowries. This is not the case here; Gareth was fun to read, and Juliet was a good balance for him. Throw in Juliet’s daughter, and Gareth’s obvious adoration for her, and you’ve got a winner.

Didn’t see anything here you fancy? Have you already read these? Click here for the list of Kindle historical romances available for free…and let me know what you found!


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!)

11 Liebster Nominees  Reviews of a romantic nature and much more.  For readers and authors of historical romance.  Historical snippets of Regency England.  British cavalry in the 19th century and other jottings.  Rogues, Rebels & Rakes

liebsterblogaward  Laurie Benson’s Cozy Drawing Room  Reading and chatting about romance.  Walks through Regency London.  Writing, Wit & Wonderings  Historical Romance–because passion lives forever.  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 🙂