Feature & Follow #7

8474595901_873f4993f4 Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. It’s a fun way to find other blogs and meet new bloggers.

You can follow Lit, etc via Twitter, Facebook, Networked Blogs, Bloglovin, or subscribe to the blog via email. Please let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll follow back.


Q: We are about to see a lot of posts & tweets about reader conventions, RT, BEA, ALA and many more are starting soon. Which one would you love to attend? Where and why?

Oooh I wish I was attending BEA! I’m green with envy for those who are, but will live vicariously through their posts and updates. Bouchercon sounds like a great event-mystery writers are present and that means the possibility of meeting Chelsea Cain or Charles Finch. I also wish I could attend RT and RWA because I want to meet Elizabeth Hoyt and Sherry Thomas as well as Jessica Lemmon. Alas not going to those this year, but I am *hoping* to attend Rom Con (key word being: hoping). I’m in the midst of trying to figure out logistics because I’ll be in the Denver area in early June and trying to see how cost effective I can make a second trip in what would be a few weeks apart from my first visit.

ETA: I should note that I am attending the Southwest Book Fiesta being held in Albuquerque, Mother’s Day weekend. So far from the author list, I only recognize one author, but hey it’s a local event.

What about you? Any reader conventions you’d like to attend or attending?

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Feature & Follow #6

8474595901_873f4993f4 Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. It’s a fun way to find other blogs and meet new bloggers.

You can follow Lit, etc via Twitter, Facebook, Networked Blogs, or subscribe to the blog via email. Please let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll follow back.


Q: Have you ever read a book that you thought you would hate — ? Did you end up hating it? Did you end up loving it? Or would you never do that?

Tiffany Resiz’s The Siren was one book people kept recommending and I just wasn’t looking forward to reading it for a read-along I was participating in. The first four chapters kept making me grind my teeth because I couldn’t get into it that I had to go and look up reviews to see if it was worth continuing. I kept with it and halfway through the reading fell in love.

What about you? Any books you thought you’d love / hate?

Can’t Date Him, He’s Not Real

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is: Fictional crushes you’d crush on if you were a fictional character.

ahhhh! How cruel to narrow it down to 10 and trust me it was not easy. I know forgot a few and apologize to any fictional boyfriend I may have forgotten (it was not done on purpose and I still love you). The only thing that saddens me is that men in real life rarely mirror men in fiction. Who are are some of your favorite fictional men or women?

Robb Stark (GRR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series)

Oh what I can about our King of the North? Proud, valiant and very much a man coming into his own. I admit there are days I’m on Team Jon Snow, but mostly it’s Team Robb (yes Richard Madden might have something to do with it. LOL!). He’s the rightful to heir to Winterfell & the North. He’s very much his father’s son and his sense of honor and justice is reflected. My quotes are based on the show since I failed to properly bookmark any Robb quotes, but they still work.

“Tell Lord Tywin winter is coming for him. Twenty thousand northerners marching south to find out if he really does shit gold.”

Capt. Wentworth (Jane Austen’s Persuasion)

I prefer the Ciaràn Hinds version, but in reality THIS is the Wentworth I picture every time I read Persuasion. Can we all swoon over the love letter he writes to Anne? I mean hello! If I were Anne I’d happy go running into him arms and tearing off his clothes. I mean accepting his suit.

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.”

Richard Sharpe (Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series)

I don’t know. Some might accuse me of listing him here because it is Sean Bean (well it’s true), but I think when it comes to it Sharpe is a great fictional character. Bernard Cornwell does an amazing job writing Sharpe’s progress in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. We see Sharpe struggle trying to command his men and gain acceptance from Officers. He became a Commissioned Officer on the battlefield when most were bought. The series can be read as a stand alone. Again I failed to properly bookmark my fave quotes so off the TV series it is.

“Chosen Men, are you? Well, I didn’t choose you.”

Wellesley: What do you do when you’re short of cash, Sharpe?
Sharpe: Do without, sir.

Rochester (Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre)

When it comes to all the Rochesters I have to admit Timothy Dalton is the version I prefer. I think all versions get it wrong by making Rochester too handsome. I know it is the entertainment industry and hence you aren’t going to cast an ugly person in a role.

“Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the gazer.’ My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth, — all energy, decision, will, — were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me, — that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”

I admit Michael Fassbender fills period clothing quite nicely and hence he gets an honorable mention.

Rochester*

As stated above I like Dalton’s Rochester better, but let’s ah admire this one for a bit. :fans self:

John Thornton (Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South)

What kind of list would this be without Thornton? Having finished North & South (the book) a few months ago, I can honestly say I have a much better appreciation for him. The BBC production was great! Gut wrenching when we see him pleading for Margaret to “look back” at him as she leaves. :le sigh:

Calder Hart (Brenda Joyce’s Francesca Cahill series)
deadlyCalder was NEVER suppose to be the hero in her series, but somehow he stole the show and Francesca’s heart. He appears at the end of Deadly Love and his actions are mysterious. He’s the first to tell you he’s a bastard of the first order, but Francesca knows he’s not and she never stops supporting him. His defense mechanism is to lash out when he’s hurt. In the end, I’m saddened Joyce won’t be continuing the series because she left a lot of unanswered questions.

“Francesca wasn’t there.
Of course she wasn’t. There wasn’t going to be a wedding–and he wasn’t even truly surprised. She had come to her senses at last.”

Leo Marsden (Sherry Thomas’Not Quite a Husband)

I’m an angst whore. This book is filled with TONS of it. What I adored about this, was Leo always wanting to be close to Bryony. He was there to look out for her so if she needed anything, he’d be there. Synopsis: Their marriage lasted only slightly longer than the honeymoon—to no one’s surprise, not even Bryony Asquith’s. A man as talented, handsome, and sought after by society as Leo Marsden couldn’t possibly want to spend his entire life with a woman who rebelled against propriety by becoming a doctor. Why, then, three years after their annulment and half a world away, does he track her down at her clinic in the remotest corner of India?

“The Castle. He’d seen this expression far too many times during their marriage. The Castle was Bryony drawing up the gates and retreating deep into the inner keep. And he’d always hated it. Marriage meant that you shared your goddamn castle. You didn’t leave your poor knight of a husband circling the walls trying to find a way in.”

“Her Leo, so bright, so beautiful. And in the end, so catastrophically flawed.”

Gabriel Emmerson (Sylvian Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard)

I read this book and fell in love with Gabriel and all his dark emotions. Who doesn’t want a professor with custom tailored suits and a top specialist in his field?

“At first he didn’t recognize her. She was breathtakingly beautiful, her movements sure and graceful. Yet there was something about her face and figure that reminded him of the girl he’d fallen in love with long ago. They’d gone their separate ways, and he had always mourned her, his angel, his muse, his beloved Beatrice. Without her, his life had been lonely and small.
Now his blessedness appeared.”

“When I am an old man and I can remember nothing else, I will remember this moment. The first time my eyes beheld an angel in the flesh. “I will remember your body and your eyes, your beautiful face and breasts, your curves and this.” He traced his hand around her navel before dragging it lightly to the top of her lower curls. “I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you.”

Archie Sheridan (Gretchen Lowell / Archie Sheridan series by Chelsea Cain)
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Well having the inscription at the left written to me, DOES NOT HELP. LOL! What can I say about him? I first heard about the series when I read an article that FX had bought the rights to produce a show and it sounded intriguing. Female serial killer who tortures the lead detective on the task force set to capture her for ten days then leaves him horribly scarred. I love the emotions Cain gave us with Archie. How his world was turned upside down when Gretchen Lowell came into his life and how no matter what he does to move on he can’t. She’ll be with him forever regardless of what he does to rid himself of her.

“…He’d worked tirelessly on that case. His efforts had led to identifying the Beauty Killer’s signature…Henry thought it was because [she] was Archie’s first homicide. But it wasn’t that… It was her ring…A silver Irish Claddagh ring, worn on her right hand with the heart facing outward, away from the body, indicating that she was still looking for love…”—Sweetheart

Rhett Butler (Margret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind)
Rhett1
Ah Rhett. He was my first crush and for that he’ll be always be number one. I was young when I read the book, but even younger when I saw the film and maybe that’s why it’s my favorite film. When I read Rhett Butler’s People, I just fell all over for him all over again.

“Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless. God help the Yankees if they should get you.”

“I bare my soul and you are suspicious! No, Scarlett, this is a bona fide honorable declaration. I admit that it’s not in the best of taste, coming at this time, but I have a very good excuse for my lack of breeding. I’m going away tomorrow for a long time and I fear that if I wait till I return you’ll have married some one else with a little money. So I thought, why not me and my money? Really, Scarlett, I can’t go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands. ”

David Gandy

Okay he’s not fictional, but I needed an excuse to include him.

Books I Recommend

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is: Books you recommend.

A problem I run into when people ask others for book recommendations is, there is never a question of what books does the person asking like. If you ask them, it saves you the time from trying to find something they might not be interested in reading or hating.

For Mystery / Thriller Fans
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A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch. I always recommend this to mystery fans especially those who are fans of a traditional detective novel. It does suffer from debut hiccups, but it introduces to gentleman detective Charles Lenox.

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. If you’re looking for a serial killer series, this is your book, but instead of a traditional male killer Cain writes a twist: a beautiful female killer.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Looking for a mind fuck? This is your book.

For Contemporary Romance Readers
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Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I remember reading this one by accident because the book I really wanted to read wouldn’t load properly on my e-reader. Needless to say I’ve not looked back and read it in one sitting. Loved it!

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I read this book last year and didn’t find it out had been Twilight fan fiction until 4 months later. I was disappointed, but you know I still enjoy it and recommend it. Everyone should meet the Professor!

Historical Romance
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Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. This was Sherry’s debut novel and this pretty much proves why she’s an awesome writer. I became a fan right away.

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. Like Sherry, this was Elizabeth’s debut novel. It’s one of my favorites and Edward is a grumpy hero, but for good reason!

A Woman Scorned by Liz Carlyle. This is Liz’s second book, but one of her best. I think classic Liz (those published prior to Three Little Secrets) are her best overall.

For Children
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Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. I ADORED this book as a child and if invited to a child’s birthday party, etc this is the gift I give.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Haha, I use to drive my parents crazy with constantly reading this. It’s still a favorite of mine as an adult.

Honorable Mentions:
Tangled Web by Mary Balogh. This one is my favorite of hers! It’s just full of heartbreak.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. If you only read ONE historical romance novel, this is it.

Deadly Love by Brenda Joyce. The first book in her Francesca Cahill series, it introduces us to Francesca, crime-solver extraordinaire. It has everything-mystery and romance.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. If you only read ONE mystery novel, this is it. It’s one of my favorites and of course the film version with Bogart isn’t bad.

Feature & Follow #5

8474595901_873f4993f4 Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. It’s a fun way to find other blogs and meet new bloggers.

You can follow Lit, etc via Twitter, Facebook, Networked Blogs, or subscribe to the blog via email. Please let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll follow back.


Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book?

I can’t say no to historical romances especially those set in Regency / Victorian times. I have to say, I LOVE long lost lovers reunited. There’s something about the angst of them being apart to the smoldering looks they give each other across the ballroom and the whole will they or won’t they that calls me.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Books That Begged For A Home But I Still Haven’t Read

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is: Books you bought but still haven’t read. If it were up to me, I’d keep buying books that sounded interesting and never look back, but at some point they need to be read. Right? What’s on your list?

In no particular order:

01. Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol: Okay this one I didn’t actually buy, but won from Borders a few years ago. I HAD to have it and hence when the clue to win it went up, I quickly went down to the store to snatch it up and did. I feel guilty that it is sitting there waiting for me.

02. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons: I love the film version and a few years ago the film was playing on tv and suddenly the book just seemed like a good idea. Sadly, I just can’t seem to bring myself to read it.

03. Amanda Quick’s The Burning Lamp: I love Quick’s books and even though she writes under several names (Jayne Anne Krentz and Jayne Castle), it’s her Quick books that I auto-buy and collect. What happened with this one was…I just got burnt out from her whole Arcane series and needed a break from it. I just never got back to reading the series and must play catch up!

04. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace: To be truthful, I was given the book as a gift for graduation by a Russian friend of my parents because she heard me say I hadn’t read Tolstoy at the time. I feel guilt every time I glance at the bookshelf because she went out of her way to get me a really nice edition and it’s just collecting dust.

05. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: I saw the film version (yeah with Daniel Craig) and I wanted to read the original book to compare them. I also wanted to read it because I kept hearing how the Swedish version was better and more true to the book and I wanted to see for myself.

06. Danielle Steel’s No Greater Love: I bought this a few years ago after coming across it when I was younger. The synopsis sounded interesting and I wanted to read it, but my parents didn’t think it was appropriate reading for a teenage girl so they said no. When I could finally buy it, I did, but haven’t read it.

07. Tiffany Reisz’s The Prince: I didn’t buy this one since Tiffany was nice enough to send me a signed copy a few weeks before its release. I was looking forward to reading it and then someone on Twitter ruined the plot and ending. I just never got around to it, but Kingsley is calling me so hopefully I’ll do it soon.

08. Sharon Kay Penman’s The Queen’s Man: Medieval mystery? Heck yes! Then I remind myself how I don’t read much medieval fiction because I’m always checking facts and can’t distance myself from the research. Boo!

09. Michael Prestwich’s Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience: When I saw this book at Barnes & Nobles I had it to buy because I thought at the time I could read it and maybe it might let me rewrite aspects of my master’s thesis (medieval history is my area of research with a concentration in warfare in the 14th century) so I could submit to journals for publication; however, a part of me dreads opening it up because I don’t think it will useful. In the long run (when I finally do decide to go for that PhD), yes it will be, but for now I’m happy to pretend I don’t own it.

10. John M. Collins’ Military Strategy: Principles, Practices, and Historical Perspectives: Strategy bores me to death and everyone keeps saying I need to read more of it and how can say I study medieval warfare if I refuse to properly read it. So I picked this up in hopes that it would make me a better student and nope still haven’ touched it.

Feature & Follow #4

8474595901_873f4993f4 Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. It’s a fun way to find other blogs and meet new bloggers.

You can follow Lit, etc via Twitter, Facebook, Networked Blogs, or subscribe to the blog via email. Please let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll follow back.


Q: Tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot. Or take a picture.

Well I can’t really sit outdoors in the Spring and Summer because I have a slight sun allergy. No matter how much sunblock I slather on, I might be okay for an hour before the itching hits me, usually about an hour or two later. So I’ll read indoors, but I can tell you about my favorite spot when I was living in Scotland.

southside view
This is the Kelvingrove Park area in Glasgow. It’s located behind Glasgow University and it’s very much a classic example of a Victorian park in terms of its layout and foliage. The River Kelvin runs through it and at the southwest corner of the park is the Kelvingrove Art Museum. I loved reading here because of the trees and on a breezy day, it was easy to put a book down and imagine the Victorians strolling on a warm dry day. It also was the perfect way to relax and get lost in a book. I miss this city so very much.