Writer Wednesday: Meet Cora Lee!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday!

Today I’m thrilled to bring you fellow Regency author, Cora Lee. Cora and I met on Facebook and soon discovered our books had been featured side-by-side in Library Journal (woot!). She’s so much fun, and I’m happy to share her with y’all.

And don’t miss the new Heart of Hero series, featuring stand-alone novels by nine fellow Regency writers, which Cora Lee kicks off with No Rest for the Wicked. Because who can resist this tagline:

What if superheroes were mortals who lived and loved during the Regency? The Heart of a Hero Series tells all.

So grab that cool libation (or perhaps hot, if you’re in the souther hemisphere) and settle in for a quickie. (Quick interview, that is – what were you thinking?)

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.

When I was just starting to get the idea for No Rest for the Wicked, I was trying to find a rough, tough part of a big city to set the story in. After some digging, I discovered Dublin had a neighborhood that had once been called Hell, complete with the carving of a devil in a local archway and a reputation for crime in the eighteenth century. And then my hero began to whisper that the locals called him a demon, and I knew I’d found the right place!

Name two things people don’t know about you.

1) I spent a large portion of my childhood playing on fire trucks—my dad was a volunteer firefighter, and he often took my sister and I to the station when he went out on a call.

2) I started out my university years as an Aerospace Engineering major and spent two years in the program before deciding I wanted to become a teacher. And if I hadn’t been an engineering major—where I was required to take a lot of math—I likely would have been an unemployed History teacher (I ended up teaching math my whole career, even though I majored in history).

What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?

Mary Balogh is one of my very favorites. Not only are her books well written, but her research is always so flawlessly incorporated into the story, and her characters feel like actual people rather than characters. She’s one of the authors I go to when I need a book that I know is going to be good, and she never disappoints.

A Bit About No Rest for the Wicked:

If one person can change a city, eleven can change the world.

A solicitor by day, Michael Devlin spends his nights protecting the people of The Liberties…until his estranged wife turns up with a summons from Sir Arthur Wellesley.

A spy for Sir Arthur, Joanna Pearson Devlin has been tasked with escorting Michael to Cork to join Wellesley’s intelligence gathering ring. Can Michael and Joanna learn to trust each other again and help Sir Arthur fight Napoleon?

Find No Rest for the Wicked here:

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |   Amazon AU 

TypewriterA Bit About Cora:

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a major in history, Cora is the 2014 winner of the Royal Ascot contest for best unpublished Regency romance. She went on a twelve year expedition through the blackboard jungle as a high school math teacher before publishing Save the Last Dance for Me, the first book in the Maitland Maidens series. [You can truncate here if you need to.] When she’s not walking Rotten Row at the fashionable hour or attending the entertainments of the Season, you might find her participating in Historical Novel Society events, wading through her towering TBR pile, or eagerly awaiting the next Marvel movie release.

Want to connect further with Cora? Find her here:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter signup | Author Website | Series Website

Thanks so much for joining us, Cora! I definitely look forward to checking out No Rest for the Wicked and the rest of The Heart of a Hero series! 

What Are Your Top Five Favorite Romance Novels of All Time?

Stardust of YesterdayLast night I got to thinking about some of my favorite romance novels, and wondered, if anybody ever asked me, if I could narrow them down to an all-time Top Five. The task was quite challenging, but here’s my list:

1. Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland – At one time in my late 20’s, shortly after I married, I (stupidly) decided my romances should go. And so I gave all of them to the public library. All except this one. I just couldn’t bear to part with this book. It’s a time-traveling ghost story full of sweet, sweet romance. What’s not to love?

2. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux – Oh, yes. A Knight in Shining Armor. *swoon* An oldie (relatively speaking – it’s from the late 80s), but most definitely a goodie. I’m a sucker for time-travel romances, as evidenced by my first and second choices here, but not all writers pull them off with such grace and such memorable characters. I plead the fifth as to whether or not this book’s medieval knight MIGHT be one of the reasons I majored in medieval history in college and pursued that into doctoral studies…

3. The Secret Pearl – by Mary Balogh. Ah. I rediscovered this one a few years ago; once I began it I realized, with great delight, it was one I’d read years ago (hey, I have a really cruddy memory) and relished – but since I’d forgotten the title and the author, I didn’t think I’d ever find it again. Two scarred souls and the absolute brilliance in writing in terms of expressing deep emotional depth in and between the characters draws me back to this one again and again.

4. Sweet Love Survive – Susan Johnson. O.K., to be honest, I don’t remember the story much; Russian historicals don’t seem to be among my favorites for some reason. But once my passion (hee hee) for romances picked up again, I immediately searched for this one. Because what I DID remember were the scorching love scenes, especially for a romance from the 90s. So when I’m looking for more erotica-flavored romance, I often look to Susan Johnson.

5. Let Me Be The One – Jo Goodman. The Compass Club. I loved the Compass Club – the four men whose stories Jo Goodman told over a series of four books. But of all of them, this one is probably my favorite. I especially loved the hero, North. Now that I’ve listed it here, I think I’ll go dig it up again!

6. Twice Loved – LaVyrle Spencer. O.K., yes, I cheated. I went past 5. But I love, love, love LaVyrle Spencer, and she was one of the authors in the 1980s of whose books I just couldn’t get enough. I could list about any title here and have it be a favorite, but I remember this one with special fondness. If you don’t know Spencer, I urge you to read her. Let me know what you think.

I could, of course, list a zillion more authors. My favorites from my early years of reading romances included Catherine Coulter, Johanna Lindsey, Phoebe Conn, Constance O’Day Flannery, and the above-mentioned LaVyrle Spencer. Christina Dodd, Lisa Kleypas, Betina Krahn, Teresa Medeiros, Laura Kinsale. Oh yeah. I took a leave-of-absence from romances for the most part when my kids were very young, but my love for and addiction to the genre was reawakened when I discovered Julia Quinn. And then Eloisa James. And then Sabrina Jeffries. Now I have probably 200 (not kidding) unread romances sitting on my shelf, waiting to delight me with their tales of lust and troubles and ever-lasting love, including new authors I have yet to experience.

So many, many books. So not enough time.

If you have to winnow it down to YOUR five (or six) these-can’t-be-missed romance novels, which would you choose?