Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award: Q&A post

It’s always fun to see these “bloggers award” posts floating around the internet. They are a fun opportunity to learn about bloggers and to have great discussions over all things bookish, in my case. Many thanks to the lovely Amber Stokes over at Seasons of Humility who nominated me to participate! (And thanks for coming up with such cool questions to answer!)Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate ten blogs.

The Questions

1. Dream vacation this summer, if you could go anywhere?

Anywhere? Other than to see my family, I think I would pick somewhere with mountains. Or a train that goes through mountains, like the Canadian Rockies. After watching the IMAX film “Rocky Mountain Express”, I really want to visit that region!

2. Classic (book) you’re most interested in revisiting sometime?

I’m going to cheat and list a few different ones: the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (you guessed that one would be on my list, right?).

3. Latest fictional crush?

Latest would have to be Cullen McGrath from To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander. He’s considerate, faithful, and sweetly loved Maggie. AND he’s Irish, so there’s the accent…

4. Favorite period drama?

This is the hardest question ever! There are so many beautiful period dramas, but my all-time favorite is the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyn. It has such gorgeous cinematography, dialogue, casting, and music. (our recent Twitter convo confirms this!) Plus I love the on-screen chemistry between all of the characters. The Bennets feel like a real family, and Lizzy and Darcy are just <3.

5. One summer book release you’re super excited about?

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren. I’m excited to see where this next installment in the “Christiansen Family” series will take the characters! Susan always delivers a fantastic story.

6. Music you can’t get enough of at this moment in time?

Photograph by Ed Sheeran, Brother and Rise Again by NEEDTOBREATHE, Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger, Even the Stars Fall 4 U by Keith Urban, and anything on the Hillsong United “Oceans” album.
7. Most exciting discovery this year (book, movie, or music)?

Hmm. I’m going to go with the “Price of Privilege” book series by Jessica Dotta. Man, she can write some drama! I think I can say it’s my favorite book series of all time. (I’ve reviewed book 1 here).

8. Best freebie you’ve found online (ebook, download, subscription)?

I love the fact that so many “classics” are available as free ebook downloads, especially on the Kindle app or on Google Play Books. I’m always browsing the free ebooks list!

Perhaps the BEST freebie I found recently was the piano sheet music to this song (and theme) from the “North and South” miniseries. (You can find the link to download it via the YouTube channel). I could watch the ending listen to the music of that miniseries over and over! 🙂

9. Favorite Jane Austen hero?

Such a tough question! I’ve already declared my love for Mr. Darcy. He is probably my favorite, although Mr. Knightley is quickly moving up the ranks of Austen heroes. His quiet loyalty, understanding, and considerate nature make him the perfect hero and match for Emma. I think he is a bit overshadowed by Darcy sometimes.

10. Most beloved Disney sidekick?

I have to go with Olaf from Frozen here! I know there are so many fabulous sidekicks (shout-out to Maximus the horse from Tangled), but Olaf’s sense of humor and carrot-chasing just make me smile.

I’m nominating a few blogger friends: Beckie (By the Book), Kami (Kami’s Library Thoughts), Cassie (Bookshelves and Windows), Rayleigh Ann (Accelerate the Jesus Movement), and Rosie (Writings of Rosie).

If I’ve nominated you, or you want to join the fun, here are 10 questions for YOU!

1. What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

2. What are you currently reading? (or reading next?)

3. Tea or coffee?

4. If you could travel (or time-travel) to your favorite book’s setting, where would you be?

5. What did you purchase the last time you visited a grocery store?

6. Latest celebrity crush?

7. Do you own multiple copies of the same book? Which one(s)?

8. What is your favorite movie genre?

9. Have you ever been to a drive-in movie?

10. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Fun Find Friday:

Ya’ll, I’ve found a website that utilizes the best idea ever — and it may be the worst possible thing for my already-packed-and-now-weighting-down-the-floor-hazardously bookshelves. All of you bookish readers are going to LOVE it!

A friend was talking about it on Facebook. I’m like: what, a book swap WEBSITE??????? Where you swap books for free (just paying postage)? Sign me up! (I did sign up, and someone’s already requested a book I posted. That means another book credit for me! Woohoo!)

It’s PaperbackSwap.compaperback swap

Here’s how it works: you post books you want to trade, a person requests one, you pay basic media mail postage to send them the book, you get a book credit on your account. You can then use this credit to request a book from someone else on the site. For free. The other person pays the postage. Awesome, yes?

There’s all kinds of extras, like wishlists, reviews, and favorite genre features. I don’t even know what else. I’m too excitedly browsing the books available and plotting how to fit another bookshelf in my bedroom to stop and figure out all the extra features.

I hope you enjoy expanding your TBR stack with this website! Happy Friday!

Have you ever participated in a book swap? What is your go-to website for used books?

Fun Find Friday: Books & Cupcakes’ “Book Photo Challenge”

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my “Fun Find Friday” meme. This week, the new find is one I am super ecstatic about. It combines two of my favorite things: books and photography!

While playing around on Instagram, I discovered Books & Cupcakes‘ “Book Photo Challenge”. Jessica over at Books & Cupcakes on Tumblr posts a Book Photo Challenge list every month, with an assignment for each day. How fun is that? So, every day, you post on Instagram, Tumblr, or other social media and use the hashtags #bookphotochallenge and #booksandcupcakes.

A few days before the next month, she posts the new challenge. I think I’m a little late to participate in May’s challenge, but I’m definitely planning to do June’s. I’ll be posting mine on my Instagram account. If you’d like to join me, please let me know in the comments section! Or, tag my Instagram username @courtneyec90.

Books & Cupcakes - May Book Photo ChallengeThis is the list for May’s Book Photo Challenge. Don’t these sound fun? Visit Jessica’s FAQ page for more info.


Fun Find Friday: What’s in a name?

As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet,
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

For today’s Fun Find Friday, I want to share a unique and useful (especially to writers) website I found recently: The Baby Name Wizard.

You may be wondering about my Fun Find Friday choice – it sounds a little quirky, right? Well, it’s a really neat site that shows the popularity of a specific name for boys and girls over time, including the peak of its popularity, dating back to the 1800s. It also relates popular sibling names, name origin, AND a map of its popularity by state! On the home page, the current top ten most popular boys’ and girls’ names are listed.

I thought this would be a fun tool for writers and authors to utilize when researching character names – especially because it illustrates in which time period the name was most popular.

And, it’s just fun to learn about the origin of your own name. Or, if you’re considering baby names, this would be a great resource. So, check it out!

Baby Name Wizard- CourtneyHere’s the graph for my name. I have to say, I was born around the peak time for it!

Fun Find Friday: Family Fiction’s Short Story Contest

Ok, I’ve known about this “fun find” for a while, but I wanted my readers to hear about it! (especially you readers who are also writers)

Family Fiction is hosting a short story contest!!!! Officially know as “The Story: A Short-Short Fiction Competition”, the top 200 stories will be judged by a Celebrity Judges Panel, including some of my favorite writers and publicists, bloggers, etc. Several of the top stories will be featured in an anthology published by Family Fiction for purchase. Also, prize packages will go to some winners.

The different entry categories are Historical, Amish, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Speculative, and YA fiction. Entry submissions will be accepted starting on February 1. If you are an aspiring writer, this sounds like a great opportunity for experience and publicity!

For details on contest guidelines, visit the guidelines and information page here.

Fun Find Friday: Book Christmas Tree

For today’s Fun Find Friday, I’m featuring my book Christmas tree. For the “find” portion- I found the two itty bitty green books on top at my local used book store. The tiniest one is an old Italian-English dictionary!
Book Christmas Tree

Have you ever made a tree entirely out of books? Please share!

Fun Find Friday: Open Culture

For today’s “Fun Find Friday”, I’m sharing a fun website with TONS of free educational and cultural media.

It’s On it, you’ll find links to free audio books, online educational courses (posted anywhere from universities to YouTube), free eBooks, and even free movies. Yes, movies! Most are old-er black & white films, but those are sometimes the best!

I hope you find a topic or resource useful and fun on Open Culture. I know I did!


Fun Find Friday: Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Last week, in honor of fall in general, I tried a new recipe. Let me tell you, this homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe has NOTHING on that popular chain we all know and love. It has a lovely, fresh flavor because of the real pumpkin puree you add.

I used this recipe from Bakergirl I found via Pinterest. The recipe is for a pumpkin spice syrup you combine with warmed milk and coffee for lattes. I bet the syrup would be great used in other ways, too! My advice: make some REAL whipped cream to top it.

This is one of my new favorite fall recipes. Do you have any favorite fall recipes? I’d love to hear your fall favorites in the comments! Thanks for visiting!