A Gentleman and a Rogue

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's For Breakfast? Sept is National Breakfast Month :) #nationalbreakfastmonth



Some people love breakfast, some people avoid it. Some only drink coffee for breakfast. Breakfast offers a wide variety of food groups and September is National Breakfast Month, so flip some pancakes, pour some coffee, and enjoy!

Breakfast is the 1st meal of the day and it's intended to break the fast between the previous night's meal and the noon meal. That said, it's important to eat a balanced meal to get your motor running.

Personally, I've never been much of a breakfast person. I'm the type of person where I'm happy with a cup of coffee, a slice of toast, and a bowl of fruit. Some people make it their main meal of the day. My house has a wide variety of options in the kitchen because I have two school-aged boys.

Our favorites include: Honey Nut Cereal, mini-pancakes, toast, bagels, pita bread, granola cereal, English muffins, bacon, eggs, milk, danimals, strawberries, bananas, grapes, blueberries, and who could forget coffee?

What type of breakfast foods do you enjoy? Do you fix "Breakfast for Dinner" every so often?

Fun Fact: Cereal was invented by colonial housewives serving popcorn with sugar and cream.

I'd love to hear about your breakfast. I'm always looking for new ideas.

Smiles

Steph

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writing Tips: Crafting Characters

Theresa, from my novel, The Wolf's Torment


Characters are the heart and soul of your story, but what makes them cross the line from two-dimensional to three-dimensional? What makes them compelling?

Author David Corbett offers four elements that you can add to your characterization and I think they're spot on.

To cross the line, keep your character's internal compass consistent, yet ensure they can still surprise you.

First, a character has to have a driving need, desire, or goal. What makes a character interesting is what that character wants, and the stronger the desire, the more compelling the drama. Desire helps to create conflict, and how your character manages conflict makes the story interesting.

Second, secrets make interesting characters. If there's a trait or an incident the character wants hidden, but is revealed, it might make that character lose standing with family and friends. What makes secrets delicious is that they tell readers what characters have to lose and why.

Third, contradictions bring to light what readers can't predict and thus shows surprise. For example: a character can be desperate, yet proud, and decide to take a job that might not be up their alley, just so they can earn a living.
 
Mihai, from my novel, The Wolf's Torment
Lastly, nothing draws a reader to a character than vulnerability. When people need help or are wounded, we're drawn to help or feel sympathetic to that character. Secrets play into this trait. If the character is afraid of the secret getting out, it gives the character a vulnerability they might not have had.

What can you do to help deepen characterization? Flesh your characters out. Cast the character. Write character bios. What do they like? Dislike? Write a flash fiction or short story to get to know them. Draw on real life inspiration such as friends, family members, and co-workers. You can also make a list of your emotional triggers. For example: What's your greatest fear? When did you show true courage? By drawing on your triggers, you can bring added dimension to your character's desires, wants, needs, secrets, contradictions, and vulnerabilities.

I'd love to hear how you "craft" your characters. Share your tips, comments & feedback. 


Reference: "Hooked on a Feeling," by David Corbett, page 32-36, Writer's Digest, Jan 2011.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review Tuesday: Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich #bookreview



Book Review for: Hard Eight
Written by; Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0-312-98-386-7
Avail: as a print and ebook

4 Stars

Evanovich goes gritty with "Hard Eight." Stephanie's neighbor, Mabel, put her house up as collateral in a child custody bond for her granddaughter, Evelyn. Evelyn and her daughter, Annie, have gone missing and Mabel might lose her house. Stephanie agrees to help find Evelyn and Annie, but things get complicated when Eddie Abruzzi enters the picture.

Evelyn has something Abruzzi wants and he'll do anything to get it back including fire bombing Stephanie's vehicle and chasing after her as a bunny rabbit. Can Stephanie find Evelyn and Annie before Abruzzi?

Evanovich's writing is crisp and witty. The pacing flows well and the story is easy to read. Even after eight Stephanie Plum novels, the plot is fresh and the characters continue to grow. There's always something unexpected that happens.

The supporting cast continues to entertain. Ranger proves a help to Stephanie, but is she willing to pay his price? "Hard Eight" is full of hard knocks, hard choices, and characters like Albert Kloughn who find it hard to go away.

"Hard Eight" is a cozy mystery with romantic elements. The ending is one of the more grittier ones in the series. "Hard Eight" promises to keep the reader guessing right up until the end. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, and great characters, "Hard Eight" will keep you turning the pages.


Question: Who is your favorite Stephanie Plum character? Why?

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Release: 2.99 2014 Autumn Collection featuring Young Witchcraft #bookrelease



The Victory Tales Press 2014 sweet to sensual Autumn Anthology has been released featuring my story, "Young Witchcraft."  It's avail as an ebook right now on Amazon & Smashwords for 2.99. Here's the skinny:

The Blurbs:

Man of Her Dreams by Gerald Costlow 
Anise and Charlene are living the busy lives of young Goth women trying to juggle college and jobs and – in their case – training as apprentice Sherritt witches under the tutelage of Anise's mother, Annabel. 

Then over Thanksgiving break, the girls encounter a young man named Donnie who claims to be running from a demon – a demon sent by the Devil himself. They might have dismissed the man as deluded, but Anise recognizes him from her dreams. He is the perfect lover she's been dreaming of night after night. 

Now the witches are involved in a deadly game of hide-and-seek, discovering they have only days to figure out how to help Donnie. Are even the famous Sherritt witches up to the challenge? Third in the Modern Day Sherritt series. 

Under the Harvest Moon by Markee Anderson 
Victoria Sommerfield is the maid of honor at her neighbor's wedding, the day after the Harvest Festival. She's also very fond of Kirby, her best friend from high school, who's also in the bridal party. Victoria's forced to make a few decisions thanks to a crime in town. At least Kirby can save the day, for now. But can she take the next step with him? 

Day of the Dead ~ (Dia de los Muertos) by Cecilia Corona 
The Day of the Dead takes on a new meaning, when the dead don't stay dead. Dr. Valentina Bellmonte, a cancer survivor, is the new coroner at Hope Memorial. Her faith is put to the test when a body arrives at the morgue drained of blood and the man responsible for the crime is sporting fangs. Could vampires be real? 
Her good friend, Dr. Xander Carlisle seems to know the truth, but he's unwilling to confide in her. He has a secret of his own and it's not just how he feels about her, but something else entirely, something he's forbidden to reveal. 

Apple of His Eye by Nan O'Berry 
Callie Dalton's truck runs out of gas on the road to her family's fruit stand. When a forestry agent Marshall Albright comes to her rescue, little does she know that he is the grandson of her grandfather's worst enemy, Brice Huntington. It seems the Dalton's and Huntington's have been waging a feud for the past twenty-nine years, ever since Laura Huntington left Stephen Dalton at the altar. 

Falling in love was the easy part; the hard part is going to be keeping their grandparents from confronting one another. Can their love bring these two warring factions together? 

Alive by Vincent Nutt 
A mutated form of Cholera infects the world, creating zeeks, zombielike creatures in every respect. The group I'm with has traveled far. We've all lost those we've held dear along the way, but when life is unpredictable, anything can happen... This Thanksgiving brings new friends into our lives, and a fresh look at what tomorrow may bring. 

Young Witchcraft by Stephanie Burkhart 
Rachel's secret would have Cotton Mather rolling over in his grave. She's been raised from an early age to use magic for good, despite her temptation to cast a spell against Phil the bully who can't stop teasing her. 

Joe thinks Rachel is cool, especially when she weaves her healing magic spells on him, but he's got his own problems. It's not easy keeping Rachel safe from Phil's constant threats. 

When Phil poisons Rachel, can love and a little young witchcraft bring Rachel and Joe together or has years of Phil's bullying ruined their relationship for good? 

Enjoy this Excerpt from "Young Witchcraft:"


The knots in Rachel's stomach relaxed. Joe could always bring her spirits up, especially when the world weighed down her shoulders. Knowing that he wanted to be close to her after high school warmed her soul. She took in a breath and drew on her courage. "Three girls made fun of me at practice. One of them was a witch, too. Anna stuck up for me."

"That sucks. I'm glad Anna was there for you." He hesitated. "Phil tried to hide my shoulder pads before practice but they're too big and he's too stupid to find a good spot."

She giggled.

"You keep cheering and don't let those nasty girls get you down. You're stronger than that. If I can play football, you can cheer."

"Thanks, Joe." She squeezed hand. The urge to kiss him filled her heart.

His eyes softened. He reached over and embraced her, only this time his hug was different – tighter, unrestrained. His muscles shook. Did he feel the same?

His long, slender build enveloped her, filling her entire body with an unusual warmth and courage she hadn't known before. Joe was willing to sacrifice his opportunities for her. Rachel pulled away and gazed into his beautiful green-malachite eyes. Kiss him.

She cupped his cheek, unable to turn away. His lips parted. He leaned close. She leaned closer. A warm wind wiped around them like a sweet cocoon. Their mouths skirted each other. His breath hinted at citrus. They met in a mutual tender kiss. She trembled next to him, anxious, happy, and eager all at once. 

BUY LINKS:


Amazon

Smashwords
Smashwords Publisher Page


REVIEWS:

"Every story in here kept my interest till the very end. Every author had such great concepts and ideas. Absolutely loved it. - Jeanette Chanocua, 5 Stars, Amazon Reviewer. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Snippet Sunday: 2.99 Paranormal Romance: The Hungarian #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my paranormal romance, The Hungarian, Book 1 in the "Budapest Moon" series. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet: Matthias continues to tease Katherine.       

*****
His eyes darkened a little. "What would you like to know?"

She paused, drinking in his features.  His face was chiseled with an awkward scar on his right temple.  His nose was perfect – slender – hinting at nobility.  His lips were full, red, exuding with male sensuality.  He was a vision of male virility, and she found it difficult to tame the unusual warmth that pooled inside her.


"Ask me three questions and I'll give you three honest answers," he said.

****

"The Hungarian" is a paranormal romance and Book One in the "Budapest Moon" Series." Matthias falls in love with Katherine, but dare he trust her with his secret? 

****
Link to You Tube Video for The Hungarian:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Reviews for The Hungarian:

You Gotta Read Reviews - You Need to Read, Lupa

I was so very happily surprised by this book. The characters are enchanting, the scenes are vividly written, and the story has a fantastic flow. I really enjoyed the warm love and fiery passion that seemed to leap off the page. 

Sizzling Hot Book Reviews, 5 Hearts
"I highly recommend "The Hungarian," even if you aren't that interested in the paranormal such as werewolves. The romantic tale of "The Hungarian" is enough to win over anyone."

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars

"This book is extremely entertaining. The plot is sensual and romantic."


BUY LINKS:  (The Hungarian is avail as an ebook and in print)

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://amzn.com/B003K15NG2


BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/budapest-moon-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1029789952?ean=9781936000654&itm=4&usri=stephanie%2bburkhart

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookonethehungarian-427260-139.html

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: 

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-87/%3Ci%3EBudapest-Moon-Book-One%3C-fdsh-i%3E-cln-/Detail.bok


FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK: 
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee
PINTEREST:

http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Snippet Sunday: 2.99 paranormal romance: The Hungarian #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my paranormal romance, The Hungarian, Book 1 in the "Budapest Moon" series. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet: Matthias continues to tease Katherine.       

*****
He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "Do you think Arthur suits me?"

"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."

He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"

"I might, if--"
"If what?"

"If I knew more about you."
****

"The Hungarian" is a paranormal romance and Book One in the "Budapest Moon" Series." Matthias falls in love with Katherine, but dare he trust her with his secret? 

****
Link to You Tube Video for The Hungarian:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Reviews for The Hungarian:

You Gotta Read Reviews - You Need to Read, Lupa

I was so very happily surprised by this book. The characters are enchanting, the scenes are vividly written, and the story has a fantastic flow. I really enjoyed the warm love and fiery passion that seemed to leap off the page. 

Sizzling Hot Book Reviews, 5 Hearts
"I highly recommend "The Hungarian," even if you aren't that interested in the paranormal such as werewolves. The romantic tale of "The Hungarian" is enough to win over anyone."

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars

"This book is extremely entertaining. The plot is sensual and romantic."


BUY LINKS:  (The Hungarian is avail as an ebook and in print)

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://amzn.com/B003K15NG2


BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/budapest-moon-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1029789952?ean=9781936000654&itm=4&usri=stephanie%2bburkhart

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookonethehungarian-427260-139.html

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: 

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-87/%3Ci%3EBudapest-Moon-Book-One%3C-fdsh-i%3E-cln-/Detail.bok


FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK: 
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee
PINTEREST:

http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goddess Fish Super Book Blast for: Return to Me by Melissa MacKinnon



BLURB:

Archaean bounty hunter Marek Coinnich isn't particularly fond of Engels. In fact, he prefers them dead. But to save his injured brother, he must enter the manor of an Engel enemy. Marek finds himself enthralled by the slave girl nursing his brother back to health. When his enchantment with her lands them in a compromising position, he refuses to let the young beauty pay for the misunderstanding with her life.

Brynn of Galhaven prefers to keep to the shadows. When she is ruined by an outsider, she barely escapes with her life and finds herself left alone in an unforgiving land. Through her struggles to survive, Brynn discovers a world she never imagined and never forgets the enemy Archaean who stole her heart.


Marek can’t deny his desire for Brynn, but these are wartimes, and she is the enemy. And though love knows no prejudice, the world in which he lives isn’t nearly as forgiving.


ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:

“Oh, now you want this?” He squeezed the wet fabric in his fingers.


“Not if you’re going to throw it at me.” She pouted, tasting the blood with the tip of her tongue.

“Here, have at it.” Marek handed her the cloth and the water bladder. “When you need my help, I’ll be waiting for your thanks.” Busying himself with the torch, Marek let her be.

The process was slow. Every inch of her ached. What she wouldn’t give for a bath — a proper one. When she was sure she had scrubbed her face thoroughly, Brynn set to work on her arms and legs. Mud resided in every cranny, making her tattered clothing seem like rags themselves.

“Would you care for help now?” he asked, watching her struggle.

“I’m fine.”

“’Tis all right to ask for help.”

“I said I’m fine,” she replied, peeling a section of matted hair from her shoulder. Brynn winced and sucked in a breath through her teeth, trying not to cry out while he was near. “Might I have a bit of privacy, warrior?”

“My name is Marek,” he corrected, “and do not worry — you haven’t anything I have not seen before. I’ve been cleaning those wounds of yours for days now.”

Brynn’s cheeks flushed, and she directed her attention elsewhere, ignoring his shameless stare. She focused on her wounds, keeping her distance.

Near the curtain, Marek unbuckled his belt to remove his tunic. He pulled the fabric over his hand and then down his arms. He stood bare-chested. Brynn averted her eyes.

Marek let out a rumbling laugh. “You are welcome to look, love.”

“I fear the gods will not forgive me if I do,” she whispered.

GIVEAWAY:

Melissa will be awarding $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f324/">Enter to win a $25 Amazon GC! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

If you have the opportunity, follow the tour and leave comments. The more you comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Melissa grew up surrounded by dragons, fearsome creatures, and damsels in distress from the wonderful world of make believe. She soon found her ideas on paper, littering her desk with world maps and character biographies. Study hall was used not for homework but for writing. Although she pursued a career in theater, the written word never left her. Melissa now leads a full life with her husband and children (five amazingly adorable clones to be exact), though she still finds time to write in her “spare time”. She sports a Military Wife badge of honor, and is lucky enough to have her own knight in camo armor.

Melissa enjoys writing everything from sexy, sword-toting heroes to spit-out-your coffee funny romantic comedies. Her passion lies within the ancient walls of fantasy and historical romance, where anything is possible.

LINKS

Melissa MacKinnon: http://melissamackinnon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaMacKinnon602?fref=ts

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/melissa.mackinnon.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_MacKinnon

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