A Gentleman and a Rogue

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day 2016: Fun Facts! #groundhogday



It’s Groundhog Day! If the groundhog sees his shadow, it’s another 6 weeks of winter!

This tradition grew out of Europe and it’s based on Candlemas. Candlemas is the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The English rhyme went like this:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

I suppose some ol’ groundhog woke up on Candlemas, saw his shadow, and freaked out. Bam! Now you’ve got groundhog’s day.

The most famous groundhog of all is Punxsutawney Phil and he lives in a burrow on Gobbler’s Knob. Phil had his first opportunity to shadow watch in 1887.  Since 1993, Phil has been right 13 times and wrong 15 times.  I suppose it depends on his mood.  After all, Phil is in a state of hibernation.  I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate being woken up in the middle of the long winter nap to look at his shadow.

Fun Facts:
A groundhog is a woodchuck.

They are good swimmers.

Groundhogs weigh between 12-15 pounds.

Groundhogs eat greens, fruits, and veggies.

Phil goes into his hibernation state in October.  He usually wakes up in late March or April.

You can visit Punxsutawney Phil at his website:

Question:  Do you have a groundhog day ceremony where you live?


A POLISH HEART:


BLURB: 

Darrin Riverton, an architect from the United States is assigned to a challenging project which requires a trip to Poland. Sofia Buraczynski is assigned as his translator and his first sight of her heats his blood.

With Sofia as his guide, Darrin discovers Poland and many new things about himself, as well. When a chance is presented for him to remain in Poland, will he leave behind family and all that is familiar to follow his heart?

EXCERPT:

A tall, handsome man with broad shoulders, wearing a long-sleeved polo shirt, walked toward her holding a bouquet of poppies and orchids.
Her teeth nipped at her lower lip as she ran her eyes over this beautifully proportioned man, her body warming at the sight of him. He looked tough and lean, and his handsome face kindled with a sort of classical beauty she hadn't seen on a man before. His leonine stride radiated self-confidence. His hair was sandy blond in a short, neat cut and his cobalt blue eyes pierced her professional armor.
He stopped in front of her and held out his flowers. "Dzien dobry."
A wide grin crossed her lips and she dropped the sign she was holding. "Hello, Mr. Riverton."
A look of relief passed over his face. "You know, I practiced that phrase all morning on the plane."
"I admire the effort. Are the flowers for me?""Yes." His smile was full of pride.

Reviews:
5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader, “A totally enjoyable read.”
 5 Stars, Nancy Levine, Amazon Reader, “My grandfather was from Poland, but I have never been there, so I enjoyed reading about it as well as the customs about the Easter basket, etc.”
5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reader, “I love the warm-hearted tale.”

BUY LINKS:

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-polish-heart


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Snippet Sunday: Fantasy Romance: The Green Rose #snippetsunday




Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my fantasy Romance, The Green Rose. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:









About this excerpt:  Sonia realizes her attraction. 








ENJOY THIS SNIPPET: 
"Not now. Your body is exhausted and needs rest. Tomorrow morning we can try to connect with your mother. The calling should be easier." His lips brushed against her ear, sending a warm pulse of physical awareness through her. Ivánstan was all male. Slowly, she turned around in his arms to gaze into his eyes. They were soft now, the orange reminding her of the sun; his pupils, while still slitted, were narrow. 

BLURB: 
On the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father's life. It's the ultimate betrayal of Gaia's peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia's peace or will the continent's harmony be shattered forever? 

BOOK TRAILER
BUY LINKS:

PUBLISHER'S SITE

AMAZON KINDLE:

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:


ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:


REVIEWS:
4 Stars, InD'Tales Magazine: JUL/AUG 2013
"An engaging tale with a complete story all wrapped up in one tidy package." - Leslie Stokes, InD'Tales Magazine. 


5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down. 

4 Stars, Laura Carter for Reader's Favorites:
I loved the characters of Ivánstan and Sonia and the romance growing between them is sweet and believable.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lifestyle: Leaving a Legacy - MASH post #tvshow



Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday was one of the rare days the entire family had it off and we were together. With a last minute change of plans, I decided it was a time for hike!

I had found a book detailing 60 hikes in the LA area and one drew my interest – hike out to the MASH site where they filmed the movie and TV show. 

MY THOUGHTS THEN

I remember the MASH TV show. It ran from 1972-1983. I was 4 when it started and 15 when it ended. The show was funny, yet serious at the same time. The opening was somber, but I think now, rather iconic. The helicopters traveling alongside the mountain, the stirring melodic chords, and the concern on the actor’s faces as they approached the injured, left me a bit uneasy at the time and I didn’t know why. My favorite character was Klinger. I respected what he was trying to do, but I didn’t understand why he had to wear dresses. Hawkeye was funny, and I appreciated what he did to make a point. If anything MASH taught me life is complicated. I thought Houlihan was lame.  Why would a grown woman act like that? 






HIKING

The series was filmed at Malibu State Park, on the other side of Calibas, CA. The sky was overcast and it misted on the day we went. We ate a picnic lunch there and wore our sweatshirts, though once we started we warmed up nice.

It’s a 2.3 mile hike out to the site, most of it is flat, but there is one incline. Joe, my 9-yr-old, was a bit pokey, but we made it.

When we arrived at the site, I was surprised at how small and compact it was! The green Red Cross jeep was new – there since 2010 and Joe loved playing in it.  The wooden city sign was there from the show and an aluminum shed with pictures from the show was also on site. They had picnic tables to rest and they roped off the area where the tents on the show were. Now, it was just overgrown. The helicopter landing site was small and I couldn’t believe they fit them up there. Movie magic, maybe? 

We took our pictures then hiked back, Joe using his dad’s hiking sticks. Joe got bored so I looked up some old Army cadences that we used to sing in the Army and Joe sung along with me. His favorite? “They say that in the Army the chicken’s mighty fine…” When I got home, I watched a couple of episodes from 1972 of MASH. Nostalgic, I suppose, but I wanted to give what I saw a visual reference. 




MY THOUGHTS NOW

Now that I’m 47, I totally understand how the show was a “comment” on the Vietnam war. The acting was excellent and the writing top-notch. I appreciated that men and women worked together and not surprised there was some hanky-panky going on when the tent doors were closed. Houilhan was still lame, but now I understood that someone had to be lame. I see how the stories still resonate with people even after 30 years since the show stopped filming – it’s because of the unique characters which framed a moment in time. 


Question for you: What do you remember about MASH? 


JOURNEY OF THE HEART

Blurb: Set in Sonoma, CA in 1946, can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

Twelve 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
The story was compelling and not boring, which is often a stereotype of sweet romances. I would recommend this short sweetie of a story. Good job, author. - Angel E

Excerpt: 
"Your case threatened to run away, so I bribed it." Her sweet expression was an arrow through his heart. 

"Really? What did you bribe it with?" He wiped the sweat off his brow with a handkerchief, caused from a combination of the summer heat and lifting the heavy cases. 

"A job."

He hooked his thumb toward his chest. "Are you offering me a job, Miss Santori?"

BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B008G1JI6C


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snippet Sunday: The Green Rose, fantasy romance #snippetsunday





Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my fantasy Romance, The Green Rose. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:









About this excerpt:  Sonia is concerned.








ENJOY THIS SNIPPET: 

Fear ripped through her and then the vision was gone. She grew limp, but Ivánstan tightened his grip. "He is not dead, but wounded and in a dark place." 

"Thank Nyla," she whispered. "Is there more? Can we try again?" 

BLURB: 
On the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father's life. It's the ultimate betrayal of Gaia's peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia's peace or will the continent's harmony be shattered forever? 

BOOK TRAILER

BUY LINKS:

PUBLISHER'S SITE

AMAZON KINDLE:

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:


ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:


REVIEWS:
4 Stars, InD'Tales Magazine: JUL/AUG 2013
"An engaging tale with a complete story all wrapped up in one tidy package." - Leslie Stokes, InD'Tales Magazine. 


5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down. 

4 Stars, Laura Carter for Reader's Favorites:
I loved the characters of Ivánstan and Sonia and the romance growing between them is sweet and believable.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Art: Faberge Eggs #faberge



Peter Carl Faberge put “Faberge” on the map as a premier goldsmith and jeweler when his talents were commissioned by Czar Alexander III. The Czar wanted to give his wife, Maria, a beautiful jeweled egg for Easter. Faberge put his heart and soul into making the “Hen” egg. When Alexander presented Maria with the elaborate jewel, Maria was so impressed, she commissioned Faberge to make a yearly jeweled egg for the Easter season.  This tradition continued with Nicholas II when Alexander III died.
The talented Peter Carl Faberge was born in 1846 and learned his craft from his equally skilled father. Peter Faberge didn’t just make eggs for the Romanovs though. He also produced similar eggs between 1885-1904 for the Duchess of Marlborough, the Rothschilds, the Yusupovs, and for Russian industrialist, Alexander Kelch. 
Faberge made over 50 eggs for the Russian royal family but only 43 remain. In 1904 and 1905 Faberge did not make eggs for the family and these dates coincide with the Russo-Japanese war.

When the Russian Civil War occurred in 1917, Faberge fled Russia. His heirs lost the rights to the Faberge trademark when he died in Sept. 1920 in Switzerland. 
Interesting Fact: Peter Carl Faberge never traveled with luggage and bought what he needed when he arrived at his destination. 
**Faberge never made Christmas eggs for the Romanovs, only Easter eggs.


Question for you: If you owned a Faberge where would you display it?

BLURB:
Elise Goodwin finds herself faced with danger when she learns the Faberge egg she's bought belongs to a Russian mogul, Dimitri Romanov, but is Dimitri playing a game with Elise's heart to get his heirloom back?



Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

Complicating matters is Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, who wants the precious jeweled object for his own collection. Can Dimitri protect Elise from Kelch?


ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:

She bit her lower lip. If she didn't take a chance now, would her life be filled with what- ifs and regrets? Yes, John had hurt her, but she was still alive. Dare she believe in romance again?
Dimitri paused next to her room, beside the door.
"If you have the time..." she began, knowing it was now or never. "And if you don't have to go back to Russia right away, I'd be honored to have you share Christmas with my family."
"I'd be happy to." His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of hair behind her ear. Then slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them.
Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting... until Dimitri's mouth finally captured hers in a drugging kiss.
His lips were firm and persuasive. He smelled of soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her, and she fisted her hands around the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.
All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss and pushed him away.
"Elise--" Dimitri began.
"Umph!"

Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door.

It stood ajar.

"Lucy!" Elise forgot all about Dimitri's kiss and rushed inside with him right behind her.
Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.
REVIEWS:
5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
As the love story thicken, the suspense heightens and it won't let your eyes leave the page. I recommend The Faberge Secret to all of the romance readers. Even if you have never read romance, The Faberge Secret would be a great place to start.

4 Stars, Manic Readers
"A satisifying read."

4 Stars, Night Owl Book Reviews
The Faberge Secret is a fast paced, delightful adventure with plenty of love and adventure sprinkled in for spice.
BUY LINKS: 
AMAZON KINDLE:
B&N NOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-faberge-secret-stephanie-burkhart/1105070465?ean=2940013874596&itm=1&usri=the+faberge+secret
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
PUBLISHER'S LINK:

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