A Gentleman and a Rogue

Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review for: In the Pleasure Groove
Written by: John Taylor
Dutton Publishing
ISBN: 978-0525-95800-0
Avail as: ebook & print (hardback)
3.5 Stars

Duran Duran was one of the biggest bands of the 1980's and bassist John Taylor gives readers and fans a peek at his musical influences, life in Duran Duran, and finding his own way. Expressive and poignant, John's story gets to the "heart" behind the man who continues to live a story we can all relate to.

John opens the novel with life in Birmingham, England with his parents. Growing up, he was just a boy in the neighborhood, but when teenage John meets Nick Rhodes, the backbone of Duran Duran is formed. John and Nick pursue their dreams and soon the "boys next door" are founding members of one of the 1980's biggest rock groups.

As John deals with fame, he comes to rely on fame's usual crutches, drugs and alcohol. His insights into the making of the first three Duran albums are a delightful treat for any fan.

At the height of Duranmania in the 1980's the boy next door seems unrecognizable, surrendering to the music and drugs. John's story also offers hope that one can look adversity in the eye and overcome. He shares his choices, good and bad, and he shows us the humanity behind the man and his music.

The book is easy to read and easy to relate to. Taylor talks about the height of Duranmania and the effects that fame had on him and his relationships. What I liked the most was his ability to relate a very human story behind the fame.

"In The Pleasure Groove" gives you John Taylor, his way, his perspective. His story is highly entertaining, connecting on that "raw gut" level, just like Duran Duran's music.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday - Four 99 cent stories for your Kindle

Hi all - just wanted to share some of my 99 cent stories which are a great bargain for this time of the year:


Christmas in Bayeux
Contemporary Christmas Romance
Mainstream love scene
Blurb: Can Noel help Aiden heal his wounded heart this Christmas season?

"Christmas in Bayeux" is the perfect short romance to enjoy during the holiday season or any time during the year, and I highly recommend it." – Diane Craver, Author, A Joyful Heart, Amazon Review

Buy Link:
AMAZON:
http://amzn.com/B005BTLSI8

BARNES & NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-bayeux-stephanie-burkhart/1104401603?ean=2940011371806

SMASHWORDS
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72100

SONY EREADER:
https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/stephanie-burkhart/christmas-in-bayeux/_/R-400000000000000451442



Feast of Candles
Contemporary Christmas Romance
Spicy Romance
Blurb: Drake takes the biggest chance of his life on a bottle of wine. Can he crack the battlements that surround Lily's lonely heart?

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B008NXELPG

Review: The ending with the feast of candles is so romantic you'll want your own feast of candles with your sweetheart. Lovely story!




A Polish Heart
Contemporary Inspirational Romance
Sweet Heat Level
Blurb: Will Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 
Here's a link:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AS29AO



Journey of the Heart
Vintage Summer Romance
Sweet Heat Level
Blurb: Can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review for: Captured by the Highlander

Book Review for: Captured by the Highlander
Written by: Julianne MacLean
St. Martin's Press
Avail: ebook/print
5 Stars

MacLean leaves you breathless with "Captured by the Highlander." Duncan MacLean has a ruthless reputation as the "Butcher of the Highlands," but when he kidnaps Lady Amelia Templeton, she tests him on so many levels and dares to ruin the Butcher's reputation.

Set in Scotland in 1716, the story opens with Duncan's suspenseful kidnap of Amelia. He's looking for her betrothed, Colonial Richard Bennett, who is known for his brutality towards the Scots. Initially, Duncan, as the Butcher, just wants revenge, but he can't deny he's attracted to Amelia. She's headstrong, believes in her convictions, and dares to defy him.

Amelia breaks away from Duncan and seeks refuge from a squad of English soldiers. Unfortunately, they're drunk and act poorly. Duncan saves Amelia, and the incident challenges her to understand his motivations.

Duncan takes Amelia to Montcriffe where she discovers his true identity. Dare she give in to the passion Duncan evokes knowing the danger he faces if his secret is revealed?

MacLean's writing is easy to read and plunges the reader in a suspense filled opening. The action is perfectly paced, allowing the reader to catch their breath before racing forward again.

MacLean paints wonderful pictures with words allowing the reader to vividly see Duncan and Amelia's word in their mind.

The most rewarding part is the characterization. Despite Duncan's ruthless reputation, his motivations are clear to the reader. As a reader, I easily lost my heart to him. Amelia is feisty, challenging, and when evidence presents itself, willing to give Duncan a chance.

The story is sophisticated for romance readers with love scenes that capture the passion and sensually of the couple. MacLean will leave you breathless, wanting more tales of the Scottish highlands. "Captured by the Highlander" is a wonderful romantic escape on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Writing ideas - I Need a Hero

Prince Harry is currently serving in
Afghanistan
Our hero has a fine line to walk. The modern reader wants a man who is verbal, tender, and vulnerable, but not a wimp. Tall order, huh?

What makes a guy attractive?

Our hero has to convince the heroine - and the reader - that he's an attractive guy - inside and out. Add a dash of danger, a pinch of excitement, and a dose of sexy. It's just not enough to be good looking, he's got to treat those people around him with respect.

The Alpha Hero

He's assertive, dominant, and successful. (Sounds a little like Christen Grey, doesn't he?) He's the guy who owns the company and wants another one.

The Beta Charmer

This guy is playful and relaxed, caring and charming. He owns the company, but lets someone else run it.

A hero needs a convincing job.

He can own the company, be a police officer, fire fighter, or in the armed services. He can be a spy or an archeologist. He can even be a rock star or royalty. Whatever his profession, he's got to love what he does, act honorably, and treat those around him right.

Do you like a rich guy for a hero?

Do you like reading a romance where the hero is filthy stinking rich, or do you prefer to have him a more down-to-earth job?

The job has to fit the hero. It can't be trivial. It's got to be something he enjoys and excels in.

Qualities

What qualities do you want your hero to have? Heroism? Nobility? Honor? Integrity? What kind of job?

Question for you: Do you want a hero who is rich? Why or why not?

Reference: On Writing Romance, by Leigh Michaels, F&W Publications, ISBN: 978-1-58297-437-8, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank you to all the Veterans out there

I just want to say thank you to all the Veterans out there for serving in your country's armed forces. I'm a Veteran myself, having served in the US ARMY between 1986-1997 as an MP (Military Police). I thought I'd share a little bit about my Army life with you all today.


Taken in Butzbach, 1990. This was at my dining-in at PLDC. (Primary Leadership Development) The guy in the picture is my husband. We met at PLDC and married in NOV 14 1991.



Taken in East Germany in 1988. I am wearing my Class "B" uniform. This is in East Berlin at Treptower Park.



In Fulda, Germany NOV 1989, right after the fall of the wall.



Taken in Kaspovar, Hungary in 1997.


Me in my Dress Blues, OCT 1997.


I went to Ft. McCellan, AL in JUL 1986 to attend my Basic & AIT Training. I finished in NOV 1986.


My Duty assignments:

Munster, Germany
295th MP Company, Romulus, NY
11th ACR, Fulda/Bad Hersfeld, Germany
NTC Ft. Irwin, CA
127th MP Co., Hanau, Germany
90 Day Deployment to Taszar,Hungary JUL-OCT 1997.

A Little About Veterans Day:

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

In June 1954 Armistice was replaced with Veterans Day in the United States and it's been that way since.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day


If you're a Veteran, feel free to share your branch service. Where have you been? When did you get out? Give a shout out to the military member in your family.

Most of all, feel free to thank a Veteran for their service. They really appreciate it.

My lastest book is a steampunk romance, A GENTLEMAN AND A ROGUE. You can find info for it here:http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-366/The-Windsor-Diaries-Book/Detail.bok

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just Released! My steampunk romance: A Gentleman and a Rogue

BOOK 2 of "The Windsor Diaries" - "A Gentleman and A Rogue" is now on sale! It's the 2nd steampunk novel in this romance series.

Here's the Blurb:

Royals Edmund and Alice Windsor return to 2011 only to discover their world is now powered by gasoline and electricity - not compressed natural gas. Their attempts to persuade their grandmother, Queen Anne II, falls on deaf ears. Taking matters into their own hands, they enlist Jonas Byron's help and travel back to 1855 to set the time line right.

Now in Lincoln, Edmund is reunited with Lady Keira Russell, the love of his life, but if it isn't one obstacle, it's another. Keira does not want to fall in love with him again. Jonas Byron has taken up with Keira's father to build a windmill, and Edmund's brother, Richard, the Guardian of the Time Machine, has followed Edmund to ensure Queen Victoria makes the right decision when choosing the fuel of the future. Edmund has a choice - make mischief to ensure time marches to the beat of the right drummer, or trust in Keira and her belief that Queen Victoria will make the right decision on her own. Will Edmund lost Keira for good if he makes the wrong choice?


ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:
The song ended and Edmund grabbed her hand, tugging her toward the nearest hallway. At first, she wanted to protest; call out for her father and defy Edmund's wishes, but then reason kicked in. She wanted -- no, needed -- answers. And, she had plenty of questions.

They entered the main wing, and passed two rooms before Edmund opened a door and dragged her inside. Books littered the shelves. The library. A beam of light from a full moon shined through the window, casting Edmund's features in sharp, contrasting shadows. He leaned against the door and crossed his arms. His eyes narrowed, giving his expression a dark, hard edge. He looked like a devil in this moment. She steeled her shoulders, ready to do battle with him.

Silence grew between them as they both set their postures. Damn Edmund. She wanted to kiss the devil senseless. Thankfully, she still had her wits.

"What are you doing with Jonas Byron?" Edmund's voice was cold and exact.

"Dancing." She surprised herself with the ease of her retort.

"Looked more like flirting to me."

"Jealous?"

A muscle twitched in his jaw. "No."

"You are a horrible liar."

"Keira, you can't trust him."

She placed her hands on her hips. "Curious, you're the second man tonight to tell me that."

"Grayson has your best interests at heart. You need to listen to him."

"He's been missing for four years." She paused, glaring at him. "Like you have. And I thought you weren't coming back."

"I'm here now, and I'm not leaving you again."

She tilted her head and laughed. Oh, yes, he'd leave her again, and she had no intention of letting her heart get broken.

Edmund lunged forward, placed his hands on her waist, and pulled her against the length of his hard, muscled body, trapping her arms between them so her hands rested on his chest. His emerald eyes flamed with desire. Her heart turned over in response. His unique scent, spice and currants, weakened her resolve. As her memories flooded through her mind, her lips ached for his.

"God, Keira, don't test me like this."


PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-366/The-Windsor-Diaries-Book/Detail.bok

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookthreeagentlemanandarogue-996194-141.html

BARNES & NOBLE (NOOK)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-two-stephanie-burkhart/1113777499?ean=2940015869538

AMAZON (KINDLE:)
http://amzn.com/B00A5CF24C

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Save the Date: 20-25 NOV Coffee & Chocolate Contest!

My monthly coffee and chocolate contest/giveaway will feature my novel, The Faberge Secret. Win a GC to Starbucks, a coffee mug, a bag of chocolate, magnets,"EARTHQUAKE" blend Coffee from the Newhall Coffee Company and Lori Powell autumn themed book bag. All you have to do to enter is visit my Facebook Fan Page between 20-25 NOV and leave a comment on one of the 4 Coffee & Chocolate Posts. Also giving away a couple of other short stories and anthologies! Winner will be announced on my Facebook Fan Page and on my website http://www.stephanieburkhart.com on 26 NOV.

Facebook Fan Page:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor?fref=ts

The Faberge Secret
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-236/The-Faberge-Secret-Stephanie/Detail.bok

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Book Review for: 50 Shades of Grey

Book Review for: Fifty Shades of Grey
Written by: E.L. James
978-0-345-80348-1
Avail: as a print book
4 Stars

James pens a character driven romance full of inner conflict and nail-biting tension with "Fifty Shades of Grey." Christian Grey is a successful businessman determined to dominate in all things. Enter Anastasia Steele. She challenges him at every turn. Dare he give his heart to her?

Set in contemporary Seattle, Anastasia is a grad student who interviews Christian for her friend, Kate. Ana and Christian can't deny there's a charge of attraction between them. Later, Christian finds Ana and they have a coffee date. Christian would like her to enter into a relationship with him. For Ana, Christian's proposal is shocking, but she's game to try. However, when she wants "more," is Christian willing to meet her in the middle?

James uses a strong character voice that easily pulls the reader into Ana's world. The story is written in the first person, present tense. At times, I found the present tense a bit disconcerting, but the characterization is so strong, I enjoyed the novel very much.

What makes the novel resonate is the characterization. Christian is forceful, bossy, dominant even, but he reveals to Ana another side of himself that he hasn't before. Ana is strong, made of "steele." She may be willing to try Christian's suggestions, but she speaks her mind all things.

The novel explores darker topics and erotic themes in a mature way. Can the light of love break through the secrets which have hardened Christian's heart? "Fifty Shades of Grey" is more than an exploration of the erotic – it dares to peer into the dark parts of our souls to see just how much the human spirit can endure, as in Christian's case. Due to the erotic/intimate scenes I would recommend this book for mature readers. "Fifty Shades of Grey" will leave you breathless and wanting to read the sequel.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review for: "The Last Olympian"
Written by: Rick Riordan
Disney/Hyperion Books
ISBN: 978-142-310150-5
Avail as: ebook & print
4.5 Stars

Riordan delivers an action-packed, suspense-filled story with his final book in the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series titled "The Last Olympian." The battle is on between Kronos, his Titans, the Olympians, and the demigods. The prize is Earth and it's way of life. Who will win?

New York is under siege and the Titan Typhoon is wreaking havoc throughout America. The mist hides the truth from humans, but the demigods and Olympians struggle against the Titans. Percy leads Camp Half-Blood in the defense of New York, however things aren't what they seem. By the time the dust settles, Percy and his friends will have their courage, resolve, and inner strength tested. The final battle is packed with surprises.

Riordan's writing style is easy to read. There's adventure, fast-paced action, and plenty of suspense mixed in with the perfect does of tender, character revealing moments.

Percy's come a long way since his first adventure, displaying a rare maturity for his age. Nico diAngelo, Hades' son, also proves his worth. There are a lot of surprises in store for the demigods and how they face adversity defines their character. It's a lesson that will resonate with the novel's young reading audience.

Again, Riordan's done a wonderful job putting a modern twist on the ancient Greek legends, making them appealing for today's audience. The series inspires young readers to explore and read.

"The Last Olympian" is full of secrets, unexpected twists, and nail-biting suspense. Readers 9-years-old and up will enjoy this novel. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's Here! The Cover for "A Gentleman and a Rogue!" Steampunk Romance

Just wanted to share with you - Book 2 of "The Windsor Diaries," my steampunk romance, "A Gentleman and a Rogue" now has a cover! It's due to be released on 11 NOV 2012 this month. If you enjoyed Alice's journeys to Victorian England, she's baaaack and this time she's helping her cousin Edmund win Lady Keira's heart.


Here's the Blurb:

Royals Edmund and Alice Windsor return to 2011 only to discover their world is now powered by gasoline and electricity - not compressed natural gas. Their attempts to persuade their grandmother, Queen Anne II, falls on deaf ears. Taking matters into their own hands, they enlist Jonas Byron's help and travel back to 1855 to set the time line right.

Now in Lincoln, Edmund is reunited with Lady Keira Russell, the love of his life, but if it isn't one obstacle, it's another. Keira does not want to fall in love with him again. Jonas Byron has taken up with Keira's father to build a windmill, and Edmund's brother, Richard, the Guardian of the Time Machine, has followed Edmund to ensure Queen Victoria makes the right decision when chosing the fuel of the future. Edmund has a choice - make mischief to ensure time marches to the beat of the right drummer, or trust in Keira and her belief that Queen Victoria will make the right decision on her own. Will Edmund lost Keira for good if he makes the wrong choice?


PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-366/The-Windsor-Diaries-Book/Detail.bok

For a treat, here's the Cover to "Victorian Scoundrel"