A Gentleman and a Rogue

Sunday, March 31, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - The Secret Door - paranormal romance



The Secret Door
Paranormal Romance w/witches and werewolves
5.99 novel 

BLURB: Can Zoltan save his witch with Sophia's help?

*****

"Relax, Sophia. I feel wonderful. I've never experienced this before, and I don't know quite how to explain it."

"Oh."

"Darling," he paused. "You are my soul mate."


"You believe in soul mates?" she whispered, a look of awe crossing her expression. 


"Yes."
A shot rang out and shattered the moment. 


*****


Reviews:

"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews

BUY LINKS:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookfourthesecretdoor-1091313-140.html

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Traditions 2013 & a Giveaway

Coloring Easter Eggs with my son, Joe



Easter is just around the corner. Growing up in New Hampshire, Easter was a big family affair. My mother's side of the family embraced many traditions from her father's native Poland. This love of tradition became embedded in my bones and it's something I hope to pass on down to my boys.

As a girl in the 1970's growing up, I remember going to mass, getting a new dress for Easter, and eggs – boiled, deviled, colored, and who can forget the lamb? I remember visiting the "twins" up on the hill and playing with cousins I didn't realize I had.

Nowadays, in the mid 2010's, 40 years later in California, I'm working on giving my boys the same sense of tradition I had growing up. I make Polish Pierogis by scratch, which is an all day affair and I buy the "butter braid" stuffed bread at church. The boys and I go to mass and I always color eggs. Easter afternoon is time for the egg hunt.

And who can forget the chocolate? I'm a sucker for a Cadbury crème egg. They're the best kind of egg.

Question for you: What are some of your favorite Easter traditions?  Growing up and now?

Giveaway: Leave a comment with your email and I'll pick one lucky winner to receive a PDF copy of my story "A Polish Heart."


A POLISH HEART
Sweet Contemporary/Inspirational Romance
99 cent Novella
Blurb: Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 

*****


Darrin began washing the peppers.

"What are you doing, Darrin?" asked Basia.

Sofia turned around from talking with her mother.
"I'm washing the peppers," he said.

"Oh, I can do that." Basia walked to the sink.
"It's okay. I can do it."

"Basia, Darrin is a bit of a cook. He watches the Food Network," said Sofia.


************



Review:
"Sofia and Darrin's story is a heartwarming one. Totally enjoyable read." - Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader


BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B007AS29AO


BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-polish-heart-stephanie-burkhart/1111503774?ean=2940033247875



SMASHWORDS:  
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164429

Sunday, March 24, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - The Secret Door - Paranormal Romance




The Secret Door
Paranormal Romance w/witches and werewolves
5.99 novel 

BLURB: Can Zoltan save his witch with Sophia's help?

*****


His gaze trapped hers. She studied him, and as every second passed, her heartbeat accelerated, her core warmed. She had to accept every aspect of him – man and wolf. And the wolf could be downright feral when provoked. Dare she? What did she really want for her future? God, right now in this moment all she could do was feel. She wanted to kiss him and surround herself in his warmth.

"I must know what your choice is." His voice was intense, just a whisper.

Her primal emotions flared. Her body ached, and she approached him, placing her hand over his heart. "Zoltan, I can't explain this--"

"Don't. Just feel it." 

*****


Reviews:

"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews

BUY LINKS:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookfourthesecretdoor-1091313-140.html

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Contest/Giveway - Join me for my MARCH Coffee & Chocolate Contest!



My bi-monthly Coffee & Chocolate Contest/Giveaway is promoting my recently released novel, "The Secret Door."  GRAND PRIZE GC to Starburcks, a coffee mug, magnets, chocolates, and a Lori Powell original book bag. I'll also be giving out PDF copies of past novels and free reads during the contest.

TO ENTER:
Visit my Facebook Fan Page and and leave a comment on my "Coffee and Chocolate" posts. (they're marked.) The Grand Prize winner will be announced on my Facebook Fan Page (along with my PDF winner giveaways) and my official website on 26 MARCH.

LINK to Facebook Fan Page:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

If you have a chance stop on by and enter.  "Like" my fan page and you'll be entered to win, as well.

Remember: Crabby don't get you nowhere in life. Smile.
Steph

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review Tuesday - Black Dragon by Vijaya Schartz




Book Review for: Black Dragon
Written by: Vijaya Schartz
Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61252-084-1
5 Stars

Schartz shines in this installment of the Borealis series, "Black Dragon." Set in the future, the Borealis is a space station run by Commander Kal Raines. It's a cesspool for criminals run by the TPP. In this environment, Czerno Drake, aka, Black Dragon, must save his Uncle, Shepard Jeremy Markel, from certain death at the hands of the TPP.

Drake soon draws the interest of TPP Lieutenant Zara Frankel. She's attracted to him, but is her attraction strong enough to betray the hive of villainy known as the TPP?

Schartz puts the reader in the thick of the action with Drake's arrival on the Borealis. Her writing is easy to read and her style helps the reader understand the futuristic gadgets of the story without slowing the pace.

Schartz's characters shine. Drake is the daring space hero, bold, brave, and honorable. Zara is spunky, not afraid to make her own decisions and choices.

The novel is sensual for romance readers, capturing several heated moments between Drake and Zara. "Black Dragon" has it all – adventure, excitement, and romance. I highly recommend this book.

Amazon Buy Link:
http://amzn.com/B005QUQV6Q

Sunday, March 17, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - The Secret Door, paranormal romance




The Secret Door
Paranormal Romance w/witches and werewolves
5.99 novel 

BLURB: Can Zoltan save his witch with Sophia's help?

*****


Sophia knelt, gathering his clothes, then making the mistake to glance up. He stood before her naked, tall and handsome, with a beautifully proportioned body. His chest was broad and hard, his hair neat. His animal-like stance emphasized the force of his thighs and the slimness of his hips.

My God, he's beautiful. I want him.

"Sophia -- you must back away." Steel edged his voice. 

She leapt to her feet, but stumbled backward, still clutching the clothes, her core uncomfortably warm. 
*****


Reviews:

"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews

BUY LINKS:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookfourthesecretdoor-1091313-140.html

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Downtown Abbey - Enjoy the Quiz!




Season  3 of Downtown Abbey just concluded in the States leaving viewers with several heartwarming moments and several heartbreaking moments. To pass the time, I have a quiz.

Leave your answers in the comments. I'll put the right answers in a hat and pull out a winner on the 20th of March. I'm giving away a print copy of "The Hungarian" or "The Count's Lair" – winner's choice.

Enjoy the Quiz!

#1 – Who said: "Nothing succeeds like excess?"

#2 – Which daughter got jilted at the altar?

#3 – Who worked as a nurse during World War I?

#4 – Who is Lady Cora's personal maid?

#5 – Which servant recently bought a toaster?

#6 – Who took courses to become a secretary?

#7 Where do Daisy and Mrs. Patmore work?

Question for you: Who is your favorite character upstairs?  Downstairs?  Why?

Smiles
Steph


Friday, March 15, 2013

Welcome Guest Author - Ella M. Kaye




STEPH: Welcome to the blog, Ella.     I don't know much about your latest release, Pier Lights. What's it about?

ELLA: Let me share the blurb:

Caroline was a relevé away from becoming prima ballerina when, partly due to her own actions, she was damaged enough to never be allowed en Pointe again. Returning to her hometown area, she finds a grittier dancing job and determines to land on top this time.

Dio hides away on his farm near Charleston, South Carolina, and ventures out only when he can be in disguise. He uses his swordsman skills to work out aggression and connect with others while he maintains distance. When the two collide on the beach in the glow of the lights from the pier, their personal scars push them away, and pull them in, just as the ebb and flow of the Atlantic.


STEPH:       How long did it take you to write?

ELLA: I wrote it for Nanowrimo 2012, so the first draft was done during the month of November. Of course, then there came the filling in, rewriting, and editing. Overall, about three months. It’s a short novel.

STEPH:       What was the inspiration behind the story?

ELLA: I found a photo of a gorgeous lighthouse at sunset last year and I knew it had to be a story setting. As it turns out, Folly Beach, South Carolina has been the setting for other fiction in the past and it’s a well-loved spot for both locals and tourists. Someday, I’ll get there to visit!

STEPH:        Did you have to do a lot of research?

ELLA: I did research the area and its local businesses, as well as the unintentional landmark of the Folly Beach Boat, which is a little rowboat washed ashore during a hurricane. It’s now used for graffiti of varying kinds. The dance scenes didn’t need research since I have a dance background.

STEPH:          What's the theme of the novel?

ELLA: Recovery and adaptation after personal injury. This theme will be prevalent in some form throughout the lighthouse series, of which Pier Lights is the first.

6.              How does the cover reflect the novel?

The cover shows Morris Island Lighthouse, which has been decommissioned due to the water coming up over it so far there is no land access. It’s deteriorating and there is a group trying to restore it. It’s the perfect metaphor for Dio and Caroline who have also been knocked out of commission and need restoration. The sword in the sand shows part of Dio’s trade, and the little rowboat is a large part of the story.

STEPH:             How long have you been writing?

ELLA: Ella M. Kaye is a pen name. Under my other name, I’ve been published for nearly ten years, have eight books released, and I’ve written in some form since childhood. Pier Lights is my first novel under this line.

STEPH:             Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

ELLA: Read a lot, in many genres. Listen to established writers. Network. Be determined and develop thick skin. Get critiques outside friends and family. Realize that the first draft is the easy part and there is a long way to go from there. Study the craft of writing. Talent is nothing without the hard work of learning the trade. If you can give up on writing, you should. If you can’t, give it your all.

STEPH:             Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which ones?

ELLA: I have a Sony that’s several years old and still suits me fine.


STEPH:         Fun question: Do you have any plans for St. Patrick's Day? 

ELLA: I have a lot of Irish heritage, so I have a brisket marinating to become corned beef. It’s much better homemade than from the store! I may try to make Irish soda bread to go with it this year, and we’ll have a simple dinner with family and maybe a couple of friends.

Thanks so much for having me, Stephanie! I have a new blog, and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Pier Lights is on Goodreads if any of you review there. Find my links on my blog:
http://ellamkaye.blogspot.com



Excerpt


She moved back down the beach, out from under the pier, still along the water as it splashed her ankles. Just before she turned off to head back to her room for the night, a flicker of light over the water caught her eye. It was a moving flicker, similar to the lighthouse off and on glow as it turned its continuous circles around Sullivan’s Island, but far smaller. And far closer. She headed that direction. Caroline had always been too curious. Her mother had told her she was many times. It killed the cat, so the story went. Caroline figured she was safe enough since she wasn’t a cat. She’d gone well past her nine lives of curiosity and it hadn’t killed her yet.

As she got close enough to find the source of the flicker, out on the water but not too far out, she decided it might not be all that safe. A man. With a sword. On a small boat. Alone.

And mostly naked.

Her gut told her to turn away, to go back to her room, to shower and redo her toe nails and sleep, in case her answer would be yes. Although in all truth, she expected it not to be. She only wanted the option.

The flicker came from the sword as he twirled it around his body. Twirled wasn’t the right word. That was what Caroline did. Or what she used to do. It was a delicate, graceful movement. But then, so was this man. He was a delicate, graceful movement, if she could allow herself to stretch the definition of the word delicate. His precision was. As far as she could tell, the sword moved in exactly the same path, repeated, smooth, strong, graceful. It moved like a dancer, but more deadly.

Depending on its intent.

 BUY LINK: 
SMASHWORDS:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/285646 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - The Secret Door - paranormal romance



The Secret Door
Paranormal Romance w/witches & werewolves
5.99 novel 

BLURB: Can Zoltan save his witch with Sophia's help?

*****

"I want to kiss you, but I don't dare," he whispered. "Why not?"

"My venom is potent. You understand, don't you?"


 "I do."

"Go ahead of me." His body tensed, and he withdrew. Sophia sensed he struggled with his self-control. 


*****


Reviews:

"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews

BUY LINKS:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookfourthesecretdoor-1091313-140.html

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writing Inspiration - Poets from the "Romantic" Era

Sir Walter Scott



In the late 18th, early 19th Century "romanticism" swept across Europe. It was an artistic and philosophical movement that stressed individualism, subjectivity, and emotion. Generally, romantic era poetry praised the individual, giving voice to the common man, his life, and nature. Nature, in fact, proves to be a very prevalent theme in romantic era poetry.

The style the poetry stressed was everyday language, along with a free form presentation.

While romance and love can be a subject of poetry during this time, the "romanticism" movement has little in common with what we consider romantic today. These poets tended to distrust the human world and invited the reader to believe in the poet.

Several romantic era poets include:

William Wadsworth
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Edgar Allen Poe
Mary Shelley
Emily Dickinson
Sir Walter Scott.

Enjoy this poem from Sir Walter Scott:

An Hour With Thee

An hour with thee! When earliest day 

Dapples with gold the eastern gray, 

Oh, what can frame my mind to bear 

The toil and turmoil, cark and care, 

New griefs, which coming hours unfold, 

And sad remembrance of the old? 

One hour with thee.



One hour with thee! When burning June 

Waves his red flag at pitch of noon; 

What shall repay the faithful swain, 

His labor on the sultry plain; 

And, more than cave or sheltering bough, 

Cool feverish blood and throbbing brow?

One hour with thee.



One hour with thee! When sun is set, 

Oh, what can teach me to forget

The thankless labors of the day; 

The hopes, the wishes, flung away; 

The increasing wants, and lessening gains, 

The master's pride, who scorns my pains? 

One hour with thee.

Question: Do you have a favorite Romantic Era Poet? I hope you and your muse find inspiration for the  poet in you.  If you'd like to share a "romantic" poem, I'd love to read it. Just put in your comments.

Smiles
Steph

Monday, March 4, 2013

Read an Ebook Week 3-9 MARCH 2013

March is "Read an Ebook Month" and 3-9 MARCH 2013 is "Read an Ebook Week" this week. 


Kindle, 3rd Generation


An "Ebook" is a book length publication in digital form. No one really knows when the first ebook came along, but it's been several decades in the making. "The Index Thomistiticus" was a heavily annotated electronic index to the works of Thomas Aquinas in the 1940s put together by Roberto Busa. 

However the idea of the ebook reader came to Bob Brown in the 1930's, inspired by the "talkie" movies. In an article Jennifer Schuessler writes, "The machine, Brown argued, would allow readers to adjust the type size, avoid paper cuts and save trees, all while hastening the day when words could be 'recorded directly on the palpitating ether.'"

In 1949 a teacher from Spain, Angelia Ruiz, patents the 1st ebook. She wanted to decrease the number of books her kids brought to school.  

In Star Trek, The Original Series and even The Next Generation, Capt Kirk and Capt Picard each use "ebook" readers - though Kirk's was a bit bulker than Picard's. 

In 1992, Sony launched the Data Discman, an electronic book reader that could read e-books that were stored on CDs. 

The establishment of the E Ink Corp. in 1997 led to the development of electronic paper a technology which allows a display screen to reflect light like ordinary paper without the need for a backlight. The Rocket Ebook is introduced but doesn't gain any popularity. 

In the mid 2000's, Amazon released the "Kindle" a slim, convienent, ebook reader that is affordable to the every day public.  Sony does the same. 

"Read An Ebook Week" was first listed in 2004. The purpose was to educate and inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically.

Popular formats include: PDF, EPUB, and HTML. 

Some advantages of having an ebook: 

--All fiction books published prior to 1900 are considered in the public domain and free.
--An ebook can be ordered and downloaded immediately.

--The cost is affordable.

--A single reader can have many books.

--There is a wide variety of ebook readers that are affordable.
--It saves on physical space.

--You can ajust the font and add notes if you want.

CONTEST!!
If you go to: http://www.ebookweek.com/index.html
There are two contests along with a great list of "deals and steals." It's a great place to hang out and enjoy an ebook this week. 

Question for you: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one. Why do you recommend it? The price? The size? The features?  

Do you have any "Deals and Steals" you'd like to share this week? Leave a comment! 


References: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book

Sunday, March 3, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - The Secret Door - Paranormal Romance



The Secret Door
Paranormal Romance w/witches & werewolves
5.99 novel 

BLURB: Can Zoltan save his witch with Sophia's help?

*****

He stopped, reminding himself he needed to offer a choice. "Do you want me to kiss you?"

"No."The sound of her denial was weak. He held her close.

"Do you want me to release you?"

"No."

"How should I solve my predicament?"

*****


Reviews:

"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews

BUY LINKS:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookfourthesecretdoor-1091313-140.html