A Gentleman and a Rogue

Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Review Friday - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins #bookreview #hungergames




Book Review for: Catching Fire
Written by: Suzanne Collins
Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-58617-7
Avail: ebook & print
5 Stars

Collins crafts a nail-biting, edge of your seat sequel with "Catching Fire." Katniss' victory in the arena changes her life and relationships with her mother, sister, Gale, and Peeta, but Katniss isn't the only one dealing with change. The districts are as well. Unrest and uncertainty surround a nation and Katniss' heart.

Set in the future, this dystopian story opens with Katniss trying to reconnect with her "roots," and her friend, Gale, but everyone is on edge and Gale's mood reflects the restless change in the air.

Katniss goes to live in district 12's victor's lane, but her discomfort is obvious. The capital and president insist on a wedding with Peeta. Soon, Effie Trinket shows up to prepare the couple and take them on their victory tour. With uncertainty and unrest creeping into the districts, the 75th Hunger Games are announced. The tributes for these games will be reaped from previous district winners, assuring Katniss another trip into the area. Will Katniss fan the spark of rebellion into a fire while fighting for her life in the arena?

Catching Fire is one of the best sequels written. Collins is easy to read. The plot strikes the perfect balance between action and character development. The descriptions allow readers to see the novel unfolding without lingering.

The best part is the continuing emotional journey of Katniss. She's being pulled in multiple directions, yet she's fiercely determined to stay true to herself. The supporting cast is also rock solid and each of them find depth that rings true to their nature. While not a romance, the triangle of Gale/Katniss/Peeta is well done and will tug on the reader's emotional core.

The novel is mainstream fiction and will appeal to readers 10 and over. Catching Fire is a definite page-turner. I highly recommend this book. 

Buy Link: http://amzn.com/0545586178

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dems Bears in Those Woods Part 4 #yosemite #summervacation

Giant Sequoia in the Mariposa Grove


Our next to the last day in Yosemite found us exploring Wawona and the Mariposa Grove. Mind you, Yosemite is huge and this area of the park is in the very southern end. The wildfire, which entered the area, is in the northwestern part of the park near Hetch Hetchy, close to 40-50 miles away from Wawona and approx. 30 miles away from the Valley floor. In the 1900's, the Tuolumne River was damned up to create a reservoir. This reservoir, Hetch Hetchy, provides the water and electricity for San Francisco. It's hard to fight fires in this area so I hope all goes well.

Our touring tram 

We left our campsite early, at 8, to get parking at the Mariposa Grove and signed up for the 1st tram tour leaving at 9:30. The giant sequoias in the area are some of the biggest and oldest.  The Grizzly Giant, a gnarled, old, tall tree, is close to 2,000 years old. Some giant sequoias have fused together and some have been spilt at the base. One has been cut through the trunk so a horse and buggy could drive through. Surprisingly, this doesn't kill the tree. The sequoias have a reddish tannin that runs through it providing nutrients to every part regardless of the damage the trees receive. The trees in the grove stood as a proud testament of time. Just imagine – the Grizzly Giant was a seedling during the height of Rome. It's enough to give one shivers.  We saw some seedlings during the tour, near a cabin. They were as tall as the cabin, a bit slender, and were only 20 years old.

Baby Sequoias

 After visiting the Grove, we traveled to the Wawona Hotel. It's an old style hotel, Victorian in appearance. It was built to service the travelers coming to visit the sequoias. Teddy Roosevelt paid a visit to the hotel when he was president. There are rooms with baths and some without – you have to walk down the hall to use a community bathroom. At the Visitor's Center, the boys turned in their Junior Ranger books and raised their hands promising to do their best as Yosemite Jr. Rangers. We also toured the Thomas Hill studios.  Hill was a famous painter who did "The Last Spike," showing the last spike of the transcontinental railroad being driven in.

Wawona Hotel 

We ate lunch at the Wawona Hotel and I had turkey burger with a chili pepper, not my usual fare, but very tasty. (and pricey)

Being Yosemite Jr. Rangers

After lunch, we toured the pioneer village. There was a covered bridge, blacksmith shop, horse/mule stables, and even a jail. The village captured an authentic feel of the turn of the century in Yosemite.

At the Pioneer Village 

That afternoon we all took a dip in the Merced at our campsite. My DH cooked up a Dutch oven treat. Andrew and I visited "Campfire with a Ranger." It was a very relaxed day, but we learned a lot, especially about the sequoias.

In the Merced

So I gotta' ask – who's cooked in a Dutch oven camping style before? What's your favorite thing to cook up in a Dutch oven? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Snippet Sunday: Sunrise Over Brasov paranormal romance #snippetsunday


Sunrise Over Brasov 
Paranormal Romance

Sunrise Over Brasov is book 3 in the award winning Moldavian Moon Series.  Book 1, The Wolf's Torment, won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in Fiction: Supernatural. It was also nominated for Book of the Week with Long & Short.  Book 2, Twilight Over Moldavia was also nominated Book of the Month with Long & Short Reviews. 







This snippet:  Michael finally finds the kidnapped Rosa. 

*****

"Rosa, it's Michael. Let's go."
"I'm not going anywhere with you."
A frown set against his rugged features. "I don't have time to argue -- now put on a warm dress and cloak."
"No." She was not going anywhere with him despite the relief in his voice.
He sighed and shut the door. Moving with fluid grace, he crossed the room, jerked the door to her closet open and threw the items he wanted her to wear on her bed.



*****
AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B00DVLRJOU

BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1116009842?ean=2940148123552

DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING:http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/moldavian-moon-book-three-sunrise-over-brasov-epub/

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookthreesunriseoverbrasov-1230728-162.html

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Save the Date! August Coffee & Chocolate Contest #contest



It's almost time for the August Coffee & Chocolate Contest.  This month's contest will feature one of my latest release, "Sunrise Over Brasov."

GRAND PRIZE: Win a GC to Starbuks, a coffee mug, a bag of chocolates (Andes mints) magnets, and a Lori Powell original book bag. All you have to do to enter is visit my Facebook Fan page between 26 -31 AUG and leave a comment on any one of the Coffee and Chocolate Posts. Every time you comment, you'll be entered in the "hat" for the grand prize drawing.

Winner will be announced on my Facebook Fan Page and here on 1 SEP. Previous winners are listed on the bottom of my website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

My facebook fan page is: https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

No purchase necessary
I will ship Internationally.

*****

BLURB for Sunrise Over Brasov:


Prince Michael Sigmaringen joins his sister-in-law, Caroline, and the vampire prince, Darius, in a daring rescue of his beloved at Poiana Brasov. However things aren't what they appear. Upon freeing Rosa from the werewolf, Clement, another wolf, Rickard follows them.
Michael soon discovers Rickard is a new breed of werewolf – one who can control his lupine nature and his transformations. Michael and his companions arrive at the vampire fortress, Rasnov, but can go no further when Clement attacks wanting Rosa and Rickard back.
Michael's courage, strength, and convictions are challenged beyond his limits, but his love for Rosa proves his guiding force. Can Michael finally rid his family of their lupine haunting and win Rosa's heart?

Reviews:
5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reviewer
5 Stars, Scott Albert for Reader's Favorite Reviews
"If you love witches, vampires, and werewolves, written in a more classic way, you will love this romantic paranormal novel."
BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B00DVLRJOU

BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1116009842?ean=2940148123552

DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING:http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/moldavian-moon-book-three-sunrise-over-brasov-epub/

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookthreesunriseoverbrasov-1230728-162.html

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review Friday: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins #bookreview #hungergames




Book Review for: The Hunger Games
Written by: Suzanne Collins
Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-439-02352-8
Avail as: Print & Ebook
5 Stars

Collins pens a heart-pounding page turner with "The Hunger Games." Set in the future, a war has changed the makeup of North America. Now called Panem, the area is spilt into 12 Districts and is governed by a capital in the former state of Colorado. Every year, to remind the districts they are the "losers" in the war, the Capital stages "The Hunger Games." Districts select tributes to represent them. The tributes must kill each other in a game arena to win.

When Katniss Everdeen's sister, Prim, is selected to represent District 12, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Along with Peeta Mellark, Katniss travels to the Capital. As she prepares to participate in the games, she realizes there is more to the games than skill. She must learn the art of subtlety and draw on all her wits to keep alive. Can Katniss win "The Hunger Games?"

Collins' writing is crisp and sharp. She never lingers – the pacing is perfect. Her descriptions are just enough to paint vivid pictures in the reader's mind. Collins' creativity and imagination shine in this story as she gives us a dystopian look at the future, and while the future may look bleak, she also leaves us with a smidgen of hope.

The best part of the novel is the journey Katniss makes. When the reader meets her, they learn she is physically strong, but it's the emotional journey that allows her to grow. Katniss' heart is as tough as nails, but to survive, she must show a tender side. She must demonstrate she cares for Peeta or she will lose. Can Katniss allow herself to explore the vulnerabilities of the human heart while playing the most dangerous game of her life?

The book is mainstream fiction and appeals to readers 10 and up. The Hunger Games will keep you on the edge of your seat, anxious to find out what will happen next. I highly recommend this book.

 Buy Link: http://amzn.com/0439023521

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August is National Picnic Month #picnic




August is National Picnic Month. It's a great time of the year to have one, the sun is out, the air is warm, the grass is green…ah…

The traditional picture of a picnic includes a blanket and basket stuffed with goodies on fresh cut grass with a lake or river in the background, but modern picnics usually involve corn-on-the-cob, chips, beer, grilling, etc…

My favorite picnic destination is Castaic Lake. I usually go with my friend, Inna and the kids. Her daughter is 11. Andrew is 11, too and Joe is a bossy 6 year old with a sweet heart.

The food is never the same. Last time we went. Joe helped prepare his food – carrots, salad, root beer, watermelon, and hot dogs. I was proud of him. Inna's daughter made pasta noodles. I keep it easy and bring the charcoal that all you have to do is light the bag. One time Inna brought a bag of charcoal that you had to put veggie oil to light. 

Inna and I cooked chicken, short ribs, and shrimp with peppers and onions.

For me, the appeal of picnics is the ambience of the outdoors. Not only that, it's fun to get out of the house and share a meal with friends.

What are some of your favorite picnic foods? Do you have a spot you'd like to share?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Her short story, "Made in America," earned 8th place in the 82nd Writer's Digest Competition in the Mainstream Category.

Journey of the Heart:
99 cent Vintage Romance


BLURB: Can James help Rachel save her winery?

REVIEW: "I would recommend this short sweetie of a story. Well done, author." AngelE, Amazon Reviewer


EXCERPT:

"Wait a minute, Sir." James interrupted and peered at Rachel's spellbinding eyes for a second before looking at Mr. Smith. "You've tasted this vintage before?"
"I have."
"So you know how much it's worth?"
"I do."
"You seem like a fair man, Mr. Smith. At least you were with me. I believe if you offer Miss Rachel one thousand dollars, you'll recoup your investment and more."
"Now, young man, what do you know about wine?"
"Not much, but I do know human nature. You respected her father and he, you, enough to share an expensive bottle of wine. Honor that respect now. I suspect if Miss Rachel didn't have to make this offer to you, she wouldn't have. She knew you and her father had a good relationship. Honor that like you honored my service."
"You're good, Son, I'll give you that. I'll offer you nine hundred dollars for the wine." He paused. "I know I've been hard on you, Miss Rachel. You should consider hiring a younger man who can help you manage the estate."
"Thank you, Mr. Smith. I accept your offer and I'll take your advice to heart."
Mr. Smith grabbed his ledger, wrote a check and presented it to her.
"Do you have someone to carry in the cases? It's just Vito and I." She tucked the check into her purse.
"Well—"
"I'll do it," said James.
"Grab my stock boy from the back, Son."
Rachel offered her hand to James. "Thank you, Sir. I appreciate your assistance. I'm Rachel Santori."


Monday, August 19, 2013

Dems Bears in Those Woods - Part 3 #yosemite #vacation

3 Brothers Granite Rock Formation


Yosemite Valley gets busy pretty quickly so my husband and I decided to get an early start to the day on Wednesday. We left Wawona around 8 and arrived in time to take an early morning tram tour out of Yosemite Lodge.

The pro side of the tram tour: I saw a lot of neat places and learned a lot about Yosemite. The con? Even though the heat was in the 80's, there was no cover so it got hot fast.

We traveled past the Merced and saw a ton of people sunning, swimming, and even tube rafting.

The Merced

El Captian is one of the world's largest granite rock faces in the world. It's incredibly steep. To my surprise, a lot of people rock climb up the steep façade. Those are some daredevils! We drove past the different campgrounds, Curry Village, upper and lower pines and checked out the Awanhnee Hotel – lots of early 1900's Americana decked out the main areas, but it's $499.00 a night. I could never afford it.

El Captian

We ate lunch at the Yosemite Lodge grill and out of all the places we tried, it was my favorite. They offered a nice variety. It was still pricey though.

That evening, back in Wawona, Andrew and I went to Campfire with a Ranger. The topic was: "What is Camping?" Does camping allow for DS/IPhones/IPads? Should camping offer shower facitities? Tents? Food? Just what is the attraction for people to go camping? We all pretty much decided camping involved a desire to be outdoors and to enjoy nature, but we differed on the extent.

At the Ahwanhnee Hotel


So I have to ask – what is camping for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Smiles
Steph


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Snippet Sunday: Night of Magic, 99 cent paranormal romance #snippetsunday #99cent


Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my 99 cent sweet/sensual paranormal romance, "Night of Magic."



Night of Magic
Paranormal Romance


BLURB:  Aithne and Finn grow closer. 



This snippet:  

*****



Aithne's mouth parted from his neck, leaving him aching for her to return there. Trailing one hand around his waist, she walked beside him, holding him up since his legs were unsteady, placing her other hand on the rope. It fell to the ground and Finn collapsed, his body unsteady. He tried to focus his vision. Her lips were full and red, practically wet. She knelt next to him and withdrew a dagger from her belt, making a cut on her wrist. She offered herself to him. Some raw instinctual drive made him take what she offered and he drank her blood from the cut.


*****
Sigh... isn't Jimmy Thomas gorgeous on the cover... melting...

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00D2XP4R6
Smiles
Steph

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Release: Sunrise Over Brasov paranormal romance #newbookrelease




Book 3 in the Moldavian Moon Series is now available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, All Romance Ebooks, and where all ebooks are sold!

Note: Book 1 in the series, The Wolf's Torment, won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Fiction: Supernatural category. 

Book 1, The Wolf's Torment was nominated for book of the week at Long and Short Reviews.

Book 2, Twilight Over Moldavia was nominated for book of the month at Long and Short Reviews in FEB 2012 and placed 2nd in the voting! Check out this award winning series! 

BLURB:

Prince Michael Sigmaringen joins his sister-in-law, Caroline, and the vampire prince, Darius, in a daring rescue of his beloved at Poiana Brasov. However things aren't what they appear. Upon freeing Rosa from the werewolf, Clement, another wolf, Rickard follows them.

Michael soon discovers Rickard is a new breed of werewolf – one who can control his lupine nature and his transformations. Michael and his companions arrive at the vampire fortress, Rasnov, but can go no further when Clement attacks wanting Rosa and Rickard back.

Michael's courage, strength, and convictions are challenged beyond his limits, but his love for Rosa proves his guiding force. Can Michael finally rid his family of their lupine haunting and win Rosa's heart?


EXCERPT: 

Michael opened the door for her. "We'll talk more later."

She brushed against him, her soft curves pressing on his lean muscles. He drew in a breath to steady himself. Rosa placed her hand on his chest and gazed into his eyes. An intense jolt struck him.
"I know you stayed with me during my fever." Her voice was low and smooth. "And I remember being angry with you."

"You're different, Rosa."

"How so?"


"Before you were kidnapped, we kissed often. We were very comfortable with each

other."

"You knew things about me I didn't think a stranger would know. You acted with a

familiarity I didn't realize, but we did know each other -- before." 

"Yes."

She slid her hand upward and cupped his neck. "You're different, too. More guarded." "Not right now."

She tugged him toward her. He leaned close, her lips instinctively finding his. The kiss

smoldered with a slow intensity that drove warm tendrils of desire spiraling through his limbs. Rosa broke away and took a step back. Her mouth curved into a small smile. "Well, you
certainly know how to give a good night kiss."

"I want you back in my life, Rosa."



REVIEWS:
5 Stars, Readers Favorites, Scott Albert
If you love witches, vampires, and werewolves, written in a more classic way, you will love this romantic paranormal novel.

5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reviewer. 

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B00DVLRJOU

BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1116009842?ean=2940148123552

DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING:http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/moldavian-moon-book-three-sunrise-over-brasov-epub/

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookthreesunriseoverbrasov-1230728-162.html

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review Friday - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen #bookreview #waterforelephants



Book Review for: Water for Elephants
Written by Sara Gruen
ISBN: 978-1-56512-499-8
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Avail as: ebook & print
5 Stars

Gruen pens an all-encompassing story of intrigue, heartbreak, and hope with "Water for Elephants." It's 1931 and Jacob Jankowski is preparing to take his final exams in veterinary science when he receives the shock of his life – his parents were killed in a traffic accident. With no home to go to, he travels the rails until he hops onto a circus train.

Camel Joe takes Jacob under his wing and ensures the young man gets a job. Jacob soon becomes the vet for the animals, but it's his interactions with August, Uncle Al, and Marlena that challenge his convictions. When Rose the elephant joins the circus, Jacob is put to the test. Will he follow his heart and stand up for his beliefs or walk away?

Gruen's writing is easy to read. She's done her research and it shows. I especially liked how she used pictures to frame each chapter. The storyline is interesting. Jacob is coming-of-age and has to make decisions that aren't easy. The story alternates between old Jacob and young Jacob, and while not linear, Gruen pulls on the reader's heartstrings with the challenges old Jacob faces.  When a modern circus comes to the assisted living facility, old Jacob feels the tug of circus life, bringing the story full circle.

For me, the best part was going on the emotional journey with the characters. They are very real with strengths and weaknesses that touch the reader's emotional core. The supporting cast is just as endearing.

The book's plot is original and interesting. The setting is American circus life in 1931 and Gruen does a wonderful job making the reader believe the authenticity of the setting.

The novel is mainstream fiction and while I was a bit hesitant to initially read a story about a circus, Gruen quickly sold me on the novel. I couldn't put the book down. "Water for Elephants" will resonate with readers long after they've finished it. I highly recommend this book. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August is Romance Awareness Month #romance




August is Romance Awareness Month. Who knew? (wink) A little romance goes a long way. Interesting how August is 6 months after Valentines, another romantic holiday. I guess Cupid must realize we need a boost.

Let's face it, romantic gestures rarely go out of style. Girls love to receive flowers. Chocolates melt our hearts. Getaways to the spa invigorate the body and while these gestures maybe "typical" ways to show our romantic feelings, I think it's  those gestures that aren't so typical which really touch our hearts.

Reaching out, holding hands, offers encouragement. Sharing a meal, a date movie, even a walk around the park can create romance.

Now I mentioned the giving of flowers and chocolates, which usually appeal to women – what strikes at a man's romantic heartstrings? What gestures or overtures do they appreciate? My husband enjoys spending "quality time" with me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you keep the romance going in the summer?

(Challenge: Write a Haiku about summer romance and I'll post your poems in an upcoming newsletter.)

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's a cub scout mom and loves to write International contemporary romances.



Journey of the Heart
99 cent Romance
Set in 1946 in the heart of California Wine County – Can James help Rachel save her winery as the nation recovers from World War II?

REVIEW:
5 Stars, AngelE, Amazon Reader:
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.

BUY LINK:  http://amzn.com/B008G1JI6C

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Winner: 8th Place "Made in America" in the 82nd Writer's Digest Contest #writingcontest




My short story, "Made in America," placed 8th in Mainstream Fiction in the 82nd Writer's Digest Contest.

I won a year's subscription to Writer's Digest and $25.00. I'm very excited to have done so well in the contest. While I usually don't write mainstream, this story came to me in a very organic way. After all, who doesn't like a twinkle?

"Made in America" was inspired by what happened to Hostess and how they went out of business due to strife between the company and unions. As I saw it, the crux of the conflict involved one word – Greed. And greed is something we all struggle with.

In "Made in America" I take a look at how greed affects us all, how it motivates us, and how it can define us. I also look at "riches." Is having money what makes one rich or is being emotionally satisfied what makes one rich?

BLURB:
Joseph Penfield runs a successful resort on the New Hampshire coast. His "White Caps" brownie treat is well received by the many visitors throughout the year. When a businessman offers to buy him out, will Joe accept his offer?

You can find the story on my official website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com/short-story-of-the-month.html

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Find out more about my writing at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com
Smiles
Steph

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dems Bears in Those Woods #2 (My vacation in Yosemite) #yosemite #vacation


My Inner Girl, Half-Dome, and a ton of Granite




Our first day at Yosemite proved exciting. We were in a "loop" (at Wawona) and every spot was taken. Our fellow campers crawled out of their tents between 6:30-7 am. Okay, it was early. My Inner Girl dragged me to the restroom where I brushed my teeth and popped in my contacts. There was no soap or anything to dry your hands in the potty. Thank goodness the toilet paper was provided. Drip dry is not my thing.

My DH cooked up breakfast and then we were off. Our destination: the Valley Floor. The road felt long. It had a lot of curves and kept going up. I learned that Dramine was my husband's best friend. When he got to the top, we drove through a tunnel and exited to the most gorgeous view in the world – El Captian, Half Dome, and the 3 Brothers granite rock formations. Of course my husband parked the truck and we took a million pictures. (That view is on my California Yosemite license plate.)

After our photo op, we drove down to the Valley Floor and found Bridelveil Falls. Eager to hike, we poured out of the truck, took more pictures and raced off to the trail. The falls itself seemed but a trickle; it was a thin stream of water. There were no rushing cascades of H20, no spray, no loud noises, no "Ansel Adams" vibrant photo opportunities, just a slow, small steady stream of water – and a ton of people.

The Inner Girl felt a little overwhelmed. In my 20's, a crowd of people never bothered me. Now in my 40's, I can't help but feel a little nervous.



In my Ranger book, I listed Bridelveil Falls as my special place in Yosemite. What impressed me the most was how a lot of natural elements came together – water, granite rocks, trees, birds, the sun. I've always felt a deep spirituality in nature and this spot embodied that for me. My son, Andrew, has an Ansel Adams 4x6 of Bridelveil, but my goal is to order a poster for the house, to remind me of the spirituality the spot invokes.

After visiting Bridelveil, we parked in the Valley day lot and set out exploring. After hopping a bus or two, the family found the Valley Visitor Center. I took a picture with the AAA Westways Magazine. (Now, I just have to find the time to email it in.) I discovered glaciers formed Yosemite. (like much of my childhood home, New Hampshire, was.) We got our bearing, ate lunch at Denigan's Café, and bused it over the Yosemite Lodge for tram tickets.



Before leaving, we found the Ansel Adams Gallery. My Inner Girl died and went to Black and White Heaven. What I love about Adams is his ability to capture the beauty of Yosemite with black and white photography. My favorite photo of his is "Moon Over Half Dome." During my time in Yosemite, I learned that it's such a dynamic place to take pictures, and black and white photography works better than color prints. There are a lot of shadows in Yosemite due to the stark, granite terrain, steep elevations, and old, majestic trees. Black and white captures the shadows much better than color.  



Our trip back to Wawona was uneventful. My DH broke out the Dutch oven and he cooked up a pork rib, BBQ sauce meal with carrots and celery. Joe wrote in his journal. I helped the boys with their Ranger books. Soon, nighttime was upon us.

Before I depart, I wanted to touch a little bit on Half Dome. The view from the tunnel makes it appear that at one point it was more rounded and an "event" occurred that broke it in half. This is not the case. Half Dome formed naturally it its appearance. To hike up to Half Dome, you need a permit. Maybe if I was younger I'd be up to the challenge, but nowadays, I'll have to pass.

Next: My Inner Girl takes a tram ride with the boys.

Question: What kind of souvenir would like to receive from Yosemite?


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Snippet Sunday: 99 cent paranormal romance: Night of Magic


Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my 99 cent sweet/sensual paranormal romance, "Night of Magic."



Night of Magic
Paranormal Romance


BLURB:  Aithne and Finn talk. 



This snippet:  

*****


"Imagine strength thrumming through your muscles, powered by an invisible force that heightens your every sense." Her voice grew low and her body moved behind his. She placed her hands on his waist and brushed her lips against his ear. "I'm going to touch your body. To become like me, I must bite you three times. Each time I'll give you a choice. If you want the bite, say my name."

His breath hitched. 



*****
Sigh... isn't Jimmy Thomas gorgeous on the cover... melting...

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00D2XP4R6
Smiles
Steph

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Release: Sunrise Over Brasov, paranormal romance #newbookrelease




Book 3 in the Moldavian Moon Series is now available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, All Romance Ebooks, and where all ebooks are sold!

Note: Book 1 in the series, The Wolf's Torment, won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Fiction: Supernatural category. 

Book 1, The Wolf's Torment was nominated for book of the week at Long & Short Reviews.

Book 2, Twilight Over Moldavia was nominated for book of the month at Long & Short Reviews in FEB 2012 and placed 2nd in the voting! Check out this award winning series! 

BLURB:

Prince Michael Sigmaringen joins his sister-in-law, Caroline, and the vampire prince, Darius, in a daring rescue of his beloved at Poiana Brasov. However things aren't what they appear. Upon freeing Rosa from the werewolf, Clement, another wolf, Rickard follows them.

Michael soon discovers Rickard is a new breed of werewolf – one who can control his lupine nature and his transformations. Michael and his companions arrive at the vampire fortress, Rasnov, but can go no further when Clement attacks wanting Rosa and Rickard back.

Michael's courage, strength, and convictions are challenged beyond his limits, but his love for Rosa proves his guiding force. Can Michael finally rid his family of their lupine haunting and win Rosa's heart?


EXCERPT: 



A knock sounded at the door, rousing Michael from his sleep. Rosa lay on the bed, the covers up to her throat and sweat on her brow. He stood and scrubbed the back of his neck, trying to stop his worry from overwhelming him. A quick glance at the window revealed it was still dark outside. Crossing the room, he opened the door. "Darius."

"I cannot stay long. Daylight approaches. May I come in?"

Michael widened the door opening and Darius crossed his arms as he entered, his hands under his armpits, concern in his eyes.

"Caroline will come tomorrow. How is Rosa?"

"She took a little soup and bread, but her fever is still high."


"I'm sorry this has happened. My staff is at your disposal. Perhaps you can ask Rickard to

help in the morning." "I'll talk to him."

"Good. Hopefully, soon, we'll have answers." Darius placed a hand on Michael's shoulder and offered him a sympathetic smile.

Michael nodded and Darius said nothing else before departing. Michael sat on the edge of the bed and put his hand on Rosa's forehead. She was as hot as an oven. He needed to cool her down. 

Determination fueled his movements. Making his way to the water closet, he dampened several towels with cold water. Then he returned to the bedroom, removed the covers, and placed the towels over her chemise, affording her dignity. She stilled. Michael lay on the bed next to her. His body ached with tiredness. He needed to sleep, but he had to stay close to Rosa in case there was a change. 

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:http://amzn.com/B00DVLRJOU

BARNES & NOBLE:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1116009842?ean=2940148123552

DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING:http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/moldavian-moon-book-three-sunrise-over-brasov-epub/

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookthreesunriseoverbrasov-1230728-162.html

Friday, August 9, 2013

Goddess Fish Super Book Blast Tour: How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon #bookBlast #goddessfish




HOW TO GET GOOD REVIEWS ON AMAZON
By
Theo Rogers

BLURB:  
How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.

Lessons include:

·       A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.
·       Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!
·       How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.
·       How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will post a bad review – even if it turns out they don’t like your work!
·       How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.

This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to Amazon reviewers in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you. 



 EXCERPT:

One of the most fundamental ideas in this booklet is that there’s a definite reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. Like any culture, it has its own particular values and mores: its own ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong. When we come to the issue of shill reviews, we collide headlong with the values of the reviewing culture. As you might expect, most reviewers see shills – and the sellers who use them – as very, very wrong.

Because this section is all about values, I think it’s important to stress that I’m writing here as your guide to Amazon’s reviewing subculture. I’m not writing as a missionary on its behalf.

Simply put, I believe that your journey through the Amazon Jungle will be smoother, easier, and more successful if along the way you’re respectful of the values of the natives who dwell there. For that reason, I’m going to lay out for you some of the more commonly held tenants: the basic beliefs that most of the natives would hold to. It’s not for me to tell you whether you should embrace these values to the core of your being and make them your own. I’m just telling you that as a matter of pure pragmatism, you are going to make trouble for yourself if you ignore them.

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Theo Rogers combines years of coalface experience on Amazon's website with formal training and qualifications in a range of business and social science disciplines. He's spent literally thousands of hours talking with Amazon reviewers, getting inside their heads, and learning what makes them tick. He's spent almost as many hours observing the carnage that so often takes place on Amazon's forums. In the process he's developed a deep insider's knowledge of the reviewing subculture that's grown up on Amazon's website.


He's also seen a lot of authors and other would-be sellers make the same mistakes in their dealings with that subculture - over and over again.

As a result of his experiences, Theo has come to believe that yes, there is a simple formula that works: a way of dealing with reviewers that's honest, powerful, and extremely effective at winning reviewers over, getting them on your side, and making them actually want to help you.

https://www.facebook.com/TheTheoRogers


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED1QGXC


 http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00ED1QGXC/


 GIVEAWAY: The author will be giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card. To enter:

Follow the tour and comment and comment often, it will better your chances of winning. The other stops can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/06/super-book-blast-how-to-get-good.html