A Gentleman and a Rogue

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snippet Sunday - 99 Cent Easter Romance: A Polish Heart #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my sweet contemporary/inspirational Romance: A Polish Heart. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet:  Darrin wants to spend time with Sofia. 

*****
"Have dinner with me tonight."
It was bold, yes, but this might be his only chance to get to know her.
She raised an eyebrow. 
Perhaps that didn't sound right. It sounded too demanding – something his father would say – and he was not his father.
"I'm sorry, will you have dinner with me tonight?" His voice was soft and gentle.

Sofia paused, "I'm quite tempted, but what about your work?"
****

A Polish Heart takes place leading up to Easter in Warsaw, Poland.  Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 

Reviews:

5 Stars, Reader Lady, Amazon Reviewer: "This is an excellent read."

5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reviewer: " I loved this warm-hearted tale. Ms. Burkhart has a talent for wrapping drama around ordinary people and spinning a touching love story."

5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reviewer: Sofia and Darrin's story was a heartwarming one. A totally enjoyable read." 

****
Link to You Tube Video:  http://youtu.be/lC6_397PerU


BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:

BARNES & NOBLE:

SMASHWORDS:


FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

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

GOOD READS:

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

http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Welcome Guest Author - Penny Ehrenkranz Interview #pennyehrenkranz #guestauthor

  
Author Penny Ehrenkranz
Penny: Hi Stephanie, thank you for hosting me today and giving me the opportunity to talk about Mirror, Mirror, published by MuseItUp Publishing. 

Giveaway Opportunity: 
I would like to offer an electronic copy of Mirror, Mirror to one of your readers.  They simply need to leave their names, comments, preferably about why they would like a copy of the book, and their contact information.

STEPH: What is Mirror, Mirror about?

PENNY: Mirror, Mirror is a time travel romance. Here’s the blurb: Lindsey Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time.  There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong. 

Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter.  Before Lindsey can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes.  Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman.

Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

PENNY: This is a twenty-seven-page story, so it wasn’t a long involved project.  It only took me a few days to do the first draft.  Of course, after that came the revisions before submitting and the editing once it was accepted for publication.

STEPH: What was the inspiration behind the story?

PENNY: Our small community actually hosted a Renn Faire one year, which I was able to attend.  As I wandered around the faire grounds, I kept wondering what it would be like if someone who followed these faires around the country would be transported back in time to an era where they would be forced to live out their fantasies.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story?

PENNY: I think the artist, Suzannah Safi, did an excellent job of depicting a young woman who is conflicted by her circumstances.  The cover art also lets the potential reader know the story is set in bygone times.

STEPH:  Lindsey Baker is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?

PENNY: Lindsey’s strengths lie in her determination to succeed and her belief in her own abilities.  She’s gutsy and doesn’t go into a panic when she finds herself in a new and unbelievable situation. Her main weakness is also part of her strength.  She simply cannot believe that she can’t do the things she was able to do in her own time, such as read and write. Her other weakness is Graham…

STEPH: Graham is the hero. What attracts him to the heroine?

PENNY: Graham actually believes Lindsey is his own love, Prudence.  He doesn’t know Lindsey was magically transported to his time to convince him to marry Prudence. Through an old crone’s sorcery, Lindsey appears to all who see her as Prudence.

He has loved Prudence since they were children.  Of course, he is also a bit confused that “his” Prudence is suddenly so headstrong and determined to prove she is far more capable than women should be in his time.

STEPH:  Tell us about your writing space.

PENNY: I have three places I enjoy working.  My office is located near my bedroom and has a wonderful wraparound desk for my desktop computer and tons of bookshelves for all my reference books and little treasures I’ve collected over the years. In this room, I have a window that looks out through my sunroom into my side garden. I also like to sit in my Ikea chair with my feet on a footrest and my laptop secure on my lap.  When I sit here, I’m joined by both my small LhasaPoo dogs and commonly my cat as well. Here, too, I have a lovely view of my side garden through a wall of picture windows.  Lastly, when the weather is warm, I enjoy sitting on my patio with my laptop, enjoying the birds and butterflies and flower aromas.

STEPH:  Do you have any advice to aspiring authors?

PENNY: My best bit of advice is to have faith in yourself as a writer.  If you enjoy writing, if you’ve studied the genre in which you want to write, if you’ve perfected your grammar and writing skills, then don’t be afraid to submit.  What one editor might not like, another might love.  It sometimes just comes down to being in the right place at the right time with the right story.

STEPH: Fun Question: What's your favorite sport or hobby?

PENNY: Is reading a sport? LOL.  I’m not very sports oriented, so I will answer with my favorite hobby being crocheting and crafting.

STEPH: What book did you read recently?

PENNY: I’ve read several recently including the Divergent series, which was well written, and Orphan Train, which I loved. I tend to enjoy fantasy and science fiction, but I belong to a book group that forces me to expand into genres I might not try on my own.  Orphan Train was on our book group list, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it.

STEPH: I'm reading the Divergent series now and I'm totally hooked! Love it. Just finished Insurgent and it has the BEST ending for a 2nd book in a series that I've read yet! 

BUY LINKS FOR MIRROR MIRROR :



ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:

After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub.  A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air.  While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces.  She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.

“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub.  She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint.  While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed.  She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom.  She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.


AMAZON REVIEWS:
 4.0 out of 5 stars
Time Travel or Magic, August 30, 2013

This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)
Lindsay loves antiques, spending a large portion of her time searching through dusty shops. One day, she finds an old mirror which has to have. Hey, for only $9.99, why not? She takes the mirror home and proceeds to dress up for the upcoming Renaissance Faire in full medieval wench array. Checking her image in the mirror...zap! She falls on her butt in a muddy courtyard amidst a pile of dirty laundry.

She soon finds herself scrubbing shirts and getting the 411 from a crone, who gleefully lets Lindsay know she's been grabbed up from the future to help a young scullery maid named Prudence capture the hand of Lord Graham. While he loves Prudence, his father will not allow his only son to marry the maid.

Lindsay realizes she has to solve Prudence's problem by getting Graham to stand up to his old man. She uses her 21st C. smarts to unite the star-crossed couple and, by so doing, get her ticket back through the mirror to her own time.

I enjoyed this short time travel by magic short story. I'm not a big romance fan, but I couldn't help but root for Lindsay's match-making skills to unite Graham and Prudence. I got the fantasy story I like, and the romance readers get a sweet romance with a happy ending.

4.0 out of 5 stars
Good reading!, June 7, 2013
By DB

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)
A very short time travel. A nice little story of love in the Middle Ages. All I can say is that it was to short!

5.0 out of 5 stars
Yesterday=Today, June 2, 2013
By Lady Bug Lin "Ladybug Lin Reviews" (United States) 

This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)
Have you ever wondered what it must be like to, without warning or design, be like Alice and fall through the equivalent of the rabbit hole, or melt into the Looking Glass?

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz takes us, her attentive readers, on just such a ride in this, her latest Muse It Up Publishing historical romp.

Poor Lindsey, Penny's heroine...buys an antique mirror rumored to have belonged, in days gone by, to a
scryer. Is it true? How can one tell?

Into the bathtub it falls, and through the tendrils of time, Lindsey is swept...called by the ancient scryer...There's a task she must perform...all on her own. If she fails, will she remain locked into this ancient piece of history?

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is a brilliant author who gives you, right from the opening dilemma all the way through the satisfying conclusion, delightful reading pleasure.

Mirror, Mirror is a fantastic, powerful read. My only criticism is I wish it had been longer. Still it is a DYNAMIC story worthy of all our eyes, so I take great pleasure is awarding it 5 shining stars.

Well Done Penny.


5.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn't Put It Down, March 27, 2013

This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)
I opened Mirror, Mirror, to the first page and never stopped reading this amazing story till the end. Ms. Ehrenkranz easily moves us from contemporary time to the Middle Ages. The shift is so well done and smooth. But the reader knows where she is at all times because the language and descriptions are appropriate for the time change. Loved the twist at the end. Very satisfying.

5.0 out of 5 stars
A delightful time travel romance!, April 7, 2012
By S.Durham 

This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)
Mirror Mirror is a delightful short story about a modern young woman, who, by way of an ancient scrying mirror, quite literally `falls' into the year 1421.

When Lindsey Baker, who loves all things renaissance, finds herself abruptly transported back to the fifteenth century, and is tasked with convincing the handsome Master of the manor (Graham) to marry against his father's wishes, identities and emotions become befuddled, passions ignite, and Lindsey must sort it all out before she is lost, not only in time, but to the man she's fallen in love with.

Ms. Ehrenkranz has created a gutsy heroine (even humorous at times) in Lindsey Baker, making this a cleverly plotted romance and an absolute page turner all the way to the surprising end!


5.0 out of 5 stars
Fun dip into the middle ages, March 28, 2012
By Edith (N├╝rnberg, Deutschland) 

This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (Kindle Edition)

As a fan of the middle ages, I was intrigued by the blurb of this story and didn't get disappointed. The writing is great and beautifully reflects the time shifts. Lindsey's a vividly drawn character and ideal for the mission she's whisked away to although she might not agree. The ending had me balk at first until a fantastic twist made me laugh out loud. Nice one, Ms. Ehrenkranz!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review for: Allegiant by Veronica Roth #bookreview



Book Review for: Allegiant
Written by: Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-202406-0
Avail: in hardback and ebook

4 Stars

Roth defines life outside the gates of Chicago with "Allegiant." Wanting the factions back, Tris's friends form the "Allegiant" to go up against the factionless and Evelyn. A handful of loyal supporters are picked to venture past the gates and find out what's outside, but are the answers what the allegiant hope they will be?

Tris, Tobias, and their friends go past the gates and discover a community of geneticists living in the old remains of O'Hare Airport. There they come to understand the purity war and the important of having pure genes. It's one shock after another as Tris and Tobias realize the extent of lies and manipulation regarding the inner city where they grew up. Can they save the community from a memory erase or will the lies in the name of genetics continue?

Roth's writing is easy to read, however the book's narrative is told switching between Tris and Tobias. Unfortunately, Tobias' character voice sounds an awful lot like Tris, leaving the reader uncertain at times as to whose point of view the story is being told from. I often found myself double-checking the chapter heading to see which character was narrating.

The plot moves well and there's plenty of twists and turns. The characters are achingly human in this haunting dystopian society. Tobias possesses inner strength, but is tormented by the violence he's encountered. Tris is strong-willed, yet vulnerable when it comes to Four.


Allegiant offers explanations that helps Tris to understand her world. The best part of the novel is the ending - in the aftermath of war, we all still have to pick up the pieces and live. Allegiant is a satisfactory ending to the series and will resonate with readers long after they've put the book down.

Question for you: Did you see Divergent the movie? Did you like it? Why or why not? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snippet Sunday - 99 cent Easter Romance: A Polish Heart #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my sweet contemporary/inspirational Romance: A Polish Heart. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet:   Darrin gets his assignment.

*****
Mr. Czyinski talked in rapid Polish, gesturing with his hands, holding Darrin with his eye contact. His enthusiasm and pride were evident in his mannerisms. When he was finished, Sofia spoke.

"Mr. Czyinski is pleased to meet you. Mr. Dracek will give you the plans so you can look them over this weekend. On Monday, he wants to hear your comments based on the plans. Then you can begin your hands- on inspection. This is part of the company's quality control, and Mr. Czyinski appreciates having your expertise."

****

A Polish Heart takes place leading up to Easter in Warsaw, Poland.  Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back? 

Reviews:

5 Stars, Reader Lady, Amazon Reviewer: "This is an excellent read."

5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reviewer: " I loved this warm-hearted tale. Ms. Burkhart has a talent for wrapping drama around ordinary people and spinning a touching love story."

5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reviewer: Sofia and Darrin's story was a heartwarming one. A totally enjoyable read." 

****
Link to You Tube Video:  http://youtu.be/lC6_397PerU


BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:

BARNES & NOBLE:

SMASHWORDS:


FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

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

GOOD READS:

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

http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review for: High Five by Janet Evanovich #bookreviews



Book Review for: High Five
Written by: Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-0-312-97134-2
Avail as an ebook and in print

4.5 Stars

Evanovich pens another delightful romp with Stephanie Plum through Trenton, New Jersey with "High Five." Uncle Fred has gone missing and it's slow at the bond agency so Stephanie decides to help out and look for her uncle. Unfortunately, all she gets is trouble.

Stephanie meets with Aunt Mabel and learns Fred was in a dispute with the garbage company. She discovers Fred was cheap, a cheater, and had photos of a dead person. She reports them to the police. Soon she's being followed by a bookie named "Bunchy" who wants to find Fred, too. When she finally brings in a bail jumper named "Briggs," she's forced to take him into her house when his is wrecked.

Lula comes back to help Stephanie's investigations and Grandma Mazur tucks her gun into her handbag for an assist as well. Ranger offers Stephanie work to get by and both discover an attraction. Can Stephanie find out what happened to Uncle Fred before more people die at the garbage company?

Evanovich's writing is crisp, witty, and easy to read. The narrative will make you smile and then have you anxious about what's going to happen next.

The supporting cast consists of endearing characters that will have you cheering for them. Stephanie is a very likeable heroine, admirable to a fault, still struggling to find her way, but it's reassuring to know she's on the right path.


"High Five" is another excellent story and a "must read" in the Stephanie Plum series. It's full of smiles, laughs, and nonstop action. I highly recommend this book.

Question for you: What is your favorite Janet Evanovich book? 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is Divergent Romantic? #divergent



The "Divergent" series is set in a dystopian future. There are five factions that contribute to the society – Amity, Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, and Abnegation. Each has a certain job to do.

The heroine, Beatrice "Tris" Prior, belongs to Abnegation. When she goes for her aptitude test, she learns she's 'divergent' with an aptitude for multiple factions. And being 'divergent' is not good.

When Beatrice switches to Dauntless, she meets 'Four,' a Dauntless initiate trainer. And her is where the 'romance.'

I wouldn't call "Divergent" romantic, but there are romantic elements peppered in the storytelling.

It's the buzz Tris feels when Four casually touches that infuses her skin.

It's the warmth in Tris' cheeks when Four stares at her.

It's the acceleration of Tris' heartbeat when Four pays her compliment.

Tris and Four gravitate toward each other in the face of adversity – this attraction offers not only them, but the reader, hope.

In "Divergent," there's no proclamation of love – just a 'knowing' that Tris and Four are meant to be together. Tris and Four hold hands, they touch, and perhaps in a gesture of trust and intimacy, they share each other's fear landscapes.

There's no traditional romance in the novel, but the reader knows its about the journey Tris and Four will make together and they need as much hope, trust, and respect that love will bring them.


QUESTION: Have you read "Divergent" or the series? Did you like the story? Why or why not?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD.  She loves coffee, adores chocolate, and her favorite Divergent character is "Tris." 

FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

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

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Goddess Fish Book Blast - Patriot Priest by Patricia Daly-Lupe #booktour



PATRIOT PRIEST
By
Patricia Daly-Lipe

ABOUT THIS BOOK:   

Patriot Priest tells one man's personal experience over several epochs and areas of history. It is also, in part the story of one unique individual, author Patricia Daly-Lipe's great uncle, Msgr. William A Hemmick. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Europe, he became fluent in five languages. When the First World War broke out, he felt committed to help the troops. After the war, he was proclaimed the Patriot Priest of Picardy by the Army and Navy. After years spent in Paris, William Hemmick was asked by the Vatican to come to Rome. Ultimately he became the only American Canon of St. Peter's representing the Knights of Malta to the Holy See. It was he who performed the nuptials of American film star Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. He also converted the future Queen Astrid of Belgium.



ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:

In 1944, when the bombers of the 8th Air Force were attacking synthetic fuel plants, another German wrote, as a boy, that despite the raids by American bombers,

We Germans never feared the Americans. When the Americans arrived, "the soldiers were friendly and approachable. Their generosity toward children was constant." But all too soon, the Americans pulled out. It was now the Russian troops taking over occupation of East Germany. "We feared the Russians," he wrote. And, although the officers were European, in the beginning, the troops were Asian. Soon, however, the Asians left and just the Europeans remained. "The Russian soldiers (and the Asians when they were there) … were especially dangerous if they had been drinking. Since they were nearly always armed, alcohol made all of the Russians very dangerous.

 This was what the children in Germany were subjected to after the war ended: irrational and often brutal behavior. Daily, the children lived under agonizing situations including hunger, cold, and fright. Yet they had resilience. Reading their stories in Wolfgang W. E. Samuel's book, The War of Our Childhood, Memories of World War II, it is awe-inspiring how that generation of German children was able to emerge from such debilitating conditions and become sane and productive human beings as adults.

Twenty-five years after the end of World War II, Adam B. Ulam wrote: "A study of the history of the past twenty-five years …can suggest which of our hopes and fears are realistic and which are not …" (Ulam's preface to The Rivals, America & Russia Since World War II) Although today (2013) the Cold War (the theme of his book) is over, the fear of a global conflict still exists. My point is that the past, and our understanding of it, enhances our ability to understand the present. Today's events take on a new interpretation in light of what came before This is what is known as historical process. This is not a search for answers; it is a search for perspective and questions. Your perspective is formed according to your source of reference: the scholar, the statesman, the politician, the military, the businessman, or, in this case, the life and time of William A. Hemmick [or my interpretation resulting from extensive research.]

In 1953, in predominance was the Soviet-U.S conflict. Some said it was not an isolated moment in history, but a natural evolution of a struggle that began in the past as we saw with Germany. Nations seeking power fall in competition for prestige and security, sea lanes and natural resources, markets and even empires. And so, some asserted in the fifties, it was precisely in this context that the Soviet Union justified its position. George F. Kennan, Secretary of the American Embassy in Moscow in the middle thirties, wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs (The Source of Soviet Conduct, 1947):



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe, is an Author and Artist. She has written six books, all different genres. She is winner of the San Diego Book Awards, Best Books Finalist, the JADA Novel Contest, USABookNews.com Finalist, 2009 2nd place in poetry by the Virginia Writers Club, Inc, and 2013 winner in historical fiction at the Annual Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for 'A CRUEL CALM, Paris Between the Wars and 2013 winner for her short story by the Virfginia Writers Assn.

Although born in La Jolla, California, Patricia spent equal time in Washington, D.C., home of several generations of her mother’s family.

She has taught at colleges and writing centers, written for magazines and newspapers (including the Evening Star in Washington, DC, La Jolla Village News, The Georgetowner andUptowner), and her paintings have been accepted and sold in Juried shows, art galleries, and private homes. Two of her books feature her paintings on their covers.
Patricia served as President of both the La Jolla and DC Branches of the National League of American Pen Women.

Patricia now lives in Virginia with her husband, Dr. Steele Lipe, three dogs, three horses, and two cats. For years, Patricia raised, raced, and showed Thoroughbred horses. Now she rescues them. She is the mother of three and grandmother of six children.

BOOK BLAST GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: 

The author will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter, so leave a comment about the blurb, the excerpt or ask Patricia about how she came to write the novel.  Don't forget to leave your email address.

The more you comment, the more your chances of winning! You can find other Book Blast Tour dates at: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/02/book-blast-patriot-priest-by-patricia.html

My Review is forthcoming. 

BOOK LINK ON AMAZON:  
http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Priest-Monsignor-Vaticans-American/dp/1939521068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392920644&sr=8-1&keywords=patriot+priest