A Gentleman and a Rogue

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Enjoy the Grill! It's National BBQ Month #BBQ



Who doesn't enjoy a good cookout?

May is the perfect month for outdoor cooking – not too hot or cool. Grilling is fun, gets you outdoors, and is typically healthier than eating out. It's also a great way to spend quality time with friends and family.

What I love about BBQ and grilling is the creativity it affords from meats to veggies and even pitas. Don't forget to throw on spices, sauces, and marinades or extra flavor.  Fresh fruit makes a great desert. Don't forget to bring salads, too.

Question for you: 

What do you do special when you BBQ? Do you prefer gas grilling or charcoal? What meats do you like to Q? Do you make the sauce or do you recommend one? Do you BBQ veggies, too. Share your tips!


Easy Grill Chicken & Veggies
By: Steph

Use boneless chicken breasts and Kraft Italian salad dressing marinade. Marinade at least 30 minutes.  Use medium-low heat to grill up.

I use Zucchini, you can cut into slices or the long way. (you can use any veggie really – onions, green/red/orange peppers) Drizzle with olive oil. I like to use garlic salt w/parsley from Lowry's, or you could you use your own brand of spices.  Spice up the veggies. Use med-low heat to grill them up.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 #memorialday



Sacrifice. It's not an easy word to live up to. It means to give up something important to oneself for the greater good. And, at the heart of human nature, no one wants to give up that which they enjoy or consider important.

For those here, now, today, I want to thank you; especially if you know a person or have a loved one who has served in the Armed Forces and that person has given their life for their country. Their sacrifice has ensured the freedoms you enjoy. Do them proud and live your life to the fullest with honesty and integrity.

It takes a certain "mindset" to be in the military. Not only does one need physical strength and stamina, but mental toughness is required as  well. It's not an easy job. If you have an opportunity, visit a memorial and lay some flowers or a flag on your loved one's resting place. You'd be surprised by the comfort given to your soul by such a simple gesture.

And comfort was what those loved ones after the civil war were searching for. The citizens of Waterloo, NY in 1866 are given credit for beginning the tradition that led to Memorial Day. Wanting to honor their dead from the Civil War, they decorated the graves of the fallen with flowers, flags, and offered a moment of silence. Soon, decorating graves naturally grew into honoring those who died in all conflicts that the U.S. had been involved in.

Originally known as "Decoration Day," the name was changed to Memorial Day in 1966 buy President Lyndon Johnson. Also, Memorial Day was moved from 30 May to the 4th Monday in May to create a 3 day weekend. As an informal tradition, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

I served in the US Army from 1986-1997 and spent 7 years stationed in Germany along with a 3 month deployment to Hungary. Being in the military isn't an easy life, but it can be very rewarding. I learned things about me, and the world around me, I hadn't even realized before. Concepts such as discipline, responsibility, honor, and sacrifice are embedded in my bones. It led to be a 911 dispatcher for LAPD, a job I've done for 14 years now.

For those currently in the Armed Force and those veterans who have served – thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice.


Several US Presidents come to mind when I think of Memorial Day. They include: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, William McKinley, and James A. Garfield. They had served in the military (For Lincoln, I count his service as commander in chief) and they died in office, sacrificing their lives for their country.

Question for you: Do you know someone who has died serving their country? Or a veteran now? Share their name and what branch of service they were in.

Bonus: (I'm dating myself, I know) Season 1 of Wonder Woman featuring Lynda Carter took place during World War II. What brand of service was Wonder Woman's alter ego, Diana Prince in? What was her rank?

Have a great Memorial Day.  Enjoy the day, but take a few minutes out to remember those who passed on, even the Presidents. Their sacrifice ensured your freedoms

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Snippet Sunday - 2.99 Steampunk Romance: Victorian Scoundrel #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my steampunk romance: Victorian Scoundrel, Book 1 in The Windsor Diaries. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet:  Grayson makes a determination about Alice.   


*****
"You aren't what you appear to be, Alice. What are you hiding?"
Alice smiled. "Trust me, you wouldn't believe me if I told you," she replied.
Grayson pursed his lips. Now he was convinced she was hiding something from him, 
something she thought he wouldn't believe. It made him want to know everything about her that much more.

****

Victorian Scoundrel is a time traveling steampunk romance and is book one in "The Windsor Diaries." Alice follows her cousin, Edmund, back in time, but can she stop him from changing history? 

Reviews:
Winner: BRONZE 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest, Romance: History


2011 Hope Chest Reviews Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance Series

Long & Short Reviews, 4 Books, Larkspur: It’s the perfect romance if you love the proper etiquette of the Victorian era mixed with the fantasy of time travel. This is the first in this new series and I’m excited to read the next episode." 

Scorching Hot Reviews: 4 Stars:
Overall, a fun and breezy read that really doesn’t take itself seriously. With sweet and funny characters, the tale was enjoyable and engaging. A fantastic edition to the steam-punk genre....bring on book two :)

Hope Chest Reviews: 4.5 Stars:
Victorian Scoundrel was a nice easy read, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. The pacing was pretty snappy with the plot moving right along, while the dialog was sharp and sometimes witty.



****
Link to You Tube Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

BUY LINKS:
BUY LINKS: 
AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316808713&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=victorian%2bscoundrel

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:

KOBO:



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/

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Snippet Sunday: 2.99 Victorian Scoundrel, steampunk romance

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my steampunk romance: Victorian Scoundrel, Book 1 in The Windsor Diaries. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet:  Alice meets two "gentlemen."  


*****
The men looked at each other, at her, then back at themselves. She wasn't sure if they were befuddled, confused, or wanted to laugh. Finally, the older gentleman spoke. "Princess Alice is seven years old."
Alice bit the inside of her lip, realizing she had totally forgotten where she was due to the younger gentleman's attention. She slid her glasses back on. "Simply call me Alice -- Alice Windsor."
"And you may call me Prime Minister."
****

Victorian Scoundrel is a time traveling steampunk romance and is book one in "The Windsor Diaries." Alice follows her cousin, Edmund, back in time, but can she stop him from changing history? 

Reviews:
Winner: BRONZE 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest, Romance: History


2011 Hope Chest Reviews Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance Series

Long & Short Reviews, 4 Books, Larkspur: It’s the perfect romance if you love the proper etiquette of the Victorian era mixed with the fantasy of time travel. This is the first in this new series and I’m excited to read the next episode." 

Scorching Hot Reviews: 4 Stars:
Overall, a fun and breezy read that really doesn’t take itself seriously. With sweet and funny characters, the tale was enjoyable and engaging. A fantastic edition to the steam-punk genre....bring on book two :)

Hope Chest Reviews: 4.5 Stars:
Victorian Scoundrel was a nice easy read, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. The pacing was pretty snappy with the plot moving right along, while the dialog was sharp and sometimes witty.



****
Link to You Tube Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

BUY LINKS:
BUY LINKS: 
AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316808713&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=victorian%2bscoundrel

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:

KOBO:



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/

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lilacs and Mother's Day 2014 #flowers #mothersday




Growing up as a young girl in New Hampshire in the 1970's, one of my fondest memories is visiting my Granny in May, early June. Why? She had the most beautiful and vibrant lilac bushes. They were purple and white and smelled like heaven to my young nose.

Whenever Mother's Day approaches, I always think of flowers and my Granny's lilacs. Giving flowers is a simple, heartfelt gesture that displays love, affection, and kindness. Those are all the traits I hope I embody as a mother.

Even though I live in California now, I have a lilac bush in my flower garden. It blooms early, usually in March and usually ever other year. And like lilacs, the blossoms only last about 4 weeks. The blooms tend to be on the small side (being California and all) Not as full and vibrant as they were in New Hampshire, but I hope my boys remember my favorite flower is a lilac and getting flowers on Mother's Day is one of the best gifts I could get. The next best gift is simply spending time with the boys. They really do keep me young. Heck, yesterday night we watched Wonder Woman Season 1 from 1975 and had a blast! Being a mom is exhausting work. It's all about the boys, but it's also very rewarding – so to all the mothers out there  have a great day!
 
Me and my boys
Enjoy these fun filled lilac facts:

Lilacs belong to the Olive (Oleaceae) family
Lilacs are native to the Balkan Peninsula
Lilacs were introduced to America in the 1700's
The lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire


Question for you: What's your favorite flower?  Why?

Snippet Sunday: Victorian Scoundrel, steampunk romance #snippetsunday

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my steampunk romance: Victorian Scoundrel, Book 1 in The Windsor Diaries. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:



This snippet:  Alice meets two "gentlemen."  


*****
Alice spun around to find herself face-to-face with two gentlemen who stood near one of the waiting carriages. One gentleman was older, Alice guessed in his fifties, one younger. The older gentleman stared at her like she truly was a guttersnipe, but the younger one -- he was tall, with chiseled cheeks and sensitive hazel eyes. His broad chest filled his suit well and he measured her with a cool, appraising look that hinted at... appreciation.  Never had a man's stare made her feel so... warm.
"Well?" asked the older gentleman.
Alice straightened her posture with her usual royal dignity and took off her glasses as she always did when she introduced herself. "I am Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice of York."

****

Victorian Scoundrel is a time traveling steampunk romance and is book one in "The Windsor Diaries." Alice follows her cousin, Edmund, back in time, but can she stop him from changing history? 

Reviews:
Winner: BRONZE 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest, Romance: History


2011 Hope Chest Reviews Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance Series

Long & Short Reviews, 4 Books, Larkspur: It’s the perfect romance if you love the proper etiquette of the Victorian era mixed with the fantasy of time travel. This is the first in this new series and I’m excited to read the next episode." 

Scorching Hot Reviews: 4 Stars:
Overall, a fun and breezy read that really doesn’t take itself seriously. With sweet and funny characters, the tale was enjoyable and engaging. A fantastic edition to the steam-punk genre....bring on book two :)

Hope Chest Reviews: 4.5 Stars:
Victorian Scoundrel was a nice easy read, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. The pacing was pretty snappy with the plot moving right along, while the dialog was sharp and sometimes witty.



****
Link to You Tube Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

BUY LINKS:
BUY LINKS: 
AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316808713&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=victorian%2bscoundrel

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK:

KOBO:



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/

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's May 2014 Team Update #walk2endalz


It's been a busy month for the "Forget Me Nots" Alzheimer's 5K walk team. As I write this, we have 133 days to go until the walk in Santa Clarita, CA on 20 SEP.

We've had several new people join the team, committing to walking and fundraising, so I want to welcome:

Andrew Burkhart
Dana Kano
Christina Campos
Jessica Cepeda
And Terri Azevedo

The team consists of my co-workers from LAPD's Valley Communications Dispatch Center. We answer 911 for the city of Los Angeles. It's a challenging job, but we find it rewarding to assist those who need help. If anything, that's the glue that keeps us together – that desire to help those who need it. Not only that, all of us have had Alzheimer's touch our lives one way or another.


Fundraising:
April's bake sale earned the team $205.00. Currently, our day watch is running a coffee club and we've earned $100.00 the first month.

May's fundraising event is an opportunity drawing. The team is offering $40.00 gift cards for Starbucks and Bath and Body. A co-worker generously donated some tote bags, too. The even will kick off on 14 MAY and the winners will be announced on 17 May.

Thanks to our fundraising efforts and generous donations, the team has raised $1,518.00 so far toward our goal of $2,000.00. I just want to thank everyone for their generous support.

If you'd like to donate to help the team you can follow this link. Any amount is welcomed. http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/CA-CaliforniaSouthland?team_id=204372&pg=team&fr_id=4950

My story:
My son (who is also walking) and I know someone who is developing Alzheimer's. The other day we invited her to Easter and she asked for our address. She's been to our house many, many times. It broke my heart. I see the struggle it takes on a family, and I know it's hard. If anyone would like to share their story, please do. Know that you're not alone in your struggles to provide care for your loved one. This is why I walk. To help those family members who care for their loved ones with the disease.


Alzheimer's facts:
In 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer's valued at 220.2 billion.

Today over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's.

1 in 3 people over 85 has Alzheimer's. Andrew's grandmother is 83.

How to obtain a diagnosis:

A doctor will need to evaluate a patient's history, conduct a physical exam, and do a comprehensive neurological evaluation that assesses balance, sensory function, reflexes and vision.

If you have concerns or something doesn't seem right, the sooner you involve a medical professional, the better. Early intervention goes a long way in helping you to prepare for quality of life issues.

Please, if you have a story you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it.
All the best
Steph





Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review for: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson #bookreview



Book Review for: Life After Life
Written by: Kate Atkinson
Little Brown Company
ISBN: 978-0-316-23080-3
Avail as an ebook and in print

4.5 Stars

Atkinson pens a gripping novel with "Life After Life." What if you could do it over and over again until you got it right? And then do it again? Atkinson explores that "what if" not only historically, but emotionally when her main character, Ursula Todd, dies, only to come back again, life after life.

The novel starts with Ursula bravely walking into a German café in 1930 and shooting Hitler. Then it depicts Ursula's birth and death again, strangled by her umbilical cord. Ursula continues the pattern, gaining a sense of understanding of the phenomenon through déjà vu. Can Ursula send history down another path? Will this eternal loop build Ursula's character and fortify her inner courage or turn her into a raving lunatic?

Atkinson explores the early 20th century, depicting family struggles through World War I, culminating in several powerful and poignant scenes regarding the London blitz. She also examines a wide range of emotions through her characters. Ursula's family members, Hugh, Sylvie, Izzy, Pam, and Teddy each possess certain character traits and values that remain constant on her journey, which help to steady and ground her while she experiences changing life scenarios. Ultimately, it's her brother, Teddy, that inspires Ursula to set herself on a course that will define her character.

Atkinson's writing style requires the reader to slow down and savor the written word. That said, the book is hard to put down, leaving you wondering how Ursula will face the next daunting life challenge. The end was a bit disappointing especially after exploring the best and worse of what humanity brings out in the characters.  What will Ursula face next? Is there no reward for her?


Life After Life is a novel where the characters and their choices will resonate with you long after you've finished reading.

Question: Have you read Life After Life or any of Atkinson's work?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and impressions. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review for: Patriot Priest by Patricia Daly-Lipe #bookreview



Book Review for: Patriot Priest
Written by: Patricia Daly-Lipe
Strategic Media
ISBN: 978-1939-5210-6-4
Avail in print

3.5 Stars

Daly-Lipe pens a comprehensive look of the life and times of William Hemmick, an American Catholic priest. Hemmick served his faith and country during both world wars. Hemmick's story is one of an ordinary American doing extraordinary things.

Ordained in 1911, William Hemmick volunteered to serve in the front lines during World War I. Born in 1886, he grew up in Europe, learning to speak five languages. His friend, Shane Leslie, maintained a life long correspondence with him and these letters help to frame the author's biography. During World War II, Hemmick remained in Rome. His input regarding Vatican II was acknowledged by Pope Paul VI.

As Daly-Lipe tells Hemmick's story she pulls in the historical events that define the time period. Through letters, the reader catches a glimpse of Hemmick's feelings and reactions. The author does a great job setting up several historical events, but at times the focus on Hemmick suffers a tad. His motivations aren't clear, yet his actions prove he's patriotic, loyal, faithful, and kind.

The author's writing style is clear and easy to read. Hemmick's life proves interesting against the background of world intrigue.


"Patriot Priest" is a biography that piques the reader's curiosity about the life and times in which Hemmick lived. A thought provoking read.  

I received a PDF copy of the book for an honest review.