A Gentleman and a Rogue

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors: A Polish Heart, Contemporary Romance #wewrwa #snippetsunday

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


About this snippet: Darrin and Sofia go shopping for the Easter Basket. 

ENJOY THIS SNIPPET:




Sofia had taken Darrin to the market close to her house because it would have the rest of the items they would need for the family's Easter basket. It was a nice day and the sun was out. 

"Ah, there," she pointed at a flower vendor.
"What do you see?" he asked.
"Pussy willow."
"I haven't seen pussy willow since I was a boy. Why do you get it for your basket?"


"It's for good luck. I'm going to buy a branch for everyone in the family. Once the priest blesses the basket, we make a wish on our branch." 

A POLISH HEART: 


BLURB:  

Darrin Riverton, an architect from the United States is assigned to a challenging project which requires a trip to Poland. Sofia Buraczynski is assigned as his translator and his first sight of her heats his blood. 

With Sofia as his guide, Darrin discovers Poland and many new things about himself, as well. When a chance is presented for him to remain in Poland, will he leave behind family and all that is familiar to follow his heart?


Reviews:
5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader, “A totally enjoyable read.”
 5 Stars, Nancy Levine, Amazon Reader, “My grandfather was from Poland, but I have never been there, so I enjoyed reading about it as well as the customs about the Easter basket, etc.”
5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reader, “I love the warm-hearted tale.” 
BOOK TRAILER:
BUY LINKS:
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-polish-heart

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lifestyle: Benefits of Walking #lifestyle

Castaic Lake in the Fall 


I love walking. When I was stationed in Germany during the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, I had an opportunity to participate in the many volksmarches across the nation.  A volksmarch (German for “people’s march) is a non-competitive fitness walk. I remember you could do 10K (kilometers) (6.2 miles), 20K or a marathon.  It would take me about 2 hours to walk a 10K. There were stops for brotchen and beer and I got to see the “heart” of Germany – quaint, little towns with rich history and architecture. I also had a chance to meet everyday Germans.  Most appreciated our presence. I’ll never forget the time my friend, Jerri, and I met 2 men volksmarching. They dared us to guess their age. We said: “50ish.” They were in their 70’s! There was no way they looked a day over 55! They told us they’d been volksmarching all their lives and that’s why they were so young looking.

And that brings me right to my lifestyle topic: the benefits of walking.

Walking invigorates the body, mind, and spirit. A mere 30 minutes a day will work wonders. Walking helps:  us to relax, manage stress, improves cardiovascular/heart health, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, improves cholesterol levels.

Now I know why those guys were so young!

WALKING TIPS:

A good, beginning walking pace is between 3.1 – 4 mph. Power walking is more recreational. Race walking is for serious athletic walkers/runners. Both require a heel-to-toe technique.

When starting, be mindful of “over striding.” That’s a lengthening of your stride. It’s not as efficient as you think it would be. Instead, use a powerful pushoff.  I can honestly say, I’ve started using this technique, going heel-to-toe, keeping to my normal stride, and using a more powerful push off, and I’ve immediately improved my timed walks, cutting down between 1-2 minutes.

STRETCH BEFORE YOU GO!
 
Walking to Support Alzhiemers 
Before you walk, stretch out. Some focused stretches include calf stretches, a side stretch, a gentle torso twist, quadriceps, and hamstring stretches.

Do I have walk 30 minutes straight?

No, you don’t. If anything, finding time in our busy lives can be challenging. It is for me. I usually go walking on my lunch break at work.  Walking 10-15 minutes when you can, a couple of times a day, will give you the same benefits of 30 minutes straight walking.

If you’re a good walker, and looking to “up your game,” then you might consider hiking and incorporating inclines and an uneven terrain, but that’s a topic for another time.

Enjoy your walk!

Question for you: Are you a walker? A hiker? Do you have an exercise you’d like to recommend?

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She’s published with Desert Breeze, 4RV Publishing and Victory Tales Press.

A POLISH HEART:

Can Sofia’s faith give Darrin his heart back? A sweet, contemporary romance for the spring/Easter season.


Reviews:
5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader, “A totally enjoyable read.”
 5 Stars, Nancy Levine, Amazon Reader, “My grandfather was from Poland, but I have never been there, so I enjoyed reading about it as well as the customs about the Easter basket, etc.”
5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reader, “I love the warm-hearted tale.” 
BOOK TRAILER:
BUY LINKS:
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-polish-heart

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Snippet Sunday: 99 cent contemporary romance: A Polish Heart #snippetsunday #wewrwa

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


About this snippet: Darrin has a few minutes to himself.
ENJOY THIS SNIPPET:



He was about halfway done with his review. Most of the diagrams looked good, but he had made a couple of notes to check certain things. He thought the construction company might be aware of it, as Dracek appeared to have made some pencil notations, but it wouldn't hurt to verify it.

Needing a mental break, he sat down at the desk next to the window and checked his email.

 One letter was from his mother. Tapping his anxious fingers on the desk, he waited a minute before opening it up.

'Darrin, when will you be home? This trip to Poland is inconvenient. I invited Kayla to Easter services and lunch. Let me know so I can plan accordingly.'

Darrin frowned, irritated by the tone of his mother's letter.


A POLISH HEART: 


BLURB:  

Darrin Riverton, an architect from the United States is assigned to a challenging project which requires a trip to Poland. Sofia Buraczynski is assigned as his translator and his first sight of her heats his blood. 

With Sofia as his guide, Darrin discovers Poland and many new things about himself, as well. When a chance is presented for him to remain in Poland, will he leave behind family and all that is familiar to follow his heart?


Reviews:
5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader, “A totally enjoyable read.”
 5 Stars, Nancy Levine, Amazon Reader, “My grandfather was from Poland, but I have never been there, so I enjoyed reading about it as well as the customs about the Easter basket, etc.”
5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reader, “I love the warm-hearted tale.” 
BOOK TRAILER:
BUY LINKS:
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-polish-heart

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review: Storm of Swords Book 3 in Game of Thrones #gameofthrones



Book Review for: Storm of Swords
Written by: George RR Martin
Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0-553-10663-3


5 Stars
Absolutely Engrossing!



Martin pens a novel full of adventure, betrayal, and greed with “Storm of Swords,” book 3 in the “Song of Ice and Fire,” series. The novel is over 900 pages – not for the faint at heart – and a bit daunting. It’s taken me months to finish, and while it’s been long for me, it’s been an adventure.

Martin uses several point of view characters to tell the “Storm of Swords.” There’s Tyrion, smart and clever, yet a dwarf who is the butt of his nephew’s cruel jabs. There’s Robb, the King of the North, who must win the Frey’s favor or lose all he has gained. Jon, on the Wall, must find out information on the Wildlings and the Others, using all of his cunning to survive. Jamie must not only use his sword, but his wits to make it back to King’s Landing. Arya escapes the city only to find herself a captive and pawn to various outlaws who would use her as a hostage for their benefit. Stannis must prove himself a king, so he travels to the Wall, hoping to save it. Then there’s Daenrys, who learns how to use her swords to conquer, but she must learn to rule before returning to Westros.


Every story involves violence, sword play, and cunning. As the realm loses its tenuous grip on the various kingdoms, secrets are revealed, proving a precursor to the upcoming battle between ice (the others) and fire (the dragons).

The characters are honest, real, and interesting. There’s good and bad and even some in between – like the “Hound,” Sandor Clegane. Everyone has a distinct motivation to do what they do, even if unknown to the reader. I’m always wondering what is driving a character.

A “Storm of Swords” grows the story, looks deeper into the players, and takes the reader on an adventure of a lifetime!

Question for you:  Who is your favorite "Game of Thrones" character?