Monday, September 24, 2012

Orlando Bloom

is a great way to start off Good Looking Man Moday here on the blog!

Orlando Bloom is the inspiration for my character "Grayson" in my steampunk novel, "Victorian Scoundrel." He's a British actor whose breakout role was "Legolas" in the 2001 Lord of the Ring Series. He also stared in the 2003 "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie as "Will Turner."

Interesting little know fact: He's dsylexic. "Alice," in Victorian Scoundrel is also dsylexic.

He's a Manchester United fan (soccer for us Americans) and he's a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassdor.

Question: What's your favorite Orlando Blood movie? Share!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Travel to Sonoma CA this Sunday

for my 6 Sentence Sunday. I'm sharing 6 sentences from my "sweet" vintage romance, "Journey of the Heart."

Blurb: Set in Sonoma, CA in 1946, can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

4, 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
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. - Angel E


"James, I'm glad you're here." Rachel set her cup down and looked at him.


She paused, a tremor touching her smooth red lips. "I need someone to help me."

His pulse quickened at her heartfelt admission.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review for: The Battle of the Labyrinth

Book Review for: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Written by: Rick Riordan
ISBN: 978-142-310149-9
Avail: print and ebook
4 Stars

Riordan's imagination soars as high as Icarus with this installment of the Percy Jackson Series – The Battle of the Labyrinth. Percy's a freshman in high school now, but his summer at Camp Half-Blood promises to keep him on his toes. There's new friends, new foes, a new quest, and as the danger grows closer, Percy discovers trust can be complicated.

The story opens with Percy attending high school orientation at his new school. Immediately, he meets up with his mortal friend, Rachel Elizabeth Dare and is attacked by demon cheerleaders, the empousa. Percy wins the day and finds his way to Camp Half Blood where he learns about Daedalus' Labyrinth. It still exists and there's a secret entrance to Camp Half Blood. If Luke finds it, then Kronos and his minions are sure to attack. Percy's friend, Annabeth, gets to lead a quest into the Labyrinth, but everyone on the journey has an agenda. Will Grover find Pan? Can Percy and Annabeth find Daedalus? Will Nico, the son of Hades, prove himself friend or foe? Has Kronos gained enough strength to take human form? Percy and his friends can only hope for the best.

Riordan opens the novel with Percy and Rachel battling the demon cheerleaders. The action grabs the reader and the mystery of the Labyrinth keeps them turning the page. The plot moves at a good clip. Riodan's writing is sharp, witty, and easy to read.

As with Riordan's other books in the series, he continues to bring the ancient Greek heroes and their stories to life in a way modern readers can related to. Riordan's creativity shines.

The characters are very likable. Percy is easy to relate to. He's a great friend, heroic, and always does the right thing despite his challenges. Annabeth, Grover, and Rachel each have very human elements that allow them to connect with readers.

The Battle of the Labyrinth is fast paced and breathtaking. Readers 9 years-old and up will enjoy this book. It can be read as a stand alone, but it fits into the series nicely. I highly recommend this story to all who enjoy young adult and middle school novels.


I am really enjoying reading the Percy Jackson series with my son Andrew. Anyone else enjoyed/enjoying the series? Sign in if your a Percy Jackson fan!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's time for some SEP Coffee & Chocolate !

I'm hosting my bi-monthly Coffee & Chocolate CONTEST this week at my Facebook Fan Page.

Here's a link to the contest:

The contest runs from 20 - 25 SEP and a grand prize winner will be announced on 26 SEP on my FB Fan Page and on my Website.

How you can participate:

There are going to multiple "Coffee & Chocolate" posts between 20-25 SEP.  Leave a comment on any of the posts and your name will be entered "in the hat" for the grand prize drawing.  ALSO: I'll be giving out PDF copies of my novels and stories EVERY DAY so make sure you leave a comment on that post as well.  PLUS: Leave a comment on my YOU TUBE Video for the featured Coffee & Chocolate Book and you'll also be entered for the grand prize.

The book featured for this month's Coffee & Chocolate Contest is "Victorian Scoundrel," my steampunk romance.


The Grand Prize:
Coffee Mug & magnets with a cover of Victorian Soundrel
Lori Powell original book bag
GC to Starbucks
Andes Chocolates

Victorian Scoundrel won the BRONZE in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Romance: Historical category.

It was also named the BEST 2011 Sci-Fi/Romance by Hope Chest Reviews.

BLURB: When Alice follows her cousin, Edmund, back through time she has no idea the mischief she's in for.

  • 5 Stars, Reader's Favorite, Molly E.
  • "I highly recommend this with highest of 5 stars, and I can't wait until the second Windsor Diaries installment releases!"
Right now it's on sale on Amazon (ebook) at:

Publisher's Link:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing - A Gentleman and a Rogue, steampunk romance

10 Interview Questions for: The Next Big Thing

Maria Hammarblad tagged me for "The Next Big Thing Hop" ☺ You can find Maria's Blog at:

The Rules:
I'll answer 10 questions about my work in progress. Then I'll tag 5 authors to participate. Should they chose to, you'll find their blogs up on 26 SEP.

#1 What is the working title of your book?

A: A Gentleman and A Rogue, Book 2, The Windsor Diaries

#2 Where did the idea come from for the book?

A: It was inspired by the steampunk genre, time traveling machines, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr., and Jude Law. Think Victorian England meets a brass and iron future.

#3: What genre does your book fall under?

A: Steampunk Romance

#4 What actors would you chose to play your character in a movie rendition:

Keira Russell: Keira Knightly
Edmund Windsor: Robert Pattinson
Alice Windsor: Mena Suvari
Grayson Kentfield: Orlando Bloom
Richard Windsor: Christian Cooke
Jocelyn Dunkirk: Nina Dobrev
Douglas Dunkirk: Alan Rickman
Jonas Byron: James McAvoy

#5 – What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

A: When Edmund Windsor travels back in time to set the time line straight, will Keira let her heart fall in love with him again?

#6 – Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

A: I'm with a small press so it's not self published, but I'm not with an agency.

#7 – How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A: 3 Months.

#8 – What other books would you compare this story to within this genre?

A: I know there are a bunch of steampunk romances out there. I even have one on my kindle to read, but I really can't say. I've read Steampunk'd, which is an anthology of "mainstream/literary" stories (without a romantic focus) which I would recommend to give you the flavor of steampunk. I know Pauline Baird writers steampunk as does Gloria Harchar and Karen Michelle Nutt. I might also recommend watching the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law to give you a taste of steampunk.

#9 – Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A: Desert Breeze EIC, Gail Delaney, put out a call for a steampunk romance. I thought of setting it in England and loosely basing it on the Royals. Mena Suvari inspired "Alice" and Orlando Bloom inspired "Grayson" from book 1. Keira Knightly inspired "Keira" and Robert Pattinson inspired "Edmund" in book 2. The concept for the Windsor Diaries I worked out on my own after reading "Steampunk'd." Basically, I had a bunch of idea I meshed together.

#10 – What else about your book might pique the readers' interest?

A: There's time travel, two romances, Queen Victoria, lots of steam, brass, iron, titanium rivets and a transmogrifier.

I'd like to "tag" the following authors:

Vijaya Schartz
Celia Yeary
Mona Risk
And Jennifer Wilck.

Again, there's no pressure for these authors to pick up the call, but I'd love to discover what they've got cooking up their sleeves.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Kobo & Kindle Ereaders in a Nutshell SEP 2012

Kobo Mini
Both Kobo and Amazon are releasing new ereaders this fall and I've got the skinny. If you're thinking about purchasing an ereader or turning in your old one for a new one, this post is for you.

Both Kobo and Amazon have made improvements to their ereaders across the board, which I like.

For me, I think Kobo's big plus it's versatility in the worldwide market. Now I know Amazon is opening markets up all over the world, but Kobo is a device that truly has an international market. It claims to have a network of over 11,000 booksellers worldwide.

Kobo's new devices include:

Kobo Arc – a 7 in. multimedia tabled ($200.00)
Kobo Glo – eink w/built in lighting ($130.00)
Kobo Mini – 5 in eink reader ($80.00)
Kobo Touch – upgraded touchscreen eink ($100.00)

Highlights: The Arc offers access to Google Play, plus Google's app store (about 600,000 apps)

(plus 3 million books in over 60 languages – for all readers)

Amazon's new devices include:

Kindle Fire HD – comes in 2 sizes: 7 in and 8.9 inches. They promise less glare and dualband wifi along w/2 antennas to improve reception. ($199/#299 for the 8.9 in)

The 7 in Fire HD starts shipping 14 SEP. The 8.9 inches starts shipping 20 NOV 2012.

Kindle Paperwhite. Has a front lit fiber optic display
8 week battery
$119 for wifi
$179 for 3G

(Steph's Note: I hate wifi and I highly recommend the 3G version of anything. Yes, it may cost more, but you get what you pay for and I often find I can access 3G where I can't access wifi)

The Original Fire: upgraded with a faster chip
More memory
Better battery
Price cut: $159.00
Ships 14 September 2012

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new ereaders. Do you have a preference? Why? What are your pros and cons and deal breakers when it comes to buying devices? Wifi? 3G? Price? Eink? Share!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Looking Man Monday - Kellan Lutz

Welcome to good looking man Monday. :) It's a great way to start off the week. My pick for this week is Kellan Lutz.

Sigh... for me it's the eyes. Piercing and soulful, they make Kellan stand out in a crowd. What about Kellan makes you smile? I'd love to hear it.

Just a little about Kellan:

He was born in North Dakota and according to Wikipedia, he went to Chapman University for chemical engineering before becoming an actor. (Hey, I went to Chapman for a year in 1998-9!)

He had roles in the American soap "Bold and the Beautiful" and the NBC Drama, Heroes, before being cast as "Emmett" in the Twilight movies.

He's single and likes extreme skateboarding, swimming and dance.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gage Skidmore took the picture at the 2012 Comic Con in San Diego.

Note: Photographer and Actor do not endorse my writing in anyway.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

6 Sentences from Journey of the Heart, Sweet Vintage Romance

Welcome to 6 Sentence Sunday. This September I'm focusing on my sweet vintage 99 cent romance, Journey of the Heart. Here's Rachel's thoughts on James. Enjoy!


James possessed a spark in his eyes she could trust.

James. It didn't hurt that she found him attractive. He was tall and rawboned, with massive shoulders that strained against his white button- down shirt and suspenders. He exuded physical strength. She found an inherent quality in his face that was quiet, yet firm.


Blurb: Set in Sonoma, CA in 1946, can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

4, 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
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. - Angel E


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Announcing my FINALIST in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest: Danube in Candlelight

I just wanted to announce my novel, Danube in Candlelight, was a FINALIST in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Romance: Sci-Fi/Fantasy category. Here's a look at the novel:

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

4 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

3.5 Stars, The Hope Chest Reviews:
Danube in Candlelight was a pleasant, easy read. Ms. Burkhart has created an interesting world with a mythology that is a little different than any other werewolf stories I've read to date, and the historical settings make them more intriguing to me than many contemporary paranormal stories.

5 Lips, Two Lips Reviews
I found the setting for Danube in Candlelight intriguing.The 1920 period Ms. Burkhart chose for this story lends it a wonderfully dynamic tempo.   The discerning reader will not want to miss reading Danube in Candlelight; I highly recommend it.

Pen and Muse Reviews
A fan of the series, I couldn’t wait to read the third book. Readers who enjoy romance with the werewolf mythology will love this read.

Book Trailer on You Tube:

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, moredaring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.


Morgan drew in a deep breath as the knot in her shoulder tensed. Adam had a point. How could she be so self-centered, dwelling on her high-strung emotions? Perhaps it was a cover. Perhaps she couldn't face the real issue because it mortified her. She didn't want to think about it now. Morgan turned her head away and reached over her shoulder to massage that tension-filled knot.

"Turn around." Adam's voice brooked no debate. She liked a man who commanded authority. Morgan turned, and he massaged both her shoulders. Heat from his hands trailed down her back. Her core warmed. Her body relaxed, reacting instinctively and with a desire she couldn't hide.

"Did I hit a nerve?" he asked.

"A nerve? In my neck?" She took a step backward to be closer to him.

"No. About your father. Is your real fear about what will happen to your mother once he turns her?" Adam kept his voice low and leaned close to her ear.

She closed her eyes briefly and faced her anxiety. "Yes."

"Morgan, our fathers' condition has a host of positive traits -- heightened senses, for example, but the best trait is the healing factor."

"I understand, Adam. That healing factor will help my mother recover from her awful injuries, but it comes with a tradeoff -- she's going to become a werewolf."

"Is it better she become addicted to morphine? That addiction is a beast in itself. Which would you prefer she'd become? The soldiers hooked on morphine have vacant eyes, and their hands tremble for their next fix. Do you want that for your mother? Fighting something she can't win against, or do you want her dealing with a manageable condition? Both our fathers are good men. They've managed it."

Morgan pursed her lips. Adam's tone was laced in objectivity and confidence, offering her a plausible reason for her father's actions. Morgan didn't want a shell of skin and bones that resembled her mother -- she wanted her mother well, both emotionally and physically. Why had she been so selfish not to see that?

"It doesn't bother you that you have these traits?"

"I'm comfortable with who I am."

Morgan spun around, pressing the length of her body against Adam, curving her hand around the nape of his neck, and bringing his lips to hers. Their mouths met in a searing kiss full of desire. Want. Warmth. Pleasure replaced Morgan's emotional pain, and she deepened the kiss between them by sweeping her tongue into his mouth.

Adam groaned, wrapped his hands around her waist, and tugged her closer. Morgan continued the kiss, nipping his lower lip with her teeth. A blast of heat from his body washed over her like an ocean wave, sending pleasure spiraling through her. God, she had never felt so wonderful.

He threaded his hand through her hair and then yanked her head back. His mouth fell to her neck. Shivers of delight followed the hard, demanding kisses he placed on her skin.

"Adam, God, don't stop..."

He did just that. He withdrew his hand from her hair, sliding it down the side of her body to rest at her waist. She looked into his golden eyes blazing with the flames of desire. Adam drew in a deep breath.

"Damn, Morgan, I am a man, and I have more control than that."

She placed her hand over his heart. "You enjoyed it. Don't deny it."










Monday, September 10, 2012

Good Looking Man Monday

This week's good looking man is Dax Griffin. He's an American actor who's acted on American soaps. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and loves to run 10K's. He's also done a lot of work as a guest actor in the nighttime shows on American TV. Dax is the inspiration for my character "Michael" in "Twilight Over Moldavia," in the Moldavian Moon series.

What I like about Dax is this serious, intense look. It melts me every time. And that hair! Wouldn't I love to tussle it some more? Sigh...

What have you seen in Dax act in? What do you think he's thinking in this picture?

Just a friendly reminder: My coffee and chocolate contest will be held 20-25 SEP this month on my FB Fan Page. I'm giving away a coffee mug featuring Victorian Scoundrel, a Lori Powell orginal knit print, GC to Starbucks, Magnets, and Chocolate. See my website for more details.


Visit me at my website:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

6 Sentence Sunday - From my sweet Vintage Romance - Journey of the Heart

Welcome to another 6 Sentence Sunday here under the Moonlight. This month the focus will be on my sweet vintage romance Journey of the Heart.

Blurb: Set in Sonoma, CA in 1946, can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

4, 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
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. - Angel E

"Your case threatened to run away, so I bribed it." Her sweet expression was an arrow through his heart. 

"Really? What did you bribe it with?" He wiped the sweat off his brow with a handkerchief, caused from a combination of the summer heat and lifting the heavy cases. 

"A job."


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Announcing my BRONZE Winner in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest - Victorian Scoundrel

I'm pleased to announce my steampunk romance won BRONZE in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Romance: Historical category. Here's a look at Victorian Scoundrel:

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

BLURB: It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over form the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past and 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition. 

Alice soon discovers Edmund has struck up a friendship with their great-grandfather, Prince Albert, and his mischief making entails leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint in history.

She also meets Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton, and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. The Prime Minster finds her odd, to say the least.

It's only when Alice falls for the handsome Earl Swinton does she realize the dangers of time travel. How can she give her heart to a man from the past while striving to stop Edmund from changing time with his forward thinking ideas?


REVIEWS: Reader's Favorites: 5 Stars, Molly E: She grips the reader instantly, and keeps them hooked until the last page... I highly recommend this with highest of 5 stars, and I can't wait until the second Windsor Diaries installment releases!

Pen & Muse Reviews: A wonderful historical, paranormal steampunk read this was. The author really had me hooked from the first chapter... I loved the humor in this read along with the historical facts.

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


Tired and thirsty, she finally made it to the courtyard. Edmund was nowhere to be found. She should have expected it, really. No doubt he was in the palace filling their great-grandfather's head with forward-thinking ideas. She crossed her arms, staring at the steps.

Several carriages waited nearby. No one in their right mind would let her into the palace looking like she did -- like she had just stepped out of the gutter. 

"Excuse me, who are you?"


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. An uncomfortable feeling washed over her. 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." 

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." 













Thursday, September 6, 2012

Announcing my GOLD winner in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest: The Wolf's Torment

I'm so excited to officially announce my novel, The Wolf's Torment won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in Fiction: Supernatural. Here's a little bit about the book:

Pen & Muse: "A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot."

Long and Short, 4.5 Stars: Nominated for Long & Short's Book of the Week, NOV 2011. The Wolf’s Torment is certainly more than a story about a werewolf. There is quite a bit of depth in this multifaceted story of a family’s struggle with life, love and loss.

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars: "The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, princess and prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.

Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader, 5 Stars: This novel is not only a highly entertaining page-turner but also it boasts its author's mastery of fiction. I loved it."

Dina Hickman, Amazon Reader: "Stephanie creates the perfect blend of romance and suspense in her novel, "The Wolf's Torment."

Romance Reviews: 3 Stars: "I would highly recommend THE WOLF'S TORMENT. You will find it satisfying, even as it leaves you hungering for more."

Keena Kincaid, Amazon Review, 5 Stars: "Ancient heritage and modern technology collide in the dark, tense tale The Wolf's Torment by Stephanie Burkhart."

Mona Risk, Amazon Review: 5 Stars: "I enjoyed this book enormously and read it in one sitting."

BLURB: It's 1865 in Moldavia, a country nestled against the shores of the Black Sea, and Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen returns after receiving an education in England. His best friend, Viktor Bacau joins him. Mihai is intent on modernizing his nation, but he's also a witch, and it's time he embraces his heritage. The tasks in front of him are many including getting married.

Lady Theresa von Kracken arrives in Constanta as Mihai's intended. Mihai has vowed not to fall in love again, but Theresa manages to break the battlements around his heart.

In an unfortunate twist of fate, Viktor is bitten by a werewolf. Viktor's transformation threatens everyone around him including his wife's safety and Mihai's happiness with Theresa. Viktor's bite is the wolf's torment.



Her voice was matter-of-fact, pricking at his faults, but damn if she wasn't beautiful in the firelight. The rest of his plans for the evening could wait.

He held up his glass. "Would you like a drink?"

"What is it?"


She clapped her hands and a smile tipped the corner of her lips. "I've never tried it, but it smells like it would be an interesting adventure."

He chuckled at her lightheartedness and went to the hidden bar, disguised as a closed shelf in the library walls, and removed a clean glass. He poured her the drink and gave it to her, his eyes sweeping over her face, probing her soul. Her emotions were an open book.

She wanted him to touch her. She ached for it. She wanted him to drive the loneliness away. The thought of sharing a more intimate embrace with her was enticing. He held up his drink and they clicked glasses, sipping the amber liquid.

She didn't gag or choke, but swallowed hard and narrowed her eyes. "What a crisp adventure. I do believe it's warming my stomach."

He chuckled and held out his hand. She gave him the glass. He put it on the desk, then leaned against it again.

A burning curious look came into her eyes.

"Come here." His voice was raw and husky. She walked toward him slowly, her hips swaying.

"What are you thinking?"

"I'm sorry you were lonely."

She stopped in front of him and he lunged out and grabbed her waist, pulling her closer, settling her between his legs. Her body pressed against his and she put her hands on his chest.
For an instant, an intensity stole into her expression, an intensity he hadn't spotted before.

"I don't believe I've ever been this close to you."

"No, I don't believe you have either, but I rather enjoy it. I hope you do as well."

"Lent starts tomorrow."

"What do you say we do a little sinning tonight so we have something to be penitent for?"

Her face grew eager at the suggestion. Damn. His blood raced through his veins as his heart hammered in his chest. Desire for her overtook his senses. He had an intense awareness of her thrumming through his body.

"Such naughty thoughts, my Prince."

Desire smoldered in her eyes. He wanted to kindle that into a raging fire. For him alone. He claimed her sweet lips, crushing her against his body. She slid her hands up his chest and clutched his shoulders. Her body tensed, needing release. He deepened the kiss, refusing to let her escape. God, no, he refused to let his woman out of his arms. Mihai traced the soft fullness of her lips and she parted her mouth for him. Lord, her mouth was soft and sweet and giving. His tongue explored the recesses of her mouth, coaxing her to explore his.












Monday, September 3, 2012

Good Looking Man Monday

This week's pick is Paul Walker. An American actor, Paul grew up in the Glendale, CA area. He's best known for his role in the Fast and Furious movies. His break out role was in Varsity Blue in 1999. I really enjoyed him in the movie "Timeline."

He lives in the Santa Barbara, loves the beach and surfing.

Paul was my original inspiration for the character of "Viktor" in my Moldavian Moon book, "The Wolf's Torment." What makes Paul attractive are his eyes - blue and pentrating, they make me melt.

What roles/movies have you seen Paul that you enjoy? I'd love to hear your favorites.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Feast of Candles: 99 cent spicy romance: "This book turned out to be a sex story!"

Feast of Candles, my 99 cent spicy romance released in July 2012. Written for the 2011 Victory Tales Press Christmas anthology, it's about a lonely woman, Lily Marquand, who runs a winery. Lily's looking for Mr. Right, but Mr. Right is not in Sonoma, CA. Enter Drake deBrettville. He's sampled Lily's wine and wants to meet her. When he does, the sparks fly. Does Lily dare to let him into her lonely heart?

I enjoy writing all heat levels. I've written sweet, sensual, and spicy. And I usually don't get spicer than Feast of Candles. And I'm quick to tell readers my heat level so they're aware of what their getting.

From Amazon Reviewer: Loves Romance: "The ending with the feast of candles is so romantic you'll want your own feast of candles with your sweetheart."

Then there's one from Billie Houston, Amazon Reviewer: "Some of the love scenes in this book may hasten global warming. Great story."

One reader/Amazon Reviewer didn't pay attention: D. Pennington wrote: "It turned out to be just a sex story!! It was told in very explicet sex language, about every time they had sex,which wasvery often, almost the whole book. The review should be much more explicet, so one would kmow what they were getting. It was worse than the "True Stories" magazine of years ago!! I would not reccommend this book to anyone I know!!"

I love to hear your thoughts:

Does this review make you curious to read the book? Do you get the vibe that the story is 50 Shades of Grey spicy? Or just filled with sex scenes?

Here's a small excerpt:

Small Excerpt:

He stared into her eyes, keeping his hand on her waist. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." She hesitated. "Everything. You..." her voice trailed off. Silence grew between them. God, what had she been thinking? Was it possible to have a future with him?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day 2012 - Thoughts & Reflections

"Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life. "
Marc Chagall

Labor Day paved the way for the protections we have in the work environment today, but what happened in the past that gave rise to the Unions and their power they enjoy now?

If you do a quick search on Labor Day, you'll find out what Labor Day means for Americans today: a symbolic end to the summer filled with parades, BBQs, and parties. Oh, and it's meant to pay tribute to the accomplishments of the American worker.

In today's headlines, Labor Unions have bargained for themselves (and workers) big fat pensions and benefits that most government agencies can't provide in this current economy. With most labor unions unwilling to compromise, some public agencies have been forced into bankruptcy to renegotiate the contracts. What's the right answer for today? Perhaps a quick look at the roots and inspiration of Labor Day can help give us a little guidance.

In the late 1880's, conditions for the American worker were pathetic. The average worker put in 12 hour days 7 days a week, and children as young as 5 and 6 toiled in the factory as well. They lacked fresh air, breaks, and clean bathroom facilities.

Workers began to form unions to protest their poor conditions. In 1882, workers marched in New York City in what's considered one of the earliest Labor Day parades. These parades fostered the idea of a workingmen's holiday and several states passed laws to recognize "Labor Day," but nothing occurred on the national level.

The back and forth between management and labor unions began. In May1894, workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike to protest their wages getting cut and their union reps being fired. The strike crippled railroad traffic throughout the nation. Federal troops were called in and riots broke out. More than a dozen people were killed.

The incident inspired Congress to make Labor Day a legal holiday on the national level. There was more compromise to be made, but today American workers enjoy 8 hour work days, clean restroom faculties, and breaks.

So are there lessons from the past that we can use in today's climate? I say the lesson is – have a willingness to come to the table and find meaningful compromise. It's not easy, but civil unrest is not a solution to anyone's problems. Just ask the Occupy movement.

This Labor Day celebrate the achievements obtained in the past, and remember the spirit of the holiday is more than just BBQs and parties. Labor Day's message is still relevant today as it was 100 years ago, the application just needs a modern approach.

Anyhoo…just some of my heavier reflections on the holiday. Does anyone want to add anything? What are your plans for the holiday?

I have the time off, but I need some inspiration. I want to do more than BBQ in the backyard. I might go hiking with my boys if the weather is good. Maybe we'll visit the fruit/veggie stands on the 126 heading out to Ventura. Believe it or not, I'm needing some inspiration.

My June 2012 Summer Short story is "Journey of the Heart."

Can James help Rachel save her winery or will he drift out of her life the same way he drifted in?

Opening Line: James hated wandering

4, 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
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. - Angel E

"Your case threatened to run away, so I bribed it." Her sweet expression was an arrow through his heart.

"Really? What did you bribe it with?" He wiped the sweat off his brow with a handkerchief, caused from a combination of the summer heat and lifting the heavy cases.

"A job."

He hooked his thumb toward his chest. "Are you offering me a job, Miss Santori?"


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