Sunday, January 27, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - 99 cent sweet contemporary romance - A Polish Heart

Sweet Contemporary/Inspirational Romance
99 cent Novella

"May I kiss you?" His voice was low and husky.


He leaned forward, his lips feather-light, touching hers with tantalizing persuasion until she opened up to him. He kept the kiss slow, thoughtful, enjoying the hints of berries and currants that lingered from the malbec. He pulled away gently.

"That was nice," she whispered.
"Call me tomorrow."



"Sofia and Darrin's story is a heartwarming one. Totally enjoyable read." - Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader






Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review Friday - Forbidden by Barri Bryan

Book Review for: Forbidden
Written by: Barri Bryan
Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN: 979-161252268-5
Avail as: Ebook only
4 Stars

Bryan pens a taunt, emotional romance with "Forbidden." Set in 1980, Zoë Adair goes to work for a Texas oilman, Holt Hamilton as a biographer for his late wife, actress, Sarah Clarke. Soon, Zoë is plunged into a world of lies of deception. Can she determine what is forbidden and what is not?

Clint McCann is Holt's son, due to inherit his old father's riches. Holt throws a wrench in the plans when he blackmails Zoë into marrying him. Holt wants to make amends to Zoë, but does he? Zoë's only friend in the house is Maggie, Clint's sister, but one ally is not enough in a ranch full of vipers. Complicating matters is the attraction Zoë and Clint share. Can true love grow in a house full of secrets?

Bryan's writing style is easy to read. She uses a good economy of words to paint Zoe's world in vivid brushstrokes. The characters are interesting. Clint hasn't had it easy growing up, making him appear gruff and a bit jaded. Can love soften his heart? Zoë's seen a lot of hardship and faces more. Her courage and bravery shine.

The best part of the story was the twists and turns the plot took. Forbidden will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, flipping the pages, anxious to know what will happen next.

There were an abundance of punctuation errors throughout the story, missing quotations, capitalization, and lack of periods, however, this did not take away from my enjoyment of the story.

The novel has several love scenes that capture the intensity felt between Clint and Zoë. Overall, "Forbidden" will take the reader on an emotional journey of the heart.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

California Thursday - A Visit to the CA Science Ctr and Endeavour

This past Monday I had a chance to visit the California Science Center and the Space Shuttle Endeavour. I was very excited to see Endeavor, too. I remember as a young girl in the 1970's going to the library and reading every book they had about Space.  One of my most vivid memories is in 1981, sitting through my 7th grade Science class and watching on TV the Space Shuttle Columbia rocket into space for the first time.

Here's a view of Endeavour as you first walk into the Pavalion.

Of course the Space Shuttle Challenger is forever etched in my memory. It was January 1986, Manchester, New Hampshire, and I was  a Senior in High School sitting in Math class waiting for the class to begin. My math teacher, Miss Mantineo was at the board, writing problems when the announcement came that the Challenger had blown up.  We lost Christa McAuffle that day, New Hampshire's hero, and first teacher in space. Even to this day, I'm easily overcome with tears when I think of it.

Brent and the Boys with Endeavour in the background.

I learned that Endeavour was one of the replacement shuttles after the Challenger blew up. A contest was held throughout America through the Elementary and Secondary schools to name the shuttle. Endeavour was chosen. Endeavour is spelled the British way, in honor of Cook's Endeavour that explored the Pacific Ocean.  There's a great picture in the Endeavour pavilion of President George H.W. Bush presenting the name plaque of Endeavour to the children of the winning schools.

Me and Boys Underneath, near the "crawler." 

Joe next to one of the rockets.

Endeavour as it travels down an LA Street, October 2012

Endeavour as it just slips by, Oct 2012

Endeavor on the Launch Pad

I also saw an IMAX 3D presentation called Hubble 3D where the space shuttle (I believe it was Atlantis) went up and fixed the Hubble in 2006. The Hubble has taken some great shots of the universe in space - one being a star nursery in the Constellation Orion's Belt. Gorgeous. If you are at the Science Ctr this is a great show to see. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the space shuttles if you have a second.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Great news! 5 of my books placed in the top 20 in the P&E Poll!

Hi all - I just wanted to share - 5 of my stories placed in the top 20 of the 2013 Preditor and Editor's Poll. Here's the results:

#2 - A Gentleman and a Rogue

BLURB: Will Lady Keira Russell win Queen Victoria's approval for her work with compressed natural gas, or will Edmund ruin Keira's chances with his mischief making? 


#8 - First Flag of New Hampshire 

Blurb: Can Alyssa and Miguel find out where the First Flag of New Hampshire is kept?



#9 - 2012 Christmas Collection

featuring my short story, "Gifts" 
Blurb: Will Chris and Famke's attraction ruin their chances at the Olympics?



#14 (tie) Journey of the Heart
Blurb: Can drifter James help Rachel rebuild her winery before she loses it?


Twilight Over Moldavia

Blurb: Can Caroline save Stefan from an evil curse?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - 99 cent sweet contemporary romance: A Polish Heart

A Polish Heart
sweet contemporary romance
99 cent novella

Blurb: Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back?


"You are the most daring man I've ever met."

"Why do you say that?"

"You just arrived in Poland this morning. You must be exhausted."

He raised a finger to his lips. "Hush. I wanted to come."

Her eyes flashed him with appreciation. "I'm glad you did."

Tadeusz coughed again, and Sofia opened the door.



"Sofia and Darrin's story is a heartwarming one. Totally enjoyable read." - Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader






Friday, January 18, 2013

Save the Date: 20-25 for the Coffee & Chocolate Contest/Giveaway featuring my steampunk romance novel

Hi all - save the date for my JAN 2013 Coffee & Chocolate Contest. It's coming up: 20-25 JAN.  Here's the skinny:

My bi-monthly coffee and chocoalte contest/giveaway will feature my novel - "A Gentleman and a Rogue."

Grand Prize: a GC to Starbucks, a coffee mug, a box of chocolate, magnets,  and a Lori Powell original book bag.  Every day there will be a giveaway post where I'll be giving away a GC or a PDF copy of a free read or a novel.

All you have to do to enter is visit my FACEBOOK FAN PAGE between 20-25 JAN and leave a comment on the Coffee & Chocolate posts. Winners will be announced on my Facebook fan page and on my official website ( on 26 JAN.

Link to FB Fan Page:

Any questions, just ask.

BOOK 2 of "The Windsor Diaries" - "A Gentleman and A Rogue" is now on sale! It's the 2nd steampunk romance series.

Reviews: "I was hooked in it and did not want it to end. All of you romantic historical fans don’t miss this one – it is a winner." - 5 Stars, Trudi LoPreto for Reader's Favorites
The song ended and Edmund grabbed her hand, tugging her toward the nearest hallway. At first, she wanted to protest; call out for her father and defy Edmund's wishes, but then reason kicked in. She wanted -- no, needed -- answers. And, she had plenty of questions. 

They entered the main wing, and passed two rooms before Edmund opened a door and dragged her inside. Books littered the shelves. The library. A beam of light from a full moon shined through the window, casting Edmund's features in sharp, contrasting shadows. He leaned against the door and crossed his arms. His eyes narrowed, giving his expression a dark, hard edge. He looked like a devil in this moment. She steeled her shoulders, ready to do battle with him. 

Silence grew between them as they both set their postures. Damn Edmund. She wanted to kiss the devil senseless. Thankfully, she still had her wits. 

"What are you doing with Jonas Byron?" Edmund's voice was cold and exact. 

"Dancing." She surprised herself with the ease of her retort. 

"Looked more like flirting to me." 


A muscle twitched in his jaw. "No." 

"You are a horrible liar." 

"Keira, you can't trust him." 

She placed her hands on her hips. "Curious, you're the second man tonight to tell me that." 

"Grayson has your best interests at heart. You need to listen to him."

"He's been missing for four years." She paused, glaring at him. "Like you have. And I thought you weren't coming back."

"I'm here now, and I'm not leaving you again."

She tilted her head and laughed. Oh, yes, he'd leave her again, and she had no intention of letting her heart get broken.

Edmund lunged forward, placed his hands on her waist, and pulled her against the length of his hard, muscled body, trapping her arms between them so her hands rested on his chest. His emerald eyes flamed with desire. Her heart turned over in response. His unique scent, spice and currants, weakened her resolve. As her memories flooded through her mind, her lips ached for his.

"God, Keira, don't test me like this."


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A look at the ipad-mini & news from the Publishing World - Jan 2013 has recently announced that it is going to stop using DRM (Digital Rights Management) to protect ebooks that it sells direct to buyers.

Apple reported that 40 billion apps were downloaded for use for the iphone, ipad, and ipad touch.

The skinny on the ipad-mini
Thinking of getting an ipad-mini?

Here's the lowdown:

The basic model has 16 GB of storage, WiFi only and costs $329.00
10 hours battery lifemakes music
edits photos
7.9 inch display
light to hold
great for reading
good for watching video
surfs the web

Screen is not as bright or vivid as ipad

Avail with a 32 or 64 GB memory.

Question for you: Do you buy ebooks from Lulu? Why or why not?
Would you get an ipad mini? What are the pros/cons for you?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD.  Her 99 cent title, A Polish Heart, is a sweet, contemporary romance.

Blurb: Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back?

Opening Line:
This was going to be the most challenging thing he'd done in his life.

Buy LInk:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday - 99 cent contemporary romance: A Polish Heart

Contemporary Sweet International Romance

BLURB: Can Sofia's faith give Darrin his heart back?


Sofia giggled. "We took down the ugly tone-toned Soviet buildings first."

"How naughty," Darrin teased.

Sofia turned into a parking lot. "This is your hotel. It is one of the finest in Warsaw."

Darrin chuckled. "It's a Hilton."

Sofia glanced at him. How she adored his winsome smile. "Are you teasing me?"

"We have a lot of Hiltons in America." 



"Sofia and Darrin's story is a heartwarming one. Totally enjoyable read." - Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader






Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review Friday - In For a Penny by Maggie Toussaint

Book Review for: In For A Penny
Written by: Maggie Toussaint
Muddle House Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9833614-4-2
Avail as an ebook
5 Stars

Toussaint pens a cozy "who-dunnit" mystery with "In For a Penny." When Cleopatra Jones finds her ex-husband's best friend, Dudley, dead as a doornail, on the golf course, she's 'in for a penny,' as the Hogan's Glen police investigate her friends and family as suspects.

Cleopatra (Cleo) Jones is an accountant in the small town of Hogan Glen. Everybody knows everybody. While playing golf with her best friend, she discovers Dudley's dead body. News travels fast and it seems everyone has a motive to do Dudley in. There's Cleo's best friend, Jonette, Cleo's ex-husband, Charles, Charlie's wife, Denise, Jasper the golf course maintenance guy, Jasper's mother, Cleo's neighbor, Ed, the mayor, and the shady real estate developer guy. The police start an official investigation, but Cleo's determined to find the murderer herself. As the danger gets closer to Cleo, will she find a killer or get killed herself?

"In For A Penny" has an endearing cast of characters. There's Cleo, the beleaguered, yet determined heroine, Mama, Cleo's exasperating mother, Jonette, Cleo's steadfast best, friend, Brit, the bossy cop, Dudley, who was no "doright," Charlie the cheater, and Rafe the golf pro hottie. Toussaint does an excellent job giving Hogan's Glen a life of it's own.

Toussaint builds the mystery slowly, but masterfully, up'ing the emotional involvement with each new angle Cleo investigates. The ending promises to keep the reader on the edge of their seat as Cleo returns to the scene of the murder to catch a killer. "In For A Penny," will have you smiling, fuming, biting your nails, and cheering for Cleo. Toussaint earns two enthusiastic thumbs up from this reader. I highly recommend this book. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writing Tips - Types of Romantic Men

I thought I'd talk a little about the types of romantic men we come across. 

The Alpha Male
Superior. Powerful. Assertive. Masterful. Those are just a few words that describe the alpha male. I remember reading Rebecca Brandewyne's "Upon a Moon Dark Moor." Draco was the quintessential alpha hero.  He was silent about his feelings, yet steadfast in his desires. Draco possessed a ruthless nature, but he was passionately in love with the heroine, Maggie. An alpha hero is one who owns the company and runs it himself. Like James Bond, he's dangerous to the bone. An alpha male is very determined and won't hesitate to charm the heroine into changing her mind if their wishes aren't the same.

An alpha hero thrives on confrontation. He's serious, rarely laughs, and captures a larger than life presence. His peers believe he's the toughest guy around and the alpha male thrives on the recognition.

The Beta Guy
He's the good-looking affable, family type guy. He's got a lot of friends/unlike the alpha and omega men. A beta guy doesn't care for a confrontation, but he won't back down from one either.

Beta guys have a great sense of humor and are down-to-earth. Beta guys own companies too, but they put the capable guys in charge so they can enjoy their leisure time.

The Omega Man
The omega man is the toughest guy on the block, like the alpha male, but unlike the alpha male, he cares little for the recognition. He's confident in the fact he's tough, smart, and strong.

The omega man isn't a "joiner." He has no desire to join or belong to a group, and he usually has one or two intimate friends. The omega man doesn't care to have acquaintances, but the alpha male thrives on them. For the omega man, he's much more subtle than the alpha. The alpha male is "in-your-face," where the omega man isn't.

Each hero type must have a motivation. If he wants to prevent the heroine from doing something (conflict) he better have a good reason or he'll come across as a control freak or a stalker. All hero types need to have enough character introspection to help the reader understand why they do what they do.

Question for you: What type of "romantic" man do you prefer? Does it matter? Do you have anything to add, questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to share. 

Reference: On Writing Romance, by Leigh Michaels, F&W Publications, 2007

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Next Biggest Thing Blog Stop: A Gentleman and a Rogue, steampunk romance

Hi all, I was tagged by Celia Yeary and here I am answering a few questions:

Question: What is the title of your book?

Steph: A Gentleman and a Rogue.

Question: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Steph: This is the sequel to "Victorian Scoundrel," from the Windsor Diaries, my steampunk romance series. Edmund and Keira were paired together as a couple in book 1. Book 2 is their story. Edmund realizes Keira is the love of his life and is determined to win her heart.

Question: What genre does your book fall under?

Steph: Steampunk romance

Question: What actors would you choose to play in the movie rendition?

Steph: Robert Pattinson for "Prince Edmund Windsor" and Keira Knightly for "Lady Keira Russell."

Question: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Robert Pattinson

Steph: Will Lady Keira Russell win Queen Victoria's approval for her work with compressed natural gas, or will Edmund ruin Keira's chances with his mischief-making?

Question: Where can we get your book?





Question: How long did it take your to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Steph: 3 months.
Keira Knightly

Question: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Steph: Karen Michelle Nutt's short story "Storm Riders," for the time traveling element.

Question: What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Steph: There's grand adventure, unique leather-clad characters, cutting edge inventions, time travel, parallel universes, and Queen Victoria!

Blurb: Royals Edmund and Alice Windsor return to 2011 only to discover their world is now powered by gasoline and electricity - not compressed natural gas. Their attempts to persuade their grandmother, Queen Anne II, falls on deaf ears. Taking matters into their own hands, they enlist Jonas Byron's help and travel back to 1855 to set the time line right.

Now in Lincoln, Edmund is reunited with Lady Keira Russell, the love of his life, but if it isn't one obstacle, it's another. Keira does not want to fall in love with him again. Jonas Byron has taken up with Keira's father to build a windmill, and Edmund's brother, Richard, the Guardian of the Time Machine, has followed Edmund to ensure Queen Victoria makes the right decision when choosing the fuel of the future. Edmund has a choice - make mischief to ensure time marches to the beat of the right drummer, or trust in Keira and her belief that Queen Victoria will make the right decision on her own. Will Edmund lost Keira for good if he makes the wrong choice?

Reviews: "I was hooked in it and did not want it to end. All of you romantic historical fans don’t miss this one – it is a winner." - 5 Stars, Trudi LoPreto for Reader's Favorites

"It’s the Amazing Race with energy sources in Stephanie Burkhart’s second steampunk." - 5 Stars, Muddy Rose Review

The next stop on the Next Biggest Thing (Monday, 14 JAN 2013) will be with the talented Karen Michelle Nutt at her blog: Karen's Shenanigans blog on her website 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

12th Day of Christmas in Song - Joy to the World

Joy to the World is one of my favorite Christmas carols because it's so uplifting.

The song was first published in 1719. The lyrics were written by Englishman Isaac Watts, who based them on Psalm 98 from the Bible. Watts wrote the lyrics with the intent to glorify Christ's triumphant return at the end of the 2nd coming.

The music was adapted and arranged by Lowell Mason in 1839 using an older melody from Handel. Several musical verses were taken from Handel's "Messiah," but not the entire song.

Did You Know?
Joy to the World is the most published Christmas hymn in North America.

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Her 6-year-old son, Joe, LOVES Eggnog.

Question: What's your favorite Christmas/Holiday drink?

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by during my 12 Days of Christmas in Song. I hope you enjoyed it. J


The Green Rose
Fantasy Romance

Blurb: Sonia and Ivánstan embark on a quest for the green rose in order to save Gaia from Balthyser's evil threat.

Opening: Ivanstan whirled around and thrust his sword into the wyldebeast. His pulse thundered under his skin. Sweat beaded on his temple. With a jerk, he withdrew the blade and the creature stumbled forward, collapsing on its side. A foul stench from the beast filled the air -- copper and sulfur. Ivanstan steeled his spine and toughened his resolve, running his gaze over the creature and studying it. He had never seen the feared wyldebeast up close, but now Komodo Field was stained red with their blood. His jaw tensed and Ivanstan drew in a breath to tamp down his fear. The creature was tall, yet thin with coarse fur, long fingers, and orange eyes. Its fangs and nails were said to ooze poison.
"Ivan! Be on your guard!"

Ivanstan turned about. His friend and mage, Cason, rode past on horseback and threw him a shield made of Taveran steel, the hardest metal known to man.

5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down.

4 Stars, Laura Carter for Reader's Favorites:
I loved the characters of Ivánstan and Sonia and the romance growing between them is sweet and believable.







Saturday, January 5, 2013

Victorian Scoundrel 2012 Romance of the Year

Victorian Scoundrel, Book 1 in "The Windsor Diaries," my steampunk romance was picked as the 2012 Romance of the Year at Deep in The Heart of Romance. I'm so excited to win and I want to thank everyone who voted for the book. I really appreciate it.  


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

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

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


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.

"Stephanie Burkhart has done an excellent job of combing several genres to create a highly interesting, entertaining story that once you start to read you will not want the story to end." - 4 Stars, Anita, Kindle Book Review 

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."