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Archive for March, 2011

Steph: Regina, thanks so much for having me here today. Let me just share a little about me: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, I joined the US Army. I spent 11 years in the military, 7 in Germany. I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California, but my favorite football team is still the New England Patriots. I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher. I’ve been married for 19 years. I have two boys, Andrew, 8, and Joseph, 4. Little Odd fact: I visited Berlin in 1988, before the Fall of the Wall.

Regina: Thanks for visiting today, Steph. Tell us a little about “A Polish Heart.”

Steph: “A Polish Heart” is a sweet family/inspirational short story which can be found in the Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter anthology. It’s an international contemporary and set in Warsaw, Poland. When architect Darrin Riverton falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, Sophia, will her faith give him his heart back?

Regina: How does religion play a role in the story?

Steph: Darrin is out of touch with his faith. His work is challenging, but its his family who drains him emotionally with unreasonable expectations that just tear at his person. Darrin is going through the motions with his life. He wants more, but he doesn’t know what that “more” is until he meets Sophia. She’s really the catalyst for him.

Regina: How important is the religious element in the story?

Steph: Religion, any religion, gives us a strong moral and ethical base. Darrin is missing that and his life is empty because of it. By letting God into his life, does he realize how full life can be.

Regina: How important is family in the story?

Steph: Our families are a reflection of our values and morals. Darrin’s family goes through the motions, living up to others expectation and not God’s. Sophia’s family lives their faith, putting it in motion every day. Darrin sees this and realizes this is what he’s missing in his life.

Regina: What draws you to writing international contemporaries?

Steph: I think my time in the military has a strong influence there. Also, I really love author Mona Risk’s international contemporaries. “French Peril” is one of my stories of hers.

Regina: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Steph: Learn everything about your craft. Be patient. Be willing to learn. There’s a a lot. F&W Publications has a great series of books that talks about plot, self-editing, dialogue, characters that I’ve read and referenced time and again.

Regina: What was the last movie you saw?

Steph: The King’s Speech. I loved it! It demonstrates the courage of a man. Colin Firth was amazing in the role of George VI.

Regina: Can you share a little excerpt from your new story?

Steph: Sure. Enjoy!
The Set up: Darrin and Sophia are finishing dinner at a local restaurant.

The waiter came and Darrin gave him his credit card.
“I’d invite you shopping with us, but I’m afraid you have a lot of work to do.”
Darrin frowned. He did, but he hated to miss the opportunity to learn about the Easter basket and go shopping for it.
“Why don’t you join us for mass on Palm Sunday?”
“Really? A mass? I haven’t been in months. I’d need a confession.”
“Do you want me to ask Father William if it would be permissible for me to translate for him? He takes confessions on Saturday afternoons.”
“All right.”
“You can work in the morning. I’ll call you in the afternoon. Do you mind taking the metro again?”
“That’s fine.”
“What if he can’t take your confession?” asked Sofia.
“I’ll still go to mass with you, but I’d like to be able to receive the Eucharist.”
Her smile widened, warming his heart.
“I would like that. I’ll do my best to help get you a confession.”
The waiter returned and Darrin signed the bill. They left. Sofia’s car was parked in front of her house. The car ride back to his hotel was silent. She’d given him a lot to think about. How did he want to live his life? Falsely, trying to meet his parents’ expectations? Or did he want to let his heart breathe? He was twenty-nine. Wasn’t he entitled to let himself follow his own course? He had a good job, a nice apartment – he just had to live the way he wanted. And he had to guard his heart, turn away dishonesty and keep his eyes firmly on the path ahead, as the rest of the verse advised.
Sofia pulled up to the front of the hotel and put the car in park. Darrin turned to face her. The fringes of her lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, softening her expression. He reached out and gently took her hand in his. Her touch sent warm tendrils of desire through him. With the other hand, he cupped her cheek. She closed her eyes, and drew in a sharp breath before opening them again.
Lightly, he rubbed his thumb against her jaw.
“May I kiss you?” His voice was low and husky.
“Yes.”
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.”
“I will.”
Darrin opened the door and stepped out. He waved to Sofia and she waved back as she drove away.
Darrin went to his room and revisited his luggage, removing his travel Bible from an inner pocket. He always took it with him, just in case. Opening it up, he went to the book of Proverbs, sat up against the headboard of the bed, and began to read.

GOODIE TIME: Leave a comment and I’ll pick one lucky poster to win an autographed print copy of the anthology tomorrow.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU

Blurb: When Darrin falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, will Sophia’s faith give him his heart back?
Buy Links:

Print Book:
Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/3579108

Ebook:
Lulu: (PDF) http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-springeaster-collection-sweet/15166166

Smashwords: (multiple formats) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48682

The Anthology is also avail on Amazon as a Print & Ebook for Kindle.

Find me on the Web at:

BLOG:
http://sgcardin.blogspot.com

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357922219

GOODREADS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

Thanks so much for visiting today, Stephanie and thanks to our friends at Dreamstime for the beautiful images!

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It’s always exciting to finish a book and wait for the release date. When that time finally arrives, I always feel a great sense of relief.
In the case of “Light of the Heart,” I have felt a bit more anxious, since it is the first book in a nine-book series. Hearing feedback from readers is ultra-important. I welcome input all the time, especially now with the series taking off. Writing is a a rather isolating process, and I grapple with keeping my perspective. Am I too ensconced, or will my readers get it? That’s the balance a writer always has to maintain.
Having this book come out one month before the second book in the series is due to my publisher has given a limited amount of time for reader feedback.
Did I hit the mark? Were there issues? What do readers respond to? Anything in the first one that will impact the second one? All these questions swirl in my mind.
So you can imagine how I felt when I saw this review today.
http://bit.ly/8YHGe8
She got it 🙂 Thank you!
Excuse me, though, I have to go get another Kleenex.
“Light of the Heart” is available at Desert Breeze Publishing rhttp://bit.ly/gQ9czn

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Today we conclude our three-part feature on author Tami Dee and her works -enjoy!

Book Three, Beyond A Viking Horizon, Balmung Nabboddrson, a farmer living in the year 908 AD is shifted from the crops he has nurtured with a loving hand and has no desire to ever leave, to those very same crops, now destroyed, in the year 1930. Almost immediately Balmung loses his heart to Iris Johnson, a young widow struggling to raise four small children on her own. He will do everything in his considerable power to win her heart and save her from those who would harm her and the children.
Steph, posted an Amazon review and she said: “Beyond a Viking Horizon” is rich in love, hope, and family.”
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-100/TAMI-DEE-VIKING-HORIZON/Detail.bok
ISBN: 978-1-936000-96-8

$5.99

Book Four, Through A Viking Mist, ends this epic series with a thrilling battle for land between Ofeig Nabboddrson, a warrior, and a magnificent Valkyrie, Eva Samsdottir. They soon discover that Time has other plans for them as it sweeps both combatants to San Francisco, CA, 1991, where each face an even bigger battle just trying to survive the future world.
A world where old scores are settled new directions are chosen.

Blurb: Through A Viking Mist

Two enemies left standing on a blood drenched battlefield.
Who will take the as yet unclaimed land for their own?
Ofeig Nabboddrson, a warrior from his youth up, is determined to claim the rich land now stained with blood as his.
The only thing standing in his way is a magnificent Valkyrie, a woman who he has seen only in battle and who is called
‘The Protector’.
Eva Samsdottir, an extraordinary woman who singlehandedly saves the children of her village from slavery amidst a deadly raid.
Unbeknownst to her a bigger battle awaits her in a Time not her own.
Will she have the courage to survive the future?

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-147/tami-dee-mists-of/Detail.bok
ISBN: 978-1-61252-023-0

$5.99
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc. http://www.desertbreeze.publishing.com
My web site: http://www.tamidee.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000198842347
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuthorTamiDee

Thank you for visiting, Tami, and good luck with your writing career!

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Today we continue our fascinating visit with author Tami Dee. Let’s hear more about her series!

Book One, Under A Viking Moon, sweeps Leif Nabboddrson, a mighty Jarl of Kopi SmykkerArhus, Denmark, from the icy waters of Iceland 900 AD to the shores of San Francisco, CA, 2006. Kat Jonsdottire, the woman who revives him, is the exact replica of the treacherous bride he left behind… Legends, love and lies, Under A Viking Moon has it all.
Kristal Gorman from Romance Readers at Heart had this to say about Under A Viking Moon: Brilliant, fast paced, and full of heart stopping moments, romance readers will eat this story up!
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-27/%3Ci%3EMists-of-Time-Book/Detail.bok
ISBN: 978-1-936000-26-5

$5.99

Book Two, Dawn of A Viking Sunrise, takes you on an incredible journey to the year 903 AD, with Davyn Nabboddrson, a man who trades slaves for a living, as he is banned from his homeland. Fleeing to Scotland, he conquers castle Rose Haven and struggles with guilt and loneliness until Time delivers Rosie Chan to him. Rosie’s quick temper, martial arts skills, and tender heart keep Davyn on his toes and gives him a reason to hope again. But will Time allow him to keep her?
Ammie from The Romance Studio had this to say about Dawn of A Viking Sunrise: It has it all — humor, action, adventure, and romance. You do not want to miss this fabulous tale of true love!”
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-54/%3CI%3EMists-of-Time-Book/Detail.bok
ISBN: 978-1-936000-37-1

$5.99

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc. http://www.desertbreeze.publishing.com
My web site: http://www.tamidee.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000198842347
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuthorTamiDee

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Today I am thrilled to welcome author Tami Dee, whose book, “Under a Viking Mist” book four of her ‘Time Viking’ series, has just been released by Desert Breeze Publishing.

1. What’s your genre or do you write in more than one?

Right now, I writeTime travel, romantic adventure. I will be trying my hand at a Scottish Historical, Innocent Deception, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing October 2011.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

I would have to say it choose me. 🙂

3. Is there any genre you’d like to try? Or is there one you wouldn’t?

I would love to try and write romantic suspense, one of these days I will give it a shot.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

A little bit of this, a little bit of that…. I have a wide variety of genres which I enjoy reading.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing,

I have been writing for about five or six years now. I have always wanted to write, since I can remember, but I have dyslexia and growing up, writing even the simplest of things was a struggle. But, one day, I just had to write the story that was sifting through my mind. I discovered ‘editors’ and, well, the rest is history. 🙂

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

I can never, ever, pick a favorite. They each become such a part of me, my thoughts, my life, that I grow close to all of them.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

My stories are character driven, and I have to tell you, when I start a book, I never even consider who the villain will be, why he or she will be a villain, or what might motivate them. As the story unfolds they simply ‘become’.

8. What are you working on now?

Lots of promoting for the last book in my Mists of Time Viking Series, Through A Viking Mist, available now! lol. And I mentioned in an earlier question, I am writing my very first Scottish Historical. I am already at 15,000 + words, and still have not nailed down what date the book takes place in. I seriously have to figure that out before to much longer. haha.

9. What’s your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

My latest release is book four, the final book, in my Mists of Time Viking Series, Through A Viking Mist. The series started with a dream, and one book evolved into four. The series itself took five years to complete. It spans thirteen years of the Nabboddrson brothers’ lives. As you may suspect, by the time I typed the last line in book four, I felt as if I were saying good bye to members of my family, rather than fictional characters. I often become inspired by dreams, and also while I shower. haha I guess all that movement of the water spraying gets my brain moving also.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about.

Through A Viking Mist takes the series full circle. Characters once lost will be found, new choices will be made, with each choice leading to a thrilling conclusion. I hope when the last page is turned, readers will blow out a heart felt sigh and that the Nabboddrson brothers and their wives sagas will live on in the readers minds and hearts for a good wile.

Blurb: Through A Viking Mist

Two enemies left standing on a blood drenched battlefield.
Who will take the as yet unclaimed land for their own?
Ofeig Nabboddrson, a warrior from his youth up, is determined to claim the rich land now stained with blood as his.
The only thing standing in his way is a magnificent Valkyrie, a woman who he has seen only in battle and who is called
‘The Protector’.
Eva Samsdottir, an extraordinary woman who singlehandedly saves the children of her village from slavery amidst a deadly raid.
Unbeknownst to her a bigger battle awaits her in a Time not her own.
Will she have the courage to survive the future?

Book Four, Through A Viking Mist, ends this epic series with a thrilling battle for land between Ofeig Nabboddrson, a warrior, and a magnificent Valkyrie, Eva Samsdottir. They soon discover that Time has other plans for them as it sweeps both combatants to San Francisco, CA, 1991, where each face an even bigger battle just trying to survive the future world.
A world where old scores are settled new directions are chosen.
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-147/tami-dee-mists-of/Detail.bok
ISBN:

978-1-61252-023-0
$5.99
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc. http://www.desertbreeze.publishing.com
My web site: http://www.tamidee.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000198842347
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuthorTamiDee

Please enjoy an excerpt:

Ofeig brushed back Eva’s hair and kissed her forehead. Their bodies were still intertwined in the most intimate of embraces as he shifted his weight off her.
Her body hummed, slight trembles attested to the great passion she and her husband shared. Her mind and heart were not completely at peace as yet, there were too many unknowns regarding their future after the raiders were eliminated and her women and children were settled.
But she did not wish to think about that now. Now she relished the feel of her husband’s strong arms holding her so tenderly.
They both heard the sudden change of noises in the great hall. Good-natured laughter was suddenly relapsed by alarmed shouts and the scraping of benches as feet hurried about.
She and Ofeig looked at one another then silently dressed themselves and pushed out of their alcove.
Ofeig grabbed a young warrior by the scruff of his neck as he raced past. “What’s happening?” he demanded.
“It’s your brother-in-law,” the lad rasped. “He’s been shot while out on patrol.”
Eva gasped and slung the alcove door back open. She passed Ofeig his weapons and then strapped her own to herself before they ran from the keep and into the courtyard.
Singlee lay draped across his mount, the tip of his long braid brushed the ground. An arrow was embattled deep into his back. Blood stained his clothing and dripped to the dirt.
The courtyard was crowded with clansmen yet not a word was said. Alisa stood next to her husband’s body, as still as he, her face empty of emotion in her shock. Leif and Davyn eased Singlee’s limp form from his mount and Leif shifted him over his shoulder to carry him into the keep. Rosie and Kat wept openly, the women holding one another’s hands like a lifeline.
Balmung held Iris as she cried into his chest.
Eva could not take her eyes off the arrow. Dread rode heavy in her belly as she followed Leif. She waited until he laid Singlee onto the head table before approaching and running a trembling finger over the shaft of the arrow.
She felt the carving. She knew the symbol and who it belonged to.
She raised stunned eyes to Leif, then Ofeig.
Leif’s gaze pierced her. “This arrow did not come from the raiders, did it?” he asked in a dripping ice.
She shook her head. “Nay,” she choked out. “The carving marks it as Gyda’s.”
Without another word she strode from the great hall to the stables.
She did not know if the family would blame her for having brought the women here, to their land, and at the moment she did not care. She would find Gyda. She would take from her what she had taken from Singlee.
And if the other women were in involved in any way, they would pay the same price.
She went to mount her horse when Ofeig grasped her wrist.
“I am coming with you.”
She tugged her wrist, to no avail. “Your family needs you here.”
“You are my family,” he said, “and we will take care of this matter together.”
She nodded and waited as he readied a mount.
She only half heard Leif’s captain order a regiment of men to ride with them.
They rode into the forest in silence, heavily armed and ready for anything.
They pulled their horses to a halt at the edge of the women’s camp.
Eva noted the men from Singlee’s patrol spread out, surrounding the camp.
“If the other women were involved,” Eva said. “There is no way we will make it into the camp to confront Gyda.”
He nodded, scanning the trees. “Aye,” he said. “Are you ready?”
She nodded, a stiff jerk of her head. “Aye.”
They dismounted and walked their horses, keeping as close to the large shields as possible. Silence greeted them, but Eva knew their presence was known.
Not a woman was in sight, the trees remained free from the hiss of flying arrows.
The absolute stillness caused the fine hairs at the nape of her neck to stand on end as they searched for either women or a trap.
Jodis stepped from behind a wide tree trunk. “Eva,” she swallowed, her fair skin chalk white and her eyes wide with what looked like shock. “You have to come.”
Eva and Ofeig shared a quick look and followed her as she silently moved through the brush of the forest.
Gyda stood, pale yet clearly defiant, surrounded by several of the women, their arrows clutched in their hands and pointing in threat towards her.
Eva pushed through the women stopping a foot away from Gyda.
“What happened?”
Gyda’s mouth was set in a mutinous line and she refused to meet Eva’s eyes, staring instead at a point over her shoulder.
Eva leaned in until her face almost touched the other woman’s. “What happened?” she shouted.
“I know about you,” Gyda said, so softly Eva had to strain to hear. “I know where you went to recover. The only reason you came back was to take the women from me. I was their leader when you left!” She pounded a fist against her chest to punctuate her words. “I was the one who helped them survive. But the second you come back they all turned to you as their savior. You don’t deserve their devotion. You lied to us all. I know you did, Bennie told me!”
Eva’s heart slammed into her ribs. The blood rushed through her veins so fast and hard she could barely hear from the roaring of it.
She slanted a look at her husband.
Ofeig had gone pale as he listened to Gyda, his Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed.
“He told me to shoot someone, anyone, with my arrows.” Gyda confessed in a hiss. “He said that would get your attention, and I should tell you when you came that he wants to go home. And the blood of the man I shot is on your hands, and more would die if you did not figure out how to get him home.”
Eva shivered. Bennie had fed her facts, and lies, and whipped up her insecurities and fears.
Bennie.
How was it possible?
She shook her head.
The how of it did not matter. He was here, somewhere in this forest, likely close enough to watch the drama he had created. He had played Gyda in order to get to Eva, and somehow Gyda had lost her sanity along the way.
Eva placed her hand on Gyda’s shoulder. “Did Bennie tell you what would happen to you for killing the Jarl’s brother-in-law?”
Gyda’s eyes widened. “That man was not related to the Jarl, he was just a guard!”
Eva smiled sadly and shook her head. “That’s where your wrong, Gyda. But even if he had not been a family member, your punishment would be exactly the same.”
Gyda raised shocked eyes to Eva’s then dropped her gaze to her stomach. Gyda’s blood spilt over Eva’s hand in a hot rush. Eva twisted the blade expertly, ending the life of a woman she had once saved so many years before.
Gyda had taken the life of a good man, and Eva had obtained justice for that man in the direct way of her Time.
She tried to ignore the sick churning of her stomach.
Gyda’s knees buckled and her lifeless body fell to the earth. Ofeig took the knife from her hand without comment.
Singlee’s men had closed in on the women and stood at the ready.
“Take care of this,” her husband ordered.
The body was lifted from the ground and Eva did not turn to see who was moving her or where they were taking her.
She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders, then turned to the women surrounding them who had remained silent until now.

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What an exciting day! Here’s an excerpt from my newest book. Enjoy!

Chapter One

The afternoon class at Tanglewood Women’s Prison was a spectrum of tension, as separated and splintered as a beam of light refracted through a prism. Cascade Preston held her student’s template assignment up to the light overhead, and spoke carefully on the quality of the stained glass project.
“With two lights, or openings, Brenda, I would say your idea of a church window for this one would be correct.”
Sighing, the student replied, “So you think I’m making progress?”
“Of course.” She tossed her honey-colored curls behind her shoulders. “Don’t you?”
Brenda snorted. “Heck, no. I’m in here for domestic assault. What do I know about progress? My life is over.”
This stopped Cascade in her tracks. “Look, we all make mistakes. God has told us that sinners should flock to him. What do you think? ”
Brenda shrugged. “God has his own agenda. We’ll see what the parole board says about mine in two weeks.”
“For now, let’s focus on next week’s class. Bring me a flower for that one.”
“Where are we supposed to get a flower?” someone muttered.
“Draw one, stupid,” Brenda answered.
“Bye, ladies. Take care.”
“See you.” Sad-eyed, Brenda gave her a high-five as Cascade walked past her.
Cascade’s heels clicked efficiently with her every crisp step, and she made sure to shuttle as closely as possible alongside the beefy guard who escorted her from the holding room. Getting into her Corolla, she whispered a prayer. “I don’t think I’m doing any good here, Lord, but I feel you telling me to stick with it. So I will. Maybe this is the kind of thing that saved my mother.” She tried to block the images of her mother’s bruises from her mind, but they wouldn’t go away. They never did.
The drive back into Boston passed by quickly, without too much traffic. “Lean on Me” blasted from her audio system, and she sang along with all her heart. At twenty-seven, she knew it was technically an oldie, but to her, it was fresh and filled with meaning. Cascade wondered as she sang what it would feel like to have someone to lean on, because she had always been alone.
“There’s only one thing that could make tonight perfect,” she mused as she pulled into the parking area for her condo complex, “and that’s not going to happen, for sure.”
Images of her long-gone fiancé, Kevin, came into her mind and heart. Where was he this fine June evening? More importantly, why were things so much better for him without her in his life?
A form crossing her path brought her back to reality. Her eyes narrowed as she noticed someone walking towards her car. A guy — a big guy she did not recognize.
She shaded her eyes from the late day sun. Dark hair and outdoorsy looks. Work boots. “Nope,” she murmured to herself, “I don’t know him.”
Hopping from her car, she said, “Can I help you?”
“If you’re Cascade Preston, you sure can.”
He folded his arms across his chest. With all those muscles moving, Cascade could only imagine the stress put on the seams of his light blue cotton shirt.
“And you are…”
“Dan McQuay.” He extended his arm towards her. “From the site.”
“Hi.” Cascade pumped his strong hand, lost in his sky blue eyes. “What site?”
He tilted his head. “The construction site.”
“I’m not following you.”
He looked at her steadily. “I’m project manager for the retrofit on the church in Sterling Lakes. The one that you’re doing the windows for.”

Now tell me what you think! I’ll be drawing a winner for a copy of my book!

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