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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Giveaway....Linore Rose Burkard

The Country House Courtship

England, 1818: It has been five years since Ariana Forsythe married The Paragon, Mr. Phillip Mornay. Now, Ariana's sister, Miss Beatrice Forsythe, is seventeen and determined to marry advantageously as well. (Surely Ariana's society connexions all but guarantee Beatrice's success-especially if Mr. Mornay is created a baronet by the Prince Regent!

But the Mornay's have disappeared from high society as they raise a family at their country estate. Can Beatrice persuade them to chaperone her in London? And what about her business with the curate, Mr. O'Brien, whom Beatrice rashly promised to marry years earlier? She is too sophisticated now to settle for a mere clergyman-despite his agreeable countenance and gentle, understanding ways. When Mr. Tristan Barton becomes tenant of the Manor House, Beatrice's hopes seem to have found their object. But when Ariana falls gravely ill, secrets come to light, motives are revealed, and pretenses that are easy to keep up in the darkness begin to crumble. As hearts are bared and truths uncovered, a country house courtship like no other cannot be far behind!

Fans of Linore's first books, Before the Season Ends, and The House on Grosvenor Square, will be delighted with final addition to the Regency Inspirational Series, as will all readers of historical romance.

Leave a comment with a question for Linore, or a specific comment about her book or series to be entered in the drawing for this book.....NOT just "I want to win this book". Let us know you read the book summary and what you thought, or ask a question. Thanks!

Linore Rose Burkard creates Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul. Her characters take you back in time to experience life and love during the Regency England era (circa 1800 - 1830). Ms. Burkard's novels include Before the Seasons Ends, The House in Grosvenor Square and, The Country House Courtship. Her stories blend Christian faith and romance with well-researched details from the Regency. Readers experience a romantic age, where England from the past comes alive and happy endings are possible for everyone!

What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

I hope my readers will feel as though they've been transported to an amazing world of the past, with living characters and places so real they can almost reach out and touch them. I love it when readers write to me to say they just had a wonderful mini-vacation--reading my book! Some say they've had a spiritually encouraging journey while reading--and that means everything to me.

Any Regency romance is going to be compared to Jane Austen's novels ~ how are your books similar / different?
I don't think most regencies are written to be like Jane, and mine are no exception. I'm not competing with Jane Austen; I'm re-visiting the world she wrote about, though; and that is the similarity. When readers say my writing is "Austen-like", I take that as a huge compliment, but that's when I think it's wise not to believe my own press! (smile)

Do you have more Regency novels planned?

Right now I'm working on a regency time-travel that is dying to be a screenplay! I'm writing it as a novel, but little scenes creep in where, at their end, I actually type in "fade to black," before I realize what I've done. That's all I'm going to say about the new book for now, but readers can rest assured that it will be different enough to delight them, but similar in the sense that it's still me writing, it's still my voice.

Can you give us a sneak peek into The Country House Courtship?

Country House is the third book in the Regency Series, and gives one of the minor characters from the first books her own "day in the spotlight," her own romance. It begins about five years later (about 1818) and sees Mr. O'Brien (a curate, now) to a happy marriage of his own. There's a little bit of mystery, a villain (an Austenesque villain--not a serial killer, in other words!)and a denouement that I hope will leave people smiling and satisfied.

Thanks for joining us, Linore and we hope to see more of you and your books in the future!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Refining Fires by Erin Rainwater

Today I'm spotlighting Erin Rainwater's new release, Refining Fires.

JoAnn Durgin, Amazon reviewer, has this to say:

In “Refining Fires,” author Erin Rainwater breathes new life into Christian fiction with her wit, humor and charming expositional style. This book departs from traditional romance storytelling in a unique way. It’s well worth your time, and is money well spent. So many Christian books these days focus on the angst and drama in life. “Refining Fires” offers the perfect balance of elements for anyone seeking a great read. Erin Rainwater doesn’t shy away from the message of God’s love and the hope He offers. This book will resonate in your heart long after you finish the last page…and leaving you wanting more.


A disfigured veteran. A ruined nurse. A tormented child. A kept woman. Strangers whose paths cross, bringing redemption into each other’s lives in ways none of them could have predicted.

This story told in three parts first introduces a nurse with a disreputable professional past seeking work in the home of a bitter, disfigured Korean War veteran. Peter Cochran’s anger is no match for Clare Canterbury’s pluck, and before long not only is his body being renewed but his soul is yearning for a life he can’t dream of. Theirs is quite a romance, but this story, “Refining Fire,” is only the beginning of their love story. You’ll then be swept to a remote mountain cabin and introduced to Susannah, the bravest nine-year-old girl you’ll ever meet. She must trek down a mountainside alone to save her mother’s life, and faces harder times yet to come. The love that Peter and Clare share has an immense impact on this extraordinary child who is filled with “Blind Courage.” Lastly, you’ll meet a “Kept Woman” bent on self-destruction until a child and an unlikely couple teach her about Who has been keeping her all along. Refining Fires goes beyond simple romance, showing how God’s refining hand weaves lives together to bring about their redemption.


Print versions of Refining Fires can be found at Amazon (in Kindle form as well), Barnes and Noble, and other online retailers. Click HERE to purchase on Amazon

The eBook version is available on Smashwords and Fictionwise. Click HERE

Friday, August 13, 2010

So What's Your Vote?

Summer Vs Winter...Are you a snow bunny or a sun lover?

This is a typical summer day at our house. My dogs are outside enjoying the sun and the grass, and I'm working in my flowerbeds and garden. It's warm, beautiful and enjoyable.

Now, jump to the picture below......

I don't take many pictures in the snow, so this is the front yard up against the fence, not where the flowers were, but about 30' away.

Now you tell me, which is more enticing for you?

A few days ago we had very cool weather for our area. It should be in the high 80's and 90's all through August, with an occasional day or so over 100. We spent 3 or 4 days in a row in the low 60's, dropping into the high 40's at night. And it felt like fall.

Can you tell I'm dreading winter? Yep. Don't like it. Not since grade school when snow was fun. When winter arrives I start counting the days until spring.

If I could vote, I'd have three season. Spring, summer and fall. No winter.

How about you? What's your favorite season and why?

Ladders, Part 2

I don't have a picture of this one because, well....I was lying flat on my back and in no shape to take a picture.

It started with my decision to stop at a U-pick orchard to get a bucket of cherries. It's at the tail end of the season (that's already running late due to a delayed summer/heat). So, all the fruit that could be picked from the ground was gone, leaving only what could be reached from a ladder.

I was the only one in my section of the orchard, although I'd walked past a mother and her two teenage girls not too far away. I set my ladder (the type with a pole you set apart from the legs in a triangle). My dad had a small orchard while I was growing up and I'd set these ladders many a time. I could hear his voice in my head reminding me to check it to make sure it was square. It wasn't, and I reset it. But this time when reminded again, I disregarded it, sure it must be fine.

Bad decision.

I climbed up and picked a half bucket of luscious, dark purple cherries and had almost cleaned out the area I could reach. A few big handfuls were a little farther away, but I could reach them by leaning.

Another bad decision.

The ladder went one way in slow motion, tipping off to my right. I saw and felt it going and knew there wasn't a thing I could do to stop it. I remember thinking it was going to hurt when I hit. I also had the presence of mind to holler for help on the way down, as I knew I might not be in any condition to do so once I hit.

Good decision.

I bounced off several rungs, impacted the side panel with my thigh and calf, and landed on my tailbone, then flat on my back, then my head whipped back and connected last.

Thankfully, on grassy ground.

No broken bones, but LOTS of big bruises and a separated tailbone that's also bent to the side.

The woman and girls came running, as did the orchard owner. I lay on the ground getting my breath, then when I felt able, they helped me up. After determining I didn't have any broken bones, I bemoaned the loss of my cherries, scattered across the ground. The owner scooped them all up and offered to help me to my car.

Nope. I came to get cherries, I wasn't leaving without them. I had company coming and wanted those cherries! I climbed back up the now stable ladder (half way this feet were on the 6th rung the first time) and proceeded to finish off my gallon bucket.

Then I called my chiropractor and made a beeline for his office. I've been back about 5 times since, and he's got my tailbone almost back in place. The bruises are healing, I'm still sore and it's still hard to sit. But I'm sure enjoying those cherries!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ladders, Gates and Other Assorted Dangers

What a day! It started out innocently enough but by bedtime I felt as though a cyclone had hit, upsetting my emotions and pummeling my body.

See the little dog in the foreground? That's my 7 lb. Chihuahua, Lacey, and her sister Bella (with the floppy ears). My two cats are in the background. Two weeks ago today Lacey decided to escape and run down to my daughter's house whose property adjoins ours.

See the crack between the wood post and the metal gate? Bella is standing just a few inches in front of it. Narrow, huh? You'd think too narrow for any of these four critters to get their heads through it, right? Wrong.

I heard loud crying/yipping and raced outside. Lacey's head was jammed through the crack and she was stuck. Body on one side, head on the other. bove the bottom hinge that you see in the picture, so she was standing on her hind legs to keep her balance. I held her body up and tried to gently work her head back through. She screamed, quite literally, both times.

I sat praying and trying to figure out how I could free her, and thought maybe her collar was impeding her release. I had to let go of her and run to the house for scissors. When I returned she was wheezing and panting. It was in the 90's that day and her throat was against the hinge. Not good. Cut the collar and tried again. More crying and screaming and still stuck.

By this time I was close to crying. My daughter and her hubby were gone, as was my husband, and I don't know any phone #'s of neighbors. We're 9 miles out in the country and no one close besides our kids. I ran back in, grabbed the phone and a bottle of cooking oil. I figured if you can get a ring off your finger by making it slick, it might work with her head. It didn't. More crying and struggling. By this time I was crying.

I called my husband in a near panic, sure my dog was going to die before anyone made it home to help. He calmed me down and I finally explained what happened. He instructed me to lift up on the gate...hard...that it would pop off the hinges. I gave a hard yank, and the gate went flying. I grabbed Lacey, cuddled her to my chest, thanked him and ran in the house to get her some water. She didn't want to do anything but stay in my arms for the next 20 minutes. Poor little thing was too scared to even shiver, which is her normal reaction when she's afraid.

I'm hoping she's learned her lesson and stays away from the gate, but at least now I know what to do.

Tune in tomorrow to hear about the rest of my day....and the episode with the ladder. Bruises, bruises, everywhere!

Ladders, Gates and Other Assorted Dangers

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Catching Up or Procrastinating-- How About You?

The summer is flying by and so much has happened that I've put several projects on hold. For weeks now a couple of obligations have stared me in the face, taunting me with their need to be finished. Each day I promise myself I'll work on them, and each evening near bedtime I realize I've once again put them off for another day.

I'm not sure why I torture myself this way. Why not just get it over with, even if it's something (paperwork) that I hate doing? Wouldn't it be easier not to face the same thing day after day, and keep dealing with the dread, stress and guilt that comes with not getting it done?

Yesterday I sat staring at the stack of paperwork and resolved that another day wouldn't go by with the pile on my desk. I'll bet you're thinking.....she put it off again and has to face it today. Nope. I actually got it done, faxed it off and am now facing a relatively clean desk. What a huge relief! And just think, I could have experienced this joy and satisfaction weeks ago had I followed through and not procrastinated. Sure, I had a book deadline also pressing me that I felt was more important. I had a garden needing tending, family to visit and a tailbone to nurse after my fall from an orchard ladder. All good excuses. But if I were totally honest I'd admit there was time for the project, I just didn't want to do it.

Anyone else have the same problem as me? Do you get projects that you dread done first, or drag your feet and put them off till the last possible minute? If so, why? I'd love your input!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920
that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

These 33 women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed
nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking
for the vote

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above
her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping
for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,
beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his
guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right
to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their
food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks
until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-
-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new
movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the
actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.
Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient.

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history,
saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk
about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought
kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said.
'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just
younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The
right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history,
social studies and government teachers would include the movie in
their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere
else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,
but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think
a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so
hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.
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