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Rated: GC · Book · Personal · #1051691
It's about adventure! Life, Scouting, Family, writing what else is there?


Banner for my blog, "Gemini Rising"

*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*

Just a little about me. I've been married for 27 years and currently live in Southern California, but I grew up in New Hampshire.

I've got 2 kids, a 17 yrs old and a 12 yr old. Both are boys. Nuff said.

I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I enjoy my job a lot.

I love to write, but since I've been so involved with the Boy Scouts program since 2015 (now Scouts BSA since girls were invited to come on board) I haven't written much. I hope to get back to more writing soon, as I'm scaling back my BSA commitment.

I like to get out in nature, take walks around Castaic Lake, drink coffee and watch football.

Here's a little bi about my zodiac.

GEMINI: Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory. On the one hand it produces the virtue of versatility, and on the other the vices of two-facedness and flightiness. The sign is linked with Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth, and its subjects tend to have the graces and faults of the young. When they are good, they are very attractive; when they are bad they are more the worse for being the charmers they are. Like children they are lively, and happy, if circumstances are right for them, or egocentric, imaginative and restless.

Their good qualities are attractive and come easily to them. They are affectionate, courteous, kind, generous, and thoughtful towards the poor and suffering - provided none of the activities resulting from expressing these traits interferes too greatly with their own lives and comforts.

Geminians can be successful in many walks of life though their general characteristics tend to make them unreliable. They are often skilled manipulators of language, in speech and writing, and may be: debaters, diplomats (though in politics they are more interested in theory than practice), orators, preachers (brilliant rather than profound), teachers, authors, poets, journalists, or lawyers.

*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*

This is me. I am a Gemini. Pure, Raw, passionate.

The NEW focus of this blog is to share my adventures, scouting adventures, book reviews, thoughts, opinions, and writing adventures from actual writing, writing/editing tips, marketing, research. I'll get there.

Another Signature

Find me at:






Previous GRATITIOUS Warning, that I decided to keep in case I post about something that might offend.

*Exclaim* WARNING *Exclaim*

I intend to be open, honest, and forthright. No topic is off limits from religion to you name it, I'm going there. If you think you might be offended...back up now - this blog isn't for you. For those who "dare" *Wink* check out the "Gemini Rising..."

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January 18, 2011 at 7:22pm
January 18, 2011 at 7:22pm
Characters are the heart and soul of your story, but what makes them cross the line from two-dimensional to three-dimensional? What makes them compelling?

Author David Corbett offers four elements that you can add to your characterization and I think they're spot on.

To cross the line, keep your character's internal compass consistent, yet ensure they can still surprise you.

First, a character has to have a driving need, desire, or goal. What makes a character interesting is what that character wants, and the stronger the desire, the more compelling the drama. Desire helps to create conflict, and how your character manages conflict makes the story interesting.

Second, secrets make interesting characters. If there's a trait or an incident the character wants hidden, but is revealed, it might make that character lose standing with family and friends. What makes secrets delicious is that they tell readers what characters have to lose and why.

Third, contradictions bring to light what readers can't predict and thus shows surprise. For example: a character can be desperate, yet proud, and decide to take a job that might not be up their alley, just so they can earn a living.

Lastly, nothing draws a reader to a character than vulnerability. When people need help or are wounded, we're drawn to help or feel sympathetic to that character. Secrets play into this trait. If the character is afraid of the secret getting out, it gives the character a vulnerability they might not have had.

What can you do to help deepen characterization? Flesh your characters out. Cast the character. Write character bios. What do they like? Dislike? Write a flash fiction or short story to get to know them. Draw on real life inspiration such as friends, family members, and co-workers. You can also make a list of your emotional triggers. For example: What's your greatest fear? When did you show true courage? By drawing on your triggers, you can bring added dimension to your character's desires, wants, needs, secrets, contradictions, and vulnerabilities.

Reference: "Hooked on a Feeling," by David Corbett, page 32-36, Writer's Digest, Jan 2011.
January 14, 2011 at 12:01pm
January 14, 2011 at 12:01pm
There's snow in Southern California. No, really, there is. You just have to know where to look.

My son's cub scout troop sent out an email saying they were going snow tubing in Wrightwood. I raised an eyebrow. Being a non-native I was skeptical. Where was Wrightwood?

My husband knew all about it. He went to Dick's Sporting Goods and had a field day buying us boots, bibs, hats, and gloves. I went to Google maps.

Then again, I should have known better. Southern California does get snow. It snowed at my house on New Year's Day in Castaic. Andrew & Joe had a blast making snowballs. It was the first time in my 13 years living in SoCal I saw snow falling in my back yard, but I digress.

Wrightwood, CA is in the Angles National Forest which is just northeast of LA. It's a very high elevation – 6,000 foot, hence the snow. And it's only 1 ½ hours from my house. 13 years and I totally missed it. Someone buy me clue.

We looked like New England snow bunnies after my husband was done at Dick's, but we were ready for the snow. Thankfully, we didn't need chains going up the hill. (Hubby bought them, too!)

We arrived at the Mountain High Resort around 9:30 am. After a long wait it was time to tube! (Because, let's face it, it's not easy organizing a troop event with all the kids and parents and you know some people – they are professionally late.)

Snow tubing is fun. You ride an inner tube down a long slope. My 4 year old, Joe, had a blast. He could have tubed all day non-stop, but Mom had to hold his tube and I got pooped! Andrew went down the slopes with his cub scout buddies.

Rumor was Adam Sandler was on the slope. I didn't see him. Adam and I went to the same high school, but he was 2 grades ahead of me. We had the same "evil" assistant principal – Mrs. Pellerin. You know that "evil" look, the one that makes you run down the hall the other away? Again, I digress.

I didn't see Adam Sandler, but a lot of people were checking out my really cool New England Patriots Starter jacket.

We tubed for two hours and on the way home we stopped by the Grizzly Café in Wrightwood for lunch. The food was tasty and there was a lot ambience (something that's missing in the restaurants around where I live.)

Hubby is planning another trip this coming Sunday. I think it's going to be a blast, but I'm going to keep an eye out for Mrs. Pellerin. You never know…
October 5, 2010 at 10:41am
October 5, 2010 at 10:41am
Can you believe how the time goes? Sigh... I can't keep up.

In August, I went out on a blog tour for my children's book, "The Giving Meadow." I visited 15 different blogs, the most on a blog tour for me. It was fun, hectic, tiring, but very rewarding. The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who travels through a meadow making friends before turning into a butterfly.

September, I tried to settle down, but the month went by too fast. I finally finished my Steampunk, Victorian Scoundrel. Now I just have to type up the last two chapters.

Yes - I'm going to NaNoWriMo this month!! I'll be doing a "rewrite" of my novel, "The Wolf's Torment." It's going to be released with Desert Breeze Publishing in May and I want to polish it off. I'm looking forward to it.

Some upcoming projects:

Christmas in Bayeux. This is a short story to be included in the Victory Press Christmas Anthology. I'm looking forward to it. A young man seeks out a young woman who was a foreign exchange student 9 years ago in Bayeux, France.

The Scorpion Temple. This is a horror short story due out with the Etheral Gazette in Decemeber as well. It's Lovecraftian inspired.

Shadows and Light is a sci-fi romance short story due out in the Borealis II Anthology in November with Desert Breeze Publishing. Here's a link to the video trailer if you want to check it out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2moYlgwCA

Working on my official monthly newsletter tomorrow.

Some of my favorite authors have books coming out this month:

Shana Galen, The Making of a Gentleman
Keena Kincaid, Enthralled
Maggie Toussaint, Muddy Waters.

August 2, 2010 at 10:52am
August 2, 2010 at 10:52am
Hi everyone! I'm kicking off a month long blog tour for my children's book, 'The Giving Meadow." Join me at Regina Andrew's blog for a great Q&A and meet me, caterpillar, & illustrator Stephen Macquignon who brought caterpillar to life. Goodie include autographed postcards of the cover an autographed book. Sign in and say "Hi." Here's a link:http://reginaandrews.wordpress.com./

July 19, 2010 at 11:21am
July 19, 2010 at 11:21am
MY CONTEST: If you sign in to follow me, tweet, Friend me on facebook or goodreads, sign up for my FREE author newsletter on my website, subscribe to my You Tube account, you'll be entered into a draw for a GC of your choice for Amazon, B&N or Desert Breeze. My contest will run through Thursday. I'll pick two people out of a hat for the GCs.

(You don't have to sign in for all. Just subscribe to one of the links. If you subscribe to more than one, than your name gets put in the hat the number of times you subscribe.)

Here's my links. Have fun!

Find me on:




Scroll to the bottom to sign up for the FREE newsletter:



Book Cover for Be Mused featuring my short story

A pic of me taken 2 years ago.
Logo for Writing.Com Moderators - small.

July 10, 2010 at 10:33pm
July 10, 2010 at 10:33pm
Boy, was it busy today. I posted my reviews and awared my Show off Your Best at the Sandbox Contest. That was time consuming because there was a lot of entries. I also submitted my Romance/Love newsletter.

I have to proof some blog posts for my Berlin Blog Tour and come up with one last post. If you want to visit me I'm at: http://celiayeary.blogspot.com.

I need to get to work on my Official SG Cardin/Stephanie Burkhart newsletter. I'll start work on it tomorrow and probably do the bulk of the work on Monday. I usually do a:

Genre Article
Excerpt of my writing
Dates of my events and where I'll be on the Internet
Talk about the month's historical stuff
Latest news in the writing industry from Publisher's Weekly
A look at a small press
reviews of my books.

It's a lot of stuff and requires a bit of research, writing, and editing. It's a 2-3 day affair.

I didn't write a word this week on WIP, a steampunk called "Victorian Scoundrel." Grrr... catching up from vacation.

Hubs is painting the bathroom. I'm about ready to call it quits, give the kids a bath and watch some Battlestar Galactica before I go to bed!

July 8, 2010 at 6:03pm
July 8, 2010 at 6:03pm
So I'm reviewing and rating the entries on the
The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
The Bard's Hall January: "Reporting From the Roaring 20s"
#981150 by StephB Keeping Warm
Contest and I'm feeling guilty that I haven't updated my blog in ages. Really guilty.

But then I've been busy. I have! I have a sob story.

Since The Hungarian, my paranormal romance, came out, I went on a blog tour for a month to support it. I had a great time on the blog tour.It's a lot of work coming up with blog posts though that are interesting. Generally, the reviews are very good, but I got a 1 star for it not being an "inspirational" romance. I never called it an inspirational. I got a 2 star, too. The book was a self published effort and grammar was bad and it needed to be fact checked. Grrrrrrr. I published it with a small press. It was edited. And it was fact checked. I just nodded my head and held up my hands.

June kept me busy. I put together two Romance/Love newsletters for WDC and my own personal one. Which I have to work on this month.

Currently, I'm doing a blog tour for my sweet romantic suspense novel, Destination: Berlin. If you want to visit me today you can find me at:


Tomorrow I'll be Nicole Zoltack's blog:

My Children's book, The Giving Meadow was released with 4RV Publishing so I'm putting a blog tour for that in August. Anyone here on Writing.com want to host me? Give me a shout out.

I'm working on a Steampunk Romance. 19K so far. Much more to do. My goal? Finish before September.

Tonight I'll be working on Show off Your Best Contest entries and I hope to have those reviews up tomorrow. Then I have another R/L Newsletter and another Official Newsletter.... Grrr...

Vacation is over 14 JUL. Hubby and Andrew go to the Dodger Game tonight. I'm going to gym with Joe to (hopefully!!) burn off some vacation pounds. Another Grrr...

I got hooked on the NEW Battlestar Galactia. I'm on Disc 3, Season 2.5. Just saw Downloaded. Awesome episode.

I'll pop in more often. I promise.
May 1, 2010 at 11:54am
May 1, 2010 at 11:54am
Hi all

Pop over to my blog, Romance Under the Moonlight and help me celebrate the release of my paranormal romance, "The Hungarian." I'm giving out a GC to Desert Breeze and a PDF ebook copy of the book. Here's a link: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com

BLURB: Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine, he risks his secert for her love.

Join me at Suspense by Anne, the next stop on my blog tour for The Hungarian. I have prizes there too! Here's a link: http://suspensebyanne.blogspot.com

Follow me on Twitter and I'll follow you: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357922219&ref=profile

Here's a link to the book trailer on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow


The door squeaked open and Katherine peeked over the top of her book. A tall, muscular man walked in wearing a white button-down shirt and holding his blazer. He paused, as if surprised to find her, and then walked toward the window, his stride easy. He moved with wolf-like prowess, his long legs taking cool, calculated steps as his unusual eyes surveyed her. Katherine bit the inside of her lip, returning his measured perusal with one of her own. His silence was unnerving, yet intriguing.

His eyes drew her to him -- malachite green with a gold ring around the iris. Dynamic. Expressive. Even now, as he looked at her, they softened and grew translucent. He stopped in front of the window and casually threw his blazer onto a nearby chair as if he owned the room.

"Hello," he said.


"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."

He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."


"Who else is here?"

Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled and walked to her chair, slowly gliding around it, tracing his finger over the leather headrest, skirting her curly hair.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"And who is inquiring?" She tried to sound cool and composed, but she had to fight the nervous temptation to play with her hands.

"Romeo, perhaps?"

"Then my name is Juliet."

A teasing smile graced his lips as he walked out from behind her chair and glanced at a bookshelf before turning to look at her again.

"Would you fall for Tristan?"

"Only if my name were Isolde."

He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "What do you think of Arthur? Do you think it suits me?"

"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."

He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"

"I might, if--"

"If what?"

"If I knew more about you."

Buy Links:

Desert Breeze Publishing:

Amazon for Kindle:

Smiles to all

Book Cover for Be Mused featuring my short story

A pic of me taken 2 years ago.
Logo for Writing.Com Moderators - small.

February 8, 2010 at 1:44pm
February 8, 2010 at 1:44pm
Hi everyone - I just want to apologize for not keeping up with my blog recently. It's been a hectic 3 months, trust me!

I had a great, but stressful time with NaNoWriMo last year. The most rewarding part was that I got a great start on a novel that will be published with Desert Breeze Publishing in Feb 2011, "The Count's Lair." It's going to be a paranormal romance. I am almost finished with it and just have to write the ending.

Check out the Cover to the CUPID DIARIES:

Book Cover for The Cupid Diaries

This is an anthology put together by Classic Romance Revivial Authors. I am a CRR author. I've been with CRR since October 2009 and I love it. Classic Romance Revival supports those authors and readers who enjoy romance. They focus on "Sweet" "Sensual," or "Sophisicated" Romance and discourage erotica so if you are looking for Erotica, CRR might not be for you.

My story, "Royal Pretender" was accepted for the anthology so I was very excited about that. It should be available as a EBOOK on 14 FEB. In fact, Classic Romance Revivial is hosting a Valentine's Extravangaza and a Blog Carnival so if you're interested, check them out at:


Here's a blurb for my short:

A Royal Pretender seeks the hand of the beautiful, melancholy Caroline of Ansbach but can he win her heart despite his disguise?

Hope to see you at CRR for all the Valentine Fun!
November 6, 2009 at 3:31pm
November 6, 2009 at 3:31pm
Well, here we are 6 days into NaNoWriMo and I'm pumped. Still. Amazing to believe, huh?

This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo. I've always been initimidated by it in the past, but this year I decided to bite the bullet. I had a novel I needed to write and I thought NaNoWriMo would be a great opportunity to write it. On 15 Oct I signed up and started preparing.

I gathered my tools. I made a graphic of the cover to inspire me. Actually, kiyasama made the graphic. I wrote a blurb. I outlines my plot, cast my characters and threw paper all over my living room table. I've got character bios and ink strewn throughout the house.

My goal is approx 2K words a day. I'm getting there. I usually handwrite my chapters at work and then when I get home I type them into the computer. It's not really time consuming. On my days off I go to the "It's A Grind" down by the Ralph's and meet up with a writing buddy and type away.

It's working so far. No writer's block, if anything, I don't have enough time in the day to write. It sucks. haha!

My novel is a paranormal romance and it takes place in Hungary in 1901. Here's the blurb:

Can a man haunted by an ancient curse fall in love? That’s what Count Anton Varga dares to explore when he meets beautiful and talented Lady Amelia Andrássy. Anton rediscovers Amelia in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, giving a concert and he hungers to pursue her, only he has a secret which he fears she will not accept. With the help and support of his friend and servant, Georg, Anton decides to win Amelia’s heart. Will the journey bring him the love he’s hungered for, or will it tear his heart apart?

If you want to check me out on the official site, here's my link:

If you want to sign me up as a writing buddy I'm StephB

Have a great week NaNoWriMo'ing!

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