Sunday, December 18, 2011


     Last year at the Winter Solstice, I had barely moved into my house and I remember laying in the snow in the frontyard, hoping my new neighbors we'ren't watching as I gazed up at the Lunar eclipse of a full moon. How magical. 

    The festival was called Satunalia by the Romans as they honored the god Saturn. Yule by others.  My goats especially love the notion of Joulupukki, a Scandinavian tradition whereby goats pulled Santa's sleigh.
      On the night of the Solstice, the longest night of the year, darkness triumphs then gives way to light. Some believe the Dark King is transformed into the Infant Light, the divine child Sun who is the bringer of hope and the promise of summer. It is the rebirth of the King of the woodlands, the Green Man, and the days begin to grow longer and will do so until the Equinox.
         art wrok by Anne Stokes

    The word solstice comes from the Latin words "sun" and "to stop", due to the fact that the Sun seems to stop in the sky. The Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn. In the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice days are the days with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year.Winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere on December 22, 2011, at 12:30 A.M. (EST).

 Winter Folklore 
Deep snow in winter; tall grain in summer—Estonian proverb
Visits should be short, like a winter's day.
A fair day in winter is the mother of a storm—English proverb
Summer comes with a bound; winter comes yawning.
Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in. 

                         and to all, a magical good night....

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Just saw my ad for LADY GALLANT in the lovely holiday issue of STILL MOMENTS MAGAZINE

    Thank you Darlene Fedette for the opportunity and the beautiful layout.

        Lady Gallant is set during the holiday season and is the perfect read for winter. Hunker down and cozy up and go along with Josephine Posey as she heads off to the Black Sea with Florence Nightingale to tend the wounded in the Crimean War. 

       The hero, Garrick Allen, a reporter for the Times, is one of England's first war correspondents. He'll win your heart as well as Josie's as he champians the soldiers and tries his hardest to let the people back home know exactly what is going on.

     From the charge of the Light Brigade, to the backstreets of Constantople, there is intrigue waiting for you. And even black market schemes and bombs bursting in air can't stop the passion waiting for Josie and Garrick.  

Praise for Lady Gallant:
     “A very romantic Victorian love story,
circa 1854 set during the Crimean War.
Rifkin’s novel is epic in scope, meticulously
researched and finely detailed. A genuinely
sweet romance married to an exciting
war/espionage story.”
                                                ~RT Magazine

     “I was intrigued at the possibility that this story
might offer something fresh. I was not disappointed.
Reading Lady Gallant was a pleasure. The characters
are relatable and the romance is touching. I highly
recommend it to any fan of historical romance.”
                                              ~Long and Short Reviews


   Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancĂ©, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.

    In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times.  Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.

    She wore no corset, only a camisole, and the curve of her firm breasts threatened to spill up and over the sleek fabric.
   Dazzled by the riotous accumulation of lace, roses, and ribbons, Garrick's gaze drifted lazily over her form, the combination of his prim image of Josie and the erotic under-things she wore exploded into a conflict of unexpected sensations—delightfully unsettling.
     “You’re quite bold in your choice of fashion,” he pointed out with a smile, as he envied the silk that caressed her in places he longed to touch.

     Doubt shadowed her expression. “Does it leave something to be desired?”

    “Oh yes, I dare say it does.”

    “What?” she demanded petulantly.

    “Only you,” he reassured.

     A naughty smile was her only reply. The expression didn’t appear to be practiced
or contrived. He ached a little more with wanting her.

    “You’re so beautiful.”

     She glanced down almost as if embarrassed or unbelieving. He tipped up her chin, forcing her gaze to meet and mingle with his. “Take off the rest of your dress,” he whispered.

     Like a cat uncurling from a sweet dream, she rose to stand before him. Then she slipped her thumbs under the fabric that hung gathered about her hips and with a slight bit of encouragement, the quilted taffeta slid downward over the wonderful curve of her bottom. The fabric billowed to the floor and pooled around her ankles.

Lady Gallant is available at The Wild Rose Press in paperback or e-book.