Monday, February 21, 2011
The Count's Lair
Today's guest is author Stephanie Burkhart. Stephanie, welcome to the blog.
Thank you, Elaine, for having me on your blog today.
Just 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. While in the military, I earned a BS in Political Science from California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in 1995. 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.
ELAINE: I bet you have some stories to tell! Could you tell us a little about your writing?
STEPH: I've been writing for about 10 years now. My first novel was "Destination: Berlin," a sweet military adventure romance. It's with iUniverse and the reviews for it are quiet good. I've dabbled in some horror short stories which I publish under my pen name. In romance, I've also written contemporaries and a time travel. With Desert Breeze Publishing, I've explored the paranormal subgenre. I've also got a sci-fi short story romance in the Borealis Anthology, Book 2. I enjoy working with small press because of the wonderful editorial support and most authors are supportive in sharing marketing and advertising tips.
ELAINE: Can you tell us five things about you that nobody would ever guess?
STEPH: I've been married over 19 years and I was married in Nykobig, Denmark. My marriage certificate is in five different languages. I took 3 years of high school French and I adore the language. It's very beautiful on the ear. I love to play racquetball. I stuck my hand in a beehive when I was five. It was so traumatic, I don't remember it happening.
ELAINE: Ouch on that beehive thing. What do you think makes a book a page turner?
STEPH: Engage me! One author I really enjoy is Melanie Atkins. She puts me right in the scene with the main characters. She uses a good, strong, active voice in her writing.
ELAINE: Which genre of books appeals least to you? Why?
STEPH: That's a toughie because I find enjoyment in most genres. Let's see…what's not on my shelf? Hard core Science Fiction and Fantasy. I did however enjoy the Lord of the Rings movies, and I like the Star Trek books.
ELAINE: On the average, how long does it take you to write a book?
STEPH: I've got it down to about three months, give or take 2 weeks for prep work which includes research, crafting my characters, outlining, etc.
ELAINE: Would you share some of your links?
STEPH: Sure you can find me:
ELAINE: We'd love to read an excerpt from your latest release.
STEPH: Sure. This is from "The Count's Lair," a paranormal romance set in Budapest, Hungary during Christmas 1901.
Amelia went inside. The room was cast in obsidian shadows by a single candle burning on her dressing room table. The air was laced with the scent of mulberries. She grew warm. Her heart beat faster. Her defenses cracked.
"Anton?" she whispered.
He stepped out of the darkness behind her, placing his hands on her upper arms, pressing his chest against her back. His lips brushed against her ear, sending a shockwave through her. "You look wonderful tonight, Amelia."
She dared to close her eyes and enjoy his embrace. "Anton."
"Yes, it's me."
Warm feelings of longing stirred within her, only to be quickly doused by the sting of anger at his sudden departure. She stepped out of their embrace and spun to glare at him. "How dare you."
He backed away, confusion pooling in his unusual eyes. "I thought--"
"You thought what?"
"That you'd want to see me."
"It's been two months since I last saw you, and you didn't even try to seek me out. I had no idea if you were dead, alive, or just too busy with your life to think of me."
"I'm sorry." His expression softened. "I had hoped to avoid the cool look in your eyes just now."
Exasperated, she let out a quick breath. "You're infuriating."
"So I've been told."
She crossed her arms and struggled to keep her crumbling battlements up. He had a lot to explain. The candlelight cast dark, almost satyr-like shadows over his chiseled face. If his explanation made sense, she'd will her heart to believe him. "So, Anton, how do you explain your absence? I thought I'd found a friend."
He paused and drew in a deep breath. His eyes grew translucent. "I am sorry. I had a lot to think about. I thought you would understand. I wanted to give you time to mourn your husband properly."
"I also wanted to clear my head."
YOU TUBE BOOK TRAILER:
The Count's Lair is avail as ebook for Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony Ereader, and Kobo. You can also download a copy from the Publisher's Website at:
Good Time: Leave me a comment and I'll be back tomorrow to give away a print copy of my sweet military romance, "Destination: Berlin."
Thanks for coming, Steph. Your book sounds like a page turner to me.