Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome Author Stephanie Burkhart

I just want to thank Vijaya for having me here today. She's helped to invigorate my love of Sci-Fi and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I tried out Caprica because she mentioned it in a recent interview and now I'm watching the new Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.

Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH and at 18, I joined the military, serving in the army as an MP. I spent 7 years total overseas in Germany. While in the military I earned a BS in Political Science. After leaving the military, I settled in California and I now work as a dispatcher answering 911 for LAPD. My first book, "Destination: Berlin" was released in 2001 and is a "sweet" military romance suspense.

My latest release, "The Hungarian," Book One in the Budapest Moon Series doesn't involve any big cats *grin*, but it does involve a big dog and fur.

"The Hungarian" is a paranormal romance set in 1901 and takes place in England and Hungary. Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald, he risks everything, including his secret, for her love.

Matthias's secret? He's a werewolf. As he was traveling back to his manor after watching a play in FonyĆ³d with his first wife, Beth, wolves attacked him. His wife was killed and Matthias was bitten, made into a mythical creature of the moon.

Werewolves have been a part of myths and cultures since the early civilizations of man. In ancient Greece, one legend tells us how King Lycan fed the gods human flesh. Enraged, the gods turned him into a werewolf since it would make it easier for Lycan to feed on the human flesh he desired.

Werewolves are generally shape shifters. Once a werewolf, most written legends talk about wolves shifting at will. In "The Hungarian," Matthias can only change during the full moon. It allows for a fuller characterization of the man, not the wolf.

Once becoming a wolf, a man had heightened senses – strength, eyesight, and smell, which Matthias does.

Interestingly, the curse of lycanthropy was thought to be divine punishment in the Catholic Church. They burned werewolves at the stake.

Burning at the stake sounds a little gruesome to me. In the "Budapest Moon Series," silver poisoning is my preferred method of doing a werewolf harm. It's less gruesome.

Matthias does his best to bear with his condition. He's not looking for love. When he meets Katherine, the forces that bring them together make it impossible for Matthias to distance himself from her. Now he's got a real challenge. How does he tell the woman he's in love with he's a mythical creature called a werewolf? That's the fun of the story!


He held up the ring. "Before you say yes, I have one last thing to tell you. This is not easy for me to talk about since it is the cause of my affliction. It's a secret that my household and I have strived to hide well, but was almost compromised with your recent visit."

"Secret?" She and Liz suspected there was one.

"My wife didn't die in a carriage accident. When the wolves attacked, they overturned the carriage, and it was the easiest way to explain what happened."

"I see."

"The wolves that attacked us were no ordinary wolves," he paused. "They were werewolves."

"Werewolves?" Had she heard him right? A cool breeze tingled her spine, heightening her senses.

"Yes. Do you know what they are?"

She shivered. "Half-men, half-wolves?"

"No, they're men for the most part, but when the moon is full, they turn into wolves, roaming the night in search of prey that will satisfy them until the next full moon. These particular wolves that attacked us were in a band of gypsies passing through on their way to Ternitz. They killed my wife. Her death gave them satisfaction, and with the power of their bite, they made me a wolf. Every full moon, I transform."

Katherine slowly backed away from him. How could such creatures exist? Was he a monster? A beast? She couldn't believe that. She'd come to know him as a vital and healthy man. "No," she whispered as a slow, numbing shock washed over her. "No."

He lunged out and grabbed her wrist, holding it tightly. "That's why I have a scar on my temple -- a tell-tale mark left by my attackers. Their bite also left me with unusual translucent eyes -- wolf eyes. It's also why I hate the moon. Yes, my wife died under a full moon, but I was made into a beast that night. I'm constantly aware of what phase it's in. As the moon changes, so do I. I'm even-tempered and close to my previous disposition when there's a new moon. As the moon grows, it gets harder to check the intense emotions that grow inside me. When the moon is full, I'm a wolf during the night. During the day, I am a man, but incapacitated. After the full moon, as it wanes, I'm better able to temper my emotions."

Goodie Time: I'll be giving away two autographed postcards of the cover to two lucky posters. To be eligible to win, just post. I'll pick the winners out of a hat and announce the winners on the blog no later than the next day.

Link to the Book Trailer:

Links for the Books:

Desert Breeze Website:

All Romance Books

Amazon for Kindle
Visit Stephanie at:
Romance Under the Moonlight Blog


Shawna Williams said...

Hi Steph! Another great interview! I love your blog, Vijaya.

Patti said...

Silver poisoning! Besides less gruesome, a clever way to deal with the "silver bullet"! Lovely interview Ms. Stephanie!

StephB said...

*waves* Hi! Thanks for popping in, Shawna and Patti. I agree - silver poisioning - less gruesome, more "romantic."


Maggie Toussaint said...

I sure hope Katherine comes to her senses! I've sure enjoyed your blog series, Steph.

Best wishes, Maggie

Alexis Walker said...

Hi Stephanie,

You grew up in Manchester? I went to West High School! Great to see an author from New Hampshire getting published. Your story sounds very interesting. I like how you stick to, what I think of, as the original legend. But then again, I imagine their are many legends about werewolves :-)

liana laverentz said...

Popping in to say hi at the end of the day. Looking forward to hosting you on Thursday at my blog.

All the best,