Saturday, May 1, 2010

Welcome, Stephanie Burkhart

With great pleasure, I introduce my friend Stephanie Burkhart who is a seasoned author, master blogger, and honest reviewer. She has led an interesting life serving seven years in the U.S. Army in Germany (1986-1997); received a degree in Political Science in 1995; and now lives in California and works for LAPD’s communication Division as a 911 Dispatcher. She is married with two young sons, and if that weren’t enough, she now has a career as a romance author. How does she do it?

Steph, where do you get your energy, your drive, and your perpetual enthusiasm? How do you juggle all facets of your demanding life?

Celia, it isn't easy. I'm an enthusiastic person by nature. Everything is a challenge to be explored and lived to the fullest. Writing is a passion, it's in the blood, and it’s the energy that fuels me. That and coffee. *smiles*

You have an enviable attitude, my dear. What is one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

I got married in Denmark in 1991. I've been married 18 years now. My marriage certificate is in 5 different languages.

Wow! Now, that’s different. I noticed you write under two names—Stephanie Burkhart and S. G. Cardin. Will you explain why?

I always wanted to be published under my maiden name when I started writing so I used SG Cardin. My friends at work would tease me – "Why don't you use Burkhart?" When I signed with Desert Breeze, I figured it was time for a change and why not use Burkhart?

Thanks for clearing up that question. Steph, your newest release, The Hungarian, sounds very exciting and sensual. Where did you get the idea for a novel about a Hungarian?

I'm on and I found a prompt for a writing contest: Write a short story about a werewolf that falls in love. I wrote "The Wolf's Kiss." In it, Matthias is a Hungarian Count and werewolf and hired Katherine as a nanny for his young daughter. I submitted it to the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest in 2007. Out of 3,000 entries, it was an honorable mention winner in the Romance Category. From there, I decided to expand it into a novel.

Very interesting way to write a book. Tell us about the time period, genre, and location.

The novel takes place in 1901. I chose this time period because I'm very interested it. The old world was clashing with the new. Cars mingled with horse and buggies. The train was a great way to travel, but airplanes were just being discovered. Medicine was improving by leaps and bounds. Imperialism fever had taken over Europe. It was the last glory days of monarchy and nobility as we knew it. Fascinating stuff! At least to me. *grin*

Definitely fascinating, and not a time period we see often. I know you recently had a contest on your blog to choose actors who might play your hero and heroine. So, who won to play lovely Katherine Archibald and handsome Matthias Dumas?

I chose Jonathon Rhys-Meyers for Count Matthias Duma. I saw his work on "The Tudors" and I loved it. He has an intensity that I envision for Matthias. He wears nobility well and he has such smoldering, sexy eyes – a big requirement for the character. Matthias's eyes are very distinct and stick out since he's a werewolf.

For Katherine, I chose a newer actress, Justine Cotsonas. She was on the soap opera "As The World Turns" as Sophie. She has the long curly hair that the character has. She also has that innocent, vulnerable look to her.

I absolutely love your chosen actors. The artwork for the cover is outstanding. Who is the artist?

Jenifer Ranieri. She's the cover artist for Desert Breeze Publishing. I loved working with Jenifer to come up with the cover. She listened to my ideas, which I really appreciated. I wanted something that would represent Budapest and nothing does that better than the Széchenyi Bridge. The eyes are representative of Matthias's wolf eyes.

Steph sent along a condensed version of the plot.

Katherine Archibald is in search of a grand adventure. A young woman in late Victorian England, she wants to open up a bookstore in London and travel Europe hunting down rare books. Love isn't on her map.

Enter Matthias Duma. The Hungarian count captures Katherine's attention like no other man before him with his unusual gold-malachite eyes, his exotic features, and his command of the night sky.

After a night of intrigue during Katherine's birthday, she discovers the map does include love in the legend, but will the map lead her to Budapest and the dark, brooding Hungarian she's just met?

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."

Steph, I thank you so much for visiting my blog today and giving us this enticing information about THE HUNGARIAN. Where can we purchase your book?
Amazon for Kindle
Stephanie, thank you for taking time out of your full and busy life to visit my blog today. Would you like to give your readers a message?

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy the story.
POSTED by Celia Yeary, Romance Author  


  1. Celia, thanks so much for having me. I always love visiting you. I'll be giving out two autographed postcards of the cover to two lucky posters today. :)


  2. Good morning, Steph--I just now posted my message on my loops. Remember, I'll leave this up 3-4 days to give our friends a chance to comment. Everyone's so busy these days! The spring weather keeps us outdoors--where I've been all morning. See you later--Celia

  3. Nice interview. Always interesting to see who a writer might pick as thier characters. I have mine in my head for each book I write.


  4. Hey Steph and Celia, Great interview. Steph, I'd blanked about you being a 911 dispatcher. Oh the stories you could probably tell. And knowing that about you, I know that you are cool under fire. You'd have to be to thrive in that environment. Congratulations on all your accomplishments with family, day job and writing. Looking forward to reading The Hungarian.

  5. Stephanie and Celia,

    Lovely interview. I loved the cover art for the story. The excerpt drew me right in. You have quite the charming character in Matthias.

    Good luck with the work.

  6. Those WDC contest prompts are incredibly inspirational, aren't they? ;-)

    Glad this one worked out for you so well!

  7. Steph, I do think you cast this perfectly. So excited to read this!

  8. Thanks everyone! It's great to see you here. I'm off to work but I'll be checking in from time to time. I love casting my characters. For me, it's added inspiration.


  9. Hi, Celia and Steph,

    I really enjoyed this interview. I don't think I've heard the "story behind the story" yet. And yes, Matthias is quite the charmer.

  10. Congrats to Redameter and EA on winning my postcard draw. Send me an email with your snail mail and I'll send you an autographed postcard of the cover for "The Hungarian!"

    Thanks again to everyone who popped in.


  11. This was a fun and informative interveiw! I liked the look of the actor/actress - I don't watch much TV so I don't know them.

    I like how you developed Matthias. Sounds like a story I might like to read!

  12. This looks like a great story!
    My WOW is here
    and my W...W...W... is here
    Happy Reading!