Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Whispers with Stephanie Burkhart

StephanieBurkhart-TheSecretDoorWelcome to my first Wednesday Whispers – where I’ll be chatting briefly with writers about their lights in the dark.

Today I’m glad to host author
Stephanie Burkhart. You’ll find her bio at the end, along with where you can find her work.

Stephanie was happy to turn this interview over to the hero of her newest release, The Secret Door, book four of the Budapest Moon series. Let me introduce you to Lord Zoltan Kristos by asking him a few questions:

EMK: Lord Kristos, since your story is set in Budapest, I’d first like to ask if there is anything about the Hungarian city that makes your life more difficult?

Zoltan: Budapest is a city that never sleeps and I have a very important job in the government– I'm the Minister of the Interior. The Regent, Miklós Horthy, is the closest man I have to a 'friend,' but I always have to be on my guard around him and others. I'm a werewolf. It's a secret I must keep from the world or I would lose everything I've worked so hard to earn. I must constantly be on guard when I'm in the city and when the moon is full in Budapest, I keep to myself in my residence, Darkhölme.

EMK: Ah, and what do you like best about Budapest?

Zoltan: That it never sleeps. There's always something to do. Budapest is home to Hungary's budding movie industry and I like going to the movies to escape from my problems, if just for a little bit.

EMK: You have help from a friend, so I hear, but even friends can have their dark side. What is Sophia’s worst feature or characteristic?

Zoltan: (chuckles) Sophia? A worst feature? Never. I love everything about her. (smiles) She can be quite obstinate – and stubborn – though. I find the trait endearing. She makes me see outside my world. She takes me to places that are uncomfortable.

EMK: What is her best feature?

Zoltan: Her aura. The light that surrounds her sooths my soul – it tames my restlessness – it calms me. I've never known that feeling of peace until meeting her.

EMK: She sounds like a wonderful partner. So what does Sophia have to deal with on the other side of the coin? What is your own worst characteristic?

Zoltan: If I dwell on my problems, I can be very demanding. I'm used to getting my own way and when I don't get my way I can become very 'bossy,' as Sophia puts it.

EMK: What is your best?

Zoltan: It is not easy for me to trust – trusting Sophia is the hardest thing I've ever done. Allowing myself to trust her has allowed me to see the world in a better light.

EMK: Finally, when the tunnel feels too dark to crawl out of, what makes you keep going?

Zoltan: Knowing that others depend on me. When the Great War ended, I traveled from the front lines in Germany to Hungary on foot because I knew I had to get back home. My father needed me to help him, but on the way, I was attacked by wolves who turned me into a werewolf. I was scared, but I knew my father would accept me regardless, only when I got home to Miskolc, my father and sisters were on their death beds from influenza. Thank the Heavens for Konrad. He was my father's friend and discovered I was a werewolf. He accepted me for what I was and helped me to bury my family. My father owned a store, Kos, that employed a lot of people, but the Communists who took over Miskolc confiscated everything everyone in the city owned. I had to help them. They depended on my family for security and I was all they had left. I helped them regain our city back. My hard work in helping Miskolc recover from the war was noticed by the Regent who asked me to become the Minister of Reconstruction and then the Minister of the Interior. His confidence in me inspired me. I wasn't just helping my city now, I was helping my nation. Still, I needed help to deal with the full moon. It wasn't easy finding a witch to attend to my needs, but Inna came into my life just when I needed her. I kept her safe and she taught me how to deal with my lupine condition. Then there's Sophia – her light drives to me go outside of my comfort zone and meet the challenges I encounter now.

EMK: Thank you, Lord Zoltan Kristos, for spending some time with us.

If you’d like to find more of Zoltan and Sophia’s story, you can find The Secret Door by Stephanie Burkhart on the publisher’s site, with excerpt and reviews, or from most major ebook retailers.

StephanieBurkhartStephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire she now lives in Castaic, CA. She spent 11 years in the US Army as an MP (military police), and earned a BS in Political Science from California Baptist University. She loves chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She enjoys being a cub/boy scout mom and just signed up to be an assistant den leader for her son's Tiger den.


Friday, April 19, 2013

4 Day Contemporary Book Fair

I’m glad to be part of Romancing The Blog’s celebration of Contemporary Fiction. There are 22 of us in different contemp genres, so be sure to go look around!

I’ll choose a winner from the comments here to win a copy of Pier Lights as a thank you for coming to play. Either leave an email address or check back on Tuesday to see who won.

Here’s my debut novel, Pier Lights. It is first of a series of dancers in lighthouse locations.


Caroline was a relevé away from becoming prima ballerina when, partly due to her own actions, she was damaged enough to never be allowed en Pointe again. Returning to her hometown area, she finds a grittier dancing job and determines to land on top this time.

Dio hides away on his farm near Charleston, South Carolina, and ventures out only when he can be in disguise. He uses his swordsman skills to work out aggression and connect with others while he maintains distance.

When the two collide on the beach in the glow of the lights from the pier, their personal scars push them away, and pull them in, just as the ebb and flow of the Atlantic.


A sparkle in the water caught her eyes and she paused, then wandered closer, slowly. He was there. Out farther in the water and harder to see. But he was there. Caroline got as close as she could and spread her towel on the sand. Lowering, again slowly, so as not to catch his eye the way he’d caught hers, she crossed her left leg in front of her, the right leg out straight, and gazed out at his motion, his elegance, his skill. His dance.

He was a Man of La Mancha dancer except with more focus on the sword movements than on the dance techniques. Caroline frowned. Maybe that wasn’t true. The dance technique for him was the sword movement. The sword was an extension of him. His skill was every bit as trained as her own, his body every bit as controlled and precise. He would be a good dance partner.

And if his big sword, the shiny hard long extension of his body, was any clue as to the rest of him, he might be good at other things, also. She was tempted to swim over to his boat and find out.

Then again, he could be as much putty and bluster as nearly every other man she’d met. Better to admire him from a distance and make believe he would be worth sleeping beside, worth her energy and patience and skill.

Not that she was terribly skilled in that way. She had other skills she cared more about and skill in that department wasn’t terribly necessary, that she’d found. As long as she complimented her mate, she came off as skilled enough. They cared more about their own skill, real or not, than hers. She just had to be there.

Putty and bluster.

Maybe Mr. Big Sword wouldn’t be either. But some things were better left unknown.

She needed to leave. A yawn told her she’d reached her limit for the day’s energy. Rising slowly, still watching the man she could barely see, she froze when he stopped. He set the tip of his sword down, again between his slightly spread thighs, or just in front of them. And he stood still, faced her direction.

Read the beginning Here

Check the early reviews

Pier Lights
Ella M. Kaye
$1.99 Sensual/Spicy Contemporary Romance 
Buy Links

Monday, April 15, 2013

Magic Moment Monday: spring garden

Spring flowers

That moment,
not officially the first spring day,
but that day
when it’s warm enough
and the forecast
is promising enough…

and the sun shines heavenly.

Sore, aching muscles
and renewed.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Magic Moment Monday: Kellie’s dance for love

Dance is far more than a sport. It’s more than strength and stamina and balance and technique and work and more work and sacrifice and competition. Dance is expression. It’s art.

A dancer can have perfect technique, perfect choreography, perfect lines … and still not truly touch her audience. In order to touch, you have to be touched. In order to truly love what you’re doing, you have to truly love who are and why you’re doing it. In order to have others truly love what you’re doing, you have to love it first, and love it deeply.

Kellie Pickler’s dance on Monday night’s DWTS as her husband sang a song he wrote to her was a truly Magical dance. You can see her feel the song, the emotions, the movement, the dance.

Making the viewer, or the reader, truly see and feel the emotion… that’s true art.

And then we get the added emotion of that sweet kiss at the end, where she had to be called away from him because she was so lost in the moment.

That’s true romance.