***Contest: Stephanie is offering a wonderful goodies. Be sure to read on and find out how you can be the winner!
Karen: Let's start by telling the readers a little about yourself.
Steph: Sure. First, thanks so much for having me today. I've a read a few short stories written by you and your steampunk inspired "Storm Riders" has to be one of my favorites.
Karen: I'm so glad you enjoyed my shorts. Storm Riders is one of my favorites. :) Thanks so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me.
Steph: Just a little about me:
I was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now call California my home. I spent several years in the U.S. Army as an MP. Now, I'm a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. I write paranormal, steampunk, contemporary, and fantasy as well as childrens' books. I'm addicted to chocolate and hooked on coffee.
Karen: Your new release is Danube in Candlelight. This is Book 3 in the Budapest Moon Series. Can you tell the readers about the series?
Steph: I set the Budapest Moon series in Budapest, Hungary because I'd like to think it's the one place were you would believe a werewolf exists. I had an opportunity to go to Budapest in 1997 and I fell in love with the city. It's architecture embodies the essence of the turn of the 20th Century. The Danube River divides the city with Pest harboring the downtown area, Parliament, Opera House, and train station. Buda is on a hill overlooking the river and the King's Castle can be found there along with the St. Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastian. The Széchenyi Bridge is the oldest suspension bridge in the world, originally constructed in the 1840's. Budapest strikes a beautiful ambience between old world charm and modern day functionality. I knew that the city would one day make a great paranormal setting so when I conceived the Budapest Moon series, I decided it was time to use it.
The time frame of the series is from 1901-1922. The series itself focuses on two werewolf families, the Dumas and the Vargas and how they reconcile their human natures to the feral pull of the wolf.
I stick to more traditional myths such as silver can poison wolves and the wolves only turn during the full moon. This allows me to really draw out the humanity in my paranormal creatures.
Karen: Do the books need to be read in order?
Steph: No. Each book in the series is a stand alone book, focusing on a particular couple.
Karen: What are the other books in the series?
Steph: Book 1 is "The Hungarian." It's set in 1901. The main couple is Matthias Duma and Katherine Archibald. Matthias is a werewolf and absolutely does not want to fall in love, but Katherine quickly gets under his skin. Against his better judgment he draws her into his world. Can she accept him for what he is?
Book 2 is "The Count's Lair." It's also set in 1901. The book's love story focuses on Anton Varga and Amelia Andrassy. Anton was the foil in book 1, so he has some issues to resolve. Amelia helps him work out his problems. Anton is concerned Amelia won't accept him for the wolf he is. She agrees to his courtship, but has to determine his secret from 3 clues he'll give her. Will the power of love allow her to believe? The Count's Lair was nominated for Book of the Week with Long and Short and won a silver ribbon in the Reader's Favorite 2011 Romance: Sci-Fi/Fantasy category.
Karen: How many books are slated for the series?
Steph: Right now, four. Book 4, The Secret Door, will be released in late 2012 and will focus on Sophia Varga and Zoltan Kristos as the couple.
Karen: Morgan Duma is the heroine of Danube in Candlelight. She's known Adam Varga since she was a little girl. What's she like?
Steph: Morgan grew up knowing that her parents loved each other very much. In a way, growing up for her had a fairytale quality. She learned piano, dance, and excelled in her studies. Then World War I struck. Morgan is sent to England just as she's turning 18. In England, she becomes a nurse and sees some truly horrific things. When she returns to Hungary she hopes to find the innocence she left behind, but realizes that way of life is now gone.
Karen: What was her first impression of Adam when she was young?
Steph: Katherine and Amelia were friends and raised Morgan and Adam in that type of environment. They were peas in a pod, going to the same schools, learning the piano together – event taking dance lessons with each other. They even shared the same unique golden eyes. Morgan and Adam nurtured an honest and genuine friendship.
Karen: What does she think of him as an adult?
Steph: Morgan's feelings are far more complex now. Right before she left Hungary, she realized her feelings for Adam were deep. Now that she's back, she hopes to explore a more adult relationship with him, however, that exploration has a feral edge to it.
Karen: Tell us a little about Adam Varga. What are his strengths? His weaknesses?
Steph: Adam is an honest, straight forward guy. What you see is what you get. He loves his family. He'll do anything for those he loves. His weakness is being too trusting. People can take advantage of him. Certainly, he doesn't realize how dangerous Zoltan is until its too late.
Karen: What does he think of Morgan Duma?
Steph: He's head over heals in love with Morgan. There's nothing more compelling that falling in love with your best friend, but Morgan's restlessness drives him mad.
Karen: Out of all your characters in this series, do you have a favorite? Why?
Steph: Anton. He had it tough growing up and then he's bitten by a wolf. Amelia's love is a true reward for him.
Karen: What are your current projects and works in progress?
Steph: Here's what I have coming up:
Feast of Candles, contemporary romance, 1 NOV 2011.
This is my short story in the Victory Tales Press: A Christmas Collection 2011 Sensual/Spicy. Drakes travels 9,000 miles to meet Lily Marquand, the owner of a Napa Valley vineyard. Can he convince her that Christmas wishes do come true?
The Faberge Secert, contemporary romance, 15 DEC 2011.
Elise Goodwin buys a rare Faberge egg, but soon realizes she's in danger. Can businessman Dimitri Romanov convince her he's the real owner and keep her safe from harm?
Twilight Over Moldavia, paranormal romance, 1 JAN 2012.
Good Prince Stefan has been cursed since infancy to become a werewolf. As he travels through Romania, Timon hunts him, determined to bring the curse to fruition. Can Caroline's love free him?
The Green Rose, fantasy romance, 1 APR 2012
Ivánstan of Daháka and Sonia of Tapin are thrust together on a quest to find the green rose when the peace of Gaia is threatened. Can Ivánstan break through the battlements surrounding Sonia's heart?
Karen: Wow, you are busy! Good for you.
I know you put a lot of research into your work. Do you have a favorite reference book or website?
Steph: I do a lot of online research, but I always keep "The Romance Writer's Phrase Book" within arm's reach.
Steph: I do a lot of online research, but I always keep "The Romance Writer's Phrase Book" within arm's reach.
Karen: Where can reader's find you?
FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
Steph: Now for the ****GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and tell me what European country you'd like to visit. I'll pick one lucky winner to receive a GC to Panera, a bag of chocolate, Autumn Leaves Yankee Candles, and a decorative fabric autumn themed pumpkin handcrafted by my talented friend, Lori Powell. The winner will also receive a PDF ARC of Danube in Candlelight. Don't for get to leave your email address to be entered. Contest ends on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8pm PST.
5 Stars, Reader's Favorites:
"This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!"
BLURB: Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.
After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, daring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.
ENJOY THIS EXCERPT: PG13
Morgan left her sister's room, with Adam following at a polite distance. When they got to her room, he lunged past her and opened the door. She entered, and he closed it behind them.
Heat sparked between their bodies. His nearness sent Morgan into a spiraling cascade of desire and need. She needed to feel him. Touch him. Brand him. She dropped the bag and pushed him against the wall, cupping his cheeks, drawing his lips to hers. She wanted him.
He groaned. She bit his lower lip gently. He squeezed her waist and tugged her toward him. He was so male, so bracing, she wanted to be next to him. She needed reassurance that he was all right. And she wanted him to know her attraction to him was serious.
He opened his mouth, and she swept her tongue inside. Their tongues mated in a wild dance. The passage between her thighs grew slick and wet.
Morgan pressed her body against his hard muscles. His thick thighs radiated power. She put her hands on his shoulders and trailed kisses over his jaw.
"Thank God you're all right," she murmured.
He twisted his hips, and his erection pressed into as it strained against his pants. Damn. He was long and rock hard. His maleness thrilled her.
He cupped the nape of her neck and forced her to look into his eyes. "I thought you were going to check my lungs."
"We both know your lungs are fine."
"Yeah. My lungs are fine." He grabbed her arms and spun her so she was pinned against the wall. She undid the first couple of buttons on her shirt, revealing her silk chemise.
He clenched his jaw, and his eyes sparked with pure, raw desire. The areolas on her breasts pebbled for him as rising pleasure pulsed through her body.
He gazed into her eyes and cupped her breast through her chemise. The gesture warmed her core. She ached for more.
She placed her hand over his and lifted her leg, allowing more access to his thigh. His eyes clouded with heavy desire. He tweaked her areola between his thumb and forefinger.
Morgan became lost in a sea of bliss. "Oh, Adam..."
His lips teased hers. Needing him, she reached around his back and squeezed his buttocks. He lowered his lips to her neck and suckled her flesh.
"Yes, Adam, yes. Only you. Only you..."
He kneaded her breast more forcefully. She trailed her hand to his waist, snaked it between their bodies, and rubbed his erection through his pants.
He pushed his hand between them and placed it over hers, stilling her actions.
"Whoa." His voice was firm.
She stopped, meeting his gaze. He looked so serious. "What's wrong?"
PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-219/Budapest-Moon-Book-III/Detail.bok
AMAZON KINDLE BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Hungarian-Moon-Book-Three-ebook/dp/B0061XJFG0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320188529&sr=1-1
BARNES & NOBLE NOOK BUY LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hungarian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1107039692?ean=2940013659148&itm=1&usri=danube%2bin%2bcandlelight
Karen: Stephanie, Thank you so much for being here today and sharing your new release with us. I wish you continued success!