Monday, May 21, 2012

Stephanie Burkhart's Ingredients for an Intriguing Fantasy!

KAREN: Stephanie Burkhart pens tales for Desert Breeze Publishing, 4RV Publishing and Publishing with Rebecca J. Vickery. Whether your reading fancy is contemporary, paranormal or a fantasy, her tales are sure to keep the readers intrigued. Stephanie is here today to give us a sneak peek of her new release, THE GREEN ROSE and how this magical fantasy became the story it is today.


Ingredients for a Fantasy

1 pinch of honey
1 silver spoon
a bouquet of flowers, preferably green roses
a couple of swords and dragons
and a healthy imagination.

Mix well, and don't forget the magic to hold it all together and you've got: The Green Rose.  J

My latest release is "The Green Rose," a fantasy romance, but the inspiration for this story came from a very simple writing prompt.

One place that I enjoy hanging out and that has really helped me grow as a writer is  I've been a member since 2004 and a Moderator since 2007. It's a wonderful source of information for new and aspiring writers. In fact, I'm one of the editors on the Romance/Love Newsletter.  You can find my "port" at:

On occasion, I like to participate in the contests offered at I was cruising the contest list in 2008 when I found one that intrigued me. The prompt was simple: write a story about a flower, a spoon, and honey.

I knew right away I wanted to write a fantasy story with those ingredients. Magic would be the "egg" that held the story together. I wrote a 1,000 word story where the hero, Ivánstan, approaches three witches to ask them for the green rose. Before they give it to him, he has to solve a riddle. Can Ivánstan outwit the witches?

The short story was well received on, earning a 10K Awardicon. It was such fun to write, I knew I wanted to expand on it. In 2010, I approached Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze and showed her the story. She offered it a contract.

The last couple of ingredients fell into place with "Game of Thrones." Last year HBO released season one and I fell in love with the visual presentation of the series. (and Daenerys' dragons!) Now that I had the visual setting for "The Green Rose," I was ready to write Ivánstan's story.


5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down.

Stephenia Mcgee, Author "A Legacy of Lies"
Stephanie Burkhart weaves a delightful blend of action, intrigue and adventure into her fantasy romance, The Green Rose.

Regina Andrews, Author of "Destiny's Designs"
"The Green Rose" reaches the reader on an emotional level that rings very true and very sincere.

Eight hundred years ago on the continent of Gaia, war rocked the countries of N'Gasse, Tapin, Daháka, and Ravenrock. The fearsome wyldebeasts of the black east threatened to destroy the known world. King Xeres of Daháka gathered the most powerful magicians of Gaia along with Queen Rhysia of N'Gasse, King Erik of Ravenrock, and Nyla, the High Priestess of Tapin at Komodo Field.

Daháka brought pollen taken from the bees of the Tagrassé Forest. N'Gasse brought sap from the old mahogany trees. Tapin presented dust from falcon eggs. Ravenrock offered a rose. Together, they forged the indestructible green rose, a harbinger of powerful magic.

Using the green rose, the nobles and peoples of Gaia fought the wyldebeasts, led by the dark wizard, Augustin. Once the evil threat was defeated, the Eastern Wall was built along Ravenrock's borders to keep the foul wyldebeasts out of Gaia. Ravenrock was given the responsibility of guarding the 50,000 kilometer granite barrier.

King Xeres feared those who harbored evil in their hearts would seek the green rose. He tasked three witches to guard the flower and sent them into the heart of Tagrassé Forest.

Now, hundreds of years later, the peace of Gaia is once again threatened.

Enjoy this excerpt:
"Ivánstan, look." Sonia pointed. In the distance, the river widened. A small island came into view. Several birch trees and bushes surrounded a sturdy looking brick house with a distended chimney.

"Ah, the witches. Draco, stay close. We don't want to upset them."


"I sense an unusual warmth inviting us closer, perhaps?"

"I do as well. I believe it's an enchantment."

"Alerting the witches?"

"Aye." He paused. "Well done, by the way -- reaching out with your magical senses."

"I have a skilled teacher."

"Thank you, but I think you'll find the more you use magic, the more you grow comfortable with it."

The island grew closer, but Ivánstan couldn't find any activity with his eyesight. Where were the witches?

A small dock came into view on the northeast corner of the island. Ivánstan and Sonia guided their horses to a spot across from the island docks. He motioned to stop and dismounted. Sonia did the same.

"Draco, stay close to us. Don't approach the isle."

His dragon landed next to Sonia.

"What now?" she asked.

"I'm not quite sure. How do we obtain the witches' attention?" He scrubbed his hand across the back of his neck.

He didn't have to ponder the question long. The ropes securing a boat to the dock began to unravel, and the small vessel journeyed across the water, coming to rest alongside the shore. Ivánstan glanced across the water toward the brick house. The chimney began puffing smoke, but he did not see any witches.

"I wonder why they stay in the house?" Sonia mused.

"Curious. Certainly the boat is an invitation to the island." Ivánstan led his horse to a nearby tree and Sonia did the same.

"Draco, stay here."

His dragon snorted.

"Hiro, I want you to stay as well and watch over the horses," said Sonia. The falcon flew off her shoulder and perched on a nearby tree limb.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

Ivánstan steeled his shoulders before stepping into the boat. He held out his hand to Sonia. Their eyes locked. The weight of the moment washed over him. He could not leave without the rose.

Sonia's grasp was firm, but the second she placed her foot on the wood, she flew backward and landed on the dirt. Quickly, she scampered to her feet.

Book Trailer:

The Green Rose is available as an ebook only.

PUBLISHER'S SITE Desert Breeze Publishing


About the author: Stephanie is a member of Generation X, and was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, the U.S. Army gave her a job. She spent eleven years in the military, seven stationed in Germany. After leaving the Army in 1997, she settled in California. 

FIND Stephanie Burkhart ON THE WEB AT:







Jillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Having read this one, I can say that it's wonderful. Steph is very talented and this story shows that again.

Maggie Toussaint said... Best Blogger Tips

How cool that the story originated from a writing prompt. Your bookcover is splendid and the story is intriguing.

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, thanks so much for having me here today. I always enjoy visiting you. Jillian, you are the bestest, Sweetie. You know I can't catch my own typos to save my life so I appreciat you taking a proofreading look at my stories. ((hugs))

Maggie, I've learned inspiration doesn't come from the typicial places with me. hehe. The book cover is dazzling, isn't it?


Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Steph,

I've never read anything with dragons. Your story sounds really good. Love the book cover. Very eye-catching. :)

I always love to know. Is this going to be a series or just one book?

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning Everyone! Thanks for joining us.


It is my pleasure to have you here. Love your Budapest Moon books and your steampunk adventure, Victorian Scoundrel. I'm sure to love this book as well.

And the cover-- Beautiful!

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Cathy, it's a stand alone book. I hadn't planned on a series, but it certainly can be expanded into one if there's enough readers who shout out for it.

:) Steph

Karen, I enjoy your stories as well. I love your paranormal/steampunk stuff. We're writing sisters of the heart. hehe


Linda Andrews said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! I can't believe you came up with a short story based on 3 items. Do you find it harder to write short stories or full length novels?

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Linda, I find it harder to write the full length novels. There's a lot more involved. I "cut" my craft on short stories. They come pretty easy to me.


Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Stephanie,

Your story sounds really good. I'll have to add it my Wish List. It keeps growing.

I loved Game of Throne. Though they killed off some of my favorite characters on the first season.

Mae Clair said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the legend you've built behind the Green Rose. So vivid and imaginative. I haven't read fantasy in several years but this sounds like such a great, intriguing read, I may have to dive into the genre again!

Wonderful post!

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Katrina, I need to catch up on this season of Game of Thrones. It's been a busy spring, but I have to admit, I was pretty bummed with Ned was killed in season 1. I loved his character!

Mae, I had such a fun time writing this story. It flowed very well and practically wrote itself.


Mona Risk said... Best Blogger Tips

Lovely. I enjoyed the trailer and the excerpt. And the book cover is gorgeous. You are a talented writer.

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Mona, Caina did a wonderful job on the cover.

LK Hunsaker said... Best Blogger Tips

Steph, have to love those WDC prompts and where they sometimes lead! Kudos for this one leading so far. :-)

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Lorraine, i love being on WDC. It's really a great place to help an aspiring writer.