Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog Tour: The Hungarian Blog Tour with Stephanie Burkhart

IMG_0266.JPG



steph2.jpg


Blog Post #1 for "The Hungarian" Blog Tour
Pen & The Muse


Paranormal Inspiration

I'm excited to be here at the Pen and The Muse, my first stop on my mini blog tour for "The Hungarian." My thanks to Denise and the ladies here for having me today.

Beware. The wolf is coming.

hungarianmedium.jpg

"The Hungarian," my latest paranormal release is set in 1901 at the turn of the 20th Century when industrialization clashed with old world myths. Hungarian Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald, he risks everything for her love.

Nothing highlights the new/old world clash as the locations in the book. The first half of the book is set in industrialized England and the second half is set in Budapest, Hungary, still steeped in old world customs and myths.

"The Hungarian" was born out of a simple prompt; write a story about a werewolf who falls in love. I wrote a short story called "The Wolf's Kiss." Hungarian Count, Matthias Duma, hires a British nanny for his young daughter and falls in love with her. The conflict: he's a werewolf. It was well received and was an Honorable Mention Winner in the 2007 Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest. From there, the story grew to novel proportions. *grin*

After a first draft that was best left in the draft box, I fine-tuned the story and submitted it to Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze. She liked it but said, "Can you write it in the third person?"

"Sure," I said. "The Hungarian" was born. I learned a lot from this experience and I can honestly say patience and persistence pays off.

What attracted me to paranormal romance was the challenge of it. A paranormal can be set in the past, present, or future, in a modern setting or a medieval setting. You can be creative and original as you want, filling your world with your own myths and legends.

Paranormal romance is an outgrowth of the gothic genre and I grew up reading gothic authors, to include Victoria Holt, the Mistress of Gothic Romance. So, for me, paranormal romance is an outgrowth of my gothic roots.

Werewolves have always fascinated me more than vampires, simply because they're alive – they're living, and breathing, and deliciously human. If you follow traditional werewolf myths, the man is only a wolf during the full moon. If a lunar cycle is 28 days, than a person is human 26 days of that cycle. It's how the man carries his curse of lycanthropy which fascinates me. Does he avoid people? Does he bear his curse with dignity? Is he quiet? Moody? Dare he fall in love? How Matthias bears his curse – how he psychology handles being a wolf was what I found exhilarating to write. Notice the title – "The Hungarian." The focus is on the man, not the wolf.

Here's an excerpt:

The door squeaked open. 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 began to quietly walk toward the window. 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. Finally, 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.

"Hello."

"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."

He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."

"Me?"

"Who else is here?"

Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled, and walked over 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."

Check out "The Hungarian's" Book Trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Goodie Time:

I'll pick two winners out of those who post on today's blog to receive an autographed postcard of "The Hungarian's" Cover.

To qualify for the GRAND prize: You have to post on every blog in the tour. I'll put your name into the "hat." Then I'll pick the Grand Prize Winner's name out of the hat.

The GRAND prize: A coffee mug with "The Hungarian's" cover, a mousepad with the cover, magnets, and a set of autographed postcards.


The Hungarian Releases on 1 MAY 2010 with Desert Breeze Publishing. Here's a link to the site: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-87/%3Ci%3EBudapest-Moon-Book-One%3C-fdsh-i%3E-cln-/Detail.bok

8 comments:

  1. I love werewolves, too, (Go team Jacob!!!) and so prefer the hot-blooded monsters to the cold, dead ones.

    Your books sounds fascinating and love your story of its path to publication. The cover gives me chills!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steph, Your Matthias sounds especially intriguing. I like the flirtacious banter between your characters in your excerpt. It piqued my interest. And I was a big fan of Victoria Holt novels as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Keena and Maggie, it's so nice to see you pop in!!

    Sign me up for Team Jacob! And let me tell you, Keena, my wolves are hot! Their body temperature runs higher than the average man.

    Maggie, I'm glad the excerpt piqued your interest. I've got a nice variety of excerpts throughout the blog tour.

    Nice to see another Victoria Holt fan.

    Smiles
    Steph

    ReplyDelete
  4. Morgan,
    I love the wolf-like prowess. hehe. Thanks for popping in, Sweetie. I agree - the cover rocks!

    Smiles
    Steph

    ReplyDelete
  5. STEPH--wow! this is a gorgeous blog. An eye-popper with my favorite colors. Lucky you to be a guest here. Good luck with your Hungarian--I'll see you on my blog May 2! Celia

    ReplyDelete
  6. Steph, I enjoyed reading your reasons for loving to explore werewolves. Best of luck with your newest!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very nice excerpt. Very subtle. I'm late, as usual, but enjoyed reading the story behind the story. All the best to you, Steph, with The Hungarian.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's strange that this was so long ago. I guess my TBR pile goes farther back than I expected! :-)

    ReplyDelete