Please let's welcome Stephanie Burkhart multipublished and award-winning author of paranormal romances set in beautiful Romania.

I'm excited about my latest release, "The Wolf's Torment." The story is set in Constanta, a city on the Moldavian coast snuggled up next to the Black Sea, in the 1860's. Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen returns from receiving an education in England. His father, King Stelian, is dying, yet has high expectations for Mihai. He must learn Moldavian politics, get married, and unite the Romanian principalities. It's overwhelming. Mihai does have help – his sister, Sonia, and his friend, Viktor. Mihai also has a secret – he's a witch. When Viktor is bitten by a werewolf, Mihai must find the strength and courage to keep his family safe. Will the love Mihai has for his wife, Theresa, help him find the strength and courage he needs to face the greatest threat he's ever known?

That's a tall order isn't it? So where did the inspiration come from for this story and how does it connect with readers?

I found the inspiration in early 2005. Juliet, my muse, said I had to write an epic. I talked her down to a 3 book series. –wink—


I actually wrote the sequel, "Twilight Over Moldavia" first. In that story, Prince Stefan is cursed to become a werewolf, but the kiss of a beautiful Princess will save him. It's a fairytale in reverse. When I finished, I knew I had to write the "prequel" – how did Prince Stefan come to be cursed? How could his parents do such a thing? The seeds for "The Wolf's Torment" were planted. When they sprouted, Mihai, my hero, was the good witch and Viktor was the bad werewolf. Viktor starts off a good man, but is forced to confront demons that threaten to destroy him.

This brings me to connection – how to make a historical paranormal connect. The setting maybe be exotic and invoke "a long time ago," and the creatures maybe fantastical, but they have very human issues to deal with.

Mihai's story is a coming of age one. Can he accept himself for who he is – a witch? Can Viktor overcome his inner demons? Will Sonia show true bravery in the face of danger? Will Theresa's steadfast love give Mihai the courage he needs? Can Theresa be patient when things don't quite happen as she expects them to?

Enjoy this excerpt:

Mihai's carriage stopped in front of the castle. The footman opened the door and he stepped out. It was a warm afternoon and he wanted to dedicate an hour to his tarot studies. Now, if only he could find those cards Beatrice had left behind.

"Mihai!"

He looked in the direction of the voice and saw Sonia escorted by Mrs. Nocesti. Smiling, he went to meet her. It warmed his heart to see his sister up and active.

"Sonia! You look well." Mihai embraced her.

She placed her hands on his upper arms and returned his smile. "It's good to see you home early. Why don't you walk with me a bit?"

He crooked his arm for her.

"I'll go inside," said Mrs. Nocesti. Mihai watched the nurse depart. Slowly, he ambled down the dirt path into the gardens. "You look full of life today, Sister."

"I feel full of life."

Mihai sobered. "I couldn't bear it if something happened to you."

"I'm doing what I'm told, but when I have good days, like today, I get restless."

"You must take care."

"Of course, but I'm used to having a fuller life than this. I don't want to wander the castle halls -- I'd rather be at the hospital."

"I'm sorry."

"Theresa feels the same way. She's lonely."
Mihai drew in an uneasy breath. He'd suspected his wife grew restless. Was he failing her? He couldn't bear the thought.

"You need to spend more time with her." Sonia's tone of voice had a strong suggestion of reproach to it.
His jaw tightened. Lord knows, he wanted to do just that. "I'm going to take her on a picnic."

"Good. She needs it. While we were talking in the library, Papa came in. He called her Alice again."

Mihai stopped, chilled to his bones. "Again? How did she react?"

"It unsettled her. It unsettled me."

Mihai's stomach knotted with dread. "I'm sorry. I'll talk to Theresa about it."

"Good."

"I don't want to lose him."

"Neither do I, but it will happen and soon. Prepare yourself."

Mihai raked a hand through his hair. Thank God Theresa was with him. He needed her to steady him. As soon as they went back to the castle, he'd find Mr. Tybeski and have him reschedule tomorrow's appointments. The picnic couldn't wait.

"We'll get through it, Mihai. We have each other."

He patted Sonia's arm, reassuring her as well as himself. "Yes, we will."

Please visit the Book Trailer on You Tube and give it a 'like' at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzHE2spBeeU

The Wolf's Torment is available as an ebook only on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Sony Ereader. Formats include: PDF, html, and epub which can be found on the Publisher's Website at: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok

About the Author: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She also served as an MP in the US Army. Multi-published, she has a children's book, "The Giving Meadow" with 4RV Publishing. She's an avid reader, loves coffee in the morning, and her favorite movie witch is Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter!)

You can find me at:





Photos: These photos are royalty free from Dreamstime and are visual inspiration for Mihai & Sonia Sigmaringen.

17 comments

  1. Maggie Toussaint // May 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM  

    That cover hooks me in every time, Steph. I enjoy your settings and your characters.

    Maggie

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // May 4, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

    Wow, this sounds like a good read. I can't wait to get to it. Welcome to the fuzzies. We are glad you stopped by. Tell us a little about your writing day. Do you ever fight writer's block? How do you handle revision request from your editor.

  3. Mona Risk // May 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM  

    Steph, so glad to have you at the PFS. I enjoyed so much your excerpt I can't wait to read the book. Mihai, Sonia and Theresa are great characters popping out of the pages.

  4. StephB // May 4, 2011 at 6:19 PM  

    Maggie, thanks for visiting. I love the cover, too. Jenifer Ranieri did a great job with it.

    Scarlet, it's wonderful to be here with the fuzzies. My writing day is odd to say the least. I usually write at work. I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD and when we have down time, I'll write. It's a de-stresser for me, which helps. I work from 2 pm to 10 pm. If I'm at home, I usually get the boys off to school, have a drink of coffee or two, go through my emails and then write about 1.6K words. I usually write longhanded first first before I type it up.

    As for writer's block, I generally haven't suffered from it. I get a germ of an idea, research it, and then the story and inspiration flow from that. One such story I wrote like that was "A Polish Heart" which was in the Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter Anthology that was just released.

    I'm very easy to work with when it comes to editors. Yes, I've put my heart and soul into the story, but they see things I usually don't. For example, I've got a steampunk coming out in July. Gail, my editor suggested a different kind of ending and it was something I hadn't thought of but perfect. It took a little extra time to write it, but I was game for it. Somethings though, I have to stay tough on, but I try to be very professional when that occurs.

    Mona, I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I adore these characters who are so human in the face of their supernatural abilities.

    Smiles
    Steph

  5. Autumn Jordon // May 4, 2011 at 7:39 PM  

    Stephanie, Welcome to the Fuzzies. I love your cover and your excerpt is great. How did you come to set the story in that particular location? Have you visited the area and done research? It seems you have.

  6. StephB // May 4, 2011 at 8:56 PM  

    Autumn, thank you for the welcome. I picked Moldavia because I thought it was a location where it was still possible to believe in myths such as werewolves and witches. *grin*

    The closest to Romania I've been is Hungary so I imagine the two countries are pretty similiar landscape and weather-wise.

    Yes, I did a ton of research - on the Black Sea, it's myths and legends, on Orthodoxy, on werewolves and witches and the time frame to get the time period right.

    Smiles
    Steph

  7. LK Hunsaker // May 4, 2011 at 9:15 PM  

    Hey Steph, let me just say Mihai is a hero worth knowing. :-) Best of luck with it!

  8. StephB // May 4, 2011 at 9:23 PM  

    Loraine, *wink* He's a different guy than the one you knew. hehe

    Smiles
    Steph

  9. Beth Trissel // May 4, 2011 at 10:28 PM  

    Wow, very kewl sounding story. I think it would make a super movie.
    Welcome to the Fuzzies, Steph.

  10. Mary Marvella // May 5, 2011 at 1:12 AM  

    Hey, Steph. I think you have another winner! Great cover and intriguing photos! Sorry I got here so late. I've been reformatting a novella! YERK!

  11. elaine cantrell // May 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM  

    Romania is a great choice for a paranormal novel! I enjoyed your excerpt.

  12. StephB // May 5, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

    Beth, I agree - I think it would be a great movie. Hollywood... *wink, wink!*

    Mary, I love the cover, too.

    Elaine, Romania was a bunch of fun.
    Smiles
    Steph

  13. Keena Kincaid // May 5, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

    Hi, Steph. I'm popping in a bit late but I want to say I loved Mihai's story. He's the type of hero that tends to stick around long after you finish the story. HIs struggle is so genuine as he comes into his own and takes him place on the throne.

  14. StephB // May 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

    Keena, thanks so much for popping in. It's a lot for Mihai to absorb. I think he truly grows into his nobility.

    Smiles
    STeph

  15. StephB // May 5, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

    Ladies, thank you again for supporting my visit. I have a FREE prequel called "Heart of Moldavia." If you would like a copy please email me at: botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com and I'll get that right to you.

    Smiles
    Steph

  16. Mary Ricksen // May 7, 2011 at 1:06 PM  

    I absolutely love the sound of this story! Great job. May your muse sell millions!!!!
    Welcome to the PFS blog!!!

  17. Josie // May 8, 2011 at 8:55 AM  

    Welcome, Stephanie, to the Pink Fuzzies, and thanks to Mona for inviting her.

    Stephanie--your excerpt was so good! The setting and characters are so real. I agree with Beth, this would make a great movie.