Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steph Burkhart

Thank you, Steph. I'm so glad to have you here.

Steph: Rhonda, thanks so much for having me here today. Just a little about me: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from high school, I joined the US Army. I spent 11 years in the military, 7 in Germany. I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California, but my favorite football team is still the New England Patriots.  I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher. I've been married for 19 years. I have two boys, Andrew, 8, and Joseph, 4.

Rhonda: Why do you write romance? What romance subgenres do you write in?

Steph:  What I love about romance is that it inspires hope and leaves the reader with a good feeling. It's upbeat and speaks to the power of love. I enjoy writing paranormal romance – werewolves and witches mainly. Both are essentially human and I like to explore how "the beast" affects the human psyche – ultimately how the paranormal creature struggles to maintain their humanity.

I also write contemporaries with an international flair. That stems from my time in the Army and being stationed in Europe. I loved visiting the different nations in Europe and learning about the different cultures.

I've also have a soft spot in my heart for steampunk, but I enjoy challenging myself by trying different romantic subgenres. I have a sci-fi short story in the Borealis II Anthology with Desert Breeze Publishing.

Rhonda: Is there a certain theme/trademark you use in your books?

Steph: My tagline is "Romance Under the Moonlight," so I always try to work in a romantic moonlight scene in my stories.

Rhonda: What gets your inspirational juices flowing?

Steph: I have to give my muse "Juliet" some credit here or she'll start flicking her nail file against my ear and that's very annoying. LOL!! Believe it or not, I'm a pretty heavy sleeper so I don't get much inspiration from dreams. My inspiration comes from Juliet and from watching a variety of TV shows, movies, and reading.

Rhonda: If you could meet one person from the past, who would it be?

Steph: Gosh, that's a toughie. I have a big list. Ultimately, I'd like to meet Franklin D. Roosevelt. The man was a dynamic president and a leader. He inspired people and guided America through World War II. He's a hero in my book. I'd also like to meet George VI and Winston Churchill because they did the same for the British people.

Rhonda: Where is your favorite place to visit?

Steph: I live in Southern California and I love visiting Catalina Island off the coast – especially during the 4th of July. My family rents a condo there and we really get into the holiday festivities. They have a golf cart parade, the USC marching band (there's something about live music that makes it special) and fireworks over Avalon Bay that are gorgeous to watch.

Rhonda: Any suggestions for unpublished authors?

Steph: Have patience. Learn your craft. Master active voice.

Rhonda: In one word only, describe yourself:

Steph: Multitasker.

Rhonda: Please tell us about your most recent release.

Steph: Sure. The Count's Lair is a paranormal romance which takes place in Budapest Hungary in 1901. Long & Short Reviews gave it 5 Books.

Blurb: Count Anton Varga dares Lady Amelia Andrássy to discover the dark secret he hides from the rest of the world.


Amelia went inside. The room was cast in obsidian shadows by a single candle burning on her dressing room table. The air was laced with the scent of mulberries. She grew warm. Her heart beat faster. Her defenses cracked.

"Anton?" she whispered.

He stepped out of the darkness behind her, placing his hands on her upper arms, pressing his chest against her back. His lips brushed against her ear, sending a shockwave through her. "You look wonderful tonight, Amelia."

She dared to close her eyes and enjoy his embrace. "Anton."

"Yes, it's me."

Warm feelings of longing stirred within her, only to be quickly doused by the sting of anger at his sudden departure. She stepped out of their embrace and spun to glare at him. "How dare you."

He backed away, confusion pooling in his unusual eyes. "I thought--"

"You thought what?"

"That you'd want to see me."

"It's been two months since I last saw you, and you didn't even try to seek me out. I had no idea if you were dead, alive, or just too busy with your life to think of me."

"I'm sorry." His expression softened. "I had hoped to avoid the cool look in your eyes just now."

Exasperated, she let out a quick breath. "You're infuriating."

"So I've been told."

She crossed her arms and struggled to keep her crumbling battlements up. He had a lot to explain. The candlelight cast dark, almost satyr-like shadows over his chiseled face. If his explanation made sense, she'd will her heart to believe him. "So, Anton, how do you explain your absence? I thought I'd found a friend."

He paused and drew in a deep breath. His eyes grew translucent. "I am sorry. I had a lot to think about. I thought you would understand. I wanted to give you time to mourn your husband properly."

"I see."

"I also wanted to clear my head."

The Count's Lair is avail as ebook for Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony Ereader, and Kobo. You can also download a copy from the Publisher's Website at:

You can find me on the Web at:





Goodie Time: Leave me a comment and I'll be back tomorrow to give away a PDF copy of "Moonlight Sonata" a prequel to "The Count's Lair."


  1. How intriguing that the queen of multitasking named her muse Juliet! Enjoyed the interview, Steph!

    romance and mystery

  2. Enjoyed the interview Steph. I'm curious, now, though. Am I the only writer with a male muse? Yes, I know the muses were women (at least in ancient Greece) but still...

  3. Great interview, Steph. How long have you and Juliet been working together? Has she always been your muse?

  4. Maggie, thanks for popping in. Juliet likes you. She wants to take you to a nail salon. LOL!!

    Keena - Juliet would DIE to meet your male muse. She wants to know if his name is Romeo. She's been looking for a date for awhile now.

    Deborah - Juliet and I have been working together for about ten years now. I keep her on her toes, let me tell you! I treat her job. Manicures, spa days, watermelon and strawberries. She knows she has it good with me!


  5. Steph,
    Great interview. I always love to learn more about the people I know. Loved the excerpt, too, and congrats on the 5 book review!

  6. Hi Steph, your Juliet has been doing well.Give her a pat on the back and keep writing. Nice excerpt.

  7. Cheryl, thanks for popping in Sweetie.

    Mona, Juliet loves pats on the back - and spa days. LOL!!


  8. Steph, I enjoyed this excerpt and your interview. What a busy lady you are. By the way,
    does Juliet have a sister who is looking for work? I'm in need of a good muse.