Friday, April 30, 2010

Welcome Guest Author - Diane Craver

Is Mallory Harrington jinxed because her name means luckless?

Things have gone wrong for Mallory since she was a small child. All she ever wanted was to have a complete family and live happily ever after. It appears she has it all when she marries Toby Harrington and they have a son. Unfortunately, their marriage ends when Toby has an affair with his law partner. After their divorce, Mallory doesn't think she should ever get married again.

Mallory decides to get a surgical procedure that she's always wanted, but meeting plastic surgeon, Doctor Seth Whitman, complicates her life. Seth realizes that having Mallory as a patient might not work. She intrigues him too much. He wants to spend more time with her, but definitely not on the operating table.

Mallory learns that sometimes faith is about accepting what can’t be changed and grabbing what God offers her. Life must go on.


After leading him into the study, she walked to the closet and opened the white door. Vases of every size filled the closet.

"This is wonderful." He looked at her. "Did you get your grandmother's artistic talent?"

She laughed. "I'm afraid not. I can barely draw stick figures."

Forty-five minutes later, Seth stood at Mallory's front door. He'd finally written her a check and told her not to look at it until he left. He'd selected a large vase with painted cherry blossoms plus a matching jar for herbs. His mom had an herb garden, so he knew she'd be excited about his gift.

He wanted to kiss Mallory. Surely a peck on the cheek should be appropriate with him being at her house. He was not her doctor at the moment. He leaned down to her. His lips brushed her cheek, and Mallory pulled him closer to her.

She whispered, "Here's a birthday kiss for you."

With her in his arms, he felt Mallory's breasts against his chest. When their lips met, energy surged through him. Maybe it was only a birthday kiss, but he hoped that it could be the beginning for something much more. He could see them as a couple. But was there a chance of this happening? He had no way of knowing if he'd get the opportunity to date Mallory after she recovered from her surgery, but he knew one thing for sure.

He never wanted Mallory to think his only interest in her was as her surgeon. He wanted so much more from this incredible woman.
Small Author Bio:
Diane enjoys her life with her husband and six children in southwestern Ohio. Her husband of thirty-four years is very supportive, as well as her awesome children. She writes contemporary romance, inspirational romance, women’s fiction, and chick-lit mystery. Diane published first in nonfiction, and later she decided to also write fiction.
Trailer link for Marrying Mallory:\

I like to write inspirational romances because writing about Christian characters facing challenges of love in today’s world is rewarding. It's meaningful and fun to have the characters express their faith in real life drama. Even though my stories are emotional, they also have lighthearted moments. I like to give my heroes and heroines a sense of humor.

I enjoyed writing about my characters falling in love in my two inspirational romances, No Greater Loss and Marrying Mallory. Luke Brunsman and Jennifer Hunter meet in an unusual way in No Greater Loss. Jennifer does an emergency delivery of a baby in a rural grocery store. Luke happens to be shopping at the same time and assists her. The miracle of life touches each one in a different way. In Marrying Mallory, the sparks fly instantly when Mallory goes to see the charming Dr. Seth Whitman about having plastic surgery. However, her friend Elizabeth thinks a minister acquaintance, Jeremy, is the right guy for Mallory. Seth's attraction for Mallory causes problems for him. He'd rather date Mallory than operate on her. In both inspirationals, I have conflict, drama and suspense.


Amazon Kindle -

Desert Breeze Publishing -

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Romantic Budapest

I thought I'd share some thoughts on Romantic Budapest. Above is the Szechanyi Bridge, the Bridge on the cover of "The Hungarian."

Then here's Fisherman Bastian. Construction was completed in 1902. It's a 1 1/2 wall on Buda Hill near the Castle District and looks down on the Danube. The seven towers represent the 7 Maygar tribes that settled Budapest.

Then there's the King Castle in the Castle District during Nighttime.

This is the parliament building in a view taken from the Pest side. The buidling was completed in 1896 and is on the Pest side of the city.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's "Hungarian" Week - Blurb & Excerpt

My novel, "The Hungarian" releases 1 MAY, this coming Saturday with Desert Breeze Publishing. I'll be posting all kinds of Hungarian goodies this week on the blog. Look for a blog contest on Wednesday! Smiles, Steph



Katherine Archibald is in search of a grand adventure. A young woman in late Victorian England, she wants to open up a book store in London and travel Europe hunting down rare books. Love isn't on her map.

Enter Matthias Duma. The Hungarian count captures Katherine's attention like no other man before him with his unusual gold-malachite eyes, his exotic features, and his command of the night sky.

After a night of intrigue during Katherine's birthday, she discovers the map does include love in the legend, but will the map lead her to Budapest and the dark, brooding Hungarian she's just met?

She caught his lips with hers. He responded in kind, wrapping his rugged arms around her, holding her tight. They kissed for the longest time, their lips deepening the kisses between them until their tongues began to mingle against each other, yearning with the sensual heat of desire. Katherine felt a deep physical agitation pooling inside her. His full lips tasted sweet, like a sinful treat she could easily become addicted to.

Then, with an abruptness she hadn't expected, he put his hands on her shoulders and broke the kiss with a jerk. "Katherine, do you realize what you're doing?"

"Tell me."

He cupped her cheek, looking at her with a deep intensity that burrowed into her soul. "It's too soon," he whispered.

"Too soon for what?"
"Don't I scare you? The way I look?"
"My scar? My eyes?"
"Not in the least."

"It doesn't bother you I'm a widower? That the Ashtons are openly seeking to prove me a poor parent so they can take my daughter away from me?"

"No." None of what he'd mentioned bothered her. From what she had observed he was honorable, exuding more nobility than the Ashtons ever would.
Matthias tore himself away from her and left the gazebo. He took long, quick wolverine-like strides toward the roses.

"What are you doing?"

He plucked a rose from a bush without any hesitation and held it up to her. "I love roses, Katherine. They're very soothing to me when I'm alone late at night, trapped by the moon. I want you to have this one. I am not an ordinary courtier, Katherine. I would not woo you with British practicality, but in ways that are foreign to you--"

"What are you saying?"

"If you think you are strong enough, if you think you can endure the summer's challenges, if you think you could find a life with me, then send this rose back in a week's time and I will ask Lord Archibald his permission to court you."

"The Hungarian" will be available 1 MAY 2010 through Desert Breeze Publishing. It will also be available for the Kindle through Amazon.


Book Trailer:

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing. Link to book page:

Author Bio

Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. She received a B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University in 1995. She served in U.S. Army from 1986-1997, spending seven years in Germany. In 1997, she deployed to Hungary for 90 days. Her interests include exploring European history and watching Dancing with the Stars. Stephanie lives in California and works for LAPD's Communications Division as a 911 Dispatcher. She's married with two young sons.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Welcome Guest Author - Celia Yeary

Celia Yeary is a friend of mine from the Book Spa Friends Group who enjoys writing westerns. Celia lives in Texas and she's here today to talk about her book, "Texas Blue." Welcome Celia!


When Buck Cameron finally found Marilee Weston and her young daughter, he believed the pretty, young woman did not fit the character description he was given. The County Judge back home said she was not fit to raise the child, who he claimed was his. Now Buck faced a dilemma. Should he disobey orders and rescue both of them from isolation? He would, because there wasn’t enough money in the world to exchange for a child. All he had to do was convince Marilee of his good intentions—she and her daughter would safe be with him in Nacogdoches.

Rejected and abandoned by her father, Marilee Weston let the pain of betrayal make her strong. Now, she needed a way out of the forest, where she had lived for five years. But the towering pines and fear of the unknown imprisoned her, and loneliness and heartbreak suffocated her. How could she find a new life for herself and young daughter? She couldn’t. Not without help. But would this alluring stranger free her, or prove to be even more dangerous?

Celia Yeary is a seventh-generation Texan, and her life revolves around family and friends—and writing. San Marcos has been her home for thirty-five years. She has written three romance novels for a small press, essays for Texas Co-op Power magazine, and several different topics for her weekly blog. She also writes women’s fiction and hopes a publisher comes along who likes these stories, too.
The author is a former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State, mother of two, grandmother of three, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan. Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university as retired faculty.


At this, he turned on the step to look up at her with his eyes narrowed. “And we had one hell of a night, didn’t we? Or maybe you didn’t. Now that I think on it, that didn’t make any impression on you. You know what it feels like, Marilee, to be made a fool? It hurts. Gut-level pain. Stupidly, I honestly thought you wanted me just like I wanted you. I’d fallen so in love with you, I firmly believed I could make you love me, too. Then what did you do? Slapped me right down from my lofty feelings.”

“Buck, I…”

“Don’t placate, me, Marilee. I got the message, loud and clear. Finally. You were right. I do have a thick skull. Takes me a while to see the real picture.”

His words struck deep, into her soul. Now, she realized how much he truly loved her, and she knew in her heart, he could overlook all of her shortcomings. He started to rise, and gently, she placed her hand on his arm to keep him in place.

“My darling,” she whispered. She felt his muscles tense. “Please forgive me. I am undoubtedly the most stupid woman on the face of the earth. Now, you have to answer this question.”

With a disbelieving look, he stared at her. She heard him breath slowly and deeply. Still as stone, he looked into her eyes and waited.

“I have six dollars saved. I have a daughter, soon to be five. I have a few clothes, but they’re all castoffs. That’s all that I have in this world. Except for one more thing. I have so much love for you, I will go anywhere with you, that is, if you still want me. And I…”

He cut her words off with a hard kiss, an open-mouthed, devouring kiss. He pulled her up, around the church, and between two Rose of Sharon bushes. He pushed her against the clapboard siding of the building, placed his hands flat on the wall, and pressed his body into hers.

“Damn, honey. You’ve about killed me.”

Texas Blue is available at Amazon for KINDLE:

Wild Rose Press:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Official Contest - Win an ARC of "The Hungarian"

"The Hungarian" releases on 1 MAY through Desert Breeze, but you can win an ARC of the novel this week. The contest begins today and runs through Thursday, 22 APRIL. I'll announce the winner on 23 APRIL, Friday.

What's the story about? Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald, he risks everything, including his secret, for her love.

So what do you have to do? Cast the Characters!

I'll put up two pics of two actors - one I cast as "Count Matthias Duma" from the Hungarian. I'll also put up two pics of two actresses, one I cast as "Katherine Archibald."

Pick the right combo - Who did I pick for Matthias? Katherine. Post your answers here in the blog. If you have both choices right, your name will go in the "pot" and I'll pick the winner out of the pot on Friday Morning.

Okay, let's have fun:


Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Ralph Fiennes


Anne Hathaway

Choice #2
Justine Cotsonas

Good luck in the Contest!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Historical Saturday - It's good to be King

Henry VIII & Anne Bolyen

I love "The Tudors." And what's not to love? Jonathon Rhys-Meyers is HOT as young Henry VIII and the costumes are colorful and the palaces are lush. So I thought I'd gush (a little) and share my disappointment (a little) about a show I consider a "dirty little sin."

Mind you, I don't watch much TV these days. I've got a busy schedule and it's hard to find TV time for just me. Especially when Nick and Nick Jr are on 18 hours out of the day for the kids, but being the historical nut I am, when I saw Showtime was putting together a show about Henry VIII I had to tune in.

Thoughts on Pay TV
You have to pay for Showtime. Some people mind about paying for TV. That's understandable. But after watching THE SOPRANOS and ROME on HBO, I really liked the quality in which these shows were done. The production values were top notch and it realy was like having a movie theatre in my house. I knew Showtime's production values would be just as good as HBO's and I wasn't disappointed.

The Tudors, Season 1
With high expectations, I tuned into Season 1 of "The Tudors" The production was top notch. The costumes and palaces were spot on. I thought the cast was perfect for the show. The Season starts with Henry getting Elizabeth Blount pregnant. She carries to term and has his illegitmate son. Katherine of Aragon (Henry's 1st wife and queen) is saddened of course, because she has only given him a daughter.

Katherine of Aragon, The Tudors

And then there's Sam Neil as "Woolsey." I loved the Woolsey character in "The Tudors" and Sam Neil captured all the complex emotions of the character - his passion to protect the king, his own need for glory and possession, his own humanity and his own inhumanity.

And then there was Natalie Dormer as Anne Bolyen. We all know what happened there.

Syphilis and Henry VIII
Did Henry VIII have syphilis? Why couldn't he have kids with Katherine of Aragon? Anne Boleyn? Why did these women keep having miscarriages? Two healthy unrelated woman who went through pregnancy after pregnancy only to have that child be stillborn, or die shortly after birth?

While this topic isn't really explored in "The Tudors," it's one I feel passionately about - and I believe he did. Both Anne and Katherine of Aragon suffered with "Syphilis of the Innocent," allowing the syphilis to pass to their children in the womb. They got it from Henry of course. I digress a little here, and this is a blog post for another time and place.

Henry VIII & Jane Seymour, The Tudors

The point? The show highlights Henry's problems with having a healthy "male" child. And it's a problem of his own making since he's one giving syphilis to his lovers.

Season 2
Season 2 highlights the lusty yet combustable marriage of Anne & Henry's marriage culminating in Anne's death. It's tragedic in a way that love should turn so violently.

Margaret Tudor, "The Tudors."

What I didn't care for in Season 1 and 2 was the treatment of Margaret,Henry's sister. Margaret married the King of the Scots, James, and bore him a son. It is her descendants on the throne of England right now, not Henry's. Yet, in the story, Margaret marries Charles Brandon. Margarent never married Brandon. Henry's other sister, Mary, married him. Mary, Henry's sister is never even mentioned in the TV show.

Season 3
Season 3 Henry married Jane Seymour and finally has that son. She's only around for about 5 shows, but they are some interesting shows. We all know she dies in childbirth. Her son, Edward, is the interesting one. In history, reports are not consistant regarding his health. Some say he had poor health, some say he was healthy. Those reports that talk about ill health, rashes, fevers, etc, all point to Edward as suffering as a child with syphilis of the innocent symptoms would. Mary, Henry's daughter with Katherine of Aragon also suffers with syphilis of the innocent symptoms all her life and it's probably why she never had children. Surprisingly, Elizabeth, Anne Bolyen's child, was reported to be in good health all her life. What accounts for this is that syphilis has a "latent" phase and I have no doubts that Elizabeth was conceived during a latent phase in Henry's syphilis. He did not give syphilis to Anne Bolyen at the time they concieved Elizabeth so she was born in good health.

Anne of Cleaves, "The Tudors"

History implies Henry was going impotent during his marriage to Jane Seymour. After all they were married seven months before she conceived. Katherine of Aragon and Anne Bolyen conceived right away with him. There can be no doubt that Henry was impotent come Anne of Cleaves, his 4th wife.

I LOVED JOSS STONE as Anne of Cleaves. Brillant Casting! Joss has an innocenence about her that made Anne of Cleaves stand out. She's a surviour and Anne of Cleaves is, interestingly, the only surviour left standing after Henry's dead and gone.

Season 4
Season 4 starts out with Henry married to Katherine Howard. Katherine tries hard to have a baby with the king, but there's no doubt he's impotent. When she takes a lover, Thomas Culpepper, her head comes flying off. While there's plenty of evidence she's a cheater, Anne Bolyen, her cousin also accused of infidely, probably didn't cheat. Katherine Parr is next and Joely Richardson is set to play her. Katherine Parr goes on to marry Thomas Seymour, the love of her life after Henry. She dies giving birth to their child who they name "Mary."

Katherine Howard, "The Tudors"

The inaccuracies
One of the inaccuracies is the Margaret/Mary (Henry's sisters). Their stories are also rich goldmines and it's a shame the producers didn't tap into their stories. In fact, it's a SHAME the producers didn't start with Henry VII, Henry VIII's father. His story is rich with lies, greed, lust, and love as well.

Katherine Parr, "The Tudors"

Despite that, I love the Tudors. I love history comes alive with the show. I just wish there would be more after Season 4.

My favorite? Right now - Joss Stone as Anne of Cleaves but I'm dying to see Joely Richardson as Katherine Parr.

Tudor On!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Guest Author Friday - Regina Andrews

I'd like to welcome Regina Andrews to the blog today. Regina is a resident of Providence, Rhode Island --- she grew up in nearby Barrington and still belongs to her church family in that town. After graduating from Providence College she attended the University of Delaware, eventually earning her Master's Degree in American Civilization from Brown University. She is inspired by the seashore and the song of the birds... anything to do with nature. She and her husband enjoy visiting nearby Cape Cod.

Regina's latest book is "Destiny's Designs" with Desert Breeze Publishing and she enjoys writing inspirational romance.

Welcome, Regina!


Destiny's Designs: The Fabric of Faith

You know the moment: when all of a sudden, you realize that your most cherished dream, your most treasured ideal is about to become a reality. It takes your breath away, doesn't it?

That's what happened to me when Gail Delaney from Desert Breeze Publishing told me she had accepted my inspirational romance novel, Destiny's Designs, for publication.

The first novel I wrote, Destiny's Designs is a fast-paced, international romance about finding our path in life by listening to God's message of love.

Set in Newport, RI, the hero and heroine are Neil Lamont, a sailor, and Lisa Machon, an interior designer. Each has had a hurt in their past that impedes them from loving in the present.

Lisa is working for Neil's aristocratic mother, and while doing so she and Neil join forces to help out Neil's sister, Bliss. Their efforts take them to France and Italy in a social whirl, but their hearts are at home with each other...once they learn to trust each other, and to trust God.

Actually, I was working for an interior designer when I began writing this book. Still living at home, I would read my newest pages to my parents nightly around the kitchen table.

You might say I had the most supportive writing group in the world, back in those heartwarming days. When those days ended I put Destiny's Designs away in the drawer. Maybe if I kept it in, I could preserve those sweet times together around the table and they would never go away.

Of course, life is all about change and having the faith to move on. For some reason,
I felt I could trust Gail with this book. So I took a leap of faith and let it go.

And I know my parents are smiling now, happy that Gail's gentle touch propelled Destiny's Designs into the light of day.

You could say this novel is about what it's like to live the phrase, "Let go, let God." What is your "Let go, let God" moment?

Thanks for popping in, Regina.

Here's a link to her Desert Breeze Page:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Promo Wednesday - Destination: Berlin

"Destination: Berlin," kept my rapt attention from the first page through to the last though. As I finished the story I realized with a smile that I actually quite enjoyed it." - 4 Stars, Book of the Moment, Reviewer.

"Inspired by the author's own experiences taking a trip to Berlin, serving the Army's Military Police Corps, and studying history, Destination Berlin is a tautly written saga of mistrust, determination, and survival." - 5 Stars, Midwest Book Review.

"Destination Berlin is a military thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end." 5 Stars - Starrstruck


Stuck in a routine job in Cold War Germany guarding nuclear weapons. U.S. Army Corporal Sharon Cates thinks she is going to Berlin to attend an orientation tour. Unknown to her, the briefcase she carries contains top-secret information that the Stasi and KGB are willing to kill for.

Russian Junior Sergeant Dimitri Nagory is an assistant to a high-ranking Soviet officer in his country’s embassy in England. Dimitri isn’t expecting a great adventure as she boards the duty train for a routine trip to headquarters in Berlin, and he certainly isn’t expecting to meet any Americans.

The Stasi derail the train in the middle of East Germany, expecting to take the information from Sharon’s dead body, but when the sudden explosion hurls Sharon and Dimitri from the train and into each other’s arms, can they find their way to Berlin before the Stasi do?


The book is “sweet” by romance standards as Sharon and Dimitri, enemies due to their armies, are forced to rely on each other to get to Berlin.

You can buy the book at: (search the bookstore for Destination: Berlin)
and at:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Genre Tuesday - Types of Romantic Men

Today I thought I'd talk about the different types of romantic men that we find in our romance novels. There are 3 types - the Alpha, the Beta, and the Omega. Let's dive in and have some fun. *grin*

The Omega Man
Think of this man as being the opposite of the alpha male. An alpha male must be perceived as the toughest, smartest, strongest, by his peers and those around them. An omega male cares little for the recognization - but he knows he's all those things and then some.

Omega men have no desire to belong to a group or to be a leader of a group. Now, an omega man does need support occasion, but he only really has one or two intimate friends. Omega men tend to shun shallow acquaintances, whereas alpha males thrive on having a large crowd around them.

The Alpha Male
The alpha man is confident in his abilities. He's powerful, assertive, masterful, and superior. (An Omega male is all those qualities, but in a quieter, more subtle way.) The alpha is somewhat ruthless, and perhaps a touch dangerous. The alpha is the quintessential male character in romance writing, but there is a growing trend for omega and beta.

The Beta Male

A beta male is good looking, charming, afable, and a family type of guy. He's got lots of friends, (unlike the omega.) Think of "Gone with the Wind." Ashley Wilkes is a beta male, while Rhett Butler is an alpha male. Betas don't enjoy confrontation, but won't back down from one either. An Alpha would relish a confrontation, an omega would meet the challenge head on with an even temper.

Betas are also known as practical, down to Earth, and have a great sense of humor.

When putting together your romance, keep the following in mind: Is your story set in the past? If so, an alpha or an omega hero might be more appropriate. Is your story a contemporary or inspirational romance? Then a beta hero might have more appeal. Remember, ultimately, the hero has to be a character that your readers can find interesting.

Let's have some fun: Name a book you've written or read, the hero and tell me if he's alpha, beta, or omega.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Except Monday - from the Be Mused Anthology, "Matchmaking Amusements"

Be Mused is available now through Desert Breeze Publishing.

Muses are fickle creates, sprinkling inspiration on their wards as they see fit.

They live in a world just right of center from ours, and to them, we're just the day job. Muses need lives too, you know.

Enjoy this collection of stories compiled by several authors at Desert Breeze Publishing that will give you some insight into the world of the ethereal creatures who inspire the arts.

Contributing authors:
J. Morgan
Katie Charles
Stephanie Burkhart
Nicole Zoltack
Sandra Sookoo

Excerpt from my story, "Matchmaking Amusement."

Isolde jumped on top of the monitor, her wings beating fast. "Alexi slides off the cliff. John offers his hand. Alexi spits on him and lets go, falling to his death."
"Perfect!" cried Jane. Isolde grinned with pride. Jane's fingers typed so fast, Isolde thought she was watching a NASCAR race. Jane dramatically paused and then typed the last two words slowly. "The end."
Isolde jumped off the monitor and did a happy dance on the maps. "You did it!"
"I'm going to send it off to Gus and wait for his edits."
Isolde stopped dancing, pointed a finger at her human and winked. "While you edit, I’m taking a vacation."
"A vacation? You can't leave now!"
"Why not? There's a difference between editing and writing."
"No buts. I've spent eleven months on this project. I need a vacation."
"Where will you go?" asked Jane.
"Ah, I think I'll check out this Berchtesgaden where the book ends at."
Jane pouted. "You can't wait until I’m done with these edits?"
Isolde touched her shoulders with her fingers. "My job is done."
Jane wrinkled her nose. "I guess. Have fun. Send me a postcard. When are you going to leave?"
Jane sighed and leaned forward, smelling the lilacs.


Here's a link to Matchmaking Amusements Book Teaser on You Tube:

Here's a Buy link to Amazon:

Here's a Buy link to Desert Breeze:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Congrats to the Be Mused GRAND prize winner - LK Hunsaker!

I'm proud to announce the Grand prize winner for my Be Mused mini blog tour is - (tada!) LK Hunsaker!!

She won a Be Mused mouse pad, Be Mused Coffee Mug, 2 Be Mused Magnets and several signed postcards.

Now my requirement was that you had to post on all the blogs but that didn't happen. :( So what I did was I went to every blog and wrote down the name of everyone who posted on a "post it" and threw the "post it" in a hat. If you visited more than one blog, I put your name in the hat for that visit. My son, Joe, pulled out the winner.

Congrats again to Loraine! I really appreciate all the support I received on the tour and I hope to see you next month when I go a mini blog tour for my novel, "The Hungarian."

Here's a book teaser I had made up for my short story in the Be Mused antholgy, "Matchmaking Amusements." Enjoy! Steph LORAINE: Send me your snail mail so I can mail out the prize.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Welcome Author K Dawn Byrd

K Dawn Byrd is the author of "Queen of Hearts," a release with Desert Breeze Publishing this month. She also participated in NaNoWriMo last year along with me. NaNoWriMo was a challenge and I wanted to talk to her about it. Welcome, K Dawn.

STEPH: How did "Queen of Hearts" become your NaNoWriMo project?

K DAWN: When I decided I'd do NaNoWriMo, I'd just finished two romantic suspense books and wanted to do something different. I'm a WWII buff and thought a historical would be fun. I e-mailed Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze Publishing and asked if she'd be interested in my project. Queen of Hearts was born.

STEPH: Did you have to research the topic before starting NaNoWriMo?

K DAWN: I did very little research because I was familiar with the era. I post on a couple of loops and ask questions about New York during WWII.

STEPH: Was this your first NaNoWriMo?

K DAWN: This was my first NaNoWriMo and won't be my last.

STEPH: Did you find that your writing friends were very supportive of the project?

K DAWN: Did you receive support and encouragement from your NaNoWriMo Friends?
I did receive support from my NaNo friends. I would suggest that you find one special friend who will check in on you every day and encourage you on the journey. This friend for me was ACFW member Kristine Pratt. She's a great encourager.

STEPH: How many words did you type, generally, a day? What was your ending word count?

K DAWN: My ending word count was almost 5000 words over the 50,000 required for the challenge. My daily goal was 2000 words even though the NaNo average is 1667 words per day. Writing 2000 words per day allowed me to take a day off occasionally.

STEPH: Was the story finished by the end of NaNoWriMo?

K DAWN: The story was finished by the end of NaNoWriMo meaning that I'd won the NaNo challenge, but the story needed a couple of good edits. It was no where near to go to copy.

STEPH: Would you do it again? Why or why not?

K DAWN: I'll definitely do it again. I recommend it for every author. It'll change the way you write forever.

STEPH: Was the experience rewarding or enriching to you?

K DAWN: The best part of the experience was the feeling of accomplishment in the end.

STEPH: Did you feel a lot of pressure while working on the project?

K DAWN: There were a couple of days I felt pressured because I hit writers block and couldn't move forward. I stood back and took a long, hard look at my plot before resuming. The pressure to catch up was pretty intense.

STEPH: Do you have any words for those writers considering doing NaNoWriMo?

K DAWN: Find a NaNo partner who's excited about taking the journey with you. Encourage each other and never give up!

Here's a link to K Dawn Byrd's Book Trailer on You Tube:

You purchase Queen of Hearts from the Desert Breeze Publishing website, All Romance Books, and Amazon for Kindle. Good luck with sales, K Dawn!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

California Thursday - Who doesn't like Garlic? hehe

Well, I suppose most vampires keep away from Gilroy. :)

I heard of Gilroy back in the 1990's when I first got to California after leaving the army. My husband and I were childless at the time and we went up to the Monteray area and he told me about Gilroy which was on the way up. Heck, you could smell Gilroy.

The Garlic Festival is going to be during July 23-25th this year. They have everything from Garlic Nachos to Garlic Fries and Garlic Shakes and Garlic Ice Cream. It's amazing what you can do with Garlic. hehe. I had my husband drive by Gilroy last March (2009) on the way back from Sacramento. Mind you, I didn't know better. It wasn't Garlic season. He drove all though the town and I was sad I didn't find any garlic! haha

The Mission of the Festival: The Gilroy Garlic Festival is established to provide benefits to local worthy charities and non-profit groups by promoting the community of Gilroy through a quality celebration of Garlic. (taken from the offical website)

Gilroy is about an hour south of San Fransisco on the 101 FWY. It's a very scenic drive - lots of green. The website says it's 30 miles south of San Jose. My memory might be a little hazy. Like the strawberry festival, they do charge an admission, $17.00 for adults, $8.00 for kids, but if you ask me, that's reasonable.

This year is the 31st Garlic Festival. Last year over 108,000 attended the festival. This year, top Chef Star Fabio to Host Garlic Showdown
Fabio Viviani, star of Bravo-TV’s popular “Top Chef” series, will host the July 26 Garlic Showdown, presented by Raley’s and Nob Hill Foods. The iron chef format will match four well-known Northern California professional chefs in a cooking competition offering a first prize of $5,000. The featured ingredient will be garlic and the chefs will be presented with a “secret ingredient” when the competition begins.

In addition to his highly-acclaimed TV appearances, Fabio is Executive Chef of the Café Firenze in Moorpark,CA and will debut his new cookbook — “Viviani’s Café Firenze Cookbook”– July 22 . Fabio will appear at book signings in the Festival Mercantile on July 25 and 26. (taken from the website)

It looks a great time. If you want to check out the 2010 happenings and plan to visit you can go to the official website at:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Promo - An Excerpt from "The Hungarian"

Beware - the wolf is coming.

My paranormal romance, "The Hungarian" releases on 1 MAY with Desert Breeze Publishing so I thought I'd share an excerpt with you. In this scene, Matthias and Katherine are talking in the gardens. It's late June and Katherine is celebrating her birthday. Enjoy! Steph


The moon crested the treetops, bathing him in its light. He flinched from the unexpected blast of heat. His muscles tensed throughout his entire body.

"What's wrong?" Katherine placed her hands on his chest.

"The moon's just risen." Matthias lifted his head, his eyes cutting to the east. His hands fell over hers. Pleasure flooded his body as they touched. A half moon with a slight concave arc came into view.

"It's waxing," she said.

"Ah, Diana, goddess of the moon, very good."

It grew silent. Matthias trapped her stare with his own. His hands calmed. "There are times I love being outdoors, and there are times I take no pleasure in it."

"How sad. Right now is perfect."

He gave an odd half-laugh, half-lament. Then he paused, remembering Lazlo's words. Feeling her so close to him now gave him hope. Yes, despite his condition, he wanted more of her. "I suppose it is. I would like the opportunity to call on you tomorrow."

"What did you have in mind?"

"Would you like to go riding?"

"I haven't been riding in ages. It should be fun."

The Hungarian will be available at Desert Breeze, All Romance Books, and Amazon for Kindle 1 MAY