Monday, August 22, 2011

Behind the Scenes - The Hungarian, Part 1

I'd thought I'd do a behind a scenes look of several of my books and stories for my Monday feature. Today takes a look at "The Hungarian," and I talk about how the story came to be. Enjoy! Smiles, Steph


"The Hungarian," Book 1 in the Budapest Moon Series was inspired by my short story, "The Wolf's Kiss." Taking a dose of Victoria Holt, I infused her influence into the setting and the hero. "Matthias Duma" lives in a dark styled manor in Budapest overlooking the Danube. His young daughter, Emily, needs a governess so he sends to England for one. When Katherine Archibald arrives, Matthias can't help his attraction to her. Unfortunately, he has a secret – he's a werewolf. Dare he court the beautiful governess who makes him believe in love again? "The Wolf's Kiss" was an Honorable Mention Winner in the 2008 Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest. The narration was daring, switching between first person with Matthias and Katherine.

Why did I pick Budapest? In 1997, I visited the city on an USO tour and fell in love with it. The city captured an atmosphere of old world charm for me with its quaint buildings, majestic bridges, and haunting castles. Not only that, I'd like to think that Budapest is a place where you might believe that supernatural creatures like werewolves and witches exist.

My stories in the Budapest Moon series focus on the humanity of the man who is a wolf, and I enjoy exploring this aspect of characterization in the following books.

After receiving my honorable mention, I wrote a full-length novel in the first person from Katherine's perspective. Gail Delaney, editor-in-chief at Desert Breeze, expressed interest in it, but wanted it in the 3rd person. I rewrote the novel and "The Hungarian" (mind you, it has a different plot from "The Wolf's Kiss") found a home with Desert Breeze Publishing.

Book Trailer:

5 Stars, Diane Craver, author of "Whitney in Charge"
THE HUNGARIAN is an exciting story of love and hope.

5 Stars, Maggie Young, reader, Amazon Review
This is a must-read for anyone who loves a good love-story with a twist. You won't be disappointed.

5 Cups, Happily Ever After Reviews
This is an excellent book and I think fans of both the paranormal and historical romances will really, really enjoy it."

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The door squeaked open and 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 walked toward the window, his stride easy. 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. 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.
"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."
He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."

"Who else is here?"

Jonathon Rhys-Meyers inspiration for:
Matthias Duma

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

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  1. It's good to hear the story behind the novel, Steph.

  2. It's always neat, I think to hear about how a novel took shape. Thanks for popping in!