Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Budapest Moon 3 - Theme Rebuilding the Danube

At the end of "The Count's Lair," Budapest Moon, Book 2, Anton defeats the evil wolf, Marcus, and Amelia, pregnant, commits to their relationship. Knowing Budapest Moon Book 3, (Danube in Candlelight) would be about Anton's son, Adam, and Matthias' daughter, Morgan, I had to move the series forward to the 1920's.

After the Austrian-Hungarian Empire lost World War I, it was broken into several smaller countries and Hungary became its own nation. During my research, I learned the Communists took immediate charge of the new Hungarian government. Their policies were not well received. After several months filled with turmoil, the citizens of Hungary rose up, defeated the Communists and reinstated the monarchy. This monarchy would have a constitutional model. Otto Hapsburg was the legitimate heir, but the Hungarians did not want him. Miklós Horthy was invited to be the regent, which he accepted. In 1922, the year in Book 3, the Hungarians had recovered enough to begin the rebuilding of their nation. Knowing this, one of the major themes of the novel was rebuilding. There are two parallel rebuilding themes. One is the rebuilding of the nation as seen through Zoltan and Miklós eyes.

The Dumas and Vargas also have to rebuild, especially when the Duma bookstore burns to the ground and Katherine must rebuild her life.

Adam Varga and Morgan Duma have to rebuild their friendship. Morgan left for England in 1918, before she and Adam had a chance to take their friendship further. Now it's 1922 and Morgan is a woman, eager to see her friendship with Adam grow deeper. Can Adam and Morgan find their way to each other knowing the challenges that are in their way including the legacy of the werewolf that haunts their families?

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

4 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

3.5 Stars, The Hope Chest Reviews:
Danube in Candlelight was a pleasant, easy read. Ms. Burkhart has created an interesting world with a mythology that is a little different than any other werewolf stories I've read to date, and the historical settings make them more intriguing to me than many contemporary paranormal stories.

5 Lips, Two Lips Reviews
I found the setting for Danube in Candlelight intriguing. The 1920 period Ms. Burkhart chose for this story lends it a wonderfully dynamic tempo. The discerning reader will not want to miss reading Danube in Candlelight; I highly recommend it.
Book Trailer on You Tube:

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, more daring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.

Morgan drew in a deep breath as the knot in her shoulder tensed. Adam had a point. How could she be so self-centered, dwelling on her high-strung emotions? Perhaps it was a cover. Perhaps she couldn't face the real issue because it mortified her. She didn't want to think about it now. Morgan turned her head away and reached over her shoulder to massage that tension-filled knot.

"Turn around." Adam's voice brooked no debate. She liked a man who commanded authority. Morgan turned, and he massaged both her shoulders. Heat from his hands trailed down her back. Her core warmed. Her body relaxed, reacting instinctively and with a desire she couldn't hide.

"Did I hit a nerve?" he asked.

"A nerve? In my neck?" She took a step backward to be closer to him.

"No. About your father. Is your real fear about what will happen to your mother once he turns her?" Adam kept his voice low and leaned close to her ear.

She closed her eyes briefly and faced her anxiety. "Yes."

"Morgan, our fathers' condition has a host of positive traits -- heightened senses, for example, but the best trait is the healing factor."

"I understand, Adam. That healing factor will help my mother recover from her awful injuries, but it comes with a tradeoff -- she's going to become a werewolf."









  1. I love history and I think we tend to overlook just how hard WWI was on the Russia people as well. Not to mention how much fun they had in WWII as well. And how lovely communism was.

    thanks for the history lesson.

    Your excerpt was kind of a "PAIN IN THE NECK". LOL. it was good.

  2. I love, love, love this story! Awesome work, Steph!

  3. When I saw Danube River, I had to stop. My contemporary is set in Austria along the Danube and in the mountains. I'm facinated with the area. I will be purchasing a copy today.
    Great post.

    Cora Blu

  4. Tina, Yes, Communision was a "lovely" thing, wasn't it? (Not.) Amazing how different countries dealt with it. The Hungarians never did care for the concept of communision. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

    Jillian, thanks for popping in. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)

    Cora, The Danube is beautiful - What's the name of your contemporary, I'd love to check it out.


  5. Danube in Candlelight was a wonderful story. It certainly deserved all those fantastic reviews. Congratulations, steph.

    1. Sarah, I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for popping in.

  6. A great story from a great writer. You always challenge us to think of how things could be. We think we have so many challenges each day, but with a werewolf or two as parents, that would be a very difficult thing to deal with. It's hard enough to deal with human parents. Best wishes for Danube in Candlelight, and congratulations on those smashing reviews! Maggie

    1. Thanks for popping in Maggie. You nailed it when you say Morgan has difficulties dealing with her werewolf parents. That's the crux of her conflict and it brings her to the edge of a precipise.


  7. I'm always surprised at how much research can teach a writer. Great post and I love
    the history lesson.

    1. Allison it's amazing history's little quirks and how they've influenced us. I really enjoy the early 20th century time period. I only hope to make history feel natural to the setting. That's my goal.


  8. Hi Steph,
    Congratulations on your fantastic reviews for Danube in Candlelight. I loved the excerpt - could feel Morgan's tension. You always do such a great job writing beats in your books plus wonderful story lines.

  9. Diane, thanks so much for stopping in. I'm trying to keep my excerpts a little shorter these days and I think by shortening this one, it's very effective. Morgan is nothing but a jumble of nerves after her father has told her his secret - he's a werewolf. It's turned the world she's known it upside down more so than the war did.