Thursday, May 24, 2012

And the winner is...

And the winner of my advanced reader copy of Chameleon's Shadow is...
***drumroll please***       Dana Rodgers  :-)   congrats, Dana, thanks for your comment. Please e mail me at and I will send you your advanced reader download.


A little background about Chameleon's Shadow. I began writing this book about six years ago. It's had two other titles, the first being Destinies Journey, and then Love's Fragile Embrace. Chameleon's Shadow was to have been book three of a swashbuckling lady pirate series. Lost Eyes, Awaiting Heart is the first book, and, except for being my first sad efforts at writing it's a really cool seafaring read! The second book, is entitled Nicolas Journey. Nicolas is Elisabetta's little brother and follows his journey the night their life changed forever. Two other works in progress have sprung from this er-- should-have-been-series,  who knows, maybe someday I'll be announcing their releases.

As Chameleon's Shadow is set to release June 11, 2012, I thought I'd give you all a taste of what's to come.

Lady Elisabetta Mitchell, a pampered daughter of a murdered English Marquis, is forced to flee the only home she's ever known.
She now lives in poverty on the unfeeling streets of Southwark, London 1623.
Caught between two worlds,
she will do whatever it takes to survive.

Lord William Hunter, a nobleman with a secret.
When an unknown woman rushes into his startled embrace, battered and afraid, he vows to protect this fair-haired beauty.
Yet he cannot protect the girl who runs from him and his probing questions.
He has to find her again first.
And find her he will, no matter how long he must search.

Please enjoy this excerpt:

                   She broke into a run. To her horror the boys also started to run. Bounding around a sharp

corner she collided with an unmovable, solid object. The impact knocked the breath out of her lungs and would have knocked her off her feet had the object not had arms attached. They caught her easily, steadying her in a firm grip.

"We have to stop meeting like this, Angel."

The solid object said, amusement softening the deep, rich voice.


The boys rounded the corner, stopping short when they saw the man who was holding her by the arms. Without warning the group of thugs swarmed toward them. The breath was jarred from her lungs as her gray-eyed stranger shoved her behind his towering form. Elisabetta was shocked when he pressed the smooth hilt of his long sward into her palm. Her wrist gave out at the unexpected weight of the weapon; the tip of the blade hit the ground with a thud.

Balling his fist, he spun around and smashed it into the midriff of one of their assailants,
                 in the blink of an eye he turned and pressed her against the wall. Grasping her free
                   hand  he brought it up the cover the hilt. With a firm grip on both her hands he angled
                   the wicked blade up before her, steadying her hands to keep it in place.

"Stay!" he commanded, throwing her a steely glare to reinforce his instruction. "If they
                     get through me, use it."

The boys swarmed him like wasps returning to their hive. One by one he flicked them off
                    of his person. His fists found more than one cursing mouth, the mighty blows followed
                    by yelps of pain and indignation.

Elisabetta watched in awe as his muscles rippled and flexed under the straining seams of
                  his shirt. His face, while intent on the task at hand, looked almost bored as boy after boy
                    regained their footing and lunged back into the fray. The only sign of his exertion was
                    the sheen of perspiration now making his handsome face glow. He was a warrior
                    through and through, graceful and precise. Despite the fact he had been forced into this
                    fight, fiercely defending her honor and his person, his blows reflected thought and a
                    clear head. In spite of their provoking slurs and threats, he never once reached for the
                    sword he had thrust into her hands. For all the boys' violence, they were unarmed.
                                                                     End Excerpt

Chameleon's Shadow will be available in several electronic formats for your downloading convince. Please visit my web site after June 11, 2012 for all the links. Before June 11,2012, you may visit Desert Breeze Publishing,

Happy Reading, everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Season of the Witch - by Stephanie Burkhart

In the paranormal world of the Moldavian Moon series, werewolves, vampires, and witches hide in the shadows, thriving in the moonlight. In this series, a witch can find themselves subservient to the wolves. (like Alina was to Viktor in Book 1)

In Book 2, "Twilight Over Moldavia," both the hero and heroine are witches. But do Stefan and Caroline have what it takes to defeat the fierce werewolf, Timon?

How did Stefan and Caroline become witches?

In the Moldavian Moon Series, being a witch is in their blood. Legend has it that during the dark ages, after the fall of Rome, there was no learning, no education, no art. A plague struck the Carpathian town of Sinisteri. All the villagers died except one – a young man named Marius Corvinus. Unknown to him at the time, his blood mutated, creating "ferons." Marius went to father 3 children – Piotr, Vasily, and Darius. From Darius, the vampires were created. They learned to tame the bloodlust of the ferons quickly. Vasily's progeny begot the werewolves, who still struggle with the overwhelming power the ferons in their blood harbor. Most werewolves are still feral, unable to control their bloodlusts. In the upcoming novel, "Sunrise Over Brasov" the wolf, Clement explores ways to tame the ferons in his body.

Piotr Corvinus, Marius' third son, created the witches. The ferons in his bloodline allow a witch to manipulate energy (like the force). While Piotr's abilities drove him mad, his descendents eventually learned to harness the power of their ferons. Darius' and Piotr's lines have found ways to fit into the world.

Caroline is a direct descendent of Piotr's. Stefan's bloodline is not so pure, tainted by Vasily's progeny on his mother's side.

Both Caroline and Stefan struggle to understand and master abilities as the evil wolf, Timon, pursues them. Can they overcome the obstacles they face?

5 Stars, Long & Short Book Reviews
Twilight Over Moldavia is even better than the first book in the series. It is an excellent story filled with just the right balance of romance, magic, and danger.

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
The twisting story line will keep your nose in the book until you have finished. Stephanie's ability to add suspense and mystery to romances gives her stories all the more depth. If you love werewolf stories, romances, or a good book, I recommend Twilight Over Moldavia.

4 Stars, Vijaya Schartz, author
In this novel full of danger and intrigue, sexy scenes, and unspeakable secrets, the werewolves are the villains, and oh how dangerous they are, and unwashed, and uncivilized. The kind of villains you love to hate.

5 Stars, Mona Risk, Author "No More Lies"
Burkhart's writing style grabs the reader from the first page. She keeps you breathless with her suspense as she transports you to exotic areas you will enjoy discovering.

5 Stars, Karen Michelle Nutt, Author of the "Fallen Angel" Series:
"Ms. Burkhart paranormal tale is rich in history, painting a picture as clearly as if the reader is standing beside Stefan and Caroline."

5 Stars, Barbara M. Hodges, Author of "The Blue Flame"
Twilight Over Moldavia whisked me into a part of the world I knew nothing about, and gave me a wonderful love story filled with suspense too. What more could a reader desire?


Father Nicholai, the Orthodox priest, stepped forward and placed Caroline's hand in Stefan's. Then he made the sign of the Orthodox cross over them.

"May God bless you and watch over you as you begin your life together. You have the church's blessing to marry. Love is patient. It is kind, gentle, and all-knowing. Nurture such feelings in your hearts, and your marriage will be satisfying and fruitful. In the Lord's name, I bless you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Stefan and Caroline made the sign of the Orthodox cross, and the guests did the same.

Everyone raised their voices and said, "Amen."

"Wine for all!" Mihai said. "I have a toast!"

Waiters passed red wine to everyone and gave Stefan and Caroline a set of gold goblets. Mihai raised his glass. "A toast -- norco -- to the engaged couple. May you find true
happiness like Theresa and I have found, and as Mircea and Aurora have found as well."

Everyone raised their glasses. Stefan clinked Caroline's glass and took a long sip.

Caroline barely had her lips to the goblet when she detected a foul smell coming from it. Her stomach clenched. He gagged, the wine splashed a little on his jacket, and he collapsed on the ground, choking.

"Stefan!" Caroline fell to her knees next to him, and placed her glass next to her. Mihai
raced to Stefan's side, wrapped his arms around Stefan, and raised him up. Michael joined them. Gasps of concern filled the room. Caroline glanced at Stefan's mother. Her hands covered her mouth, and terror filled her eyes. Caroline's father rushed to her side.

Stefan's eyes snapped open. They were yellow. His cheeks narrowed, and his teeth, sharp and pointed, hung over his lower lip. Then he relaxed and slumped in his father's arms.











Friday, May 18, 2012

An Interview with J. Morgan

I'm so excited to be able to interview you! I know I have the inside scoop on most of these questions, but I think other people would like to know some of the stories behind the answers.

Q: So, Bite the One You're With is the first book in a new series called Bite Marks, but this is by far the first book in your series. In truth, it's the sixth book of a planned fifteen, right? When you began this series, did you have any idea -- even the slightest inkling -- of how sweeping and expansive this storyline would be come?

Yep, officially BTOYW is book six, but it is also the first book of the second five book arc. Love Bites was light and fluffy in the beginning. By book three things were heading in a direction I hadn't envisioned when I started. Love Bites started growing up. As it did, I saw that after the events of Lovership of the Stake, the next book wouldn't have the same tone as the first five. That's why I divided it into three parts.  Each part would consist of five books. Love Bites would be the calm before the storm to come. Bite Marks would be about the repercussions of what happened as a result of our merry band of Humans and Vampires coming together. It would also be centered around the Vampire Wars. A thing that hadn't happened in nearly five thousand years. The third five book arc? Well, that I can't talk about right now. I love spoilers as well as the next Whovian, but telling now would be giving away way too much.

To answer your second question, if I knew then what I've written now, I'd have said, 'No way!' That's the beauty of writing. You never know how far your imagination will take you.

Q: Megan isn't the typical heroine, and I know several women combined inspired her. Why did you choose to write a curvy, plus sized heroine and do you think readers will be open to her as a heroine? Or, was that a consideration on your part? Did you just know it was her story?

Megan is perhaps my favorite character to date because she doesn't fit into the normal mode of what a heroine should be. I live in the real world, and even though I write about vampires, werewolves and other things that thrive in the darkness, I want to make my characters believable. Women don't come in one size, namely supermodel. Women are beautiful because they are different. I found it unfair that in a lot of romances, the message seemed to be unless you're a set size or body type, a knight shining armor wasn't waiting for you. The first paranormal romance I read was Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I loved that she bucked tradition to make her heroine curvy and beautiful to the hero because of who she was and not because of how she looked on the outside. Since then, I haven't really seen another book like it.


When Megan popped into my head, I saw her as an every woman. The three big influences on her personality came from those closest to me, or rather closest to my heart. A certain Gail popped up first, because she is fun, quirky, and beautiful in her own right. So, when I pictured Megan physically, I pictured Gail, you know the one I mean. Next came my wife Jenn, because Megan needed some snark and let's face it, every heroine I've ever written has some Jenn in them. Finally, the true love of my stomach, Paula Deen. Megan is a chef and every chef needs more bacon and butter to make the recipe complete.


I know this is long winded and might sound crazy, but when I was writing Bite the One You're With, I never considered whether the readers would accept her as a heroine based on her outer appearance. I like to think I know my readers. They look past color, beliefs and how someone looks to see the things that really matter, who the person is on the inside and as always they look to the love.

Q: If you don't mind me saying so, you have an amazing talent for tapping into a whole plethora of emotions when you write. Yes, your work is funny. I always warn people "Do not drink anything when reading J. Morgan!" But, readers experience much more than that when reading. Do you think this is part of your evolution as a writer, or do you think this skill has always been there and you're just allowing it now to emerge?

I'll be the first to admit when I began writing comedy that I relied heavily on spit takes and snark to drive my characters, as well as the story to propel them through a book. With each new book, I began delving first into who the characters were and how they'd react to a situation, instead of letting the situations define them. It took several books for me to realize that to remain fresh as an author I needed to step forward and go beyond what I knew and look for what I needed to know to be a better writer. Now, that wasn't all me coming to that realization. I've had the privilege of making this journey as a writer with great friends who aren't afraid to tell me the truth along with the praise. And, I guess some amazing editors who have twisted my arm, put up with my insanity and bad grammar, generally taught me the things I didn't know and helped me improve on the things I did know. This wasn't asked, but I'm giving this advice anyway. If you truly want to become a writer, you have to be honest enough with yourself to accept the fact you aren't God's gift to literature and to accept criticism. If you can't do that, you're not going to go far.

Q: Okay, enough about how amazing you are. I think I've proven my point. Tell everyone who doesn't already know about what Bite the One You're with is about, and how does it fit into the entire arc.

BTOYW is about Megan Marshall, the non-slayer side of the Marshall family. After the events of Lovership of the Stake, the Fallen is targeting those close to the characters of the Love Bites series. Stalking Shadow, the son of Waterfall Woman, has been sent to protect Megan and get her to safety. Their first meeting is where all heck breaks loose. It's not exactly love at first sight between them, but when the threat of the Fallen becomes all too real, they are thrown together. Now, not only are their lives at stake, but it's their hearts that are in the real danger.

The first book of Bite Marks sets the stage for the Vampire Wars. Basically nine months separate Bite Marks from Love Bites. During that time, a secret war has gone between the forces of the Fallen and the gang from Love Bites. Bite the One You're With blows that war up, excuse the pun. From the first page to the last, the groundwork for the next ten books are here. What else can I say? This book is the fang changer. Okay, maybe I should have kept that pun to myself. Let's move on before the stink of it follows me forever.

Q: You've incorporated a lot of mythology, theology, and pop culture into your novels. Is there a legend or mythological creature you haven't used yet that you would like to? What is it? Tell us more!

I haven't touched Egyptian and for a very good reason. As much as I love everything there is about Egypt and its history, Anne Rice did it, and did it better than I ever could. Maybe one day, I'll work on a book dealing with Egypt but I don't see the Love Bites series being it. Hmmm… You never know, though. The last five books will have a lot of stuff going on that could very well make me eat those words.

Q: At the end of each book you set us up for the next romance. Care to give us a hint about who you'll toss together in the next book? Come on... whet our appetites.

I can't say much, but the book will revolve around two new characters introduced in Bite the One You're With. One is a two hundred year old womanizer from the age of the musketeers, and the other is a street wise, smart mouth slayer. When they meet, it's murder, and then the fun truly begins. Okay, that's all I can say.

Q: Okay, one last question. Twinkies or Oreos... you can only have one for the rest of your life. What do you choose?

A Twinkie Oreo! No? Are you sure on that? I'm sure that soon there will be a Twinkie Oreo. But, if I had to pick just one, it would be the Oreos for one simple reason. There's more Oreos in a box than there are Twinkies in a box. Case closed. Now, do I get a complimentary box? 

Um... sure... it's in the mail. :-)

JMo didn't mention this, but if you haven't had a chance to read his first series Love Bites yet, you've got a great opportunity. Exclusively through his publisher's website, you can now purchase all FIVE books in one zipped pack. And at a discounted price! If you bought these books individually, you'd spend nearly $33.00. But, with this pack you get all five for $22.99.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In My Mind

I'm telling you all, in my mind I am so much more awesome. Action hero, kung fu master, and Jedi knight. Not a good cook though...I mean, there are limits to imagination, you know.

In my mind I always know the exact right thing to say, whether it be encouragement or a snappy comeback. I am a lemur monkey ready to strike at any ridiculous moment threatening to happen.

Hubby and my kids believe this comes from an overactive imagination, to which I reply my imagination is not overactive, their imaginations are underactive.

In reality my persona is, well let's just say, not so extraordinary.

I trip up stairs, lose my balance for no good reason (seriously, when I'm just standing I'll tip over and have to catch myself), and I never have a cool response. Okay, to be fair I do have cool responses, but only after the moment, when I'm driving home. THEN I have a million things that would've been awesome and snazzy to say.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy being who I am. It took a lot of years to accept me for me and I see the quirks as just that, quirks. They aren't faults or failings anymore.

But, my imagination is still what it is and being overactive (er - I mean just right) I love to sit back and daydream through my mind adventures. That is why I like writing. I get to experience and put to words what my mind creates. A permanency to the memory.

I also want others to read them. Yes, I know it's a bit egotistical to want others to experience my mind adventures. Like I'm such a cool thinker everyone is dying to read what I think up. But hey, every writer has a bit of ego. It's essential to publication. You have to have that touch of ego -- which is the mixture of super pride and uber guts -- to put forth your work to publishing houses.

I'd like to think that publication is my extraordinary. The super part that is real, and equals the extremely cool stuff happening in my mind. The thing my mind persona stops her adventure for, taps my mental antagonist on the shoulder and says, "Hey, check that out. That's pretty awesome."

So, who is your mind persona? If they were a character, who would they be closest to? Me, I think my persona is a blend of Bruce Lee and Wonder Woman (with maybe a touch of Optimus Prime thrown in).

More about author A. R. Norris

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gail Delaney: Attack of the Interview

I know people doing interviews are supposed to slap their interviewee on the back and tell them how great they are. That's part and parcel for these things. This time the greatness is well deserved. Back in 2006, I was just becoming a published Romance author and basically was still learning the ropes. I'd read Historicals like forever and had just learned about paranormal romances. Then, somebody told me there was such thing as Science Fiction romance. I scratched my head and said, "I don't see it." Coming from a SciFi background, I didn't even want to sample this travesty. There was very little smooching in outer space. Han Solo was the only exception to that rule, thank you very much.

Then, because you knew it was coming, I met Gail Delaney. Well, met in a messenger window, but met nonetheless. After talking to her, I reluctantly rethought my stance. She had grown up on all the things I had. She talked the talk. Which talk? Geek, of course. So, I read the First Phoenix book and was floored. Sure there was some smooching, some angst and other things you'd expect from a romance novel. As I read on the smallest ebook reader ever made, believe me in 2006 you could go blind reading ebooks, I became a fan. Phoenix was everything I loved in Science Fiction. A little while down the road, I reread the newer version, and it held up to the test of time and rereading. No, it was better the second time around!

So, where's this interview? It's coming, just hold your jump drive and I'll get around to it. I've got a few more things to say first. If you've never read this series, you're missing out. I just hope by the end of this interview, you'll see why you're missing out and get off your keyboard and see why I'm not only a fan, but a fanatic when it comes to Science Fiction and Romance.

Gail, hope I didn't gush too much, but you were the one who turned me on…uh… I mean turned me onto SciFi Romance.

Jmo: I want to ask do you consider your books Science Fiction foremost, or Romance with SciFi elements?

Gail: Hmm, that's an interesting question. I actually see it as sci fi with strong romantic elements. I say that because there is much more going on in each book other than a story of a boy and a girl, although that is a primary storyline. There are deep friendships, there are familial relationships, there's danger and intrigue, mystery, deception, all kinds of stuff. And because the 'story' of any given couple doesn't always fully resolve in a single book (John and Jenifer in Janus being a good example), it's also not a typical romance in that aspect.

Jmo: Phoenix is more than a series. It's even more than anything I've ever read in a series before. The world building is amazing. When the idea for Phoenix came to you, was it this grand in scope? If not, how did it evolve to where it is now?

Gail: I would love to be able to say I imagined the entirety of the 'world' when I began Revolution, because then I could claim brilliance. But in truth, I had no idea when I began where Phoenix would lead. Sometimes, I was just as surprised when something was revealed as I hope the reader was. The entire Phoenix universe has become so real to me, I just feel like I'm relaying history, not writing fiction.

Jmo: The world isn't the only thing big. I'd have to say you have the largest cast of characters I've ever seen. How hard is it for you to keep all those voices under control? Under control! How do you keep them straight in your head? As long as we're on this subject, how do you decide which characters get to take center stage?

Gail: Man, you are just full of questions. I imagined the series from the beginning as a 'cast of characters' type of approach, much like a television series with a large cast. Each episode focuses on one or two people or storylines, but that doesn't mean the rest of the people in the series don't do anything.

As far as who takes center stage, that grows from the development of events. It's a natural flow from one book to the other, with little to no pause, just like in life. Keeping them straight hasn't felt like an issue for me because I feel I know them all so well. Now, sometimes I do have to remind myself "This book is about ___ and ____. You should get back to them".

Jmo: That brings us to Janus. We've talked about the origins of Phoenix. The evolution of Phoenix. The characters of Phoenix. So, what have you got in store for us in this new addition to the mythos that is Phoenix?

Gail: John Smith and Jenifer came from the original series, although they never knew each other. They do, however, have a connection neither realizes until different points in the book and it's a connection each of them reacts to differently (can't say more than that). So, just as I alluded to in the last question, their story has grown from the development of events. In the first series, John was introduced as an alien stranded on our world after the Sorracchi attacks and he proved himself to be a strong ally. So much so that in this new series he serves as ambassador between our worlds.

Jenifer was a fleeting character in the first series, appearing only at the end of book two and the beginning of book three. She hadn't ever been intended as a main character. But, as their stories unfolded I realized there was much more to her than originally met the eye.

Our world is very different from the world first introduces in The Phoenix Rebellion, and so the stories are very different. We are now a world devastated by global war, a world that has learned we are far from alone or isolated in the universe.

Most of the characters readers came to know and care about in The Phoenix Rebellion are here again in Phoenix Rising, but their roles are different. Some will still be in the forefront, though their stories will not be the main driving forces of the books. Some will only appear as the supporting cast where they had once been in the spotlight. People readers met only in passing, or briefly, become the driving force. And some stories never had a solid enough ending to say they are done.

And there will be new characters. In Phoenix Rising you will meet a man from today (2011) who wakes up to a world so drastically different from the one he knew he can't quite absorb it. All he knew is gone. You will meet men created by, trained by, and exist only for the purpose of serving the Sorracchi. But the Sorracchi are gone, and where does that leave them? You will meet a woman trapped in a body stolen by an old enemy, an enemy still determined to find revenge. You will get to know better a brother once believed lost, and walk with him as he makes some terrible mistakes, and finds redemption again. And there will be more, but I haven't met them yet so I can't introduce them.

Jmo: The end of Rebellion had pretty much tied up the entire series while leaving us with bated breath on what came next. How hard was it to kickoff this new chapter in the series?

Gail: Very hard. Really really hard. It took me over three years to write this first book because I had to find my feet again. The world had changed, and I had to discover just how much before I could put myself into it. Janus picks up less than a year after the end of End Game in the first series, but a great deal happened in the final book and in that year in between.

Jmo: How far ranging are your plans for the series? Do you see it an ongoing and unfolding story with no end, or do you see it with a definite end point?

Gail: Right now, I see no end. I already have the idea to write another series titled Children of Phoenix, which will explore our future when the next generation takes control. These are the children who were young and lived through the war, children born from the ashes of a nearly-destroyed world. Children raised with the knowledge the war brought to us, whether we wanted it, or not. After that, who knows?

But, I also want to explore the roots of Phoenix. The mythos of the series talks of the birth of Phoenix in the years following first contact with the aliens who would eventually become our enemies. We know who founded Phoenix, we know who came into it. But, I'd like to write that story. Beverly Surimoto is a leader in The Phoenix Rebellion, and it is know she was raised within the embrace of the rebellion. She leads as Vice President in Phoenix Rising. Her parents were some of the early founders of Phoenix. I want to write Birth of Phoenix, telling the story of Cecelia Bennett and Kaemon Surimoto (Names subject to change, except the Surimoto part), how they came to be founders of the rebel group that would eventually save the world. And their story of love.

Jmo: Before I wrap this up with something insanely silly, what is the one thing you would like your readers to take away from the Phoenix books?

Gail: Hope, I think. There is a great deal of bad and wrong that happens in Phoenix. But, we as 'humanity' stand together in hope of survival, hope of the future, hope of justice prevailing. Remember always we are one creation under God, and in the end, the good guy wins. It's not always easy, but to be the good guy you've got to stand up and fight.

Jmo: Okay, because this is my interview and I can pretty much do what I want… Brahwahwahwahwa. If you were the copilot on a starship, who would be sitting in the chair next to you? Han Solo? James T. Kirk? Or, Captain Mal Reynolds? Answer honestly now and notice there are no Doctors in the house to make this easy.

Gail: Hmmm... those are my three choices, huh? Cuz, you know... Jack O'Neill was known to pilot a ship or two.

Okay... Well, in all truth, I rule out Kirk. Too much of a playboy. Solo or Reynolds. In truth, they are very similar men. Hmmm... Okay, I'm going to go with Mal Reynolds. I can't compete with Leia in a gold bikini anyway. But, Mal had a nobility I appreciated. He often "aimed to misbehave", and although Solo did what was right, I think Mal had a bit more conviction.

And he totally rocked those pants! Humina!

Thank you for this awesome interview, Jmo. And for the ego boost.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Much ado about web sites

Hi, everyone, this week's post will be presented in a question and answer format. I will ask questions and you, the readers (and yes this includes authors who are also avid readers) will hopefully have some fun answering those questions.

Oh, and did I mention that if you play twenty questions ( Okay, okay, five questions) with me, you will be entered to win an advanced reader copy of Chameleon's Shadow, my June 11, 2012 release?

Let's get started. :=)

1)      As readers, how much influence does an author's web site have on you?

2)      Do you care if the visual aspects within the web site do not particularly match the type of book an author is known for?

3)      What about review pages? What are your first thoughts when you go to a page dedicated to reviews of the author's books?




4)      Do you like flash and sparkle when you visit a web site? Or perhaps you would rather the author simply get to the point of what books they have out and what those books are about?

5)      How do you, the readers, feel when an author posts tid bits and photos of their pets, gardens ect.?

*Interesting, makes the author very personable?

*Confused, causing you to wonder what those things have to do with their books?

These are questions I have always wondered about, and as an author, would love to gain readers feedback on.  And yes, in case you are wondering, I am one of those authors whose web site changes as often as the weather. Lol

Please share your thoughts; I would love to hear them.

Winner for the ARC of Chameleon's Shadow will be chosen Thursday, May 24, 2012 right here on this blog so be sure to check back then!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Moldavian Moon Series - Book 1 - The Wolf's Torment

I've been talking about my Budapest Moon Series these last couple of posts, so I thought I'd shift to my Moldavian Moon Series with this one. For me, The Moldavian Moon Series is a bit darker than the Budapest Moon series. There are still wolves, by they are more dominated by their feral side. There are witches, too, more subservient to the wolves. There's also a vampire in "The Wolf's Torment."

Pen & Muse: "A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot."

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars: "The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, princess and prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.

Long and Short, 4.5 Stars: Nominated for Long & Short's Book of the Week, NOV 2011. "The Wolf’s Torment is certainly more than a story about a werewolf. There is quite a bit of depth in this multifaceted story of a family’s struggle with life, love and loss.

Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader, 5 Stars: This novel is not only a highly entertaining page-turner but also it boasts its author's mastery of fiction. I loved it."

Dina Hickman, Amazon Reader: "Stephanie creates the perfect blend of romance and suspense in her novel, "The Wolf's Torment."

Romance Reviews: 3 Stars: "I would highly recommend THE WOLF'S TORMENT. You will find it satisfying, even as it leaves you hungering for more."

Keena Kincaid, Amazon Review, 5 Stars: "Ancient heritage and modern technology collide in the dark, tense tale The Wolf's Torment by Stephanie Burkhart."

Mona Risk, Amazon Review: 5 Stars: "I enjoyed this book enormously and read it in one sitting."


"The Wolf's Torment" is set in the Moldavian city of Constanta, snuggled up against the Black Sea in the 1860's. It's a paranormal romance with witches, wolves, and creatures that haunt the night.

The plot revolves around the young crown prince, Mihai Sigmaringen. His father, King Stelian, is dying and he expects much out of Mihai. He wants Mihai to learn Moldavian politics, get married and help unite the Romanian principalities. For Mihai, it's overwhelming, but he does have help – his sister, Sonia and his best friend, Viktor Bacau. Mihai also has a secret – he's a witch.

Mihai's mother was a talented witch, but died when Mihai was ten at the hands of an evil witch. Mihai has never expressed an interest in witchcraft until he has a vivid dream of his intended bride – Theresa von Kracken. In the dream, it's Christmas and Theresa faces grave danger at the hands of a werewolf as she delivers a Christmas gift to Mihai.

The dream encourages Mihai to accept his heritage and threatens to become real when Viktor is bitten by a werewolf. Can Mihai save his family and the ones he loves from Viktor's feral nature?

The theme is a coming of age story for Mihai. He's experienced heartbreak, dare he fall in love again? Can he shoulder the burdens his father has placed on him? Can he accept himself for what he is – a witch? Can the power of love bring out the best in him, or will he falter in the face of great adversity? For me, Mihai's journey is one we all can relate to. It's a very human struggle to find one's heart and courage.

Enjoy this excerpt:

The set up: Mihai and Theresa are talking in the tower.

Mihai reached out and cupped her cheek, unable to hold himself back. "Thank you. You are...amazing, and I appreciate your support. I suppose I haven't told you how much your patience means to me, how you converted to Orthodoxy and learned my language."

She placed her hand over his. "I would do anything for you."


"Because of our dreams."

He withdrew his hand, guilt from his affair washing over him. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be."

He pulled away and reached for his wine. "I have a lot on my mind." It was an excuse, but he did have much to think about, and his fiancée was starting to make her way into his thoughts, distracting him more.

"You can tell me anything."

Could he? How deep did his trust go? "I worry for my father."

"His illness?"

"Yes. I don't like seeing him so incapacitated. He always liked to do thing with his hands. Now he coughs so hard his lungs rattle and he's thinner than I remember."

"I can't imagine it's easy. He's very proud of us. It's in his eyes."

"He's done much to bring Moldavia forward. He built the hospital and modernized the docks. Now I need to finish the railroad he wanted."

"He's proud of you, regardless."

His father had been good to Moldavia. Mihai sipped his wine and pushed his anxieties as far away from him as he could, but they stayed with him on the fringes of his mind.

She looked at the clock. "It's getting late."

"Let me escort you to your room. After Viktor and Sonia leave, I promise to put aside time to work on our wedding."

She stood and he watched her wipe out the glasses. She had made a major crack in his hardened heart tonight.

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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:

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 "Dracula" is Gary Oldman!

You can find me at:
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Super Awesome Totally Cool Giveaway/Interview

Hey All!

So my post today isn't going to be my post at all... that's just how lazy I am!  Actually, I want to direct you to a Super Awesome Totally Cool Giveaway/Interview that a fan is having.  She loves The Future Savior Series so much that she asked to interview me.  Along with the interview, I'm giving away 3 Amazon Kindle copies of Future Savior Book One: Conception.  PLUS, there are some supper yummy pictures of the absolutely gorgeous Kellan Lutz (my inspiration for Shaw!)  Please stop by and check it out:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Casting Janus

I don't think I can begin to adequately express how excited -- and nervous -- I am about my upcoming release of Phoenix Rising Book One: Janus. This book is a couple years in the making, and I've wanted to get the next stage in the Phoenix stories out there for awhile. I just hope people haven't forgotten me!

Today, I want to have a little fun. Everyone has seen the 'cast your characters' posts, so that's what I'm going to do today. But, I'm going to do more than just the hero and heroine of Janus, I'm going to cover a few characters who appear in the book. The Phoenix books are told as a 'cast of characters', which I love doing.

We'll begin with the main characters of this book.

First, we have John Smith XXXIV, Ambassador from Aretu. Yes, that works out to "John Smith the Thirty-Fourth. He tells Beverly Surimoto in the first series the Areth are a people of tradition. Or a lack of imagination. John was introduced in The Phoenix Rebellion as an Areth soldier stranded on Earth when his ship was destroyed during an attack by the Sorracchi. Now that we have won the war, John has set aside his weapons to stand as an ambassador between our worlds.

I use Christopher Eccleston as my inspiration for John. (Yes, if you're a Doctor Who fan you see my side there). Christopher Eccleston isn't your typical Hollywood Sexy kind of hero, but there is definitely something about him that appeals to me. And much to his chagrin, John Smith is seen as a bit of a sex symbol on Earth.

His counterpart is Jenifer. Just Jenifer. He sometimes thinks of her as Jenifer Of No Last Name. There is a reason she uses no last name, but that reason is only revealed with time. She's a tough, independent, snarky woman with an intelligence John can only guess at and a beauty hidden behind cold, angry eyes. And you'd better hope she never shoots at you. You're as good as dead.

I had a harder time focusing in on who I might cast as Jenifer, but ultimately I chose Claire Forlani. My father thought Claire was just beautiful, and he said it was because of her eyes. They hid a great deal. And that is a key element of Jenifer... the secrets she hides behind her eyes.

A lot of past characters from The Phoenix Rebellion are still integral parts of the ongoing series, and I'm putting them below -- as they say in Hollywood -- by order of appearance.

The book opens with Lieutenant Colonel Connor Montgomery and his Second-In-Command Mel (Melanie Briggs). Connor and Melanie command the Firebirds, an elite group of Earth Force soldiers. The best of the best. Connor is brother to First Lady Caitlin Montgomery-Tanner, and for much of the first series, assumed dead. He and Mel appeared in End Game to help save the day and now they work for The Prez.

When I think of Connor, I think of Ben Browder. A bit of that southern charm to him, although Connor grew up in France. He's cocky, sexy, and hunky. Mel is a soldier, but she's also a woman (a fact Connor isn't likely to forget). I see her as a short-haired Mandy Moore. The point about Mel is she isn't afraid to break a nail, but put her in a dress and Connor's jaw is probably on the floor.

Colonel (Ret.) Nick Tanner was a major player in the first series, and now he's a very, very important man. Nick Tanner is now known as President Nicholas Tanner... and that would be president of the world, by the way. In The Phoenix Rebellion, Nick finally got Caitlin Montgomery to the altar and now she's his first lady.

If you're a sci fi fan, these two look familiar. Actually, many of my inspirational actors and actresses probably look familiar. Nick Tanner is without question a character personification of Richard Dean Anderson from his Jack O'Neill stage on SG-1. All that sexy silver hair and sexy arms and... *ahem*... sorry. Tangent there. And his Caitlin is Amanda Tapping, also known as Sam Carter on SG-1. Worked out well like that.

Although other characters come around... Jace and Lilly Quinn... Beverly Surimoto and Victor... along with the introduction of new characters, the final two who really make an impact in the book and series are Michael Tanner and Jacqueline Anderson.

Anyone who followed the first series knows I love Michael. Of all the characters I have ever written, Michael is "The One". The character I'm so glad came from me. There are so many reasons, but mainly it comes down to there can never be anyone else like Michael. He is unique... and beautiful. I'm sure that doesn't make sense, but if you saw Michael the way I do, you'd understand.

Because Michael is Nick's son, and often said to look just like Nick twenty years younger, Michael is in essence also inspired by Richard Dean Anderson. Just more of a MacGyver era versus SG-1. Michael perpetually has his hair too long, and is slow to smile, but he's brilliant and has a heart so pure it's fascinating.

I wish I could say who inspired Jacqueline. In truth, I found this image years ago and it fit her well. Jacqueline is great for Michael because she challenges him in ways no one else can. She is very opposite to him, but he's made her into a different woman for loving him and being loved by him.

Okay, that's it. The next book, Triad, will have some old characters and some brand spankin' new characters... but that's for a future post. 

If you haven't read The Phoenix Rebellion yet, you have a great opportunity to buy all four books at a discounted rate. Now you can buy a 4-book pack, in your choice of five different electronic formats, through the Desert Breeze Publishing website. An almost 30% savings!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Perspective. How do you define right and wrong?

While listening to Goyte's newest song, Somebody that I Used to Know, I had a writer's revelation about perspective and how it plays into the depth of an antagonist. Goyte starts the song by singing about how cruel his love went about their breakup. But then you get the woman, sung by Kimbra, who tells how cruel he was during their relationship and how she had to break up the way she did.

This is interesting, and a great writing method that not many writers utilize to its full potential (including myself). Done right, this can be very rewarding to the reader.

One good sign of a well thought-out antagonist for me is his/her believability in their perspective of right or wrong. Their sense of purpose is justified to them. I think the best writing is when the author can make the reader empathize with the antagonist and even have the reader wonder about his or her own position. Even more important, maybe even question the position of the protagonist(s).

My favorite antagonist of all time is The Deceiver from the Chronicles of the Shadow War (a series continuation of the Willow story). That character really defines the duality of choice for everyone and how easy it is to become the antagonist while seeing yourself as the protagonist.


Throughout the stories, The Deceiver is attempting to take over Princess Elora's body, to rule over the 12 Realms. The band of Elora's friends, including the mage Willow (known from the second book on as Thorn), tries to save Elora and the world as they know it. Maybe even bring peace to the 12 Realms if all works out.

You find out in the end that The Deceiver is actually Princess Elora from the future. She goes back in time fix her own mistakes by attempting to "take over" herself as a toddler and start over. This slices time and creates a parallel existence. It's not until the end when The Deceiver confronts herself, Elora, that you see she really thinks she is the protagonist trying to save the world.

In the scene of them mind walking through a museum, the two woman use a Monet-style painting (the ones where all the little dots make up a scene) to see each other's perspective. The Deceiver points to each dot, which represents a moment in her life, and explains the reasons behind each action. She is trying to get Elora to understand the importance of her (er- their) mission. Elora pulls The Deceiver back to see the picture as a whole and shows what she's done to the world by her lifetime of small actions.

It is truly a revelation to The Deceiver that she is in fact the antagonist.

So, who is your favorite antagonist and why? What makes them stand out from the other villains?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunburns, Softball and Sofas

Okay, I'm late. With this blog and a lot of things just to name a few. Why? Wellllllll…….

This brings us to the major stumbling block to being a writer. Life. Yeah, you can't avoid it. If you could people would be sending condolences to your loved ones. Nobody wants that. Especially the writer in question. This is something that may shock you, but writers don't get to sit in comfy chairs all and hang out with that guy from the Dos Equis commercials, no matter how bad this author would love to do just that. Stay muse-y my friend!

Nope. We have day jobs. We have softball games to go to and long lists of Honey Do's that my wife wants done. Okay, that last one may be gender selective, but Jenn does have some things that she wants completed post haste. Which brings me one of the reasons this blog is a day and a half late. She has been after me for a few months now to redo and extend our porch so our precious children, two doggies named Paco and Maxine, can run around like ijits when it's rainy outside and not leave little messes all over the house. I see no sense in this, since little messes on porch are still little messes that need to be cleaned up. That could just be the man in me talking.

In any case, this weekend saw the completion of her dream. It also resulted in me having a third degree sunburn over most of my upper body. Since this is the South, I follow the strict rules of conduct for such things and went topless to ensure my neck became red enough to appease the neighbors and anyone I might run into at Wal-Mart. Needless to say, I manned up and spent most of Sunday whining and having Jenn apply copious amounts of sunburn ointment to affected areas. But! The porch is now finished, almost. Well, I have to leave something for this weekend, so that hopefully a finished porch will make her forget the rest of the things on that list.

Life jumps in yet again. Spring means softball or baseball if you have boys running around. I don't. With the exception of three nephews who don't live anywhere around me, I'm surrounded by little girls. Five nieces and one little sister who lives next door, so for the remaining part of spring and a week or two of blistering summer, I'm off to softball games, so that I can act the fool and scream at umps, and yell assorted clichéd softball rhetoric at the top of my lungs for two hours twice a week. It also means that I'm tossing the softball around when she knocks on my door in the evenings after work.

After all that, I'm more ready for my sofa than sitting in front of my laptop writing. Exhaustion is a terrible thing. It takes you away from the things you love to do, namely writing and watching season finales of my favorite TV shows. I can't wait for Castle, let me tell you. The point is sometimes that you have to step away from what you love, so you can enjoy those you love. As much as writing fulfills me, I wouldn't pass up the chance to make memories. I built the porch with my dad. To me, those hours in the blistering sun weren't wasted because they were spent with him. To me that was way more important. Yep, I'm a daddy's boy and proud of it. Just like with softball, I got to spent two hours with him and the family watching my sis. Seeing her smile at us as she makes an out on third or even ground out to first are memories both of us will cherish years from now. Besides, she might be the one to put me in one of those 60 Minutes nursing homes. I figure I better get in good with her now so she'll remember her Bubba came to her games and spent time with her. Yeah, I'm a Bubba. Get over it and let's move on.

To my fellow authors, next time you have a chance to make a memory or write something memorable, pick the memory. To you readers out there, though this might get me booted from the author guild, if there is such a thing, next time you have a chance to go out and play catch, or whatever it is your kids bug you to do when you're on the last five pages of a book, put the book down and go do it. Take it from a father who looks back on a lot of five pages to go, the five pages will be there, kids grow up and you'll regret not spending those times just being goofy with you kids, or even your parents. I've got a goofy dad, so I know. It's why we get along so great.

I'm going to sign off with that. I've got another blog to work on tonight and a few thousand words to get finished sometime in the next couple of months. Until then, I'm a slave to my life and loving every minute of it.