Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Character Excerpt - Stefan Sigmaringen from Twilight Over Moldavia

From the Diary of Stefan Sigmaringen
August 1883

I'm many things – a witch, a prince, a son, brother, and now, a fiancé. The thought of becoming engaged was a terrifying one because I didn't know what to expect. For the last ten years of my life, since I was six, my mother taught me everything I needed to know about my intended, the Crown Princess of Carpathia – Edwina Moldoneavu. She possessed hair as black as a raven and piercing hazel eyes. Edwina was well read, an excellent dancer, and her embroidery was perfect. Edwina knew nothing of witchcraft, and I was counseled by my parents to never discuss this aspect of myself with her.

Then Edwina died. And with her, all my expectations.

I was told Edwina's sister, Caroline, was the new Crown Princess of Carpathia, and I knew nothing about this woman. The thought of becoming engaged to a woman I knew about was daunting.

My family traveled from Constanta to Carpathia for the official engagement. Just outside of Dragon's Keep, the home of the Carpathian royal family, in the woods, I heard the sounds of horses and decided to investigate. That's when an arrow grazed my thigh – a flesh wound really, that drew a small amount of blood. A young woman approached, wearing rider's pants. She possessed dark brown thick, wavy hair and sea-blue eyes. She apologized profusely for shooting me. Her exotic features stirred the spark of attraction in my soul. She removed her scarf from around her neck and wrapped it around my legs in an attempt to bandage my wound. A blast of heat rocketed through my body from her touch. Her eyes snared mine in a feral trap and I knew this woman was meant for me. She was mine.

My cousin, Michael, prodded me to return to my traveling party and I left the woman in the woods. She told me her name was Aurora, but I knew this: She was of noble birth and Aurora was not her given name.

We arrived at Dragon's Keep and my family prepared to meet Moldoneavus, but my mind wasn't on Caroline, it was on Aurora. She left her scarf around my leg and I had it cleaned, hoping to present it to her. It was made of the finest fabric and the Carpathian royal crest had been embroidered on it along with the initials "CAM," my only clue to Aurora's true identity.

I had no desire to meet the new Crown Princess, the girl who took Edwina's place in my life, until I saw her. She was my Aurora – and a witch, like myself.

Once everyone was seated, the dinner service began. Stefan sat next to Caroline, with their fathers on either side of them. Stefan glanced at his mother. If Queen Aurora's expression betrayed her disappointment, his mother's expression betrayed deep worry. Interesting. He followed his mother's gaze and found it on Lady Getzi's table. Now that piqued his curiosity. Lady Getzi was one of his mother's dearest friends. What would cause such worry? The word secret popped into his mind and sent a small sliver of unease coursing through him.

"Prince Stefan, do you like your meal?"

He turned at the soft sing-song quality in Caroline's voice, surprised to find it so delicate and feminine after their previous encounter.

"Yes. Roasted pork is one of my favorites."

King Mircea placed a hand over Caroline's and patted it affectionately. "Stefan is your equal. You may address him by his name."

Caroline nodded. Stefan glanced at his father and noticed he had an almost haunted expression on his face, as if he'd recently recalled Mircea's words. Was Stefan a fish out of water? The whole banquet centered around his coming and was offered for his betrothment, yet he sensed much intrigue surrounded their parents.

"Yes, Papa," Caroline replied, smiling.

Stefan sipped his wine and leaned over to Caroline, trying to dispel the uncertainty caused by his observations of their parents. "These occasions are so formal, aren't they?"

"Yes, they are."

"I was pleasantly surprised to discover you are the crown princess of Carpathia," he whispered.

"Surprised, or horrified?" she replied in a whisper.

QUESTION: What do you think Stefan's reply is? I 'd love to hear your thoughts. If you visit my blog at and answer the question, you'll be entered into a giveaway to win a PDF copy of Twilight Over Moldavia.

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?

5 Stars, Reader's Favorites, Brenda Ballard













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