JILLIAN: I’d like to welcome fellow Desert breeze author, Stephanie Burkhart. Her latest release is “The Wolf’s Torment,” a paranormal romance set in Romania during the 1860’s. Stephanie, can you tell us a little more about the story?
STEPH: Thanks for having me here today, Jillian. Prince Mihai Sigmaringen has a secret – he’s a witch. He inherited his gifts from his mother who unfortunately dies when he’s ten. While Mihai has never really shunned his heritage, he hasn’t embraced it, either. At the beginning of the novel, he’s really overwhelmed. His father has recalled him to Moldavia from London. Mihai must build a railroad, unite the principalities, get married, and have a child. He’s had a disastrous love affair while in England and he’s reluctant to fall in love again. His father has arranged a marriage to a beautiful Austrian noblewoman; Theresa von Kracken. Theresa also has a secret of her own.
JILLIAN: How does the wolf fit in?
STEPH: Mihai’s best friend is Viktor Bacau, son of an Ukrainian noble. Viktor accompanies Mihai back to Moldavia, where he meets and falls in love with Mihai’s sister, Sonia. Mihai and Viktor are best friends, but Viktor is bitten and transforms into a werewolf. When Viktor changes, his more feral nature challenges the relationships around him including his friendship with Mihai.
JILLIAN: How did you come up with the title?
STEPH: Viktor starts out a good man and his transformation into a wolf torments not only him, but those around him.
JILLIAN: What’s the inspiration for “The Wolf’s Torment?”
STEPH: I actually wrote the sequel, “Twilight Over Moldavia” first. Poor Prince Stefan was cursed to become a werewolf and only the ‘kiss’ from a princess could save him. It was a fairytale in reverse. Once I wrote it, I asked, “How could Stefan’s parents curse him to be a werewolf?” From there, “The Wolf’s Torment was born.”
JILLIAN: How long did it take to write?
STEPH: Years. My first draft was completed in 2005. In 2007, I self-published with IUniverse. In that edition, I used a broader pen, heavier on the horror elements. I wanted the story to have more of an Anne Rice “Witching Hour” feel to it, which I think it did. In 2010, I discussed bringing the story to Desert Breeze. I knew it would need a rewrite to tamp down the horror elements and bring out more romantic elements. In that regard, one of the biggest changes is with the character of Alexandra, who is only mentioned in the current version of the book as the woman who breaks Mihai’s heart. Sonia also goes through change. In the 2007 edition, she was a maid in the castle. Now she’s Mihai’s sister.
JILLIAN: How is Mihai and Theresa’s love story important to the plot?
STEPH: Mihai has hardened his heart to love after Alexandra has rejected him. He’s not looking to fall in love again. At first, getting engaged to Theresa is his duty, but as he gets to know Theresa, she cracks the battlements around his heart. Her loves gives him the strength and courage he needs to deal with Viktor’s growing feral nature.
JILLIAN: What’s the appeal of writing a paranormal story?
STEPH: Making the characters human in light of their supernatural/paranormal characteristics. Mihai may be a witch, but how does he temper that ability and reconcile it to his humanity?
JILLIAN: Do you have an ebook reader?
STEPH: Yes, I have a kindle and I love it! My favorite aspect is the text to speech so now I can listen to my books traveling to work in the car.
JILLIAN: What authors have influenced you?
STEPH: A bunch. From Victoria Holt I take my love of spooky manors and gothic heroes. From VC Andrews, I take my love of dark, crushing secrets. From JK Rowling, I take my love of the paranormal world. Jillian Hunter is another favorite author of mine.
JILLIAN: Do you write other genres?
STEPH: I’ve experimented with a bunch. I’ve several horror short stories under my pen name, SG Cardin. In romance, I like to write my paranormals, contemporaries, sci-fi, steampunk, and fantasies. I also enjoy writing poetry. I like working with villanelles, quarterns, and kyrielles. And who doesn’t enjoy a good haiku?
JILLIAN: Are you a good cook?
STEPH: I do enjoy cooking, but it’s hard trying to find the balance with all the hats I juggle. My son, Andrew, raves about my New England Clam Chowder.
JILLIAN: You work full time as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. What’s that like?
STEPH: Interesting, trust me. I’ve heard it all from party calls to shootings in progress. The work is rewarding because you’re helping people.
JILLIAN: What TV shows are you hooked on?
STEPH: DWTS, Survivor, Pawn Stars and now Game of Thrones.
JILLIAN: Thanks for popping in, Steph. Can you leave us with an excerpt?
STEPH: Sure. Will do.
BLURB: Prince Mihai has a secret – he’s a witch. Can his love for Theresa fortify his courage to confront the wolf that threatens his family?
REVIEW FOR THE WOLF’S TORMENT
From The Pen & Muse:
A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot. Lovers of historical paranormal romance will enjoy this read, the first in the Moldavian Moon series.
ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:
Theresa walked through the doors of Mihai’s room and paused. She had never been to his room before. Thank God they didn’t have to go through that barbaric ritual of bedding down with a hundred witnesses. She couldn’t bear it.
She had separate apartments next to his, and a secret door connected the rooms.
Mihai shut the door behind them. Candles burned throughout the chamber and a fire blazed in a fireplace across from the bed. The bed was wide, with a thick down cover. A window faced the Black Sea. The curtains hung to the side. Theresa saw a full moon glittering on the sea.
Mihai placed his hands on her shoulders. “How do you feel?”
He went to the nightstand and grabbed a wrapped box, handing it to her. “For you. It’s my wedding gift.”
A smile tipped the corner of her lips and she anxiously ripped the wrapping off the box.
A fine rose-colored silk nightgown rested inside. “It’s beautiful, Mihai. The material is so soft, so fine. I adore it.”
“Will you wear it tonight?”
Her cheeks heated. “Yes.”
“Good. I can’t wait to see you in it.” She coughed. Why was she embarrassed? Theresa glanced around the room looking for a square package that should have been delivered earlier today. “Is something wrong?” he asked. Slowly, Theresa investigated the room. Nothing. Opening the closet, she discovered the package.
“Here’s your wedding gift.” Mihai grinned, picked up the package and brought it to the bed. Theresa couldn’t help but smile as he unwrapped it. Her husband reminded her of Victoria’s son at Christmas opening his gifts, capturing that same youthful exuberance.
“de Vilegar! How did you…?”
“Papa helped me acquire the painting.”
“It will go above the mantle in my study.”
“I hoped you would put it there.” Mihai rested the painting on a table next to the door. He closed the distance between them and cupped her cheek.
She closed her eyes at his gentle touch, placing her hand over his. This was perfect.
“When you first entered the church today, my heart skipped a beat. You are so beautiful in that dress.”
She opened her eyes. “Thank you.”
“I want you. You did so much for me. Your learned my language. You converted to my religion. You gave me a painting from one of my favorite artists. I love you.”
Her lips curved into a wide smile.
He pressed her close to his body, his mouth covering hers with hungry desire. He wanted her, and she gave into the rising sensuality between them. The thought of being intimate again with him warmed her to her bones.
She desired him as badly as he wanted her.
He slipped behind her. His nimble fingers made quick work of the buttons and stays that held her dress up. With a quick, firm shove, he pushed the dress to the floor. Then loosened her corset and slid it over her head. The only thing between them was her chemise.
Visit the Book Trailer on You Tube and give it a ‘like’ at:
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: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok
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 “werewolf” is David Thewlis, Lupin from Harry Potter.
You can find me at: