Welcome Guest Author, Stephanie Burkhart

CINDY: Hi, Steph. I'm very happy to have you on the blog today. (READERS--make sure to check at the end of the post for a CONTEST!) Steph, Can you tell readers more about yourself and your background?

STEPH: Hi, Cindy, thanks for having me today. I was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army. I spent 7 years stationed in Germany where I met a fair-haired California boy. We were married in Denmark in 1991. Nowadays, I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher and play chauffeur to my sons' soccer and gymnastic classes. I have a children's book out called, "The Giving Meadow" through 4RV Publishing. My first novel was "Destination: Berlin," a military action adventure sweet romance inspired by my time in the military. It is published with IUniverse under my pen name, SG Cardin.

CINDY: What has been your journey to publication? Did it take a long time or somewhat short?

STEPH: My first novel was self-published in 2001. It received good reviews, but it's taken a lot of work on my part to advertise and market it. Nowadays, I'm working with small presses and enjoy it. I like it because it lets me, as an author, have a great relationship with the editor and cover artists who work on my novels and stories. Publishing is a team effort and I've always been a team player, especially since my army days.

CINDY: What genres do you write in and why?

STEPH: Horror and Romance. I've had my horror shorts published in the Tabloid Purposes and I have one in the Ethereal Gazette, #12, released 25 NOV, called "The Scorpion Temple." I use my pen name, SG Cardin for my horror. I like horror because I find it inspires my wild, creative side. "The Scorpion Temple" has a Lovecraftian influence and it was the first time I attempted it.

I love writing romance because I'm a sucker for HEA. HEA, for me, is about hope, promise, and the power of love – it leaves you feeling good and I think we need some more HEA in the world. Romantic subgenres I've written include paranormal, contemporary, science fiction, and steampunk. I'm still working on my historical and I have an inspirational coming up as well.

CINDY: You have lots going on. That's great. What authors have inspired you?

STEPH: Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Jillian Hunter, Victoria Holt and Mona Risk.

CINDY: Are you a plotter or a panster?

STEPH: Can I be a combo of both? –grin. Before I write, I sketch out a rough plot. Then I write my scenes. Sometimes my scenes change because the characters do something I don't expect, but my loose plot allows for it. The beginning and ending are plotted. The middle? It's all panster. Christmas in Bayeux followed the formula to a 'tee.'

CINDY: To tell the truth, Steph, I'm a hybrid of both too. Tell us about your story, "Christmas in Bayeux," included in A Christmas Collection, Stimulating.

STEPH: It's a contemporary romance set in Bayeux, France. Bayeux is the nearest city to the beaches of Normandy and the World Wars cemeteries. Bayeux has a rich history and is home to the Bayeux Tapestry. 

Blub: Aiden Seward wants to feel again. After being told his parents were killed while he was serving in Iraq, he seeks out an old friend, Noel Rousseau, who lives in Bayeux, France. Can she mend his wounded heart?

CINDY: I love historicals and have a history degree so I love hearing about research. Did you do a lot of research for the story? What are your favorite research books or sites?

STEPH:  Yes, I always research my stories. I start at Wikipedia and branch out my research from there depending on what I find. I knew I wanted Aiden to go to the beaches of Normandy. A google search led me to Bayeux. From there, I discovered the Bayeux Tapestry, a neat little piece of history I worked into the story. I had a little personal knowledge of rural France from trips I made while in the Army and I worked that in as well.

CINDY: It's awesome that you have all these first hand experiences to work from. Having studied medieval England in college, I am quite familiar with the Bayeux Tapestry. What character did you like writing and why?

STEPH: I enjoyed them both. Aiden was filled with sadness, yet he's an educated man with the heart of an adventurer. Noel also has the heart of an adventurer, but she's more settled – and French. I loved how my love of the French language and culture flowed through her.

CINDY: How can readers get in touch with you and follow your work? Where can they buy your books?

STEPH: You can find me at:


Noel didn't push, letting Aiden find his own way, but now she thought he was ready for more. With a twinkle in her eye, she put the brush down and walked downstairs to the dining room. Aiden sat next to the window overlooking the ocean, sipping his coffee. French coffee was usually a stiff cup of espresso.
"Good morning," he said.
"Good morning," she replied, smiling. Her breakfast plate waited for her – granola, a croissant, and a cup of yogurt.
He clapped his hands. "So what are we fixing today?"
He arched his left eyebrow. "But, you have—"
She held up her hand and flashed him a wide grin. "We're going out."
"Into town. I have something I want to show you."
He plopped a piece of his croissant into his mouth. "What?"
"It's a surprise."
"I'm not good with surprises. I need time to prepare."
She giggled. "Aiden, really, this isn't the Army. Let me surprise you."
His brows drew downward in a frown.
"Don't pout, mon ami. It's unbecoming."
Aiden drew in a deep breath. "Say, isn't Christmas around the corner? Where's your tree? Your decorations?"
She waved her hand. "I usually put my tree up the night before."
"Oh, that's no fun. Don't you have an advent calendar?"
"Not since I was a girl."
"You need some Christmas spirit, Noel."

A Christmas Collection, Stimulating buy links:

Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425

Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

Cindy: Great having you, Steph. Good luck with the new release!

Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I'll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me your favorite TV Christmas special and I'll pick a winner to receive a PDF ebook copy of the Christmas Anthology. I'll come back on 09 DEC to pick the winners.


Maggie Toussaint said...

I learned something new about you today, Steph; though I intuitively understood it was a great truth, its always a wonderment when we look at ourselves with open eyes.

You are a team player, and every team is better for having you on it.

This morning I'm in an offbeat mood, so my favorite Christmas TV program is How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Cindy K. Green said...

I love all the Christmas movies! It gets me into the spirit of the season. But I guess I'd say my fav is While You Were Sleeping (Sandra Bullock) because I watch it with my sisters every year. :)

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm a great fan of Christmas. I enjoy most Christmas moview and TV shows, but I do not like the one about the little boy who wanted a BB gun. It's soooo boring.

Your new release doesn't sound boring, though.

StephB said...

Awww... thanks, Sweetie. I love how the Grinch Stole Christmas. hehe.

Cindy, I love While you were Sleeping, too. It's up there with the Grinch. hehe

Vivian, you know I don't care for that Christmas story, either, It does nothing for me! There's no BB guns in my story, I assure you. hehe


Cindy K. Green said...

This comment is from Sharon Donovan:

Hi Cindy and Stephanie, fascinating interview. You've lead and interesting life, Stephanie. I can relate so much to research leading to different parts of the globe and then creating thrilling fictional characters out of real life places. Wishing you both Happy Holidays. My favorite Christmas movie of all time has to be Charles Dickens Christmas Story--Scrooge.

Cindy K. Green said...

You know I love A Christmas Carol too. I read the book to my boys every year too.

Mona Risk said...

Steph, like Maggie I realize I learn something new about you every day with every blog. I don't watch TV except for Grey's Anatomy and news. But I love reading.

Julia Barrett said...

Steph - you have the most interesting posts and the greatest photos! Every year my husband and I watch It's A Wonderful Life. I know the movie is sappy, but we love it all the same!

Miss Mae said...

I've read "The Giving Meadow" and enjoyed it, it was so precious. :)

Steph, Victoria Holt inspired me too. :)

Wishing you much success with your writing!

Ciara Gold said...

What an interesting life you've led. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself. I enjoyed reading your writer's journey.

StephB said...

Sharon & Julia, It's a wonderful life is a very inspiring story. Thanks for popping in and sharing.

Mona, I'm lucky if I get the news, but I know all the Spongebob episode! LOL!!

Miss Mae! Yay! I'm glad you liked The Giving Meadow. It's a very special story for me.

Ciara, thanks for popping in!

It's goodie time!! Congrats to Sharon and Julia - winners of the autographed postcard.

Congrats to Julia - winner of the PDF copy of the anthology.

Ladies, please send me an email to sgcardin1@yahoo.com or botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com and I'll make arrangements to those out to you.


Keena Kincaid said...

I'm stopping in very late, but wanted to say hello and echo the comments about how much I love Christmas.

My favorite Christmas program is how the A Christmas Story. I don't know why, but I just love the tongue-stuck-to-the-pole scene.

Danielle Thorne said...

I think it's wonderful how you have used the inspiration in your life to write. With all your daredevil experience I took you for a pantster but it's nice to know other people need plot maps, too!