Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mona Risk interviews guest author, Stephanie Burkhart

The Crystal Palace home of the Great Exhibition, circa 1851


MONA: I'd like to welcome fellow author and friend, Stephanie Burkhart. Her latest release is a steampunk romance called "Victorian Scoundrel."

STEPH: Thanks for having me, Mona. I always enjoy visiting the ladies here on Voices from the Heart.

MONA: What's steampunk?

STEPH: Generally a steampunk novel is set between 1830-1901 when steam was king. More traditional steampunks are placed in Victorian England, but an author isn't limited to location, just the time frame. You can have the story take place during the American civil war, in Brazil, or even Africa. It's an alternative universe concept that usually contains paranormal elements. Time travel and shifters are the most popular. Steam is the major means of energy and lots of crazy gadgets from goggles to leather and transmogrifiers populate the novel. If you've seen "Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, you can get a feel for what steampunk is like.

MONA: What's Victorian Scoundrel about?

STEPH: Edmund Windsor is a son of the Prince of Wales. He feels its his destiny to give Prince Albert a dirigible for the Great Exhibition. Big no-no. His cousin, Alice Windsor (of York) discovers what he's up to and follows him back in time to prevent him from striking up his unique brand of mischief. Once back in time, Alice meets Earl Swinton, Grayson Kentfield and strikes up some mischief of her own.

MONA: How long did it take you to write?

STEPH: 3 months including my research and since I never tackled a steampunk before, my research took a little longer than my usual projects.

MONA: Why write a steampunk now?



STEPH: It's a hot new genre that interests people. I liked it because it really stimulated my imagination and creativity. Not only that, I have a fond love of time travel.

MONA: What kind of gadgets can we find in Victorian Scoundrel?

STEPH: I've got steam run grandfather clocks, datamancers, (very early computers that focus on calculating odds and determining number values) dirigibles, dresses, and whuzzies. Did I mention there's a crazy guy named Ridgecroft who wears goggles and owns a transmogrifier? – wink-

MONA: Where did you draw inspiration for your characters?

STEPH: My inspiration comes from two different sources which I blend together to make my characters. For Alice, my inspiration is HRH Beatrice of York and Mena Survari. For Edmund, it's HRH Henry of Wales and Robert Pattinson. Alice and Beatrice have something in common. Anyone who can guess what it is I'll send you and autographed postcard of the cover and I'll pick a winner to receive a $5.00 GC to Amazon.

MONA: What do you want readers to take away after reading the novel?

STEPH: I hope they enjoyed the story and had fun. I want them to feel like they were on a fly on the wall in Alice's bedroom.

MONA: Can you share an excerpt and buy links?

STEPH: Sure. I'm also having a giveaway. Post a comment with a question for me about steampunk, or the story, and I'll choose a winner to receive a coffee mug with the cover filled with goodies. I'll announce the winner on 18 JULY.

BLURB:
It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over form the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past and 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon discovers Edmund has struck up a friendship with their great-grandfather, Prince Albert, and his mischief making entails leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint in history. She also meets Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton, and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. The Prime Minster finds her odd, to say the least.

It's only when Alice falls for the handsome Earl Swinton does she realize the dangers of time travel. How can she give her heart to a man from the past while striving to stop Edmund from changing time with his forward thinking ideas?

BOOK TEASER ON YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

AMAZON KINDLE BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310085532&sr=8-1

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK BOOK BUY LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=the%2bwindsor%2bdiaries

REVIEWS: 5 Stars, Readers Favorites, Molly E: I have never read a Steam Punk novel before, but because of her fantastic writing, her engaging plot line, and fun loving characters, it will NOT be the last. I highly recommend this with highest of 5 stars, and I can't wait until the second Windsor Diaries installment releases!

5 Stars, Tami Dee, Author of the Mists of Time Series: Stephanie Burkhart has a fresh, quick, quirky, inventive imagination and she gives the readers of Victorian Scoundrel a delightful mixture of all of the above!

EXCERPT:

Grayson escorted her to a door on the right, threw it open, and put his hand on her waist, guiding her inside. A gas lamp burned on a nearby table, throwing stark, deep shadows into the room.

Her determined man shut the door and pinned her against it. He plucked her glasses from her face and threw them onto the table with the gas lamp. Then he pinned her against the door, placing his hands on the door next to her arms. His breathing was erratic. The light from the lamp cast dark shadows over his chiseled features.

"Gray--"

He stepped closer and lowered his hands, placing one on her waist. Heat spiked within her and settled low in her abdomen. His hazel eyes burned with desire. He drew in a deep breath and raised his forefinger, tracing her lips. Alice closed her eyes, but only briefly, savoring the gentle touch of his finger.

"You do wild things to my heart, sweet Alice," he finally whispered. His finger traced her cheeks, then her jaw.

She grew hot, yearning for more. Her senses spun from his sensual touch. She could hardly breathe. "Me?"

"Yes, you."
"What do I do to your heart?"

"You make it beat hard -- fast." He ran his finger down the side of her neck and traced the 'v' in her throat.

Alice met the raging inferno in his eyes and nipped at her lower lip with her teeth. "Is that all I do?"

He issued a low, deep groan from his throat and leaned forward. Their lips searched for each other, teasing, until finally they meshed into a heat-searing kiss.

Alice completely lost her head. His lips were hard, firm, staking his claim. His hands went to her waist as his long, lean body pressed against her. She placed her hands on his shoulders and glided her fingertips around the nape of his neck. She wanted this man. Etiquette and propriety be damned. Victorian values wafted to the floor. She wanted to feel every inch of him that she could. His lips trailed over her jaw, kissing the side of her neck.

"Oh, Gray..." she moaned, her flesh now highly sensitized to his touch.

She had never been kissed like this.

He lifted his head; his mouth overtook hers once again. Her stomach fluttered. If it wasn't for him leaning into her, giving her support, her knees would have buckled. Need. Want. Desire. They pulsed through her.

His tongue teased her lips, coaxing her to receive him. She gave in.

Their tongues mingled, exploring, tempting, teasing. Raging flames consumed her body. There was only Grayson and her. Here. Now.

Grayson broke free, gasping for breath, as did Alice. His hands cupped her face. "I have to stop."

"All... all right."

His thumbs stroked her jaw. "You fascinate me, Alice."

A deep smile graced her lips. "Completely?"

"Totally."

"You kiss like a demon possessed, Grayson."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She previously served 11 years in the US Army from 1986-1997. She lives in California and has two children, 9 and 4.

145 comments:

Barbara Edwards said...

Wonderful excerpt. Have to get this book ASAP.
Barbara

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I have just recently gotten into Steam Punk. I love the story premise for Victorian Scoundrel and it's on my to buy list. I loved your interview Steph.

B. J. Robinson said...

Interesting to learn what steampunk is. I had no idea :) Beautiful job. Blessings, BJ

Mona Risk said...

I have fun reading Victorian Scoundrel. Stephanie pulls you in the story with her lively characters.

Vonnie Davis said...

I'm hearing more and more about Steampunk, vague rumblings. Yet I know so little about it. Although I've done some online research, your explaination offered more information. Thank you for sharing. Loved the excerpt, by the way. Much success to you.

StephB said...

Barbara, I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for popping in.

Sarah, I'm just getting into steampunk, too. It's a lot of fun. Thanks for popping in.

BJ, it's great to see you here. Thanks for popping in and exploring steampunk.

Mona, it's great to be here with you today. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed reading VS.

Vonnie, it's great to see you here. Glad I my explanation was helpful.

Smiles
Steph

Karen Michelle Nutt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StephB said...

Karen,I'm going to have to pick up your steampunk story. It's something that would definately interest me. It is fun writing a steampunk, isn't it? I found it brought out more humor out of me.

I'm so glad you're enjoying The Count's Lair. Anton and Amelia's story is one of my favorites!

Smiles & Hugs
Steph

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi to Steph and Mona,

Great interview, Mona! I enjoyed reading Victorian Scoundrel. Since this was my first steampunk novel I've read, all others will be measured against it.

I really enjoyed the time travel element of this story. Seeing the caharcters interact in two eras was quite fun.

Best wishes with the sales of Victorian Scoundel, Steph.

Maggie

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Great excerpt and interesting blog. Sounds like a fascinating book. I love the Victorian era, especially with a twist!

Helen

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Oh, I meant to say that I love your book cover as well.

Helen

StephB said...

Maggie,
Thanks for popping in. I'm glad you enjoyed Victorian Scoundrel. I really had fun channeling Alice & Edmund.

Helen,
I love the cover, too. Jen Ranieri, the cover artist, is just fab.

Smiles
Steph

Gabriella Hewitt said...

The story sounds fascinating. I have a question: What did you find most challenging in writing your first steampunk novel?

This is an exciting genre. I haven't read too much aside from The Parasol Protectorate series, but I love the gadgets.

Thank you for visiting and giving a great interview.

StephB said...

Gabriella,
What was the most challenging was coming up with the plot and gadgets. I wanted something more traditionally Victorian so I read all about Queen Victoria's reign and settled on the Great Exhibition being the pivtol event in the novel where all the action was going to surround and I think it was a great choice because the Exhibition featured the best and brightest of British ingenity and it showcased objects that became common place in our homes.

The gadets were also challenging because you want to bring enough to give your world an "alternative" feel. I think the steam run grandfather clocks help paint the picture. I've got datamancers, a dirigible, a transmogifier, and my own unique invention, the whuzzies which are used to deliever correspondance.

Thanks for the great questions!
Smiles
Steph

Josie said...

Stephanie,
What a fascinating subject. I love your excerpt!

StephB said...

Congrats to Gabriella Hewett who wins a coffee mug w/the cover of Victorian Scoundrel filled with goodies!

Gabriella, can you email me at sgcardin1@yahoo.com or botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com with your snail mail so I can get that out to you?

Thank you for having me ladies.
Smiles
Steph

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