Monday, April 23, 2012

Seeing the World thought my sons' eyes by Stephanie Burkhart

First, I'd like to thank Mona and the Ladies here on the blog for having me today. Just a little about me: I'm a romance and children author. For my day job, I'm a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Love California wine, traveling, and watching Dancing with the Stars. My latest release is a YA mystery, "First Flag of New Hampshire." The premise is simple. Can Alyssa and Miguel solve one of history's mysteries – where's the First Flag of New Hampshire?

I was so excited to hear Vivian at 4RV Publishing was going to publish this story because the inspiration behind it was the American Studies class I took as a Junior in High School over 25 years ago. That's how much its resonated with me. I also draw inspiration, resilience, patience, and smiles from my sons, Andrew (10) and Joe (5) and so I dedicated the book to them.

My dedication reads in part, "I can't wait to see New England through your eyes." My sons, though, are growing up in California. I was born and raised in New England. (Manchester, New Hampshire)

So what do I see through my sons' eyes?
My son, Andrew, is 10. He goes to 4th grade and wants to be in the middle. He figures it’s a good place to be. Not too popular, but popular enough not to get picked last. He likes reading Percy Jackson and Magic Tree House, but his penmanship is poor. He loves to play football. He's hooked on DWTS and begged me to sign him up for dance. Brave soul he is, he takes jazz and hip hop – 14 girls and him. Andrew likes to laugh and loves Amelia, our dog. When I play Super Mario Brothers with him he thinks nothing about carrying my character through half the game just to be helpful. That's Andrew – he's a generous soul who likes to have fun. He's not much of an explorer as I was at his age, but he's always showing me something new.

Joe is 5. He goes to Kindergarten and loves ice cream. Joe likes to read. He takes hip hop dance too because Andrew does. He's been going to gymnastics class since he was 20 months old. He likes to go to the movies. He also has sensory issues. Joe's sensory system doesn't process input the way we do. He's had speech therapy, occupational therapy, and child development therapies between 20 months to 3 years. The early intervention was instrumental in the successes he's had today. He mainstreams in all the classes he takes, but still needs occupational therapy for fine motor skills. His biggest challenge is regulating his senses. He gets better and stronger with maturity and I'm proud of the progress he's made. Joe doesn't like nicknames. He loves Super Mario Brothers too and he'll even carry my character. He's not usually game to try new things and has to be "eased" into it. He likes to go to church with his family, but sitting in a pew is hard for him. Joe has constantly challenged me to be a better parent.

These are my boys who give me a glimpse of the world through their eyes. They remind me to speak honesty and openly – from the heart in everything I say and do.

Who would you dedicate a book to and why? If you're an author, share your latest dedication with us.

Hunt For the Flag Giveaway:
Answer the following questions about New Hampshire. I’ll pick a winner to receive a spring book bag (made by my talented friend, Lori Powell), full of goodies to include a GC to Starbucks, chocolates, a magnet and more.

How long is New Hampshire's seacoast?

BONUS: Who is the only US President from New Hampshire?


Find me on the Web at:







LK Hunsaker said...

Steph, I love that dedication! My kids grew up away from my hometown, also, and it is interesting to see it from their perspective whenever we visit. The one comment I most remember: "Everyone TALKS to you here!" They were astonished that we could walk to town and everyone would say hello and sometimes stop to chat. We lived in Massachusetts at the time.

My most recent dedication, from Moondrops & Thistles is: To the Shepherds

Mona Risk said...

Steph, welcome to the Voices from the Heart. Your boys are adorable and you are right to look at the world through their eyes. They give an honest but beautiful picture of a world that looks distorted as we grow up and age. One day I'll write my biography for my children and grandchildren to discover the world I grew up in.

StephB said...

Loraine, I'm chuckling. Yes, NH is very much like that, friendly and a little more open. Or at least, that's what I remember. Andrew went to NH with me for a week at 2010 but he missed CA so much, he broke down and cried when I tried to show him my old church where I went to mass as a small girl.

Mona, I think that's a wonderful idea - writing a biography like that. I wish I had something like from my grandmother, (Bopie) I just might make one for my boys.


Maggie Toussaint said...

I love that you dedicated your book to the boys. I dedicate my books to family members and friends who have encouraged and inspired me.

Sheila Tenold said...

Hello Stephanie! I was a fire dispatcher in Santa Barbara County many years ago. Thanks for sharing your two sons at Voices from the Heart. Good luck with your new book.

Ana Morgan said...

Steph, This was a fun search.
Franklin Pierce was the President, though Adam Sandler, John Irving and Daniel Webster are more popular.
NH's Atlantic shore length is 13 miles. Love your no taxes.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Stephanie, It's fun to see a fellow Desert Breeze author visiting with us today. Your sons are adorable and sound like a handful - a wonderful handful. :)

I dedicated my first book to be released by Desert Breeze in August to our daughter Kellie who passed away from cancer ten years ago. She is an inspiration to us for her bravery and the beautiful way she lived her short life. Our children are often our teachers, aren't they?

Mary Marvella said...

Steph, this was a wonderful blog. The boys are awesome kids because they have you for a mama.

I dedicated my last book to my parents. Together they influenced my sense of humor and my love of stories.

StephB said...

I think it's so important to acknowledge those who support you and inspire you.

Thank you so much for your service. I know it's not easy being a fire dispatcher. I have to transfer to fire for medical and they don't have it easy.

Ana, thumbs up for the answers. Adam Sandler and I went to the same high School - Manchester Central, which is high school in 1st Flag of NH. He was class of 84 and I was class of 86. Believe it or not, he was on my school valentines list when I was a freshman.

Christa McAuffle is also probably more well known as well.

Paisley, it's great to see you here, too. I love visiting. Bet you're surprised to learn I write more than intense paranormals. hehe.

what a beautiful dedication to your daughter. I've recently lost two co workers to cancer and it's heartbreaking. ((hugs)) Children teach us so much and they don't realize it.

I hope to be the parent I never had to my children. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.

I'll return tomorrow to announce the winner of my giveaway. Thank you so much for your support.


Liana at said...

I'm working on a book about women's health and wellness that I plan to dedicate to my mother.

StephB said...

Liana, I'm looking forward to seeing your book. Congrats to Ana - winner of the giveaway. Please email me at or with your snail mail and I'll get it right out to you.


Paula Martin said...

That's a lovely dedication to your two boys, Steph.
In answer to your question, my immediate thought was 'Jed Bartlet' until I remembered, of course, that he wasn't a real President, just the one in 'The West Wing' on TV!

Josie said...

What an interesting book and title. And, I love the cover!

Your boys are so sweet. Thanks for sharing your story with our blog.