Guest blogger — Stephanie Burkhart

Taking the Journey – Viktor’s Descent

I’d like to thank Theresa for having me here today. My latest release is a paranormal romance entitled “The Wolf’s Torment.” Set in Romania in 1865, Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen has a secret – he’s a witch. Can Theresa’s love give him the courage he needs to save his family from the werewolf that haunts them?

One of the challenges of paranormal writing is to bring out the humanity of the characters because that’s where you connect with readers. In “The Wolf’s Torment,” Viktor Bacau plays a pivotal role. While the story is a coming-of-age one for Mihai, the challenges Viktor faces also affect Mihai.

Mihai and Viktor are best friends, meeting in London while attending University. Viktor travels back to Romania with Mihai intent on honoring his promise of friendship to Mihai. When Viktor meets Mihai’s sister, Sonia, he falls in love. When the reader meets Viktor, they discover a “good” guy. He’s sharp, handsome, values friendship and love. Then the worst thing that could happen, happens – Viktor is bitten and becomes a werewolf.

Viktor must leave his wife every full moon and go to a pack. He’s given a witch to help him. He must sate his craving for blood. And he must deal with Timon, a wolf who hates him. All this goes against who he is and puts him on a dark path. Viktor is soon tormented by the “dark” actions he must do as a wolf.

Viktor isn’t the only one tormented by his transformation. Sonia, his wife, is tormented by the loss of their physical relationship. Has someone else replaced her in his heart? How can she possibly relate to him now?

Mihai is tormented by the loss of Viktor’s friendship. As their bond slowly erodes, Mihai can’t help but wonder if Viktor will harm his family.

Theresa is tormented by Viktor’s attention and is vulnerable to his wicked suggestions as she recovers from a deep, personal loss. She contemplates doing the unthinkable simply because she’s agonizing over her loss.

Viktor’s descent from “good” man into “bad” wolf doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. Most of the time it’s like that for us well. One doesn’t become addicted to drugs or alcohol overnight, it’s a slower process. Viktor’s descent will tug on your heartstrings. And that’s what makes him so deliciously human.

REVIEWS 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.

Link: http://thepenmuse.net/archives/2720

From Reader’s Favorites

5 Stars – The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, a princess and a prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.

Link: http://readersfavorite.com/cat-71.htm?review=4120

Enjoy this Excerpt:

The royal party walked up onto the steps. Viktor stayed close to Sonia. After a morning bout of nausea, her body had gained its strength back and she was able to join them.

Two men in frock jackets waited for them. They both bowed. A third man stepped forward.

“I am Herr Zering, Herr Schelberg’s interpreter, Your Majesty.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Mihai’s father’s voice was hoarse and he gestured for Mihai to talk.

“I am the Crown Prince Mihai and this is my wife, Princess Theresa.” He paused and the men bowed.

“Theresa and I are fluent in German and English,” said Mihai, speaking German.

Herr Schelberg smiled. He was older, balding, with grey hair around the temples.

“Ah, it’s good to communicate without an interpreter, but Herr Zering travels with me always.”

“Of course,” said Mihai.

“I am the commandant of the construction company.” He paused and pointed to his associate. “This is Herr Wursteg. He is my second and will oversee most of the work. We are honored that you chose our company to build your railroad.”

Viktor walked up to Mihai, leaning close. “The press wants you to say a few words.”

Mihai stepped up to the podium, a sense of pride thrumming through his veins. After all his hard work, the railroad was actually going to happen.

“Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, Herr Schelberg, and Herr Wursteg, welcome to this historic occasion. Building a railroad from Constanta to Bucharest will not only make travel easier between the two cities, but will also help to unite a nation. My father and I are proud to watch this project come to pass.” He paused and the crowd cheered. Flashes from bulbs went off, nearly blinding him.

Mihai looked at the Germans. Herr Wursteg held up a shovel. Mihai chuckled. Germans were very efficient. Mihai motioned to the steps and the party on the platform followed him. He went to a spot of dirt marked with yellow chalk and Herr Wursteg presented him with the shovel.

Mihai turned to his father. “Do you want the first scoop of dirt?”

“You deserve it, Son.”

Mihai nodded and looked at his wife, who had been so patient with him today. “Theresa, join me.”

She stepped up beside him and together they scooped the first shovel of dirt. More light bulbs went off.

Out of the corner of Mihai’s eye, he saw Viktor’s nostrils distend with jealousy, and Mihai didn’t care for that look one bit. He closed his eyes briefly, reaching out like Beatrice had taught him. Viktor was jealous he wasn’t asked to help with the first scoop. Mihai glanced at his friend. Viktor looked calm as he stood next to Sonia, but his fists were clenched, his jaw tight, his eyes narrow.

Mihai stiffened. While subtle, this was the first time he’d seen his friend express negative feeling and really struggle to keep it in.

“Viktor, Sonia, help me with the second scoop.”

Viktor graciously crooked his arm and Sonia laced her hand through it. Mihai handed them the shovel and then stepped away, standing next to Theresa.

“You look radiant,” he whispered.

Her cheeks reddened. Damn. He wanted to spend the night with her in the tower, but he needed to check in with her father instead. Mihai needed to tell him what he’d observed today. He hoped it wasn’t the beginning of something worse for Viktor.

Visit the Book Trailer on You Tube and give it a ‘like’ at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzHE2spBeeU

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

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One-ebook/dp/B004YTI3FM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1305222473&sr=1-1

Nook: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One/Stephanie-Burkhart/e/2940012459787/?itm=2&USRI=stephanie+burkhart

All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookonethewolf039storment-544310-139.html

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:

Website:

http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Blog:

http://sgcardin.blogspot.com

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

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6 thoughts on “Guest blogger — Stephanie Burkhart

  1. Keena,
    Thanks for popping in. Viktor’s descent did break my heart. I loved him because he was so complex, yet his battle was a losing one. He’s a character who is close to my heart.

    Smiles
    Steph

  2. Viktor is caught up in a terrible situation, for sure. There have been times in my life when life changing events swept over me like a tsunami, and it was always a bit terrifying. That leaving the familiar and having to embrace something new and unknown is hard for, so I completely sympathize with poor Viktor. Thank goodness for love.

    Maggie

  3. Maggie, ditto. I think Viktor is a character that will resonate with readers simply because of the journey he takes. He has to deal with his life turning upside down and we can all identify with that.

    Smiles
    Steph

  4. Great excerpt, Steph!
    I’m looking forward to reading more about Viktor – he was a great character in “The Hungarian”. Congrats on your fantastic reviews for your new release!

  5. Stepanie: Great Cover! Very good writing! I get drawn right in. Interesting how vampires and such have ‘evolved’ since the Bella Lugosi days: now, they are tortured humans longing to be set free of their evil afflictions.

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