Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exploring the Paranormal

I love popping into the "Happily Ever After Blog." It's topical, fun, and I enjoy branching out and meeting new people. Since I have a new release out with Desert Breeze Publishing in May 2010 which deals with paranormal themes, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the paranormal.

One romantic sub-genre that's really popular right now is the paranormal. You can have all kinds of fun with the paranormal. You can play in the darkness with vampires, have fun in the sun with werewolves, and travel back through time.

What I love about the paranormal is that it's very versatile. You can set your story in the past, present, or future. You can also go to exotic locales. My favorite is Eastern Europe, deep in the heart of old world paranormal myths.

My latest story is about a werewolf. Set in 1901, the first half of the story takes place in England, the second half in Budapest, Hungary. Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets the beautiful Katherine Archibald, he risks everything for her love.

Of course, Matthias's secret is that he's a werewolf. How do you tell the woman you love you're…that? *yikes!*

While more paranormal literature is beginning to explore shape shifters and werewolves, I picked werewolves because unlike the vampire, they aren't "undead" – they're alive and so deliciously human. And telling a good story is all about taping into the human condition.

Most myths about werewolves include longevity in life, they're poisoned by silver, and they turn into wolves during the full moon. But how long does a full moon last? Two? Three days? If a lunar cycle is 28 days then the wolf is a man for 26 days – and it's the psyche of the man that is the wolf which appeals to me as a writer.

How does the man deal with being a wolf? Does he hide away from the world? Does he have a friend or two who understands his condition, willing to help him? Does he bear his curse with a certain nobility? Dare the man who is a wolf fall in love? Is he entitled to happy every after? I'd like to think so.

In my novel, "The Hungarian," my hero, Matthias, struggles with all these issues. That's what made writing "The Hungarian" so much fun.

Here's a small excerpt:

She caught his lips with hers. He responded in kind, wrapping his rugged arms around her, holding her tight. They kissed for the longest time, their lips deepening the kisses between them until their tongues began to mingle against each other, yearning with the sensual heat of desire. Katherine felt a deep physical agitation pooling inside her. His full lips tasted sweet, like a sinful treat she could easily become addicted to.

Then, with an abruptness she hadn't expected, he put his hands on her shoulders and broke the kiss with a jerk. "Katherine, do you realize what you're doing?"

"Tell me."
He cupped her cheek, looking at her with a deep intensity that burrowed into her soul. "It's too soon," he whispered.

"Too soon for what?"
"Don't I scare you? The way I look?"
"My scar? My eyes?"
"Not in the least."

"It doesn't bother you I'm a widower? That the Ashtons are openly seeking to prove me a poor parent so they can take my daughter away from me?"

"No." None of what he'd mentioned bothered her. From what she had observed he was honorable, exuding more nobility than the Ashtons ever would.

Matthias tore himself away from her and left the gazebo. He took long, quick wolverine-like strides toward the roses.

"What are you doing?"

He plucked a rose from a bush without any hesitation and held it up to her. "I love roses, Katherine. They're very soothing to me when I'm alone late at night, trapped by the moon. I want you to have this one. I am not an ordinary courtier, Katherine. I would not woo you with British practicality, but in ways that are foreign to you―"

"What are you saying?"

"If you think you are strong enough, if you think you can endure the summer's challenges, if you think you could find a life with me, then send this rose back in a week's time and I will ask Lord Archibald his permission to court you."

"The Hungarian" will be available 1 May through Desert Breeze Publishing and on Amazon for Kindle.

Here's a link to the book's trailer:

I'll be offering autographed postcards with "The Hungarian's" cover on it. To win, post a comment and I'll draw two winners name out of a hat which I'll announce at the end of the day.

Beware. The wolf is coming.
Smiles & Fangs
Stephanie Burkhart


StephB said...

I just want to say I'll be picking two lucky people who comment to receive an autographed postcard of the cover for "The Hungarian." Looking forward to it!


liana laverentz said...

Oooh...wolverine-like strides...nice foreshadowing!

Liana, happy to be here on the right day!

Julia Barrett said...

What a great excerpt! I agree, a paranormal is fun for both author and reader because your imagination can go anywhere!

SilverWolf said...

I love the excrpt and can't wait till this evening when I can watch the trailer. I love paranormal books and ones about werewolves especially can't wait to read this book.

Savanna Kougar said...

Steph, love the way your heroine and hero relate to each other.

There's lots of different werewolf and wolf shifter breeds out there in this vast romance paranormal-landia. Just the way I like it.

Maggie Toussaint said...

cool trick with the rose. Always enjoy reading more about your venture into the paranormal, Steph.

Keena Kincaid said...

Fabulous excerpt, Steph. I love the foreshadowing and how Katherine seems to know something is amiss but is content to ignore it.

Serena Shay said...

Congrats on your upcoming release, Steph. It sounds fabulous!

Mona Risk said...

Steph, I learned so much about werewolf from your post. Never knew they are wolves only during full moon. I love you bookcover and your excerpt. And certainly the setting in Hungaria.

Shawna Williams said...

Steph, every excerpt I've read from this book has just grabbed me. I can't wait to get my hands on the whole thing! Just a few more days...

Patti said...

LOVED the excerpt, Stephanie!

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--nicely done! The excerpt was especailly good. Loved it! Good luck with your book--you're doing a great job.Celia

Lindsay Townsend said...

Super, exciting, delicious excerpt, Steph! I loved your thoughts on the paranormal - most informative and entertaining.

Thank you so much for guesting with us at HEA - it's been a real pleasure!!

StephB said...

Forgive me for popping in late, but I was working last night. :( The postcard winners were Savanna and Shawna! Congrats. Send me an email to or with your snail mail and I'll get those postcards out to you.

Thanks to everyone who posted. It's great to see here.


Bekki Lynn said...

I love it when you post, Steph. You're so insiteful and excerpts wonderful. I hope you'll come back soon.

StephB said...

I know I'm late but thanks for having me!
I'll be back in May to gush about the CA strawberry festival.