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Greetings to author and my friend, Stephanie Burkhart. This month I've asked Steph to stop by and share a little about how she is balancing her life and commitments with the holidays coming up. Steph, I know you are very busy with new titles coming out. Care to share the news about your latest releases?
STEPH: Thanks for having me here today, Dani. My latest release with Desert Breeze Publishing is a short story in the Borealis II Anthology called "Shadows and Light." It's somethin
g a little different from me in that it is a science fiction romance. (But then, you know I like to try my hand at different romantic subgenres –wink.)
The story takes place on the Borealis space station that is run by the bad guys, the TPP. My hero, Elijah Kess in undercover for the rebellion. So is my heroine, Persephone Talon. When they realize they have the same assignment, will their attraction help or hinder their mission?
I also have a Christmas short story coming out with Victory Tales Press in "A Christmas Collection, Stimulating," called "Christmas in Bayeux." It's a contemporary story that takes place in France near the World War II Beaches of Normandy.
On Thanksgiving (of all days! –wink) Issue 12 of the Ethereal Gazette comes out with my horror short story, "The Scorpion Temple." It has a Lovecraftian influence and is under my pen name, SG Cardin.
Boy, you're busy! Do you have any plans for the Thanksgiving holiday?
STEPH: We're having the family over my house. I have some great recipes I want to try out of the Weight Watcher magazine, and I plan on brining the bird!
My son wants to cook pierogi, which is an all day affair and not very weight watcher friendly, but it's a lot of fun so we'll probably set aside a day to do that. When I was his age, we'd go over to my mother's family house to make it. It's a tradition I want to continue with my boys. It's a Polish dish, and I'm proud to say there's a little Polish in me.
Glaring spotlight: Quick, what are the first 3 things that come to mind when I say "gratitude."
STEPH: Warmth, decency and thankfulness. It implies a humbleness that I think we all should strive for during the holiday season.
Good one. How have you managed or how do you plan to manage working your writing hours into the holiday season? Will your schedule change?
STEPH: Last year my writing slowed down because it's important to spend time with my family, especially my boys. That will probably happen again this year. I don't mind if it slows down because it's important to share the holidays with your friends and family.
I totally agree with that one. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
STEPH: I have two. As a young girl, making pies with my mother. She liked to make mincemeat, pumpkin and blueberry.
In 1991, my husband and I were married, but overseas in Germany they don't have Thanksgiving there. My friend, Gwen, from my old unit in Muenster invited us up to celebrate. Everyone ate turkey and drank too much. (Except for me and Gwen – we were close to sober.) Anyhoo…poor Gwen's husband was so tanked he pee'd on the wooden ornaments she had just bought at the downtown Christmas markets. She never let him live it down.
Okay, *laugh* one of the reasons I'm a non-drinker. Ornament preservation! I love pie. Mincemeat cookies are yummy, too, but I've never had mincemeat pie.
Now, you have had a lot of success and feedback on your work. What are your goals for next year?
STEPH: Keep writing and challenging my craft. I want to branch out with more small press publishers. Right now I have a short story planned for the Victory Tales Press Easter/Spring anthology that is going to be an inspirational. I've never done an inspirational, so I'm looking forward to it. I also have a novel length project I'm researching now that takes place in Germany 1939 and my focus is to make that a romantic suspense.
Do you have any holiday recipes you'd like to share?
STEPH: Gosh, my pierogi and homemade sugar cookies are very labor intensive. I can share a French Onion soup recipe. My husband and I were married in Denmark on 14 NOV 1991, but we've come to enjoy a good French Onion soup for our anniversary.
I'm going to have to try that for sure. Onion soup is delicious done right. I trust you!
Thanks for stopping by. Would you leave us with your contact information and links?
STEPH: Dani, let me wish you and your readers a Happy Thanksgiving.
Blurb: Shadows & Light
Although used as a controlled -- and controlling -- substance in the Borealis prisons, Uudon is a powerfully addictive drug. Abuse runts rampant, and the violence that has been directly linked to Uudon use is staggering. Nowhere is this more true than on Borealis, where the poor and forgotten will do nearly anything for this drug that will take away the sharp edge of their pain and supposedly make life a little easier to live... until they need their next fix. If they can't get it, their hazed world turns into hell... and depending on their degree of addition -- death may follow.
Over the years, the Rebellion has successfully infiltrated every level of the TPP and has slowly been chipping away at their power from their very foundations. Elijah Kess has been aboard Borealis for nearly half a cycle, working as a lieutenant on the Enforcer squad, and gathering information. So, when he starts suspecting someone is poking around about the Uudon trade on the ship, he has no idea that person has been sent by the Rebellion and his own family. Elijah and Persephone are both strong willed people, and both think they know the best way to handle things... as they trip over each other at every turn, they have to decide to either work together -- or shoot each other -- whichever comes first.
See the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2moYlgwCA
Now for Steph's recipe!
French Onion Soup
5 Onions sliced.
1 stick of butter
96 oz beef broth
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh French Bread
Shredded swiss cheese
1. Melt butter and put in onions. Soften & caramelized the onions. (this takes approx 30-40 mins)
2. Add the beef broth, bring to a boil. Then simmer, 15 mins. Salt & Pepper to taste.
While that is going on, slice the French bread and butter. Put the shredded cheese on the slices and toast. When you take the slices out of the toaster oven, slice them smaller into crouton size and put them in the soup after it's finished simmering.
Leave a post and I'll pick two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the Borealis II Anthology. I'll also pick one lucky winner to receive a coffee mug with the cover of the Borealis II Anthology. Just tell me who your favorite science fiction villain or hero is and why. I'll be back on 20 NOV to announce the winners.
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