November 18, 2010

The Shadows and Light Blog Tour--and check out the Onion Soup!

*Leave your comment to win a free postcard and coffee mug!*

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:

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.

Goodie Time!!

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.

Buy link:

Find me on the Web at:


Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for coming by, Steph, to share news about the new anthology and the soup recipe. Yum! I think I may give that a try next week.

Also, I love your wedding photo. You look totally and completely in shock. It's sweet and hilarious!

StephB said...

It's great to be here. I get a lot of raves on the French Onion soup at work when I do it for a fundraiser. :)

Yes, my wedding picture is hilarious. I love Brent very much but the actual "big" day I was like "Oh My God, what have I done?" He couldn't stop smiling!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the onion soup recipe. One of my favorite soups. I like your wedding photo. thanks for sharing it. Sounds like your writing is keeping you quite busy. I wish you much success!

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Steph and Dani--
French Onion soup? My husband was stationed in France in the mid-fifties, and when he came home, we met, married, and immediately asked me to make French Onion soup--he'd tell me how to do it. I'd never heard if it. I'm a West Texas girl, knew there was a country named France--I was not that stupid--but they had a soup? It sounded quite complicated, but I gave it a try. Nope. Not right. He didn't ask again. But still, to this day, if he sees French Onion Soup on a menu, he's tempted to try it. But he's never, ever, found the right kind--and he never, ever will. You know how that is--the soup itself has to be just the right way, he remembers a very specific kind of tough bread, and gooey, stringy cheese. Bless his heart.
Thanks for sharing! And I'm glad to know someone can make it. He may show up on your doorstep some day! Love you both--Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

I laughed out loud at the last part of your story blurb - they have to decide to work together or shoot each other. Great stuff!

French Onion Soup is my husband's favorite. I haven't made it in a while, but I'll put it back in the rotation now that I'm thinking about it again. I can't remember if you specified a certain kind of onion.

Fav science fiction villain? Tribbles!


Danielle Thorne said...

Celia, you'll have to try this for your husband and see what he thinks. I've put it on my Thanksgiving menu.

lastnerve said...

Oh wow, that Onion Soup recipe looks really easy and GOOD! Loved the Christmas tree ornament ummmm mishap. lol Too funny! Your book looks really good and thanks for blogging, you made me smile.


Miss Mae said...

Love the premise of your SF. I am a great fan of SF if it's written right and yours sounds awesome, Steph. But, um, I might pass on that soup! LOL This is a gal who can't tolerate black pepper! LOL

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congrats, Steph, on all your work. You're one busy young lady. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

Danielle Thorne said...

I love beautiful book covers--the clarity of Steph anthology cover is amazing. VERY Sci-fi. Just had to comment on your cover though, Beverly, in your profile pic. It's lovely.

StephB said...

Gosh, it's a busy weekend for me! Thanks for having me. It's good time! (My favorite time!)

Congrats to Beverly and Miss Mae! You are the winners of the autographed postcard. Please send me an email to or with your snail mail and I'll get those postcards out to you!

Congrats to lastnerve - the winner of the Borealis Mug. Please send me an email to or with your snail mail and I'll get the mug out to you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped in. I really appreciate it. If you try the French Onion soup, let me know what you think.


Moon_Pie said...

villain? I would say Darth Varder. He looked so cool all in black. And I'm going to try the soup recipe too!w

Danielle Thorne said...

Congrats to the winners, and thank you, Steph for coming by and chatting with me.