Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Goddess Fish Presents: The Secret Door by Stephanie Burkhart





BLURB:

It's 1927 and Lord Zoltan Kristos, Hungary's Minister of the Interior, takes great pains to hide the fact he's a werewolf from the world. Despite his efforts, he's recognized when he goes to the Austrian-Hungarian border to inspect the area for damage from a recent rare earthquake.

Zoltan is accused of stealing Kurt Meklau's witch, Inna, and is recklessly pursed to Volturn Manor, a residence belonging to another werewolf family, the Vargas. After a fight with Meklau, Zoltan barely escapes and his adversary is found dead.

Sophia Varga and Tomas Martin find Zoltan. Sophia is determine to attend to Zoltan's injuries and protect her home, but when Kurt's father, Marcus, comes seeking revenege, Sophia is tested like never before. As Zoltan and Sophia work together, attraction and desire flame between them.

Will the secrets Volturn Manor harbors offer Zoltan and Sophia the clues they need to defeat Marcus and give them the opportunity to explore their feelings for one another?

BUY LINKS:


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EXCERPT:

Sophia paused, scooped out a new handful of lotion and rubbed it into the scratches on his muscled thighs. Again, a low, uneasy breath escaped from his throat. Her touch drove his body wild. Glancing down, there was no mistaking the bulge of his manhood through his boxers.

Sophia paused, her gaze settling upon his groin, then looked up at him. His jaw tensed, and he drew in a breath.

She nipped at her lower lip, uncertainty in her eyes. "You're hard," she whispered.

"See what you've done to me."

She raised an eyebrow, her question unspoken.

"I assure you this has not happened before," he said.

For a moment she studied him intently, her eyes darkening to the color of sapphires before she continued.

He looked her over seductively. His heart skipped a beat with desire. She rubbed the lotion into her hands and placed them on his stomach. He groaned, reaching out with his left hand and threading his fingers into her hair, jerking her head back so they were eye-to-eye. She set her jaw. His pulse pounded. Something intense flared between them, yet she kept her hands on his abdomen. Encouraged, Zoltan tugged her toward him, pressing her chest against his. Her nostrils flared and her brow furrowed in confusion.

He stopped, reminding himself he needed to offer a choice. "Do you want me to kiss you?"

"No." The sound of her denial was weak. He held her close.

"Do you want me to release you?"

"No."

"How should I solve my predicament?"

"I don't know."

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AUTHOR Bio:

I'm a member of Generation X, and was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, the U.S. Army gave me a job. I  spent 11 years in the military, 7 stationed in Germany. While in the military I earned my B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in 1995. After leaving the Army in 1997, I settled in California. The New England Patriots are still My favorite football team. I've been married for 20 years.

Currently, I work for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. I'm a member of  EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection). I'm published with Desert Breeze Publishing and 4RV Publishing.

Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

Like my Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166



Website  



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My Review: 

The Secret Door is an historical paranormal fantasy book set in Hungary during July 1927. The story kicks off with an immediate BANG, taking the reader on a high speed (for the times) car chase upon perilous roads and ending with a brutal fight between two werewolves. Stephanie Burkhart mixes action adventure with Gothic romance and sprinkles in a touch of mystery to create an entertaining tale. This is book four in the Budapest Moon series, but back story is skillfully integrated, and the story may be read as a standalone.

Zoltan Kristos is a dark hero with a checkered past. He is a nobleman and a werewolf, and has committed acts earlier in life, which he has come to regret. His fight with rival werewolf Meklau is over a personal witch, Inna, who possesses the knowledge to administer specific herbs to werewolves to aid in their transformation and healing. During the fight, Meklau is killed, although not directly at Zolton's hands, which brings the wrath of the story's primary antagonist, Marcus, down upon Zolton.

Sophia Varga is the daughter of a werewolf man and a human woman, and the mistress of Volturn Manor. She possesses some wolf traits but remains unable to shift her form to that of a wolf. She is a courageous and resourceful heroine, but untested as the story begins. However, the fast moving plot provides her with plenty of opportunities to prove her worth.

Zolton and Sophia share an immediate attraction. The characters have good chemistry, but I have to confess, the initial romantic scene as shown in the excerpt left me giggling. 

She nipped at her lower lip, uncertainty in her eyes. "You're hard," she whispered.
"See what you've done to me."
She raised an eyebrow, her question unspoken.
"I assure you this has not happened before," he said. 

What—never?! For a grown man, I'd have expected him to have experienced erections eight to ten times as a day from the onset of puberty and onward. That's one heck of a stoic hero...

All kidding aside, the romance between the hero and heroine is thoroughly enjoyable.  The love scenes are sensual, imparting a pleasant sizzle, and nicely interwoven with the fast paced action sequences. The take on werewolves is original but also harkens to traditional horror, and the author does an excellent job of transporting the reader to the post-World War I setting. There were moments when the language choice threw me.  The Secret Door is a solid choice for the reader looking for an exciting paranormal story containing both romance and adventure.

BUY LINKS:



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Stephanie will be awarding a back list print book, either The Hungarian or The Count's Lair, from the Budapest Moon Series to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a Grand Prize of a coffee and chocolate gift basket: $10.00 GC to Starbucks, A Coffee Mug, Andes Chocolates, Magnets, and a Lori Powell Original Book Bag to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).


31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Miss Snark and Goddess Fish, thanks for having me today.
      Smiles, Steph

      FYI ... I'm on PDT time so I hope it doesn't appear like I'm not hanging out. I'm here.



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  2. Nice, thoughtful review. It's a good excerpt. The proper names are interesting. How do you come up with your character and place names, Stephanie?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine, great question! I usually spend about 2-3 weeks researching the book, including names. I usually make a list between 5-7 names that interest me and narrow it down until I have just the right name.

      Smiles
      Steph

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  3. Stephanie, This genre is actually right up my alley (werewolves). I plan to check out the prior books in the series. :)

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    Replies
    1. Miss Snark, I'm glad you enjoyed the story and I really appreciate your review. I have another werewolf/witch series, too (Moldavian Moon), that's been well received. I love writing wolves, witches and the paranormal. You can really let your imagination soar with the genre.

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  4. Great review!! I love the cover. Tweeted.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ella. I really appreciate it. Jen Ranieri did a wonderful job with the cover.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  5. Stephanie,

    *snickers* Yes, I understand completely.

    I'll check out your other series too. :)

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  6. Great review! I haven't read this one yet, but it is on my "to-read" list! What influences you, Steph? Movies? TV? Music? Other books? :)

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    Replies
    1. Dina, thanks for popping in! I love a good movie, but sadly, it's hard to get out with the boys being 11 and 6. I'm into "Games of Thrones" (that inspired my fantasy, The Green Rose). I enjoyed "The Tudors." "Downtown Abbey" is another favorite. Maggie Smith rocks as "Violet." She's got to be my favorite character on that show. Just finished watching Star Trek with the boys and now we're watching Star Wars. Andrew hasn't seen them yet.

      Rowling's "Harry Potter" is another strong paranormal influence because I love how she made her characters so real and relatable.

      Sadly, like my movie going, my music has suffered. I'm pretty much stuck in the 80's but I come up every now and then for breath. I love Adele, Sean Wiggins, Phillip Phillips. Blue Oyster Cult's "Astronomy" was a major influence when Twilight Over Moldavia, the sequel to The Wolf's Torment.

      I love reading books. I love Shana Galen, Jillian Hunter's Boscastle series, Brandywyne is a favorite of mine because she writes 1st person so well. I like the 50 Shades Series for the character growth, Rick Riodian's "Percy Jackson" series gives old gods a new twist that makes them appealing to younger readers. I love reading historical fiction but honestly, I struggle to write it so I generally stay away from that.

      I usually write contemporary, paranormal, fanstasy, and steampunk because it allows for the imagination to grow and expand. I also write children's books. The Giving Meadow was inspired by writing a play for our Sunday preschool for Easter.

      Smiles
      Steph

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    2. I remember you mentioning "Astronomy" back in the day. Like you, I don't see many movies and my exposure to new music is also limited. I do have a few tv shows I follow online. I really want to watch GoT, but Netflix doesn't have it. Yet. It is always interesting for me to learn what inspires other authors. Sometimes the answers are expected. Sometimes, not.

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  7. Stephanie your books are always great. I do enjoy them. Different settings, intriguing. You rock.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda. I love the cover the cover of your Baer Series. They're very cute!
      Smiles
      Steph

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  8. I like books that make me imagine different beings and worlds, and Stephanie does it so well.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Delores. I love exploring different worlds.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  9. What a wonderful sounding story! Thanks for sharing!

    daringzoey@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Melissa, thanks for stopping by.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  10. Thank you for the review, it sounds like a great story.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Sounds like an awesome and original story!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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  12. It seems those werewolves like to hang out around romantic, broody places like, Hungary, not places like Chicago.

    Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! Sounds intriguing.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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    Replies
    1. Morgan, you nailed it. LOL!! Then again... I hear Chicago has a fun nightlife...
      smiles
      Steph

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  13. Steph, I love your werewolves. They seem so human and passionate. I'm twitting this blog.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoy the stories, Mona. Thanks for the tweet.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  14. Very nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  15. I'm just stopping to announce that my back list winner is Melissa Keir. Thanks to everyone who visited. The winner of the The Secret Door Grand Prize is Catherine Lee. Thank you Miss Snark for having me. Please send me an email at: botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com for a thank you.

    Smiles
    Steph

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