Shawna: Welcome Steph. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Steph: Shawna, thanks so much for having me here today. Let me just share a little about me: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, I joined the US Army. I spent 11 years in the military, 7 in Germany. I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California, but my favorite football team is still the New England Patriots. I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher. I've been married for 19 years. I have two boys, Andrew, 8, and Joseph, 4. Little Odd fact: The 3 Wise Men are rumored to be buried at the Cathedral in Koln, Germany. I've been there several times.
Shawna: Tell us about your writing journey.
Steph: I've been writing since I was a little girl, but I never took it seriously until I left the Army in 1997. I joined Writing.com to help hone my craft and participated in several writing contests hosted by Writer's Digest. My best showing was 8th in the Mainstream/Literary category for my short story, "Spontaneous Decision" in the 2008 contest. After self-publishing a couple of novels, I'm now working with small presses.
Shawna: Please tell us about your new story.
Steph: "A Polish Heart" is a sweet family/inspirational short included in the Victory Tales Press spring/Easter anthology. Darrin Riverton is an architect from Newport, R.I. who is hired by a Polish construction company to help with the National Stadium which is under construction in Warsaw. (The National Stadium is a soccer stadium) When he falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, will Sophia's faith give him his heart back?
Shawna: Where do you find the inspiration for your writing?
Steph: I start with a basic idea. For "A Polish Heart" I knew I wanted to write an international contemporary. Since the story was to have a strong Easter/family theme, I drew on my own Easter traditions. I'm Polish and when I was younger, we had strong Easter customs. From there, I set the story in Warsaw and did some online research. From the research I discovered the National Stadium and the story grew from there.
Shawna: What message do you hope readers will take away from the story?
Steph: God is always there for you. Always.
Shawna: Do you have a favorite author?
Steph: My favorite author is JK Rowling, but I would be remiss not to give a shot out to Victoria Holt, Judith McNaught, and Lisa Kleypas.
Shawna: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Steph: Going to the gym and working out. I like watching Star Trek with my boys.
Shawna: Would you like to share an excerpt?
Steph: Sure! "A Polish Heart" is a sweet inspirational/family romance in the Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter Anthology.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU
Blurb: When Darrin falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, will Sophia's faith give him his heart back?
GOODIE TIME: Leave a comment and win an autographed print copy of the Anthology. I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner.
The Set up: Darrin and Sophia are going shopping at a local market.
Darrin grabbed his leather jacket and wallet and locked the door behind him. A bit more confident now, he had no problems finding the train station and buying a ticket. One proverb he'd read last night had been lingering in the back of his mind. It was Proverbs 13:11: "Wealth quickly gotten dwindles away, but amassed little by little it grows." His parents had amassed much, but had superficial friends to go with their materialistic lifestyle.
Wealth, true wealth, was found in one's heart. It consisted of love, loyalty, honesty, faith, and honor. Those riches, however, had to be earned or proven over a period of time. They were examples of wealth amassed slowly. He wanted this type of wealth in his life. Reaching for it would be one of the most daring and scariest things he'd ever done.
Did he have the courage to do it?
He'd never backed away from a challenge before. He wasn't about to now. He'd take a chance if Sofia was willing as well.
The train came to his stop. He walked up the stairs and found Sofia waiting for him, her auburn highlights shining in the sunlight. Her face glowed like a rare gem.
"Hi, yourself," she replied. The warmth of her smile echoed in her voice.
Darrin fell in step beside her and pointed to a busy market square filled with retail shops.
"So, why do you want a prepaid phone?" she asked. Her chocolate eyes sparkled up at him.
"Well, I want something local so you don't have to make an international call to reach me."
"I'd like for you to be able to call me, and I thought it would be smart to put the construction company's number in there as well."
"All right. " She paused. "Do you like veal?"
"Mama's making breaded veal chops for dinner. She wants me to stop by the local market for a fresh loaf of bread and vegetables. Do you like peppers and corn?"
"Papa also wants me to buy a bottle of his favorite vodka so he can share it with you."
"Interestingly, you have his approval."
"I do? How did that happen?"
"I suspect he was very impressed with the fact you opened the door for me last night."
"I was just being a gentleman."
Buy Links: Print Book: Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/3579108
Ebook: Lulu: (PDF) http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-springeaster-collection-sweet/15166166
Smashwords: (multiple formats) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48682
The Anthology is also avail on Amazon as a Print & Ebook for Kindle.
Find me on the Web at:
BLOG: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com/ WEBSITE: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com/ FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357922219
Some pictures in this post are courtesy of Dreamstime.