Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today's Guest, Steph Burkhart: DESTINATION BERLIN

Today I welcome fellow Classic Romance Revival author Steph Burkhart. Steph blogs about her latest book, Destination: Berlin, a sweet contemporary military romance.

Leave a comment today, July 14, with your email address for a chance to win prizes. See the end of the post for Steph's generous listing of the prizes available. Steph will select the winner early on July 15. Check back here to see who won.

And the winners are: Celia and Maggie won the postcards, and catslady won a copy of Destination: Berlin. catslady, send an email to Steph at or to claim your prize.

I'd like to thank Linda for having me today in support of my blog tour for my novel, "Destination: Berlin." "Destination: Berlin" was the first book I wrote. It was published in 2001 and is a "sweet" military romance. It's July 1988 and Corporal Sharon Cates is stranded in the middle of Communist East Germany. She's forced to rely on help from an unlikely source – Soviet Jr. Sgt. Dimitri Nagory.

While Sharon trudges through the forests and towns of East Germany to Berlin, her friend, Sgt. Mary Bates, in Osnabrück, learns that Sharon has been branded a traitor through the rumor mill. The commanding general of the US Armed Forces in Europe sends his best investigators, Maxwell Lawton and Gregory Conk to Osnabück to find out the truth of the matter. Slowly, Mary is drawn into Max and Greg's investigation. As the evidence starts to point to Sharon's ex-boyfriend, Mary can't help but wonder if he's the "too" convenient suspect.

I enjoyed telling this "B" story as much as I did Sharon's story. Max and Greg walk into a hostile environment, Sharon's unit, to prove either her innocence or her guilt. Mary decides to step up and help them despite her initial reservations.

What makes "Destination: Berlin" unique is that the focus is on "everyday soldiers," as the heroes. Most military stories focus on male officers and the romance is almost an after thought. With "Destination: Berlin," the romance between Sharon and Dimitri grows slowly over the course of their adventure. Sharon, and Mary to that extent, are different types of military heroes – they're female and non-commissioned officers.

The story is close to my heart as it was inspired by my own trip on the Berlin Orientation Tour I took in July 1988.


Lawton let a whistle slide through his lips. In the picture Conk pointed out to him, Cpl. Cates's father was in full class "A's." The Congressional Medal of Honor hung proudly around his neck.

"I didn't know," muttered Carrera.

"Sharon didn't tell a lot of people," came a female voice. Lawton spun around to find a tall, black haired female sergeant standing at the doorframe. "Bates" was on her nametag and sergeant bars rested on her collar. She was one of the soldiers who discovered the missing COMSEC.

"Did she talk about her father much, Sergeant Bates?" asked Max.

"A little."

"Greg can you call down to headquarters and have Lt. Cates's official military record pulled?"

"Sure, Max," said Conk. He closed the book and put it back on the shelf before leaving. Carrera stayed in the room, much to Lawton's chagrin.

"Did she tell you how her father earned the Medal of Honor?" Max asked.

"She told me that he was defending a group of civilians that were being evacuated when a grenade went off in his hand," Sgt. Bates answered.

"Was she close to her father?" Lawton continued.

"I thought she was. She wrote him a letter a week," Bates answered.

"Thank you," said Lawton.

Here's a link to Destination: Berlin's Book Trailer on You Tube:

Destination: Berlin is a Print book only. Here's where you can buy it:


Barnes and Noble:


Goodie Time: Post a comment. I'll pick two lucky winners out of a hat to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Today, I'll also be picking one lucky winner to win an autographed copy of "Destination: Berlin." I'm on Pacific Standard Time (PST) so I'll be back early 15 JULY to announce the winners.

To find out the dates on the blog tour visit my blog, "Romance Under the Moonlight."

Visit me at:

SG Cardin/Stephanie Burkhart Online

Romance Under the Moonlight


Linda Banche said...

Hi Steph, glad to have you here today. Great excerpt. Hope you have tons of sales!

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH AND LINDA--I liked the excerpt--we learn more about the main characters. I also think it's very good to have "regular" soldiers as the heroes, and even a woman. In truth, aren't all our military heroes usually the ordinary soldier? Anything about our military men and women usually makes me emotional. Only someone like you, Steph, could make the story real. That's one of your strengths as a writer--you have a unique background and you use it in crafting characters and plots. Good job. And hope new readers find you and your books! Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Steph and Celia,
I enjoyed the focus of your post, Steph. I think that's neat to focus on the every day soldier, the one who has universal appeal. Wishing you all the best! Maggie

Maggie Toussaint said...

Oops, excuse me Linda! I meant to say hi to Steph and Linda. I think I got distracted by Celia's comment. Forgive me for being an airhead.

catslady said...

I've been seeing your book around :) I love to read author's first books - there just seems to be something special in that first novel. It sounds very interesting and it's a very appropriate topic for our times.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Steph and Linda,

I love the "everyday" soldier heroes theme. To me, everyday people are by and large much more interesting than those so oft talked about.

StephB said...

Thanks for being patient with me, everyone. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. I think Berlin really does put the focus on everyday soldiers and I'm proud of the story in that way.

Congrats to Celia & Maggie who won the postcards. I'll get them out to you shortly.

And BIG congrats to Catslady - you won the autographed copy of Destination:Berlin. Send me an email to or with your snail mail and I'll get the book right out to you!

Continue to follow me on my blog tour for another chance to win another copy of the book. My next stop is Lindsay's Romantics on 16 JULY.


catslady said...

Thank you so much - I will send my info now!!

劉耀德劉耀德 said...
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