Today I am so happy and delighted that the wonderful Stephanie Burkhart is visiting the Summer Blog-String Fest! She’s a fantastic author, great friend – and fellow New England-er. Welcome, Steph!
Behind the Scenes of: A Polish Heart
by Stephanie Burkhart
Regina Andrews is one of the sweetest people I know. A fellow Desert Breeze Author, when I learned Regina was from Rhode Island, I felt like I’d met a kindred spirit. I grew up in New Hampshire. My first time to Rhode Island was to Newport in 1985 as part of a school trip. Newport, Rhode Island is beautiful. I visited the mansions of Newport – Rosecliff, the Astors, and the Breakers, and fell in love with the Breakers. What made the biggest impression with me was standing in the middle of the great hall and closing my eyes and envisioning what it like all those years ago.
The Breakers was the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and the home was constructed between 1892-95. The architectural style embodies “The Gilded Age” of America and was the largest, most elegant house in Newport when it was finished.
When it came time to write my inspirational short story, A Polish Heart, I drew upon my knowledge and love of Newport to give my hero, Darrin Riverton a home. Darrin comes from Newport and embodies the American dream.
“A Polish Heart” is a short story included in Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter anthology. The story encompasses inspirational and family themes. Darrin’s a successful architect who travels to Warsaw, Poland on an assignment. Sofia Buraczynski is the beautiful, hard-working and family orientated interpreter who Darrin falls for. Will Sophia’s faith give Darrin his heart back?
What I enjoy about writing for Victory Tales Press are the opportunities to branch out and try other subgenres of romance. “A Polish Heart” has an inspirational message – you are who God made you and you shouldn’t try to be what other people expect you to be. You’ll only be happy when you are yourself. There’s also a family message – a family filled with love offers unconditional support. Darrin’s family has been sidetracked by materialism – and Darrin has lost his way because of it.
REVIEWS: A POLISH HEART
5 Stars, Diane Craver, author of “The Christmas Gift”
Burkhart’s writing caused me to fall in love with Warsaw, even though I’ve never been there. Her descriptions of the setting and culture made me feel like I was experiencing firsthand Poland’s interesting country.
The Set up: Darrin and Sophia are finishing dinner at a local restaurant.
The waiter came and Darrin gave him his credit card.
“I’d invite you shopping with us, but I’m afraid you have a lot of work to do.”
Darrin frowned. He did, but he hated to miss the opportunity to learn about the Easter basket and go shopping for it.
“Why don’t you join us for mass on Palm Sunday?”
“Really? A mass? I haven’t been in months. I’d need a confession.”
“Do you want me to ask Father William if it would be permissible for me to translate for him? He takes confessions on Saturday afternoons.”
“You can work in the morning. I’ll call you in the afternoon. Do you mind taking the metro again?”
“What if he can’t take your confession?” asked Sofia.
“I’ll still go to mass with you, but I’d like to be able to receive the Eucharist.”
Her smile widened, warming his heart.
“I would like that. I’ll do my best to help get you a confession.”
The waiter returned and Darrin signed the bill. They left. Sofia’s car was parked in front of her house. The car ride back to his hotel was silent. She’d given him a lot to think about. How did he want to live his life? Falsely, trying to meet his parents’ expectations? Or did he want to let his heart breathe? He was twenty-nine. Wasn’t he entitled to let himself follow his own course? He had a good job, a nice apartment – he just had to live the way he wanted. And he had to guard his heart, turn away dishonesty and keep his eyes firmly on the path ahead, as the rest of the verse advised.
Sofia pulled up to the front of the hotel and put the car in park. Darrin turned to face her. The fringes of her lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, softening her expression. He reached out and gently took her hand in his. Her touch sent warm tendrils of desire through him. With the other hand, he cupped her cheek. She closed her eyes, and drew in a sharp breath before opening them again.
Lightly, he rubbed his thumb against her jaw.
“May I kiss you?” His voice was low and husky.
He leaned forward, his lips feather light, touching hers with tantalizing persuasion until she opened up to him. He kept the kiss slow, thoughtful, enjoying the hints of berries and currants that lingered from the malbec. He pulled away gently.
“That was nice,” she whispered.
“Call me tomorrow.”
Darrin opened the door and stepped out. He waved to Sofia and she waved back as she drove away.
Darrin went to his room and revisited his luggage, removing his travel Bible from an inner pocket. He always took it with him, just in case. Opening it up, he went to the book of Proverbs, sat up against the headboard of the bed, and began to read.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU
Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/3579108
Lulu: (PDF) http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-springeaster-collection-sweet/15166166
Smashwords: (multiple formats) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48682
Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. A member of Generation X, she joined the army in 1986 and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. She’s now a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Her favorite football team is the New England Patriots. A Polish Heart was inspired by her Polish heritage.
Find me on the Web at:
Thank you for visiting, Stephanie, and best of luck with your writings!