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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Inspiration Found - Christmas in Bayeux by Stephanie Burkhart

Oddly enough, I don't get my inspiration from dreams. Having a full time job, parenting young boys, and writing, well, that leaves about 5-6 hours sleep a night, so I'm usually out like a rock.

Where did I find the inspiration for my story, "Christmas in Bayeux?" Part of it was from my love of history and my life experiences. When I turned 18, I joined the US Army, becoming and MP (Military Police). My first assignment was the 583rd Ordinance Company in Muenster, Germany. Now, there's an adventure for you! At 18, I was living in Germany and serving my country.

I grew up in Manchester, NH, the 2nd largest French-speaking city in America. I'm French on my father's side. My 1st time in Germany piqued my interest in World War II.

When VTP put out a call for their 2010 Christmas Collection, I knew I wanted to write a story for inclusion. Drawing on my love of history and my international travels, I set the story in Bayeux.

Unfortunately, I'd never been to Bayeux. I've been to France, though, and felt confident I could write a French setting convincingly. I researched Bayeux, learning some tidbits and worked them into the story.

There's one last place I go to draw inspiration – Hollywood. I love to "cast" my characters. This helps me to set a solid visual in my mind of how they look. My choices are for inspiration only, but it's a nice tool I use to help me round out my character's appearance. I'd thought I'd share my picks for Aiden and Noel with you.

For me, Jamie Dornan has the look for "Aiden." He's got a very expressive face and weariness wears well on him. When the story opens, Aiden is weary and tired, looking for a spark to ignite life's passion again.

Karine Vanasse offers inspiration for Noel. Canadian, Vanasse captures a French ambience that embodies Noel. Her smile will melt your heart and that's a quality Noel has – a smile that will melt Aiden's heart. History, Life, Research, and Hollywood – interesting choices for inspiration, huh?


--The American cemeteries at Bayeux are considered American soil and have soldiers from both World Wars buried there.

--The Bayeux Tapestry tells the story of how William the Conqueror won his English Throne. It is believed his wife, Edith, embroidered the tapestry, but the true origin in unknown.

--Jamie Dornan can be seen on the ABC Series, "Once Upon a Time."

--Karine Vanasse can be seen on the ABC Series, "Pam Am."

Actress Karine Vanasse


5 Stars, Karen Michelle Nutt, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux is a tender romance sure to warm your hearts for anytime of the year. I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Diane Craver, Author
"Christmas in Bayeux" is the perfect short romance to enjoy during the holiday season or any time during the year, and I highly recommend it."

5 Stars, Markee Anderson, Author
"This was just a wonderful and heart warming read."

5 Stars, Celia Yeary, Author
"You will enjoy this beautiful story, rich in history and appreciation of the past, while living and falling in love in the present. I highly recommend "Christmas in Bayeux."

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

Aiden sat next to the window overlooking the ocean, sipping his coffee. French coffee was usually a stiff cup of espresso.

"Good morning," he said.

"Good morning," she replied, smiling. Her breakfast plate waited for her—granola, a croissant, and a cup of yogurt.

He clapped his hands. "So what are we fixing today?"


He arched his left eyebrow. "But, you have—"

She held up her hand and flashed him a wide grin. "We're going out."


"Into town. I have something I want to show you."

He plopped a piece of his croissant into his mouth. "What?"

"It's a surprise."

"I'm not good with surprises. I need time to prepare."

She giggled. "Aiden, really, this isn't the Army. Let me surprise you."

His brows drew downward in a frown.

"Don't pout, mon ami. It's unbecoming."

Aiden drew in a deep breath. "Say, isn't Christmas around the corner? Where's your tree? Your decorations?"

She waved her hand. "I usually put my tree up the night before."

"Oh, that's no fun. Don't you have an advent calendar?"

"Not since I was a girl."

"You need some Christmas spirit, Noel."


AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-in-Bayeux-ebook/dp/B005BTLSI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326918404&sr=8-1

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-bayeux-stephanie-burkhart/1104401603?ean=2940011371806&itm=1&usri=christmas+in+bayeux

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72100






  1. Steph, I enjoyed your post so much and the tidbits are so interesting. Perfect models for your story.

  2. Thanks, Mona. For me, I have a lot of fun casting my characters for inspiration.

    1. Stephanie, Christmas stories are always welcome. About the hero-I'll take 2!

  3. Great photos, Steph! I enjoyed this story very much. And I Tweeted it for you--hope others will enjoy it, too.

  4. Love seeing the pictures of how you visualise your characters. It really brings a story to life.

  5. Mary, hehe, I figure you can never have enough Christmas.

    Celia, thanks for the tweet, Sweetie. I FB'd and Google'd it, too. LOL!!

    Helen, I agree - "seeing" the characters helps bring a story to life.


  6. There you go again with this great pictures!

    Morgan Mandel

  7. Congratulations on those super fantastic reviews, Steph. I've thought about living in France a thousand times so visiting the country through your book sounds like fun. My only French contact was two years of high school French--which I only ever got to use once with a French patient in the ER.
    Thank you for your service to our country, Steph.
    A lovely blog.

  8. Morgan and Sarah, thanks for popping in.
    I love my pictures and I had 3 years of high school French. Really wish I would have stuck with it.


  9. Love the photos that clue us to your hero and heroine.