Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Books are like Snowflakes!

You’re probably saying to yourself, what? I was going through my manuscripts that are in the works and was surprised at the varied topics. As I looked at them I thought about how different books can be. Just as with snowflakes, books can have so many different shapes, angles and looks.

You have so many genres. They include romance, children’s , christian, comedy, adult, science fiction, horror, and paranormal just to name a few. It’s amazing how many genres are out there now that weren’t available just a couple of years ago. If you have a certain thing you like, just Google and I bet you’ll find a book in that category.

Then you have the size. Books can be as short as 2500 words up to well the sky’s the limit. Books can be big in size or really small to where you can hold them in your palm. I’ve even seen different shaped books.

Well, then you get into the writing styles. Every writer has their own style. Some are more formal than others. Some have a dry style while others have a sweet style. It’s amazing when you pick up a book from a new author, whether it be a author that just jumped into the publishing world or one that is a veteran but you’ve never read from them, how different every author is. I’ve read some authors and been amazed at their descriptive abilities, but maybe read their second book and it was totally different. Some authors write many different genres. They jump from one to the other trying to make their mark in the publishing world.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that books are like snowflakes. If everybody wrote the same way in the same genre it would be a boring world. In my opinion the world of reading and writing is changing everyday. Every day a new genre is born and a new style reader. So get reading and try a new genre. You might be surprised at how much you like it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!
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Writing the right ending…

What do you do when you get down to the last chapters? At this point you need to building up for the end, but how?

As I work on the ending of my newest book, I ponder this question. Just as my last novel, “The Winner Is Love” I wonder, is this the end? Well with that one it wasn’t. I didn’t know it when I started writing it. I had plan a simple, sweet Christmas romance that would end at the words The End. But guess what, as with any writer I had to listen to my characters and my heart told me their story is not done.

My newest book is the 2nd book in a series and I don’t know whether I want it to continue. But if I don’t continue it, how do I end it? Do the lovers ride off in the sunset never to be heard from again? Do I kill them off in a lovers quarrel? What am I saying? I can’t kill them off, that would be murder.

The ending of a book can be as important, or even more important than the beginning. I’ve read books before that the ending left me baffled. Some have left me angry and others ready for more. If you are planning a next book, you have to leave the reader wanting more. You have to give just enough information to keep them hooked for the next book. If you’re ending it there, you need to make the ending mean something. If you end the book wrong, will the reader want to read anything else from you.

I have to admit that I’ve read some books that the ending made me so upset that I didn’t have the heart to read the authors list of other books written. I just couldn’t do that to myself. You know how it is when you’re watching a movie and the main character that you’ve fell in love with dies in the last scene and bam, that’s it. Finished, the end, done! Makes you want to throw something at the TV. Books can make you want to throw your Kindle.

What do you like in an ending? Do you like the explosive ending, where you are just floored? Do you like the sweet, tender ending where you just melt and have to sit quietly for a moment and reflect? (Maybe that’s just me 😉 ) Or do you like the nail biter ending where you get left hanging on the edge of the cliff? Let me know your thoughts. I love to hear what everyone thinks.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!end


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Social Media! Oh Me!

Well, it’s official. I’m now on Facebook. My books have been on Facebook for a while, but now I am personally. I’ve been fighting it forever. My assistant has been telling me I needed this for my Author platform. Well, I did it. I broke down and joined the millions of people on Facebook. It’s a little daunting. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get into telling everyone what I had for breakfast. Yikes!

I have never been Mrs. Social Butterfly. It took my assistant forever to get me to publish my books. She said it was like pulling teeth to get me set up on Twitter. It’s funny because now I’m on every social media site I can think of. It’s crazy how being a published author can change your life. All of a sudden people want to know what I think. Me! Plain, nutty, me!. I had someone ask the other day what I drink while I write. Really!!! I told them with a smile, sweet tea. I’m a southern girl, gotta have my sweet tea.

So if you get a chance go on over to Facebook and friend me. I will friend you back when I figure out how to. You may be laughing but I’m serious.

On a book note, go over to Goodreads and check out my new book giveaway for “The Winner Is Love”. It goes through December 31st. It is available to US, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Canada. I think that’s all of them.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!this way, that way


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Letting Characters take over…

OK, so as I often do, today I muse over writing. I spend a lot of my time fighting with my characters. They seem to have minds of their own. If you’re not a writer, you probably think I need the men with the straight jackets. Well, maybe I do need a straight jacket. 😉 But as a writer this is a real fear. If you let them take over, what will happen?

As I’ve told you before, I have another new book coming out in the next week. This one is my New Year’s romance which is the 2nd part to “Tender Flames”. Well, since I was under the weather last week, I got way behind in the manuscript. As I tapped on the keys last night, one of the characters took over the writing process. I had a planned way this book would end, but guess what. As one of the characters evolved in the story, she took over the ending and totally blew it out of the water.

So my question is this, Do we as writers need to let the characters launch a hostile takeover, or do we take back control? Basically if we take over, are we hurting the story? As I sat and let the character take over, I realized maybe she had a point.

Ok, so maybe it’s my brain that does the takeover. Or maybe it’s my heart. As most of you know I love romance and anything about it. Maybe the story didn’t have enough romance or maybe it had too much. But as the story goes, I was pleased with the end results. If all goes well, the story will be ready by the end of the week. Most of the early edits have been completed and the cover is awesome.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

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It’s Monday and I turn 44 today!

Yeah I know, most women don’t reveal their age, but I’m just happy to have another birthday every year. It’s crazy that I’m over 40. Me! I don’t feel 44. Most people say I don’t act 44 either. Well, last week while I had sickness, I felt over 40, but now after all the antibiotics and steroids I’m back to feeling young again.

Age to me is a frame of mind. If you constantly act your age, you will end up feeling your age. I try to enjoy every aspect of life. I try not to let everything get to me. My friends are constantly saying how do you stay so calm all the time. Well, letting things drag me down and keep me in depression doesn’t accomplish anything but developing an ulcer. Don’t get me wrong, I have regrets in my life. I have those moments of what if… I put a lot of those what if’s in my writing and go on with my life.

So, if you are in the dumps because you’re over 40, well get up off the ground you have threw yourself on and dust yourself off. Start living life to the fullest. You’re not promised tomorrow and the Good Lord gave you this time to live as He would have you live. Enjoy your family, play with your kids, decorate a tree, hug a friend, kiss your lover, tell someone you love them and live, by goodness live. Start today, right now. It will change your life.

That’s why I finally decided to publish my books and continue writing. It gives me immense pleasure. I get to live the life of my characters and enjoy what they enjoy. If only for a moment.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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Sara’s Promise By: Deanna Sletten – Soon to be released.

Good Monday morning blog friends. I want to make a special early morning blog for an author friend. Check out Sara’s Promise by: Deanna Sletten. The information is listed below with descriptions and release dates. From what I’ve read you will not be sorry.

 

 

Sara’s Promise Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

Book Release Button Saras Promise 

 

 

Sara’s Promise

Deanna Lynn Sletten

 

 

 

 

 

Book Description:

 

Do you believe in soul mates?

 

William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

 

Annie Paxton doesn’t believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn’t know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

 

Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?

 

***

 

Book Excerpt:

 

Sara looked up at him, the man she’d spent almost half her life with, the man she knew she’d spend forever with. His wavy black hair was damp from the shower, curling gently at his temples and neck. He wore it longer than fashion dictated these days, and she liked it on him that way. She always had. She placed her hand on his chest and snuggled up next to him. He felt warm and smelled of soap and shampoo. He felt good.

“They still need me more than they think, even at their ages,” she said into his chest.

William wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “From what I heard today, they don’t appreciate you as much as they should,” he said gently, adding softly, “None of us do.”

Sara smiled appreciatively. It was rare for William to acknowledge all that she did. She knew he appreciated it all and depended upon her completely. He worked long hours at his business, as well as putting in several more hours each night at home, and her being available to the kids twenty-four hours a day made it easier for him. He never had to worry about being home at a certain time, who’d feed the kids, who’d pick up the dry cleaning or who’d fill the refrigerator with groceries. It was all done, magically, quietly, completely, by Sara. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, everything was planned by her and her alone. And she loved doing it. But it did make it feel all the more worthwhile when he acknowledged the work she put into family and home.

“You know, you’ve spoiled us all,” William continued, pulling her even closer. “We would be completely lost without you.”

Sara pulled away and looked up at him, her expression serious. “Then it’s a good thing none of you will ever know what that’s like,” she said with certainty.

He smiled. “How can you be so sure?”

“I just know,” Sara said. “Even if something happened to me, I’d still find a way to be here for you and the kids. That’s how strong our bond is.”

William looked at her, half-amused, half-skeptical, making Sara laugh softly.

“Oh, Billy,” she said, calling him by the nickname of long ago that only she still used. “I’ve told you a thousand times, we’re soul mates. We were together before we met, we’ll be together long after we’re gone. And even if we cannot be together for a time, I’ll find a way to make sure you and the kids are happy and cared for, one way or another.”

It was William’s turn to laugh, not unkindly. He loved her artistic ways in everything she did. Especially in the way she viewed love and life.

“You are forever the romantic,” he told her, kissing her gently on the forehead. “And I hope you’re right.”

Sara raised her lips to his, and they kissed, soft and sweet at first, then turning warm and passionate. Soon they were naked in each other’s arms with a passion that only years of loving one person can bring, and Sara once again showed him just how sweet forever could be.

 

 

 

Buy Sara’s Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes & Noble Nook

http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/p/saras-promise.html

 

 

About Deanna Lynn Sletten:

 

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women’s website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn’t looked back since.

 

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

 

Connect with Deanna:

 

Blog   http://www.deannalynnsletten.com

 

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeannaLSletten

 

Twitter     https://twitter.com/DeannaLSletten

 

Goodreads   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/555634.Deanna_Lynn_Sletten

 

Amazon Author Page  http://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/e/B00683SQYK/

 

Giveaway!

 

In celebration of Deanna’s new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara’s Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

 

Follow the tour schedule here: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com 


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Do you believe?

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days, but the bug that’s going around struck me down on Tuesday and knocked me out of the living for a couple of days. Two shots later (OUCH!) and two meds I’m on the mend.

My blog today is the magic of believing. You may be saying to yourself, believing in what? Well here’s what I’m talking about. During Christmas I’m transformed into a big kid. Well I’m always a big kid, but during Christmas my inner kid comes alive.

Do you believe in Santa? Well, I do. Or at least the spirit of Santa. I mean St. Nick was a real man that lived a long time ago, but his legacy lives on today. I’m talking about the legacy of giving. It’s sad that most people only have the giving spirit at this time of year, but it’s true. As for me, I gaze at my tree all decorated in red and gold balls, snowmen, my sons handmade ornaments and snowflakes, oh, yeah, and don’t forget the angel on top, it makes my heart a little giddy. I smile and the spirit of the season washes over me. I close my eyes and remember the feeling of knowing Santa would come soon and it always made everything alright. I love to watch the magic of Christmas shine in a child’s eyes as they look at decorations or talk to Santa. It’s awesome. The magic is that they don’t have to see Santa put the presents under the tree to believe he put them there.

As with Jesus. As you know if you’ve seen my profile, I’m a children’s minister and I take that responsibility seriously. I often have to explain to the children that even if you can’t see something it doesn’t mean it’s not real. As with Santa, they can sit on his lap (Well the one the mall hired) and it’s makes it more real. With Jesus they feel it. Sometimes they just look at me, but when the Spirit hits them, they usually come up to me and say, now I know what you meant. It warms my heart when I see that look come over them. When they start to truly believe. The way a child believes is so surreal. They haven’t had all the worldly wrongs touch them and shade their eyes. They believe with all their hearts, which is what you should do.

Now on the love. So many people say love doesn’t exist. They say it’s just temporary lust or the need for someone to spend time with. Not! True love does exist. It’s not something you can see as a physical thing. It’s the look in a persons eyes and the feeling in your heart. That’s one reason I love to write about romance and love. It’s one of those feelings that can totally take you to another realm of feeling. Love can also take you to your lowest point in your life. I know some of you are shaking you head and saying is she for real. Well, open your heart and let love in. That’s the problem today, people don’t slow down and just let it take over. Sometimes they overlook love for practicality. I mean people, you only live once and you should experience the phenomenal feeling of true love. It’s awesome and magical.

Well, that’s just a few things that I believe in. I believe in the magic that can be inspired inside the heart. Just open up and let your guard down. You might be surprised at what happens.

As always, good writing and May God bless and keep you!

xmas7


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Decorating with Friends.

Today was really fun. It was the annual decorating of the Church. Several ladies got together to deck the halls so to speak.   We always have a blast. As we all work so well together it makes it a joy. The only draw back is the Church is three stories and we decorate on all levels. Thank goodness we have several children to do most of the running up and down the stairs getting supplies for us.

It’s always so heartwarming to make His house sparkle with the spirit of Christmas. You never know if someone that visits one of the Sundays through the Christmas season knows about the real reason for Christmas. As we decorate the Church we try to fill it with reminders of His birth. Angels, stars, mangers, and love go into the decorating.

As the weekend progresses I hope to decorate my own house. Since my hubby is sick with what we think is the flu, it may have to wait a couple of days.

As always good writing and May God Bless you.

 

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