Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Contests, New Releases, and just WOW…

Well, as promised in my blog last week, I jump. I entered the So You Think You Can Write Contest at Harlequin. This has been a year long process of do I want to or not struggles. Suddenly two weeks ago I started feeling the tug and coincidentally I saw a post that entries were being accepted. That was the sign I needed to jump. Here’s the link: http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts-sytycw-2013/finding-the-right-time/ So go over and read my submission and let me know what you think. I’m really excited about this entry. 

Image“Victoria” was officially released today. That’s an exciting thing also. I tried out the preorder with Smashwords.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple iTunes. We will see how that goes because as you know those sales won’t show up for a little while. It you get a chance go over and check out this book. It’s also available on Amazon, CreateSpace and Allromanceebooks.com.

As with everything I do, I stay busy. Late last week “With All My Heart” was released in audio form. That was exciting, but what was really exciting was Apple iTunes picked it up immediately upon release. You may be saying, well iTunes is affiliated with Audible. The exciting thing is my other audio book that is out has not been picked up yet by iTunes, so this makes me wonder at the picking process. 

I had another author ask my opinion of audio books and my opinion is they’re great. My sales have been good and I’m excited about the rest of the books that are in production even as we speak. 

As Rosie Amber and I wind down our Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour, I sit to ponder the results. We were able to meet 30 talented authors in 30 days. As bloggers and readers alike we were able to see a small part of their lives and books for a moment. It went really well. If you haven’t check them out, just go through my last 30 days posts and you can see my side and the link to Rosie’s side.

So as I leave you today, think about the day. It’s Monday, a new week to make a better you. God made you in His image and that means do your best at everything you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Day 30 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

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Welcome to Day 30 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?” I can’t believe it’s the last day. It’s been a great tour, thanks to all the great authors that participated. Thanks ladies!

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is Cynthia Harrision and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Cynthia and her book Blue Heaven.

What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?

My answer to that question is some of the things that publishers (not my publisher, they are the best!) think readers want and so we romance writers must write them even if it is out of our comfort zone. A good example is the “condom mention” which to me always seems awkward, stops cold the momentum of a hot scene. 

Biography

Cynthia Harrison

Cynthia Harrison had already published one novel “Sister Issues” through Amazon’s Kindle Digital Platform as an eBook when The Wild Rose Press offered her a contract for her second novel “The Paris Notebook” available in print and eBook editions from a variety of booksellers, including Amazon.

Set at the popular 99 cent price point, “Sister Issues” comically illuminates the relationship of half-siblings Cher and Ariel. Spoiled younger sibling Ariel thinks “half” means she gets half of everything that belongs to Cher. Cher’s not perfect either, and both sisters make mistakes as they seek their true hearts’ desires. 

“The Paris Notebook” is part campus romance, part comic caper. Jack and Deena, two teachers sharing an office, fight their attraction all year. Then Deena’s rock star ex steals a notebook of Deena’s poetry, claiming the words are his original lyrics. Jack offers to help Deena get back her notebook, and soon they act on the desire that has been building for two college terms. 

The award winning “Your Words, Your Story” Harrison’s non-fiction manual for writers, again at that great 99 cent price, is available in print and Kindle editions. The text is part memoir, part instruction manual, for writers at all levels. Harrison uses the text in the popular creative writing classes she teaches at her local community college. 
Harrison has been posting writing-related entries at “A Writer’s Diary” since 2002 at http://www.cynthiaharrison.com. Her work has been published in national magazines, journals, and anthologies. She has been a staff reviewer for “Romantic Times” and “Publishers Weekly.” Cindy’s poem “Africa” recently won an excellence award from the heritage organization Detroit Working Writers and her short prize-winning memoir “Snow Day” has been anthologized in “Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women.”
An avid Tweeter (CynthiaHarriso1)and Facebook fan (Cynthia Hines Harrison) Harrison is busy at work on her next novel. She loves to hear from readers and writers. Email her at cindy@cynthiaharrison.com. 

 

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Publication Date: July 23, 2013
With a tight budget and two months, Eva Delacroix has to turn six dilapidated cottages on Lake Huron into a shabby chic tourist destination. Fulfilling her father’s renovation dreams and her own needs for family, Blue Heaven is Eva’s last resort.
Daniel Bryman will do anything in his power to stop city girl Eva from destroying the integrity of the historic structures his ancestor built. But as they work together to rebuild the main cabin, Eva’s determination makes him question his own life choices.
Despite their opposing views, they do agree on what to do with the attraction between them. When everything they’ve built threatens to crash down around them, will love be enough to save Blue Heaven?
 
 
Go over and check out Cynthia.
 
Here’s the link to Rosie’s side of the tour: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2sp


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Day 29 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

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Welcome to Day 29 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is Sherry Gammon and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Sherry and her book Unloveable.

What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?

I feel the biggest challenge in writing romance in today society is really not just about the romance industry. The biggest challenge about writing is the flooded market. There are so many books to choose from. You really have to market your book to get it noticed in the sea of books that are out there. Doing blog tours, finding reviewers, and making sure your book has been professionally edited, all of these things will help you to get your book noticed by the reader.

I also believe it is important to remember that book bloggers work hard to promote our (author’s) books so treat them with respect. I’ve heard of author becoming anger because they didn’t receive a good enough review or the blogger was a day or two late in their posting…Seriously? Bloggers are doing us the favor, for free, I might add. So rude authors: play nice or go home ;}

Probably the most important thing is to write a quality book. All the marketing in the world will not make your book successful if the quality is not there. It is a tough market. There are not many stories like JK Rowley out there, sadly. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if there were?!

Biography

Sherry Gammon author

Unlovable was Sherry’s debut novel and quickly rose to many top seller lists on Amazon. She is pleased to announce that Unlovable is currently being made into a movie. She has added two more novels to her body of work. Souls in Peril, the poignant story of Max Sanchez who is on a journey to help the struggling JD Miller survive high school, and Pete & Tink, a fun, light-hearted novella of a manga-loving geek and a five-and-a-half inch fairy.
Sherry and her husband, along with their children and a couple of crazy dogs, call Upstate New York home. It is where she spends her nights writing instead of sleeping.{:
Her Blog is:WordpaintingsUnlimited.com
Unlovable Video book trailer:
youtube.com/watch?v=AGsz1q_DYZM
Souls in Peril book trailer:
youtube.com/watch?v=0ZoHO_sfP8c

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UNLOVABLE
Seventeen year-old Maggie Brown is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes. But drugs are not Maggie’s problem… her mother is.
Maggie’s struggling with her growing feelings for the new guy at school, Seth Prescott, and fears he is just another person who will let her down, like everyone in her life has done thus far.
Seth Prescott is an undercover cop assigned to Port Fare High, and despite his job, he’s developed strong feelings for Maggie.
Seth’s working tirelessly to flush out the sadistic drug peddlers that have invaded the small town of Port Fare, New York, while Maggie fights to stay alive as the search turns deadly. Seth and Maggie’s romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak and self-discovery as their world is about to change forever.

 

Check out Sherry and her book. I know you won’t be disappointed.

 

Here’s the link to Rosie’s side of the tour: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2zm


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Day 28 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

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Welcome to Day 28 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is Alison Morton and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Alison and her book Inceptio.

What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?

Romances are defined by a central love story and a happy or hopeful ever after ending. But the stereotype ‘sweet young thing’ waiting to be rescued doesn’t cut it these days. Readers of contemporary romance like a more independent worldly-wise heroine who earns a living and takes on responsibilities of her own. Heroes are no longer universally masterful super-beings who know everything and can do everything while she flutters her eyelashes.

 Respecting the genre conventions is very important, but writing needs to be fresh and original to succeed in a competitive writing market. Today, we see many sub-genres: paranormal, historic, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery and suspense. A survey conducted by the Romance Writers of America in 2005 found that nearly 50% of readers liked a side order of mystery with their romances. This can range from dark and edgy to cozy and lighthearted.

A romantic relationship can develop gradually or be the legendary coup de foudre. It can be tentative or intense – that’s something that doesn’t change – but readers like to see both hero and heroine change and mature during the story.

 A heroine or hero who realizes they are falling in love has two choices: to accept it and revel in it, or refuse it. This is the challenge today: people don’t have to get married or partnered.  They may not only be torn between so many other choices, but also struggling with pressures falling on them. They may think of sacrificing their potential emotional satisfaction for their career, their cause, to pursue education, new experiences such as living overseas or just for their own self-respect if they doubt their love interest is trustworthy.

 This happens to my heroine who although in love with the hero cannot be with him because of his deception. But as she matures, she realizes she may have made the most colossal mistake of her life…

Biography

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 Alison Morton grew up in the United Kingdom. A historical fiction lover and ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, she has visited sites throughout Europe including the alma mater, Rome. But it was walking on the mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) that triggered her wondering what a Roman society would be like if run by women. Always enjoying well-written romantic suspense and thrillers with a twist, ‘what if’ alternate history fiction had particularly intrigued her.
So when she came to novel writing in reaction to a really dire film, alternate history thrillers featuring a strong female character in a Roman themed world weren’t so unlikely! 
Before starting the Roma Nova thriller series, Alison published a history ebook, Military or Civilians? The curious anomaly of the German Women’s Auxiliary Services during the Second World War in March 2012.

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New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to the mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe.

 Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety and a ready-made family. But a shocking discovery about her new lover, the fascinating but arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus who rescued her in America, isolates her.

Renschman reaches into her new home and nearly kills her. Recovering, she is desperate to find out why he is hunting her so viciously. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it… 

 

Go over and check out Alison and Inceptio…

 

Here’s the link to Rosie’s side of the tour: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2u4

 


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Day 27 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

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Welcome to Day 27 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is and Camelia Miron Skiba want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Camelia and her book Born In Vengence.

What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?

CMS: You mean aside from people rolling their eyes at the word “romance”? Or confusing it with porn? Nothing really.

Joke aside, my biggest challenge is to create buzz for my books. I recently read an article stating that there were over 12,000,000 books released last year through Amazon. Talk about competition, right?

It’s well known that word of mouth is the best advertising but I’m by nature very shy so I constantly shot myself in the foot, unable to tell people what my books are about when asked face to face. I’m fine behind the computer, writing all those beautiful stories my characters share with me. But when it comes to say it out loud I paralyze for fear whatever I say won’t be good enough. I know I have about 10-12 seconds to catch that person’s attention and whatever words I chose they must be captivating and intriguing so that the person would want to know more about my books. It takes me months to write a story. How can I condense its essence in a few seconds?

Luckily with the today’s technology a lot of promotion is made online through personal blogs and social networking. I absolutely love to be in contact with my readers either through my blog www.authorcameliamironskiba.com, on Facebook, GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc and all those sites offer easy and instant access. In my opinion we authors become more accessible because of those sites. Add a little bit of personal but professional touch and you’re on your way to success.

Bottom line there is nothing gained without effort. When challenged we appreciate it that much more. Writing is my passion; it’s what my soul and heart feed on, my escape from reality if you will. Combine that with romance, hot heroes and smart heroines, no challenge is big enough to stop me from doing what I love.

  Biography

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I’m a dreamer
I’m a sinner
I love my books
I conjure hooks
And heroes with good looks

Romance is my guilty pleasure
Taking me to places with new decor
Come join me if you dare
I promise not to bore

If you like to read my stories
Pray my husband continues snorin’
For he’s the one who keeps me up at night
When I give my heroes wings and flight.

 

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Publication Date: May 9, 2013
Originally published as a short story titled I WAS HERE–BEFORE YOU CAME, this stand-alone version includes an expanded storyline and excerpts from BORN IN SIN (Dacian Legends, #2), all that you would expect from a full novel.

Legend has it … centuries after Spartacus another hero is born—Ilias, the bastard son of King Decebalus. Thirsty for revenge and eager to unshackle the Roman oppression, Ilias’ obsession to fulfill his oath has no bounds, even if that means kidnapping Nerva, the beloved daughter of Emperor Traianus. What he doesn’t know is his own heart threatens to betray his conscience. 

 
Go on over and check out Camelia. 
 
Here’s the link to Rosie’s side of the tour: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2zf


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Well, I’m gonna jump!

Have you ever thought about doing something and then you put it to the side for a while? Well, that’s what I’ve been doing regarding entering Harlequins So You Think You Can Write contest. I thought about it last year, but I wanted to wait another year to work on my writing. I just didn’t think what I had ready was good enough. To tell the truth, as a writer, sometimes we’re our worst critics. 

The funny thing is the story I had almost entered into it last year went past round one of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest which was excited for someone like me that does this as a hobby for the time being. I think I squealed for a week. I was excited ok. 

Well, here we go again. I started this book a couple of months ago and it’s only about 1/3 of the way completed. It was a sudden inspiration but for some reason another story, “Victoria” which officially comes out September 30th, took over. But it nudged it’s way back into my brain in a very pushy way. Stories can do that. If you’re not a writer, you may be saying, that wouldn’t happen, well, it can and does. Those characters can be real bullies and it can get a little scary how well they weave their way into everything you do. You find yourself washing dishes and plotting the next scene, working on depreciation schedules with the characters dancing on the paper, and then you dream about them. If I could record my dreams as they happen this story would be completed.

So, I’m going to jump into this contest with both feet. I had a dedicated fan tell me the other day that I needed to enter some contests. She said I could win, but I had to enter first. It was very humbling to say the least. I told her as we corresponded via email that I didn’t have any piece of work near enough completion, but she quickly informed me that I had time to finish this one. I had mentioned this one in an earlier blog post and she said it had the potential. I tentively sent her a little of the first chapter and she completely blew my email up with the response, “You’ve got to enter this one”. 

I will be hitting yes and confirm today on the contest. I know, that gives me less than a month to finish the story that is complete in my mind already. So wish me luck and go by the website to read my first chapter. Not sure how long it takes to post it but it will be there in the next couple of days. Here’s the link http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Day 26 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

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Welcome to Day 26 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”

Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.

Today my guest author is Cassandra Giovanni and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Cassandra and her book Love Exactly.

What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?

The biggest challenge writing romance in today’s society, at least for me,  is overcoming the stereotypes. As a New Adult romance author the biggest stereotype I face is in that New Adult is often considered only to be “Young Adult Smut”; my novels are anything but that. Yes, my characters have sex, but I refer to it as “clean steam”–essentially, they are adults, so yes they are having sex, but you don’t have to read all the dirty details. The sex scenes concentrate on the emotions of the action as opposed to the physical aspects. My novels also don’t concentrate on physical, physical, physical like smut novels often do (although, I wouldn’t really know because I only once happened upon an excerpt that could be described as such…and it wasn’t to my liking). My novels concentrate on the development of the characters are human beings, and overcoming the struggles which occur in everyday life. New Adult is a wide genre, just like Adult is a wide genre–and should be recognized as is such. Are there New Adult smut novels? Hell, yes, and there are a lot of them–my books just aren’t one of them.

Biography

 

 

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Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children’s novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra will also release her first New Adult novel, Just One Cup, in the Spring of 2013. Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company’s photography. She is currently studying to receive a degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

 

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Love Exactly Blurb:
Emma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

You can find my links below in my signature, and here are the book links in case you need them:

E-BOOK only $1.99

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Paperback $12.99

Signed Author Direct (US-Free shipping + Free Bookmark + Free Swag)

 

Go over and check out Cassandra’s books.

 

Here’s the link to Rosie’s side of the tour: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2vN