Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Why do you write?

That’s a weird question to a writer, but to someone from the outer non writer world it seems logical. I’ve had this question posed to me on several occasions. So today I’ll try to answer this in my own life.

Why do I write? Well, it’s a a passion. I guess my passion for writing started with my intense passion for reading. I’ve always loved to read. When I was young I’d read mysteries and old classics. Then as I became a teenager I was introduced to romance novels. Well that was it for me. I was hooked on romances. I’d go through a couple a week. It was thrilling to get carried away to another world.

So, I started writing what came into my mind as a teenager. I’d fill up notebooks with stories. Mostly they were romances, but I did pen out a couple of mysteries. I’m actually thinking of working on a romance filled with mystery. We’ll see how that goes.

There’s a feeling I get when I sit down to write. It’s like no other feeling. I get immersed in the world of my characters. It’s amazing how you can get so into their story that you actually get lost. Sometimes it’s hard to get back into the here and now. 

Of course right now is the busiest time of the year for my accounting business. But I still set aside time to write and plot out stories. It’s actually a stress reliever. If I’m feeling too overwhelmed I’ll go into Bigstockphoto.com or one of the other picture sites and try to set up what I want for a cover. It inspires me. Or I’ll work on an outline of a story I’m working on. 

I sprinkle my nights with reading and writing. I consider reading like research for writing. As I read other authors work it helps to keep me focused on my own writing. 

So, why do you write?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Unlikely Heros during a bad situation in Georgia

I know, you’re saying ‘not a big deal’, but Georgia doesn’t see this often and especially the ice and 8 degree temps. At least we haven’t lost power. I’m just glad I don’t work in Atlanta. If you’ve seen the news, then you know what happened with the traffic. It was horrible and I heard so many horror stories of the 16 to 22 hours sitting on the interstate. I’m having a panic attack just thinking about it.

Well that puts me to my topic for today. I couldn’t believe it as I watched the horror unfold Tuesday night on TV. People were stuck on the interstates all around and children were stranded at school. The worst was those that did manage to get on buses and the bus getting stranded. 

It’s amazing the hero’s that show up during these situations. Our wonderful law officers always step up to the plate and those that are in the emergency management positions, but I’m talking about just everyday people. I’m going to hit on some of the ones that moved me as I watched the stories.

The teachers that were stranded with the children. To me that’s heroism. You may not think so, but those parents that were at home had a little bit of relief that those teachers were there. They stayed with those children and fixed meals, entertained them and were their parents for several hours. It’s hard to imagine what had to be going through their minds. I can’t even comprehend it. They were true heros and stepped up to the plate.

Then I heard of so many going out on foot to those stranded on the interstates. They showed several passing out hot chocolate and others handing out snack bars and water. Even a couple were handing out toilet paper. Things that we take for granted, these people had none of this. I’m sure they were thankful for whatever they could get. One guy even handed out fruit snacks for the children that were stranded in the cars with their families. You know it had to be hard on all of them. A lot of the stranded drivers were truck drivers. They even stepped up letting people get in their warm cabs to get warmth. 

Then you have those that stepped up and risked their lives by helping people get their cars out of ditches or unstuck. Even Chipper Jones, a former Atlanta Braves player helped out. It’s amazing the amount of compassion that was shown during this.

Also a big shout out to the many stores that opened up their doors to those stranded motorists. People were sleeping in the aisles of grocery stores, card stores and others. 

It just goes to show that in a bad situation, people step up to the plate. They may not consider themselves heros, but to those that they helped they’re Superman or Wonderwoman. It touched me. I counted myself lucky that my family was safely tucked in at home by the fire.

We still have no school and my hubby is here on standby. As for me, I’m working at my kitchen table where it’s warm. That’s the nice thing about having my office beside my house. I can telecommute. 

So if you know of someone who has been helpful in this crazy winter, give them a shout out. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Snowy night in Georgia!

Well the meterologists got it right. Here in Georgia we’re getting lots of snow. It’s pretty and really cold. I know those of you from the north are laughing at us southerners, but we don’t get this often. We’re definitely not prepared for it. Atlanta highways are almost closed down and the roads are iced over. As for me, I’m sitting in my cozy den with a roaring fire.

It’s a great night to write a beach scene that I’ve been working on. I’m thinking warm thoughts…..Yeah that helped thaw out my toes. I plan on sitting here and finishing the beach scene tonight. Then hopefully if my power doesn’t go out, I’ll finish the whole book tomorrow. But unfortunately I live in the country and if the ice builds on the power lines, well you know what happens, they snap. Then I’ll be down for the count. But I have plenty of pens and paper 🙂 I’ll go back to the old way of writing.

The snow is falling heavily now as the darkness takes over. It looks like diamonds falling from the sky. The ice crystals gleam in our outside spot lights. It’s simply gorgeous. But since my driveway is uphill, we’ll have to get out the 4×4 if we go anywhere out of four wheeler range.

Hope everyone is staying safe in the cold weather that’s descended from Canada.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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2nd Cup Monday…Maybe 3rd Cup

It’s Monday if you haven’t figured it out. When my alarm went off at six this morning I groaned wanting it to be Saturday again. I sat up way too late reading last night and man I feel it this morning. Working toward my 3rd cup of coffee.

As for this morning’s post here goes. I have several manuscripts in the works as always. I put in several hours on these this past weekend. I’m so excited about the manuscript that will be entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. My book “A Love Never Lost” made it through to the 2nd round last year which was a huge accomplishment for this writer. I just have to finish this one up and get it entered. 

Have you ever edited 3/4 of the way through a manuscript. I was typing this weekend and had a AH HA moment. Suddenly it became clear which direction the last part of the book would go. Of course I know the ending, but the part a couple of chapters from the end had been bugging me. I went back and did a editing read, which helped to confirm the change that would take place. It’s funny how your characters truly speak to you. 

This morning I’m going to give it a couple hundred words before I shower and head to my office. I’ve set up a work schedule that allows time to have a few minutes here and there to get in a few words. Since this is the start of my busy season I want to get as much done on my WIP as possible. Deadlines also drive this need for time slots that allow me to write. 

Have you scheduled your day to include some writing? This actually helps me to destress during the day with a little time away from numbers and clients. It’s amazing how calming my writing can be. It’s a time that I look forward to every day. So make sure that you plan a little time every day to write and get lost if only for a section of time.

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You…


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Cleaning up a mess…

Have you ever started an edit on your manuscript and wondered what happened? It’s the weirdest thing when you’re writing it sounds good and then you start to edit and wonder who wrote it. You know it’s happened to you before. I sometimes think that maybe I write in my sleep. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

I was working on one of my WIP and got a little sidetracked, well maybe a lot sidetracked. I couldn’t seem to keep the story in my head. So, I decided to do a read through. I reached a section that I know I wrote several nights ago and I was really tired that night. Well, it was going well and all of a sudden it was like, What? I laughed out loud at my own mistakes. Several words were not even recognizable and some of the sentences were just plain out horrible. They didn’t make sense and a couple of times I just drifted off into lala land. 

Well, to say the least, I spent a lot of time rewriting and I’m glad I did. While cleaning up the mess I made I actually had a ah ha moment and changed a whole scene in the middle of the book. It flows so much better and I’m happy with it. It makes the ending seem so much clearer. Funny how our clean up edits can bring about a whole new outlook on a story.

So, as I sit here writing this cold Saturday morning, I hope all of you are writing or doing something you enjoy. It’s Saturday. Give yourself a break and enjoy yourself.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Burrrrr…Let’s talk romance

Well it’s cold here in Georgia. Actually cold doesn’t even begin to describe how it feels outside. I’ve set up my office in my den for the day. It’s just way too cold in my office, so when you get lemons you make lemonade, but here it would be a frozen lemonade. Think summer 🙂

So, let’s talk romance and try to get warm. The last couple of nights I’ve had my nose in my kindle reading. Some days I just want to read and not write. Of course this could be called research or practice. With sports figures they work out daily, but a writer needs to read daily. For me reading helps keep my mind working correctly. As you know I write romance, so I read a lot of romance. It’s like a inspirational time for me. As I read I think, yeah, I like the way this writer does this, or I think about what I didn’t like in the book and I try to avoid it in my own work. 

As the temps continue to be below freezing I curl up in front of the fire with a romance to keep me warm. Currently I’m reading a Vampire series and it’s been pretty good so far. I love how the writer handles every situation. I’ve been so into the books that I don’t even realize I’m chilly.

But I’ve got to put the Kindle down and get back into my manuscripts in progress. Especially the one that’s going in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. It’s in the final stages and I’m really excited about it. It’s a step away from my normal style writing, so I’m anxious to see how it’s received. 

So, if you’re cold, pick up a romance and let the warmth spread through you. When you read about love it just has a warming affect on you. Go ahead and try it. If you need some good choices then go over to avonromance.com. They’ve got a great selection of romances to warm your heart and your toes. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Changing up…

Before I published my first book I did a lot of investigating. The general comment that I saw from several well known writers was to keep writing. They said that the more you write the better your craft and the better the sales. Well, I wondered how this would pan out for my future career as a writer. 

Now that I’m coming up on my two year publishing anniversary I can say that this is a fact. It’s funny that when I read my first published book I shake my head. I’m in the process of revising a couple of my first books. I’ve learned so much about the process and writing in the last two years. I changed a lot of how the process goes. Also, I’ve slowed down a bit. Of course that could be age, but let’s get past that point.

I’ve seen a huge difference in sales. The first 6 months after publishing my first book my sales were minimal. Every month after that I’ve seen a upswing. I’ve also learned to put a decent price on my work. Even though you might sell less in numbers, the end result if a larger profit. 

As for my covers I’ve stepped up the game. Now I put more effort in making each new cover pack a punch. I want them to stand out in the enormous crowd of other newly published books. I study other covers that I see and what the current trends are. I get a lot of response on my covers which makes me smile. 

One thing I’ve learned from multiple published books, I’ve added more descriptions. I’ve added more insight into the characters and more information on the surroundings. Some of this comes from fans writing to me. They tell me that my earlier books were good, but they wanted more from the characters. I’ve listened to the readers and now I write further detail into every book. Patience has been a hard thing for me to have in my writing. When you can see the end and your excited, sometimes you press it too quickly and lose the middle structure. 

My publishing process has become very detailed. I’ve slowed that process too. Now I do a little more marketing than before. As you’ve noticed in my blogs I’m working on several manuscripts that have been in the works for a while. I also have a couple of surprises coming up, but that’s for another blog down the road. 

As always, good writing, and May God Bless You…


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When writing a death scene…

I’ve been working on a piece that includes death scene. I’m not talking about a shooting or stabbing death, but a death caused by cancer. Death scenes can be tricky, especially in these circumstances. If you’re having a character killed off you just have them shot or stabbed and there’s a moment of dying then that’s it.

But in this instance the character is in a hospital spending her last moments with her loving husband. Yeah, I cried all the way through writing the scene which took several days. It was mentally and physically draining. The scene spanned a chapter or two as this was a pivotal point of the story line. It sets the scenarios for the rest of the book. And no it’s not a tear jerker all the way through. It’s a really sweet romance from start to finish.

The main character is just such an amazing man. He’s so full of Faith, family and love that you can’t help but fall in love with him. I’ve cried with him, laughed with him and now it’s at another pivotal life changing event and I’ve just sat and sighed with him. Let’s just say it’s going to pull you up in your seat.

In a death scene such as this, you have to be careful. I wanted the death scene to flow easily but not too quickly. The emotions and the last words are pivotal in the mechanics of the main characters decisions later on. Yes, I even put some romance in the death scene which is hard to do, but with these two it’s easy. Their love was immense and totally empowering. 

It’s also a little eye opening for my own life. I’ve lost so many family and friends to cancer so it was a little sad. It also made me think of my own immortality. How would I handle my last minutes on earth? Could I be as brave as Rachel? Would I be a complete mess? How would I handle my last moments with my child and my husband? It’s something to think about. I spent a little time digging into my own heart. It was a reality check for sure.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Time Travel – Something new…

As I work on my latest manuscript I have to sigh. Have you ever gotten so lost in your work that you react to every detail? This has been such a step away from my normal writing, but I’m really enjoying it. I have some surprises in store for the readers with this one. And yes before you ask, there are horses and a handsome cowboy. I mean it’s me writing it.

I’ve based this story in one of my favorite cities, Savannah. It’s so rich with history and beautiful places. I love history. That was my favorite subject in school beside literature. I wonder why I like literature…

I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak of “Finding The Right Time” and as it happens, this books will not be coming out for a little while. I made a huge decision Saturday to enter this manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Last year I entered “A Love Never Lost” and it made it through to the 2nd round which was exciting. Fingers crossed and hopes abound.

Well, here’s a little bit:

Rafe walked around in front of her and held out his hand. “Would you like to dance?”

“I don’t know how to dance to this, but if you’ll lead.” She smiled up into his handsome face which was full of mischief.

“I’ll lead you anywhere my dear.” He said as he pulled her in amongst the other couples waltzing around the makeshift dance floor. Which actually was just a marked off area of the dirt road.

She grabbed his hand and he gently placed his other on her waist. “You smell wonderful.” He put his nose to her hair as he pulled her closer.

“It’s lavender from your grandmother.” She smiled. It was heavenly dancing close to Rafe. His muscular chest was under her cheek. Every movement caused his muscles to ripple.

“This feels right holding you in my arms. Thank you for staying tonight.” He kissed the side of her head as he held her close. He didn’t care what anyone thought at that moment. All he could think of was holding her for possibly the last time. Could his heart take it if she decided not to come back?

She closed her eyes and almost forgot where she was. Suddenly someone started to sing an old Irish sounding tune. She smiled up at Rafe as he didn’t stop moving to the music. Neither was aware of the whispering among the town. They were mesmerized by the couple in the middle of the dance floor.

Brody sat down beside Mrs. Emma and put his arm around her. “Gran, I do think our boy has finally given his heart.”

“As do I Brody. She’s a wonderful girl. I do hope she’ll make the right decision and stay with us.” Her voice quivered with worry. She’d seen the uncertainty earlier in Lily’s eyes. She knew that feeling only too well. She’d made the right decision for herself, but what was Lily’s?

“Do you think she’ll leave again?” He watched the couple and had his doubts. He saw the love in their eyes and it was mutual.

“I hope tonight will give her reason to stay.” She watched the couple. Then she looked around and everyone there was watching them and smiling. Everyone could see it, but would Lily? She just prayed it would become crystal clear tonight.

After five songs Rafe pulled Lily off to the side. “Let’s get some air.” She followed as he led her to the edge of town away from the buzzing crowd. When they were out of sight of everyone, he turned and pulled her into his arms.

His lips were suddenly on hers and she was lost. He pulled her close to his body. He’d held his emotions all evening, but he was about to snap. It was as though she was his water and he was thirsty. He drank of her as though he’d been without for years.

She wound her arms around his neck and pulled him into the kiss. As she deepened the kiss he groaned. This felt so right to her, but could she leave everything. For tonight she’d be his.

He ran his hands up and down her back. It was as though he couldn’t get her close enough. When he finally released her it was only to pull her between two of the buildings. He pressed her against the side of the building and kissed her passionately.

Their breathing was ragged as passion took over their bodies. He knew he needed to stop but he couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to let her go, not yet. He wanted her badly and the knowledge that this could be their last time together was almost his undoing.

She was the first to push at his chest. If they went any further she’d never be able to make a clear decision. This was so hard to not just give in to her desires. She knew it’d be so easy.

He leaned his head against hers as he tried to control his breathing. “Lily please forgive me. I don’t know what came over me.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. I wanted you too, I still do, but this will not help my decision.” She pulled away from his embrace and leaned against the wall. He put his hand on her shoulder.

“If you want me as badly as I do you, then the decision is made.” He looked down at her face. It was hard to see her expression in the darkness. He knew his want was from mostly love and what he knew was also lust.

“It’s not that easy Rafe. I don’t want to make a decision based on passion. That’s not love. I want my decision to be true to my heart, not my body. Can you understand that?” She turned to look up into his face.

“I’ll have to understand it. I just want you to be my wife.” He ran his fingers through his hair in heated frustration. He could use another dip in the cool stream behind the house. He’d had several of those since Lily had come into his life. That’s where he’d been the night she’d seen him from her window.

She realized he’d just laid his heart on the line. “Oh Rafe, you’re such a wonderful man. Please give me until the morning.” She laid her hand on his heart and it was beating wildly. He reached up and covered it with his large hand.

“I am a man of my word. I’ll give you until the morning, but I will tell you this. If you decide to stay, I want us to be married as soon as possible.” His voice was stilled ragged with passion.

“If I decide to stay we will be married before the next setting sun.” She reached up and grasped his face, pulling it down to hers. It was the most passionate, sweet, heart wrenching kiss. It touched her soul in a way she’d never expected. Rafe touched her soul, but was it enough?

I know that was more than a bit, but I just love this part. It’s going to be hard holding back on the publishing of this one. Hopefully I can restrain myself. I have to make my final decision before February 16th. If I get an offer for it before then, I’ll jump but keep your fingers crossed. This book will be a game changer for me.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Good Monday morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with joy and lots of writing. Of course today is a school holiday so I got to sleep in. That’s always a plus. As I sat down in my office I was met with a really cold chair and desk. My fingers are struggling with this post due to the cold. It was a little warmer on Friday when I left, so I didn’t set the heater to come on as much over the weekend. That’s what I get for not looking ahead at the forecast. It’s freezing this morning.

Have you ever heard the old saying, “Cold Hands, Warm Heart”. That’s me this morning for sure. I always have cold hands. Since I’m a hopeless romantic I guess you could say I always have a warm heart. When I love I do it with my whole heart. I don’t love half heartedly. It’s just not in my makeup. Maybe this is why I’m drawn to writing about love. I love every aspect of it. It mesmerizes me and draws me into it’s depths until I’m lost in it’s beauty.

Now don’t get me wrong. Love can be a tedious thing, like walking on a tight rope over a deep canyon. As you know, I’m afraid of heights so I try to keep off the tight rope as much as possible. I’ve had so many readers ask me if my writing comes from life experiences and I usually laugh. A writer never fully reveals the secrets behind their craft. I will tell you this, I’ve loved and lost, but in the end I’ve loved for eternity. There it is, a writer’s answer. We love to write in riddles, never really giving it all away.

When I was a teenager I looked for Prince Charming. He’d come up on his white horse, of course, and he’d have on a crisp white Stetson with a winning smile. You know the type, the one that’s only in your mind. Oh yeah, I had it bad. I’d read one too many romance novels, if that’s possible. Sometimes it can be dangerous for a girl coming of age. She looks for that one special man. Poor boys, I left several along the road side wondering what they’d done wrong. Hey, I didn’t leave them literally by the roadside, but you get what I’m saying. 

One reader asked if I had a cowboy in my past, well I’m from the country and that’s a resounding yes. You can’t throw a stone without hitting at least one cowboy or country boy. As a writer you have to pull from things that are familiar but then you have to make them stand out and interesting.

So, do you have a warm heart? Do you pull from your past experiences when writing? 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…