Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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2014 almost gone, here comes 2015!

It’s hard to believe 2014 is almost in the record books. The year flew by and some days it felt like I was sitting at a train station watching it zoom by. I can say it has been a great year.

As for my writing, I published seven, count them, seven books this year! Wow! I had to recount because I didn’t think it was possible, but evidently it was… I learned a lot this year as far as my writing goes. Many authors have said they learn more and more as time goes on and I believe that.

I did hit many mile markers with my writing. I hit the Amazon top 10 several times this year and even hit the #1. Yep, that made me do a happy dance and jump around like a crazy person. Then of course I had some great reviews that made me cry and some reviews that made me cringe, but life goes on and not everyone will see things as you do.

And yes, I started Horseshoe Publishing in earnest, adding many new aspects such as website design which has been really exciting. I’ve taken on some fascinating clients and enjoyed every minute of the ride. Funny the things you learn from other authors.

Romancing September Across the World hit all time highs this year. Along with Rosie Amber, we were baffled by the response and have almost filled up next years roster. It was such a great month and can’t wait for next year.

Personally this year has been great! I made a resolution last year to enjoy life and take it as it comes. I’ve stuck by the resolution and it’s been a great ride.

Now on to upcoming things for 2015! I’ll be doing a book signing before Valentine’s Day for the upcoming new release of Ridge. Also having my books put in local book store which totally makes me squeal. It’s already starting out great and it hasn’t even started yet.

This is a wish for all of you, have a Happy New Year’s Eve. Stay safe, be good and write well.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Five Oaks Ranch Series

bookmark designMake sure to go follow the Five Oaks Ranch Series Facebook page at facebook.com/FiveOaksRanchBooks

and on twitter @5oaksranchbooks for opportunities to win copies and keep up with publishing dates, book

signings, and so much more!


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It’s that time of year…Are you ready?

This is a step away from my normal writing post, or is it? Well, this is a twofold post. As you may have figured this out, we only have three days left in 2014. Of course if you’ve been off work for the holidays you might not realize what day it is. Anyhow, this is a reminder post of sorts. I want to remind you of some tax deductions that might need to made in the next three days.

If you’re a published author then you’ll need to claim those wonderful royalties you hopefully received during the year. That means that you have income to claim and need deductions to help ward off a nasty tax bill. Since I’m an accountant as well as published author I’m here to help. So here’s a couple of last minute tax helps to get you on the right track…

1: Go through and add up your royalties to make certain of your income. Why is this important? Well, even a couple hundred extra dollars can put you in another tax bracket and that means extra taxes. SO make sure you know what you’re looking at.

2: After you’ve figured out your income level, then go through all those receipts to make sure you grab every expense. Even those notebooks you make notes in are writing expenses. Make sure you start 2015 off right by putting these in a folder marked ‘Writing Expenses’ and then next December you’re writing not searching.

3: Maybe you did really well on royalties this year, I’m hoping you did, but that means taxes. So, if you need a big item to help with taxes this is the time to splurge. It’s actually a good time to do this with all the end of year sales. You could purchase a new writing program, laptop, printer, dragon speak type of program, or any type of electronic/program that you use for writing.

4: Don’t forget last minute advertising. This could be a good time to get your name out to all of those new e-reader owners and get a tax deduction in the process.

5: Stock up on notebooks, pencils, pens, paper and any writing supplies that may be needed in 2015. It’s a mini shopping spree in the making.

I’ve mentioned only five things to help, but you get the picture. It’s important to your wallet to be tax savvy and get the best bang for your tax buck. So many authors don’t think about the little things, but you now have three days to think about it.

If you have questions, just message me and I’ll help.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The day after Christmas and all was…

It’s the day after Christmas and all is calm. The hubby and son have headed to the lake to fish out the day. I’m sitting watching Hallmark Christmas Romances and sipping coffee. It’s peaceful and serene as I sit here with a crackling fire and the Christmas tree twinkling beside me. I know the tree has to come down, but it’s always sad to see it. I love Christmas, but I do love the moments after everything is put back right and things are back to normal.

But for the Accountant in me, this is the calm before the storm. When I head back to the office after the first of the year it will be crazy as year ends are calculated, paperwork is sorted, tax files are put together, W-2’s are printed and the list goes on, but I love the rush and craziness. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

The writer in me is hard at work with a deadline coming up really soon. I plan on writing away my days off which is fine with me. As I fill out the story of Ridge Cauthen I have to smile. He’s such a hard man with a soft core, but he struggles with nightmares and the memories of everything he’s seen in the last seven years. Always the toughest of the siblings, he’s turned hard edged and even harder to get close to. For me he’s put a challenge in front of me and I’m enjoying it. Most of my main characters are loving and a little softer hearted, but Ridge totally blows that away.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and also hope you were able to take some time for yourself.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Christmas Eve excitement…

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I love Christmas and everything that goes with it. This is my favorite time of year. It’s the time of year when families get together and celebrate their love. We remember our past Christmas’s and those that are not with us any longer. But most of all we celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

For me Christmas came a little early. Yesterday I received a call from a local bookstore. All of my books will be available starting in 2015 in that store. And they asked me to do an author signing for my new book that will be released on Valentine’s Day. So exciting. Yes I’m still smiling and giggling like a little girl. I will be letting you know more information as it comes in like dates and times, but for now I can say this is an exciting time.

Did anyone catch the release announcement in the last paragraph? If not, let me say it again. Ridge, the first book in the Five Oaks Ranch Series will be officially released on Valentine’s Day. This book has been a wonderful adventure for me. Since my last couple of books have not been about cowboys, it’s nice to come back to what I really love. I will be releasing excerpts periodically over the next month as the release date officially draws closer. Let’s just say this will be a new era in my writing. I’m stepping a little out of my usual box with this one, but I think my fans will be pleasantly surprised.

Ridge Advertisement

I love this cover and all the covers for the series which have already been designed. The other four books will be announced soon as they’re finished and ready for release. Get to know the Cauthen family as this series unfolds into a series to remember. I think you’ll fall in love with the four brothers and their sister. Each one is different and full of struggles, love, laughter, family and most of all cowboys!

So, as I finish this post I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a family filled night and that Santa visits with a smile. If things go well I’ll be publishing a Christmas Day post. Don’t forget the Reason for the Season…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You on this Christmas Eve…


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Tuesday Writing Tips…

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, we made it through Monday so yeah to us…

This morning I wanted to talk with you about writing. What’s that? Yes, I love to talk about writing. I receive dozens of emails each week asking me about writing. So here goes and first let me say this is my way of writing, it may not be your way.

Writing Tips by Steph – Catchy phrase, well maybe not but that’s my first tip I want to discuss and it’s the title of your book. Many authors have asked me how I get my titles. It’s a tough question, but when it comes to you it will be like a light coming on in the dark abyss of the writing brain. Some of my titles have come before the story, odd but true. Then others as I’ve been in the process on writing. It’s very important to have a notepad close by as you write. Ideas pop in your head as you write and if you don’t write them down at that moment they could float away into the vast abyss of a writers brain. Make sure that your title isn’t so long that it loses something. Some titles are one word wonders. Also don’t call it “Christmas Mystery” if it’s not a mystery.

Cover – Oh this is one of those things that could make a reader walk by without a second glance. Make sure your cover inspires or brings out something from the story, but don’t give away any secrets. Also don’t overdo it. Some authors try to put several elements on their cover, but then you overcrowd and it causes confusion. Simple covers, but effective are really good. When I talk with authors that call on Horseshoe Publishing to design their covers, I always say, “What does your book say to you?” Does it scream horror or sweet romance? Does it need to be really warm or cool in color?

Blurb – Oh the horror of writing a blurb for the back of your book. The hundred word blurb is harder to me to write than the 50,000 word book in most instances. A couple of my books actually happened backwards. I wrote the blurb before the book, but I don’t always suggest this. Make it simple, but mysterious. Don’t give a spoiler that will make the reader put it back.

Author Page – This is very important. Tell a brief bio and then put a list of your books. I always separate mine by series and stand alone’s. I also try to include an excerpt from an upcoming release at the end just before the author page. It helps sell it too.

Editing – Make sure that when you hit “PUBLISH” that your work is the best it can be. If you just write it and publish it without a second glance, well most likely that’s the only glance it will get. I checked out a book the other day and read the sample that was provided, let’s just say within a couple of sentences I knew it wasn’t making my TBR list. The spelling and grammar were terrible and that was just the first couple of sentences. What’s worse is it was simple mistakes that were blatantly obvious. Always read over your manuscript after you do a quick edit. Then edit it again. I usually find so many errors in the second edit that I missed. Then I read it out loud. Amazing how many changes you make after you hear it. Remember we’re writers and we’re not perfect, yes I said it, we’re not perfect.

I hope some of these tips helped you in a way. I love writing and talking about it. It’s always fun to get emails on the subject. If you need help with any of the above just jump over to www.horseshoe-publishing.com and let us help you make your manuscript stand out among the millions of others.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Gone With The Wind – 75 years old today!

Good Monday morning to all! It’s a beautiful chilly morning here in Georgia. Of course I feel like I’m coming down with my son’s cold. Oh well, tis the Season to have a cold! But I do have exciting news, Gone With The Wind is 75 years old today. If you’ve followed me very long you know this is my favorite movie.

I have posters, snow globes, figurines, newspaper articles, puzzles, pictures, music boxes, etc. of anything GWTW. Shall I go on? I have the book, the 2nd installment not by Margaret Mitchell, but still good and even the book The Road To Tara. And last but not least I have the official 50th anniversary VHS of the movie with extras. I did splurge last year and purchase the DVD. Would you say I like anything GWTW? Well yeah.

I you’re not familiar with the movie then all I can say is “REALLY?” It’s a well written book that was made into a stellar movie. With so many talented actors and actresses it was immediately a smash. Even though it was written about Georgia, it was filmed in California. But when the movie premiered happened it brought all the stars here to Atlanta which was great for publicity.

Of course I have many beloved movies and books, I still go back to this one on rainy days or cold ones for that fact… I just adore Clark Gable. He’s such a charismatic actor and with his looks he played the devilish Rhett Butler with spunk. Then you have Vivian Leigh as Scarlett. Hard to believe she wasn’t a southern lady. But who can forget Hattie McDaniel as Mammy for which she won an Academy Award.  I just loved her and her spunky attitude as she told Scarlett exactly how she felt. I just love when she leans out the window to yell at Scarlett, makes me laugh every time. Scarlett needed Mammy’s stern hand and love.

If you haven’t seen it or read the book, Christmas time is a great time to sit down and catch up.

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You…