Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s Release Day…..

Breakwater Lane Front Cover

Good Thursday morning! It’s release day! Do I sound excited? Well, I am… Breakwater officially released today and I’m beyond excited. This series is so much fun to write and I can’t wait to hear from my adoring readers.

**Small Town Romance**

When Jordan Reed inherits her grandfather’s deli in small town Wishful Harbor, her life is turned upside down. Things start to look better when her childhood crush, Skylar, turns out to be her new contractor. When someone tries to intervene in Jordan and Skylar’s relationships the mysteries of Jordan’s family start to unravel. What she learns could change her life and her family’s reputation forever.

If you didn’t preorder your copy, it’s still only .99 for today only! So grab it now…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

https://www.amazon.com/Breakwater-Lane-Wishful-Harbor-Book-ebook

 

 

 


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Outlines, Notebooks & other such things…

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It’s Saturday morning and I’m ready for a little rest and restoration. Of course, you know I’ll be writing, it’s my Saturday thing to do. When you run a busy accounting office, most of your intense writing comes on your days off.

Take notes... You'll need them later...

Now with intense writing sessions, you have to use your time wisely. This is where detailed notes and outlines come in handy. When I sit down to write, I like to have everything at my fingertips. If I’m writing a book, say, for instance, Breakwater Lane, I want to have my character information close at hand. Why? Well, it helps me to just look at the character list beside me. If I forget a secondary characters name, I just glance at the list and keep going. But without this list, well, I’d have to go back to where I last wrote about them to check. That takes away valuable writing time.

Outlines are helpful…

I’m an outliner, most of the time. When a story comes into my head, I like to sit down and outline it while it’s fresh. If the story comes in bits and pieces as some do, then I just write down the basics of what has come to my head. As with Sky Ridge Series, I have in my head what each of the three books will be covering, but without the outline, I’d overtake the story from the next book. I want to make sure that each book covers its own situation.

Don’t let a lack of organization throw you off track…

Some people say that outlines mess them up and that’s ok. Everyone has their own style. It’s the way we’re made. But for me, outlines keep me focused on the story at hand. You might ask if I’ve ever changed a story from the outline? Yes, several times. Take, for instance, Finding the Right Time. I had it completely outlined, but my characters would not behave and they went off script. If you’re not a writer, that might sound a little off, but it’s true. Characters can have a mind of their own and they go off down the rabbit hole, leaving the outline in the dust. That’s when you pick up the outline, dust it off, then adjust as needed. It works, believe me.

Notebooks… Notebooks… Notebooks…

Now, I have notebooks for each of my series. I keep details about characters that are in each book. That way I keep up with who died, who left to never be heard of again and such as that. On my stand-alone’s, I don’t always have a dedicated notebook, just an outline with notes in the margins. I put the characters at the top, then the outline. But the notes in the margins can be added characters, character flaws or just location descriptions. Anything you think will be needed later, add it.

It only takes a second to lose that train of thought…

So, to sum up, my rambling from above, if you feel disoriented or unorganized when writing, it’s normal. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself. These are just a couple of the things I do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Ants! Ants! Everywhere…

Ants

Good morning everyone! Oh and let me say good morning to the ants that are invading my house… To say I’m overwhelmed, well, that would be an understatement. But, in the south, it’s a part of summer.

Ok, so let me explain the new adventure at my house. It’s called the follow the ants and find where they’re coming from. The game isn’t fun. It’s not glamorous. It’s not productive for my writing. But, for my sanity and my family, I play this game daily.

Let’s start with this morning. I’m laying in bed, enjoying the peaceful bliss of the last moments of sleep when my hubby kisses me goodbye before work, but whispers, not sweet nothings, he informs me that ants got on him while eating breakfast. Well, needless to say, I got up and made my way to the kitchen.

Now, you know me, I’ve got to have my coffee before I can function, so, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to watch the news. After one cup of coffee, I was ready to check out the problem at hand. LOL! One inspection of the kitchen pantry and I needed another cup of coffee. Those little menaces were trailing up behind the shelves and straight into a box of honey nut cheerios. Millions of the little suckers.

What’s amazing is when I trailed them back down the wall, across the entry way, through the entire kitchen and dining room, around the corner and down the hallway, which is rather long, I found them. They were coming out of nowhere, just appearing, but upon closer inspection, they were coming from behind the molding. Really?????

How on earth did these tiny pests smell my honey nut cheerios from that far away? They only were going to the cereal. But by the way, they were marching through my house, you’d think they were headed to a feast laid out across the counter. So, in disgust and anger, I tossed my box of cereal out the back door and began sweeping up ants. Did I say I’d only had one and a half cups of coffee? Yeah, that’s why I was sweeping them up. I needed more caffeine for my brain to actually work well with itself.

So, now as I sit here, typing my post, the fumes of the poison (household safe) I sprayed fills the house, I have to ask, what is the purpose of these little insects? I mean, do they actually have a purpose other than driving me insane?

Ok, so, rant over. Hope everyone is well on this Friday morning.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, don’t forget that the pre-order for Breakwater Lane is still going until August 31st when it releases. Also, hop over to Love Kissed Promotions for the chance to win a Kindle, just click here August Preorder Sale & Giveaway


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Hitting Publish…

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Good morning everyone! It’s a great morning to be alive. I’ve just submitted the final edited version of Breakwater Lane and I feel so nervous. When you put your work out there for the whole world to see and read, well, sometimes it’s overwhelming. Even after over 35 published titles, I still get the major butterflies when I push that button.

I love the newest messages on Amazon. This one had me getting another cup of coffee. Of course, you all know it doesn’t take much coaxing for that to happen.

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Does it ever get old seeing your manuscript in your hands? Never! My hands shake as I hold the manuscript and I never take it for granted. This is a special honor to me that I’ll always treasure.

So, what do you do just before hitting the magic button? For me, I stress over the manuscript, reading it over one last time, then my finger hovers over the keyboard before touching enter.  I hyperventilate for a few minutes, then I push the button and watch the wheel spin.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

 


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As we grow older…

Good morning! Last night I attended my 30-year class reunion. I don’t feel like it’s been 30 years since we were all crazy high school students just making our way through class and life. But the funny thing is, it has been.

We all grow older, but the heart stays the same in many ways. As I spoke with everyone last night, I realized, we haven’t changed that much in 30 years. Everyone has the same smile, the same laugh, just maybe a few added wrinkles from many years of life and laughter. But at the heart of it, we’re all still the same people we were 30 years ago when we walked across that field, scared to death of what lay ahead, but sure we’d make the world a better place.

It’s crazy the memories that flood in when you get together with people from your past. Some are good, others sad, but mostly, you remember all the many aspects of those years together. Most of us were in school together all the way through, which meant we spent a lot of time together. Even after all these years, we know one another and nothing can erase the memories we’ve shared, even time.

So, now you know I’m a sap, not that you didn’t know that already. And yes, as I watched the video of our pictures scrolling by, I had a tear dot the corner of my eye. We can’t go back to that wonderful time, except in our minds, but we can remember the days when we were fresh and new beings just trying to get by. We can remember the ones we’ve lost over the years and smile, knowing that we were part of this great thing we call life.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Friday! Friday! Friday!

Good Friday morning! We made it folks, it’s Friday… Take a breath and know that the weekend is only hours away.

For me, I’m looking forward to some writing this weekend. Plus, my 30-year class reunion is tomorrow evening. Wow, have I been out of school for 30 years? I’m getting old…. Nah!

The final edits for Breakwater Lane are coming in today, which makes me smile. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost out. This morning I’m getting my word count in on Promises Forgotten. At the moment I’m deep in Indians and 1800’s Montana. I love being a writer. I can get lost in another world, if for a moment.

So, what are you planning this weekend?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Throwback Thursday – Time Travel

Finding the Right Time front cover

Good Thursday morning folks! Today I’m talking time travel. My book, Finding the Right Time is a mixture of contemporary romance, cowboy romance, and Time Travel. Some have even said maybe a little paranormal.

First, let’s start with this amazing cover. I thought my cover designer would quit when I told her what I wanted, but as usual, she waved her creative hand over it and made it. There are so many elements to this cover. It’s one of my favorites, along with the story behind the cover. It totally tells you that the story inside has many levels.

Ok, so on to the story. This is a time travel, but I went a bit further. What do I mean by that? Well, as I said, this came to me in a dream, so… This story goes back and forth in time, so, you have to keep up. Some readers really love this story and fell in love with the characters, but others said that the time changes had their heads whirling. But, I had to tell the story as it came to me. Those that love this book, love it fiercely. Honestly, I’ve read many time travel romances that flipped back and forth, it’s the way this one goes. But once you read it, you’ll understand why.

Here’s a little bit from Finding the Right Time…

He stood up and walked over to stand beside her. “I know this is going to sound crazy, but do you think that people sometimes do not cross over immediately?”

“I don’t know, why do you ask?” She looked back at the head stone. “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“I believe that when someone has unfinished business that maybe they stay here to finish that business. Maybe that’s what a ghost is, someone with unfinished business.” He watched her reaction to that and noticed that she looked a little perplexed.

“Are you saying there are ghosts here in the cemetery?” A shiver ran down her spine.

He noticed her shiver. “I’m just saying that sometimes we bring on things with emotions so when you read that head stone try not to get emotional.”

She laughed and looked back at him. “You’re kidding right.” She quit laughing when she saw his face. He wasn’t kidding and she’d hoped he was.

“I’m just preparing you for the emotions that may come over you if you’re sensitive.”

“I’ll take my chances.” She turned back to the head stone and read it. “Lilliana Faith Kennedy – Loving wife of Rafe, caring Mother, dedicated Friend. Born August 8, 1839 – Died November 20, 1899. Married on August 12, 1965. The love they shared will never die, but will last forever…” She sat back on her heels and tried to hide the tears that suddenly welled in her eyes. The words were so familiar to her and she couldn’t figure out why.

“I tried to warn you. I think it has a meaning more than just a saying on a grave marker. It carries a promise.” He looked down at her and he had a sudden feeling of protectiveness. Why did he feel like he knew her from another time? He didn’t want to tell her how he felt because it might scare her.

When he saw her the first time it was a hit in the chest. His heart beat so fast that he couldn’t even think straight. Was it just the fact that they both were sensitive to time?

She stood up and walked over to the old oak tree. It felt as though a slight vibration came from the old tree. She looked back to see if Anthony felt it, but he seemed preoccupied at the moment. She reached out and placed her hand on the bark. Then suddenly the wind picked up and the chimes got louder and louder.

Now, if that little snippet doesn’t make you shiver, then the following quote from the book will. By the way, this is one of my favorite quotes from all 35 of my books!

He bowed his head and shook it from side to side. “I don’t understand how a man that’s been dead for over one hundred years can just take over your heart. How can you even think about going back to him? If you love me, how can you love him too?”

See, what did I tell you? And of course, after reading this quote, I have to go back and read the book again. I know, I wrote it, but I love the story and the romance will leave you breathless as you try to figure out which one she will pick. As you reach the end of the story, you’ll realize something amazing about this love triangle…

As always, good reading and May God Bless You…


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A peek into Breakwater Lane…

It’s Tuesday! We made it through Monday… Let’s talk romance, more importantly, Breakwater Lane which is coming out August 31st!

I wanted you to get a peek at Breakwater Lane. If you are a member of my Street Team, then you’ve seen the whole first chapter, but here’s a little snippet from the first time the two main characters are together in the book…

     She took a deep breath and turned the key in the lock, opening her new life.

     “Hey, can I help you?” A deep male voice said from behind her.

     Jordan jumped, putting her hand on her heart. “Oh my goodness. You scared the life out of me.” Jordan said as she whirled around, looking up in the most amazing set of eyes she’d ever seen. They weren’t blue exactly, but a greenish blue, almost the color of the water in Wishful Harbor just after a storm.

     “I’m sorry, are you Hank’s granddaughter?”

      “Yes.” Jordan reached out her hand to the man. “Jordan.”

      “Glad to meet you Jordan, for the second time.” The man grinned. “Skyler, Skyler Evans.”

     Jordan tilted her head, curious. “Second time. I don’t understand. Have we met before?”

     “We met behind the building. I was fishing and you were falling into the water. I dove in and saved you.” Skyler said, crossing his muscular arms across his chest with a grin.

     “Oh, I didn’t recognize you,” Jordan said with a giggle as she remembered the incident that he was speaking of. She also remembered the crush she’d had on it.

     “I can imagine. You ran away as soon as I saved you.” Skyler said with a little sarcasm lacing his voice. He remembered the spoiled little girl that she’d been. Now he saw a beautiful young woman but had she lost her spoiled ways.

      “Well, I was so embarrassed. I’d been showing off in front of you, then fell over the side of the dock.” Jordan said with a grin as she put her purse on the table, turning to look around. “So, you stayed here?”

     “It’s my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Wishful Harbor.”

     “But didn’t you want to get out and enjoy life?”

     Skyler scowled, bringing his brows together in anger. “I see you haven’t changed a bit.”

     Jordan whirled back around to face him, confusion in her eyes. “Excuse me.”

     “You were a spoiled brat then, and I see you’re still a spoiled brat.” Skyler turned to walk out the door.

     At first, Jordan watched him walking out the door, then she ran after him. “Hey, wait a minute. Why are you calling me a spoiled brat?”

     Skyler stopped, not turning around. “Lady, you don’t have a clue about small town life. It’s a way of life that some enjoy. Not everyone wants to travel or go to large cities.” Then he turned around, looking down at her. “And I do enjoy life, every day.”

That was a short little peek, but you get the gist of the start of their relationship. It’s as turbulent as the water in Wishful Harbor during a storm.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Have you pre-ordered Breakwater Lane yet? Here’s the link:


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Our job as an author…

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Good morning! It’s Monday morning and I’m ready for a productive week. Of course, my hubby is on vacation this week, so I’ll get to see him a lot, which is a great thing.

So, as an author, what are we trying to accomplish? I’m not talking about earning money, I’m talking about with our words.

Here are my top five things I try to accomplish with the words that come from my heart…

1: First and foremost, I want to entertain my reader. I want my ready to enjoy what I write and to want more of it. I want them to smile, laugh and cry when they read my work.

2: I want my readers to be taken away to another world. With Tuscany, I wanted to make them feel like they were in Italy. I wanted them to feel the warm Mediterranean breeze on their face. With my Christmas books, I want this to smell the Christmas spices, to feel the joy of the season and to feel the cold of the snow all around them.

3: My readers should feel what my characters feel. I want them to feel the happiness, the sorrow, and the anger.

4: With the romance, I want my readers to get lost in it. I want them to experience the romance of the story. So many people tell me that they haven’t ever had true romance, so I want them to feel it with every book they read of mine.

5: And finally, this is what every writer should aspire to do and that’s to take your reader to another realm of reality. Whether you write romance, mystery or horror, you should strive to take away the everyday troubles of your reader. Help them get lost in another world, if only for an hour. But help them forget everything but the characters and stories that are within the covers of your work.

So, what do you want to accomplish with your writing?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…