Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Edit until it hurts…

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Why does editing hurt so bad? For one thing, you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into the work, so yes, it will hurt. The other thing is, it’s hard to cut out what you think needs to be there.

But I have some advice, and I had to take this advice myself. In order to make the work the best it can be, then you’ve got to trim the fat. And believe me, it hurts, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the better product. Sometimes I look at my editor and shake my head. But, once I see it in another light, then I’m better with it.

So, here is what you need to tell yourself, it only makes it better. Yes, you will have to do this multiple times.

Repeat after me… It only makes it better!

Now, let me tell you the worst thing that can happen, and this happened to me. One of my previous editors told me to get rid half a chapter and I had a meltdown, but once I took the plunge, I saw it worked and flowed better. And in the end, that’s our goal, to make our work flow. If it doesn’t, then the reader won’t enjoy the read.

So, edit without mercy and keep the tissues close as you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Writers stay healthy!

Photo by Mary Taylor on Pexels.com

I have the rainy Monday morning blahs… But sipping some strong coffee, so hoping this feeling passes. So, let’s dive into writers and their health. It’s a double edged sword…

If you’re like me, you work a day job and write in your free time, which leaves precious little time to exercise. Even full time writers don’t take the time to exercise. So, what do we do? The fact is, it’s important to get moving as much as possible. Yes, we love to chase the words, but are we doing it at the cost of our health.

Let’s look at some things you can do to help stay healthy and keep up with your word count:

  • Get in those steps! Try to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Yes, I know it’s hard, but even on a rainy day you can walk inside. I’ve set a timer on my phone to make me get up and move. Today is my first day of keeping track of it better. I’ve been slacking since I had a book deadline, not to mention it’s tax season. So, get up and march in place for a few minutes, or walk to the mailbox a couple of times a day. Whatever it takes to get those steps up? Give Yoga a try. It’s a great mind clearing way to get healthier and stay in shape.
  • If you have to snack while writing, then grab something healthy. A couple of examples are: 1. Freeze some grapes and eat when writing. 2. Cut up an apple and get a little peanut butter to dip it in. 3. Eat low salt nuts such as almonds or cashews. 4. Yogurt with granola. 5. Cut up veggies such as carrots or even bell pepper and dip in ranch.
  • If you grab coffee, like me, then opt for no creamer, or less creamer. Maybe even grab some decaf at times. Also, remember those fancy coffees from the coffee shop add a lot of calories to your day. Opt for a simple cup of joe.
  • Tea is great, unless you’re southern like me and love it sweet. Change it up to green tea or herbal with antioxidants to help you out.
  • Last, but not least, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. I keep a bottle of water with me all of the time. Get in your allotted amount of water a day. If you can’t handle plain water, then grab some of those no calorie flavorings. I love those. But staying hydrated is important.

Remember, the only way to get that bestseller seen is to be healthy enough to finish it. If you’re not here, then it won’t see the light of day. And as your fellow writer, I want to see you succeed and stay healthy. This goes for me. Let’s start this today!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

When you cry at the end…

Good morning! I’m a little emotional this morning. I typed THE END on the Mistletoe Ranch Series late last night. To say I’m sad to see these characters go away is an understatement. This has been one of those series that totally filled me with joy.

Today marks the first day after the Mistletoe Ranch. That may sound strange, but to a writer, it’s all too clear. You spend almost everyday with these characters and it’s surreal when they no longer fill your writing time.

But as with anything, you step away and start a new manuscript. So, I say goodbye to Denver and Maddy, but maybe one day I’ll revisit them. You never know, I am a writer and we’re a different people. We love our characters fiercely and have a hard time letting go of them.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Release date: January 29th!

Preorder now. Starting this afternoon it will be only .99 for a limited time!


Leave a comment

If I had wings…

Photo by Tu00fa Nguyu1ec5n on Pexels.com

Good morning! It’s a mildly cloudy day here in Georgia and a little cool. But, it’s Wednesday, so we’re halfway to the weekend.

My question today is this: If you had wings, where would you go?

If I had wings:

  1. I would fly over the Georgia coast and take in the beauty.
  2. I would fly over Yellowstone park, low and slow. I’d take in all of God’s artistry.
  3. I would swoop down in front of Mt. Rushmore and give a wave.
  4. I would cross the ocean and take in the Swiss Alps. Breathing in the clean fresh air.
  5. Then I would take my last flight over Israel to see the Holy Land in it’s entirety. I’d take my time and see every place I’ve read about.

There are so many places I’d love to go, but if I could fly, these are the top five.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Let’s talk Scrivener…

Good morning! Who wants to write in an organized way? Who wants their outline and characters right at their fingertips? Me! Here’s how I do that…

I use the program, Scrivener. And no, I don’t get any money for talking about this program. What I do get by using this program is piece of mind. So, here are my top five reasons that I use Scrivener to bring my words to life.

  • Easy to use. Folks, once you sit down and start using Scrivener, you will realize that even though it has all those bells and whistles, it’s so easy to use.
  • Character Bio list. Yes, this is amazing. I have all of my main characters running down the left side of my manuscript. And if I forget a characters occupation or eye color, all I do is click and double check.
  • Place list. This is a life saver. I can keep the places in my story straight. Because it’s hard to remember everything, but with Scrivener, I have it at my fingertips.
  • Outline. Yes, I’m an outliner most of the time. And with Scrivener, I have my outline to the right. And it’s always open. The fun thing is, I can separate it by chapters or sections, then mark done when I’m finished with that section. This helps because Scrivener also separates by chapters.
  • Word count progress. I have a window to open that tells me how many words I’ve typed in a session. I also can put a daily word count need, manuscript word count expected, and keep up with my progress. It helps keep me on track!

So, this is just a little look into all of the things that Scrivener can do for you. There’s also a script writing part integrated in the same window. And you can change the way your Scrivener looks at every turn. I use cork board for my outline, which gives a story board feel.

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Friday Afternoon Smiles

It’s finally Friday afternoon. Almost time to close the office. And it’s a 3 day weekend for most people. Since I’m an accountant and tax season is upon us, I don’t get the 3 day weekend. But, it’s all good!

Hope you all have a great weekend and be safe!

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com


Leave a comment

Funny Things Writers do…

Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com

Ok, so we all have things happen to us that make us just laugh at ourself. None of us are immune from doing things that in hindsight, we question our sanity.

So, today I’m talking the Oops of writing…

Here we go!

1: Someone from the 1800’s can’t flip a switch for power. Yes, it’s something that happens to the best of us. But, it’s a face palm moment when your editor asks you if the book was no longer a historical romance.

2: When your editor texts you and says, ‘Do you even know the name of your main character?’ Yep, renamed midway, then went back to original in the same manuscript. (Character Lists are essential!)

3: You publish your book, then realize that your name is not on the cover. AT ALL!

4: This one hits too close to home. You’re writing more than one book at a time, and you get the storylines mixed up. My editor hates at times! I know she does! You can’t be riding a horse across the wild west one moment, then in a limo headed from the airport in the next chapter. Yep, I did that!

5: The last one for this post, but a goody. Hit submit and realize you submitted the proof copy, not the edited copy… Enough said!

I could go on and on, but you see where I’m going with this. As a writer, you have to laugh and move forward. There is way too many voices in our head to comprehend the simplest task. And yes, that sounds like maybe we need brain scans, but it’s normal for a writer.

Add to my list and give all of us some comfort in knowing we’re not completely crazy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

And remember to laugh… Laugh hard… Then continue on…


Leave a comment

A Series Beyond Time…

It’s Wednesday and I’m up for a little self promotion… Today I’m talking time travel. Have you ever wished to go back to another time and place? Maybe you’ve wanted to go ahead in time to see how something turns out. If you could go back to the time when knights sat at the round table, cowboys rode the old west, or gold rush, would you? What if it meant you’d find the love of your life that you’ve been searching for?

The Journal Series takes you back in time. Each book has a different story, but all are joined by the same story. It’s a powerful spell that sends each woman back to another time and place. So, sit back and check out The Journal Series.

How it started:

June 1795 – Salem, Massachusetts

Marina Granger stood peering out the window. She loved her home at the end of the street in Salem. This was the house that she had built with the money from her herb shop on the square. The witch trials were long gone, but she was still thought of as a witch. Despite this, most revered her skills and sought her out when they needed healing from a large assortment of ailments.

As she stood watching the people of the town come and go, she began to think of her lost love. He’d been everything she’d ever wished for and in her heart, Marina knew that one day they’d be together again. She turned her back to the town and walked over to the table where she’d placed the three journals. With loving care, she ran her old, arthritic fingers over the leather-bound books. Even with her skills with herbs and such, she was unable to stop the advancing of age.

With a sigh, Marina lit a candle beside each book. She then reached in the pouch at her side, and sprinkled the contents over them as she spoke, sending a spell over the journals. Marina learned many spells from her grandmother, who’d lost her own grandmother in the horrid witch trials. Even though she’d been deemed innocent, the town clergy didn’t want to take any chances since she had healing powers.  With a flourish, Marina waved her hands over the table. A pleasant smile crossed her beautiful face as she thought of the three women from her bloodline that would find their way to the journals in the future. Their love would blossom as the spell took them back to the time period that they belonged in. It would be here that each one of them would find out what their special powers were and how to use them for good.

As she finished the spell, she could hear the men coming to run her out of town. The loud banging on the front door downstairs, had her grabbing her bag and the journals. She pulled a sconce on the wall to reveal the secret corridor in the wall. Marina placed the three journals on a ledge just inside the wall, smiling as she looked at them for one last second. Then she was gone to never be found again, at least not in her time period…

Book 1 – The Knight of Her Heart

Can an age-old spell change the course of time?
Willa Granger, an antique dealer from Salem, doesn’t know how her life is about to change when she inherits a journal from her great-great-grandmother. The journal has a spell on it. The moment Willa begins to write in it, she’s transported back to medieval Ireland. She finds herself on a grassy hill beside the sea, unsure of what’s just happened.
That’s where Sir Rolfe Gawain, a Knight in the king’s court, finds her. He’s suspicious of her clothing and the way she speaks, but something inside of him wants to protect her. With growing tensions at the palace regarding witchcraft, he must keep the way she says she arrived a secret.
They soon find themselves on the run from the king as suspicions arise about Willa’s sudden appearance. But as they sail across the sea to England, a bond grows between them that is unshakeable. Just when they think all is well, they are captured, and Willa’s life is threatened. The couple makes a difficult choice. Will it separate them forever? Will they find their way back to one another?
This is the first book in the time travel series, The Journal.
Marina placed the three journals on the table, then lit a candle beside each. She reached in the pouch at her side and sprinkled the contents over them as she spoke, sending a spell over the journals. With a flourish, she waved her hands over the table. A smile crossed her face as she thought of the three young women from her bloodline that would find their way to the journals in the future. Their love would blossom as the spell took them back to the time period that they belonged in. Loud banging on the front door had her turning and leaving through the secret hatch in the floor, which is where she left the three journals. Then she was gone to never be found again…

Book 2 – The Cowboy of Her Dreams

Have you ever read a book and wished to go back to that time period? Or maybe you dreamed of finding happiness with a man from that time? What if you could make it happen?

Rain, a book editor from New York, is taken back to the old west where she meets Sloan Weatherby, a rancher in the 1850’s. Ever since childhood, Rain had read western romances and dreamed of living in Texas during the 1800s.

She’d always imagined being the wife of a rancher with work-roughened hands and a heart bigger than Texas. When she opens her eyes after writing in the journal, Sloan rescues her from a runaway stagecoach, their story begins. But, life in another time isn’t easy, especially when his past comes back to haunt him.

Rain begins to think maybe she made the wrong decision. Can love keep her in the old west or will she open the journal and go back to New York, never to look back?

Book 3 – The Pirate of Her Desire

Sometimes when a dream becomes reality things don’t turn out as you imagined.

Since the first romance novel Amber read, she’d always dreamed of living on a pirate ship and capturing the heart of the captain. When the journal sends her to 1750 where she comes face to face with captain George Drake she realizes she might be headed for disaster. Is she prepared for the life on a real pirate ship versus the romanticized versions she’d always read in novels?

Captain George Drake, the most well-known pirate of his time can’t believe his eyes when he sees Amber on his ship. He is filled with anger but one look into her blue eyes and he’s not sure what he is going to do with his beautiful, feisty stowaway. Tensions rise as he struggles to hide this woman from his crew and keep her safe in the midst of a harsh battle. Can he make himself believe a simple journal brought her to his ship?

Will he risk the respect of his crew and everything he has worked toward for the woman that has dropped into his life or will he send her back to her own time? Will he be able to let her go? Will he have a choice?

Their story is action-packed but will unfold into a love story to last for all time.
This short book is a love at first sight romance… Sometimes it only takes a moment to know your heart!

Book 4 – Marina’s Story – A Timeless Love

The final book of The Journal Series is a short story about the woman that created the Journals.

One spell, two hearts, three journals, four epic love stories.

Marina was known as a witch in Boston, but to those that knew her best, she was a healer. From the moment she first went back in time using an ancient journal, she knew that life would never be the same. The man she met was beyond anything she’d ever known.

Ryland, a blacksmith living in a little French village in the early 1600’s knew from the moment he saw Marina that she was his true love. But the local king also loved Marina and would do anything to have her as his own.

They are forced to hide away where they start their happy life, or so they thought… When Marina is forced back to 1739 Boston she must do everything in her power to keep her daughter safe.

In a time where witches were still seen as a threat, Marina will make a decision that will impact generations to come.

And who knows, you may find one of the journals one day and get sent to your true love… Anything can happen when love is involved. Happy reading!

You can get them separate or in a box set!

So, hope you enjoyed the look into The Journal Series. You never know, there may be a journal waiting for you somewhere.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Tuesday Tax Talk…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Good afternoon! It’s that time of year to get your tax papers organized and ready for tax time. Yes, I know, it’s a hassle if you’re not organized. Even organized people struggle with this time of year. Do I have this form? Did I make that donation before the end of the year? When did I buy my laptop for writing?

As an accountant, I understand the struggle. But, just take it one day at a time. Sit down with your check register and scan it. Make sure you grab all of your expenses for your writing business or the business that you’re in. Also this is a good way to find donations you made during the year.

Here’s a list for writers to use for expenses and other business can use it too…

  1. Writing programs – Microsoft office, Scrivener, Adobe, etc…
  2. Writer Group Subscriptions – Romance Writers of America, All Author, Bigstock, Etc…
  3. Writing Supplies – Pencils, Pens, Notebooks, Copy paper, ink, journals, etc…
  4. Equipment – Laptop, Computer, printer, etc…
  5. Advertising – Any advertising you’ve paid for…

The list goes on from here, but this gives you a good idea of where to start. And believe me, once you get into this, you’ll find more.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Organizing your Published works…

It’s another cool morning here in Georgia, but I’m warm and cozy under my blanket with my laptop. Today we’re discussing how to organize your published works. You may be asking what I mean, well, let me enlighten you.

With over 50 published books, sometimes I get lost in where every book is already published. I can’t remember which book is on which platform. Organization is needed even if you only put your books on one platform. So, here is what I do…

Platform Organization

First, I sit down and make a spreadsheet. The header includes all of the platforms that my books are on. The first column lists all of my books. This way I can mark off the books that are already on certain platforms. And this also helps when republishing older works with new covers. Doing this, I don’t miss out on having my books everywhere.

The moment I started working with this spreadsheet, I realized that I was missing several platforms for some of my books. This is missed opportunity, so everyday I work on at least one platform, updating files and getting my books everywhere.

 PublishedAmazonKUB&NKoboAppleSmashAudibleGoogle
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

Book Organization

Now, you may be asking how this is different. Book organization is a spreadsheet similar to the above one, but this one is book formats. In this one, I just copy the previous spreadsheet and change the header. In the header I input Ebook, Print, Audio, Front Cover, Back Cover, Blurb, and Publish date.

This has helped me to keep up with what needs to be done for each book. It’s like a checks and balances, but for books.

 outlinecharacterfrontebookblurbexerptprintbackspine
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

I do hope this helps you in some way. It’s helped me a lot.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…