Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday Rough Draft…

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Monday! After a crazy busy weekend, all I wanted was a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but the Espresso machine was down at the coffee shop, so I had to get a Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Yep, not what I needed this Monday morning. So, pushing through the tired fog.

Rough draft… It’s the nemesis of a writer. How many rough drafts do you go through? Me? Several. The first round of writing on my manuscript is usually unreadable. My editor laughs when she gets one of my rough drafts. Often there is a question posed to me of ‘what the heck did you mean by that sentence?’ It actually makes me giggle when I go back in to see what she’s talking about.

But, are rough drafts essential when writing? No… Maybe… Yes! It gives you a chance to go back over what you’ve written. The rough draft also gives you the freedom to get the words on the paper. That’s why it’s called a rough draft. It’s the flow straight from your brain. There is no rhyme or reason to that first draft, it’s just pure writing at it’s roughest. I love getting that raw first draft on paper. There’s such a sense of freedom.

So, posing the above question again, how many drafts do you go through to get to the finished product?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Check out my newest release, Time Love – Marina’s Story… It’s on sale for a limited time only!


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Thursday Cowboy Throwback…

In a world of corporations, concrete, and business suits, there are still cowboys. I love writing about them because to me, they are a dying breed. As long as time can remember, there was cowboys.

With every cowboy I write, I try to make them as real as possible. Since I personally know a lot of cowboys, I have lots of examples of what a true cowboy is. It’s more than the jeans, cowboy boots and Stetson. They are true men that are hard workers, rough handed, and down right tough guys. That’s the ones that are the real thing.

Each one of my cowboys that I’ve written has encompassed one of the cowboys I know. One cowboy I knew was an older man with that weathered skin, keen eye, and cowboy swagger. He was the epitome of an old world cowboy. There was never a conversation that we had that didn’t involve a horse. I loved every minute of each conversation. But now he’s gone, and I long for those conversations.

So, do you love cowboys? Maybe you know one, or even married to one. Let’s give it up for cowboys this Thursday!

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing through Menopause brain…

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Alright ladies, who can raise their hand on this one? If you’re already at that age where your brain is fuzzy at best, then you’re aware of the effects it has on your writing. Some days my mind just doesn’t want to function, which can cause quite a disturbance in my daily word count. What to do?

For me, I caffeine up and take something naturally, which does help, but there are days when none of this makes a difference. I feel sluggish, irritable and just uninterested. That makes me crazy since writing is my happy place.

I’ve been reading a lot lately on how to combat this. One of the things is I make sure that I write everyday, even through the fuzzy edged mind. My editor laughs sometimes when she gets the first draft because, well, the menopause brain makes me stumble over my words, quite literally. Some of my words get ahead of themselves, but thank goodness she understands me, so she plows through it.

Another thing that has helped is a painting app on my phone. When the fuzziness starts creeping in, I pull out my phone and begin to paint. It’s paint by numbers and very relaxing. I’ve also found that while I’m painting, I can work through plots and scenes in my head. So, this is helping.

How many of you have these issues? Let’s work through them together and get to the next stage in our lives. Yes, I’m proud to be almost 52. My life has been an amazing adventure and I know this season will be another adventure that I will laugh at when I get past it. But for now, I’ll just do everything in my power to keep up my work.

As always, May God Bless You…

And while you’re working through it, give Marina a read. It’s a short story to finish out my The Journal Series.

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1535894983

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marinas-story-timeless-love-stephanie-hurt/1137860225?ean=2940162731931


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It’s Thursday, let’s Throwback!

Today I want to throw it back to 2015 I wrote a book that would change so many things in my writing adventure. Check out this nice little emblem I was honored with for Tuscany.

And this was out of over 950 entries!

Tuscany then led me down the traditional publishing route with a great publisher, Solstice Publishing. I was so excited as I signed that contract and began that part of my publishing journey.

Signing publishing contract!

Then in 2019, I took the ownership of my manuscript back and started a new journey. As you can see, Tuscany has taken me so many places, not to mention to Italy in my writing. I discovered so much through writing this novel and added a strong item to my bucket list, a trip to Tuscany. One day… But for now, I’ll stay rooted to the ground.

Tuscany

***Tuscany made it to the top 55 of 985 books in the SYTYCW contest through Harlequin***

Sometimes life leads us on a different path… Fall in love with Tuscany as you follow Lana on the adventure of a lifetime… When Lana Daniels, a simple girl from Georgia inherits a large olive farm in Tuscany, her world is turned upside down. Then she meets Romeo Russo, the farm’s foreman, the most handsome and infuriating man she had ever met. Romeo loves the farm and is afraid that Lana will ruin everything if she stays. But as he gets to know her, he can’t imagine the place without her. Just when he thinks that they can have something together, she finds out that she has three months to decide whether to stay in Italy or sell her grandmother’s legacy.
As accidents start to happen on the farm, Romeo and Lana try to figure out who is behind it all. The more they work together, the closer they get. When a lie tears Lana and Romeo apart, Lana disappears leaving Romeo confused. Can she stay away or will she sell the farm and never look back?.
Tuscany made it to the Top 55 out of 905 of Harlequin’s 2015 So You Think You Can Write Contest…

So, I hope you fall in love with a bit of Tuscany in this novel. I know I did!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Deadlines or Procrastination!

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Deadlines… A writers nemesis, but necessary. As an Accountant I have many deadlines to meet, and as a writer, I also have them. They surround me and some days I feel overwhelmed. But I love what I do on both fronts, so I push toward the next deadline with zeal.

But, procrastination also plays a part. As I’m procrastinating now by writing this blog. Sometimes I work best with a looming deadline. Then other times, a chill runs up my spine as the anxiety fills me.

As writers, we set release dates for our work, then work toward them. It’s like a means to an end. If we don’t set a deadline, then where will our work go? I do a schedule every year that sets deadlines for the draft, the editing, and the release. This is setup by evaluating the work itself. Is it to be a full length novel or a short novella? I calculate the words per day, but I manage to add some empty days that allow for procrastination, but still have me meeting my deadline.

What about you? How do you handle deadlines?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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When writing is hard… Push through it!

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Hit a wall with your current project? At a loss for words, literally? Yep, I’ve been there and other writers have too. The words stop… The creative juices reach a dam and stop… It’s like your internal hard drive crashes…

Push past that wall…

Everyone hits a wall, it’s only human. It’s how you react to that sudden wall standing in front of you that counts. So, here’s a couple of things I do when that wall jumps out and blocks my path.

1: Step back… Yes, step back. If you’re at a wall, then you need to clear your head, and redirect back to the project. When this happens to me, I’ll put that project aside and bring out an upcoming project to outline or even create some ads to inspire me.

2: Go back and read from the beginning of the project. Reintroduce yourself to the characters… Fall back in love with the story…

3: Don’t give up! Even though it seems like you’ve lost the battle, you haven’t. You’ve hit a wall that all writers hit. Push past it! Don’t let it control you. You’ve got this.

Now, get to writing and know that there will be obstacles, but you have the power to push through them. You’re a writer and that’s what you do. So write!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: Don’t forget that Marina’s Story is coming out on Saturday.

Love-Marinas-Story-Journal-ebook/dp/B08DFGK8JB


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Pumpkin Spice Time!

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Good Monday morning! It’s that time of year where pumpkins are everywhere. Which means pumpkin spice time! For those that have followed my blog, you know that I love pumpkin spice, but there are some things that don’t need to be pumpkin spice flavored.

Now, I enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, creamer, cake, coffee, cookies, pop tarts, and other things. But I’ve tried some things that just don’t make the count for me. Pumpkin spice cereal was ok, but didn’t want it again. Then I saw pumpkin spice mac & cheese, we won’t even go there… Someone gave me some pumpkin spiced candy and well, the first trash can I pass, it got tossed. I still shudder at some of the things I’ve tried with pumpkin spice in it.

So, what do you like with pumpkin spice? What have you tried that just didn’t make the cut?

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Go by and sign up for my newsletter to keep up with all of my new releases at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com


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The great debate – creamer or not!

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Sunday is so sweet. After Church we always come in, eat lunch and take a nice nap. Then I get to writing and grab a cup of coffee. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t need an excuse to drink coffee.

With that said, there’s a huge debate out there and no, I’m not being political, far from it. I’m talking about the debate over creamer or no creamer.

Some avid coffee connoisseurs say that if you put creamer in your coffee, that it’s ruined. But others say that creamer makes the coffee. What do you say?

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Me? Well, it’s up to my mood. For most of my life I’ve used creamer, but in the last couple of years I’ve grown to love coffee without creamer. But I still love creamer too. Of course, this time of year, I lean toward Pumpkin Spice of course. Then around Christmas, it’s Peppermint Mocha or Gingerbread Spice. My hubby and son love French Vanilla, as do I will a little sprinkle of cinnamon.

So, what’s the verdict? And just to sweeten the pot, per say, I’ll be giving away a prize to all of those that respond. It will include a paperback, some coffee and a little something special! When you comment, send your email address so that I can put all of you in a drawing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget that Timeless Love – Marina’s Story is coming out Saturday.

https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Love-Marinas-Story-Journal-ebook/dp/B08DFGK8JB


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Making time work for you…

Good Tuesday morning! Time… It just keeps marching on and sometimes it marches all over your good intentions. Yep, been there! But, I’ve started doing a couple of things that work for me. SO, here goes:

  1. As I said in Saturday’s post, schedule your advertising ahead of time. That gives you a good slot of time to write. Without having to do your ads every day, then you can focus on other things, like writing…
  2. Set a time to write every day. For me, I try to write every morning before I get dressed and head to the office. That’s my time to write. Sometimes I even set a timer to make sure I get every second of writing time without having to glance at the clock.
  3. Don’t go down the social media rabbit hole. I’ve gone down that hole so many times and lost precious writing time. Go ahead and write before you go on social media, then you don’t have that temptation.
  4. And don’t forget the time gem – the weekend! When I schedule my daily word count, I always put in double on Saturday and Sunday.
  5. Now, my most important way to make time work for me is to do a schedule. I know what I need to get done everyday. If I meet my word goal for the day early, then I can either get in extra words or I can do a little promotional posting. But a schedule helps you keep up with your upcoming releases and you’ll never miss a deadline again…

Don’t forget that the way to meet your deadline is to focus on your writing time. Make sure that you have figured out how much you need to do each day to meet your goal. Make the time work for you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Setting up ads for week…

It’s finally Saturday. How do you spend your Saturday? Me, I take a little longer cuddling my coffee, then I check my social media. My house gets cleaned and laundry done, not saying it’s put up, just done. Then I get to work on my weekly ads.

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How do I schedule for a week? I’ll let you in on a little secret, I have a post spreadsheet. On my spreadsheet I have the books that I will post on for the upcoming week and where. I input the information for ads that are coming out and also, my blog posts are mostly done ahead of time.

Why do I schedule all of this ahead of time? I want more time to write. But how do I do it? Well, I use Hootsuite, Twitter Scheduler, Facebook Scheduler and other programs. No, I do not pay for the subscriptions, I do as many on each of them that I can.

A little hint, do not overload your social media with books. Post stuff about yourself, your life, inspirational pictures, pets, and so on. Let your fans know who you are. I try to alternate book posts to every four hours or more. That way I’m not too overpowering.

So, what are you doing today? Are you kicking back, enjoying a good movie? Live life… Laugh a lot… and Love…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…