Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s Friday… Excerpt time!

Good Friday morning! Since it’s Friday and I’m beyond excited about my upcoming release of Safe, I’ll share a short excerpt from this fun new book that I’m working on the end of.

Drew couldn’t believe he let Rob talk him into this. When Rob called him an hour ago, he was furious with Hadley. He explained about the fire and her dismissal of the danger. His concern was beyond that of a sheriff for a woman in the community, there was more to it, but he didn’t have time to wrap his head around the technicalities.
The bulk of his night had been spent going over some of the people that Rob thought might be behind the man in the park. The evidence hadn’t been processed yet, so he didn’t have specifics, just suspicions. Tobias was at the top of Drew’s list.
“Drew, this is serious and she’s not taking it that way. I need for you to take her away from here until I can figure this out. This is more than just that man she saw in the park. I think whoever shot that man was there. Maybe she saw them, or they think she did. All I know is she’s stubborn and will need some coaxing in order to get her away from here. Make sure that she goes with you, no matter how you have to get her to do it.”
That made Drew smile. He’d dealt with stubborn soldiers before and she was a lot smaller than most of them so this should be a breeze. Then again, he’d seen that glint in her eyes that spoke of something deeper that could get in the way.
He’d planned on staying a couple of days, but even he knew there was something happening that directly affected Hadley. He walked up her front steps, knowing this wouldn’t be received well. But, he had a job to do and protecting her was now his job. He knocked on her door, his eyes moving to the nonexistent window to his left. He shook his head in disgust.
Robert assured him that he would call Hadley and let her in on the new plan. Although he was sure she wouldn’t go along with it. When he knocked again, his brows bunched in concern as out of habit, he reached for the gun on his side. Was she gone? Then he heard her coming toward the door. Her footsteps were light, but the gait told him she was weary.
Hadley opened the door only a couple of inches as she peered out at him. “What do you want?” Her voice was raspy as though she’d been sleeping or crying. Either way, he had to harden his heart to those beautiful, doe like eyes staring up at him.
“As Rob should have told you, pack a bag and come on. I don’t want to be driving into the middle of the night.” Drew said, his tone one of authority. Rob’s words rang in his head. ‘She won’t go willingly, but she’s in danger. They gave a distinct warning last night with the fire. The next thing will be worse, much worse.’
“I haven’t spoken with Rob since he brought me lunch. My phone went dead over an hour ago. As I told him earlier, I’m not going to the hotel.” She started to close the door, but his strong hand stopped it.
“Dead phone or not, I’ve been hired to protect you. So, go pack a bag. I don’t have a lot of time.”
Hadley turned and left him standing in the doorway. “I’m not going anywhere with you or Rob, so you can go back to where ever it is you came from.” She said over her shoulder.
Drew stood there for a minute, wondering what he was doing here. Then he thought about this tiny woman trying to fight off what he thought was coming at her. There was no way he could let that happen. “Please, just pack a bag. Don’t make me have to take matters into my own hands. You won’t like it.” He raised his brows, putting his hands in his pockets as he leaned in the doorway.
“Don’t threaten me.” Hadley grumbled, walking up the dark hallway.
“Lady, I don’t make threats. I only speak the truth and if you’re not out here with a packed bag in ten minutes, then I’ll be forced to handle it myself.” Drew’s voice was deep as he stepped into the den, his tone not wavering. He took in the burnt furniture. As he shook his head, he noticed that she’d come back into the room with him.
“Why do you want to help me? You don’t even know me.” Hadley crossed her arms across her chest as she waited on his answer.
“Rob is one of my best friends and when he’s worried, that makes me worry. The only way to keep you safe is to take you far away from here. I’ve been hired to escort you to somewhere safe until this is taken care of.” Drew said.
“What do you mean, far away from here?”
Drew took another step into the den, the scent of burnt wood making his eyes water. “I’m taking you to my ranch four hours north of here. There you will be safe and I can keep an eye on you.”
“No you’re not. I’m staying here in my house.”
“As I said, that’s not an option. The people who seem to have a problem with you are not playing games. The next attack will be worse. They tried to burn the house down around you, so what do you think will happen next?”
Hadley shrugged. She’d made up her mind earlier to just ignore all of this. Although that most likely wouldn’t make the situation go away. The fact that she was afraid of what was happening only heightened her sense of awareness that Drew was inside her house. In her own introverted way, she thought that if she kept her mind occupied, then it would all just go away. And in another thought, she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
“Would you like for me to enlighten you on how these types of people work?” Drew waited for her to respond, but she only kept her back to him. He knew she was listening. “Ok, I’ll tell you. First they gave you a broken window as a warning. Then before daylight today, they tossed a lit bottle through your window as a wake up call. The next warning will send you to the hospital if not worse. And I don’t intend for that to happen. At least not on my watch.”

I hope you enjoyed this small tidbit of Safe, the first book in my new series, ‘In Harm’s Way’.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Write what you love… Not what’s expected!

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Good morning! I’ve been swamped with taxes and office work, so I’ve been a little absent lately. But don’t worry, there is still writing going on in the background. Safe is almost complete and I’m so excited to bring it to you soon. Now, on to the post.

There are so many trends out there right now that it makes my head spin. So many authors fall into the trend hole and can’t seem to climb back out. Yes, it’s alright to write following those trends, but not if it puts your writing style in a cramp. Sometimes current trends are not what you excel at and that’s alright. Be yourself, not what others expect.

Every writer has their own voice. And we have a passion for different things. Me, I love writing clean romance that inspires others. And now I’ve added mystery and suspense to that love. But for so long I wouldn’t add that element for fear that it wouldn’t be accepted in my genre. I was mistaken and now that I’m almost done with the first novel in that genre, I know that I made the right choice. It’s unexpected, but wonderful. I’ve never felt more excitement over writing as I do at this moment. I feel that this is a huge step for my career.

Now, you need to sit back and figure it out. What do you love to write about? If it’s a couple falling in love over a lost puppy, then write about it. What’s important is writing about what you’re passionate about. Just focus on that.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Toss a stone… Watch the ripple…

As I sit here, sipping my coffee and getting my mind ready for the day, I’ve been thinking about my current WIP. It’s been such a refreshing new project that I’ve enjoyed working on.

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Now, I could have stayed with my usual genre and kept the water smooth and ripple free. But, that wouldn’t be fun. I’ve been writing romance for several years. My genre ranged from sweet romance, to paranormal. So, how is my current WIP different?

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My current WIP is a Christian Suspense Romance. What is that you may be asking? Well, it’s a clean romance that has Christian elements, along with suspenseful and thrilling parts, but as always that some romance sprinkled in. And with it being Christian, you know that it won’t be too over the top gory or crude.

So, I went from keeping the waters calm and smooth, to tossing a pebble and wrecking the calm waters. And it’s the best move I’ve made in a long time. I can’t wait to get it out to my readers because I think they’ll fall in love with the characters and be glued to the story. It won’t be anything you expect either.

Ripple the water… Make a change… Get a refreshing new look at romance…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Midweek Writing & Descriptions…

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This week is flying by. So much to do with so little time.

Lately I’ve been focusing more and more on being descriptive. I want my readers to take the journey with me, not just read it. It means more if they see the vision that I do when I’m writing. As I wrote earlier, show, don’t tell. It’s important to keep the readers interest and if they’re just reading words, it won’t. They’ll lose their train of thought. But, if you open up the world to them, then you’ll have fans for life.

For instance, in my current WIP, when Hadley is walking up the sidewalk, I get into the weather, the scenery around her and the neighbor that always stops her, keeping her from the tasks at hand. Also her little cottage on the sleepy street in the small town. I go into detail so that the reader has a sense of where she lives and during certain parts of the story, how close she is to possible danger.

So see, you have to be descriptive. Let your reader into your head. It can only make it better for them.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing scenes ahead…

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Good morning from icy Georgia! It’s below freezing and the precipitation falling isn’t rain… Time for the bulky sweaters that collect dust, but I keep them for just this sort of day…

Now, on to the post. Have you ever wrote a scene ahead of time? I keep a notebook beside my laptop for just this thing. And I label them as what they are. About 90% of the time I know in my head how the book ends and if I’m working on the first half and hit a snag, I’ll write the ending. It inspires me to push through the fog that clouds my thoughts sometimes.

But, will those scenes change and evolve as the writing prior to them does. Certainly, but it keeps you focused on the upcoming events. I’ve written several pages of scenes, then totally deleted some of them as the characters went in another direction. But it’s exciting to step ahead and see the future.

Did I say I could see the future? Yes, in my writing I can. So don’t ask me to read tea leaves or anything like that. I can’t see that kind of future. So, start looking ahead in your WIP and see what can be. It will help with the current part of the process.

As always, good writing and <ay God Bless You…


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Don’t rush it… Patience needed!

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What a dreary Monday! Monday’s are a struggle, but when you wake up to rain and bone chilling cold, well, it puts you in the wrong mood. So, let’s talk patience. LOL! Yep, that word that we’ve forgotten existed…

Patience by definition is the ability to take things in stride, not rush into something, without getting upset. In other words, even though you want to do something so badly that you hit the start button before you have everything ready. And that’s where you get into trouble.

Here’s what the Bible says: Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

And I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you have a new release coming. Here’s an example: You’ve finished your current work in progress, but you need to edit, then send to your editor for more edits, then add those new edits, market for the new release, make sure the cover is ready, etc… You get the point. But the problem with all of this is that it takes time to do all of this, and all of this is important. If you jump into the pot before the grease is hot, well, you’ll just end up soggy.

It’s like putting a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the last piece without putting all of the other pieces together first. It’s impossible, so you have to patiently put the other pieces together. The same with publishing a book. One step at a time…

So, here’s my advice and believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Make sure to check all the boxes before you hit submit. You wouldn’t publish to Amazon before you had a cover, would you? Then don’t publish before you’ve got the steps completed in order to put out the best book you possibly can.

Patience is something we have to work on. Me included. If you feel like you’ve just got to do something, then start on the next project and market like crazy for the one you’re about to release. But make it right the first time and the patience will pay off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s up with Safe…

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Good Friday morning! I’m getting so excited about my current work in progress, Safe. It’s taking me on a journey that I never thought I’d take in my writing. This book is a new adventure and I’m ready for it.

So, you may be wondering what’s up, well… I’m learning how much adrenaline comes in when you’re writing suspenseful mystery. One scene had me so tensed up that every sound in the house made me jump. It’s amazing. I’m so pumped up when I finish writing scenes that I have a hard time stopping to go to work.

I can’t wait to get finished with it so that I can get it out to all of you. The two main characters are such polar opposites, but yet they seem to be drawn to one another. The fun part is, they don’t even realize it. Drew is such a protective soul and Hadley is an introvert with a dislike for the outside world. Together they are explosive. The dark place that both of them are in comes from two very different sources, but together they seem to get darker. They have to fight to keep the darkness from over shadowing the light at the end of the tunnel. And the mystery that surrounds them in this spine tingling romance will have you guessing until the end.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Groundhogs…Coffee…Writing

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It’s Groundhog Day! Let’s hope it doesn’t go like the movie. Anyway, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so six more weeks of winter. Whether you believe the groundhog or not, it’s fun to see what he does and if his predictions come true. But, whatever happens, we can’t do anything to change it, so life goes on.

Here in Georgia we’re finally seeing the sunshine this morning. As I sip my second cup of coffee, I’m reviewing two more chapters of Safe, my current work in process. With temperatures in the upper 20’s, this coffee helps warm me up. These hardwood floors are mighty cold this morning. But, one step outside and I’m reminded how warm it really is inside. The icy air hits your face like a ton of bricks. So, wrap up and stay warm today.

As for writing, this is the month for romance. The question of the day is this, can you squeeze in romance in a crime thriller? The answer is yes. Even a horror can have some romance element without taking away from the story line. For me, adding an element of romance just makes for a better story. Of course, that could be that I’m a romance writer and I try to put romance in everything I do.

With that being said, my new WIP is coming along quite well. It’s full of suspense, dabbled with excitement and a couple of spine tingling moments. I’m starting to really enjoy this new added genre in my romance books. The thrill of mystery keeps my fingers typing and my mind working. I was so enthralled in the story last night that the dog barked and I almost jumped out of my skin. But that’s what makes it fun, to get lost in the story.

In other news, I’ll have a featured article in the Southern Writer’s Magazine a couple of days before Valentines Day, so keep watching for it. It’s such an honor to be able to talk writing on such a wonderful platform. As writers, we need to be able to spread our wings.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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!


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The last day of 2020…

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Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! This year has been so different from what we wished for only a year ago today. Life had changed for almost everyone and the way we do things is different. But life goes on and we have to make the best of every situation.

My writing has been going along fairly well, which is surprising to me. So many writers have said that this year has made them less productive. I’ve focused on the positive, giving someone else something to get lost in. Our goal as a writer is to entertain and make our fans feel as though they’ve been taken to another world, time, or place. That’s been my focus.

As I prepare to start 2021, there will be many changes coming. The new series, In Harm’s Way, will be one of those changes. It is something totally different from my normal sweet romance. The whole idea of the series is to help people find their faith even in a difficult time. And each one of the books explores a different type of disaster. It’s labeled a Christian Suspense Romance Series. I plan to take the reader on a journey of fear, love, faith, and excitement.

So, what are you doing to change things up for 2021?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…