Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Pirate Romance – Having fun…

Good Tuesday morning. I hope you’re all well and having a beautiful morning. I’m working on my second cup of coffee struggling to get awake. I had one of those nights where sleep came quickly but left a couple of hours after. So now I’m trying to kickstart my body. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been working on a couple of books. The pirate romance is coming along smoothly and yes there has been rough seas along the way. It’s been so much fun writing a pirate romance. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about my cowboys along the way and I do have a cowboy romance coming soon after the pirates dock their ship. But for now I’m getting my sea legs and wearing a fluffy shirt.

Here’s a little snippet from Safe in the Pirate’s Arms:

 

Pacing the quarters that were quickly shrinking, she finally walked over to the door. She placed her ear on the door to see if anyone was near. When she heard nothing, she quietly opened the door. Slowly she stepped out of the cabin. The sea air felt wonderful on her face.

Closing her eyes she let it blow over her body and through her hair. The smell was heavenly and made her long to be up on deck. She leaned over the railing and looked down at the water rippling and splashing on the side of the huge ship.

So caught up in her view, she didn’t hear Caleb coming up the walkway. He couldn’t believe she was already disobeying him. She was caught off guard when he pulled her quickly into his quarters. The anger in his eyes told her that this would cost her freedom.

“Do you even have a thought to your safety? Am I the only one concerned with it?” He thrust her toward the bed and stood over her. “I left you untied because I wanted to give you a chance to walk around and for your wrists to heal.”

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t stay cooped up in here. It’s stuffy and warm.” She indicated the sweat on her brow.

He walked over to the door and contemplated what to do with this woman. She’d disobeyed his orders. What if his men would’ve seen her? Rolling his eyes he turned to look down at her. “If you’ll stay in here until after the men go to sleep, I’ll take you up on deck.” He put his hands on his hips. “Can you handle that?”

She meekly looked up at him from under her lowered lashes. “I’ll stay right here.” She was excited about going up on deck to see the stars overhead. They were always brighter out at sea.

“I’ll be back in a bit with dinner, so you’d better be right here. Do you understand?” He talked to her as if she was a child.

“I’m not a child.” She huffed out.

“Then don’t make me treat you like one.” He said and walked back out the door. By the time he stepped back on deck he was smiling. Things were not going to get boring with her on board. 

 

Hope you liked this little piece of my pirate romance. It’s going to be an intriguing story. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Patriotic Sale on Amazon!

Sorry I’ve been away for a couple of days, but I’m back and ready for action. I spent a couple of days with family and friends celebrating the 4th by the lake. But now I’m back in full force and working hard to keep up with everything.

I do hope you had a great holiday and for my many friends across the pond, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. In honor of our American holiday and for all those that have fought for our freedom I’m marking all my books down to .99 for the month of July on Amazon only.

Also, my book With All My Heart has remained in the top 100 on Amazon for the last two weeks. I’m so pleased and excited. Now back to the writing. I have a pirate and a southern belle breathing down my neck. I’ll give you a little tidbit from both books this week so be watching for it and also may have a little something special to giveaway.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing the right ending…

What do you do when you get down to the last chapters? At this point you need to building up for the end, but how?

As I work on the ending of my newest book, I ponder this question. Just as my last novel, “The Winner Is Love” I wonder, is this the end? Well with that one it wasn’t. I didn’t know it when I started writing it. I had plan a simple, sweet Christmas romance that would end at the words The End. But guess what, as with any writer I had to listen to my characters and my heart told me their story is not done.

My newest book is the 2nd book in a series and I don’t know whether I want it to continue. But if I don’t continue it, how do I end it? Do the lovers ride off in the sunset never to be heard from again? Do I kill them off in a lovers quarrel? What am I saying? I can’t kill them off, that would be murder.

The ending of a book can be as important, or even more important than the beginning. I’ve read books before that the ending left me baffled. Some have left me angry and others ready for more. If you are planning a next book, you have to leave the reader wanting more. You have to give just enough information to keep them hooked for the next book. If you’re ending it there, you need to make the ending mean something. If you end the book wrong, will the reader want to read anything else from you.

I have to admit that I’ve read some books that the ending made me so upset that I didn’t have the heart to read the authors list of other books written. I just couldn’t do that to myself. You know how it is when you’re watching a movie and the main character that you’ve fell in love with dies in the last scene and bam, that’s it. Finished, the end, done! Makes you want to throw something at the TV. Books can make you want to throw your Kindle.

What do you like in an ending? Do you like the explosive ending, where you are just floored? Do you like the sweet, tender ending where you just melt and have to sit quietly for a moment and reflect? (Maybe that’s just me 😉 ) Or do you like the nail biter ending where you get left hanging on the edge of the cliff? Let me know your thoughts. I love to hear what everyone thinks.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!end


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The birth of a novel.

Have you ever read a novel and wondered what the author was thinking about when they wrote the first word? Like what was Charlotte Bronte thinking when she started Jane Eyre or J.K. Rowling when she started Harry Potter? Did they know at the moment of the first word that it would be a success?

As I started my last novel I was thinking, will someone want to read this. Will it make the New Your Best Sellers list? I typed the first word and suddenly the words were flowing from my fingers. It was as though the story had to be written and I’d been chosen to write it. I knew what had to be said and what the characters had to go through to get to the words The End.

As the story evolved I became immersed in the lives of the characters. It was as though I was watching the story from a distance. I could see the house, the people, the horses, and feel the pain, love or just happiness. I even cried at one point which is so in character with myself.

To make the great novel what do you do? You put everything inside you on paper. You leave nothing unsaid and no feeling unfelt. I’m not saying my novel is the great novel by any stretch of the mind, but instead I’m saying it could be to me or maybe a fan of my writing. I can dream of the day it soars to life in someone else’s heart.

The one thing I hope to achieve from my writing, other than making a little extra money, I hope to take the reader to another world, another time and help them to experience love through my characters. My Christian series was created to help others cope with something in their life. My romance novels were created to inspire romance. Everyone needs it.

So as I close this post, I glance out my window and watch the sun shine on the golden leaves as they fall from the trees. My mind is working on the novel at my fingertips and I smile. Maybe one day after I’m gone, someone will read my books and say, “I wonder what she was thinking as she wrote these words.”

As always good writing and May God bless you.


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Reviews that cause you to pause!

Ok, so you’ve poured out your heart into your work. You love it, your editor loves it and even the dedicated friends that read it before it was published loved it. Then the dreaded reviews come in. Someone thinks it needs help. This post is dedicated to the feelings a review gives you.

1: A great review – Well the first great review you get makes your heart soar. You feel like nothing can hurt you at that moment. Your work has been approved by one person. Well, one person is not enough to make your book a best seller, but one good review could make it more popular than no reviews.

2: A good review – This is that review that says it was a fairly good book. But usually on a good review, there is a “But” in it. I always listen to that “But” because it is the suggestions of a complete stranger that usually makes more of a point than that of a friend who doesn’t necessarily tell you the truth about your writing.

3: A fair review – We’ve all had that review that really sat us back on our heels. I received one the other day. It was kind of half and half. What I mean by that is this. The reviewer started with “It was a great story line and I really liked it” which made me smile, but then they went into this “But, it was too rushed and didn’t get into enough of character building for me to really like it.” I sat back for a moment going, ok. That is the kind of review that can still sell books, but can also put off others.

4: A bad review – I’ve received some reviews that were pretty bad. It’s funny that you receive several raving reviews and then one of those nasty reviews come in and you go “WOW” where did that come from? I received one that said, “Sorry, but I couldn’t get past the first 4 pages”. Well, I’ve read some best sellers that I had a hard time reading them until I got past the first chapter, so I totally wrote off that review as someone who just didn’t like the story line, but then the very next review said they were pleasantly surprised how good it was as you got into the story. I think they were speaking to that other reviewer.

5: A questionable review – This is the kind of review where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they never read the book to begin with. I was reading a review the other day where someone wrote a paragraph about the good and bad points of one of my books. The problem with this is that the information provided from the book did not match my book. I even showed my editor and she said that is not from your book at all. They evidently read the description of the book and did their own version.

6: The follower review – This is the review that goes with the other persons review. Have you ever received a review whether good or bad and within a few hours you receive another review that says almost the same exact thing? It’s as if the other person just marked your book as read and then just copied the other review.

7: The “not my genre” review – I had someone write a rather nasty review of one of my books, but what was funny about the review was that at the end of the scathing review they stated that they hated romance novels. Why on earth would you purchase a romance novel and then decide to write a review on it if you didn’t like romance novels?

8: The nasty review – These are the reviews that are just down right nasty and they usually come from fellow authors. I received one that was a full paragraph totally tearing my book apart, then they went on to say that they would like to read more of my work. That was really weird to me. Especially the way they tore the book apart and told that the author (me) was not their kind of writer. Oh well, can’t please everyone. Made me feel good, because that is my best seller so not real concerned.

This post was just to state my feelings of the different types of reviews I’ve received. I have even posted some of the bad reviews on my selling sites. You may be saying “Are you nuts?” Well, yes I am, but that’s the life of a writer. Do you know that I started having more sales after posting the fair review. It’s funny how the review process works.

I think some people read the reviews and that makes their decisions on purchasing or not. Some people never even look at the reviews, but others just shrug and say, well it may not have been their kind of book.

So don’t take reviews too seriously. Not all reviews that look bad will hurt you. Don’t let a bad review cause you to put your writing on a shelf  to never pick it up again. I’ve read a lot of best sellers that to me were horrible, but I knew it was not my style of book that I like, but I didn’t tear it apart in a review.

Also, when you do write a review, try to be as kind as you can. Offer some gentle suggestions and support the writer when you can.

As always, good writing/reviewing and May God bless you!