Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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In the Right Order…Or NOT!

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Happy Thanksgiving week! It’s Monday, so forgive me if I ramble a bit. After a busy weekend, I need multiple cups of coffee just to get my eyes open. But, for now, let’s talk writing.

Do you have to do things in the right order? Well, it’s according to what you’re doing. You can’t bake a cake before you make the batter. You can’t ice a cake before you bake it.

With writing, you can write the ending before you write the beginning. How? For some writers, they have to get the last scene written in order to get a grip on the first three fourths.

I’ve posted several things on outlines and writing technique. And I’ve always said, put your ideas together, so that you know where you’re headed. Before you ask, yes, I’ve written the last scene of a book first. Of course, when I did, the ending changed slightly as the first parts were written and put in place.

Since I write in Scrivener, sometimes I go ahead and put in the Chapter heads that go with my outline first. That way I can write different scenes ahead of time. If I get stuck on a certain part, sometimes skipping ahead helps to beat writers block.

The goal of the post is to let you know, it’s alright to write your book in the wrong order. Just make sure that it fits together like a puzzle. The pieces need to fit, but not forced.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Podcast coming…

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Yes, you heard me right. I took the Podcast plunge. The Coffee & A Good Book podcast will be up and going soon. I’ll keep all of you updated. I’m excited and nervous, all at the same time. Being in front of the camera is out of my comfort zone, way out of it. But in front of the microphone, I feel a little less intimidated. We’ll see how it goes.

The podcast will feature author interviews, book reviews, lots of coffee talk, NO POLITICS, romance talks, writing talk, and more book talk than you can get through a short podcast… If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know how much I love writing, books and coffee. So, this made me want to keep the talk going, but this time in a different format.

Keep watching for the release date. I can’t wait to connect with everyone.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Just Let It Go…

Can you believe it’s a week until Thanksgiving? This year is flying by and in my opinion, that could be a good thing. It’s been a crazy year!

Just Let It Go…

It’s the same with writing. If you have a story line that keeps bugging you, then let it go. As in, let it go where it needs to. Most writers will tell you that if a story starts in your brain, it will drive you crazy until you do something with it.

Now, it’s not to say that some of the ideas that come through your head are publish worthy. If I had a dollar for every story idea I had that flopped before the first chapter was done, well, let’s just say, I’d be in a good position. Sometimes though, it’s hard to Just Let It Go…

Don’t waste your time on stories that don’t go far. You need to focus on those stories that can go the distance. As I said in an earlier post, make sure that your story can make it through plotting and scene set up. Then, you’ll have a story to publish.

If not, then Just Let It Go…

In life sometimes we have to Just Let It Go…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Wine, Wedding, And The Cowboy is coming out December 4th, so preorder now! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF9JC3V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i25

Release Date: December 4, 2020


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Wednesday Warm Thoughts…

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It’s mighty cold here in Georgia on this Tuesday morning. As I write this post, the fire is crackling and popping in the fireplace, keeping me toasty warm. Do you enjoy a good fire on a cold morning?

For me, sitting by a warm fire inspires me to write more. Why is that? I love to come down the hall on cold mornings and hear the crackling fire. As soon as I have a cup of coffee in my hands, I stand in front of the fire, letting it warm me to my soul. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Not to mention I’m finishing up the last of my Christmas romance, which comes through easier with a cozy fire. Now just to get up my Christmas tree and decorations. But that will have to wait until after the upcoming busy weekend.

Enjoy every moment… Listen to the crackle of a fire… Give yourself a moment every day to just be…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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North Georgia Adventure…

Good Thursday morning. Monday, we took a day trip to the North Georgia mountains. It was a much needed trip to getaway and reboot. I love the mountains. It’s one of my favorite places.

The leaves were still pretty, even though they most had already turned. The picture above was from the side of the road. We’d been driving on winding roads and found this lookout. When we got out of the car, the temperature had dropped over 10 degrees from the previous stop at the orchard. There was no sound other than the wind drifting through the leaves. It was breathtaking.

This little waterfall was at our next stop. Just the sound of the water trickling over the rocks had such a calming effect. I could have camped out beside this waterfall for days. There is nothing quite as reflective as a day spent in nature. The beauty of God’s creation can take you by surprise and leave you with so much hope and belief that everything is alright.

This valley was beautiful. We were headed out of the high mountains and started through this green pastureland in the valley. There were old barns and fences that made the writer in me want to know more. Who had lived there? What had life been living here in the valley of the mountains? Did they have horses, cows, chickens, and other animals? Did the beauty of the mountains make them smile every morning when they walked out to see the beauty around them? Just a few thoughts I had as we drove through this little valley.

As you can see, we had a wonderful day trip. It only took us two and a half hours to get to this beautiful place where land meets sky. And it was worth the drive. To get there, we had to go through downtown Atlanta. It always amazes me how much the city has changed since I was a young girl traveling with my parents to the mountains every fall. I still get that little girl feeling as we pass by the tall buildings.

So, hope you enjoyed the small look into our wonderful trip. I shared all of the photos that were taken over on my Facebook page. It only takes a moment away from normal life to get a treat. Take every chance you get to get away for a while. It was just a day trip, but it did so much to refresh my mind and get me back on track. Don’t let life pass you by. Find joy in the little things.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Saying goodbye is never easy!

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It’s hard to believe that I’m finishing the last book of the Wishful Harbor Series. I’ve enjoyed every moment of writing this series. The characters will always hold a special place in my heart. And the town of Wishful Harbor will draw me in and send me on a journey where the scent of sea air and the sound of sea gulls overhead fill the air.

Saying goodbye to anything isn’t easy. In life, there’s so many things we have to say goodbye to. But with a book series, even though the series has come to a close, the books will be there to read over and over. The memories will be there too.

Over the years of my writing career, I’ve said goodbye to many series. The Five Oaks Ranch Series is still one of my bestselling series and it continues to gain momentum. I’ve had so many people write to me about adding more books to that series. Maybe one day, but for now, it’s just a dream…

In January I’ll publish the last Mistletoe Ranch book. And I just published the last book from The Journal Series. With each new series, there has to be an end. New things need to start and life goes on. But the memories will forever be there along with the laughter, tears and thought that went into each word.

Starting in 2021 I’ll be starting a whole new series, one that will pull everything out of me. I’m so excited about it. I’ve not spoken much about it, but in the coming weeks, I’ll post some snippets and info on it. But for now, let’s just say, 2021 will be filled with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

For now, I’ll go back to my writing and the cup of coffee that’s growing cool. But I’ll ask one question, how do you handle saying goodbye?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Preorder today!


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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.

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Make bad reviews work for you…

Good Tuesday morning! Let’s talk about reviews. Yes, I know, some say don’t read them. Some say read them. Me, I read them. But how do we react when we read them? Anger? Confusion? Laughter? Happy? Sad? There’s a lot of things that go through your head when you read reviews of your work. But I have a couple of things to discuss with you about them.

Make them work for you…

What am I talking about? Well, hear me out… Bad reviews can go two ways, one being they are just nasty and have no meaning for your writing, or two, they are well thought out reviews that can tell you something about the work.

Let’s talk about some ways to use bad reviews to make your work better. Here goes:

1: There are misspelled words and grammatical errors!

                We know that it doesn’t matter how many times your work is edited and even if it’s by the best editor out there, mistakes can be missed. I’ve read some of the bestsellers out there that have some mistakes that weren’t caught. SO, use that bad review as a reason to read through your work just one more time with a critical eye.

                Now, do remember, some people are not experts and what they think is a grammatical error, really isn’t. But, I still go back over my work, just in case I missed something, or my editor did. It’s worth the effort in the end. Especially if you get several reviews about the same problem.

2: The book was left on a cliffhanger!

                Ok, this one shocked me the first time I read it. When I read a book that’s part of a series, most of the time I expect a cliffhanger to get me to read the next one. Think about a series on television. They always leave you at the end of the season wondering what the heck just happened and what will happen next. The reason I put this one in my post is because if you get this and it bothers you, then insert a sentence in your description that says, ‘This book ends on a cliffhanger’. That way you don’t have to worry about a reader not understanding that it’s a series and can end on a cliffhanger.

3: The characters were not fleshed out…

                If you get this one, maybe look back at your work and see if you never described your main characters. I know that as a reader, I love to be able to picture the characters in my mind. I’ve received this type of review before and realized that I was so into writing the story, I never fleshed my character out. Yep, that was a facepalm moment for me. Go ahead and add a little description, because as a writer, you know in your mind that you have a picture in your mind of the character.

4: The book was too short… or This book was too long…

                Now this one took me by surprise. But yes, reviewers have opinions on the length of your book. There are those that don’t like them too long and those that don’t like them too short. My thoughts on this are, input in your description, at the end, ‘This is a novella’ or ‘This is a full-length book’. Maybe that little key point will stop some of those lower star reviews.

5: The story doesn’t flow well…

                Now this can be a problem if your story doesn’t flow well. My suggestion is to read the manuscript out loud and don’t do it as the writer, do it as a reader. Meaning, in your mind, you’re the reader wanting to be entertained by the story. Believe me, I do this with my books before I publish them and its eye opening. Sometimes I wonder what on earth was I thinking…

Now there are many more aspects of reviews to look at. Also look at the good ones. This keeps you motivated and let’s you know what your dedicated readers loved. Of course, there will always be those that give a bad review just to do it. I’ve had those.

If you do have a review that’s particularly nasty and doesn’t match your book, report it to the distributor whether it be Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iTunes. I had one that mentioned characters that weren’t even in my book. I reported it to Amazon and the review disappeared. But I had one that didn’t represent my book and they didn’t take it down.

The moral of the blog is this, use even the bad reviews for good. Let them roll off your back and move forward. Now, if you get only bad reviews, then I would definitely take another look at the work. But hey, smile and keep writing. A writer has to have a thick skin. Sometimes when I get my work back from my editor, I have to thicken my skin and push through it. So, keep up the good work!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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And one last thing, sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date with all of my new releases, upcoming releases, and to get a FREE ebook!

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Mondays, Memories…Coffee!

Good Monday morning! Why are Monday’s so hard? I think somehow the weekends have grown shorter or is that just me?

Yesterday, I took a short walk outside. It was short due to the high pollen count outside. My allergies are not fans of pollen. But, anyhow, as I walked I saw the two things in the pictures above. As a country girl, these two items are part of my pleasant childhood memories. The dandelions were fun to blow on, sending the little fluffy white seeds floating into the sky, of course as children, we didn’t know we were spreading the flowers everywhere. Then, of course, there were mad searches in among the patches of clover for the elusive 4-leaf clover. I’ve found a couple in my lifetime, which usually ended in a wish. But the memories are heartwarming. It makes me sad that children today, for the most part, don’t take part in this kind of fun.

Several of you have emailed me, asking about my latest manuscript. Well, I can tell you that the first half is in the capable hands of my editor. I’m working on the second half, which is exciting. As you know, I outline, so I’m seeing the ending coming and all I can say is, it’s different from anything I’ve published thus far. So, keep watching for release dates and snippets, which are coming…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: It’s Monday, so grab an extra cup of coffee for the road.

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What’s your favorite writing season?

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It’s the first day of Fall! Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The beauty is bountiful and then there’s pumpkin spice. Yeah, I know, I’m obsessed with pumpkin spice, but it’s so good…

Anyhoo, for some reason, my writing brain goes nuts in the Fall. Maybe it’s the cooler temperatures or the feeling in the air. I just know I write faster and more in the Fall, it’s crazy but true.

So, what’s your favorite writing season? Why?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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