Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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Romance for the ages…

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Good Thursday morning… Romance, some believe in it, some don’t. It’s up to you. As a writer of romance, I believe in the possibility of romance for everyone. You just have to seek it out. Romance can be found in the simplest of gestures.

For some, romance is candles, wine, dancing … you know, the stuff you see when you look up romance, But to me, it’s in the slight touch of ones hand. It’s the look across the table that says I love you unconditionally. Sometimes romance can be found in a mere word, not just the three words in I love you.

When writing romance, authors have to spread romance through normal channels. In a historical romance, it could be the knight saving the damsel in distress. In a paranormal romance, it could be a ghost finding his or her lost love in the afterlife. In a contemporary romance, it could be as simple as buying a set of books for your love. It’s the simple things in life that bring the best romance. And to me, that’s the true romance, when it’s on a whim, not set up like a movie set.

Romance in it’s truest form can be intoxicating and passionate. Some never seek romance, they only seek love. How is that different? To this romance author, it’s worlds apart. You can love someone without romance. Love comes in many forms. You can love your partner and want to be there for every moment, but there may be no romance there. But when you combine love and romance, the possibilities are endless.

Yes, I’m what some call a true romantic. I strive to add romance in my marriage by the simplest things. Every night I make my hubby a sandwich for him to take to work the next day, and sometimes I add heart on the bag just to remind him of the romance we share. Sometimes we share just the touch of our fingertips as we pass in the hallway and just that mere wisp of a touch brings a warm fuzzy romantic feeling. You may think that’s all sappy, but to us, it’s the small things.

Tomorrow my hubby and I will celebrate 27 years of wedded bliss. I can tell you this, the romance hasn’t died and if I have anything to do with it, the romance never will.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writers stay healthy!

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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…


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The last Wednesday Wisdom of 2020…

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Wow, the last Wednesday of 2020. That’s crazy. It’s hard to believe this year is almost over. So, what’s my tidbit of wisdom that I’d like to give to you before the year ends.

This one is for writer’s, but you can use it in anything you do. And it’s really simple…

JUST BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!

When writing, always write what makes you happy. If you are trying to please someone else, then your heart won’t be in it. It’s the same in life. If you’re just going about life trying to make someone else happy and never thinking of yourself, then you’re missing out of life.

So, be true to yourself. Write what makes you happy and you’ll see a big difference in your writing. Have fun, enjoy life, and love with all of your heart.

That’s my Wednesday Wisdom…

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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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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Feeling like Fall…Throwback Thursday!

Good Thursday morning! Here in Georgia it actually feels like fall finally. The temp here is in the high 50’s, so that’s a refreshing way to start the day.

Since it’s Thursday, let’s go back a ways and reacquaint you with one of my first books, Tender Flames. This book was one of the easiest to write out of the 25 I’ve published. It will take you on a journey of love that will leave you wanting more.

Tender Flames revised cover

Here’s a little tidbit from Tender Flames:

They walked hand in hand back to the party, both deep in thought. She was thinking about how her family would react, but mostly how Wes would. Zach knew his family would be happy, well almost his whole family. He knew it was mean of him to want to hurt his brother, but his brother was a fool for not snatching her up long ago. 

     They arrived back at the party.  Randy ran over, “Hey sis, everyone wondered where you two had wondered off to.  Judging by the look on your face I know what you were doing.” He grinned as he pulled his sister’s hair.  She blushed.

     Zach led her to the front of the dance floor.  He whistled for the music to stop.  Everyone turned to see what Zach had to say.  “I have some wonderful news.  I have asked Sara to be my wife, and she has accepted. We are to be wed before my leave is up.”  There was a stunned silence then everyone whooped and yelled.  There were a lot of handshakes and pats on the back for Zach and hugs for Sara.  Her parents were stunned at first, then relieved.  They had always hoped she would marry one of the Dawson boys.  The same went for his parents, they were thrilled.  His mother had even cried. 

Wes walked up and leaned over Sara. He whispered in her ear. “I hope you know what you are doing?” He then gave her a hug that was tight enough to press the air from her lungs. The look he gave her was full of something she did not recognize.  She knew then that he cared more for her than she realized.  She was suddenly angry with him. It served him right. He should have let her know a long time ago. She did not plan on waiting on him the rest of her life.

He gave his brother a hug and said in his ear. “Brother, she had better not be pregnant. You had better make her happy.” He gave him a look that dared him to go against what he said. With that, he had left with his girlfriend.

You’ll fall in love with this love triangle…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

https://www.amazon.com/Tender-Flames-Revised-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B0084USOE2

 

 


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Reading in bed…

Literature Onboard

It’s finally Friday folks! I can tell you this, thank goodness it’s Friday, but of course, I’ll be working all weekend. At least, it’s a more laid back work situation on the weekend.

How many of you grew up reading in bed? For me, when I was younger, I’d sit in bed and read every night. After my parents told me to turn out the light, I’d pull the covers over my head, with my trusty flashlight, then continue the story that had me spellbound.

I read many different genres back then. Some weeks I’d be hooked on suspense-filled mysteries. Yes, I was a Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew kind of girl. I’d devour them with such a thirst that soon I would be rereading until I could get to the store. It wasn’t like today, I couldn’t just scan and buy on Kindle.

Of course, as I grew older, my nightly reading turned to paranormal, fantasy type books. I’d read books about witches and ghosts. Then I moved to romance, which changed my young life. I would get lost in the romance of the story, the faraway places that the book took me to, it was great.

Everyone gave me books for Christmas, Birthdays, every occasion. I carried a book with me all the time, reading at lunch during school, on the bus, just about everywhere I could. I still have many of the books from my teen years, especially the ones that pulled me in. But they’re yellowing, packed in boxes, ready to be visited again. Often I pull out some of my favorites and read them again, enjoying the thrill of the story and remembering the first time I read it. My collection of Harlequin romances is extensive to say the least.

I still read at night, usually sitting in a warm bath, trying to lose myself for a little while. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I’ll go to the den and curl up in a blanket, then get lost in another story.

The cool thing about my love for books, it fueled the fire to write. I’ve penned books since I was a young teenager and all of this came from reading in my bed at night, usually with a flashlight as the rest of the house slept. Who needed sleep when the heroine was falling in love with the knight in shining armor and needed rescuing?

So, did you read in bed, or maybe you still do…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Romance and the world today…

It’s crazy how things are changing in the world of romance. I remember racy romance novels being sold in back rooms or passed under tables and kept hidden. Now they’re mainstream. The first romance I read enlightened me to a world of romance and made it hard to look back. I moved forward and read easily thousands of romances through the years.

But the one thing that stayed true was the romance. Whether it’s a racy, wild romance or a sweet Christian romance, the one thing is that romance is romance. It may be portrayed in many different ways but when you get to the bottom of the pot it’s still the same. Romance is a part of being that stays the same through the generations, it’s just the way we put it out there.

I guess that’s why romance novels are the most popular fiction out there. People are drawn to it in droves. Back years ago you wouldn’t have looked at a romance author twice. Now they’re on the bestsellers lists and getting the respect they’ve earned for so many years.

I’m proud to call myself a romance author. I don’t have anything to hide or shy away from. I write from the heart and if you don’t like it, then that’s your opinion. Romance isn’t for everyone, but it’s what I like and what I love to write. So do what you like and write in the genre that makes you happy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…