Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday Thoughts & Coffee By the Fire…

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Good Monday morning! I hope that you’re staying warm wherever you are this morning. It’s cold in Georgia and looks to be a dreary day with cold, icy rain. Burrrrr…. I’m sitting by the fireplace, wrapped in my fuzzy blanket, sipping coffee and writing.

So, here’s my Monday thought as I drink my coffee and get my eyes open. What length of book do you like to read or write? Do you love a long, 50K or more book, or a quick read of less than 25K?

Here are my thoughts on the length of a book that I read or write for that matter. I’ve heard from fans that say they love the longer ones, then others love the shorter ones that I write. It’s hard to know what will be the best length based on fans wants.

Now, if I’m picking up a book to read, it’s entirely up to my mood. If I’m kicking back and have the luxury of a whole afternoon to sit by the fire and read, then I’ll choose a longer book, but if it’s just a quick moment of sitting in a bubble bath, then sometimes I prefer a shorter book. Especially if I’m stressed or had a particularly hard day, then I need that quick, mindless read, meaning I need to see the story from start to finish in one sitting and have that heartwarming feeling of a Happily Ever After.

For my writing, it’s a toss up. Some of my series or books are setup to be quick reads. I make them short for a reason. A couple of my series have been wrote in short form just for those fans that write to me all the time wanting what they call, lunch time reads. But I do have long novels in my list. My new series that will start rolling out in March will be long books, each one.

So, long or short read… long or short writing… We all love to read and write, so keep it up and let’s get lost in another world or time at least for a moment or maybe for a whole day. Who am I kidding? We readers tend to read into the night sometimes… There’s nothing wrong with pulling an all nighter!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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…


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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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Tax talk… It’s almost that time!

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I know, the dreaded TAX word. As an Accountant, this is the time to gear up for the new season that is coming in only two weeks. 2020 was a crazy tax season with extended deadlines, call meetings and lots of questions. Let’s hope 2021 goes smoother.

But, as a author, there are many things to think about. If you’ve earned royalties, then you’ll need to file that. I do have some light at the end of that tunnel though, expenses…

Here are some of the expenses that an author can claim:

  • Writing Programs
  • Educational courses to help with writing
  • Office supplies – pens, paper, ink, notebooks, etc.
  • Subscriptions to writing sites or programs
  • Fees for book signings (Hopefully you were able to get some in before things changed)
  • Advertising
  • Computers (Remember to delegate the percentage you use it for writing.)

That’s just a small list. But, hopefully you did great this year and need to claim some expenses.

So, good writing and May God Bless You…


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5 things every author needs to know…

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Good morning! Writing… Writers block… Publishing… The life of a writer. It’s a roller coaster and not for the faint of heart. Here are the top 5 things every author needs to know about starting to write and publish…

  1. It’s not as easy as it looks. Let me be very clear about this, writing isn’t easy. There’s more to it than simply writing words. You’ve got to make sure to plot, plan, and organize those words to where the reader can get lost in the world you’ve created. If you don’t do it with an ebb and flow, then the reader will lose interest and move on. So, don’t think it’s just putting words on paper. There’s so much more to the process.
  2. Writer’s block is real! Every author has experienced writer’s block at one time or the other. It’s a helpless feeling and only perseverance gets you through it. You can get past it, just have confidence. Keep writing and working on other projects.
  3. Editor’s are essential. Alright, let’s all say this and put on repeat! Editors are essential. Even the most savvy writer can’t find all of the mistakes or bad wording in a manuscript. To be honest, editors miss some too. But let’s be honest, when we’re reading our own work, it’s hard to be completely harsh. An editor can help to reword things so that the story flows better. And some changes, even though they can hurt, are necessary.
  4. Read everyday… It may sound crazy, but reading actually helps you as a writer. But read in the genre that you write in. I’ve been reading books that the author wrote with such clear, precise wording that I was inspired. And I’ve read books that lost me from the first page. When I read things like this, it helps me to look at my work differently. Try it.
  5. Know your audience. If you write sweet romance, then don’t go too heavy on the love scenes. Advertising a book as one genre, but the book actually leaning more in another direction can make readers not trust you. So, know who you’re pushing this book to. The same with mysteries turning into nothing more than a romance with nothing to solve. I’ve read books like this and it is disheartening. Also, make sure if the book is erotic, let the reader know.

I could keep going, but you need to get back to writing and so do I. But I hope this helped you a little.

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…

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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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