Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Social Media! Oh Me!

Well, it’s official. I’m now on Facebook. My books have been on Facebook for a while, but now I am personally. I’ve been fighting it forever. My assistant has been telling me I needed this for my Author platform. Well, I did it. I broke down and joined the millions of people on Facebook. It’s a little daunting. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get into telling everyone what I had for breakfast. Yikes!

I have never been Mrs. Social Butterfly. It took my assistant forever to get me to publish my books. She said it was like pulling teeth to get me set up on Twitter. It’s funny because now I’m on every social media site I can think of. It’s crazy how being a published author can change your life. All of a sudden people want to know what I think. Me! Plain, nutty, me!. I had someone ask the other day what I drink while I write. Really!!! I told them with a smile, sweet tea. I’m a southern girl, gotta have my sweet tea.

So if you get a chance go on over to Facebook and friend me. I will friend you back when I figure out how to. You may be laughing but I’m serious.

On a book note, go over to Goodreads and check out my new book giveaway for “The Winner Is Love”. It goes through December 31st. It is available to US, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Canada. I think that’s all of them.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!this way, that way

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Letting Characters take over…

OK, so as I often do, today I muse over writing. I spend a lot of my time fighting with my characters. They seem to have minds of their own. If you’re not a writer, you probably think I need the men with the straight jackets. Well, maybe I do need a straight jacket. 😉 But as a writer this is a real fear. If you let them take over, what will happen?

As I’ve told you before, I have another new book coming out in the next week. This one is my New Year’s romance which is the 2nd part to “Tender Flames”. Well, since I was under the weather last week, I got way behind in the manuscript. As I tapped on the keys last night, one of the characters took over the writing process. I had a planned way this book would end, but guess what. As one of the characters evolved in the story, she took over the ending and totally blew it out of the water.

So my question is this, Do we as writers need to let the characters launch a hostile takeover, or do we take back control? Basically if we take over, are we hurting the story? As I sat and let the character take over, I realized maybe she had a point.

Ok, so maybe it’s my brain that does the takeover. Or maybe it’s my heart. As most of you know I love romance and anything about it. Maybe the story didn’t have enough romance or maybe it had too much. But as the story goes, I was pleased with the end results. If all goes well, the story will be ready by the end of the week. Most of the early edits have been completed and the cover is awesome.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

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Books…Books…Where from here?

I’m in a whirling dervish and can’t seem to stop it. Well it started like this. I had 12 different manuscripts started. A little over ambitious I know, but sometimes an idea comes to me in the middle of the night and I just have to write it down. Well it goes down hill from there, but I usually have a couple of chapters written before I know it. Then another manuscript catches my brain and I go back to it.

I had an idea for a Christmas novel. It kept poking me in the brain begging for release. I had to let it out. What else could I do? Well I put the others aside and started that one. I promised the others I’d return real soon. Well, then I decided that the 2nd book in the “Flames of Love” series would be a New Year’s book also. Thank goodness that one was already in the works.

As I worked on “The Winner Is Love” which is the Christmas novel, it occurred to me that these characters could not just go away at Christmas. Yep, here we go again, there will be a part two. My brain has it in for me. It is determined to make me insane. I’ve got only a couple of modifications on this one and it will go out this week. Maybe I need one of those gadgets that you speak into and it types what you say. But the catch would be to talk to one computer and type on the other. Boy that would turn out terrible wouldn’t it. My brain can only really do one thing at a time. Never could chew gum and walk, sad but true.

As always, good writing, stay sane, and May God Bless you…


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Children in need for Christmas…

This post is about something near and dear to my heart. Children. Our Church adopts a needy family every year for Christmas. We all donate gifts and money to make sure the family has a nice Christmas. Even food is donated for their Christmas meal.

Well, I called yesterday to the local Family and Children service and spoke with the wonderful lady that helps us make this possible every year. She informed me that this year the biggest need was for foster children. She said a record number of children have gone into foster care this year. My heart heaved a sigh and tears pricked at my eyes.

She went on to ask how many we could help. I was sorry to say only three since we are a small Church. We always try to do our best to do more, but we have our limits. She was more that excited that we were taking three small children. She sent me their ages, first names and wish lists. As I read the wish lists I started to cry. They were so simple and sweet. It broke my heart to know these precious children would be without family for Christmas.

So my wish is to help these three have a wonderful Christmas so they won’t lose the spirit of Christmas.  Christmas is so special in the eyes of children. I remember the feeling of going to bed on Christmas Eve and knowing when I woke presents would cover the floor. I was lucky. It breaks my heart to know so many children around the world will go to sleep on Christmas Eve hoping they at least have something to wake up to. Presents are not what Christmas is all about, but to a child it is.

So if you get a chance, please help someone in need for Christmas.

As always good writing and May God bless you.


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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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First romance, what happened?

Do you remember your first romance? Not the one you had in grammar school with the boy that sat beside you in homeroom. I’m talking about that first time your toes curled and your whole body tingled when they walked into the room. The one where the looks you gave one another could start a fire. Yeah, that one. You remember. Are you smiling or shedding a tear?

Let me tell you about a first romance story. It’s up to you whether you think it’s a true story or just a tale of two lovers… You be the judge.

As she stood watching him do what he did best, work in the stables. He looked up from under his Stetson and gave her a wink.  She felt her heartbeat quicken. She began to hear a buzzing in her ears. What was happening? Why did just a look from him give her such a start? He was an old friend. That was it, or was it?

Something had changed since they’d become closer. She couldn’t put a name to it yet, but she new it was starting to take over her mind and heart. He seemed to notice something different. It was the way he looked at her. The deepness of his voice as he spoke to her.

With the love songs playing on the radio she smiled. That was it, the songs inspired love. Then as he walked toward her, she knew it wasn’t just the songs. He pulled her to him. They had never kissed, but that was about to change in an explosive way. He lowered his lips to hers and she was lost in the sensations that swirled around in her heart. 

Her toes started to curl and she found it hard to breath. He pulled back and said, “I’ve wanted to do that all night.” He turned and went into a stall to finish putting out hay. She stood there in a daze, wondering if she was in a dream. Would she wake up soon and be sorry it was a dream?

When she left the barn, he followed her out and over the window of her car he kissed her again. This time the kiss lasted a long while until he finally pulled her around the door of the car, never losing contact with her lips. They kissed for twenty minutes without ceasing. They caressed each other and held on as thought it would be the last kiss. Neither realizing it would be. It would have to last forever. He held her to him for a long while, then he said the most devastating thing. “I’m moving away in a week. I’ve enjoyed our time together and I’ll never forget it. It will keep me warm at night.”

She just stood there speechless. What was happening? Please let her wake up now from this dream that started out with so much promise and turned out to be a nightmare. 

She was brave and told him goodbye. Would it be forever? How would she move on after those passionate kisses and embraces? 

She did move on, but it was hard. She married a great man and pushed those memories to the back. But guess what, with that first romance, memories come back at the mere thought. When she sees him now she smiles, he smiles, it’s there in both their memories. She sees it in his eyes. He remembers that night, that kiss, that moment when time stopped. She hides the tears and goes on with life. One day…

Well, maybe it’s about me, maybe a friend or maybe a tale spun in my mind. I’ll never tell. Romance can inspire so much in us. Let it happen, even if it is not forever, the memories will be, if it was real romance.

 

 


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Tears of Remembrance…

As I ponder this day of remembrance, the tears prick my eyes. We still have so many men and women serving in war torn countries today. They’re still in harms way so that we can sit at our laptops and blog, tweet, or just do anything we want to. My heart goes out to the parents, spouses, and children here at home wondering where their loved one is at this very moment. Are they safe? Are they hurt? When will they come home?

I was at my son’s school one day this week and they were having a Veteran’s Day celebration. Pictures lined the walls of the lobby. Some were old and faded, others were current day. They were of military men and women. I walked slowly by each one, reading their information. I stopped at one that I was drawn to. It was of a young man that was killed about six months ago in Afghanistan. He was such a handsome young man, with a family and small children. I felt the tear that threatened to spill at the corner of my eyes. I feel it now as I write this post. My heart was so full of anger, sorrow, emptiness. I could hardly breath.

I turned to see my son coming up the hall and I took a startled breath. He will be of age in five years. Where will our world be then. Will he be called up to duty? The tears that threatened to spill burst forth. I hugged my son and thanked God that he was safe. Of course my son thought I’d lost it. He turned to the photo I was looking at and sighed. He felt the pain too.

So remember our men and women serving now for our freedom. Remember those that have died through all these years to keep our freedom in tact. Respect those that are home, but served their time. It’s because of them that we have what we do and we can go to Church on Sunday, we can go to the store without fear, we can walk up our sidewalks without fear and we can live when they may not…

So just remember…