Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Cloudy Morning Writing…

Good Tuesday morning! It’s one of those, ‘I want to stay in bed longer’ kind of mornings, but alas, I had to get up and fix breakfast then lunch for my son before school. Now, two cups of coffee later, my eyes are still heavy. Menopause, I blame that for my lack of sleep.

Now, the good side of not sleeping and lying awake; story ideas! As I lay there in the middle of night, refusing to get up and read, I worked on part of my pirate romance that was stumping me. In my mind, I had it figured out. The funny thing is, when I did drift off to sleep, well, I dreamed about pirates. That’s not a bad thing, I like pirates.

So, this morning as I start back on the manuscript, I’ll put the newly thought out part into words. I’m so loving my new pirate romance. It’s pulling me into the story. But of course, all of my books pull me in and envelope me. That’s how I keep my head in the work.

With the cloudy, dreary morning, I struggle with my sleepy eyes, but hopefully, the third cup of coffee will do the job. Especially since I have to get my act together and get to the office in a couple of hours!

As always, good writing, and May God Bless You…


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Cowboys, Pirates, and other heroes…

Have you noticed a trend lately? Of course, as you know, I have no problem with the Cowboy or Pirate heroes, as I write mostly about Cowboys and Pirates. But it’s funny the interest in these types of leading men.

But with that being said, why is it so popular in the romance genre? I don’t see a lot of cowboy heroes on movies or pirate heroes for that matter. It’s as though romance readers need that masculine persona that follows a cowboy or pirate.

On the side of the cowboy, there’s the fact that they’re usually strong from working the ranch all day. So that’s a plus for a hero. Then, of course, they can ride in on their horse and save the day, or truck, whatever the scene might need. A fictional cowboy is usually honor bound and very protective which lends a good lead male character. Don’t forget that handy Stetson to keep the sun out.

Now we can’t leave out the Pirate, good or bad, they make a great male lead character. Of course, they command a ship, which means they are a take charge man. A good pirate can take care of his heroine and lead his ship through the worst storm without batting an eye. Then you have the bad pirate, but you can have them turn good pirate, which usually takes a strong heroine to take care of that task. Don’t forget the attire of a pirate. I always think of ‘Jack Sparrow’ or ‘Will Turner’, yes, I’m a Pirates of the Caribbean fan.

There are so many hero types that lead to a good romance. Don’t forget the law officer coming to the rescue, the firefighter saving the lady from the fire or even the country boy that’s not quite a cowboy, but has polite values and that protective gene.

So, who makes a good hero for you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday morning… Really!

It’s back to work I go this morning after my short time off. The time was too short, but I did manage to finally get all the wallpaper off my bathroom walls, then paint it. I’ll post pictures once I get the decorations in place.

I’m still working on my surprise that will be announced one day this week. Also, my newest manuscript in the works is “The First Mate’s Lady”. It’s the companion book to “Safe in the Pirate’s Arms”. So many of my wonderful fans wanted to know more about Tom Breckin, so his story is coming. As I write it, I have to lose myself in the time of the pirate. I have to think salty air, tar covered decks and the sound of waves crashing against the ship. Crazy the things I remember from reading so many books about Pirates.

So, here’s a little snippet from “The First Mate’s Lady”:

     His gaze moved across the dance floor, meeting the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. Stopping in his tracks, he watched the woman in a gold and silver mask. For a long moment, Tom forgot how to breathe.
     Before he knew what was happening, he was walking toward her. Reaching out, he took her hand and led her to the dance floor. As he bowed to her, she dipped down, smiling beneath the mask. Her eyes never left his as they danced, both pulled into the moment. The music drifted into another song, neither noticing. When he tightened his embrace, she pushed out of his arms, almost running from the room.
     Tom raced after her, finding her at the garden wall. She didn’t look his way as he touched her shoulder. “Sweet lady, I know you felt the same draw I did. Please look at me with those blue eyes that make a man lose his senses.”
     Kaly turned, but when her eyes looked up into his, they were filled with sadness. “Sir, I felt nothing and if I did, I wouldn’t dare say so, for fear that it would give you the wrong idea. Please forgive me, but I must leave.”
     “Can I please know you’re name, for your beauty mesmerizes me.” Tom reached out to lift her hand to his lips.
     “As this is a masquerade ball, I prefer to stay a mystery to you.” Kaly looked up into his searching eyes, causing her heart to flutter wildly in her chest. She knew who this man was. Kaly had watched him from the docks earlier. He was the most handsome man she’d ever seen, but she could never be anything more than she was to him now, a mystery.
     “Please, my lady, remove your mask so that I may look upon your full beauty.” Tom reached up, removing his mask. “I need to see your face.”
      Kaly smiled, then she reached up to caress his handsome cheek. Then pushing up on her toes, she touched her lips to his, feeling his surprised smile caress hers. Tom pulled her against him, deepening the kiss. Kaly felt sad, knowing this would be the only kiss they’d ever share, for she would disappear afterwards.
     Tom pulled back, looking down at her blues eyes, the moon dancing in the tears that filled them. He reached out to wipe away the tear that escaped. “What could put such sad tears in such beautiful eyes?”
         “This you shall not know, but know that you’ve made me happy, for just this moment, but I must leave you.” Kaly pulled out of his arms, turning to go.
“Don’t go,” Tom said as he pulled her back, close to him.
     “Sir, you don’t know the reasons I must leave you, but know this, if I ever set eyes on you again, I shall never leave you.” Kaly knew she’d never see him again, but she enjoyed the hope in his eyes. It made her feel like maybe he would help her.
     “A promise I hope you’ll keep, for I’ll search for you in all my endeavors.” Tom saw the desperation in her eyes, so he released her arm, letting her slip into the shadows beyond the garden. For a long while, he watched the darkness, hoping she’d return, but knowing she wouldn’t. That lady, beautiful and enchanting as she was, had something to run from, but what? 

Did I say, Tom’s a charmer and Kaly is on the run? I love my cowboys, all of you know that, but I also love my Pirate’s! So, “The First Mate’s Lady” is coming out June 5th. Stay tuned for more excerpts and some possible giveaways.

first mates lady Front Cover

It’s good to be back!

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…

 

 


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A Writer’s Brain…

A writer’s brain is a little different from just anyone’s brain. We have an extra chromosome or two in the ‘make it up’ zone of our brain. A writer’s brain is constantly thinking about the next scene in the book, the cover design, a character flaw, etc. You get the picture. Our brains are on overload most of the time.

For example: I road with my son to pick up breakfast yesterday. As we headed home with the breakfast and coffee my mind was reeling with storylines. Then the smell of the coffee hit me and my mind went to a whole different storyline. What’s up with that? 

Now, I’ve had several stories come into my head that didn’t really pan out. They kind of fizzled out after the first thought. But the problem with that is the story still roams around in my head trying to gain a little extra thought. One of those stories just recently went through my head and now it’s actually a finished book. “Safe in the Pirate’s Arms” was just one of those stories. I’ve been playing with the thought for a while, but it never really seemed to work itself out. Then one day it found it’s legs and my brain ran with it.

Again, I have to say a writer’s brain is a little different. One writer joked on social media the other day about someone that wronged her and she turned it around to a murder mystery. I had to giggle because as a writer we can take care of those people that bother us, but we do it differently. We take care of it through fiction, not action. It’s a way to get rid of it and go on to another story. Having a writer’s brain can be useful in that way, right?

The only problem is, some days my brain doesn’t go quiet at bedtime. I’ve spoken about this several times as it is a constant. But of course I do have writer’s block from time to time and would love to have those moments back. I had one of those moments on Saturday and if you follow my blog faithfully you know that’s one of my favorite times to write. I had it all scheduled out. I planned on getting Emma Rose fleshed out, but guess what, a wall of pain was erected and I spent the morning nursing a headache that refused to let creativity in. I did get in several romantic movies, I guess you could say I did research of sorts.

Do you have a writer’s brain? Can you look at something and a story unfolds? If so, put it in print. Get it out there, you never know, it could be the next big thing…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Authors are like bees!

2560x1440 Wallpaper bee, flower, pollination, insect

Ok, I know you’re saying, now where is she going with that? Well, let me explain. I was watching a bumblebee buzzing around my flowers and I was thinking about the pollination process. If you think hard about it you’ll get where I’m going with this 🙂

As authors we start with the seed that grows into a flower which of course is our book. Once we’ve completed our work of art we start spreading it everywhere. Then of course other authors or bees in this analogy, spread it to other places and so on and so on. Are you getting the picture?

Of course we do want to make sure to cross pollinate too. We need to work together as authors and helps other authors promote. It’s a win, win. Have you noticed that we do a lot of promoting on other authors sites and them on ours? I was asked by a non writer once why we do that and I laughed. I told them it may sound crazy, but it still gets our name out there.

We all have followers that read what we post. Then of course if we recommend a book they’ll go over and check it out, then also when we cross pollinate, the original author gets more views from the other authors followers. It may sound confusing, but it’s really quite simple. It’s like a pyramid, but legal. 

So, have you cross pollinated lately? Don’t forget about Romancing September Across The World will start Septemeber 1st. I’ll be posting more in the next week regarding it. But I’ll tell you this, we’ve got 30 awesome authors involved and it’s going to be a great chance to do some pollinating, ummm…. you know what I mean, sharing 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

For more info:

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/romancing-september-tour/

Also, the countdown is getting close for Safe In The Pirate’s Arms…


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Saturday Writing…

What’s your best day to write? For me, I like to write on Saturdays. It’s quiet, no business to take care of and usually have the house to my self. Today I’m working on a couple of pivotal scenes in Emma Rose and Safe in the Pirate’s Arms. Hopefully one or the other or maybe both will be available in the next week or so.

I’ve learned a lot about writing in the last two years. It’s not as easy as it looks. So many people tell me that one day they’ll write something because it looks so easy. I just smile and wish them luck. Some days it’s easier than others, but the writing is only part of it. There’s so much more to it. 

Writing consists of many parts. First you have to get the idea down. But some ideas don’t pan out to actual books. Amazingly enough, I’ve had so many ideas for books, but after a page or two the story fizzled out. It has to have depth enough to hold up the story line for several chapters or it will just collapse in on itself.

Of course after it’s written, you have to edit, then reedit then edit again. Don’t forget the cover and blurb. The blurb is the hardest part for me, even though it consists of only a few words. I’d rather write a 100,000 word book in a weekend than to sit down and write a blurb. One is impossible and the other is nerve wrenching.

Then of course, whether you go with a traditional publisher or you self publish, the promotional part of writing is never ending. It’s the promotional effort that get’s you out there. If you stop promoting for a week, then you can fall behind.

As I said, writing is not so easy. But for some reasons Saturdays make it easier.

As always, good writing and may God bless you…

 


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Back up and refreshed!

Well, thanks to my brilliant computer guy I’m back up and running with a totally refreshed computer. I spent last night reinstalling all my programs and back ups. I always worry when doing this because I don’t want to lose any information. It’s amazing how attached we get to technology.

As for my writing, I was unable to get any done last night and I wanted to so badly. As I sat waiting on Office to reinstall my mind was whirling with characters that were screaming in my ears. I even dreamed I was on a pirate ship. 

I’m excited to report that the republished version of With All My Heart is still doing well. It’s now in the top 20 on Amazon. What’s funny is the original version is free on Amazon and is at #8. How crazy is that? All of my books have started hitting again. I guess it’s true if you get a bestseller then you hit the right algorithim on Amazon. It’s been refreshing to say the least.

As I sit here watching Lonesome Dove and sipping my coffee I’m content, for now. Of course now I have to put my books on this computer. My fingers are itchy and ready to get back to work. If you’re wondering why I’m watching Lonesome Dove so early this morning, well it’s one of my favorite cowboy movies. I recorded it a couple of nights ago, It was my dad’s favorite too. We used to watch it everytime it came on. 

Of course watching all these cowboys and horses makes me ready to start my newest cowboy romance, but no, I’m going to be strong and finish Emma Rose and Safe In The Pirate’s Arms. At least Emma Rose has horses in it. I’m a country girl, what can I say.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…