Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Fiction… It’s Fiction!

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Good morning! I need to get on my soapbox for just a teeny second. And no, it’s not political!

Ok, so I want to know how many know the meaning of the word, Fiction? If you don’t, then let me enlighten you. Fiction means literature in the form of short stories and novels, that describes events from the imagination and people that don’t exist. And in case that isn’t good enough, it means not true or make believe.

The reason for my rant is this, romance novels are fiction unless they are noted as Non Fiction. Let me repeat that, ROMANCE NOVELS ARE FICTION. I was reading a post the other day about someone raking a romance writer over the coals for letting the characters fall in love within days of meeting one another. As I read it, I looked back to make sure this was about a romance novel, not a true story. Why would someone question something that happens in a fictional world? Some romance readers actually love the characters to experience love at first sight, but why is it considered unreal? It’s a work of fiction people! In this little world that came from the writers mind these two met, fell in love immediately and that’s it. It’s a book of FICTION!

Even in real life, there is such thing as love at first sight. And thank goodness for that. I know so many people that fell in love on the first date and that’s amazing. So, why would you downgrade a work of fiction for the couple falling in love so quick. Fiction stories often go into things that don’t happen everyday in the real world. Ok, I’m off my soapbox. Now, back to our day 😉

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tuesday Afternoon Coffee…

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Who doesn’t love that afternoon cup of coffee or hot tea? It’s always coffee thirty at my house and office. So, here’s to your Tuesday Coffee Break. Make it count because you have three more work days this week!


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Tuesday Writing hints…

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Hello! Glad you made it to Tuesday. So, let’s discuss character bios. Yes, we’ve discussed those before, but it needs to be brought back up. Recently I read a post from a fellow writer that said they were writing a series and were constantly flipping back and forth. That’s time consuming and eats up your writing time.

Here’s my suggestion, take it or leave it. And it helps me!

  • Grab a notebook, binder, or make a file on your computer. If you use Scrivener, you’re already there!
  • As you start a new series or book, write down every characteristic of each character and place that comes up. It’s important to know if they have blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, birthdays are essential in case you need to throw a birthday party. If a character gets a scar, make note of it.
  • Add marriages, births and deaths to this also. Nothing is worse than getting to book three and not remembering if Mary is married to Burt or Ernie. Believe me, this is time consuming as well as frustrating to the reader if Mary marries Burt, but keeps kissing Ernie.

It’s worth the time and effort, believe me. Getting called out on a mistake that you could have avoided isn’t fun.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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A little Monday midday motivation…

Here’s a little midday Monday Motivation. Now that lunch is over and you’re starting to get a little midday slump, grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit back to take some time to think about yourself. Maybe grab a little dark chocolate to add a little energy to your afternoon.

You’ve got this, so do a stretch and smile brightly. This is your day. You own it!


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And it’s the 1st Monday of 2021…

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It’s the first Monday of the new year and I’m feeling it. After two 4-day weekends, I’m moving a little slow. But, as an Accountant I have to hit the ground running today. It’s tax time, end of year, and quarterly. So, things are about to get crazy for me.

So, with that being said, what are you doing to start the year off right? Any New Year’s resolutions? Remember, a New Year is time to start over. Make it your year. Even though we’re starting off the year still in the craziness of 2020, we can make it our own. Just focus on being the best you can be and don’t worry about everything. Just move forward and get it done.

I’m working on the finishing touches of Double Take At Mistletoe Ranch, which means the Mistletoe Ranch Series will be coming to an end soon. That makes me so sad because I’ve grown close to Maddy and Denver. But it makes room for my new series, In Harm’s Way. And yes, I’ve already started writing the first book, SAFE. This makes me do a little happy dance too.

Now it’s time for another cup of coffee and some breakfast. Let’s do this Monday…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Sunday Thought of the day!

As you start the first full week of 2021, make a difference…

Make a difference in your own life… Start each day with a happy thought!

Make a difference in someone else’s life… Give someone a smile and/or kind word!

Make a difference in your family… Show them love, compassion, and Faith!


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Timelines… Yay or Nay?

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Good Sunday morning! Hope everyone is getting some great writing time in on the long weekend. Me, a little.

So, let’s talk timelines and writing. Do you do them? I mostly do them with my historical romances. But, I’ve been known to do one for my contemporary series. Why? Well, let’s dive into why you’d need a timeline.

There are different types of timelines. Maybe you need on to keep up with what happened in history during the time period your book is written in. If it’s based during the Civil War, then you don’t want to speak of the war being over in the middle of the Revolutionary war. Face palm, yes, I did that. Thank goodness I caught my date mix up.

Then you have a timeline to keep up with births, marriages and deaths. This is especially helpful when writing a series that all of the books surround the same people or town. There’s nothing more frustrating then being elbow deep in book three of your WIP and forgetting the birthday of a character or when the character got married in book one.

So, timelines can be important in many ways. All it takes is pen and paper.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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New Year’s Treat – Haystacks

Good morning! As we get ready to head to our New Year’s Eve festivities, I have something easy for you to make that will wow your guests and tastes great. My version of haystacks.

Here’s what you need:

  • 40 Large Marshmallows
  • Stick butter
  • Chocolate Morsels (Can be milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark)
  • 6 Cups Golden Grahams Cereal
  • Wax paper/Parchment paper

In a large stew pot melt 1/2 stick of butter. Then add 40 large marshmallows. Stir until creamy. Remember to watch your heat or you’ll scorch the marshmallows.

Now, add the chocolate morsels until it’s chocolatey enough for you. Some like less, some like more. I usually add almost half a bag. After your morsels are melted into the marshmallow mixture, add Golden Grahams and mix until coated. It’s similiar to Rice Krispy Treats.

Lay out a long sheet of wax paper/parchment paper, then pour mixture out on it. Spread it out a little to cool. Once it’s cooled enough to handle, break off pieces and roll into balls. Some people press them into a large sheet, then cut into squares. But my family loves the tennis ball size.

Now enjoy!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch…

Good Sunday morning! I hope everyone is getting somewhat back to normal after the busy Christmas season. Me, I’m working on finishing up my next release, Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch. It’s the last book in the Mistletoe Ranch Series.

Now, if you haven’t read books 1 & 2, then you have time before the 3rd installment comes out at the end of January. Each book explores life of Denver and Maddy on the Mistletoe Ranch. This last one with have you wondering about how it will end. Here’s a little snippet from this book:

“Maddy, do you know how much I love you?” Denver said as he climbed into bed, curling up beside Maddy.
“I do, but I never grow tired of hearing it.” Maddy turned on her side to face her husband. She still had a hard time with the reality that this amazing man was her husband. They’d been married for over a year and he’d showed her everyday how much she meant to him. She’d never felt the depth of love that he had shown her.
Denver pulled her into his strong arms, “I love you more than you can even fathom.” He bent his head and kiss her forehead. Sometimes it scared him at how much he did love her. She was the light in his world and he couldn’t imagine life without her. Denver wasn’t sure how he breathed before she came into his life.
Maddy pulled the blanket up a little more. “It must be getting colder outside.” She shivered a little as the chill in the air ran down her spine.
“Here, let me get you warm.” Denver pulled her closer, feeling her tremble. “You’re not coming down with a cold are you?
“I don’t think so. But I have been feeling a little over for a couple of days. Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons.” Winter had been particularly bad this year. Maddy had thought the first winter here at Mistletoe had been rough, but she was sadly mistaken. The snow was double the amount this year that last. It was March, but outside looked like the middle of January. The early spring melting hadn’t started yet.
“Maybe so. But just in case, maybe you should drop in to see the doctor. I don’t want you getting sick.” Denver held her in his warm arms, wrapping them both in the thick blanket that was on their bed.
In a few minutes, she began to warm up. Maddy slipped into a light sleep as his body warmth helped to sooth her. She’d been feeling strange lately. That morning as she was making their bed, a dizzy spell came over her. For a moment she had to hold onto the bed post until the spell went away. But she brushed it off as exhaustion from her lack of sleep.
Denver kissed the top of her head. The thick blanket was making him sweat, but he wouldn’t let go of her until he was sure that she was warm enough. He’d noticed slight dark circles under her eyes this morning at breakfast. Was she working too hard at the barn? Ever since the newest calves had come in, she’d been in the barn every day, feeding them and taking care of them. She was trying to take the place of their mother. Maybe he needed to get her to stay home tomorrow and rest. But he knew his wife and that wouldn’t be happening, unless he tied her to the bed post.
Sometime around midnight, Maddy woke up feeling sick to her stomach. She slid out of bed, not waking Denver. She tiptoed across the wooden floor to the bathroom, closing the door quietly behind her. Maybe the beef tips and gravy she’d ate for dinner had been too much on her stomach. For a minute she sat on the edge of the huge tub. As another wave of nausea swept through her, she leaned forward, letting her head fall between her knees.
The sound of the door opening made her look up. Denver was leaning in the doorway, looking half asleep. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“I felt a little sick at my stomach.” Maddy said as she stood up and grabbed a washcloth. After she ran some cool water over it, she wiped her face. “I think dinner didn’t set too well.”
Denver came into the bathroom and put a hand to her forehead. “You don’t feel feverish. There’s some medicine in the medicine cabinet for nausea.”
“I’ll take some and see if that helps. It could just be a bug.” Maddy shrugged. She never got sick.
When he went back to bed, she opened the medicine cabinet that was on the wall between the mirrors over the vanity. She pulled the nausea medicine out and poured some into the dosage cup. It was thick and just the sight of the thick medicine made her feel like she was about to vomit. She managed to get it swallowed, but it took everything in her to keep it down. There was no way she would be getting any sleep right now. And if she stayed in the bathroom, Denver would get back up to check on her. He needed his sleep.
Maddy walked down the stairs and went into the den to sit by the fire. The warmth at her back was nice and calming. As the nausea medicine started to calm her stomach, she got up and laid down on the couch, pulling the thick throw off the back. The warmth of the fire and the thick throw soon had her sound asleep.
Denver woke her just before daylight. “Maddy, are you feeling better?”
With a lot of effort, Maddy opened her eyes. “A little.” She sat up, rubbing her eyes. “I must have fallen asleep.”
“Why don’t you stay home today and get some rest?” Denver said as he sat down on the edge of the couch.
Maddy shook her head with a frown. “After a long hot shower and some food, I’ll be good as new.”
“Maddy, don’t push yourself too much. As you said last night, you’ve been feeling a little off the last couple of days. If you’re coming down with a cold, then rest is the best medicine.”
“Ah, it’s just the change of the seasons.” Maddy pushed past him. “I’ll be down in a little bit for breakfast.”
The hot shower helped some. She walked into the kitchen and the scent of the frying bacon hit her nose. A wave of vicious nausea swept through her, taking her by surprise. She had to put her hand over her mouth and run to the hall bathroom.
Denver came through the door, reaching down to hold her hair as she heaved. The nausea was like nothing she’d ever felt and every time she raised her head, it came over her again. When she was able to sit back on the floor, her eyes were filled with water and she felt weak.
“I’m taking you back to bed.” He reached down and swung her up into his arms. On the way past the kitchen door, Maddy put her face into his shirt to keep from smelling the food. Her stomach lurched violently at the hint of food.
Annie followed him up the stairs. “Maddy, do you want me to make you some dry toast? It might settle your stomach.”
Maddy nodded, “Thank you.”
Denver turned to Annie in concern. “Do you think she has a bug?”
“Could be. But several people in town have the flu, so it could be that too.” Annie walked over to feel Maddy’s forehead. “You don’t feel warm. Do you have a sore throat?”
“No. I’m just nauseated.” Maddy groaned as just the mention of nausea made her stomach churn.
“Just stay in bed and I’ll get that dry toast and a little coffee. Maybe something on your stomach will help.” Annie went out the door.
“Alright, that’s it. I’m calling the doctor.” Denver said as he pulled his phone out of his pocket.
“Denver, if it’s just a virus, then there’s no use in bothering the doctor.”

I hope you liked this small look at the last book of this series. It will be released on January 29th! But you can preorder it now at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFBY6PR.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Clearing out; Cleaning up…

Good Saturday afternoon! It’s hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone. With everything this year has brought, we needed that reminder of good friends and family love. Now, on to the clearing out of the uneaten Christmas treats and cleaning up the decorations.

This year I’m clearing out some old decorations that haven’t been used in years. As my hubby says, I’m purging. He’s glad because it makes the Christmas bins lighter for him and our son to haul back up to the attic. But what about our everyday things? Do we need to do some clearing out and cleaning up there too?

What do I mean you might be saying? Well, as I sat around with family and friends during Christmas, I thought about all of the things that we have that are not even used. There are so many what not’s just lying around, collecting dust. So, I’ve decided to clear some out and make room for some minimalism.

And what about our writing. Should we go through our works and clean out some unnecessary words? It’s so hard sometimes to get just 50k words down, but to think about clearing some of those out just makes a writer’s head hurt. I’m not talking about the meat of the story or the descriptions that help to carry the reader into another time or place. I’m talking about the unnecessary filler words. Or as I like to call them, fluff.

Now, all writers have a tendancy to use too many fluff words. It’s those words that add some extra words to the count. They don’t need to be there to make the story work, but they are just there to up the word count. Why not just clean them up, clear them out, and let the manuscript breathe without all of that added weight.

You will be surprised at how much better it sounds once you get rid of the fluff. I’ve done some fluff removing lately and the wording actually zips along without hinderance.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…

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