Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Notebooks, Journals, & Pretty Note Pads…

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Good morning all! Most writers have a love of notebooks, journals and pretty note pads. There’s something about a colorful notebook that just inspires you. Then there are those that are so pretty that you hate to write in them, but you just have to. It’s like some sort of code.

My husband and son just roll their eyes when I buy another one. I have them everywhere so that when the mood strikes, I can make a note for a story. Is it a problem? For me, no it’s not. But others think that it is. Good thing I don’t set my ways on what others think.

There are so many different kinds. Spiral, leather bound, lined, plain, colored, floral, designer, sticky, big, small, thick, thin, the kinds are endless. But it doesn’t matter, they are work the way you want them too. Each of my series have their own notebook, not to mention numerous notepads with notes on characters, places, and scenes.

So, are you itching to buy a pretty notebook or a nice journal? I do think I might need to run out and get another one, just in case I use all the many I have now.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Ad Stacking… It works!

Good morning! I’ve been missing in action for a couple of weeks. With the end of tax season, a book release, and a short time off to relax, it’s been a little crazy.

You may be asking what ad stacking is. Well, I just learned more about it lately myself. So, I’ll try to explain it and not get too far out there while doing it. Here goes!

Ad stacking is when you run ads for several days before, during, and after a book release or promotional period. It helps to bring your book some attention before the release day. Then on the day of release. But you keep the ads running even after the day of release. That way it keeps the momentum going. And I can say this, it works.

For the release of Safe, I placed it on preorder for about five weeks. Then a week before the release date, I ran a ad for a couple of days, then on another site I ran an ad for the three days before the release. On release day I did a double ad. Then I finished it off with a ad on the day after the release. It was an amazing release, not to mention it help some of my back stock gain some momentum. Safe went all the way to #3 on Amazon in three categories. Not to mention it got pretty high on Barnes and Nobles ranks as well.

Now, I’m not saying it will work this way for everyone, but for me, it was a winner. When Book 2 of the In Harms Way Series comes out, I’ll be doing it again, but I may ad another element with another vendor. But I’ll do it again. And it didn’t break the bank either. So that makes it a win win…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you haven’t checked out Safe, then here’s a link for you…


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Finding time to write…

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Good morning! Do you struggle to find time to write? I know that I do. Some days are harder than others. Especially during tax season. But, it’s important to find that time.

But how? Sometimes we have to just become more organized with our time. If you do better writing in the morning, but you have to be at work at 9, just get up a little earlier. You could even make sure that everything for your morning routine is ready the night before. Go ahead and set your clothes out. That gives you an extra few minutes the next morning.

If you want to reach a certain word count when you sit down to write, then time yourself. If you can write 1000 words in thirty minutes and you want to get in at least 1500 words everyday, then you need to set aside forty five minutes to write. Now that you have an idea of the time you need, then schedule your morning to make time to write.

One thing that helps me is having an outline. I try to get in one chapter a day or more if time allows. Since I use Scrivener, when I finish a chapter, I stamp the section of the outline as done. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but when I get to write in the mornings it just makes my day go much better.

So, get yourself a schedule and make it happen…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Safe comes out on May 12th, so preorder now to have it ready for you to dive into on Wednesday!


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Upcoming Release and Coffee

It’s Monday, all day long! Anyone else struggling this morning. Working on my second cup of coffee and pondering life. Then I realize that’s a little too deep for a Monday morning. So, I’ll just focus on putting one foot in front of another and getting some taxes done. Tax season is kicking my butt this year.

On an exciting note, I’ve set the release date for SAFE. It will be coming out on May 12th, but you can preorder it now for only .99. I can’t believe it’s almost release day. This novel took me on a wild ride into another genre and I’m not sure that I can go back. I love writing Mystery/Suspense/Romance. It’s the elements of danger, excitement, and a little romance that gives it the edge I’ve been looking for.

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


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Midweek Writing Tip…

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It’s already Wednesday, but the weekend seems so far away. I’m snatching a few minutes out of my morning to write and blog.

Speaking of snatching minutes to write… Today’s writing tip goes along those lines. It’s important to a writer to have time each day to write. It could be just a few minutes or if you’re lucky, maybe a couple of hours. Either way, try to sit down and write everyday if you can.

Why do you need to write everyday? Well, for me it helps my sanity. The characters running around in my head go crazy when I don’t at least get in a couple of minutes. But maybe it’s to meet a deadline, or just to keep up with your commitment to yourself.

So, if it’s early in the morning before anyone else gets up… If it’s at lunch… Or maybe you’re a night writer. Grab some writing time and keep up to good work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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It’s Friday… Excerpt time!

Good Friday morning! Since it’s Friday and I’m beyond excited about my upcoming release of Safe, I’ll share a short excerpt from this fun new book that I’m working on the end of.

Drew couldn’t believe he let Rob talk him into this. When Rob called him an hour ago, he was furious with Hadley. He explained about the fire and her dismissal of the danger. His concern was beyond that of a sheriff for a woman in the community, there was more to it, but he didn’t have time to wrap his head around the technicalities.
The bulk of his night had been spent going over some of the people that Rob thought might be behind the man in the park. The evidence hadn’t been processed yet, so he didn’t have specifics, just suspicions. Tobias was at the top of Drew’s list.
“Drew, this is serious and she’s not taking it that way. I need for you to take her away from here until I can figure this out. This is more than just that man she saw in the park. I think whoever shot that man was there. Maybe she saw them, or they think she did. All I know is she’s stubborn and will need some coaxing in order to get her away from here. Make sure that she goes with you, no matter how you have to get her to do it.”
That made Drew smile. He’d dealt with stubborn soldiers before and she was a lot smaller than most of them so this should be a breeze. Then again, he’d seen that glint in her eyes that spoke of something deeper that could get in the way.
He’d planned on staying a couple of days, but even he knew there was something happening that directly affected Hadley. He walked up her front steps, knowing this wouldn’t be received well. But, he had a job to do and protecting her was now his job. He knocked on her door, his eyes moving to the nonexistent window to his left. He shook his head in disgust.
Robert assured him that he would call Hadley and let her in on the new plan. Although he was sure she wouldn’t go along with it. When he knocked again, his brows bunched in concern as out of habit, he reached for the gun on his side. Was she gone? Then he heard her coming toward the door. Her footsteps were light, but the gait told him she was weary.
Hadley opened the door only a couple of inches as she peered out at him. “What do you want?” Her voice was raspy as though she’d been sleeping or crying. Either way, he had to harden his heart to those beautiful, doe like eyes staring up at him.
“As Rob should have told you, pack a bag and come on. I don’t want to be driving into the middle of the night.” Drew said, his tone one of authority. Rob’s words rang in his head. ‘She won’t go willingly, but she’s in danger. They gave a distinct warning last night with the fire. The next thing will be worse, much worse.’
“I haven’t spoken with Rob since he brought me lunch. My phone went dead over an hour ago. As I told him earlier, I’m not going to the hotel.” She started to close the door, but his strong hand stopped it.
“Dead phone or not, I’ve been hired to protect you. So, go pack a bag. I don’t have a lot of time.”
Hadley turned and left him standing in the doorway. “I’m not going anywhere with you or Rob, so you can go back to where ever it is you came from.” She said over her shoulder.
Drew stood there for a minute, wondering what he was doing here. Then he thought about this tiny woman trying to fight off what he thought was coming at her. There was no way he could let that happen. “Please, just pack a bag. Don’t make me have to take matters into my own hands. You won’t like it.” He raised his brows, putting his hands in his pockets as he leaned in the doorway.
“Don’t threaten me.” Hadley grumbled, walking up the dark hallway.
“Lady, I don’t make threats. I only speak the truth and if you’re not out here with a packed bag in ten minutes, then I’ll be forced to handle it myself.” Drew’s voice was deep as he stepped into the den, his tone not wavering. He took in the burnt furniture. As he shook his head, he noticed that she’d come back into the room with him.
“Why do you want to help me? You don’t even know me.” Hadley crossed her arms across her chest as she waited on his answer.
“Rob is one of my best friends and when he’s worried, that makes me worry. The only way to keep you safe is to take you far away from here. I’ve been hired to escort you to somewhere safe until this is taken care of.” Drew said.
“What do you mean, far away from here?”
Drew took another step into the den, the scent of burnt wood making his eyes water. “I’m taking you to my ranch four hours north of here. There you will be safe and I can keep an eye on you.”
“No you’re not. I’m staying here in my house.”
“As I said, that’s not an option. The people who seem to have a problem with you are not playing games. The next attack will be worse. They tried to burn the house down around you, so what do you think will happen next?”
Hadley shrugged. She’d made up her mind earlier to just ignore all of this. Although that most likely wouldn’t make the situation go away. The fact that she was afraid of what was happening only heightened her sense of awareness that Drew was inside her house. In her own introverted way, she thought that if she kept her mind occupied, then it would all just go away. And in another thought, she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
“Would you like for me to enlighten you on how these types of people work?” Drew waited for her to respond, but she only kept her back to him. He knew she was listening. “Ok, I’ll tell you. First they gave you a broken window as a warning. Then before daylight today, they tossed a lit bottle through your window as a wake up call. The next warning will send you to the hospital if not worse. And I don’t intend for that to happen. At least not on my watch.”

I hope you enjoyed this small tidbit of Safe, the first book in my new series, ‘In Harm’s Way’.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Almost the weekend… Coffee Anyone!

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I’m almost to the last chapter of my latest manuscript and it’s so exciting. But with tax season deadlines breathing down my neck, I’m snatching writing times when I can. Of course the characters are always teasing me with lines to include and different scenarios. Good thing I keep a notebook beside me all the time.

But with the busy days and late nights, I lean on my coffee time heavily. Actually, that reminds me, it’s coffee thirty. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and live, laugh, & most especially, love…


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Murder in a romance novel…

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Ok, so who am I murdering? That’s a secret… No, I’m not murdering anyone for real, just in my manuscript. But you may be say, ‘you write romance’. Yes, I do, but I’ve expanded into the suspense, mystery romance side of things. So, murder is on the menu.

But, how do you solve a murder mystery while still having elements of romance? Well, that’s not as easy as it sounds. The trick is to know how to multi-task. You’ve got to keep your investigation going in the foreground while having some romance going on in the background. In a lot of suspense, mystery romances, the romance side is filled in between the mystery conversation. The characters can have romantic dinners, share some eye contact that lingers, and stolen kisses while investigating.

So, yes, you can have romance and solve a murder mystery all at the same time. Just make sure that you don’t do romance overkill. In a suspense, mystery type romance, most readers want more of the mystery suspense than the romance. Or at least that’s what most readers have told me.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Midweek Coffee Break

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Take a little time for yourself everyday. It only takes a few minutes of sipping coffee or tea and a little relaxation to get yourself back up to speed. During tax season I try to take a moment to just sip my afternoon coffee and breathe.

ENJOY YOUR DAY… LIVE LIFE… AND LAUGH…


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Write what you love… Not what’s expected!

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Good morning! I’ve been swamped with taxes and office work, so I’ve been a little absent lately. But don’t worry, there is still writing going on in the background. Safe is almost complete and I’m so excited to bring it to you soon. Now, on to the post.

There are so many trends out there right now that it makes my head spin. So many authors fall into the trend hole and can’t seem to climb back out. Yes, it’s alright to write following those trends, but not if it puts your writing style in a cramp. Sometimes current trends are not what you excel at and that’s alright. Be yourself, not what others expect.

Every writer has their own voice. And we have a passion for different things. Me, I love writing clean romance that inspires others. And now I’ve added mystery and suspense to that love. But for so long I wouldn’t add that element for fear that it wouldn’t be accepted in my genre. I was mistaken and now that I’m almost done with the first novel in that genre, I know that I made the right choice. It’s unexpected, but wonderful. I’ve never felt more excitement over writing as I do at this moment. I feel that this is a huge step for my career.

Now, you need to sit back and figure it out. What do you love to write about? If it’s a couple falling in love over a lost puppy, then write about it. What’s important is writing about what you’re passionate about. Just focus on that.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…