Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Inside a Series…

Series Article

Good morning! As you can tell from the picture above, I’m talking about Five Oaks Ranch, my bestselling series.

Have you written a series? If so, did you have a hard time keeping the stories straight? This series was a work in progress that kept me on my toes. The idea for the series came as we drove back from our Florida vacation a couple of years ago. The road signs were passing by and each one seemed to spur an idea. So, by the time I got home, I had a skeleton map drawn on my notepad. Since I get car sick easily, it was a horrible looking thing, but I had it in my head and heart.

Over the next couple of days, I put together the book names, the character sketches for the five main characters and ideas for how their stories would go together. This series was the most fun as they almost wrote themselves. Each book fed off the other and it was as though I wrote one long manuscript and cut it into five books. I know, there were six, but the Christmas book only came into my head toward the end of Luke.

Several people started writing to me that they wanted to know more about the parents. At first, I was like, but this is the story about the five children, hence the series name, Five Oaks Ranch. Then as I sat thinking about it, I came up with the idea for the Christmas story that would bring it all together. So, A Christmas to Remember was born. By the way, at the end of the Christmas book, I’ve put several of my own family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

The family tree is introduced in the Christmas book. You’ll notice that some of the kids haven’t been born in any of the books, but I wanted to let my readers know that the characters went on to lead love-filled lives together.

So, have you started the Five Oaks Ranch series yet? Ridge is free! This book stayed in the top 100 of free books on Amazon for over a year, which made me giggle with excitement everytime I looked at the stats. And you’ll notice a pretty, shiny silver medallion on the cover of Ridge. He was honored with a five-star review from Reader’s Favorites! Here’s the link to the whole series if you’re in the market for a new series to read, but here’s a warning, you’ll fall in love with the Cauthen’s.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Friday Writing…

It’s finally Friday! I hope all of you have a fabulous weekend planned. As for me, it’s tax time, so I’ll be elbow deep in tax returns, but I do plan to put in some much needed, stress relieving writing…

Here’s a little snippet of Promises Made, the historical romance that made the honorable place as my 30th book published…

The music started just as everyone was finishing their food. Hank pulled Joy’s chair out and stood with her as they watched several people move onto the makeshift dance floor.

“Come on papa, let’s have a dance.” Joy said, her eyes lit with excitement. Every year, her and papa always shared the first dance, it was tradition.

“I’ll grab the next one, but Nash here, maybe he’d take you for the first dance.” Hank said, grinning down at his shocked daughter.

Joy stammered, trying to catch her voice. “I’m sure Mr. Collins has better things to do than dance with me.” Joy said, humiliated that her papa had offered her to a stranger.

“I’ll dance with you.” Nash said as he took her hand, leading her toward the floor. His facial expression never changed. It was almost as though he regretted agreeing to this dance.

Joy just knew she’d faint from lack of oxygen. What was happening? Her papa always danced the first dance with her. She looked up at the back of Mr. Collins head as he led her toward the other dancers. Why would he want to dance with her? If she went by his demeanor, he didn’t want to dance at all.

Nash stopped and turned to face Joy. “Ma’am.” He grasped her hand and pulled her into a loose embrace. Nash made sure that there was at least two inches between them so no tongues began to wag. All he needed was more gossip about him. Since his mother had been a full-blooded Cherokee, people in this town thought he was nothing but trouble. His two brothers had it easier since they were born to another mother.

As they moved around the dance floor Nash avoided her eyes. Joy wondered what he was thinking about. He kept his gaze on a spot beyond her right shoulder. Of course, this man was a lot older than her, so he was probably just being nice to her papa. But, Joy’s mind went to the fact that her papa had invited Nash’s family to sit with them during the meal. Her papa had never mentioned the Collins family at home. Maybe he and Nash’s dad had been friends, but why wouldn’t she know about it. Another weird thing was that her father usually sat with his friends, so why suddenly was he interested in the Collins family.

When the song came to an end, a gentleman tapped Nash’s shoulder, asking to step in. Nash let her hand drop as he stepped back, allowing the man to dance with her. Joy watched as he walked to the sidelines and watched them move around the dance floor. It was odd the way his eyes moved with them, almost in a protective stance.

I do hope you enjoyed this short little piece of the moment that Nash and Joy first danced. This was such a special, sweet story and I fell in love with the characters, flaws and all.

Have a great weekend!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Monday, Coffee and a book…

15357511258_cbf39f66bb

Good Monday morning! I don’t know about all of you, but I could’ve used one more day in the weekend. Funny thing, I had planned to get some work done in the office and write at least 5000 words over the weekend. Did I meet my goal? Well, I got some work done, but not the word count. My weekend word count was pitiful…

For some reason, my writer-brain was on vacation this weekend. But as I went about cleaning house, working on tax returns and going about the business of life, my mind was on my current manuscript. I went over scenes in my head, but couldn’t make myself sit down at my laptop and write it down. Why? I have no clue. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. Actually, I don’t know what to call it, but I hear a lot of other writers complain of this.

So, as I write this post, I’m preparing for my writing binge this morning before I go to the office. I’m working on my second cup of coffee and then I’ll grab a third just to make sure my brain is awake and what I write will make sense.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Promises Made’. It’s up and running… https://www.amazon.com/Promises-Made-Sky-Ridge-Book-ebook/dp/B06W9LDLV7 You’ll fall in love with Nash and Joy!


4 Comments

That moment…The perfect ending!

release-ad

Good morning! It’s halfway to the weekend, you can do this!

As I sat this morning, finishing the last minute edits on Promises Made, I read the last paragraph and sighed. Have you ever just really knew when you typed the perfect words to end a book? Well, that’s the moment I had this morning. But, with that being said, I also cried knowing what those last words meant for my characters and also, knowing I can’t say a word yet!!!

Promises Made is taking me to new heights as a writer. It’s different from my other historical romances and has brought me so much excitement for the storyline. I can see all three books in my head and I can’t wait for you to meet Nash and Joy. You will fall in love with them.

Joy is this sweet young woman that believes in romance and love. She’s lost everything, but gained more than she ever expected. Her humble upbringing has made her a strong woman with good morals.

Nash Collins is a rich rancher that was born as a half-breed), his mother was Cheyenne. He is fiercely loyal and needs a wife. The moment they set eyes on one another, Nash knows that she’ll be his one day. But he also knows that it could be impossible until fate turns the tables.

So, be watching for the release that is coming this Friday!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Where did January go?

16931340822_6da95e20da_m

It’s hard to believe that it’s already February! I feel like I just got settled into the new year and then, bam, another month has passed by in a flash. My grandmother always said, the older you get, the faster times goes by. Of course, when I was young, I thought that was the silliest thing ever. Now, I get it.

So much water has flowed under this bridge that some days I can hardly believe that I’m nearing the half-century mark. Don’t go there! I don’t feel my age and I certainly don’t act it, but it’s there none the less. And to think, my baby is graduating high school in May, what???

Another milestone I’m facing this year, but it’s a good one is that I’ve been a published author for five years. May 12th will mark Ghost Lover’s fifth year in publication. To think, this time five years ago, I was still skeptical about putting my name and work out to the public and now I’m nearing the publication of my 30th book. Yes, I said 30! That’s another thing that baffles my mind. I guess the old adage is true, time flies when you’re having fun!

This Sunday, the hubby and I will celebrate 23 years of blissful marriage. Some days it feels like just yesterday, then other days it feels like we’ve been together our whole lives. That’s what romance does to you, it blows your mind. I wouldn’t take anything for all of the adventures we’ve had and the things we’ve shared.

Now, as I sit here, getting ready to do my morning writing, I’m gazing at my calendar. Yep, I had better get off this post before I fall further behind and have to deal with my assistant’s frown. She has a tendency to look at my writing calendar and tsk tsk at me. LOL!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


Leave a comment

Character Sketches…

It’s Friday! Yea! But I have some work to do. With two new series starting up this year, I have several things to do and one of those things is character sketches. If you’re asking what the heck is a character sketch, well, let me fill you in…

Alright, here goes… When you start a new book, there are several steps, but one of the most important during the writing process is the character information. Let me explain how I do my character information sheets.

1. I grab my notebook that will be for the series notes and I keep all my information in it. This notebook stays in my writing bag for quick retrieval. This is very important to have at your fingertips because if you’re halfway through book two and can’t remember what someone’s name is or what they do, you’ll need to be able to grab that without having to read book one to jog your memory.

2. First off, you need to name your characters, starting with the main ones. Then add the details. Let’s face it, when you’re writing that character, you know what they look like, but your reader doesn’t unless you show them. So, under the character sketch, you put every detail you can. I include A. Name

A. Name

B. Description: Hair color, eye color, height, build, disposition, age, birthdate, etc. You       get the idea.

C. Family that might show up in the stories. Brothers, sisters, parents, etc.

D. Where are they from and where do they live now?

E. Now, this is where the fun starts, leave plenty of room for added notes. As a story     unfolds, you’ll build the character sketch. If they get a new career, get married, have children. Add anything new to the character. This helps down the road and keeps you from having to keep looking back.

3. Make sure you have one for every character you add. Well, if they are only making a one time appearance, leave them out, but if it’s even just the store owner and your character occasionally goes to the store, then you need to add them.

So, do you prepare character sketches? I didn’t for a long time and it was so frustrating, but through writing studies, I’ve learned how to make life easier. Writing is a crazy world of names, places, plots, and so much more that you have to have a way to keep it straight.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…