Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Romancing the Card

You may be scratching your head regarding the title of this post. Let me explain. Are we too dependant on debit/credit cards? I went to the grocery store yesterday and when I swiped my trusty debit card the clerk looked at me and said those dreaded words ‘INSUFFICIENT FUNDS’. Well, at first I made her repeat it. As an accountant I know in my head what I have in every account. 

My first thought was that the card didn’t read correctly. So I told her no problem and handed her my credit card to complete the transaction. I immediately went home and asked my hubby if he’d used his debit card. Since he hadn’t I got online with my account and I broke out in a cold, outraged sweat. There it was. The thing you dread. Fraud!

Of course I didn’t know how bad it was until I called the bank. The fury escalated to a heated level. Apparently this clever little thief had wiped out my checking and since I have my main checking attached to my savings for emergencies, they proceeded to wipe out my savings. Yep, someone had a good time yesterday at our expense.

You know we work hard to save money for a rainy day, in our case to pay our taxes. Then someone comes along and takes it away. The Fraud department at our credit union have been awesome. They immediately stopped my card, (Of Course it was my card that was hit) and the accounts are being monitored. As an accountant the first thing I did was Google all the companies that showed up because I did not recognize any of the names and was aware that some were foreign. All of them are located in Pakistan. 

Of course we will get our money back, but not until all the paperwork is complete which could be late next week. What’s sad is that person was able to enjoy our money and never worked a second for it. Do we rely on our cards too much? When did we get too lazy to write a check? The last time I wrote a check the clerk sighed in frustration. So I reverted back to my debit card. Just one swipe and you’re out the door.

I can say this, the anger erupted in a furious writing frenzy last night. I pounded the keys and took out all my frustrations in my latest manuscript. Of course I will be reading that over this morning to make sure it went with the story line. Check your accounts daily and make sure you can account for everything.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Writing the right ending…

What do you do when you get down to the last chapters? At this point you need to building up for the end, but how?

As I work on the ending of my newest book, I ponder this question. Just as my last novel, “The Winner Is Love” I wonder, is this the end? Well with that one it wasn’t. I didn’t know it when I started writing it. I had plan a simple, sweet Christmas romance that would end at the words The End. But guess what, as with any writer I had to listen to my characters and my heart told me their story is not done.

My newest book is the 2nd book in a series and I don’t know whether I want it to continue. But if I don’t continue it, how do I end it? Do the lovers ride off in the sunset never to be heard from again? Do I kill them off in a lovers quarrel? What am I saying? I can’t kill them off, that would be murder.

The ending of a book can be as important, or even more important than the beginning. I’ve read books before that the ending left me baffled. Some have left me angry and others ready for more. If you are planning a next book, you have to leave the reader wanting more. You have to give just enough information to keep them hooked for the next book. If you’re ending it there, you need to make the ending mean something. If you end the book wrong, will the reader want to read anything else from you.

I have to admit that I’ve read some books that the ending made me so upset that I didn’t have the heart to read the authors list of other books written. I just couldn’t do that to myself. You know how it is when you’re watching a movie and the main character that you’ve fell in love with dies in the last scene and bam, that’s it. Finished, the end, done! Makes you want to throw something at the TV. Books can make you want to throw your Kindle.

What do you like in an ending? Do you like the explosive ending, where you are just floored? Do you like the sweet, tender ending where you just melt and have to sit quietly for a moment and reflect? (Maybe that’s just me 😉 ) Or do you like the nail biter ending where you get left hanging on the edge of the cliff? Let me know your thoughts. I love to hear what everyone thinks.


As always, good writing and May God Bless you!end