Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday, Monday, Monday…

Good Monday morning! Why do we let Monday’s stress us out? Maybe it’s because Monday signals the start of the work week. Maybe it’s because Monday is the official end of the weekend. Or Maybe it’s because we were too busy over the weekend and Monday is the day all the exhaustion hits.

On Monday’s I normally drink more coffee than usual. I know, is it possible for me to drink more coffee? At least it’s a sunny Monday morning here. That makes it better. If it’s rainy on Monday morning, then it just adds to the stigma of the day.

But can I give you a piece of advise? Let Monday be another day to be fabulous. Focus on the good, not the ugly. Make it the best day of the week so that your week begins on a happy note. I know, it may be hard, but smile big and drink an extra cup of coffee. It will give you the boost you need. Even sing a happy tune…

So, how is your Monday so far…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Here’s a link to my new children’s book that released over the weekend…


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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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Plotting through the hard spots…

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Good morning! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but tax season is kicking my backside. With all of the new tax law changes and programs having to catch up, well, it’s cost me a lot of writing time. And you know what that does to me.

But, on to this post. Plotting… Yes, it’s something I love to do. And there are so many ways to do it. Either on paper, on a computer program or in your head, which I don’t suggest this last one because sometimes our memory doesn’t serve us well.

Plotting to me is like building a structure. You’ve got to make sure to get the base right, or the rest of the structure will fall. Novels need structure in order to come alive. Why do I say that? Because with structure, you don’t just babble on and can easily lose the reader.

As I’ve said before, a novel needs a beginning, a middle and an ending. And in each section you need to start with a rise in action, then reach the climax, but come back down into the next section without losing your reader. Stay focused on the story, don’t add a lot of fluff that will make your reader lose interest.

This is where plotting helps me. I write down the scenes and then I make sure there is enough to the scene to make it work. It needs to be able to stand on it’s own and shine. If the scene falls flat, then the story will too.

So, try plotting and see where it goes. Not everyone is a plotter. Some are pantser’s which is fine. Just make sure your writing flows.

I’ll post a plot outline in my next post.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s up with Safe…

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Good Friday morning! I’m getting so excited about my current work in progress, Safe. It’s taking me on a journey that I never thought I’d take in my writing. This book is a new adventure and I’m ready for it.

So, you may be wondering what’s up, well… I’m learning how much adrenaline comes in when you’re writing suspenseful mystery. One scene had me so tensed up that every sound in the house made me jump. It’s amazing. I’m so pumped up when I finish writing scenes that I have a hard time stopping to go to work.

I can’t wait to get finished with it so that I can get it out to all of you. The two main characters are such polar opposites, but yet they seem to be drawn to one another. The fun part is, they don’t even realize it. Drew is such a protective soul and Hadley is an introvert with a dislike for the outside world. Together they are explosive. The dark place that both of them are in comes from two very different sources, but together they seem to get darker. They have to fight to keep the darkness from over shadowing the light at the end of the tunnel. And the mystery that surrounds them in this spine tingling romance will have you guessing until the end.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday Thoughts and Coffee…

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It’s the first Monday after Christmas and all through the house… Nope, not going there. My house is somewhat back to order, but still not back to normal.

Does anyone else struggle with what day it is after a long weekend? And this weekend will be another four day weekend, so the struggle is real. Although these two long weekends will be awesome since tax season starts next week, so I’ll need the time off to charge my batteries.

Now, on to writing thoughts. As I shared earlier, I have a new series coming in 2021. It’s a Christian Suspense Romance Series called In Harms Way. This is a step out of my comfort zone, but I’m excited for this new turn in my writing. And the covers are nothing short of amazing. Yes, all five books have covers already. I’ve got a short blurb ready for each one as well, which I’ll share a little bit along.

The first book, Safe, is set to release in March. This book has been on my mind for quite a while, so to be able to put it on paper is such a wonderful feeling. The main two characters each have their own issues. Hadley is a dedicated introvert. She is a homebody, only leaving to go to Church, the store, and when her agent requires it, to a book signing. As you may have guessed, she’s a writer. Her books have made her a nice, comfortable living, and have allowed her to stay in her shell. But her life is about to get a jolt of reality that she’s not prepared for.

Drew is a broody, partially retired Navy Seal, turned Wyoming rancher. He’s struggled to get out of the dark hole that war put him in, but ranching and fresh air have brought him a long way from his former self. Then he takes a trip to his hometown and ends up in the middle of a nightmare. When he tries to help, he only gets himself in deeper and the darkness threatens to swallow him back up. The moment he meets Hadley, he knows that he has to do everything in his power to save her, but she isn’t so sure.

This book will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions as these two struggle with their own demons. But once they figure out that the only way out is together, they have to get past the things in their lives that make them who they are. It will have you cringing, gasping, sighing, then smiling and back to cringing. It’s a thriller that will have you guessing right up to the end.

So, let’s get this Monday started with a pot of coffee laced with cinnamon and a cool coffee mug. Did I tell you I’m obsessed with coffee mugs? Now you know…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Step out of your comfort zone…

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Alright, every writer knows what I’m talking about when I say, to publish your manuscript, you have to step out of your comfort zone. It’s that moment that you hit submit… Your body trembles… You begin to sweat… You rethink everything in your manuscript… Did I change that dialogue? Did I correct that misspelled word? Did I send it to the right place?

We’ve all felt it and for me, every time I hit submit, I still go through all of these feelings. Even after over 45 romances published, it never gets easier. But it starts to get more satisfying.

So, if you have a manuscript that you’re just holding on to, put it out there. It can’t soar if you don’t. Let your book step out in the light and breathe.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tuesday Teaser – When Spring Comes

Good morning! I’m getting excited about the upcoming release of the second Mail Order Bride book. The first book, A Light Upon My Heart became a bestseller and is one of my favs. So, to start out Tuesday, I’m posting a short teaser.

Another thirty minutes passed and she realized that maybe she’d been left at the altar, so to speak. She pulled her money purse onto her lap and did a quick check of her coins. If she was careful, she could maybe get a sandwich for the road and a ticket on the stage back to Denver. She should have enough for at least that. Just as she placed her small purse back beside her, a shadow came across her.
“Are you planning to buy a ticket back home?” A deep voice said from beside her trunk.
Grace looked up, not seeing the man’s face well due to the sun was at his back, blinding her for a moment. Then as she shaded her eyes, she saw him clear. He stood taller than even her father, and was wearing a brown cowboy hat that tilted down, hiding his eyes from her view.
“I’m not sure at the moment.” Grace didn’t know if this was Samuel or a stranger. Whoever it was had dirt and dust covering their pants and boots. She gave him a once over, unsure if this man was Samuel Andrews or not.
“Sorry to hear that. I had planned on being here before the wagon train arrived, but one of my cows decided to go into labor this morning. Needless to say, I was needed at the ranch longer than I expected.”
“So, you’re Mr. Andrews?” Grace squeaked, unable to push the dread from her tone. Somehow she didn’t know what she expected, but a dirt covered cowboy wasn’t it.
“Mr. Andrews was my father. I’m Samuel.” Samuel pulled his cowboy hat from his head, giving her a good view of his handsome face.
Grace admired his chiseled features. His eyes were bluer than the sky behind him and his tousled ebony hair was shiny and clean. She moved her gaze to his hands that held the cowboy hat. They were tanned and work roughened. She realized that she was being rude by staring at him.
With a sigh, she stood to her feet. Well, this was it. She extended her hand to him, “I’m Grace Kincaid.”
“I assumed as much. I’ll put your trunk in the back of my rig, then we’ll head out to the ranch.” He didn’t take her hand, but picked the heavy trunk up as though it weighed nothing. Then he left her standing there with her mouth gaped open. His heart was aching as he turned away from her.
Gus came out of the store, wiping his spectacles with a handkerchief. “Little lady, you might better follow him. He’s not one to wait for anything or anyone.”
“Oh, well, thank you.” She nodded at the kind man and hurried across the sidewalk. He was propping on the wagon when she started toward him. Her gaze was on him, and not the uneven ground below her feet. With a cry, she stumbled, ending up at his booted feet, dust billowing around her as embarrassment flooded her face crimson.

I hope you liked reading about Grace and Samuel’s first meeting. This couple has stolen my heart. Both of them have broken hearts, and they have a tough time finding common ground. This sweet romance will make you laugh, cry and sigh…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Cover for When Spring Comes


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Women of Magnolia Hill is coming to a close…

Good morning! It’s Wednesday and we’re halfway there.

As I work on the final book of the Women of Magnolia Hill Saga, I feel drained. Why is it so hard to end a series?  Characters and places that fill our head also fill our heart. But saying goodbye, well, that isn’t easy.

This series began a long time ago with the first book, Victoria. It was filled with a spirit that engulfed me. As the series progressed, so did the years and the times. It went from Emma Rose to Lily and now in the final chapter, Georgia. But, what will be the fate of the loved Magnolia Hill? Will it still stand or will it fall from time?

Here’s a short, short snippet from Georgia:

Georgia whirled around, anger filling her eyes. “I’m not leaving my home. He wants a fight, well he’s got one. There’s one thing you don’t know about the women of Magnolia Hill. We don’t give up at any cost.”

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As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing from your heart…

Good morning! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been super busy getting my latest manuscript finished and sent to my editor. I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the last couple of months while working on my newest project.

1: Write what’s in your heart. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, all that does is tamp down your inner voice. So, fill your pages with what your heart gives you and trust it.

2. Give your writing all that you have. When you get done writing each day, you should feel drained because you’ve put everything into it, but also feel accomplished because you’ve given your muse free reign.

3. Never write something that doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t feel right, then it shouldn’t be put on paper. Go with your instinct.

SO, do you write from your heart? That’s what I did with the manuscript I just finished. I’m satisfied with the results, which is surprising because I always have that little doubt with each piece of work. But not this time.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

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