Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Fear as a writer…

Good morning! Hope all is well with everyone as we start this Thursday morning or afternoon, wherever you wonderful people are 😉

Fear, everyone has felt fear at one time or the other. Don’t lie, you know you have. As a child, we had fear of strangers and storms. As adults, we have many fears. Maybe we fear financial issues, for our children, the future… etc. There are a lot of fears in this world, but I want to talk about the fear as a writer.

The moment I hit submit on Ghost Lover, the first book I published in May 2012, I was sweating. My palms were damp, my heart was racing, in easy terms, I was a mess. What if nobody likes my writing? What if this is a mistake? What if… What if… What if… Then the emails started coming from readers that fell in love with Jared and Jessie. The fear was alleviated for a moment, then came the next book and the next.

Does my fear ease with each book I publish? Some, but not completely. I’m always afraid of the unknown. Even though my books are poured over and over with edits and rewrites and such, I still have that fear that I’m sending out my work with flaws. Even the best-edited book has flaws and I have to remind myself of that. My fans are so precious and let me know every day the pleasure they get from the words I put on the page, but still, I feel like I could’ve added more to the story, went over it one more time, or even changed something.

Then there’s the fear of not selling a single book, yikes…. Yes, that’s a fear. In January, my sales went on a downward spiral and I had to catch my breath. After an amazing end of 2016, it was like a kick in the gut. But, as I sought out other authors to see if it was happening to them, they confirmed that they too were seeing a sharp decline in sales. Even the authors that normally sell thousands of copies a month were down to hundreds. Although that should make me feel better, it only made my fear worse. Had people stopped reading? LOL! Yes, it was an irrational fear, but it still came through this ditsy blonde head.

Then, the sales started to rise. Yes, my fear was going away, but then a new fear arose. Could I do more to keep that from happening again? The truth is, no. We can’t control what people do or trends, so, I picked myself up off the pity floor and moved forward.

So, as a writer, what do you fear?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Where did January go?

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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!


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Romance…

Good Monday morning! Hope you had a restful weekend… The topic of today, Romance. There are so many facets of romance that it boggles the mind, but I want to talk about something I read the other day that quite frankly made me giggle… so here goes…

I was reading a writing post and someone chimed in with a comment on romance writers. She said, ‘Why do romance writer’s write about romance as though it’s  an achievable goal; when in fact, romance is a myth?’

I know… GASP!!!!! When I read this I sat back and sighed. Romance is not a myth! For one thing, romance should be a goal in your relationship with your significant other. I have romance in my marriage. For example, at the moment, my husband is building me a farm table for my dining room. It’s the most romantic gesture because he knew I wanted one, so he’s making it happen.

Now, I do agree that as romance writer’s we do embellish, but that’s for the entertainment of our readers. If we just wrote a book about everyday life and included no extraordinary romance in it, would we keep our readers? I know that, personally, when I pick up a romance, I want to be wooed by the romance that spills from the authors words. A frilly romance can put a smile on your face.

You can get lost in the romance of a book. The unreal aspects of books are what makes them so much fun to read. But folks, romance is real. It doesn’t have to be wine and roses every day. It can simply be a look across the table or holding hands for no reason.

So, give me your thoughts…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you get a chance, my newest release came out last night, ‘Sowing the Right Seed’, so go by and check it out. https://www.amazon.com/Sowing-Right-Seed-Lean-Book-ebook/dp/B01MUDJL8O

Also, sign up to be on my street team or simply to get my monthly newsletter at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com.


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Writing on a schedule…LOL!

Good Tuesday morning!

I’ve been working on my 2017 writing project schedule and it’s so exciting thinking about the future works that will come from this crazy writer’s head. One of the problems with setting this up is as I think about the new works, my mind wants to write them, now!

But, I’m trying to be a disciplined writer… yeah, that just doesn’t work for me. Now, let’s just get this one thing straight, I do schedule the books release dates and make sure that I have enough time between now and the release date to write said book, edit and to revisions.

The funny thing about this writer’s brain is that stories are constantly coming into my head, so what do I do when that happens so that I don’t lose it. I have a handy dandy notebook that says in my writer bag. Writer bag? Yes, my writer bag. Tomorrow’s post will be all about my writer bag. It’s quite nifty even if I do say so myself.

But, back to scheduling, whew, I get so distracted. As for scheduling, as a writer, I do need some discipline or I’d never finish a single piece of work. It is fascinating to me when I sit down to work on my schedule for the next year. Of course, I always have works that spill over into the new year, but then I need to fill up the rest of the year. Right now I have works scheduled into 2018, which is amazing.

So, if you haven’t tried working out a schedule, I suggest you sit down and pull out a calendar or planner. All you need to do is make a list of your current work in progress, then a list of upcoming works. Figure out the word count that you desire, divide it by the word count that you want to complete on a daily basis. Now you’re ready to write them in your calendar and schedule it out. Believe me, the time and effort it takes will be well worth it. But remember, don’t over schedule yourself, which I have a tendency to do. Make a workable schedule and enjoy the moment you finish each work of art.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com for all of my news and new releases coming up…


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Sonya Loveday – The Vows We Make Releases Today!

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Now available on Amazon.
Click here to purchase
Or Read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

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The Vows We Make
Book 4 of The Six Series
Mark and Paige’s story.

Some vows can be deadly…..

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Mark and Paige are living in sin—that’s what any man of the cloth would say. All they want is to get married, but they refuse to exchange vows without their best friends—the Six. As they wait to hear back from them, Mark and Paige can’t help but feel they’ve been put off… forgotten.

When the threat of an enemy stalking them is brought to light, the call is made to bring them into the secretive world of Cole Enterprise.

Slotted for recruitment by the very agency that stole their chance at a normal life, Mark and Paige have to adjust to their new path as secret agents in a war they didn’t even know existed.
What neither fully understands is that nothing will ever be the same… and some vows are deadlier than others.

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CHANGE WAS ALL AROUND ME. Everything was different. My life. My dreams. All of it.
Maybe some of it was for the best. Maybe it would push Mark and me to make more of ourselves than we would have on our own.
Crossing my arms tightly, I stepped out onto the dock and made my way to where Mark stood looking out over the water.
Coming back to the cabin and being around our friends after such a long absence from both had enveloped us in something like a constrictive hug. Both needing it, while desperately trying to come to terms with it.
“Hey,” I said, stepping up beside him and sighing when he pulled me into his arms.
I leaned back, turning my head slightly to fit into the crook of his neck. His cheek brushed against my hair and he asked, “Can you believe this place?”
I snorted. “No. But then again, we are talking about Jared’s parents, so…”
“True. It still feels the same here though,” he answered, watching the water ripple along the surface with the wind.
Arriving at the cabin, or what used to be the cabin, had sort of floored us all. No one knew what to say when we’d got our first glimpse of the new and improved place.
What used to be one story with a kitchen, living room, and six bedrooms with bathrooms was gone. Its replacement was two stories, ten bedrooms with full bathrooms, a massive open-floor kitchen/living room, a movie theater room, and a game room. Grant and Nadia had gone all out to make the cabin a place where all of us could live together, for an unforeseeable amount of time.
“It’s like they just knew…” I said, leaving the rest of what I was thinking unsaid. It wouldn’t do any good to dwell on the things none of us could change.
“How are you holding up with all of this?” Mark asked.
I sighed deeply and closed my eyes. “Honestly? I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s like this huge war being waged right here,” I said, poking my finger against my chest. “I’m happy to see everyone. We’re here together—just like we wanted—but for all the wrong reasons. I’m missing classes and work. I don’t know what to do with myself. My life is literally on hold at this point.”
He hugged me tighter. “Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. If you want to leave, we’ll go. They can’t hold us here.”
I snorted. “Can you imagine the look on all of their faces if we just walked out with our suitcases behind us? No. I love you for that though. It’s nice to hear you’d do that to make me happy.”
He kissed the top of my head. “I’d do anything to make you happy, Paige.”

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The Vows We Make is Amazon Exclusive!
Don’t have a Kindle?
No problem!

All you have to do is download the Kindle App to your tablet or phone!

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Sonya Loveday, first and foremost is a reader, an avid one. It is of that love that brought her to purchasing her first laptop in 2009, and then publishing her first novel, Casted, in 2013.

Not long after the completion to the Casted Series, Sonya tried her hand at Contemporary Romance.
Thusly, the Six were born with The Summer I Fell.

In 2015 Sonya joined forces with best friend and fellow author Candace Knoebel. Together the duo created the Game of Hearts Novels. The series has two published titles: Love Always and Runaway Heart. Knoebel and Loveday will be releasing the third book in the series in 2017.

For more information about releases, and appearances, follow Sonya on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/sonyalovedayauthor


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Book Promotions made easy!

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Good morning everyone! It’s a beautiful day, so make sure to stop today and enjoy a moment of it. I know I will because I’ve found something that writers will want to hear… Are you ready for this?

Easy book promotion… I’ve spoken on this subject before and after a couple of tests, I’ve proven it on my own. As I sat, wondering through all my social media, trying to promote my books on my Twitter, Facebook and WordPress, I was getting a little frazzled, bouncing back and forth. Well, here’s the thing, why not do it all from one site…..

Some of you already use a program that posts your promotions on all your sites, but I’m going to talk about Hootsuite today. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

First, let’s talk prep:

  1. I set up several under 140 characters promotions and put them on a spreadsheet for ease of use. Also, I use booklinker.net for my short links on Amazon and it actually promotes the book link to any country on Amazon.
  2. Then I pulled up my Hootsuite account, looking at the spreadsheet on one side of the screen and Hootsuite on the other. This way I can do it on one screen, not bounce back and forth.
  3. Now, on to the posts. I copy and paste each ad, then schedule them one hour apart. That way I’m not overloading my followers. It spreads the word gradually, but not as invasive.

It’s so easy, but I know, you’re wondering the results. Well, I found out that the retweets went up, my back stock sales went up and my new release sales went up. Now you may be saying, that was just a quirk, well, I did this on three separate occasions. It worked. Every time I had a Hootsuite campaign go out, the sales showed an increase.

So, if you’re looking for an easy way to promote your book and get some interest stirring, then try it out. I’m now scheduling several days of posts at a time, which leaves me time for writing, what more could an author ask for.

Let me know how it goes for you. Also, it doesn’t have to be all book posts. You can do cute kitty posts the same way, to change it up.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…