Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Why authors are important…

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Good Saturday morning! I want to share a little something with all of you. Not long ago I had a fan message me. She went on to tell me that my book had made her day. It helped her through a bad day, making things seem not as bad as it seemed.

Well, that message got me to thinking about the importance of authors in this world we live in. With so much uncertainty and despair, we as authors can spread a little joy. Or at least give someone a way to get lost for a while. As for my way of thinking, I consider authors important to our sanity. We have to continue writing the words that fill the imaginations of people all over the world. It only takes one book to give someone a chance to step out of reality, if only for a moment.

Romance authors have the chance to take someone to another time or place and give them a little romance to warm their heart. We can help someone realize that they are not alone in this world, but that love is all around us.

Mystery authors can add some intrigue to someone’s life. They give them a purpose, such as solving a crime or getting lost in a crime thriller.

Horror writers take us on a roller coaster ride with exhilarating chills. Fear can make the adrenaline flow in a sedentary time.

Self help writers can teach us ways to do things differently. We all need some help from time to time.

Now, there are many other genres to talk about, but for now, this will have to do. I have a deadline and maybe I’ll be able to get lost in a book for a while today.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…


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Wishful Harbor

Well, another series is in the books so to say… Wishful Harbor will be complete on the 7th when Bay Street releases. It’s so sad to see the characters go, but this series has brought me so much joy. So, let’s go to wishful Harbor for a moment…

This is a series about the small New England town of Wishful Harbor. Each story can be read as a standalone or part of the series. They are filled with romance, mystery and small-town charm.

Book 1

Breakwater Lane

When Jordan Reed inherits her grandfather’s deli in small town Wishful Harbor, her life is turned upside down. Things start to look better when her childhood crush, Skylar, turns out to be her new contractor. When someone tries to intervene in Jordan and Skylar’s relationships the mysteries of Jordan’s family start to unravel. What she learns could change her life and her family’s reputation forever.

Book 2

Hideaway Lane

When a small fire in Julie’s bookstore brings the firemen, she’s shocked to find out one of them is her old high school crush, Paul Wells. Paul can’t believe his luck, so he asks her to the town festival. He’s now the owner of the Christmas tree farm on Hideaway Lane, the one Julie has been going to all her life. But, when the bank threatens to take the farm from him, Julie steps in to help. Romance blooms in this story of old crushes, Christmas spirit, and small-town charm.

Book 3

Inlet Circle

In the small town of Wishful Harbor, life is good, that is until things go wrong. When Lacey, the owner of One More Cup, the local coffee shop slides on the ice and right into the side of Chip’s truck, the sparks fly. Chip has come to town to take over ownership of the Inlet Cove Inn. Neither of them is ready for anything more than friendship, but when they’re stranded at the Inn with no power for twenty-four hours, they think that maybe love could heal old wounds. But, only time will tell in this sweet, small-town romance.

Book 4

Pier Cove

A SmallTown Romance filled with adventure and sweet romance…
Marly loves anything old, so what starts out as a hobby, turns into a business. Since she’s a treasure diver in her spare time, she’s thrilled when the opportunity arises to run a store in the historical seaside town of Wishful Harbor.
Liam is a third-generation owner of the Wishful Harbor marina. He is interested in knowing more about the new resident of Wishful Harbor. They hit it off as friends almost immediately.
When she hears the old tale of a shipwreck off the end of the lighthouse cape, she enlists Liam’s help to find the treasure, although he’s not a fan of taking her to the wreck. When her old boyfriend gets wind of it, he shows up wanting to take what she’s trying to find.
Together, Marley and Liam work to find the treasure, along with Liam’s granddad Liam. The friendship starts to make a turn into something more, but neither are sure as their pasts try to keep them from having a future.
This is a sweet romance, full of adventure and laughs. The small town of Wishful Harbor is a treasure to be found, and everyone there is family.

Book 5

Bay Street

Bailey Garrett moved to Wishful Harbor looking for a new start. A month before moving to Wishful Harbor, her mother died, and she found out her stepfather was a liar, a thief, and a con artist.

Sherriff Scott Wick hears who is opening the souvenir shop in town, he makes it his business to keep an eye on her hoping she isn’t anything like her stepfather.

Then as mysterious things start happening around Bailey, it doesn’t take Scott long to see that darkness follows Bailey around every corner. Will Scott be able to keep her safe or will her past consume both of them?

In the exciting conclusion of the Wishful Harbor series there will be mystery, adventure, and romance.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s coming up…

It’s Friday! With the tax deadline coming up quickly, I’m excited that it’s Friday because I need a break. But, I’ll be writing this weekend as I have deadlines there too!

Do you plan your year of writing? I do. I’ve already got my writing for 2021 planned out and the covers are in process. Of course, as writers know, something new could be added during the year, it’s just the way our minds work.

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Here’s the remainder of 2020 schedule:

To be released October 17: Timeless Love-Marina’s Story (4th book in The Journal Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFGK8JB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i12

To be released November 7: Bay Street (Wishful Harbor 5th book in the Wishful Harbor Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF89LB8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i23

To be released December 4: Wine, Wedding & The Cowboy (Book 3 of the Tangled Vines Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF9JC3V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i15

To be released January 29: Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch (Book 3 of the Mistletoe Ranch Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFBY6PR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

As you can see, I’m finishing up 4 series in the above releases. I’m sad to see those series end, but I’m excited for the new series that I’ll be starting for 2021. And it will be a little different from my usual. I will give you a little info now. There will be 5 books in the series and they will be somewhat suspenseful. But I’ll fill you in on more about that soon.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Genre… How do you choose?

Wow! We made it people, we’re halfway to the weekend… I have question and it’s one that’s been asked of me, plus I’ve asked it myself. What is the genre you write in?

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It’s like sitting down to watch a movie. You have to choose what you want to watch. If you love Rom Com’s, then you’re not likely to choose a Horror Flick. Same with books, people are specific when they look for a book.

So, you’re probably saying, you write romance, that’s easy. But, when you put your book on a publishing site, it’s not that easy. Ok, the main genre is romance for me, but there are many styles of romance. It’s endless and sometimes gives me a headache. How do you break it down?

For example, when putting a book on Amazon for instance, you have to list 2 categories and then 7 keywords. Yikes! And if you get it wrong, you won’t explode, but your sales may not either. If you get it right, you nail it!

Now, the categories for romance are long and sort of specific. Yes, I know that I don’t write Dystopian Romance. To be honest, I had to look up Dystopian, just to clarify. And no, I don’t write Erotic Romance. But, does my book fall into Contemporary, New Adult, General, Comedy, Western, etc… The list goes on.

My best advice on this subject is to go to writers that write like you. See where they have their books at and always, always, look at the bestsellers in that style. Because if they aren’t bestsellers, then they may be doing the same thing as you, trying to wrap their head around it.

Oh, and don’t forget the keywords. This is something that I change up often and I mean often. Of course, sometimes Amazon will put your book in other keywords or categories, like if your book is short, it could be listed under Kindle Read under 2 hours. Do your research!!! Let me repeat that so that all of those in the back heard me, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! Don’t you hate shouty capitals. Well, I hope I got your attention.

Go now and look at the book that’s not selling as well as it should. No, really, go now. You can’t afford for your book to be sitting in the wrong spot. It’s like a cook book that’s put under historical romance. Wrong! So get to it. And let me know how it goes. Make sure that you keep a spreadsheet on sales before you make the change, then after. See if it works and if you haven’t see a change in a couple of weeks, tweak it.

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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Coffee, Books, and Romance…

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Good morning! We’re halfway to the weekend and that’s awesome. This has been a busy week so far, so I’m looking forward to diving into the weekend with some much-needed writing so I can get lost for just a little while.

As I sip my coffee, my mind is on all the things I’d like to accomplish today. Is there writing on that list? Well, I try to get in as much writing as I can each day, but some days, a few promotional posts and such are all I can fit in during tax season.  But I’m hoping to catch a few minutes of mind cleansing writing.

A fan asked me a question a few days ago and I’ve been wondering how to answer it. Her question was, ‘How do you stay focused on just writing Romance?’. Well, let’s see… For one thing, I love romance and everything about it. There’s so much you can do with romance writing. It’s my favorite genre to read also, which makes it an easier niche for me. But, think about it, in romance novels you can add elements of mystery, the paranormal, humor, history, real life, etc. The list goes on as to where you can go with romance. Actually, it’s endless.

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A romance novel can be in any era because there’s always been romance somewhere. So, to me, it makes the best writing genre in my mind. But, I love romance. If you love mystery or horror, well, that could be the best writing genre for you. My philosophy is this, write what you love, it helps keep the words flowing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: Here’s another look at the amazing cover of my upcoming release, ‘Beyond One Moment’. Yes, I’m a little in love with it.

Beyond One Moment Front cover


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Christmas Memories…

Christmas memories are covering my tree. I have several ornaments that hold special meaning and decorations that have been passed down for generations. It’s those special tokens of a time past that make me smile as I lovingly hang them on the tree or place in a safe place on the mantel.

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Take for instance this little bear. This was hung on the tree for our son’s first Christmas. Every year when I hang it, I can see his little eyes filling with wonder at all the lights and trying his best to reach the ornaments from his walker. Those were such special moments that I cherish.

 

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Of course, then I have the many ornaments that our son made over the years. Each one is a treasure. I have a special box that holds those ornaments. Every year they grace our tree and bring on memories.

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Now, this little reindeer is older than me, which we won’t discuss how old that it. This ornament was my grandmothers and every year she let me and my brother hang ornaments on her little tree. It was only about three foot tall and set on a round table by the window. This little reindeer was the ornament I always hung. Although it’s looking worn and if it wasn’t made of plastic, it would’ve fallen apart a long time ago, it still graces my tree.

These memories are what fill my many Christmas romances that I’ve published over the last couple of years. I always put a little of my experiences in each one. Like with A Christmas to Remember, I put some of our families favorite recipes in the back.

And one of my bucket list items is to go to Switzerland around Christmas, which is what happens with Lacey in Open the Heart…

And then there’s this years Christmas release, which offers a look into my world of reading and loving bookstores. Hideaway Lane has a quaint little bookstore that is all decked out for Christmas…

I’ve written several Christmas romances but this is just three of the memorable ones. So, what are your Christmas memories?

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Three cups & a book…

Good Thursday morning! I do hope you’re all well…

This morning I’m working on the outline for the 2nd book in the Wishful Harbor Series. It’s exciting when you start a new manuscript, but it’s scary too! As a writer, you want to pull the reader in with the first paragraph, but what if you don’t? Publishing your work is scary, but satisfying when you see the sales and responses from readers.

As I outline, I have a bad habit of writing instead of outlining. Yep, some of my outlining will be used in the actual book because I get carried away, but that’s fine. One thing that helps is I use Scrivener, so I can set up my chapters and copy/paste the part I love that will go in the book. Yep, another win for Scrivener.

But, along with writing, I have to grab another cup of coffee to keep me going. So, I’d best get back to finishing this outline and getting another cup of coffee.

So, great writing and May God Bless You…


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When do you take the next step?

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Happy Labor Day everyone… I do hope all of you are having a great day!

Ok, so I’ve been pondering something for a while, but I’m still undecided. It’s the same feeling I had just before I pushed the button to submit my first book, Ghost Lover. The feeling is gnawing at my gut and won’t let me sleep, but as I’m a thinker, I’ve been thinking a lot.

So far, I’ve self-published 35 books, made it to the top 55 of Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest, received awards, but there’s still something missing. There’s further to go, but how far? How far do you go beyond where you thought you were going? As I said, it’s gnawing at me and I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of something, but what?

As I’ve researched, read, and followed the publishing world, I realized what I’ve been missing, an agent. So, I reached out to a couple of big time authors that have commented on my work and their consensus seems to be, I need to reach out to a literary agent. But, as this is a big step for me, and if you know me, that’s saying something. Do I do this? Do I give up some of the freedom I’ve had as a self-published author?

You may be wondering, will she or won’t she? I’m going to push forward and do it. This is the week that I put myself out there and see what happens. If nothing happens, I’ve lost nothing, but if something does happen, well, I’ll let you know.

SO, as always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Outlines, Notebooks & other such things…

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It’s Saturday morning and I’m ready for a little rest and restoration. Of course, you know I’ll be writing, it’s my Saturday thing to do. When you run a busy accounting office, most of your intense writing comes on your days off.

Take notes... You'll need them later...

Now with intense writing sessions, you have to use your time wisely. This is where detailed notes and outlines come in handy. When I sit down to write, I like to have everything at my fingertips. If I’m writing a book, say, for instance, Breakwater Lane, I want to have my character information close at hand. Why? Well, it helps me to just look at the character list beside me. If I forget a secondary characters name, I just glance at the list and keep going. But without this list, well, I’d have to go back to where I last wrote about them to check. That takes away valuable writing time.

Outlines are helpful…

I’m an outliner, most of the time. When a story comes into my head, I like to sit down and outline it while it’s fresh. If the story comes in bits and pieces as some do, then I just write down the basics of what has come to my head. As with Sky Ridge Series, I have in my head what each of the three books will be covering, but without the outline, I’d overtake the story from the next book. I want to make sure that each book covers its own situation.

Don’t let a lack of organization throw you off track…

Some people say that outlines mess them up and that’s ok. Everyone has their own style. It’s the way we’re made. But for me, outlines keep me focused on the story at hand. You might ask if I’ve ever changed a story from the outline? Yes, several times. Take, for instance, Finding the Right Time. I had it completely outlined, but my characters would not behave and they went off script. If you’re not a writer, that might sound a little off, but it’s true. Characters can have a mind of their own and they go off down the rabbit hole, leaving the outline in the dust. That’s when you pick up the outline, dust it off, then adjust as needed. It works, believe me.

Notebooks… Notebooks… Notebooks…

Now, I have notebooks for each of my series. I keep details about characters that are in each book. That way I keep up with who died, who left to never be heard of again and such as that. On my stand-alone’s, I don’t always have a dedicated notebook, just an outline with notes in the margins. I put the characters at the top, then the outline. But the notes in the margins can be added characters, character flaws or just location descriptions. Anything you think will be needed later, add it.

It only takes a second to lose that train of thought…

So, to sum up, my rambling from above, if you feel disoriented or unorganized when writing, it’s normal. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself. These are just a couple of the things I do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…