Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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Live Life; Follow Your Dreams…

Today I turn 46! Wow, it’s hard to believe I’m almost half a century old. But I don’t feel 46 and I sure don’t act it. Actually most people say I act 10 but that’s another story for another day. I live life and enjoy it immensely. We’re only give one so live it. Many people tell me I don’t get out and do things enough, but the truth is I live my life the way I love to live it, by following my dreams. No I don’t go alot of places and do a lot of things outside of my job, my writing, the Church and my family, but that’s the way I like it. Am I a hermit? No, because the definition of a hermit is someone who lives their lives in complete seclusion from the outside world. I do leave my house occasionally.

How do I follow my dreams? Well for one thing I have a phenomenal life with a great family and wonderful friends. I follow my call to serve my Lord, Jesus Christ by ministering to children, I love Accounting and get to work everyday doing just that and then there’s my writing. I followed my dream and get to write romance novels which has been my dream for more years than I want to count. Do you live your dream? If not, get to it, because we’re not promised tomorrow and today is only 24 hours.

As far as acting my age, not a chance. I don’t feel my age so why act it. If you act your age you’ll get old before you need to. I love to giggle, cry, laugh out loud, share my joy, sit in the floor with the children and sing, cartoons, children’s movies, and so many more things, not to mention extra marshmallows in my hot chocolate. Oh and sprinkles on my cookies, doughnuts, and cake, did I mention I love sweets!

Do you live life to the fullest? It doesn’t take a lot of money to live life. All you need is a dream, a desire to follow it and a supportive family. I stop and smell the roses, do you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Discover the real you!

Do you know who you are? Do you really? Sometimes events in our lives shape the person we are. Maybe something happens that causes you to think about what you’re doing with your life. There are so many aspects of my life that have been shaped by fate. 

I sat Saturday afternoon writing and thinking. I was caught up in the storyline and suddenly I was in deep thought. The character was having a personal battle and it hit me. We’re all in a battle of wills. We wake up with a plan for the day, well sometimes we have a plan, but life steps in and those plans can change.

We go through life making plans, changing plans and seeing them through as best we can. We have a life plan, but do we really expect all of it to happen. Life changes constantly, whether it’s a death, marriage, birth, career change or just something as simple as traffic. We all have life changes that send our plans in a different direction.

For me things have changed many times. As a child I had it all planned out. I’d be a horse owner and have a huge ranch. Then as I became a teenager and was introduced to romance novels I wanted to be a writer. But then I went to college and changed my major from business to Accounting and became an Accountant. After losing my son’s twin before he was born my life changed drastically. I realized how fragile life is and my want for more children were dashed with one word from the doctors. So I became a Children’s Minister to help children find their destiny in life. 

Well, some of the aspects I mentioned above have come to life. I’m now a romance author with many published books and I realized my dream this weekend of appearing on the bestseller list at Amazon. I work with children two days a week by helping to shape them into good Christian adults and showing them how to live a positive life. But no, I’ve not yet achieved the goal of becoming a horse ranch owner, but I have written many novels about that and lived my dream through my work. For now that’s good for me.

So, have you discovered the real you or are you still searching?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Social Media is Time Consuming

If you’re an author you know the importance of social media. It’s the backbone of your publishing and selling strategy. The only problem is we try to get on every site we can and then when we sit down to our computer we spend an hour searching all the sites for any inkling of a notice from fans or readers or anybody other than spam mongers. I sit every morning going through my sites and then I spend what time is left before going to the office writing.

We have to make sure we use our time wisely. I am trying to limit my site checking to twice a day. I try to post a blog everyday, but some days I may forgo my usual post for a shorter post or save it up for the next day. That way I have more time for my writing which is important. Since I have a full time job and a family I need to keep my time steady and straight. Following the right course is very important. 

As for my accounting office I’ve changed the times I work and added in tidbits of writing time during the day. It helps break the monotony of everyday accounting work with a little writing time. I make sure that every detail is taken care of in it’s own time. 

Time with my family is very important too. It’s become common place in my house for my laptop to be in my lap during tv time at night. My hubby and son are used to that’s writing time, but I’m still with them and not closed up in another room. It’s funny the small things that make a difference. I guess raising a child in an accounting office taught me alot about focus. I can depreciate an asset while doling out snacks. So in turn I can now write while watching tv with my family, helping with homework, and cooking dinner. 

So, how do you spend your time? Do you waste time on trivial things? Have you got a plan and do you stick to it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a link to a great blog about Time from a blogger all writers need to follow:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/killing-time-is-a-crime-embracing-speed-by-redefining-life-play-work/


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Being whatever we want to be…

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I’m a big kid, not just at Halloween as you can see, but in everyday life. My way of thinking is this, if we stay a child at heart how can you grow old. I know in numbers I’m almost 45, but in my heart I still get giddy at Halloween, Christmas and all the other holidays. My heart still pounds when I see buckets of candy. Well, that could be the chocolate rush, but it still beats harder with excitement.

Last night was our annual Church Trunk or Treat and it was a blast. We had so many children come through and they were very creative with their costumes. It was wonderful to see all my little Children’s Church peeps and the many guests dressed in their favorite theme or character. Of course being the Children’s Minister it’s only right that I go all out with my costume and my decorations. I included my sons pumpkin on the tailgate with balloons, posters and buckets over flowing with candy. The weather held up for our celebration.

As a writer you can be whatever you want to. You can be that character and feel that characters happiness, sadness, anger, love or whatever they feel. We are able to change the ending, making it what we want. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be a writer? Well for one thing it’s not as easy as it looks.

You have a story come into your mind. At first you think, this is going to be easy. You may sit down and write the story in your head and then realize it only lasted 5 pages. As a writer you have to expand that story. The descriptions have to be expanded to allow the reader to be drawn in. Remember the story you hear in your head is real to you, but the reader doesn’t have it in their head the way you do. You have to put it in their mind. We have to help the reader see it as we do, which means it has to be detailed out.

If you say, “I see a rolling green hill”. Well the person reading this will only picture a hill of green grass. If you want them to see more then say it more like this. “As I sit here, I see a hill that goes beyond the eye. It is covered in wildflowers that are vibrant with color. The sky is dotted with a few fluffy white clouds and the blue is in deep contrast to the green grass. It is a breathtaking sight to behold.” See how you draw in the reader and help them to see what you see.

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween and take it easy on the candy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What about a mature leading lady?

Have you ever noticed that most romance novels are based on twenty somethings? What ever happened to thirty to forty somethings? We still have it going on.

My thoughts are this. I had a reader when I first published a book ask me why my leading lady was so young. I shrugged and told her aren’t they usually in their early twenty’s. But that one comment got me thinking about the fact that we usually write our leading characters as young people.

What would happen if we wrote more romance novels using more mature characters? It’s a little food for thought this morning. I’m thinking about a series about mature characters that have hormonal issues, wrinkles and have had children and maybe grandchildren. Why not? I should be able to do this as I’m a mature woman (Well, I try to be :)) but I still feel like I have a lot to offer from my experience.

You don’t have to be young to be sexy. Just because the younger generation is still buff and tight bodied doesn’t mean we can’t be too. Maybe the mature novels will take off. Maybe it will fuel a generation to remember we’re still very much alive at forty something and we still feel romance…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Talking to your kids…

As you can tell from the title, this post is not about writing as usual. This post is about the safety of our children. As you know from my profile, I’m a mother and a children’s minister. Last night during the children’s ministry class we brought in the youth and I talked to them.

It was like a town hall meeting. We discussed how to defend yourself against abduction. It was very interesting the way the kids responded. Some responded with anger over the escalation of children abductions and others told about what they’d been told to do.

Please don’t let today go by without talking to your children about safety. Here are some things to add to the conversation. This is from things I’ve read and seen on specials about this so here goes.

1. Always stay alert about your surroundings. When playing outside in a public place always look up and see who’s around.

2. If someone approaches you that you don’t know be on alert. If you can walk away toward a group of people or to your parent. Keep an eye on the person.

3. If someone asks you to go with them somewhere and you don’t know them, or your parents don’t approve it simply say “NO!” and get to an adult immediately.

4. Don’t play alone. Always have a buddy. Most abductions happen when the child is playing in the public alone.

5. Even at Church or school be weary of people lurking in parking lots or on the outskirts of the playground that don’t belong there.

This is only a couple of the many things we need to talk with our children about. I’ve told my son this since he was old enough to walk. It’s very important. We need to empower our children.

Also make sure they know how to physically defend themselves by kicking, screaming, biting or whatever it takes to safely get away from someone. So please don’t hesitate to talk to your children.

As always, good writing and May God bless you and your children.

Remember, this is just my advice and what I’ve learned.