Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Dreams of a young woman…

It’s Friday! Hope you have something great planned this weekend. As for me, we have VBS at Church next week, so I’ll be busy setting up this weekend, then Sunday we’re having a huge celebration to kick it off. I love the excitement that surrounds all the preparations, but I really should lay off the coffee when designing the decor for VBS.

Dreams… We all have them… I’m not talking about the dreams you have while asleep, I’m talking about the ones that push you forward and make you strive to do what you love. When I was a preteen, all I dreamed about was being a concert pianist and playing at concert halls all over the world. I spent at least two hours a day practicing. Also, I took piano and organ lessons for several years. I was lucky enough to be offered the chance at a full scholarship in music, but at the time, I was engaged and turned it down. (And I’m no longer with that man, so that was a bad move) But, everything has a reason. If I’d gone through with that, where would I be today? I often wonder that.

Another dream as a child was to write. Well… I’m living that dream now, although it took me a while to realize this dream. When I was a teenage girl, I’d lay across my bed and fill notebooks full of stories. Some were crazy and unbelievable, but others, well they had some merit. Ghost Lover, my first published novel, and my first bestseller was based on one of those stories penned by a dream filled teenager.

Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not literally dreaming. The stories still fill my head and some days I sit in a daydream, living out the stories in my mind. But, isn’t that what a writer does. To me, the stories take on real life. The characters become important and like old friends. My daydreams then spill out of my fingers onto the pages of the books I’ve published. It’s such an exciting thing when you write. Your daydreams come to life.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Highlander’s Son is coming in just days…

highlanders son front cover


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From Tuscany & Beyond…

tuscany-001

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B01M0MIB72&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_yaM0yb322RCQ8

Good Wednesday morning! Sorry, it’s been a little while since my last post. As most of you know, I’m an accountant, so this is my busy busy busy season! Not to mention I have a couple of writing deadlines, yes, I’m a glutton for punishment.

With Tuscany, I stepped out and took a chance. This book pulled at me like no other. I could see it being destined to do well. First step, I entered it into the Harlequin ‘So You Think You Can Write’ contest, with fingers crossed and anything else that would cross. It made it to the Top 55 of over 950 books. Yes, I did a happy dance and screamed. Even though it didn’t get any further, I knew it could go the distance.

Then, I decided to pitch it to Solstice Publishing, hoping they’d see what I saw and within 48 hours I had a lovely email from the editor. I’d sold Tuscany to Solstice and they wanted it. As most of you know, I’ve published 30 books, but this is the only one with a publisher other than myself. I’ve loved everything about the experience and wouldn’t change a thing. Solstice took Tuscany to news heights.

My dream for Tuscany is to see it one day make it into the hands of Hallmark Channel, but what romance author doesn’t dream of that. So, for now, I’ll keep typing away and dreaming of the day that it happens…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Excitement in the air!

 

Contract signing

When I walked into my office yesterday morning, it seemed like any normal Wednesday morning, but it turned out to be an extraordinary day. Let me give you a little background on the reason it was spectacular. I’ve been publishing my work for a little over 4 years and it’s been such a wonderful time, but in the back of my mind, I wondered what it would be like to sign a publishing contract. Today I got the chance to see what it felt like and I have to say it felt wonderful!

I turned in Tuscany on Monday to Solstice Publishing and yesterday I received a sweet note with a contract attached. Let’s just say for a moment I sat there, reading the email about ten times, then pinching myself before I realized that yes, it was real. I screamed, totally alarming the three men outside that were working on my property. Then, of course, I sat back, trying to remember how to breathe.

The picture above was taken as I signed the contract and gave Solstice publishing rights to my manuscript. It was the scariest thing as a self-published author and the most gratifying thing knowing that all the late nights and long hours of tapping at the keys had finally paid off. To say I’m humbled is an understatement. Now, as I sit here in the after glow, I’m totally off the rocker excited about what the future will hold.

So, my advice is to do what I’ve been told over and over by successful authors, keep pushing, keep moving forward and one day, it will happen!

I’ll keep you up to date on the process as it goes. It’s a new, exciting adventure.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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If I could go anywhere…

Good morning! It’s Saturday and sunny, but really cold here in Georgia. I was thinking about things on my bucket list. Do you have one? Come on, you know there’s something you’d like to do before you leave this place or maybe somewhere you’d like to go.

For me, I’ve always wanted to visit Switzerland. Even when I was young, I’d dream of the snow-capped alps and green meadows below. Once I wrote to the Swiss tourist bureau about a report I was doing on Switzerland. They sent me a whole package on the country. It was great as I went through all the pictures and pamphlets. I was in a dream world, for a while at least.

Well, since I did the research for my book, Tuscany, I’ve added that to my bucket list. As I researched the places and food in Tuscany, my heart was lost to it. Maybe one day I’ll brave a plane trip over there, but I don’t know. It’s nice to dream about it. Since I’m a writer, I can live through my characters. When I wrote Tuscany, I imagined being there. It took me away to another place. Once the book was at the end, I felt sad. So, yes another book set in Tuscany will be on the horizon, but probably for next year.

So, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Switzerland                                                                Tuscany


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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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Writing in layers, like our lives…

As I sit and ponder writing, life and the many things we do, I see the layers of it all. Layers are all around us. We have the family layer, life layer, work layer, faith layer and so many more layers it’s crazy. As writers we have even more layers than most.

Some days my layers overlap and I have to push them apart so that I don’t get overloaded. Some layers are heavier than others but in the end they’re what makes us who we are. My writer layers come in multiples, sometimes when my writer layers overlap I get knocked to the wayside. That’s when my mind can’t stay on one story and the characters start running over one another.

Do my layers of life and writing run into one another? Yes they do. I’ve seen many days when I struggled with the writing layers, but that’s what makes a writer work harder. As the characters run around trying to get heard, I wrangle them into the stories that flow out of my fingers. The layers of a story unfold and then a new layer starts. Oh the life of a writer’s mind.

How many layers do you have? If you peel them back carefully can you find your true self. As for me, when I peeled back my writer layer I found myself. I hadn’t realized that I needed that layer peeled back. For many years I left that layer piled under so many life layers and once I revealed it I started a fresh start. My writer layer has brought me into a new world of wonder and other worlds.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What if…

How many times have you asked yourself or someone else the famous question, What if…? Since I’m a writer and a dreamer I’m constantly saying What if… It’s part of my make up. The dreamer in me always has another way to do things and the writer in me says what if this character does this or goes there.

What if… I turn a book into a big publisher and they accept it, signing this big contract and a nice advance.

What if… My newest book goes viral.

What if… The book on domestic violence that I’m working on makes a difference in someone’s life. (That’s the goal)

What if… What if… What if… We’re full of lots of them, even if we don’t think we are. Think about it. How many times do you say this one simple phrase in a day, whether out loud or in your mind? You might be surprised. It only means you’re a dreamer. Think about it.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…