Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Friday Writing…

It’s finally Friday! I hope all of you have a fabulous weekend planned. As for me, it’s tax time, so I’ll be elbow deep in tax returns, but I do plan to put in some much needed, stress relieving writing…

Here’s a little snippet of Promises Made, the historical romance that made the honorable place as my 30th book published…

The music started just as everyone was finishing their food. Hank pulled Joy’s chair out and stood with her as they watched several people move onto the makeshift dance floor.

“Come on papa, let’s have a dance.” Joy said, her eyes lit with excitement. Every year, her and papa always shared the first dance, it was tradition.

“I’ll grab the next one, but Nash here, maybe he’d take you for the first dance.” Hank said, grinning down at his shocked daughter.

Joy stammered, trying to catch her voice. “I’m sure Mr. Collins has better things to do than dance with me.” Joy said, humiliated that her papa had offered her to a stranger.

“I’ll dance with you.” Nash said as he took her hand, leading her toward the floor. His facial expression never changed. It was almost as though he regretted agreeing to this dance.

Joy just knew she’d faint from lack of oxygen. What was happening? Her papa always danced the first dance with her. She looked up at the back of Mr. Collins head as he led her toward the other dancers. Why would he want to dance with her? If she went by his demeanor, he didn’t want to dance at all.

Nash stopped and turned to face Joy. “Ma’am.” He grasped her hand and pulled her into a loose embrace. Nash made sure that there was at least two inches between them so no tongues began to wag. All he needed was more gossip about him. Since his mother had been a full-blooded Cherokee, people in this town thought he was nothing but trouble. His two brothers had it easier since they were born to another mother.

As they moved around the dance floor Nash avoided her eyes. Joy wondered what he was thinking about. He kept his gaze on a spot beyond her right shoulder. Of course, this man was a lot older than her, so he was probably just being nice to her papa. But, Joy’s mind went to the fact that her papa had invited Nash’s family to sit with them during the meal. Her papa had never mentioned the Collins family at home. Maybe he and Nash’s dad had been friends, but why wouldn’t she know about it. Another weird thing was that her father usually sat with his friends, so why suddenly was he interested in the Collins family.

When the song came to an end, a gentleman tapped Nash’s shoulder, asking to step in. Nash let her hand drop as he stepped back, allowing the man to dance with her. Joy watched as he walked to the sidelines and watched them move around the dance floor. It was odd the way his eyes moved with them, almost in a protective stance.

I do hope you enjoyed this short little piece of the moment that Nash and Joy first danced. This was such a special, sweet story and I fell in love with the characters, flaws and all.

Have a great weekend!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Monday Morning Coffee…

Good morning! Did the weekend go way too fast for anyone else? It was as though I blinked and it was over. As I sat last night, trying to get it into my head that it was over, I realized that I need to slow down and take each moment and handle with care.

I’m on my second cup of coffee, seeing another one in my near future. Also, needing to write before I go to my office, but trying to get out of the Monday morning fog with caffeine and social media.

This weekend I wrote over 8000 words between Saturday and Sunday, which is impressive for a working weekend. I had to work in my accounting office Saturday and had Church yesterday, but managed to beat my weekend goal.

I’ve been working on my newest series, ‘Sky Ridge’. It’s been coming into my brain faster than my fingers can type, which is a great thing. Since it’s been flowing well, I’ve pushed it ahead of another work in progress so as not to lose focus. Here’s a little tidbit of some of the writing from yesterday:

“Joy, I know this is all new to you, but I want you to know that I’ll keep you safe and never hurt you.” He reached out and found her hand, linking their fingers. “I promise you that as long as there is breath in my body, you’ll never fear anything, especially me.”
Joy turned her head to see him looking at her. “Thank you, Nash.” For the first time since she’d found out they were to be wed, her heart skipped a beat. Why she didn’t know.
Nash closed his eyes, knowing he’d made the right decision. One day they’d share more than holding hands, but he was satisfied with just being near her. As he lay there, he could tell she was holding her breath, which made him grin. “Joy, just breathe.”
She took a deep breath, sighing a little. “Nash, can I ask you something?”
“Yes.”
“How do you like your eggs?”
Nash laughed, the sound rumbling in the quiet room. “How do I like my eggs? You’re asking me at this moment, how I like my eggs.”
Joy knew she was blushing to the roots of her hair. “I just want to do things right. So, I was thinking about breakfast.”
Nash rolled to his side to look at her. Moonlight streamed in, setting her face in a mystic glow. “Joy, please relax. I made a promise to you that we’d take things slow. So, just relax and go to sleep.”
“OK.” Joy rolled to face away from Nash, which helped to calm her more. For some reason, his nearness bothered her more than she’d imagined.

This is, of course, an unedited excerpt, but it’s a special moment between Nash and Joy. I know you’ll love their story as it moves along the three book series.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

coming-soon-ad


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Monday morning… Really!

It’s back to work I go this morning after my short time off. The time was too short, but I did manage to finally get all the wallpaper off my bathroom walls, then paint it. I’ll post pictures once I get the decorations in place.

I’m still working on my surprise that will be announced one day this week. Also, my newest manuscript in the works is “The First Mate’s Lady”. It’s the companion book to “Safe in the Pirate’s Arms”. So many of my wonderful fans wanted to know more about Tom Breckin, so his story is coming. As I write it, I have to lose myself in the time of the pirate. I have to think salty air, tar covered decks and the sound of waves crashing against the ship. Crazy the things I remember from reading so many books about Pirates.

So, here’s a little snippet from “The First Mate’s Lady”:

     His gaze moved across the dance floor, meeting the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. Stopping in his tracks, he watched the woman in a gold and silver mask. For a long moment, Tom forgot how to breathe.
     Before he knew what was happening, he was walking toward her. Reaching out, he took her hand and led her to the dance floor. As he bowed to her, she dipped down, smiling beneath the mask. Her eyes never left his as they danced, both pulled into the moment. The music drifted into another song, neither noticing. When he tightened his embrace, she pushed out of his arms, almost running from the room.
     Tom raced after her, finding her at the garden wall. She didn’t look his way as he touched her shoulder. “Sweet lady, I know you felt the same draw I did. Please look at me with those blue eyes that make a man lose his senses.”
     Kaly turned, but when her eyes looked up into his, they were filled with sadness. “Sir, I felt nothing and if I did, I wouldn’t dare say so, for fear that it would give you the wrong idea. Please forgive me, but I must leave.”
     “Can I please know you’re name, for your beauty mesmerizes me.” Tom reached out to lift her hand to his lips.
     “As this is a masquerade ball, I prefer to stay a mystery to you.” Kaly looked up into his searching eyes, causing her heart to flutter wildly in her chest. She knew who this man was. Kaly had watched him from the docks earlier. He was the most handsome man she’d ever seen, but she could never be anything more than she was to him now, a mystery.
     “Please, my lady, remove your mask so that I may look upon your full beauty.” Tom reached up, removing his mask. “I need to see your face.”
      Kaly smiled, then she reached up to caress his handsome cheek. Then pushing up on her toes, she touched her lips to his, feeling his surprised smile caress hers. Tom pulled her against him, deepening the kiss. Kaly felt sad, knowing this would be the only kiss they’d ever share, for she would disappear afterwards.
     Tom pulled back, looking down at her blues eyes, the moon dancing in the tears that filled them. He reached out to wipe away the tear that escaped. “What could put such sad tears in such beautiful eyes?”
         “This you shall not know, but know that you’ve made me happy, for just this moment, but I must leave you.” Kaly pulled out of his arms, turning to go.
“Don’t go,” Tom said as he pulled her back, close to him.
     “Sir, you don’t know the reasons I must leave you, but know this, if I ever set eyes on you again, I shall never leave you.” Kaly knew she’d never see him again, but she enjoyed the hope in his eyes. It made her feel like maybe he would help her.
     “A promise I hope you’ll keep, for I’ll search for you in all my endeavors.” Tom saw the desperation in her eyes, so he released her arm, letting her slip into the shadows beyond the garden. For a long while, he watched the darkness, hoping she’d return, but knowing she wouldn’t. That lady, beautiful and enchanting as she was, had something to run from, but what? 

Did I say, Tom’s a charmer and Kaly is on the run? I love my cowboys, all of you know that, but I also love my Pirate’s! So, “The First Mate’s Lady” is coming out June 5th. Stay tuned for more excerpts and some possible giveaways.

first mates lady Front Cover

It’s good to be back!

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…

 

 


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Monday Morning’s Second Cup

If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s Monday morning. Yes, I know, don’t remind you.

Yesterday I went over one of my manuscripts in process. It’s the 2nd book in the “Lean On Him” Christian Romance series. The name is “Faith Through The Tears” and tears are the main point. I’ve been working on another manuscript and decided to get back to this one. I read over the manuscript to get my mindset on it and was blown away at the emotions.

As I read the opening 1st chapter tears streamed down my cheeks. I couldn’t help but get emotional. I don’t know whether it stems from the emotional week I’ve had or what, but it affected me. Yes it’s a romance, not a dramatic thriller, but the first chapter is to draw you into the story. I will attach some of the first chapter below for your opinion. It’s funny but I have this whole book in my mind already. It’s just the emotional strain that’s made me walk away a couple of times.

Why does a fictional story evoke so much emotion? As a writer its like I know these people and what happens to them affects me. I feel like I’ve experienced the losses they have and the happiness they have. Maybe that’s a sign of good emotional writing, I don’t know, but I do know I’m keeping the tissues close as this one unfolds.

So, here’s a excerpt from “Faith Through The Tears” :

As he watched her lying in the hospital bed, tears streamed down his face. It was so hard watching her like this. They knew this moment was coming, but it’d happened so quickly. The doctor confirmed that she was out of remission only a month ago. He told them it didn’t look good for another round of chemo. They prayed on it and decided not to even try any more treatments.

He held her hand and watched for any sign that she might be in pain. She was a real trooper. Luke and Amanda brought the girls by and Rachel held up the strong act. They tried to hide the extent of her illness from the kids. The girls were so strong. Audrey was five and Shelby six. Audrey’s lip began to quiver a little as she looked at her mommy lying so pale on the bed. Shelby was quiet as she kept her eyes on the floor. When she did look at Rachel it was plain that she was holding back tears. They were too small to lose their mother. He was too young to lose the love of his life.

The nurse came in and checked her IV bag. She looked at Randy and gave him a smile that said how sorry she was.  “Can I get you anything?” There was so much compassion in her eyes and the tone of her voice. She knew the same thing he knew. The time was near.

“Thank you, but I’m alright. I don’t think I could keep food down anyway.” He tried to smile, but it came off wobbly and moist from his tears. How could he even try to eat when his stomach was clenched in misery?

“If you need anything just buzz the nurse’s station. You’ll make yourself sick by not eating. You need to keep up your strength.” She gave him a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder and walked out. All the nurses knew him since he was on the police force. This was a small town and most of them went to their Church.

Their pastor and his wife had been wonderful. They took turns with Luke and Amanda watching the girls. The Church had even done a prayer vigil two days ago. He knew that God would do His will. He knew that Rachel was a good woman and had given her soul to the Lord a long time ago. She wasn’t afraid to die. They’d discussed and prayed about it on many occasions. The only fear she had was for him and the girls. Her eyes filled with tears just talking about the girls growing up.

Well, this was the unedited excerpt, hope you like it. Let me know your thoughts.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…