Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Proud mama!

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It’s Graduation Day! As I sit here, sipping my coffee, I can’t believe that I have a son ready to graduate from high school. Where have the years gone? The memories flood in and the tears slowly roll down my cheek, but I’m so happy for him. He’s about to embark on a whole new chapter in his life. It’s scary for all of us, but I know he’s got what it takes to be all he wants to be.

So, to all of those graduating today, good luck and May God Bless all of your endeavors!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Inside a Series…

Series Article

Good morning! As you can tell from the picture above, I’m talking about Five Oaks Ranch, my bestselling series.

Have you written a series? If so, did you have a hard time keeping the stories straight? This series was a work in progress that kept me on my toes. The idea for the series came as we drove back from our Florida vacation a couple of years ago. The road signs were passing by and each one seemed to spur an idea. So, by the time I got home, I had a skeleton map drawn on my notepad. Since I get car sick easily, it was a horrible looking thing, but I had it in my head and heart.

Over the next couple of days, I put together the book names, the character sketches for the five main characters and ideas for how their stories would go together. This series was the most fun as they almost wrote themselves. Each book fed off the other and it was as though I wrote one long manuscript and cut it into five books. I know, there were six, but the Christmas book only came into my head toward the end of Luke.

Several people started writing to me that they wanted to know more about the parents. At first, I was like, but this is the story about the five children, hence the series name, Five Oaks Ranch. Then as I sat thinking about it, I came up with the idea for the Christmas story that would bring it all together. So, A Christmas to Remember was born. By the way, at the end of the Christmas book, I’ve put several of my own family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

The family tree is introduced in the Christmas book. You’ll notice that some of the kids haven’t been born in any of the books, but I wanted to let my readers know that the characters went on to lead love-filled lives together.

So, have you started the Five Oaks Ranch series yet? Ridge is free! This book stayed in the top 100 of free books on Amazon for over a year, which made me giggle with excitement everytime I looked at the stats. And you’ll notice a pretty, shiny silver medallion on the cover of Ridge. He was honored with a five-star review from Reader’s Favorites! Here’s the link to the whole series if you’re in the market for a new series to read, but here’s a warning, you’ll fall in love with the Cauthen’s.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Happy New Year!

Ok, so how many of you have made a New Year’s resolution? I’ve made a couple of the normal ones, better health, lose weight, better organization. We’ll see how that goes. Also, I’ve made a couple of writing resolutions. I have a list of books and release dates that I plan to keep to the date.

Tonight I’ll celebrate the New Year with my Church family. We always have finger foods around 9, then music until close to midnight. Then we’ll all join around the altar, holding hands and praying in the new year. It’s such a special way to bring in each new year.

How do you celebrate? What are your resolutions? Hope I bring more romance to the world, one book at a time 😉

Happy New Year to all my friends and family! Wish all of you a prosperous and healthy new year!

As always, great writing and May God Bless You… See you next year…


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A Christmas to Remember…

A Christmas To Remember Front

Well, with a happy heart, I release A Christmas to Remember today! It’s been a crazy year, writing 6 books to complete the series. Funny thing is, it was originally only 5, but the characters pushed for this last, sweet book of memories, recipes and little surprises. This book brought me to happy tears and it’s straight from my heart to yours. So I hope you enjoy it!

I’ll be offering bundles soon of the whole Five Oaks Ranch series books! Thanks to the fans of the Five Oaks Ranch for believing in the story and characters. The comments I’ve received have been so sweet and make me smile. Ridge was even honored with a nice gold 5-star review from Readers Favorite! His cover wears the honor proudly!

As we begin to say goodbye to 2015, I’m planning the release dates for 2016 books. I have several in the outline stage ready to come alive. A  couple are already in the works, so keep watching out for upcoming releases.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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Picking the tree…

My son took me to the local Christmas tree farm Thursday. It was cold, but we had a long walk to the tall trees. We actually had an amazing time, laughing as we went from tree to tree, trying to find the perfect Hurt family tree.

As we walked among the trees, looking at aspects of the trees, it reminded me of editing a book. When we look at our manuscript, it’s with anxious eyes. We search for the holes in the story, like the holes in the tree that ornaments and lights can’t hide.

Then, of course, we look for the best branches to hold our ornaments. Same way with editing our story. We have to make sure that it’s a strong story and doesn’t fall off the edge of interesting. That’s a hard one, because we’re close to the story and love it. My editor assistant always finds these easily.

Oh, and don’t forget the straight stump! If you get home with a curved stump, well, it’s a disaster. If your manuscript doesn’t get the story straight, if it curves away from the story line, you’ll lose the reader.

So, today I’ll finish decorating my tree and yes, I’ll post many pictures. This is my favorite time of year, so my house looks like it threw up Christmas (my son’s words, not mine). I love my Santas, Snowmen, Angels, and Christmas village. So, I deck the halls!

As always, Great writing and May God Bless You…

Happy Saturday!

 


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Writing a complex character: for me it’s Luke

Luke front cover

All characters have their complexities, but with Luke Cauthen, well, let’s just say he runs the race, leading by a head or two, maybe three. His story has been pulling at me since the start of this series over a year ago. I wanted him to be the youngest of the Cauthen men. He needs to have some influence from his older brothers, but also he’ll need their support.

With Luke, let’s see, how do I explain this man? He’s what some call a womanizer, but once you get to know him, you’ll figure that one out for yourself. One of his character flaws, well maybe not a flaw, but something that gets him into trouble with the ladies is he’d running from love as fast as he can. When a girl gets too close, she’s gone like an old shoe, out the door. Or is he running to love, but has to get the obstacles out of the way? Food for thought?

Another characterization of him is loyal. With the above comments you’re probably saying, what? Luke is loyal to the ranch. He’s never wanted to do anything but work on the ranch. That also gets him into trouble as he’s a hot head and when things don’t go the way he thinks is best for the ranch, well he goes over the edge. Usually ending up in a quarrel with one of the other three head strong Cauthen brothers.

But Luke can be tamed, and in this book you’ll get to know the woman a lot better. She’ll have him hogtied and over his saddle before he can blink an eye.

So, if you haven’t read any of this series, then I suggest you get to it. All of them are sweet stories of love, romance and family. Each of them has a character flow, but there’s always someone that can heal the wounds that flaw creates.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The day after Christmas and all was…

It’s the day after Christmas and all is calm. The hubby and son have headed to the lake to fish out the day. I’m sitting watching Hallmark Christmas Romances and sipping coffee. It’s peaceful and serene as I sit here with a crackling fire and the Christmas tree twinkling beside me. I know the tree has to come down, but it’s always sad to see it. I love Christmas, but I do love the moments after everything is put back right and things are back to normal.

But for the Accountant in me, this is the calm before the storm. When I head back to the office after the first of the year it will be crazy as year ends are calculated, paperwork is sorted, tax files are put together, W-2’s are printed and the list goes on, but I love the rush and craziness. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

The writer in me is hard at work with a deadline coming up really soon. I plan on writing away my days off which is fine with me. As I fill out the story of Ridge Cauthen I have to smile. He’s such a hard man with a soft core, but he struggles with nightmares and the memories of everything he’s seen in the last seven years. Always the toughest of the siblings, he’s turned hard edged and even harder to get close to. For me he’s put a challenge in front of me and I’m enjoying it. Most of my main characters are loving and a little softer hearted, but Ridge totally blows that away.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and also hope you were able to take some time for yourself.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…