What, it’s July already!

I don’t know about you, but for me time is flying! It seems like just yesterday it was Christmas and now we’re halfway to Christmas again. Guess it’s like my grandmother always said, time flies when you’re having fun.

Today as I sit here working on my latest manuscript I have to say I’m excited. As you know I am working on Chase and my historical romance, but I also have a surprise coming. It’s something totally out of my usual realm so I’m keeping it hush hush for a little longer. Let’s just say you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I hope.

What are you planning for July? Me, well we’re putting hardwood throughout our house starting in the next week. Yep, I said we’re doing it. I’m actually excited because we’re doing this as a family project. Thank goodness it’s a inside project because of the summer heat. I can’t wait to get a hammer in my hand and get to work. Well, I guess I’ll be allowed to hammer, but more than likely I’ll be handing wood to my hubby and son. Sometimes me and tools don’t work out so well.

Do you have some exciting plans for the 4th? I’m lazing away the day at the lake with family and food.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and my website for continued updates on my surprise!

https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt

www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

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Storms…Thunder…Lightning…

Here in Georgia we’re waiting on the storms to roll in. As we need the rain desperately it’s an excited wait. For some though the thought of storms rolling in makes them uneasy and with good reason. For me, I enjoy a good summer storm, not bad mind you, just a little thunder and rain. It cleans the air and rejuvenates the plants.

I told in an earlier post about regrowing my lettuce. Last night my hubby and I planted my six starters. Since we’ve got an 80% chance of rain it’s the best time to plant them. Of course the kid in me went to the french doors that lead to the back patio first thing this morning to see if they’d grown. Yeah, I know I only planted them last night, but it’s exciting.

Several have asked how Chase is coming along. I have to say really well. He’s an interesting character to write about and maybe one of the most versatile in my writing world at the moment. I’ve learned a lot about the rodeo while writing this one. It’s been eventful to say the least. I hope to have a release date in the next week or so.

I’ve been playing with the idea of entering a book in the Mills & Boon RoWriLife contest. The contest will take a self published book that’s already been published, but since they have to be at least 70,000 words, well that means if I’m to enter I’ve got to get busy writing a new manuscript like ASAP! The fun thing is it will be a challenge. The first chapter and synopsis is due mid July and the winners announced in mid August. The winner then has until September 30th to produce a finished manuscript to turn into Mills & Boon. I’m planning on taking that challenge and yes I realize that if by some wild, off the beaten path chance that I get to the top choices, I’ll have to complete a full novel in just under three months. It’s possible and I’ve completed two books in that time that added up to a little more than that so I know I can do it.

If you’re wondering what the book will be about, let’s just say it’s in the outlining stage and has a couple of chapters under it’s belt. This book will step completely out of my normal realm of cowboys and delve into another type of sweet romance. I’m combining several of my loves into this one. The idea for the story came to me months ago and I’ve been lulling it over for a while, but we’ll see how it goes. If I could write it by just looking at the paper and let my mind project it out, well it would be complete. LOL! We’ll see…

What’s your plans for the day? Something fun I hope.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…stormy sky

Downhill slide…

Good morning! It’s a sunny morning here in Georgia. The sun is streaming through the trees and into the windows as I sit here writing. It’s been a productive morning so far. My exercise is completed, my breakfast eaten and 2000 words typed into my manuscript. Yes, Oakley is almost done.

This book has been really fun to work on. I’ve enjoyed writing all of my books, but there’s something about this series that really pulls at me. I think it’s the fact that the whole story of each of the five siblings actually is already in my head. It sounds crazy but it’s true. Of course I do have the filler material to put together and that’s the time consuming part.

Let me introduce you to Oakley, the cowboy, the man. He’s such a old spirit with his old fashioned way of thinking. His heart is filled with compassion and so much kindness. As he goes about trying to understand his brother, Ridge’s decision to hire a woman as a ranch hand, he struggles with other feelings that start up.

Keep watching for updates on Oakley and the release date will be announced possibly this week. Also, with the upcoming release of Oakley, I’m giving away 5 copies of Ridge over at Goodreads. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/137212-ridge

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Christmas Eve excitement…

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I love Christmas and everything that goes with it. This is my favorite time of year. It’s the time of year when families get together and celebrate their love. We remember our past Christmas’s and those that are not with us any longer. But most of all we celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

For me Christmas came a little early. Yesterday I received a call from a local bookstore. All of my books will be available starting in 2015 in that store. And they asked me to do an author signing for my new book that will be released on Valentine’s Day. So exciting. Yes I’m still smiling and giggling like a little girl. I will be letting you know more information as it comes in like dates and times, but for now I can say this is an exciting time.

Did anyone catch the release announcement in the last paragraph? If not, let me say it again. Ridge, the first book in the Five Oaks Ranch Series will be officially released on Valentine’s Day. This book has been a wonderful adventure for me. Since my last couple of books have not been about cowboys, it’s nice to come back to what I really love. I will be releasing excerpts periodically over the next month as the release date officially draws closer. Let’s just say this will be a new era in my writing. I’m stepping a little out of my usual box with this one, but I think my fans will be pleasantly surprised.

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I love this cover and all the covers for the series which have already been designed. The other four books will be announced soon as they’re finished and ready for release. Get to know the Cauthen family as this series unfolds into a series to remember. I think you’ll fall in love with the four brothers and their sister. Each one is different and full of struggles, love, laughter, family and most of all cowboys!

So, as I finish this post I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a family filled night and that Santa visits with a smile. If things go well I’ll be publishing a Christmas Day post. Don’t forget the Reason for the Season…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You on this Christmas Eve…

Seasons Change, Do we?

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Here in Georgia the temps have begun to dip at night making it possible to open our windows at night. I love this time of year for many reasons and not so much for other reasons. The leaves are starting to change and the sun sinks low earlier.

For me Autumn is beautiful and exciting. It means Christmas is right around the corner, YIKES! It’s time to bring out the sweaters. It won’t be long before we start having fires in the fireplace, which gets me all mushy thinking about hot chocolate and really good books. I love to curl up in front of the fire with a good book or better yet with my laptop working on my latest manuscript. Some days when the air is crisp I’ll walk out to the front porch swing with a thick sweater and hot chocolate to write.

Oh and don’t forget the pumpkin spice flavored everything. My coffee in the morning is filled with pumpkin spice creamer and visions of pumpkin spice doughnuts dance in my head. It’s best they stay in my head and not on my hips. Although I have ventured there some already.

But there’s always a down side to the changing of the seasons, my allergies. Yep, I’ve been a little out of sorts for a couple of days and yesterday it hit. Woke up last night to puffy cheeks and intense pressure. Sleep wouldn’t come so I walked into the den and sat reading a great book for a couple of hours. But it happens every year so I’ll medicate myself and drink plenty of warm drinks to help with the stuffy head.

The biggest problem is I want to write, but pounding heads and writing don’t mix, unfortunately. I’ll have to do some heavy writing when this spell is over with, but that’s what we writers do best. We marathon write as deadlines loom over our heads. Sometimes my best writing is when I’m pushed in a corner and time is running out.

But for now I’ll leave you with something to think about. My new series “5 Oaks Ranch” is coming soon. It will start with Ridge, the oldest sibling.

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As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Throwback Thursday Post…

I am revisiting an old post from almost 2 years ago. Wow, it’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging this long. Anyhow, this was one of my more popular posts from my blog over at CreateSpace. If you’re a fan, try to figure out which book I was working on. It was one of my favs. Also do you notice a phrase missing from this post that is always on my posts?

 

Third Cup of Coffee!

Posted by SHurt on Sep 13, 2012 1:29:57 PM

Well, it’s Thursday morning. My son is at school and my hubby has gone to work. My mind in swirling with words to put into my current book. I am so excited about this new one.

I just can’t seem to type fast enough to get the words out of my head. I can see the whole ending and I am chomping at the bit or keys as it would be. I worked last night in between watching “The Voice”. My son kept looking at me like I was crazy. I was actually smiling and chewing my lip as I typed.

Have you ever been so into a manuscript that your every thought was focused on it? I had a new thought yesterday for a new spin that has totally rocked my manuscript. One of my characters is going totally on another direction from the original thought.

It is funny how your mind works when you are into a manuscript. You think you have the right answers, but as you type your mind goes ahead of your fingers and totally changes everything. It is so cool how the process just develops on the scope of the work. I can’t tell you where the idea is going, because that would be a “spoiler”. I can tell you that my editor/assistant read up to what I had finished yesterday and she is now not speaking to me. She said she could not believe that I let her read it to that point and left her hanging over a cliff with no reprieve. I just smiled and knew I had accomplished what I wanted.

I know I have said other books were my favorite, but I can honestly say this one has taken 1st prize in my heart. I have honed my writing skills and took into account different reviews of my other books. I have changed techniques and ways of describing characters and places. Just can’t wait to type the end, but then again it has been such a big part of my life for the past month or so that I will probably have withdrawals. LOL!!!?

Funny thing about the South…

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I just love living in the southern part of the US. When we think it’s going to be icy we close schools. Well, if you guys don’t hear from me tommorow, it’s because I might not have power. We’re expecting freezing rain, snow flurries and then the temp is dropping to a low on Tuesday of 5 and a high of 26. Well when you live in Georgia that pretty much shuts down life as we know it. The stores run out of milk and bread. I’ve never understood that. I always think of snack foods and sodas. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love snow, but ice not so much. That usually means that the power will not stay on long and then we’ll have trees falling and it’s just a mess. I do love snow in big quantities. 

I do hope everyone stays safe during this huge snow event here in the US. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Well, I’m gonna jump!

Have you ever thought about doing something and then you put it to the side for a while? Well, that’s what I’ve been doing regarding entering Harlequins So You Think You Can Write contest. I thought about it last year, but I wanted to wait another year to work on my writing. I just didn’t think what I had ready was good enough. To tell the truth, as a writer, sometimes we’re our worst critics. 

The funny thing is the story I had almost entered into it last year went past round one of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest which was excited for someone like me that does this as a hobby for the time being. I think I squealed for a week. I was excited ok. 

Well, here we go again. I started this book a couple of months ago and it’s only about 1/3 of the way completed. It was a sudden inspiration but for some reason another story, “Victoria” which officially comes out September 30th, took over. But it nudged it’s way back into my brain in a very pushy way. Stories can do that. If you’re not a writer, you may be saying, that wouldn’t happen, well, it can and does. Those characters can be real bullies and it can get a little scary how well they weave their way into everything you do. You find yourself washing dishes and plotting the next scene, working on depreciation schedules with the characters dancing on the paper, and then you dream about them. If I could record my dreams as they happen this story would be completed.

So, I’m going to jump into this contest with both feet. I had a dedicated fan tell me the other day that I needed to enter some contests. She said I could win, but I had to enter first. It was very humbling to say the least. I told her as we corresponded via email that I didn’t have any piece of work near enough completion, but she quickly informed me that I had time to finish this one. I had mentioned this one in an earlier blog post and she said it had the potential. I tentively sent her a little of the first chapter and she completely blew my email up with the response, “You’ve got to enter this one”. 

I will be hitting yes and confirm today on the contest. I know, that gives me less than a month to finish the story that is complete in my mind already. So wish me luck and go by the website to read my first chapter. Not sure how long it takes to post it but it will be there in the next couple of days. Here’s the link http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Writing for fun or money…

How do you see your writing? Is it a hobby or career? I’ve talked to several writer’s lately that say they write for fun, but they do enjoy the royalty payments. Most writers work a full time job and fit their writing in where ever they can.

I love my writing. It’s so soothing and spirit lifting. I do work a full time job. Actually I own a Accounting business so I stay pretty busy, along with being a Children’s Minister and parent. My writing carries me to another world. It’s in my writing that I can get lost and leave the worries and stress behind.

I have to admit that it’s fun when the sales reports update on the various sites where my books are. And I would be crazy if I didn’t say I’d love to get a huge publishing contract. But I’d be happy to see some nice sales reports. I’ve been really happy so far with my sales. My writing takes the forefront in this scheme of things. It’s the passion that spurs me on. 

As we discuss sales, I’ve been telling you about the audio books. It’s been so fun going through the auditions. If any of you do voice overs for audio books, send me an audition. I’m trying to get those published this week if possible. I’ve got to make a decision. It’s funny how you know what you want it to sound like.

Don’t let slow sales or the need for more to conquer your passion for writing. Keep putting pen to paper or fingers to keys. If you let your dreams die, it will affect you in a bad way.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

What does you character sound like?

You may be saying, what is she babbling about now 🙂 It’s simple really. What voice would you put with your main character if you had the chance? Well, I had to figure that out this week and let me tell you, it was a blast!

What I’m talking about is audio books. An author recently mentioned I ought to try it out, so I did. I went to ACX.com and set up an account. It’s really easy and may I say extremely fun and exasperating too.

After you give them your general information, then the fun starts. You have to put your book information in and an excerpt that you want someone to read for an audition. Yep, you heard me right, an audition. You actually have people sending you auditions on the account. But the fun starts when you have to put in the settings you want. Here are just a few of the things asked.

1. Style of voice: This was a huge list of things like soft, loud, funny, sad, gruff, gravelly, and the list goes on. 

2. Gender: Male or female. This part was easy for me.

3. Region of Voice: In the site it has a different name but you get the idea. These included Southern, Northern American, Irish, English, Oriental, Cajun and the list goes on. This one was hard.

After you pick these out you need to tell the producer a little about the way you want it expressed. Then you put why you picked this excerpt.

Then the fun part begins. You can listen to the different styles of voice in the next screen. This is where you can change your choices which is a good thing. This was hilarious. I had to change most of the settings I’d picked. My editor would just looked at me and shake her head laughing. 

The strange part is I’ve always known what my character would sound like if she could talk. I listened to a couple of people that had general auditions and found a voice I liked. Then I’ve started receiving auditions. This is going to be hard. I’ve received some that really sound right. A couple sounded like they were in pain, so no. But it was so invigorating to hear my book being spoken by someone other than myself. 

So if you want to hear your book, go to ACX.com and try it out. They take royalty percentage or pay per hour. I went with royalty percentage. It’s a no brainer really. They distribute the finished audio book to Amazon, Itunes and a couple of other places. 

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You.