Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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New releases and yellow butterflies…

Front Cover

It’s Monday morning people! Were you ready for it, because I definitely wasn’t. Of course, I couldn’t sleep last night so I was up reading for two hours. That makes for a sluggish morning, but I have a word count to meet, so I’ll pour on the extra coffee.

I finished Sowing the Right Seed yesterday. It’s the last book in the “Lean on Him” Christian romance series. This one has been in the works for a while, but I put it to the side for a couple of months. Sometimes as writers, a story comes in quickly, then something happens and it leaves just as quickly. I had this one in my mind, but the middle left me. Actually, I’m glad that I stepped back from it because the story came out better than I’d hoped when it first came to me. It will be released in a couple of weeks.

Here in Georgia the weather has been hot, humid and miserable, but something happened this past weekend that gave me hope. I saw yellow butterflies in my front yard. Anyone know that that means? Well, it means that cooler weather is headed our way and Fall is right around the corner. I always love seeing them come through. It’s fun to watch as they go from one side of the yard to the other, always, well mostly always in the same directions. What signs do you watch for when waiting on Fall to come in?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Sunday Morning Reflections…

Zee Monodee

Yeah, I wish I was sitting here right now, but I’m not. Here in Georgia, it’s really hot and humid, which means you go outside for just a few minutes and you feel sticky. So, I choose to stay in as much as possible.

SO, on to today’s post. I’m working on the last book in my ‘Lean on Him’ series and it’s hard. As a writer, I become comfortable with my characters and my series. Although most of this series doesn’t contain the same characters, but it does contain the same message about Faith and how it can heal you. This one is like a soul searching piece of work and sometimes when we dig too deep, it reveals something about us.

Have you ever written a manuscript and it made you think, really think? I love when a manuscript touches your heart. That means it will touch the reader and that makes me smile.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday and stay cool.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

 

 


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When writing Historical Romance…

Have you written historical romance yet or a historical thriller even? To me, writing historical romance is more difficult than contemporary. Why? Well, let me explain.

As I was working on ‘Lily’ yesterday, I got to a part where they were stepping off the train in a new town. That sounds simple, but then I thought about the towns description. Now this part is based in the late 1890’s, so what was around in that time period? Were there still wagons around, had the car been invented (no, I couldn’t remember when the car was invented), or did some towns have electricity then?

The funny thing was, in one part, and yes, it’s still a clean, Christian historical romance, but as the couple walked down the sidewalk they come across a ‘brothel’ and since my main character ‘Lily’ is from a small, Georgia town, she asked about what it was. So, I looked up words for a brothel from that time period, gee I hope nobody looks at my Google searches! Needless to say, the thesaurus was my friend, yet again.

There’s so much to writing historical literature that many don’t think about. Your character can’t simply walk into a room and flip the light switch. Yeah, I had my character walk into a dark room, then realized she needed to light her lantern, so I went back and wrote that in. I had a giggle about that one. Poor thing, I left her in the dark for 5 whole paragraphs before I realized my mistake.

Since I’m writing four historical romances this year, all from different time periods, Google will be my best friend. It’s a good thing that history was my favorite subject in school, but of course, that was …. many years ago, we won’t go into the number of years. As my son puts it, I am part of history, meaning old history. LOL!

So, have you tried writing historical romances? Did you have a hard time keeping it historical, without including more contemporary elements?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, Lily is now up for preorder!

 


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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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Stepping back …

Good Sunday morning! Here in Georgia it’s chilly but sunny. It will be a beautiful day.  For me, I’m sitting by the fire, enjoying the early morning quiet.

This morning’s post is about the rough draft. I’ve had the rough draft completed and turned into my editor for a week. I haven’t looked at the rough draft since I handed it over. But it has work to be done. I want to embellish on the story, add several elements to help bring his story alive, but I had to step back.

What do I mean by step back? Well, it’s simple. During the writing process sometimes we get too close to a project, then get burnt out. For some reason, the story started slipping away. I still had the bare bones, but the flesh and all the other things that make it a whole story seemed to go out of my brain. I had to step away from it.

Now, I think I’m almost ready to step back into the story. Of course, I’m in the middle of Maggie’s story, but it helps to get into another story to get the one that slipped away back into your brain. It’s still a little foggy, but I think I’ll do fine.

Have you ever had to step back in order to get the story going?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Top ten reasons I love being a Georgia girl!

sunrise

If you haven’t figured it out yet by my posts I’m a Georgia girl. Since you can’t hear me talk on here, you’d have to figure it out by my way of expressing myself. I have a definite southern tone that humors my clients not from the south. They call sometimes just to hear me talk which is hilarious. This is just the way I talk, nothing special.

Well, if you’ve never been to Georgia, let me enlighten you on the great things about my home state.

  1. We may have high humidity, but you can’t beat the weather in Georgia. You can wear shorts up until October most years and the winters can be mild. Don’t get me wrong, it can get down right cold here too and not to mention really hot in the summer, but it’s Georgia.
  2. The terrain varies from Mountains, plains, beaches, and even swamps. We’ve got it all! If you want it we’ll show it to you with southern flare and manners, well mostly 😉
  3. Oh yeah, did you know that Georgia is becoming a second Hollywood. Because of our vast terrains and many attributes, the film industry is seeking our state out. Some of my favorites were filmed here. Just to name a few: Vampire Diaries, In the Heat of the Night, Smokey and the Bandit, Dukes of Hazzard, My Cousin Vinny, Sweet Home Alabama, Forest Gump, Madea of any kind, and so many more it’s crazy. You can’t throw a stone here without hitting someone famous, which is really cool. So many things have been filmed within a few miles of my home. It’s crazy how fast we became a studio state.
  4. Savannah – if you’ve read any of my books, then you’ve heard that city mentioned. It’s one of my favorites. Since I’m a history lover, why not? Savannah is rich with history and you feel it as soon as you step on the soil of the beautiful old city.
  5. Peaches – If you haven’t had a good sweet juicy Georgia peach then you’ve missed out. There’s nothing like biting into a peach and the juice just runs down your face. Some Georgians eat it with the peeling on, but not me.
  6. Southern hospitality – It’s not completely dead. Most of us still like to make strangers feel right at home with our southern charm.
  7. Sweet Tea – ahhhh yes, who can forget our sweet tea. Yes, the sweeter the better. Even on my diet I keep the sweet tea handy. Try it, you’ll love it.
  8. Let’s talk country music for a minute. Luke Bryan for instance, oh did I mention he’s a Georgia boy. Not to leave out Jason Aldean, Doug Stone, John Berry (Met him at our Church during his concert, awesome man), Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, the list could go on.
  9. My favorite movie was about Georgia and written by a Georgia woman – Gone With The Wind. The love story pulls me in every time. There’s something about a forbidden love that just makes for a good movie.
  10. Last but not least, it’s my home. I’m proud to say I’m a Georgia girl. The moment I come back from a trip, the sign that says, Welcome to Georgia, always makes me smile. I’m home!

So, do you want to experience Georgia? If you get a chance come by and visit our state. You might see a star, famous singer or just grab a glass of sweet tea and slice of peach pie.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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


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Monday and the rain begins…

As we slowly transition into Spring the rain starts. Here in Georgia we’re looking at rain until Sunday. Of course it’s better than ice, but it’ll make a long, dreary week. In the back of my mind I wonder in the threat of cold weather is gone or if this is just a tease. At least we had a gorgeous weekend which helps with this dreary Monday.

The clocks moved forward this weekend and hopefully you changed yours, if not you might be late for work, just sayin’. It always throws my body into a crazy frenzy when the time changes. I feel tired and sleepy, but am trying to meet my word count goals this morning. For those that have been asking what I’m working on, well it’s Oakley. This book is really fun to write. It’s been humming along nicely. I’ve received so many nice emails and calls about fans enjoying Ridge and I know you’ll enjoy Oakley. This series is beginning to become one of my favorites. I’ll be releasing some snippets before the release date is revealed.

Now, back to the lousy weather this Monday morning. How does the weather affect your writing? Do you write better when it’s snowing and cold, wet and miserable or sunny and delightful? As for me it’s a toss up. I love to sit by the fire when it’s cold and write, but on sunny, warm days it’s nice to sit outside and write. But I do have to say that sometimes the rain puts me in a blah mood, but sometimes it gives me the right mood to write.

Hope everyone has a great Monday and don’t forget to scoot over to my website to see what the March Madness Sale for the day is… stephaniehurtauthor.com.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Gone With The Wind – 75 years old today!

Good Monday morning to all! It’s a beautiful chilly morning here in Georgia. Of course I feel like I’m coming down with my son’s cold. Oh well, tis the Season to have a cold! But I do have exciting news, Gone With The Wind is 75 years old today. If you’ve followed me very long you know this is my favorite movie.

I have posters, snow globes, figurines, newspaper articles, puzzles, pictures, music boxes, etc. of anything GWTW. Shall I go on? I have the book, the 2nd installment not by Margaret Mitchell, but still good and even the book The Road To Tara. And last but not least I have the official 50th anniversary VHS of the movie with extras. I did splurge last year and purchase the DVD. Would you say I like anything GWTW? Well yeah.

I you’re not familiar with the movie then all I can say is “REALLY?” It’s a well written book that was made into a stellar movie. With so many talented actors and actresses it was immediately a smash. Even though it was written about Georgia, it was filmed in California. But when the movie premiered happened it brought all the stars here to Atlanta which was great for publicity.

Of course I have many beloved movies and books, I still go back to this one on rainy days or cold ones for that fact… I just adore Clark Gable. He’s such a charismatic actor and with his looks he played the devilish Rhett Butler with spunk. Then you have Vivian Leigh as Scarlett. Hard to believe she wasn’t a southern lady. But who can forget Hattie McDaniel as Mammy for which she won an Academy Award.  I just loved her and her spunky attitude as she told Scarlett exactly how she felt. I just love when she leans out the window to yell at Scarlett, makes me laugh every time. Scarlett needed Mammy’s stern hand and love.

If you haven’t seen it or read the book, Christmas time is a great time to sit down and catch up.

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You…


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Upcoming releases and other talk…

Good Tuesday morning everyone. I hope your week is great so far. The weather here in Georgia has gone up slightly, but looking forward to a cooler trend this weekend. I love Halloween and you definitely need it to be cool for the costumes. We have Trunk or Treat at our Church and it’s always a blast. We serve hot dogs and hot chocolate along with all the candy the kids can fit in their bags. I can hardly wait.

As for upcoming releases, my author friend V. Steele has a new release this Friday. V is from right here in Georgia and she loves a good romance. Her My Prodigy Trilogy is coming to a close this Friday with the release of Nadia’s Revenge. Since she uses my publishing service, Horseshoe Publishing, to create her covers and do edits, I was able to read it before the release. Since I do enjoy vampire romances, I enjoyed this one. But let me warn you, the this book has some violent elements, but in the end it’s really good.

V effectively ends the series. I look forward to some of the new things she has coming out. We have many things in common, the main thing being we both love a good romance. Since she’s a Georgia girl too, well it just makes it all the better. The book is on Pre order at Amazon until Friday and then it will be up for sale. So check it out!

Front CoverNadia

For the second release, I’m pleased to announce that the article I was asked to write for Southern Writer’s Magazine will be out soon. I approved the final draft yesterday and am really excited about it. If you don’t already subscribe to Southern Writer’s Magazine, then I suggest you check them out. They offer so much for authors and work closely with you. Also they support authors at every turn. I’m proud to be a subscriber of their magazine.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…