Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Reading in bed…

Literature Onboard

It’s finally Friday folks! I can tell you this, thank goodness it’s Friday, but of course, I’ll be working all weekend. At least, it’s a more laid back work situation on the weekend.

How many of you grew up reading in bed? For me, when I was younger, I’d sit in bed and read every night. After my parents told me to turn out the light, I’d pull the covers over my head, with my trusty flashlight, then continue the story that had me spellbound.

I read many different genres back then. Some weeks I’d be hooked on suspense-filled mysteries. Yes, I was a Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew kind of girl. I’d devour them with such a thirst that soon I would be rereading until I could get to the store. It wasn’t like today, I couldn’t just scan and buy on Kindle.

Of course, as I grew older, my nightly reading turned to paranormal, fantasy type books. I’d read books about witches and ghosts. Then I moved to romance, which changed my young life. I would get lost in the romance of the story, the faraway places that the book took me to, it was great.

Everyone gave me books for Christmas, Birthdays, every occasion. I carried a book with me all the time, reading at lunch during school, on the bus, just about everywhere I could. I still have many of the books from my teen years, especially the ones that pulled me in. But they’re yellowing, packed in boxes, ready to be visited again. Often I pull out some of my favorites and read them again, enjoying the thrill of the story and remembering the first time I read it. My collection of Harlequin romances is extensive to say the least.

I still read at night, usually sitting in a warm bath, trying to lose myself for a little while. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I’ll go to the den and curl up in a blanket, then get lost in another story.

The cool thing about my love for books, it fueled the fire to write. I’ve penned books since I was a young teenager and all of this came from reading in my bed at night, usually with a flashlight as the rest of the house slept. Who needed sleep when the heroine was falling in love with the knight in shining armor and needed rescuing?

So, did you read in bed, or maybe you still do…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

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Wrap up a Pirate for someone…

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Good morning all! It’s Tuesday and it’s cold here in Georgia. As I snuggle under my throw with my coffee at my side and the fire crackling I have to smile. It’s cozy and warm with Christmas cheer in my den. I love this time of year. The Christmas tree is twinkling beside me as though it’s saying Merry Christmas Stephanie!

As for presents, are you finished with your shopping? Me, well, almost, but I still have a couple of things to pick up. If you need a stocking filler or a gift for a reader, why not check out Safe in the Pirate’s Arms. It’s an adventurous love story with suspense, romance and pirates. Several readers have commented that they felt like they were on board the ship as I described every detail. I want my readers to experience the book, not just read them.

Here’s a little tidbit and then some links to buy:

Lightning streaked across the clouds just ahead of them. Caleb widened his stance and prepared for the battle with the storm. He’d been through worse.

The first drops of rain caused the men to move faster. All of the cargo had to be tied down. Serena helped by handing out coiled rope to the men. She never thought about the rain causing her clothing to cling to her body.

Caleb looked down to check the progress of the men when he noticed the boys clothing was wet. Then he did a double take. That wasn’t a boy at all, but a woman. A chill ran down his spine as he realized they had a major problem. Tom saw Caleb’s expression and followed his gaze. He swore when he saw what Caleb did. Caleb motioned for him to take the wheel.

He quickly made his way to where the woman stood handing out rope. Luckily the men were so busy that they didn’t notice. He spun her around and their eyes collided. “You need to get to your quarters.” When she just stood there he looked down at her soaked clothing. “Now!” He barked.

She looked down and saw the problem. It only took her moments to cover herself and run to her cabin. Caleb was on her heels. The look in his eyes was murderous and she knew it wasn’t going to be good.

As she opened the door and turned to shut it, he stopped it with his hand and followed her in. Then he slammed the door, leaving them alone in the small cabin. He made the cabin seem even smaller.

“What in the world were thinking? A woman on a ship with a bunch of men is dangerous and foolish.” He ran his fingers through his wet hair in exasperation.

“I was desperate.” She said in a small feminine voice.

His head snapped up in recognition. Reaching out he snatched the hat off her head causing her dark hair to tumble down around her shoulders. He grunted with frustration.  “Serena!”

She looked up at him and blushed. He turned around and grabbed the blanket off the bed. “Cover yourself.” He was a good man, but even he had his limits. “Why’d you stow away on my ship?”

Suddenly she burst into tears and sat down on the little cot. “I didn’t have anywhere else to go.” She started to openly sob.

He’d never been really good with women’s emotions. He sat down on the cot beside her and lifted her chin to look up at him. “What happened?”

“After you left last night, my mother died.” She sniffed and tried to get her composure. “Then I overheard my stepfather telling a man that he was going to end your trip and get you back for taking his shipments. He said he’d watch The Lady go to the bottom of the sea.”

He sat there for a moment. It was evident when he’d been at Edwards home that something was wrong. The man seemed crooked. It angered him that the man was part of the pirate’s that he fought against.

“My mother’s last words were that I needed to leave before my stepfather came upstairs. She said I was in danger. So I packed a bag and made my way down to the docks and then onto your ship.” She looked up at him pleadingly. “Please let me stay on the ship. I’ll work for my room and food. I won’t let anyone know I’m not Toby.”

Standing up quickly he looked down at her. He could only imagine why her mother was worried. That man was pure evil and he was glad she’d gotten away, but a woman on a pirate ship, even though his men were all good men, they were men.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When the bloom makes way for the leaf

As most of you know, I’m an accountant. This is my busy time of the year with tax season in full swing. My office is beside my house which is great. I have a flower bed nestled among the trees in front of the office. The big draw to the flower bed is a forsythia bush or yellow bell to most. I raised it from a cutting that my grandmother gave me of hers back when we first moved in our new home around 19 years ago. The bush has been in her yard for more years than she could count. 

When I look at this bush I think of her. She’s been in Heaven for over 12 years but every year when the bush blooms I think of her. I think of the precious heirloom in it’s full beauty.

As I watched the bush flowing lightly in the breeze yesterday I marveled at the tiny yellow blooms that were still hanging on among the vibrant green leaves. It made me smile as I thought about how this process is similar to writing.

You may be saying what? Think about it. As writers we start with the bare limbs, then as the bud of a story blooms forth we get the story started. Then comes the full bloom of the work, the beauty. But the final is the nurtured green leaf that is the finished product, which holds on. But a lot of the time the bloom holds on for dear life, not letting us get to the finished product completed until it’s the right time.

As always good writing and May God Bless You…


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Children in need for Christmas…

This post is about something near and dear to my heart. Children. Our Church adopts a needy family every year for Christmas. We all donate gifts and money to make sure the family has a nice Christmas. Even food is donated for their Christmas meal.

Well, I called yesterday to the local Family and Children service and spoke with the wonderful lady that helps us make this possible every year. She informed me that this year the biggest need was for foster children. She said a record number of children have gone into foster care this year. My heart heaved a sigh and tears pricked at my eyes.

She went on to ask how many we could help. I was sorry to say only three since we are a small Church. We always try to do our best to do more, but we have our limits. She was more that excited that we were taking three small children. She sent me their ages, first names and wish lists. As I read the wish lists I started to cry. They were so simple and sweet. It broke my heart to know these precious children would be without family for Christmas.

So my wish is to help these three have a wonderful Christmas so they won’t lose the spirit of Christmas.  Christmas is so special in the eyes of children. I remember the feeling of going to bed on Christmas Eve and knowing when I woke presents would cover the floor. I was lucky. It breaks my heart to know so many children around the world will go to sleep on Christmas Eve hoping they at least have something to wake up to. Presents are not what Christmas is all about, but to a child it is.

So if you get a chance, please help someone in need for Christmas.

As always good writing and May God bless you.