Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Last Monday of 2013!

It’s weird to say that. I’ve been thinking back to 2013 and it’s been a great year. There’s been good and bad throughout the year, but for the most part it’s been great. It was the first full year of being a published author. 

How are you spending the last two days of 2013? As for me I’m working today, but taking tommorow off. I’m trying to finish one of my books before midnight tommorow, but maybe not. It’s funny how you plan on time to write during holidays and then life steps in and you don’t get it done. 

What are your plans for New Year’s? We spend it at our Church. We have the best time eating finger foods and singing. Then we bring in the New Year at the altar. It’s a great way to thank Him for the past year and for the new year to come. Of course I have games and prizes for the kids. They even get to wear their pjs which helps parents just put them to bed when they get home.

Hopefully everyone has set their writing goals for 2014. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Christmas Spirit, Love and Sharing

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Today’s post is a step away from my normal writing and publishing blog. I want to ask you a simple question, Do you have the

Christmas Spirit this year? I’m not talking about the I’ve got to go shopping today, the ornaments are up , but the Christmas Spirit.

You may be saying, What are you talking about? Well, it’s quite simple really. Have you done something for someone less fortunate this Christmas season and not just to get a tax benefit, but from the heart? Have you spent time with family and friends and thought about someone or something other than yourself?

I went with my family out to eat last night for Christmas. It was great to be with my uncle and aunt and couisins and their families, not to mention my mom, her friend, my brother and his family and my hubby and son. I sat there looking around the table thinking about how much our family has grown. We’ve gained lots of new members in the last twenty or so years. But it was nice to take a moment out of our busy lives to just be together. Yes it was crowded in the small room we’d reserved but the point was to be together. As we left I felt sad that we didn’t get to spend more time together, but life takes over sometimes. 

Tommorow at Church we’re getting together as a Church family and putting together boxes for the families at the local family and children services. These families won’t have much for Christmas so we try to give them something special to unwrap on Christmas morning. Some gifts are as simple as a doll or car, toothbrush and toothpaste. Actually things we take for granted but they’d be thrilled to have. Even hairbows and brushes, pencils and school supplies, things that they need but don’t have. It warms my heart to help with such a special cause, but it’s never enough. Why can’t we just spend a couple of dollars to help those less fortunate?

It’s not about the huge, pricey gifts. It’s the thought. No child should wake up Christmas morning without at least one thing under the tree. Christmas is by no means just about the gifts, it’s about our Savior’s Birth. But we need to teach our kids the spirit of giving which He spoke of so often and for some reason we’ve stepped away from it. 

It could be something simple like a warm blanket and coat. You may be warm in your house, but what about families that can’t afford heat. Give them something warm to wrap up with. 

But why not all year long. Why do we only think of those less fortunate at Christmas? We should keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts year round. We should follow His word and give to those in need all year. Think of the troops that are away from home. They are not just away at Christmas, they’re away for months to years at a time, but most only think about them at this time of the year.

So my challenge to you is this. Do something nice for someone. Maybe set a goal to do something for someone every month of the year. Plan a special project you can do for someone in need. It could be as simple as cooking a meal for a shut-in or just collecting cans and donating them to a family in need. The smile you’ll receive and the feeling will get contagious and dare I say it, you might become an habital giver.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt220/5239194817/”>Rdoke</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


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45 years of Blessings…

Many people try to ignore birthdays. For me I’m so blessed with each year I’m given. The fact that I got up this morning is a blessing in itself. I have so much to be thankful for.

This morning I woke to my wonderful husband and son wishing me a Happy Birthday. Then when I opened my computer my email was blowing up with Birthday wishes from family, friends and fans. It’s amazing the support I’ve received from my family, friends and my adoring fans.

The Birthday wishes have been coming in from all over and it’s such a blessing. My writing has been a blessing and to be able to publish my long, hard work. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a teenager and guess what, I’m a published author. This blessing has gained me so many new friends and I’ve met some great authors that I’ve been reading for years. It’s been such an awesome time.

So many don’t realize their blessings. They leave them in a closet somewhere and refuse to acknowledge them. Blessings are meant to be acknowledged, appreciated and thankful for. But most of all they are meant to be passed on to others. It’s like the Christmas Spirit should be kept in your heart 365 days a year. Celebrate life daily and be glad for every minute in our short lives. That’s why all my books are .99 through Christmas. I want to give something back to my readers.

Have a wonderful day and know I’m passing on my blessings and well wishes for you all.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The love of writing

Do you love what you do? Whether you’re an accountant, doctor, writer, factory worker or a housewife, you have to love what you do. It helps keep you going. I love writing. I also love being an accountant and children’s ministry director. It makes things so much easier when you love what you do.

When I have a story in my brain I look forward to every time I open my laptop. It’s exhilerating just getting the story out to everyone. Maybe what goes through my brain doesn’t appeal to you, but some people like it. According to some of my adoring fans they love it, which for a writer is awesome to hear. That means I’ve accomplished part of my goal and thats to reach someone with my writing. A couple have asked me several times, where on earth do you get all these story lines. 

What’s fun is when you’re writing and you actually laugh out loud or wipe tears. One of the stories that I’m working on is a Christian romance that is about grief and going beyond the loss of a spouse to find love again through faith. As I wrote the death scene I kept a box of tissues next to me. I wrote it while thinking of what if this was me. How would I react or feel? How would I handle telling my child? How would I move on from there? It was a very eye opening experience.

That’s what the “Lean on Him” series is all about. It’s to help people realize that faith can get you through life’s many facets. Life throws so many things at us and sometimes we need to be reminded that we are stronger than we think.

Another thing I love about writing is living my characters lives through their eyes. I emmerse myself in the character and imagine the way I’d respond to certain things. I get to live anywhere in the world through my characters. I get to experience things, ride horses, own a ranch, go to Switzerland (childhood dream), and so much more. Through my characters I get to right wrongs, build faith and just be myself. It’s a wonderful feeling. 

Fans help make it a wonderful experience also. Hearing from those that love my books helps inspire me. It’s great when someone sends me an email and asks when’s the next book coming out. Some fans keep up with me through this post, my Facebook, Twitter and other areas. It’s awesome to talk to someone from across the world that has been touched by something in one of my books. That makes it so worth every long night, neck strain, finger trauma and everything that comes with being a writer.

So, come join me for the adventure that is a Writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Contests, New Releases, and just WOW…

Well, as promised in my blog last week, I jump. I entered the So You Think You Can Write Contest at Harlequin. This has been a year long process of do I want to or not struggles. Suddenly two weeks ago I started feeling the tug and coincidentally I saw a post that entries were being accepted. That was the sign I needed to jump. Here’s the link: http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts-sytycw-2013/finding-the-right-time/ So go over and read my submission and let me know what you think. I’m really excited about this entry. 

Image“Victoria” was officially released today. That’s an exciting thing also. I tried out the preorder with Smashwords.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple iTunes. We will see how that goes because as you know those sales won’t show up for a little while. It you get a chance go over and check out this book. It’s also available on Amazon, CreateSpace and Allromanceebooks.com.

As with everything I do, I stay busy. Late last week “With All My Heart” was released in audio form. That was exciting, but what was really exciting was Apple iTunes picked it up immediately upon release. You may be saying, well iTunes is affiliated with Audible. The exciting thing is my other audio book that is out has not been picked up yet by iTunes, so this makes me wonder at the picking process. 

I had another author ask my opinion of audio books and my opinion is they’re great. My sales have been good and I’m excited about the rest of the books that are in production even as we speak. 

As Rosie Amber and I wind down our Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour, I sit to ponder the results. We were able to meet 30 talented authors in 30 days. As bloggers and readers alike we were able to see a small part of their lives and books for a moment. It went really well. If you haven’t check them out, just go through my last 30 days posts and you can see my side and the link to Rosie’s side.

So as I leave you today, think about the day. It’s Monday, a new week to make a better you. God made you in His image and that means do your best at everything you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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one week til school…Summers OVER

It’s been a crazy summer. My son is practicing football three days a week (yep, all summer). I’ve been writing every free minute I have. My assistant found out she was accepted to University of Georgia. As I said, it’s been a crazy summer.

Oh and I found out I’m not getting any younger. I’m walking 4 1/2 miles three to four days a week to keep healthy, trying to eat better and totally refusing to be over stressed. Of course hormones changing and just life are trying their best to take over, but I’m fighting both with a positive attitude and lot’s of prayer.

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. I know that technically we still have a month or so left of the season, but when school starts back it’s like summer is over. My son starts high school this year, so he’s getting excited and nervous at the same time.

As for my writing, I have two books hopefully coming out in August. Victoria is the first book in my new Historical Romance Saga “Women of Magnolia Hill” and the 2nd book in the “Lean On Him” Christian romance series “Faith Through the Tears”. Victoria is going to be a longer novel and Faith Through the Tears will be a novella. Both covers are completely done and ready for the books to be completed.

Hope everyone enjoys today. It’s Monday, but be glad you’re alive and hopefully well. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Time… A writer’s Nemesis…

Time. We all wish for more time in the day. I don’t know how many times I’ve been working on something and wished for 25 hours in a day instead of 24. Someone told me the other day that I had too many irons in the fire, but I don’t agree.

I love to be busy. It’s a good thing since I’m a wife, mother, Accountant, Children’s Minister, Author and self publisher. Wow, what a list 🙂 Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but then again it’s rewarding. 

Everything I do is because of a passion. I’m not the type of person to jump into something that I don’t like to do. Some aspects of my passions are not my favorite things to do, but that’s the nature of the beast. 

As a writer you need a little time everyday to put pen to paper or fingers to keys. I love writing and don’t always have those precious minutes to write. I usually write at night when my son is watching television or playing his musical instruments. My husband is usually reading or watching television as I tap away. Some people say, how can you write when the television is blaring in the background, well it’s easy. I go into a world of my own when I write. It’s really scary sometimes how immersed I get.

So, make a plan. Sit down and work out a schedule of your passions. Make sure you give ample time to each one. That’s my goal this week to set up a schedule for writing. I’m going to set aside a little time each day to get that done. It may sound crazy, but in my busy life I need this to stay sane…

First and foremost I have to make sure to put in time for my family and especially for my faith. I have a prayer time everyday which helps me to get through my day. If you don’t you need to try it. It sets the tone for the day.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

P.S. Continue to pray for Oklahoma. 

 


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New work, covers, and Names…

As I’ve said before, I’m working on several manuscripts. Sometimes I do a little on each every day and other days I working primarily on just one.

My newest work steps a little away from my normal writing. I’m really excited about it. It deals with two different time periods and a type of time travel, but don’t worry, it’s still a romance, just different. 

I’ve been working on something special that will come out tomorrow, but nope, can’t tell you until tomorrow. Also I’m working on a new edition on “Tender Flames which was the second book I published. It’s had great reviews and I’ve listened to my readers, so I’m making a couple of changes. When I’m done, it’s going to come out as a revised edition and also will be coupled with the 2nd book in that series, “Rekindled Flame”. I’m really excited about this one.

The fun thing, or maybe not so fun at times is figuring out the cover of your new work and the name. I usually have an idea in my head how I want it to come out, but finding the right picture and one I can legally use is not easy. Then you have the font for the words on the cover and wow there are so many to choose from. Oh, then you have to name it. Sometimes the name sells the book, so no pressure, it just has to be perfect, that’s all.

So good luck with your writing and make sure you make it count because that’s where you make the difference.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Does your writing affect you?

It’s a real question. Does your writing affect you? What I mean is does your writing give you food for thought? Saturday was a very rainy day in Georgia, so I spent a good bit of time working on one of my latest books in progress. As I was writing I realized that I actually had tears streaming down my face. 

It was then that I realized that my writing affects me. I have to admit it was a very emotional part of the manuscript. Some people would say, ‘why do you get affected so by your work?’ Well, as you know if you’ve followed my blog, I’m an emotional person. I have a soft heart and when I work on a sad part I cry, a happy part I smile and a infuriating part I scowl.

My son sits and watches me sometimes. He always laughs when he sees the tears. It’s a constant addition to his daily entertainment for him to see his mama get emotional over a book or movie or song for that matter. He always says, ‘Mama, you’re not really crying over that are you?’

Oh, well. I feel like if it affects me so much, maybe it will affect the reader as well. In some of the reviews of my books, fans have said as much. They’ve even talked about getting a box of tissues ready. I guess being an emotional person brings about a lot of emotional parts to my books.

One more thought on this is that romance brings about emotion in a lot of people. Maybe it’s bringing up a memory that’s been hidden in your heart, or maybe it’s just touching. Whatever the reason, just let the tears flow. Bring out the heart of the work you do. That’s what makes it your own.

God made us all different and some of us were made with a soft heart. If we cry as we work, then we’re giving it all we have. 

As always good writing, and may God Bless You…


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A Blank Page

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Have you ever been on a role with your writing and then all of a sudden you felt like your brain turned to a blank page? There are times when I want a blank page. Times when you have a trouble, through grief and through times you just want to forget. But when it comes to writing you don’t want that blank page or maybe you do.

What I’m talking about is when you’re working on a manuscript that you want to get out soon and another work is plaguing  you constantly. Sometimes I just want to flip a switch on and record the other thought, then have it go away until the current work is done. I’ve had that kind of weekend. 

I’m currently working on book 2 of my “Lean On Him” Christian Romance series. Friday I took my son fishing at a local pond. While there I sat with my laptop and tapped put well over a chapter. It’s like my mind just was flowing with renewed vigor. I think it was the fact that I just let go and enjoyed myself. I know my son did because he laughed and smiled as he caught one fish after another.

My plan for Saturday afternoon was to forge out several more chapters, but another idea for something kept creeping in. So, I didn’t write anything at all. I refused to give in to the other story, but it put such a strain on my brain that the one I need to finish kept getting crowded out.

Sometimes a blank page is welcome 🙂 

I had a great day yesterday even though rain threatened. We had “Friend Day” at Church, which means games for the kids. I always try to have them outside so we can spread out, but the rain kept us inside. It worked out great. The kids had a blast and I have to admit so did I. They’re always more resilient than I give them credit for. It’s amazing how well they adjust to needed changes. Of course they grumbled some because they love outdoors, but in the end they went home smiling with sacks of prizes and tummies full of sweet goodies. So as for the rain, it didn’t dampen the party, I think it enhanced it and brought us closer as a whole. Sometimes life does that. When we want to spread our wings, God says, “Not now, the time for that is later. For today be together as one and smile for tomorrow will be here too soon. Enjoy one another.” At least that’s my thoughts on it 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless YOU…