Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


2 Comments

Ghost Lover is 4 today!

It’s a beautiful morning here in Georgia. A little cool, but nice and sunny. Today Ghost Lover, my first published book turns 4! Wow, I can’t believe it’s been four years. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

If you haven’t read Ghost Lover, let me give you a little bit of info. Ghost Lover is a romantic tale of love and betrayal. Here are the blurb and an excerpt from my favorite of all my books. This one holds my heart, I guess because it was the first.

The dying words of Jess’s mother are for her to find the love of her life. But with an overbearing father, will she have that chance? When he gives her a horse and riding lessons for her 21st birthday, her life changes. Is the cowboy behind the Black Stetson her soul mate? When her father’s partner decides to stake claim on her, who will win the fight? Suspense, tragedy, romance and a stranger in the shadows lead to a dramatic final showdown in Ghost Lover…

Her eyes had gotten accustomed to the darkness. She searched the shadows for any sign of movement. She was holding her breath. What could it be? Suddenly there was slow movement in one corner. She put her hand up to her mouth. Her feet were rooted to the floor. Was she in danger? But she felt perfectly safe.

A shape formed out of the shadows. It was a man in a cowboy hat. She couldn’t see his face only the dark shape. Was this an illusion or ghost? She was drawn to the shadow by some unknown feeling.

“Who are you and why are you here? Do I know you?”

“You know me, but he won’t let you remember me.” The voice was low and haunting.

“Should I be afraid of you?” She suddenly realized that she should be afraid, but she couldn’t move.

“I’d never harm you.” He slowly moved closer but still in the shadows.

“Why’re you here in the shadows? Why don’t you come into the moonlight so that I can see you?” She noticed he lowered his head and then looked back toward her.

“I don’t want you to see me this way. I want you to remember me before you look upon my face.” The sadness in his voice did something inside her heart.

“What’s wrong? Have you been injured in some way?” Her heart went out to him.

“Yes, I was burned in an accident. I want you to remember what we had before you see me.”

“What was our relationship?” Her heart was racing. She thought it would come out of her chest it was beating so hard.

“You’ll remember it. I don’t want to rush your memories. When you remember, you’ll know me.” Why did she want to reach out to this person so much?

“Were we friends?” Could this be the man in her dreams that she couldn’t see his face? Had he been scarred when she knew him before her accident?

“Yes, we’re very close. I know you have me locked in your memory and it’ll come out.” He reached his hand out of the shadows and stroked her face. His touch set off an electrical charge through her veins.

“Are you a ghost?” He laughed softly and the sound set her mind reeling.

“What do you think?” She tried to see him through the shadows, but couldn’t see his face.

“I think you’re the man that has haunted my dreams since I lost my memory.” Her voice was little more than a whisper as she spoke.

“How do you feel about me in your dreams?” He was slowly moving closer.

“I feel confused because I can’t see your face and remember who you are?” She reached her hand up to try to touch his face, but he gently grabbed her hand and put it to his heart. She could feel it beating wildly.

“Can you feel my heart beating? You’re what keeps my heart beating.” His voice was rough with emotion.

He looked up suddenly and pulled her into the shadows. She gasped, not out of fear, but surprise.

“Someone’s coming, but I need you to promise me that you’ll keep Thomas at arm’s length. He’s a danger to you.”

“What kind of danger? He said he’s my husband.” She could hear the footsteps getting closer.

“Just trust me; he’s not your husband.” He put his hands on both sides of her face and kissed her so gently that she almost lost her footing. “Don’t tell him about me. I’ll be here waiting for you tomorrow night at midnight.” He slowly went back into the shadows. She could hardly catch her breath.

This is one of my favorite parts and it leaves you wondering, is he a ghost or not?

Just a little reminder, don’t forget to check out my new website at

www.freshfromthebook.com

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Interview with F. J. Thomas, Author

Good Saturday morning. This morning I have a guest author interview. I met F. J. Thomas several months ago through social media. She’s a southern girl like me and also has a tremendous love for horses as I do. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better. So here goes:
 
 
Image
 
 
 
1: Give us a bio on you, tell us what makes you, you…
 
I work full time in the healthcare industry and live on with my husband on my horse farm in East Tennessee. When I’m not working to pay the feed bill or writing, I’m judging horse shows, giving riding lessons, or competing in anything from barrel racing and cattle sorting to hunter and halter. Horses have always been a huge part of my life and honestly I think that’s a big factor in what makes me who I am. They have taught me to never quit.
2: When did you start writing and why?
I started out writing poetry for a competition in high school and actually placed well in a State Competition. It just kind of blossomed from there. In my late twenties I started writing horse articles and started a couple of books. With age comes discipline and it took me ten years to actually finish a book!
3: Tell us about “Lost Betrayal”. What inspired it?
In a nutshell, Lost Betrayal is about a gal who loses her horse in a tornado and the journey that brings them back together. It’s a big story that has drama, suspense, and romance. The inspiration for Lost Betrayal came from watching severe flooding during Hurricane Floyd on the North Carolina coast several years back. I became indirectly involved in some rescue efforts and that’s when I learned that large animals are the last to be rescued in a disaster and they receive the least publicity about their needs. It’s not uncommon for animals to be missing weeks or months on end and that gave me the idea for the story. I’m hoping that Lost Betrayal becomes a vehicle of awareness to the plight of large animal rescue efforts.
4: Who is your favorite character and why?
That’s a hard one! The heroine, Sage is a strong character that never gives up no matter how bad it hurts. That’s admirable in itself. What’s not to love about Garrett who is not only a real cowboy but has the heart of a gentleman and is good looking to boot? There’s a lot of interesting characters in this book that are partly based on real life so it’s hard to pick just one!
5: Have you got another book in the works? If so tell us a little about it.
I always have several projects in the works, mainly because my mind is always working over time! I just started a new novella, Lost Doesn’t Exist, that’s about a writer that’s lost all hope. I’m hoping to have it finished in a couple of months. I’ve also started another western romance with a paranormal element that the basis for the story actually comes from the New Testement. It’s turning into quite the book!  
6: Where’s your favorite place to write?
In my sunroom on the back of my house. It’s a magical place to write because it’s just a few feet from my back pasture and also over looking our woods so I get to hear and watch the horses and all the critters while I write. It’s a dream come true!
7: Some authors have music playlists, do you and if so, what are some of the songs?
I love all kinds of music from country and bluegrass to hip hop and classical. But when it comes to writing I love to listen to songs that break my heart or speak on a much deeper level because I think it brings out deeper feelings for my writing. I love listening to the Steel Drivers for that reason. Their music speaks to me on a totally different level and I just love it!
 
 
 
Then here’s the link to my author blog – 
 
 
image
 
Talking In The Barn

Talking to authors, artists, competitors.
 
Preview by Yahoo
 
 
 
My horse blog – 
 
 
image
 
MUSINGS FROM THE LEADROPE

Daily life on Fairweather Farm as we try to work full time, work part time in the horse industry and get a little writing in!
 
Preview by Yahoo
 
 
 
Frances J. Filson-Thomas
Published Author, Horse Show Judge, Riding Instructor
Fairweather Farm – Sweetwater, TN 
www.fairweatherfarmtn.com
http://fjthomasblog.wordpress.com/

http://qheventer.wordpress.com
 
Go by and check out her book. I know you’ll love it.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


3 Comments

Cowboys, Cowboys Everywhere…

I’ve written posts on this before and it’s still true. Everywhere I look I see cowboys. Romance books, commercials, movies, they’re everywhere. I’ve written most cowboy romance and I do have to say that a cowboy main character is pretty exhirating. I mean they’re masculine, hard working, rugged, everything you’d want in a hero type.

Someone asked me the other day if all my romances are about cowboys and I smiled. I do have a couple that aren’t cowboy related, but most of my books do have cowboys and horses. As I’ve always said, you have to write about what you love. It just makes it easier. If you write about something that you’re not passionate about then it will show in your writing. Always go with what you’re passionate about.

I’m going to write what I’m passionate about. It’s just how I’m made. Do you have something you’re passionate about? As a writer you can really shine if you go with your passion. Since I’ve always loved anything about horses and cowboys, it’s only natural that I’d write about them. I’ve actually heard from fans that I’ve convinced them to love cowboys too. That made me happy because that means that I did what I strived to do. 

So what’s your passion? Is your romantic hero a cowboy, Navy Seal, doctor, business man, millionaire, musician, bad boy, body guard, vampire, werewolf, shifter, the list can go on and on? If it’s romance I’ll read it, but my favorite type is obvious…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


4 Comments

Time Travel – Something new…

As I work on my latest manuscript I have to sigh. Have you ever gotten so lost in your work that you react to every detail? This has been such a step away from my normal writing, but I’m really enjoying it. I have some surprises in store for the readers with this one. And yes before you ask, there are horses and a handsome cowboy. I mean it’s me writing it.

I’ve based this story in one of my favorite cities, Savannah. It’s so rich with history and beautiful places. I love history. That was my favorite subject in school beside literature. I wonder why I like literature…

I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak of “Finding The Right Time” and as it happens, this books will not be coming out for a little while. I made a huge decision Saturday to enter this manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Last year I entered “A Love Never Lost” and it made it through to the 2nd round which was exciting. Fingers crossed and hopes abound.

Well, here’s a little bit:

Rafe walked around in front of her and held out his hand. “Would you like to dance?”

“I don’t know how to dance to this, but if you’ll lead.” She smiled up into his handsome face which was full of mischief.

“I’ll lead you anywhere my dear.” He said as he pulled her in amongst the other couples waltzing around the makeshift dance floor. Which actually was just a marked off area of the dirt road.

She grabbed his hand and he gently placed his other on her waist. “You smell wonderful.” He put his nose to her hair as he pulled her closer.

“It’s lavender from your grandmother.” She smiled. It was heavenly dancing close to Rafe. His muscular chest was under her cheek. Every movement caused his muscles to ripple.

“This feels right holding you in my arms. Thank you for staying tonight.” He kissed the side of her head as he held her close. He didn’t care what anyone thought at that moment. All he could think of was holding her for possibly the last time. Could his heart take it if she decided not to come back?

She closed her eyes and almost forgot where she was. Suddenly someone started to sing an old Irish sounding tune. She smiled up at Rafe as he didn’t stop moving to the music. Neither was aware of the whispering among the town. They were mesmerized by the couple in the middle of the dance floor.

Brody sat down beside Mrs. Emma and put his arm around her. “Gran, I do think our boy has finally given his heart.”

“As do I Brody. She’s a wonderful girl. I do hope she’ll make the right decision and stay with us.” Her voice quivered with worry. She’d seen the uncertainty earlier in Lily’s eyes. She knew that feeling only too well. She’d made the right decision for herself, but what was Lily’s?

“Do you think she’ll leave again?” He watched the couple and had his doubts. He saw the love in their eyes and it was mutual.

“I hope tonight will give her reason to stay.” She watched the couple. Then she looked around and everyone there was watching them and smiling. Everyone could see it, but would Lily? She just prayed it would become crystal clear tonight.

After five songs Rafe pulled Lily off to the side. “Let’s get some air.” She followed as he led her to the edge of town away from the buzzing crowd. When they were out of sight of everyone, he turned and pulled her into his arms.

His lips were suddenly on hers and she was lost. He pulled her close to his body. He’d held his emotions all evening, but he was about to snap. It was as though she was his water and he was thirsty. He drank of her as though he’d been without for years.

She wound her arms around his neck and pulled him into the kiss. As she deepened the kiss he groaned. This felt so right to her, but could she leave everything. For tonight she’d be his.

He ran his hands up and down her back. It was as though he couldn’t get her close enough. When he finally released her it was only to pull her between two of the buildings. He pressed her against the side of the building and kissed her passionately.

Their breathing was ragged as passion took over their bodies. He knew he needed to stop but he couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to let her go, not yet. He wanted her badly and the knowledge that this could be their last time together was almost his undoing.

She was the first to push at his chest. If they went any further she’d never be able to make a clear decision. This was so hard to not just give in to her desires. She knew it’d be so easy.

He leaned his head against hers as he tried to control his breathing. “Lily please forgive me. I don’t know what came over me.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. I wanted you too, I still do, but this will not help my decision.” She pulled away from his embrace and leaned against the wall. He put his hand on her shoulder.

“If you want me as badly as I do you, then the decision is made.” He looked down at her face. It was hard to see her expression in the darkness. He knew his want was from mostly love and what he knew was also lust.

“It’s not that easy Rafe. I don’t want to make a decision based on passion. That’s not love. I want my decision to be true to my heart, not my body. Can you understand that?” She turned to look up into his face.

“I’ll have to understand it. I just want you to be my wife.” He ran his fingers through his hair in heated frustration. He could use another dip in the cool stream behind the house. He’d had several of those since Lily had come into his life. That’s where he’d been the night she’d seen him from her window.

She realized he’d just laid his heart on the line. “Oh Rafe, you’re such a wonderful man. Please give me until the morning.” She laid her hand on his heart and it was beating wildly. He reached up and covered it with his large hand.

“I am a man of my word. I’ll give you until the morning, but I will tell you this. If you decide to stay, I want us to be married as soon as possible.” His voice was stilled ragged with passion.

“If I decide to stay we will be married before the next setting sun.” She reached up and grasped his face, pulling it down to hers. It was the most passionate, sweet, heart wrenching kiss. It touched her soul in a way she’d never expected. Rafe touched her soul, but was it enough?

I know that was more than a bit, but I just love this part. It’s going to be hard holding back on the publishing of this one. Hopefully I can restrain myself. I have to make my final decision before February 16th. If I get an offer for it before then, I’ll jump but keep your fingers crossed. This book will be a game changer for me.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


6 Comments

Living my dreams through writing

If you’re a writer you know where I’m going with this. As a young, starry eyed, very impressionable, soft hearted, dare I go on, teenager I started reading romance novels. As I picked up the first one I opened it with excitement. This was a new era for me. I could smell the new paperback smell, which of course is Heavenly. The book drew me in and pulled out the romantic in me. After that I was hooked on romance. 

This started my desire to be a romance writer. I’d sit for hours writing, that’s handwritting for those that don’t remember that, many manuscripts. I kept most of my old manuscripts. Of course now they’re old and yellowed now, but I still pull them out and read them now and then. Actually a couple of my books started from those old teenage dreamy romance manuscripts. Of course I had to do some changes to get them a little more up to date.

Through my writing I can live out childhood dreams. I’ve always loved horses. If you’ve read any of my books you will usually read about a horse or two. I have to say it’s helped with my desire to own a horse. I get to own them in my writing, even have a horse ranch in my writing. Sound crazy, hardly, just writing from the heart.

Then there’s my dream of traveling to Switzerland. I’ve had that dream for as long as I can remember. When I was in school I actually did a report on Switzerland. I even went as far as writing to the Swiss travel center and they sent me a whole package of information. I still have that package. In my newest book, Open The Heart – A Alpine Christmas Romance, I travel to Switzerland. I’ve enjoyed researching every aspect of it. It’s been my Christmas present to myself to revisit my dream through my writing. It comes out this weekend and I hope you will check it out.

What are your dreams? Do you work on making them come true or do you write out your dreams? Sometimes your dreams can inspire you in many ways. Mine inspire me to write. Writing from the heart is the best kind. It shows your true colors and your true heart. So as the Christmas Season gets into full swing do something from your heart. Make a dream come true for either yourself or someone you love. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


1 Comment

If your cover could talk…

As a writer sometimes the cover comes before the writing. Odd, but true. Does your cover truly express the heart of the book inside? Does it totally blow the plot? Does it give away too much?

Have you ever picked up a book and wanted it just for the cover. Guilty as charged. I’ve seen a cover and just fell in love with the concept. It just inspired me to want to hear the story. I did that just recently and here’s what happened.

I was scanning through some of the books on Amazon. I do that from time to time to get ideas on cover design changes, fonts, etc. I come upon this book and the cover totally blew me away. I immediately purchased the book. I couldn’t wait until I had time that night to dig into it.

It was one of those moments when I put the book I’ve been reading aside and pick this one up. Well, I shuffled it around on my Kindle. The cover have a handsome cowboy and his trusty horse, but the background around it was just inspiring. The problem started when I read the first couple of pages. 

It wasn’t that the writing was bad, but it wasn’t following what I thought would be a cowboy romance. No ranch, no horses, no cowboy, nothing about this at all. I thought, well maybe it takes getting into the story to get to that part. Most of the book was about a businessman and woman. It was based in the city and not the country. Ok, well, maybe they are going there soon. Kept reading and nope. Close to the last couple of chapters they visited a ranch and then went back to the city. What??? That was it. 

The point to me telling you this is make sure that your cover tells the story. If it has a cowboy and his horse on it, then that’s what the reader is expecting. You know me, I love a good cowboy romance and I was left unsteady and very confused. I knew then that I’d been duped into this with my eyes. I should have read the blurb on the back. 

Make sure your cover gives a little mystery. If your character is going to go through a love triangle, maybe include all three involved, but don’t give away which the character will pick.  Leave a bone for the reader. Don’t leave a dinosaur though. If it’s such a mystery that you get to the end and say “WHAT?”

So, think about your cover long and hard. Maybe even design two slightly different and put them on your blog. Let your friends and readers vote. That’s always a fun concept.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


3 Comments

Romance and a cowboy…

Has anyone noticed lately that you’re seeing a lot more cowboys on covers of romance novels? Yeah, I know, they’re on the cover of almost all of mine, but I mean outside of my little world. It’s amazing.

I was going through one of the book sites where my books are listed and I started to notice less vampire activity and more cowboys. That’s a good thing since I mostly write about cowboys. It’s really no mystery to me.

My point is this. Here are some of the many things that make cowboys stand out (well maybe to just me, but I think others see it too.)

1: They usually have a horse. Great selling point to me. 

2: Most cowboys have a truck, whether it’s a old and rundown, or it’s a new Chevy with plenty of pulling power. How else would they pull the horse trailer or hay bales around.

3: The ever present Stetson perched on their head. Oh yes, all my cowboys own a Stetson. Even the one’s I can touch have a Stetson or two. (Meaning real people not those that come from inside me head.)

4: Boots. Yep they’ve usually got a couple of pair. One pair is polished to a high shine for that special outing, then you have the not so great pair that’s seen it’s better day, but still keeps out the water, oh and then there’s that pair that is almost sole bare and let’s water in like a sifter. Nothing like a pair of cowboy boots to dress up an outfit.

5: The hands. Usually a cowboy has rough, work worn hands. No doubt a cowboy works hard and long hours. 

6: The eyes. Most of the cowboys I know have this look in their eyes. It’s as though they can see forever. The older cowboys have the nice little crinkle wrinkles around the corners of their eyes from the many hours of squinting in the sun. 

7: Jeans. They’re a staple of the cowboy attire. Of course it’s like the boots. They have the good pair for outings, but then you have the pair that’s ok for just riding on the range, and then you have that pair that’s got more holes than swiss cheese, but are good enough for mucking out stalls and slinging hay.

Well, that’s just a couple of things that make cowboys special. Maybe that’s why so many authors choose them as their manly figures. Cowboys are very manly and they make great heros. I mean you can’t have a business man in a suit ride in on his white stallion and save the day. That’s just not right 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…