Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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The Christmas Wish is coming soon…

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already Monday! Where did the weekend go? As a matter of fact, where did this year go? We’re halfway to Thanksgiving already, can you believe it?

Now, as for my writing, I just released one Christmas romance, ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Ranch’, and will be releasing ‘The Christmas Wish’ really soon. As I said before, this year I’m releasing two Christmas romances. Sometimes the Christmas spirit just swoops in and takes over.

So, ‘The Christmas Wish’ is a sweet romance that will leave you wanting to bake cookies or take a visit to the local bakery. Here’s a snippet for you to enjoy:

Sophie turned out the lights of the bakery and locked the door. It had been a good day with many new customers. She was pleasantly surprised. As she climbed in her small car, she sighed. Her dreams were coming through. Slowly she drove through town, looking at the twinkling lights that lined the street and the trees in the windows. As she passed one of the stores she saw Santa waving at the passersby.
On a whim, she pulled into a parking place and looked in her wallet for a dollar. Even though her dollars were few, she wanted to give to the Santa. She pulled her coat closer around her as she started across the sidewalk. The sign beside the Santa said it was for the local children’s hospital.
“Here you go.” Sophie placed her dollar in his bucket.
“Thank you young lady. With each donation, you get to ask for something from Santa for Christmas.” The Santa smiled at her, his eyes glittering in the lights overhead.
“Oh, I don’t know what to wish for. It’s been so long since I’ve made a wish with Santa.” Sophie giggled. Then she decided to just go with it. “Alright, do I tell you the wish or do I keep it silent?”
“You can tell me. I keep secrets locked in here.” Santa placed a finger on his temple, then laughed with a jolly Santa laugh.
“This may sound silly, but I want to find love for Christmas.” Sophie didn’t know where that came from. At first she just stared at the Santa in shock, then a warmth spread through her heart. Yes, she had her business started, so now was the time to find love.
“I will place that on my list. You’ve been a good girl this year.” Santa said, making Sophie giggle again. “And you get a candy cane for your wish.”
Sophie took the large candy cane, then turned to leave. When she looked back, the Santa winked at her. She got back in her car and for a moment she just sat there. Why had she made a wish with Santa? Maybe it was from her loneliness.

This was a particularly favorite part for me. Keep watching for an update on the release date.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Christmas at Mistletoe Ranch is live!

Good Sunday afternoon! Christmas at Mistletoe Ranch is live! It’s already hit #1 in Japan and not far from it in the USA! If you haven’t picked up your copy, then grab it while it’s on sale!

Here’s a little snippet from this amazing Christmas romance that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next!

“Denver, I get it. She’s cute and sweet and desperate, but she’ll get hurt. And having a woman in the barn with a bunch of rowdy cowboys, well, it just won’t work.” Charlie said, crossing his arms across his chest.

“I know what you’re saying but as I said before, let’s give her a chance.” Denver reached up and pinched his nose between his eyes, trying to figure this out. When he opened his eyes, Annie was standing behind Charlie. “And I guess you have an opinion on this too.” He adored the older woman and so did the men on the ranch, so his tone wasn’t being disrespectful, just to the point, which is how she liked it.

“In my opinion, she needs to be living here in the main house, not down there close to the men. And another thing, why would you hire a woman to work out there anyhow?” Annie said, putting her hands on her hips.

Charlie rubbed the back of his neck, then turned to face Annie. “Well, actually, I hired her Mrs. Annie.”

“So, you’re the culprit. Have you lost your mind?” Annie said, slapping him on the arm. “Don’t you read the applications and resumes coming through here?”

“I did. Is it my fault that I thought Madison was a guy’s name?” Charlie shrugged, trying to back toward the door. “Denver, I’ll let you know how dinner goes.”

“Thanks.” Denver said as Charlie made a quick escape.

“Denver Hanson, if that girl gets hurt, I’ll hold you personally responsible, do you hear me?”

“Loud and clear.” Denver said as he headed to the front door.

“Where are you going? Dinner is almost ready.”

“I’m going to try to save my hide.” Denver went out the door and started for the guest cabin. He knocked on the door and when there was no answer, he knocked again. His brows bunched together as he looked around. She must have gone to the bunk house for dinner.

So, with a groan, he turned and made his way to the mess hall. When he entered the large open room, he didn’t have a hard time finding her. She was sitting alone at a table, while the men sat staring at her. Well, glaring was more appropriate. As soon as they saw the boss walk in, they turned back to their own food.

When Denver sat down beside Maddy, she didn’t look up. “Have I messed up again?” She mumbled as she straightened her spine.

“No, not that I’m aware of. I just wanted to make sure you came to eat.” He leaned his head down to see her eyes that she kept facing downward. “Alright, so why won’t you look up at me?”

“Is there a need for that?” Again, she mumbled, not looking up.

Finally, his patience left. He reached out and grasped her jaw, turning her face toward him. The moment he saw her face, he had to hide his amusement. “Do I need to ask what happened?”

“No, I’d prefer you didn’t.” Maddy said, still not looking into his eyes.

“Alright, I won’t ask how you got spaghetti all over your face.” He pulled a piece of noodle from her hair. “And in your hair.”

“Thank you.”

For a few minutes Denver sat there, looking around at his men who were also avoiding his gaze. When he couldn’t stand it anymore, he spoke. “I have to know, did one of the men do this to you?” He clenched his fists into a ball, thinking of one of them making her miserable and humiliating her.

“No.”

“So, who did?” Denver looked around, not seeing anyone else.

“I fell.” Maddy said, sniffing.

“What do you mean you fell?” He was confused. Then he saw the spaghetti all over the floor beside the food table. “Are you hurt?”

“No.”

“Then why are you crying?” He whispered, not wanting to make matters worse by letting the men overhear him.

“I’m not crying.” Maddy whimpered.

“OK, so you’re not crying.” He looked at her uneaten food. “Why aren’t you eating?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Humor me and eat.” Denver said, pointing at the plate. “You’re too small and will need the strength for your first day.”

“I told you I’m….” She didn’t finish because he cleared his throat, then picked up her fork.

“If you don’t eat, then I’ll have to face Annie and I really don’t want to have to do that. So please, eat.”

“Alright, fine.” She took her fork from him and began to eat. It was good. Once she’d ate half of it, she pushed her plate away. “Happy?”

“Yes, somewhat. I’d be happier if you’d clean your plate like a good little ranch hand, but I guess that’s better than nothing.” He stood up, unconsciously picking up her plate.

“What are you doing?” She took her plate from him.

“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” Denver frowned as she walked past him to put her plate on the table. She stood by the kitchen door, waiting for the other men to leave. He watched as she went into the kitchen to grab a mop. Charlie walked up to stand beside Denver.

“I’m impressed. The men wouldn’t clean up their own mess.”

“What happened anyway?”

“She was in line with the men and someone sloshed tea on the floor. The next thing I knew, she was face down in her plate.” Charlie covered his mouth to keep from laughing. “I’m sorry, but it was rather comical, that is after I knew she was alright.”

“So why were the men glaring at her?”

“That was my fault. When they began laughing, I chastised them.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. But it may have made things worse for her.” Charlie walked over to Maddy. “Alright Maddy, that’s good. Go get some rest. You’ll need it.” He took the mop and bucket, then placed them in the kitchen.

Maddy started for the door, passing Denver without speaking. When he followed her, she turned and gave him a questioning look. “Why are you following me?”

“I want to talk to you.”

“About what?”

“It would be better if you stayed in the guest room at the house.” Denver said as they stopped at the door of the cabin.

“No, that wouldn’t be better. You saw the men; they already think I’m just a weak girl. I must show them that’s not the case. And moving into the main house sure won’t help that. I can take care of myself.” Maddy opened the door. “Thanks, but no thanks.” She started to shut the door, but he pushed it open.

“You don’t understand, I can make it an order.” Denver said as his anger rose. He was trying to make sure she was safe and all she was doing was acting stubborn.

“An order? Well, let me tell you what you can do with your order.” Maddy said but stopped when she saw the look on his face. It was no use arguing with him, so she went inside, leaving the door open since his foot was blocking her from closing it.

“Be careful what you say. I’m not in the mood for it. Don’t you realize that I’m trying to protect you?”

“Protect me from what?” Maddy whirled around, her hands on her hips as she faced him, looking up at him.

“From the men. They are good men, but men nonetheless.”

“So, to protect me from the men, you want me to live in the house with you. How is that better?”

Denver huffed out a breath as he tried to rein in his anger. “Look lady, I’m trying to help you. But if you want to live here, then fine with me.” He turned and stormed out of the cabin, slamming the door.

Maddy jumped when the door slammed. She let out a frustrated growl as she flung herself on the bed and seethed for a few minutes. Even if she would be safer in the main house, she couldn’t give up her dignity. She saw the way the men looked at her during dinner. They were waiting for her to fail, but she had news for them. She was a strong woman and would conquer this problem on her own.

I hope you enjoyed this short snippet. Have a wonderful Sunday, or what’s left of it…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Thursday Throwback – Finding the Right Time

Ever get lost in time?

In this sweet love story, Lily slips back to a time 100 years earlier and her life takes on a whole new meaning. Can you imagine living in two worlds?

Here’s a snippet:

When she stepped out of the car the breath left her lungs. The house was an old Victorian with beautiful, lavender wisteria covering the porch. On the porch was a swing and there was a red barn to the right of the house. Her legs went weak as she stood there. This was it. This was the house in her dreams. Was she dreaming? This couldn’t be real.

“Lily, are you alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” He lightly touched her arm.

“I’m fine. It’s just like I’ve seen this house before. Has this house ever been in a film or magazine that you know of?” She tried to rationalize all of this.

“Not that I’m aware of. Could have been in a home magazine, but I don’t think so.” At that moment a man walked across the front porch and waved at them. “There’s Anthony. He’s the owner of the house and my nephew.” She heard the pride in his voice.

When they walked up on the porch she had the feeling she’d been on this porch. She walked over to the railing and looked out across the yard toward the barn. There was the fenced in area that was in her dream. She turned to meet the owner and almost lost it.

The man standing in front of her looked like the man in the dream, not exactly, but it was definitely the same eyes. She was in complete shock. How could this be?

Anthony held out his hand to her. “I’m Anthony Kennedy.” He noticed the strange look she gave him. His heart took a somersault as he looked into her eyes. This was unbelievable. He just knew this was a coincidence.

“I’m Lily Smith and this is a gorgeous old house. How long have you owned it?” She had to figure this out.

“Well Lily this house has been in my family since the mid 1800’s. Old Thomas here is my uncle. His grandmother was my great grandfather’s sister. It’s a great old house.” He beamed with pride.

“Lily said it looked familiar. Has it been featured in a historical magazine or anything like that? I couldn’t remember.”

“No, but maybe you lived around here in a previous life.” He winked at her and walked over to open the front door.

********

Like I said, things get crazy in this time travel romance. Surprises fill this sweet romance with each new chapter. It is under rewrites even as we speak. It’s crazy how our writing styles change, then we go back and rewrite our previously published books. This is one of my favorite stories.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from this book:

He bowed his head and shook it from side to side. “I don’t understand how a man that’s been dead for over one hundred years can just take over your heart. How can you even think about going back to him? If you love me, how can you love him too?”

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Finding the Right Time


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It’s Release Day…..

Breakwater Lane Front Cover

Good Thursday morning! It’s release day! Do I sound excited? Well, I am… Breakwater officially released today and I’m beyond excited. This series is so much fun to write and I can’t wait to hear from my adoring readers.

**Small Town Romance**

When Jordan Reed inherits her grandfather’s deli in small town Wishful Harbor, her life is turned upside down. Things start to look better when her childhood crush, Skylar, turns out to be her new contractor. When someone tries to intervene in Jordan and Skylar’s relationships the mysteries of Jordan’s family start to unravel. What she learns could change her life and her family’s reputation forever.

If you didn’t preorder your copy, it’s still only .99 for today only! So grab it now…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

https://www.amazon.com/Breakwater-Lane-Wishful-Harbor-Book-ebook

 

 

 


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Character Sketch – Skyler Evans

Breakwater Lane Front Cover

Good morning! Today we’re talking about Skyler Evans, the lead male character in Breakwater Lane.

Skyler is from Breakwater Lane, born and raised. He’s from a hardworking family and has great values. Skyler tried life away from Wishful Harbor, going to college and working in Boston, but that wasn’t for him. He loves Wishful Harbor and all it has to offer. His home is on a cliff that overlooks the harbor.

Skyler is well liked in the small community. Everyone calls him when they need construction work. He’s trustworthy and able to fix just about anything he puts his mind to. One of his favorite things is to go for long walks on the beach.

Many years ago, he was in awe of a young girl that spent her summers in Wishful Harbor. But he never expected to see her again, until she walked up to the old deli and unlocked the door. His heart was shocked.

Don’t forget to preorder Breakwater Lane for only .99 until release day!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Throwback Thursday Cowboy!

Ghost Lover Advertising

This is the cowboy that started it all, my writing career that is. It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since Ghost Lover was published. 2012 was an exciting year, I took the leap into publishing my writing.

Let’s take a look at the book that led me down this wonderful road as an author.

Ghost Lover letter

I know, this was a sneaky thing to do, but this is one of my many favorite parts of this book. The letter that took them to a whole new world. Go by and check out Ghost Lover. I know you’ll fall in love with the love story of Jessie and Jared, I did!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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…


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What makes a good romance for you?

Romance novels come in many genres. It’s amazing how they’ve changed since I first picked up my first romance. I remember the intense feelings that the book brought out. It was based in Europe in the World War 2 era. I remember crying, laughing and being inspired to find my Prince Charming. I also remember finding out through reading that my Prince Charming would not always be perfect as the fairy tale goes.

For me a good romance needs to take you to another place. I want to be taken away from my normal world and transported into a exotic place, mystical place or just another time. I want the book to carry me away with emotions. The writer needs to make me think I’m there with the character, feeling the emotions, the anger, the sadness, the love, and especially the romance. I want to be able to still feel it even after I put the book down.

I can’t even imagine how many romance novels I’ve read in my lifetime. Recently I went through my collection of novels that are stored in my attic. I had to put them in plastic storage boxes as the boxes were falling apart from age and over use. It’s amazing how many times I’ve read some of them over and over. I even pulled some of them out and read them again. There’s nothing like the feel and smell of a aged book. The yellowed pages pull you in and keep you engrossed. 

I had several authors that I bought everytime I saw a new book in their collections. As I reboxed them I separated them by author. The publishers of most of them are still around, such as Harlequin, Avon and many others. I always knew if it had the Harlequin or Avon symbol on the side that it would be great. I remember going to flea markets and browsing hungrily through the many shelves of used books. As a teenager it was like a scavenger hunt for more titles from some of my favorites. 

A couple of my favorite books have been purchased a couple of times. You may be wondering why, well let me explain. I would lend them out and they never got returned. Then I would go on a mad search for them. When I’d find them again, they would stay with me.

So for me a good romance needs to make an impression. I want to think about it again and again even after I’ve read The End. I want to read it over and over and still fall in love. The characters need to pull at my heart strings. I want to be able to see them in my mind’s eye and carry that throughout the book.

Recently I heard from one of my dear fans. She told me that the descriptions of my characters made her see them clearly. She said that she felt like she knew them personally as she read through to the end. I was pleased that I’d accomplished that goal. Sometimes that can be a hard thing for a writer. You have to make sure that your character is well thought out and explained. If they are blonde, make sure they are blonde throughout. I read a book not too long ago and the main character started out as a blonde and the writer somehow I guess forgot and by the end their hair was ebony. And no they didn’t change hair color out of a bottle. It totally blew my mind.

I love to read a romance that makes me cry. It doesn’t have to be from sadness, but it could be just the sweetness of the romance. I have several books that I read over and over that make me cry every time. It’s just such a sweet, tender romance that it draws out the emotional part of me. 

So as you write, think about what draws you in. If you like time travel, then write about time travel. If you like a good, sappy romance, then write that sappy romance. If it’s erotica you love, then write erotica. Everyone has a niche and you have to find that niche. For me it’s the tender, sweet love story that builds throughout the story. I try to throw in a little intrigue and mystery, but in the end it’s the romance that draws you in.

So, as always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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…


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A Love Never Lost

Image

 

A Love Never Lost is my longest book to date. I enjoyed writing this book. It covers romance, suspense, mystery and horses. Who doesn’t like a cowboy romance with a twist?

It’s available on Amazon, Smashwords.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Apple, Allromanceebooks.com, Google Play and Sony. Check it out. It’s available in paperback and ebook. 

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July and a safe one.

As always, great writing and May God Bless you…