Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Inside a Series…

Series Article

Good morning! As you can tell from the picture above, I’m talking about Five Oaks Ranch, my bestselling series.

Have you written a series? If so, did you have a hard time keeping the stories straight? This series was a work in progress that kept me on my toes. The idea for the series came as we drove back from our Florida vacation a couple of years ago. The road signs were passing by and each one seemed to spur an idea. So, by the time I got home, I had a skeleton map drawn on my notepad. Since I get car sick easily, it was a horrible looking thing, but I had it in my head and heart.

Over the next couple of days, I put together the book names, the character sketches for the five main characters and ideas for how their stories would go together. This series was the most fun as they almost wrote themselves. Each book fed off the other and it was as though I wrote one long manuscript and cut it into five books. I know, there were six, but the Christmas book only came into my head toward the end of Luke.

Several people started writing to me that they wanted to know more about the parents. At first, I was like, but this is the story about the five children, hence the series name, Five Oaks Ranch. Then as I sat thinking about it, I came up with the idea for the Christmas story that would bring it all together. So, A Christmas to Remember was born. By the way, at the end of the Christmas book, I’ve put several of my own family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

The family tree is introduced in the Christmas book. You’ll notice that some of the kids haven’t been born in any of the books, but I wanted to let my readers know that the characters went on to lead love-filled lives together.

So, have you started the Five Oaks Ranch series yet? Ridge is free! This book stayed in the top 100 of free books on Amazon for over a year, which made me giggle with excitement everytime I looked at the stats. And you’ll notice a pretty, shiny silver medallion on the cover of Ridge. He was honored with a five-star review from Reader’s Favorites! Here’s the link to the whole series if you’re in the market for a new series to read, but here’s a warning, you’ll fall in love with the Cauthen’s.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday morning writing…

It’s the Monday after the Super Bowl and everyone is sluggish and sleepy. Some are grumpy, and some are smiling broadly. I’m not a huge football fan, but since Georgia had a team in it, I watched some of it. Of course, my son and hubby watched the whole thing.

Oh well, on to writing. I’ve been working on ‘Promises Made’, the first book in the Sky Ridge Series. It’s a sweet story of how love comes in when you least expect it and sweeps you off your feet. As the series progresses, there will be trials and tribulations. Things will not always be as they seem.

I love writing historical romance. There are so many aspects of history that can be delved into. The research is fascinating and gives me ideas for more stories, so it’s a win-win!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Romance…

Good Monday morning! Hope you had a restful weekend… The topic of today, Romance. There are so many facets of romance that it boggles the mind, but I want to talk about something I read the other day that quite frankly made me giggle… so here goes…

I was reading a writing post and someone chimed in with a comment on romance writers. She said, ‘Why do romance writer’s write about romance as though it’s  an achievable goal; when in fact, romance is a myth?’

I know… GASP!!!!! When I read this I sat back and sighed. Romance is not a myth! For one thing, romance should be a goal in your relationship with your significant other. I have romance in my marriage. For example, at the moment, my husband is building me a farm table for my dining room. It’s the most romantic gesture because he knew I wanted one, so he’s making it happen.

Now, I do agree that as romance writer’s we do embellish, but that’s for the entertainment of our readers. If we just wrote a book about everyday life and included no extraordinary romance in it, would we keep our readers? I know that, personally, when I pick up a romance, I want to be wooed by the romance that spills from the authors words. A frilly romance can put a smile on your face.

You can get lost in the romance of a book. The unreal aspects of books are what makes them so much fun to read. But folks, romance is real. It doesn’t have to be wine and roses every day. It can simply be a look across the table or holding hands for no reason.

So, give me your thoughts…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you get a chance, my newest release came out last night, ‘Sowing the Right Seed’, so go by and check it out. https://www.amazon.com/Sowing-Right-Seed-Lean-Book-ebook/dp/B01MUDJL8O

Also, sign up to be on my street team or simply to get my monthly newsletter at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com.


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Character Sketches…

It’s Friday! Yea! But I have some work to do. With two new series starting up this year, I have several things to do and one of those things is character sketches. If you’re asking what the heck is a character sketch, well, let me fill you in…

Alright, here goes… When you start a new book, there are several steps, but one of the most important during the writing process is the character information. Let me explain how I do my character information sheets.

1. I grab my notebook that will be for the series notes and I keep all my information in it. This notebook stays in my writing bag for quick retrieval. This is very important to have at your fingertips because if you’re halfway through book two and can’t remember what someone’s name is or what they do, you’ll need to be able to grab that without having to read book one to jog your memory.

2. First off, you need to name your characters, starting with the main ones. Then add the details. Let’s face it, when you’re writing that character, you know what they look like, but your reader doesn’t unless you show them. So, under the character sketch, you put every detail you can. I include A. Name

A. Name

B. Description: Hair color, eye color, height, build, disposition, age, birthdate, etc. You       get the idea.

C. Family that might show up in the stories. Brothers, sisters, parents, etc.

D. Where are they from and where do they live now?

E. Now, this is where the fun starts, leave plenty of room for added notes. As a story     unfolds, you’ll build the character sketch. If they get a new career, get married, have children. Add anything new to the character. This helps down the road and keeps you from having to keep looking back.

3. Make sure you have one for every character you add. Well, if they are only making a one time appearance, leave them out, but if it’s even just the store owner and your character occasionally goes to the store, then you need to add them.

So, do you prepare character sketches? I didn’t for a long time and it was so frustrating, but through writing studies, I’ve learned how to make life easier. Writing is a crazy world of names, places, plots, and so much more that you have to have a way to keep it straight.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

 

 


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Romance… Enough said…

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Good Wednesday morning everyone! I’ve been a little out of pocket lately, but with several deadlines looming, I’ve had my head to the grind. Hope I haven’t missed too much…

Romance, such a simple word, but such a powerful word. We all need it in our lives. Maybe it’s through marriage, dating, or reading, we need that little spark that makes us smile. But how do you find it?

I’ve had people tell me, after they hear I’m a romance author, that romance is an empty hole that you fall into, hoping for something that’s just plain out a myth. Yep, I want to slap them. Romance isn’t mythical, the unicorn is, but not romance.

As a romance author, I delve into the many aspects of romance. It amazes me to see the depth of romance in our world. If you sit on a bench and watch people, which I love to do, you’ll see it in the smallest of movements or gestures. It’s there folks, you just have to look for it. So, pick up a romance novel and read about it. I know, it’s fiction, but guess what, it’s a real thing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Sonya Loveday – The Vows We Make Releases Today!

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Now available on Amazon.
Click here to purchase
Or Read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

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The Vows We Make
Book 4 of The Six Series
Mark and Paige’s story.

Some vows can be deadly…..

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Mark and Paige are living in sin—that’s what any man of the cloth would say. All they want is to get married, but they refuse to exchange vows without their best friends—the Six. As they wait to hear back from them, Mark and Paige can’t help but feel they’ve been put off… forgotten.

When the threat of an enemy stalking them is brought to light, the call is made to bring them into the secretive world of Cole Enterprise.

Slotted for recruitment by the very agency that stole their chance at a normal life, Mark and Paige have to adjust to their new path as secret agents in a war they didn’t even know existed.
What neither fully understands is that nothing will ever be the same… and some vows are deadlier than others.

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CHANGE WAS ALL AROUND ME. Everything was different. My life. My dreams. All of it.
Maybe some of it was for the best. Maybe it would push Mark and me to make more of ourselves than we would have on our own.
Crossing my arms tightly, I stepped out onto the dock and made my way to where Mark stood looking out over the water.
Coming back to the cabin and being around our friends after such a long absence from both had enveloped us in something like a constrictive hug. Both needing it, while desperately trying to come to terms with it.
“Hey,” I said, stepping up beside him and sighing when he pulled me into his arms.
I leaned back, turning my head slightly to fit into the crook of his neck. His cheek brushed against my hair and he asked, “Can you believe this place?”
I snorted. “No. But then again, we are talking about Jared’s parents, so…”
“True. It still feels the same here though,” he answered, watching the water ripple along the surface with the wind.
Arriving at the cabin, or what used to be the cabin, had sort of floored us all. No one knew what to say when we’d got our first glimpse of the new and improved place.
What used to be one story with a kitchen, living room, and six bedrooms with bathrooms was gone. Its replacement was two stories, ten bedrooms with full bathrooms, a massive open-floor kitchen/living room, a movie theater room, and a game room. Grant and Nadia had gone all out to make the cabin a place where all of us could live together, for an unforeseeable amount of time.
“It’s like they just knew…” I said, leaving the rest of what I was thinking unsaid. It wouldn’t do any good to dwell on the things none of us could change.
“How are you holding up with all of this?” Mark asked.
I sighed deeply and closed my eyes. “Honestly? I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s like this huge war being waged right here,” I said, poking my finger against my chest. “I’m happy to see everyone. We’re here together—just like we wanted—but for all the wrong reasons. I’m missing classes and work. I don’t know what to do with myself. My life is literally on hold at this point.”
He hugged me tighter. “Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. If you want to leave, we’ll go. They can’t hold us here.”
I snorted. “Can you imagine the look on all of their faces if we just walked out with our suitcases behind us? No. I love you for that though. It’s nice to hear you’d do that to make me happy.”
He kissed the top of my head. “I’d do anything to make you happy, Paige.”

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The Vows We Make is Amazon Exclusive!
Don’t have a Kindle?
No problem!

All you have to do is download the Kindle App to your tablet or phone!

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Sonya Loveday, first and foremost is a reader, an avid one. It is of that love that brought her to purchasing her first laptop in 2009, and then publishing her first novel, Casted, in 2013.

Not long after the completion to the Casted Series, Sonya tried her hand at Contemporary Romance.
Thusly, the Six were born with The Summer I Fell.

In 2015 Sonya joined forces with best friend and fellow author Candace Knoebel. Together the duo created the Game of Hearts Novels. The series has two published titles: Love Always and Runaway Heart. Knoebel and Loveday will be releasing the third book in the series in 2017.

For more information about releases, and appearances, follow Sonya on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/sonyalovedayauthor


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#amwriting…Beautiful morning!

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What a beautiful morning in Georgia! It may be Monday, but it feels good. I’m coming off a new release weekend full of tweets, posts, interviews, etc, so I’m feeling pretty good.

This morning I’m working on the last book in the Women of Magnolia Hill Saga. It’s sad, but true. Since this historical romance saga is based in my beloved Georgia, I’ll be sad to see it finished. But it’s time to move forward.

Now that Tuscany is out and Highlander’s Heart is on the heels of releasing, it’s time to work on upcoming manuscripts. I have some exciting projects coming up, one for Autumn and one for Christmas, but I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Also, coming up will be a couple of cover releases and blurbs to give you just a tidbit of what’s up in my writing world.

Before I leave you to slip back into my own little world of #amwriting, I’ll leave you with a snippet from Tuscany: (This excerpt is from the journal that led Lana to Tuscany)

July 15, 1970

Last night Angel climbed the trellis to my balcony and woke me. He said we could be married by his uncle in town. So I made the decision to choose the man I love over my family. I’ll never look back but only forward as I start my life as Angel Tolino’s wife.

I love the journal entries that are featured in this book. They take you back in time. It’s a special part of Tuscany!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…