Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s almost Christmas!

Good Monday morning folks were you ready for Monday yet! Me neither! As you know, I love my coffee, but this morning it’s not good at all. Since I was half asleep when I put the coffee together last night, it’s highly likely I put one too many scoops in the filter. Oh well, I’m still gulping it down with a cringe. I’ll probably be running on high octane in about an hour.

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? It’s in a couple of days, are you ready? I have a couple of gift cards to purchase, then I’ll be ready to go.

I’m pleased to announce that I did what I promised myself I’d do, I finished the Five Oaks Series before Christmas. All 6 books came out this year! Whew, I’m exhausted, but happy with the results. The Christmas book actually rounded the whole series out, with little bits of everyone’s life joined into one book.

Since the series is complete, I’ve been taking a couple of days to take a breath and go over my schedule for 2016. Can’t wait to reveal some of the books in the works, but my assistant would have a coronary if I tell everything 😉

Speaking of my assistant, she’s home from college for Christmas, so she’s busy creating wonderful covers for upcoming projects and yes, I’ve promised to keep them secret, but it’s so hard. She even talked me into this really cool calendar/journal. It stays beside me all the time. All my publish dates, finish dates, proofing dates, etc. are in there!

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I just love it! The things inside of this fancy cover are top secret, well for a little while, but I’ll sneak some stuff out when I can.

So, are you finished shopping? Have you finished what you wanted to this year? If not, hop to it, the end of 2015 is almost here.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Your Heart! Is it protected from your writing?

You may be saying, what??? What I’m saying is simply this, as writers we put our whole heart into what we do, or at least we should. To me it’s like pouring out my soul when I write. I sometimes finish a writing session as feel so drained and other times I’m cleansed from the incessant chatter in my head by characters that just have to be heard. Writers, you know what I mean 🙂

When you pour your heart into something and then it doesn’t go well, how do your heart feel? Sometimes it really bothers me when sales are down and then an upturn starts and I smile. But my heart does a flip flop and sometimes I wonder if it stops for a second to bask in the good fortune.

My newest novel has been doing really well, which is exciting. The funny thing is and maybe it shouldn’t surprise me, but it seems that people are buying it and the first book in the series together. The sales are coming in twos. One day I did really well and the sales were even on both books in the series. Maybe I should do more series, ummm,,,

So back to the heart of writing. If you go into your writing with both feet forward and your heart encased in the whole process, make sure that you’re ready for some aches and pains. Writing is a process and sometimes it doesn’t go like we want it to, but other times it goes better than expected. My heart stays on a constant roller coaster. i just hope it’s up to the challenge 🙂

In romance writing you have to put your heart in it. Sometimes it’s a lot of your own heart that you write about. Your fantasies, your flops in the love department or just what you’ve experience in the heart department. Some of my favorite writing has been from my own experiences, changed a bit for obvious reasons. Don’t want anyone to think I’ve lived a fantasy life. 

So on this Saturday as you go about your house cleaning, your chores, your errands and hopefully your writing, put your heart into it, but put a protective hedge around it. Don’t let the downs affect your heart, keep the heart pumping and keep writing 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Social Media and writing books

One year ago I was in the editing process of the first book I published. At that time I was just a normal (Well as normal as I can be) accountant. I didn’t have a Twitter account, refused to go on Facebook and didn’t think much about social media. Funny huh!

Now I’ve got social media accounts running out my ears. But that’s one thing I learned was that you have to go social media crazy when you publish a book. That is if you want to succeed.

My first venture into the social world was this blog. It has been so much fun. I at first wondered what I would write about on a daily basis. Then I laughed at myself because I guess you would say I’ve got a writers brain. If I could write a 400 page novel surely I could handle a blog post. So far so good. I don’t guess I’ve put anyone to sleep yet, or at least I hope not anyway. 🙂

Then the social media world spiraled. My editor set up a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook for each book, then one for me, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Pinterest, Reddit, and the list goes on. It takes me a good part of two cups of coffee in the mornings to get through all of them. I actually look forward to the new additions to my pages from all of my new friends that I’ve gained from all over the world through these sites. It’s never a dull moment. I love reading all of the posts from other bloggers. I’ve learned a lot.

So, as a writer you’ve got to embrace social media and just go for it. I’ve been conducting an experiment with my smashwords book stats and Twitter. When I Tweet my books from the Smashwords website the views skyrocket. It’s funny how that simple click of the key just  makes people curious. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Today’s post is all about my wonderful friend Rosie Amber. We met through my writing and it’s been a wonderful friendship. It’s nice to be friends with fellow authors because you can share ideas, bounce things off them and just talk. I wanted to share her current book with you and I hope you’ll check it out. You will not be sorry. So here’s more about her:

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When the police have been seen at school on the second day of term, fighting breaks out amongst parents and gossip about individuals threatens to spiral out of control, can Mrs Hardy, the Headmistress at Moortulk Primary keep control for another school year?
Sophie Grey lands a self-made job where she is in a prime position to hunt out the inside story. Is this an idyllic English village school? Or is it on a par with St. Trinians?

 

ASIN No: B008HE75PO

 

 In the UK check out;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Talk-of-the-Playground-ebook/dp/B008HE75PO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359794204&sr=1-1#_

 

In the USA check out;

http://www.amazon.com/Talk-of-the-Playground-ebook/dp/B008HE75PO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359795400&sr=8-1&keywords=talk+of+the+playground

 

Rosie Amber was brought up in a beautiful Hampshire village; she is married and has two children. She combined her love of writing with a desire to embrace social technology. Talk of the Playground evolved from a spark of an idea from her experiences as a parent in the school playground. Rosie had fun writing the book and hopes it makes you chuckle and brings laughter into your life.

 

X Rosie

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Let’s Talk Print On Demand

What’s been your experience with Print On Demand? It took me a few months to decide whether I wanted to go down this road. I weighed several options and found that CreateSpace offered the best bang for the buck. So I took a deep breath and jumped, hanging on to the edge for a moment then finally with the help of my editor/assistant I let go. (She would say I went kicking and screaming. It wasn’t all that bad. Really it wasn’t ;))

If you’ve never looked into CreateSpace I would suggest giving them a try. They make it so easy to submit your book and cover. But remember you have to have the back and spine completed also. Now that was a different monster in itself. We had to read the instructions about measuring the spine. Yep it’s a fine science and guess what, if you don’t do it right the spine design with wrap around to the front and back. Thank goodness the one it did that on with me actually turned out looking pretty cool.

With CreateSpace you can pay only $25 and go into their expanded distribution program. This sends your books to several wholesale distributors and big book franchises. I at first wondered if this was going to be a good thing, but when I googled one of my books it was amazing how many places my books have shown up. One day I found my books on someones blog that I had no idea who they were. That was so cool. Then it started happening pretty frequently. It’s like you’re paying $25 for advertising. 

Also your book goes on Amazon and you can connect it to your author page. When Amazon recognized book stores pick up your print book, Amazon posts it on your book page. Sometimes the other companies post a different price then you input but you still get what you’re supposed to. 

As for sales on the CreateSpace page, not many but you as the author can buy them really cheap from CreateSpace. All you pay is the print costs and shipping. At least you have your book in print without paying a huge printing  fee. Try it, you might be surprised. Hope this helps you out or gives you a little food for thought.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Staying busy…

Well it’s Wednesday. The work week is half over. Since I’m an Accountant, this is the start of my busy season. With the Fiscal Cliff issue somewhat resolved the IRS has finally released a date that we can start filing some returns. Remember I said some, not all. That could mean a lot of things like angry clients, moody preparers and lots and lots of fun 🙂

As for me, I love this season. I love to be busy. Especially this year with adding published author into the mix. It’s been a real busy ride so far. What with publishing 6 books in 2012 and marketing said 6 books, but I’m not complaining. I met some awesome people along the way. People I would never have met had it not been for my writing. By the way that means you guys 🙂

Someone asked me the other day had being a published author changed me. I laughed hysterically and then said “NO”. Now if I was a bestselling author on the New York Best sellers list, maybe, but probably not then either. I’m just me, a down to earth, country girl, who loves what I do whether it be writing, accounting or ministering to children.

Now that’s the fun one. Have you ever ministered to children? Or even taught children? It’s is so rewarding and stressful at the same time. The rewarding times are watching their faces light up when they get what you’re saying, or in my case when they bring the Savior into their heart. Those smiling faces on Sunday and Wednesday can cheer you up or make you suspicious. Sometimes I can feel really under the weather and just their smiles can have a healing effect.  The stressful times can be too much sugar (Yeah I’ve made that mistake, learned lesson), snotty noses, bad manners, and lack of discipline. But if you love working with children the plus far outweighs the minus.

So hope all of you are well in the middle of this week and finding happiness in all you do. Just try to be positive and make even the most tedious task fun. It really makes a difference. 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless you.


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Self Publishing: Do or Don’t?

I’ve read several posts lately regarding the decision whether to go traditional publisher or do it yourself. It’s a hard question to answer without some investigating your options. That’s what I did before I published my books. Here’s my findings and remember, this is just my experiences and opinions.

When I first decided to publish my books I sent a query letter to a traditional publisher. Well, after several months I didn’t receive a response and I was really wanting to the book out. So, being the person I am, I started looking into other options. I didn’t know a lot about self publishing, but soon I was immersed in the how-to’s. It was an interesting concept. What really impressed me was the royalty rates versus traditional rates.

One of the issues was that in traditional publishing you have someone doing book promos for you and the self publishing market you do it yourself. Being an accountant by trade I wasn’t sure about this. But with more in depth investigating I realized I could do this. Thank goodness my assistant is in college and she is very with working computer magic.

The funny thing is that it was easier than I had ever imagined. I was not a social media butterfly, so easing me into that part of the marketing was extremely funny to my assistant. The first time I received a follower on Twitter I was like, really, someone I don’t even know followed me. She just laughed and rolled her eyes. Since then it’s been crazy. I blog, I tweet and I have my books on every website I can find. My accounting office has turned into publishing central.

We even design our own covers and have gotten some real good reviews on them. I have gotten a couple of calls from traditional publishers wanting me to sign with them. That’s been gratifying but the only thing is some of them want me to pay for their services. I asked one the other day and they are a big publisher, what are you going to do to market my book? Guess what, I was doing the same exact thing they were going to do, and paying thousands less than they wanted to do it.

So, I guess with me, I’ve had a good experience with self publishing. I won’t say that I’ll never go with a traditional publisher, but for now I’m happy with doing it myself. I have been talking with a small publishing company that is interested, but that will be later on. At least with self publishing I can get it out there now, not next year.

Hope this helps you if you’re trying to decide. As always great writing and May God bless you!


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Surprise on Amazon!

I was looking up my book files on Amazon yesterday when I noticed a strange addition. At first I panicked thinking someone had hijacked my books. But in fact it was where I have one of my paperbacks in expanded distribution through CreateSpace. Seven wholesale book companies have picked up my book and have it on their sites. Needless to say I was dancing around the office. So, that inclined me to do this very shameless post. I haven’t posted my books lately, so here goes. Sorry for anyone who does not want to or care to know this. All of these are available on Smashwords, Amazon, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Apple, & Sony.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

 

 

Ghost Lover

Stephanie Payne Hurt

Having a father who thought business came first and his daughter last had affected her. But when Jess turned 21 he gave her a gift that would change her life and add an unexpected love. What was behind such an extravagant and unexpected gift? Would her father’s business partner put a stop to any happiness that she could have or would the man of her dreams take her away from it all. Jess would soon find out her father’s sinister plan. When tragedy strikes will she find her Ghost Lover or will all be                    lost.

 Tender Flames

Stephanie Payne Hurt

Sara has loved Wes all of her life, but she only sees sisterly love in his eyes. What happens when in a moment of anger she makes a hasty decision? Will it turn his head or turn him away? When tragedy strikes will the tables turn in her direction? Will love finally fan the tender flames of love?

 

 

 

Moonbeam & Roses

Stephanie Payne Hurt

Sara secretly had a crush on Wes and had most of her life. Then when Wes rejects her love and moves to Montana, she jumps into her work as an artist and into the arms of another man. It is not until a tragic accident happens that things start to turn around for Sara. Could she finally have true love with the cowboy in her dreams or will her blindness cause her to throw it all away.

With All My Heart…

Stephanie Payne Hurt

When Amanda moves to a small town to pursue her career as a Children’s Minister, she never expects to find the man God has sent for her. But just as she opens her heart up to him something terrible happens to her causing her to shut the world out, including the love of her life. Will he be able to help her find her faith or will she forever be lost?

 

 

A Love Never Lost

Stephanie Payne Hurt

Friends since early childhood, Lilly and Zane have always been inseparable. After four years apart, will their relationship change? Upon seeing Lilly again after such a long absence he realizes his heart belongs to her. When a wealthy ranch owner from Texas offers Lilly the job of a lifetime, will she leave knowing the effect it will have on Zane and their relationship? Will her new boss expect more than just an employer/employee relationship? Just how far will he go to win her over? Will Zane be able to pull her from the ties of the ranch or will it be A Love Never Lost?


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When Love is Rekindled…

Have you ever had a love in your life that you gave up? Did you always wonder what would have happened if you would have given that love a chance? What if there was more to the story? What if you had a good reason to step away from that love? Well, your heart will never be the same….

Check out an excerpt from the 2nd book in the “Flames of Love” Series, my current writing project, “Rekindled Flames”, it may have you thinking about that love that you gave up.

“As we lay our dear friend to rest, let’s reflect on his life for a moment.” As Lydia listened to the pastor start on her father’s great life, she lowered her head. It was hard to believe he was actually gone. As she tried to get her head straight, she felt as if someone was burning a hole in her from their stare. She’d been getting a lot of weird looks since she had come home for the funeral.

She finally decided to look up and as she gazed across the top of the grave, she locked eyes with the man that had haunted her dreams for the last two years. She knew she must have gasped because her mother reached over and grasped her hand. She looked quickly around at her mother. She was looking at Randy too. Her mother and father were the only two people on earth who knew her secret. They were well aware how fragile it was to her.

She decided that she needed to face the reality of the fact that he was at her father’s funeral. Didn’t she halfway expected it? He had gotten to know her father as their friendship blossomed. Her mind drifted back about four years and she had to close her eyes to hold back the pain. It still hurt badly.

What? Did you think I was going to tell all? Can’t do that, not yet. For one reason it is not yet finished and another reason is that it would give away the story. I am excited to continue this series. It was a special one for me. I hope you enjoyed the small excerpt. If things work out well, it will be finished soon, that is if I don’t have writers block.

As always, have a wonderful Tuesday and good writing. May God bless and keep you.