Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Throwback Thursday…Ghost Lover

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Ghost Lover was the first book I published officially. It’s my baby of sorts… So here’s a chapter from Ghost Lover…

Chapter 16

She walked into the stables and leaned on a post just inside the doors. She sniffed the air for a hint of the scent she’d smelt earlier. It wasn’t long before the scent went by her nose. She stood very still and let the wind direction lead her nose. She could tell it was coming from the back of the stable around the door that led to the back field.

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 at her.

“I don’t want you to see me this way. I want you to remember me before you look at 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.

“Jess, are you in here?” She could hear Thomas calling her, but her brain wouldn’t let her speak. He grabbed her arm and turned her toward him.

“What are you doing down here at night, alone? Have you lost leave of your senses?” She could tell he was angry and worried.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I came down here to check on Ghost Lover. I’m fine; no harm’s come to me.” Her eyes kept going to the shadows. Had she just kissed a man or a ghost? Was she losing it?

“Well, let’s go back to the house. You don’t need to be roaming around by yourself at night when nobody knows where you’re at, especially in your condition.”

They walk back to the house. Her mind completely lost in thought. All she could think about was what she’d experienced. Was he real or her imagination?

When they got inside and were on the way upstairs Thomas stopped her. “What were you thinking? It’s almost one in the morning. What if you’d fallen or someone had grabbed you?”

“I was completely safe. I doubt very seriously anyone would’ve been in the stables at midnight and I didn’t fall. I needed some air.” She started back up the stairs. Remembering what she’d heard the man or whatever he was, say about Thomas.

He followed her into the bedroom. She climbed into the bed and watched him come around the other side. “What are you doing?”

He looked up and smiled, “Well, we are married and this is where I usually sleep, beside my wife.” He grinned and got into bed beside her. He planned on acting like a real husband soon. He could only hold himself away for so long, especially when her warm body was lying beside him at night. He was hoping to sweep her off her feet.

He leaned over her and she pushed him away. “Have you lost your mind? I still don’t remember being married to you and I can’t have that kind of relationship with you until I do remember.” She jumped out of the bed and grabbed her pillow. “I’m going down the hall to one of the other rooms. Goodnight.”

He just laid back and smiled. She’d be putty in his hands before long. He just knew he was getting through to her.

She had a very restless night. She dreamed of a beautiful cabin. She could see herself walking toward a stable door. She was looking for someone, but whom? She was almost to the door when the stables exploded. She woke up screaming and sweating profusely. Thomas came through the door running and pulled her into his arms. “Not another nightmare. You should’ve stayed with me. Come on back to our room.”

“No, I’ll be fine.” She couldn’t even stand to be near him all of a sudden. Why’d she feel this way about her own husband or was he? Could the man in her dream be right?”

“Okay, but I’ll be right down the hall if you need me.” He walked out and left the door open.

She finally was able to fall asleep, but her dreams were restless. She had to make sure that she was in the stables at midnight. She had to know if he was real or part of her imagination, but he felt too real. Her heart was pounding hard just thinking about him. Why’d she react to a man she didn’t know? Why’d he warn her about Thomas?

As I said, this was my first book I published. My writing style has changed so much since I published this one. But my heart is still with romance.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thursday and keep on writing!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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When do you take the next step?

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Happy Labor Day everyone… I do hope all of you are having a great day!

Ok, so I’ve been pondering something for a while, but I’m still undecided. It’s the same feeling I had just before I pushed the button to submit my first book, Ghost Lover. The feeling is gnawing at my gut and won’t let me sleep, but as I’m a thinker, I’ve been thinking a lot.

So far, I’ve self-published 35 books, made it to the top 55 of Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest, received awards, but there’s still something missing. There’s further to go, but how far? How far do you go beyond where you thought you were going? As I said, it’s gnawing at me and I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of something, but what?

As I’ve researched, read, and followed the publishing world, I realized what I’ve been missing, an agent. So, I reached out to a couple of big time authors that have commented on my work and their consensus seems to be, I need to reach out to a literary agent. But, as this is a big step for me, and if you know me, that’s saying something. Do I do this? Do I give up some of the freedom I’ve had as a self-published author?

You may be wondering, will she or won’t she? I’m going to push forward and do it. This is the week that I put myself out there and see what happens. If nothing happens, I’ve lost nothing, but if something does happen, well, I’ll let you know.

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


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Throwback Thursday – Writing…

Good Thursday morning! If you’ve read my posts, you know I need my coffee, meaning I need caffeine in the morning… With that said, I let us run out of coffee… Yes, I know! Why? Why? Why? I found a bag of coffee my mom gave us, but it’s decaffeinated, yikes! I was a walking zombie until I remembered the Keurig coffee I had. Yay! I’m back to the living and think I can function today…

So, on to the post of the day… It’s Throwback Thursday and why not do a post on my back stock books. Now, just a little reminder, a couple of these were from my early days of writing, sooooo, let’s just say, my style has changed.

The first book I officially published was Ghost Lover, which has recently been revised… This book has my heart, just sayin’ … And the Facebook page for this book has exceeded the follows on all of my pages, it’s been amazing.

Then there was Tender Flames… Ahhh, yes, one of my hearts too. This story played with my mind for a long time before I finally put it on paper (Years before it was published). This too has been revised…

 

Moonbeam & Roses made me cry. I used up several boxes of tissues with this one. It pulled at my heartstrings and from the reader response, it pulled at others too…

Finding the Right Time came to me in a dream… I had to get it on paper as soon as I woke and it was written fairly quickly. It’s in the revision process at the moment, and will be redone soon. But, the story is fun and different, but overlook the style of writing. Yep, I was gaining my voice… Enough said… This was by far the hardest cover to design..

And last but not least, one of my oldest published novels, A Love Never Lost. This book made it to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest… That was a thrilling time, but it’s sad they stopped doing that contest.

 

So, that’s my Throwback Thursday… Hope you enjoyed it. It was a pleasant trip down my publishing memory lane.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Thursday Thoughts…

Good morning! For some reason this morning I feel excited that something is about to happen with my writing. I felt this way just before I made it to the top 55 in Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest in 2015 and also right before I submitted Tuscany to Solstice. But I don’t know what it is this time.

You may be asking, Stephanie, do you have anything submitted to a publisher, and my answer would be no. I guess, but don’t know, it’s the feeling of a coming announcement or maybe the new series that I’m starting in a couple of months, which by the way is really, really exciting for me. I don’t know. It’s just this strange but delightful feeling that has me humming and singing, thank goodness I’m alone in the house at the moment 😉

So, how are you feeling today? Any news to share?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P. S. If you haven’t joined my newsletter, then give it a whirl. I just hit send on my latest newsletter this morning. It’s easy to join and I don’t fill your inbox with needless chatter, just upcoming releases, and sales…  www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

 

 

 


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Where did January go?

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already February! I feel like I just got settled into the new year and then, bam, another month has passed by in a flash. My grandmother always said, the older you get, the faster times goes by. Of course, when I was young, I thought that was the silliest thing ever. Now, I get it.

So much water has flowed under this bridge that some days I can hardly believe that I’m nearing the half-century mark. Don’t go there! I don’t feel my age and I certainly don’t act it, but it’s there none the less. And to think, my baby is graduating high school in May, what???

Another milestone I’m facing this year, but it’s a good one is that I’ve been a published author for five years. May 12th will mark Ghost Lover’s fifth year in publication. To think, this time five years ago, I was still skeptical about putting my name and work out to the public and now I’m nearing the publication of my 30th book. Yes, I said 30! That’s another thing that baffles my mind. I guess the old adage is true, time flies when you’re having fun!

This Sunday, the hubby and I will celebrate 23 years of blissful marriage. Some days it feels like just yesterday, then other days it feels like we’ve been together our whole lives. That’s what romance does to you, it blows your mind. I wouldn’t take anything for all of the adventures we’ve had and the things we’ve shared.

Now, as I sit here, getting ready to do my morning writing, I’m gazing at my calendar. Yep, I had better get off this post before I fall further behind and have to deal with my assistant’s frown. She has a tendency to look at my writing calendar and tsk tsk at me. LOL!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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Highlander’s Heart is out…#27

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Highlander’s Heart is out today! If you love historical romance, highlanders, Scottish men in kilts, well, check it out. Here’s the blurb:

The moment Laird Ewan Cowen looks into Evina McLeod’s emerald green eyes, the sparks fly. He needs a bride and she needs his protection from the evil Laird McKinney. When Ewan offers marriage in exchange for his protection, Evina has no choice, but the love that unfolds in the days before their wedding is unexpected.  Neither of them knew that McKinney had a hidden agenda. Evina was the pawn in McKinney’s plan and after they were wed, he would see his plan accomplished, ending Ewan’s life in the process with the help of a spy within Ewan’s clan. Romance, adventure, and secrets fill this book set in 1725 Scotland.

Can you believe this is #27 in my publishing career? I can’t believe it. Someone asked me the other day, ‘how many books have you published’ and I sat there, naming them off. Wow, I was surprised. But, time flies when you’re having fun…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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Excitement in the air!

 

Contract signing

When I walked into my office yesterday morning, it seemed like any normal Wednesday morning, but it turned out to be an extraordinary day. Let me give you a little background on the reason it was spectacular. I’ve been publishing my work for a little over 4 years and it’s been such a wonderful time, but in the back of my mind, I wondered what it would be like to sign a publishing contract. Today I got the chance to see what it felt like and I have to say it felt wonderful!

I turned in Tuscany on Monday to Solstice Publishing and yesterday I received a sweet note with a contract attached. Let’s just say for a moment I sat there, reading the email about ten times, then pinching myself before I realized that yes, it was real. I screamed, totally alarming the three men outside that were working on my property. Then, of course, I sat back, trying to remember how to breathe.

The picture above was taken as I signed the contract and gave Solstice publishing rights to my manuscript. It was the scariest thing as a self-published author and the most gratifying thing knowing that all the late nights and long hours of tapping at the keys had finally paid off. To say I’m humbled is an understatement. Now, as I sit here in the after glow, I’m totally off the rocker excited about what the future will hold.

So, my advice is to do what I’ve been told over and over by successful authors, keep pushing, keep moving forward and one day, it will happen!

I’ll keep you up to date on the process as it goes. It’s a new, exciting adventure.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…