Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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The Struggles of a Writer…

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Good morning… If you’re a writer you know some of the struggles of a writer. Maybe you’re not a writer and you ask what I’m speaking of, well here goes. As a writer you have many struggles and I’m listing just the top five.

  1. Time – A lot of writers aren’t full time. They work other jobs and have to fit their writing in between business meetings, job hours and family time. It’s a true struggle to meet deadlines and get everything else done. But as a writer, you strive to get that few minutes here and there to write. The story has to be told.
  2. Being seen – This is a real struggle in a market that is bursting at the seams with other writers just like you. You have to find the right niche, then make sure you stand out among the thousands, in some genres, millions of other books.
  3. Money – If you haven’t had that break out moment, then you’re having to pay for a lot of advertising and promoting. It’s a struggle when you spend more than what comes in.
  4. Reviews – Oh yeah, this is a struggle for traditional and indie authors. You don’t want to buy reviews, you want genuine, heartfelt reviews that draw in more readers. But more and more I hear fellow writers say it’s almost impossible to get their readers to post a review. Reviews help us authors build our reader base.
  5. Respect – Wow, this one is hard to gain. Most people look at you strangely when you say you’re a writer. Some even say, oh I can do that, but don’t have the time. Then they say, can’t you find a better way to spend your time, or you need to do something other than write. In my opinion those people don’t have a clue as to the draw of a writer to the writing. We have to do it.

So, do you feel the struggle?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Getting to the Heart of Romance

As most of you know, I write romance. I also blog about romance and the need for more of it in our lives. As I’ve said many times, romance helps in so many ways.If you’re married, you need sprinkles of romance in every aspect of that marriage. If you’re in a relationship and it’s leaning toward love, well you need romance. It just helps out with even the most tense moment.

I’ve read hundreds, dare I say thousands of romance novels. Sometimes I have to laugh at the lengths a writer will go to when trying to tickle a readers ears. I know all about those lengths. I do it everyday in my writing. Are we giving people false hope? I don’t think so, but I recently read an article on just that. The writer talked about teen girls today expecting to find that one man that will give them the romance and life they’ve read about in novels. She talked about having a trend of romance novels that actually talked of real life interactions.

This made me think about my writing. Could a romance novel written from real life interactions make difference? Would the couple waking up with morning breath, totally avoiding one another until they’ve freshened said breath make a difference? What about those unglamorous moments when you have no make up on and your hair is scraggly? Do you write about that? Will it sell or will people laugh you right out of business?

If you take a long look at your own life, how many times have you had a muscled man rescue you and sweep you away to a beautiful location to propose and give you a huge diamond ring, then kiss you into oblivion? Really, how many times? What about a virile cowboy sweeping you off your feet and taking you away into the sunset on his horse? I know, I’m being a little far fetched, but let’s get to the heart of real romance.

In real life it’s the simple things. Maybe it’s a flower picked from the yard, a card to say I’m sorry, maybe it’s just a loaded dishwasher after a long day of work, but let’s get real about romance. For me it’s that look across the dinner table or simply a quick kiss as he passes me in the kitchen as I fix dinner. But in order to sell books, sometimes we have to go beyond the simple and blow the romance up to a higher level. But that’s what sells books, so we’ll continue to do it.

I can say that I haven’t heard of anyone being swept off their feet by a sexy vampire or shifter. But it makes for fascinating reading.

As always good writing, and May God Bless You…


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The Winner Takes All

One of my earlier books was “The Winner Is Love”. It was my first Christmas Romance published. I got into this book way deeper than I thought I would. Funny thing is, it started out as a stand alone, but a I neared the end, I just knew it couldn’t stop there. The story needed to go on and some of the leading characters needed to have a voice too. Did I just give away something? Oh well.

The 2nd book is “The Winner Takes All”. It continues the love story of Stacy and Slade. But this one takes an interesting twist that will make you wonder up until the ending. I’m really excited about the turns this story is taking. This is one reason this book has been a long time coming. 

When you have a story pop into your head you never know how many turns it might take before publication. This story was so obvious in my mind, but guess what, the characters decided to take over and make it their own. If you’re not a writer you probably think that last statement was a little nutsy, but as a writer you’d know exactly where I’m headed with it. Characters have a tendancy to want to speak up and tell their story too. 

Let’s just say, I’m hoping the many fans I gained with the first installment will follow with this one. Many of my devoted Cowboy Romance fans were surprised that no cowboys showed up during this series. Believe me when I say it’s hard not to put a cowboy, ranch or horse in my work. This book has a different feel from my normal writing. Check out book one before book two comes out.

It’s looking like it will be a May release. The first book is available in several formats including ebook, paperback and audiobook. By the way it’s my bestselling audiobook to date. My audiobooks have been such a refreshing surprise. 

Here’s a little unedited sneek peek of “The Winner Is Love”:

This had to be the most romantic proposal ever. He’d really outdone himself. She was still in awe of everything he’d done.

Then all of a sudden the door burst open and Andrew came in with the crew. “Great, are you two ready for this?” He asked as he came around to where they were standing in front of the tree.

“Let’s get this over with Andrew.” Slade walked over and put a log on the fire.

Suddenly the floor seemed to fall out from under Stacy. Wait a minute, was this done for publicity? Did he ask her to marry him just to get a story? She turned to look at Slade. He was suddenly being aloof.

Andrew came over and reached out for her hand. “Now that’s a beautiful ring. Congratulations by the way.” He then walked over and shook Slade’s hand. “Great job man.”

Slade smiled and winked at her. “Well when I see something I want I go after it.”

Her mouth dropped open and all she could do was stare at them. “Was this whole thing a publicity stunt for you two?”

Slade paled and walked quickly over to her. He put his hand on her arm and pulled her away from the crew. “No Stacy. I meant every word.” He could see she was getting upset. “I told Andrew to keep the crew away until after I proposed. I thought that part should be just us and not the whole world.”

Her heart told her he was being truthful, but something wasn’t right. She turned back and saw Andrew waiting for them. “Let me guess, we’re on a time schedule.”

Andrew walked over and put his arm around her shoulders. “Stacy, I know how this must look, but Slade’s telling you the truth.”

She turned to Slade. “I’m sorry. It just threw me when the crew came in.”

They took their places in front of the tree. The news anchor came in to do the interview. It went fairly fast. When it was over everyone started packing up the equipment. She sat down on the hearth and stared into the fire. Her heart was racing. Everything was happening really fast.

Slade walked over and sat down beside her. He knew she was not used to this kind of life. He put his arms around her and kissed her shoulder. “What’s on that beautiful mind of yours?”

“I was just thinking how fast everything is going with us. We’ve only known each other for a little over a month.” She looked up from the fire and met his blue eyes. He was devastatingly handsome. She was a lucky woman. Two months ago she would never have imagined that she’d be engaged to Slade Collins.

When the crew left they all said their congratulations and shut the door. Andrew turned to them and grinned. “Ok, we’re leaving you two alone. Have a great Christmas Eve?”

I will be posting a sneek peek of the cover really soon. By the way it’s already in the works and almost complete. I love it and it really  makes a statement. I do hope you guys have a wonderful Friday.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: Here’s a couple of links to “The Winner Is Love”

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-winner-is-love-stephanie-payne-hurt/1113881708

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260085

http://www.amazon.com/Winner-Love-Stephanie-Hurt-ebook/dp/B00AFGAS42

http://www.amazon.com/Winner-Love-Stephanie-Payne-Hurt/dp/1481133772  (Paperback)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Winner-Is-Love/dp/B00EECEEWK  (Audiobook)

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-winner-is-love

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-winner-is-love/id585945263?mt=11


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Romancing the real world…

In this world of tech savvy readers and writers it’s hard sometimes to gain the interest of fans. With so many wonderful romance writers the competition is large and wide. But the wonderful thing is that as a writer we get to write our own niche. We get to change the world of writing because if you are your own person then that’s your niche.

I’ve talked to many fans that say you’ve got to be different to stand out. Well, maybe your writing is different. Some publishers say go with what’s popular, but what you really need to do is stand out in the crowd. If you want to write about cowboys and everyone else is writing about vampires then go for it. Make your voice heard loud and clear. Give it your whole heart.

As for me I write mostly about cowboys and horses. That’s my niche and my fans follow that niche, thank goodness. I’ve got a couple of books that don’t include cowboys, but only a couple. Cowboys are what’s comfortable for me and inspire me, so with me you know what you’re getting. But I do try to go a little different in the angles of my stories.

Take for instance my newest Christmas book, Open The Heart. It has a handsome cowboy, horses and romance, but it’s based in snowy Switzerland on the side of a mountain in the Alps. That’s a niche in its self. So carve out your niche and make it spectacular. Give it your whole heart, not someone elses. Write about what you love and it will show.

Today’s reader is complex and they’re looking for that special romance that will warm their heart and in some instances curl their toes. Some readers want hot, steamy sex scenes, but others just want that warm fuzzy feeling you get from a real world romance. That’s what I try to carry on to my readers. A romance that could actually happen. Something real and reachable. Try it and you’ll be rewarded with smiles.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What does a romance novel do for you?

This post is for all of you, me included, that lose yourself in a romance novel often or as often as you can. Have you ever wondered why it’s one of the largest genres? Well here is my take on this.

A romance novel can take the reader to another place. Maybe it’s another country, some exotic destination or just to another time in history. You may be saying, well so can science fiction, non fiction or any of the other genres out there. For some reason a romance novel just inspires you to want more. 

Maybe the reader just needs to lose themselves in someone else’s world for a while. It’s a way to escape and what better way than to lose yourself in a romance novel. Most romance novels end with a happy ending and you’re pretty sure to have a better outlook when you finish.

Most romance novels just leave you wanting to read another one. Maybe you like the sexy characters that are described in the stories that unfold. Maybe it’s the feelings that a good romance brings about in you.

For me a good romance inspires me. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a young teenager. There’s something about following someone else’s relationship and not having to worry whether you’ve said the right thing or done the right thing. You just leave it up to the character.

If it’s a good descriptive romance, you may even feel like you’re part of the story. Sometimes I’m reading and I get so immersed in the story that I forget everything around me. That’s what I try to achieve in the romance that I write. I want my readers to get lost in the story. I want it to make them feel better about themselves or at least feel better than they did when they started.

As I always say, this is just my thoughts on the subject. What are yours?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The Challenge of Creativity

Why do people constantly put writers down? Have you ever noticed the reaction that non-readers have when you say you’re a writer? Most of the time avid readers are excited and want to know more. But people that don’t read a lot just look at you like you’ve grown a set up horns.

For me it’s hard work to be a writer, an accountant, a children’s minister, a wife and a mom. Not to mention doing housework, finances for our Church and just living. But if it’s your dream and passion you do it through all the madness.

A writer’s life is a challenging one, especially if it’s not your full time job. Finding time to put your thoughts on paper is sometimes the real challenge. As for me it’s usually at night when my family is watching television or after they go to bed. A lot of my writing is done on Saturday after the housework is done and Sunday afternoon. But notes can be found everywhere because as a writer thoughts come into my head and I write them down for future use. Maybe it’s a picture I see, or a phrase I think would work in a scene or even a new book idea.

The fun part of being a writer is when you start building a fan base. The first time a fan emailed me I giggled a lot. It’s so nice to know someone likes your writing. I’m basically a humble person. I had a friend ask me the other day why I didn’t tell her I’m publishing books. I told her I just didn’t want to sound like I was bragging. She laughed and said well its bragging time. I just ducked my head and ran J

So, if you’re a writer, enjoy it. Make time for it and maybe even a special place to write. Mine is on the couch in the recliner with my ear buds in listening to the music I write by. That’s another post altogether.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…