Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Introduction to Wishful Harbor…

Good Friday morning! It’s been a busy week, so I’m looking forward to a weekend of writing and relaxing. Hope that’s in your plans also.

Today I want to tell you about the town of Wishful Harbor. My new upcoming series is based in Wishful Harbor, a small seaside town in New England. This town is based on the memory of the town I saw when I toured the New England States several years ago. I can imagine sea air, a quaint little town with white washed clap board siding, and the sound of seagulls hanging in the air. Can’t you imagine it?

Wishful Harbor has a rich history, full of mystery, pirates and much more… The cute little shops that line the sidewalk keep visitors coming. Not to mention the marina. Each book of the series is based on the lives of the residents of Wishful Harbor. You’ll get to know many of the characters that make the town a charming place to visit or even stay for a while.

I’ll be posting more about this magical town as the first book nears its release day. If you’d like to do a blog post to help me with the upcoming cover reveal or book release, please let me know. I’m asking for help with promoting this series that has romance, suspense, mystery, and fun…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

In honor of the heat of summer, here’s a little coolness to help you chill out on this Friday morning… By the way, you’ll be seeing this picture again, but I can’t tell you where or when, that’s a surprise.

Marblehead Lighthouse Sunrise

 


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New series tidbit…

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Good morning! I hope all of you are doing well. Me, I’m finishing up the first Wishful Harbor book and watching the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July. What better inspiration?

This new series has taken me to a new world. I’m getting excited about the upcoming cover reveal, then the release. There’s a little mystery, a lot of small town cuteness and a whole lot of romance, so keep watching for the cover reveal date and final release date.

By the way, if any bloggers would like to take part in either the reveal date or release date extravaganza, then let me know. It would make me extremely grateful.

So, here’s a little tidbit of “Breakwater Lane”

     “Miss Reed, your grandfather left you his business in the will.” The lawyer said in a monotone voice as Jordan sat across the table from him.
     “I’m sorry, what did you say?” Jordan sat forward, trying to understand what the lawyer was telling her.
     “He left you his building, which is in Wishful Harbor.”
     Jordan sat back, covering her mouth with a hand as she gasped. Since she graduated from culinary school, her dream had been to own a bakery, but with college loans money wasn’t actually filling her wallet.
     On top of that, she’d never been close to her grandfather, but when she was small, she’d spend a week every summer in Wishful Harbor with him. The building he owned was at the end of the historical section of the little town. Every day she’d go with him to his little deli and watch him cook and bake. It’s where she’d gained her love of cooking. But then when her parents got a divorce, she moved across the country with her mom. The last time she saw him was when she was thirteen.
     He always knew her love of cooking. Now he was giving her the building that he loved.
“Miss Jordan, if you’ll sign here, we can get the paperwork completed for the transfer of ownership.”
      Then everything happened in a blur. The ownership transferred to her, and she moved back across the country to the little historic town of Wishful Harbor. With the building, she got the apartment that was upstairs.
     Now she stood in front of the building, looking up at the white clapboard sided building with awe and sadness. All the old memories flooded in. This was hers now. She grasped the key tightly in her hand and walked across the sidewalk to gaze into the windows. It was exactly as she remembered, even down to the closed sign in the door.
     She took a deep breath and turned the key in the lock, opening her new life.
     “Hey, can I help you?” A deep male voice said from behind her.
      Jordan jumped, putting her hand on her heart. “Oh my goodness. You scared the life out of me.” Jordan said as she whirled around, looking up in the most amazing set of eyes she’d ever seen. They weren’t blue exactly, but a greenish blue, almost the color of the water in Wishful Harbor just after a storm.
     “I’m sorry, are you Hank’s granddaughter?”
     “Yes.” Jordan reached out her hand to the man. “Jordan.”
     “Glad to meet you Jordan, for the second time.” The man grinned. “Skyler, Skyler Evans.”
Jordan tilted her head, curious. “Second time. I don’t understand. Have we met before?”
     “We met behind the building. I was fishing and you were falling into the water. I dove in and saved you.” Skyler said, crossing his muscular arms across his chest with a grin.
“Oh, I didn’t recognize you,” Jordan said with a giggle as she remembered the incident that he was speaking of. She also remembered the crush she’d had on it.
      “I can imagine. You ran away as soon as I saved you.” Skyler said with a little sarcasm lacing his voice. He remembered the spoiled little girl that she’d been. Now he saw a beautiful young woman but had she lost her spoiled ways.
      “Well, I was so embarrassed. I’d been showing off in front of you, then fell over the side of the dock.” Jordan said with a grin as she put her purse on the table, turning to look around. “So, you stayed here?”
     “It’s my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Wishful Harbor.”
     “But didn’t you want to get out and enjoy life?”
     Skyler scowled, bringing his brows together in anger. “I see you haven’t changed a bit.”
Jordan whirled back around to face him, confusion in her eyes. “Excuse me.”
     “You were a spoiled brat then, and I see you’re still a spoiled brat.” Skyler turned to walk out the door.
     At first, Jordan watched him walking out the door, then she ran after him. “Hey, wait a minute. Why are you calling me a spoiled brat?”
     Skyler stopped, not turning around. “Lady, you don’t have a clue about small town life. It’s a way of life that some enjoy. Not everyone wants to travel or go to large cities.” Then he turned around, looking down at her. “And I do enjoy life, every day.”
     “But that doesn’t make me a spoiled brat.”
     “I don’t have time for this.” Skyler started across the road toward a big red truck.
     “But I’m not a spoiled brat,” Jordan said, trying to reason with this stubborn man.
     Skyler just motioned with his hand that he wasn’t impressed. Then he climbed into the truck and drove away as Jordan stood on the sidewalk watching him.

Hope you enjoyed this small tidbit of the first chapter. I know you’ll fall in love with the small New England town of Wishful Harbor as well as the characters that fill the pages of all five books in the series. The first book, Breakwater Lane has Jordan and Skyler. They will make you laugh and cry as they try to get reacquainted.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, Highlander’s Son came out this week…

 


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Editing is like Detoxing for writers!

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Good morning! As you can see, I’m eating healthy. This week I’m doing a mild Grapefruit detox, trying to get the bad stuff out of my system so I can jumpstart this summer weight loss. So far it’s working, but we’ll see…

Editing… That word that writers have a love-hate relationship with. But if you think about it, Editing is like detoxing the work. When we write, we go straight to the point of the matter, but sometimes, we need to take a step back. We need to analyze what we’ve written.

Take for example: Words misused or misspelled. If left to sit in the gut of the manuscript, it will weigh your work down. Here’s a piece of advice from someone that sent out a piece of work that had some extra unwanted weight, for this example we’ll call it sludge. Don’t let your baby go out without making sure everything is clean and ready. I sent out a manuscript, to the world, and it wasn’t ready. Some of the comments were nice, but held a little advice, ‘go back and edit’. They all said it was a good story, but it needed to be looked at again to make it a great story. Needless to say, this was in the first year of my publishing career.

So… I went into detox mode. I sat down with my manuscript, printed in double space and a red pen. Yes, a horrid, red pen. A writer’s nightmare, but I took a deep breath and did it. I actually cringed with the first page and it got worse from there. I printed every comment I received and used them as a guideline. As I delved deeper into the story, the sludge was so heavy that I couldn’t believe I’d actually sent this out into the world.

Needless to say, I almost used up all the ink in the pen. Now, don’t get me wrong, the story itself stayed the same, but the wording was a little different. I gave it a lot of grapefruits, I mean editing and to my surprise, when I sent it back out as a revised edition, some of the same people reviewed it again. They loved it. I’d taken the heavy bags of sludge that kept my story from taking flight and it became a bestseller within a couple of weeks.

So, when you finished your masterpiece, go back through it again and again. Then send to your editor. If you can’t afford an editor, then you have to be the chief and pull on your gloves. Make the hard choices, delete the bad grammar, and make your work soar!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Coffee…Writing…More Coffee

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Good morning! Are any of you having a hard time getting awake this morning? I’m struggling after the three day weekend. It was a great holiday, but my body and mind seem to still be on vacation.

Oh well, this will be a pot of coffee morning…. I’m working on getting my word count in this morning. I finished Highlander’s Son last week and hope to finish Lacey’s Choice this week. Both of these books have been in the works for a couple of months, so I’m trying my best to get caught back up. Tax season really slammed me this year and it affected my writing like no other year has.

It doesn’t help that my two new series ‘Sky Ridge’ and ‘Wishful Harbor’ are knocking on my mind, wanting to stay inside. Every time I push them back for a day or so, they jump back in with full force and win. But this week, I plan to finish a couple of in-process manuscripts before I go back to the newest ones. Let’s just hope I do.

So, what are you working on this week?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Stepping up the game…

Good Monday morning! Wow, the weekend seemed way too short, but today is a new day. With a new day, starts a new game…

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, well, it’s promotion of our books. Look, you know as well as I do that the competition is steep. We have to make sure that our book outshines the thousands of other books in our genres. Some days it seems useless, but then the writer in me say, keep pushing.

For me, I’ve stepped up my game. How you might ask? Well, here’s how. I’ve stopped trying to be on every social media site out there. That’s just plain out exhausting and a waste of writing time trying to keep up with all of it. My main goal is to blog, keep my website interesting, and promote on a few social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Also, I’m making sure that all of my more than 30 books are on Allauthor.com. If you haven’t checked out this site, I suggest you do. You can put up to four of your books on there under the free membership and then set up automatic tweets. With as many books as I have, I went ahead and did the paid membership.

Don’t forget to build up your newsletter subscribers. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my newsletter and blog. Which if you can, keep posting several times a week. make it interesting and fun.

So, how will you step up your game?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When the plot changes…

Well, it’s a foggy Saturday morning in Georgia.  That sounds like the opening line of a story. Yes, I’m in a writing mood this morning, so watch out word count, here I come.

Speaking of writing, have you ever been in the middle of a manuscript and the plot changes. I mean, you’re headed in one direction, then the story takes a turn in a different direction. That’s what happened in the manuscript I just finished. You see, I had it all figured out. I thought I knew where the characters were headed and what the ending would be like, but guess what? The plot changed. (The plot is the direction the story is going, like directing the main events that lead to the ending, you know, the backbone of the storyline.)

Sometimes when you’re writing a story, the characters seem to have a mind of their own. In Highlander’s Son, I had it all in my mind, but something wasn’t working. Now, the outline looked good and when I sat and plotted it out months ago, it seemed to work well. But once I was deep into the manuscript, over halfway completed, I realized that the plot was changing. I had to make a change or the story would flop.

It’s scary to change the plot of a story when you’re almost done. But once I got it in my head where the characters had to go to complete the story, I was on a roll. It turned out that the plot change worked and the story was complete.

Highlander’s Son took a turn in the plot and headed in a totally different direction. It’s at that moment that you throw the outline out the window at 70 mph and never look back. I have to say that when the plot changes, sometimes you have to just follow it’s lead or you’ll end up with a manuscript that is cut up in the editor’s floor, never to see the light of day.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a look at the cover for Highlander’s Son, which is coming out very, very soon!

highlanders son front cover


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Hashtags – Useful or not???

#23173416364_e8f8ee489e_sGood morning! Hope all is well with all of you.

Hashtags, do you use them or not? Well, I’ve been in and out on this subject, so I did several posts on Instagram and Twitter, using popular hashtags and the response was surprising. I started gaining followers and the retweets, likes and even comments went up in numbers. Not to mention my sales did a nice run up the scale.

Now, is this coincidence? Could be, but I think not. The reasoning behind this comment is that I have over thirty published titles and I did the test on only a couple of them. One was a back stock title.

I used the promotional methods that I learned in one of my latest promotional studies. Everything pointed at using hashtags that were similar to your book.  For example, I promoted Tuscany with #Italy #Tuscany #Oliveoil #amreading #truelove and I had several followers from the tourism industry and even some from the olive oil industry. (If you have read Tuscany, then you know why I hashtagged olive oil).

I even went one step further with the test, just to have a random selection. I used pictures from my personal everyday life and hashtagged the different things pertaining to the picture. Like our bbq chicken on the grill. My husband laughed at this one because, within minutes of posting it, I received several likes and comments from grillers, bbq restaurants and the like. It was great. Now I had my answer.

So, do hashtags work? Well, according to my little study they do. Have you had success with hashtags? Either way, let us know.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…