Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch…

Good Sunday morning! I hope everyone is getting somewhat back to normal after the busy Christmas season. Me, I’m working on finishing up my next release, Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch. It’s the last book in the Mistletoe Ranch Series.

Now, if you haven’t read books 1 & 2, then you have time before the 3rd installment comes out at the end of January. Each book explores life of Denver and Maddy on the Mistletoe Ranch. This last one with have you wondering about how it will end. Here’s a little snippet from this book:

“Maddy, do you know how much I love you?” Denver said as he climbed into bed, curling up beside Maddy.
“I do, but I never grow tired of hearing it.” Maddy turned on her side to face her husband. She still had a hard time with the reality that this amazing man was her husband. They’d been married for over a year and he’d showed her everyday how much she meant to him. She’d never felt the depth of love that he had shown her.
Denver pulled her into his strong arms, “I love you more than you can even fathom.” He bent his head and kiss her forehead. Sometimes it scared him at how much he did love her. She was the light in his world and he couldn’t imagine life without her. Denver wasn’t sure how he breathed before she came into his life.
Maddy pulled the blanket up a little more. “It must be getting colder outside.” She shivered a little as the chill in the air ran down her spine.
“Here, let me get you warm.” Denver pulled her closer, feeling her tremble. “You’re not coming down with a cold are you?
“I don’t think so. But I have been feeling a little over for a couple of days. Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons.” Winter had been particularly bad this year. Maddy had thought the first winter here at Mistletoe had been rough, but she was sadly mistaken. The snow was double the amount this year that last. It was March, but outside looked like the middle of January. The early spring melting hadn’t started yet.
“Maybe so. But just in case, maybe you should drop in to see the doctor. I don’t want you getting sick.” Denver held her in his warm arms, wrapping them both in the thick blanket that was on their bed.
In a few minutes, she began to warm up. Maddy slipped into a light sleep as his body warmth helped to sooth her. She’d been feeling strange lately. That morning as she was making their bed, a dizzy spell came over her. For a moment she had to hold onto the bed post until the spell went away. But she brushed it off as exhaustion from her lack of sleep.
Denver kissed the top of her head. The thick blanket was making him sweat, but he wouldn’t let go of her until he was sure that she was warm enough. He’d noticed slight dark circles under her eyes this morning at breakfast. Was she working too hard at the barn? Ever since the newest calves had come in, she’d been in the barn every day, feeding them and taking care of them. She was trying to take the place of their mother. Maybe he needed to get her to stay home tomorrow and rest. But he knew his wife and that wouldn’t be happening, unless he tied her to the bed post.
Sometime around midnight, Maddy woke up feeling sick to her stomach. She slid out of bed, not waking Denver. She tiptoed across the wooden floor to the bathroom, closing the door quietly behind her. Maybe the beef tips and gravy she’d ate for dinner had been too much on her stomach. For a minute she sat on the edge of the huge tub. As another wave of nausea swept through her, she leaned forward, letting her head fall between her knees.
The sound of the door opening made her look up. Denver was leaning in the doorway, looking half asleep. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“I felt a little sick at my stomach.” Maddy said as she stood up and grabbed a washcloth. After she ran some cool water over it, she wiped her face. “I think dinner didn’t set too well.”
Denver came into the bathroom and put a hand to her forehead. “You don’t feel feverish. There’s some medicine in the medicine cabinet for nausea.”
“I’ll take some and see if that helps. It could just be a bug.” Maddy shrugged. She never got sick.
When he went back to bed, she opened the medicine cabinet that was on the wall between the mirrors over the vanity. She pulled the nausea medicine out and poured some into the dosage cup. It was thick and just the sight of the thick medicine made her feel like she was about to vomit. She managed to get it swallowed, but it took everything in her to keep it down. There was no way she would be getting any sleep right now. And if she stayed in the bathroom, Denver would get back up to check on her. He needed his sleep.
Maddy walked down the stairs and went into the den to sit by the fire. The warmth at her back was nice and calming. As the nausea medicine started to calm her stomach, she got up and laid down on the couch, pulling the thick throw off the back. The warmth of the fire and the thick throw soon had her sound asleep.
Denver woke her just before daylight. “Maddy, are you feeling better?”
With a lot of effort, Maddy opened her eyes. “A little.” She sat up, rubbing her eyes. “I must have fallen asleep.”
“Why don’t you stay home today and get some rest?” Denver said as he sat down on the edge of the couch.
Maddy shook her head with a frown. “After a long hot shower and some food, I’ll be good as new.”
“Maddy, don’t push yourself too much. As you said last night, you’ve been feeling a little off the last couple of days. If you’re coming down with a cold, then rest is the best medicine.”
“Ah, it’s just the change of the seasons.” Maddy pushed past him. “I’ll be down in a little bit for breakfast.”
The hot shower helped some. She walked into the kitchen and the scent of the frying bacon hit her nose. A wave of vicious nausea swept through her, taking her by surprise. She had to put her hand over her mouth and run to the hall bathroom.
Denver came through the door, reaching down to hold her hair as she heaved. The nausea was like nothing she’d ever felt and every time she raised her head, it came over her again. When she was able to sit back on the floor, her eyes were filled with water and she felt weak.
“I’m taking you back to bed.” He reached down and swung her up into his arms. On the way past the kitchen door, Maddy put her face into his shirt to keep from smelling the food. Her stomach lurched violently at the hint of food.
Annie followed him up the stairs. “Maddy, do you want me to make you some dry toast? It might settle your stomach.”
Maddy nodded, “Thank you.”
Denver turned to Annie in concern. “Do you think she has a bug?”
“Could be. But several people in town have the flu, so it could be that too.” Annie walked over to feel Maddy’s forehead. “You don’t feel warm. Do you have a sore throat?”
“No. I’m just nauseated.” Maddy groaned as just the mention of nausea made her stomach churn.
“Just stay in bed and I’ll get that dry toast and a little coffee. Maybe something on your stomach will help.” Annie went out the door.
“Alright, that’s it. I’m calling the doctor.” Denver said as he pulled his phone out of his pocket.
“Denver, if it’s just a virus, then there’s no use in bothering the doctor.”

I hope you liked this small look at the last book of this series. It will be released on January 29th! But you can preorder it now at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFBY6PR.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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An apple a day…

Photo by karsten madsen on Pexels.com

How many of you hasn’t heard the old saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’? Yep, I thought so. Here in Georgia, apples are all the rave at the moment. Tis the season I always say.

It’s the same with writing. But it would say, ‘Writing every day keeps the writer’s block away’. I do believe this is true. A couple of days lately, I’ve been so busy with other things, that I didn’t get to write. I know, that’s horrible, but true. By the time I went to bed on those days, my head was so filled with writing that I couldn’t sleep, so back to writing every day.

Do you write everyday? Even if it’s just a line or two, it helps to keep your writer brain from becoming over full. As I’ve said before, I have a schedule and if I miss a day, well, it causes a schedule jam. I’m in the middle of that jam right now. When you schedule so many words a day, then miss one, well, you get the picture.

How do you keep your writer brain happy?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You..

Just to give you a snippet of my current wip, here’s a few lines from Wine, Wedding, & The Cowboy…

Abri stood there looking at her best friend. She couldn’t do it, could she? Would she find someone in less than a month? No, she couldn’t. Taking a deep breath, she looked him straight in the eye and straightened her shoulders. “Baron, we have to get married.” There, she’d said it. Although from the look on Baron’s face, she hadn’t handled it very well.
Baron sat forward, his eyes wide with surprise. “This is so sudden. I don’t know what to say.” Then he laughed. “Have you been testing the new wine again?”
“No, I’m serious Baron.” Abri dropped into the chair across from him.
“Ok, what do you mean you’re serious?” Baron saw the look in her eyes and knew she wasn’t joking. But what on earth could have her asking him to marry her.
Abri clasped her hands together as she looked down at her lap. “My father, being the old fashioned man he is, says that I have to be married before my 25th birthday in order to inherit Tuscan Rose Farms.”
“What? When did this come about?” Baron bunched his brows together. He knew that this farm and vineyard was her heart.
“If you’d showed up for Thanksgiving dinner as you were supposed to, then you’d know.” Abri shot him a withering look.
“You know that I don’t like eating at the main house. It’s no secret that your father doesn’t care that much for me. Besides, I ate with the guys down at the mess hall. We had the best fried turkey and the dressing, well, what can I say, it was amazing.” He began to relay all of the menu, knowing that Abri was beginning to fume, but he loved it when she got angry. There was this light that came into her face. She was beautiful, but when she got angry, wow.
“Baron! I don’t need a play by play of what you ate for lunch. All I need is for you to say you’ll marry me and we’ll be good.”
“I can’t marry you. What would people say?” Baron was giving her a hard time and it paid off. The light came into her face and he was awestruck.
“You have to. I don’t have any other takers. You know yourself I haven’t dated anyone in months. And where would I find someone to marry on this short of notice. Oh, and I already told my father and cousin that we were engaged, well, that you’d asked and I had yet to answer.”
“What? Abri!” Baron stood up, running his fingers through his blond hair.
“I know! Just listen. I have a plan.”
Baron rolled his eyes. “Abri, I’ve been a part of your plans before. They never work out as you see them. This will be a disaster and both of us will be homeless when the dust settles.” He held his hands in the air, then growled in response to the thought of the disaster it would be.
“No, wait. We can have a quick wedding, with a fake minister and fake license. Once the deed is done, we can get a divorce later. If I meet someone, then we’ll have a fake divorce.” Abri shrugged her shoulders.
Baron sat back down, the air leaving his lungs in a long sigh. “Abri, do you realize what you’re asking?”
“Yes, I know it’s a huge favor, but I can’t lose my birthright because of an old fashioned man with old world ideas. Please say you’ll marry me, at least for a short time. You’re my best friend, it can’t be that big of a deal. Well, maybe it’s a big deal, but it will be fake.” Abri sat forward in the chair and smiled at him, batting her lashes.
“Abri, I need to think about this.” Baron said, running his hand over his face. He’d die a slow death if he was married to her, fake or real. She was everything to him, but if he married her, it would be the real deal. It would be for love, not for a vineyard.

Preorder today!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF9JC3V


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Wishful Harbor

Well, another series is in the books so to say… Wishful Harbor will be complete on the 7th when Bay Street releases. It’s so sad to see the characters go, but this series has brought me so much joy. So, let’s go to wishful Harbor for a moment…

This is a series about the small New England town of Wishful Harbor. Each story can be read as a standalone or part of the series. They are filled with romance, mystery and small-town charm.

Book 1

Breakwater Lane

When Jordan Reed inherits her grandfather’s deli in small town Wishful Harbor, her life is turned upside down. Things start to look better when her childhood crush, Skylar, turns out to be her new contractor. When someone tries to intervene in Jordan and Skylar’s relationships the mysteries of Jordan’s family start to unravel. What she learns could change her life and her family’s reputation forever.

Book 2

Hideaway Lane

When a small fire in Julie’s bookstore brings the firemen, she’s shocked to find out one of them is her old high school crush, Paul Wells. Paul can’t believe his luck, so he asks her to the town festival. He’s now the owner of the Christmas tree farm on Hideaway Lane, the one Julie has been going to all her life. But, when the bank threatens to take the farm from him, Julie steps in to help. Romance blooms in this story of old crushes, Christmas spirit, and small-town charm.

Book 3

Inlet Circle

In the small town of Wishful Harbor, life is good, that is until things go wrong. When Lacey, the owner of One More Cup, the local coffee shop slides on the ice and right into the side of Chip’s truck, the sparks fly. Chip has come to town to take over ownership of the Inlet Cove Inn. Neither of them is ready for anything more than friendship, but when they’re stranded at the Inn with no power for twenty-four hours, they think that maybe love could heal old wounds. But, only time will tell in this sweet, small-town romance.

Book 4

Pier Cove

A SmallTown Romance filled with adventure and sweet romance…
Marly loves anything old, so what starts out as a hobby, turns into a business. Since she’s a treasure diver in her spare time, she’s thrilled when the opportunity arises to run a store in the historical seaside town of Wishful Harbor.
Liam is a third-generation owner of the Wishful Harbor marina. He is interested in knowing more about the new resident of Wishful Harbor. They hit it off as friends almost immediately.
When she hears the old tale of a shipwreck off the end of the lighthouse cape, she enlists Liam’s help to find the treasure, although he’s not a fan of taking her to the wreck. When her old boyfriend gets wind of it, he shows up wanting to take what she’s trying to find.
Together, Marley and Liam work to find the treasure, along with Liam’s granddad Liam. The friendship starts to make a turn into something more, but neither are sure as their pasts try to keep them from having a future.
This is a sweet romance, full of adventure and laughs. The small town of Wishful Harbor is a treasure to be found, and everyone there is family.

Book 5

Bay Street

Bailey Garrett moved to Wishful Harbor looking for a new start. A month before moving to Wishful Harbor, her mother died, and she found out her stepfather was a liar, a thief, and a con artist.

Sherriff Scott Wick hears who is opening the souvenir shop in town, he makes it his business to keep an eye on her hoping she isn’t anything like her stepfather.

Then as mysterious things start happening around Bailey, it doesn’t take Scott long to see that darkness follows Bailey around every corner. Will Scott be able to keep her safe or will her past consume both of them?

In the exciting conclusion of the Wishful Harbor series there will be mystery, adventure, and romance.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tuesday Teaser – The Knight of Her Heart

Good morning! It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for a teaser. Today I’ll give you a little background into the start of The Journal series. So, here goes:

June 1795 – Salem, Massachusetts

Marina Granger stood peering out the window. She loved her home at the end of the street in Salem. This was the house that she had built with the money from her herb shop on the square. The witch trials were long gone, but she was still thought of as a witch. Despite this, most revered her skills and sought her out when they needed healing from a large assortment of ailments.

As she stood watching the people of the town come and go, she began to think of her lost love. He’d been everything she’d ever wished for and in her heart, Marina knew that one day they’d be together again. She turned her back to the town and walked over to the table where she’d placed the three journals. With loving care, she ran her old, arthritic fingers over the leather-bound books. Even with her skills with herbs and such, she was unable to stop the advancing of age.

With a sigh, Marina lit a candle beside each book. She then reached in the pouch at her side, and sprinkled the contents over them as she spoke, sending a spell over the journals. Marina learned many spells from her grandmother, who’d lost her own grandmother in the horrid witch trials. Even though she’d been deemed innocent, the town clergy didn’t want to take any chances since she had healing powers.  With a flourish, Marina waved her hands over the table. A pleasant smile crossed her beautiful face as she thought of the three women from her bloodline that would find their way to the journals in the future. Their love would blossom as the spell took them back to the time period that they belonged in. It would be here that each one of them would find out what their special powers were and how to use them for good.

As she finished the spell, she could hear the men coming to run her out of town. The loud banging on the front door downstairs, had her grabbing her bag and the journals. She pulled a sconce on the wall to reveal the secret corridor in the wall. Marina placed the three journals on a ledge just inside the wall, smiling as she looked at them for one last second. Then she was gone to never be found again, at least not in her time period…

The Knight of Her Heart is the first book in this series, but in book four, you’ll get to find out Marina’s full story. It will be an adventure packed story.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Fall in love with this sweet time travel romance… It will make you want to find a journal of your own…


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Get that Friday feeling…

Smile

Hey guys! It’s Friday and I’m feeling great. For a while, I’ve been so sluggish and my mind’s been foggy, but now, well, I’m back to feeling great. I followed the advice of my sister in law and started a new healthy regimen. I also started using Thrive, which has jumpstarted my energy. My writing brain is back in the game and I’ve been hitting my word counts again.

Since I have my writing back, I have several exciting things coming down the pipe. One is my upcoming Christmas book release, “Hideaway Lane”.  So, in honor of my renewed energy and excitement, here’s a peek at the cover!

Hideaway Lane Cover


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Closing a story…

It’s looking to be a rainy Monday here in Georgia, but I’m smiling. This weekend I published Promises Forgotten, the 2nd book in the Sky Ridge Series. I’m super stoked about that release. But I have another surprise for my readers…

I published a book in 2013 that was left on a cliffhanger. The book held my heart in many ways, but the 2nd book seemed to stay just far enough away that I couldn’t get it to work right. Every time I started to write the 2nd book, it would slip away. Well, it all came flowing in a couple of weeks ago, coming in like a tidal wave. Then on Saturday, I wrote the last word with a satisfied sigh.

It’s so crazy. When I was writing the first book, Open the Heart, the continued story was at the tip of my tongue, but then it just went away. So, as some authors do, I put it away until it came back. I didn’t want to do the first book injustice or the characters. I’m excited that Lacey’s Choice is about to be published.

So, as I drift through this haze of accomplishment, I hope all of you have a fantastic day!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Lacey's Choice front cover

 


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Friday! Friday! Friday!

Good Friday morning! We made it folks, it’s Friday… Take a breath and know that the weekend is only hours away.

For me, I’m looking forward to some writing this weekend. Plus, my 30-year class reunion is tomorrow evening. Wow, have I been out of school for 30 years? I’m getting old…. Nah!

The final edits for Breakwater Lane are coming in today, which makes me smile. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost out. This morning I’m getting my word count in on Promises Forgotten. At the moment I’m deep in Indians and 1800’s Montana. I love being a writer. I can get lost in another world, if for a moment.

So, what are you planning this weekend?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Calling all bloggers!

Hey, everyone! As the release of my newest book is coming closer and closer, I’m looking for some bloggers that would be willing to do a post about it or even a review. I’d also like to reciprocate by doing a post for you. If you’re interested in helping, I’ll send you the media package that I’ve assembled.

Breakwater preorder ad

Also, enter to win a Kindle… Just go to this link and enter.

http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/category/giveaways/preorder-giveaway/

Sand background with towel, flip flops and starfish. Summer concept. Top view

Sand background with towel, flip flops and starfish. Summer concept. Top view

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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Series Writing…What I learned…

 

img_2612Good morning! I hope you’re having a blessed day. Me, I’m in mama mode, or as my son calls it, flood mode. By that I mean, our son graduates from high school tomorrow night and every time I think about it, I cry. I’m so proud of him and happy for him, but as a mama, well, I get a bit nervous and anxious, knowing he’s about to embark on a new chapter in his life. It’s hard to let go, but we do have to let them spread their wings. Ok, enough of thought, salty tears in my coffee isn’t very good.

Series… Have you written one yet? If you have, then you know the struggles. The first one goes pretty well as writing goes, but when you start on the second, if it’s a continuing series, well, the problems start. Do you remember this about a character? Do you remember the neighbor’s name that will be appearing some in the other books? What did you name the dog? Wow, yeah, that’s where the fun really begins…

Here’s what I learned, the hard way and hopefully it will help guide some of you into writing series without the struggle… I’ve attached a picture of the front of one of my series notebooks for the Sky Ridge Series.

When I first started writing, I decided to do a series where a couple of the books were connected. The problems didn’t start until the second book. I was constantly looking back to see about facts and such. It was horrible. I had so much to write but between the looking back and double checking facts, it took longer to write the next couple books.

So, when I started the Women of Magnolia Hill Saga, I began a journal on the series. I kept a timeline, character sketches, and places. Since this is a historical romance series and I tried to stay in line with history, somewhat, I printed out a timeline of the time period and marked where each book started and ended. This helped some with details.

Then the fun really begins. I had to keep up with who the oldest sibling and youngest sibling were. Also, in this series, it spans many, many years, so, sadly some of the main characters from the earlier books die. I had to keep up with their age when they died and how. That way when a character looks back, it’s factual, not pulled from my brain which doesn’t remember a lot these days.

The character and place parts are very critical. If your character has a child, well, you can’t just go on with the story and not include the child. That child will eventually grow up and surely he or she isn’t kept in a dark closet until future episodes. So, detail is very important.

In the Magnolia Saga, there is a magnolia tree in the front yard where every member gets married. I have to remember where it is. In my mind and my notebook, I have a sketch of the property. It helps.

With my newest series, I have a composition book for each series and I include the outline, characters and where they all cross paths. Since the Wishful Harbor series is all around the same time period, I have to make sure to keep up with the comings and goings of everyone, even the mailman. LOL!

I’ve sketched the town of Wishful Harbor and plan to have the sketch at the front of each of the five books in the series. That gives the reader a sense of knowing the town and lets their mind live in that town. I’m so excited about this series because it intertwines together to make a beautiful story about a sweet town. But, it couldn’t happen without my notebook of facts.

So, how do you keep your series straight? Does this help you to possibly tackle a series in the future? I hope it does. But remember, I’m always here if you have a question.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…