Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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And That’s A Wrap!

It’s an exciting time when I finish a manuscript. But it can be an anxious time for an author. Usually when I turn in a manuscript, my heart begins to pound with excitement. The difference with the In Harm’s Way Series is that I haven’t felt the usual anxiety. I feel excitement about the finished manuscript.

These books have almost written themselves. They’ve been clear in my head and even when the words seemed lost, they came in like a flood. It’s been a fun ride while writing in this new genre. Adding the element of suspense and thriller has been exhilerating.

So, with that, Broken will be coming soon and I can’t wait for my readers to get lost in this story.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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It’s Friday… Excerpt time!

Good Friday morning! Since it’s Friday and I’m beyond excited about my upcoming release of Safe, I’ll share a short excerpt from this fun new book that I’m working on the end of.

Drew couldn’t believe he let Rob talk him into this. When Rob called him an hour ago, he was furious with Hadley. He explained about the fire and her dismissal of the danger. His concern was beyond that of a sheriff for a woman in the community, there was more to it, but he didn’t have time to wrap his head around the technicalities.
The bulk of his night had been spent going over some of the people that Rob thought might be behind the man in the park. The evidence hadn’t been processed yet, so he didn’t have specifics, just suspicions. Tobias was at the top of Drew’s list.
“Drew, this is serious and she’s not taking it that way. I need for you to take her away from here until I can figure this out. This is more than just that man she saw in the park. I think whoever shot that man was there. Maybe she saw them, or they think she did. All I know is she’s stubborn and will need some coaxing in order to get her away from here. Make sure that she goes with you, no matter how you have to get her to do it.”
That made Drew smile. He’d dealt with stubborn soldiers before and she was a lot smaller than most of them so this should be a breeze. Then again, he’d seen that glint in her eyes that spoke of something deeper that could get in the way.
He’d planned on staying a couple of days, but even he knew there was something happening that directly affected Hadley. He walked up her front steps, knowing this wouldn’t be received well. But, he had a job to do and protecting her was now his job. He knocked on her door, his eyes moving to the nonexistent window to his left. He shook his head in disgust.
Robert assured him that he would call Hadley and let her in on the new plan. Although he was sure she wouldn’t go along with it. When he knocked again, his brows bunched in concern as out of habit, he reached for the gun on his side. Was she gone? Then he heard her coming toward the door. Her footsteps were light, but the gait told him she was weary.
Hadley opened the door only a couple of inches as she peered out at him. “What do you want?” Her voice was raspy as though she’d been sleeping or crying. Either way, he had to harden his heart to those beautiful, doe like eyes staring up at him.
“As Rob should have told you, pack a bag and come on. I don’t want to be driving into the middle of the night.” Drew said, his tone one of authority. Rob’s words rang in his head. ‘She won’t go willingly, but she’s in danger. They gave a distinct warning last night with the fire. The next thing will be worse, much worse.’
“I haven’t spoken with Rob since he brought me lunch. My phone went dead over an hour ago. As I told him earlier, I’m not going to the hotel.” She started to close the door, but his strong hand stopped it.
“Dead phone or not, I’ve been hired to protect you. So, go pack a bag. I don’t have a lot of time.”
Hadley turned and left him standing in the doorway. “I’m not going anywhere with you or Rob, so you can go back to where ever it is you came from.” She said over her shoulder.
Drew stood there for a minute, wondering what he was doing here. Then he thought about this tiny woman trying to fight off what he thought was coming at her. There was no way he could let that happen. “Please, just pack a bag. Don’t make me have to take matters into my own hands. You won’t like it.” He raised his brows, putting his hands in his pockets as he leaned in the doorway.
“Don’t threaten me.” Hadley grumbled, walking up the dark hallway.
“Lady, I don’t make threats. I only speak the truth and if you’re not out here with a packed bag in ten minutes, then I’ll be forced to handle it myself.” Drew’s voice was deep as he stepped into the den, his tone not wavering. He took in the burnt furniture. As he shook his head, he noticed that she’d come back into the room with him.
“Why do you want to help me? You don’t even know me.” Hadley crossed her arms across her chest as she waited on his answer.
“Rob is one of my best friends and when he’s worried, that makes me worry. The only way to keep you safe is to take you far away from here. I’ve been hired to escort you to somewhere safe until this is taken care of.” Drew said.
“What do you mean, far away from here?”
Drew took another step into the den, the scent of burnt wood making his eyes water. “I’m taking you to my ranch four hours north of here. There you will be safe and I can keep an eye on you.”
“No you’re not. I’m staying here in my house.”
“As I said, that’s not an option. The people who seem to have a problem with you are not playing games. The next attack will be worse. They tried to burn the house down around you, so what do you think will happen next?”
Hadley shrugged. She’d made up her mind earlier to just ignore all of this. Although that most likely wouldn’t make the situation go away. The fact that she was afraid of what was happening only heightened her sense of awareness that Drew was inside her house. In her own introverted way, she thought that if she kept her mind occupied, then it would all just go away. And in another thought, she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
“Would you like for me to enlighten you on how these types of people work?” Drew waited for her to respond, but she only kept her back to him. He knew she was listening. “Ok, I’ll tell you. First they gave you a broken window as a warning. Then before daylight today, they tossed a lit bottle through your window as a wake up call. The next warning will send you to the hospital if not worse. And I don’t intend for that to happen. At least not on my watch.”

I hope you enjoyed this small tidbit of Safe, the first book in my new series, ‘In Harm’s Way’.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When you Water down your Writing…

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Good morning! I’ve been reading a suspense romance that I saw in my Amazon feed. It looked really interesting, so I took a chance on this new author. And I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed it. Then when I finished it suggested a book that was supposed to be similar. No… It… Was… Not…

The first book was a edge of your chair, nail biter that had me hooked from word one. It was engaging, bold, and kept me guessing up until the end. But this second one, although it was good, it was not similar because it was as if the author didn’t want to go over the line or say something that would send someone running away. It was watered down and didn’t have the suspense to keep my interest. I did read it to the end, but it left me empty.

So, what about your writing? Is it watered down? Did you add that extra element to keep the interest or did you leave it off to keep up appearances? Now, I’m not saying to go over the line with some things, but in a suspense novel, there needs to be suspense. Hence the word suspense. Leave the reader hanging on your every word. It’s important. So just do it.

End your chapters with a cliffhanger to keep your reader interested. Have a couple of characters get suspected of something they didn’t do. Make your reader go down the wrong trail, only to be snatched back with a zinger. It’s the way a suspenseful novel should be. Be bold and daring.

And that’s why I’m enjoying writing suspense filled romance now. This book has been such an eye opener. The whole series will be all about the edge of the chair, never knowing who done until the end type of books. I want the reader to be hanging on every word. I want them to think it was someone else and find out later that the one they suspected was actually innocent, but the one they thought was innocent was guilty. It’s the kind of writing that gives you a giggle and makes you want to jump out of your seat with excitement.

Now, not everyone likes suspense which is fine, but with my newest series, ‘In Harm’s Way’, I’m adding a dab of romance and some Christian essence to give it a different flare. It’s clean, but edgy. Is that even a thing? For me it is and as I’ve always said, it’s a world from my head, so anything goes.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Safe is coming soon, so keep watching for the release date…


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Happy 5th Birthday to Ghost Lover!

It’s hard to believe that the very first book I published is five years old today! On May 12, 2012, I took a leap of faith and I’ve never looked back. It was the hardest step I think I’ve taken in my life.

I remember the first time I worked on this manuscript which was eighteen years ago. I had a new baby, accounting business, house, hubby, and life going on all around me, but I needed an out. I’d worked on writing since I was a teenager, but this story pulled at me, even that long ago. I wrote at least two thirds of it, then put it in a file as my son got older and my business grew. All of a sudden, I didn’t have the time to work on it. Then my assistant (Now my editor and one of my cover designers) pulled the file from the back of my desk drawer and fell in love with the story.

Within a week, Ghost Lover had cover. LOL! Let’s look at that first cover:

book cover

Needless to say, that cover didn’t last long. As I went through and searched, I knew this cover was lacking, really lacking. I have to laugh as I look at it, but hey, I was a newbie. Of course, my assistant quickly threw this one out and designed the first awesome cover of my writing career. Here’s what she came up with and I’ve received several great reviews on this cover, even from the cover model that sent me a message. He told me he was the one on my cover, which thrilled me. So, here’s the 2nd cover for Ghost Lover:

Ghost Lover Final

This is one of my favorite covers. And it was my first real attempt at making something out of my writing and taking it seriously. This book took me to the bestsellers list within six months, which really excited me. But, as my writing advanced and I learned more about the world of grammar and writing, I knew that my baby needed a makeover, so in amongst all of my works in progress, I began the process of overhauling my work.

The newest edition of Ghost Lover has astounded me in it’s depth of love, romance, suspense and other emotions that I can’t exactly explain. Here’s the newest cover, which I’m totally in love with.

Ghost Lover 2 full cover

So, as you can tell, Ghost Lover has been through many changes over the last five years, but the heart of the story has never changed. When true love is there, nothing can tear you apart.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Not a cowboy in sight…

Well my pirate romance is coming along nicely. I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Since pirate romance novels were my favorite when I was younger it’s like going back in time. I have suspense mingled in with romance and a lot of sea air. I want the reader to feel as though they’re on the ship.

Captain Caleb Tanner is not like most pirates. He’s got morals and does things for others. But he’s been dubbed as a pirate and he’s alright with that. The first time he sets eyes on Serena Wilimgton, he’s smitten and wants to know more. He’s a great reader of people and he sees something is not totally right with things.

Serena Wilmington loves the sea and everything that goes with it. When her mother dies suddenly, leaving her dying wish for Serena to leave quickly from her childhood home to stay safe, she goes where her heart leads her. The only thing is her heart has led her to stowaway on Caleb’s ship. It gets crazy when she boards a pirate ship as a boy, but Caleb figures her out. Just wait till you see how it goes. It definitely doesn’t go as Serena thinks.

I will be doing a cover reveal soon. It’s still in the works, but the bones are there. The book is coming along quickly. I did well over 5000 words this weekend. 

So, do you like pirate romance? 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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It’s published!

Well, “A Love Never Lost” is up on Smashwords.com and will be on Amazon this evening. Barnes & Noble will have it in about a week or so. I’m so excited and relieved. Yes, I’m over my sadness and replace that feeling with excitement and pure joy. So, if you have a chance check it out. This is my favorite out of all my books published so far and the longest.  Only through God was this book possible. Have a great Friday and good writing!