Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Throwback Thursday…Ghost Lover

Ghost Lover 2 full cover

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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Throwback Thursday – A family saga…

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Good Thursday morning! I know, I’ve been awol for over a week, but I have a great excuse. Between work (Accounting) and writing, plus my bathroom renovation, I’ve been out of pocket. But, I’m back. Did you miss me?

Today I want to talk about writing a family saga. If you’ve read my Five Oaks Ranch series, then you know it’s all about the Cauthen family. Each book explores the life of each sibling. You can’t help but fall in love with them. They have a personality all their own. Even a couple of times you might not like them, but then they pull you back in.

If you haven’t read this series, then grab a copy today. Ridge has been in the top 100 on Amazon for going on two years for Sagas and Anthologies & Collections. It’s amazing the rate that the others are selling. I’m in awe of the fascination my readers have for this series.

Have a great Thursday and remember, grab a book, it’s the best way to keep the mind busy and active…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Three cups & a book…

Good Thursday morning! I do hope you’re all well…

This morning I’m working on the outline for the 2nd book in the Wishful Harbor Series. It’s exciting when you start a new manuscript, but it’s scary too! As a writer, you want to pull the reader in with the first paragraph, but what if you don’t? Publishing your work is scary, but satisfying when you see the sales and responses from readers.

As I outline, I have a bad habit of writing instead of outlining. Yep, some of my outlining will be used in the actual book because I get carried away, but that’s fine. One thing that helps is I use Scrivener, so I can set up my chapters and copy/paste the part I love that will go in the book. Yep, another win for Scrivener.

But, along with writing, I have to grab another cup of coffee to keep me going. So, I’d best get back to finishing this outline and getting another cup of coffee.

So, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Throwback Thursday – Time Travel

Finding the Right Time front cover

Good Thursday morning folks! Today I’m talking time travel. My book, Finding the Right Time is a mixture of contemporary romance, cowboy romance, and Time Travel. Some have even said maybe a little paranormal.

First, let’s start with this amazing cover. I thought my cover designer would quit when I told her what I wanted, but as usual, she waved her creative hand over it and made it. There are so many elements to this cover. It’s one of my favorites, along with the story behind the cover. It totally tells you that the story inside has many levels.

Ok, so on to the story. This is a time travel, but I went a bit further. What do I mean by that? Well, as I said, this came to me in a dream, so… This story goes back and forth in time, so, you have to keep up. Some readers really love this story and fell in love with the characters, but others said that the time changes had their heads whirling. But, I had to tell the story as it came to me. Those that love this book, love it fiercely. Honestly, I’ve read many time travel romances that flipped back and forth, it’s the way this one goes. But once you read it, you’ll understand why.

Here’s a little bit from Finding the Right Time…

He stood up and walked over to stand beside her. “I know this is going to sound crazy, but do you think that people sometimes do not cross over immediately?”

“I don’t know, why do you ask?” She looked back at the head stone. “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“I believe that when someone has unfinished business that maybe they stay here to finish that business. Maybe that’s what a ghost is, someone with unfinished business.” He watched her reaction to that and noticed that she looked a little perplexed.

“Are you saying there are ghosts here in the cemetery?” A shiver ran down her spine.

He noticed her shiver. “I’m just saying that sometimes we bring on things with emotions so when you read that head stone try not to get emotional.”

She laughed and looked back at him. “You’re kidding right.” She quit laughing when she saw his face. He wasn’t kidding and she’d hoped he was.

“I’m just preparing you for the emotions that may come over you if you’re sensitive.”

“I’ll take my chances.” She turned back to the head stone and read it. “Lilliana Faith Kennedy – Loving wife of Rafe, caring Mother, dedicated Friend. Born August 8, 1839 – Died November 20, 1899. Married on August 12, 1965. The love they shared will never die, but will last forever…” She sat back on her heels and tried to hide the tears that suddenly welled in her eyes. The words were so familiar to her and she couldn’t figure out why.

“I tried to warn you. I think it has a meaning more than just a saying on a grave marker. It carries a promise.” He looked down at her and he had a sudden feeling of protectiveness. Why did he feel like he knew her from another time? He didn’t want to tell her how he felt because it might scare her.

When he saw her the first time it was a hit in the chest. His heart beat so fast that he couldn’t even think straight. Was it just the fact that they both were sensitive to time?

She stood up and walked over to the old oak tree. It felt as though a slight vibration came from the old tree. She looked back to see if Anthony felt it, but he seemed preoccupied at the moment. She reached out and placed her hand on the bark. Then suddenly the wind picked up and the chimes got louder and louder.

Now, if that little snippet doesn’t make you shiver, then the following quote from the book will. By the way, this is one of my favorite quotes from all 35 of my books!

He bowed his head and shook it from side to side. “I don’t understand how a man that’s been dead for over one hundred years can just take over your heart. How can you even think about going back to him? If you love me, how can you love him too?”

See, what did I tell you? And of course, after reading this quote, I have to go back and read the book again. I know, I wrote it, but I love the story and the romance will leave you breathless as you try to figure out which one she will pick. As you reach the end of the story, you’ll realize something amazing about this love triangle…

As always, good reading 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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Feeling like Fall…Throwback Thursday!

Good Thursday morning! Here in Georgia it actually feels like fall finally. The temp here is in the high 50’s, so that’s a refreshing way to start the day.

Since it’s Thursday, let’s go back a ways and reacquaint you with one of my first books, Tender Flames. This book was one of the easiest to write out of the 25 I’ve published. It will take you on a journey of love that will leave you wanting more.

Tender Flames revised cover

Here’s a little tidbit from Tender Flames:

They walked hand in hand back to the party, both deep in thought. She was thinking about how her family would react, but mostly how Wes would. Zach knew his family would be happy, well almost his whole family. He knew it was mean of him to want to hurt his brother, but his brother was a fool for not snatching her up long ago. 

     They arrived back at the party.  Randy ran over, “Hey sis, everyone wondered where you two had wondered off to.  Judging by the look on your face I know what you were doing.” He grinned as he pulled his sister’s hair.  She blushed.

     Zach led her to the front of the dance floor.  He whistled for the music to stop.  Everyone turned to see what Zach had to say.  “I have some wonderful news.  I have asked Sara to be my wife, and she has accepted. We are to be wed before my leave is up.”  There was a stunned silence then everyone whooped and yelled.  There were a lot of handshakes and pats on the back for Zach and hugs for Sara.  Her parents were stunned at first, then relieved.  They had always hoped she would marry one of the Dawson boys.  The same went for his parents, they were thrilled.  His mother had even cried. 

Wes walked up and leaned over Sara. He whispered in her ear. “I hope you know what you are doing?” He then gave her a hug that was tight enough to press the air from her lungs. The look he gave her was full of something she did not recognize.  She knew then that he cared more for her than she realized.  She was suddenly angry with him. It served him right. He should have let her know a long time ago. She did not plan on waiting on him the rest of her life.

He gave his brother a hug and said in his ear. “Brother, she had better not be pregnant. You had better make her happy.” He gave him a look that dared him to go against what he said. With that, he had left with his girlfriend.

You’ll fall in love with this love triangle…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

https://www.amazon.com/Tender-Flames-Revised-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B0084USOE2