Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Tuesday Writing hints…

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Hello! Glad you made it to Tuesday. So, let’s discuss character bios. Yes, we’ve discussed those before, but it needs to be brought back up. Recently I read a post from a fellow writer that said they were writing a series and were constantly flipping back and forth. That’s time consuming and eats up your writing time.

Here’s my suggestion, take it or leave it. And it helps me!

  • Grab a notebook, binder, or make a file on your computer. If you use Scrivener, you’re already there!
  • As you start a new series or book, write down every characteristic of each character and place that comes up. It’s important to know if they have blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, birthdays are essential in case you need to throw a birthday party. If a character gets a scar, make note of it.
  • Add marriages, births and deaths to this also. Nothing is worse than getting to book three and not remembering if Mary is married to Burt or Ernie. Believe me, this is time consuming as well as frustrating to the reader if Mary marries Burt, but keeps kissing Ernie.

It’s worth the time and effort, believe me. Getting called out on a mistake that you could have avoided isn’t fun.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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New Year… New You…

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Happy New Year! It’s 2021, can you believe it? Alright, it’s time to get this year started and as with any new year, it’s a chance to make a change. Maybe it’s financial, career, life, or any other change you need to make. It’s time for second chances and new experiences. So, here’s a list of things to change:

  • Faith – We all need to work on that one, especially after this last year. Last night as I knelt at the altar, I prayed for more faith. We’ve got to let go of the bad and work on bringing in the good. Build on your faith and find hope!
  • Finances – As an accountant, this is something most people need to do. Make a resolution to save more money, get rid of debt, or clean out your budget. I have a Budget book to help and it’s a great time to get started on the new financially stable you. https://www.amazon.com/Budgeting-Simple-Plan-Better-Year/dp/1793955611
  • Career – Alright, this one can be hard to do, but if you make the choice to make this change, then jump in. Maybe you want to expand on your current career. Then jump in feet first. There are so many chances out there to change your career.
  • Life – If you’re stuck in a rut, then climb out. You have the power to do this, even if you don’t think so, you do. Make a list of what in your life needs to change and start working on it. Some things are harder than others to change, but it’s your life and you only get one!
  • Write a Book – Wow, that one hits close to home. I’ve been writing since I was 13, but only published my first book in 2012 which was 31 years after I wrote my first manuscript. So, if you have a book inside of you, get it out there and take the leap. You won’t regret it.

And don’t forget the coffee!

Now, get to work. You have a new you to make. Smile… Laugh… Love…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Why authors are important…

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Good Saturday morning! I want to share a little something with all of you. Not long ago I had a fan message me. She went on to tell me that my book had made her day. It helped her through a bad day, making things seem not as bad as it seemed.

Well, that message got me to thinking about the importance of authors in this world we live in. With so much uncertainty and despair, we as authors can spread a little joy. Or at least give someone a way to get lost for a while. As for my way of thinking, I consider authors important to our sanity. We have to continue writing the words that fill the imaginations of people all over the world. It only takes one book to give someone a chance to step out of reality, if only for a moment.

Romance authors have the chance to take someone to another time or place and give them a little romance to warm their heart. We can help someone realize that they are not alone in this world, but that love is all around us.

Mystery authors can add some intrigue to someone’s life. They give them a purpose, such as solving a crime or getting lost in a crime thriller.

Horror writers take us on a roller coaster ride with exhilarating chills. Fear can make the adrenaline flow in a sedentary time.

Self help writers can teach us ways to do things differently. We all need some help from time to time.

Now, there are many other genres to talk about, but for now, this will have to do. I have a deadline and maybe I’ll be able to get lost in a book for a while today.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…


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Making time work for you…

Good Tuesday morning! Time… It just keeps marching on and sometimes it marches all over your good intentions. Yep, been there! But, I’ve started doing a couple of things that work for me. SO, here goes:

  1. As I said in Saturday’s post, schedule your advertising ahead of time. That gives you a good slot of time to write. Without having to do your ads every day, then you can focus on other things, like writing…
  2. Set a time to write every day. For me, I try to write every morning before I get dressed and head to the office. That’s my time to write. Sometimes I even set a timer to make sure I get every second of writing time without having to glance at the clock.
  3. Don’t go down the social media rabbit hole. I’ve gone down that hole so many times and lost precious writing time. Go ahead and write before you go on social media, then you don’t have that temptation.
  4. And don’t forget the time gem – the weekend! When I schedule my daily word count, I always put in double on Saturday and Sunday.
  5. Now, my most important way to make time work for me is to do a schedule. I know what I need to get done everyday. If I meet my word goal for the day early, then I can either get in extra words or I can do a little promotional posting. But a schedule helps you keep up with your upcoming releases and you’ll never miss a deadline again…

Don’t forget that the way to meet your deadline is to focus on your writing time. Make sure that you have figured out how much you need to do each day to meet your goal. Make the time work for you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Tuesday Teaser – The Journal

It’s time for a Tuesday Teaser. This week I’m teasing you with a new series that will start releasing this summer. It’s call The Journal.

So, what is the series about you might ask? This series will be a Time Travel Romance series that will take you on many adventures. You will spend time in medieval times with knights, in the old west with handsome cowboys, and many other places in time. You’ll find out in the first book what causes this time warp. It will be fun, exciting and romantic, so keep watching for the cover reveal that will be coming soon for ‘The Knight of Her Heart’, the first book in the series.

Here’s a sneak peak at the series header:

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Life steps in…

It’s Thursday, but it feels like Monday! Some days I wake up and just want to go back to bed, cover my head and sleep. Today is one of those days. But guess what, I’ve got a business to run and way too much to do for all of that. So, I managed to drag myself out of bed early so I could meet my morning word count. Did I meet it? Well, let’s just say I’ll have a writing lunch…

So, what is your day like? Recently I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Southern Writer’s Magazine, which will come out soon. It was eye-opening as I wrote out my answers to the interview questions. I realized that every day I manage somehow to schedule in some stress-relieving words. You may be saying, didn’t you already know that? Some days I think I don’t get enough time to write, but then others I get more than enough.

Yesterday I caught myself daydreaming about a character that has filled my head lately. Before I knew what I was doing, I was filling up stick it notes with character traits. Thank goodness I was waiting on a file to download, or I would’ve gotten behind. Then, the rest of the day, my eyes would go to those notes, wanting to write the story. Well, hopefully, today I’ll get to put a little work in on it.

Life steps in, but writing is part of that life, so make some time to focus on your dreams. This life is short, so make the most of it. Don’t forget to get up and walk some, it’s good for you and many writers don’t realize this. But that’s for another post.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Life…As a Writer

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a great, productive weekend. Let’s make the best of the week ahead.

Life as a writer is sometimes crazy. There are stories running through our heads at every turn. Some days it’s hard to do my day job because a character is knocking on my brain, wanting out. But, when I finally sit down to let the character out, they are stubbornly sitting there with arms crossed refusing to come out.

Then, when you get a couple of days to do some serious writing, everything else has to be done. I try to do social media posts and write on weekday mornings. Of course, I need to train myself to wait on the social media posts until after I’ve written my designated word count for the day. Social media is like a leech, it sucks the time out of the morning.

What’s fun is when you have a great story come into your mind, but you’re in the grocery store… LOL! That’s why I have notes on my phone. Usually, I’ll stop where I am and at least get the basics down, if not, I’ll forget them until a much later time.

Oh, and then you have a deadline, but also a list of things to be completed. That’s when you get creative with your time. Even eating breakfast while typing. Ok, so my laptop has crumbs in the keyboard, but it still works.

So, how do you juggle things?

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


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Where did January go?

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already February! I feel like I just got settled into the new year and then, bam, another month has passed by in a flash. My grandmother always said, the older you get, the faster times goes by. Of course, when I was young, I thought that was the silliest thing ever. Now, I get it.

So much water has flowed under this bridge that some days I can hardly believe that I’m nearing the half-century mark. Don’t go there! I don’t feel my age and I certainly don’t act it, but it’s there none the less. And to think, my baby is graduating high school in May, what???

Another milestone I’m facing this year, but it’s a good one is that I’ve been a published author for five years. May 12th will mark Ghost Lover’s fifth year in publication. To think, this time five years ago, I was still skeptical about putting my name and work out to the public and now I’m nearing the publication of my 30th book. Yes, I said 30! That’s another thing that baffles my mind. I guess the old adage is true, time flies when you’re having fun!

This Sunday, the hubby and I will celebrate 23 years of blissful marriage. Some days it feels like just yesterday, then other days it feels like we’ve been together our whole lives. That’s what romance does to you, it blows your mind. I wouldn’t take anything for all of the adventures we’ve had and the things we’ve shared.

Now, as I sit here, getting ready to do my morning writing, I’m gazing at my calendar. Yep, I had better get off this post before I fall further behind and have to deal with my assistant’s frown. She has a tendency to look at my writing calendar and tsk tsk at me. LOL!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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Time? Who has Time?

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Time… it flies by without stopping… never ceasing. So how do we fit it all in? I’m often asked how I fit writing into my busy schedule with running my accounting office, being a wife and mom, being a children’s minister, life, reading, researching, among other things that fill my days. Well, some days it’s not easy.

How do I keep up with my word count and publish on time? I have a schedule of word counts, but that doesn’t mean that I make that count every day. Some days I don’t even type a word, but guess what, that just builds it up to the next day and so on… My daily word counts during tax season are low, but they add up quickly when I don’t meet my daily count.

So, how do you stretch your time? How do you fit it all in? I have some advice on that very subject. This is advice that I ignored years ago, but now I take it very seriously. Make a schedule and a list of what needs to be done daily. That seems easy, huh, but it’s not on most days. So what do I mean?

Here’s how I schedule my week. Sit down on Sunday afternoon and look at the week ahead. Look at meetings on the calendar, work that needs to be completed, deadlines, and anything else that comes into the week. Then prioritize the items that don’t have a specific set time, like meetings.

With tax returns and accounting, I look at deadlines for the week first, don’t forget to look ahead to the deadlines for the next week too. Then I sit down at my desk and make a list for each day. I number each task, start with the most important daily task, then work my way down. I know how many tax returns I can do a day, then I separate them and bind together each day’s work. That way I accomplish what I need to accomplish and meet my deadlines. But remember, if it’s not important to finish this week, don’t waste valuable time trying to fit it in. Put it on the next week’s schedule. That way you’re only accomplishing this week’s needs.

What about writing? This is where it gets tricky. If my day is filled with appointments and I have to work later than usual, well, my writing time suffers. I use the time after my hubby and son leave for work and school. I sit down with my coffee and write. If I’m behind on my count, well no blog that day and I don’t check social media until I’ve caught up on the count. That’s hard to do. A couple of days this week, I wrote when I came in for lunch. That helped too. (But now I need to clean the crumbs from my keyboard!) Also, I make my Saturday word count higher than my weekday, but only when I’m behind.

I know, you’re sitting back going, wow, she’s so organized, but don’t get the wrong idea. My life is always disorganized in one way or another. Like last night, I wanted to write at least 1000 words, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate, so I read for an hour, which helped my brain to calm a little, but then it was time to go to bed, so I have an extra 1000 words to add to today. By the way, I need to get back to the writing.

How do you stretch your time? Don’t forget to schedule in some ‘me time’. It’s important to your sanity…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

A little note, Ridge is finally free on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Ridge-Five-Oaks-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B00TFOPOFI


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Time Travel

Finding the Right Time front cover

Just in time for Halloween, throwback to one of my older releases, “Finding the Right Time”. This book is really different as it slips in and out of the past. I’ve had mixed reviews on this one. It’s in the revision stage at the moment, but I still love it.

This story came to me in a dream and it pulled me into the mystery of time travel. You’ll fall in love with this unique love triangle that spans 100 years. Once the story starts you just have to know what happens and who she chooses, but the surprise ending will leave you saying, What?!

The revised edition will be available soon, but the story will stay the same. Romance can span the ages and this story sets out to prove it. True love never dies, even when one of the participants does. As I said, it’s a good read for Halloween.

Here’s a little excerpt to intrigue you…

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 like 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.

My favorite quote from this book:

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?”

So check it out!

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…