Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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If I could go anywhere…

Good morning! It’s Saturday and sunny, but really cold here in Georgia. I was thinking about things on my bucket list. Do you have one? Come on, you know there’s something you’d like to do before you leave this place or maybe somewhere you’d like to go.

For me, I’ve always wanted to visit Switzerland. Even when I was young, I’d dream of the snow-capped alps and green meadows below. Once I wrote to the Swiss tourist bureau about a report I was doing on Switzerland. They sent me a whole package on the country. It was great as I went through all the pictures and pamphlets. I was in a dream world, for a while at least.

Well, since I did the research for my book, Tuscany, I’ve added that to my bucket list. As I researched the places and food in Tuscany, my heart was lost to it. Maybe one day I’ll brave a plane trip over there, but I don’t know. It’s nice to dream about it. Since I’m a writer, I can live through my characters. When I wrote Tuscany, I imagined being there. It took me away to another place. Once the book was at the end, I felt sad. So, yes another book set in Tuscany will be on the horizon, but probably for next year.

So, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Switzerland                                                                Tuscany


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Ebook piracy is real and growing…

Good Wednesday morning! Hope all of you are well and safe. I know several people in the flood ravaged south and I hope all of you are safe this morning. As I watch the news its devastating and tears at my heart. Prayers going up to all of you in the danger zones.

This morning I want to discuss Ebook piracy. When I started my writing career I was a little leery of putting my book on websites that I wasn’t familiar with. I’d spend hours checking out their ratings and BBB information before I’d even set up an account with them. We want to keep our work safe from those that want to take advantage, but what can we do in this day and age of cyber piracy? Nothing, not a thing…

I noticed about a year ago that when I googled my name, several websites came up that I didn’t recognize. Of course I checked them out and some of them are legitimate because they are distributors from Createspace that legally sell my book and I reap the royalties. But unfortunately a couple were actually pirating my books for free on their sites. A month ago I was searching out my books and found that the number of websites that my books are showing up on have more than doubled.

Of course it got me a little hot under the collar until a well known author told me something that hadn’t really hit me. She told me that it’s like free advertising. The word pirates as I call them were actually doing free promotions for my work. I still don’t like the fact that they steal your work and place it everywhere for free, but in a way it is getting my work out there. She also went as far as to tell me I should be proud that they picked my work to steal because that meant they evidently thought it would help them. Never thought of it that way either.

My question to several authors was how do you stop them, but all of them came back with the same response, you don’t. The websites change constantly and have crazy names. I keep a watch on it though because I don’t want someone else to list their name as the author of my work. Now that will spur me into action, but for now I’m just watching it.

I suggest if you’re a published author to keep an eye on your work. Do a cyber search frequently on your author name, book name and website. It’s just a precautionary measure, but it could save your work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Oakley is coming out by the end of next weeks!!! I’ll be posting updates by the end of the week. So go over to my website at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on new releases or exciting news. Or go over to Facebook and like my author page to stay up to date at https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt. If  you’re a Twitter lover then check out my tweets at https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4.


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Coming out of the rain!

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Good Tuesday morning! It’s wonderful to look outside this morning. The sun is streaming in through the windows and everything looks great. We’ve had rain and dreary weather for over a week, so the sun shining this morning makes me smile. Although it’s a little cool this morning, I’m not complaining one bit.

As a writer I go through many phases of writing. Some days I feel like it’s raining in my brain and the floods of thoughts seem to overtake me. It can be overwhelming, but then the sun comes out and the writing begins. I’ve been coming out of the rain for the last couple of days. During the busiest part of tax season I had so much going on in my mind that I couldn’t get a hold on my writing.

Now that the sun has come out I can’t seem to write enough. Of course I still have to go into the office and do accounting, but my mind is still focusing on the stories that cross back and forth. I’m a major multi-tasker so usually I have a note pad handy for those moments when I can’t get them to stop screaming at me. Some days as I do data entries which usually I do this automatically after over twenty some odd years I can do these in my sleep, I use my dictation app on my phone and write as I work. Yep I’ve got it bad.

If you’ve been following my blog the last couple of days you know I’m doing a fun giveaway of Ridge. This is because Oakley is coming out really, really soon… So keep up with all the news and subscribe to my website at stephaniehurtauthor.com for updates. Also, watch out for the questions that help you rack up points for chances to win a copy of Ridge.

I hope you enjoy your day and make the best of it!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a little reminder of the giveaway rules and today’s question:

Do you prefer a moonlit stroll in the country or on the beach?

Ridge Giveaway


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Monday and the rain begins…

As we slowly transition into Spring the rain starts. Here in Georgia we’re looking at rain until Sunday. Of course it’s better than ice, but it’ll make a long, dreary week. In the back of my mind I wonder in the threat of cold weather is gone or if this is just a tease. At least we had a gorgeous weekend which helps with this dreary Monday.

The clocks moved forward this weekend and hopefully you changed yours, if not you might be late for work, just sayin’. It always throws my body into a crazy frenzy when the time changes. I feel tired and sleepy, but am trying to meet my word count goals this morning. For those that have been asking what I’m working on, well it’s Oakley. This book is really fun to write. It’s been humming along nicely. I’ve received so many nice emails and calls about fans enjoying Ridge and I know you’ll enjoy Oakley. This series is beginning to become one of my favorites. I’ll be releasing some snippets before the release date is revealed.

Now, back to the lousy weather this Monday morning. How does the weather affect your writing? Do you write better when it’s snowing and cold, wet and miserable or sunny and delightful? As for me it’s a toss up. I love to sit by the fire when it’s cold and write, but on sunny, warm days it’s nice to sit outside and write. But I do have to say that sometimes the rain puts me in a blah mood, but sometimes it gives me the right mood to write.

Hope everyone has a great Monday and don’t forget to scoot over to my website to see what the March Madness Sale for the day is… stephaniehurtauthor.com.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How hooked are you?

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Good morning! I do hope all of you are safe and well after those nasty storms that came through the southern US. As for me, did you notice no post from me yesterday. Well, I had no power for most of the day. If you know me well, or even if you just know me from social media interaction, then you know I try to post most days. 

While my power was off and I was unconnected to all of my electrical devices, I had lots of time to think. Think? Wow that’s a large word when you think about it. How often do we just sit and think? No really, how often? Yes we use our brains, but most of the time it’s connected to some sort of electrical device, especially internet driven devices. Whether it’s your computer, smart phone, or whatever it is that you use to do everything, you’re probably hooked. 

I sat here thinking about how much power means to us today. It’s like life shuts down when the power does. But if you think about it, we’re so hooked on the gadgets that make life easier that we can’t function when it goes south. I sat down on my couch and tried to figure out what I would do until the power came back on. The sad thing was, I had payroll for a client to complete, but my computer addicted brain had a hard time dealing with the process of manually completing the task. That’s when I sat down and took a hard look at me life. When it’s quiet and nothing is happening you can do that without interruption. 

I realized that I’m addicted to power. Whatever happened to actually doing something for ourselves without relying on a gadget to do it for us. I stood up and walked to my office with determination. Of course I had to drag my teenage son with me so he could hold the flashlight. I pulled out the employee paperwork on each employee, I dusted off the payroll tax sheets and I grabbed some checks and a pen. Oh yeah, and the solar powered calculator. I sat down with a old oil lamp and proceeded to figure payroll the old way. My son sat watching and shaking his head. He kept saying, ‘Can’t you wait until the power comes back on?’ I just kept going and soon I had a completed payroll ready for delivery.

The hard part was the social media disconnect. I sat for a moment wondering if I made any sales during the night, wondering how all my social media friends had faired the night of storms and wanting desperately to check my Twitter feed. Sad, but true. I realized again I’m addicted to everything power connected. 

Unfortunately, most of my work is connected to power. My clients files are loaded on my laptop, which has a battery of course, but my accounting program drains that battery really quickly. I did a couple of things that didn’t require my laptop, but I was limited. I did work on some of my manuscript outlines. I still do those old school long hand. It’s just the way I am. I tried putting those on the computer, but it’s easier to have them beside me as I write, not in a file that I have to pull up.

So, my question is this, How hooked are you on electricity or even the internet and social media? If you were without power for a week, would you pull your hair out or make the best of it? 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Here comes Spring in the South…

Well, when Spring comes to the southern US, guess what? Yep, so do those nasty storms and tornado threats. I love this time of year for the temperatures and flowers, but not the storms. Now we’re looking at tornado watches and warnings for the evening and overnight. Our friends to the west of us went through a horrible storm system yesterday and it’s headed toward Georgia.

So, as I have to get to the office before the storms for the afternoon roll in, this will be a short post. I do hope everyone stays safe and keep an eye to the skies. Make sure you have your weather emergency plan in place and that your family, especially your kids know where the safe room is. It’s very important to have a plan and practice it. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

May God be with those from the devastating storms overnight…


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Rainy day in the South

Well, I woke this morning to the pitter patter of rain. A very cold rain. It’s dark and dreary outside, but inside it’s warm and cheery. My writer’s mind is writing it as a sunny, beautiful day. That’s the fun thing about being a writer. I can rewrite the day in my pretend world. You may be saying, Stephanie, honey, your writing is not life. I’m well aware of that, but writing is part of my life. You make your feelings the way you want to. 

If it’s drab outside you can control how you feel about it. You either let it get you in a crabby mood or you smile and say it’s a beautiful day. It’s the same with writing. You are the one that chooses the feeling of it. It can be sad, happy, scary, or whatever you want it to be. As I sit and work on finishing a sad to happy book it’s a good day to write the happy part. 

You’re in control of your life. Well most of the time. Don’t let emotions control your life. I used to struggle with this. I’d let the day control me. If it was raining I’d be down and out. But I realized one day that I could control that. No I can’t control the weather before you ask, but I can control how I react to it. 

It’s the same with my writing. I control the destiny of the characters. If they’re happy or sad it’s up to me.So as I sip my warm coffee, laced with pumpkin spice creamer I smile and say rain, rain, go away, come back another day. But I smile. Live every day with a smile. Come on, you feel that smile coming, just let it out.

I hope every one of you stay safe in this rolling storm system because of the icy side of it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…