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8 Horse Book Must-Reads to Weather the Pandemic

Has this pandemic turned your world upside-down? Sometimes it really feels that way for me. While I try to keep myself busy all day and into the night with writing, there’s times where I can’t escape the reality of how much things have changed… and how much uncertainty there is about the future.

Well, thank goodness for books. I’m craving horse books more than ever right now, because I’m cut off from riding and barn-time. A little virtual gallop is exactly what my soul is crying out for, and so horse books are the best escape of all.

I’ve recommended horse books on this blog before, of course, but this is a nice little list of eight horse books for under $5 — some of which are also free via Kindle Unlimited — which are all written by grown-up horse girls with a passion for ponies and the desire to share some horsey goodness with the rest of this shut-in world. You’ll see some familiar friends on this list, but you might spot something new… and there’s something for every age!

So click through if you see something you like, take advantage of some special offers, and read some horse books. You’ll feel better. Really!

First off, my most recent novel The Hidden Horses of New York is on sale for $2.99 now through April 28, 2020. So don’t miss that if you haven’t read it yet!

Next, let’s look at some more great horse books…

Where the Bluegrass Grows by Laurie Berglie

You know Laurie Berglie from this site — she did a five questions interview here a few months ago. Have you read her Equestrian Romance series? Where the Bluegrass Grows is the first book in the series.

Horses Adored and Men Endured: A Memoir of Falling and Getting Back Up by Susan Friedland

When Susan was 10, she thought it would be perfect if she could marry a horse; two decades later she feared she might have to marry a horse as there seemed to be no suitable human alternative!

Girl Forward: A Tale of One Woman’s Unlikely Adventure in Mongolia by Heather Wallace

Travel to Mongolia for an endurance horse race and live with the nomads through the eyes of a timid rider and mother of three determined to be bold and live life to the fullest.

Lucy’s Chance (Red Rock Ranch, book 1) by Brittney Joy

Sixteen year old Lucy Rose is spending her first summer away from home and she has two things on her mind: an abandoned, violent horse and a blue-eyed cowboy. Only neither is hers.

Cowgirl Lessons by Rae Rankin

Come along the adventure as a young girl heads to the barn for her weekly riding lesson on her favorite horse Duchess. But first, she must find her lost boot! Good thing mom has eyes “like a hawk!”

Racing and Breaking (A Racing Into Romance Novella) by Cora Marie Colt

Silas Knights finds himself making an interesting parallel between the young horses he has been hired to train and the young woman who is making her way into his heart.

In the Reins by Carly Kade

Full of equine epiphanies, In the Reins is a love story sure to touch your inner cowgirl, capturing the struggle between letting life move forward and shying away from taking the reins with horses and in love.

I hope this list of horse books helps you find some reads to take you away and give you a much-needed escape. If you’re looking for more, check out these pages around my site:

Must-Read Horse Books

On My List: Horse Books to Read in 2020

Equestrian Fiction

 

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Now Available: Turning For Home Continues “Horse Books for Grown-Ups”

I’m happy to announce that Turning For Home (Alex and Alexander Book 4) is now available for download at a variety of online retailers, with a paperback to follow soon!

Turning For Home promo square
Get a grown-up horse book!

This new installment of these “Horse Books for Grown-ups,” which began back in 2011 with the publication of The Head and Not The Heart, then continued with the 2014 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award semi-finalist, Other People’s Horses and the holiday short Claiming Christmas, returns to the dark bay beauty that Alex fell so hard for at Aqueduct Racetrack, The Tiger Prince.

The charismatic Tiger has run his last race, and it wasn’t pretty. Alex is faced with an agonizing decision: how can she retire a hot-tempered gelding who has no place on a breeding farm, but is such a pet that he can’t be sold or adopted out?

Then, as if life wasn’t complicated enough, another scandal is breaking over the racing industry. Racehorses are found abandoned and starving in the Everglades — and a radical animal rights group pins the blame on Alex. Hate mail and death threats, plus a mysterious new neighbor who is making life downright dangerous, throw Alex’s training career into a tailspin.

Stuck on the farm, exiled from the racetrack, angry and shell-shocked,  Alex and Tiger have more in common than ever. When a Thoroughbred Makeover event is announced for late spring, Alexander and Kerri both encourage Alex to seize the opportunity and show everyone that she’s fully capable of responsible racehorse retirement. It’s a move that could make — or break — her training career.

Turning For Home returns to some of my favorite places: the rolling hills of Ocala, the small-town feel of Tampa Bay Downs.  And it takes on one of my favorite subjects, racehorse retirement. That’s actually what got me started in this whole writing game, you know — writing Retired Racehorse Blog back when I had a little Florida farm, some broodmares and foals, and one wonderful gelding that I’d gotten off the track and was training to be an event horse.

I actually trained that horse, in part, to prove to myself that I still could do it. I guess in that way, I’m a lot like Alex in this story. Is retraining a racehorse like riding a bike? At some point, muscle memory kicks in, right?

It seemed that way for me, when I was out riding Final Call. I used the memory of those rides to write about Alex as she rides Tiger. I hope that helps the story ring true for equestrians — that’s always my number one goal as a writer!

Enjoy Turning For Home, and be sure to let me know what you think! You can read the first chapter right here on the website, or see the previews at the links below:

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Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/turning-for-home-5

Scribdhttps://www.scribd.com/book/257419235/Turning-For-Home-Alex-and-Alexander-4

Page Foundryhttp://www.inktera.com/store/title/78ae43dd-3664-4760-9ca1-27babc83c7b0

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@ Retired Racehorse: Horse-Crazy Doesn’t Look at a Calendar

Turning on a Dime by Maggie Dana
Turning on a Dime by Maggie Dana

This book review is posted over at Retired Racehorse, where I have been posting equestrian reads for years now. But for all my new readers, here is my latest review, for Maggie Dana’s outstanding Turning on a Dime:

I’m often struck by how much we share with the equestrians of the past. Our tack, our boots, the very way we sit our horses — whether we ride English or Western, we are very much in contact with our riding roots every day. Horsemanship is horsemanship, and, by the same token, the deep genetic need the truly horse-crazy feel to keep horses close to them probably hasn’t changed much in the past millennia or two, either.

But in Maggie Dana’s powerful new drama, Turning on a Dime, we’re asked to stop and consider what the modern horse-crazy life might look like in another time — one that isn’t quite so pretty and permissive as today.

Sam might be vying to become the first African-American member of the United States Equestrian Team, but really, race is the last thing on her mind. The horses don’t notice, and neither does she.

Caroline is too busy ducking away from crinolines and corsets to worry about her future role as a Southern Lady. And the war with the North is getting close to home, certainly, but as long as she can sneak out for a gallop on her mare, life is good enough.

They’re one hundred fifty years and a world of prejudice apart. But Sam and Caroline have a lot to learn about one another — and themselves — when one turn of a dime throws their lives together, and they learn how deeply their fates are entwined.

What happens when you throw a 21st-century teenager — who happens to be African-American — into an 1863 plantation house? Well, you’d think nothing good. Luckily, Caroline has a good heart, and a definite interest in Sam’s 21st-century toys. Every teenage girl wants an iPhone, even if they have no idea what it actually does. (That’s design for you.) And that iPhone will come in handy. Because Sam and Caroline are about to find out that there are more important problems than just getting Sam back to her own time, and sometimes video proof is all a person will believe.

In Turning on a Dime, one truth becomes clear: horsemanship has nothing to do with the date on the calendar, or the roles society has granted us. For those of us who proudly bear the title “horse-crazy,” horses are in our blood, and no silly laws or rules can change that. Our horses come first — everything else is just details.

Visit MaggieDana.com for more information, or pick up Turning on a Dime right here in paperback or ebook!

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