Monday, March 11, 2013

Here's an Excerpt! (Riding a Dead Horse)

“Breakfast,” Mom said. She had her long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. Sunscreen was coated so on so thickly her skin looked like it was plastic.
I laughed at her. “Not taking any chances with a sunburn, are you?”
Mom touched her cheek. “It’s a bit much, isn’t it?” She shoved a plate of toast and eggs at Drew, my seven year old brother. “Eat.”
Drew wrinkled his nose. “I hate eggs,” he grouched.
“You hate everything.” I ruffled his thick thatch of black hair and sat down to my own breakfast, eggs and toasted rice bread.
Having Celiac disease is a pain. It means I can’t eat anything with gluten in it, which is basically anything and everything that tastes good.
“Are you nervous?” Mom asked.
I shook my head, swallowing my eggs. “Not yet. I will be, though.”
Mom laughed. “Aspen, I don’t even know how you show at all. I’d be a basket case.”
I grinned. “That’s because you’re a wimp.”
She paused in wiping Charity, my baby sister’s, face with a napkin. “True. Not nice, but true.”
“Is Dad going to make it?” I asked. Clay is technically my step-dad, but he was the only father I remembered. He was a great guy and treated me like one of his own kids.
Mom nodded. “He got off work at one this morning. He should be down in a minute.”
Even as she said it, Clay tromped into the room. It was his day off, so I was really glad he was coming to my show.
I swallowed my last piece of rice toast. “I gotta get Bliss into the trailer. Hurry up, will you?”
I ran out the back door, letting the screen door slam behind me. I could hear Mom and Dad shout, “Don’t slam the door!”
“Sorry,” I shouted back.
Bliss, my chunky mare of uncertain parentage, was waiting for me. I ran a brush quickly over her. I’d given her a real bath the day before and her bay coat was bright and sparkly.
“Show time,” I told her, cheerfully, “nothing to get stressed about, just a little schooling show. I bet Patches and all your other friends will be there.”
Bliss leaned against me as I brushed her. I shoved at her. “I am not a human leaning-post,” I told her. “Move.”
Bliss ignored me and leaned more of her weight on me. I staggered.
Loading Bliss in our tiny one-horse trailer was as easy as throwing in a leaf of hay into the trough, letting Bliss hop in and securing her lead rope. I tapped my feet impatiently as Mom and Dad, with Charity and Drew in tow, came out of the house. Mom had them all laden down with a cooler, and umbrellas, as well as hats and sunglasses for all. She was always ultra-prepared.
Drew was whining, of course. He had his DS in his fingers, and kept trying to play with one hand, while Mom dragged him along with the other. “I don’t see why I have to go at all,” he complained. “Horses are stupid.”
Mom plucked the DS out of his hands and shoved him into the truck. “Well, until you are old enough to stay at home alone you will be coming to see all the ‘stupid’ horses whenever your sister rides.”
Drew stuck his tongue out at me.
I flicked him. “Sorry, but not sorry, Brat.”
Drew howled. “I am not a brat!”
Charity took his howl as a cue to start screaming.
I sat back in my seat with a sigh. “Geez, don’t they ever shut up?”

Want More?  Riding a Dead Horse is FREE through 3/13/13!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reviews of Riding a Dead Horse


5.0 out of 5 stars great book unfortunate tragedy! January 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book in exchange for an honest review!

This is a great YA novella about a young girl who has to find a way to deal with losing the only family she has ever really known. In order for her to deal with the tragedy of losing them and moving in with her father, a ghost horse comes and shows her the way. There are a lot of messages about growing up that all young girls should know in this short story.

The characters were easy well developed and the plot was easy to understand. There were moments in the story that I felt truly sorry for this little girl and her predicament and other times when I wanted to smack the adults that were involved.

I would recommend this novella for young teens as it has some serious situations that involve making the right choices. My rating for this book is 5 out of 5.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book January 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Couldn't stop reading this book, only took me 3 days to read. If you love horses and feel they are one of your best friends you will love this book.

I love reviews! They are the best way to get feedback from my readers. I am grateful to see that Riding a Dead Horse is touching readers. It certainly was an emotional book for me to write. While I did not lose my family when I was a child as Aspen Joyce does in the story, I have lost loved ones in ways that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Riding a Dead Horse takes place in my hometown, Tucson, Arizona. I figured it was time to show Tucson as I know it. I rode English (both jumping and Dressage) not Western, and spent more time around Arabs and Warmbloods than Quarter Horses. I have seen Tucson portrayed by authors who have obviously never been here (One particular one featured swimming in a water tower which is both incredibly inaccurate and really gross-- that would be drinking water!) Tucson is a large, thriving city, full of culture and gorgeous landscapes. I hope you enjoy seeing a little bit of it through my eyes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This is Why

This is it-- why I do what I do. What I believe in. Why I write horse books.

The magic of a girl and a horse or a boy and a horse? It's real. It's powerful. It's world and life

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ah, Horse Addiction!

I don't know if anyone else is addicted to Horse Nation, but I sure am! I see those little horse pictures pop up on facebook and I get all excited. It's like I'm 12 again and probably the most horse-crazy girl there ever was.

But let's be honest here-- I just really love looking at pictures of horses. :)

And eating sour worms.

Maybe I'm not as grown-up as I think I am.

I've been getting great reviews for the Jumping Into Danger series and I wanted to give a big 'thank you' shout out!

And I'll share a sneak peek of my next cover!

Drumroll, please!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All In One

You can get all of the Jumping Into Danger books in one Kindle book now.