Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Update on Me and My Pony

A little over a week ago, I wrote about tackling my fear of returning to riding.
I arrived at Allison Creek Farm on Friday at noon. The clinic had already been going for half a day and my trainer, Joyce, caught me up. There were four other riders with their horses participating.

When Joyce first asked me if I could mount up, my hands started shaking, a fear ball lodged in my throat, tears welled up in my eyes and I told her I couldn't do it yet. She backed off, said it was fine. About thirty minutes later she asked if I could get on if she held him with his halter and lead rope. I said yes.

Next time, I mounted alone.

But Sunday, I was riding Little Man in patterns at the canter, all over the obstacle course, and down a short loop trail through the woods. I go back in a week and a half to pick him up and bring him home. Chelsea will follow him in a few weeks.

Where as a few weeks ago I was seriously contemplating the reality of continuing to own young horses that I wasn't using, now I'm trying to figure out how I can keep getting them both ridden on my own.

I may have even peeked at the NATRC (North American Trail Riding Competition) schedule to see when the next ride is.

Here's a little pictorial history

Me riding Zena in a Competitive Trail Ride
Zena's son Druid (Little Man) at 1 week old

Horse girl, once again! Riding Druid after six years of raising him!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

COVER REVEAL! For BURN OUT, by Kristi Helvig

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

We have another one of our sweet and loving 2014 YA Debut Valentines with a cover to reveal! Don't forget read all the way down to learn about the giveaway.

It's Kristi Helvig!

Kristi is a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy writer. You can find her musing about space monkeys, Star Trek, and other random topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Find out more about Kristi at or follow her on Twitter. 

And here's a bit about her debut Young Adult Science Fiction novel, Burn Out releasing April 8, 2014! (which you can pre-order here at this link! or put on your want-to-read shelf here at Goodreads)

"The last girl on earth...just got company."

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

I'm a big fan of high action, page-turning adventure stories and I have a feeling this one's going to be just that sort of thing. But when you see this...this COVER! It totally makes you want to hold it in your hands and take it to the check-out counter. So here we go. Tada! The cover! And be sure and scroll all the way down for contest information!

Because Krisit is so EXCITED about her cover and cover reveal she's hosting a giveway (U.S. Only) from 6/25/2013-7/9/2013. The winner will receive a YA book of their choice AND a copy of DEFY THE DARK (a YA short story collection by awesome authors). So go forth! Enter! Win the magic!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Being Scared

Way back in January of 2011 I wrote a blog post on Resolutions with the number one goal being to work with my 2 young horses. As I wrote then, I had a bad horse accident in fall of 2009 (Gosh, has it been almost FOUR YEARS?) that seriously curtailed my riding and riding enjoyment. I did continue to ride, but my main horse lamed herself the summer of 2010 and with my two youngsters untrained, I quit.

Now the time off wasn't futile. I wrote books. I got a publishing contract. I started teaching high school instead of elementary. And I continued to feed horses I wasn't riding.

With my book advance, I vowed to send my youngsters to school. And they're going here: SAFE HORSE TRAINING. Joyce Lewis, trainer extraordinaire, has been working first with Little Man and it hasn't been easy. He's been a pasture dude for 6 years and he hasn't taken to work with a lot of enthusiasm. But in the last week, he's turned a corner, and this weekend I'm taking Chelsea down for her turn and will be riding Little Man in a 3 day clinic.

But here's the deal. I'm honestly scared shitless. Getting injured was scary and hurt like the dickens and put me out of work for two weeks plus kept me pretty worthless at work for another 4 weeks (I broke my left wrist and dislocated and broke my right pinky finger, along with a massive sprained ankle and a busted up face and mouth).

The other deal is this though. We have to overcome our fears. And I plan on doing it. And even if I never go back to competitive trail riding or endurance, I'm getting on my damn horses.

So, come Friday-Sunday, y'all be sending positive thoughts and prayers out into the universe that I'm successful and that I walk away with confidence. And no broken bones.

Friday, June 14, 2013

COVER REVEAL! For DEFY, by Sara B. Larson

One of the most amazing parts of being a debut author is the opportunity to connect with other writers debuting in your same year. And then squeal along with them when great things happen. Like getting to reveal your cover!

And for Sara B. Larson, author of DEFY (Scholastic, January 2014), and fellow YA Valentine, today is the day.

Here's the blurb for DEFY:

A warrior and a protector, the prince's best guard is also a girl in hiding. No one knows who she really is--or so she thought. But when her world suddenly changes, and two men begin vying for her heart, one girl must stand up against a terrible evil or risk losing everything.

Doesn't that sound awesome? A girl guarding a prince. Yeah. I have an idea where this is going to go. HAWT, right?

Okay, I've kept you waiting long enough. Behold the awesome!

Now, hop on over to the YA Valentines blog to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for Graceling and Shadow and Bone!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Snippet from the Sekrit MG project

There's a fun new tagging game working its way around the Internet. Last night I was tagged by Bethany Smith (read her snippet here) who shared a snippet of her sea story. You should all go read it, Beth is an Aussie, and is am amazing atmospheric writer. I was lucky enough to beta her previous manuscript and this girl will be published at some point. She's good.

Anyway, the idea is to go to your WIP, and search for words like "time" or "moment" or "forever" in your writing. Pick your favorite snippet out of what you find and share.

My WIP is a historical MG set in the mountains of NC. It involves a now-gone community, the building of the Clinchfield Railroad line, and the hiding of an Italian immigrant. I'm hesitant to say more until it's finished.

I tag #5amwriterclub members, Lori Twining and Karma Brown.

Anyway, here goes (this is a first draft people - and you are the first to see any of this!)

Later that night, in the quiet time after chores were done but before sleep came, she sat with her Pa out on the cabin porch. Fireflies twinkled over the field and the stars were only touching distance away.


“Um hm.”

“You ain’t going to make me go and live with Aunt Della are you?”

Papa’s hand fell to her shoulder and she climbed into his lap like she did in younger days.
“You’re about too big for this, girl.”

Maddie tucked her legs tighter beneath her, trying to make herself small. “You didn’t answer me.”

Papa wrapped his arms around her balled up figure and rested his chin on the top of her fine hair. “One day you’re going to leave me anyway, girl. You’ll be like that Lucy Tipton, dolling yourself up, looking for a fellow under bushes and brambles.”

“I ain’t, Papa. Miss Lucy wants to leave Lost Cove. She wants to go to Johnson City or Spruce Pine. I want to stay right here.”

“Right here’s good, child.” 

Maddie settled into her Papa’s warm chest and the gentle sway of the rocking chair. But inside she felt uneasy, like something had started she couldn’t stop.

A star shot across the night sky. From the woods came the scream of something, most likely a rabbit, dying at the hands of a predator.

And far off in the distance, from over the mountaintops, came the rhythmic clang of iron hitting iron.