So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Vote for Challenger!!!!!

WOW! Look at this, Challenger is up for an award with Connections e magazine! Please follow the link below and vote for it!
Congratulations. Your book, Challenger, was nominated by one of your readers and selected as a finalist in Connections eMagazine’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards. The public voting is now underway and will conclude July 19th. The winners will be featured in the August 2020 edition or our eMagazine.
https://melaniepsmith.com/2020-readers-choice-awards

For details about this award and our judging criteria visit our website at
https://melaniepsmith.com/readers-choice/


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Horse Books Galore!

I promised not to do too much on the books, BUT! I am thrilled to be included in this ebook bundle of old and new horsey books. So I’m shamelessly pluggin it here. Available on Amazon!

 


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Frustration!

At this time of the year, the cows are taken up to the meadows or alms for their summer grazing. It has always made me chuckle at them looking over the top of the transporters. It’s like they’re saying, whooppee, holiday, after all winter in a barn. Although that barn must be warm and they are fed wonderful hay and silage!

For thirteen years I haven’t succeeded in getting a good shot of this. This morning, there were loads of trailers on the move as the alms are officially opened. I was out with Swingle and saw a brilliant one heading along the road; lots of heads hanging over the top. I had my camera with me, and just as they got to us, the local siren went off. Swingle began to howl, sat in the middle of the road, and I had to grab her in case of cars. Results attached!

We won’t be here next year, so I’ll have to keep my camera alert!


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Guest Post: Justinn Harrison

I read the first book in the Gallant Hearts Series and was totally bowled over. I’ve never read anything about modern jousting and it was a mind blower. Great read, strong characters, romance and well understood horses.  Possibly my book of the year for 2020!   

Justinn,tell us a little about yourself, where you live, family, career, horses etc.

Hi, my name is Justinn Harrison, though I publish as J.D. Harrison. I love living in Colorado, though I have traveled all over the United States working with horses. I’ve been an upper level eventing groom, riding instructor, squire to full contact jousters, commercial carriage driver and mostly stall mucker, blessed with a huge variety of equine experiences. Currently, I am a part time stallion handler and barn manager, which gives me plenty of freedom to write and enjoy my own horse. My husband deserves an award for encouraging both of my passions, often to his detriment. He shares me with my dog, Cherry, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, and with my heart horse, Smoke. Smoke is a very rare breed, the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. They are very smart, hardworking, people oriented, courageous and sturdy. To my constant gratitude, they are also long lived. Smoke is 23 this year and while a bit slower some mornings, he is still going strong. We enjoy carriage driving and trail riding mostly, though he is game to try just about anything.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing since I was old enough to put together works on paper, telling stories for myself or writing poems when I needed an emotional outlet. I always took advanced English and creative writing courses with high marks. However, I did not start novel writing until a very serious fight with H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009 shook up my world. When you unexpectedly have to face your own mortality it helps you reevaluate what is truly important to you. The first finished novel came about in 2014, with several more on its heels, but they weren’t quite publication ready. The Gallant Hearts series began in 2016 during National Novel Writing Month, and I’ve been chasing the stories that sprang from that point ever since.

Are you a plot in head first person or does it grow as you write?

I have ideas of where the story is headed, but it’s mostly pointing my characters at that objective and turning them loose. Sometimes I throw situations at them and am just as surprised as the reader at the results. Makes every writing day an adventure.

Plug one of your books!

I’m always going to love book one in the Gallant Hearts series the most. Well Armored Hearts is everything I love all rolled in to one story. A strong heroine, friends who become family, unlooked for romance, renaissance festivals, hard hitting modern day jousting, and more than anything, horses that you fall in love with just as much as the people. It’s a meaty story that reads fast and there’s something relatable for almost everyone.

Coffee or tea? chocolate or crisps? Romance or thriller? Horses or dogs, or both?

ALWAYS tea. Preferably Glenghettie (a Welsh tea) brewed dark with just a lump of sugar and the barest splash of milk.

Oh goodness! If I must pick, then chocolate. Dark mostly. But I do love a salty crunchy snack too. Torture!

Romance. Sometimes romantic thrillers, but honestly, I read to escape and not much beats a believable happily ever after.

And definitely both horses and dogs! The horse often fancies himself a bit dog like, but he’s too big to cuddle with in bed at night. LOL

You can find my work at www.gallanthearts.com, I am on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJDHarrison/

Always happy to chat with other authors, readers and fellow horse lovers.


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Selling the flat

After we had tidied the flat, we took fantastic photos, worked out the running costs, drew a floor plan and so all we needed to do was put it on the market and get the sale pack done. Of course, this wouldn’t be so necessary if we had already sold, which we nearly did.

I really felt it was the answer to prayer when we had a call from Pete, through whom we bought this place. Visit, interested lady, good price. What happened? The local council or Gemeinde.

There is a big issue in Austria with second homes, which we can agree with. It’s one of the reasons we moved here, having lived in the south of England, where villages turn into ghost towns in the weeks as Londoners go back. This leads to closure of everything, even fire brigades. The lady who wanted to buy  would have it as a holiday home and possibly retire here.

But no, council said it must be sold as a main residence. If people lie, there will be a fine. No sale.

What makes me mad is that out of the seven flats in our block, four are second homes, even of by inheritance. Unfair. Lost sale and back to prayer.


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New old blog

I’ve been fighting for ages against mailing lists and suddenly remembered the book blog I started last year. Why not simply get people to sign up to that in return for a free book and other offers? So here’s the link and a preview!

https://wordpress.com/view/booksbyanna619772285.wordpress.com

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Hi Everyone!

This is my new idea to reach you wonderful readers!

For those who follow by email, there will be a free gift of one of my books as I will personally contact you.

Then each month there will be news and special offers with links to other authors who you may like to read too.

Or simply follow the blog with no commitment.

I look forward to meeting you all in comments!