So where's the snow?

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


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At last, Books For Horse Lovers!

Here’s all about Heather’s great new website; https://www.booksforhorselovers.com

How did you get the idea for the website?

I have been lucky to have found an equestrian author community that believes in supporting each other. At a recent event a few of us discussed how we could work together to benefit all of us, potentially a pop-up author event at Equine Affaire or Equitana. But this involved a lot of coordination, work, and of course Covid-19 hit. While putting together ideas for a webinar on 8 Virtual Book Marketing Ideas for Authors (https://youtu.be/YNDsT5NouDM) I came up with a virtual way to unite authors in one place. We are a small community and it is so easy to get lost in the depths of search engines and big sites like Amazon.

In our “new normal” so many things are becoming virtual so I thought, why not a virtual bookstore?

My goal is to promote authors of horse books whether traditionally or independently-published, attract new readers, and have promotions and giveaways. One day I’d love to have a pop-up event or even a book contest!

Are you an expert, did you create it yourself or use a service?

I’ve built a number of websites over the years and have a background as a Managing Editor in a traditional publishing house. I created it myself and wanted it to be as clear and concise as possible so it would be easy to focus on the authors.

Tell us a little about the process of creating it and now running it.

I created a beta version which launched in time for the webinar I mentioned above. As such, I invited many author friends to contribute. Word spread like wildfire! I had no idea there would be so much interest and I’m so happy to be filling a need.

Right now, I am managing the site on my own so tried to make the submission process as streamlined as possible with the submission form for authors. The number of readers subscribing to the site is growing every day. Each author that contributes is asked to promote it as well so we can reach as many people as possible.

I didn’t realize just how popular it would be and many authors have already seen an increase in website hits and sales from it, so I couldn’t be happier. This has only been live a few weeks! I can’t wait to see how it grows and we progress. Soon, I have no doubt I will need to have someone assist me in the day-to-day management.

What are your long term goals?

Ultimately I would love this site to be THE place to find horse books and promote two things I care deeply about- horses and books. I’d like to further dive down into genre types, announce book launches, provide promotions and giveaways, have a book contest, and create a physical pop-up event. The possibilities are endless but I know I won’t be able to do it on my own!

What ways are you going to build your market?

I’ve worked hard in the last several years to network and make connections through my blog. I’ve written for a number of publications like Horse Illustrated, Chrome Magazine, Sidelines Magazine and more. Already, the bookstore has received a lot of interest from the media. In addition, I will be interviewing some authors on the podcast I cohost with fellow bloggers, called Equestrian Pulse, on topics that may benefit other bloggers and equestrians globally. And of course, there is that every important social media and word of mouth. The more buzz we create for the website the more our authors benefit!

A lot of talk is that the future is in audio books, do you agree?

Ah, audiobooks. I confess I don’t listen to them myself but I just completed both my books, Confessions of a Timid Rider and Girl Forward in audiobook format, which are awaiting release. The nice thing about the Bookstore for Horse Lovers is we feature the author and link to their purchase sites. So as they release audiobooks and multiple formats on their end our site is automatically updated as well.

We live such busy lives and most people don’t have the time to sit and read anymore. Sad but true. As the world evolves, so will technology and I love that the written word can be accessible in many different ways. I just hope print doesn’t die out completely.


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Guest Post; Heather Wallace

Heather is on my Facebook group, Horse Books for Growns Ups, and is now starting (at last) a dedicated website for horse books, The Bookstore for Horse Lovers. So here is the first post, all about Heather, then tomorrow about the website!

Hi! My name is Heather Wallace. I’m a returning adult equestrian living in Monmouth County, New Jersey. I have a husband, three beautiful daughters, two dogs, a pony, and not a lot of free time. I stopped riding for almost two decades while going to college and beginning a career. I had thought of riding again but finally jumped back on the horse when my first daughter was a baby. I craved time to myself and feeling freedom again. Nothing ever provided that feeling to me like horses have. Once I was on a horse again, I never looked back.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve always been a writer since I was a child, I just never felt confident sharing that writing. When my children went to school I found myself at a crossroads. Stay at home mom or working mom. I chose to pursue a career in Equine Sports Massage to have flexible hours and spend as much time as possible with horses. Many of my clients had the same questions and more than a few requested I start a blog. I swallowed my nerves and decided to go for it. Except instead of focusing on natural health and wellness I found myself writing about my highs and lows with being a returning rider and new mom. The more I wrote, the more self-aware I became. More, I found so many readers related to my own story. Thus, the Timid Rider was born.

Are you a plot/plan in head person, or do the books write themselves?

I love this question and I talk about it all the time with other authors and writers. For the most part I am a “pantster” or discovery writer. Both Confessions of a Timid Rider and Girl Forward were written almost by themselves, pouring out of me. Often, I have to dictate into Siri to take notes so I won’t forget important ideas while I’m driving. Pretty much the only thing in my life that is spontaneous is my writing. That being said, I’m working on an educational book about conditioning horse and rider which is taking more outlining and planning. It’s good to challenge yourself and try new things!

Plug any all your books, with photos and links!

Confessions of a Timid Rider

Confession of a Timid Rider is the cornerstone book of my blog. A memoir detailing a woman’s insights about being an anxiety-ridden but passionate equestrian. After returning to riding as a mother, she is determined to follow her dreams despite the fear she is somehow lacking in talent or ability. An in-depth look into the heart and head of a returning adult equestrian, this message is not limited only those  with horse experience. In fact, Confessions of a Timid Rider is the perfect book to read for anyone whom even for a moment questions their value in their designated profession or life choice. This book will inspire you to pursue your dreams despite the inner voice that says you aren’t good enough.

Buy links: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confessions-Timid-Rider-Heather-Wallace-ebook/dp/B07D3FXGJX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533155980&sr=8-1&keywords=confessions+of+a+timid+rider

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17101838.Heather_Wallace

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0748391LS

Author Website: https://www.timidrider.com

Girl Forward

SYNOPSIS

Heather Wallace is an unlikely adventurer. A mother of three and a small business owner, she has little time to explore the world the way she did in her younger years. So when the opportunity arose to work for a horse race in the heart of Mongolia among the nomads, she took a risk learning about herself and changing her life forever.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1719204500

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17101838.Heather_Wallace

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0748391LS

Author Website: https://www.timidrider.com

Coffee or tea?

Tea always! My grandmother is English and I was raised drinking tea. Coffee is too strong and bitter for my liking.

Chocolate or crisps (Chips)?

Crisps for sure- I tend to have a taste for salty and savory.

 


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Guest Post; Janet Wolanin Alexander

I met Janet on my horse book group, and read her book; At home on a horse in the woods.  Loved every page of it, as she goes through her life long passion for horses and how she finally fulfilled it. What blessed me most was her descriptions of riding in the woods. Her details and poetry had her feeling the spiritual dimension she found there, I find this myself, but more these days out with the dog!  The souls of her horses and the lessons from God that came through them, had me envy her this connection with God. Lovely read.  Now over to Janet.

Tell us a little about yourself—where you live, family, pets, and horses.

I am an American who lives with my husband, two stray dogs, and four stray cats in a small city in Indiana across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, that is considered within the Greater Louisville area. My horse is stabled next to hilly, forested state property with over 80 miles of horse trails. (I don’t have a truck or trailer.)

I am a retired science teacher and nature lover who was born horse crazy but made my way late to horses. Besides writing true horse tales, I also braid horse tail jewelry.

How did you start writing? Are you a book/article in the head person or do they write themselves?

I have been mysteriously called throughout my life to write up certain horse experiences. I saved them all, and, after retiring from teaching, joined a writing group and wrote more. Eventually, in 2017, my pile was high enough to compile into a book which was published by two writers in my group with a small publishing company. I didn’t pay them any money upfront (they made a percentage of their book sales) but they focused upon selling locally. In 2019, I came across the larger company started by a publisher, who, after self-publishing and traditionally publishing, developed an on-line course including coaching which takes a client from writing a book and publishing it in different formats to promoting and selling it. His company’s reach is worldwide and requires an upfront investment but his authors own their books. As I wanted to learn all the steps involved, I enrolled. In 2019 my slightly revised book was republished with a different subtitle. The publisher is a former church minister whose ministry is now helping people to write, publish, and sell their stories to help uplift the world.

Tell us about your book

At Home on a Horse in the Woods: A Journey into Living Your Ultimate Dream is a memoir, the story of my long and circuitous journey to horses which turned out, unbeknownst to me for a very long time, to also be a spiritual quest. When I was in my mid-40s and so frustrated that I was about to give up my horse dream forever, I was challenged to accept my dream as a divine calling. Blown away, I did and horses began coming into my life in ways I had never imagined. They still are and I am now 68.

In my book you will meet my three horse loves: Geronimo, an Appaloosa and former track pacer who liked to run trail riders into trees;

Dancer, a purebred Arab endurance champion I exercised during his retirement;

and  my half-Arab/half Tennessee Walker, Highlander, an accident-of-birth who has turned out to be the perfect trail horse for me. I have ridden him for over 20 years now; he is 26.

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1640857850
▪book trailer: https://youtu.be/3sGdDqmJFqM
▪website: https://swishtails.com/
▪author central page: https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Wolanin-Alexander/e/B07SMMWP53?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Coffee or tea?

Definitely tea. It smells and tastes so much better than coffee and there are so many varieties.

Where would you like to visit but haven’t yet?

I’d like to visit the states in the American West where the cowboy series I watched on TV as a kid during the 1960s were filmed. Plus, I’d like to visit the American desert and Pacific Northwest. And more of Canada.

Janet Wolanin Alexander, Iwritehorsetales@aol.com


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Guest Post; Cathy Walker

Cathy helped me out with the cover of my new book, what a star! A lot of people moan about facebook, but as a writer I find it the most incredible source of support and advice!

Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, family, career, pets etc

Oh, gosh, where to begin? I live in Ontario, Canada on a 50 acre hobby farm with my husband and many animals, mainly rescues. Currently, I have 3 goats, a Welsh pony, mini horse, 4 cats, 3 dogs, various toads who I think come for the free swimming in the bowl I keep out front for them, and various stray cats who come and go. Each animal has a story and reason for being here, but that’s a long story in and of itself.

My husband, Fred, and I owned a martial arts Dojo for 30 years, but recently sold the property and he retired… kind of. He runs an archery range and store from our farm. I was working part time to help feed the multitudes of animals I have, but with the pandemic, my job became obsolete, so I turned to my writing and book cover design to try and build these businesses to a viable income. So far, I’m doing better than I thought I would, though, as much as I enjoy cover design, I would honestly love to focus only on my writing. We’ll see what the future holds.

My life long dream was to have my own horse, live on a farm, and be a semi-reclusive writer. It seems as if I’ve achieved my dream. I thank the Fates each day for the life that I live.

How did you get into both cover design and writing?

I’ve read so many books over the years, starting as far back as I can remember. I’ve always loved reading, but never thought about being a writer. That urge hit me in my early 40’s, yes, a bit of a late bloomer. I just sat down and started writing. LOL. My 1st manuscript has never seen the light of day, though it’s a great story that I’d love to tell, so I may revisit the manuscript and do some major editing one day. I currently have 5 published novels and am working on the 3rd in a series I have about the Salem witches.

Book cover design came out of desperation. We had a few tough years financially for various reasons, mainly my husband ended up having 2 heart surgeries and a tumor removed from his brain. So, life was interesting. Anyway, I needed money and was at the point of selling of household items to put food on the table and hay in the barn. A friend ended up showing me the basics of Photoshop and cover design and I just went from there. I have done covers for clients all over the world (you’ve got to love the internet), and my skills have improved enough that I have many return clients who are happy with their covers and the customer service I provide.

Tell us something about the pitfalls and joys of making a book cover.

Honestly, and I say this with much respect and care for all my clients…the worst part is dealing with the client. LOL.I have worked with amazing people and I have even developed a bit of (online) friendship with some of them. To me, it’s always more than ‘just business’. I truly care that they are happy with their finished cover and will do whatever I can to make that happen. BUT, there have been a few clients who have driven me crazy for a few different reasons. If I could sell premades only and work on my writing, that would be perfect.

Shamelessly plug books and website!

All of my books and short stories can be found on my Author page:

https://www.amazon.com/author/cathywalker

Book Covers can be found here:

www.cathyscovers.wix.com/books

Author Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/cathywalker.author/

Book Cover Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/cathyscovers

Coffee or tea?

Neither, most of the time. I do enjoy an occasional caramel machiotto, or a latte or cappucino.

Chocolate or crisps?

LOL. I had to look crisps up. I thought I knew what they are but needed to make sure because we call them chips in Canada. But, this is a tough one. If I had to choose, I would choose crisps.

Horses, dogs or both?

There is no way to make this choice. ALL animals. Every single one of them is wonderful and deserves a heck of a lot better than the treatment they get from humans.


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Guest post; Colin Ward

Colin is not only an author but also works with book formatting. He saved me the other day when I couldn’t get my head around stopping my numbers starting on the wrong page in my latest book. If you need help with this sort of problem, he’s the man!

Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, family, pets etc.

I live in a small town close to the south coast in the UK in the county of Dorset. I used to live in Birmingham, but moved down for a change in scenery a couple of years ago. I live alone but have family spread across England. In addition to being a writer, I am a poet, playwright and a musician.

How did you get into formatting, running your own business and writing?

I’ve been writing in many forms for over 20 years. I was a drama and theatre specialist and teacher for over fifteen years before leaving that to focus more on writing my first novel. I still use these skills in helping authors to develop their work in the early stages of writing. In 2017 I finished my debut novel and that was a very steep learning curve. That’s where I really began my journey into book design and formatting. Now I do all my own design, formatting and self-publishing, as well as supporting my clients in helping them to publish their own books. I got into this kind of work because I am a driven independent learner. I got tired of having to wait months and months for someone else to agree to publish my work. Of course, I have my writing professionally edited as I want it to be its best, but I am a huge supporter of Independent Artists of all forms and genre.


When it comes to formatting and self-publishing services, I use both Microsoft Word and professional Adobe software. A lot of simple interior book formatting can be completed in Word, which I still like to use as I can show other writers new skills. My services are always bespoke, and if possible I prefer to solve a small problem or doing a quick job whilst teaching someone a new skill they can use themselves in the future.

Books and website?

My main website is https://inasmanywords.com/ and I use the @inasmanywords brand across all social media. My website has links to all my books, blogs and services.

One of my most popular blog posts over the past couple of years has been one I wrote for a talk I did on developing ideas into writing: https://medium.com/in-as-many-words/a-writers-guide-to-picking-plucking-and-plunging-b81e9c23bc03

Coffee or tea? 

Neither. I love the smell of freshly ground coffee, but I don’t like hot drinks. Gimme an ice cold lemonade or a liquid libation any time.

Chocolate or crisps?
Chocolate, of course.


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Guest Post; Lisa Ortigara Crego

Lisa and I met on a Facebook group and are writer buddies.

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

I was born in Chicago, Illinois where I resided most of my young life with the exception of five years in a small town in Wautoma Wisconsin where I lived on a 400 acre farm riding horses and living my best life out in nature. My horse’s name was Pasha, a white Arabian who was a one-person horse.

In my late 20’s I moved to South Florida to enjoy the tropical beaches and paradise ambiance. In my spare time I love walking the beaches with my beloved dog Southern Grace, cycling, reading, and writing on spiritual recovery from food addiction.  I’m married to the love of my life, raised two fine sons who are grown and flown.

I worked in the weight loss industry for well over two decades, speaking around the country on recovery from compulsive eating utilizing spiritual and mind healing. I contributed several chapters in Sage publications and run a blog found at Weightcontroltherapy.com. To date I maintains a nearly 100 pound loss using the approach I teach.

My professional membership organization affiliations are: the National Association of Social Workers, the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the American Psychological Association.

I’m a clinical psychotherapist, addiction psychologist and Visiting Professor in private practice worked in the field of eating disorders for well over two and a half decades. I earned a doctorate in addiction psychology, a master’s degree in social work with the emphasis on mental health, and is certified as an eating disorder specialist, masters certified addiction professional and licensed national Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.

How did you get into writing?

I got into writing when I was thirteen years old writing in journals all the events, feelings, and experiences in my life. I still journal to date and have a chest filled with written-in journals for over five decades. You could say I have many books to write based on what’s in my trunk! I come from many generations of writers on my mom’s side. They owned and operated a newspaper back in the early 1900’s to mid-1900’s. In fact, I’ll be writing my first fiction on Abbie my great, great grandma who was part of the newspaper back in Berlin, Wisconsin.. Parts are true and most embellished.

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

I’m sort of a loose plot on paper type of writer, not an outline but a sketch of what my chapters will look like and then from there I’m a pantster letting my book write itself—or my spiritual guide gives me what I need to say.

I am the author of:

Release Your Obsession with Food: Heal from the Inside Out.

Release Your Obsession with Diet Chatter: Heal from the Inside Out

Release Your Obsession with Cheat DAZE: Heal from the Inside Out

And soon to publish: Release Your Obsession with Aging: Heal from the Inside Out

I’m proud of all of my books—they’re all my children so to speak but if I had to pick one to share with you I’d say it would be my most recent launch:  Release the Obsession with Cheat DAZE, Heal from the Inside Out. Cheat DAZE is not your common diet book—it’s not about a diet at all—the subject is a freedom you never imagined—freedom from the Cheat DAZE food frenzy that seizes you on any and every special occasion. Well, no more. This is a new way of relating to food. Imagine that you feel no gripping rush toward “willpower,” or guilt, or jonsing, or any of those old, familiar, feelings when that urge comes on and you know you’re going to cave.

By the time you finish reading Release your Obsession with Cheat Daze: Heal from the Inside Out, you’ll be able to skillfully arrest any inner and outer turmoil focused on the one cheat day—that often turns into days—and the Daze, as you enter Zombie Zone. But instead, for once, you will live free from the burdens and fears of giving into sugary, high-fat food selections, no longer white knuckling and forcing change in an unnatural way. You will no longer live for the cheat day. You will no longer live for the food, but enjoy what you eat to fulfill your miraculous body’s real needs—and thrive.

Coffee or Tea?

Although I love a good cup of decaffeinated coffee in the morning my best hot drink is tea. I’m half Italian and half English and the English side comes to fruition when it comes to my beverage throughout the day.

Chocolate or crisps?

Chocolate hands down! I love 95% dark chocolate…

Romance or thriller?

I like many different genres but outside of non-fiction I’d say I’m most partial to an adventure book with a spiritual message.

Horses, dogs or both?

I’m definitely a horse and dog lover—and parrot too!