So where's the snow?

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


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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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Christmas!

This time of year is the main time for book buying, then afterwards people are using vouchers. So here is a subtle hint from me about my books and then I’ll not bug you again until the new year!

All are available as ebooks and free on Kindle unlimited. Christmas and Collection are not available as paperbacks.


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BOOKS ON SALE; THIS WEEKEND ONLY, 14th and 15th September!


All are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Links are below. Do enjoy and leave me a review!!!!

CHALLENGER

A deceitful friend and an injured horse. Can the horses and dogs in Joanna’s life help her to find faith and healing? Equine Assisted Therapy is a key theme.  ‘A beautiful rural family drama, especially for horse and animal lovers.’ Genevieve Raas

https://www.amazon.com/Challenger-Horses-Reflect-Our-Souls-ebook/dp/B07HMYMMR8

 

COMPROMISE

Hardworking Mollie’s life is full of disasters, but can moving in with Chris, in a deal called Compromise living solve her problems?Deeply buried secrets, horses and cows in a gripping drama, where two people try to find their peace. ‘A wonderful story with so many layers…I loved spiritual connection between humans and animals.’ One chapter more

https://www.amazon.com/Compromise-Horses-Souls-Anna-Rashbrook-ebook/dp/B07RRB8BN9

CHAOS

Chris and Mollie might be trying to move on, but their lives are still filled with tragedies, dilemmas and difficult horses. In an explosive climax, will they finally find their happy ending?

Released September 28th.

https://www.amazon.com/CHAOS-Horses-Souls-Anna-Rashbrook-ebook/dp/B07XJCS3DT


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Cover reveal!

The third in my series of books about horses, love and faith. I thought the series was finished, but there’s going to be a Christmas story and one set in Austria… Here’s the blurb!

Chris and Mollie thought it was time to move on; change is good, isn’t it?

But in going their separate ways, they just hit more problems and complications.

Chris leaves the farm to meet his mentor Alan. But his dream of a happy time sorting himself out in the community on the Dorset coast is ruined by a terrible accident. Chris must return to work with horses to make amends. Returning home brings more shocking revelations throw new light on his troubled gender identity. More trapped than ever before, can he find a way out?

Mollie starts her dream of boarding girls from her old school but finds herself out of depth and struggling with the teenagers’ demands and moods. It seems the idea is a disaster for all. But maybe, Ann from the stables has a solution.

Galloping through all these misadventures is the equestrian sport of Vaulting and the struggles of Keith, the stallion who has caused the two so many problems. Strange arrivals, a new horse, a Nun and Mollie’s mother all combine to bring even more chaos to the struggling pair. The journey for all ends in a shattering conclusion but will Mollie and Chris finally get their happy ending? Does it need God to step in and change things?

A standalone follow on to Compromise.


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Guest Post: Lucinda E Clarke

Thank you, Anna, for the invitation to bore your blog readers. I’ll do my very best to answer your questions.

I try not to panic when asked to say something about myself. Where do I begin and who will believe me? And do you really want to know?

My first memory was running away from home at the age of 3 because my widowed mother mentally abused me, but only because she had a personality disorder. This set me up to marry a wildly, exciting, charismatic charmer who was also a bit of a psychopath.

A few years on and I was left in the African bush 25 kilometres outside Nairobi with a 9-week-old baby, little money, no food, electricity or transport. But, I had a guard/gardener and a maid and a leopard visiting each night, so all was not lost.

How about the time I was broadcasting live with a bayonet resting on my shoulder the point pricking my neck? I wouldn’t want to do that again.

And then there’s the day I walked around the corner to see soldiers hanging three young men – which reminds me of the tear gas attack we ran from in a different city.

Living on a sinking boat was also an interesting experience and when your husband is dragged off to prison and the police deny all knowledge of him and your Arabic is severely lacking, well that was a problem too. Solved when we were thrown out of the country.

Later I made history handling my own divorce – tricky when psychopath mentioned above has gone AWOL.

Try running a riding school with 4 horses two of them not fit for the knacker’s yard, plus I couldn’t ride and I had no idea how to feed them or look after them.

So, you see, I’ve been falling into things all my life. Of course, I wanted to write but was told to get a ‘proper job.’ I became a teacher.

From teaching I fell into writing for a living. My SABC radio audition was appalling but they liked the material (written by self on a typewriter minus the letter ‘n’). Bullied into entering the Playwright of the Year Awards, to my amazement I won. Now, there was no stopping me.

Since then (1984) I have written radio plays, hundreds of radio scripts, fell into television and eventually I ran my own video production company before leaving South Africa.

In between I also wrote magazine articles, reports, adverts, mayoral speeches, my own newspaper column, and two books for the Big 5 traditional publishers. (I turned down further contracts as I was too poor to wait for royalties. I had to feed the husband, two children, the home help and her family, the gardener and his relatives, the St Bernard, cats and the variety of small furry creatures that lurked around the house). Heck, I wrote anything for anyone who was prepared to pay me and pay quickly. I am the queen of propaganda with no morals or ethics in sight. It’s easier to ditch those to clothe and feed the children. Monday would see me extolling the excellence of red meat for the Meat Board, while on Thursday I’d scream in favour of being a vegetarian for a corporation making soya products.

But I have also; sewn giant teddy bears, cleaned toilets, climbed rubbish dumps, bred small animals for pet shops and Cairn Terrier puppies (I bred a couple of my own offspring around the same time), made dresses, taught English, presented on radio, and television (TV briefly, I have the perfect face for radio), hosted ambassadors and met royalty, heads of state and deep rural folk.

Altogether I’ve lived in 8 different counties, from a millionaire in a mansion to a one bed flat – and the boat with holes in it. I’m now ensconced in a rabbit hutch in Spain pretending to be retired.

Well of course that lasted all of 9 months before I was bored silly and turned to writing books. A huge learning curve after so many years writing scripts.

Having passed my sell by date, I learned I couldn’t write – well not ‘write proper’ according to my editor, with a sea of red marks to prove it. How the hell had I earned my living for almost 30 years if I couldn’t write? One of life’s little conundrums, I guess.

I made a conscious decision to self-publish, at my wrinkly age I couldn’t hang around waiting for acceptance by any Big 5, or small ones either, and my former contacts are also way past retirement. Anyhow, after freelancing for decades I was used to being self-employed. At last I was free! I merrily cast off the shackles of irritating clients, unreasonable CEO’s and the precise timing required for broadcasting services.

This new venture meant I could make every mistake in the book – which I can proudly attest to – every single one of them.

I didn’t know you had to be on social media. I’d thought readers would find my first biography Walking over Eggshells, by osmosis. They didn’t – well 12 did in the first year.

Next, they tell you to stick to one genre. Really? I’ve written on topics as diverse as splitting the atom, generating electricity, how to climb a ladder, interviewing Julius Caesar, bathing a baby, 52 ways of making a living with no capital and what to feed cows etc etc etc.

So, after the first memoir I turned my hand to fiction and created Amie (I have a sneaking feeling it’s the other way around).

Realising my memory was decidedly dodgy I fired off two more memoirs about my career in the media and how I wrote for cash.

Next came two more Amie books – a few deluded readers had asked for these.

Then during my ‘once in a decade spring clean’ I found an old mss lurking under the bed and I finally completed Unhappily Ever After my satirical Fairyland tale.

Two more Amie books plus a couple of back stories brings me to the present day and I’m now scribbling a psycho thriller.

I don’t write cosy books, or romances or sci-fi. I’ve just seen too much real life to believe in a cotton wool world. Amie has morphed from a shy, naïve, whining, newly-married housewife to a tough cookie who has learned to kill and survive. I’ve put her through a lot and in the latest book Amie Savage Safari, she is witness to the wheeling and dealing of governments that will go to any lengths to secure the rights to mine precious minerals.

Amie has been described as a female James Bond without the sex and the swearing. I like to think that my books can be read by anyone with an interest in travel, other cultures and African wildlife. Despite being cross genre, there is something for everyone.

When do I write? Once upon a time I had a study – a proper office and production studio. When I was still teaching, I’d get up at 4.30am and write and then work every day after school with a break for children quality time and continue every evening until bed time.

Now, it’s the dining room table in our only lounge so it’s a bit hit and miss. I’m still training my DH (Dear Husband) to keep quiet when the muse floats by but he’s constantly forgetting and I have to battle with the radio and even the TV on occasion.

The current work in progress is the only one I have ever mapped out in advance. Usually I have a vague story in my head and the characters – Amie in particular – then take over and do their own thing. I simply get dragged along for the ride.

My favourite book? I honestly can’t tell you. I began with Enid Blyton before I started school, and these days I read about 80 – 100 each year. I like action adventure books that move quickly, that surprise me and can make me laugh and cry.

I have two ambitions left. I’d like to get one book once on one of those prestigious lists out of London or New York and I’d die happy if one of my memorable remarks was ever included in a book of quotations. We can all dream.

I have all the usual addresses – oh for the days when we only had one. And I love to hear from readers and always reply.

Thank you again Anna I appreciate you putting me in the spotlight.

 

Web page – https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Blog link  https://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com  then add date

Amazon author page:  author.to/Lucinda

twitter name   @LucindaEClarke     https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke

Facebook  My page https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

WOE page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walking-over-Eggshells/284671991724167

Amie page https://www.facebook.com/AmieanAfricanAdventure

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBIaMN5uEKjs9PwXzGwWgdQ


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Guest Post; Paulette Mahurin

Paulette is a fellow author in Mom’s Favourite Reads, she’s a dog lover, and I love her books!

First let me say a heartfelt thank you for inviting me over to your great site. I’m truly grateful. I live with my husband, Terry, and our two dogs, Max & Bella, in Southern California. In a beautiful small tourist town that I sometimes incorporate into my fiction writing. I love to write and do volunteer work to help rescue dogs plus I am also a mediator in the Ventura County Superior Court. My profession before retiring was a health care provider. I continue to use my medical experience to counsel women with cancer. All my work is pro-bono.

As far back as I can remember, I wrote. At first on scraps of papers, I jotted down storyline ideas. That progressed to journaling and diary writing. And when in college, I wrote and published short stories. Later on in life, while nearing my retirement age, I took up writing. Now, after seven novels, it’s in my blood: the joy of watching stories unfold before me, the anxiety of publishing, the agony and ecstasy of feedback with reviews, and the incredibly wonderful friendships with authors like you all around the world.

As a writer, I’m a morning person. And very organized. I usually put in time in the morning and stay with it anywhere up to 4 – 7 hours, depending on my energy level. I’m a bit of a type A personality and unfortunately sometimes push myself beyond my body’s protest and discomfort. But I love to write, love to sit down and vomit out stories, and be a witness to what the characters want to have happen. I don’t always agree with them but they certainly have a voice in what I write.

Overall ideas come to me. I’m very interested in intolerance: racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, women abuse, etc. and have written most of my stories around these issues. I have also ventured into a couple of literary fiction stories. The ideas flow spontaneously chapter to chapter, sometimes multiple chapters at a time and I have to make a little outline to remember what came up.

Favourite book?Way too many to pick from. I have loved so many stories. From some of my indie friends to Steinbeck, there’s a lot of talent out there. I just couldn’t pick one.

Paulette’s dogs; Max, a three-paw (born that way) rottie, on top and my Bella, rottie-sharpie, on bottom.

Again, thank you so much for having me here. As a final note I wanted to also thank you on behalf of all the dogs I’ve helped rescue.

Wilbur 3 rescued 2019-03-01 at 3.33.14 PM

One of the saved dogs

All profits from all my books go to help get dogs out of kill shelters. My concentration is where I live in Southern California, which has a very high population of “throw-away” dogs waiting to either meet their sorrowful end or wag at the chance at a new beginning and wonderful life. Dogs are my passion and I’m fortunate to be able to be in a position to help, fortunate that I’ve been lucky with the books I’ve written in that several have made it to international Amazon best seller.


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PUBLISHED TODAY!