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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The Baize door is published!

I’m soo excited!  You can’t imagine the buzz from having a book on Amazon. Do have a look and maybe have a read!! It’s what I call rural romance, with countryside, romance, horses, equine assisted therapy, of course, dogs and Christianity!

Joanna has been sleepwalking through life living in her family’s ancestral manor house and running the Hazeley horse show.

Then a childhood friend, Diane, reappears, ruining the glorious isolation Joanna and her father have created. Diane opens a riding stable literally on Joanna’s doorstep.

So begins Joanna’s descent into a life of pain and frustration but then two totally disruptive puppies enter her life, and she needs Guy to help her with their training. They seem ill-suited until a tragedy sparks something more.

It is when Diane commits the ultimate betrayal that Joanna realises she must radically change her life.

But how?  Is there a way to reconciliation with Dianne? Can horses help? Will she finally overcome her past and pain to build a new life built on faith and love?


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Drew in Blue by J.M.Kelley – book of the month!

I never read other book reviews or even about the author before I read a book, I want as few preconceptions as possible, and not to absorb other people’s ideas.  And sometimes too much information isn’t needed! It’s funny though, often when I go afterwards to learn more, others back up my views or I’ve guessed correctly about the author.

In this case, Drew, the main character had me wondering whether the author was male or female because apart from a few stereotypical bits, SHE had got the male viewpoint really well which is often difficult.

A single guy coping with a baby – and the picture you get of Drew at the starts bodes no good.  As you get to know him, you find his mother died young and he was in foster homes; this makes you expect him to be a waster. Well, he is of sorts but he is also a talented painter.  Drew’s coping with his son Nick is so well depicted that I was there as he tried to feed the baby and cope with the sleepless nights. I did half expect Nick’s mother to try to reclaim him but she didn’t. Such an obvious device would have spoilt the book.

Like so many main characters, he is completely oblivious to his real feelings for Kris. This is such a common factor in main characters that I’m beginning to see it as like the Shakespearean fatal flaw over all humanity; take Ted in Ted’s Island for example. Throughout literature, the heroes eyes are opened to the true love/enemy at the last minute.  So I guess I should just get used to it.

I loved this flawed man who through being a father moves to adulthood and maturity. Drew will be one of my favourite characters for quite a while!


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Tom – my new eBook!

 I am so chuffed to tell you that my book, Tom is now available as an ebook on Kindle!

What can I say, except that I wrote this many years ago, but still feel it has something to say, and is a good read. I’m unapologetic that it has a strong Christian theme of healing and faith.  But it also has drama, romance and a look into the debate of mental illness and demonic possession.  I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s the idea;

Fleeing to the countryside from Londonto escape another bad relationship, Clare hopes to make yet another new start that will finally sort out her life.  She finds things aren’t so simple as her best friend Sylvie is abroad leaving Clare to share the house with enigmatic and moody Alex. Clare soon finds work and a new livelihood but still finds that all her relationships with men seem doomed to failure.

 Alongside the tale of Clare’s new life runs the story of Tom’s troubled childhood and adolscence.  How will he fit into Clare’s world? Set in the 1990s, before widespread use of Mobiles and the Internet, ‘Tom’ is not only a sinister tale of lost identity, possession and mental illness but also a journey to fulfilment and love as Clare, Alex, Tom and Sylvie find healing and faith.

 Do write comments if you read it, or even contact me direct on this email address.  If you like it, tell your friends and send this page on – please!!

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download Kindle for PC for free on Amazon. You can download a preview before you buy or look inside too. Just type in my name or the book title! You can find it on;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindle-eBooks

 http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks

http://www.amazon.de/ebooks-kindle

Blessings!

Anna