So where's the snow?

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


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Short story GIVEAWAY : Sheep!

A heartwarming story, free from Friday 23rd until Monday 26th. Some of this happened to me when we had a small holding!

Left alone on the farm to cope with a sick baby, what will Jenny do when there is an emergency? Plus an excerpt from The Baize Door, where Joanna sees for the first time how horses interact with us.


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Five Day Giveaway:Pigs!

Here is the next free story, available from Thursday 15th to Monday 19th only, again that’s Pacific time.

We used to keep pigs and they are wonderful animals, friendly and funny. Grossly underrated!  There are some practices which I think are wrong in their care these days and this comes up in the story.

The excerpt from the Baize Door is where the Barknadoes arrive in Joanna’s life and chaos ensues.


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Hazeley?

So many books these days are set in fictional parts of the world, peopled with characters and towns that are all fruits of the author’s imagination. My favourite author is Elizabeth Goudge, who sadly is long gone, but many of her houses and settings were real with just a touch of poetical licence. I had great fun tracking down a lot of them when I lived in Hampshire and when we visited Devon.

So what have I done in my books? The Baize door is one of a planned trilogy, all set around the mythical village of Hazeley. Where this name comes from, I have no idea! But Hazeley Manor exists, in a former capital of England. It’s just been transposed into a country setting rather than a street.  Maybe someone might recognise it from the photo, do let me know! It’s the house I was born in and lived in until I was eleven.

Then right at the end of the book, Joanna and Ray have a real heart to heart, sitting on the sand at Thorn’s Beach. In the next book, Compromise, Mollie and Chris have a revelatory chat there too. Yes, that exists too, lived there as well. The picture is with our dog, Jaffa from a long time ago. Anyone know this beach?


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Christmas Giveaway One: Ducks!

No, I’m not giving free birds away! I’m promoting ‘The Baize Door’, by giving away a free short story along with an excerpt from the book. Then maybe people might want to read on and buy the book, yup, marketing again.

However, the book is free ONLY from Friday to Tuesday, then there will be another next weekend. It’s on American Pacific time, so if you don’t find it at first, please be patient. All have an animal theme and the final one is a really Christmassy one from Austria.

Happy Reading!

 


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Can horses really help?

 

In the Baize Door, Joanna, Diane and Ray find the answers to a lot of their problems and begin healing the rifts between them through the equine-assisted therapy weekend they get sent on by Chloe, Diane’s Mum.  Is this really true? Can this happen?

I’ve worked with horses for many years and they certainly do pick up on our body language, actions and voices, reflecting things we are not aware of. Maybe its a product of domestication or self-preservation. If the humans are OK, the horses are OK.  They work for us and are our partners. They reflect our souls. Let me tell you about my first experience of this.

We were a group of twenty or so people in an introductory workshop and had just finished an exercise working as a group to get some horses over an obstacle very like the one in the book. Those who had been working were standing making an evaluation with the trainer and the horses came over to join in and were being stroked. After all, they had taken part too.

The trainer suddenly turned to one of the girls and said, ‘I see that you have a horse standing beside you. He seems to be nudging you and shoving you to move you out of the way.’ He was, with his nose firmly pushing her aside.

The girl looked a bit sad,’Yes, this is how people treat me in life, I’ve had a drug problem and people use me and ignore me.’ We all sat for a moment, gobsmacked. The trainer then skillfully redirected the talk from the girl’s distress and moved on. This was a course, not therapy, but many times when I’ve been in training, it’s turned into a counselling session for more than one student.

I rest my case!


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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?