Thursday, 29 December 2016

Pony tales past and future

Friday 30 December 2011.  The date of my first ever blog post. 
Since then, the blog has had 68,971 visitors.

My posts have diminished since the start. But I'm still here.

This time last year, I did my annual review of writing and other stuff and it is helpful to look back and realise that despite everything, my productivity and achievements are, happily, better than I think.

I've managed to bring out 4 more of my backlist for kindle - after much editing and rewriting. In January 2016, Last Chance Horse, which remains popular, was followed in February by The Horse Who Dreamed of Home - which was an updated version of the first in my Wild Horse Island series.  In July,
Trick Riders 1 and 2, set in the world of equestrian vaulting, became available as one volume, in the English language for the first time. In July, I decided to bring out my emotional trilogy (Always in my Heart, Heartbreak Horse and Forever Horse) in one bumper volume, called Forever Horse, again for the first time in the English language. I do love the cover designs from the wonderful Klaus Hartleben.

I'm still awaiting print publication of my Western riding novella for children, Pony on the Trail, now due December 2016, and recently completed another for children - a spooky pony tale - which I hope will be available in Scandinavia in 2017.  I haven't tried Western riding yet. 

I've pitched ideas for publishers that haven't been taken up, I have not yet written those final 3 pony books,  and I completed a novella for adults that was rejected by a publisher, but had helpful feedback, so may yet be revisited in the future.

Time spent on marketing and promoting my titles has been considerably less, and this has impacted on sales, but I have adjusted my pricing strategy with Amazon, and this has definititely been a move forwards.

So how - and why - has my energy been diverted away from writing?  I've put a lot of mental energy into my part time job, and have also discovered that sitting at a desk writing for hours on end is not good for my health.  I now use a standing desk at work, and also do as much walking as I can.  Staying physically active is better for me, and I have rediscovered yoga, Pilates and pole fitness.  I hope I find a balance that will enable me to write more.  Until last year, my favoured writing method was to work in long time blocks, and in the past I have done 8 hour stints at the laptop.  This had to stop, and for my last pony novel, I experimented with shorter writing stints over a longer period of time, which was more successful.

I'm still putting in many voluntary hours to raise sponsorship for a major art and music project, which is a huge and ambitious undertaking. 

A new year looms....will I finally complete those yet unfinished and unwritten novels?  Or will I find other big projects to divert my energies?  Who knows what 2017 holds?

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Forever Horse: complete trilogy OUT NOW!

Cover design Klaus Hartleben


For anyone who has dreamed of finding their forever horse - this book is for YOU.   

The complete trilogy available in a single edition for the first time.

Book 1: Always in my heart
If you ever loved and lost a horse this emotional story will melt your heart.

Teenager Maz has had her beloved piebald cob Logan since he was a foal, and the pair are inseparable - until the devastating day Logan is dramatically taken from her.
Badly injured, Logan tries desperately to find his way back home – but fate has other plans for Logan, who develops a special bond with another teenage girl. When a promising new life goes seriously wrong, they are torn apart when further tragedy strikes. Finally, when it seems like home is at last within reach, Logan is shocked by a surprising discovery – and any hopes of a happy ever after seem unlikely. Is heartache inevitable? When difficult choices have to be made, who will be the winners - and losers?

Book 2: Heartbreak Horse

Those whose lives were changed when their paths crossed with Logan meet again and new friendships develop. Despite this, coming to terms with everything that happened is a struggle. An unfortunate chance encounter revives traumatic memories that will once more haunt Logan and danger hides in the shadows, with sinister repercussions. Is it really possible to escape from the past?
A dramatic fast paced read about revenge, friendships, facing fears – and, of course, horses and those who love them.

Book 3: Forever Horse

Sophie still longs for her forever horse, and this time it seems her hopes will be realised. But when a damaged, fragile girl finds her life changed for the better, thanks to Sophie’s compassion, a selfless act of kindness results in dreams being shattered.

Heartbroken, but with a clear conscience, Sophie struggles to move on. Will she be able to forget her forever horse? Or can dreams really come true?

A moving conclusion to the heartwarming trilogy about love, loss, courage, determination – and rescued horses. 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Trick Riders out today!!!

Hard to believe I last posted in April - time flies.......

My latest e-book, out today, is now available on Amazon, all territories - and for the first time in the English language (previously only available in Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish).

Trick Riders is 2 books in one for pony mad readers! Share with young Tia Michaelson her hopes, fears, dreams and dramas as she discovers the exciting world of equestrian vaulting!

Cover design Klaus Hartleben

Book 1: Trick Rider
Shy Tia Michaelson is finding it hard to adjust to moving home again, and misses her friends – and especially the ponies at her old riding school. Exploring her new rural surroundings, Tia ends up getting lost. She wanders into a ramshackle barn and sees something magical - twin teenage girls her own age performing elegant and graceful movements on their talented horse, Twilight – and discovers they are members of a junior equestrian vaulting team.

Despite a rocky start, new friendships develop, and the girls, Hope and Faith, help Tia search for the pony of her dreams, although there are plenty of obstacles along the way. Tia quickly becomes fascinated by the world of vaulting, and when their lunger, Matt, is injured in an accident, Tia finds herself stepping into the spotlight. But can she really learn how to control Twilight – or will her nerves get the better of her?

Book 2: Tia’s Challenge
Tia is enjoying her gorgeous new pony and when an unexpected vacancy comes up in the vaulting team, she secretly harbours a dream of taking up the place. But her fears and anxieties about falling, which go back to a past gymnastics accident, stop her from volunteering. By the time she musters up the courage, someone else has been chosen – someone Tia has already taken an instant dislike to, after a misunderstanding at the stables.

Tia starts to feel a bit left out, as everyone is training for the next competition – this time at a big regional event. So instead of moping, she decides to focus on the jumping class at a local show. However, she can’t resist secretly practicing her vaulting skills with a new ally.
Then another opportunity arises when Faith becomes team captain – will this give Tia the chance she both desperately wants and fears? How will she convince the ever critical Hope that she won’t let everyone down?

A series of unexpected events leads to tension in the team, which results in Tia trying to juggle training for jumping and vaulting with her schoolwork. Something has to give – but what?
In an effort to impress everyone, Tia attempts a daring acrobatic move – which ends in disaster. Tia needs help, and it comes from a place she least expects. With secrets, setbacks and uncertainties ahead, can Tia finally overcome her fears to achieve her dream of competing – and winning - in the vaulting contest?

Buy Link:

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Shaun the Sheep and happy endings

I'm a huge fan of Shaun the Sheep and watch it on TV most days.  I love the charm, simplicity and positive messages - and adorable characters, of course.  If I'm feeling low, it always makes me smile.  The kind of emotional response most authors for children hope to evoke. However old I get, I will always enjoy stories for children.

Related post:

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Book reviews for Joyrider and Coming Home

I really do feel blessed to receive such lovely reviews from Nayu's Reading Corner for two of my titles: Coming Home, about the journey of two special Norwegian Forest cats, and Joyrider, a dramatic emotional adventure.  Here are the links if you want to check them out:

Reviews are great motivators for authors - and when you are feeling low and tempted to give up the rocky road as a writer, a great review can inspire you to keep going for a while longer!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Valentine Horse for Valentine's Day!

Two words: Valentine Horse!

If you are romantic, a horse lover or both, I hope you will enjoy curling up on the sofa with the paperback edition or your kindle for an emotional read. Available from all Amazon territories - with love!

Sixteen year old Lara’s world is turned upside down after a riding accident on her lively new horse Skylark, a surprise gift for Valentine’s Day. Recovering in hospital, she meets the enigmatic Ant, an unconventional sculptor. Lara is instantly attracted but her parents don’t approve of the relationship – especially as Ant is older than Lara. 

As her feelings grow for Ant, Lara questions her relationship with her lifelong best friend, and brilliant rider, Ryan. Struggling with her emotions, she also has to regain her confidence to ride the flighty and difficult Skylark, who is the catalyst for everything that happens to Lara after he enters her life on Valentine's Day.... 

Torn between Ant and Ryan, and battling with increasing confrontations with her parents, Lara makes the gut-wrenching discovery that her beloved first pony, Spook, may not have gone to the good home she believed. Is it too late to save Spook? And when faced with a terrible choice, how will Lara find the courage to follow her heart? A heart-warming read for romantic horse lovers everywhere.

Buy link:

Paperback and kindle editions. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Horse who Dreamed of Home - out 16 February! Pre-order now!

The Horse who Dreamed of Home is now available for pre-order via Amazon - publication date 16 February!

The story behind the story: From Wild Horse Island to the The Horse who Dreamed of Home

There is always a story behind the story. 

Wild Horse Island first appeared in print in 1991 in Norwegian and Swedish.  It was my first "proper" horse novel. I'd just been taken on by my first publisher, (then Collins Armada) in 1990, and was sure it would therefore be my first published book.  But instead, they commissioned a collection of new short stories about horses, Horses in the Gallery.  Surely, then it would be the second?  No, they still didn’t want it. 

So, it was subsequently translated and published elsewhere in Norway and Sweden - but not in the original English language.  Sequels followed - Return to Wild Horse Island, Stranger on Wild Horse Island and finally, Secret of Wild Island - in a range of languages other than English. I imagined it as a film, and actually had a major animation company interested at one point, in a Hungarian production, but it didn’t happen. 

Eventually, in 2012, I got the chance to update, revise and add a whole new section and character to the story, and it was republished as Zephyr of Wild Horse Island in several countries - including the USA, in an American version. On the strength of this, I sent it to 30 independent film production companies, of which 2 expressed an interest, and I met one of the producers in London,  which was very exciting, but despite dialogue and interest, it didn’t progress further.  (Having since completed a film production course a few years ago, and understanding the huge financial implications of making a film, I can see why it was so hard to raise the funds).

So here we are in 2016.  The rights have reverted back to me and for the first time ever, it will appear  in the English language in the UK, albeit updated and revised once more - and via Kindle.  And with a different title, since now there are other books and series available with Wild Horse Island in the title, so to avoid confusion, I had to come up with something different. This was tougher than I imagined but I hope I have got it right.  I'm pleased with what I decided on, and delighted with my cover design from my wonderful designer, Klaus Hartleben.

So, for the first time ever, I have used Amazon's pre-order service.  If you want to grab a copy, it retails at just £2.38 and is available in all Amazon territories. 


Feedback always welcome! 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Last Chance Horse out now!

Pagan is a dangerous horse with a tragic history.

Kat is an unhappy, rebellious teenager.

They were destined to meet. 

It's a year since I published on Amazon, but I have just brought out another title on my back list - in the original but updated English for the first time! And here it is, horse lovers!  Hope you enjoy.


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year and Horse in my Heart Review

Happy New Year!

The lovely Nayu has written a wonderful review of The Horse in My Heart.

I am so thrilled and it means so much to learn that readers are enjoying what I have written. In fact, it has motivated me to revise and prepare TWO NEW TITLES from my backlist for release via Amazon in January and February 2016, as well as working on the long-awaited sequel to Beware of the Horse.  More news to follow very soon.......

Check out Nayu's excellent Reading Corner here:

Buy link for The Horse in my Heart: