For the Love of Horses *****

Another great read from Diana Vincent. The story continues with many unseen twists and turns. This book will have you on the edge of your seat while Sierra and River plot to Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 5.36.05 AMrescue a horse from certain disaster. Ms. Vincent has done an excellent job of bringing the reader emotionally into the story while keeping descriptions of training and barn life accurate. Read the whole series.

The Boy Who Loves Horses*****

By Diana Vincent

This is book two in the Pegasus Equestrian Center Series. I loved book one (below) and book two did not disappoint. The story continues to follow the progress of a young rider, Sierra but focuses on River, the even more interesting male character.

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 5.18.16 AMVery well written, this book had me feeling the exhilaration of a three-day event. But the story did not follow the predictable pattern of many equestrian novels. It had a completely unexpected twist that left me breathless.

As the characters age in this novel, the story leans a little more to the romance side. As a rule, I seldom read romance novels, but I was rooting for a romantic interlude in this case. Ms. Vincent did a nice job of making the romance realistic without it being too graphic.

I recommend this series to anyone over the age of ten. It is entertaining as well as educational.

Falling In **

By Clare Svendsen

This book has a great title and a nice cover. Unfortunately, that’s about all. There is very little plot unless you read the whole series (like forty-some books). No character arc was evident, and I really didn’t like the main character at all.Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 6.29.18 AM

This book reminded me of the most snotty girl I ever knew in the horse world. She thought everybody owed her, and that she was better than the rest of us. Sorry, this book just didn’t do it for me.

 

The Girl Who Loves Horses

By Diana Vincent

This book by Diana Vincent is probably aimed at teenaged girls, but I really enjoyed it although my teen years are a very distant memory. The book is well written with a lovely plotline. It is somewhat predictable but entertaining anyway.Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 5.17.58 AM

Ms. Vincent is knowledgeable on the subject, her descriptions of equestrian life are accurate down to the smallest detail. She does a great job of capturing the “politics” of competition and teen hierarchy.

A great read that will have you breathless as you imagine galloping up a long hill to a sturdy log jump then plunging across a water crossing for a winning finish. I can almost smell the horse sweat.

The Golden Shears

I just finished The Golden Shears by D. S. Murphy. Loved it! This is the second book in the Fated Destruction Series. I’ve never been a fan of Paranormal anything, (at least I didn’t think I was) but Mr. MScreen Shot 2018-01-14 at 6.27.26 AMurphy has got me hooked on this series. It’s full of Greek mythology with a modern twist. There are a few typos in the ebook version, but at this price, they are easy to overlook, plus D. S. Murphy has links in the back of his books that will get you a bunch of new books free. (Ya gotta love this guy!)

Whoever thought you could learn about mythology by reading a fun fictional series like this?

Kaidence, the MC, has the ability to see how a death will occur just by touching a person. She struggles with being afraid of the power and being isolated because of it. In this book, she learns more about what her power can do and how to use it.

Really, get the first book, The Scarlet Thread, then read The Golden Shears. I’m pretty sure the author has book three in the works. These are a bit of a cliffhanger. (even more exciting!)

 

Idea Finding

What’s holding you back from a writing career? Is it a lack of time? No skill? I doubt it. I think the thing that stops most folks from a writing career is that big white rectangle staring them in the face. A blank page. A blinking cursor.

Where do you start? Where do the ideas for a great story come from? It really doesn’t matter if you want to write a letter to your grandma or the next Great American Novel. The Idea comes from a single thought. From there you build and expand until the thought has a theme and a purpose.

But there is still that darn blank screen.

Okay, don’t despair. I have some ideas on how to get started. First of all, don’t sit in front of a blank screen. Yup, I mean it. Go for a walk, do the dishes, make a cup of coffee. The thing is, you rarely will come up with an idea if you command one to come to you. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you are so busy that you can’t even take the time to write it down?

Ideas are elusive, sneaky, little things. They like to pop in when they aren’t likely to be noticed. Some even show up when you’re sleeping. That’s hardly a way to run a business, just waiting for inspiration to hit, is it? Stay with me here, this is how to get started.

So by now, you have your coffee, and the dishes are done. There are side benefits to this process, see? Get a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Okay, I know we’re back at the beginning now. All you need to do is write the first word that comes to mind in the middle of the page, not too big, you will need the space later.

Say the first word you thought of was red. That’s hardly a start of a great story, but draw a short line and attach things that red pertains to. Blood, ladybugs, your favorite shirt, the color of your neighbor’s car, and so on. All kinds of random words will all be attached to your first word with little lines.

Great, the page isn’t blank now. On each of the words you thought of, draw more lines and write as many things as you can that pertain to those words. Some of the words will trigger many more paths, others will fizzle out. That’s okay, you’re sorting things out. Continue to draw connecting lines and more words. Make a mess of things. Use arrows to connect things that belong together. No erasing, and no editing is allowed, just keep writing.

When your page is full, and you are forced to write smaller and smaller just to squeeze all the thoughts in, sit back and take a look at your map. You will be able to see paths and connections all over the place. Many of your words will have nothing at all to do with the word red.

Here is an example of only one path on my sheet of paper. Red, blood, hospital, nurse, needle, drugs, addict, crime, money, work, briefcase, executive. Executive is a long way from red, but that’s where it took me on that particular path. I’ll do the same with the other paths on the page. Red, ladybugs, spots, stripes, jail, criminal. Red, flowers, roses, thorns, blood.

Now I’m going to circle or highlight my favorite words on the page. Here’s the fun part, now you get to go for a walk or do something fun. It’s not necessary to think about your words, but if they pop into your head, don’t chase them away. You may have a Muse starting.

When you get back from your walk, take a look at what you’ve got. If you want to expand more, you can take your highlighted words and start a new page with each of them. I usually don’t need to do that. By now I’m starting to get a story idea.

An executive with a red sports car is evading criminal charges for importing flowers infested with ladybugs. Gosh, he could be responsible for shutting down the entire agricultural system. There could be economic collapse and famine!

Have fun with this exercise. Allow the ideas to percolate as long as you need to. Make more word maps when you get stuck. Try to draw connections between the different word paths. Take more walks and get the dishes done. If nothing else, you will be healthier and your kitchen will be clean.