Release Day Book Blitz and Giveaway! Run For The Roses!

 
 
 
Run for the Roses
Release Date: 11/2013
by Swoon Romance
 
Summary from Goodreads:
Abigail Conrad has spent her whole life training for one goal: to win the roses at the Arabian Youth Nationals. She’s given up friends, a social life, and doesn’t have time to even think about guys — much less date!

Now that she’s headed off to college in the fall, it’s her last chance to be a Youth National Champion, and she won’t let anything distract her from that dream.

Except maybe Chase, the older brother of Abigail’s biggest rival. He’s charming, funny, and possibly Abigail’s biggest problem. How can she focus on riding when her mind keeps wandering to Chase’s green eyes and confident smile?

With her dream on the line, Abigail had better learn to fight her growing attraction to Chase, or she might end up losing the roses and the guy.
 
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The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Vacation Edition!

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

We made it to OKC!  Friday was a long, long day (didn’t get to our hotel until 2am and had to be up again early!) but things have settled down and now I am just chilling, watching beautiful Morgan horses and reading.  Also enjoying the company of good friends.  Elle shows undersaddle tomorrow, and I am looking forward to seeing her and Sarah go.  Big classes and lots of competition for both of them.  Naturally, Elle chose the month of October to grow another couple of inches – like she wasn’t tall enough!!! – so she is a little awkward going with her rear a little higher than her withers.  She is now larger than Blondie, and Blondie was a big girl. 

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Waiting on Wednesday–A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

One guess why I’m waiting for A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean…Yup, it has horses!  And magical adventures.  And a lot of fun, I hope!  In stores January 2014

 

From the author of A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, comes a gentle tale with a touch of magic about the power of friendship, the truth of belonging, and the most special of a hundred horses.

Nell is not happy about spending her school vacation with relatives she doesn’t know. Expecting nothing more than silly little cousins and boring farm life, she sneaks along a special suitcase that once belonged to her father. In it, she knows, are the parts of a music box and sixteen miniature painted horses, and she thinks maybe she can fit them all back together.

But the countryside has unexpected surprises. When a half-wild and mysterious girl named Angel steals Nell’s suitcase, the two girls are tied in an adventure of Angel’s devising. Nighttime meetings and a horse that might just be magical pique Nell’s curiosity, and soon she must put together the mystery of who Angel truly is, understand the legends about the herd of a hundred horses, and also discover something special about herself.

 

What are you waiting on?

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–July14th Edition

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

I had kind of a boring week, so I’ll share some horses pix.  There was a show in Pennsylvania 4th of July weekend.  While most of the barn went, I decided to stay home.  Everyone did very well, and this show both Elle’s mom and dad showed, which hasn’t happened since I got her, so here are pix of them.  All pix by Terry Young.

 

This is DeeDee.  She shows in the Hunter division.  She is a fairly big mare, which is where Elle gets some of her size.  See all the puddles?  This is one of the only outside shows we are doing this year, and I didn’t want to show in the mud.  It always rains at this show.  So, yeah, I’m a wimp.  DeeDee won this class, BTW.

 

This is Giz and Sarah.  Gizmo is Elle’s daddy.  He shows in the Park division, both in harness and under saddle.

This is Gizmo and Sarah again, after winning the Park Saddle Championship.  There had been a torrential downpour just prior; look at the mud on his back legs.  So glad I ‘m not the one who had to clean him up!

Bonus photo – This is Steve and Elsa.  Steve is my favorite lesson horse.  Elsa is leasing him this summer to show in the English Pleasure division.

 

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Unexpected by Maisey Yates

Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters by Diane Zahler

A Cowboy to Come Home To by Donna Alward

The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul by Jon F. Merz

King Hall by Scarlett Dawn

City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

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Interview with Maggie Gilbert, Author of Riding on Air

Please welcome Maggie Gilbert to the virtual offices today!  Maggie is celebrating the release of Riding on Air, a YA romance set in the world of competitive riding.  Yeah!  One look at the cover and I knew I wanted to ask Maggie some questions, and she graciously agreed to stop by for a chat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Maggie Gilbert] Eclectic. And maybe heading for eccentric too :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Riding on Air?

[Maggie Gilbert] It’s about a teenage girl with a horse she’s devoted to and a dream she’ll do almost anything to achieve, despite some fairly significant obstacles in her way. And then a gorgeous boy she’s always ached for comes along to complicate things even further. Horses, a gorgeous boy and romance – what more could you want?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Maggie Gilbert] I’d planned on writing some horse books aimed at younger readers but then I started thinking about what it’s like to be a teenage girl besotted with your horse but also crushing madly on a boy. With the characters, once I knew Melissa had JRA then who she is evolved out of her illness; there were things she just couldn’t do and this shaped everything about her. When it came to William, I wanted a boy worthy of her courage and determination, and he had to be sweet but also strong. He had to be someone who will do the right thing even if that is going to cost him. And he had to be totally gorgeous, of course.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Melissa?

[Maggie Gilbert] Resolute, self-contained, fervent

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If William had a theme song, what would it be?

[Maggie Gilbert] What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. It sums up the way William sees Melissa, and how she makes his heart skip even though she has no idea. Not that he’d admit he’s ever even heard of that song Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Melissa is never without.

[Maggie Gilbert] Hope. She goes after her dreams even when it seems impossible.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in William’s pockets?

[Maggie Gilbert] Money, receipts, phone. He tends to leave everything in his ute, such a boy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Melissa’s greatest regret?

[Maggie Gilbert]  I can’t answer that without plot spoilers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Maggie Gilbert] Stephen King would be the biggest influence. I read everything he writes and he is the master of making the ordinary interesting, and of developing utterly believable characters. And although on the surface his stories are about monsters, underneath he’s writing about themes that resonate for me, like love, loyalty, friendship and heroism. I think all the creative works you expose yourself to – art, photos, magazines, songs, movies, books, TV series – have an impact on what you write even if you don’t realise it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Maggie Gilbert] Coffee, laptop, time. Especially coffee – I can always make do with a pen and notebook Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Maggie Gilbert] Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Maggie Gilbert] Gosh, it’s hard to say – Mum taught me to read when I was three, so that’s a lot of books ago. An early book that sticks out though is Wild Pony by Lucy Rees. I’d read a lot of horsey books but that one blew me away. It stayed with me and I re-read it over the years.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Maggie Gilbert] It can vary depending on what the latest obsession is (gardening, learning cello, quilting). But there are some constants: I read as much as I can – sometimes when I really should be doing other things! I also like watching a movie or an episode of a favourite TV series. I love to run and I’m trying to get back into that. If I’m not inside at the laptop, there’s not much better than a sunny afternoon in the back yard with a good book and my dogs.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Maggie Gilbert] I have a website with blog and also newly established author pages on Goodreads and Amazon or you can find me on Twitter or Facebook. I’d love it for people to pop in and say ‘Hi’.

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/MaggieGilbert

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/maggiegilbert

Twitter https://twitter.com/maggie_gilbert_

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaggieGilbert/617257878299778?ref=hl

Website/Blog www.maggiegilbert.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Riding on Air from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

For readers of Jenny Downham, John Greene and Maureen McCarthy, a poignant young adult romance about following your dreams and realising what really matters.

What can you do when your own hands are the enemy? Hold on tight, for as long as it takes.

Melissa has secrets. Sure it’s pretty obvious she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but no one knows how bad it is or how many pills she takes for the pain. She’s determined to make her horse Jinx into a champion and she dreams that her childhood friend William will one day see her, rather than her condition.

So when William asks her out and Jinx is shortlisted for selection in an elite training program, it seems Melissa’s dreams have come true. But when her secrets are exposed, all those dreams come crashing down around her. Can William ever forgive her? And can she learn about letting go in time to truly ride on air when it matters most?

 

About the author:

Maggie Gilbert can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a writer, even when she was otherwise occupied. She’s been an executive editor, an equestrian journalist and worked with horses for the Modern Pentathlon event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Currently she’s an administration officer with an Agricultural Society by day and a writer of romantic stories by night—an ideal combination. She lives on a property in country NSW with her family and dogs.

Review: Riding on Air by Maggie Gilbert

 

Title:  Riding on Air

Author: Maggie Gilbert

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

For readers of Jenny Downham, John Greene and Maureen McCarthy, a poignant young adult romance about following your dreams and realising what really matters.

What can you do when your own hands are the enemy? Hold on tight, for as long as it takes.

Melissa has secrets. Sure it’s pretty obvious she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but no one knows how bad it is or how many pills she takes for the pain. She’s determined to make her horse Jinx into a champion and she dreams that her childhood friend William will one day see her, rather than her condition.

So when William asks her out and Jinx is shortlisted for selection in an elite training program, it seems Melissa’s dreams have come true. But when her secrets are exposed, all those dreams come crashing down around her. Can William ever forgive her? And can she learn about letting go in time to truly ride on air when it matters most?


Review:

One guess why I wanted to read Riding on Air.  Yup, it’s got a horse on the cover.  Riding plays a big, big part of the story, so if you find horses boring, you might have a problem feeling engaged in the plot.  That wasn’t a problem for me!  I immediately felt comfortable with Melissa, and I agonized with her as she stubbornly refuses to give up her one, true love – horseback riding.  Sounds kind of melodramatic, but Melissa’s fears and hopes rang so true for me.  I would be devastated if I had to give up my horses, so I could sympathize with her right away.

As I’m getting ready for the first horse show of the season (which starts on Wednesday), Melissa’s efforts to prepare her horse Jinx for an important dressage show were instantly relatable.  Melissa has one added challenge; she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which makes her joints ache and her fingers burn with pain. I personally can’t imagine riding if my hands were that painful, because contrary to popular belief, you don’t just get on a horse and sit there.  You have to ride every stride.  You have to keep the horse between your hands and your seat, and your hands need to be light and responsive, ready to check the horse back with both your hands and your seat.  If your hands aren’t there for you, you won’t be there for your horse.  Melissa stubbornly refuses to ask for help with Jinx, because she wants to prove that she’s just as normal as anyone else, and because she’s fearful that her parents will forbid her from riding. 

As Melissa’s condition worsens, a bright spot does enter her life.  She’s had a crush on William, a friend of her brothers, forever, and when he asks her out, she is over the moon.  As their relationship begins to bloom, though, she is overcome with doubts. How can William like her, or find her attractive, when her hands are such an ugly mess.  She can’t see beyond her illness, and she believes that nobody else can, either. When she takes a bad fall from Jinx, William tries to make her understand how important she is to him by asking her to stop riding, at least until her fingers aren’t as painful.  In a panic, Melissa accuses him of trying to ruin her life, and of not understanding how important Jinx’s success is to her.  Ouch! As if she doesn’t have enough on her mind, now she’s heartbroken because her boyfriend doesn’t understand her.

I enjoyed Riding on Air a lot.  The horse scenes were authentic, and got me excited about going to a show myself.  Melissa’s struggles to overcome all of the challenges thrown her way were compelling, and kept me engaged in the story.  While I would have liked this book just because of the horsey stuff, what made it a fulfilling read is the personal growth Melissa undergoes.  She begins to re-examine her relationships, and realizes that maybe she’s not being fair to her friends and family.  While they want to help her, she thinks their concerns are stifling her.  It’s only after she’s able to let go of her fierce need for independence that she is finally able to ride on air. 

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by publisher

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Maybe It’s Spring? Finally??

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

It’s finally starting to warm up around here, so I am optimistic that it will eventually be warm enough to be considered “spring.” Probably not until summer, but, oh, well.  Had a few hectic days this week.

My lease was up on my Jeep, so I got a new car.

This is a lease, too, and it was a little cheaper than my Jeep, so score! It’s a better vehicle, in my opinion, and it has SYNC and some other high tech stuff that I haven’t figured out yet.  I like that the car is lower to the ground, because it’s easier to get the puppies in and out of it.

This is Pixie.  I bought her last year, after realizing that Blondie, no matter how much I wanted her to be the horse for me, never would be.  She didn’t want to be a saddle horse, or a show horse, so I finally decided we would both be happier if she went somewhere that she didn’t have to work so hard.  Pixie is a 5 year old Morgan, and I don’t believe she’s been shown under saddle yet, so this year will be a learning experience for both of us.  She is still very green, but she’s honest and wants to please, and I am so happy with her.  More to follow.

Here is Poppy at Sonic.  Since it was so nice yesterday, I convinced Dean that we all needed to go to Sonic for some ice cream.  The puppies were a bit apprehensive at Sonic because with the warm weather there was a lot going on, but they were both so well behaved. 

There was a lot for Bumble to look at while we ate our ice cream at Sonic.  When we got home, they both crashed, exhausted from their outing.  LOL.  We’ll go to the Car Hop next time and get fried Oreos.

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Coyote Winds by Helen Sedwick (Thank you, Helen!)

Getting Real by Ainslie Paton

Riding on Air by Maggie Gilbert

Bitter Seeds (Milkweed) by Ian Tregillis (2.99!!)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Once a Bad Girl by Jane O’Reilly

The Last Gladiatrix by Eva Scott

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

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