Thursday, December 29, 2011

So Many Ways to Read

Like many of you this year - I received an eReader for Christmas. I got the Nook Color.

I love it, and although I'm a tad technologically challenged, I am slowly learning all the features and fun things it can do. Plus, since THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES was published as an eBook this year, I get to read it (finally) on an actual eReader.

I love the fact that you can get samples of books on the eReader, which allows you to see if you like it and want to read on.

I still love paper books though, and have plenty checked out from my library. Now, though, I can also borrow eBooks from my library, right off my Nook. How cool is that?

I think that eReaders (as popular as they are becoming) will never completely replace paper books, but only augment our reading experience. Not only can I get magazines and newspapers on my Nook, but many short novels and novellas that I might not have had access to otherwise. I love short fiction, and will probably read more of it now. And I can't wait to load my Nook up with several good novels to read for the next time I travel.

As you know, I'm a huge reader. I read a ton of books in 2011.

Well, to be more precise, I've read exactly 127 books this year, according to my Goodreads Challenge, but I still have a couple of days left, so that number may rise.

But as an avid reader I'm excited about all the new ways we can now find great material to read.

And as a writer, I'm plenty excited about all the new ways we now have to reach our readers.

Besides THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES, I'll have two more new eBooks coming out next year, both from Musa Publishing. I'll have details about those soon.

But for now, what to read? What to read? Something from the pile of books I got for Christmas? Or from the pile of books I checked out from the library? Or to the great books waiting to be discovered on my Nook? Choices, choices, choices!

Were you one of the many who received an eReader this Christmas?

What kind did you get?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Peace on Earth

Goodwill to all creatures, great and small.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Minute Horse Books

Still looking for a few last minute gifts for a young horse lover on your list? Here are some suggestions:

Take the Reins, Canterwood Crest - Book One - by Jessica Burkhart

This is the first book in the wildly successful Canterwood Crest series by Jessica Burkhart (over half million copies sold.) I wasn’t at all sure what to expect with this novel, because it deals with totally unfamiliar territory for me: a young girl arriving with her horse at a prestigious boarding school, hoping to fit in not only academically and socially, but become part of an elite jumping team. But in the first few pages, our main character Sasha loses control of her horse, Charm, who spooks on the way to his new stable, runs off and causes the fall of another rider, who immediately becomes Sasha’s enemy. What a horrible first day! Can we say high drama in the horse barn? (And trust me, I’ve had the experience of a horse pulling out of my hands and running loose through a group of horses and people. It’s not only dangerous; it’s one of the most embarrassing and scary moments imaginable – all rolled into one.)

Take the Reins is indeed filled with drama, and at times I almost wanted to dub it “mean girls” because I was appalled at the horrible stunts pulled on Sasha by a group of snooty girls, led by arch-enemy Heather, all because Sasha’s abilities as a rider may cost another girl a highly-sought after spot on the advanced show-jumping team. But Sasha is a spunky character who doesn’t whine to either her parents or her coach. She just keeps her head down and deals with her problems by studying and working harder, and she is definitely a character to be admired. These dire social situations, thrown in with a little romance and plenty of horse details obviously appeal to a certain young audience, because there will be a total of 15 Canterwood Crest books published when the last two arrive next year: Initiation and Popular.

Ms. Burkhart’s writing style strikes a chord in young readers, offering just the right mix of horses and social drama, because the books continue to be gobbled up and collected. They are available in both paperback and e-reader editions, and your young horse enthusiast might just love one for a Christmas gift! You can check them out right here.

Risky Chance - Horse Diaries - by Alison Hart
This is #7 in the Horse Diaries series, written for a slightly younger audience, but wonderful all the same for anyone who loves horses. This series is told from the point of view of the horse (a la Black Beauty) and Risky Chance is a young thoroughbred destined for the race track. The book starts, in fact, when he is a very young colt, still with his mother, racing the other colts across the pasture. How he loves to race! The story follows Risky as he is trained for the track and eventually taken to Santa Anita. The time is during the 1930’s, the Great Depression, when another great racehorse came to fame – Seabiscuit. Although Risky Chance loves his job, and loves to run, things don’t go as smoothly in his life as planned, and at one point his fate becomes dire and uncertain. This book has a happy ending, though, and you’ll be glad to gift it to any horse loving youngster this Christmas. I also liked the fact that the author, Alison Hart, author of many books for young readers (including Shadow Horse and Whirlwind) offers factual information at the back of this book explaining more about Thoroughbreds, horse racing, as well as the Great Depression. I highly recommend any of the books in this Horse Diaries series. Here's the link to the page on
Riding Invisible - by Sandra Alonzo
Running away on a horse? How many of us have imagined this when our life became difficult and hard to control? What if you had a mentally unstable brother that threatened to harm both you and your beloved horse? This book is the journal of fifteen-year-old Yancy Aparicio, who runs away into the California desert with just a flashlight, a backpack, a journal, and his horse. When this book came out last year, I was so engrossed in the story that I read it in one sitting. A wonderful read, fast-moving and heart-felt, it's not only an adventure story of a boy and his horse running away from problems, but also a serious story of a family coming to grips with a very difficult situation, and a boy finding his own courage and heart throughout it all. Powerful and gripping, I highly recommend it for both boy and girls who are not only horse lovers, but also lovers of realistic adventure stories.
The best part is that Riding Invisible is available now on Amazon at a reduced price in hardback, and also in paperback and for eReaders. Don’t miss this one!
 The Girl Who Remembered Horses - by Linda Benson
Of course I have to mention this one. It’s my brand new book. It’s available right now as an ebook, and if you’d like to choose it as a gift for someone, you can! On either Amazon or Barnes and Noble, simply click the button in the upper right hand corner of the page where it says “Buy as Gift.” Cool, huh? Here's the link on Amazon.
A great adventure story, The Girl Who Remembered Horses is set in a future world that has forgotten the ancient bond between horses and humans. It has a spunky main character named Sahara who dreams of horses and attempts to tame one, and it’s garnering 5 star reviews from readers. Be sure and check this one out, as well as all of the great books above. I hope you find just the right last minute gift idea for your reader.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Reading, Everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Styling in the Barn

I bought myself an early Christmas present yesterday.

Something I needed badly - and it couldn't wait.

You see, I had holes in my barn boots, which I wear every morning and evening to do chores.

I had already patched them once, with duct tape, and now the other boot was leaking.

So I went into town, fully expecting to buy a new pair of the same old lace-up mud boots that I always wear, but they didn't carry them!

And so, after trying on every pair of galoshes in the supply store, I came home with these:

Stop Laughing!

It's what all the cool Farm Girls are wearing around here! (And I'm sure they'll look fine once I get some mud on them.)

Hey - sometimes you just need a little style in the barnyard! Okay?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meet SG Rogers

Meet S.G. Rogers, author of fantasy and speculative fiction, who has a brand new novel out from Astraea Press, a new book out from Musa Publishing in April, and a Free Read available Dec 7th, 2011 from Musa Publishing.

  Suzanne, how long have you been writing?

I’ve had a knack for writing my whole life, but it was after the birth of my son when I became serious about pursuing a career as an author. I started out with screenplays, and then branched out into fiction.

Do you write mostly for children and young adults, or have you written for other age groups?

I write what I like to read, so I tend toward writing young adult fantasy. I wouldn’t mind writing more romantic fantasy, which appeals to a broader spectrum of adults.

Is The Last Great Wizard of Yden your first book? And it's out as an e-book with Astraea Press?

 Yden is my first full-length title with a publisher, and it’s in e-book format.  If I can make a market for the Yden series, it will go to print.  Personally, I love e-books.

Tell us briefly about this book. Does it involve time travel?

 When Jon Hansen’s father is kidnapped in a supernatural way, his quest for answers leads him to another dimension—the magical planet known as Yden.

Is fantasy your favorite genre? Why? What kind of books do you like to read? Are they also fantasy?

 The first section in a library or bookstore you’ll find me is the young adult fantasy aisle.  I love diving into other worlds, or exploring what might be hidden here on Earth.  My favorite author is Diana Wynne Jones (The Chrestomanci series), but I really enjoy the Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan), and the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)…among many others. The creativity I find in fantasy literature just blows me away.

Here's a little about her debut novel, The Last Great Wizard of Yden:

After his father is kidnapped, sixteen-year-old Jon stumbles across a closely guarded family secret--one that will challenge everything he has ever believed about his father and himself. A magical ring his father leaves behind unlocks a portal to another dimension, but in using it, Jon unwittingly unchains the forces of evil. A crisis develops when a malevolent wizard transports to Earth to kidnap Jon’s would-be girlfriend. With the help of some unlikely schoolmates, and a warrior princess from Yden, Jon embarks on a dangerous quest to free his friend and his father from the most vicious wizard the magical world has ever known. In the end, Jon will be forced to fight for his life as he attempts to rescue the last great wizard of Yden.

The Last Great Wizard of Yden is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, and B&N.

Suzanne, do you have any other projects coming up you'd like to tell us about?

My short story, Apocrypha is available Dec. 7th as a free read at Musa Publishing.  (Tagline:  Sometimes, even for a demon, love is in the cards).  Apocrypha will be the foundation for a full-length paranormal adventure/romance coming later in 2012.  In April, Musa will also be releasing the first of my Asgard Adventure series novellas.  In The Druid, an adventuresome woman meets an Immortal hero from the pages of a book—bigger than life and twice as Elvish. It’s a modern take on Nordic mythology, and I’m pretty excited about it!

Awesome, Suzanne. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and letting us know about your work.

Readers, starting December 7th, jump on over to Musa Publishing (publisher of my newest book THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES) and look for Suzanne's (S.G.Rogers) free short story called Apocrypha. And look for the other Free Reads they are offering also, as a way of saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

And to learn more about S.G. Rogers, check out her website:
Thanks again, Suzanne. It's always nice to get to know new authors, and best of luck on your publishing career!