Tag Archives: horse

Furbaby Friday with Linda Nightingale!


I’m happy to have the talented Linda Nightingale here to share memories of her beautiful beloved horse, and her contemporary western romance, Gambler’s Choice, a stellar story.

Linda: In 1980, the year my first son was born, I discovered the Andalusian horse. Like a poster on my wall says, ‘this horse will change your life’. We were breeding the Arabian at the time had garnered some success in the showring. But when I saw the magnificent Andalusian horses, I fell in love and immediately started liquidating my Arab breeding stock to purchase an Andy stallion.

BonitoPhantom

As usual, I like to start off at the top and work my way up there. I looked all over the country for a THE horse I wanted. I planned for him to be high-schooled (the Andalusian is gifted for the baroque moves—passage, piaffe, lateral work and pirouette) and the airs-above the ground). I received a call from a breeder in Virginia saying that I needed to come see a young stallion named Bonito. I didn’t want him because he was young and unfinished, but he did have a lot of the moves on him at 4 (a mistake I later learned).

But I went to beautiful Middleburg, Virginia to look at Bonito. In the indoor arena, I fell in love white fairytale stallion named Afamado, but he wasn’t for sale. Then they showed me Bonito. He put his head over the Dutch door, taking my heart with one glance. He was a rose-gray with a black mane and tail, both thick and long. His neck was a majestic crest like a carousel horse. I bought Bonito and never looked back. (Linda and Bonito pictured above).

Bonito had been imported from Costa Rica. My hubby and I later went to the National shows in CR and were treated like queens and kings. I also began to broker horses for Bonito’s breeder in this country.

We bred Bonito to mares of various breeds, and consistently he produced offspring of his quality. The Andalusian is gentle enough to breed the stallions in the morning and put him in the show ring that afternoon, without requiring a professional trainer to behave with other horses. He was mischievous and a bit of a handful but always kind. We entered the showring with a vengeance.

At the time, the Andalusian was a rare breed in this country and we wowed the crowd everywhere we went. I did exhibitions in the long lines, parades in the long lines (you have a line each side of the horse and walk very close behind him). His beauty and agility won him many admirers as well as his sweet temperament. I could put a child on him and he was a plow horse, but let me put a foot in the stirrup and he was all fire and show. He knew he had a fan club.

Bonito and HollyBonito and Holly

I showed him to 2 National Championships in Halter and many championships in various classes. I then began to show dressage and perform musical freestyles, but our best luck was in performing exhibitions at horse shows. We had a routine to Phantom of the Opera, and I wish I had that on tape, but sadly I can’t find the old VHS to transfer it to disk. When I was going through my divorce, I’d go to the barn and cry on his neck. He’d fold that lovely neck around me and hug me while I cried. I daresay he was my soul mate. Bonito changed my life.

If you’d like to know more about the Andalusian or the high school movements, leave a comment with a way to contact you, and I’ll be glad to send you an article I wrote for a breed magazine and info on the upper level movements.

Everyone who met Bonito loved him. Even today, twenty years later people remember him.

I have written only one book about horses, but all of my books in one way or another mention the fairytale Andalusian. Gambler’s Choice was just released in audio. For an audio sample, please visit my web site at http://www.LindaNightingale.com

gallop_animated

Blurb:
Becca McQuaid came to England to find the perfect horse but instead met a darkly mysterious challenge in Austen Heath, Baron of Hampton. She’s determined to buy Austen’s stallion Gambler’s Choice. He’s determined not to sell, but the rivals are thrown together by an accident that leaves Austen with a broken leg and the threat he’ll never ride again.

Austen Heath has the title, heritage and manor house…but not the fortune. Becca is wealthy. Her charms are irresistible, but he believes she’s shopping for a Ladyship to go with her money. He has another reason to hold the sexy blonde at arms’ length—the unexplained disappearance of an old friend everyone thinks was his lover. When her body is discovered on his property, he becomes a suspect in her murder.

Excerpt:

Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.
To find the perfect match.

Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of priorities.

“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.
Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”

An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant, dark figure of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, blood bay rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.

“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”
Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”

“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”
“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”
“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”
“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”
“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”
Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”
“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”

Becca had found that the best way to protect her heart was to play spoiled little rich girl. She had that part down pat, and, as Winston Churchill had said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. She was looking for a horse to fall in love with and help mend her broken heart.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gamblers-Choice-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B01AB2TCZU/ref=sr_1_2?

About Linda: Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Houston and now she is back in the red dirt hills of SC. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, a member of a National Sports Car Club,and enjoys events with her car. Among her favorite things is her snazzy gray convertible. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LNightingale
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor
Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03972_A_5-Y
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Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Linda a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Hywela Lyn


I am glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Hywela Lyn to the blog with a very touching Furbaby Friday post as she shares her beloved horse, Harri, and her wonderful sci-fi romance Beloved Enemy.

(Harri–Welsh Cob)

Lyn: I had to think long and hard when deciding which furbaby – or furbabies to feature on for my spot for Furbaby Friday. Should it be one of my beloved dogs, now gone over the Rainbow Bridge, my first dog Bob, Bonny the beagle, Hans, the most loyal of little dogs who was by my side at the lowest times of my life, Bouncer, the dear little rescue, who had been cruelly abused by his previous owner but was the most loving and gentle little dog, my current ‘rescue’ Choccy, who is a real character… Dusty the stable cat? Then there are the ‘big furbabies’, the horses. Max, my very first horse, Smokey, Flikka, who was with me for thirty years, her daughter Star, and son Mr Fifty, and Sally, my little endurance horse, who worked her socks off for me on the long distance competitive trail rides in Wales, all now sadly gone to their rest.

The decision was made for me two weeks ago on a snowy Sunday morning. I’ve never been lucky enough to have my own land and for several years, have been renting some land and buildings about twelve miles from where I live. I received a phone call to say that my lovely black Welsh Cob gelding, Harri, who’d had arthritis for several years and was on permanent medication for it, had gone down in the field and couldn’t get up. Eventually with a lot of help he was able to stand, but there was a strong possibility he might lie down again, and be unable to get up, and if he was to be out in the snow all night, would be in a lot of pain and probably suffer from hypothermia, even though both he and my other horse T’pau have warm blankets, lying on the cold ground he would obviously get chilled and I was afraid if he was in the stable he might get cast, so the sad decision was made to save him from any further suffering and let him go over the Rainbow Bridge. He was twenty eight years old, which isn’t a bad age for a horse.

(Harri and Tpau)

I first met Harri (show name Pentrepiod Sovereign) about fourteen years ago when I bought him from Marie. I changed his ‘pet name’ slightly from ‘Harry’ to the Welsh version ‘Harri’. Over the years, Marie and I have become good friends and she always remembered Harri’s birthday and visited him at Christmas several times. I’d already contacted her about a couple of weeks before his passing, to let her know that putting him to sleep was a possibility and I’m really glad she came to see him straight away and was able to say her goodbyes to him.

He was very beautiful, jet black, apart from a tiny smudge of white on his muzzle, and a narrow ring of white around each hind foot. I retrained him from English to the western way of riding, having been riding ‘western’ for many years, since it first became popular in the U.K. He took to it like a duck to water, and looked very smart in his black western saddle and bridle, and bright purple and white saddle blanket. He was very laid back and unlike my other horse, a paint Quarterhorse mare, T’pau, he never spooked or bolted, but if something scared him he would plant his feet firmly on the ground and turn his head to look at me as if to say ‘mum, get off and protect me!’ T’pau, although really sweet-natured, is quite bossy and used to herd him around the field sometimes, and shoo him away from a patch of grass she had her eye on, and he’d just amble away with the equine equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders, not in the slightest bit bothered, but you could almost hear him mutter under his breath ‘bossy mare’! They were very fond of each other really though, and would happily munch together from the same hayrack, and share the stable together.

(Hywela Lyn on Harri)

Harri was one of the stars in a fantasy novella I wrote for the Wild Rose Press, and later republished myself as an ‘indie’ release ‘Dancing With Fate.’ He shared the limelight with Sal, and I sent them both back to fifth century Wales, where they became the mounts of a legendary magician, and a Greek muse, respectively. Harri will always have a special place in my heart and I like to think of him grazing happily with the other horses in lush pastures near the Rainbow Bridge.

BELOVED ENEMY

BLURB:
Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

This is the third book in my SF romance series, the ‘Destiny Trilogy’, each book being a ‘standalone’. It is the only one of my books that doesn’t feature a horse of some description, but it does have an alien ‘furbaby’, called ‘Shifter’ because he can blend into the background.
Here’s the bit where the main male character, Kerry, meets Shifter for the first time. (She has just saved his life, after a gun battle, and realising he is the man she has been searching for in connection with the death of her sister, has relieved him of his blaster.)

EXCERPT:
They reached the rock their adversaries had used as a shield. With her finger on the trigger button Cat swung round it, prepared to fire if anyone moved. Then she froze. The area was clear. Not the bodies she expected to find, no sign anyone had ever been there at all.

She looked at Kerry. “They were here. They can’t have just vanished.”

He shook his head. “Unless they can teleport—which has been proven to be impossible by mechanical means. It is just possible they may have psionic capabilities.”

“No point in worrying about them now. Seems they’ve gone, however they did it.” Cat gave a long low whistle and one of the nearby boulders morphed into the tawny form of Shifter.

“What the hell is that?” As if acting on instinct, Kerry reached for his gun and then swore softly when his fingers failed to close upon it. His gaze flicked toward her. He cursed again and stared pointedly at his blaster thrust through her belt.

She ignored his stare and nodded toward the animal. “His name’s Shifter. He’s…well, I call him a chameleopard, and I’d kill anyone who tried to shoot him.”

Kerry favoured her with a cold look. “Delightful pets you have.”

“It’s only one, and yes, he is quite cute actually. Are you going to be able to walk?”
“It was my chest that was injured, not my legs.”

She ignored his sarcastic tone. Gratitude obviously did not feature among his finer points.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Enemy-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B01BBCBYCS

And The WildRose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3770-beloved-enemy.html

AUTHOR BIO
Hywela Lyn spent most of her life in Wales and the beautiful countryside and legends inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background. She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds. Her pen name is a combination of her first two names.’Hywela’ is Welsh and her first name but it was never used and she has always been called by her second Christian name, Lyn. One thing remains constant in her writing: The power of love. Love, not only between her hero and heroine, but between friends and siblings, and for their particular world and the creatures that share it.

She is crazy about all animals, especially horses. She lives with her long suffering husband, Dave, and her horse, Flying T’pau, a feral cat, Dusty, and an adopted lovable but slightly manic terrier called Choccy.

Hywela Lyn’s debut novel, ‘Starquest’, a futuristic romance is published by The Wild Rose Press who also published her second book in the Destiny Trilogy, ‘Children Of The Mist’. Beloved Enemy, the third book in this series, was shortlisted for the UK Romantic Novelist’s Association Romance Novel Of the Year Award, 2017, 2nd Runner Up in the RONEs 2017 and winner of the ‘Best Banter’ Contest 2017, run by the MMRWA.

LINKS:
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Hywela-Lyn/e/B002BMBXH4/

WILD ROSE PRESS AUTHOR PAGE – http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/138_hywela-lyn
WEBSITE / BLOG – http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk
http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor?ref=hl

Paranormal Account from the Shenandoah Valley


The Blue Ridge Mountains

This fascinating story is taken from Shenandoah Voices, Folklore, Legends and Traditions of the Valley by late author and historian John Heatwole.

Brock’s Gap~

“Up in the Brock’s Gap region (of the Shenandoah Valley) the old resident’s referred to the rest of the world as “out.”  It was not uncommon to hear the phrase, “people would come along from out.”

In the old days, the rest of the country was well served by the Valley Pike and other well maintained thoroughfares, but the Gap and its scattered homesteads remained isolated beyond the first rise of the Allegheny Front (*Mountains).

The hamlets of Fulks Run, Criders, Bergton and Dovesville were oases of social contact, as were a few churches here and there, but the people in the Gap were pretty self-sufficient.  Before electricity came into the area, moonless nights smothered the hills, hollows and mountains…making the faint glimmer of candlelight in a window way off a welcome sight to a late-night traveler.

It’s not surprising that some wonderful ghost stories have come from this area.  Unusual happenings were woven into stories that were told and retold…long winter nights found rapt listeners gathered around a glowing fire or warm stove to be thrilled by a story-teller.”

****

Ghost story:  “One young girl of the Crider’s area was told that she could take the horse and go to meet her mother and sister who were returning from a trip to “out” late one night.  Her path took her to a neighbor’s farm gate where she dismounted, opened the gate, led the horse through and then re-latched it.  As she climbed back on the horse, she heard something coming from the direction she had just come.

“Someone come a runnin,’ was a man a comin’ up the road a runnin’.”

He was coming fast and she was scared.  She kicked her horse into a gallop.  As she looked back over her shoulder she saw the “man” run through the closed gate as if he were made of air.  “I flew out,” she said, but it seemed to make no difference—he was gaining on her.

“When I got to the top of the hill he was about two steps behind me.  He grabbed the horse by the tail, and she kicked up, and away she went as hard as she could run!”

That did the trick and the pursuer disappeared in their dust.

“I don’t know what it was.  It wasn’t no human; no human coulda kept up with that horse!”

The woman who was once the girl in the preceding story also related her father’s brush with a demon.

“My daddy seen one, one time.  He was comin’ home after dark from Casper Turner’s.  Saw what looked like a man layin’ on a fence; had eyes like fireballs!”  Her father had a gun with him, and he shot at the demon.  The thing fell off the fence and started making a noise that made the man think he should be getting away from there.  “Had run down from the mountain.  He was scared to death.”~

I would be totally freaked out.

Paranormal Account from The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel



This fascinating story is taken from Shenandoah Voices, Folklore, Legends and Traditions of the Valley by late author and historian John Heatwole.

Brock’s Gap~

“Up in the Brock’s Gap region (of the Shenandoah Valley) the old resident’s referred to the rest of the world as “out.”  It was not uncommon to hear the phrase, “people would come along from out.”

In the old days, the rest of the country was well served by the Valley Pike and other well maintained thoroughfares, but the Gap and its scattered homesteads remained isolated beyond the first rise of the Allegheny Front (*Mountains).

The hamlets of Fulks Run, Criders, Bergton and Dovesville were oases of social contact, as were a few churches here and there, but the people in the Gap were pretty self-sufficient.  Before electricity came into the area, moonless nights smothered the hills, hollows and mountains…making the faint glimmer of candlelight in a window way off a welcome sight to a late-night traveler.

It’s not surprising that some wonderful ghost stories have come from this area.  Unusual happenings were woven into stories that were told and retold…long winter nights found rapt listeners gathered around a glowing fire or warm stove to be thrilled by a story-teller.”

****

Ghost story:  “One young girl of the Crider’s area was told that she could take the horse and go to meet her mother and sister who were returning from a trip to “out” late one night.  Her path took her to a neighbor’s farm gate where she dismounted, opened the gate, led the horse through and then re-latched it.  As she climbed back on the horse, she heard something coming from the direction she had just come.

“Someone come a runnin,’ was a man a comin’ up the road a runnin’.”

He was coming fast and she was scared.  She kicked her horse into a gallop.  As she looked back over her shoulder she saw the “man” run through the closed gate as if he were made of air.  “I flew out,” she said, but it seemed to make no difference—he was gaining on her.

“When I got to the top of the hill he was about two steps behind me.  He grabbed the horse by the tail, and she kicked up, and away she went as hard as she could run!”

That did the trick and the pursuer disappeared in their dust.

“I don’t know what it was.  It wasn’t no human; no human coulda kept up with that horse!”

The woman who was once the girl in the preceding story also related her father’s brush with a demon.

“My daddy seen one one time.  He was comin’ home after dark from Casper Turner’s.  Saw what looked like a man layin’ on a fence; had eyes like fireballs!”  Her father had a gun with him, and he shot at the demon.  The thing fell off the fence and started making a noise that made the man think he should be getting away from there.  “Had run down from the mountain.  He was scared to death.”~

Ghost Story


This fascinating story is taken from the book I’ve been featuring lately, Shenandoah Voices, Folklore, Legends and Traditions of the Valley by late author-historian John Heatwole.

Brock’s Gap~

“Up in the Brock’s Gap region (*of the Shenandoah Valley)the old resident’s referred to the rest of the world as “out.”  It was not uncommon to hear the phrase, “people would come along from out.”

In the old days, the rest of the country was well served by the Valley Pike and other well maintained thoroughfares, but the Gap and its scattered homesteads remained isolated beyond the first rise of the Allegheny Front (*Mountains). The hamlets of Fulks Run, Criders, Bergton and Dovesville were oases of social contact, as were a few churches here and there, but the people in the Gap were pretty self-sufficient.  Before electricity came into the area, moonless nights smothered the hills, hollows and mountains…making the faint glimmer of candlelight in a window way off a welcome sight to a late-night traveler.

It’s not surprising that some wonderful ghost stories have come from this area.  Unusual happenings were woven into stories that were told and retold…long winter nights found rapt listeners gathered around a glowing fire or warm stove to be thrilled by a story teller.”

****

Ghost story:  “One young girl of the Crider’s area was told that she could take the horse and go to meet her mother and sister who were returning from a trip to “out” late one night.  Her path took her to a neighbor’s farm gate where she dismounted, opened the gate, led the horse through and then re-latched it.  As she climbed back on the horse, she heard something coming from the direction she had just come.

“Someone come a runnin,’ was a man a comin’ up the road a runnin’.”

He was coming fast and she was scared.  She kicked her horse into a gallop.  As she looked back over her shoulder she saw the “man” run through the closed gate as if he were made of air.  “I flew out,” she said, but it seemed to make no difference—he was gaining on her.

“When I got to the top of the hill he was about two steps behind me.  He grabbed the horse by the tail, and she kicked up, and away she went as hard as she could run!”

That did the trick and the pursuer disappeared in their dust.

“I don’t know what it was.  It wasn’t no human; no human coulda kept up with that horse!”

The woman who was once the girl in the preceding story also related her father’s brush with a demon.

“My daddy seen one one time.  He was comin’ home after dark from Casper Turner’s.  Saw what looked like a man layin’ on a fence; had eyes like fireballs!”  Her father had a gun with him, and he shot at the demon.  The thing fell off the fence and started making a noise that made the man think he should be getting away from there.  “Had run down from the mountain.  He was scared to death.”

****