Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual boo tour event for Appaloosa Summer by Author Tudor Robins!

Author Guest Post

“There's nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.”

I’d love to be able to tell you who first said that, but the quote’s origin is a source of much debate. What I can say, is that from the first time I read it, it made sense to me.

Horses are good for people in so many ways. It would be impossible to cover all of them in one blog post, but here are some of the reasons I love horses so much:

(1) Horses are healing. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to observe or participate in a therapeutic riding program, you’ll know the results are phenomenal. Disabled people literally straighten up after riding a horse. Traumatized people gain confidence. These are big picture results, but it works on a day-to-day basis as well. Stressed about work? Fought with your best friend? Go to the barn and you’ll completely forget about all that for a few hours, at least. And, when you get home, things will seem a little more manageable.

(2) Horses are fair. In response to a recent writing contest I ran, a young reader wrote the following: “… they listen when you have a problem and don’t judge. They also don’t care what kind of clothes you wear and whether or not you have friends …” This is so true. Like most animals, calmness, kindness, and respect, are all a horse asks for. And maybe an occasional carrot …

(3) Horses have a mind of their own. I like skiing. I like sailing. Many other people enjoy driving cars or motorcycles, or riding skateboards, or cycling. These are all great activities, but riding a horse adds an extra personality and brain to the mix. Making it through a smooth dressage test, completing a course of jumps, or cutting a calf from a herd, are incredibly rewarding because of the horse-rider partnership that’s required.

(4) Horses are beautiful. This is, perhaps, the most basic meaning you can take from the quote above. From the cute (newborn foals, Shetland ponies), to the athletic (endurance horses, three-day eventers), to the mighty (think the Budweiser Clydesdales); horses are stunning to look at.

I don’t love horses for any one reason. I love being privileged to be able to work with, and ride – and learn from – these animals.

I also love what horses have given to me; quite literally the world. Being able to write about horses has allowed me to reach people in places all over the globe. My readers may not have ever been to my country, nor I to theirs, but we have something in common.

It’s a real gift, and one I’m very grateful for.

About The Author

Tudor Robins is an Ottawa-based young adult author whose first novel, Objects in Mirror, was named a Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

She gathered publishing-related experience in her roles as a magazine editor and publishing sales representative, as well as working in offset and digital printing. Tudor currently teaches writing workshops for adults and children, as well as developing writing contests and programming to motivate young writers.

Tudor loves reading, writing, and horseback riding, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Appaloosa Summer is now available in paperback through Amazon (link), and can also be purchased in the Kindle store.

Receiving messages from readers is one of Tudor’s favourite things, so please feel free to visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.


Book Review

Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins
Book 1: Island Trilogy
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: June 5, 2014
Format: Paperback - 230 pages
              Kindle - 953 KB
ISBN: 978-0993683701
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult / Coming Of Age / Horse Themed / Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Appaloosa Summer

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring. Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident. Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B. Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing. When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by summer’s end.

Appaloosa Summer can be compared to Heartland TV show -

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One
I’m staring down a line of jumps that should scare my brand-new show breeches right off me.
But it doesn’t. Major and I know our jobs here. His is to read the combination, determine the perfect take-off spot, and adjust his stride accordingly. Mine is to stay out of his way, and let him jump.
We hit the first jump just right. He clears it with an effortless arc, and all I have to do is go through my mental checklist. Heels down. Back straight. Follow his mouth.
“Good boy, Major.” One ear flicks halfway back to acknowledge my comment, but not enough to make him lose focus. A strong, easy stride to jump two, and he’s up, working for both of us, holding me perfectly balanced as we fly through the air.
He lands with extra momentum; normal at the end of a long, straight line. He self-corrects, shifting his weight back over his hocks. Next will come the surge from his muscled hind end; powering us both up, and over, the final tall vertical.
It doesn’t come, though. How can it not? “Come on!” I cluck, scuff my heels along his side. No response from my rock solid jumper.
The rails are right in front of us, but I have no horsepower – nothing – under me. By the time I think of going for my stick, it’s too late. We slam into several closely spaced rails topping a solid gate. Oh God. Oh no. Be ready, be ready, be ready. But how? There’s no good way. There are poles everywhere, and leather tangling, and dirt. In my eyes, in my nose, in my mouth.
There’s no sound from my horse. Is he as winded as me? I can’t speak, or yell, or scream. Major? Is that him on my leg? Is that why it’s numb? People come, kneel around me. I can’t see past them. I can’t sit up. My ears rush and my head spins. I’m going to throw up. “I’m going to …”
I flush the toilet. Swish out my mouth. Avoid looking in the mirror. Light hurts, my reflection hurts, everything hurts at this point in the afternoon, when the headache builds to its peak.
Why me?
I’ve never lost anybody close to me. My grandpa died before I was born, and my widowed grandma’s still going strong at ninety-four. She has an eighty-nine-year-old boyfriend. They go to the racetrack; play the slots.
If I had to predict who would die first in my life, I would never, in a million years, have guessed it would be my fit, strong, seven-year-old thoroughbred.
But he did.
Thinking about it just sharpens the headache, so I press a towel against my face, blink into the soft fluffiness.
“Are you OK?” Slate’s voice comes through the door. With my mom and dad at work, Slate’s been the one to spend the last three days distracting me when I’m awake, and waking me up whenever I get into a sound sleep. Or that’s what it feels like.
“Fine.” I push the bathroom door open.
I nod. Stupid move. It hurts. Whisper instead. “Yes.”
“Well, that’s a big improvement. Just the once today.”
She follows me back to my room. She’s not a pillow-plumper or quilt-smoother – I have to struggle into my rumpled bed – but it’s nice to have her around. “I’m glad you’re here, Slatey.” I sniffle, and taste salt in the back of my throat.
I’m close to tears all the time these days. “Normal,” the doctor said. Apparently tears aren’t unreasonable after suffering a knock to the head hard enough to split my helmet in two, with my horse dropping stone cold dead underneath me in the show ring. I’m still sick of crying, though. And puking, too.
“Don’t be stupid, Meg; being here is heaven. My mom and Agate are going completely over the top organizing Aggie’s sweet sixteen. There are party planning boards everywhere, and her dance friends are always over giggling about it too.”
“Just as long as it’s not about me. I don’t want to owe you.”

“’Course not; you’re not that great of a best friend.”

My Book Review:

Appaloosa Summer is a beautifully written young adult novel that will easily captivate the horse enthusiast hearts.

Author Tudor Robins weaves a heartwarming and touching tale that follows the healing journey of two young adults who meet during the summer at a B&B on a Canadian island on the St. Lawrence River, where they connect and become friends, and with the help of a scruffy appaloosa mare, both learn to heal after suffering recent tragedies in their lives.

The story takes the reader on an inspirational journey with Meg and Jared, it starts with traumatic heartbreak that will stir your soul, but it leads to a lovely friendship, sweet summer romance, and redemptive healing. The author provides the reader with a story that is uplifting and memorable, has a rich description of an idyllic island setting, friendly characters that you can't help but fall in love with, and her personal equestrian knowledge and the world of show horse jumping competition is told with great detail that easily keeps the reader engaged.

Appaloosa Summer is a wonderful and lighthearted young adult novel that will leave a smile on your face.


Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, Sept 2 Manga Maniac Cafe – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt Wednesday, Sept 3 Books, Reviews, Etc. – Book Review 
Thursday, Sept 4 Keely Brooke Keith – Author Guest Post 
Friday, Sept 5 FictionZeal – Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt 
Monday, Sept 8 Wonderland Novels – Book Spotlight / Book Review 
Wednesday, Sept 10 My Life, Loves and Passion – Book Spotlight 
Thursday, Sept 11 Confessions Of A Bookaholic – Book Review 
Friday, Sept 12 The Writer’s Life – Author Interview 
Monday, Sept 15 A Simple Life – really?! – Book Review 
Tuesday, Sept 16 Read My First Chapter: First Chapter Book Excerpt 
Wednesday, Sept 17 Mom Loves 2 Read – Book Spotlight / Book Excerpt / Book Review 
Friday, Sept 19 Book by Book – Book Review 
Monday, Sept 22 As The Page Turns – Author Interview 
Tuesday, Sept 23 Book Reviews from a Christian Gal – Author Interview / Book Spotlight / Book Review 
Thursday, Sept 25 Genuine Jenn – Book Review 
Friday, Sept 26 The Story Behind The Book - Author Guest Post 
Monday, Sept 29 Undercover Book Reviews – Book Review 
Tuesday, Sept 30 Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Author Guest Post / Book Spotlight / Book Review

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