This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Dear Readers,
This post is a bit different from my typical posts about horses, horses and more horses! I was invited by author Ann Goldfarb who writes Time Travel/Mysteries to participate in a "Blog Hop."  A "Blog Hop" allows readers of a blog to get connected to other blogs. All of the authors are asked to answer the same four questions...questions that are typically asked of authors. I really enjoy doing school visits and these are the type of questions that I am asked by the students. So, here is your chance to learn a little bit about the life of an author! I hope you enjoy it.

Right now I have a few irons in the fire. As you know, I have just released "Riding Colorado III-Day AND Overnight Trips With Your Horse." That is, obviously, a non-fiction trail guide book. In writing non-fiction, the best part is the research. In this case, "research" means I have to personally visit places and trails all over the state with my horse. How fun is that! Returning home, cleaning out the trailer and doing laundry, then sitting down and writing up all that I did is not as much fun. That is where writing fiction, and fantasy in particular, wins out for my heart. Right now, I am making final decisions with my publisher on the third and final book of The Mist Trilogy: "The Rising Mist." I am so excited about it. I have just re-read the entire book and love it! (I's always love their books! But this one really is good!!!)
All horse-lovers are going to enjoy this fantasy. As in the other two books of The Mist Trilogy, this is the story of the noble and great horses that are chosen to become unicorns when they die and the first boy and girl who are allowed to become unicorn riders. In the beginning of this book, Nicholas and Bethany and their unicorns are sent on several missions to earth to rescue animals, particularly horses, that are in danger. My favorite chapters involve the Legion of the Unicorn members saving ten of the Lipizzan stallions form Vienna that have been kidnapped and held for ransom. They return from this adventure to Celestia only to find a crisis awaiting them. The evil unicorn, Hasbadana, has kidnapped Nicholas's sisters. Urijah, the Lord of Celestia, sends Nick and Bethany to the Dark Kingdom to confront Hasbadana and bring the sisters home. Instead, Nick and Bethany are themselves imprisoned in a swirling mist of darkness deep within the crumbling stone walls of Hasbadana's castle. When Urijah willingly sacrifices himself to take the place of the humans, Nick is determined to find a way to free Urijah. I think this is the best book of the trilogy and that you will enjoy it even if you are not a horse-lover! It will be released by Two Harbors press in late July 2014. I can't wait!

I have never read a fantasy that is at all like The Mist Trilogy. Horse stories are one thing. Fantasies are another. The combination of horses and unicorns is unique. I also combine real locations with the fantasy world of Celestia, the home of the immortal unicorns. In addition, because I love art, I insert bits of information about famous artists in all three books. Look for that!

First, Why do I write? I grew up in a family of artists. My mother's art form was ballet. My grandmother and aunts' art medium was painting. My outlet for creative expression is writing. I love to paint pictures with words. I chose to write for middle grade readers because I want them to love to read. I am thrilled every time I get letters from readers that have loved my books. They make me cry! I am over-joyed when I get the occasional letter from a mom who tells me that my books made their child love to read. That makes the many lonely hours in front of the computer completely worth it!
Second, I write what I am passionate about...most of my books, both fiction and non-fiction center around horses. I think I must have been born with manure in my blood. I have been horse-crazy since birth. I have worked hard all my life in order to be with horses. I supported my own horse as a teenager by babysitting, cleaning houses, etc, etc. Now I use my book royalties to help support my horses. (Notice I wrote "horses." I have three!)

I have learned some handy tricks over the ten years that I have been a professional author. First, regardless of how great you are as a writer, there is no getting around the fact you have to put in the time. And it takes a lot of time! I have the over-arching story in my head when I start to write and I write and write and write until the entire story is done. That means I don't look back until the entire story is done. Then I go back and reread and revise and alter as seems necessary. Another trick I have learned is to never stop writing for the day at the end of a chapter. Stop in the middle of a paragraph or even right in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you return to your writing, you already have a start. Beta Readers are also helpful. but remember, it is your book. You don't have to take their suggestions. However, I am always open to what they have to say and I appreciate their comments. 

Here is the cool ad that was created to announce the release of "The Rising Mist." How do you like it?

Now, I know you horse-lovers also love to eat! I have the blog for you. Michele Morris is an award winning cookbook writer and amazing food photographer. Her book: "Tasting Colorado" (of which I have purchased several copies for gifts,) was the winner in the Colorado Author's League Book Awards non-fiction category. Her next beautiful cookbook, "Tasting Washington," will be out soon!
Click here to visit her blog in the author "Blog Hop." 
She will help you create the food you have always dreamed of. She will answer the four questions about being an author that I did above. 

Another great author to discover is Sandy Whelchel. Sandy is the author of the award winning book: Fox and Geese and has recently released the historical saga: Willow Switch. she is the author of six non-fiction books, three fiction books and five coloring books as well as numerous short stories and articles. Her blog was a finalist in the Colorado Author's League writing awards Blog division for one of her articles. 
Her blog is perfect for history buffs! You can access it by clicking here:

I was invited to participate in this "Blog Hop" by time travel/mystery writer Ann Goldfarb. Please visit her blog by clicking here:

Saturday, June 14, 2014


 Everyone has a birthday now and then. If you are getting up there, you would rather not keep track any longer. However, my test riders from my "Riding Colorado" books and I have a fun tradition. Whenever we have a birthday, we go on a birthday ride. The birthday girl gets to choose where she wants the group to go. Since I have written three trail guide books for Colorado, it is a tough decision. I know so many great trails! However, yesterday, I chose to stay close to home so we could have cake with one of our riders who is recuperating from a terrible event (Her heart stopped! It's a miracle that she is still alive. Her husband performed CPR for 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived. I'd say that qualifies as a "terrible" event wouldn't you?) Anyway, I chose to go to one of the new day trips in "Riding Colorado III". It is a new open space created by Douglas County called "Lincoln Mountain." I am the leader in the line above riding my wonderful thoroughbred and cover boy Kit. I love that horse as you know if you have been reading my posts for a while. One thing I love about Colorado that is obvious from the picture is that you can see forever! Having grown up in Oregon, surrounded by trees, I couldn't believe that the sky was so big when I arrived in Colorado. Now I get claustrophobic when I return to Oregon. I want someone to cut down those trees! (I know, I know, my Oregon readers will think I'm nuts!)

Anyway, if you have a birthday coming up, gather some friends and go for a trail ride. Better yet, plan a trip with your horse and your friends to Colorado. If you want to know where to go, buy Riding Colorado III-Day and Overnight Trips With Your Horse. I have previewed campgrounds, resorts, cabins and Bed and Breakfasts that will host both you and your horse. In addition, I have reviewed trails around each destination. Riding Colorado III is available on
Happy Trails to You!