Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE FAIR: From Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal.

Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal is available in Paperback and eBook and soon in audio.

The heat came in waves one morning like nothing I had ever experienced before. Dolores came in and put our halters on us. Her excitement made me nervous. Then as she led us out of the barn, I saw it right in front of us. Waiting like an ogre, its doors open as if to swallow us, stood one of those nasty trailers. Although I could see there was hay on the floor for us to eat, it still stunk of fear, gasoline, and oil.
“This is a terrible sign, Lucky.” I said. “It’s an extremely distressing sign. Where are we going? Why do they have to make us leave our home? I don’t feel ready for more changes, do you?” He was used to my constant worry and questions, so I got no answer. “Please, don’t make us leave, we’re just beginning to feel a little safe,” I begged as I planted my hooves in front of the ramp. It was no use. They were bigger than me, and up the ramp I went.
Inside the trailer, it was even hotter. All told there were five of us—three horses, Lucky, and me—crammed into this sweat box. We were all nervous. All of us were brought to the stable by these same women a couple of months earlier. Each of us had begun to feel a measure of security in our surroundings after the trauma of losing our families. Unsure and troubled again, we waited for the fabric of our lives to be ripped apart once more.
The women had treated us kindly and genuinely seemed to care for us. They didn’t know my belly was always hungry. Nor did they understand that we had a crawly feeling inside of us.  It was probably some of those bad bugs my mother warned me about.
They were kind women. They didn’t know that the corrupt woman who owned the stable couldn’t be bothered with us. When she came around to look us over, we could tell she was ruthless. To her it didn’t matter if we survived and grew up strong. I didn’t think the nice women knew she was evil or that we had these crawly things inside of us. They tried their best to treat us kindly with love and to teach us how to be adoptable. They just didn’t know enough about horses, and they listened to the bad woman instead of trying to learn to speak horse.
Fortunately, the trip was short. Outside the trailer, it was extremely loud. There were the sounds of other horses, farm animals, music, and all sorts of other strange noises. Some of them were so deafening they made us all jumpy. The smell of grass, machinery, and humans permeated the air. We could hardly hear the sound of our own breathing over the calls of one human to another, the banging of hammers, and metal against metal. Standing and waiting in the sweltering heat of the trailer, we could barely breathe in the stifling air.
“The women are putting up portable fencing and a tent,” one of the bigger horses who could see through the window told us. “The tent is probably so they can be out of the sun during the day.”
At last we were led off the trailer one by one. Sweat dripping from us, Lucky and I were the last to leave the trailer. They led the two of us into an extremely small enclosure standing next to the tent.
At first we enjoyed looking around at all the different things going on. The thrill soon passed, as there was no escape from the sun. Humans continued to stream by viewing, poking, and prodding us in the enclosure. Some of the little children were horrid. “Cute horsey,” or “Cute pony, Mama,” they said as they poked us again and again while their parents laughed. It was the hottest day I could ever remember. From just after dawn till sunset, we stood in that pen. I began to wonder if we were to spend our lives in this small space without room for either of us to lie down, move around, or get out of the sun.
Where would Lucky and I go if it rained? Still, we wished for rain to cool us down. We felt trapped and wondered how we could have a nap. The space was too little and the noise and constant parade of strange humans too great.
“Lucky, what’s happened to the nice women? Why did they do this to us? Do you think we’ll be adopted?”

He didn’t answer me. He was afraid. Both of us were miserable. We didn’t know what would happen. Maybe, if we were truly blessed, we would meet our forever families here at the fair. Was it possible? We wondered.

Dinky's Quest is available in Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and in Audio for ages 3 to 8.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Authors and Books I read in 2014

As an author and poet, I decided to list my top favorite authors that I read their work in 2014. Equally it would probably be unfair not to list at least a few of my favorites of their work. All of these books can be found at least on Amazon, though many of them at bookstores everywhere. Some are currently only available in eBook, others in Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, as well as Ebook.

Some of these books I reread this year after having enjoyed them so much previous years, so they were included in this list.

Some authors I believe I would love all that they have written even though I have not as yet read everything of theirs. Many on this list I have loved all of their work, but I only included those that were my favorites of the ones I have read this year, even if it was in the rereading. As my tastes in books are varied, so is my list.

The authors are listed alphabetically by first name, this in no way is meant to say I prefer that author to one further down on the list.

I hope some find this list interesting, please forgive the lack of pictures, but there are too many for this post.

I can highly recommend all of these books for your own enjoyment or for gifts for the holidays.

Amanda Thrasher – The Ghost of the Whispering Willows & her Fairy in the Mushroom Patch series
Ben Woodard – The Boy who flew with Eagles and his Shakertown Series
Beth Hoffman – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking For Me
Claire Cook – Must Love Dogs, Must Love Dogs (New Leash on LIfe) and Best Made Plans
Dellani Oakes – Indian Summer, Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, Conduct Unbecoming and Ninja Tattoo
Doreen Cox – Adventures in Mother-Sitting
Ellen Dye – Ending Up and Three’s the Charm
Franki deMerle – Dragonfly Dreams and Five Flowers.
Helen Carey – The Lavender Road series
Jack London – Call of the Wild and White Fang
James Rollins – His Sigma Force series
James Strauss - The Boy
Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice
Jan Romes - Married to Maggie
Jd Holiday - Spy Games
Joseph Wallace – Diamond Ruby
Julie Hughes – Griffin Boy and Griffin Cryer
Karen Vance Hammond – Shoe Marks
Karen Vaughan – Dead On Arrival, Daytona Dead, and Dead Comic Standing
Kevin Swarbrick – Louie Has Landed Series (very steamy)
Leyla Atke - Charm: The Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat
MacKenzie Brown – Lost Boys and The Shifting, though I have a feeling I will like the rest of his books too.
Margaret Koch – The entire Barb Stark series especially Catalyst and Camp Soul
Maria Savva – Haunted, Time to Tell, and Coincidences
Miranda Phillips Walker – The Well Meaning Killer
Miriam Davidson – The Intercessor and Sand, Sea, and Meadow Muffins
Helle Gade – Nocturnal Embers

Robert W. Walker – The entire Instinct Series, Decory Series, Children of Salem, The Cannoneers, Annie's War, and Red Path.
Saket Suryesh – Rescued Poems and Death of a Soldier
Sammy Sutton – Darkening Danger, King Solomon’s Journey, and Hidden Mountain
Sherrill S. Cannon – Finger Paint Masterpiece and Gimmie Jimmie
Stuart Ross McCallum – Beyond My Control: One Man’s Struggle with Epilepsy, Seizure Surgery, and Beyond.
Suzanne Collins – MockingJay and Hunger Games
Virginia Lee – Dagon’s Blood


When I first met J D Holiday it was like meeting an old friend. She is a thrilling writer, illustrator, host of her own blog radio show, featuring Story-time for children.

J D 's goal is to promote the love of reading, while helping children to overcome bullying and other issues they have growing up. She avidly promotes other authors and is always a friend, with a heart of gold.

Author and illustrator J.D. Holiday is the host of The Authors' Words & It's Story Time on Book Garden Radio at Blog Talk Radio: an international children's Reading Story Radio Show for children. She has three children's books out: Janoose the Goose, The Spy Game, and a chapter book for six to eight year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. JD has had a chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing published. &
Her site is:

The Spy Game:
Eddie would love to have a puppy to play with. A puppy would pull on a rope, catch a ball and lick your face. But his Uncle brings Eddie an older dog named after a famous spy. 
What can you do with an old dog? It probably could not learn new tricks, and the only thing this dog did was stare. It's what they find to do together that makes them the best of friends!

Thank you J D for joining me and sharing this marvelous book with us.

You can buy Spy Games on, Barnes&, and wherever books are sold.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Introduction to Nurse Mares and Nurse Mare Foals. (Why Dinky was Born)

Dinky's First Year
The elite of the horse world are the high-dollar mares. They are show animals or racing animals, bringing high dollars for their foals because they have a history of excellence and winning. For them, time is money and it's important that the mare be kept busy birthing instead of spending weeks nursing her offspring. That job is given to a nurse mare.
Much like the old-time wet nurse employed by wealthy mothers throughout history, the nurse mare is of uncertain or unimportant bloodlines and incapable of bringing substantial income to her owner. In order to nurse the important foal, she must have recently given birth and produce the necessary milk. The question is: What becomes of the nurse mare's foal?
By many called a “junk foal,” this unfortunate newborn is considered a necessary evil, a disposable byproduct. The cost of trying to nurse this foal until it is weaned is high, so often the “junk foal” is killed outright and disposed of. Sometimes it's shipped off to auction and bought by manufacturers who use its hide to make expensive bags or shoes. Whatever its fate, the nurse mare's foal is considered an unimportant nuisance.
The nurse mare’s foal is usually taken from its mother anytime from one day to a week after birth instead of the ten to twelve weeks that foals commonly nurse. The times vary, depending on when the high-dollar mare foals. Generally the nurse mare is shipped off to the farm to nurture and foster the high-priced foal.
The horse industry benefits from this barbaric practice because the high-dollar mare gets back in shape more quickly, so she can show well and invite more offers for her offspring. While some stables allow the mare three to four weeks to recuperate after giving birth, many are sent to the stallion for rebreeding within seven to ten days of giving birth.
There are Equine Rescue Leagues that have spent their time, energy, and money to help the rejected foals. Without them, more of these small lives would be lost. Most of the rescuers are knowledgeable, but there are a few well-intentioned people who want to save the newborns without any knowledge of horses. In some cases these organizations succeed almost by accident, and in others they make matters worse for the animals in their care. Unfortunately these groups sometimes rely on unscrupulous people, self-proclaimed experts who have their own hidden agendas.
The lucky foal is adopted by people who know and love horses or who go out of their way to learn the needs and care of this fragile baby animal. Too many are adopted by men and women who know little or nothing about horses, let alone the unique care these foals require, and the new owners soon become overwhelmed. As a result, some foals are bought and sold several times before they reach maturity. Others die from lack of proper nutrition and proper parasite control. The nurse mare's foal unfortunate enough to fall into the wrong hands usually grows up with multiple deformities and bone development problems. Some have social development issues, never learning how to be a horse or understanding the role of a horse with a human companion.
This book is the story of one nurse mare's foal and its fight for survival.
Marta Moran Bishop and Toni Boyle