Tag: Horses (Page 2 of 2)

Author Interview: Soraya Nicholas

Author Interview: Soraya Nicholas

Pony DetectivesI would like to welcome author Soraya Nicholas to my blog. Soraya is the author of the recently released children’s books Pony Detectives and Gymkhana Hijinks, the first two books in the new Starlight Stable series.

This is a wonderful series for young readers, particularly if they are horse crazy. Set in the Australian bush, this is a lovely addition to all those horse stories that young readers just love.

Poppy has always wanted her own pony, and her dream finally comes true when her aunt and uncle present her with the most gorgeous pony, Crystal. But joining Poppy at her aunt and uncle’s stables are two other girls who have also been gifted their own ponies. These girls form a wonderful friendship, take care of their ponies and even set out to solve the mystery of the horses that have disappeared from neighbouring properties.

You can find my full review of Pony Detectives here.


Meet Soraya.

Soraya is pictured here with her own horse, Finn. 

I recently had the chance to meet and work with Soraya when she visited the school’s library and conducted a writing workshop with some lucky students. Soraya shared with us some of her writing tips, her inspiration for her stories and the publishing process. She has graciously offered to answer a few more of my questions so that I can share them with my readers here.     Continue reading

Book Review: Pony Detectives

Pony Detectives

Pony Detectives – Soraya Nicholas – Starlight Stables #1 – Penguin Australia – Published 28 March 2016



Poppy is thrilled to be back doing the one thing she loves – riding horses at Starlight stables – especially when her aunt and uncle make all her dreams come true with a gift of her very own horse. But there’s a catch . . . Poppy must look after the new scholarship girls. Will the bold and troublesome Milly and shy, sensible Katie be the pony-mad friends she’s always hoped for?

When horses go missing from the local farms, Poppy worries about Crystal, her new horse. Will the girls be able to protect their ponies from the horse thief and find the missing horses at the same time?

My thoughts

Love horses and dream of owning your own pony or escaping to riding camp for the summer? Well, Poppy answers yes to all three, and this summer her wishes are about to come true.

Poppy is going to stay with her aunt and uncle at their riding camp for the holidays and they have a very special surprise in store for her – her very own pony. But she will have to share this privilege with two other girls. When horses are stolen from neighbouring properties, Poppy and her two new friends decide it is up to them to keep their own ponies safe and maybe even rescue the missing horses.

Continue reading

Book Review: Betting On Hope

Betting On Hope

Betting On Hope – Debra Clopton – Four of Hearts Ranch #1 – Thomas Nelson – Published 24 February 2015



Advice columnist Maggie Hope never dreamed she d be shaking hands with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan over a high-stakes bet, especially one that involves horses. And saddles. And everything else a city girl like Maggie feels uncomfortable around. But after filling in for a coworker and interviewing the handsome cowboy, she finds herself doing just that. Anything to save her advice column.

Despite Maggie s two left feet, Tru is bound and determined to bring out her inner cowgirl by teaching her to ride a cutting horse, trained to separate cattle from the rest of the herd. While her riding improves, their attraction intensifi es, but Tru knows he can never let her into his heart for her own good.

In Wishing Springs, a community full of meddling but well-meaning townsfolk, Maggie discovers the home she s always longed for. But she s holding something back a secret that could destroy her reputation and any future she s ever hoped for with the cowboy she mightust love.

My thoughts

This book has all the makings of a great western romance, with a handsome cowboy, city girl thrust into the country with only said cowboy to save her from being eaten alive by horses, multiple secondary characters who bring interest and depth to the story, and backstories of hardship and resilience, as well as all the crazy fun that comes with a small-town country setting.  Continue reading

Review: A Love Like Ours

A love like ours

A Love Like Ours – Becky Wade – Porter Family #3 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 28 April 2015



Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

My thoughts

You know from the very first line that this book is going to be a romance. A toe-curling, glee-inducing romance. A romance based on friendship. A romance that suffers hard times. A swoon-worthy, quote-worthy, I-wish-that-was-me romance. And it delivers.

Continue reading

Review: Wednesday Riders

Wednesday riders

Wednesday Riders – Tudor Robins – Island Trilogy #2  – Published 16 February 2015



The island.

Meg can’t wait to get back. She’s excited to see her new mare kick up her heels in Salem’s old paddock. She’s impatient to run on country roads between breeze-blown hayfields.

Mostly, Meg longs to be back with Jared again.

It’s going to be the perfect summer.

But can real life live up to Meg’s huge expectations?

When Jared makes a heart-wrenching confession, Meg has to re-evaluate everything. If perfection’s not possible, can Meg find a way to build happiness for herself?

Fans of Appaloosa Summer will welcome the return to familiar places and characters, with the chance to be captivated by more of the beauty, romance, and dreaminess of Meg’s summer island life.

My thoughts

I loved this book, just like l loved the first book in the series. There is just something about Tudor’s writing style that I can’t get enough of. It’s peaceful, or maybe that’s just the laid-back island setting, but these books are so wonderful to read, so relaxing. And yet there is plenty happening. Continue reading

Review: Appaloosa Summer

Appaloosa Summer

Appaloosa Summer – Tudor Robins – Island Trilogy #1 – South Shore Publications – Published 5 June 2014


Appaloosa Summer is a beautiful book. It was so much more than I was expecting. It is so much more than a story about a girl and a boy and a horse. But that’s what it is at its heart, and it has so much heart.

Meg is shocked and devastated when her horse dies right in the middle of a show jumping competition. Unsure of what to do now and how to face the changes in her life she takes the chance to move back to her family’s island cottage and work at the local B&B for the summer. There she meets Jared, whose life has also been shaken by the loss of a loved one. They form a strong friendship and together rescue an Appaloosa.

This is a simple, yet deep and touching story, which I absolutely loved. A perfect summer or all-year-round read. It has been a long time since I have read a good horse book, especially one that is suitable and relevant for middle to older young adults. Tudor Robins obviously knows her horses, and everything that goes with them, but the reader is neither preached at nor left wallowing in excessive horse lingo. Instead, the story flows beautifully, with enough detail to be so wonderfully realistic you can almost smell the mix of salt breezes, fresh cut hay and horse. The romance, too, is sweet, yet also exciting and real. It builds slowly, with a good balance of friendship and the slight awkwardness of getting to know someone new. It was the best summer love story I’ve read in a long time.

I thoroughly enjoyed Appaloosa Summer and highly recommend it. I look forward to reading the next story in the Island Trilogy.

The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. 

Juvenile Fiction. Contemporary. Romance.

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