#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan Count

Posted Friday, 6 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 8 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am happy to *announce!* a new partnership – I am now working with the JustRead Publicity Tours company on behalf of their INSPY Authors and Publishers (ie. a focus on stories rooted in Christianity and/or under the umbrella of Inspirational Fiction (which is representive of all faith-based stories in Fiction & Non-Fiction) – which I, Jorie have become in the habit of shortening (on my blog and social feeds on #bookTwitter) as I share my joy of reading and/or discovering #INSPY!! I read a wide range of INSPY narratives from a variety of religious backgrounds and cultural histories as this branch of literature encompasses. JustRead themselves focus on those stories which are representing Christian narratives which I also regularly read as I move in and out of Inspirational Fiction as a whole. Whilst you might be more familiar with my personal reading challenge #70AuthorsOfINSPY.

This marks my first hosted tour with JustRead – as I was happily selected to be a featured stop on the Dream Horse Adventures blog blitz tour! You might have previously seen an announcement of this new partnership during one of my Sunday Posts wherein I was sharing updates about new blogging and influencer opportunities I am undertaking this New Year, 2020.

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Let’s talk about how important *horses!* and *horse dramas!* were to Jorie when she was younger – as there came a point in my childhood where I was truly motivated and dedicated to learning Dressage, natural horsemanship, ethical care for horses and I had a dedicated eye for #horsefiction wherein I was either traversing alongside cowboys as they took wagons west into a new frontier or I was curled up inside the Children’s series of Thoroughbred, The Saddle Club and/or The Black Stallion (the series).

I could relate to these series because the lead characters had a heart for horses which mirrored my own heart and thoughts about how to be an ethically minded Equestrian whilst fusing your passion into dedicated training. I had the pleasure of riding retired thoroughbreds as the barns in which I took lessons had these available as schooling horses as thoroughbreds in order to have a happier retired life must be retrained into a new skill set. Dressage and/or Endurance racing is quite common as they expell so much energy and require a lot of focused pursuits to feel happy in of themselves.

I never lost my connection to horses, #horsefiction or horse dramas – by book, motion picture nor television series – I’ve come across more than a few and my top favourites are still: The Man From Snowy River (1982), Return to Snowy River (1988), The Black Stallion (film, 1979), The Black Stallion (Canadian tv series, 1990-93), A Horse for Danny (1995), Virginia’s Run (2002), Hildago (2004), The Horse Whisperer (film only 1998, not the book), The Long Shot (2004), Dreamer (2005), Flicka (2006), SeaBiscuit (2003), Secretariat (2010) and the Canadian tv series “Heartland” (2007-current) to name a few. One of the more dramatic entries of horse fiction as an adult reader was my readings of the at-risk (foster care) youth and the situations involving their placements (as they are hard to place) within the novel “The Language of Hoofbeats” which I found to be #unputdownable for its realism and capacity to interconnect the truth about today’s foster youth.

Whenever I come across a new series in either MG or YA Lit, I get quite excited as there is a part of my bookish heart where I hope these never lose favour with children and that today’s child can grow up in the wonderment of horse culture and Equestrian experiences as there is something magically beautiful about connecting to a horse and being connected to them as you ride together.

This is why I was truly excited to send up a boost of a signal flare to announce this series on Jorie Loves A Story – hopefully letting my fellow readers, book bloggers & followers alike know about a series like this in case they know of a boy or girl who are growing up with a fascination about horses themselves!

Now comes the fun part – let’s get introduced to the series!

And, don’t forget this book blitz is hosting a giveaway if you’re following the tour route!

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#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan CountMary's Song (Book Spotlight)
Subtitle: Dream Horse Adventures Book One
by Susan Count

A young artist falls in love with a foal that is lame, just like her. The expensive surgery the foal needs has little chance to correct the problem. Still Mary plots and conspires to raise money to save the horse, even as time runs out. She sacrifices what she holds dear - the trust of her papa, to gain her heart's desire. But she could lose everything in her struggle to save the foal.

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997088335

Also by this author: Mary's Song, Selah's Sweet Dream

Published by Hastings Creations Group

on 13th October, 2016

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The Dream Horse Adventures series:

Mary's Song by Susan CountSelah's Sweet Dream by Susan CountSelah's Painted Dream by Susan CountSelah's Stolen Dream by Susan Count

Mary’s Song (book one)

Selah’s Sweet Dream (book two)

Selah’s Painted Dream (book three)

Selah’s Stolen Dream (book four)

Available formats: Ebook, Trade Paperback and Audiobook (for Book One)

Converse via: #DreamHorseAdventures and #SusanCourt + #MiddleGradeMarch
as well as #MiddleGrade, #MGLit, #HorseDrama and #Equestrian Fiction

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Enjoy an Extract from Mary’s Song:

Twelve-year-old Mary waved and sailed a few carrot offerings over the fence to the gathered herd. They rushed to grab the bribe. With ears flattened, the horses jostled, shoved, and charged at one another to gobble the carrots. When the treats were gone, the mares went back to grazing. As the foals cavorted in circles around their dams, Mary inhaled the delight of being in their company. To draw a foal, she took a snapshot with her mind and sketched it in a great flurry. After capturing the likeness, she fussed with the details and the shading. A twine-wrapped portfolio she kept in her library bulged with sketches. Each sketch was a secret wish to ride, wild and free, someday.

She imagined herself cantering across a meadow polka-dotted with pink flowers. Her hair streamed behind her. Her arms held wide as if to soar. Her dream horse moved in response to her thoughts. A smile lifted and softened her face.

Mary shifted her useless legs to balance the sketchpad better. “It’s not just a dream.” The filly cocked her feminine head to the side and peered at the curiosity in the grass. Mary stared back, hoping the filly would hold the pose long enough for her to soak in every detail. The dark graphite pencil seemed to flow on its own, and soon the rough outline of the curious baby splashed across the paper.

“I will sketch you every minute until Papa comes home with my surprise. It might be—could be—a horse.”

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#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan CountSelah's Sweet Dream (Book Spotlight)
Subtitle: Dream Horse Adventures Book Two
by Susan Count

Twelve-year-old Selah’s quest to be equestrian superstar is impossible without a horse. Then she spots buzzards circling in the grasslands behind Grandpa’s farm. They’re stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope. But the mare she rescues might be a bigger challenge to her dream than not having a horse at all.

An old friend of Grandpa’s and a world renowned horse trainer offers to work with the wild and defiant mare. Selah jumps at the opportunity. She trains with a fierce determination to equal the equestrian talent of the deceased grandmother who instilled the love of horse in her. But when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer’s facility, he sends them home. Selah must gather her courage and face up to the trainer or watch her dreams gallop away.

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997088304

Also by this author: Mary's Song, Selah's Sweet Dream

Published by Hastings Creations Group

on 15th December, 2015

Enjoy an Extract from Selah’s Sweet Dream:

“What’s that?”

Straining to see, she couldn’t quite make out anything except a dark shape. Selah slipped to a nearby tree, dropped her backpack, and used it like a stool to swing up on the lowest branch just like the monkey bars. She stood on the branch. “There’s something out there,” she whispered down to the dog. From her perch, she still couldn’t quite distinguish the dark shape until its head popped up from the grass.

“A horse?” Questions sprang into her mind in rapid fire. Where did it come from? How did it get here? As her foot slipped, she lunged for the branch overhead, gripping the rough bark. Some skin scraped away from her hands. Her body swung, and she smacked into the tree trunk, nearly losing her grip. Her feet scrambled for the branch below.

As her attention returned to the horse, its body snapped alert as if it heard something scary. In the next instant, it exploded into a run as if its life depended on speed. The galloping horse disappeared behind a stand of trees. Selah stretched as high as she could on the branch to catch one more glimpse.

“It can’t be. Or are you the sweetest dream I’ve ever had?” she questioned. “But you saw it, didn’t you, Skunk?”

Skunk sprawled in the grass with her head nestled on her paws. Her soft, glistening eyes watching her playmate in a tree.

Selah slithered down the tree and slung her pack onto her shoulder as she ran to the farm. Every stride pumped the phrase, “I saw my horse!”

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#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan CountSelah's Painted Dream (Book Spotlight)
Subtitle: Dream Horse Adventures Book Three
by Susan Count

Unless thirteen-year-old Selah can convince Grandpa she should live at the farm, her life is ruined. She'll be forced to move hours from her horse and abandon her equestrian dreams.

Determined to stay, Selah must distract Grandpa from his new sweetheart. She searches for a painted dream horse from Grandpa's past. But, Selah finds his old equine partner neglected and near death.

Then Grandpa reveals his life changing decision that tramples Selah's plans.
Will the one thing that stood in Selah's way become her saving grace?

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997088366

Also by this author: Mary's Song, Selah's Sweet Dream

Published by Hastings Creations Group

on 7th May, 2018

Enjoy an Extract from Selah’s Painted Dream:

“It’s so great to be here with you, Grandpa. Do you miss me when I’m gone?”

“Sounds like a loaded question. You’ve only been gone five days, but yes, I miss you.”

She flashed her sweetest perfect-teeth smile as she settled into her spot at the kitchen table. “Dad says our family has to move to Austin.” She dropped on him what she hoped was a shock bomb.

“Yes, I knew it was a possibility.”

Her voice shot up an octave. “You knew?”

“You’ll like living in Austin.”

The milk in her glass sloshed onto her hand. “How could I when it’s so far from you and the farm?”

“You’re going to have to find a way to make the best of it.”

“Why can’t I live here?”

Grandpa choked on his rice. “A girl your age needs to live with her family. Can you see the look on your brothers’ faces if you told them you were not moving with them?”

Ouch. “I hadn’t thought about that.” They would be upset. “But girls my age go off to boarding school and into training camps for the Olympics.”

“I’m too old to raise you. You’re a lot of work, you know.” Grandpa put a forkful in his mouth and stared at her.

“I sure would miss them. But you need somebody here with you.” She waved toward the refrigerator. “There isn’t even any food.”

“I don’t need much, and Katie feeds me dinner most nights.”

She’s the problem. “Katie feeds you.” Selah glared in bewilderment. You don’t need me?

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#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan CountSelah's Stolen Dream (Book Spotlight)
Subtitle: Dream Horse Adventures Book Four
by Susan Count

One girl’s victory is another’s tragic defeat.

Thirteen-year-old Selah’s perfect life unravels when her beloved horse is stolen. Then ten-year-old Emma buys the dream of a lifetime at a horse auction. When she learns the horse was stolen, even removing her hearing aid won’t drown out the voice telling her to make it right.

But two girls can’t divide the horse they both adore. So will life surprise them with an answered prayer?

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0997088380

Also by this author: Mary's Song, Selah's Sweet Dream

Published by Hastings Creations Group

on 1st January, 2020

Enjoy an Extract from Selah’s Stolen Dream:

Ten-year-old Emma sat astride the couch arm and cantered in sync with a girl, even younger than her, in a video. The pink ribbons in the girl’s brown braids flapped behind her. The gray pony’s legs fired like an engine in overdrive. At the approach of each jump, the girl thumped her boots on the pony’s side and swatted it with a crop.

Her hands clinging to pretend reins guiding her imaginary mount expertly through the Speed Jumping event. She leaned into the turns and squared her pony to the jump. Gauging the canter strides to take off, she squeezed with her knees and balanced over her mount’s withers. With a long moment of suspension, her imagination soared over the jump. Clear! She calculated the angle to the next jump. As the video pair nailed the last combination, she patted the couch jubilantly, praising her pony.

Mom tapped her shoulder. “Come on. We’ll be late for your lesson.” She switched off the TV.

Her parents always asked her to use her words, but she thought her voice sounded strange. Emma signed whenever she could get away with it. “I get so into watching her ride that I forget everything else.” Her own riding lessons were too quiet, too slow, and too safe. They never had the excitement and energy of the girl in the video. But then the girl with the flying braids wasn’t deaf.

Completely deaf in one ear, she couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t need a hearing aid in the other ear. Her parents told her she didn’t lose her hearing until the year she started kindergarten. She had it, and she lost it. And the specialists couldn’t tell them why.

She slipped on her riding boots, grabbed her safety vest and helmet, and flew.

Mom held out her jacket. “Bundle up. I don’t want you catching cold.” “Yesterday, it was 72.” As she stepped outside, Emma shivered. “Today, it’s 49. That’s Texas. We never know what to wear.” As the February winds swirled the trees, a feed store delivery

truck sputtered and rumbled outside the arena making it impossible for her to hear. While the hearing aid worked okay in small rooms, she found it useless outside. Even a slight breeze put so much static in her ear she had to turn it off. Her parents were saving to get her a higher quality one. Even though it was a pain, she wished they’d help her save for a horse of her own instead. But one dime at a time, she’d do it. She wasn’t complaining. Not really. Because she had Pony-Boy.

She hung around the pony farm down the road until Mrs. Holmes recognized her as a horse lover and knew Emma wasn’t going away. Mrs. Holmes graciously offered to give her a riding lesson on the old pony her college-age daughter had outgrown.

A big chalkboard hung in the center of the arena, attached to two jump standards. As she circled the arena at a trot to warm up Pony-Boy, she watched for Mrs. Holmes to write instructions on the board. Things like “relax your calf muscles” and “sink deeper into the stirrups”.

For safety, Mom positioned herself at one end of the arena. Though Brianna didn’t know how to sign or anything about horses, Mom insisted Emma’s sister take her position at the opposite end of the arena. They would signal if there were any urgent instructions. Like really, Mom? What could happen on Pony-Boy?

Any horseback riding scared Mom, but jumping even little crossrails terrified her. The only reason she got to ride was because Dad insisted she do things hearing kids did. To get Mom to agree, she had to wear an ugly, bulky safety vest as if she were competing in upper-level, Cross-Country eventing. The helmet was strapped on so tightly she could hardly swallow. She was mostly deaf, but not helpless.

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On behalf of the Dream Horse Horse Adventures series,…

Through hosting this spotlight on the series itself, I’ve come to appreciate the heartfelt realism of the characters and their journeys within the series. Thankfully, I am reading & listening to this series during #MiddleGradeMarch (a celebration through the book blogosphere and social channels to explore #MiddleGrade (#MGLit) throughout the month) – giving me a chance to re-visit my own childhood hours curled up with stories about horses, their companions & riders – whilst visiting with their lives and finding out how horses became the centering point of what gave them the most happiness whilst growing up. I love finding these kinds of stories – of where horsemanship and the soulful connection we, as humans, share with horses can become explored for a new generation of readers and children who desire to seek a relationship with a horse.

I had many fond memories flow through my mind as I read each of the extracts per installment of this series – selecting the one which I felt would help my readers determine if this might be a series they would enjoy reading themselves or perhaps a series they could gift to a reader who is as attached to reading about #horsedramas as I am myself! You can never truly outgrow your joy of finding these stories – in books or in movies, and I am thankful I first learnt about this series hosting for JustRead. A bit lateron in the month you’ll start to see my reviews for this series alighting on Jorie Loves A Story.

I was quite thankful writers are still writing these kinds of uplifting stories and series for readers like myself who were interested in horses and horse-back riding at a young age. They give the reader such a wonderful connection to horses whilst instilling positive life lessons and experiences as well. The fact this series is INSPY based and showcased makes it my first horse drama series told from a faith perspective as the other series I read growing up were in the mainstream. I hope by featuring this series throughout #MiddleGradeMarch I will help connect new readers to the joy and beauty of reading horse dramas whilst celebrating our compassion and attachment to the horse who deserve our love and respect.

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Questions for my Readers:

What do you love most about reading Middle Grade novels?

What draws your eye into #horsedramas & stories of Equestrians?

Who are your favourite authors in Children’s Literature who are writing about horses?

Did you grow up reading horse dramas like I did and/or were you a rider?

As I am showcasing this during #MiddleGradeMarch – which stories are you focusing on during this concentration of reading strictly works of Middle Grade Fiction?

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About Susan Count

Susan CountSusan Count is a life-long equestrian and owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse that is kind hearted enough to take her on long forested trail rides. She adores grandchildren, horses, and bunnies.

Instilled with the need to create, she loves building projects and writing adventure stories. She writes at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the grandmother who introduced her to the love of reading via Walter Farley's horse books. That desk has secret compartments which hold memories, mysteries, and story ideas.

Susan has published four books in an equestrian series. As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, she takes studying the craft of writing seriously. Revision is her super-power.

She says the only thing more fun than riding might be writing horse adventure stories and she invites you to saddle up and ride along. You can learn more about Susan's work by visiting her website!

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This blog blitz is courtesy of: JustRead Publicity Tours

JustRead Publicity Tours badge provided by JustRead and is used with permission.

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The Dream Horse Adventures series blog blitz banner provided by JustRead Publicity Tours and is used with permission.

This blog tour is hosting a giveaway – click the banner to find out the tour route for the blitz to visit with my fellow book bloggers who are hosting the Dream Horses Adventures series whilst also finding out information on behalf of the giveaway itself.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Mary’s Song”, “Selah’s Sweet Dream”, “Selah’s Painted Dream” and “Selah’s Stolen Dream”, synopsis for each novel, the extracts for the novels, the author’s photo (for Susan Count) and biography as well as the blog tour banner and JustRead Publicity Tours badge were all provided by JustRead Publicity Tours and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Friday, 6 March, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, JustRead Publicity Tours, Sweet Romance, YA Fantasy

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8 responses to “#MiddleGradeMarch Book Spotlight | Featuring Extracts with Notes by Jorie on behalf of the Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan Count

    • Ooh, this is fantastic news, Melissa!! I was hoping by featuring this series across two blog tours I’d help Mums find these stories for their daughters! Especially as I know I am thankful I can pass forward the joy of a new horse drama series after spending a childhood curled up inside them!!

      Bless you for leaving me this lovely note! And, be sure to return lateron this month as I start to share my reviews starting on the 21st!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Robbins,

      I do as well. I grew up reading the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard – I loved the elements of faith she interworked into the series as a whole – which is one reason I am looking forward to seeing how this author handles those elements within the Dream Horse Adventures. Thank you for visiting with me and leaving me a bit of feedback – I appreciate it.

    • Thank you for commenting!

      I haven’t had the chance to properly promote this spotlighted post yet for the series – I’m thankful you’ve found it this morning! I loved the design of the covers myself and how they capture the heart of what draws you into horse dramas. Truly grateful you enjoyed this post – don’t forget to return lateron this month to find out my reactions and thoughts to the first two novels in this series.

    • Hallo, Hallo Rachel,

      I truly enjoyed hosting my first JustRead tour! This is such a special find for me because I grew up reading horse dramas and stories about Equesterians – finding the series was a burst of joy for me as a reader and to help inspire others to find it now is truly a way of passing forward the serendipity. I look forward to hosting my next tours with you.

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