Oats, Hay and Rest

 

 

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Bookmark design by Jonathan Temples. Photo by Nick Perry.

 

I’m back home at Writing Wings for this final hitching post on ‘The Spiral of Hooves Blog Tour’. After a journey that has taken me to France, the USA, England, and Canada, the mare that I borrowed from Carly Tanner is ready for her oats and hay, while I bring this celebration of my novel’s August launch to a fitting close.

First, I must thank my fellow writers and bloggers who did so much to help me – Ailsa Abraham, Donna Galanti, Jane Bwye, Kristina Stanley and Cryssa Bazos – you are all amazing, as are those people that have given their support in other ways from sharing their knowledge at events to sharing their reactions to my novel.

There are still chances to win one of the signed copies of Spiral of Hooves that I am offering prospective readers. Giveaways are running at the following blog hitching posts where more is revealed about the book and about me. There is nothing to stop you entering at each site:

https://ailsaabraham.com/2017/08/05/the-spiral-of-hooves-tour/  (until August 15th)

http://www.elementtrilogy.com/the-spiral-of-hooves-blog-tour-signed-book-giveaway/  (CLOSED – Winner: Laura Thomas)

https://jbwye.com/2017/08/08/the-hitching-post/  (until August 18th)

https://kristinastanley.com/2017/08/08/new-release-spiral-of-hooves-by-roland-clarke/  (until August 18th)

https://cryssabazos.com/2017/08/11/from-ostler-to-eventer-guest-post-by-roland-clarke-giveaway/  (until August 21st)

The last ‘hitching post’ is this one, so make a comment below, and you will be entered in the Writing Wings draw for Spiral of Hooves. This giveaway runs until August 31st to give you all more time.

But as they say in those TV promo ads – ‘that’s not all’. There is also a giveaway on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35838755-spiral-of-hooves and that runs until September 7th.

There is a bonus as every signed book has a bookmark in it. Do you think I should give away a signed bookmark to all you ‘hitching post’ responders? Let me know while I’m feeling generous.

Just in case you are new to this blog, here are the refined details about Spiral of Hooves, without the legal small print – there isn’t any that I recall.

BLURB:

In Canada, researcher Armand Sabatier witnesses what could be the murder of groom Odette Fedon, but traumatic images from his past smother his memory, and a snowstorm buries the evidence. Harassed by nightmares but fighting through them, Armand remembers the crime a few months later. By then he is in England, where he is dragged into a plot involving international sport horse breeding.

Suspecting everyone around him, Armand is forced to brave the past that he has kept buried. But what made Armand leave France? Where did he learn to survive and fight for justice? Why is the English rider Carly Tanner treading the same path as the first victim, Odette?

Can he save Carly before he has more blood on his hands?

What is Spiral of Hooves in brief?

An enthralling mystery full of twists, turns, and suspense, Spiral of Hooves is set against the competitive equestrian world of eventing. Characters are thrown together from different countries by their ambitions, ideals and desires, and by their passion for horses. Relationships are tested, and challenges surmounted as the mystery builds.

A thriller set in the high-stress, competitive environment of the horse riding life. Clarke mixes the excitement of the equestrian community with murder, romance, and friendships that are not what they seem. Clarke’s prose evokes vivid imagery, and the plot keeps you guessing. A thoroughly enjoyable read.” Kristina Stanley, Best-selling Author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series

Spiral of Hooves is available from Amazon on Kindle and for the first time in paperback https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073W3CLDV

Although nobody in the novel resembles anyone in my working career, I have interviewed five of the characters here at Writing Wings if you want to meet them at https://rolandclarke.com/spiral-of-hooves/. I suspect that my devious mind wanted to challenge you when I chatted with them

Don’t forget to please make a comment below if you would like to be entered in the Giveaway for a signed copy of the Second Edition of Spiral of Hooves.

Let me know what you think about signed bookmarks.  

Are my characters as devious as me?

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Bookmark design by Jonathan Temples. Photo by Nick Perry.

A great line-up

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On Monday, August 7th I will be surfing the internet to launch ‘Spiral of Hooves’ – the second and improved edition, now available for the first time in paperback.

I will drop by Goodreads throughout the day but be partying over on Facebook where I have gathered a great line-up of talented authors to discuss everything from eventing to highwaymen, from Africa to England, and from inspiration and research to writing tools and marketing.

There will be drinks, cake, biscuits (or cookies) and everyone is welcome from readers, riders, writers, to horses and pets. Please feel free to invite your friends. And have fun. There will be prizes including a signed copy of ‘Spiral of Hooves’.

The novel is available as a paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.

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The Launch Party starts at 0900 MDT (0800 PDT – 1100 EDT – 1600 BST – 1700 CEST) on Facebook and the schedule opens with my welcome to the ‘Spiral of Hooves’ launch and then I will chat about my writing life and horses.

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1000 MDT (1700 BST) – Jane Bwye, has a lifetime of amazing adventures, in Kenya and other countries, and as a dressage judge, horsewoman, and author of ‘Breath of Africa’, ‘Grass Shoots’, and ‘I Lift Up My Eyes’. Visit her at https://jbwye.com/ and learn much more. Jane knows the world behind ‘Spiral of Hooves’, including many of the horse events described, and at the launch party, she will have some fascinating tales to share.

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1100 MDT – Roland Clarke is back to discuss settings and reality, and to introduce his next guest and friend.

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1130 MDT (1930 CEST) – Ailsa Abraham is a lady of many talents and careers, including shaman and author of many books including ‘Shaman’s Drum’, ‘Alchemy, and ‘Attention to Death.’ Visit her at https://ailsaabraham.com/ and delve deeper into her writing and her adventurous life in France and at the Bingerbread Cottage. At the launch party, Ailsa will lead you into her world of mystery and beyond, lifting the veil to other worlds.

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1200 MDT – Roland Clarke will return to the party and to the mysterious appearances driving our imaginations.

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1400 MDT (1600 EDT) – Donna Beckley Galanti is an author and writing coach. She is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com and then check out her 4 Proven Steps to Connect with Readers Right Now (Before Your Book Even Comes Out!) www.createyourawesomecommunity.com. At the launch party, Donna will chat about her wealth of experiences from writing to inspiring other writers and readers.

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1500 MDT – Roland Clarke will be back – if he has left – and he will discuss how he sculpts his ideas into readable draft novels, what is in his scribbling pipeline and the crafting tools he uses.

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1600 MDT (1500 PDT) – Kristina Stanley is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery series based on her experience at Panorama Mountain Village, B.C. as the director of human resources, security and guest services. The series comprises Descent, Blaze and Avalanche. Her latest novel, Look the Other Way, is a suspense thriller based on her experience sailing in the Caribbean.  Visit her at https://kristinastanley.com/ and at https://fictionary.co/ an indispensable writer’s tool. At the launch party, Kristina will discuss research and real life inspiration.

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1700 MDT – Roland Clarke will move from this world to an alternate timeline, before introducing his last guest, whose historical novel is his current engrossing read. Yes, Roland reads historical fiction and enjoys escaping to other ages.

Traitor's Knot1800 MDT (2000 EDT) – Cryssa Bazos is published by Endeavour Press, and her debut novel ‘Traitor’s Knot’, is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War. A member of the Romantic Novelist Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Battle of Worcester Society, her articles and short stories have appeared in Canada and the UK. She is a co-editor and contributor of the English Historical Fiction Authors site and blogs at https://cryssabazos.com/.  At the launch party, she will talk about combining two of her fascinations: the 17th century and highwaymen.

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Highwaymen must mean horses. So that sets Roland Clarke up for the final fences at 1900 MDT until 2100 MDT – a chance for you to discuss any burning topics and attempt to win a final prize.

Don’t miss the ‘Spiral of Hooves Online Re-launch’ Party on Monday, August 7th.

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Writing A Series

Today, as promised, I have the pleasure of welcoming Canadian author Kristina Stanley as my Guest on Writing Wings. Kristina is the author of “Blaze“, which is Book 2 in the Stone Mountain Mystery series. I recently reviewedBlaze” and I am looking forward to the release of Book 3, “Avalanche“, tomorrow.

Over to you, Kristina.

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Thank you, Roland for having me on your site today. It’s a pleasure to be here to write about writing.

Writing a Series

Can you imagine being buried alive in an avalanche? Did you know a buried person can hear rescuers searching for him but can’t speak about because the pressure from the snow is keeping his mouth closed?

This terrifying knowledge is what I first learned about avalanches when I was researching BENEATH THE SNOW. I spoke to a man who’d been buried and survived, of course. He was generous enough to share details that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

THE HISTORY:

So why am I telling you about this when the title of the post is Writing a Series?

BENEATH THE SNOW was the working title for AVALANCHE. It’s the first novel I wrote. I then went on to write DESCENT and BLAZE (working title BURNT).

As I wrote the first novel, I wasn’t aware I was writing a series. When I finished the novel, I knew Kalin Thompson and Ben Timlin had more to say.

By the time I had three novels in the Stone Mountain series finished, I learned a great deal about writing. Working with my agent, together we decided BENEATH THE SNOW should be retitled as AVALANCHE and rewritten to be the third in the series instead of the first.

Kalin Thompson (the protagonist) needed more knowledge and experience at a ski resort if she was to investigate a large theft and the disappearance of her brother at the same time. The title changed because by then we knew all the titles in the series had to be a one-word titles.

THE BENEFIT OF WRITING 3 NOVELS:

Having three novels in a series written gave me the opportunity to develop the character arcs across the series, plant information in the first two novels that would lead to the third, and be consistent with the setting.

I also believe writing three novels before approaching a publisher gave me time to develop needed skills.

CONSISTENCY IN MARKETING:

The covers for all three novels have a similar look and feel. The fabulous Ryan Doan created the artwork based on the setting of the series. The font, the text placement and cover layout are the same for each book. If a readers see my books on a shelf, they will know they go together. Because we knew ahead of time where the series going, the DESCENT cover was designed with the long term goal in mind.

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A Little About AVALANCHE

(To Be Released Tomorrow!):

On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?

A Little About Kristina Stanley:

Kristina Stanley is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger. Her short stories have been published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Voices From the Valleys anthology. She is also the author of THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES.

Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas.

Find out more about her at www.KristinaStanley.com.

 

Links to the Stone Mountain Mystery Series:

DESCENT: myBook.to/Descent

BLAZE: myBook.to/BlazebyKristinaStanley

AVALANCHE: myBook.to/Avalanche (on sale for a few more days only.)

Blaze – a review

Having finished two novels in quick succession last week, there will be two book reviews this week as well as my Insecure Writers Support Group monthly post tomorrow.

First though a review of another mystery novel that gave me some more insights into writing an engrossing and exciting read.

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Blaze (A Stone Mountain Mystery #2)

by Kristina Stanley 

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

Having enjoyed Kristina Stanley’s winter mystery Descent, Book 1 of the Stone Mountain series, I was looking forward to No 2 Blaze, and I wasn’t disappointed.

From the moment the forest fire ruins Kalin and Ben’s wedding plans, I was swept up in the crises and life-threatening situations. There are moments of calm, time for reflection, but there are always questions driving the reader along. So I didn’t tarry too long.. We know that nothing runs smoothly for a busy Director of Security, even when the RCMP are doing their job. Kalin has to be involved.

The plot was fast-paced and well-structured, with enough neat red herrings to keep me guessing almost to the end – just like in Descent. Although this works as a standalone, it’s best to read Descent first, as other reviewers have said. Then you become familiar with some of the characters, as well as some past events. Nothing crucial but that adds colour.

The clever interaction between the well-painted characters, many new, gives the novel sub-plots that enrich the read, and take Blaze beyond a mystery. Yet these emotional subplots interplay with the crises that weave through the lives at Stone Mountain Resort. And the dog characters are well integrated – not surprising as the author owns one.

Once again, Kristina Stanley has captured the atmosphere of her setting, whether it’s being ravaged by fire or in the vistas from the slopes that attract other outdoor pursuits suited to the season. Here skiing has given way to mountain biking.

The winter beckons though and I can’t wait for Avalanche, Book 3 of the Stone Mountain Mystery series.