Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Happy People Who Heard About Jesus by Abu Hashim


One writer's fantastic depiction of the return of Jesus!

The Happy People That Heard About Jesus!
By Abu Hashim

This is a story about those who are ecstatic about the return of Jesus from heaven, and those who wish he would stay where he is. The leader of the anti-Christ struggles to maintain control of Earth's population while preparing to meet and challenge Jesus.

A fictional story of the chaos that ensues on Earth during the moments of the arrival of the much-anticipated man who could heal a blind man through prayer. The story includes an account from those who love and hate Jesus. The anti-Christ makes an appearance as well as those who fight them. Little children in the story try to understand a complex world they are born into.

Available in eBook here!
Words: 6,870
Language: American English
ISBN: 9781311279637

Biography
Abu Hashim is a wake-up artist born in the 1900s but still young enough to have great vision and articulation.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mail Order Brides Anthology: Leah & Tess by Rose Jenster


Can Leah and Tess find happiness and love in Montana?

Mail Order Brides Anthology:
Leah and Tess Novellas 1-2

This clean, sweet romance anthology includes the novellas Mail Order Bride Leah and Mail Order Bride Tess, books 1 and 2 of the series. Enjoy each of their journeys in overcoming their challenging situations in New York. Note that each is a sweet stand-alone book, but they also are the first two books in the Montana Mail Order Brides Series.

Mail Order Bride Leah

Leah is a school teacher in Albany, New York during the 1880s who was devoted to her mother until she passed away. Her father lost his business and Leah did not want to spend the rest of her life living with her protective brother. She begins to correspond with a man from Montana who ran an ad for a mail order bride. Could she have found someone who also loves literature and shares so many of her interests?

How does Leah handle her brother's negative reactions to the correspondence that now was the focus and light of her life? Can she leave the desperate situation in New York and find that joy that her heart dreams? Or is she destined to live a life without fulfillment?

Will Leah find happiness in Montana? What secrets does her love keep to himself that makes him so hard to reach and read? Can Leah help Henry open up his heart or will she give up? Can his scars heal from the past?

Book 2: Mail Order Bride Tess

Tess is a seamstress in upstate New York during the 1880s. She fears she will be working in the sweltering shop her whole life and never find true happiness by finding a man who loves her. A married friend shows her a newspaper that has ads for mail order husbands and Tess shyly studies it with guarded hope. Tess is quite bashful with a lot of fear, but also worries what her life would be like without a big change.

Will she find happiness out west or be stuck in the sweltering shop in New York? Why does Luke withdraw from her emotionally and can he let go of his past loss? Will Tess return home in defeat and be broken inside? Can their love blossom?

Note: Each of the books is a stand-alone clean romance without a cliffhanger. They are sweet westerns appropriate for all ages. Book six, Mail Order Bride Jessica, is now available and is also in Kindle Unlimited. Books three to six in the series is available in the boxed set titled, Mail Order Brides Collection: Felicity, Frank, Verity and Jessica and was recently released.


See all of Jenster’s books here!



Biography
Rose Jenster lived in upstate New York for many years. She's always been fascinated by the strength and courage of the women during the 19th century that moved out west to start a new life. Rose has a deep interest in psychology and the dynamics of love. Writing books about the hardships and struggles of individuals that end in happiness is something that she enjoys bringing to readers.

Each novella shows the growth of the characters emotionally and spiritually as they overcome difficult family histories and find new joy through learning to love. Historical western fiction is her favorite genre and writing family-friendly books of sweet romance gives her much happiness.

When Rose Jenster isn't writing she enjoys gardening, reading psychology books and taking long walks.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

American Cowboy Gary Winstead


Gary Winstead, American Cowboy, Actor, Author
American Cowboy Gary Winstead
Archived Interview from iVIEW  trueCOWBOYmagazine.com July 2016
No Duplication Without Permission

When I met up with Gary Winstead, he was off to Las Vegas, honoring the memory of his wife Faye. They were married in Vegas 46 years ago. Gary reminisces, “We promised each other whomever passed first the other would take ashes, a picture, and play that person’s favorite machine.” From there, Winstead was “off to face the California traffic up to Hollywood to meet with a producer. He is interested in my next project. That doesn't mean much, everyone up there has an angle. So you shake hands then count your fingers…lol.”

Winstead is an author, writer, actor, movie producer and director. Besides those talents, he has a black belt in Judo and a horseman’s gold buckle. “I was a farrier/trainer, etc. in my youth,” Gary reflects. “I am retired now and for a time was a member of the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association. Now I just write and make short films. My last short film, The Pony No One Could Ride, was based on a true event that included my son and a free pony which did not end well. It has been shown in 12 film festivals and won me best director from a festival in Romania of all places (they like the American Cowboy in Romania). My newest project is a short film about a ghost light I encountered while serving with the Marine Corps in North Carolina back in the 60's. I have two scenes to shoot then off to editing.”  

An author for Crimson Cloak Publishing and Solstice Publishing, Winstead has a new book out A Cowboy Tall Tales, based on the true life adventures of Cutter and Margo, characters based upon Winstead and his wife Faye. His books echo the value of America’s Wild Mustangs.

GM: When was your first encounter with a horse?
GW: The earliest I can remember is when my father took me to see a local rodeo. I was around five or six. I was so fascinated by what I had seen it became a quest, if you will, for me to have a horse. We were too poor to own property not to mention a horse so I was able to talk my way onto one that a prominent citizen owned.

Just down the block from me was a stable and a 10-acre pasture. Every weekend the man that owned the Chevy Garage in our small town would bring a few people and they would ride for several hours. Every weekend I was sitting there on the hay bales waiting until one day I guess he felt sorry for this poor waif and put me on one of his horses. I was seven at the time. It just kind of grew from there.

I would watch the shoer as he plied his trade and as fate would have it when I was honorable discharged from the Marine Corps I started my own business shoeing horses. Karma I guess.

GM: You’ve been around a lot of horses and are an accomplished rider. Do you have a favorite horse anecdote to share?
GW: There are so many from 60 years in the saddle but one that really stands out is something that I wrote about which will be in my next book due out this summer.  In the early 70’s I had this great rope horse named Tip. She would turn on a dime and give nine cents change. Was great on trail and would run down a steer in record time. I also had a new (emphasis on new) neighbor that did not know or like horses and he had a mother-in-law who was as sweet as peach cobbler.

Behind my spread was a ravine and for some reason this particular weekend the in-law decided to park her vintage car in the ravine. The series of events that followed now could only be something Hollywood dreamed up.

My daughter was cleaning the stalls and did not secure Tip’s well enough and as anyone knows, give a horse an inch…So Tip gets out and heads for the ravine. I’m in the round pen working a young Mustang and hear Josephine hollering for Tip to come back. I get out of the pen just in time to see my great 1200-pound Palomino mare go up the side of the ravine, slip on the green brush and fall right on top of the Mother-in-laws car. She lands on her side on the hood, rolls over the roof on the trunk and doesn’t break stride as she hits her feet and keeps on going. Josephine and I are running and yelling for her to come back, right. Well too late now. Tip decides to stop and come back. Yep. Now we are hollering, no, no stop.

Undaunted she keeps coming, goes up the ravine, slips, falls on the trunk this time, rolls over the roof off the hood and comes right up next to me. She nuzzles like nothing happened and didn’t have a mark on her.

I hear “Oh, my.” Look up and there is Jan, Dennis and the Mom. She has her head in her hands and keeps repeating “Oh, my.”

The short version is we all stayed friends and her car was repaired. The funniest part was when I called the insurance company and told them I had a claim. “What is your claim?”

“My horse fell on my neighbor’s Mother-in-laws car and smashed it.” He never stuttered and replied, “No problem.” Needless to say that was a relief.

GM: That’s a great story! Horses can sure be unpredictable at times. What horses do you currently stable/ride?  
GW: When my wife took sick I sold everything so I could provide the very best care so my last horse was sold sometime last August.

GM: You are a prolific writer and I like the way you engage your readers. You’ve written two books and many short stories. When did you release your first book?  
GW: My first book I decided to write was about my four years in the Marine Corps as well as juxtaposing my early life with married life kind of going back and forth.  After being rejected 203 times Solstice Publishing took that one and it did really well.

As anyone knows in the publishing business not all houses want the same thing so my next attempts with Solstice went unpublished at which time I started sending them to other houses.

Crimson Cloak Publishing picked up 2 of my short stories which started an ongoing relationship. I have a total of 12 short stories and full length novels as well as my autobiography. There are currently two still in editing.

GM: Are your story-lines, scenarios and characters based upon your own experiences? 
GW: Most all of my works are based on real life experiences. I have two characters that appear time and again in my work. Cutter and Margo are really my wife and I. While most all of the stories are based on true events, a lot of the story is embellished for greater readability and enjoyment for the reader. But they almost all happened. You meet a lot of characters along life’s journey and the cowboy way tends to garner some prose worthy material.  I make no bones about the fact that Faye (Margo) made me what I am today. She was my muse.

GM: As a writer, is it difficult to transition a book to a screenplay? What is the process?
GW: There are authors and there are screenwriters and the transition for an author can be difficult. As I will mention later, I was in film at an early age so I was familiar with the difference. As writers we tend to be really wordy because reading is cerebral. A picture is painted in the mind’s eye for the reader to devour. Film is visual and less is more. The rule of thumb is one page of script is one minute in a movie.

Therefore, you have to turn a 200-page novel into 90 or so pages. There is controversy in Hollywood about which way is best. I have heard that less is more. In other words, set the scene but don’t be too wordy and spend more time on dialog. Other producers will say, “But we need the character described so we don’t call the wrong sister to the set on shooting day.”
I tend to be wordy because I like my characters to be very colorful. And cowboys ain’t known for talkin”, right…lol.

I currently am a judge for a film/screenplay for a film festival and have been amazed at what scripts are turning up. They are all over the spectrum. I tend to favor the ones that paint a picture so the actor knows what is expected. Some directors on the other hand want the actors to develop the character. I guess I would have to say there is no easy answer. Last year I talked with an intern working for an agent in Hollywood. His job was reviewing scripts to pass up the chain for possible use. An inexperienced college boy was spending his days reading scripts. He said he found only one in a month. So my advice to hopefuls is be descriptive but not overly and have great characters. Hope that answers that question.

GM: You write of Mustangs and the West. What are your views on the horse slaughter debate and the BLM's ability (or lack of) to save the Mustangs?
GW: A real touchy area for me. The Free roaming mustang act of 1971 set up the horses for possible annihilation. Only activists have prevented a complete and utter destruction of one of Americas last remaining Icons. I understand the plight of the rancher trying to manage his herds but he is on government land and in some cases not paying the below market value for grazing. His herd most likely outnumbers the wild ones 50 to 1 so saying the Mustangs are ruining the grazing is dis-ingenious at best. My personal opinion is leave the Mustangs alone and they will self-regulate as all species do. As a compromise make more of them available for adoption, but do not under any circumstances kill them just to willow the herd.

GM: As an actor, what films have you acted in? Who was your favorite actor to work with?
GW: My career as it was spans some 50 years. The first one was Too Late the Hero with Cliff Robertson and Michael Caine. The last one was Volcano with Tommie Lee Jones and The Cowboys in the middle. All bit non speaking parts. I quickly discovered I was much better behind the camera than in front.

You ask who was my favorite actor to work with. Each had there their own quirks and in this business one must be circumspect in answering. I was one of the first to photo bomb. I have a picture of me with Caine. I walked up behind him on set and called his name, when he turned a friend took our picture. I had to get lost in a hurry. The movie was filmed in the Philippine Islands in 1968. Cliff Robertson was so great he would come over and talk to us between takes while other “stars” would disappear into their trailers. There was a British actor who regaled us with stories of the queen. He was hilarious and keep up the banter between takes and would get right back into character. Denhom Elliott was his name; may he rest in peace.

GM: Of all the Westerns and horse operas, which is your favorite?
GW: I’m old school so I have to go with She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, starring The Duke, directed by John Ford. There is nothing harder than telling a cowboy his time in the saddle is up and Captain Nathan Brittles has to decide it is time to retire but he must first stop and Indian rebellion.

The you officers are sure to make a misstep as the old Captain tries to make the transition into civilian life but as fate, and movie magic will out, it all works in the end. And don’t discount the way Ford directed. He is responsible for no one else wanting to film in Monument Valley. His artistry and ability to capture the landscape is unprecedented.

GM: As a writer, you must have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author/writer?
GW: My first book I remember reading was Bomba the Jungle Boy. But shortly thereafter my father weaned me on Louie Lamoure. Pappy was born in East Tennessee so it was just a natural progression, but I must admit he is not my favorite. That would fall to Steven King. The first one I read was Salem’s Lot and was hooked. His mind is so creative it is almost scary to think what goes on in there. He paints a picture that will haunt the reader for days.

GM: Do you have advice for novice riders?
GW: Get back on. They need to know you ain’t a cowboy ‘til you fell off a dozen times. Pick yourself up, dust our self-off and get back on. There is a great meme I have seen on the web. Goes something like this. We see a picture of a kid on a fat horse. The kid is wearing jodhpurs, helmet, back straight, snaffle etc. You get the picture. There is a trainer standing there saying, “hands low, feet out, back straight, head up. Etc. the next photo shows a young kid of about 7 on a wild horse in a western saddle. There is dirt blowing all up around him and the horse has a hump in his back and wild eyes. The trainer is really the kids mother and says to him, “If you fall off, you are walking home.” The caption reads “The difference between the rest of the world and cowboys.” Love it.

GM: I love that meme, too! And advice for novice writers?
GW: Don’t give up. I have over 200 rejections on my first book. Also avoid rewriting, yes a lot of work needs to be redone, but once a publisher picks it up, as painful as it maybe they know what sells, so leave the editing to them.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
GW: I would say that being a cowboy one must always be respectful of others. A good horseman/woman takes care of his animal first and last. That horse has a special relationship with nature and you. Respect it and it will respect you. Be good to fellow riders, treat them like you want to be treated. Understand that others have opinions that may not reflect yours, as long as no one is in danger a simple forced smile and a nod is all you really need to do. Then ride on.

When a horse dumped me and I ended up in the hospital with three broken and five cracked ribs the first thing I asked about when I woke up was where is my paint. The nurse laughed but as it turned out, another cowboy on the trail found her and took her to his ranch and searched for 3 days ‘til he found me. And don’t even ask about how the ambulance/fire/ paramedics couldn’t find me. That’s gonna be a short story coming up.

So to all your loyal readers out there, I hope you like my work, all profits go to the Alzheimer’s Association as they were so wonderful to me during my wife’s six-year struggle with it. I lost her on February 12 and you can bet we gave her one hell of a cowgirl send off.

Cowboy/girl Up. I am off into the sunset.

Connect with Gary...

Gina McKnight is an author, freelance writer, and equestrian from Ohio USA. gmcknight.com











Thursday, March 23, 2017

Riding Broncs: An interview with Nolan Gillies

Nolan Gillies tacking up.

Riding Broncs: An interview with Nolan Gillies
As seen in the February 2017 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

“I try to just stay positive and find good things I do in every ride, even when I make mistakes.” Nolan Gillies

Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, Nolan Gillies is a cowboy… a rodeo cowboy. He is a student at Boise State University and a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He spurs on in the rodeo circuit, gaining accolades for his rodeo rides, including second place Silver State Reserve Champion. He has broken his wrist, with other bumps and bruises along the way, but keeps his form and confirmation in the saddle – arm back, toes out, squared up!

Welcome Nolan…

GM: When was your first encounter with a horse?
NG: That's kind of a funny story. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, my family moved out to a little town in eastern Idaho called Teton. We were originally from Boise. All I ever did was play video games and read when I was a kid until I was 14. We had about two acres of pasture in our yard we never used, and some people who lived in town were riding their horses around town when they stopped at our house and asked if they could lease the pasture from us to keep their horses. We ended up letting them keep the horses there free of charge, and in return, they taught me how to ride. The first horse I rode was a beautiful palomino they called May, and eventually the guy that owned him ended up selling her to us. From that day on, that horse and I were partners. Most of what I learned about riding came from her, and she was my first buck off as well. 

GM: What is it like to be a PRCA Bareback Rider?
NG: It's surreal. For so long it felt like an unobtainable dream. I'm at the very bottom of the totem pole right now, I didn't win any money in the PRCA last season, everything I won came from amateur rodeos this year, but it's still been an awesome experience competing with the guys I've looked up to for so long, and it's even more incredible that a lot of my friends from high school are also riding at that level, so I've bumped into a lot of them down the road too. It's definitely rough, but I love it, and my failures from last season are only pushing me to drive on harder.

GM: What has been the most rewarding event/ride of your career?
NG: I think my most memorable experience in rodeo so far was my first round ride at the Silver State International Rodeo in Winnemucca, Nevada, back when I was in high school. I qualified for that rodeo by placing in the top ten in my state, and I drew this pretty decent sized colt from Four Star Rodeo Company. I remember him having a yellow and white coat, and he was pretty electric in the chute. I remember watching everyone ahead of me get bucked off, and I knew I had to find some iron in my heart if I was going to do any good there that week. When the chute opened, that horse took a short scoot out into the middle of the arena, and I held my feet through his run, then he reared up, and I reached up as far as I could with my feet, and had to hold on for dear life as he came dropping down. I almost was thrown right over the front of him, but somehow, I managed to push my hips and upper body back, and keep flailing with my feet just trying to stay on. I ended up taking the lead in the round with the hardest earned low score of 58 points I've ever acquired in my life. I ended up getting beat out the next day by one point, but that ride was still one of my greatest in my opinion. I missed winning the rodeo by just a handful of points, and it was the closest I had come to winning a championship title. 

GM: There are several techniques to riding a bronc, which do you use?
NG: I've personally changed my technique a lot through the years. My first few years in high school, I tried to emulate Royce Ford by pushing my free arm straight back and being really flashy with my feet, then as a senior I got a little more conservative, and stayed tighter with my upper body and my feet, which ended up working really well for me for a short time. After that, I don't know if growing made it harder for me to ride that way or something, but I always tip into my hand, so I've decided to change my style this year, and I'm currently in the process of changing my technique to ride more like Wilderness Circuit Finalist Morgan Wilde, who tends to lean a little bit away from his hand. I figure if I can stay a little more away from my hand, that will compensate for me going into my hand all the time, and keep me more square. Rodeo is a game of trial and error, and sometimes what worked for you before, will just all of a sudden stop working for you. It can be really frustrating.

GM: Describe your daily routine... 
NG: I'm on a workout regimen my older brother set up for me. He has a certification in personal training, and he has me on a workout that consists of light weights and a lot of repetitions for three days, and then heavy weights and a lower amount of repetitions the next two days, and every day I do a cardio and ab workout as well. I also try to spend at least 45 minutes on my spurboard every day. Some days it gets hard because I am also working and going to school, but I typically find time to train. The winter drives me insane because in the Northwest, there aren't very many places to practice, and there aren't a whole lot of rodeos during the winter, so I rely on my spurboard to stay tuned up until things pick back up in the Spring.

GM: Traveling on the rodeo circuit must be grueling. How do you cope with the physical as well as mental demands of being on the road and maintaining your success?
NG: Staying in shape all year is key to remaining healthy during the season. I've had some injuries that require me to tape a little differently than some guys, and I also have to wear a compression sleeve on my elbow, but just staying in shape and knowing your limits is key, and I don't even go as hard as some guys. Because of work and school, I'm pretty much limited to rodeoing on the weekends. The mental aspect is hard, especially when you're going through a slump. I just try and stay focused, and I will never give up, no matter how bad things are going. I try to just stay positive and find good things I do in every ride, even when I make mistakes, and just build off of the positive things. If I'm doing bad in the pros, I'll duck out and enter a few amateur rodeos, win some money, and build my confidence back up. That was one lesson that I learned from Heath Ford, it's never a bad thing to dip into a lower level of competition to better yourself. Don't be afraid to hit a practice pen or an amateur rodeo if you need to build confidence.

GM:  Have you ever met a horse you couldn't ride?
NG: I don't like to think of any horse as impossible to ride, but there have been a few horses that I've matched up with on multiple occasions that always have put me on the ground. One horse in particular I can think of is Storm Cloud of Summit Pro Rodeo. She's this big grey brood mare that J.D. Hamaker has that's been to the Mountain State Circuit Finals a few times. I drew her for the first time in the short round of a college rodeo in Lamar, Colorado. I remember marking her out and holding my feet for her first two jumps, and then after the third, she got really, really, really, strong, and stretched my arm out, and I front flipped right over the top of her. I think I made it all of 3 or 4 seconds on that horse. I had her again at a private rodeo in Denver a few months later, and the exact same thing happened. She's an honest bucking horse, but just harnesses an immense amount of power and strength. My goal is to become strong enough to handle a horse just as strong or stronger than her.

GM: Where is your favorite arena? Why is it your favorite?
NG: I think my favorite arena I've been to so far is at the Copper Spring Ranch in Bozeman, Montana. It's just such a beautiful ranch, and that arena has a very old western saloon type feel to it. It has a western style bar, and it's just a really clean facility. Most indoor arenas smell awful, but this one is very top notch. The rodeo was a short three-day series with a pretty modest amount of money added for a pro rodeo, but it was an experience I'll never forget, and I plan on going back there next Fall. Hopefully this time for the whole three days.

GM: There are many who believe that bronc riding is inhumane and difficult for the horse. What are your views?
NG: I think a lot of this belief stems from the lack of education the average person has on rodeo animals. When you have interest groups like PETA spreading propaganda more than we are promoting our own sport, it's no wonder that people have such a poor image of the sport. I don't think the sport is inhumane, but it definitely can be rough. People don't understand that the average bucking horse is a lot stronger, more muscular, and bigger than your average pasture pet, or pleasure riding horse. If you've ever felt a bucking horse's neck, it's pure muscle. Comparing a bucking horse with someone's pet horse would be like putting Arnold Schwarzenegger next to Michael Moore. These horses are bred, and trained from the time they are colts to buck. There actually is a certain amount of training that goes into a bucking horse. A lot of times a contractor will buck them out as yearlings and two year olds with dummies on their backs. Broncs don't typically get a rider on their backs until they're about 4-5 years old and are fully developed, and know what their job is. There are contractors who just flat out don't touch their horses, and even abuse them, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Bad people exist in every aspect of horsemanship, not just in rodeo. For every instance of abuse you find in rodeo, you can find something equally bad in Dressage, Cutting, or even just someone that owns a horse as a pet. The majority of stock contractors take excellent care of their horses, and they have a bond like no other with their animals. As a competitor, I can tell you that we have a lot of respect for the horses as well. They are how we make our living. It's in our own best interest to take care of the animals. We tend to have a rapport with the horses though, especially because you tend to see a lot of the same horses as you travel down the road more.

GM: Do you have advice for new riders and those looking to purchase their first horse?
NG: My advice is find a pro in your area, and pick their brains for all of the knowledge they have. Have them help you set up your bareback riggings, let them teach you proper technique, and listen to their stories. You can learn a lot by other peoples' mistakes and experiences. Most of all, find a way to conquer your fear. Don't ever let fear get in the way of you accomplishing your goals. With the right attitude, physical fitness, and help, anyone can be a great bareback rider. It's all up to you how far you want to go in this sport.

As far as purchasing your first horse, that's a hard one for me. I would say buy a horse that you have a bond with. Spend some time with a horse before you buy them, and always see for yourself how a horse is before making the purchase. A lot of people in the market will lie about what a horse is, how well trained they are, etc. Make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy one, and make sure you have the proper facility and knowledge to keep one. Horses are hard work!

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
NG: Horsemanship to me is establishing a bond between you and a horse. Being able to communicate and work WITH a horse is something few people can do, but once you establish that level of trust and camaraderie with a horse, there's no feeling quite like it. It's not about taking command of the horse, it's about making them want to follow you and trust you. I don't consider myself an expert horseman, but I've found the horses I can establish a foundation of trust and friendship with, tend to be the horses I work best with.

Stay connected with Nolan and follow his standings at Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.


Gina McKnight is a freelance writer and author, Ohio, USA. gmcknight.com

Nolan Gillies at work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reduce the Risk of Colic: Equine Treatments by Equolution


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Photography by Chris

Winter-Sunset

Photography by Chris

Vivid imagery, mesmerizing naturescapes and landscapes!
Cats, Moon & Stars, Birds, and much more!

The Photography of Chris on Bonanza!



About Chris…
I am a photographer since 2016 specializing in wildlife, floral and landscape photography.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

SADDLE UP CORRAL Grand Opening!



saddleupcorral.com
Save $50 on a Western Saddle!!
Hurry! Offer Ends 3/31/17




Hi! My name is Veronica and I have been a horse enthusiast since I was little. I have a passion for horses and enjoy sharing my passion with others!

We are a family owned saddle shop based in Colorado. Run by horse enthusiasts for horse lovers! We ship our products worldwide.

Here at Saddle Up Corral, we provide competitive prices on horse saddles. Check out our Price Guarantee. We offer quality products with only the best customer service around!

If you have any questions about our products or would like to check availability of an item, please use the Contact Us page to get in touch.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Clip-Clop Chronicles: Stories of a Girl and her Horse Adventures by Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova


New Middle-Grade Fiction!
www.clipclopchronicles.com

Clip-Clop Chronicles:
Stories of a Girl and her Horse Adventures 
by Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova 

Set in central Florida, Clip Clop Chronicles follows the journey of Roz, a sassy yet insecure, twelve-year-old, horse-crazy girl, determined to make it to the top of the equestrian world. Nothing and no one will stand in her way. Not her arch nemesis. Not Florida thunderstorms. Not even her family, who thinks riding horses is a sport that Black people just don’t do.

When it comes to sports, her very large family shines in all aspects of track and field. Roz runs just slightly faster than a snail. But riding? She’s a budding star. She has everything she needs to make it to the top: a twin sister who always has her back, a best friend who shares her love of horses and her own business to fund her dream.

Roz’s savings account is just shy of the amount she needs to compete in her first Beginner Novice event. When her lawn mowing business takes a hit with the latest thunderstorm, her journey turns into an uphill battle she was not planning for. It’s one obstacle after another including a bully begging for a punch in the face!

Roz feels like giving up. Until she finds the support and inspiration she needs from the place she thought she would never find it. Her family.





About the Author
Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova is a Florida native who enjoys writing and riding. She holds a screenwriting graduate certificate from UCLA and an MFA from the New York Film Academy. She currently splits her time between Florida and California where she works in entertainment and volunteers with an equine therapy program for veterans.





Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Seaglass Stair by Ash Gray


Romance & Fantasy
$2.99 eBook

The Seaglass Stair:
A Romance that Transcends Time
by Ash Gray 

Wareska is wizenblood, a woman born with magic powers that will, over the course of a thousand years, render her into a shriveled, elf-like creature. When Wareska’s teacher dies, she finds herself wandering the wilds with her companion, a horse which can speak with her telepathically. She and the horse live in peace for a time, until a strange, dark sickness sweeps over the land, sapping it of life and color and leaving it gray. Rivers run dry and animals shrivel away, as if the very life has been sucked from them. Wareska soon discovers the means to stop the land-sickness and sets off on an adventure to do so, facing down scary unicorns (seriously), evil spirits, ice-breathing serpents, and traveling through the shadowlands of the dead.


About the Author
Ash Gray is actually a dragon, writing her stories on a minuscule laptop in the murky dark of a silent, wet, cold, comfortable cave. Having quite large claws, she goes through laptops like tissue paper within the span of a week, but it is worth the effort, time, and money to share her stories with an audience as in-love with fiction as she.

Follow on GoodReads here!


 An Excerpt...

That night, Wareska and Shadowmane traveled far from the land-sickness before making camp. As the horse lay nearby and watched, Wareska built a fire. Wolves would be drawn to the flames, she knew, so before setting out to hunt, she whispered a spell, and a light closed over the camp in a brilliant dome that sparkled momentarily before fading into an invisible shield. It would protect Shadowmane and the earth surrounding him until Wareska’s return.
Wareska could tell the horse wanted to stop her going out to hunt. He wanted her to sit by the fire and talk about what had happened, but she didn’t want to talk. She wanted to venture out into the darkness in the quick, cunning shape of a black fox and hunt the coiling snakes that burrowed in the earth of the endless plain. She wanted that meditative silence, where only the sound of her heartbeat could be heard, like the wet darkness before birth. Shadowmane, sensing her need for solitude, said not a word when she changed shape and set forth.
Wareska hunted, swift and silent, for something warm and wriggling, something that wouldn’t speak too much. She knew she must be quick, for those who stayed in beast form for extended periods of time were vulnerable to keeping the form permanently. They would lose their minds due to having defied nature itself by taking on an unnatural form. Such wizen wandered the wild without reason, unable to speak, even to other animals.
Wareska searched with narrow eyes, her belly bubbling and purring with hunger as she sniffed and snort sharp scents through her wet fox’s nose. With the lands dying and fading away, its living creatures were scarce. She couldn’t recall the last time she’d seen a wolf or an acdella roaming in the highlands. So it was that she found herself surprised and delighted when she stumbled upon a snake burrow. She peered with keen fox eyes into that thick darkness and saw one eye peer back at her, bright as a flame, the pupil narrowed. A hiss, and then a voice whispered from the hole, :You are hungry, wizzzzzen, but I have just eaten my fill of the little mordak 7 that roam Lorlassss Ru. Can you not content yourself with one of them?:
Wareska would have made a face of disgust had her fox form allowed it. :I would sooner eat my own tail,: she answered, and the snake chuckled, a dark and hissing laugh.
:Then I would offer a sssssecret in exchange for my life,: the snake answered.
Wareska snorted through her black fox nostrils. :What boon could you give me, serpent-child? I am wizen. I crave none of a snake’s secrets, for my secrets are far greater.: Her long ears pricked forward when she heard the snake’s slick body winding in the dust. She tensed, believing it might strike.
:Do not be ssssso arrogant as to presume what I know,: the snake answered. :All creatures, no matter their sssize, no matter their ssshort lives, have wisdom that a wizen could make use of. Or have you forgotten your first lesson, wizenblood? That the world holds you in its palm, not the other way around?:
Wareska blinked irritably. :Fine, snake. Speak your secrets and I will turn from here. I will stay my hunger.:
The snake’s unseen body shifted in the darkness once more. :I have lived a long time in Lorlassss Ru. I knew your teacher, Hemfra, when she was young. Like you, she took the form of fox and she, too, attempted to devour me. It was a long and bloody battle, one in which I had almost eaten her. She walked away with her tail in tact, if not her pride. I believe I lost one of my teeth in her backside.:
Wareska snorted derisively. :What is the point of this?:
:Your teacher esssscaped alive because of the great lesson she learned that day.:
Wareska waited, half inclined to turn her back on the snake’s nonsense.
:The wheel of time,: whispered the snake after a pause, :is but a snake that eatsss its own tail.:     
:Is that it? I should eat you on principle.:
:Do not be so quick to dismisssss my secrets, Ravenhawk of the West. They might serve you well . . : the snake’s eye disappeared as it slithered back in the darkness, :. . . some distant day.:

***
Dismally resigned to the fate of hunting smelly mordak, Wareska ate her fill of the rodents, glad once more for the calm of crickets chirruping beneath a starry sky. She traveled in silence through the naked branches of underbrush and returned to her camp, and there within the safety of her own shield of protecting light, she changed back into a woman.
Shadowmane was sitting with curled legs beside the fire, and Wareska had left her clothing neatly folded beside him: brown hide shoes, brown hide pants, a belt made of grass rope, and a shirt sewn of shaggy red acdella fur. Naked in the cold wind, she pulled on her clothing as Shadowmane stared with tired eyes into the fire.
:Were there many snakes to eat?: Shadowmane eventually asked.
Fully dressed, Wareska sat on the dry earth and leaned her back against the horse’s warm side, drawing her knees up. :Only one,: she answered. :Though I did not eat him.:
:Why not?:
:He knew my face name. And he wanted to pose riddles,: Wareska answered in disgust.
:I gather you did not solve the three riddles,: the horse said in amusement.
:It wasn’t a riddle, really. He offered a secret, something that would supposedly help me survive. He said the secret had once helped Hemfra escape a battle with him.:
:Hemfra?: repeated the horse with interest.
:Yes. When she was young, Hemfra stumbled on the same snake . . .: Wareska’s voice trailed off as the realization came to her. :By the gods! That snake would have been incredibly old if that were true.: Her faced darkened. :He had to be lying so I wouldn’t eat him.:
:But how could he know about Hemfra? Or even that she was your teacher? He even knew your face name.:
Wareska slowly shook her head. :I do not know. Perhaps he heard us speaking about Hemfra as we were traveling. Either way, I could not eat him. There’s always the chance that he was simply a test from some spirit, or perhaps another wizenblood playing games with me.:
:Or the Wolf Lord,: Shadowmane suggested.
:No,: said Wareska, eyes on the fire, :his influence begins and ends with canine.:
:Are you sure you don’t want it to be the Wolf Lord?: the horse asked carefully.
Wareska scowled, unable to decide if he was actually jealous or if she was imagining it. :Shadow . . .:
:The way you talk about him sometimes . . . You go on about his power and how you long to take the shape of wolf. I fear you would rather a wolf for a companion . . . and not a horse.:
:It is a foolish fear,: Wareska said at once and could feel the content the horse had for her confident response when his mind caressed hers.
:What are we going to do,: the horse said after a pause, :when the sun rises tomorrow? Will we follow the path the spirit laid out for us?:
:I’m not entirely certain we have a choice,: Wareska answered grimly.
:It mightn’t be as bad as it seems,: soothed the horse. :We’ve been given a chance to heal the dying the land. . . .:  his voice trailed away, and Wareska knew he felt as dismal as she, that his own words were no more soothing to him than they were to her.
:The spirit said to travel north, through the vale and the Waters of Kin,: Wareska said thoughtfully. :I suppose that’s where we’re headed first, then.:
There was a pause, and then the horse spoke the words they had both dreaded to utter, :If we do this thing, if we go to this place at the end of the world, you will die, Ravenhawk.:
Wareska was silent.
:You heard the spirit,: went on the horse. :Healing the land will mean your life.:
:Yes, I heard the spirit,: Wareska answered, :but I am also bound by my oath as wizenblood, to protect life, even at the cost of my own. If I give myself to the gods, color and life will return to the land, earth and sky will sing again. In light of all that,: she shook her head, :my one short and pointless existence seems a small price to pay.:
:Do not say that,: said the horse darkly.
Wareska blinked in surprise. :Shadow . . .:
:No!: the horse insisted. :If you wish to sacrifice your life for the sake of Nesertia, I will stand with you to the very end. But I will not sit idly by while you disparage your own life. It may have been pointless and meaningless to you, but these past two years have meant the world to me.:
Wareska smiled sadly, her eyes on the fire. :I was going to tell you . . . you don’t have to come with me.: She frowned. :I’d rather not put you in danger.:
The horse snorted. :Don’t insult me. I do not intend to cower and hide as my only friend faces one danger after another. And there will be danger, Ravenhawk. The way to the Seaglass Stair will be long and arduous. There will be those who wish to stop you. They will kill you to keep you from succeeding.:
:Why? That’s insane.:
:As if insanity were some fabrication, some dark tale Hemfra told you one night when you were a child and refused to sleep.:
:I can not imagine there are people who would rather I do nothing as the world crumbles,: Wareska answered in amazement, :but you are probably right. Somehow, you always are.:
:I am,: insisted the horse with another snort. :But one question remains: why did the gods choose you?:
Wareska stared into the fire. :I suppose it is not so hard to understand,: she linked after a thoughtful pause. :A wizenblood is supposed to serve humankind. I should be protecting a village and healing the sick, not wandering around in the wilderness. I have no calling, no purpose. I live for myself. It is a direct violation of my existence. Given all that . . . I can see why they would have chosen me for the sacrifice.:
:It seems cruel,: said the horse darkly. :Why should you be forced, by accident of blood, to live for others and never for yourself?:
:Because I have the power to make a difference. It is my responsibility to use that power for the good of all.:
:But it should also be your choice,: the horse insisted. :Your life in service to others loses all its merit when the choice wasn’t even yours to being with.:
Wareska was silent for a long time: the horse was right.
:You should rest,: Shadowmane said after a while. :If we are really to ride for the Waters of Kin, we will both need our sleep.:
:Don’t be a mother hen. I will play a song,: Wareska linked, and the horse snorted irritably.
:Fine,: Shadowmane gave in. :Just one.: He lay his head on the dry earth. Wareska saw him close his eyes, waiting for the soothing sound of her lullaby. 
Wareska held out her hands, her black nails gleaming as material swept to her in a gentle flurry. Her magick pulled from grass and earth and the fire itself to form a long, narrow flute. With the conjured flute solid in her fingers, she closed her eyes, and sitting against the wall of Shadowmane’s warm body, she played a forlorn melody, long and slow, that trembled gently on the back of the wind.