Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Behind the Scenes

At her maid of honor speech at my wedding, my sister's opening line was, "The road less traveled." She went on to describe how... um... different I am from the rest of my family.

And so I wrote a book that's a bit... different as well. Here we are at the beginning of its blog tour, and I'm completely overwhelmed with the support, the kind and constructive words of reviewers, and of course those who fell in love with the story of Lissa and Ethan. They are oddly special to me as well.

I feel like, through reading reviews, I've gotten a grasp on some questions running through many minds, and I thought I'd give a little background into the story and why I wrote it the way I did. I'd hate to leave ya hanging!

My husband and I do train horses. I've ridden competitively and professionally most of my life. And I've been a reader most of my life. I've read so many cowboy books. So many. And I love them, don't get me wrong. Well okay, sometimes inaccurate horse references make me cringe, but otherwise, cowboys are hot. But the English disciplines of riding don't get a lot of attention. The professional equestrian world even less. It's a strange little bubble and can be oh so entertaining. This setting for Shiver was important to me. I read and re-read, wrote and rewrote to provide just enough detail to bring you into the barn, but not so much as to make your brain bleed. ;) But the most important story was Ethan and Lissa and the way their lives intertwined.

The fact that I sort of split the book into two parts is a little controversial. I considered writing two separate books, but the fact is, raising a child with special needs is so, so individual. To go in depth into one story felt a bit isolating, when my desire was to follow a couple through their feelings and struggles and love well beyond the HEA and into real life. I do understand that it threw some people. I wanted you to know that it was intentionally done on my part. To me, that was the story of Lissa and Ethan. Their love and their support and their sense of humor pulled them through. It was not a campaign for SPD awareness, although that was a fortunate accident. SPD could be any illness, anything unknown with a child, a colicky baby, too many tantrums with too little sleep, a spouse who was unwell, or a beloved animal you're caring for. Or a really dirty house. Like mine.

So thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm over the moon with Shiver's reception. As a new author, all the blogs and readers who have taken time out of their incredibly busy schedules to give this book a chance, and to post links and blurbs and teasers and reviews, thank you from the bottom of my quirky heart. You're rockstars!

And here's an equestrian glossary broken down into laymen's terms:

Gelding: male horse who had his nuts chopped off

Bridle: thing the horse wears on its head when you're riding it for steering and stopping purposes

Saddle: what you sit on when you're riding

Girth: belt that holds the saddle on

Halter: what goes on the horse's head when you're leading it around

Muzzle: horse nose and mouth

Mare: female horse

Filly: young female horse

Colt: young male horse who still has nuts

Stallion: male horse with nuts who gets to do it

Breeches: stretchy pants for riding. aka 'the devil'

Paddock boots: ankle boots

Half chaps: leather calf wrap that hooks under bottoms of paddock boots and zips up to knees to protect legs

Any other questions, please ask!!! <3

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