At a writing workshop, yesterday, we discussed the pros and cons of e-books. A digital book may never have the exact same feel as a bound volume with pages and ink, but what a convenience to carry your library with you in a small, hand-held device for hours spent in travel or waiting rooms. I'll always treasure taking a book to bed with me and turning the pages eagerly as the story unfolds before I go to sleep at night. That doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy having a Nook, a Kindle or some other reader in my bag as I travel. Yep, I could be happy with both.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Getting an e-reader for Christmas? If you do, be sure to download your favorite books. Each of the six Miranda and Starlight books are now available on your Kindle at Amazon.com and on many other e-readers or your computer. If you go to www.Smashwords.com, where thousands of books are available in several formats, you will find the Miranda and Starlight series and other books ready for download.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Now available as an e-book, this fourth book of the Miranda and Starlight series can be downloaded at Smashwords.com.
Starlight's Shooting Star begins with Miranda's first day of sixth grade and a new fresh-out-of-college teacher, Miss Hopper. Miranda doesn't like her much when she gives Miranda detention on the second day of school. Miranda hates anything that keeps her from Starlight! As the teacher slowly lose control of her classroom, parents begin to complain. When Miss Hopper takes the kids on a field trip and loses them inside a cave, the school board takes action.
More excitement is in store for the reader when Queen foals prematurely. Doctor Talbot is able to save the tiny filly's life. Chris and Miranda name her Shooting Star. To Miranda it seems that when a really important wish is made on this Shooting Star, it comes true.
Will her wish to make Starlight all her own ever come true? She is afraid it won't if he wins all the races Mr. Taylor has planned for him. The more he wins, the less say Miranda will have in what happens to him, and the less time she will be able to spend with him.
Mr Taylor hires a jockey and orders Miranda to teach him to win Starlight's acceptance and ride him as she does. Up to now, Starlight has refused to run for other jockeys, bucking them off, when they try to control him. Miranda likes being the only one Starlight will give his all to. She would like to have it stay that way, but what can she do?
Monday, June 7, 2010
Now that Miranda is eleven years old, will she make better choices? We certainly hope so, yet there is something endearing about her impulsive nature that gets her into trouble she must rectify if possible. In this third book (Part three of the forthcoming anthology, A Horse and His Girl) Miranda is given more responsibility—and takes on some of her own, secretly. The black stallion, Starlight, once Mr. Taylor's hope for a bright financial future, and Miranda's first love and soul mate, are at the center of each.
Miranda is proud to be Starlight's favorite. She is very angry and upset when Mr. Taylor hires Adam Barber to prepare Starlight for the track, but glad that he is unsuccessful. If Starlight races and wins, Miranda knows Mr. Taylor will never sell him to her. That's why she must keep her successes with his training and racing a secret.
But Mr. Taylor doesn't give up. He hires the famous horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman, to work with Starlight. By the time Mr. Brannaman finishes, Mr. Taylor has entered him in a race. Will he win? And what will happen if he does or doesn't. Miranda is filled with dread on race day, yet she can't bring herself to stay away.
Many adventures involving Miranda, her friends, all of their horses, a fire, a much more are found within the pages of this third volume of Miranda and Starlight's saga.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The first three books of the Miranda and Starlight series, are now available as e-books. The writing has been tightened somewhat from the original print editions. With a little more editing, they can then be entered into the anthology, "A Horse and His Girl," which will, if all goes as planned, be ready for publication in 2011. The stories will be shortened in "A Horse and His Girl," only to make it more concise and to remove the redundancies that appear in the 2nd through 6th volume. Some explanation about what happened before was necessary to make each volume a stand-alone novel. Much of that can be eliminated when it's bound in one volume, but every incident, event, and scene of the original saga will be intact, more immediate than ever.
Starlight's Courage, the second of the series, introduced a villian. I mean a real "bad guy" not just the Magnificent Four, Miranda's nemeses in the form of the four girls in her class who treat her and her friends with malice.
The "bad guy" is Martin Hicks who drifts through the little town, looking for work before moving on. Mr. Taylor, desperate for help because of Higgins's disabling injury, hires him to take care of the stabled horses. An instant dislike springs up between the man and Starlight, and the man and Miranda. He doesn't last long at Shady Hills, but he is a vindictive man and an escapee from an institution for the criminally insane. And he has it in for Miranda and Starlight. (You'll have to read Starlight's Courage to see what happened.)
When I revised Starlight's Courage a few years ago, I left a small possibility for his return in another episode. Will there be a number seven to the saga of the horse and his girl? If there is, will Martin Hicks be in it? Ah, that's the question I have yet to answer. I'm waiting for Miranda and Starlight to give me a clue, for my characters, though fictional, lead the story and tell me what they would do, while I just write it down.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Before the fateful day that a ten-year-old girl named Miranda Stevens first laid eyes on the young black stallion, Sir Jet Propelled Cadillac, he was the pampered darling of Shady Hills Ranch. Not yet two years old, his training was about to begin. His speed and stamina were expected to equal or outstrip the records of his aging sire, Cadillac's Last Knight. After Sir Jet wins a few big races, his owner plans, he will be brought back to Shady Hills Ranch to take Knight's place. As a sire, Knight has brought in more money than all of Shady Hills' other race horses put together. Cassius (Cash) Taylor places a great deal of hope in young Sir Jet, whom he has carefully bred for this purpose.
A Horse and His Girl: The Chronicles of Starlight and Miranda* begins with their meeting in the field next to the school playground—a meeting in which Miranda becomes obsessed with this horse that seems to materialize right out of her dreams. When she sees him for the second time and reads the name, Sir Jet Propelled Cadillac, above the door of his stall, she exclaims, "What an ugly name for the prettiest animal on earth," and she dubs him Starlight for the single white star beneath his forelock in an otherwise field of iridescent black. She cannot resist the temptation to slip onto his back from the fence of his paddock. The events that follow change the course of Starlight's future.
Miranda and Starlight was published in 2002 and revised and reprinted again in 2003. It is the first in the series of six books that carry the reader on the roller-coaster ride through the many adventures of this horse and girl. All six books are available singly or in a packaged set at www.ravenpublishing.net and at www.amazon.com.
* An anthology of the six book Miranda and Starlight series is being put together. Its release date will be announced sometime in 2011.