Posts Tagged With: friendship

Guest Post: Evil Little Ponies

Guest Post by C.S. McDonald

It was a lovely spring day. I was minding my own business. I wasn’t bothering anyone. My husband, Bill, had left earlier in the morning with the horse trailer to haul a cow for his father that he’d purchased. I busied myself in one of my many flower gardens, planting lemon drops around the fountain while my Cocker Spaniel, Harvey, chased after butterflies. All was right with the world.

And then…

I heard the familiar sound of my husband’s truck bumping along the road and up our very long driveway. The horse trailer clanged and the tires ground against the gravel. I waved at him and returned to my work. I heard the ramp of the horse trailer squeal as Bill lowered it, and the trailer doors creak open. The Thoroughbreds in the paddock galloped toward the gate, whinnying.

Hmmm…What did Bill drag home this time?

I peeled my garden gloves from my hands and then Harvey and I made our way toward the barn just in time to witness Bill lead a cruddy pot-bellied little pony off the trailer. His mane was long and shaggy. His tail was bushy and his lower lip hung down away from his upper. He was scowling. But worse—he was a pony.

True confession: I don’t like ponies. They tend to be stubborn ornery conniving little beings that take great pleasure in running off or bucking off children on a whim. C’mon, everyone has a story of how they were taken for a wild ride and then brutally deposited in a mud puddle by a pony.

Evil..they are just plain evil. And yet here one stood in my driveway—scowling at me.

I narrowed my eyes, cocked my head, and asked my husband, “What’s he doing here?”

Bill smiled. “This is George. Kiersten needs a pony for horse camp, so I picked him up.”

Seriously?

There are a billion ponies on this earth and he “picks up” this little troll?

Bill could see that I was not impressed. The right side of his mouth kicked up. “I’m gonna put him in the paddock with the horses. He’ll be fine. You’ll see, Kiersten will love him.”

I had no doubts that Kiersten, our granddaughter, wouldn’t instantly take to him. I was worried what George would do to Kiersten.

Evil—ponies are just plain evil.

Bill proceeded to lead George through the gate into the paddock with three very anxious Thoroughbreds.

George went right to work—bullying the horses who were much bigger that he was. He chased them, nipped at them, kicked at them, and let them know that he was king of not only the paddock but the shade of the apple tree that was located dead center of the area. He had immediately claimed his domain.

George was the boss.

Well, Bill was right. Kiersten loved George. We bathed him, and bathed him, and bathed him. He never came clean—he looked just as cruddy after his bathes as he did when we began.

This is temporary, I told myself. After horse camp, George can go back to where he came from. I found solace in these thoughts.

George was at our farm for two weeks before horse camp. Kiersten rode him in the indoor arena and the outdoor arena—he would plant his feet and refuse to budge, but I was quicker than he was—I gave her a crop.

Yes, the little guy was stubborn, but he wasn’t stupid—as most ponies aren’t—they are shrewd—evil.

Kiersten and George, the grungy pony who inspired GEORGE THE BOSS. Click on picture to purchase C.S. McDonald's book on Amazon.

Kiersten and the real George, the grungy pony who inspired GEORGE THE BOSS. Click on picture to purchase C.S. McDonald’s book on Amazon.

Finally after much anticipation and preparation, the week of horse camp came. Kiersten couldn’t wait. George had no idea what he was in for, and I was filled with apprehension. Would Kiersten get dumped off George’s back at horse camp? Would I be making a trip to the emergency room? I dreaded the week that lay before me.

But, you know what? I was wrong. Dead wrong.

It turned out that George was the one who needed taking care of. It was a hot week and Kiersten decided that she was going to participate in every activity they offered. Walk/trot, egg and spoon, poles, down and back races, and even barrel racing. George simply couldn’t keep up. I found myself sitting in the stall with an over-heated pony, caring for him, nursing him, and genuinely feeling sorry for him. I scolded Kiersten for over-working him and he was not to be taken out of the stall the next day other than to clean his stall and for short walks. I was worried.

During the first few days of the camp something had happened. Could it be that this cruddy scowling stubborn evil pony had grown on me?

The week went by quickly. George won quite a few awards! I know, right? We loaded him in the trailer and took him back to our farm. Bill opened the gate, and George stormed into the paddock, nipping, bucking, scowling, and reclaiming his place at the boss.
I shook my head. To think I was worr—

Wait a minute…

I want straight to my office. I turned on my computer. I typed…GEORGE THE BOSS.

I usually write novels—murder suspense and romantic suspense novels, but I was inspired by a cruddy scowling little pony named George, and now he’s got his first book:
GEORGE THE BOSS.

GEORGE THE BOSS is the first in a series of children's books by C.S. McDonald. Click on Book Cover to visit George the Pony's website, where you can download pages for your children to color!

GEORGE THE BOSS is the first in a series of children’s books by C.S. McDonald. Click on Book Cover to visit George the Pony’s website, where you can download activity pages for your children.

Do I still think that ponies are evil? Yep. But George is a special little…evil pony.

Author CS and granddaughter Kiersten. Click on picture to visit CS's website to view her romantic-suspense titles.

Author CS and granddaughter Kiersten.
Click on picture to visit CS’s website to view her romantic-suspense titles.

About the Author

C.S. McDonald

C.S. McDonald was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pa area. For 26 years she was a professional choreographer; she taught ballet, jazz and tap.  Most recently she has retired to write murder-suspense novels  (which can be found here). Now she has added Children’s books to entertain her four grandchildren.

 She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister on there Thoroughbred farm. George the Pony is based on real pony named George, who lives among the Thoroughbreds.

 

 

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Book Spotlight: Acre by George Johnson

Remember When Baseball Really Was America’s Past Time?

Acre Thomas Tulley proved to be a product of his time. In the late forties and early fifties, back before laptops and computer games, he was outside more than indoors. He spent hours on the railroad tracks hitting cinders with a stick. Afternoons were meant for swinging at corn cobs or having cob battles between the barn loft and the cow pound with his friends.

George Johnson was a late starter. He penned Acre, his first book, after retiring from teaching. Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

George Johnson was a late starter. He penned Acre, his first book, after retiring from teaching. Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

Acre, George Johnson’s debut novel, is about a boy from the heartland of America, who grows up to become baseball legend. It is a story that takes readers back to a time when family was everything, contracts were sealed with a handshake, and a man was as good as his word.
From swinging sticks at cinders, Acre grew up to hit baseballs with his bat. From the beginning, Acre Thomas Tulley set his goals high. He was still a teenager when he accomplished feats in major league baseball never achieved by any other player in the history of the game.
Keeping to his good family roots, Acre never forgot a promise he made early in his career. But now, after achieving a legacy that will remain a benchmark for many years to come, will Acre Thomas Tulley walk away to keep that promise? Can he?

George Johnson is working on his second book, Timber, which is about Acre's sister.

George Johnson is working on his second book, Timber, which is about Acre’s sister.

About the Author

George Johnson is a retired elementary school teacher from Prince George’s County, Maryland.
He thought about Acre for two years before he finally put it in writing. Then, it took him three years, off and on, to complete it and put it in print. Being a late starter, the author completed his second book of fiction called Timber. Acre and Timber are brother and sister. Timber took him two years to complete.
At the present time, he is compiling a collection of short stories he has composed over the years. George Johnson lives in Hagerstown, Maryland with Sharon, his wife of fifty-four years.

George Johnson is going on Tour!

You can keep up with George Johnson and learn more about Acre by following him on his virtual tour. The tour will kick-off with a Launch Party on Facebook on June 1st, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm CDT.

https://www.facebook.com/events/371866819589287/?fref=ts

He will also be making various stops across cyberspace on a virtual book tour, coordinated by Celestial Book Promotions. Click on the link to schedule a stop on your website or to follow Acre.

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Guest Post: Death Opens Whole New World: How I Met My New Best Friend

Today, we have a guest blog at Literary Wealth from author Annette Rose. Her hilarious book, Eat, Scream, and be Merry: Meatballs and Mayhem in Mountain Brooke,  is now available on Amazon and has bee receiving rave reviews. this is the perfect book to read at the time of year when family is meant to gather together. maybe her family will remind you of yours. Maybe her family will make you glad it doesn’t remind you of yours. Whatever the case, get Eat, Scream, and be Merry!

In this fantastic guest blog, I discover the story behind Annette’s first e-mail to me. Gee, Annette, I never realized someone had to die before you asked me for help!

If you find yourself in Annette’s blog post, working on a book, or having written a book, but needing someone to hold your hand will realizing your dream, don’t wait for someone to die to contact me. Feel free to shoot me an email (writerlaurencarr@gmail.com). I love to hear from authors!

If it weren’t for a deceased woman that I don’t even know I never would’ve met Lauren Carr. No, this is not a plot from one of her well-loved mystery novels, this is the truth.

Author Annette Rose
click on Pic to visit Annette’s Website

Honestly.

Let me explain. It was a pure coincidence that I met Lauren, one fateful day when someone handed me a newspaper with a nice article about her mystery series and her picture it in. Only because a kind soul, whose dearly departed mother’s newspaper was forwarded to him via the post office, did he offer it to me. You see, my daughter attends Shepherd University, and he thought maybe that would connect me a little to her part of the world.

Heck with that theory; he connected me with the newest part of my world:

I had been writing Eat, Scream, and be Merry, my first novel, for about two years at the time.

Writing.

Rewriting.

Editing along the way.

Putting it down every so often.

Picking it up in between the goings on of having an empty nest, then a not-so-empty nest, working, dieting, etcetera, and so forth. You know…real life stuff that takes up all of your time.

To make a long story even longer, which is what I do best, my heart skipped a beat when I read this article. What’s this, I thought, a lady that wrote a bookhmmmlike meand published it…INDEPENDENTLY…hmmm…and she looks so…NORMAL!

Lauren Carr
Author, Publisher
Hand-Holding Friend to New Writers

Oh, this was exciting and it was a helpful article indeed. But it was in the last lines somewhere in that paper that I made me just about leap out of my chair.

WHAT? She helps aspiring authors? Glad to answer questions…help them along their literary journey…

Cue the music for the happy dance.

It was if the gods rained good news down upon me, an aspiring author, who had half a book written, no earthly idea how or who or when it would be printed but sure beyond anything I ever knew in my heart that I would have a tangible book in my hands one day and hold it up, leaf through it, and say, “Told you so!” to any bold naysayers of which there were…none. Because I didn’t have the nerve to tell anyone I was writing a book at that point.

I read the article once. Then twice. Thrice. I hung it on the refrigerator in between the honey-do list that is still there and a losing lottery ticket. There was Lauren Carr staring back at me and her email address begging to be put into the address line of my “Compose” box.

Well, she said she would be happy to answer questions, I told myself for the tenth time, so what would an email hurt?

Wouldn’t hurt, I concluded.

I mustered up all the courage I could at 7 a.m. the next day. I was giddy. Nervous. I had only thirty minutes until work and luckily it only takes me 60 seconds to get there, and that’s if I walk slowly. So I really had 29 minutes but technically I should have 19 minutes because I like to arrive a wee bit early, to the dismay of those who think I should arrive 20 minutes early.

I digress.

Anyhoo, I typed my draft to Lauren. Should I call her Lauren? Miss Carr? Ms. Carr? Mrs. Carr? Oh, dear. Okay, I should be short but I have to make my point because after all, it was a first impression, I thought. So maybe I could be witty. But not too witty. But I would like her to have a sense of who I am. What I’m about. Oh geez.

I typed.

I retyped.

I definitely proofread. My God, she’s an author, I thought. I didn’t dare want to make any mistakes in an email to a published author that I was asking for help, for God’s sake.

I probably read it ten times and held my breath when I hit the “Send” button. There was no “undo” buttons on that email. That was it. I held my breath and hoped this woman at least responded and hoped even more that she didn’t give me the brush off.

Eat, Scream, and be Merry
Click on Cover to Purchase on Amazon

And you know what?

She sure did respond. And she was nice. And funny. And kind. And truly, because she did a little hand-holding for me through her Acorn Books Services company that specializes in hand-holding of authors, especially no-idea-what they-are-doing new ones like me, I have a book. It’s tangible. I hold it up and leaf through it. I like it. It makes me smile. It makes laugh. It makes others laugh.

And the truth is, I hope you read it and it makes YOU laugh.

So God bless you, Lauren Carr, and you too, Miss Arlene, I hope you are looking down at all this and smiling. You had a huge part of this and don’t even know it.

Or maybe you do.

About the Author:

Annette Rose is a West Virginia native who grew up with six brothers and sisters above her father’s company store. She and her husband still make their home in a small town in the West Virginia hills, where her Italian heritage has been a strong influence in her life. Annette is a graduate of Fairmont State College with a Graphic Arts degree and once enjoyed being a self-employed baker. Since then, she has devoted her life to being a creative mom to her two beautiful and artistic daughters. Her passion is throwing theme parties. Look for Annette’s Max the Zany Dog stories to be published soon.

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