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Guest blogger: Sally Brandle

4 November 2018

I love horses

Sally from Seattle here, thanking you for inviting me to post. Beautiful scenery and friendly folks greeted Mom and me on our trip to Australia, but the abundance of grey horses captured my attention. Here’s the disclaimer—my first memory involves a big palomino owned by a family friend. Dad set me on top of her, and my life changed. I counted horses, drew horses, read about horses, wrote stories featuring horses, and finally teamed up with my buddy, Lance, after I hit 50! Don’t ever give up on your childhood dreams. Mine came true, and I’m blessed with the affection of an athletic, twenty-eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. Quiet moments listening to him chew timothy and riding through fall leaves justify the wait. If I’m stuck plotting a book, I head to the barn. He grazes, and I brainstorm.

Lance isn’t shy about expressing his opinion. During our six years together, I’ve learned to negotiate. When we’re preparing to ride in the arena and he’d prefer a jaunt on the nearby trail, he stops en route to the mounting block, turns his head, and stares at the gate leading off the property. I’ll promise him a woodsy outing the next day, and then he’ll walk to the exact spot allowing me to climb aboard bareback.

Miranda Whitley, my heroine in The Hitman’s Mistake, senses an immediate bond with a smart mule, Big Red. His actions dispel the idea of a plodding dude ranch mount and many readers have expressed their enthusiasm for his role in the story. My editor noticed Red’s appeal and suggested I pen Red’s life prior to meeting Miranda into a ‘romantic mule thriller’ novella. My quest at present appears to become the freshly crowned queen of mule-lit, or not! Stay tuned for a tale pitting a creepy poacher against a Montana game warden heroine, who’s sleuthing beside a hunky hoof-trimmer (farrier), and Red. Sadly enough, the idea of that villain stemmed from a real-time visit to a police forensic lab where they were pulling prints from an eagle feather.

In my Love Thrives in Emma Springs series, I chose to craft compassionate heroes and heroines as a result of sympathy I feel for the horses at my barn whose ‘owners’ treat them the way they would a bicycle—ride it, put it away, forget it. I’ll confront anyone mistreating animals or children, in person or on the page.

My upcoming book, Torn by Vengeance, features a heroine afraid of horses. While she’s battling a stalker, a miniature horse wins her trust and devotion. Minis and mules possess characteristics unfamiliar to me, so I utilised Facebook groups to find people willing to share their insight. Future books introduce a pony, an Andalusian, a rescued zebra, and a Quarter Horse. I strive to accurately portray my equine characters, so please send me your horse stories, quirks of a favourite breed, or comments. I’d love photos of your beautiful hoofed beauties, grey or not!

Happy trails, Sally

Multi-award winning author Sally Brandle weaves slow-burning, clean romance into edgy suspense stories. Sally left a career as an industrial baking instructor to bring to life stories motivating readers to trust their inner gifts. Her rescue Aussie is her companion during long spells of writing, bouts of tormenting weeds in her garden, or afternoons spent riding on the wind with her Quarter Horse, Lance.

You can find Sally here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

The Hitman’s Mistake

She needs his trust. After Miranda Whitley stops crooked cops from assassinating a prominent Seattle judge, she’s next on the hit list, and her survival depends on the man she’s had one awkward encounter with—buff FBI Agent, Grant Morley. But can she find him in time?

He needs the truth. The last person Grant expects to discover on his annual horseback trip delivering supplies to a Montana mountain hermit is alluring Miranda Whitley, nearly dead from a bullet wound in her side. An accidental witness or the cold-blooded accomplice to would-be assassins?

Miranda must convince Grant of her innocence, evade the killers intent on preventing her testimony, and fight her unwanted attraction for the agent … an attraction which seems to be mutual. Fortunately, love thrives in Emma Springs. If you savor sizzling chemistry, determined assassins, and Montana scenery, then you’ll delight in this galloping thriller.

You can buy The Hitman’s Mistake here: Amazon AU | Amazon US

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