Valentine’s Day! The #1 romantic holiday of the year. It’s time to say thank you to my wonderful readers! How? By giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. Actually, you have a chance to WIN $20 worth of books!
No, I am NOT horsing around! Author Nancy Lee Badger and I have pooled our resources together to promote our novels!
Be sure to check out the contest at my new Contest Page! You have one more week to enter
Personally I’ve never really been around horses. I read about them and saw how other girls loved them (See the Trixie Belden books!) but had little to no access growing up. I’ve always liked them and have ridden a few times. That said, I knew they needed to be at least a peripheral part of a series on colonizing another planet. Especially when the goal of the colony is not to harm the planet in ways that happened on the original home planet.
In the first book of the series, horses played a small role in the shirking of Davd and Kat. In this final book, their role is expanded with the moving out onto the planet’s surface. Only Ellon, the stallion has a really good time on the trek from Thirdport to Centerport, but you’ll get an explanation of that later.
These animals, while not pets, are cherished and appreciated for what they now offer the growing colony and I wanted to show my appreciation here as well. I hope you enjoy the story.
Here is Nancy’s take on SPARK and horses:
I have always loved horses. I helped care for a neighbor’s horses and spent several summers at ‘horse camp’. When the idea for a shape-shifting family of lovesick Scottish brother dragons popped into my head, so did the idea of shifting into a horse in order to trot among humans. Evan heads to a village to find a way to interact with humans and get close enough to a red-haired beauty to mate with her. The purple dragon shifts into a copper-colored horse and comes to the beauty’s aid.
When an unfamiliar horse kicks Toal into the creek, releasing Vika from his roaming hands, her appreciation turns to horror. A sputtering Toal demands that the animal die. Anger makes Vika agree to a wager. A three day hunt will determine the fate of the horse she names Spark. Failure will mean his death, and the loss of her freedom. Pirates, wolves, a wild boar, and a handsome stranger lead her on a wild ride. She discovers her heart is in as much danger as her life.
Excerpt from Rth Home –
Davd was still with the council so Kip headed to the stable to see if Situs or Crag needed anything.
“How’s Ellon?” he asked when he found them.
“Better than either of us. I’m ready to head home,” Situs smirked.
Kip chuckled but understood. These two had been away from their wives for a long time. “Question?”
“Could we make the trip back with only one pack horse?”
“Why would we want to?”
“I’m going to ask Davd if Lida can go back to Garttown with us.”
Both men stared at him for a long moment.
“You can talk,” he offered.
The two exchanged glances. “Why?”
“She has no one here. Lar is using her a slave labor. The women don’t include her.”
“And she wants to come with us?”
“I haven’t asked her yet. I wanted to talk it over with you guys first.”
“Kip, I can tell you’re interested in her, and I can’t blame you. She’s a very attractive woman and I understand. It’s a long trip back.”
“It’ll take less time than getting here because we know a better route. I’m not expecting anything from her. Hoping maybe. That’s really not the reason behind this. I think the culture here is toxic for someone like her, with no male champion. You saw the council.”
Situs frowned. “I wasn’t expecting that. Frack, it never occurred to me. My wife would geld me if I treated her like the women here.” Crag nodded.
“If you’re right about what’s going on, and she wants to come with us, I’m not against it,” Crag offered. “I don’t know her at all. I saw you sitting next to her last night. Do you think she’ll disrupt the trip? She doesn’t know what we know about the planet.”
“Maybe we can practice explaining it to her.”
Situs huffed. “Could be you’re right. We’ll see about rearranging the supplies. There’s Davd now.”
Kip turned to see Davd leaving the mayor’s office. He didn’t appear happy, though he wasn’t steaming like he was at lunch. Great.
“Good luck,” Crag called as Kip headed in Davd’s direction.
“Got a min?” he asked, as he got close.
He saw Davd glance toward the clinic, which was obviously busy. “Sure.”
“I want to ask a favor. I want Lida to come with us when we leave here.”
That brought Davd to a halt and he stared at him. “What?”
“Lida, I don’t want to leave her here. She’s being used as a slave by Lar.” He decided not to mention any possible physical abuse for now. To his surprise, he watched a smile grow on Davd’s face.
“I think that’s a great idea.”
Davd nodded. “Have her start packing. The three of us can head back to Nort’s office.”
“I wanted to talk to you first.”
“Go find her. I can’t think of anything that shows what we’re about any better.”
Kip’s grin grew as he turned on his heel and trotted toward the clinic.
Lida was keeping the children occupied to the side of the room, as Kat examined a little girl. The mothers were talking to one another, though none brought Lida into the conversation.
(BTW!! All three Rth RIsing books are now also available in paperback!!)
(Happy 97th Birthday, Daddy – miss you)