Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures) by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator) #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour
Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator)
I am thrilled to welcome Susan Count to Escape With Dollycas today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
The major influence in my life was growing up an Army Brat. We moved frequently and when my family was blessed to be assigned to Hawaii—my personal journey with horses began. While my friends were at the beach, I was riding horses through the cane fields on the side of the mountains of Oahu.
Today I am owned by three equine blessing. The only thing more fun than riding might be writing horse adventure stories. I write because I must. A day without writing is a bit less joyful.
What are two things most people don’t know about you?
If you met me at church, you would never guess that I drive a truck and my #1 Christmas gift request was a battery-powered reciprocating saw.
What is the first book you remember reading?
When your grandmother is a librarian, you are going to grow up with books in your hands. The summer my father was deployed to Vietnam, we lived with my mother’s parents in Falls Village, Connecticut. My father’s mother worked as the town librarian. After she gave me The Black Stallion, I spent the rest of the summer in a hammock reading through the series.
What are you reading now?
When I start writing something new, I find I want to re-read my pile of craft books. I’ll work my way through Super Structure by James Scott Bell, Save the Cat by Jessica Brody, On Writing by Stephen King and about six others. What is it about writing that I never feel like I can just rock back as if I’ve got this? Tonight—Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.
What books have most inspired you?
You should see my bookshelf! They are filled with horse books even after starting the process of gifting them to my granddaughter, Selah. There is something profoundly moving about our relationship with horses and many writers have created beautiful tributes to that relationship.
What made you decide you wanted to write middle-grade?
I couldn’t write a picture book for anything and I consider it the most difficult of genres. I bow to those that can. I’ve attempted chapter books, but the over simplification of language is more difficult to do than one might imagine.
I didn’t consciously choose to write for upper middle-grade readers, but as the stories unfolded it was my natural voice.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
As long as it is quiet, I will carry my laptop anywhere. I have a desk that belonged to my Grandmother Count that has secret compartments. I’ve always believed story ideas haunt it. In a sunroom that feels tucked into the forest, I have a standing desk and a daybed. In a room with a picture window into the barn and over the pasture is a writing table. On the deck overlooking the pasture is a comfy couch and a rocker, making it difficult to choose between them.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
I believe God is the author of all creativity. That He delights in us and in our creative expressions. Ideas and plot points come from life experiences. I take truth and twist it into fiction.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
For me, the process of writing requires solitude. Interruptions are the enemy of story.
What do you think makes a good story?
A great story is filled with conflict and tension and has an ending you didn’t expect. A great story reveals a character through action. Knowing that and pulling it off are two completely different things. I believe as I have evolved as a writer and gotten better at my craft, each book has gotten better.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
I’m probably most like the horse. Selah named her beautiful black mare—Sweet Dream. But the horse is difficult to train and highly opinionated.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
The first three novels in my series are firmly middle-grade, which is an impressionable age. While many believe middle-grade novels should form a child’s worldview, I’m more inclined to protect a child’s heart and mind just a little longer. But in Selah’s Stolen Dream, Selah is a bit older and therefore exposed to disagreeable elements. Even yet, a parent can confidently put the book in their child’s hands, knowing they will learn to take care in the world even as they ride off on a wholesome adventure.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m in the last stages of preparing for publication an ecology story for my grandboys. The Firefly Warriors Club is the story of two young warriors thrust into battle to save the last firefly family.
I’m also working hard on the first draft of a series of novellas. Each story is about a horse girl struggling through what makes her life impossible.
About Selah’s Stolen Dream
Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
4th in Series
Publisher: Hastings Creations Group (January 1, 2020)
Paperback: 262 pages
Digital Publisher: Hastings Creations Group (March 1, 2020)
Print Length: 217 pages
One girl’s victory is another’s tragic defeat.
Thirteen-year-old Selah’s perfect life unravels when her beloved horse is stolen. Then ten-year-old Emma buys the dream of a lifetime at a horse auction. When she learns the horse was stolen, even removing her hearing aid won’t drown out the voice telling her to make it right.
But two girls can’t divide the horse they both adore. So will life surprise them with an answered prayer?
About Susan Count
How many twists and turns can one person take before they figure out what they were born to do? Susan Count’s degree is in Applied Science–nothing in that prepared her to write novels for children. But one day, she began to write with no preconceived ideas. No one could have been more astounded than she was when it turned into a middle-grade equine series. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, she takes the craft of writing seriously and considers revision to be her super-power.
She writes at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the same wise grandmother who introduced Susan to the love of reading via Walter Farley’s horse books. That desk has secret compartments that hold memories, mysteries and story ideas.
Susan is a lifelong equestrian and is owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse. She is convinced that the only thing more delightful than riding the forest trails might be writing horse adventure stories. She invites you to saddle up and ride along.
Great Escapes Tour Praise for Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures)
by Susan Count – Lori Sanford (Illustrator)
Ms. Count has a whimsical way with her writing that makes the reader believe that they are there with the characters. I loved this book from beginning to end.
~Baroness’ Book Trove
TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
April 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
April 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 6 – Nadaness in Motion – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 8 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
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Nana’s Nook – Spotlight/ #Giveaway – Selah’s Sweet Dream by Susan Count (Author), Melissa Gates (Illustrator)
I am so excited to share this book with you today.
Selah’s Sweet Dream
by Susan Count (Author), Melissa Gates (Illustrator)
Hastings Creations Group (December 15, 2015)
Grade Level: 3 – 10
Age Level: 8 – 18
Paperback: 196 pages
E-Book ASIN: B0194J7FG4
Twelve year old Selah’s quest to become an equestrian superstar is haunted by her grandmother’s past and hindered by a horse with an attitude. She dreamed of a perfect sweet horse, but life is not a dream.
SELAH (Say-la) aspires to be an equestrian superstar. That would require a horse.
HER DILEMMA: Grandpa wants nothing to do with horses.
THEN: Selah sees buzzards circling the grasslands behind Grandpa’s farm. They are stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope.
DANGEROUS: The horse is wild and defiant – jeopardizing Selah’s dreams.
FOILED: The legal owner searched for the horse for two years and wants it back.
BUT: Selah is confident that God will provide her heart’s desire.
MEMORIES: Grandpa shows Selah a video, from long ago, of a phenomenal equestrian. Selah declares that she wants to be like her and Grandpa explains the rider was her grandmother.
HOPE: A world renowned horse trainer offers to train SweetDream and Selah.
FOILED AGAIN: Her parents could ruin everything unless Sweet Dream’s unruly behavior ruins it first.
LOST: Selah’s opportunity to mirror the equestrian talent of her renowned grandmother evaporates when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer’s facility.
NEVER GIVE UP: Will Selah gather her courage and face up to the trainer to save her aspirations?
About The Author
As a young girl, The Black Stallion series captivated me. Ownership of a real horse was beyond my grasp, so I consumed horse books. I am still a devoted student of equine training techniques of all disciplines and an avid equestrian. Now caretaker of three equine blessings, I consider them a gift of His unmerited favor.
The only thing more fun than riding horses is writing stories about them.
Pinterest fulfills my desire to have a horse of every color.
Come ride the trail: https://www.pinterest.com/susancount/
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