A golden promise for the future in a lonely palomino mare, but life deals a cruel hand for James and Laura.
James is still running from the past after the loss of his wife, and a devastating accident forces him to face his final demons, but at what cost? Laura is forced deeper into his rural world – a life she once despised – but discovers empathy and hope in the palomino mare she calls Song.
Repercussions abound for Maggie too, when the full extent of her daughter’s dangerous liaison comes to light, leaving the entire family in turmoil. Will James and Laura ever find a golden future, or has life dealt too vicious a blow?
I featured author Jan Ruth in December when she called in for a chat and I reviewed the wonderful Silver Rain – you can read that feature again here. I made no secret of the fact that I felt I’d discovered a new favourite author. It’s quite unusual for me to publish a post on a Sunday – but I just had to tell you about her latest release, Palomino Sky. It was published this week in kindle and paperback editions, and is the second book in her Midnight Sky series. I’ll let Jan tell you more…
Pssst… I need to whisper… new release!
When I finally gave up trying to float in water, I made the easy decision to devote my time and energies solely to the two longest serving pastimes in my life – both of which have made me look slightly less of a fool than trying to swim across the shallow end – horse-riding, and writing. Unlike deep water, none of the horses I’ve known have deliberately tried to kill me. I like that in a horse.
I had a sun-kissed Australian friend at primary school who talked about the ponies she’d left behind in the sun-drenched prairies of Brisbane, and a romance was born. A huge leap of imagination to bring an Ozzie dream back to life in a few fields just off the Timperley by-pass but as ten-year-olds, it made not one jot of difference. They might not have taken me very far in terms of horsemanship but Merrylegs, Twinkle Toes and Puffin at least taught me how to float my imagination.
Horses have been a lifetime’s passion for me. No surprise that they feature in most of my novels, more so in Midnight Sky and Palomino Sky. Both books draw on the principles of horse-whispering and the power of self-belief – but I take on this theme in a fictional sense rather than a technical sense.
Monty Roberts’ father was virtually destroyed by his son’s belief in ‘horse-whispering’, as a far more humane and less exhausting method of breaking and training horses. It’s no secret that Monty took a severe beating for it.
A remarkable man, Roberts went on to foster disadvantaged children, using much the same wisdom and insight he’d learnt through studying horses and their social groups in the wild. It’s too easy – and often misguided – to bestow animals with human emotion, but maybe trust is rooted in the same place in humans as in horses, and observation and interpretation is all that’s required to make a valuable connection, regardless of language. And isn’t whispering usually far more effective than shouting? Much the same as writing good fiction; and if we’re talking analogies there’s nothing worse than clunky dialogue. Is Natural Horsemanship simply natural dialogue?
It’s so easy to swamp the narrative with too much unwanted detail. And yet, it’s the minutiae of life which underpins the storyline in Palomino Sky. As with horse-whispering, it’s the observation of perhaps something seemingly inconsequential which can change an entire situation. If you’re not horse savvy or enjoy only a passing interest, I’ve tried to portray the equine aspect as secondary to the storyline in these books. On the other hand, horse enthusiasts will hopefully embrace the setting!
Thank you Jan! And let me remind people about the first in the series, Midnight Sky, too… just 99p/99c for kindle at the moment.
How can we harness the future if the past will not set us free? An emotive story of love, loss and letting go. Opposites attract? Laura Brown, interior designer and James Morgan-Jones, horse whisperer – and Midnight Sky, a beautiful but damaged steeplechaser.
Laura seems to have it all; glamorous job, charming boyfriend. Her sister Maggie struggles with money, difficult children and an unresponsive husband. She envies her sister’s life, but are things as idyllic as they seem?
She might be a farmer’s daughter but Laura is doing her best to deny her roots, even deny her true feelings. Until she meets James. But James is very married, and very much in love, to a wife who died two years ago. They both have issues to face from their past but will it bring them together, or push them apart?
About Jan Ruth
The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.
Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.
Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. It didn’t fall into a specific category and, narrated mostly from the male viewpoint, it was considered out of genre for most publishers and too much of a risk.
Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing; opening up the market for readers to decide the fate of those previously spurned novels. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction and short story collections and after a brief partnership with Access Press in 2015, has returned to the freedom of independent publishing.
Follow Jan on Twitter or via her Facebook author page: she also has an excellent website and a blog that’s always fascinating reading.