My book proof for Riding the Neighbors’ Horses is sitting on a shelf in my (temporary) bedroom. I’m sorry to say that in paging through it I found mistakes noticeable enough that I can’t overlook them, so we’re a few steps back in the editing/reviewing process. I’m hoping the book will be available in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, it is the funniest feeling to have a physical copy of this novel in my hands. I finished the first draft almost seven years ago. Followed up with lots of off-and-on revisions. Ignored it completely. Decided to do something about it. The book looks shiny and professional and it has my name on the front. Wheee!
For now, here is a small excerpt. Our narrator and protagonist, Susan Abbot, is about to get her first riding lesson from her neighbor, and new friend, Nan Whiting.
Horse’s hooves clopped against wood as Nan led a tall bay from its stall. “This is Bet,” she said. “The first time I rode her I was two, or probably even younger. Hold this a second.” Nan dropped a line of rope in my hand and darted around the corner before I could protest. I toyed with the end of the rope, following its white weave up to the halter of the horse. Bet stood near enough that I could feel the heat from her body and smell her scent—a blend of hay and wood, earth and sweat. She studied me with eyes so dark I couldn’t tell where the pupil ended and the iris began, and I wondered what I might read in those eyes if only I knew how.