This is going to be a long post. You’ve been warned.
I’m still in a bit of turmoil at the moment, so all I can say about The Dangers with Allies is that I still spend time on it, but I am unable to do anything further to get it moving towards publication.
I’m currently looking for new employment. After spending thirteen months in a job that caused way too much stress and was not a healthy work environment, I needed to do something and I took a gamble – I traded my sanity for stability for a brief time. Until I find a replacement place to work (or the series gets a sudden mass interest in it) writing is back to just being a hobby. For those of you worried: there is still progress, it’s just even more limited than it was previously. So…for any readers out there, if you have read the series and did enjoy it, I ask that you consider leaving a review on Amazon/Goodreads (Amazon being preferred at this time due to the lack of reviews that have transferred from Goodreads to there and because Goodreads allows just ratings) or sharing the book with friends/family to get more eyes on it.
I am always willing to offer free copies of either/both books in exchange for an honest review as well. Ebooks are easier to send, but if you would prefer a paperback, I am willing to ship within the USA and Canada right now. There is a limited number of paperbacks being offered at this time though, due to the above mentioned no-longer-working-due-to-bad-conditions bit.
Anyway…on a happier note. I thought I’d reintroduce my fur-babies. I have three cats and a horse. The horse is the highlight of said former job and I’ll get into that whole fun story after discussing the cats. To view the pictures I’ve attached, please visit my website as Goodreads and possibly the other platforms this post will appear on do not like sharing pictures.
The eldest is Tessa. She was a shelter rescue and she’s already 10 years old. She has the personality of a mobster at times which has led to me fondly calling her Mob Boss due to her very strong opinions regarding life, other breathing things, and, oh, everything. As she is a Siamese cross she is not at all afraid of offending anyone with said opinions and will happily inform you of all the wrongs or rights of your life if you so much as ask.
Next, I picked up Ziva (yes…I have a thing for names that start with Z.) She’s a year and a half now and some sort of tabby cross. She’s easy going, quiet, my cuddler, and looks like she might have had some Bengal in her, but her temperament doesn’t follow. Her brother though, who my mom brought home? He’s nuts and definitely has the Bengal temperament so who knows!
Since the picture of Ziva also includes my final gal, Allie, I’ll go ahead and introduce her as well. She’s also about a year and a half, she came from a shelter, and I consider her my tomboy/rascal. She gets into everything, is more inclined to bounce off all the furniture than cuddle, can’t quite figure out how to stay still long enough to enjoy petting, and with her tortie color, she just looks like trouble.
While Tessa was less than impressed with the new additions to the family, still remains unimpressed with their existence even over a year later, the two young girls are the best of friends and groom/sleep close most of the time. They keep me company at home and Ziva is my number one writing buddy with Tessa being a close second.
And now, on to my bigger four-legged baby. This will be a bit longer.
I had two horses as a teenager. The last horse I was forced to sell when I was eighteen following a vet’s mistake that pretty much bankrupted me. As my horse at the time was a 6 year old I had been around since the day she came into the world, I was devasted and very much against considering having another horse for years. And, despite working in the horse industry, I actually did great at resisting the urge to own a horse for about 12 years. Then I started the job I just left. While I was there four hundred horses came and went – I now consider my self-restraint very high since I only took one home.
So, meet my baby, Dakkar.
Now, this is a recent photo (today’s actually) and you’ll notice Dakkar’s coat is clipped. Since we’re heading into winter and I ride five days a week and keep Dakkar in very good shape, the clip (a variation of the clip known as a “Chaser cut” for any interested party) helps both of us. 1) One, Dakkar is less likely to be at risk of illness from getting too hot in the cold weather and then getting chilled. 2) I don’t have to spend hours trying to get him dry in the cold weather because the areas he’s most likely to sweat are short hair now.
Dakkar has plenty of blankets to keep him warm. We did this clip type last season and he was forever toasty under his blankets. I even had extras just in case he ever got cold.
Annnnd back on track. If you’ve noticed his color, the golden coat with a black mane/tail/black points on his legs/muzzle/tips of his ears – this is called a buckskin for any non-horsie people. Dakkar is a five-year-old Quarter Horse, and this color is one of the many they can be. Why does this matter? Oh…it’s entertaining.
I’m an english rider. I like eventing (a branch that has three different parts to it: Dressage, Cross Country, and Stadium Jumping) and though I spent 9 years as a western rider, I’m not a fan of any of the western disciplines. Again, why does this matter? While Quarter horses are not -just- western, most people think of all things western when they hear of the breed and my Dakkar was started as a reining horse which is definitely western. Apparently, he wasn’t good enough or something as he was dropped off at a rescue in Kentucky and then ended up at my job in Colorado where he made short work of my “no horse” stance.
Why is this strange? When I would allow myself to daydream of another horse, I had a list of what I would look for:
I wanted a mare (female horse,) a chestnut (red body/red mane/tail) or a bay (various shades of red body with black mane/tail/legs) coat color, a Thoroughbred (the breed that runs in our Triple Crown) or a Warmblood breed, an age range of 8 to 10, and at least a height of 16 hands (hands are the measurements of equines. 1 hand is 4 inches so 16 hands would be 64 inches at the withers – which is the part of the horse where the neck meets the back and where the height of a horse is determined for lack of a better explanation.)
Therefore, I naturally brought home:
A gelding (a “fixed” male horse who cannot reproduce,) who is a buckskin, who is a Quarter horse, who was 4, who stood 14.3 hands high *sighs* and who knew nothing about english. Honestly, he seemed to know little in general, but who knows how much time he had off before I brought him home.
Compare my “list” of desires against my list of what I actually brought home…
My good friend and my trainer about died of laughter on the phone when I mournfully told her I was bringing home a very young, very short, Quarter Horse gelding and asked her if she wanted to help me bring up baby since I was way too busy at work to give Dakkar the get-into-shape workout he was going to need. Not to mention my baby boy wasn’t entirely sound when I brought him home. He was a big gamble and thankfully that gamble paid off. He’s also such a charmer that he made friends with -everyone- and earned himself the barn nickname of Midget since he’s so not like every other horse my trainer works with. They’re tall.
I’m 5’9. I generally avoid horses under 15 hands. And while I’ve trained horses from the ground up, I prefer horses with spunk but with knowledge as playing trainer isn’t really my cup of tea unless I have to do it. Dakkar, the quiet minded but playful gelding who worked so hard to steal my heart, was a bit lacking in the knowledge part.
But that can be taught, and Dakkar was happy to learn. We’ve been through a lot together already and my golden boy absolutely loves all things english including jumping. He’s bold over fences and loves to see/try new things. He may not have been good enough for whoever left him at the rescue in Kentucky, but he’s perfect for me. It’s crazy to think I went for so long without a horse only to have the horse pick me. Firmly. With no arguments allowed (I did try.)
This is a picture from early spring of this year just because I love showing off his classiness over fences:
December 22nd will mark the anniversary of me bringing home the horse I firmly told no for the first month of his attempts to win me over (there was swearing, lotssss of swearing,) and I cannot imagine what I would have felt had I managed to watch someone else walk off with him.
I’m done bragging about my four legged kids, but if I mention any of them by name now there is an image to bring to mind.