Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Moonlit by Jadie Jones (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Today author Jadie Jones is going to explain to us how she juggles her two passions: writing and horses.
This question cracks me up, because horses and writing get in the way of each other all the time. Aside from the book, I have two other jobs, one as a horseback riding coach for a high school team and one as a web developer for a small business.
I also have a two year old daughter. So my time and my brain are stretched in many different directions.  I spent the early part of this year trying to learn how to multitask, but I felt like I wasn’t doing any of it well just for the sake of doing it at all. And that made me really frustrated.
I have ferocious tunnel vision. It can be an asset and a huge weakness. Also, I’m a caboodle-era kid. I like to compartmentalize. So finally, I stopped trying to be the person who could do it all and have learned to assign times to certain areas of my life, and to let go of the things I didn’t get to that day. I’m better at what I’m trying to accomplish if I refuse the itch to multi-task. Sometimes a bit of dialogue will pop into my head during a lesson or a horse-show, and I either text myself or jot a note down in the show program. I use “coloring” time with my daughter to brain storm plot ideas for books two and three – but I do them in crayon so I feel like it totally counts.
I am a mom first. After that, I have assignments for the small business, and a regular lesson schedule in the afternoons. I write once my daughter goes to bed, usually around 8pm, and go until midnight at least four days a week. If I feel good and the words are flowing, I push on until I can tell that my writing is becoming nonsensical. If my writing or story isn’t there to start with, I network for an hour or so and then call it a night.
I am lucky because I have a very understanding husband who doesn’t mind neglect, and three other trainers that work out of the same farm who are all incredibly talented and supportive. They are happy to step in and take my lessons if I’m under deadline for writing. On the flip side, the back of a horse is where I battle best against a writer’s block or plot tangle. Horses inspire me to create and write.
Even though sometimes I feel like I’m up to my ears in to-do lists, I wouldn’t trade any of it.
About the author:
Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went.
She currently coaches a hunt seat equitation team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she's not working on the next installment of the Moonlit series, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Moonlit is her first book.
Moonlit by Jadie Jones
Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
"Virginia's trees look like they're burning. Most of them blaze crimson or gold, but some still have a chokehold on their green. I wish they'd give it up already. Leaves are more beautiful when they're dying."
And so Moonlit begins. From here the story rolls from one twist to another with many vivid characters whose motives are hard to predict. I found myself being suspicious of everyone, wanting to tell Tanzy to be very careful. The deeper I fell into the plot, the more questions kept rising to the surface. But not to worry, all of my questions were answered. Appropriate for all ages, if you love paranormal fantasy mixed with suspense, mystery and other-worldly romance, you'll love this novel!
~Author Julie Ford
Excerpt from Moonlit:
The glow from the barn quickly dissolves into the inky night. Not a shred of it accompanies us past the mangled gate. But the dark offers little relief from the shadows that plague me in the light of day.
The full moon casts a blue glow over the rolling field, making the dark places that sway in the steady breeze look alive. I release the breath I’d been holding as we near the riding ring. Hopewell stands still as I lean from the saddle to let us through the gate.
Once we’re closed inside the safety of the lit arena, I take a quick scan of the tree line. The woods and their shadows are still.
“Paranoid,” I say, unwilling to admit to myself that it sounds too much like a dare as it drifts across the empty pasture.
I cluck to Hopewell and he strikes off in a floating trot. He stretches his neck and lets out a snort. We track a figure-eight pattern across the broad arena and then I move him up into a canter. His three-beat gait feels like flying. My eyes close in bliss as we sail down the long side of the ring. And then, a break in rhythm. The next two beats come too fast and his typically light step pounds at the ground. My muscles clench, locking my seat into the tack, and my eyes fly open.
“Easy, Hope. Easy.”
His pulse skyrockets, thumping through the saddle. I search the dark in a long sweep, anxious to catch sight of something I can define scurrying in the brush. But the field is empty.
“I don’t see anything.” Panic raises my voice to an unfamiliar octave and every muscle tenses with adrenaline.
Suddenly, he charges for the railing, twisting his head so far to the inside of the ring that I can see the rolling whites of his eyes.
Whatever is scaring him is in here with us.
I brace myself in the tack and chance a look behind us. Horror charges through my body as I lock eyes with a dark, ghastly creature slinking along behind us. It lowers its saber head and opens a pair of wide, capable jaws. My breath stills in my throat as it lunges from its crouch. Hopewell spins and bucks, kicking the beast square in the chest and throwing me onto his neck.
Don’t fall! I cling to his mane as I try to right myself, but I can’t get my feet back in the stirrups.
Hopewell leaps into a gallop and races toward the end of the ring. The distance between us and the fence evaporates in seconds. I push him forward, silently begging him to ignore the routine barrier. He powers off the ground and sails over the rail. I sit up as he lands, and steer him towards the barn.
Without warning, he leaps sideways tossing me airborne. I cry out as I land hard back in the saddle.
Another animal races toward us from the side. The first creature is closing in from behind.
Blog Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Ends 6/21/13)

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