New Book || June 21, 2016 || Teen Girls & Horses

"The Quarter Horse" by Patricia Gilkerson

The Horse Rescuers #4
(Can be read as a stand alone novel)

The Quarter Horse

by Patricia Gilkerson

Fifteen-year old Piper agrees to help her friend Jeff sell his horses to pay for college, hoping he will then appreciate her more. But a gorgeous new girl, Jackie, comes to town who threatens to attract Jeff’s attention. Piper doesn’t know how to deal with beautiful Jackie and then she finds out that Jeff’s Quarter Horse, Daisy, is prone to colic, a deadly threat in horses. All the responsibility for Daisy is on Piper’s shoulders, but can she find a good owner for Daisy while keeping her healthy? And will Jeff fall for Jackie, forgetting about Piper? Daisy’s life is at stake as the Horse Rescuers must act quickly.


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Chapter One

~ Breakout~

Loud hoof beats in the yard. I put down my lemonade and ran to the window. Three adult horses and a colt milled around in Miss Julie Applegate’s backyard. The six-foot wide aluminum gate hung open.

“Oh, no! Jeff, didn’t you close the gate?”

“I thought I did,” he said, setting down his physics book and standing up.

My mouth went dry. There is nothing scarier to a horse owner than the sound of hoof beats where there aren’t supposed to be any. It means horses are loose and loose horses like to run. And run. A potential disaster if they ran down the long driveway and got onto the highway to town. Disasters like that might show up on the evening news, complete with images of ambulances, cops, and dead horses. If we could just ease them back into their paddock, maybe they wouldn’t start running.

“Hurry! We have to get them back in. You walk toward them by the barn while I go around the other side of the yard. Maybe they’ll head back into the paddock. Just don’t spook them so they start running!”

Hoping beyond hope that the horses would stay calm, I walked past them in the yard of the old white house, trying to head them away from the driveway and back into their pasture. The horses tossed their heads and started trotting around, just now realizing they were free. Jeff waved his arms, but that made them wilder.

“No! Don’t scare them!” I yelled at Jeff as, nostrils wide, the horses began to gallop. Dotty, the smallest and bossiest of the three adult horses, ran right past me up the half-mile dirt driveway toward the main highway. The others followed, gaining speed.

Clattering on the gravel drive, the horses and colt disappeared over the hill, neighing to each other. They sounded like they were having a party, but I had chills, thinking of them running down the busy highway toward Serendipity Springs, the nearest town. My horses might easily be galloping to their death. Could we catch them? We had a chance if they would slow down and graze. I ran into the barn and grabbed three halters. There was one for each adult horse. The colt would follow his mother, if we could only catch her.

Who was around to help us? I ran through the list in my head as I hurried to Jeff. My best friend Addie was out of town. My dad was at work and it would take him too long to get here. Miss Julie was too old to chase horses and she was gone on an errand anyway. It was up to me and Jeff. I handed him a halter and lead, and we ran up the drive after the horses.

“Piper, should I go back and shut the gate or get the truck?” Jeff panted as he ran. He’s thin and tall, but not very athletic.

“No and no,” I said, “We would just have to leave the truck and we’ll need the gate open for when we bring them home. We might need the truck later to find them.” I prayed that wouldn’t happen.

We ran together down the lane that was the long driveway to Miss Julie’s farm. Addie and I kept our horses there and we liked to visit with Miss Julie in her big white farmhouse. Jeff lived there with Miss Julie until his graduation from high school in the spring. The mare and foal belonged to him, but he wasn’t into horses and never really paid enough attention to closing gates and such. It drove me crazy, since I was the one who ended up taking care of them. That’s what happened when I depended on him to do things.

As we ran, Jeff muttered things like, “Can’t believe I did that,” and “So stupid,” really beating himself up.

“Jeff! It’s done!” I said. “Let’s just catch them and you can call yourself names later!”

He sighed and we ran on. As we came over the crest of a small hill, we were met by the four horses trotting back toward us. One POA—Pony of the Americas—that was spotted all over, one gray half-Arabian gelding, and one bay Quarter horse mare with her look-alike colt; all accounted for. This was encouraging. Maybe I could catch them.

“Here honey, here sugar,” I called to the pony in a soft voice, and held my hand out, trying to slow Dotty down and maybe get a halter on her. Their taste of freedom made them goofy and they acted like naughty children. Heads high, tails in the air, they snorted and pranced past us as if they were kids running away from school. I imagined them saying “Haha! Can’t catch me!” Way down where the driveway meets the road, Miss Julie had seen that the horses were loose, and blocked their escape by turning her car sideways. They had turned and trotted back the way they came. What an awesomely smart old lady! Now the horses were still loose, but at least they’d be contained in the fenced yard and couldn’t get out on the main road.

“Oh, boy! Thanks, Miss J!” Jeff called to her as we turned and trudged back to the house, breathing heavily. Miss Julie waved back at him, got in her car, and drove slowly behind us to the yard. Reaching it, she parked sideways again, blocking the drive so they couldn’t escape.

My sense of panic was over, but we still needed to get them back in the fenced paddock by the barn. They trotted, snorting, around the yard.

“I’ll take Nickel,” I said, referring to the tall grey Arabian. “He’ll be the easiest to catch. You see if you can get Daisy. The colt will follow her.” I dropped one of my two halters on the ground and walked slowly toward Nickel with the other halter hidden behind my back.

“Hey, Nick. Hey, son.” I sounded like my dad, who called all girl horses Sis and all boy horses Son. Most people I knew who worked with horses did that.

“Come on, it’s okay.” I held my hand out as if I had a carrot in it. I didn’t have a treat this time, but much as I love them, horses really aren’t very smart. You can fake them out easily.

Nickel settled down and nibbled grass with his good eye on me. He was blind in one eye, but was just the sweetest horse ever. His head came up as I approached and his nose lifted to sniff at my hand.

“Good boy!” I whispered, easing the lead rope over his neck and collecting the end. He was now as good as caught, with his head in a loop of rope. That done, it was a simple thing to draw the halter over his nose, up around his ears and buckle it. I rubbed Nickel’s neck for allowing me to catch him. As I held the lead rope, he snorted at me and rubbed his nose on my shoulder. I sighed and looked around to see what Jeff was doing. He walked toward Daisy, halter at his side. Every time he got close, she moved away, staying about two arms’ lengths away from him, her shiny red coat gleaming in the sun. The six-month old colt, Dancer, followed his mom as she led Jeff around the yard. Dotty the pony was sniffing Miss Julie’s petunias by her porch, eyeing us without much interest. Miss Julie had taken up a post by her car, in case any of the horses tried to sneak past it.

“Aargh!” said Jeff, who had more patience with his guitar than his horses.

“See if they’ll follow us,” I called. I turned and led Nickel through the big gate into the small paddock between the barn and house. I walked him all the way in, toward the big oak tree that grew in the center of the field. Slowly, like a parade, my wayward horses followed, the grey gelding with me, with the spotted pony, the bay mare and the colt bringing up the rear. I was thankful that horses were herd animals and wanted to stay together.

Relieved to have everyone where they belonged, I called, “Close the gate, Jeff. And this time, latch it!” It came out a little sharper than I meant.

He pulled the gate shut hard and stalked up to the house. I took off Nickel’s halter and hugged his neck. I walked over to Dotty, the innocent-looking pony, and patted her on her spotted neck. Daisy walked over to us, sniffing for treats, so I rubbed her forehead and kissed her, gazing into her huge brown eyes. None of them looked a bit sorry for their adventure. I smiled and left the runaways happily nibbling clover. The disaster was over—no harm done. I took a huge deep breath in relief and walked out the gate and up to Miss Julie’s house.

 

Jeff and I flung ourselves into our usual places in Miss Julie’s rocking chairs on the wide front porch. I had the half-grown cat, Willie Nelson, on my lap. Miss Julie was inside making some celebration lemonade. Jeff rocked quickly, as if something bothered him. I wondered what he was antsy about. Easter was coming in a few days and we were on our spring break. The excitement was over so why didn’t he relax now? I slumped in my chair, exhausted.

“So Piper…”

“Mmm Hmmm?” My eyes were closed in relief from having stopped a disaster.

“You didn’t have to snap at me.”

“When?” I sat up and stared.

“When you told me to shut the gate. I mean, I know I was an idiot to leave it open, and I feel terrible about it, but I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“I didn’t snap at you!”

“Well, yes, you did. And you didn’t have to.”

“I did not snap at you. I only told you to shut the gate and latch it.”

“It was the way you said it.” Why was he being so sensitive? Jeff was a senior, while I was only a sophomore. We went out together sometimes. Well, we had twice. Okay, he was my first real date. The Homecoming Dance was fun and we had a good time. We were friends, but it felt like he was always telling me how to say things. Since the dance, we had gone to one movie and that was it. I wasn’t sure how he felt about me…or how I felt about him. Didn’t he want to go out with me anymore? I definitely wanted to go out with him again, but always got cold feet when I thought about doing the asking myself. “Hey, I’m sorry if I said it wrong. I just don’t want the horses to get out. What if they ran out onto the highway and got hit by a car? Or lost? Or stolen? Not good, Jeff, not good. You know if you don’t want Daisy you should sell her.”

“Yeah, well, I am going to sell her.”

“What?”

“I need the money for college.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Look, I know you love those horses, all of them. Even mine. But I’m going to need some money and the horses are all I have to sell. I didn’t tell you sooner because I knew you’d be upset.”

“Both of them? Seriously? Even if you get a scholarship?”

“Even if. There are all kinds of expenses that a scholarship won’t cover. I can’t sell the truck—I’ll need it for getting around. And I have to buy insurance for it and a bunch of other expenses. So I have to sell the horses.”

That was bad news, having to sell that beautiful mare and her colt, but maybe they were worth a lot of money.

“Here we go! Nice cold lemonade for the Horse Rescuers. You just rescued them all over again.” Miss Julie was probably the most cheerful woman I’d ever known. She was the one who helped Addie and me rescue our two horses, and let us keep them in her barn. Holding three large glasses, she came out of the kitchen trailed by Honey, her sheltie.

“Miss Julie,” I said, “you were the one who rescued them when you pulled your car into the driveway so they couldn’t run down the highway. Jeff and I just caught them and got them in the paddock. You’re a Horse Rescuer, too.”

We dropped the subject of selling the horses. Jeff didn’t seem like he wanted to talk about paying for college in front of Miss Julie. I still wanted to make sure he wasn’t so careless anymore, but decided to let it go for now. We both took a tall glass of lemonade and drank.

“Piper,” said Miss Julie, sitting down on her porch swing. “What do you hear from Addie?”

“She’s having a fun time in Wisconsin. Her dad took her to visit some of his friends and she met a cute guy that she’s drooling over. She’ll be home Sunday, late.”

“Drooling?” asked Jeff, with his eyebrows raised.

“Well, every other text is about Joe. Joe, Joe, Joe.”

“I heard your dad is hiring another veterinarian to work in his clinic,” said Miss Julie.

My jaw dropped and the lemonade glass nearly did.

“Where did you hear that?” Nothing, I mean nothing happens with my dad’s vet clinic without me knowing about it. He tells me everything and even asks my opinion sometimes. I used to go on farm calls with him. I don’t go so much anymore since I have school and the horses and all, but I still help him order medicine, and magazines for the waiting room. When I was little, I liked to take old copies of Horse and Rider and cut out pictures of the horses I liked best.

Miss Julie looked innocent. “I overheard it at the clinic this morning when I took Honey in for her rabies shot. But maybe it was just gossip.”

Hmmm. I needed to talk to Dad and find out what was going on. Dad was too busy and actually did need to hire another vet to take some hours. I just wanted to be sure it was someone we all liked and got along with. Serendipity Springs, Kentucky is a small town.

“Well, gotta bounce,” I said, standing and stretching. I had my bike with me, so it wouldn’t take long to get to Dad’s clinic.

“Let us know what you find out,” said Jeff with a grin. He knows me—I couldn’t pass up a chance to find out more. He smiled, so maybe he wasn’t still mad at me. I patted Honey and Willie Nelson, waved goodbye and left.

Fantasy Spotlight + Giveaway

Fire and Ice is proud to be a stop on the Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop, sponsored by the blogs I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & Bookhounds.

We’re going to feature some of our Fantasy books and give you an opportunity to WIN your choice of ANY of the books listed below.

When you’re done with that, click the links at the bottom of the page to visit the next blog on the hop!


 

"Whisper of the Woodsquot; by D. G. Driver

Whisper of the Woods

A Juniper Sawfeather Novel #2

by D. G. Driver

 Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.

The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause, but that changes when she falls asleep at the base of a giant tree and wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!

From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her, too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?

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"The Forest of Welkan by Valerie KylesThe Forest of Welkan

by Valerie Kyles

Shape shifters died out in Teladorn long ago. With the making of the Stone — a reservoir of magical power — those who protect the land became lesser magicians. Lana, a young village woman, finds herself unexpectedly chosen as apprentice to the most powerful present-day mage. She follows him to the Forest of Welkan far to the north where she discovers that Teladorn is under threat and will soon realize the depth of its loss in no longer having shape shifters.

In the course of her adventures, Lana discovers that she herself has unknown powers while two other shape shifters miraculously appear on the scene. Can their united strength be enough to save Teladorn from the evil that threatens on every side?

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"The Sapphire Legend Part 1" by E. L. TenenbaumThe Sapphire Legend
Part I

by E. L. Tenenbaum

Sapere has always been different.

In her tribe, select families are blessed with a gift that is passed through the generations from father to son. But something went wrong when Sapere was born, because she has her family’s gift and she shouldn’t.

When Sapere’s village is attacked the night of her wedding, the survivors flee to the Wild in hopes of finding refuge in a dangerous place filled with deadly predators. Now, Sapere feels like an outsider on the precipice of two worlds, unable to fit into the old way, unaccepted by the new, and terrified of being shunned by both.

Through the survivors’ fight for survival, Sapere learns that she can be a victim of circumstance or master of fate. Can she rise above the nature of her birth and mold her own future? Can she be herself and earn the villagers’ respect in their new world? Or will she forever be shackled by the anomaly that makes her different?

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"The Great Forest of Shee" by Patricia GilkersonThe Great Forest of Shee

by Patricia Gilkerson

 “Find Arizopal!”

With those words from his desperately ill father, fifteen year-old Griffin begins his journey to the Great Forest of Shee, a mystical place, and difficult to navigate.

The Great Forest is Faerie itself and during his quest, Griffin will meet many magical and sometimes fearsome dwellers there. Befriended by some, challenged by others, Griffin finds he is not the person he thought he was. But who is he?

He has to use his wits and call on new friends to figure out first, how to save his father, next, how to rescue his mother and a beautiful half-elf named Indigo. And finally, how will he keep the Great Forest itself from being destroyed?

 

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"Into the Deep" by Missy FlemingInto the Deep

by Missy Fleming

 No one understands the fury of the ocean like Zoey.

Ten years ago, she lost her leg in a freak shark attack. The night after her sixteenth birthday, she has yet to accept her awkward prosthetic limb or the fact she will always be different. Wary of the sea, and its hidden threats, she ventures to a bonfire at the beach. She’s mesmerized by its awesome power, wondering what she ever had to fear, until a rogue wave sweeps her into the cool, salty water.

Zoey believed mermaids were creatures of legend, characters in silly children’s stories, but it’s hard to ignore the captivating tail that’s suddenly appeared, or the sense of finally being whole. She abandons her life on land in search of answers about who she really is and where she came from.

What she discovers is a kingdom full of intrigue and danger, as well as a royal father she never knew existed. Settling into her role as a mermaid princess, she learns her family is under attack, both on land and in the water. Raging storms swell up, threatening coastal cities, and sea levels rise practically overnight, endangering the lives of everyone she loves. Determined to stop the strange phenomena, Zoey becomes caught up in the race to track down what, or who, is responsible for the catastrophic events.

But, Zoey possesses another secret, one born of legend and more powerful than any mer or human can imagine.

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New Books || May 7, 2015 || Hurricanes, Magical Forests, and Epic Quests


"Until I'm Safe" by Jane GraceUntil I’m Safe

by Jane Grace

Does she stay and possibly get shot by her crazed father or run into the storm of the century, Hurricane Katrina?

Marguerite Aucoin has no choice but to run! Like the fiction heroine she writes about, a teen named Toots Gentry, Marguerite must be brave, despite the fact she’s lost both hearing aids and is virtually deaf.

Amand rescues Marguerite from the swirling bayou waters. At his home, she awakes but doesn’t speak, writing her name, Toots Gentry. With time, he learns her secrets, and discovers someone’s trying to kill her. But’s he’s fallen in love with Marguerite and is determined to protect her.

BUY THE BOOK

EBOOK ($4.99)
Amazon Kindle
Smashwords

PRINT ($13.95)
Lulu


 

"The Great Forest of Shee" by Patricia GilkersonThe Great Forest of Shee

by Patricia Gilkerson

 “Find Arizopal!”

With those words from his desperately ill father, fifteen year-old Griffin begins his journey to the Great Forest of Shee, a mystical place, and difficult to navigate.

The Great Forest is Faerie itself and during his quest, Griffin will meet many magical and sometimes fearsome dwellers there. Befriended by some, challenged by others, Griffin finds he is not the person he thought he was. But who is he?

He has to use his wits and call on new friends to figure out first, how to save his father, next, how to rescue his mother and a beautiful half-elf named Indigo. And finally, how will he keep the Great Forest itself from being destroyed?

BUY THE BOOK

EBOOK ($4.99)
Amazon Kindle
Smashwords

PRINT ($12.95)
Lulu


"Mira's Last" by Erin ElliottThe Sword of Lumina #3

Mira’s Last

by Erin Elliott

Galena has recovered the Sword of Lumina and now she has to race to find her brother, the leader of the elf army, to aide him in battle against Rau’s forces. Together, they push the enemy back until they find themselves facing Blackwell and every dark creature imaginable, including Rau himself.

Galena uses all the magic she possesses battling creatures never before seen until she finds herself face to face with the one who has ruled the elven nation for far too long. In a battle of light versus dark, Galena proves why she is Mira’s Last.

BUY THE BOOK

EBOOK ($4.99)
Amazon Kindle
Smashwords

PRINT ($11.95)
Lulu

New Books || April 24, 2014 + Giveaway

New Releases from Fire and Ice YA Books - April 24, 2014

Our $10 Amazon Gift Card is still up for grabs! Check out our latest releases then check out the bottom of the page for info on how to win!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

"Song Magick" by Elisabeth HamillSong Magick

by Elisabeth Hamill

In a realm where true magic has been lost for centuries, seventeen-year-old bard Telyn Songmaker’s powers are unprecedented — and unpredictable. Able to control the actions and emotions of others with her melodic enchantments, the violent aftermath of an accidental spell has left Telyn exiled from the King’s court — unaware of the price on her head.

When Telyn is outnumbered by assassins in the Wood, Mithrais comes to her aid, dispatched to protect her by dying sylvan gods who need her unique magical gifts to free them from an ancient and deadly spell. Bound to the Wood by blood and by oath, Mithrais is more than the mere soldier he seems, and he and Telyn discover that they share a rare empathic bond of heart and mind.

The Fates have plans for Telyn and Mithrais, but what is brewing will further endanger their lives. If they succeed, magic will return to the realm, but love may be the most unpredictable magic of all…

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Revengers #3

Under Cover

by Caroline Crane

A senseless murder. A teenager accused—the body found in his car.

It all happened in Hudson Hills, the town next to Cree Penny’s home of Southbridge. To her it seems remote, until her father comes from his home in Borneo, halfway around the world, to help. The youth who is accused might be a relative. His name is Liam Penny.

Liam insists he’s innocent. Of course. They all do. Cree wants nothing to do with any of it. Her mind is on Ben Canfield, the love of her life, who seems to be drifting away. Then she overhears a gang threatening Liam. He might really be innocent.

Everyone advises her to leave it alone. But Cree is determined to learn the truth, to exonerate the innocent and punish the guilty. To do that, she goes undercover. The gang members have never seen her, don’t know anything about her. She can infiltrate them, and does—until someone blows her cover.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

A T.J. Jackson Mystery #3

Roberto’s Return

by Paul Ferrante

Something’s Wrong in the Birthplace of Baseball

In life, he was one of the all-time greats, a trailblazing icon who played the game with unmatched passion and style.
In death, his mystique only grew, the circumstances of his demise shrouded in controversy and myth.
When he passed into legend it was believed his like would never be seen again.
But now he’s come back.
And it’s up to T.J., LouAnne and Bortnicker
to solve the riddle of Roberto’s Return

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Horse Rescuers Volume 1

The Horse Rescuers

by Patricia Gilkerson

The Penny Pony

Piper Jones has always loved horses, but little did she know what would happen when she and her best friend, Addie tried to help a neglected pony. When all the adults in her life can’t or won’t help, Piper and Addie take matters into their own hands. They must find a safe haven for the pony and protect it from its cruel owner. A little old lady from Piper’s past steps up to help and a suspected liar proves he’s not a bad guy at all. But as the girls try to solve a mystery involving the suspicious owner, will they be forced into crime themselves in order to save their new-found pony friend?

Nickel-Bred
Piper and Addie, looking for another horse, find the perfect one in Nickel, but discover the owner is part of a gang of criminals. Nickel’s life is in danger. Can the girls save him from the slaughterhouse? Will they be able to save their friends and family as the vicious criminals take revenge?

Turn on a Dime
Piper and Addie are going to start their sophomore year in senior high school, when their friend, Miss Julie, rents rooms to Cassie and her stepson, Jeff. Cassie’s mare is going to foal soon and Piper has the responsibility of checking on her daily. Piper and Addie disagree about boys, a situation which worsens because of Piper’s initial dislike of Jeff. As she gets to know and accept Jeff, when he is accused of theft, Piper and her best friend defend him to all adults. What will happen when Cassie steals, then leaves the country as her mare goes into labor with no one but the girls and Jeff to help?

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GIVEAWAY

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win the $10 Amazon gift card as well over on THIS post!