Category Archive:General

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be able to share details with you of a new project of mine: Equine Authors. I’ve set up another site that focuses on helping horse book authors to develop a book, publish it and promote it.

The site focuses on tools and services that you can use for free to publish and promote your book/s. It also provides a directory of horse book authors with links to their sites and some of their books for sale.

The blog aspect of the site will be made up of short articles that are helpful to establishing authors. They may be how-to articles with regards to setting up an account somewhere – such as on Goodreads as an author. Or the post may focus on good places to find horse stock photos for book covers. These are just a couple of examples.

Equine Authors - the Online Resource for Horse Book Authors

Equine Authors – the Online Resource for Horse Book Authors

Either way – if you have a desire to write a horse book and get it published, I encourage you to check out Equine Authors. You can follow along on twitter @equineauthors and check out the website to see what ideas are there that you may not yet have utilised to promote yourself as a horse book author. From time to time there will also be guest posts from other authors, offering advice or how-to’s.

In time there will also be the opportunity for horse book authors to cross promote each other with a logo and a little bit of coding. Enjoy!

Here’s an excerpt from my debut novel, Horse Country – A World of Horses.

Horse Country - A World of Horses by Christine Meunier

Horse Country – A World of Horses by Christine Meunier

Glancing out of the school window across the green oval the bored sixteen-year-old sighed, admitting to herself that it would be a lot more exhilarating racing her palomino gelding around the emerald surface, rather than sitting in a stuffy room while their teacher marked the roll.
Calling her name he gained her attention, marking her off before addressing the class.
“Morning everyone. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, I want you to have a think about what you’re going to do after year twelve.
“Because you’re in year eleven, I know most of you have already picked subjects that coincide with what you plan on studying in University. But, today I’d like you to have a think about what you want as a job after your studies and list five different possibilities for me. This year you’re going to do two bouts of work experience, so we will try and line these up with your preferences,” a balding fifty something pedagogue informed the general consensus of bored teens before him.
She smiled to herself, mentally correcting the teacher as she stared at the blank piece of paper in front of her. She didn’t want a job – she wanted a career.
And she wouldn’t spend fifteen minutes deciding on one either, she’d spent just short of fifteen years deciding on horses. Flicking through the University/TAFE guide before her she stopped on the letter E, her eyes scanning the page until she came across the word she was looking for.
Finding a list of seven or so careers, she mentally crossed out those that didn’t appeal to her, writing down the few that did before her attention returned to the green surface outside the classroom.

Replaying in her mind the conversation with her “Careers Teacher”, she smiled ruefully, more than aware of how she should have handled the conversation.
“Horses aren’t a career, dear. Every girl goes through a stage where she wants a pony; you’ll grow out of it. Aside from that, it’s too dangerous working with these unpredictable animals.”
It’ll be even more dangerous me working with them if I’m not initially trained to do so.
Girls that want ponies do quickly grow out of it, generally by the time they’ve discovered the male population. I own a horse, have had this infatuation for the past ten or so years and don’t believe I’ll be growing out of it anytime soon. Though, if I am going to do so, surely I’d tire of the animals more quickly if I was put to work with them?”
Aware that this response from her could have turned the conversation either way, she was curious to know if it would have worked to her advantage.
Thankful she had a mother whom was insistent on her following her heart, there’d been no need for her to have a follow up conversation with the older male however, and it was all thanks to her mother’s “little conversation” with the man. She’d managed to convince the teacher to agree to let her daughter work with horses, at least for the first lot of work experience and that’s all that mattered to the teen.
Grinning, she scanned the list of horse properties in the phone book before her, highlighting those that were close enough for her to consider working at and therefore send a letter to.

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase Horse Country – A World of Horses at Amazon.

Hi everyone!  If you’re not on my email list (pssst… you can subscribe on this page, look for the subscription box on the top right of this page), it may be news to you that the fourth book in the Thoroughbred Breeders series is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

You can click to pre-order it right now!  The book will be delivered to your Kindle on the 17th of this month, US time.  Alternatively, click on the image below 🙂

Another big thanks to wonderful friend and photographer Cait O’Pray for her photo for this cover! And especially thanks to those who took part in helping me choose a cover photo over at Facebook! 🙂  You can head along there and check out the four photo possibilities that were posed for voting.  Some of them I like so much, I think they’ll be making an appearance for future covers!

It’s a great thing when complimenting businesses work together. They are able to promote for each other and keep customers happy. Some may debate that equine authors are actually competition for each other, but I beg to differ.

Equine Authors United - Which Equine Authors do you Love?

Equine Authors United – Which Equine Authors do you Love?

As an avid horse book reader, I am always up for a new horse story! I love to read my favourite book or series, but I also love to discover new equine authors. I will ready any horse book, given the chance.

With that in mind, I thought I would share with you about some other equine authors. In this way, you can check them out too – if you haven’t already! I am also ending each post with a link and a paragraph to an equine author with the mindset of, equine authors united. There are many of us out there and we want to help cross promote. Let’s look at some other authors of horse books for adults right now!

  1. Natalie Keller Reinert – Natalie writes a lot of horse novels for young adult or adult readers. As a fellow thoroughbred enthusiast, I particularly enjoy reading her books that focus on the racing and thoroughbred breeding world. I find her pieces to be informative as well as entertaining. Some titles include Ambition, The Head and Not the Heart and Claiming Christmas.
  2. Carly Kade – Carly released her debut novel In the Reins in 2015. I was rapt to be contacted about receiving a copy to review on Equus Education. Carly is eager for authors to unite and help promote each other. In the Reins looks at horse ownership and learning how to train, with a focus on western riding.
  3. Amy Elizabeth – Amy has written a trilogy that I am a huge fan of. The first book in the series is Cut and Run. I think I downloaded this for free on Amazon and I loved it. And so, I was rapt when Amy let me know of future free days on Amazon for the follow on books. The books in this series follow an unlikely pair as they work to make a working ranch into a profitable business.
  4. Alyssa Knee – Alyssa recently released her first horse book, a non fictional piece on her story of owning and caring for a lordotic horse. Spike details how she came to first own her warmblood gelding, his conformational issue and the journey they’ve taken so far to inform others about the issue of lordosis and how to best manage it. It was a truly enlightening read for me.
  5. Jane Myers – generally I would say Jane’s books are for adults, but they are technically for any horse owner or carer. Her books are non fiction and focus on sustainable horse keeping. I have read many of her works, such as Managing Horses on Small Properties, Horse Ownership Responsible, Sustainable, Ethical and her recent Horse Riders Mechanics books.

These are just some of the many authors whose works I enjoy reading. Why not check out their sites and see what else they have on offer to horse enthusiasts?

Equine Authors United – Bev Petterson writes realistic horse novels for adults.  Why not check out her books?

Below is a short excerpt from the standalone novel, B and B by Christine Meunier.

B and B by Christine Meunier

B and B by Christine Meunier

Ben was almost tempted to ask Jake if he was ready to be a father figure if Brooke returned his interest. Almost. Thankfully they were so busy that morning that there wasn’t much time for conversation outside of what needed to be done.
One of the part-timers had called in sick and they had a lame horse to deal with. As Murphy’s Law would have it, it was one they were planning to use for the 10am ride. While Jake prepared another horse, Ben cleaned out Kindon’s feet and ran his hands down his legs.
There was swelling and heat in the near side cannon and fetlock. Ben checked for a digital pulse, wondering if an abscess was festering or something worse. He noted that the pastern wasn’t swollen however and the horse’s hoof didn’t appear to be hot.
Ben couldn’t see any sign of broken skin on the horse, but wondered if the gelding had knocked it just the same. He hosed down the leg with cold water before drying it off and wrapping it.
The gelding was then led into a holding yard where he would be able to be watched whilst also having his movement restricted. Ben gave him some bute orally, knowing it would help with the discomfort and the swelling.
“You’ll live, old man. But I don’t want you racing around because you feel better with that anti-inflammatory in your system,” he informed the gelding before giving him a pat on the neck and checking to see how Jake was going.
Half an hour later six clients were sitting on their assigned horses and heading down the laneway with Jake leading. Ben was relieved to find that this group was more experienced than the last and that they could do a lot of trotting and cantering.
The riders seemed more interested in their mounts and taking in their surrounds than general conversation. Ben found himself grinning as he enjoyed the warm spring day and the feeling of a sound horse cantering easily below him.
Before he knew it they were returning, dealing with the horses and then stopping for lunch before getting the next lot of horses ready. Ben checked on the old gelding Kindon after lunch. He was relieved to see the swelling had gone down and that the horse was walking a bit better.
“Some more bute tonight and we’ll see how you look in the morning,” he said to the horse, scratching him behind his ears.
Kindon curled his top lip back, enjoying the scratch. Ben laughed.
“If only people were as easy to read as horses,” he mused to himself.

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase B and B at Amazon.

Horse Country by Christine Meunier

Horse Country by Christine Meunier

My debut release Horse Country – A World of Horses was a standalone novel. I put a lot of effort into promoting it around the time of its release and in the months that followed. It sold well locally and online, but not as well as I thought that much effort would result in.

In time I toyed with the idea of creating and writing a series. I love to write. But I was also working on the logic that a series over time builds a following. I shouldn’t have to work as hard to sell the third book as I did the first two.

Since my first novel’s release in 2014, I have now written and published eleven horse related novels and two non-fiction horse books. Two of my fiction books have been standalone novels, whilst the rest are split over two different series – one for children and one for adults.

When I first released my children’s books, the Free Rein series, the first two books were made available at the same time. I wanted people to be able to get a feel for the series, rather than read only the first book and then have a long wait before another was available. I believe this paid off – people tended to buy both books in the series.

From here, the other books have sold and when I made A Dollar Goes a Long Way available for pre-order, there were a few bites. I didn’t do this with the latest release, Contagious however and am still unsure whether it is better to make it possible for people to order copies before the book is released, or just release it as soon as it is able to be published.

The Thoroughbred Breeders series for adults is very new with the first books released in late 2016 and the third in January 2017. So at this stage, I believe it will be a little while before I can see if my series theory is true. However, the third book received sales before I worked to actively promote it outside of my networks.

For those who love to write about horses, it seems to me that building a following of readers with series rather than standalone novels is the better way to go. This of course doesn’t stop you from having more than one series on the go as I discovered with NZ Pony Author, Kate Lattey!

Recessive, an Excerpt by Christine Meunier

Recessive, an Excerpt by Christine Meunier

Here’s an excerpt from the third book in the Thoroughbred Breeders series by Christine Meunier.

Savannah had completely forgotten that Rick and Jay would be coming out on Thursday to do some trims. Because Nev had wanted a light day on Cup Day, he’d asked the men in advance if they could do the Thursday instead.
So it was with surprise and eagerness that she worked with Kathy to bring in a group of horses for trimming. The horses were mainly made up of dry mares that were housed in the nearby vetting paddocks.
Savannah felt the all too familiar butterflies in her stomach as a well-known broad frame stepped out of Rick’s beaten up Ute and made his way over to the yard of horses to trim. He gave Savannah a smile and slipped between the rails, heading straight for the horse she was holding.
She stood quietly until the other two men were preoccupied with the horses they were trimming. Kathy and Jack were holding for them. Savannah was relieved to find that Flynn wasn’t with the men.
Unable to help herself, Savannah blurted out what had been on her mind for the past couple of days.
“So you all made it safely home then,” she said, realising after she’d spoken that Craig had a right to not understand what she was talking about.
He glanced back at her as he continued working on the mare’s hoof.
“I told you I would drive,” he said with a smile, “There’s no way I would have let any of those three behind a wheel after the amount of alcohol I saw them consume.”
Savannah breathed out a sigh of relief, causing Craig to chuckle.
“Were you concerned, Savvy?” he asked softly, causing her face to grow warm.
“A little…” she admitted, “and I had no way of knowing that you had gotten home safely.”
She cleared her throat and amended her statement.
“That all of you had gotten home safely.”
Craig glanced back at her and gave her a wink, a small grin teasing his lips. Internally Savannah sighed.
Don’t think I can take that statement back!
Craig continued to work diligently, his movements efficient. Before too long he had finished the mare’s four feet and was glancing at the group of horses that were left. Savannah released her mare and caught another. As she walked back to Craig she saw him scribbling on a small piece of card.
What is he doing?
She took the card offered to her when she led the mare back to Craig. Savannah realised the numbers written on it were a mobile number. She looked up at him in question as she stopped the mare before him.
“Next time if you’re concerned, you can text me,” Craig explained, “I’ll reply as soon as I can.”
He got to work on the next mare’s feet, not waiting for a response from Savannah. The card felt warm in her hand and she placed it in her pocket, smiling at his thoughtfulness.

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase Recessive at Amazon.

Equine Authors United – have you check out Deanie Humphrys-Dunne’s Books? She writes uplifting horse stories for children.

Whatever your profession or goals in life, it is important to make note of your successes. I don’t believe we should rest on one success for the rest of ours lives. I do believe however, that it’s important to make a note of successes so that you can review these over time. They can be a great encourager!

Blurb of New Blood (Thoroughbred Breeders #1) by Christine Meunier

Blurb of New Blood (Thoroughbred Breeders #1) by Christine Meunier

Recently New Blood, book #1 in the Thoroughbred Breeders series received a delightful review over at the Equestrian from Crete. Reviews whether full of praise, constructive criticism or even negative comments can help an author to see how their works have been received – and where improvements can be made. But let’s face it, nice reviews are just that – nice!

Quoting from Christina’s review:

“With precise descriptions, clear language and an engaging story, Meunier has once more proven that she has exceptional creative writing skills. I truly felt that I was at a large stud in Victoria, Australia, watching a young lady take care of horses and gossip with her friends about a handsome young farrier. Meunier’s deep knowledge in equestrian is clearly demonstrated here, as she provides a plethora of details of the equine breeding practices. The reader can literally feel that they are witnessing an equine birth.”

Wow!  This was such a lovely review to read.  If you take the time to make a note of your successes, this can help you in many ways.

  1. You can put together quotes to show potential clients (in my case, readers) what others think of your product.
  2. Or you can use these notes to help yourself bounce back from a negative occurrence. It’s important to always keep pushing forward – to create more and try again. Documenting successes can help to motivate you to achieve more. They are a good thing!

What success have you documented and why?

A writing update – Thoroughbred Breeders #4 is nearly finished! I hope to complete it in March and have it edited shortly after.  If you want to be one of the first to know about it’s release, be sure to sign up to my author updates.

Equine Authors United – have you check out Kate Lattey’s books? She writes some great descriptive novels about the show jumping world in the eyes of four teenage girls in New Zealand.

It’s an interesting thing to read reviews and find out what your readers ‘see’ when they take in your words. I recently received my first review for New Blood, book 1 in the Thoroughbred Breeders series. This was by a fellow equine author, Ann Hunter. Ann also writes a series that focuses on the thoroughbred breed – North Oak.

Ann’s review on Amazon made reference to the male lead – Craig Pieters. She stated:

“…fetch the horses and bring them to hottie farrier Craig (who I picture looking like Curtis Stone 😀 )”.

Now I have to plead ignorance in this area – the name meant nothing to me!  It wasn’t until I saw his image that I thought he’s familiar. It’s amusing to me that he is a fellow Australian. Especially when I consider that Craig’s character is South African. However, when you consider the description of Craig’s character from Savannah’s point of view:

“She nodded politely as she took in the scruffy brown hair, small amount of stubble and curiously green eyes.”

Curtis Stone - who do you Picture Craig Pieters to Look Like?

Curtis Stone – who do you Picture Craig Pieters to Look Like?

I love with stories how it’s possible to picture characters how you would see them. Often as we read, we’re given descriptions of build, height, hair colour, eye colour, etc. But these are general and we can conjure an image that is quite different to the next person who reads the same story. And so it is interesting for me to see Craig and how he looks to Ann.

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone

And I’m further curious. Have you read Horse Country? How do you picture the Irish male lead, Declan?  Or Lise? What about the red headed twins who make up Melanie and Madeline?

If you’ve recently delved into the Thoroughbred Breeders series, how do you picture Craig and Savannah? If you’ve read beyond the first book, has your image of Savannah changed?

Equine Authors United – Are you familiar with fellow equine author Ann Hunter? You may like to check out her series North Oak.

Recently I received a new review for B and B. I have been investing my energies in writing more of the Thoroughbred Breeders series and promoting Contagious (Free Rein series) and Recessive (Thoroughbred Breeders).

B and B by Christine Meunier

B and B by Christine Meunier

B and B hasn’t received any promotion since it’s release in August 2016. At that stage I was able to line up many forms of promotion online. Recently I had a late reply from someone who received a review request from me. She said the blurb of the story intrigued her and she’d be interested to read and review this Christian fiction.

The recent review has left a lot of room for thought. There is plenty of constructive criticism to go alongside the 3/5 star review.

As an author, it can be disappointing to find that there are aspects of your story that just don’t work for other people. What is unique about this review is the closing statement:

“a solid story that is gentle, and clean, and definitely appeals to Christian audiences. It has a sense of warmth and is a kind piece, especially being a horse fiction. I believe Meunier is a writer who will prosper in Christian fiction and I am very happy to have read her work.”

Yay! This last line is a positive one to end the review on. It took me a little while to focus on this.

I believe it’s important to consider all of a review. There may be aspects you can use to improve further writings. Or perhaps it just clears up for you as an author, what you want to get across in your novels. I do know that I am happy to be determined by this reader as one who will make it in the world of Christian fiction – this is one of my aims!

Always look for the positive, but use the constructive to improve your writing, too.