I came across this stunning pony while hiking in the Dartmoor National Park in Devon. Most of the wild ponies there are skittish (or demanding food), but he came right over to me and let me stroke him and gaze into his amazing blue eyes.
Recently, I came across a wonderful new website called Fear-Free Horse Training. Whether you have your own horse or ride at a school, there are plenty of tips to help you create a better bond with horses. As Neil Davies says, ‘Horse training is about building confidence one step at a time. It’s not about confrontation or respect or being the boss or winning fights.’
Winter Magic, a collection of snowy short stories curated by Abi Ephinstone (The Shadow Keeper) will be published by Simon & Schuster in November 2016. It features tales on huskies, dragons, circuses and snow queens by award-winning authors such as Piers Torday, Katherine Woodfine and Michelle Harrison. And me
My story is called The Room with the Mountain View. When Lexie breaks her leg in the first hour of the school skiing trip to the French Alps, she’s overjoyed, imagining that she can spend a peaceful week in her hotel room reading novels. But when a famous circus star disappears and Lexie is the only witness, she finds herself caught up in a real-life mystery that may prove deadly.
When I was growing up, my absolute favourite books were For Love of a Horse by Patricia Leitch and The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. And before that I read each and every one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven novels about twenty times. Then, about a decade ago, I read Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson. That immediately became my favourite children’s book ever and I have to say that, despite the many wonderful books I’ve read since, nothing has replaced it in my affections. On 25 August 2016 Pan Macmillan published a very beautiful, special 15th anniversary edition. I’m hugely honoured to have been asked to write the foreword. If you’ve never read the story of Maia’s Amazon adventure, I highly recommend it. It’s a whole journey in a novel, one you’ll never forget.
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Sign up to my LSJ Book Club to enter my competition to have a character in The Secret of Supernatural Creek, my fifth Laura Marlin mystery, named after you. My newsletter will give you all the details. If you win, you can choose whether I use your name or an entirely different name for a character, and whether you want it used for a villain or a hero. The Secret of Supernatural Creek will be out in September 2016.
Dead Man’s Cove, the first Laura Marlin mystery and winner of the 2011 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award, is set in St Ives, Cornwall. This cool photo is of Dead Man’s Cove in Cape Disappointment, WA, USA.
If you’ve ever wished you had Mrs Smith’s Top 10 tips for training horses, you need to join my book club asap. You’ll have exclusive access to my latest news, sneak previews of new books and chances to win free signed copies.
But that’s not all. In the next few months I’ll be unveiling exciting movie news. Members of my book club will hear it first. If you’ve ever wished that you could audition to play a character from one of my books, here’s your chance (depending, of course, on where you live). All will revealed very soon.