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A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hello! I can't quite believe it's Christmas the day after tomorrow. I don't think I have ever been more disorganised, but that's mainly because the eighth Riverdale book has been going so well, and why wrap presents when you can help Poppy and Cloud solve a mystery or two?! I am over a third of the way to finishing the first draft, and with a bit of luck, a lot of work and a fair wind behind me, I hope Poppy's latest adventure will be released in early February. It took me a long time to think of a plot for Book Eight, but I when I finally did I realised it's a corker. Hopefully I can do it justice! It's too early to let you know what it's about, but here's the last book I read. It could well be a clue!!

Although I'm not exactly organised it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. The tree is up, Christmas songs are playing on the radio, and Mr Wills and I are just back from London after a great evening watching The London International Horse Show at Olympia.

All the usual fun stuff was there, including the Shetland Pony Grand National, the dog agility and the festive finale, although there was a heart-stopping moment when one of the horses lost his footing in the driving competition and became entangled in the harness. Fortunately he and the three other horses in his team escaped unscathed and were able to pick up their rosette for a well-deserved third place. One of the highlights was a display by La Garde Republicaine, the mounted section of the French Gendarmerie (pictured below). With twelve chestnut horses, the musical ride was one of the most technically difficult I have ever seen. I know Kirsty, Norah and the gang would love to have a go. I'm not sure how they would fare with this complicated combination of balletic dressage movements, speed and precision but I'd love to find out! But the highlight for me is always the showjumping, and this year was no exception, with the super-talented German rider Daniel Deusser winning the Christmas Tree Stakes on his beautiful 14-year-old grey gelding Cornet with a blisteringly fast and accurate round in the jump-off.

Visiting Olympia was definitely one of the highlights of my year and provided me with lots of horsey inspiration! To celebrate Christmas The Lost Pony of Riverdale, the first book in the Riverdale Pony Stories, will be completely free to download as an ebook between Christmas Eve and Friday 28 December. If you haven't read it already - or you know someone who's getting a Kindle for Christmas and enjoys a good pony book! - just click on this link and download it for free!

So a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you from me. I hope 2019 is full of happy times, books and (it goes without saying) horses! See you in the New Year when I will be back with more great offers, author interviews and other fun stuff. In the meantime... Happy reading! Amanda

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