Christmas wishes from me to you
When I was a girl, one of the highlights of my year was our annual trip to London to watch the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
I loved mooching around all the stalls selling horsey stuff, and watching the showjumping and equine displays.
A few years ago, in a fit of nostalgia, I dragged Adrian along to the horse show. And even though he is not a horsey person by any stretch of the imagination, I think he enjoyed it almost as much as I did!
This year we were lucky enough to be given tickets to the last night of the show, which was held for the third time at the ExCel centre in London.
We cheered through the Shetland Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility and were captivated by the displays by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Pride of Portugal Lusitanos.
But the highlight for me was always going to be the showjumping, and the night ended with a fantastic competition - the prestigious London Grand Prix.
The HUGE course would have had me running for the hills, but didn't faze the riders and their super-talented horses. After some amazing rounds, the class was won by Ireland's Daniel Coyle in a scorching jump off in which he beat Britain's Ben Maher by just 0.08 seconds. Incredible!
What a nail-biting night it was!
While we were in London we met up with my very dear author friend and fellow pony book writer, Cressida Burton, and her husband Chris.
Cressida and I first met soon after I started writing the Riverdale books over ten years ago, and it's been a pleasure being able to share the ups and downs of my author journey with her.
Cress is a fantastic writer and her Ravensbay School Stories are enjoyed by both middle grade readers and adults alike.
You can check them out here.
We had a great time catching up, as you can see!
As some of you may remember, I inherited my love of writing from my late dad, David McDine. I followed in his footsteps, becoming first a journalist, then a press officer, and finally an author.
But while I write pony books and domestic thrillers (under my maiden name, A J McDine), he chose to follow his passion and wrote gripping historical naval thrillers.
I'm so proud to say that his publishers have just brought together his four naval adventures in one fantastic box set.
To celebrate the launch, The Complete Lieutenant Oliver Anson Naval Thrillers box set is currently on sale at just 99p/99c.
The four books - The Normandy Privateer, Strike the Red Flag, Dead Man's Island and A Stormy Peace - are perfect for fans of C.S. Forester, Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope and Bernard Cornwell.
If you have Kindle Unlimited they're completely free to download.
Just click on the links if you'd like to check them out.
That's all from me for this year. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's hope it's filled with fun, horses and books!
See you in 2024!