The worst news possible
I'm so sorry to say I'm starting this newsletter with some horrible news.
Two weeks ago we sadly lost our beautiful cat, Luna. She was found by our neighbours after being hit by a car. We rushed her to the vets but unfortunately there was nothing they could do.
Many of you will remember that Luna came to us from the local animal rescue centre in lockdown almost two-and-a-half years ago. She was the sweetest of cats, and the moment she arrived she stole our hearts.
She wasn't initially impressed when we gave a home to another rescue kitten, Amber, last autumn, but over the last few months they had become good mates.
In fact, they were never happier than when they were chasing each other around the garden and the field at the back of the house, pouncing on each other like Ninjas while Minstrel watched on, bemused by all their shenanigans.
We still can't believe she's gone, to be honest, and I keep expecting her to turn up at the back door demanding her tea and a cuddle. The house certainly feels very empty without her. At least Amber has fully recovered after her accident in February, and her antics have been taking our minds off losing Luna.
Book news seems a bit inconsequential amidst all the heartache. But at least it's a distraction when life throws you a curveball.
Yesterday was the publication day of the new-look, new edition of Into the Storm, which has a smart new cover to match the first two Riverdale books, The Lost Pony of Riverdale and Against all Hope.
The paperback is available now from all bookshops, including Waterstones stores. If they don't have a copy in stock, just ask, and they should be able to order you one. The ebook and paperback are also available from Amazon here: Into the Storm
If you see a copy out in the wild, please take a photo and share it with me. It would make my day! I love being an indie author, but nothing beats seeing your books in bricks and mortar bookshops. I think the new editions look fab, and I hope they will prove to be a big hit with a new generation of pony-mad readers.
Although spring is over and. we are now at the start of summer, it hasn't felt much like it here where we live on the north Kent coast. While the rest of the country has been basking in wall-to-wall sunshine, the east coast of England has been whipped by cold north-westerly winds for what seems like weeks now, with no sign of a change in the weather.
So getting out in the garden or going for a run hasn't been the fun it usually is this time of year. But I have been riding every week, and a couple of weeks ago, we boxed Dobbie and Lockie over to Stelling Minnis, the village where I grew up, for a hack.
We went on a ride I used to go on all the time with my pony Hamilton when I was a teen and in my twenties. The horses loved the change of scenery and it was so nice to show Dobbie the lanes and forest tracks I used to ride along, long before he was even born!
This week our eldest son, Oliver, celebrated his 21st birthday, which makes me feel very old indeed!
It seems like yesterday when we were bringing him home from hospital for the first time.
Now he's a strapping six foot tall and towers over me! Oliver has just finished his second year studying wildlife conservation at university and, like me, he's never happier than when he's outdoors with nature.
Here he is, pictured in his natural habitat...
A very happy 21st, Oliver!
That's all from me for now. Take care and happy reading,
PS Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for the new edition of Into the Storm at your local bookshop and do let me know if you find a copy.