Were you a winner in my book giveaway?
We're back from our week in Madeira, and what a week it was. The highlight of our visit had to be the boat trip we took to spot whales and dolphins.
We didn't see any whales, unfortunately, but we were lucky enough to spot a pod of bottlenose dolphins, which was just amazing. Their grace and beauty blew me away and I felt so privileged to see them in their natural habitat.
Other highlights of our visit to this semi-tropical island in the Atlantic included a spectacular mountain hike, visits to two beautiful botanic gardens and exploring the pretty capital, Funchal.
The week whizzed by far too quickly, but I'm sure we'll be back for a return visit one day.
Here's a snapshot of our week...
Since we've been home I have been head down, cracking on with another writing project, which I wanted to tell you about, because it explains why there hasn't been a new Riverdale book out this year.
Some of you may already know that I also write psychological thrillers under my pen name, A J McDine. Well, in June I was delighted to be offered a two-book deal by publishers Bookouture, who will be publishing two of my psych thrillers in the spring of 2024. I'm absolutely thrilled, as you can imagine!
This doesn't mean I have written my last pony book. It just means that until they invent a way of cloning authors (!!) I'll be concentrating my efforts on the thrillers for the time being.
I will return to Riverdale one day, because Poppy and Cloud have so many more adventures to take part in and mysteries to solve. It just won't be for a while.
But don't worry, I have some horse book suggestions coming up later in this newsletter if you're in need of a pony book fix in the meantime....
I did give myself the day off writing the new thriller last Wednesday and Adrian, I and the boys spent the day at Wimbledon watching the tennis.
It was a fantastic day, and we got to see some great tennis, including a British win in the men's doubles quarter finals. In fact, Brit Neal Skupski went on to win the men's doubles title with his partner Wesley Koolhof from Holland. Game, set and match!
And so, that's enough about my escapades. Now onto more important stuff, like who won the signed copy of the new-look, new edition of Into the Storm.
I'm delighted to say that the first name out of the (riding) hat was Nicky Swain, who not only won a copy of the paperback but a dinky little bookmark too.
Annette Benninghoff was the second name out of the hat and won an ebook copy of Into the Storm.
A huge thank you to everyone who entered, and if you weren't lucky this time, don't worry. There will be plenty more chances to win lovely stuff - so stick around!
Here's some very exciting news I want to share with you.
First Term at Ravensbay, the first book in The Ravensbay School Stories, written by my dear friend Cressida Burton, turns two years old tomorrow, Saturday, 22 July.
And to celebrate, the ebook will be COMPLETELY FREE to download all day!
Isn’t every pony-mad girl’s dream to attend one of the country’s top equestrian boarding schools?
That’s what happens to eleven-year-old Paige, who has won an all-expenses-paid place at Ravensbay Boarding School and Equestrian Academy.
The school, home to a stream of privileged girls with their own ponies, is a far cry from Paige’s modest Edinburgh upbringing and she wonders if she’ll ever fit in.
Paige is all set to give up her place at school and return home when she sees a blue roan mare running wild in the fields. It’s love at first sight for Paige, but the mare, Blue Angel, is to be sold as dangerous unless someone can save her.
Suddenly Paige has a reason to stay, but can she face her fears, makes friends and, ultimately, save the pony of her dreams from a terrible fate?
I loved this book and I guarantee that within the first few pages you’ll be feeling as though you’re right at Ravensbay with Paige and her friends: in the dorm, doing prep in the library or down at the stables having a riding lesson.
To download the book for free just click these links. But remember, it's for one day only - Saturday, 22 July!!
Horses meet urban fantasy in Other People's Magic, the latest book by another of my author friends, Genevieve Mckay.
Genevieve is probably best known for her Defining Gravity and The October Horses series.
If you love horses, magic and monsters, I think you'll love this book! Other People's Magic is up for pre-order now and you can check it out here.
That's about it from me for now. But before I go, I wanted to share something rather special with you.
This week I received the loveliest missive from a young Riverdale fan, who'd sent me a letter and this fantastic picture all the way from Canada!
As you can see, the picture shows Cloud and Chester on Dartmoor, and is addressed to me and Dobbie. Aw!
It's such a lovely gesture it made my week!
Take care, stay cool (unless you're in the southern hemisphere, in which case, keep warm!) and I'll be in touch soon.