by Susan Count
Book 1: Mary’s Song
Feather Quill GOLD Award 2017 ~ Animals
Twelve-year-old Mary was disabled at the age of four by the same virus that took the life of her mother. While she longs to have a horse of her own, she’s limited to reading horse books. A talented artist, she spends her days on a blanket in the grass sketching the horses at the farm next door. She falls in love with one of the foals and is outraged to learn the filly is considered worthless as it was born lame.
Mary befriends and enlists the help of twelve-year-old Laura, whose family owns the horse farm. Against the better judgment of the farm manager, a brief reprieve is negotiated for the foal’s life. The girls conspire to raise money to save her, but time is running out. Sadly, it appears the expensive surgery the foal needs has little chance to correct her problem anyway. Mary isn’t about to give up. She sacrifices what she holds dear, including the trust of her papa, to gain her heart’s desire. Will she lose everything in her struggle to save the foal?
“Susan Count’s beautifully written story of love, hopes and friendship is sure to captivate the heart and imagination of any young girl who’s dream it is to ride a horse. A “must” for parents/grandparents to add to their child/grandchild’s reading list.”
“The book transports the reader back to the 1950’s!”
“Susan Count knows how to write about horses, family, friendship, love, faith, and sacrifice. Her true-to-life characters easily engaged me in wanting to know more about them and how their conflicts would be resolved. I basically did not put the book down.”
Book 2: Selah’s Sweet Dream
American Horse Publications – FIRST PLACE Equine Fiction
Feathered Quill – GOLD Award
Readers Favorite – GOLD Award
Twelve year old Selah’s quest to become an equestrian superstar is haunted by her grandmother’s past and hindered by a horse with an attitude. She dreamed of a perfect sweet horse, but life is not a dream.
“A very well-written book which is not only a good story with many twists and turns, but is obviously written by someone with knowledge of horse training skills. The ability to get inside the head of the horse and the girl, and also give a peek into the world of professional horse trainers makes this book stand above other ‘girl dreams of getting a horse’ tales.”
“Selah faces her challenges with spunk and perseverance and hope- and she is a great role model for any young lady!!”
CIR: What inspired this series?
COUNT: Mary’s Song was inspired by Selah’s Sweet Dream. In Sweet Dream, Selah’s grandmother was a phenomenal equestrian and a celebrity as she rode horses in spite of her disability. She introduced Selah to horses, but passed away when Selah was quite young. So Mary’s Song is about the grandmother when she was the same age as Selah.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
COUNT: Besides Mary, it just might be Mrs. Tate because I admire the way she has dedicated her life to taking care of Mary and her papa.
CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this story?
COUNT: I like to ride along with a young character as she discovers her inner strength. I love to surround her with a Godly family, give her obstacles and challenges to see how she handles life.
CIR: What message do you hope your readers take away from this book?
COUNT: I hope young readers will witness the love and support of a Godly family. I hope they will draw strength and encouragement from Mary and from Selah as they struggle with life challenges.
CIR: Is there more coming?
COUNT: I have a first draft of the third book in Dream Horse Adventures, but I’ve been distracted by my grandson’s wanting a book too. I’m in final edits on a book for middle-grade boys that has a touch of faith and magic. The Firefly Warriors is the story of two cousins who set out to save the world one firefly at a time.