Guest Blog Post by Sandy James...
Since this is “Cloey’s Book Reviews and Other Stuff,” I thought I might talk about my own “Other Stuff.”
My husband Jeff and I share a very unusual hobby—we own racehorses.
When we were first married—all the way back in 1983—we moved from Indiana (where we both grew up and went to college) to Chicago, where my husband had landed his first job. While it was exciting to be young and newly married in a place as bustling as the Windy City, we did feel rather lonely for our families.
That was a time when long-distance phone calls were horribly expensive, and the Internet existed only in some smart people’s imaginations. But I did have one relative living in the Chicago suburbs—my cousin, Debbie. At the time, she was married to harness racer Mark O’Mara—one of the best drivers in the country.
Debbie and I started spending a lot of time together. We shared a lot in common. I found out I was expecting a few months after the wedding, and she had a young son. She let me wear some of her maternity clothes. I babysat her little boy. She cooked supper for us. We all played cards. It was great to spend time with another couple.
One of the things we did often was go to the different Chicago racetracks to watch Mark drive. Both Jeff and I loved the horses, the thrill of the race, and watching Mark and his staff care for the animals before and after the races. My husband always joked that one day we could buy our own horse and have Mark drive for us. I considered it a pipe dream because we didn’t have that kind of money. We were newlyweds with a baby on the way.
But maybe someday…
Flash forward to Jeff’s fortieth birthday. By that time, we had two kids who had grown up and were getting close to leaving the nest. Indiana had built its own racetracks—Hoosier Park in Anderson and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville.
Jeff and I started going to watch the races and were thrilled to see Mark driving in our state. He and my cousin were no longer together, but that friendship with Mark remained.
My husband—without telling me—investigated how much it would be to own a Standardbred racehorse. Close to his birthday, he brought me a pile of information about every possible cost of having a horse and racing him. (He’s an engineer; they overanalyze everything.)
When I looked through all he’d gathered, my first thought was, “Who are you, and what have you done with my level-headed, conventional husband?”
Then I gave it another think…
Jeff isn’t a guy who buys a lot of “stuff.” He’s not into cars. He doesn’t like fancy clothes. His hobbies were bowling and golf—not exactly high-priced sports. Add to that the fact that I’m every bit as frugal. I’m not into jewelry or purses or shoes. We were doing a great job of crawling out of the debt that raising two kids brings.
So I figured…why not? Why not let him buy his racehorse?
I went to the bank and got a personal loan. And I gave him the check on his birthday and told him to find a great horse.
Twelve years later, we’ve both become fixtures at the Indiana tracks. We’ve worked with several different trainers and drivers. Our busiest year, we had thirteen horses racing. We even bred and raised our own colt—Heart’s Prince. Mark has driven—and won for us!—on several occasions.
If you enjoy reading about horses, my Murphy’s Law is set in the racing world. It’s the first in my award-winning Damaged Heroes contemporary romance series.
And don’t forget that the third book in my Alliance of the Amazons urban fantasy series—The Brazen Amazon—was released by Carina Press on May 6th!
Alliance of the Amazons
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Carina PressDate of Publication: May 6th, 2013
Cover Artist: Kix by Design
Zach Hanson is a tech wizard, capable of creating and improving gadgets... including remote nuclear warhead launchers. But he's always known that he's destined for something more, something greater, something...supernatural.
Powerful Air Amazon Gina Himmel is one of four sisters called to protect the world from those who would do it harm. Demigods in league with an Ancient have been taking over the bodies of leaders in the military and technological sectors, and Gina is sent to San Francisco to watch over Zach.
Under Gina's protection, Zach is introduced to a world of ancient deities, rogue gods and the bold, brazen Amazons who keep humanity safe. Amidst the whirlwind of battle, Zach and Gina discover a love that could give them the power to save the world...or destroy it.
About the Author:
Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband of thirty years and is a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses and enjoy spending time at the two Indiana racetracks.
The Alliance of the Amazons urban fantasy series from Carina Press has premiered with book 1, The Reluctant Amazon, book 2, The Impetuous Amazon, and book 3, The Brazen Amazon. The series concludes with book 4, The Volatile Amazon, in September.
Look for a new contemporary romance series from Grand Central Forever Yours in 2013/2014!
Twitter ID: @sandyjamesbooks
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