by Katerina Lorenzatos Makris ~
When high-strung cosmetics exec Joelle Bradley inherits a ramshackle stable in podunk Faraway Valley, along with its many neglected horses, dogs, and cats, she is battling the bottle and a hefty gambling debt.
Joelle has no clue that the needy animals and the eccentric people of offbeat little Faraway Valley might soon change—and even save—her life.
Can a woman who has hit rock bottom and her new bunch of half-starved critters find their way back up?
Teaming up for the Faraway Valley fiction series are novelist and journalist Katerina Lorenzatos Makris and writer A. Bronwyn Llewellyn, editor of the books Horse Crazy: Women and the Horses They Love, and Horse Healers: Stories of Courage and Hope (Adams Media).
50% of ALL PROFITS from sales of Faraway Valley go to the animal rescue groups listed below!
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“Hopeless,” Joelle muttered.
She would never find Faraway Valley. It had always hidden deep in these godforsaken hills and now it seemed to have moved even further undercover. She was just about to swing the car around and head back to L.A. when the road crested on a small ridge. She gasped.
A broad green valley glistened in the sun, the lush fields studded with oaks and cradled by golden hillsides.
At a bridge over a shade-dappled stream, a sign drooped half off its hinges, pocked with holes and dents. Somebody, apparently, had been using it for target practice. What remained of it read, “FARAWAY VALLEY STABLES.” The logo showed a girl in pigtails flying her horse over a jump.
In relief, Joelle let out the breath she’d been holding.
She parked in front of a ramshackle barn nearly buried in a jungle of vines. One step out of the car and her stiletto landed in something soft. Flies mobbed her. Wonderful. Dog poop. A bone-thin mutt lying nearby glanced up apologetically.
Inside the dim, dank barn, stalls stood empty. Heaps of trash lay everywhere. A rat scuttled past. Something dropped down out of the rafters, landing a few feet away. A black cat hissed and arched her back.
Joelle hurried out the other end of the barn, temporarily blinded by bright sunshine. When her eyes adjusted, she could barely believe what they told her.
A dozen creatures—just skin and bones—stood in small pens. Ankle-deep in mud, the twelve horses provided a feast for the droning flies.
Horrified, she moved closer.
“They’re sick,” a voice whispered.
Joelle whirled around to find a little girl peering at her from behind thick glasses.
“You’ve got to help them…”
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50% of ALL PROFITS FROM Faraway Valley GO TO THE FOLLOWING ANIMAL CAUSES!
STORY LENGTH: Approximately 26 pages
From RescueDiva.com ~ Romantic Fiction Benefiting Animals
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A. Bronwyn Llewellyn is a veteran writer and editor. She has published eight books on topics that include Shakespeare, interior decorating, and careers, including Green Jobs: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment. Among her books are two collections of horse stories she edited for Adams Media, Horse Crazy: Women and the Horses They Love, and Horse Healers: Stories of Courage and Hope.
She has indulged her own horse craziness by volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, and currently volunteers with cats and kittens at the Humane Society Silicon Valley.
She has developed, written, and/or edited scores of exhibitions for museums around the country on a variety of topics, including honeybees, high technology, natural history, the civil rights movement, basic science concepts, Sacramento history, Boys Town, Harry S. Truman’s presidency, California in the Vietnam era, Chinese astronomy, garbage, the Willamette Valley, Turkey, Nevada history and geography, and skyscrapers.
Currently she is also the freelance copyeditor for National Public Radio affiliate KQED’s QUEST website in San Francisco.
Katerina Lorenzatos Makris is a career journalist, author, and editor. Her fiction includes 17 novels for Simon and Schuster, E.P. Dutton, Avon, and other major publishers (under the name Kathryn Makris), as well as a teleplay for CBS-TV, and a short story for The Bark magazine. She has written hundreds of articles for regional wire services and for outlets such as National Geographic Traveler, The San Francisco Chronicle, Travelers’ Tales, NBC’s Petside.com, Animal Issues Reporter.com, and Examiner.com (Animal Policy Examiner).
Together with coauthor Shelley Frost, Katerina wrote a step-by-step guide for hands-on, in-the-trenches dog rescue, Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know About Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press).