I’m excited to let you know that Remember My Beauties is published today.
I think this novel will particularly appeal to animal lovers as well as to readers who are interested in how people with the best of intentions can make a mess of everything and the surprising ways they sometimes find their way back on track. As literary fiction–like life–often does, this book deals with tough issues. I imagine I’ll take some heat about that from a few readers. But, for me, at its best, literature grapples with what we all find most difficult but ultimately most tender and meaningful in our lives. I still believe that some people read not only to be entertained, but to get a different perspective on the human condition. It’s what good stories may do for us, and I so hope you’ll find this a really good story.
Here’s a bit about the book: it’s set in the bluegrass region of Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby and one of the finest Thoroughbred breeding and training areas in the world. The protagonist, Jewel, is the adult daughter of an aged and blind trainer, Hack Wheeler. Their small family horse farm has fallen on hard times, not that it was ever much of a success thanks to Hack’s drinking. Jewel remains passionate about the four remaining horses and dutifully cares for her invalid parents, though she’s married and has her own troubled teenager and stepchildren to worry about. But she keeps it all going. Until she can’t: what she never planned was the return of the older brother she loathes with reason. It’s the one thing she can’t handle. When Cal arrives, everything goes from impossible to worse.
Long ago, I used to have a horse–he was a gentle half-Arab, half-Quarter Horse—a black gelding named Spice. I couldn’t resist bringing him back to life as one of the horses in the novel. One of the other horses, Charyzma, the Thoroughbred, is also sentimentally named: the real Charyzma was owned by a dear friend of mine who helped with some of the original research for the novel. But that’s where my (and my family’s) resemblance to Jewel abruptly ends. I would have doubtless killed myself within seconds had I attempted jumping. But I loved taking those memories of the world I was part of as a “horse person” and a rider and extract what I’d found most true and beautiful in it to apply to a fictional situation.
Here’s the video book trailer, which captures the spirit of the novel really well:
If you go from this page over to the Remember My Beauties page of this website you’ll see some of the advance reviews the publisher (Northern Illinois University Press) put on the cover. And, of course, links to places it’s being sold. If you like to see other reactions first, Goodreads has more advance reviews posted; I’m happy to say they’re quite good overall.
I really hope you’ll let me know what you think of Remember My Beauties. If you read and like it, I can’t tell you how much even the briefest of review comments on Amazon and/or Goodreads help a book find its readership. I’ll be so grateful if you take a minute to do that. And thank you again for your interest and support!