Horses, writing and happy endings

Shhh…. I love a happy ending.

Why am I whispering? Because I’m a mystery author and mystery authors are all about mystery, suspense, danger, and dead bodies, right?

Right. And …

Truth be told, sure — a satisfying ending is one that puts the world back to rights and has justice and right coming out on top, if sometimes a little battered in the process. But …

That happy ending can also mean two people find each other and sparks fly.

The reader in me loves sparks, too, especially happy ones. There’s nothing like passion to hook me into a story. Nothing like putting your heart on the line to keep those pages turning.

As a writer, it’s important I remember passion comes in many varied packages.

Thea Campbell, the protagonist of my series, is a passionate young woman. And not only does she have a sexy guy she’s passionate about (and would gladly throw herself in front of a speeding train for, if it meant saving his life), but she’s passionate about her family and her horse as well.

Her horse?

Yes. She has a special connection with her very special horse. You might even say a “psychic connection.” Yes, you could actually say that.

Many moons ago, when I conceived of the idea of a mystery series featuring a young woman, I gave her a horse. I know horses. In my away-from-the-computer life, I ride, teach and train dressage. I’ve been horse-crazy all my life. From the moment I could read a sentence I tracked down and read every book I could get my hands on with a horse in it. I was Alec Ramsey in the Black Stallion books, I rode with Billy and Blaze, loved Dorothy Lyons’ novels, devoured Dick Francis. I knew a horse had to be in my mysteries, and not just as scenery. The horse had to be a character, and so Blackie — short for The Black Queen’s Bishop — was born. Thea loves him, and Paul had better never, ever ask her to choose between him and Blackie. Not that he would. If you have an affinity for animals — particularly horses — you understand completely, and will recognize yourself in Thea’s heart.

The fourth of the Thea Campbell mysteries, BushWhacked, is due to be out in May and Blackie still plays a role — after all, Thea always has something to learn from him.

And, you may ask, what about the happy ending? Are sparks still flying between Thea and Paul? Even after four books?

Oh, my.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed — either with the sparks or the “justice accomplished” happy ending.

Happy reading!

Susan can be stalked, followed, and generally run to earth for a chat at these locations:

Blog: Writing Horses
Blog: Things I Learned From My Horse

All four of the Thea Campbell Mysteries are available in e-book format and trade paperback at the following locations:
Barnes & Noble:
And most e-book and trade paper back retailers

Susan is giving away her ebook  Death by a Dark Horse to one of the readers who leaves a comment.

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. M.L. Guida
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 12:02:56

    Hi Susan, I like stories with characters who have connections with animals. Your book sounds intriguing. Did you ever read the Horse Whisperer? I loved the book. The movie was okay. People sometimes ignore animals, which I feel is always a mistake. Good luck on your book.


  2. Susan Schreyer
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 13:08:14

    Hi, M.L., and thanks for stopping by! Yes, I read The Horse Whisperer — years ago — and loved it, too. I missed the movie, as I often do with books I enjoy. Animals are great additions to books, especially when they aren’t treated simply as props or background. They give the author excellent opportunities to show facets of the characters that might otherwise be difficult to do without resorting to cliche.


  3. clareaustin
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 13:32:56

    Good morning everyone! Welcome Susan. I haven’t had my cappuccino yet so I’m here but groggy. It’s a beautiful day in Colorado. I just finished Death by a Dark horse. Great ending…but I’m not telling. You have to read it for yourself.


    • Susan Schreyer
      Apr 30, 2012 @ 14:36:47

      So glad you enjoyed it, Clare! I loved writing that book, and the characters haven’t left me alone since. I’ll give you a hint of what’s to come: the road is full of potholes for all of them. They make my heart ache — and make me laugh, too. The adventures they insist on having make my hands sweat while I’m typing 🙂 AND, they’re not done with me!


  4. Vicki Marquardt
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:05:00

    I love the role that Blackie plays in the books. I too am a horse person and I think it feels good to always have your horse.


    • Susan Schreyer
      Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:16:14

      Thank you, Vicki! Blackie is always watching out for Thea — and teaching her one or two important things. Yes, I can equate riding and horses to any life experience … it’s a gift, I know 🙂 !! Blackie is ever vigilant in BushWhacked, too. Do you think Thea will ever believe her horse has a “special connection” to her?


  5. clareaustin
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:24:59

    I’m headed to the barn now to check out the special connection with my young mare. We will see if, today, we are on the same wavelength. 🙂


  6. clareaustin
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:44:23

    Picture this…a trakehner/pony cross, dominant mare with sass and attitude. I never fail to learn something when I’m with her. She may be only 14-2 hh but she thinks she owns the world.


  7. Tami
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 16:00:20

    Hi Susan, I haven’t read your work as yet, but if Clare likes it, that’s good enough for me. I also love mysteries and horses so I’m sure I’ll enjoy your books.


  8. Leslee Breene
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 20:14:23

    Susan, Hey, anyone who’s a horse woman and writes about horses is ok in my book. My current book (Starlight Rescue) set on an animal rescue ranch features a special horse, and llamas, and emus…and puppies… Guess we’re both animal lovers! Psychic elements and mystery, too? Sounds like you’ve got a winner coming up. Best of luck!


    • Susan Schreyer
      Apr 30, 2012 @ 21:34:24

      Horses and llamas and emus! Oh my! sounds like your story’s characters have their hands full! Yes, it looks like we’re both hooked on the four-legged critters. Best of luck with your Starlight Rescue, too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note!


  9. helenhardt
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 23:30:39

    Hi Susan and Clare! Susan, your book sounds wonderful. Like the other commenters, I love books with horses :).


  10. williamkendall1
    May 02, 2012 @ 22:48:25

    Terrific post, Susan!


  11. Clare Austin
    May 03, 2012 @ 14:01:02

    Thanks to everyone for coming by and getting to know Susan. I will be drawing a name of a winner for the copy of Death by a Dark horse today. I will contact the winner by email if I have your email. Otherwise I will post it here. Thank you, Susan, for visiting my blog. I hope you will return with future adventures of Thea and Blackie.


    • Susan Schreyer
      May 03, 2012 @ 14:27:53

      Thanks so much for letting me take the reins for a day, Clare! It was fun, and such a delight to meet some of your many fans. I’ll be happy to come back anytime, just say the word!


  12. clareaustin
    May 07, 2012 @ 14:57:50

    Drum roll please! We have a winner (picked at random by my cairn terrier, Maggie Mae). And the winner is….wait ’til the drum roll ends…Tami!
    I will contact Tami with the download information.
    Thank you all for coming to my blog. Stay tuned, more authors to come!


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