EQUUS Film Festival

EQUUS Film Festival I spoke on a panel last month at the EQUUS Film Festival in NYC, with a welcoming group of dedicated and talented horse people. I wish to thank organizer, Lisa Diersen, and the positive and engaged folks putting on and attending the event. The EQUUS Film Festival is a new showcase for artists, and the event continues to grow and find ever greater success.

I wanted to talk about the historical connection we have in honoring positive awareness of horses and the creative energy they represent … but my talk didn’t fit. I’d rather not dwell on it. My fellow panel-presenters were lively and topical, and I’m glad to have met them and heard about their work.

The books ran the field, from nonfiction to fiction, self-help to thrillers to biography to romance–a very interesting mix. I’ll share their work for others to check out…

I sat beside Cate Folsom, whose book Smoke the Donkey told of a Marine mascot who won the hearts of his troop and the public. The second, underlying story of the presentation was how Smoke won the author’s heart too, and gave her new appreciation for our equine partners.

Susan Cain, EdD, LCSW presented her book, Horse Sense for Leaders: Building Trust-Based Relationships. Horsemanship is a time-proven training ground for leadership … it is valuable to have a scientifically endorsed assessment. Excellent ideas to look into.

Connie Johnson Hambley presented her latest book, The Troubles a work of suspense based on her own childhood experience. The book is the second in a trilogy that began with “The Charity.” The author blends the book’s mystery and intrigue into a background of steeplechase action.

Robin Hutton spoke about her book that tells of a historical horse war-hero, Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse. The dedicated service of our 4-legged force members is honored in this true-life story of a faithful little horse who kept up duties under fire. The book itself does a valuable service in rescuing Sgt. Reckless from forgotten memory.

Carly Kade gave a personable introduction to her fiction book In the Reins, the winning title for Best Western Fiction. Jeremy Enlow presented his pictorial work of living history, “Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch” … this photograph-filled book was especially interesting as it details one of the ‘big spreads’ I grew up hearing about in Texas.

We had one missing panelist, Artemis Greenleaf, author of (Team Smash: Five Amazing Girls, One Amazing Horse) The book is about the life and love of a ‘special needs’ police horse. The eclectic author has written on a variety of subjects, with interesting and unique themes in her work.

Thanks to my fellow panel speakers, organizer Lisa Diersen and co-host Diana DeRosa … and of course to the inspiration of our mutual equine friends.

INTO THE DARK: “A wonderful story for families to share”

Into the Dark, Book #3 of the Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, won best Classic title in the Reader Views Literary Awards — the following is the award review:

“A wonderful story for families to share”

2016 Reader Views Award
“Into the Dark” concludes the Legend of the Great Horse trilogy by John Royce. Time traveler Meagan finds herself waking up in Texas in 1861, where she meets Dan Beardon, owner of the Great Horse Red, and her future soul mate. As Meagan travels through some rough times with Dan she finds herself appreciating him more and more, and is devastated when she is pulled into her next adventure, which is in New York, in 1919. Then she is briefly off to war-torn Poland in 1939. Still seeking a way home, Meagan ends up in the dreary future, finding herself desperate to either go home or be back with Dan. It is in the future that she gains the most knowledge about the past. She also discovers that her special Great Horse’s gift was for time travel. Other Great Horses have different gifts, such as healing.

There is no easy way to have a “happy ending” for a character who was placed on a journey such as this. Meagan learns a lot as she travels through time and experiences each of the Great Horses, as led to her by her special horse, Promise. Meagan’s experiences mature her beyond her years, so that even when she is able to return home, she no longer feels like she belongs. She must decide in her heart where she really wants to be, and figure out how to get there. Her journey is truly incredible.

“Into the Dark” allowed me to jump right into the third book of an incredible trilogy. Having grown up with an affinity towards horses, I found myself relating to the main character; I also gained a greater appreciation for these incredible animals, and the roles that they have played in helping mankind evolve.

I noticed that some websites promoting this book categorize it as being for children from 8-12 years with a 3rd to 7th grade reading level. I have to note that I completely disagree with this categorization. While there is no reason a child should not read this book, I felt that the reading level was much higher and as an adult, I did not feel at all like I was reading a children’s book. I would have loved to have read a novel like this when I was in the age range listed, however, I do not believe that an average reader in that category will find it to be easy reading. No matter what, everyone who reads this trilogy will find themselves truly captivated by the story.

I highly recommend “Into the Dark” by John Royce. I think it is a wonderful story for families to share. Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

» Reader Views Literary Awards – Review of INTO THE DARK

 Into the dark cover image

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is a well-researched adventure through history–on horseback. The story is told through the eyes of a modern young horsewoman lost in time.

Into the Dark (Book #3) won best Classic in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2015/2016).

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Quick Links:

INTO THE DARK wins best Classic in 2016 Reader Views Awards

INTO THE DARK (Book 3 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy) has won the 2016 Reader Views Literary Award, for best Classic title!

Into the Dark (Book 3) book cover

Into the Dark by John Royce has won the adult Classic category of the 2016 Reader Views Literary Awards!

The awards are hosted annually by the review site, Reader Views, to acknowledge the best of independently-published American work.

» Reader View Literary Award Winners (2015/2016)

Into the Dark
Book III: The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy

Into the Dark is the third and final book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy … the historical adventure speeds into modern times.

2016ReaderViewsAward_150w

“A wonderful story for families to share”

“Into the Dark” allowed me to jump right into the third book of an incredible trilogy. Having grown up with an affinity towards horses, I found myself relating to the main character; I also gained a greater appreciation for these incredible animals, and the roles that they have played in helping mankind evolve. Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

» See the entire Review

gend of the Great Horse trilogy books (2015)Special thanks to Reader Views

The presence of Reader Views as an independent book resource has been especially important for the The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

For the first book, Eclipsed by Shadow, almost a hundred pre-publication review requests were sent out–but only TWO came through: a highly-respected industry recommendation from venerable Library Journal … and one from the independent reviewers at Reader Views! Wendy Cleveland of Reader Views gave the first review of Eclipsed by Shadow, Book I of the trilogy.

In 2009 Eclipsed by Shadow placed second in the Reader Views Awards for Young Adult Fantasy. Eclipsed by Shadow won other national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2010 Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy … yet the first was through Reader Views!