Eclipsed by Shadow: winner of 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Young Adult Fiction

eric-hoffer-award-bannerThe first book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, ECLIPSED BY SHADOW, won the 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for best Young Adult Fiction.

The Eric Hoffer Book Award was founded with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate, “to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit.” Personally, my excitement and respect for the award’s purpose increased even more as I learned more about Hoffer’s work.

Eric Hoffer (1898–1983) was a quintessential American, a working-class philosopher, whose clear voice was grounded in the practical experience of the common worker. His most famous book is The True Believer (1951) which helped advance the study of mass-movements and fanaticism. Hoffer continued to write on a wide range of subjects:

Vaguely at first then more distinctly I realized that man is an eternal stranger on this planet. He became a stranger when he cut himself off from the rest of Creation and became human. From this incurable strangeness stems our incurable insecurity, our unfulfillable craving for roots, our passion to cover the planet with man-made compounds, our need for the city—a citadel against the encroachment of nature.”“—Eric Hoffer, Between the Devil and the Dragon

I am especially thrilled to receive this award. It still offers inspiration because the controversies of Eric Hoffer’s day are ongoing … ‘true believers’ everywhere still remain a threat. We have, in fact, come to a place of being at war with that very phenomenon. Hoffer’s original ideas have been expanded and built upon, and to be recognized by those in the path of such motivating ideas is a great honor.

eric hoffer smoking

“It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.”

Eric Hoffer’s writings are a reminder of America’s post-war promise … his stance is decidedly pro-civilization, and he was himself a champion of the city; this often makes his work rather startling to read against current culture.

Though it may seem his work is sometimes overlooked in current cultural narratives, America’s working-class philosopher has been a seminal influence on modern understanding. His ideas remain an inspirational source of American thought.

Hoffer’s writing is grounded in the tradition of an America proud of its working class, building and progressing to a better world for all: his strong views and observations in celebration of civilization and the common man are still bracing ideas in the world. Which is quite hopeful, really.

Asking Readers to Help Spread the Word!

We live in a strange new era during which authors are being required to ‘market’ their own work … though no one actually WANTS authors to market to them, and every book venue expressly forbids it. This market-driven change not a good thing, but there is no choice.

Mrs. Bridgestone's Display Case with wooden plaque of Pegasos coinHelp from readers is most important now … I made a special page for readers willing to help spread the word by leaving a review comment or rating the work online.

If you have a moment and would like to help share the trilogy, please consider offering your thoughts for others.

It is very important to the success of the trilogy … Thank You!

All the Great Horses: Artwork by Marti Adrian Gregory for the trilogy

Photo of Marti Adrian Gregory with painting

A new page has been created to display all the bookcover artwork! The artwork series offers a journey through history.

Marti Adrian Gregory is the trilogy’s artist and creator of all the original historical figures from the story … each of the Great Horses can be seen together, now that the work is complete.

“Meagan & Beecher” complete artistic series of Great Horses by Marti Adrian Gregory

Author Note: This is one of my favorite Great Horses, Dover Beach (“Beecher”) … the horse that did anything you asked. Maybe because equine generosity is the sacred truth at the center of true horsemanship, or maybe I’m reminded that some of the greatest horses live in memory alone now. Yet how joyfully alive when they return! Horses are always, also, a metaphor.

quotation mark“Meagan tried to be nonchalant as she looked around the new setting and realized she still wore the pink dress! … A nudge pushed the small of her back. She turned to see the grizzled muzzle of a horse poking between the rails of a fence. The muzzle withdrew and the animal put its head over the fence, nickering softly. It was an aged horse, coming to the end of his working life.”

Image of Meagan & “Beecher” by Marti Adrian Gregory © 2014 Micron Press“Meagan & Beecher” by artist Marti Adrian Gregory for The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy. The Canadian artist has illustrated each era in Meagan’s journey.

In this final artwork for the trilogy, the artist illustrates both the scene and theme of the story: the horse has been the same throughout history. The settings changed, not the relationship … not the love.

You can see more artwork by Marti Adrian Gregory on her own website:

“Noah and Moses” …. 1820’s English farm team

"Noah and Moses" .... 1820's English farm team at a Horse Pull, by artist Marti Adrian Gregory for "The Legend of the Great Horse" trilogy. © 2015 Micron Press“Noah and Moses” …. 1820’s English farm team at a Horse Pull, by artist Marti Adrian Gregory for “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy.

The Canadian artist has illustrated each era in Meagan’s journey, researching the different periods to ensure historical accuracy.

You can see more artwork by Marti Adrian Gregory on her own website:

The Great Horse Nero

quotation mark“Surging, the music rose and Nero gathered himself and … exploded into the air! Aloft in a mercurial arc, the horse struck backward with both feet as if to kick himself asunder. He pulled the earth under his hooves and rose again, ripping the air behind him in a display of disciplined power…”

The premier of NEW artwork by Marti Adrian Gregory for The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy! The scene is from The Golden Spark (Book 2) … Meagan restores a mistreated dressage mount to the manège (dressage arena), where he becomes a star performer.

"Capriole" by Marti Adrian Gregory, illustrating a horse character performing a Capriole in The Golden Spark, book 2 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

Shorty and the Hounds

quotation mark“For riding out in the field, Meagan’s favorite mount was a smoke-colored dun gelding she called Shorty, for the obvious reason. The horse’s stubby legs and thick neck allowed only so much of the flexibility needed in dressage. Though he ambled around the sand arena gamely, Shorty only came into his own when galloping across open fields.”

The premier of NEW artwork by Marti Adrian Gregory for The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy! The scene is from The Golden Spark (Book 2) … Meagan’s borrowed 17th-century mount is spooked by dogs who give chase.

GreatHorse002 Shorty_Fbk_960sq

Chouchou, the reluctant Knight’s destrier

quotation mark“Chouchou started down the Lane with promising speed, but when he scented the carefully laid turf—obviously a thoughtful buffet—he stopped and dropped his head.”

Marti Adrian Gregory‘s miniature of the 13th-century knight Henryk and his trusty steed, Chou Chou, is a humorous rendition of what Meagan calls the “dynamic duo.”

Chou Chou means ‘teacher’s pet’ in French, a name knight Henryk bestows upon his dream mount―a Great Horse of Europe, a destrier―who goes very slowly.

Chouchou, the reluctant knight's destrier (1240 AD) from Eclipsed by Shadow, Book #1 of THE LEGEND OF THE GREAT HORSE trilogy: (c) Micron Press. Illustration by Marti Adrian.