Believing In Horses Out West Released!

I released my third novel, Believing In Horses Out West, on Friday, and it’s been a whirlwind couple of days! This book takes young Sadie Navarro on an adventure to a Montana ranch to check on a horse she rescued. While there, she makes new friends, learns about ranch life, and encounters a mystery.

New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse, Robin Hutton, described the book as “A thrilling coming-of-age story filled with love, lessons, and finding one’s purpose in life…”

On book launch day, the book achieved an Amazon #1 New Release ranking!

The next day, the book debuted at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue’s Spirits & Steeds festival for a book signing where I had the chance to meet readers, volunteers, and tons of wonderful people who stopped by to talk about all three of my books.

Books are available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Believing In Horses website, and retailers worldwide wherever you buy books. I greatly appreciate my readers and those who have encouraged me to keep on writing through the years; thank you for helping me reach this milestone!

Coming Soon – Believing In Horses Out West!

Cover of Believing In Horses Out West book

I’m excited to announce that Believing In Horses Out West will be published in October! This standalone novel in the Believing In Horses series takes our heroine on an adventure like she has never seen before. Want to know more?

Sadie Navarro rescued a mare from an auction accomplishing what she thought was the most important mission of her young life.

Now, that mare is headed to a ranch in Montana and a home Sadie knows nothing about.

She wants to make sure the horse is in good hands, but Montana is far away and a different world from Maryland.

Will fourteen-year-old Sadie need to stand up to rugged cowboys to protect her special rescue horse?

Details to follow, but the book will be available in paperback and eBook formats and distributed worldwide. I thank all my readers for their wonderful support of my first two books and hope you will enjoy the latest ride!

Editing with AutoCrit

I learned about the web-based editing application AutoCrit through writers’ circles last year. It looked interesting, and I signed up for the free program thinking I would get to it when I had time. Well, you know how that goes….

So when AutoCrit announced the AutoCrit Line Editing Lab in February, the lab became the catalyst I needed to focus on editing my work in progress (WIP), Believing In Horses Out West. The course description read, “10 days of group activity, live workshops with the AutoCrit team, and of course, edting!” It was that, and more. The AutoCrit team made it easy to attend sessions by hosting two live sessions daily at 11:00 am and 8:00 pm EST; attendees could attend either or both. The team also supplied a video recording and a copy of the day’s slides delivered to your inbox.

The lab kickstarted my lackluster editing effort and introduced me to the tremendous features of the program. The effervescent Beth hosted the courses and did a phenomenal job of teaching, answering chat questions, and keeping the course interactive. She engaged attendees in ways that made the lab more fun than a one-way conversation.

I discovered the power of AutoCrit and its wealth of editing features broken down by categories including Summary, Pacing & Momentum, Dialogue, Strong Writing, Word Choice, Repetition, Combination, Readability, and Grammar. For an example of the subcategories, see Strong Writing shown below.

I learned invaluable lessons about strengths and weaknesses in my writing through the specific categories and subcategories. As a result, I purchased a Professional AutoCrit membership. I saw how using the program improved my WIP, and I plan to apply the lessons learned to future work. I’ve appreciated being a member of the AutoCrit Member Community with features such as:

  • An actual community where authors interact without selling to each other
  • Instantaneous tech support
  • Live webinars, for instance, “How To Work With Your Cover Artist To Get The Cover You Deserve” featuring artist Lynne Hansen of Lynne Hansen Art. Lynne’s discussion was enlightening, informative, and free to members.

I highly recommend AutoCrit if you would like to gain new perspectives on your writing and connect with a friendly and helpful writing community.

Understanding Third-Person Point of View

This is an outstanding article on point of view in writing. During writing workshops I’ve been a part of with the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), this is a topic that new writers usually have questions about. Now I have an excellent resource to refer writers to. And I appreciated the author’s concise and understandable explanations. So thank you, Tiffany Yates Martin.

Understanding Third-Person Point of View: Omniscient, Limited and Deep | Jane Friedman

Touch of Class Award

An artist from Maryland hand-paints each unique Touch of Class Award

Growing up as a horse lover in Maryland, I never imagined I would win an award like Maryland’s Touch of Class Award someday. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Maryland Horse Industry Board honored me and my second book, Believing In Horses, Too, for  our winning entry in the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Awards.

The Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) Executive Director Ross Peddicord said, “We have so many talented artists in Maryland – writers, artists, filmmakers, photographers, and more – and Valerie is one of them.”

Valerie Ormond displaying awards leading up to the Touch of Class Award selection

The Board’s official announcement read, “Valerie Ormond’s second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, won a Gold Medal in the Military Writers Society of America Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors’ Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award. Congratulations!”

Past winners of the Touch of Class award have been world champion Maryland horses, mules, and riders. Disciplines have included dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, jousting, steeplechase, polo, mounted shooting, rodeo, driving, pentathlon, polocrosse, endurance, therapy, and racing. Individual winners have been barn owners, facility managers, horse trainers, competitors, breeders, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. Maryland established the prestigious Touch of Class Awards program in September 2011.

The award is personally rewarding to me as I see my Believing In Horses books as a coalescence of my horse, military, research, and writing experiences. The Believing In Horses, Too fictional story is based in Maryland and highlights equine therapies, show competition, rescue horses, veterans, and military families. I appreciate the state of Maryland for supporting me and my work with this remarkable touch of class.

“Believing In Horses, Too” available at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback

Marketing for Those Who Hate to Market – Recording for You

I had the opportunity this month to present a marketing workshop with my fellow author and dear friend, Kathleen M. Rodgers. We did this as part of the Military Writers Society of America‘s (MWSA’s) new monthly online writing workshops and were thrilled with the number of people who attended and their active participation. MWSA presents these types of workshops as a benefit of MWSA membership. MWSA allows the people who present to share our workshops with our own networks. I hope some of you may be interested in this organization or learn something you didn’t already know. MWSA is open to active duty military, veterans, families, and those interested in telling military-related stories.

Please see Kathy’s  wonderful blog post on the event here, which includes a link to the full presentation and a bit more about the event. Happy holidays, all!

Filed Under: booksEventsGuest Postsmilitaryveteranswriting Tagged With: adviceBelieving In HorsesbooksEventsJack Woodville LondonKathleen M. RodgersMilitary Writers Society of Americaveteranswritingwriting workshops

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