It’s Kentucky Derby Day. I am busy trying to let people know about Glynda’s Dare, my novel about a woman who, having lost everything to a hurricane and an act of war, sets off to try to start life anew.
Now, the story behind the story. After Katrina took all we had, we tried to make a go of it in Mississippi, living with friends, then renting while we built a new home, then rebuilding the old one. But times were hard and jobs dried up, so we had to look elsewhere. My husband found work in Georgia and, since I had family there, we decided to give it a shot. On weekends, I would drive up from the Gulf Coast to look around while he lived in our old RV at a campground.
Like when we were young, we would just pile in the truck and start driving. Well, in Georgia, it’s not quite as simple as it is in other states. Roads were built around farms, pastures, and fields, and meander all over the place–with the explorer ending up far from where they had started in an area totally unknown.
That’s how we found the horse farm. It was gorgeous, with what seemed like miles of fenced pastures filled with gorgeous horses. We kept following the fence-line and came upon a small road. Venturing down that we eventually came to a huge circle, surrounded by buildings. An old man came out, smiling and wiping his hands on a rag.
“Lost?” he said, leaning on my rolled down window.
“Yes, sir,” I said. “I was entranced by the horses and had my husband following the fence line. I’m sorry if we’re trespassing.”
“No problem. You’ve managed to land in the working part of the farm.” He pointed to a distant hill, upon which stood a grand house, surrounded by trees. “That’s the main house. We don’t get many visitors out this way.” He laughed but watched me looking past him to a mare and her foal.
He grabbed the handle of my door and pulled it open. “Come on. Since you’re here and I need a break, I’ll give you a quick tour.” I guess he saw my eyes twinkle because he threw back his head and laughed. “I haven’t seen anyone this excited since I arrived twenty some years ago.”
I walked over to the fence and, once the man joined us, the mare came over with her young. Such a pretty foal. She even let me stroke his head after I let her put her head over the fence and snort softly in my face while I laughed.
“You’re good with them–not afraid,” the man said.
“No sir. But mine was an Indian Pony and not nearly as big.”
“A horse is a horse, pretty much the same. except a stallion,” he corrected.
“I know. Dad wouldn’t let me have the stallion I wanted,” I commented.
He took us around. I’ve never seen such housing for any animal. Heck, it out-shined any housing I’d ever lived in. The tack house stood at the end and was immaculate, filled with polished leather. He pointed out some smaller houses in the back, where he and some others lived, quite nicely, I might add. I swear, if I hadn’t been old and married, I’d have begged for a job.
When we were done, he pointed us back toward a more main road and made me promise not to spread the word. They liked their privacy.
I can’t say we didn’t try to find our way back later on because we did. Never could find it. I have no idea what county we were in or how we go there. I swore I saw part of it from the interstate once, but when we got off and tied to find it, we got lost. I suppose they really do like their privacy.
But, on one of those trips we did find our cottage in the woods, right across the street from a tiny horse farm. It wasn’t long after that I began writing Glynda’s Dare. I think you’ll enjoy it even more now that you know the history, whether it’s Derby Day or not.
Starting over, Glynda figures a new place and a new life are just the thing. Except, her past is coming back to haunt her. Her only salvation may come from the very man she’s trying to avoid and a quaint southern town that is more than it seems.
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/glyndas…/1123469922
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/617593