Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Heartwarming and Horses by Leigh Riker

Ta-da. Announcing: A Heartwarming Giveaway! (See how to enter below)

From May 1-10, Melinda Curtis, Liz Flaherty and I are celebrating the release of our April books in print this month, too! I haven’t seen them on the shelves yet but I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Here's mine.



In Lost and Found Family, Emma and Christian Mallory are grieving the tragic loss of their young son. As you might expect, because of this highly emotional subject it wasn’t an easy book to write, but in their close-knit Tennessee town, and with the help of friends and family, these two rekindle the love they once shared, and discover for themselves and their marriage a new kind of “normal.”

The story also features a real carousel with a classic Denzel frame, which has been refurbished and happens to be in Chattanooga, my adopted hometown—lucky me! In the book a carved wooden miniature of a painted pony plus the real-life horse (or, in this case, fictional horse) that inspired it, play a part too.

As you can tell, horses are near and dear to my heart. In my teen years I took riding lessons with a friend. And later on, my husband and I owned a noble chestnut saddlebred by the name of Windsor Castle. This book is dedicated to his memory. Windsor now has his very own brick on the walkway outside of the Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park. It’s a fitting memorial in such a beautiful place with magnificent horses grazing in the pastures all around.

I hope you enjoy Lost and Found Family.

And here is our Heartwarming Giveaway:




37 comments:

  1. Heartwarming and horses go together, don't they? So glad to share a month and a giveaway with you, Leigh!

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    1. Thanks, Liz. It's so much fun to have books out in the same month.

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  2. Congratulations to all on your April releases. Leigh, Lost and Found Family sounds like a beautiful story. I'll look forward to reading it.
    Ugh...for some reason, I'm not getting the daily posts in my e-mail any longer. :(

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    1. I hope you like the book, Jill. We really appreciate your support.

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  3. Happy release month, Leigh. I can understand why LOST AND FOUND FAMILY might not have been easy to write, but I bet it will be a terrific read. I look forward to reading it!

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    1. It's always a challenge to deal with a difficult subject! But Emma and Christian were easy to root for and I'm glad they got their happy ending.

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  4. Congrats to all of you! The giveaway looks fabulous and your story sounds amazing. So lovely that your horse has his name on the walkway.

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    1. Thank you, Rula. I too am happy that Windsor has that brick. When I first saw it I cried and said, feeling foolish, "but he isn't even really here" and my friend said, "yes, he is." She was right. His spirit lives on.

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  5. I can't wait to see your books in the store. Congratulations on your April releases.

    I don't have a memorial brick for my horses, but I do have key fobs made from their tails. They were woven by a Native American friend. I cry when I look at them. I'd love to display them in my office, but my dog is a little too interested in them and I'm afraid she'll try to eat them. It's funny how a trinket can pluck my heart strings so hard that it makes me cry when I hold it. Getting old and soft, I suppose.

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    1. Renee, what a dear thing to do for your horses. You have an even closer connection through the key fobs to them than I do with the brick. I don't often see that. Thanks for the congrats on our books.

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  6. I can't wait to see your books in the store. Congratulations on your April releases.

    I don't have a memorial brick for my horses, but I do have key fobs made from their tails. They were woven by a Native American friend. I cry when I look at them. I'd love to display them in my office, but my dog is a little too interested in them and I'm afraid she'll try to eat them. It's funny how a trinket can pluck my heart strings so hard that it makes me cry when I hold it. Getting old and soft, I suppose.

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  7. How exciting to see your book in the store. Congratulations.

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  8. Hi, Leigh! Oh, I'm sure Windsor is out there grazing with friends. I know nothing about horses except how beautiful they are,but I know a lot about animal friends and how much they contribute to our lives. How lucky we are to have them. I completely relate to Renee and her ready tears. I do love the brick jaw of the hero on your cover! Congratulations.

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    1. LOL, Muriel. The hero does have quite a jaw. I love that image of Windsor with friends. I once dreamed of him running free across a meadow. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  9. Leigh, I have your story on my TBR stack. It's coming up soon. Can't wait to find time to read it. I've always loved carousels. Especially the old ones that have only horses.

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    1. Me too, Roz. I still ride the carousel here whenever I have kids visiting. This one has menagerie animals too but I'm with you. I like the all horses ones best. Carousels had their golden heyday but do seem to be coming back. I find them charming.

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  10. I've love horses since I was a little girl and I've been to the Kentucky Horse Farm--beautiful place. Can't wait to read this!

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    1. Pat, that horse park is amazing. We used to visit the famed race horse John Henry who was retired there and his keeper gave us some of his tail hair, which we added to a framed portrait of him with Bill Shoemaker, his jockey. It hangs in my dining room.

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  11. Congratulations on your releases, ladies! What wonderful stories to look forward to!

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  12. Can't wait to dive into this one, Leigh. And I'm with you...I love horses, at least watching them. I've learned my time has passed to ride one, so I'll stick with carousels. (always my fave ride in any amusement park). Congrats on the new release!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. You and me both. My riding days are over. Took a bad fall once and realized I had other things to do--like write. I needed to be in one piece.

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  13. Ah, what a grand name for a horse! Happy to be doing a promotion with you.

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    1. Glad you like the name, Mel. So do I. He was such a noble guy. Yay for our promotion!!

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  14. This story sounds great!! I love horses, carousels and a rekindled love story. Your cover is so eye-catching. I love it!! But admittedly, I love almost every Heartwarming cover. ( :

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    1. Yes, aren't the Heartwarming covers amazing? I'm very pleased with this one. Hope you enjoy the book. It combines three of my favorite things too. 😌

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  15. I really enjoyed the story. I love a good redemption story, and you handled the pain, guilt, and forgiveness so well. I'll bet it was hard to write. And the carousel horse was such a wonderful motif.

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    1. Beth, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the book. I couldn't resist using the carousel theme. The original title was Painted Ponies.

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  16. Fun giveaway! I couldn't possibly choose the best cover, though. They're all great! And I love horses. I can't wait to pick up your books in Walmart :)

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    1. From all of us, thank you, Amy! I have to agree on the covers. Hard choice. Just checked my Walmart--books are not there yet but on the way.

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  17. What a fantastic giveaway, Leigh! I can't wait to read LOST AND FOUND FAMILY!

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  18. Hi, Leigh! You are next up on TBR nightstand! Can't wait. As an author you apparently love a challenge. It sounds intriguing. Congrats on the book.

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Hope you enjoy it.

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  19. Leigh, just reading the blurb for this one makes me emotional. I can't wait to read the book. And what a fun giveaway!

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    1. Carol, it is a fun giveaway with two other authors whom I greatly admire. Hope you like the book.

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