Monthly Archives: September 2013

New Mystery – “On the Buckle” by Candace Carrabus

On the Buckle

Y’all know I grew up riding horses, and that’s why they appear so often in my stories. So when I found Candace Carrabus’ books, I was thrilled to know she is both an experienced rider and a talented writer. If you like horses, or just love of a good mystery, I totally recommend her mystery, On the Buckle. (PG-13…it is for grown-ups, y’all)

Here’s a great line from the book that describes the allure of riding; “When I get in the saddle, some channel opens that is closed to most others…it put me in a zone of some kind where nothing could touch us-if I was on a horse I knew was ready, a horse that could do it.”

Aha! What she said!

The main character, Viola Parker, is sassy, funny, hooked on whipped cream straight from the can, and shares what we all feel about a good ride. And then finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery that had me  chomping at the bit to find out who-done-it until the end.

I chatted with Candace recently about her research for the mystery (no spoilers, but you’ll be intrigued), her writing, and riding.

BEV: I know you did quite a bit of research for On the Buckle. What was the most unusual topic you looked into?

candaceCANDACE: This is impossible to answer fully without giving away an important part of the story, but I’ll tell you that I read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Also, I called the famous University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility known as the Body Farm. When I asked what I needed to know, the person I spoke with paused, then said, “Hmmmm…I don’t think we’ve ever tried that.” I asked them if they would, but they never got back to me. Yet.

BEV: Reader, when you read On the Buckle, you’ll discover what…ahem…process of decomp Candace was inquiring about. I wouldn’t be surprised if “the Farm” is undergoing the research even as we speak! Candace, what’s next in the series?

CANDACE:  Dreamhorse Mystery #2 will pick up almost where On The Buckle leaves off. Vi is settling in to her new life when her parents come to visit. But is this just a social call? All I can say is, Vi better stay on top of her whipped cream inventory.

BEV: What’s the funniest/most ironic thing that’s happened to you while writing?

CANDACE: When I was writing the first draft of Raver, (the first in her Fantasy series) I had a minor character to introduce, a walk-on with one scene who might occasionally have a role later in the story. At least, that was my plan. Ha! How naive!! She roared onto the page with a bang, insisting on a more major role, impossible to ignore. I’ve had characters talk to me before, but this was the first time I’d had one be so forceful.

BEV: HAHA! Characters can be as head strong as a young colt, right? Thanks for sharing, Candace! Write on, and ride on!

CANDACE: Thanks for having me, Bev!

Candace is on Facebook, you can buy her books on Amazon or from her website, Writing the Ride.

More about Candace: I’ve been writing stories and riding horses-frequently simultaneously-for as long as I can remember. I grew up on Long Island and spent my formative years in the saddle-just imagining. After high school, I traveled to Ness, England and studied at a British Horse Society training school. This was an all-around amazing experience. When I left, I clutched a certification to teach riding in my hot little hand, and I enjoyed instructing riders for many years. Who am I kidding? We know it is the horses who do the teaching. All we can do is try to remain open to what they have to say. Not surprisingly, my fiction and non-fiction are both frequently infused with the mystery and spirituality horses have brought to my life.


L-R Candace’s daughter Rianna, Bev, and Candace

Bev out!


More ways to Read a Book, Save a Horse

Last week I told you about a great way to combine reading great books with helping out a good cause. Here are two more titles from the talented Candace Carrabus to do so ( in the spirit of full disclosure, I have been pestering Candace since I read her first novella, Man, Dog, His Owner and Her Lover to write.more.books. PESTERING!! So you have me to thank LOL)  I’m halfway through On the Buckle, a mystery tale led by feisty, frisky, Vi Parker.

As a rider, I know I can trust Candace’s thoroughly accurate and interesting details about riding. As a writer, I’m equally impressed with her storytelling skills. Win-win!

When you buy her books, for a limited time, Candace is donating all her royalties to Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue and Horse Sanctuary. Details following.

Raver jpgI’m telling you, Candace has game. Seriously talented writer. Now back to my Kindle so I can find out whodunnit. Get her books! (In case you missed it, here’s last week’s title: Raver is Contemporary Fantasy.)

Here’s Candace:buy a book, save a horse

In On The Buckle, we meet Vi Parker, who might be the best show-jumper rider around, but whose smart mouth keeps landing her out of work. Now, all that’s between her and a surprise trust fund, is keeping a job for a year and a glowing letter of recommendation.

On the Buckle It’s supposed to be a relaxing—boring!—year of riding “on the buckle.” Between the dead horse visiting Vi’s dreams and the dead bodies piling up, the question isn’t whether she can keep her mouth shut long enough to earn a reference, but whether she’ll live long enough to get it.

Much as I love horses, life wouldn’t be complete without the dogs and cats in it, too. One day, I was looking deeply into the eyes of our black lab, Carlo, and I thought, what if… Well, if you’re a writer, you know what those two little words mean!

man, dog, owner and his loverThe Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover is a novella available in ebook format from Amazon only. Meet Stephanie O’Hanlon. She’s a 40-something workaholic for whom a blank to-do list is crazy-making. When she gets laid off and rescues a huge, smiling dog from a shelter—a dog her friend insists is inhabited by Steph’s lover from a former life—she discovers the true meaning of crazy.

Gabe Fagen is Steph’s handyman, and he’s been crazy-in-love with her since they were teenagers. Steph losing her job might be his chance to finally get to know her better. But will she notice he’s alive with a mysterious dog acting as her guardian angel?

But I digress. Back to the business at hand. Horses. It is with great joy that I am able to further connect my two passions with the Buy a Book—Help a Horse fundraiser for Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue and Horse Sanctuary.

Amaryllis rescue farm

W.C. Fields famously said, “Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

This non-profit sanctuary’s owner, Christine Barrett-Distefano, works tirelessly on behalf of horses, mules, and ponies as well as some chickens, ducks, goats—you name it—who are no longer wanted by their owners. Owners who often promised to love them forever. Circumstances change, children grow up, horses get old and lame and are too often discarded as easily as yesterday’s news.

But people like Christine are all that stand between a once beloved horse and the misery of neglect and even slaughter. All too often this is also the fate of successful racehorses.

Christine and I go way back. A long time ago in what seems like a different life, she worked for me at a stable. Now we have teamed up for you to enjoy a good read and help horses at the same time. All you have to do is buy one—or all three!—of my books between August 25th and September 8th. My author royalties will be donated to Amaryllis Farm. You can get them in print from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and for Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.

And, as if that weren’t good enough, you can also enter a contest on Facebook for giveaways such as

  • A $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card
  • A fabulous hand-crafted horse hoof necklace
  • Gumy ear buds
  • Horsehair bracelet
  • Tablet pillow sleeve
  • Pony Pizza Company’s pizza-shaped horse treats…  Winners will be announced September 9th.

The horses thank you! See ya on the trails!

Buy a Book—Help a Horse photo by

Now trot on over and get yours! Bev out!