In the Heart of a Mustang by M.J. Evans
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 359 pages
Genre: Contemporary Coming of Age
Publisher: Dancing Horse Press ~ Release date: October, 2017
Tour dates: July 27 to August 7, 2020
Content Rating: PG. Some suggested violence but not explicit
A boy is told that his father was a brave and virtuous man, a soldier who traded his life to save the lives of countless others. He was the man that Hunter needed to emulate. The only problem is the whole story is a lie, all of it. The truth, which Hunter discovers as he begins his sophomore year of high school, is that his father has actually spent the boy’s entire life in jail, paying his debt to society, but not mending his ways. A wild mustang mare, is rounded up by the BLM. The spring rains had been sparse, the forage on the plains even more so. The mare and her herd are rescued from certain starvation and placed for adoption. In a sandy corral at Promise Ranch, a home for troubled teenage boys, the boy and the mare meet. A weathered, old cowboy brings them together – a mentor for one, a trainer for the other. The bond that forms between boy and horse becomes one that saves the lives of both.
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BOOK REVIEW by LAWonder10:
This is an amazing story which will surely enthrall the reader from the first page to the last one!
A teenage boy has been raised his whole life with the tales of his war hero father who he should honor through living his life in a manner to make his father pleased. He arrived home from school one day hearing his mother arguing with an unfamiliar, roguish man...his father.
Outraged that he'd been lied to his entire life, Hunter began ditching school and hanging out in a bad part of town... but not for long. He got busted! His grandfather persuaded the Judge to allow Hunter to live at an at-risk boy's ranch in Arizona.
As the grandfather drove him to his new home, the two rode in silence. Hunter would never forgive his mother and was angry with his grandfather for taking him to this strange place. He was determined to make them all regret it.
When they arrived at the ranch, horses were being unloaded. as one particular filly was being unloaded there was strong, yet brief, eye contact between her and Hunter...Did he imagine it?
Smokey was the "horse handler". He was also good with young, troubled boys. He had noticed the brief exchange between boy and horse. Carefully speaking to the boy, he instilled interest in Hunter making that filly his by gently, patiently taking care of her. Hunter named her Sally.
Julius was Hunter's "bunk mate". He jovially "chipped away" the wall Hunter had built around himself. The cook and housekeeper also became a close friend to Hunter.
This is an inspiring story of how the love of an animal, and the responsibility of its care, helped change a young man's direction in life. It is also a story of loving support without criticism.
I highly recommend this book to not only young readers, but adults as well.
The characters are so realistic and the story events so feasible, it feels more like a true story rather than fiction.
I offer a Five Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Book Title: PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History by M.J. Evans
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 243 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Dancing Horse Press
Release date: October, 2019
Format available for review: print, mobi file (for Kindle), gifted Kindle copy, ePub, PDF, NetGalley download
Will send print books out: USA
Tour dates: July 27 to August 7, 2020
Content Rating: G. This book is taken from the actual journals that were kept by the men on the journey. There is no bad language or explicit scenes.
In 1912, four men, calling themselves the “Overland Westerners,” decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World’s Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey…Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is Pinto’s account of his arduous adventure.
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ B&N ~ Books-A-Million
Book Depository ~ IndieBound
Meet the Author:
Award-winning author M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Upon graduation from Oregon State University, she spent five years teaching high school and middle school students. She retired from teaching to raise her five children. Mrs. Evans is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado mountains. She has published fourteen books, most of which are fiction.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads
Here is the tour schedule.
Win 1 of 5 print copies of PINTO! or
1 of 5 copies of HEART OF A MUSTANG! (
USA only) (10 winners)
(ends Aug 14)
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