Some lights flicker and hesitate against the thick dark,
not for their weakness but by the awful strength of the dark.
She pulled me in and kissed me long and brutally and scorched through hard armor well polished to burn home, where the deepest part of me threw its arms in helpless observation and the dead came to life to rear its head and call through the blackness where I buried it. Who’s there? Who’s there? She let me go at last and like that yellowed photograph I turned away and left her in another realm, an alien goddess going home where I had never known her and never would. But not before I smiled. Really smiled. Laid a hand across the blond silk, caressed it soft. Pushed at the loose strands with my thumb. Pushed away the single tear that started from her eye.
He was just born knowing things about a horse, Joe Tom was, knowing when to sooth, when to muscle; knowing if his patience was great enough, his vision clear enough, that dance would come. That horse would be what he could be.
When it came to people, he wasn’t born knowing anything and it nearly killed him to learn what he needed to know.
It didn’t help that he was the son of a Texas redhead and long-gone rodeo bum, with a romp through youth that taught him how not to love. As he put it, “If Mama had met Merle Haggard in her younger days, she’d have given him some serious song material.”
Along the way he met some heroes and that helped him survive his own stubbornness. But neither they nor Mama could do a thing about his utter obsession to love where love could only draw blood.
Still, early dreams are the strongest. If a man’s had some goodness put into him early, he stands a chance even when life throws him in the dirt and stomps on him ‘til he doesn’t even know who he is. Those early dreams will rise up kicking and get him on his feet. That sense of right he couldn’t lose will have him slapping his hat on his thigh and setting it back where it belongs and looking for a horse that’s worthy of his riding.
If he’s got some luck in his pocket and a single brain in his cowboy head, he’ll have learned that just like some horses shouldn’t be rode, some loves are best let go.
Awards For Crazy Old Horses:
Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards 2014
Writer’s Digest Judge’s Commentary:
“Crazy Old Horses has a wonderful voice and cadence that makes the story sing for the reader. Nice job! Word choices by the author, in various character voices, bring the reader into the story world and keep them happily captive. Really enjoyed that each character is distinct. This is an extremely talented writer.”
USA Best Book Awards Finalist 2015
Comments and Reviews:
“Once the book was begun it was really hard to put it down. One of the best stories I’ve read in some time. I really like this author’s style and the warm descriptive way he weaves his story-making. You feel like you are part of it. A real and genuine storyteller.” – Amazon Review
“I found myself turning page after page and finishing it in one night. His style is like popcorn. You can’t stop reading. I loved the old guys, especially, because as an old woman I found them really believable.” – Book club comment
“Read this book last month and really enjoyed it! Characters were fleshed out well; story well told; dialog natural. Writing was good. Author seemed comfortable in the cowboy environment. Gave it to another person who said it was ‘Good book!’ It is an easy read. All in our book club enjoyed it.” – Amazon Review
“It’s long past my bedtime. I just finished this book, and I’m crying my eyes out. Going to bed was unthinkable until I knew what happened to Joe Tom, and little Trevor and PaPa Sam, and that poor, miserable young woman, who is so real.” – Reader letter
“I want to read his others. He is hugely talented.” – Book club comment
“The writing in this book is so poetic. The characters are strong and the story completely captured my interest. The author must have a history with horses, because his descriptions are convincing and realistic. I related to the characters, particularly Joe Tom. It is every bit as appealing as another Texas novel I love, “Wake of Forgiveness.” Pathos and humor, combined with well-defined, sympathetic characters and a tightly woven plot.” – Amazon Review
“I wanted to keep reading and it was easy to continue—I’ll just read one more chapter….” – Book club comment
“I don’t know when I’ve read a book that wrung me out this much. So much of what’s written today is all about action on the outside. This book is about action on the inside, about character, and made it into a gripping story.” – Reader letter
“He writes in a poetic style that really moved me.” – Book club comment
“The characters are bold, strong and beautiful. Being a horsewoman myself, I loved the training methods, Joe Tom’s love of horses, and the ambiance… I was at the ranch with him, I was on the rodeo circuit with him, living his life in full color. His love and devotion to his little boy was beautiful….” – Reader letter