Wednesday 3 February 2016

Author Guest Post ~ Jan Ruth

I am delighted to welcome back to the blog the author

Photograph courtesy of the author

Hi Jan, I'm really pleased to welcome you back to Jaffareadstoo and I'm excited to learn that your latest novel Palomino Sky is newly published.

What can you tell us about Midnight Sky and it's sequel, Palomino Sky ?

The power of Self-belief versus Fear…

Horses have been a lifetime’s passion for me. No surprise that they feature in most of my novels, more so in MIDNIGHT SKY and PALOMINO SKY. Both books draw on the principles of horse-whispering and the power of self-belief – but I take on this theme in a fictional sense rather than a technical sense.

Monty Roberts’ father was virtually destroyed by his son’s belief in ‘horse-whispering’, as a far more humane and less exhausting method of breaking and training horses. It’s no secret that Monty took a severe beating for it.

A remarkable man, Roberts went on to foster disadvantaged children, using much the same wisdom and insight he’d learnt through studying horses and their social groups in the wild. It’s too easy – and often misguided – to bestow animals with human emotion, but maybe trust is rooted in the same place in humans as in horses, and observation and interpretation is all that’s required to make a valuable connection, regardless of language. And isn’t whispering usually far more effective than shouting? Much the same as writing good fiction; and if we’re talking analogies there’s nothing worse than clunky dialogue. Is Natural Horsemanship simply natural dialogue?

It’s so easy to swamp the narrative with too much unwanted detail. And yet, it’s the minutiae of life which underpins the storyline in PALOMINO SKY. As with horse-whispering, it’s the observation of perhaps something seemingly inconsequential which can change an entire situation. If you’re not horse savvy or enjoy only a passing interest, I’ve tried to portray the equine aspect as secondary to the storyline in these books. On the other hand, horse enthusiasts will hopefully embrace the setting!

How can we harness the future if the past will not set us free? An emotive story of love, loss and letting go. Opposites attract? Laura Brown, interior designer and James Morgan-Jones, horse whisperer - and Midnight Sky, a beautiful but damaged steeplechaser.

Laura seems to have it all; glamorous job, charming boyfriend. Her sister Maggie struggles with money, difficult children and an unresponsive husband. She envies her sister’s life, but are things as idyllic as they seem?

She might be a farmers daughter but Laura is doing her best to deny her roots, even deny her true feelings. Until she meets James. But James is very married, and very much in love, to a wife who died two years ago. They both have issues to face from their past but will it bring them together, or push them apart?

Part One:  Midnight Sky 99c/99p

Part Two of The Midnight Sky Series

A golden promise for the future in a lonely palomino mare, but life deals a cruel hand for James and Laura.

James is still running from the past after the loss of his wife, and a devastating accident forces him to face his final demons, but at what cost? Laura is forced deeper into his rural world - a life she once despised - but discovers empathy and hope in the palomino mare she calls Song.

Repercussions abound for Maggie too, when the full extent of her daughter's dangerous liaison comes to light, leaving the entire family in turmoil. Will James and Laura ever find a golden future, or has life dealt too vicious a blow?

Part Two: New Release: Palomino Sky

Extract from Palomino Sky:

He took her hand, pulled her gently towards the bed and she kicked off her shoes and lay with him, and a million answers seemed to come out of nowhere. When she went to kiss his cold face, his mouth found hers and it was impossible to deny the essence of such sweet hiraeth when it was so simple, so perfect. The fact that this was happening on the sleigh-bed sent the ghost of Carys to another dimension entirely. For some inexplicable reason, she felt the need to exhort her feelings about this woman above all else. Her voice sounded strangled with the words, but she had to get them out somehow, like an exorcism, like opening Pandora’s box. She rested her forehead against his. ‘I gave the rings to Sam.’

‘I seem to remember saying, several months ago, that he could have them.’

‘Imagine if… I don’t want Jess to have her ring. Ever.’

A long considered moment of silence followed, and she wondered how much he understood of the situation, the significance. All of it, from his expression, but she knew for certain he was moved by her disquiet. Perhaps it didn’t matter where the future of the rings lay. They were only a small piece of the picture, and more importantly, Carys wasn’t even in the picture. Somehow this woman had shifted to become her guardian angel of the future, and even in her ethereal form she carried a certainty that everything in the universe could be changed and strengthened by love, whether it was historical or not.

After a moment she said, ‘What made you go off on Mal like that?’

‘Something Jess said about not letting that scum Armstrong win. And it was something you said about fear, months ago. I thought, if I couldn’t get below nine I’d be stuffed. It was your fear scale for getting on Tyler.’

Since he didn’t offer a number, she lowered her head to his chest in much the same way she’d done in the hospital, willing him to breathe. ‘What was wrong with Clive, the thoroughbred?’

‘Nothing. Blind in one eye and possibly deaf in one ear. Frightened he’s not getting the full picture. A bit like me.’

‘Could you work with him? What would you do?’

‘Blindfold him, so he’s not getting conflicting images. Teach him to use his other senses.’

‘Should I do that to you?’

He almost laughed and it was such an unexpected sound she turned to look at his face but he had one arm across it. There might have been a tear too, so she laid her head back down. ‘After being kept alive by a machine, I’d like you to know you have an amazing beating heart.’


‘And so does this place. Have a heart, I mean.’

‘Now you’re really stretching it. Have you seen the state of everything? It looks like they’ve had a demolition derby.’

‘You might listen to Clive but you’re still not hearing me, are you?’

‘I am,’ he said, and paused to study his disjointed hand. ‘Dad used to say horse whispering was nothing to do with whispering, it was all about listening. So, go on, cut to the chase. I’m listening…’


About the author

Jan Ruth

You an find more about Jan on her website

Find her on Facebook

Follow her on Twitter @JanRuthAuthor

Huge thanks to Jan Ruth for sharing this tantalising extract from Palomino Sky with us..



  1. Thank you for featuring my new release, Jaffa! I hope you're enjoying Midnight Sky.

    1. Thanks for being such a lovely guest, Jan ~ Jaffa andI are loving Midnight Sky!

  2. Wow enjoyed this Jan, so interesting and informative. Loved your extract too. Wishing you much luck. Thanks Jaffa for hosting Jan.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.