WARHorses Book Review – “Ephemeral”
Ephemeral By Andie Andrews
Copyright 2017, Andie Andrews
Published by Flying Chestnut Press
Ephemeral is “one part romance novel, one part literary fiction, one part love-affair-with-horses,” told from the viewpoint of a former rodeo horse.
Set in New Jersey’s toney horse country, the novel revolves around 40-something Clarissa Stamos, a romance writer in a stale marriage. Inspired by her daughter’s career as a country singer, Clarissa envisions a “country-western” romance for her latest project. As part of her writer’s research, she enrolls in riding lessons and eventually and impulsively purchases Sonny, a chestnut Appendix quarter horse of uncommon insight and patience, who immediately bonds with her and joins as the novel’s narrator. Clarissa wraps her life around learning the finer points of horsemanship, providing a respite from troubling memories and finding space for new adventures. Her journey becomes muddled when she meets an attractive dressage trainer with a tragic past.
Andrews has created believable, compelling backstories that contribute to a story of compassion and connectedness between humans and horses. The compelling storyline will keep readers engaged from the beginning to the unexpected finish.
“Ephemeral is a masterpiece of love for women who love horses.”
“Ephemeral is a beautiful book that explores the relationships and connections of people, their horses and so much more. I definitely recommend it!”
“This book is perfect for hopeless romantics and horse lovers like me!”
“Between the compelling story and author’s captivating writing style, I couldn’t put it down.”
I can tell by the look on Clarissa’s face and in the mirror of her mind what she thinks. I am magnificent. I am the wild mustang on the grassy plains of old. I am the noble warhorse of a thousand generations. I am the industrious plow horse and the elegant carriage horse whose hooves over cobblestone make way for pageantry and kings. I am the pack horse, the racehorse, the show horse and the dream horse of young girls in every place and time. I am the trail horse, the therapy horse, the abandoned horse, the rescued horse—and the slaughtered horse. I am earth horse and spirit horse, untamed and uncontainable. I am the Alpha horse. I am the Omega horse, that last one who will ever live. She knows, and I know, I am every horse. I am gleaming copper and dewy-eyed with liquid hope and promises and she sees it, she knows it.
I am Clarissa’s horse.
“He cleans up real nice,” is all Clarissa says. Seriously, Clarissa? You can run but you can’t hide, I want to tell her. I merely snort my displeasure.
Puffy clouds hang in the sky, a few with gray undertones that threaten a stray shower. They creep overhead, fanned by a breeze just strong enough to keep the greenheads at bay. The gravel crunches loudly under our feet. As we reach the end of the footpath and the barrier of the hedgerow, we emerge at the threshold of a fragrant, freshly mowed field where Sebastian hears us coming and greets us with a smile.
He leans casually against a fence post, his long, lanky body accentuated by a light blue tee shirt over faded jeans and topped by a black cowboy hat that shields his eyes from the late afternoon sun. Clarissa’s nervous energy travels down the lead rope and zaps me in the chin. She had expected to see Sebastian in tidy, tan breeches and a navy polo shirt, his standard uniform for teaching the show girls and their horses how to half-pass and pirouette. She flinches at the sight of him and holds her breath. I exhale for both of us, a loud, nostril-flapping blowout that makes Sebastian laugh. I look at him with a big, round eye. Clarissa is spooky around him and I don’t know why. Maybe I should be spooky too. I prick my ears and stiffen my neck.
“Maybe it’s the hat,” Sebastian says, and lifts it off his head to reveal waves of dark brown hair that tousle in the breeze.
I blow out again.
“Or maybe not. Are you nervous?”
Clarissa can’t deny the flutter in her chest.
“How did you know?”
He points to me and grins. “Meet your mirror. It helps if you breathe.”
Author, Andie Andrews and Hook
Andie Andrews is a passionate equestrian, certified equine massage therapist, screenwriter, cowgirl poet and novelist. She is the author of an award-winning historical romance, The Legacy of Ruby Sanchez, which was a FaithWords finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis contest. Andie’s latest screenplay, Spring Fling, was a semi-finalist in the 2018 Nashville Film Festival. She has also published work in the American Kennel Club’s AKC Gazette, and blogs about her life with horses as a midlife rider at Christiancowgirlpoetry.com.
Andie and husband, Ed, live on a small farm in New Jersey with their two horses, Hook, featured on the cover of Ephemeral, and a Rocky Mountain mare.
Ephemeral is available on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.