GENRE: Contemporary Young Adult
Trina Ryan’s challenging summer starts off with puppy-fueled energy burst as she takes on another service dog for training-an eight-week-old black Labrador named Colton. And to help explore another dream, she’s taken a job at the barn next door in exchange for riding lessons with the barn’s schooling horse. It doesn’t take long for Trina to butt heads with Morgan Hart, an award winning rider with a gorgeous thoroughbred named Knight- and a demanding, nasty demeanor with both people and her horse.
Adding to the list of frustrations is the difficulty in maintaining a long distance relationship with Chase, her first boyfriend from last summer, while trying to deal with unwanted attention from a new boy in her puppy training class.
At least best friend Sarah still has her back, but Trina wearies of Morgan’s constant insults and her heartless treatment of Knight, she decides to use her dog training skills to look underneath Morgan’s hostile attitude and develop a sense of trust.
Slowly, Morgan’s angry shield cracks enough to where she’s able to share a troubling family secret. Can Trina help Morgan confront her family problems and make a fresh start?
Yesterday’s clothes lay on the floor. I dressed as fast as I could then hurried to meet Sarah at the huge oak tree. My pounding heart pulsed through my arms and legs. I twisted a strand of hair and rechecked my phone for the millionth time.
Where is Sarah?
I needed to see Chancy, the barn’s schooling horse I rode. Heather, the other groom, had cared for her during my week at Edisto Beach. She spent tons of time with Chancy and even gave her treats when I wasn’t around. I wiped the beads of sweat off my lip and stared at the ground. What if Chancy preferred her over me? Worry bubbled up my throat. If I had to share Chancy, I couldn’t pretend she was mine.
Sarah approached in crisp white shorts, a sparkly pink tee, and French-braided blond-hair. My stomach knotted, and my cheeks burned. Sarah enjoyed teasing me about my out-of-control red hair and matching freckled face. I slowed my steps to let my face cool. Then I tucked loose curls into my ragged ponytail, and smoothed out my wrinkled PAALS tee shirt.
Darby, Sarah’s black and white springer spaniel, wiggled her stub of a tail as Sarah looped her arm through mine. She jabbered on about Peyton’s texts without missing a beat.
I nodded and smiled, tuning her out with memories of my first secret kiss with Chase, Peyton’s younger brother. I considered sharing our phone conversations, but a loud noise like a cement truck grew closer and interrupted our conversation.
Sarah squinted. “What’s that racket?”
“Sounds like a big diesel truck. Let’s get closer.”
Behind a wide tree trunk, we spied a silver-gray, dually truck pulling a white, two-horse trailer. Five, interlocked, gray hearts decorated the sides.
I clasped my hands together. “Oh, I bet that’s the new boarder. I forgot she was coming today. Let’s go look.”
Sheri S. Levy is the author of an award-winning debut novel in her series, Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training. Seven Days to Goodbye, won in 2015, and her magazine article, Scent with Love, won in 2011, with the Dog Writers Association in the Special Interest category. She is an active member of SCBWI and SIBA.
After a twenty-five-year teaching career in special needs, Sheri remains active with tutoring teens in reading and writing. PAALS, (Palmetto Animal Assisted Living Services), has helped with her research on writing about service dogs and how they change lives. Sheri, in turn, shares her book proceeds to support PAALS.org.
Sheri enjoys doing author visits and teaching writing workshops. When she is not writing, she reads, plays with her two dogs, listens to music, and hangs out with her husband and family.
You can find more information on her website. www.sherislevy.com
Sheri Levy will be awarding a $15 Barking Rain Press GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.