Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

GGround Manners. A Novel was published 13 months ago.  One of the traditional publishers I’d sent it to wrote back saying that it was too political.  At least half a dozen advocacy organizations said they would publicize it on their sites; the only Canadian organizations that did were the CHDC and CHHAPS.  Since then, Carol M. Upton of Dreams Aloud Promotions  (see blog) has had reviews published in six horse magazines for which I am very grateful.

But Evelyne Villers was the very first journalist courageous enough to publish her Book Review on a novel written in English about the Québec horse industry.  And today, she re-published her Review with a few changes and also publicized my upcoming booth at the Salon du Livre in Rigaud this Sunday, March 25th.  I can’t thank her enough for this heart-warming surprise.  Please go here to read Evelyne’s review (en français).

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Opposing Reader Reviews

Marie Dean, a strong supporter of the CHDC, wrote this review of Ground Manners. A Novel:

Ground Manners by Cynthia D’Errico is a rollercoaster book of thrills and heart-pounding drama.  I have never been so absorbed, and never read a book so fast before in my life – just couldn’t put it down.  Ground Manners has actually got me interested in reading again.  It was thought provoking, captivating and I so wanted to be part of the group of characters – I so wanted to meet them in person – crazy!  The love and trust between human and horse, as well as between the horses themselves is so eloquently expressed that you are engulfed in the deepest of bonds.    Being a horse owner and lover I felt so greatly the vulnerable side of the horse, which Cynthia puts into words so gently that you are exhausted from emotion.    The details of horse slaughter are few, but the terror is felt and written between the lines – the horror and evil is understood.  Powerful read!! —Marie Dean, Waterford, Ontario, Supporter of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC).

Now here’s another Review written by someone on Amazon (and I did try to reach him to get his permission, but alas, so I hope he doesn’t mind my posting it here [csa was his moniker]):

This wasn’t quite what I expected. It dwelled a bit too long on the rescue aspect of horses and described things I really wish I could “unread”. I know there are people who need to be reminded of the cruelty of humans toward other inhabitants of this earth, but for one with a lot of empathy, it was just a bit over the top for me. The story line was easy to follow although a bit contrived and required a stretch of belief in places. The most interesting parts to read, aside from the historic aspect of the Canadian horse (of which I own several), were the interactions among the herd of horses. Those parts helped me see some members of our herd in a new light. The author did a good job of expressing the spirits of horses.

 

Of course, what I really liked

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Good News about Ground Manners. A Novel

Good News about Ground Manners. A Novel

Every now and then, I have a brainstorm…as opposed to my usual state, “bubblebrain”.  I came across Carol Upton’s site almost by chance, circuitously anyway, as most “stumbles-upon” occur on the internet.  When I read her site, I just knew that this was the person I’d been desperately wishing into existence to help me market GM and its message to the public.  Now don’t get me wrong:  I have marketing experience; I’m a pretty smart cookie, neurons only just lately starting to crumble, so I thought I’d done a pretty fair job so far.  But now, Carol…well, Carol, like one of those gentle forces of nature–like a sudden wind that knocks you off your feet, or a downpour that wets you through and through before you’ve even processed that it’s raining–just shimmers into your circle like Gwenda in The Wizard of OZ, and carefully assesses your needs, dialogues with you (as a person and as a writer), and then produces results far beyond your expectations, and makes it appear so simple and easy, that you are left quite speechless (which, as you know, is a rare state for me).  (I bet she has a magic wand on her person somewhere; it must be another ‘practical magic’ thing, eh.)   So, before I go on to list and link to the important horse websites which Carol somehow persuaded to carry her excellent Press Review of GM, let me just say ‘thanks, Carol.  I am most beholden to you.’  And one of the most heartwarming results of Carol’s work on Ground Manners’ behalf is that Yvonne Allen, who owns Voice for the Horse in Langley, BC, has asked me to provide, as a prize, a copy of my novel for their First Annual International Writing Competition.  Now, I ask you:  does lightning strike twice?  

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War Horse

War Horse

I must have been living under a rock.  I’ve only just now heard about Spielberg’s production of War Horse, a novel by Michael Purgaro.  War Horse has already won the Tony award in the UK as a play (yes, a play with puppet horses); is now playing on Broadway in New York to sold-out audiences.  The movie will be released in Canada near Christmas.  Published in 1982, this inspiring story, told by the horse himself, has finally reached the silver screen.  I can’t wait to read the book and then see it interpreted by the incomparable Spielberg.  Go to the following sites to see the movie trailer and to see a wonderful monologue by the author, Purgaro, about the genesis of the book.  

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My Gentle Reader: Smart Readers, Part Three

My Gentle Reader: Smart Readers, Part Three

Note:  Do not read this until you’ve read the ending to Ground Manners. A Novel !

Another Note:  When the novel, as a literary genre, first gained ground in the mid-17oo’s (Fanny Burney, etc), the author often interpellated the reader (i.e., spoke directly to the reader in the novel) and referred to him as “gentle reader” hence the title of this blog.  “Gentle” at that time implied “someone of good or high breeding”.  The “novel” was very much a new way of writing at that time whence the word “novel” meaning “new” in French. It’s not that I don’t think you already know all this…it’s just that I’ve forgotten most of what most Arts students have yet to learn, and I wanted to test what’s left of my own knowledge.

To read how the conversation you’re about to read came about, go to my previous blog post, Readers Smarter Than I Am.  When a reader with a wide-ranging intelligence like Roxanne’s takes the time to comment and ask questions, you can bet that it’s a treat for the writer. More, it enlarges and refreshes my own view of the work which, after having lived with the story and the characters for three years, can become trite and stale, though the actual writing of it was indeed full of passion and fury and all those other emoticons.  

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