I wrote my first book in seventh grade, filling one hundred and four pages of a black and white Mead notebook. Back then I lived for two things: horses and R.L. Stine books. Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I work with horses as a coach for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) and hoard books like most women my age collect shoes. Its amazing how much changes… and how much stays the same.
The dream of publishing a novel has hitch-hiked with me down every other path I’ve taken (and there have been many.) Waitress, farm manager, road manager, bank teller, speech writer, retail, and more. But that need – the call from within to bring pen to paper – refused to quiet. Finally, in 2009, I sat down, pulled out a brand new notebook, and once again let the pictures in my head become words on paper.
Then I got married. Moved. Life sped up the way that it does, claiming each day faster than the last. I became a mother, and my manuscript reverted to something I would do one day. Thankfully, babies take naps, and there’s only so much daytime television a person can stomach. And Tanzy, that main character of mine, was shouting at me from my office: “Hellooo? We aren’t done yet, Jadie.” So I pulled her out. I read our story. I tore it to pieces. And then I put it back together again.
As a child, my grandfather would sit me in his lap and weave tales about the Cherokee nation, and a girl who belonged with horses. His words painted a whole new world, and my mind would take flight. My hope – my dream – is that Tanzy’s journey does the same for you.
Confession time: Jadie Jones is not my name. It’s a pen name I created to honor two fantastic women who didn’t get the chance to live out their professional dreams. First, my grandmother – a mother of four during post World War II America, who wanted to be a journalist so bad that even now when she talks about it, her blue eyes mist and she lifts her chin in silent speculation. And second, a dear friend’s mother who left this world entirely too soon. To Judy Dawn and Shirley Jones, Jadie Jones is for you. It’s been a pleasure getting to know her.
Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?