Author: Linda Ballou
Narrator: Scott Glennon
Length: 8 hours 56 minutes
Publisher: Winddancer Press
Released: Oct. 12, 2017
Gemcie and her Irish Hunter, Marshal, are about to capture the World Cup when a nasty fall dashes their chances. While she is mending, her arch rival seizes this opportunity to catch a ride on Marshal, and to seduce her young husband. Confused and dazed by her new circumstances, Gemcie heads for the high Sierras hoping the majestic spires that captured the heart of the father she never met will provide the answers she seeks.
She finds strength and solace riding solo on the John Muir Trail, but a bear attack ends her time of introspection and places her in the care of a solitary cowboy manning a fire lookout. Brady shows her love and gives her the courage to get back in the saddle. Haunted by images of Marshal being abused by his owners, Gemcie returns to rescue him and fly high with him once more.
Ballou’s prose gallops ahead at breakneck speed as she takes you along on this wild ride.
Nothing pleases, Los Angeles based, adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, more than seeing gorgeous country from the back of a good horse. She has had the pleasure of staying at guest ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and California, along with horse treks in Ireland and Ecuador. Her articles have appeared in Equus, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman, California Riding Magazine and numerous travel publications. Her story Irish Mist recounting her cross-country jumping adventure in Ireland appeared in the anthology Why We Ride. Writing The Cowgirl Jumped Over Moon was her way of dealing with an injury that forced her to leave the jumping world behind.
Linda is also the author of Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales a travel memoir detailing her most meaningful adventures about the globe. Her proudest achievement is her historical novel Wai-nan-A Voice from Old Hawai’i inspired by the life of Ka’ahumanu who rose to become the most powerful woman in ancient Hawai’i. Learn more about Linda’s work at http://www.LindaBallouAuthor.com
The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and is receiving 5-Star reviews from horse lovers, as well as those who love an action-adventure story with a sizzling love triangle. The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon was the Founder’s Choice at the 2017 Equus Film Fest in New York.
In the story Gemcie determines to ride solo on the John Muir Trail in an attempt to sort out the confusion in her life. While trying to capture the ethereal beauty of the John Muir Wilderness, I hoped to capture the imaginations of those who have not been privileged to ride or hike in the fragile beauty of the high country.
“Days in whose light everything seems equally divine opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, no matter how weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever. John Muir”- My Summer in the Sierra’s 1869
With this thought in mind I can only feel gratitude that I was able to ride amongst the spires that inspired his musings that touched my soul so deeply. I tried in my own less masterful way to bring this experience home to readers who will never know those mountain days.
Getting The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon out of my drawer and into the hearts and minds of readers was my way of dealing with the tremendous sense of loss I was experiencing. I had invested all of my energies, time and money into the riding world. Every time I entered the barn, I felt my molecules settling into place. Ever since I was a little girl living next to a breeding and boarding ranch for race horses, I dreamed of owning my own horse.
I was in my late thirties when I could afford to own my own mare and live out my ‘horsey” fantasies. I was winning ribbons at local shows and taking part in three-day events when my body told me I simply could not continue doing what I loved.
The injury to my back inspired me to write the first draft of Cowgirl. I did it standing up at my breakfast bar because my sciatica would not allow me to sit. It took my mind off my nagging pain that was like carrying around a 50-pound sack of rocks. I was lifted out of my pathetic physical limitations and was able to soar in my imagination over demanding Grand Prix courses on Marshal, my gleaming black Irish Hunter.
In my story, Falling in the Footsteps of John Muir, I share how I found myself being air-lifted out of the High Sierras. In spite, of the very unhappy ending to my five –day horse pack trip that began just outside of Bishop that ended with me having two broken ribs, it remains one of my most memorable journeys. Up until the point when I tripped and fell into a log jutting into my rib cage, I was having a splendid time. I had dreamed of riding in the “Range of Light’ since reading Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra’s.
Once you know the mountains their memory becomes like the kiss of a lover. The cool breath off the glacier cirques, the crystalline waters in the steams stealing through flower-infested meadows and the chirp of the woodland creatures for company did not disappoint. I absolutely treasure my time camping in Silver Pass Meadows and trammeling through the high country on horseback on narrow tracks hugging the cliffs overlooking chasms. I tried to share this experience through the eyes of Gemcie in The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon.
- Gemcie is tall and elegant, statuesque with long lithe limbs with liquid movements. Her approach to riding is to get in the natural movement of the horse and to stay with him not to over control and interfere with his movements. Perfectly balanced from thigh to knee, knee to foot, short waisted she possesses the perfect rider’s conformation. She is tall for a woman rider, but competes nicely against the men. She is strong, forthright and healthy. Not afraid of minor lumps and bumps and the roughness of riding. Athletic, she knows how to take a tumble and has fallen many times. She works hard at her sport and maintains herself. She is quiet, self- controlled, centered and focused. She uses swimming to counter-balance the effects of riding, taking time to restore herself after each days riding work. She is competitive, but maintains a balance in her life. She has an open beaming smile is generous in nature and spirit. She gives compliments freely to fellow riders and is not jealous of others. She has the self- confidence and the poise of a beautiful woman.
- Brady a lone cowboy with traits I look for in a man. Muscled and lean with a shock of black hair, a two day stubble, and ocean blue eye as deep as the sea. He is sensitive, yet strong. Walks softly upon the earth. He is caring about all living creatures without being saccharine. He is a good cook and sweet in bed. Who could ask for more? Okay I admit it. I am in love with Brady.
Ballou created a very interesting world with horses and shows. She is very knowledgable about the topic and is able to incorporate this knowledge seamlessly into the narrative. I felt like each character was given a good background and that there was a lot of time and energy spent on making things feel realistic. Where I had some issues with the novel was that it seemed at times there were jumping around on topics/events. Perhaps it’s more defined in novel form, but the narration didn’t give a pause or anything specific before going into a new section so at times that got me confused. I’d give the story a 4/5 stars.
Glennon’s voice is nice and he does a good job of making each character distinct. I do think there should have been something done with the narration to give more distinction to transitions, so for me the narration is also a 4/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Linda Ballou. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
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