Good Morning, Everyone!
Today, I have an unusual and very special Would You Read It to present.
If you’ve spent any time at all around my blog, you know that I love animals – especially horses and dogs 🙂
Our 2 dogs were both rescued from shelters, and I have friends who have rescued horses, so the subject of this book is very close to my heart. I can’t bear to see animals mistreated.
So when I received a Would You Read It inquiry from Koren Helbig, an Australian freelance journalist living in Spain, asking if we could do a slightly different kind of Would You Read It I was more than happy to contribute in any small way I could.
Koren told me she’d been volunteering at a horse rescue center run by Sue and Rod Weeding. (Koren blogged about it HERE.) Sue has written a picture book about a little horse who had come to them in desperate need of help. Through the book, Sue wants to raise awareness of animal welfare. All funds from the sale of the book go to two foundations: Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre Foundation (in Spain) and Kids And Ponies – Molly’s Foundation (in America).
But though the book is up on Amazon, it’s not selling as well as they’d hoped, which they feel is in part due to the blurb that accompanies it.
Koren and Sue wondered if they could share the blurb on Would You Read It in hopes that you all might be able to help.
So first, I’d like to share with you a little Q&A with the author, Sue Weeding, conducted by Koren Helbig, so you get a chance to see where she’s coming from and what she’s hoping to accomplish. Afterwards, the book blurb will be presented as today’s Would You Read It in hopes that all of you may be able to help Sue come up with a stronger way of presenting her book to the world and hopefully increasing sales (which will help fund the rescue organizations) and awareness.
Three people who make suggestions for improvement to Sue’s blurb will be randomly selected to receive a prize. One will receive a hard copy (as opposed to Kindle) of the book: Diary Of A Heroic Horse: Molly Gives Faith Hope. One will receive a DVD of “The Story So Far”. And one will receive a signed photograph of Faith.
So let’s start with the Q&A so you can meet Sue and hear her story 🙂
|Sue and Rod Weeding with Dexter the mule at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre
Koren: How did you get involved in horse rescue in Spain?
Sue: About 13 years ago my husband Rod and I decided that we were fed up working seven days a week. We’d both always wanted to live in the sun and Spain seemed like a nice place to go so we moved here. After about six years I started an English tack shop, which opened me up to a wide range of people and I started to hear horrific stories about how horses were kept.
One day we were asked to deliver some rubber matting to a stable yard. There was Lucerio stuck in a filthy dirty stable, his eye was rotten and there were maggots in it, the flies were driving him crazy and he was hurling himself against the bars. His owner had abandoned him. They used to throw food through the bars and no one used to muck out his stall. He was two and half years old and had never seen the light of day.
I looked at Rod and we both knew that our lives would never be the same again. We had to do something. After that the phone never stopped ringing.
|Faith shortly after being rescued, underweight and terribly injured
from being tangled in the rope she was tied up with
Koren: How many horses are you caring for now?
Sue: We now have 62 horses, ponies and donkeys living here with us at the centre. We also have a mule, nine dogs, nine cats, two parrots, a very old cockatiel, peacocks, chicken, geese, Ernie the turkey and Isadora the pig.
Animals just turn up and we never turn anyone away. We’re not an eccentric couple of lunatics that are collecting all these animals. People come to us and I feel it is only right and fair to help these animals when nobody else would.
Koren: What was it about this particular story, about Faith, that made you want to write a book?
Sue: I’m not a literate person. I left school when I was 14. But these animals have the most amazing stories to share and I felt compelled to write their stories from their own point of view, how they felt, their feelings and frights. Faith was the first because her story was so special. And now we’re having it translated into Spanish!
There are situations out there that we as humans find difficult to address and when we come upon it – whether it’s us having an amputation or a parent or a grandchild – we don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes handling other people’s perception of that is actually harder then going through it. So maybe my little book can help people out there who are dealing with this.
It’s showing a message that it’s okay to be different. When I look at Faith I see a little pony that is surrounded by love and care, she lives in fantastic facilities, she has state of the art treatment. I do not see a sad little pony that has had her leg cut off and is in pain. That’s an important message.
I also wanted to write the book in a very simple way for children because I firmly believe that children are the future and if we can educate children we can move things on for animal welfare.
|Sue Weeding caring for Faith at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales, Spain
Koren: Why did you include Molly, the American pony with a prosthetic leg, in Faith’s story?
Sue: I went to visit Molly in America and I got to know Kaye Harris as a friend. I know they really struggle financially, they live hand to mouth. There’s a book about Molly the pony but Kay doesn’t get any money from the ongoing sales. So I rewrote my book to include Molly’s story and half of the profits go to her, that’s my little way of helping.
Koren: What do you hope your horse rescue foundation will achieve in Spain?
Sue: There is a huge problem here with lack of care and lack of knowledge. The reality here is that most horses are stabled 24 hours a day in filthy, handmade conditions without proper bedding or airflow and a lot of them are not fed properly but nobody sees them so they don’t exist to the general public.
Our role is raising awareness about the problem, pushing for changes to animal welfare laws and educating people, because education is the only way to stop this happening.
I want our foundation to keep growing and to create other centres across Spain. I hope that when Rod and I are too old to keep going it will continue to be run by switched on young people who will carry on. I want the centre to be here forever.
|Faith, glossy and healthy with her new prosthetic leg, a testament to what
love and kindness and good care can accomplish.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre has a website HERE where you can learn more about the wonderful and important work they do and how much they are helping, but please use discretion in viewing it with children – although there is lots of joy and success, there are some terrible stories about where the animals came from and potentially upsetting photographs from “before”.
So now, here is the information about the book and the blurb that accompanies it.
Title: Diary of a heroic horse: Molly gives Faith hope
Age/genre: Picture Book (ages 6-13)
Blurb: See the world through Faith’s eyes. A beautiful picture book diary of the little amputee pony, Faith and her best friend Molly the pony. Two very special little horses who overcame all the odds to survive. One horse in America, one in Spain. Both of them rescued by people as determined as they were, to fight for life and never give up. Faith a victim of ignorance and cruelty in Spain, and Molly a victim of hurricane Katrina in America. Saving these two special little horses brought two families together across the Atlantic to form a lasting friendship and a bond between horses that can never be broken. This book has been written with love to help the horses in both America and Spain. All funds raised from the sale of this book will be shared equally between the two charities – Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre Foundation (in Spain) and Kids and Ponies – Molly’s Foundation (in America).
So what do you think? Would You Read It? Sue and Koren and I would all be extremely grateful for your help in coming up with a better blurb for the book. How can Sue improve it? Please let us know in the comments.
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It
or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above. There are openings in January so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Thank you all in advance for your help, and remember, 3 of you will be lucky winners! 🙂 Anyone who would like to support Sue’s efforts by tweeting or FB posting this post, Koren’s post, the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre’s website, and/or the Amazon link for the book, and/or by purchasing a copy of the book, will be earning good Karma! 🙂 You can also like their FB page HERE
. And if you buy the book and like it, and would like to post a review on Amazon or GoodReads etc. that would be lovely!
Links: (for your convenience in earning Karma :))
This post: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2013/11/would-you-read-it-wednesday-112-special.html
Koren’s post: http://thelittlegreenhouse.net/2013/11/01/giving-goodness-easy-horse-care-rescue-centre/#more-7552
Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre Website: http://www.easyhorsecare.net
Amazon link for the book: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-heroic-horse-Molly-ebook/dp/B00CHPVKXM
Like Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Easy-Horse-Care-Rescue-Centre/151489774624?fref=ts%29
81 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #112 Special Edition – Faith The Heroic Pony (PB) – PLUS 3 Giveaways”
How nice that you were referred over, Kate. We'll definitely take your thoughts on board, too. Lots of thought-provoking suggestions coming through!
Good job, Martha. Thanks for adding your excellently crafted words to the mix.
I know exactly what you mean, Kathy. Sue still breaks down in tears almost every time she talks about the various rescues. But it's so lovely that so many of these horses now have a peaceful place to live out their lives – and Sue and Rod are really doing a lot of work on prevention and education so hopefully one day this will all be a thing of the past.
That's an excellent suggestion, thanks. And thanks for spreading the word!
Ooo, this is really good, Stacy. Something totally different and really aimed at children. I like it – thanks so much!
This is great, thanks Lauri. I especially love the “best friends living an ocean apart” line. Thanks so much for taking the time to craft this.
It is awful, isn't it Kim? Heartbreaking. Which is why it's so wonderful that people like Sue and Rod and Koren are doing so much to help. Thank you so much for your suggestions (especially Ellen!) and for taking the time to craft a rewrite of the blurb. Wouldn't it be amazing if Faith's story was featured on Ellen all because of Would You Read It? 🙂 How the picture book community helps with animals welfare… 🙂
Everyone has done a wonderful job, haven't they? We are so lucky to have such terrific helpful people around here! And thanks, Vivian, for your ideas about marketing – another new thing to try!
Oh this is close to my heart. Our friends board two rescued horses on our farm. One is a 30 something mare who had spent 7 years in a stall (without being let out…) Her name is Chance 🙂 She's been living the good life for the past twelve years 🙂
Thank you, Sue, Rod and Koren for your important work!
And thank you, Susanna for posting this!
The pitch has good things to say. It just needs to be shortened and focused a bit. I think Catherine Johnson's rewrite is excellent.
And people sure are coming up with great marketing ideas! I wish you the best of luck!
I hate when animals suffer, so I'm always so glad and grateful to hear of people like Sue and Rod and Koren who are willing to go out of their way to help! Thanks for your expert input on the pitch. Catherine's does seem to be a popular one!
Susanna, Yes it IS Heartbreaking! And very difficult in many ways to be involved in such heartbreak on a daily basis (it's why I personally had to distance myself for a while with what I was doing in this area). There is great and lasting Reward in such work though and I give thanks every day for people like Sue, Rod and Koren!
Amen to that! 🙂
You are welcome! Ellen has a very big audience and one of those celebrities that does a lot to help animals (as well as people). It's also obvious, to me, the motivation comes from her heart.
Thanks, Koren! And thanks to you, Sue and Rod for taking care of animals like Faith and Molly!
What a good interview! I LOVE the idea of this book. I haven't seen a horse rescue book before (there is a horse rescue where we used to live called “The Last Chance Ranch”. My family supported it. Very cool topic for a book. I would shorten the pitch a bit. I was wondering about the age range 6-13. Is it more of a picture book or story book/non-fiction?
And YOU, Susanna, who rescues pets and posts blogs like these to help spread awareness!
A big thank you to all of you for your time and the great comments and ideas you have given us to help promote Faith`s book.
You might like to see a three minute documentary on the work we do here at the center http://youtu.be/1p7rD4i38Co
It's kind of a tough call, Erik. It's picture bookish on some levels – simple story illustrated with photographs – but the content is a bit mature for youngest audiences, so I think that's why they made the age range a little older…
A drop in the bucket, but hopefully with enough drops we'll make a difference!
Hi Sue and Rod – Thank YOU for all that you do. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are happy to do whatever little bit we can, spreading the word, buying the book, to try to support your efforts. I wish I'd known about this video before I put the post up – I know people would have loved it. I'm going to tweet the link and post it on my FB page in hopes people will see it.
Ok, now that I've read the book and written an amazon review, I'll get a little more picky here since I don't know a better place to get picky. First–I'm not sure the title is that relevant to the book. Molly is really just a mention, and it's stretching even the anthropomorphic nature of the book to think that her story helped Faith herself. Now–helped the humans figure out how to help her, that I'd buy. I like the scrapbook look to the book. I don't like the glare on the photos. I think the writing could be tightened up quite a bit, which would help it's read-aloud appeal. If you are thinking of editing this some time in the future let me know, and I would be happy to oblige with some suggestions and grammar error stuff. I'm not a professional, but I read a lot and can see a couple ways to make this a better book and fix a few grammar mistakes. HOWEVER–it's a nice little book as it is, and it's for a good cause, and I think when I read it to my granddaughters they won't care about much of the above. I hope you find ways to get it out there and that your project continues to be successful.
This is a nice blurb, except for me it doesn't have a lot to do with the book. If this book was about Molly and Faith equally, or about a friendship forged across the oceans by the people in the story, maybe. But this book is 95 percent about Faith. Molly is only a really a mention in this book. In fact, it is one of the sections I'd rewrite if I were doing it myself, which I'm not. And that is not meant as a slam to the writer of the story. I think we all see things we would write differently or tweak if given the opportunity.
I agree, Tracie. I've read the book also and it really is about Faith. I think Sue kind of added the Molly part in because she met them and liked them, and Molly is the only other pony this has ever happened to, and to justify giving part of the funds to the American organization.
Thank you, Tracie, for buying the book, reading it, and reviewing on Amazon. I'm sure Sue, Rod and Koren are extremely grateful. And these are very helpful suggestions! 🙂
Good on your friends! Poor Chance, thank goodness she's been given a second chance now!
Hey Tracie, I've just read your Amazon review and it's lovely, thanks so much for taking the time to do that and support us. We'll certainly have a think about the other bits and bobs you've mentioned, too.
Yup, you're spot on there, Susanna. Keen to hear what others think on whether real littlies would be okay with the content, though.
Yes, and thanks to you other animals are having second chances too!
Susanna, what a touching post. I hope this books receives the sales it deserves. 🙂
Thanks, Tracy, me too!
Thanks so much for your excellent and helpful thoughts, Nancy! I know Koren, Sue and Rod will be appreciative!