Acknowledgments (Or Why This is “About Us” and Not “About Me”)

I have to begin by thanking my wonderful husband Jaime for his positive support, encouragement, and persistent patience with me throughout this process. He never once questioned me; he believed in me. Everyone should be so lucky to have such strength in their lives.

My brother Eddy provided sound advice based on his many years of teaching experience and creativity, enriching my books from stories to what will hopefully be learning experiences. He developed the educational Discussion Guides/Activities on his own initiative, which then led to our creation of Teacher’s Tack for Believing In Horses and Teacher’s Tack for Believing In Horses Out West – more great adventures!

I thank my mom, Flo, for her support, her editorial guidance, and for listening to me throughout this venture. I miss her more than she will ever know.

I thank the organizations Freedom Hill Horse Rescue and Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. which allowed me to visit and research to make realistic renditions of events in my first book. I also thank the dedicated people at the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, and the SPIRIT Serving Veterans Program for working with me on my second book and sharing their valuable time and insights with me. A large thanks also goes to Loftmar Stables for too many reasons to list here.

For my third book, I thank Homeplace Ranch in Alberta, Canada; the former Circle Bar Ranch in Utica, Montana; and the Red Rock Ride based in Tropic, Utah for providing memorable experiences and sights to share with readers in this fictional story about a ranch ride.

Finally, I thank my publisher, J.B. Max Publishing, for taking a chance on an unknown author for my first two novels.


Valerie Ormond retired as a naval intelligence officer and now writes books and stories sharing lessons learned. Her first novel, Believing In Horses, won the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Gold Medal for Young Adult Books; the Gold Medal for Children’s Literature in the Stars and Flags Book Awards; the Parent Tested Parent Approved Best Product and Official Winners Seal of Approval; and additional awards and recognition.

Her second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, also won a Gold Medal in the MWSA Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors’ Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards; Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival; and the State of Maryland’s Touch of Class Award.

Her third book in the series, Believing In Horses Out West, released in October 2021 won first place in  the National Federation of Press Women’s 2022 national communications contest for Young Adult Fiction, a Gold Medal in the Young Adult category of MWSA’s 2022 Book Awards, and won the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival’s Equine Fiction category. The book also won Second Place in The BookFest® Awards, Spring 2022; was selected a Finalist in the 2021 international Wishing Shelf Book Awards; and achieved an Amazon #1 New Release ranking on release day.

Valerie’s fiction and non-fiction stories have appeared in numerous books. Two of her short stories have won awards in the National Federation of Press Women’s at-large and national communications contests. She holds memberships in writing organizations including American Horse Publications, the Military Writers Society of America, and the Accokeek Women Writers Group.

In 2014, Valerie founded Veteran Writing Services, LLC to provide writing services to business clients and encourage other veterans to write.  In 2021, she established Veterans Publishing as a part of her business. She owns and rides horses and served as Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council, an organization representing 35,000 horse people in her home state. One of her proudest achievements in her writing career was being presented the Military Writers Society of America President’s Award for 2019 for contributions to the organization and its goals. She currently serves as the Vice President of MWSA.

She lives in Maryland with her husband, Jaime Navarro, a retired Navy pilot and horseman. Jaime and Valerie enjoy the company of their wonderful families and friends, their three horses, and thier perfect dog.

Valerie’s non-fiction and fiction stories and poetry have been published in the following books:

Smokes, Blokes and Jokes of Foggy Town LONDON

Creative Gems Volume 2 (with James McGee and Seamus McGee)

Untold Stories: Military Writers Society of America 2021 Anthology

Ernest Lived and Other Historical Fiction Short Stories

The TCFFV Petry Journal Volume Five

The TCFFV Poetry Journal Volume One

World War I Inspirations: Military Writers Society of America 2018 Anthology

Hope and Courage

More Than Best Friends – An Anthology in Support of Guide Dogs for the Blind

All Gave Some

Our Voices

The 5 Must-Know Secrets of Success for Today’s College Girl

The Heart of Christmas