Valerie Ormond retired as a naval intelligence officer and now writes and speaks to audiences 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 2014 MWSA Book Awards and 1st Place in The Authors' Zone 2015 book awards.
Valerie’s non-fiction stories have appeared in numerous books. She holds memberships in writing organizations including American Horse Publications, the Military Writers Society of America (Board of Directors), 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. She is a lifetime member of the Naval Intelligence Professionals and Disabled American Veterans, and is on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center. She also owns and rides horses and serves as Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council, an organization representing 35,000 horse people in her home state.
She lives with her husband Jaime Navarro, a retired Navy pilot and avid horseman, in Maryland. Jaime and Valerie enjoy the company of their wonderful families and friends, their three horses, and four dogs.
Valerie's non-fiction stories have been published in the following books:
Acknowlegdments (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 - another great adventure!
I thank my mom, Flo, for her support, her editorial guidance, and for listening to me throughout this venture.
I thank the organizations Freedom Hill Horse Rescue and Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Incorporated which allowed me to visit and research to make realistic renditions of events in my first book. I was completely inspired by the volunteers who help keep horses from seeing fates they shouldn’t see. 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.
I thank Martha Rhoades-Spivey, and her MRS Photography, LLC, for her spectacular photos, and Jaime, again, this time, for his photographic talent.
Finally, I thank my publisher, J.B. Max Publishing, for taking a chance on this unknown author - twice.