Thank You, Local Supporters

031315_2304_ThankYouLoc1.jpgI wanted to take a moment and thank some of the wonderful local supporters who have helped me in my writing journey.
I’ll start with Maryland Senator Edward R. Reilly who celebrated the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day by donating copies if my latest book, “Believing In Horses, Too,” to Anne Arundel County Public Schools last week.
Reilly donates books written by local authors to schools in his district annually on Read Across America Day, and this year he recognized me in the Senate Chamber on March 3, and urged support for local authors. Of all the books in the country, he has selected both of mine as donations in the past few years.
Local news outlets including the Bowie Patch, and the Odenton-Severn Patch spread the word about the Read Across America event, as did The Equiery magazine.
I’ve had local educators, librarians, and writers support me over the past few years, including members of the wonderful Accokeek Women Writers Group.

Lucky at the Annapolis Book Festival (photo by Julia Simmons)

Lucky at the Annapolis Book Festival (photo by Julia Simmons)

I could not have asked for better support from the Maryland and Virginia equine communities in help writing “Believing In Horses,” and “Believing In Horses, Too.” What I did not anticipate was the continued support I would receive from Loftmar Stables, Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc., the Maryland Horse Council, the Maryland Horse Industry Board, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Spirit Serving Veterans, and the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs.
Just last week, I walked into the Crofton Dover Saddlery and saw my books on a special display. I asked the associates if they would like me to sign them, and their interest and enthusiasm made my day.
I definitely can’t leave out my family and friends who have invited me to events, participated in events, and spread the work about my books. My mom, Flo Ormond, has ensured that all her art students know about my work and has supported me every step of the way. My husband, Jaime Navarro, has supported event after event, even dubbing himself my “Public Affairs Officer,” while taking photos and talking to people. He even brought our horse, Lucky, to the Annapolis Book Festival to meet readers!
I know how lucky I am to have the support I do, and I don’t think I say thank you enough. It seemed the right time to publicly say thank you to a tremendous team of people supporting this local author.

Military Women Veteran Authors and Speakers Collaborate to Motivate in Business, Professional & Academic Settings: Offer Award-Winning Literature for Women’s History Month

 As the nation’s schools, libraries, government agencies, universities and corporations prepare to celebrate Women’s History Month in March, published authors who are members of the National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau are elevating their unique voices as women veterans, sharing leadership experiences through motivational speaking engagements and literature.

“Women Vets Speak” literature pack is an extension of the bureau’s mission to inform the public about the positive aspects of military service and to share women’s insights into leadership, mentoring and successful team building in corporate environments.

San Francisco, CA & Providence, RI (PRWEB) February 18, 2015 – In honor of Women’s History Month, the National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau (NWVSB) announces the release of a packaged set of award-winning literature —“Women Vets Speak.” This unique set is a collection of autobiography, leadership, fiction, young adult, biographical history and children’s books written by its members. The “Women Vets Speak” literature pack is an extension of the NWVSB’s mission to inform the public about the positive aspects of military service and to share women’s insights into leadership, mentoring and successful team building in corporate environments.

Formed in 2014, the bureau’s speakers have taken their messages across the country to corporate, military, educational and non-profit organization audiences, to inspire with their unique brand of storytelling gained while serving in uniform. For military service members, these speakers offer valuable, first-hand transition tips from military service to the business world. Now, access to their experiences and leadership material is available in a special set of signed books that includes:

“All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq” by Miyoko Hikiji, [ISBN: 9781933909585] – a modern-day love and war story between two enlisted Army National Guard soldiers that explores the complexity of romance, harassment, and combat for women in the military, especially during deployment.

“Believing In Horses” by Valerie Ormond [ISBN: 9780973633023] – This inspiring young adult novel tells the story of a girl in a military family committed to saving unwanted horses.

“Believing in Horses, Too” by Valerie Ormond [ISBN: 9780973633047] – This standalone sequel to Believing In Horses follows a young girl’s adventures in the show ring and with therapeutic riding, while she learns to cope with her father’s deployment to Afghanistan.

“Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá” by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, [ISBN: 9780983476030] – This is the first bilingual (English/Spanish) children’s picture book showing young children (ages 3-8) why women and mommies serve in our nation’s armed forces.

“Iraq and Back: Inside the War to Win the Peace” by Kim Olson, [ISBN: 9781591145271] – a rare look inside in the earliest days of the Iraqi reconstruction, as seen through the eyes of a senior officer, wife, and mother.

“Military Fly Moms: Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope” by Linda Maloney [ISBN: 9780978736972] – a biographical collection of the inspiring true stories and photographs of seventy women who shared the same two dreams – becoming aviators in the military, and being moms.

“North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey” by Shannon Huffman Polson [ISBN: 9780310328766] – a memoir of adventure and moving through tragedy to hope. When Polson’s father and stepmother are killed by a grizzly bear in Alaska’s remote Arctic wilderness, she retraces their final river trip in a search for understanding.

“Penelope Pilot and her First Day as Captain” by Lynda Meeks [9780615344331] – a children’s book about a young girl who had always dreamed of being a pilot. Entertaining and educational, this full-color, illustrated book empowers girls to consider non-traditional career opportunities and teaches that Yes, Girls Can Fly!

“Stepping Stones to Success” (Karen Baetzel, co-author with Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield & Dr. Dennis Waitle) [ISBN: 9781600134739] – a leadership anthology, where experts share strategies for mastering business, life, and relationships.

Purchase the “Women Vets Speak” literature pack now through March 31st here.

To request a speaker for your conference, association, educational event or corporate training session, please connect with Angel Picon below. Additional information including speaker biographies can be found at the NWVSB website

Lynette Hoy
Firetalker PR™
Tel: (415) 694-3004
Email: Lynette(at)firetalkerpr(dot)com

Angel Picon
Tel: (209) 688-0892
E-mail: angel(at)WomenVetsSpeak(dot)com

About Us
The National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau (NWVSB) was founded by and is actively managed by two women veteran-owned businesses —Gracefully Global Group LLC (SBA-Certified WOSB) and MMF Media Marketing LLC. NWVSB is the first organization of its kind, crafted to showcase the powerful voices of our nation’s servicewomen. These women draw from their military service, entrepreneurial, author, and life experiences to train and invigorate team members at every level of your organization. Visit Find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @WomenVetsSpeak.

PDF Version PDF

Interview with Award-Winning Author Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Today I’m happy to bring you author Janice Spina, who writes children’s books and thrillers. I had the pleasure of meeting Janice through Chris, The Story Reading Ape’s Blog.

Janice is the award-winning author of five children’s picture books, illustrated by her husband, John Spina. Her most recent book is her first novel and mystery/crime/thriller, “Hunting Mariah.” But let’s talk about one of her picture books that I shared with one of my younger reading pals, J.C.

About “Ricky, the Rambunctious Raccoon” Janice Spina

“Ricky is a rambunctious or very active raccoon who likes to wander around to find something new to eat. One night during his foraging for food, Ricky runs into all kinds of trouble. Will Ricky get home safely? Will he learn his lesson to listen to his mother?”

My review: [Read more…]

Military Writers Society of America Conference – Phoenix

Welcome to Guest Blogger and Author, Michael Wood

I recently met Michael Wood at the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) conference in Phoenix. After seeing how well he captured the essence of the conference in words and photos, I asked if he’d be willing to share with this blog’s readers. So please welcome fellow Navy veteran Mike over from his Travel Photo Escapades blog, and enjoy this virtual visit to the 2014 MWSA conference.

 This is my first year attending one of these MWSA conferences. [Read more…]

Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)


The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she [Read more…]

Working with a Small Publisher

I thought this was the single best article I’ve seen about working with a small publisher. I’ve published both my books with a small press, J.B. Max Publishing, out of Vancouver, BC. I agree with many of the points in the article by editor Brian Klems, but here are my top three:

1. A small press can take on projects that don’t conform to the mainstream commercial market.

2. A small press cares about the success of a book beyond its initial release. To quote: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

3. Small press authors can expect to have a personal relationship with small presses, or as one small press publisher cites it, “Tender, loving care.” [Read more…]