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.

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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…]

Learning Something New Every Day

Being Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council is not always that secretarial. Take for instance, this past weekend’s Maryland Horse Council Annual Barbeque, when I had the opportunity to play polo on the Maryland Horse Council Executive Committee’s team.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photo by Sue O'Donnell.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photos and videos by Sue O’Donnell.

[Read more…]

Christmas Heroes

Christmas brings back my last happy memories with my father. Growing up as “Daddy’s little girl,” it was no family secret that we shared a special bond. Dad served in the Navy in my early years, and I enjoyed hearing sea stories and exotic tales of places he visited. One time he brought home from a Navy cruise a three-foot-tall wooden table shaped like a monkey, which my brother and I named “Baboo.” My mother hated it. Mom’s detest for this furniture-creature among our early Colonial style décor made Baboo that much funnier to me, at six-years-old, and my way more mature older brother at seven. Dad’s sense of humor never stopped, and to this day when I think of him, I see twinkling blue eyes, shiny round cheeks, and a grin that made his entire face smile — just like that last Christmas.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Edward J. Ormond, U.S. Navy

Lieutenant Junior Grade Edward J. Ormond, U.S. Navy

Whether consciously or not, I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Navy.  Fiercely proud, my dad visited me at every duty station he could. And when I came home, Dad always wanted me to stop by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter Home, Omaha Beach Chapter Number 7, in Bowie, MD, to show me off to his friends and colleagues in the local veterans’ organizations. Every Christmas, the DAV held a holiday party for the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Each year, one of the big highlights of the event for the Charlotte Hall residents was the belly dancer. [Read more…]

Fun With Freedom U.S.A. Tour


Billy meets Freedom at Loftmar Stables, Bowie, Md.

Sometimes we just have to have fun. Last week, all the way from Vancouver, Canada, Freedom the “Spokes-character” for Voice For The Horse Foundation Children’s International Writing Competition made his first U.S. stop in Bowie, Md. I’ve been fortunate to work as a volunteer helping coordinate the Voice For The Horse annual writing competition for the past three years and serving as a judge.

I had the honor of being the first to host Freedom Flat Stanley to help promote the horse-themed children’s writing competition. We began the tour at Loftmar Stables ,where our Maryland horses welcomed him. [Read more…]