Recommended Red Rock Ranch Horse Book Series

Red Rock Ranch Series by Brittney Joy

An author advised me long ago to read books in the genre I wrote. Because of this, I’ve read more young adult books as an adult than I probably did as a young adult. Recently, I came across an author and a series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed—Brittney Joy’s Red Rock Ranch series. Fair warning though, if you read the first one, you may end up reading the whole series like I did! I thought I would share a little about them along with my reviews.

“Lucy’s Chance (Red Rock Ranch, Book 1)”


Review: A Great Read

I really enjoyed this young adult novel and felt I travelled back in time to my younger self while reading it. The author creates interesting characters and winds them into a good plot to wind up with a compelling story. I almost read this in one sitting and ordered the next in the series shortly thereafter. A great read for horse lovers of all ages.

“Showdown (Red Rock Ranch, Book 2)”


Review: An Unexpected Showdown

I liked the first book of the Red Rock Ranch series so much that I had to read “Showdown (Red Rock Ranch, Book 2).” I was not disappointed! Joy wrote this book in a different style than the first in the series alternating the two main characters’ point of view. It worked well for this story as readers got to see inside the minds of these two young girls with different backgrounds and mindsets. The plot churns along and keeps the pages turning in a perfectly paced young adult novel. I highly recommend this book for those who want to take a quick adventure into cowgirl life and experience the ride.

“Rodeo Daze (Red Rock Ranch, Book 3)”


Review: Great End to the Series!

I read all three books in this series and appreciated how the story and characters developed along the way. The author explains information about horses and riding in a way that is informative and interesting without being overly technical. I admired that her characters had flaws which made them real. I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a nice, clean read with action, adventure, and a touch of young romance.

Here is more about Brittney Joy, and I hope you enjoy her books! Author of sweet stories full of hope, heart, and happily-ever-afters.
Brittney and her family live in their own piece of heaven in the Oregon countryside. They stay busy with their menagerie of silly horses, cackling chickens, wooly sheep, and two very naughty goats. When Brittney isn’t writing, she’s riding or reading. And she wishes she could do all three at the same time. To learn more about Brittney and her books, please see her website and her Amazon page.

Editing with AutoCrit

I learned about the web-based editing application AutoCrit through writers’ circles last year. It looked interesting, and I signed up for the free program thinking I would get to it when I had time. Well, you know how that goes….

So when AutoCrit announced the AutoCrit Line Editing Lab in February, the lab became the catalyst I needed to focus on editing my work in progress (WIP), Believing In Horses Out West. The course description read, “10 days of group activity, live workshops with the AutoCrit team, and of course, edting!” It was that, and more. The AutoCrit team made it easy to attend sessions by hosting two live sessions daily at 11:00 am and 8:00 pm EST; attendees could attend either or both. The team also supplied a video recording and a copy of the day’s slides delivered to your inbox.

The lab kickstarted my lackluster editing effort and introduced me to the tremendous features of the program. The effervescent Beth hosted the courses and did a phenomenal job of teaching, answering chat questions, and keeping the course interactive. She engaged attendees in ways that made the lab more fun than a one-way conversation.

I discovered the power of AutoCrit and its wealth of editing features broken down by categories including Summary, Pacing & Momentum, Dialogue, Strong Writing, Word Choice, Repetition, Combination, Readability, and Grammar. For an example of the subcategories, see Strong Writing shown below.

I learned invaluable lessons about strengths and weaknesses in my writing through the specific categories and subcategories. As a result, I purchased a Professional AutoCrit membership. I saw how using the program improved my WIP, and I plan to apply the lessons learned to future work. I’ve appreciated being a member of the AutoCrit Member Community with features such as:

  • An actual community where authors interact without selling to each other
  • Instantaneous tech support
  • Live webinars, for instance, “How To Work With Your Cover Artist To Get The Cover You Deserve” featuring artist Lynne Hansen of Lynne Hansen Art. Lynne’s discussion was enlightening, informative, and free to members.

I highly recommend AutoCrit if you would like to gain new perspectives on your writing and connect with a friendly, helpful writing community.

Resources for Young Adult Writers

One of my fellow writers recently described the fascinating plot of her ongoing Young Adult (YA) novel in progress. She spoke about it in a writing group I’ve been a member of for years, so we know each other well. Our conversation went like this.

Me: “How old is your protagonist?”

Fellow Writer: “She’s in her thirties.”

Me: “For it to be considered a YA book, the protagonist needs to be young, like between 12 and 20.”

Fortunately, my friend was early in her writing process and adjusted the novel by our next meeting to ensure she followed the YA genre. She reported she was having fun writing with this new teenager as the main character. The girl had been a supporting character in the previous version, and the author got to know her better as she had more of a role and a voice in the book.

I’ve enjoyed YA since I read it as a pre-teen. However, I didn’t realize the YA genre “rules” until I became an author. I collected some resources to share with my friend, so I thought I would share them here.

Recommended References:

My favorite takeaway from these articles is this quote from The Atlantic article: “The defining characteristic of YA literature is emotional truth….” David Levithan. I hope these resources help those in their writing journeys.



Marketing for Those Who Hate to Market

(Note: Click the image for the recorded presentation.)

I had the opportunity this month to present a marketing workshop with my fellow author and dear friend, Kathleen M. Rodgers.

We did this as part of the Military Writers Society of America‘s (MWSA’s) new monthly online writing workshops and were thrilled with the number of people who attended and their active participation. MWSA presents these types of workshops as a benefit of MWSA membership. MWSA allows presenters to share our workshops with our own networks. I hope some of you may be interested in this organization or learn something you didn’t already know. MWSA is open to active duty military, veterans, families, and those interested in telling military-related stories. [Read more…]

A Touch of Class

Growing up as a horse lover in Maryland, I never imagined I would win an award like Maryland’s Touch of Class Award someday. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Maryland Horse Industry Board honored me and my second book, Believing In Horses, Too, for  our winning entry in the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Awards. [Read more…]

Believing In Horses Out West

It’s official; I am well into writing my third book with a working title of Believing In Horses Out West. Young Sadie ventures to a Montana dude ranch to check on Sunny, the Palomino mare she rescued last year. But the family vacation takes a turn for the worse when Sadie unravels a mystery involving unsavory ranch hands putting Sunny and other horses in grave danger. [Read more…]