Let’s welcome Anna Rashbrook to the stage!
About Anna Rashbrook
I have had horses in my life on and off since I was a kid. I used to get into all sorts of scrapes on my pony, Emma. Then growing up happened and I only began riding again in my 40s and that is worse than when you are a kid, you can go and buy the horse now! I worked for a while at the Fortune centre of Riding Therapy in Hampshire and had a loan horse, Monty. Then it was time to move on, and my husband and I felt led to move to Austria and have been here for 12 years. We live in a remote rural area near the mountains and love it. I had my dream job here, 10 Haflingers, stables, arena and a hotel with loads of horse mad kids! Sadly there wasn’t enough work with them, so I have had several jobs since, including cleaning a castle and teaching English. Now I have time to write and I will!
Challenger is set in a fictional parish of Hazeley near the south coast in the UK. Joanna and her dad have spent years building the County show into a national event. Then comes a huge shock when, Diane, Joanna’s long lost best friend suddenly makes a reappearance. Joanna had walked away from horses after deliberately beating Diane in the County showjumping cup, driven by the memory of her highly competitive mother, who had died in a road accident.
Diane seems intent on making a return as a friend, talking Ray and Joanna into letting her open a riding stable in the grounds of their home, Hazeley manor. Change also appears when Challenger, the showjumper that Joanna ruined returns and seems to her Joanna’s inner turmoil, reacting with surprising aggression. Joanna is dubious of Diane’s motives and eventually is proved right when Diane commits the ultimate betrayal. Yet Joanna has already begun a journey to growth and spiritual healing, especially when she takes on two puppies in defiance of her father, and then she meets Guy, who helps her to train them. Things come to a head when all the family is sent on an equine assisted therapy weekend to work with horses to find a solution to their problems. Will Joanna finally find love and will Challenger forgive her?
What Anna has to say about Writing:
Writing has been with me since I was a kid, from short stories to diaries. It was after writing my first book, Tom, that I realised I had a lot to learn, so I took a degree with the Open University and got a first class in English and history. I read romance and horse books when I can. Having stopped writing while settling here, I began a blog and from this came ideas to do writing properly. Then a vivid dream gave me the opening of Challenger, so I wrote. In the same way, I got the next book, Compromise.
This is a standalone follow-up also in Hazeley but new characters. I wasn’t going to write another in the series then, yawn, another dream has set me on yet another follow-up. I also hope to get a fictionalised account of my time teaching riding here out for Christmas.
I write my stories in my head while out walking the dog, then it’s the case that they seem to write themselves once I get to the keyboard, even if they do sometimes escape from the plan.
All my work is informed by my Christian faith, each book has a gentle message that I hope doesn't intrude but makes people think.
I have loved getting to know Anna! She is such a sweet and wonderful woman.
Find Anna on Twitter: @AnnaRashbrook
And on her website.