Content Rating: PG-13 : It’s a saga about love, relationships, personal growth and adventure, set against a backdrop of endurance racing. A strong middle grader/pre-teen could read it.
A gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between a human and a horse. Separated by a bad accident when Gallant is five, each gets a second chance of happiness pursuing the long-distance sport of endurance riding, neither knowing they are leading parallel lives. Will Fate bring them together again? Gallant’s arch nemesis, The Almighty Flash, threatens to destroy all that Gallant has worked for. His misguided ambition and greed, developed at the hands of an abusive owner, has created a darkness in his soul that turns to blind fury when his endurance career is threatened.
Award winning Author Claire Eckard combines her love of writing with her passion for animals to create memorable children’s books that are fun to read, but also include valuable life’s lessons. Claire grew up in England and moved to Hawaii in her early twenties where she married her husband of thirty-four years. Together they raised two sons, Mitchell and Matthew. Claire is inspired by her two Granddaughters Mila and Ella, as well as the beautiful backdrop of the Arizona mountains where she lives. Claire has a farm full of animals, and has spent many years as a board member and volunteer of her local animal shelter.
“The Sand Pounder is one of those rare historical novels with a charm that appeals to both young and old readers.” – Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite “M.J. Evans does an excellent job of winding the era’s history and the lesser-known job of the Sand Pounders into a realistic story of a mature teen’s determination to make a difference in her world.”– Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review “A gripping YA historical novel packed full of twists, turns and memorable characters. Highly recommended!”– The Wishing Shelf Book Review (UK)
Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces during World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts. The unit was called “The Sand Pounders” and they rode their horses up and down the beaches from 1942 to 1944.
In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian decided to join them. There was only one problem…they were only accepting men. That didn’t slow her down.
”The Sand Pounder” is a Young Adult historical fiction set during World War II.
Award-Winning, Best-Selling author, M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and graduated from Oregon State University. She spent five years teaching junior high and high school students before retiring to raise her five children. She is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado Mountains.
Hi readers and writers. Whenever I do an author presentation on my books or writing in general, I am ALWAYS asked the question: “Where do you get your ideas for your books?”
That is becoming an increasingly hard question to answer now that I have written twenty-one books. My first books were non-fiction equestrian trail guidebooks for Colorado. I moved to Colorado from Oregon twenty-six years ago and wanted to find out where horse trails were. I went to the bookstore only to discover that there were lots of trail guidebooks…hiking, hiking with your family, hiking with your dog, and on and on. But there were no equestrian trail guidebooks. Equestrians have unique needs when it comes to finding a trail, starting with the parking lot to what kind of “horse hazards” you can expect to encounter. So, I decided to research and write my own. It was so successful, I have now written four of them.
All the rest of my books are fiction. That is where the craziness begins. “Mr. Figgletoes’ Toy Emporium” came to me when I was vacationing in Coeur D’Alene and saw a toy store named “Figpickles’ Toy Emporium.” The name was so fun it got my imagination running on high and the story started taking shape in my head.
My four-book series, “The Centaur Chronicles,” is another fantasy. The entire idea came to me while reading in the Bible. I read the verse in Ephesians that says: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:14) I started thinking about what powers the breastplate of righteousness might give me and I came up with Mercy, Courage, Integrity and Wisdom…the four stones of light that make up the four books of the series.
“The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII” and “PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History” are both obscure horse-based stories that I stumbled upon completely by accident while searching for famous horses on the internet. However, in both cases, once I learned about the events described in those books, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I started researching and soon the stories began to formulate in my mind.
My fiction books, whether fantasy, coming of age, or Historical Fiction, all require me to let my imagination have its way so to speak. But that is the fun that comes from being an author!
I hope you will read and enjoy “The Sand Pounder.” If you do, please post a review on Amazon and goodreads and tell a friend about it! Happy Reading!