Author's Comments

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So, as most of you know, I'm a horse nut. Have been since I was old enough to talk. My dad used to tell the story of traveling with me when I was four and I made them pull over on the side of the road so I could go pet a horse. We didn't have horses when I was young (though my dad grew up on a farm), but I asked/whined until I my folks sent me to riding lessons when I was nine, and I've been hooked ever since. My brother bought my first horse for me in 1986, when I was in college and just married. He (the horse) was a three year old Arabian gelding. I still have him —he'll be 32 in April 2015.

I would probably have gone on as a recreational rider for the rest of my life, but two things happened. I bought a mare from Varian Arabians who came with a breeding to their lovely gray stallion Audacious PS. She gave birth to the cutest chestnut colt--and I was . . . twitterpated. Then about two weeks after that foal arrived, I bought a pretty little yearling. She was trained for showing at halter, though that's not what I bought her for. The Arabian Region V show (Region V is the division the state of Washington belongs to) was in a few weeks. I talked to Mike, accepted the help offered from what seemed like the whole Arabian showing population of the state of Washington and entered her in the show. She took second place out of eight or nine very nice fillies. And I was hooked, not by the winning, but by the kindness of strangers. People who stopped me to congratulate me on her win, including people who had horses in the class. Friendly faces and good people who have since become friends. So now I'm breeding (on a very limited basis) Arabian horses and showing them. It is interesting—and full of characters and drama. How did that snippet from The Wide World of Sports go? — "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat". I'm having so much fun, that I thought I would share.

Dead Heat, then, takes place on the fringe of the "largest Arabian horse show on the planet". It's not a book about horses (some day I'm going to write a YA about horses just for fun), but the Arab horse world adds color to the story.

So after all the horse stuff, what is Dead Heat about? I could not have answered this until after I finished the book and took a good look at it. Like all of my books, it's an actiony fantasy with a dash of romance, not intended as great literature. Still . . . Dead Heat is about life and death. About how much courage it takes to bring new life into the world, and to say goodbye. It's about aging and family.

But mostly? There is something hunting children in Arizona—and it must be stopped.