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Monday, October 10, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're playing host to a PRE-PUB blog tour already in progress with the great folks over at Random House Children's Books.  It stars the first Middle Grade venture for a seasoned Young Adult writer, and though I've not read her other works, this story alone has me convinced she's a talent to watch.  So, if you'll permit me the esteemed privilege of introducing to you, today's book of choice and blog tour guest...

Megan Shepherd
Delacorte Press

About the book...
There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital–the mirrors that reflect the elegant rooms once home to a princess, now filled with sick children. Only Emmaline can see the creatures. It is her secret.

One morning, Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens and discovers something incredible: a white horse with a broken wing has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

The horse, named Foxfire, is hiding from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep him from finding her new friend, she must surround Foxfire with treasures of brilliant shades. But where can Emmaline find color in a world of gray?


Though short in page count, it lacks nothing in heart.

Emmaline made me laugh and smile just as many times as she broke my heart.  The strength of her spirit, her determination to save everyone no matter what the cost, and her never-give-up attitude were breathtaking...almost as much as the dreaded stillwaters everyone seemed inflicted with.  The relationships she formed with the other children, the sisters, and Thomas, were easy attachments to make, but oh so very hard to give up...and give them up she must at times.  It's a hard truth of war and conflict.  Many children are forced to grow up too quickly, leaving small adults in their wake, unable to relate to the world around them as easily since their innocence and carefree days were stolen away.  Emmaline refuses to accept this notion (which I applaud her madly for) and yet, as much as she rejects it, there are some things that come back unbidden and force their presence upon us.  It's just the way things are; everything has its purpose and some fates can not be escaped.

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For as heavy as all of that sounded (and indeed, the story does have a heaviness that's inescapable...almost), there is also a thread of fantasy and magic woven within its darker threads.  That brightness, that light comes from the horses mentioned in the title.  How are they secret?  Well, you see, they live in the least they NORMALLY live in the mirrors...and cause all sorts of mischief in their backward pictured view of our world.  Noses in tea cups, wings bumping chairs, peeking in windows....what's that?  Wings?  Oh, you caught that didn't you.  ^-^  Yes, these are winged horses, or Pegasus if you prefer, and whilst normally appearing in beautiful living color through our mirror windows into their world, one has made its way into ours.  Strike that, make it two...but while the former is a magical, wonderful being seeking assistance, the other is a darker force to contend with.  Will the strength of one little girl and her rainbow of colors be enough to save the day?  Or will darkness rule the night and put an end to the kaleidoscope of colors painting their otherwise gray world?  Only one way to find out...

So, in the end, this was a magical tale filled with hope and wonder in some of the darkest times. Yes, readers... there is heartache (and tears!), but the story is so much more than that.  It's beautiful and heartbreaking, and simply a MUST READ for readers of all ages. Something to watch for, that I especially loved, is how the ending allows readers the chance (more than most) to form our own conclusion regarding how things end up without leaving us on a cliff's edge. (Brava to the author indeed!  ^-^) I know what I chose to believe and for those that follow suit in reading this magical tale, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


About the author...

MEGAN SHEPHERD grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband. You can visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @megan_shepherd.


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Special thanks to Cassie at Random House Children's Books for the ARC for review and chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  This title is set to release TOMOROW (10/11/16) via Delacorte Press wherever books are sold, so mark your calendar!  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  For more EXCITING pre-pub and post-pub PAR-TAY fun, be sure to check out the rest of the tour...

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 3rd: Twinning for Books, Review
Tuesday, October 4th: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Interview
Wednesday, October 5th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Review (and cupcakes!)
Thursday, October 6th: Pandora’s Books, Movie Cast Post
Friday, October 7th: Owl Always Be Reading
Monday, October 10th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Review
Tuesday, October 11th: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist Post
Wednesday, October 12th: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Thursday, October 13th: Seeing Double In Neverland, Author Guest Post
Friday, October 14th: Mundie Moms, Review

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


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