Recently, I announced the upcoming release of my new novel Wild Horses on the Salt. Their are a number of facets to this story, including the ongoing plight of America’s wild horses.
Ancient horses once roamed the Americas beside wooly mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, dire wolves, and other large mammals. Then, at the end of the Pleistocene 12,000 years ago, the climate had cooled and Equus caballus disappeared, the result of mass extinctions.
And yet, today, the horse survives. It was the land bridge between North America and Asia that spared the horse from being nothing but a fossil, a creature cast only in stone.
Horses crossed into Asia, where ancient man domesticated the elegant beast 5,500 years ago on the grasslands of what would become Ukraine.
It was not until 1493, when Christopher Columbus arrived in what is today the Virgin Islands, that horses again touched ground in the Americas. The progeny of these animals brought by European explorers escaped, bred, and ranged across the continent.
Though millions of wild horses once roamed free in the United States, today approximately 82,000 remain. Because their ancestors were brought here by explorers, there are some who believe these animals are an invasive species, a creature that should be culled to safeguard native fauna, fragile grasslands, and riparian habitats. Others believe the wild horse should be defended, protected, and allowed to roam free.
The debate is ongoing.
A woman flees an abusive husband
and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?
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