Guest Post by Author Patricia A. Guthrie (Sticky Post, scroll down for newer posts)

Friday, March 07, 2008

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Introducing Author Patricia A. Guthrie who has written a guest post today at A Book Blogger's Diary about publishing and how she's incorporated her love of horses into it. And below that is an excerpt from her latest book, In the Arms of the Enemy.

This is part of a virtual book tour promoting Patricia. Thanks to author Nikki Leigh for this opportunity.

For much more information, visit her virtual book tour site.

Patricia A. Guthrie is a resident of Park Forest, Illinois. A recently retired music teacher from the Chicago Public Schools (May Community Academy and Chicago Vocational Community Academy) and former opera singer, Author Patricia A. Guthrie is now an avid horse owner, dog obedience trainer and writer. Ms. Guthrie lives with three feisty collies who act as “ghost writers” and help her write at every given opportunity.

So far, she has completed four novels and is working on a fifth. Pat has numerous short stories of various genres published in the Skyline Literary Magazine and has several nonfiction articles published in the Cassette, a national magazine for collie fanciers. Her novel "In the Arms of the Enemy" soon to be released with Light Sword Publishers, involves three areas Pat loves the most: mystery, romance and horses. This story is dedicated to those horses lost to man’s greed and inhumanity and to those humanitarians whose mission is to save and protect them.


When I start a novel, I think long and hard about the subject I want to explore. I try to find themes that will mean something to the people who read the book. Horses (and animals in general) have always had a strong place in my heart. Writing about them was an easy step.

And greed and inhumanity planted the seed for In the Arms of the Enemy a long time ago.

When I could afford a horse, I boarded her in the northern suburbs of Chicago. That was before the Helen Brach disappearance, but not before all the shady horse deals. It was long after I’d moved myself and my horses south of the city that I heard the “rest of the story.”

Valuable show horses were being killed for the insurance money. The horse show business entails big money. Some owners pay six figures for their children to show and be competitive in the show ring. The natural progression is, when the child is ready, they’re moved up to a new and more expensive animal. What to do? Sell him? Yes. That’s what generally happens. But there’s a much more insidious way. Having someone kill the horse making it look like colic or another natural death and get a veterinarian to sign the death certificate. Was the horse insured? You becha. I can also same the same about horses who are crippled or have lost their usefulness. It's bye, bye and if money can be had through either slaughter or murder well-- Horses from the racetrack sometimes meet the same fate.

Now that the pesky horse is out of the way, the insurance company pays out a whole lot of money, and the trainer will find another horse who had great potential, but needed training. Lots of training.

When the candy heiress, Helen Brach disappeared, the scandal about the horse murders reared its ugly head. Some prominent horsemen were indicted. Some went to jail. When I heard the list, I realized I’d met some of these characters. It broke my heart. But it didn’t shock me.

The practice of killing horses for insurance money has been going on, probably forever. Wherever there’s horses, money to be had and sleezbuckets. (translates into evil men and women who have no regard for anything except themselves and money)

I met a vet who’d moved across the country to get away from some mobsters who’d killed a racehorse. They’d asked him to falsify the death certificate. He refused. He ran. I don’t know if the story was true, but I’m a believer.

You won’t find any of the real-life characters in the book. It’s not at all the same story. But it is where I got the idea. And, please please don't think this is a slam on horsemen. It's not. Most are decent hard working men and women who love their animals and deal fairly with the public that supports them. I know many. I hang out with the good guys. My hero and heroine are among them. Ready to risk their lives for their horses and their loved ones.

This story is dedicated to those horses lost to man’s greed and inhumanity and to those humanitarians who make it their mission to rescue and protect them.

Patricia A. Guthrie
Author of:
In the Arms of the Enemy 2007
WaterLilies Over My Grave 2008 spring

Book Summary :


Light Sword Publishing announces the release of Patricia A. Guthrie’s first published novel “In the Arms of the Enemy”.

When the death of a racing stable’s prize horse and his trainer is blamed on the stable’s owner; his son, Adam Blakely, goes undercover convinced that the trainer’s partner, Maggie McGregor, is the killer.

Determined to leave the tumultuous world of horse racing, Maggie returns home to try and find peace. When a handsome horse owner moves his horse into her father’s boarding stable and asks Maggie to train his horse, family finances dictate that Maggie accept--and that’s when the accidents begin.

Drowning in deception and lies, Maggie and Adam search for a killer and uncover an insurance scam so insidious, it threatens to rock a horse racing empire and bring the killer to their doorstep. They need to learn to : Keep your friends close; but your enemies closer.

Review magazine Affaire de Coeur says, "With a strong mystery and a sizzling romance, Ms. Guthrie captivates readers from the start. This is an enjoyable thriller with a plot that will keep you guessing until the climactic end.” * * * * * Rated five stars

Excerpt from In the Arms of the Enemy

End of Chapter 3; beginning of Chapter 4

Maggie kept glancing at Adam as they walked back into the barn. There was something that didn’t ring true about the man. She just couldn’t figure out what. An undercover investigator? No. He didn’t act like a cop. But then, she didn’t really know what cops acted like. And somehow, he looked familiar.


Cullum’s voice boomed from his tractor at a level that declared he’d forgotten he’d turned off the engine.

She stopped and grinned at her father. His age hadn’t slowed him down much, but his hearing wasn’t what it had been.

“Go up to the loft and pull down some hay bales for tonight, would you, me dear?” he called.

“Hang on, Adam.” She put her hand on his arm. “This won’t take me a minute.”

“Can I help?” Adam offered.

Maggie looked at him and almost thought about letting him get his hands dirty, then thought better of it.

“Thanks. I do this every day. I’ll be down in a minute.”

Maggie climbed up the wooden rungs of the ladder, skipping the last rung as she’d done thousands of times since she was a young child.

When they were kids, she and her cousins had played ‘cowboys and Indians.’ They’d hidden in the hayloft and thrown hay down on each other until their annoyed parents would cart them and their dust-strewn bodies back into the house. The hayloft had always been her playhouse, her refuge.

She threw the hay bales down onto the concrete, while Adam leaned an elbow against a stall, watching. The man might be an idiot, but he was a good-looking one. She reached for the last bale and thought that her assessment of him was wrong. He wore a mask and behind that mask, he was alert--wary, as though he were watching, waiting for something. Adam Grant was nobody’s fool.

She threw down the last bale and decided something else about him affected her. Sorrow. Underneath that façade, Adam was a very unhappy man.

An internal warning voice went off just before Maggie stepped onto the top rung of the ladder and--it disappeared. A shiver of momentary panic hit when her foot slipped to the second step. She lost her balance. Her hands caught the sides, but her grip wasn’t strong enough to hold her weight. She pitched backward, twisting around, before slamming off a bale and onto the concrete.


Maggie lay stunned, her breath compressed right out of her body. For a brief second, she panicked when her lungs didn’t seem to work. No. Not quite. She was able to take a few shallow breaths at first, until she gasped back to normal. She assessed the damage. Her head and chest lay on a hay bale. The rest of her lay on prickly stalks stranded on the solid concrete. She tried to move, but everything hurt so badly. She knew she’d banged her head coming down, because she was seeing stars. She turned over and looked up into a handsome, chalky-faced man with dark eyes clouded with concern. The stars seemed to form a halo around his head--no, make that heads.

She giggled. At least she thought she did. “You’re cute,” she said.

“I’m what?” Adam looked taken-aback.

“You’re adorable and you have two heads.” And, those heads seemed to take on a life of their own, spinning around her. “Oh no.” She grabbed onto his arms for support and tried to pull herself up. “Don’t try to move,” Adam said.

Her father was now bending over her, and she had two male bookends. “Oh good. Now you have four heads.”

“I have what?” Cullum answered.

“Think she has a concussion,” Adam said.

“No. No. No!” Maggie tried once again to move, her efforts thwarted by this well-muscled city boy. “I’m fine, except….” She reached up and touched the back of her head. “Oooh.”

Cullum took out his cell phone and dialed. The barn spun round her like an out-of-control carousel. She turned her finger in a circle and said, “Whee!” The men didn’t seem to share her amusement.

“I’m calling 9-1-1,” Cullum said, his mouth spreading into a thin-lipped line.

Maggie willed the carousel movement to stop and pulled herself away from Adam. “No, really, I’m fine. I don’t…paramedics. Hate hospitals.”

But Maggie wasn’t fine. Her stomach was somersaulting as if it was in a hurricane at sea. Pulling away from hands that grabbed for her, she staggered to her feet and tried to make it to the closest empty stall. She missed and threw up in the aisle.

Then the throbbing began and a ringing in her ears started to drown out the men’s protests. Her knees buckled and she went down. Her father hovered over her, and Adam knelt behind, supporting her with his broad shoulders. The men’s lips moved, but no sound emerged. Finally, she gave up and started to float away, losing the pain of consciousness and drowning in the solid strength of Adam’s arms.

Chapter 4

Adam watched the ambulance pull away from the barn, with Maggie and Cullum inside. His stomach still clenched from the fear that had overtaken him when Maggie fell. Something inside his gut told him she hadn’t just ‘fallen.’ Unease settled over him. His hands started to sweat. Something wasn’t right.

He stared up at the ladder and at the dangling rung. Something about the wood. That was it. Normally, when wood snaps, there’d be a cracking sound. What had been significant about this break was the lack of sound. His apprehension grew. Except for that empty space on top, the ladder looked safe.

Adam climbed the steps, checking each step for cracks or rotten wood, but found nothing. When he reached the second step, he placed his finger along the cracked edge and felt a rubbery substance coating the wood. He pulled some of it off with his nail. Dried glue. He checked the dangling edge of the break. Both sides were smooth–not the jagged edge of a normal break. Someone had cut and glued it back together, just waiting for someone, possibly Maggie, to climb the ladder and put down her full weight.

Who’d try to hurt Cullum? Or, was it Maggie they’d been after?

March Touring Author Schedule – Patricia Guthrie

Mon March 3 – Start at The Beginning -

Tues March 4 - What I Know So Far - - Dee Savoy

Wed March 5 – Author Spotlight -

Thurs March 6 – Yvonne Walus –

Fri March 7 – A Book Blogger’s Diary -

Mon March 10 – Dee Owen -

Tue March 11 – Interview With Maggie (heroine) -

Wed March 12 - Marilyn Meredith -

Thur March 13 – Gayle –

Fri March 14 – Candid Canine -

Mon March 17 – Sabrina -

Tue March 18 – In Detail with Nikki Leigh -

Wed March 19 – Pamela Kinney -

Thur March 20 – Book Promo 101 Interview –

Fri March 21 – Sue Jeffels -

Sun March 23 – Bryn Colvin -

Mon March 24 – Dorice Nelson -

Tue March 25 – Male Character Interview (Playboy) -

Wed March 26 – Joyce Anthony -

Thur March 27 – Dorice Nelson -

Fri March 28 – Toni LoTempio -

Mon March 31 – Share Your Hero -

Mon March 31 – Book Promo 101 – Radio Show –

If you have any questions for Pat, post away in the comment section!


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