Grace Marshall


Excerpt from Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts

Grace Marshall - Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Ruth watched the tan of the tree trunks as they went flying past. Then the white of a sign caught her eye, “FREE KITTENS,” it read. “Dad!” she shouted, squirming in her seat like a five-year-old promised a newfangled toy.

“What, hon’?” He asked.

“Kittens!” She pointed at the sign as they went zooming past.

He didn’t say anything but glanced at her briefly with an accommodating smile. They turned around in a nearby driveway and then pulled into the drive where the sign was located. Ruth was out of the car before the engine was turned off, her excitement bubbling over, but she waited for her father to get to the front door so he could ring the doorbell. A middle-aged man with high cheekbones, sandy blonde hair, and brown eyes answered the door. “Here fer the kittens?” he asked them.

Ruth nodded eagerly.

“Follow me.” He led them out to a shed where there was a box stuffed with old towels and two meowing kittens. “There’s two more ‘round here somewheres.” He looked around, pushing some boxes here and there until he found an orange tabby. “Here’s one.” He brought it back and deposited it in the box.

The two already in the box were wrestling with each other. One was another fully orange tabby and the other was orange with white spots on his tail, paws, and chest. Ruth knelt by the box to pick up the adventurous tabby that had been returned to the group.

“How old are they?” Her father asked.

“About eight weeks,” the gentleman replied. “I’m Jason Smith by the way.”

“Nice to meet you, Jason.” Her father firmly shook hands with him.

Ruth gently scratched the kitten she was holding on the top of its head. It meowed softly and placed a paw lightly on her shoulder. It turned little green eyes to look up at her and meowed again. It shivered a little, as if frightened. Ruth held it closer and continued to pet the ball of fluff, hoping the attention would soothe it.

Ruth looked up as she heard a loud, helpless, drawling meow. “I think I hear the missing kitten.”

“Yeah, he’s always getting’ inta trouble.” Jason scratched his head for a moment and they all went quiet.

The meow was heard again, equally as loud, but somehow more demanding. It was a clear cry for help, but not a meager pleading one, it sounded more as if he was saying, “Why haven’t you gotten me out yet?”

Jason went toward some shelves in the back of the shed where the sound seemed to be coming from. He moved some boxes, tools, and miscellaneous junk around until he found a little orange and white head along with a white paw sticking out from a corner. He moved a box aside to reveal a ginger and white kitten with its head and leg protruding from a box of throw-out rags.

From "Horse Haven:2" - Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts by Grace Marshall



Blue Roan Mirage

Grace Marshall - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mirage is a blue roan, part Quarter Horse that is in the first book of the "Horse Haven" series, No Pizza Delivery? She is an older mare that is an absolute sweet heart and is basically bomb proof. Here is a snippet from the book when Ruth first gets to meet the mare:

"Ruth moved toward the blue roan.

The horse seemed somewhat hesitant but Ruth reached out slowly with her hands. The mare’s nerves calmed as soon as she sniffed Ruth’s hand and got a scratching between the ears. She snorted and flicked one ear toward Ruth, her head going down slightly as she enjoyed the working of Ruth’s fingers. She had a dark face to match the stockings running up her legs and a black mane and tail. There was one little white star in the middle of her forehead.

“That’s Mirage. She’s mostly Quarter Horse. She likes you,” Malachi gave her an encouraging smile. “Have you done a lot with horses?”

Ruth moved the scratching to under Mirage’s neck and the mare’s lower lip shook in contentment. "I took riding lessons when I was younger, but it’s been a while.""

~Grace Marshall

Find out more about the book here:


Meet the part Arabian Mare, Embera

Grace Marshall - Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Embera is a horse that showed up in "No Pizza Delivery?," the first book of the "Horse Haven" series. She is part-Arabian, part-Thoroughbred. She is an 8 year-old chestnut mare that is still somewhat green as she hasn't been ridden much. Embera is incredibly sweet and willing to learn but a bit flighty still. 

Interesting note about Embera is that she is a horse character that I used to roleplay with some of my friends, that's how she got invented, and she also started out as a Unicorn. For this book she doesn't have a horn, of course, because the "Horse Haven" series isn't fantasy.

I really love the character Embera, and I hope you do, as well. SPOILER ALERT - she does show up in the second book, "Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts," so you should check out that book as well.

It might be fun to give her a horn at some point for an event at the stable to commemorate how she came to exist, put in a little bit of irony for you insiders to smile at! :) 

Check out the two books currently available for the "Horse Haven" series here: 
No Pizza Delivery - Horse Haven: 1

Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts - Horse Haven: 2



Meet the Friesian horse, Jet

Grace Marshall - Tuesday, July 05, 2016

(Meet One Of The New Horses appearing in "Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts," "Horse Haven" series book two! See an excerpt below!)


Ruth scrambled down to the entrance and closed the gate behind her, slipping in behind them.

Jet trotted up to Katie and followed as she led the way to the shed.

The gelding was bridled and saddled in no time and Katie offered the reins to Peter.

“Oh no,” Peter said as he took a step back. “I’d like Ruth to try him out if you don’t mind.”

Katie nodded slightly and turned to Ruth, reins held expectantly toward her on an open palm.

Ruth took the leather straps giddily and led the equine a few paces away from the others. She pet him gently and he lowered his neck with a soft snort, as if saying she was okay to mount. She did so deftly and settled into the saddle with a broad grin. She was in love.

She squeezed her legs tightly and the gelding immediately arched his neck once more and set off at a trot.

“I think you’re going to have more issues getting this one to stop then getting him to go,” her father observed.

Ruth sat back in the saddle and pulled gently on the reins. Jet let out a loud snort and shook his head but slowed his pace to a swift walk.

“I definitely wouldn’t put him at the back of the line unless you want him in the crack of the horse in front of him,” Katie agreed.

Ruth sniggered at the comment and then said, “Well if he wants to run why don’t we just let him run?”



Excerpt from "No Pizza Delivery?"

Grace Marshall - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

“Sweetheart, let me stop you right there. I’m looking for a place with a bit more land than twenty-five acres. I want a full ranch with hills, valleys, and woods. I want to have places for trail riding, large arenas, and barns full of horses,” he explained.

Ruth was confused. Wasn’t twenty-five acres a lot? “So, about how many acres are we talking for that?”

Peter pursed his lips pensively for a minute. “I’d say at least two hundred.”

Ruth did her best to hide her surprise but apparently she didn’t do a very good job because a half-smirk, half-smile emerged on Peter’s face.

“I’m not looking for a hobby farm, I’m looking for a full-fledged ranch.”

“I get that now.” She gave him a brief smile but her heart sunk. “Just knowing that, I think you’ve eliminated everything I found in this area. But have no fear, I will keep looking!”

“I’m positive you will,” he flashed a grin, “but promise you’ll give the house in Missouri a fair shake.”

‘A fair shake with bombs and dynamite?’ She let out a long, exaggerated sigh. “I suppose if I have to. When are you planning on going to look at it?”

“We will be going to look at it in two days.”

“That gives me a whole day to look for other houses in the area then.” She gave her father a somewhat vexed smile. “Never fear! I shall prevail!” ‘Maybe.’

~Grace Marshall
Excerpt from the first book in my "Horse Haven" series, No Pizza Delivery?