"The first book in the popular trilogy, soon to be a major new television series!
Some fires can consume you.
Last year, I had it all. Two jumpers on the show circuit, a lot of wins, and a lot of attention - the good kind. But now I have nothing. My life is circling the drain. The only spark of light that exists for me is my new, forbidden passion. If my stepfather finds out, he will kill me. My twin brother, my only blood relative in the world, has already begged me not to. But I can't help myself. If it can't be horses, it has to be this..."
I squished my way through the water-soaked grass to the pasture. The sudden downpour had cooled the air, and I shivered slightly in my wet clothes. The worst of the storm seemed to be over, and when I reached the pasture fence I paused, debating whether I needed to bring the horses in. The rain had abated to a fine drizzle, and there hadn’t been any lightning or thunder since I’d left the barn. It was such a relief to escape the tense atmosphere there that I lingered, leaning on the fence and watching the dark wet patches creeping down the horses’ coats.
I didn’t hear the footsteps until they were right behind me. I knew whose they were without turning; only Jaden’s presence would raise the hairs on my body like that.
“Tea,” he said my name like a caress.
I was about to duck away, but he knew me too well—his hands shot out and gripped the fence board on either side of me, though he didn’t touch me, of course. He was so close now that I could feel the heat from his body searing the back of mine, but this heat made me shiver all the more.
“How long are you planning on not talking to me?” His voice was subdued.
I shrugged. I felt, rather than heard, his sigh.
“You’re angry with me.”
He was wrong about that. It wasn’t anger that was making me avoid him, it was self preservation.
“I don’t blame you. I know I’ve made a mess of things. I came to give you a choice… I was planning to leave at the end of the season.” He paused, but my brain was already frozen. As though it couldn’t process the word ‘leave’. “But if you’d rather I left now, I’ll understand. I’ll find a spot for my horses closer to Toronto.”
My chest constricted painfully, and my breath started coming in sharp, raw gasps. Either way, he would be gone. My only option was whether to prolong my suffering. It was always the same impossible choice: the pain of his presence versus the torture of his absence. I didn’t say anything. I don’t think I could have spoken even if I’d wanted to.
“Let me know what you decide,” he continued quietly. He hesitated, then dropped his head close to mine; I felt the zing of current from my face down to my shoulder. He whispered his parting line in my ear.
“I miss you.”
I waited until his footsteps faded to surrender to the wracking sobs, and they shook me for a long time before I pulled myself together and went back to work.
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I have no memory of trying to think of an idea, but I vividly recall being assaulted by it when it suddenly invaded my life, springing forth quite fully formed from my subconscious. I used to work with horses, so that part’s easily understood, and everyone has some family drama in their lives, although I’ve seen perhaps more than most. Wherever it came from, I’m thankful.
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
My book titles seem pretty humdrum at first glance, don’t they? I’ll never be appointed the official entitler of anyone else’s work!
I’m not sure whether you know this, but a “blaze” is a type of marking on a horse’s face – a wide white stripe. I’ve always wanted to own a jumper with a blaze and call him/her Blaze of Glory (as in the Bon Jovi song). It never happened in real life, so I invented an equine character with that name, although the horse’s personality was based on my last horse, whose name was Jamie. Show horses usually have at least two names, a ‘barn name’ for every day, and a show name. Sometimes they also have a different registered name, if they’re a particular breed. Each of the book titles in the Blaze of Glory trilogy is the show name of a different horse in the series. I never changed any of the titles because they each “fit” on different levels. They’re horse names, but they also describe something of the happenings in each book – the first was all fire and passion, hence Blaze of Glory. The second, Look Twice, took a closer look at the various complicated relationships within this family. And the third, Renaissance Man, marks new beginnings for several of the characters (‘renaissance’ is ‘rebirth’ in French).
However, after seeing how hard it is to read a long title when you do an Amazon search (on those small thumbnails), I decided to call the book I’m currently writing Panther – short and legible.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I honestly never thought about genre when I was writing. Even after finishing my first book, I was hard-pressed to put a label on it; I wrote the story that barreled through me, and let others decide how to pigeonhole it. I suppose I was drawn to family drama because I’m fascinated by relationships – between people, between humans and animals, and even by our relationships with ourselves. And although the trilogy is considered a family drama, several people referred to the first book as a romance, which I found pretty amusing since it’s a genre I almost never read.
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Having my books optioned for TV is definitely the most exciting development! I was on cloud nine for months afterward. I’m so looking forward to seeing my characters, my second family, on screen. But on a day-to-day basis, just being able to sit down and write is pretty darn great, too.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I just started Dog Gone, Back Soon by Nick Trout. It’s looking great so far!
- What is your writing process?
My writing process has evolved a lot, and doubtless it will continue to change. With my first book I happily jumped in feet first with no idea of where the story was going, but now I spend more time planning before I write. I get to know the characters a bit before I put anything on paper. If I’m having trouble imagining any of them, I ask simple questions, like “What’s this person’s favorite color? Favorite food? How would they react to say, a break-up or a surprise party?” Then I let the characters answer for themselves.
When it comes to the actual writing, that’s easy. I was trained in my previous career as a consultant to show up on schedule, sit down and produce something to show for your time – I must say it’s come in handy.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
You have no idea how I agonized over this in the beginning! I’d wonder, what if I write something that comes across the wrong way? What if I make a spelling mistake? What if my handwriting – never neat at the best of times – is downright illegible? As with most things, the worry tends to be for naught. Now I usually ask people if they’d like anything special inscribed, or if they want a particular person’s name in the book (sometimes it’s a gift). If not, I write something fairly generic, like “I hope you enjoy the story.” If there’s a line-up I might only sign my name, but I like to include something extra – I feel honored when anyone takes the time out of their busy lives to read something I’ve created.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I was born in Holland and only learned English when I was five. It was my third language, but now I can’t even remember any Dutch.
- How do you react to a bad review?
Fiction is a form of art, which is by its nature subjective. I’ve started reading books that I didn’t enjoy, put them aside, and picked them up at another time (‘cause I’m stubborn that way) only to find myself completely caught up in the story. So I don’t get upset by bad reviews, and I think it’s even useful for readers to have a negative review to read when they’re shopping for a book, just to provide a balanced view. When I’m looking at books to read, I usually read a cross-section: a few of the rave reviews and a few of the negative ones.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My first royalty cheque was for a whopping $32, and I used it to take my two kids out for dinner. Any time I don’t have to cook is a celebration for me!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
M. Garzon rode horses professionally for ten years, until an injury prompted a career change. She returned to school and completed a BSc; then for good measure, an MBA. After several years of toiling as a business consultant, she turned to writing in a desperate bid to regain her sanity. A mom of two fabulous children, she lives in St Lazare, QC and considers herself extremely lucky to be a writer.
(also available on Kobo, NOOK, and iBooks)
The author will be awarding the entire trilogy on Kindle or Kobo (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: