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A Horse for Mandy
A Horse for Mandy
A Horse for Mandy
Ebook49 pages41 minutes

A Horse for Mandy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this ebook

It’s Mandy’s thirteenth birthday and her dream is coming true: She's getting a beautiful horse of her very own! But Mandy’s best friend, Laura, doesn’t seem very happy for her. Then tragedy strikes. Can Mandy and her new horse save Laura?

Release dateAug 1, 2013
A Horse for Mandy

Lurlene McDaniel

Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel. But there's more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: "These are books that challenge you and make you think." Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. "I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know 'why.' By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds." McDaniel's books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. "I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family," says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic. To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. "I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality," she says. "I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology." Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions. McDaniel's books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were selected by children as IRA­CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

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    Book preview

    A Horse for Mandy - Lurlene McDaniel



    CAN you believe it? Mandy shouted into the phone. My very own horse! She could just imagine Laura Callahan’s face on the other end of the phone. Rich, proud Laura Callahan—who had grown up with a whole stableful of beautiful horses. But today, on her thirteenth birthday, Mandy Wilson’s dream of owning her very own horse finally had come true.

    Isn’t Dad terrific? Mandy asked. Then she hurried on, not waiting for an answer. Isn’t that the neatest birthday present ever? I mean, I had no idea. He just surprised me.

    Mandy stopped for a breath and Laura asked, What breed? A Tennessee Walker, like Diablo?

    Mandy thought of Laura’s big red-gold Tennessee Walker. How often she had longed to have him for her own. No, not a Walker. Her name is Solana. Dad says she’s a Paso Fino.

    For a minute, Laura said nothing. Then, "Oh, one of them." Something in the sound of her voice made Mandy angry. But she swallowed hard and said nothing. She wasn’t about to let Laura spoil her birthday!

    Anyway, Mandy continued, a little less eagerly, we’re heading out to your house and stables in a few minutes so I can see my horse. I—I thought you might like to meet us down by the stalls.

    Well, of course, I would! Laura’s voice changed and she once again seemed her old friendly self. When will you be there?

    Just then Mandy’s father stuck his head into her room. Ready? he asked.

    Mandy nodded her head excitedly. We’re leaving in just a few minutes. Meet you at the stables in half an hour, she said into the phone.

    You bet! said Laura and she hung up.

    Mandy leaped off her bed and threw her arms around her father. Oh, Dad, thanks! It’s the best present in the whole world.

    Bud Wilson ruffled his daughter’s sandy blond hair and tapped her turned-up nose. Anything for you, Princess, he said. Mandy reminded him so much of her mother. Blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, full of life and love ... he shook off the memory. It was hard to believe that Mandy’s mother, Ruth, had died more than eight years before.

    Dad? Mandy asked.


    You looked so far away. I said, ‘Could we go now?’

    Sorry, honey. Sure. Let’s go see your birthday present.

    During the ride, Mandy thought about the summer. June was her favorite month. Not just because it was her birthday month, either. Because school was out and she could spend every waking hour at the Callahan stables. She could ride, groom the horses, and help her father with his veterinarian duties whenever he needed her.

    Mandy couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been around horses. But now, to have her very own horse was almost more than she could stand. Her dad had always promised her one. When I feel you’re old enough to have the responsibility is what he’d always told her. So today she was doubly proud. Her

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