Friday, June 05, 2015

Wonder Horse, by Anita Daher: Spotlight and Giveaway

Wonder Horse by Anita Daher
Publication Date: May 8, 2015
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing

Fitting into a new school in a new city isn’t easy, but dreams come true for Sera with a gift from her parents: a gorgeous and spirited American Paint horse. Sera’s bubble bursts when a mean girl, Brittany, tells her that neither she nor her less-than-well-trained horse belong with the rest of the “reiners” in their riding class. As Sera sets out to prove Brittany wrong, she risks losing her passion for training and the friendship of Dev, another girl who truly understands her.

An earlier version of this story was originally published by Stabenfeldt (Stavanger, Norway) in 2011 as Wager the Wonder Horse and distributed in six languages: Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, German, Finnish and Swedish.

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While I stand beside Wager, stroking his soft, soft neck, he licks out his food trough like a puppy dog. He finishes and twists his head around to snuffle me, then shifts in his stall until he’s facing me. I marvel at how he’s careful not to bump me. Dani’s training has been good for both of us. “You’re a good boy,” I say, and he nods his head once up, and once down, which makes me laugh. “Ohh ... I think you want a treat.” I give him a piece of carrot from my pocket, and he closes his eyes and crunches, as if it is the second best food he’s ever tasted.

I get an idea.

Wager keeps his eyes glued on me as I pull another piece of carrot from my pocket, and press it against my cheek. “Kiss!” I say. “Give me a kiss.”

Wager reaches for the carrot. As soon as his nose touches my cheek, I pull my face away, give him the carrot, and tell him he’s a good boy. I do it again and again. After five tries, I don’t even need to hold the carrot against my face. He understands, and I feel happiness run all the way through me, from my nose to my toes. “You really are a trick pony.”

A soft creak behind me makes me jump. I turn and see Brittany leaning against the stall door. “Don’t let Dani see you do that.”

“Why not?”

She shrugs. “At best she’ll think it’s stupid. At worst she’ll think it’ll lead to bad habits. Either way she won’t like it.”

“We’re just having fun.”

Brittany studies Wager, and a line appears between her eyebrows, like the one Mom gets when she’s reading, or when she’s talking to me and really wants me to listen. She shakes her head. “The only thing that counts is what happens in the arena.”

“Wager is smart. He could be a champion....”

Brittany gives me the same look as that day in the lunch room -- like I’m from another world. “That’s not what his pedigree says, but maybe he’ll surprise us.” She flips her ponytail and walks away, while my big flood of happy dries into dust.


Anita Daher has been entrenched in the publishing industry since 1995, and is (thus far) the author of fourteen books for children and teens. Aside from short stints as a grave-plot seller, tour guide, and children’s party clown, she’s worked in aviation, publishing and broadcasting. When not word wrangling, she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn June 26, 2015
· Two (2) winners will received a physical copy of Wonder Horse by Anita Daher (US/Canada)
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Wonder Horse by Anita Daher (INT)
Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Parenting is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.


  1. My boss lady has 1 horse, 1 colt, and 1 adorable donkey. She's moving her horses to her new stables, and is going to teach me how to take care of them. I'm so excited!

  2. Misty, taking care of horses is what I love best--even more than riding! I used to love how when I was brushing Wager, he'd enjoy it so much, get so relaxed, his bottom lip would fall open... I loved groundwork, as well. A horse, a colt, an adorable donkey and you sound like a recipe for another great story! Have fun!

  3. What a cute excerpt. I think that's a fun trick.


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