Today, I’m going to discuss, Animal Abuse and Storytelling, something that is close to my heart.
A friend invited me to visit her horse stabled at a place not far from where I lived in Yorktown. As a child we had horses and I’ve missed them during my adult years, so I jumped at the chance to see a smart four-legged ride. During our visit the owner of the ranch showed me a couple of horses she’d rescued from their abusive and/or neglectful owners. Some beautiful dark horses and pretty ponies searching with bright eyes for a sweet or carrots, others just wanted to be pet–given a soft pat on the nose or a rub on their ears.
One white, black and gray pony drew my attention. Cruel whip lashes marred the sweet horse’s hide, making him resemble a patchwork quilt. His eyes reflected sadness beyond understanding. This mental image is something I’ll never forget.
Since I’m writing a Valkyrie series for The Wild Rose Press and Valkyries ride horses, I wrote abused equines into a plotline of a story. The first story, The Valkyrie and the Marine is currently available and the name of this tale based on some truth is Pippa’s Rescue. Although Valkyries and Marines are the central characters, the supporting cast members are horses.
In book one Kiara defines Odin, Norse God of wisdom, and swoops in on a winged horse to save her chosen Marine. She falls in love with his courage in the face of such odds, only to suffer the consequences of not following Odin’s protocol. In the second book, Pippa’s Rescue, Skogul, Kiara’s friend and a Valkyrie First Squad Leader, travels to Earth, not to claim a fallen warrior for Valhalla, but rather to offer a Marine eternal life. She tracks down her target at a horse rescue ranch.
Skogul is a diva who enjoys watching Sci-Fi–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, finds her Marine involved in a love/hate relationship with the woman who runs the equine rescue ranch. Our Valkyrie has a smart mouth and will do anything to protect the people she loves, but she always…always…follows protocol.
Her goal is to become the leader for all Valkyries, a coveted position directly under Odin, and this mission is paramount to giving her an advantage in the political run. Advised to keep her “appearance” to mortals a minimum she refuses to let an abused horse suffer and takes action. Dr. Aidan Hall is given credit for healing the horse, but he knows his veterinarian skills could not have made such a colossal difference in such a short time.
Valkyries depend on their horses to travel to battlegrounds, to guard their backs as they obtain their chosen Einherjars and fly the Valkyrie and fallen soldier back to Valhalla. Their mounts are regarded invaluable and given honor. To her, humans treating horses as punching bags, starving them, and whipping them until they fall to their knees is abhorrent– she wants justice.
How will this quirky, yet determined, Valkyrie save horses; secure her Marine; and fall in love without exposing herself to humans?
Have you ever rescued an animal? Do you belong to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)?
Recently I visited Shadarobah Horse Rescue Ranch (Their motto is May the Future be Better than the Past) in order to confirm some of my thoughts and validate the some of the plot. I find it amazing people dedicate their lives to assisting the less fortunate.
Committing to a cause can be financially and time-wise draining. In addition to taking care of the abused animals, the staff members attempt to change the sketchy laws.
What are your thoughts regarding animal rights? Do you believe the laws should be changed to have harsher sentences for people who abuse animals?
jj Keller is a native Hoosier. A dreamer. A writer. A storyteller.
She’s married and has two sons. Traveling to exotic locations is something she can’t do enough of (even if it’s only in her mind) and puttering around in her herbal garden is her favorite pastime. She enjoys a good story, easy listening music and a fine glass of wine.
Urban fantasy, paranormal, romantic suspense and thrillers are her favorite genres.
jj is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, and the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Chapter.
jj’s pen name is a result of her family name. She used lower case in her given name because of her fondness for ee cummings’ work.The man was a great poet and author. They both tend to be unconventional, his capitalization and her imagination and “fresh” attempt at writing. ee studied English, as jj did, he had a fondness for Greek and Latin and she loves to use Greek Mythology references in her work. His unique style of writing can be seen in Buffalo Bill’s/defunct and her only western to date, revolves around Buffalo Bill.
She hopes someday her work will be considered “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful”.
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