From Endurance to Dressage
P. J. O’Dwyer is an award-winning author of young adult and romantic suspense. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America. When asked where she gets her story ideas, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” She lives in Maryland with her family.
Welcome romantic suspense and young adult author P. J. O’Dwyer. She writes books that educate as well as entertain, and she’s here today to share her debut young adult novel Claimed, the first book in the Hunter’s Moon Series.
P. J., what inspires you to write books about horses?
I fell into that by accident or so I originally thought. I love animals. But writing suspense something bad has to happen. And with Bren [from Relentless, book one in the Fallon Sisters Trilogy,] it had to be about the horses. I wanted my reader to care about Bren and her life’s work. I also wanted to expose the hidden truth about something so hideous. When I learned of horse slaughter, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the senseless murders that happen every day to such a noble companion we know to be the horse.
On a lighter side, I’ve been told I couldn’t avoid writing about horses if I wanted to. They tell me, those who have researched our Irish heritage, horses are in our blood. My father bet on them, my cousin and uncle own them, and back in Ireland they stole them.
I guess the sparkling shores of freedom looked a mite safer than an Irish jail cell.
So you write romantic suspense and young adult?
Yes. Actually, Claimed is my debut young adult novel. I think I just love to write a good story. It doesn’t matter if it is a scorching romance or a coming-of-age story with a jaded teen like Mac Stonebreaker in Claimed. To create a three-dimensional character that can step off the page at any minute or create that never-saw-it-coming plot twist or ending is a rush—and self-satisfying once the last word is down on paper.
Interestingly enough, I found I enjoy writing about teens. I guess my stint as a Girl Scout leader came in handy, and having just gone through the teen years with my own daughter helped me to understand the teen psyche. Plus, kids are so much fun to write about!
Tell us a little about your young heroine Mac.
Sure. Mac is a good kid in a tough situation. What she’s lacking is guidance and a nurturing environment. A group home for wayward teens is a poor substitute for the mother she’s always longed to have. But she’s a fighter, and she refuses to accept the status quo. She’s going to change her life for the better, and it starts with an unauthorized road trip.
So without giving away too many surprises, I’ve included a sneak peek of Claimed, the first book in the Hunter’s Moon Series, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
And if you have a mind to comment and let me know what you liked best about the excerpt, you will be entered to win one of ten Combo eBooks and Keepsake Necklace Gift Sets during the Claimed Blog Tour.
CLAIMED THE FIRST BOOK IN THE HUNTER’S MOON SERIES
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: