Mare’s Nest by Lesley Kagen


by Lesley Kagen

Women’s Fiction

5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, December 14, 2012!

New York Times Bestselling Author!

About the Book:

“The last thing in the world I wanted was for my daughter to climb onto the back of a horse. Riding is dangerous. Not only physically, but fiscally. Most of all…emotionally. I had the scars to prove it.”

Annie Bellamy is a woman struggling to come to terms with her painful past. In her daughter, Teddy, she sees the opportunity for redemption. The chance to balance the scales by giving her girl the support and nurturance she feels she didn’t receive from her own mother. What Annie didn’t plan on Teddy falling head-over-heels in love with horses the same way she had as a youngster. The buying, selling, and showing of horses had led to the bankruptcy and break-up of her family, and perhaps, her mother’s death. Annie vows not to allow history to repeat itself. Yet, Teddy’s persistence and talent are not easily denied.

Torn between her distressing childhood and her daughter’s passion, concerned about how the astronomical cost of the sport will impact her son and husband, Annie embarks on a journey through the horse world, where she and Teddy are swept up in a “saddle soap opera” that she couldn’t have imagined. Crooked trainers, ruthless barn owners, and viciously competitive show moms lie in wait for the unsuspecting twosome. Too late, Annie realizes that her pursuit to make her daughter’s dreams come true will end up mirroring her own troubled past unless she finds the courage to stand up to her demons.

Based on a true story, MARE’S NEST is a wrenchingly funny, poignant, and ultimately uplifting tale about mothers and daughters, horses, and the redemptive power of love.

Exclusive Interview with the Author! 

1) What was your inspiration for Mare’s Nest?

Initially? Outrage. After I’d been bamboozled by a horse trainer once again, my fury had no bounds. The mighty pen almost melting in my fingers, I began to write about the experiences my daughter and I had gone through. Over the ten years that I’ve been working on the book, I’ve added on. I’ve seen so many little girls get their hearts and bones broken, and mothers being taken advantage of, I didn’t feel right about not speaking up, or in my case—writing up. Every industry has its problems, but I’ve been part of the horse world for a long, long time, and it has more than its share. The only way I could imagine contributing to positive change was to bring some of the unsavory practices to light. But I also wanted to write about the intense relationship between mothers and their daughters out of the barn, so I combined the two. 

2) Did writing Mare’s Nest help you come to terms with what you dubbed the “saddle soap opera” that you stepped into with your daughter fourteen years ago?

The writing brought back a lot of memories. Remembering the ponies and horses, the love and time my daughter and I shared was sweet. But diving back into some of the other situations we faced, especially the horrible spill she took, made me sick to my stomach. I’ll be forever grateful that she wasn’t permanently damaged. 

3) This is your fifth book. Is the process of getting a story out of your head and down on paper becoming harder or easier?

Well, I like to think that I have a little firmer grasp than I did when I tackled my first novel, but I wouldn’t say it’s getting any easier. I try to raise the bar for myself with each book. Keeping it fresh for readers is very important to me. 

4) I’ve heard you speak at a couple of events. You really seem to enjoy connecting with an audience. Any visits that really stick out?

I adore events! I’m an actress as well as a writer and love the opportunity to go “live.” A visit to a library or book club is such a great time to receive feedback from readers, too. (I am especially fond of the part where they lavish praise and chocolate treats upon me.) Or share a story about how one of the books touched them. Shortly after the release of Whistling in the Dark, I was at a bookstore event when I noticed a woman in the first row taping the talk. When I asked her why, she explained that the recording was for her lifetime best friend, who had so wanted to be there, but she was having a bad day at the hospice. She went on to tell us how she had been reading Whistling to her pal every afternoon, and how the antics of the O’Malley sisters had made them laugh. And help them remember their own childhoods together and…aw shoot, sorry, this story always wells me up. It’s the dream of all writers to touch their readers, but…wow.

5) Any ideas for the next book?

I’ve already completed the first draft of a story about a middle-aged mother who is faces a life-threatening situation that she comes to terms with in a most unusual way. Once I’m through polishing it up, the O’Malley sisters from WHISTLING IN THE DARK and GOOD GRACES may ride again. I also love YA stories and want to give one a spin. Maybe I’ll buzz down to Cray Ridge and see what’s been going in LAND OF A HUNDRED WONDERS, or I could pay a visit to Shenny and Woody from TOMORROW RIVER, or further explore this small-town psychological suspense story that’s been percolating on my back burner or…jeez…I need to cut-back on my caffeine intake.

About the Author:

Lesley Kagen is an award winning, New York Times bestselling author of five books, an accomplished equestrian, actress, former restaurateur, and mother of two. Visit the author online at:

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2 Responses to Mare’s Nest by Lesley Kagen

  1. cleemckenzie December 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    This one looks like it has great promise.

  2. Heather Coulter December 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I am following on Facebook as Books Books and More Books .


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