~Winner, 2017 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award~
Thirteen-year-old Jamie Francis is facing a lonely summer. She’s just moved with her mother to the rural town of River Bend, Nova Scotia, following her parents’ divorce, and she hasn’t made any friends. But one day, Jamie comes across a neglected horse in a field: a palomino she names Peach.
Jamie soon learns from the horse’s widowed owner that Peach is being sold to tough-as-nails Valerie Scott, who runs nearby Tamarack Stables. Jamie offers to pitch in around the barn, and becomes enchanted with the world of competitive horseback riding–especially show jumping. She also gets to know Valerie’s sons, fiery, red-headed Nick and cool, handsome Paul, as well as Naomi, a popular girl from school. But all three of them have been riding and showing for years, and Jamie isn’t sure she’ll ever fit in. If only she could ride Peach…. (Nimbus Publishing, September 2015)
“LOVE. That is all I can say. I’m speechless.” –Anna, age 11, Goodreads.
“Touch of Gold will be treasured by horse lovers and young readers everywhere…[The] characters, both human and equine, jump off the page. There’s drama, horsemanship, romance, and more–a real treat to read.” –Shelley Peterson, bestselling author of the Saddle Creek series.
“Well-paced and engaging,…Touch of Gold is a tender coming-of-age story, adeptly celebrating the ups and downs of young love, the joy of animals and the life-affirming companionship they give, and the intoxicating power of taking chances and believing in oneself. …[A] thoughtful, moving story of friendship, determination, and courage.” —Jennifer D. Foster, National Reading Campaign.
This tender tale of a serendipitous friendship between a lonely girl and an equally lonely palomino will have readers cheering for both Jamie and her training partner, Peach. With plenty of emotional twists and turns, both inside and outside the ring, at its heart, this thoughtfully written story of determination and courage celebrates their powerful bond.” –Jan Coates, author of Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk.