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Posts Tagged ‘travel memoir’

Arizona Muse in a 2013 Estee Lauder Holiday Ad.

Arizona Muse in a 2013 Estee Lauder Holiday Ad.

 

The holiday season brings “beauty” in many different forms to the fore as companies jockey for the public’s cherished dollars. A striking figure, enigmatic eyes, a splash of color on a dramatic background—these are only a few of the ways our imagination will be wooed and our desires inspired in the days and weeks ahead.

We forget in the onslaught of glitter and loveliness that the face in the ad, the voiceover on the commercial…these belong to (believe it or not) regular human beings, maybe even not so different from each one of us. The models and the celebrities, the actors and actresses, are perhaps pondering the same moments in time we are, enjoying the same means of escape, and seeking the same forms of solace and comfort of company upon which all of us depend.

 

A moment from the short film "Modern Muse" by Steven Sebring.

A moment from the short film “Modern Muse” by Steven Sebring.

 

“Being in motion is one of the keys to being happy,” says supermodel Arizona Muse.

It is exactly this that Laura Chester shares and explores in RIDING BARRANCA, the prolific writer’s latest book. As she and her horses wander in what seems like almost perpetual motion, up mountainsides, down creek beds, along narrow trails—sometimes alone but often in the company of others, including Arizona—Laura wrestles with her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and tries to come to terms with their troubled relationship. The horse and his movement, as is often the case, is the key to Laura finding a way to release the past in order to take firm hold of the present…while opening her heart to the future.

“The horse, my favorite animal—sensitive intelligence inside a powerful and strong physical body,” says Arizona. “Laura and I share a very special connection with these beauties. I’ve been blessed to ride with her!”

 

Arizona Muse is one of the riding companions author Laura Chester shares time and space with in RIDING BARRANCA.

Arizona Muse is one of the riding companions author Laura Chester shares time and space with in RIDING BARRANCA.

 

Laura writes in RIDING BARRANCA:

Now we ride quietly and just take all of this in. So often, it is better not to talk on horseback but to try and remain in touch with what is happening with your horse, how the bit feels in his mouth, how he is walking on the path—giving leg signals and making subtle moves…Arizona and I both appreciate the great silence that surrounds us…neither of us wears a watch, for we are in a timeless zone of pure pleasure.

Take a moment to discover some of the other places Arizona Muse finds quiet, joy, and companionship in this short film by Steven Sebring:

 

RIDING BARRANCA is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

Click image to order.

Click image to order.

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Did you read a great book this summer that featured horses? Did you find one that struck a chord deep within…one that moved you? These readers all found a reason to pick up RIDING BARRANCA by Laura Chester, and here’s what they’ve chosen to say about it:

 

Riding Barranca is tender, beautiful, complicated, simple, wondrous, and mystical—much like the endeavor of riding a horse. Laura Chester masterfully orchestrates two parallel narratives: her complex family upbringing amidst her mother’s slow descent into Alzheimer’s, and Laura’s soul-infused love of her horses and her life with them.”

–Carew Papritz, Author of The Legacy Letters

“Laura Chester takes us on her ride between the worlds – through landscapes of chaos, fear, and pain, as well as grace, inspiration, and transcendence. Always an adventure, and never without danger, we experience the rhythms of her life, her growth and healing, through difficult passages of loss and liberation, as she enters the ultimate solo chapter of living on beyond her parents. Of letting go, and letting healing begin.”

–Bicoastal (on Amazon.com)

“Chester celebrates the vast beauty all around her, as well as the darker regions of her childhood. The counterpoint of Chester’s explorations into the emotional turmoil of her upbringing set against the joy found on the back of her equine soulmate, Barranca, make this a compelling read, hard to put down.”

–Elizabeth Ervin, Author of Heart’s Blood

“I have not lived my life with horses, and reading Chester’s account, I ached for something comparable. In addition to companionship, horses have provided her with a detour from the cares of daily life, a vehicle into the natural world, a bridge to a different kind of love, and intimate communing with another animal. Beautifully interwoven with the rich and vivid log of rides around the world is her emotional and sometimes painful personal journey. The riding doubles for the bumpy terrain of her own life trail.”

–Summer Brenner (on Amazon.com)

“A mini retreat from life. If you have horses, you’ll appreciate the insights into the horses on the page. If you don’t, you’ll gain insight to the fascinating creatures that captivate little girls, and adults, the world over.”

–Jan Hoadley (on Amazon.com)

“Partly autobiography, partly travel writing, this is a horsewoman’s tale. Laura Chester had a fraught relationship with her mother and riding was a way to escape from tension and just be herself…This book is especially good for horsey readers but the honesty of speech about family and appreciation of nature’s beauty have a message for us all.”

–Clare O’Beara, Author of Master at Arms

“This is a beautifully written, heart-felt memoir. When I was reading, Chester’s descriptions were so vivid I could see, smell and feel the settings. Her bond with her horse(s) is so strong, I envy her that ability to relate. What I did not envy was her family dynamic. Her complicated childhood, family life and relationship with her mother were at times, almost too much to comprehend. That she is able to write bout her past with such clarity and compassion is a gift.”

–Janet (on Amazon.com)

 

Riding-Barranca-final-300RIDING BARRANCA is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT AND TO ORDER

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