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Published on Dec 20, 2014
ValerieOrmond retired as anavalintelligenceofficer and founded her own business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC. Herfirst novel,“Believing In Horses”won theMilitary Writers SocietyofAmericaGold Medaland other awards. Her second novel, “Believing In Horses, Too” is currently a finalist in the Military Writers Society of America book awards for 2014. Valerie’s non-fiction stories have appeared in numerous books, magazines, and newspapers, and sheholdsmemberships inwriting, equine, and veteransorganizations. Valerieowns and ride horses andserves as Secretary oftheMarylandHorseCouncil. She is happily married to Navy veteran Jaime Navarro. Synopsis: Sadie Navarro worries about her Navy father serving in Afghanistan. She turns to her love of horses to distract from her secret problems in her thirteenth year. Sadie commits to showing at the largest local horse show and volunteering for a therapeutic riding program – both brand new to her. With her belief in horses, a goal to make her father proud, and the support of family and friends, Sadie feels life moving in the right direction again. Days before Sadie’s father returns home, rival Rachel injures Lucky in a riding accident. Rather than admit defeat, Sadie decides to show one of her barn’s rescue horses in the final competition. Sadie understands by choosing his horse, she likely won’t win, but takes her chance on the underdog. Against the odds, she wins Champion of the year in front of her newly-returned war hero father. At the end of the show, Sadie finally confronts Rachel over her consistent rude behavior and unkind remarks. Sadie knows she should have stood up to Rachel earlier, but she didn’t have the strength to do so until this time. Although elated with her year-end win, Sadie doesn’t think her father appreciates how hard she worked or how much she grew up during his absence. At a unique equine therapy demonstration for military families, the horses help bring out unspoken human emotions in the Navarro family. Sadie comes to realize she earned her father’s respect through her actions and who she has become -- not her winning performance in the show ring.
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