Media Reviews

Review One Frosty Christmas:

“Horse tale tugs at heart strings. It’s a charming well-written story that every horse lover will adore!” Goody Niosi, The Star.

“The story is strong, the prayers are tender,” Writer’s Digest.

Full review by March 20th, 2017 | Author:

“I was rapt to recently receive a free copy of One Frosty Christmas by Laura Hesse. You can get an electronic copy free, too over at InstaFreebie.

Young Hannah Storey is struggling to come to grips with a move to a new town. She’s a survivor of a car accident and the nightmares haunt her still. She lost her grandmother in the accident. On top of this, she lost half of her leg.

Although she is an amputee, this didn’t bother Hannah. She has a supportive family and caring friends. But the move to River Bend finds her the victim of bullying. Determined not to cry, she works hard to ignore the taunts from local bully Penny Paddington.River Bend doesn’t boast much that is appealing. Hannah is lonely and bored. There aren’t malls to go shopping. The local kids don’t embrace her.

In the cold winter months, Hannah finds her attention drawn to another outcast. An emaciated, angry looking grey pony she has nicknamed Mr. Frost lives in a paddock that is on her bus stop. Each day as she goes to and from school, Hannah sees the dejected pony.

In time, a plan forms to feed him and to rescue him from the neglect of his angry owner, Ole Man Levy. Hannah focuses first on gaining the pony’s trust. It’s hard to acknowledge that even if she manages this, she doesn’t have a clue of where to keep the pony – or how to look after him.

Hannah is pleased to find herself with an unexpected accomplice. But even as her new friend helps to feed Mr. Frost, Hannah knows she still needs to learn about horse care. A solution comes in a local riding school that offers therapeutic lessons for disabled people.

Johnny Joe, Hannah’s friend from school may also be able to solve the housing problem for Mr. Frost. As plans are made to rescue the pony, Hannah questions if they will indeed succeed. When Penny Paddington gets involved, Hannah doesn’t see how they can proceed. Can they trust the girl? Or is it all a set up?

One Frosty Christmas is a delightful read for young readers that looks at the life of a neglected pony as well as a young girl recovering from the loss of her grandmother.  Hannah’s character is strong and honest, whilst Johnny Joe helps to throw in some horse knowledge in the story. The end result is a delightful tale that brings the local community together. Worth the read.”

Review of The Great Pumpkin Ride

“The Great Pumpkin Ride is a glorious romp filled with adventure, humor, suspense and mystery! This is simply a wonderful book for young readers…Anyone can enjoy it.” The Star

Review A Filly Called Easter

“It was late when I finished A Filly Called Easter. Memories of many pre-teen nights under the bed covers with a flashlight and a book from the black-stallion series enveloped me as I turned out the lamp.

Hesse continues to demonstrate the strength and abilities of pre-teens/teenagers. From cleaning barns to driving tractors, these ranch kids are capable and are needed. The result is responsible, resourceful and confident kids – characters that I admired.

I found the first chapter a bit difficult as I had not read the previous two books in the series: One Frosty Christmas and The Great Pumpkin Ride. I had to absorb the names and relationships and at some points I found the gentle romance a little sweet. Ultimately though, I was surprised to find I had kept turning the pages until I finished – out of interest and curiosity, not out of obligation.

This book is written for pre- and early teens. Buy it for any dreamy-eyed animal-loving child. Anyone who has ever dreamed of that perfect horse, or felt that connection and pleasure of enjoying the world from the back of a horse, should give it a try.”

Janet Peto VIP Pets

Review of Independence

“Two Independents, the fourth installment in Canadian author, Laura Hesse’s popular Holiday Series, is an exciting, heartwarming tale set in British Columbia’s interior.

The novel introduces June, the matriarch of the Stetler family. She is a kind, insightful woman, and though suffering from debilitating arthritis, possesses a physical and emotional strength which gives the novel its heart.

June lives with her husband, Bill, their dog named Horse, and an old Norwegian Fjord, CD. She travels up to their cabin in the mountains each summer, and this year she will be accompanied by her grandchildren: Billy, a horse-crazy eight-year-old who longs to be a “real” cowboy, and Susie, a surly fifteen-year-old from California who would much rather be spending her summer on a surf board than one horseback. The story follows the family as they head up the mountain and settle in for a quiet vacation. The summer, however, brings much more than they expected.

Two Independents has all the makings of a great story – for you and old alike. Hesse has created nuanced characters who come alive on the page, and tells a story filled with twist and turns. There is even a bit of a romance thrown into the mix.

Hesse owns a Norwegian Fjord and her love for the breed is obvious: CD and his new companion Independence are as strongly developed as the human characters. Hesse also puts her years of experience with the Alberta Forest Service to good use, depicting the dangerous conditions which arise when the summer is too hot and dry. Her detailed observations place the reader right in the thick of things.

Two Independents is a great choice for the horse lover looking to add a little excitement to their reading list.”

Review by Laura Neufeld, The Canadian Horse Journals

Review The Thin Line of Reason

“If you want something thrilling, but not pee your pants, sleep with all the lights on scary, Laura Hesse’s The Thin Line of Reason may be for you.

The main characters are a brother and sister duo, Bill and Sarah Lancaster, each fighting their own demons. Bill, an RCMP officer in Nanaimo, has spent years searching for the man who killed his partner.

Gun runner and murderer Josef Stein eludes him. When if finally seems Bill gets his man, events go wrong and Stein is presume dead – but Bill isn’t buying it. He soon turns to alcoholism to quell the voice of his dead partner.

In the meantime, Sarah, who has a high stress job in Vancouver, is haunted, literally, by a childhood ghost who seems to have taken on a corporeal form.

But in this book, characters wear faces that hide who they really are.

Many thrillers novels seem to follow a formula in which the reader can guess within a few chapters how the story will end. However, The Thin Line of Reason holds several surprises that alter the plot line and shouldn’t be called formulaic.

Although the book’s main conflict centers on that between Josef Stein and Bill, there are several other interesting plots and social issues that arise in the book – inherited insanity, dealing with alcoholism and employer/employee relationships.

Hesse also uses an interesting literary tool to tell the story. Some events are told through two different characters eyes, allowing the reader to first witness one’s view, and then another.

The novel actually improves the further in the reader gets, as the beginning has to introduces inconsequential and main characters in short order, while setting up the rest of the story’s conflicts.”

Review by Alli Vail, PQB News, Black Press

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