Blaze of Glory by M. Garzon.
“The first book in the popular trilogy, soon to be a major new television series!
The promise of the TV series is hanging over my head like slowly ripening fruit, enticing me with its delicious scent and approaching gratification. I’m not involved in the production of the actual series, and after having to coordinate the photo-shoots for the covers of my three books, I can categorically state: Whew!
Have you ever tried to coordinate an activity involving lots of busy people? By the time we re-shot the cover for my book Blaze of Glory last summer, I had bald patches from tearing at my hair.
Not that everyone wasn’t willing. I had a gifted photographer coming from almost two hours away, but she had other commitments so her availability was limited. The teenage female model had a part-time job so she had to arrange for time off and for lifts from her mom. The male model was only available two afternoons a week. The horse had a busy show schedule, the barn owners were away at horse shows every weekend, and I’m a single, working parent.
Still, we managed to agree on a date in early June. Everything was in readiness. Then, the morning of the photo shoot, dark clouds rolled in. We nearly lit Facebook on fire with our frantic messaging, but in the end, we had to postpone. The next date when everyone was available was 6 weeks away. The July day brought peaceful blue skies. Then came the call: our male model, a university student/lifeguard/serious hockey player, got called to a sudden meeting by his hockey coach. It involved making him captain of his team. He couldn’t miss it.
Now, I’d started off in the spring feeling no particular sense of urgency for getting the covers of my trilogy done. However, I had committed to a big book signing in November, and in order for my books to be ready, the covers had to be submitted by early September. At this point I was starting to worry.
Fast forward three weeks to the third week in August. We had a last-minute scare when the female model couldn’t get time off, but she managed it (I suspect by lying through her pretty little teeth). The grey clouds that greeted the dawn miraculously began to part an hour before our scheduled time. I was on my way to our local polo club to borrow a real polo shirt for our male model when my phone beeped. I almost didn’t want to look, but I pulled over and checked the message, heart pounding.
“I’m sorry, but I hurt my elbow and I can’t make it.” This from the male model.
I said a few unprintable words as I texted back. “Sorry to hear that, but I’m sure we can shoot your other side.” (Ok, maybe not the most empathetic response ever, but hey – I was stressed.)
“No, I mean I really hurt it… on my way to hospital. May need surgery.” Now I really felt like a heel.
I texted back my wishes for a speedy recovery (he’s fine now, no surgery). Then I slowly and glumly went on my way to the polo club, racking my brain for ways to find another tall, attractive man in his early twenties who would be comfortable around horses and available immediately. None came to mind.
At the polo club I found the manager, who handed over the shirt.
On impulse I asked, “Say, you don’t happen to have a man to go with that shirt, do you?” And that, folks, is how I ended up with a professional polo player from Argentina on the cover of my first book. He hardly spoke any English and my Spanish is negligible, but he was very gracious about the whole thing and I’ll always be grateful.
The story behind the cover of Look Twice may be less dramatic, but it has its moments. Shortly after Blaze of Glory was released I was looking through a horse-themed Facebook page when I nearly fell off my chair. On my screen was a picture of one of my characters incarnate. The boy in question was Seth, my main character’s twin brother. A bit of digging revealed that “Seth”was a talented sixteen-year-old horse trainer (sixteen being Seth’s exact age at the saga’s beginning). I posted my email address under one of his Youtube videos with a request that he contact me, thinking that the chances were slim that I’d ever hear from him. But lo and behold, I did, and we discovered some eerie parallels. I’d already noticed that his name was Jesse, which was the character of Seth’s original name in my first draft. Jesse lives in Holland, the country where I was born. And he was raised by a single mom, exactly as Seth was. Jesse proved to be every bit as sweet and likeable as his fictional doppelganger, and I’m honored to have his image on the cover of Look Twice.
As for the cover of Renaissance Man, that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t arrested…
Some fires can consume you.
Last year, I had it all. Two jumpers on the show circuit, a lot of wins, and a lot of attention – the good kind. But now I have nothing. My life is circling the drain. The only spark of light that exists for me is my new, forbidden passion. If my stepfather finds out, he will kill me. My twin brother, my only blood relative in the world, has already begged me not to. But I can’t help myself. If it can’t be horses, it has to be this…”
M. Garzon rode horses professionally for ten years, until an injury prompted a career change. She returned to school and completed a BSc; then for good measure, an MBA. After several years of toiling as a business consultant, she turned to writing in a desperate bid to regain her sanity. A mom of two fabulous children, she lives in St Lazare, QC and considers herself extremely lucky to be a writer.
*The author will be awarding the entire trilogy on Kindle or Kobo (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.