Clear to the Last - The long-awaited novel from author of At the Paddock Gate

Clear to the Last, an equestrian novel set in the UK, is a long-held dream of Shropshire- based author, Jenny Roman. “As a pony-mad and ponyless child, I read hundreds of pony books,” says Jenny, “but as a grown-up, I struggled to find equestrian fiction written for someone like me – a happy hacker who just enjoys time with horses, and who wants a good read, with some interesting characters – human and equine alike.”

In 2020, during lockdown, Jenny wrote At the Paddock Gate, a collection of horse stories for grown-ups, followed by Mine for a Month, a similar collection for a younger readership. “But I still had this idea for a novel in the back of my mind,’ says Jenny, ‘something I’d started working on in 2018.”

Using the power of #200wordsaday, Jenny began to chip away at her novel, discovering lots about herself and the writing process along the way. “I’ve had to admit to myself I’m simply not a plotter – attempting to create a detailed plot in advance was paralysing my writing. As soon as I gave up trying, it all started to come together.”

So, what’s the book about? Well, when we meet the heroine, Livy, she isn’t in a great place. Her childhood equestrian dreams have long been forgotten and she has plenty of reasons not to trust the men in her life. But a nightmare commute by bus is an unexpected catalyst for an offer of a lift and the discovery of a beautiful Arabian horse in a field near her flat – both of which will change her life.

“The book is designed to be a grown-up version of all those pony stories we devoured as kids,’ says Jenny, “except, as a grown-up, Livy’s life includes a tedious day job, bills and responsibilities, as well as the gut-wrenching longing for a beautiful horse, and the magical joy which comes from being immersed in all things equine.”

Clear to the Last is available in paperback or as an ebook from Amazon. It’s the first book in a planned trilogy. Look out for the sequel, Against the Clock, in 2024.

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