Character: Vanessa Andrews - Doctor's trophy wife, filthy rich, a total Cover Girl with a razor-sharp edge. Vanessa and Tanzy meet in the hospital following Tanzy’s “accident.”
Tell us about your family. Daddy was a true southern gentleman, and my mother his southern bell. They died when I was younger, and I stayed on to see to their estate. My sister moved away. I imagine she couldn’t bear the weight and memories of their things, the woods we once walked together.
What was the scariest moment of your life? The moment I awoke from witnessing my Origin – my first life – and realized that my soul and my purpose did not wholly belong to me. Nothing had changed about me, and yet everything felt different.
Do you play any sports? No, I prefer to keep myself well groomed. But I’m stronger and more agile than I look.
What do you do to unwind and relax? I love to go dancing. There’s something about the music and the heat… it’s the only way I can really let go. Of course, I don’t mind the attention, either.
Who should play you in a film? Actress Stephanie Leigh Schlund. She’s going to play Cashmere in Hunger Games – Catching Fire. Blonde hair, bright eyes, and southern charm. Alternatives would be Hayden Panettiere or Taylor Swift.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you? I’m having an affair. Don’t say a word. If David knew… I just get so tired of being alone in that big house.
Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it? Live.
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it? Don’t be modest. It never did anyone any good.
Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
"Virginia's trees look like they're burning. Most of them blaze crimson or gold, but some still have a chokehold on their green. I wish they'd give it up already. Leaves are more beautiful when they're dying."
And so Moonlit begins. From here the story rolls from one twist to another with many vivid characters whose motives are hard to predict. I found myself being suspicious of everyone, wanting to tell Tanzy to be very careful. The deeper I fell into the plot, the more questions kept rising to the surface. But not to worry, all of my questions were answered. Appropriate for all ages, if you love paranormal fantasy mixed with suspense, mystery and other-worldly romance, you'll love this novel!
~Author Julie Ford
(from chapter 4)
The glow from the barn quickly dissolves into the inky night. Not a shred of it accompanies us past the mangled gate. But the dark offers little relief from the shadows that plague me in the light of day.
The full moon casts a blue glow over the rolling field, making the dark places that sway in the steady breeze look alive. I release the breath I’d been holding as we near the riding ring. Hopewell stands still as I lean from the saddle to let us through the gate.
Once we’re closed inside the safety of the lit arena, I take a quick scan of the tree line. The woods and their shadows are still.
“Paranoid,” I say, unwilling to admit to myself that it sounds too much like a dare as it drifts across the empty pasture.
I cluck to Hopewell and he strikes off in a floating trot. He stretches his neck and lets out a snort. We track a figure-eight pattern across the broad arena and then I move him up into a canter. His three-beat gait feels like flying. My eyes close in bliss as we sail down the long side of the ring. And then, a break in rhythm. The next two beats come too fast and his typically light step pounds at the ground. My muscles clench, locking my seat into the tack, and my eyes fly open.
“Easy, Hope. Easy.”
His pulse skyrockets, thumping through the saddle. I search the dark in a long sweep, anxious to catch sight of something I can define scurrying in the brush. But the field is empty.
“I don’t see anything.” Panic raises my voice to an unfamiliar octave and every muscle tenses with adrenaline.
Suddenly, he charges for the railing, twisting his head so far to the inside of the ring that I can see the rolling whites of his eyes.
Whatever is scaring him is in here with us.
I brace myself in the tack and chance a look behind us. Horror charges through my body as I lock eyes with a dark, ghastly creature slinking along behind us. It lowers its saber head and opens a pair of wide, capable jaws. My breath stills in my throat as it lunges from its crouch. Hopewell spins and bucks, kicking the beast square in the chest and throwing me onto his neck.
Don’t fall! I cling to his mane as I try to right myself, but I can’t get my feet back in the stirrups.
Hopewell leaps into a gallop and races toward the end of the ring. The distance between us and the fence evaporates in seconds. I push him forward, silently begging him to ignore the routine barrier. He powers off the ground and sails over the rail. I sit up as he lands, and steer him towards the barn.
Without warning, he leaps sideways tossing me airborne. I cry out as I land hard back in the saddle.
The cover is just so beautiful it pulled me toward the book, initially. Then, after I read the blurb, I knew for certain that this book was one that I had to read. It is clean and contains a light romance with a lot of suspense and mystery. Tanzy Hightower is going through a difficult time, grieving for her deceased father, maligned by her mentally unstable mother who blames her for her father’s death, attempting to keep the family horse business afloat. Tanzy’s burdens get more onerous when she suffers a terrible fall from her horse that almost kills her. Strangers enter her life, all of whom seem to know more about Tanzy than she knows herself. Everyone’s motives become suspect.
Filled with enchanting prose, mysterious characters, and horrific tragedy this book pulled me into its grasp and kept me enthused as the mystery is unraveled. For me, the pacing was a bit slow at first, but this staging period more than paid off during the latter half as Tanzy’s past life and unfulfilled purpose are revealed. I loved the reincarnation angle that gets explored. By this time, I do not believe I could have put the book down for anything less than an emergency. Tanzy is a likeable heroine with a sensible outlook. Faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, she studies the dilemma and instigates a unique action plan. I am looking forward to the next installment.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went.
She currently coaches a hunt seat equitation team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she's not working on the next installment of the Moonlit series, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Moonlit is her first book.
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