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Monday, April 25, 2022

horse/man by Julia Merritt - Book Tour - Guest Post - TWO Giveaways!! - Enter Daily!!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Julia Merritt and her new book, “horse/man,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $15 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  In addition, not ONLY is there this fabulous giveaway, BUT there is a SECOND fabulous giveaway!!  Julia’s publishing team, Tellwell, has teamed up with Goodreads to give 100 lucky readers an eBook Copy of the featured book!!  See below for more details.

Also, come back daily to interact with Julia and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Please note that Giveaway #2 is ONLY open to US residents.  Sorry INTL – please check out Giveaway #1 and the other giveaways on this blog!!


by Julia Merritt


GENRE:   Fiction - Literary



What happens when your entire identity revolves around a way of life that is becoming obsolete?

In the 1920s, as Canada progresses through the Industrial Revolution, horses are still the rural engines of survival. As a child Adam lives this reality on his family's farm in the Ottawa Valley, planning to take over one day and have a family of his own. When his parents die during the Great Depression, nineteen-year-old Adam is disinherited in favour of his brother and is forced to move to the city to find work. Without a formal education his choices are few, yet he finds a place to use his horsemanship skills in the dwindling forces of the Canadian cavalry based near Montreal. There he finds pride in being a mounted soldier, and friendship with his fellow dragoons. But the cavalry units are mechanized by the beginning of World War Two, and when Adam is sent to Europe, he must abandon his equine partners for trucks and tanks. In the catastrophic experience of war, he will lose everything once again.

Broken in body and spirit, he returns to Canada where he must confront the question of survival in a world that doesn't seem to have a place for an injured soldier. Full of poetic reflections on what it means to work with horses, horse/man is a powerful story about a man searching for dignity and connection in the face of a rapidly shifting world.



“Trot on, Jack! Git up, Pete! Git UP! Good.”

The driver called out orders and sounded gruff, even in praise. The reins slapped the broad chestnut backs lightly, then loosened. It was the end of May, and planting had finished. Today, they were going to town. Freed from their heavy collars and the deep wet soil, the horses danced down the dirt road, shaking their heads as they pushed through the harnesses. Their efforts were rewarded with an easy silence.

Seven-year-old Adam sat in the back of the wagon, his skinny legs anchoring the sacks and baskets his mother had given him for dry goods. He was small for his age but wiry and strong. His face was still childish, heart-shaped and snub-nosed, with sandy brown hair and eyes. His father, Ciaran, was alone on the front seat, driving the horses with his back to Adam. Adam was grateful for the rest.

The horses picked up speed, and Adam bounced from side to side on the planks. The percussion of the horses’ hooves and the squeak of the wagon on its struts was all he could hear. The wind from the wagon’s movement had a chill. He turned his head to face it, letting the tears from his watering eyes stream along his cheeks. He inhaled the sharpness of spring, undercut by the heaviness of soil and vegetation that was not quite yet alive. Travelling along, further details unfurled — the patches of mud in the potholes, the freshly tilled soil in the fields, the shades of green emerging from the ditches and the trees.



Describe the Book Cover for horse/man

The process of putting together the cover for my first novel was exciting and anxiety-provoking! The cover is the first point of contact for readers, and it gives them clues about what the novel is about, and whether they might like it. As a self-published novelist, I was very conscious of creating a cover that was attractive, even to the point of the reader not being able to tell that it wasn’t produced by a traditional publishing house.

However, I wasn’t all on my own. I worked with a self-publishing assist company named Tellwell, and they had a graphic designer who would put all the pieces together and help me with the vision. I did start with a fairly strong vision for the cover: something that would be elegant and clean, and contained a very specific image.

The imagery on the cover is a figure taken from ancient history: the Uffington White Horse. The Uffington White Horse is what’s called a prehistoric hill figure. The earth vas been carved out in the stylized figure of a horse and the trenches filled with white chalk. It’s at least three thousand years old and has been cared for ever since by the local community. It is a perfect symbol of the ancient world, and pulls out the historical setting. The pictographic nature of the horse, as opposed to a drawing or a photo, dials down some of the sentiment or romanticism that is often associated with horse-related novels.

The designer took my ideas and did a fantastic job, especially with the font and the colour scheme. In my head I had imagined the cover to be black and white, to bring out the Uffington White Horse and keep the contrast bold and sharp. The designer came back with the stunning marbled grey, with hints of blue in the text and imagery. It has the same contrast and clarity I had been envisioning, with the added depth of the marbling.

The font does a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the manuscript: the serif font is a very classic style, but there are bumps and ridges on it, which mimic the lines of the Uffington White Horse, creating synergy between the text and image. The title itself is slightly unusual, without capital letters and with the forward slash in the middle. That presented some challenges with arranging the text around the image of the horse but seemed to resolve with a bit of time. That was actually one of the key parts of making sure the design was just right  - making sure that there was lots of time in-between revisions so that the eye could forget about the design and come to it with a fresh perspective each time.

Altogether, the cover came together beautifully. The responses from readers have been very positive and I’m so pleased to have it represent the novel.



Julia Merritt has been captivated by horses ever since she could see out of the car window. Then she grew up and became a public library CEO and certified animal bodyworker. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her thoroughbred horses and smooth collie dogs. This is her first novel.











Goodreads Author Page:


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Indigo Chapters CA eBook:


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Julia will be awarding a $15 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And why have ONE giveaway when you can have TWO!!  Yep – that’s right!!  There is a SECOND Giveaway!!  Check it out below!!



Enter for a chance to win ONE of 100 eBook Copies of Julia’s intriguing new book, “horse/man.”

We're giving away 100 e-copies of horse/man, the new historical fiction novel by Julia Merritt. Don't miss your chance to win!

Click here to enter:


Giveaway #2 ENDS on May 1st, 2022

**Please note that Giveaway #2 is ONLY open to US residents**

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

Giveaway #1 is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Giveaway #2 is also sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author, Julia Merritt; Tellwell Publishing; and Goodreads are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details, horse/man sounds like an interesting and unique read and I am looking forward to it

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today! Happy to answer any questions anyone has :)

  3. I love the cover and think the book sounds great.

  4. The book sounds very interesting. Love the cover!

  5. I enjoyed the description of the cover and the excerpt, horse/man sounds like a great book to read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have an amazing weekend!