AFTER the year we have all had, a bit of escapism is definitely called for… And what better way to escape than to sit down with a good novel?
For an equestrian enthusiast, if the book happens to be set in a horsey world, with all the excitement and glamour of the showing scene, how could it get any better? ‘Sandstorm’ by Samantha Mattocks is entertaining and exciting in equal measure and would make a great gift for a horse lover this Christmas!
I don’t often have time to read books, but I found ‘Sandstorm’ intriguing from the first page – it reminded me of Jilly Cooper’s ‘Riders’ series. The book starts in Belgium at the home of Arjan Vermeulen and quickly sets the scene, describing the magnificence of the Arabian horse, the competitive showing world and the racy goings on that accompany it outside the show ring!
The book travels around the globe, across Europe and the Middle East, to various world-class Arabian horse shows and championships, introducing the various characters along the way – hard-working grooms, shrewd (and sometimes despicable) trainers, extremely wealthy owners and numerous others, who are swept along in the apparent romance and beauty of this exciting niche of the equine world.
The author describes the ups and downs of the showing circuit, the winning highs and the disappointing lows; as well as the web of relationships between the characters in and out of the show ring, from the friendships that are forged to the potential of true love…
Reading it, I was in constant hope, despite the rollercoaster of events along the way, that true love would prevail… But the author cleverly keeps that under wraps and keeps the reader engaged, until the very end!
I wouldn’t wish to divulge the ending, but if this sounds appealing, then ‘Sandstorm’ should be on your Christmas list this year!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Norfolk, Samantha Mattocks has bred Arabian horses with her family all her life and she first began work on ‘Sandstorm’ in the 2000s, during her own travels around the world for her specialist award-winning publication, The Arabian Magazine. Her unique insights into this world are now shared through the pages of ‘Sandstorm’.
Samantha is far from being a one-trick pony – she also has a passion for cooking and appeared on season 15 of Masterchef!
“Sandstorm has been a long time in the making,” says Samantha. “Lockdown presented an unavoidable opportunity to finally get my novel published. I have had so many requests from friends wanting to read it during these challenging times, so it is lovely to finally be able to put it out there.”