Karen’s Killer Book Bench #YA #Friendship #Non-Fiction: NO HORSING AROUND, Shamrock Stable Book 6 by Shannon Kennedy

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Shamrock Stable Book 6


When the school year ends, Sierra and her friends plan to have a horsy good time riding their horses, teaching summer day camp, and helping their favorite riding instructor arrange a wedding to the local animal-control officer. Difficulties arise before they even pass their final exams. Robin wants to work at the vintage car lot with the beautiful, classic Mustangs she loves. However, her parents are sending her to horse camp whether she likes it or not and she doesn’t!

Meanwhile, Vicky intends to train horses. Does her dream job mean she can’t spend time with her boyfriend before he leaves for college? Horse camp brings in much needed income to the McElroy’s Shamrock Stable, so how can a talented athlete like Sierra tell her family she wants to join the high school basketball and soccer teams at their training camps instead of teaching little beginners again?

After a stunning performance in the spring musical, will Dani ever be able to let her glory-hungry parents know she’d rather be at the barn this summer, not on stage in a theatrical company in Oregon? Catch rider, CeCe worries she won’t be ‘emancipated’ and allowed to remain with the people who offered her a ‘real’ home but are her new friends too busy to help when she needs them most?

It’s a drama-rama summer at Shamrock Stable. What will the five of them do to stay together and ensure each girl’s dreams come true?


Shamrock Stable Book 6


Chapter One

Marysville, Washington
Wednesday, April 17th ~ 5:30 pm

Chores done, I offered my rescue horse, Twaziem one last carrot. He considered it for less than a heartbeat before he did the ‘crunch, munch, gone’ routine. Okay, so he wasn’t the bay skeleton I’d saved from starvation last September, but he still had food issues. Maybe, I should sign him up for a horsey shrink, not that his sessions with my older sister, Felicia when she was home on spring break from Washington State University did him much good.

He didn’t like it when she tried braiding his mane the way she did her humongous Appaloosa’s although she’d fed Twaz horse cookies from the feedstore the whole time. Twaz preferred the chunks of organic apples my boyfriend, Bill Petrie brought even if it meant he had to earn them by doing the horsey stretches the massage therapist taught us. She said Twaz needed to build up his muscle tone and flexibility if I wanted to ride him this summer. I didn’t.

I hadn’t rescued him because I wanted to ride him. I just wasn’t leaving him to starve to death. I didn’t make a secret of the fact that I only brought him here to teach my horse-crazy family a lesson when they decided I should follow our Gibson tradition of choosing purebred horses on our sixteenth birthdays.

Not me. I wanted the presidential blue classic 1968 Mustang I’d dreamed about forever. I’d even talked the owner of the vintage car lot down to fifteen thousand cash, but my parents totally didn’t understand my passion for old Fords. Luckily, Bill did. He gave me the hulk of one for Christmas, a frog-green body without an engine or tranny. I’d been restoring it for the past four months and figured I’d be driving it this summer.

I’d painted it over spring break, going for the shade of deep blue I preferred. Luckily, it went well with the saddle brown and white interior. When I’d saved Twaziem, I warned him I wasn’t into horses like everybody else who lived here. I wasn’t a ‘keeper’ kind of person. He’d be moving onto a good home when I found him the perfect owner. I’d use the money I got for him to finish fixing up my car. Next on the list was tires and those were super spendy.

My best friend, Vicky told me to be prepared to give the cash to my dad who paid ‘beaucoup’ bucks to return Twaziem to reasonable horse status. Dad might claim to want repayment for the veterinarian, the chiropractor, the massage therapist, the farrier, the trainer and the unending feed if or when I sold Twaz, but I could talk around my father. I wasn’t his spoiled rotten youngest daughter for nothing.

Blonde, brown-eyed, five feet, six with a great figure, I made friends easily, and I insured everyone wanted to hang out with me. Of course, I had an ulterior motive. People who say they don’t have agendas are lying. I don’t. Truth may hurt. Too bad, too sad. Get over it. If somebody doesn’t want me to use him or her, then walk away.

My dad, the accountant who tracked down every cent and my mom who aided and abetted him in his penny-pinching ways only allowed me a certain number of animals. It meant I needed to find homes for any extra dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, ducks, snakes, sheep, goats – well, that was the idea and I did the ‘go along to get along’ dance. I’d done it for years, so my friends knew if I started the charm routine, I was hunting a home for something with paws, claws, hooves or webbed feet.

All cowboy in jeans, boots and a western shirt, Jack came up behind me. Twazeim promptly glared at my tall, dark-haired older brother, stomped his hooves and pinned back tulip-shaped Arabian ears. “Wow, he still hates me, and it’s been seven months. I’d think I’d get credit for feeding him and mucking his stall on a regular basis.”

“I do it most of the time.”

“Yeah, but who do you think picks up the slack when you have practice or a track meet? I don’t feed the rest of the critters and skip him. Come on, Princess Robin. Dad will freak if we’re not on time for dinner since the tax season ended and he’s not burning the midnight oil anymore.”

“I’ll be right there.” I took the carrot he handed me and held it out to my horse. “Here, you big baby. It doesn’t have Jack cooties, so you can eat it.”

Twaziem tossed his brown head with a shake of his black forelock, eying the long, skinny carrot suspiciously. He sniffed at it one more time, then gobbled it up when I started to take a step down the barn aisle toward Jack’s off the track Thoroughbred. Nitro wasn’t one of my faves, but he didn’t bully my horse when the two of them were out in the pasture together. I had to give him that much credit even if I thought it was too bad Jack hadn’t brought home a ‘real’ horse when he and Dad did the sixteenth birthday, male bonding trip.

Two gold and white collies met us on the way to the house. They must have had doggie business to take care of since the mom, Lassie usually hung out in the barn with me and her youngest son, six-month old Zorro always kept us company too. They knew the rules about staying in the mudroom, an inside back porch area during meals. I gave them each a beef chew stick, homemade treats from my friend, Dani who lived in an exclusive gated community with one of Lassie’s daughters.

Another rescue. I’d found Lassie and her litter of tiny puppies at a cross-country meet last fall. Zorro was still here, but his brothers and sisters had gone to homes with the closest members of my posse, Vicky, Sierra, and Dani. The other two were with members of my track team. I had a feeling that CeCe, a ‘catch rider’ at Salmon Pond Stable might take the last of the pups once she settled into a permanent home, but that was still up in the air since my older sister also loved him dearly. Sooner or later, CeCe would share what she wanted with me and if it wasn’t a half-grown puppy, I’d keep her on my list of potential adopters.

In the kitchen, Mom turned from the counter when she heard us. I smelled meat, tomato sauce and cheese. Yum, it was lasagna night which meant she’d stuffed a frozen casserole in the oven because she never had time to make it from scratch and my control-freak father hated it when she served supper later than six pm.

I suspected she’d been conditioning her Arabian for one of their extra-long competitive trail rides, but I didn’t need to ask since she wore cowgirl clothes, faded blue jeans, a western shirt and laced up Ropers. She’d tied back her strawberry blonde hair and a smile lit up the bright blue eyes. “Wash up first. Finish the salad and set the table for me, Jack. Robin, your cats are giving me the heebie-jeebies tonight. Feed them in the pantry please, then get your dad. He’s in the study.”

“Why? Didn’t he file all the taxes for his clients by midnight?”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean all of the e-filing went through.” Mom swung back around and began cutting into the lasagna again. “He spent most of the day on the phone with the IRS and now he’s re-sending the forms they claim not to have received.” She heaved a huge sigh. “It’s the same every year.”

I didn’t say they should plan for electronic snafus. I had in previous years and been lectured for my crappy attitude too many times. It was the same every April, August and October when the deadlines fell due. Dad would send in all the paperwork, then battle with the government to accept the forms without penalizing his clients and the other agents who worked for him. He said it was why he got the ‘big bucks’, but personally I thought he enjoyed the challenges.

Mom claimed his hang-up about everything starting and ending on time was just a personality flaw and nothing to get in a dither about. Of course, she was the one who said no animals, no TV, no IPODs or cell phones at the table. We had to talk to each other like civilized people or she’d make us wish we had. I lived with two total control freaks for parents and Felicia and Jack were pretty much the same way.

About Author Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy lives and works at the family riding stable in Washington State where she teaches kids to ride and know about horses. Her life experiences span adventures from dealing cards in a casino, attending graduate school to get her Masters in Teaching degree, being a middle and high school teacher, and serving in the Army Reserve – all leading to her second career as a published author. Since she retired from teaching school, she plans to write more books for Fire & Ice YA, the Stewart Falls Cheerleaders realistic fiction series and the Shamrock Stable series about teen girls and their horses.


Links to Shannon’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3yEqp08


Special Giveaway: Shannon will give away an ebook copy of NO HORSE WANTED, the first book in the Shamrock Stable series, to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Shannon, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!



10 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #YA #Friendship #Non-Fiction: NO HORSING AROUND, Shamrock Stable Book 6 by Shannon Kennedy”

  1. Welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, Shannon. I enjoyed the excerpt you shared. It captured the angst of a teenager’s ruined plans perfectly. We often forget how differently they approach the world around them, especially when we’re so far on the other side of that timeframe. I found myself nodding my head as I read Robin’s reactions to her family and the changes to her summer plans over things over which she has no control. This will be a fun read for teenagers and adults alike. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

    1. Thanks for inviting me back, Karen. I enjoy coming here and am glad you liked the excerpt. Robin is one of my favorite people. I love the way she makes the world, ‘all about her’ – and pretends to be such a princess. She’s really looking forward to learning to do “tune-ups” on the cars at the Mustang Corral – the vintage car lot this summer.

    1. It’s always a fun series to write. Next up, will be a Christmas novella at the barn. Why is it so much easier to write about it, rather than clean it in real life? Inquiring minds want to know!

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