Here are free PDF downloads of the first chapters of the Patience McElwee titles that will be released on 4 October. I hope you enjoy them.
The three Hardcastle children agreed obediently with all the people who told them, practically every day of their lives, what a lovely home it was that they were being given, and when they saw the pony they knew they ought to be feeling enthusiastic about that too.
The Hardcastle’s grandmother has a mission in life: all her grandchildren must beat the children of her best friend, Lady Pinkney, in every area of their lives. Charlotte must marry better than Primrose; Priscilla be more cute than Jonquil. Susannah’s task is to beat Celandine Pinkney in the show ring, and she has been given a show pony with which to do it. The Hardcastles prefer life next door at the O’Briens’, where you get proper ham sandwiches to eat, no one cares if you make a mess, and horses are valued for what they are.
They must all remember that they were in the public eye all the time, and that each member of the family had a part to play which might never be relaxed even at home.
Arabella and James are the Merry children: their parents make their living on television, telling other parents how to bring up their children, with their own beautifully behaved offspring as an example. Everything they do is a photo opportunity. But Arabella and James long to be normal; for people who like them for themselves. Most of all, they want animals of their own. When their father gets an unexpected legacy, it seems as if there might be a way out. Written in the 1960s, The Merrythoughts have their decendants now in all those families on YouTube and Instagram whose lives are laid bare to their fans.
Mrs Allibone was just like a horse: one of the nastier kinds of horse …
Jane and Adam are twins. They are on their way to stay with their Uncle William, whom they have never met. Their father has married again, and their step-mother and the twins do not see eye-to-eye. Uncle William lives in a house of chaos, though his beloved bull lives a life of luxury, and his twin horses don’t do so badly. Mrs Allibone is involved with the Pony Club, which will be just the ticket, she thinks, for Jane and Adam. But Adam is terrified of horses, and Jane has her own opinions about the Pony Club, and the Pony Club, it turns out, has its own opinions about Jane. How Jane navigates Pony Club life makes for a story quite unlike any other pony book.