Bright Broken Things

Good Things Come Novella

Linda Shantz

June 24th, 2022

Bright, Broken Things by Linda Shantz is a very enjoyable read.  As with all her stories, this novella will allow readers to understand more about horses and racing along with very relatable characters.  

The story includes the backstory on how Nate and Liv meet.  She decides to hire him to help train the horses.  Although there is at attraction at first sight, Nate realizes that Liv is hands off. What they do have in common is the love of horses and racing.  Along with her sister Emilie who is the direct opposite of Liv, and a filly named Claire that stole Liv’s heart, readers get more of an understanding of the personalities of each character.

Elise Cooper: Why write this novella?

Linda Shantz: After the books I had readers who requested a prequel.  This will lead those who have not read any books into the series, the backstory of Liv and Nick. I am thinking of writing the backstory on some of the other characters.

EC:  You have this quote by Liv about her feelings?

LS:  You are referring to this one, “The safest place is on the back of a racehorse. It is sanctuary.” Take for example what happened to me.  I hurt my ankle.  So being on the ground is hard, while being on a horse allows me to borrow their body.  Horses provide for Liv the safety where no one can touch her. 

EC:  How would you describe Claire, the young thoroughbred?

LS: Flighty and excitable.  She has a good head on her shoulders.  Nothing ruffles her.  She is ready to take on the world.  A solid buddy who is a horse.

EC:  What about the sisters Liv versus Emilie?

LS:  Even though there is a physical resemblance they are quite opposite. Emilie does not have the competitive drive that Liv has for riding.  Emilie is much more balanced.  She is not obsessed with horse racing like Liv.  She does not have the same need to be immersed in the whole horse racing world that Liv does. While Liv is standoffish, serious, with trust issues, seeing the glass as half empty, broken, and aloof; Emilie is mischievous, carefree, talkative, and easy going. 

EC:  What did you want to point out about horses being drugged?

LS:  There are people who put money above horses. Racing gets a bad rap because of the drugging of horses.  The vets play a big role. I point out in the book the vets are essentially working for the trainers who know what drugs are available and do things under the radar. Sometimes people have an unfair advantage because testing has not caught up with finding the drugs. Unfortunately, the vet received a very light sentence.  Up here in Canada it is taken very seriously.

EC:  Why is it so bad?

LS:  There is not one governing body in horse racing. Each state gets to make their own decision on horse racing and drug testing.  If the US adopted a single governing body, I am sure Ontario, and the other Canadian tracks would be a part of it. 

EC:  Next book?

LS:  I am going to write the Emilie and Tim book next, probably out around Christmas. In that book Liv is going to go to England for a big race so there will be a lot of Nate, but not her. 

EC:  Are you still painting?

LS:  Yes, I have some commissions of horses and dogs.




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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.