In the Heart of a Mustang


Young Adult - Coming of Age
368 Pages
Reviewed on 01/18/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am a graduate of Oregon State University. Upon graduation, I spent five years teaching at the middle school and high school levels. My writing, at that time, was limited to curriculum. That was not particularly fun.

While raising my children, I coached their Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination teams for seventeen years. I helped them write their own stories for the competitions. During this time, I also wrote two parent handbooks for the Salem, Oregon School district on sex education.

About twelve years ago, I was able to combine my passion for horses with my love of writing. I researched and wrote three equestrian trail guide books for the Denver area. By “research” I mean that I spent every Friday riding my horse on a new trail, be it on the plains or in the mountains. It was a tough job but someone had to do it! The result of that work was the publication of Riding Colorado-Day Trips from Denver with Your Horse, and Riding Colorado II. My newest of this series is Riding Colorado-Day AND Overnight Trips with Your Horse. All of these books continue to sell very well in the Denver to Colorado Springs area and have made my horse famous.

Eight years ago, I began writing a trilogy that combines my love of horses, writing and fantasy. Behind the Mist was released by Langdon Street Press in January of 2011 and the second book of the trilogy, Mists of Darkness was released in 2013. The final book of the trilogy, The Rising Mist, was released in 2014. This Trilogy was awarded the Gold Medal from the Mom’s Choice Awards in December, 2014.

I have also written another award-winning fantasy titled North Mystic. This allegory of the Revolutionary War won first place in the Purple Dragonfly Awards for fantasy in 2014.

In 2016, I released, In the Heart of a Mustang. This story is not a fantasy but it is all about horses. This coming of age young adult novel has won the 2016 Gold Medal from the Literary Classics Awards in Young Adult General Fiction and the Silver Medal in the Nautilus Awards.

My current project is a four-part series titled “The Centaur Chronicles”. I am excited about this new middle-grade fantasy. The first book, “The Stone of Mercy,” was released on Oct. 1, 2016.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

When Hunter, the young male protagonist of In the Heart of a Mustang by M.J. Evans, learns that his father is neither dead nor a noble hero, his world collapses. His mother had lied to him all those years, and his father is nothing but a useless alcoholic with a violent streak that made him spend some years in prison. Hunter decides that he should not disappoint his mother. After all, she always wanted him to become just like his father. Hunter starts a downward spiral and eventually ends up on a ranch for troubled boys. Initially, he wants nothing to do with the people and the horses. After all, cars are better than horses. But then he meets a female mustang from a recently rounded up herd. The mustang and Hunter are both in need of trust, love, friendship, and time - especially after Hunter receives some additional shocking news that turns his life upside down once more.

I picked up In the Heart of a Mustang by M.J. Evans because I have just started working in a place that has some horses and felt like reading a story involving horses (as the place here also uses animals for therapy purposes). I ended up enjoying the story very much as the characters, their issues, and behaviors were rather believable, i.e. close to how things could play out in real life (though I doubt the taming of an absolutely wild horse would really happen within such a short time - I had issues with being allowed to touch a "normal" horse's hair for seven weeks!). I liked how there were different side characters, too, and how each of them played an important role when it came to moving the plot on another step. It also helped that the writing flowed smoothly and was very well done. It was a joy to read!

M.J. Evans

Dear Kim, I am so happy that you loved reading "In the Heart of a Mustang." Don't give up on the horse you are working with. Most Mustangs have the advantage of not having developed a fear of humans so are often easier to train. Patience, patience, patience.!