Sunday, 12 January 2020

New Release Spotlight & Exclusive Extract: A Horse Called Bicycle by Roxana Valea

A Horse Called Bicycle, The Polo Diaries Book 2 by Roxana Valea
Roxy found love . . . but is it enough? In the second installment of the Polo Diaries series, polo player
Roxy goes back to Argentina a year after the events in Single in Buenos Aires, filled with dreams of settling down with the man she loves. This time, once again, Argentina is full of surprises and things are not what they appear to be. Or maybe they’re exactly what they’re meant to be, as a fortune-teller informs her.
Roxy takes a leap of faith and follows her dreams once again. She spends time at glamorous party venues of Buenos Aires and travels to the rough and wild pampas. Along the way, Roxy’s friends support and champion her quest for love, but when things get out of hand, Roxy realizes she needs to listen to her own inner voice and must make a hard choice. Two paths open in front of her, each one with far-reaching consequences. Which will she choose?

Amazon UK           Amazon US 

Context: Polo player Roxy tries to sooth her heartache by taking a ride in the Pampas in the company of a 10 year old boy.

The young horses are curious, too. They come to sniff us, and I marvel at the light in their eyes. They look at me with the same intensity that I look at them, and with the same curiosity. They gather all around my horse until Amanda tenses up, letting me know with a few sharp movements that she feels uneasy in this crowd. I get scared all of a sudden, because a horse that’s nervous makes me feel unstable in the saddle and then I remember my own falls very vividly. I look around to locate Santos. The boy has already seen the situation and he comes close to me, telling me it’s best we carry on. His small horse isn’t nervous at all, and this calms Amanda instantly. I wonder whether it’s because he rides here often to see the young horses, and his mare is used to them. Or maybe he’s just a much better rider, and a horse seldom gets nervous with a really good rider.
We move on from the young horses and break into a fresh gallop across the large expanse of pampas, with clumps of wild grass reaching up to our stirrups.
Santos turns around in the saddle and tells me to stay behind. He needs to go and check on a lonely cow he’s spotted in the distance. I pull my reins and let him go alone, watching his mad gallop across the field, his small body almost indistinguishable in the saddle, all five dogs running after him.
 I slow down my horse to catch my breath, and we soon move to a trot, then walk. We’re now alone in the pampas. I watch the cows on the horizon, the young horses back where we left them under the same trees, and the boundless green fields around me. Amanda’s strong body feels alive between my knees. For the first time in the last few days I’m not thinking of anything and it’s not because I have to hit a polo ball. The late afternoon sun warms my face. The smell of the earth is strong in my nostrils. It’s dried mud and fresh leaves and a lot of other smells, too, but I don’t know what they are—probably the herbs that grow around here. I can’t hear a thing. Even the birds that are so loud in the trees around the house are silent now. Surrounded by this peace, I breathe.
Maybe it’s not all gone. I wanted to make a life with Rodrigo here in Argentina. Rodrigo is gone now, but maybe my life here isn’t. Here in the campo. And what if I buy a piece of land and build a small house? Somewhere close to my Argentine family? What if I buy a horse, too? Maybe even Amanda the Sheep. I’m sure Patricio wouldn’t mind selling her to me. What if it’s still possible to have a life here? Yes, the love story with Rodrigo is over. But was that the only thing that brought me back here? No, it wasn’t just that. It was the immensity of the campo and this feeling of being at one with it— the connection I feel to this place and to these people. Connection. This is what polo gives me. This is what Rodrigo gave me. And this is what the campo now gives me, too. The connection is definitely still here. And maybe it’s enough. I can see myself living here. And playing polo. Of course I’ll play polo.
On the way back we take the dirt road, the same dirt road we usually drive on to get to the farm. We gallop fast, and a cloud of dust rises from the hooves of the horses. I watch the hard ground beneath, much harder than the soft grass of the polo field, and for a second I try to imagine how it would feel if I fall right now. I would break something again, probably. But then I push the thought away. I’m perfectly balanced in the saddle, my body following the moves of the horse, my head high, feeling the wind. I won’t fall. Not anymore. Never again.
Santos has overtaken me and gallops in front of me on his small horse, the dogs all around him. In full gallop he turns his small body to look back every now and then to make sure I’m all right.
And for the first time in the last few days I actually feel perfectly fine.

About Roxana Valea
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player--traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

Single in Buenos Aires, The Polo Diaries Book 1
Roxy plays polo... but dreams of love. Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with
a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.
Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humor, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavor of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.

Amazon UK           Amazon US