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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest Post with Author Juliana Haygert

Meet Juliana Haygert, author of the book Breaking the Reins.

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Places to find Juliana:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

“This novel has been in the making for so long.

In October 2009, a new Britney Spears video went live on YouTube. Please, don’t hate me, but I kinda like her songs. Anyway, I watched that music video and loved it. Radar, that’s the name of the song. The music video was a story in itself, but I so wanted to tell the story of that story, if that makes sense.

I was working on a time travel romance at the time, but I jotted down any notes that came to me about this “polo” idea (that’s what I called it, the polo manuscript). There were too many notes, and I couldn’t stop researching. I found out about Facundo Pieres (if you guys follow me on Facebook or Pinterest, you did see pics of him. You’re welcome). He started playing very early, he plays with his brothers, his father was a famous player, and I was like, "Dude! This makes a great novel!" Leo’s past though was all from my imagination. As far as I know, Facundo has never been in any trouble like that. If he did and you know it, don’t tell me. Let me preserve this perfect image of him in my head.

Anyway, I kept on listening to Britney Spears’s song and jotting down ideas for this novel.

At first, Eric wasn’t the psycho he turned out to be … he just wasn’t right for Hannah, and she never saw it because she started dating him too young and was still starstruck. But then when Leo arrived and they had more in common, she would notice Eric wasn’t her perfect match. However, that wasn’t strong enough, you know. I didn’t want Hannah cheating on Eric, or simply falling for the new guy. I wanted to put more between Hannah and Eric. So the psycho idea came after I saw my mother-in-law reading a book about psychopaths. The book is called Mentes Perigosas: O Psicopata Mora ao Lado—in English it’s Dangerous Minds: The Psychopath Lives Next Door, by Ana Beatriz Barbosa Silva (I swear I came up with Bia’s name before knowing about this book). Anyway, this book (in Portuguese) is about how to identify psychopaths in our everyday lives, since most are not like Eric is in this novel. Most are people who use their charms and social skills for their gain. They don’t mind who they hurt along the way, and they could be anyone, even our best friends. That’s when I thought, hmm, Eric could be like that, but I could take him to the extreme. So I read that book, and two other books on psychopaths to try and come up with a “good” psycho Eric.

At this point, I was listening (and watching) Hilary Duff’s Stranger (again Hilary’s name came way before I watched that video and incorporated it in my playlist). Have you seen that music video? The actor who plays her love interest is the same one in the Radar music video! Listen to this song (or watch the music video). Did you pay attention to the lyrics? See? It’s perfect for the story.

Also, at first there was no Argus. And no grandma’s ranch. It’s incredible how a story can grow in three years, just by thinking and developing it. When I started hashing out the ideas for Hannah’s grandma and her ranch, and how to put her in more conflict with Eric and her father, I had the idea for Argus. And that’s when I remembered that movie The Horse Whisperer. Love that movie. I re-watched it, and then I learned that the horse whisperer in the movie was actually inspired on a real horse whisperer. Yeah, don’t throw stones at me. I didn’t know, sorry. So I researched Buck Brannaman, the real horse whisperer, and I watched his movie (or documentary, if you will) Buck—trust me, you want to see this movie. And guess what? In the movie (I was already halfway done writing the novel then), Buck tells the viewers about his younger years, when he lived with an abusive father. It’s no secret, but since I didn’t know him, I didn't know this. I was OMG! Seriously … I’m writing about an abusive boyfriend!

You know when things click together, and they look like it was meant to be? This novel is all about it.”

As I mentioned there, Facundo Pieres was a great model for my novel. If you follow me on Pinterest or Facebook, you definitely saw a couple of pictures of him ;)

Thanks for having me! I hope you guys love Breaking the Reins!

Horses, mansions, tea parties, and lies are twenty-year-old Hannah Taylor’s life. To others, her family and her relationship with Eric is perfect. But she knows the truth. She lives it.

After a fire takes her grandma’s life and kills her horse, Hannah’s immaculate life spirals out of control. Her father disapproves of her decision to run her grandma’s ranch instead of focusing solely on learning the family business; Animal Control brings her Argus, a mistreated horse that she can’t turn away even though she’s not ready for another horse; and her boyfriend, Eric Bennett, a world famous polo player, becomes possessive and authoritarian. Despite her best efforts to disguise it, Hannah grows wary of him.

Then, Leonardo Fernandes struts onto the polo scene. A cocky rookie with a messy life of his own, he’s drawn to Hannah and isn’t afraid of showing it, even when Eric makes it clear she is his and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Hannah suffers for Eric’s jealousy. The abuse only gets worse when Leo steals the title of best polo player in the world from Eric.

But the title isn’t enough for Leo. He wants Hannah too, and she can’t deny her attraction to him either. Somehow, she must find a way to break free from abusive Eric before he breaks every bone in her body.

Purchase: | AmazonKindle | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes |

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Special thanks to Juliana Haygert & Xpresso Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
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  1. I do like horses, but haven't read too many books about them.

  2. I haven't read much about horses. Except for Black Beauty... :)

  3. Love stories with horses! This one sounds great!

  4. Hey no judgment here I used to be the biggest Britney fan. But then she kind of went bananas haha. I still like her old school stuff it's full of high school memories for me! :)

  5. I have always loved horses, but never had one. I also like to read books that have horses in them.

  6. I do like horses, but I haven't read a lot of books featuring them.

  7. I like horses and I have read books featuring horses.

  8. I really like horses but haven't read any books involving them for many years.

  9. I have only ridden a horse once but I think they are such beautiful animals. I just read a story where the heroine had been injured while riding a horse and had to overcome her fear of riding again.