Monday, February 2, 2009

About Summer's Story by Nancy Famolari

Summer Langston's father, a famous racehorse trainer dies leaving her with nothing but Meadow, a potentially great trotter. Summer and her father have been living and training at Golden Oaks, the farm owned by Ned Granger. Summer blames Ned and herself for not doing enough to keep her father from drinking himself to death. Although Ned offers her a home at the farm, she decides to strike out on her own and train Meadow. Her plan is complicated by Max, a wealthy owner, who covets the mare for his stable. He has a bad reputation for drugging his horses and fixing races, which makes Summer determined to keep Meadow for herself.

Davis, a famous race driver, offers to help Summer by giving her money to stable the horse at a good training farm. After Davis wins a claiming race (A race in which a horse can be claimed by a new owner before the race.) with one of her horses, Summer falls in love with him and agrees to share his townhouse. She doesn't realize that Davis is being paid by Max to help him get Meadow. Although unplanned, Davis falls in love with Summer and fails to give Max the help he wants.

Summer insists on driving in Meadow's first race. Davis knows there will be trouble and volunteers to drive instead, but she refuses. Max's driver causes an accident. Summer is badly hurt and Meadow suffers a torn tendon.

Davis blames himself for the accident. Unable to watch Summer's slow recovery and to avoid Max, he goes to California. Summer recovers, but is lame. Mike, an old friend of her father's, offers her a job as second trainer at Showplace Farms. She agrees provided she can continue to train Meadow. Summer feels that because of her lameness she has to do more then everyone else in the stable. She offers to truck yearlings to the Harrisburg sale and gets lost. Ned sees her as he's coming out of a restaurant and helps her get to the sale. He offers her a business proposition. They will be partners to train Meadow for the Hambletonian Oaks, the world's most famous trotting race for three-year-old-fillies. After her racing career, she will become a broodmare at Golden Oaks.

After Jeremy, Summer's groom, is attacked at Showplace by a man hired to put Meadow out of contention, Summer agrees to move back to Golden Oaks. It has a private track and she doesn't have to worry about sabotage from Max. The close relationship established by training the horse leads to a love affair between Ned and Summer. He wants to marry her, but they agree to put decisions on hold until after the Hambletonian.

Max contacts Davis in California and reminds him of his promise to come back to drive Meadow in the Hambletonian Oaks and throw the race. Guilt and the pressure of racing have driven Davis into the drug scene and he is feeling very bad. He still loves Summer and wants to see her so he contacts her and tells her that he wants to drive Meadow. Ned and Summer are unsure, but are forced to agree when Davis shows up in New Jersey.

Davis drives Meadow in the Hambletonian Oaks. After placing second in the prelim, to satisfy Max, he refuses to throw the final and wins. Max is furious and tells him that somebody's going to pay. Davis doesn't believe him. He goes to Golden Oaks to claim his reward from Summer. As he approaches the farm, he sees the stable on fire. He and Ned get the horses out, but the guard is still inside. Davis rescues him, but in the process his hands are badly burned.

Because of his injury, Davis can no longer drive. Summer feels responsible and agrees to train horses with him. Ned reluctantly steps aside. Davis is too impatient to be a good trainer.. Summer finds him beating a filly, steps between him and the horse and is struck instead.

Davis realizes that he is completely out of control. He has to blame someone and focuses on Max. High on drugs, he steals a gun from Ned and goes after Max. He finds him at Freehold Raceway, shoots him and gets away by forcing a driver outside the track to help him get away. The police stop him. He realizes he can't get away and kills himself.

Summer and Ned find it difficult to get back together after the tragedy. Finally, Ned tells her that he loves her, but he can't wait forever. While they're watching Meadow's foal scampering in the paddock, she agrees to marry him.

Summer's Story is available from Red Rose Publishing.

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Nancy Famolari said...

Hi Crystal,

Summer and I thank you for hosting us this week! Great discussion of the book!


Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Ah, romance and intrigue. Sounds great.


kathy stemke said...

I enjoyed reading about Nancy and her book! It's the kind of book to read on a snowy day in front of the fire. Thanks, Nancy and Crystalee.

deborah said...


Sounds like a book I just might have to read...I love horses.

deborah ramos

Laurie said...

Great synopsis Crystalee :-)

Poor Summer. What a rotten run of luck. I hope her ending continues to be happy and that she and Ned have a calm and blissful future.

Nancy Famolari said...

Thanks for the great comments. Summer and I would love to have you read the book -- then hear what you think!