Thursday, March 7, 2024

#Bookreview of The Silver Cowgirls

The Silver Cowgirls

By: Alicia Stephens Martin
Publisher: Year of the Book
Publication Date: January 30, 2024
ISBN: 978-1-64649-385-2
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: March 4, 2024
Alicia Stephens Martin’s latest novel, The Silver Cowgirls, is a fantastic story that chronicles the lives of four women and their friendship, brought together by a shared love of horses. Even though decades have passed since they last saw each other, they are about to learn that the bonds they formed long ago were never broken.
Presley Petrone is having the time of her life. She’s celebrating her fiftieth birthday and fulfilling a dream she had for many years. She is riding her beloved mare, Cleo, along the mighty ocean's pristine shoreline. The two are taunting the waves and basking in the glory of perfect sunshine: "...The surf surged onto the shore and practically touched the mare’s front hooves. Cleo pricked her ears forward with a snort as if rendering a warning in the event the approaching line of watery foam presented any danger..." (pg. 1) Presley and Cleo are one and in that very moment, they are invincible. Life doesn’t get much better than this, and then Presley wakes up. She is alone, lying flat on her back with her arms by her side. The surface feels like a concrete slab, and an incredibly bright light is bearing down on her from the tiled ceiling above. It was a dream...soon she will find out if she is in remission from her cancer. Rachel Snow’s best friend is a paper bag ever close to her side at all times. It is her safety mechanism at the ready to normalize her rapid breathing. She suffers from debilitating anxiety, and the root cause is complicated. On one hand, she blames herself for her husband’s accidental death many years prior. Her only child Jemma is about to spread her wings and leave home to begin her journey into adulthood. Rachel may be the success story of a widowed mom who single-handedly raised an amazing child, and her journey included several successful salons she managed to build with her own sweat equity and perseverance, but she doesn’t see her accomplishments. Louisa Mae Valspar (‘Wheezy’) is the penultimate definition of success. She began with humble means and her struggle from entry level to now had many roadblocks along the way. Her grandmother was her rock. She is gone. Years before her grandmother’s death, Wheezy unloaded some seriously negative baggage (her abusive husband) and continued her solo journey of raising two very accomplished twins. Wheezy reflects on the years from then to now. In mere moments, she will receive the news she has been anticipating for a while. She is about to receive the title and position of CEO of F.G. Transport (a renowned trucking company). She will honor her position and embrace her responsibilities...if she actually gets the promotion. Then there is Gigi (Tetless) Emerson. If ever there was a woman who is the true definition of privilege, it is Gigi Emerson. Gigi never learned the value of hard work and its rewards. Personal effort wasn’t part of who she was. From childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, it wasn’t necessary. There was always someone somewhere in her universe who was at her beck and call to do anything and everything for her. The one common bond these four women had among them was their love of horses. Would this be the connection point to reunite them decades later?
As the story unfolds in more than happenstance fashion, the four women are about to reunite. It’s been thirty years and the only connection they have had with each other from then to now is the last photograph they took together during the Silver Spur horse championship. They were so young and free, and the camera’s eye captured their innocence perfectly. Between Presley’s cancer, Rachel’s anxiety, Wheezy’s broken dream, and Gigi’s cheating husband, unbeknownst to them, their planets were aligning perfectly, and a long overdue reunion was about to happen.
Alicia Stephens Martin has penned one of the best ‘feel good’ stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite some time. The diversities and qualities she assigns to each character have outstanding depth. Presley emulates everything a woman of sound judgment and substance embodies. Rachel is quirky, and while she wears the weight of the world on her shoulders, she often manages a signature (and dark) humor. Wheezy is practical and direct. She’s had to fight for every success she’s managed, but she is clear she will never be a victim. Gigi is a spoiled brat but can’t help herself; it’s all she’s ever known. The dialogue is relatable, and the scenery throughout is tangible. It is abundantly clear Ms. Martin knows her way around a barn and all things equestrian, which was such a treat for me. I enjoy a great story that marries humans and horses together and this is done exceptionally well by Martin. She has done an admirable job of laying out a credible storyline and the anticipation, excitement, and situations along the journey are delicious. I give Ms. Martin two thumbs up for this most enjoyable read. May I have another please?
Quill says: The Silver Cowgirls is a sound testament of how true friendship never dies. Rather, it grows, changes, evolves, and like a boomerang, it’s simply a matter of time before it comes home to roost once more.
For more information about The Silver Cowgirls, please visit the author's website at:

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