Please welcome guest author Connie Hambley, who has the third book out in her Jessica Trilogy, The Wake:

When we talked last year on your blog, I was deep into the polishing touches of my third book, The Wake, and completing The Jessica Trilogy. It never fails that the journey to publication is also a journey of personal growth. What is it about the process of writing that changes a person?

Authors are often changed by what we learn to write our lies. I became less ignorant of the struggles of Northern Ireland to rid itself of British rule and how the Troubles affected my family. I took the threads of those facts and wove them into my books. But, our goal is not to change ourselves. We want to somehow reach our readers and alter something about them.

When a reader begins a conversation with “I had no idea that. . . ” and proceeds to tell me how my story prompted them to look further into a topic, I know I scored! I’m gratified when readers tell me they learned about Irish history or became aware of how American involvement – both legal and illegal – supported unification efforts. I love it when readers tell me of their search for ancestral roots and how learning the truth of blood ties changed them.

So, for my new book? I’m hearing, “I had no idea horses could play such a huge role in therapy.”


A new thread in my book builds upon the main character’s backstory of being a world-class equestrienne. No spoilers here, but hippotherapy – physical or behavioral therapy with licensed practitioners that utilizes the unique attributes of the horse – plays a large role in a character’s life after a catastrophic event at the Atlanta Olympics. (Could the injury be related to the Centennial Park bombing? A horrific fall on the devilish cross-country course? Like I said, no spoilers!)

I knew I had my research and writing right when my book received an endorsement from the CEO of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International. My inspiration to write about hippotherapy sparked from volunteering at a therapeutic riding center. I’ve been around horses all my life, but my focus was able-bodied.

I’m satisfied by my readers’ surprise because it mirrors my own learning curve. I was changed by real life “research.” My readers are changed through reading about my newfound knowledge via my story.

I consider that a win/win.

CONNIE JOHNSON HAMBLEY grew up on a dairy farm in New York and had plenty of space to ride one of her six horses. All would have been idyllic if an arsonist hadn’t torched her family’s barn. Bucolic bubble burst, she began to steadfastly plot her revenge against all bad guys, real and imagined. After receiving her law degree, she moved to Boston and wrote for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Nature and other wonky outlets as she honed her skills of reaching readers at a deep emotional level. Her high-concept thrillers feature remarkable women entangled in modern-day crimes. Connie delights in creating worlds where the good guys win–eventually. Her short story, Giving Voice, won acceptance in New England’s Best Crime Stories: Windward, published by Level Best Books. The third book in The Jessica Trilogy, The Wake, joins The Charity and The Troubles, the 2016 Best Fiction winner at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City. She keeps horses in her life by volunteering as a horse handler at a therapeutic riding center. Connie is a board member and Featured Speaker of Sisters in Crime.

THE WAKE: A shattered heiress’ family secret is exploited by her spurned lover to blackmail her into engaging in international terrorism.
World-class equestrian, Jessica Wyeth, is thrust into the middle of a game of geopolitical warfare. Reeling from revelations of her connection to the violent struggles to expunge Britain from Northern Ireland, she’s blocked by unseen forces from returning to the United States.
The facts of Jessica’s birth become her deepest secret. Her late mother was considered by Northern Ireland to be a terrorist and her father is a key negotiator between violent Irish Republican Army (IRA) factions in Belfast and the British Government.
Jessica vows to keep her father’s identity hidden at all costs.
Only one man knows Jessica’s truth. Michael Connaught, heir to an international crime family who profits from political uprisings, struggles with his own legacy. He is torn between protecting the woman he loves or using her secrets as a catalyst for inciting global unrest.
When a catastrophic event happens at the Atlanta-based Summer Olympic Games, Jessica is forced to fight for her life in ways she never dreamed.