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Excerpt from book:
Zack Dylan held a steaming mug of black coffee in one hand and his Bible in the other. He stood on the wraparound wooden porch of his parents’ farmhouse and watched a pair of Arabian horses run through the Kentucky bluegrass. The hundred-acre horse farm had been in the family for six generations.
He breathed deep the sweet July air and set his things down on the old wooden table. Four metal-back chairs made up the seating. Zack took the one with a view of the horses. This had been his routine lately. Taking his coffee out here and reading his Bible. He loved Jesus more than his next breath. He could feel Him close as skin. But these days he needed all the wisdom he could get. His girlfriend, Reese Weatherly, would be here in half an hour.
Their last chance to hang out before he left for Atlanta.
The Arabians stopped as if they could sense something changing, something big about to happen. Then like the wind they took off again, flying through the grass, a song in motion. Zack leaned his forearms on the old table and watched them run. His great-great-grandfather had raised thoroughbreds and in 1934 the Dylans’ horse farm had produced the winner of the Kentucky Derby. A sketch of the champion with a bouquet of roses formed the farm’s logo.
Dylan Champion Horse Farm.
A farm doomed to foreclosure if something didn’t change.
Zack let the history hit him again. Sometime in the 1950s the family stopped raising costly thoroughbreds and switched to Arabians. Now dressage riders boarded their horses here and rented time in one of the three arenas. Faith, family, and Southern horse farming. Danville, Kentucky, born and bred. The problem wasn’t the business. It was the tornado that had come through and damaged the barns and stables in January.
The damage didn’t touch the house, but the insurance didn’t cover the barns and stables. Liability, yes. Storm damage, no. The operation was too tight to justify that sort of insurance. Especially when six years ago a different tornado had done similar damage. Back then the family’s insurance had been comprehensive. After the claim, covering the outbuildings against storms wasn’t possible.
From the moment the storm passed, Zack and Duke, his fifteen-year-old brother, had worked alongside their dad to fix the damage. They needed additional lumber to replace the roofs on the outbuildings. Tens of thousands of dollars in supplies. Without that, the buildings had stayed in disrepair and most people had moved their horses to other facilities. The Dylans spent more money than they made and the tension around the kitchen table grew every day.
On top of that Zack’s sister, AJ, had been sick. She had Down syndrome and juvenile arthritis, an especially severe kind. A host of other complications had left doctors convinced she wouldn’t live another ten years.
Zack exhaled, feeling the weight of his family’s troubles. Regardless of the broken buildings and dwindling bank accounts, this was his family’s horse farm. Sure Zack had other dreams, songwriting, even singing. Those were tangents, really. Hobbies. More than anything he wanted to see the farm up and running, wanted to bring in new Arabians and even Derby contenders. Put the Dylan Champion Horse Farm on the map once more. Horse farming was supposed to be his and Duke’s legacy. The fabric of their past, the lure of their future.
A creaking sound made him look over his shoulder. The door opened and Grandpa Dan stepped out, most of his weight on his black cane. “Zack.”
““Inspirational fiction superstar Kingsbury considers the cost of fame [in] a tale that is sure to cause tears”