Susan Horsnell – March 2014

horsnelltrs0314Susan Horsnell

Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?

When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life; his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided.

He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.

Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.

Buy it today from Amazon!

Reviews for Blind Acceptance

“Luke Johnson loves his Texas ranch. It’s a family tradition that he wants to pass down to his son, Phillip, and has since the day he was born. Luke had always hoped his wife would warm to the ranch but she never did – she longed for the city and eventually took a lover. When she decides to escape the ranch life and flee to the city with Phillip, they’re in a terrible accident that claims her life and Phillip’s sight.

“Luke is devastated by the loss of Phillip’s sight. For him, it’s just short of a death sentence. All of his dreams for his son and his ranch are shattered—until he’s presented with Rachel Grey. Is she the answer to unlocking a life for his son and, just as importantly, can she heal his hardened heart?

“Blind Acceptance” is a tender story of devotion, family love and the determination to persevere. The father/son relationship is particularly heart-warming and the love story between Luke and Rachel is sweet. Horsnell’s characters and her settings create a homey environment that invites one to snuggle in and feel part of the family. With the perseverance presented in “Blind Acceptance”, one could easily be inspired to re-examine their own struggles and find new strength and determination to soldier on.” 4 1/2 Stars, InD’tale Magazine November 2013

“The author delves into the historical lives of characters who have a plethora of problems and dilemmas to work out. The writing was strong and fleshed out the characters well. The mother in the story is not very likeable and struggles with her bad feelings for her husband. But things change in the lives of the father and Luke, the son, when a woman arrives at ranch. The father struggles with an unexpected accident that disables his only heir. Will he accept his son’s disability that left the son unable to run the father’s beloved ranch?

“Kudos to Ms. Horsnell. I think her characters will continue to delve into our hearts in future books. Be on the lookout for more release from Ms. Horsnell.” 4 1/2 stars, Amazon

“Susan Horsnell handles a difficult subject very well. What would you do if your only heir suddenly lost his sight? How could you cope with the fact that he will not be able to manage your ranch when you are gone? I was heartbroken when the boy lost his sight (sorry if you think this is a spoiler, but it happens early in the book), but I was impressed by the way Ms Horsnell handled the family dynamics and the challenges facing father and son.” 5 stars, Caroline Clemmons, author


Jack couldn’t bring the huge stallion under control and as the terrified horse galloped flat out; Jack began to panic. He knew their speed along such a rock littered road was dangerous.

It was all he and Marie could do to hold on and Phillip bounced up and down like a ball in between them.

Then it happened – the wagon’s wheels hit a boulder and all three were thrown from the seat high into the air.

The stallion, with the wagon behind, continued to race towards town leaving three broken bodies behind in his wake.


“Wrap it up, let’s head inside for lunch.” Luke had to shout at the top of his voice to be heard over the noise of the protesting cattle even though the other men were only a few feet away.

They let the calf they’d just branded and castrated out of the corral, picked up their tools and headed back to the barn.

“Sure had a good morning Luke. We’re not gonna have much to do this afternoon so we should have it all done by the time you get back from town.”

Nathan put the tools he’d been carrying on a bench alongside Luke and Smokys’ so they were ready to use after lunch.

Luke washed his hands and his sweaty face in the horse trough.

While Nathan and Smoky awaited their turn they beat the dust from their denims with their hats.

Once they were all done they entered the house through the kitchen door. “Sure smells good, Meg.” Smoky sat himself down at his usual place at the table.

Meg chuckled as she began laying the table. It was the same comment she’d heard from John ‘Smoky’ Lightfoot, a half Cherokee Indian, every day for nigh on ten years.

“It’s ready. I’m just waiting on Marie and Phillip.”

Luke was leaning against the kitchen bench enjoying a cool glass of water. “They’re not back yet?”

“I haven’t seen them all morning, Luke. I couldn’t see them anywhere by the river when I walked over a little while ago. I figured maybe they’d walked aways upstream where it’s a bit deeper. I didn’t look because I had to get back and check on lunch.

Luke gave Nathan a glance and caught the look of alarm on his brother’s face. “I knew she was planning something. I could feel it in my bones.”

“Go look around outside; I’ll check Marie’s room. Sorry Meg, can you hold lunch?” Meg nodded at Luke as she wiped her hands on her apron.

“I’ll help too.” Smoky pushed himself up from the table. “I’ll saddle the horses; I’ve got a feeling we’re gonna need them.”

Smoky followed Nathan out through the kitchen door as Luke bounded upstairs to Marie’s bedroom.

He threw the door to Marie’s bedroom open so hard; it hit the wall with a bang that could be heard throughout the whole house. He swept his eyes over the room from where he stood in the doorway and immediately noticed an envelope propped up on the mantle. The cold hand of fear clutched at his chest.

He crossed the room in two strides, picked up the envelope and tore the contents free from inside.

About Susan Horsnell

I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney in the 50’s and 60’s.

My parents are originally from the Newcastle-Under-Lyme area of England and came to Australia in 1952 as £10 poms. They came under a migration scheme to help Australia with workers.
My father was a Painter and Decorator and I was the eldest of five children.

I met my husband, Robert, in 1973 and we married in March 1974; we were both 18 years old. We have two wonderful sons, gorgeous daughters-in-law and five incredible grandchildren. We have been extremely blessed.

I was a Nurse, a career that spanned more than 35 years. During my career I specialised in caring for people with Alzheimer’s type Dementia, an area that fascinates me despite how heartbreaking it can be. My dear father-in-law is unfortunately afflicted with this disease and now resides in a Nursing Home. In the not too distant future I am hoping to pen a novel incorporating some of the stories I have heard from these amazing people. Part of my career was with the blind and I also cared for severely disabled children for a while too.

When I retired 4 years ago I decided it was time to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. From there I just hoped my stories were interesting and well written enough to attract readers.

It is difficult being a new author now that anyone can publish a book. I can understand readers’ reticence to read Indie authors but hopefully they will give people like me a chance. I find as an avid reader, you can be pleasantly surprised most of the time. I can’t imagine sticking to just one or two authors and just because an author has a publisher doesn’t make them good. I have certainly read some terrible books which have been published by some of the largest companies.

I do hope readers enjoy my books and would love them to leave reviews.


Interview with Holly Hewson

HH: Susan, thank you for talking with us at The Romance Studio. Your featured book is Blind Acceptance. Where did you get the idea for this emotionally-charged romance?

SH: As a nurse, I had worked with the newly blinded – caused by accident, disease – for a number of years and became familiar with some of the techniques in teaching them to manage. I dealt with the victims’ anger, resignation, depression and poor self worth when attempting to deal with their condition as well as that of their family. As I love to set my fictional stories in the American West – especially the state of Texas – I began to wonder what it would be like for a newly blinded child on a ranch full of potential danger in the 1800s. I also wondered how a father would accept blindness in his only heir to a large ranch. The wheels began spinning and Blind Acceptance was created. Although there is an element of fact in my book, I write western romance fiction, not historically correct fiction. I wanted to tell a story not list historical facts.

HH: What do you like best about your heroine and why will readers like her?

SH: The Heroine, Rachel is feminine but considering the restrictions placed on young women in the 19th century, she is also quite brave and strong. She teaches Phillip to accept his life without sight. His blindness is never an issue for her and she sees his achievements rather than his limitations. She tries hard to convey this to the young child’s father, Luke, and before long they find they are falling in love with each other.

HH: What do you like best about Luke and why will readers love him?

SH:  Luke reacts like most fathers would to their son suddenly being blinded for life. He is angry, avoids interaction and won’t accept it is permanent. I think readers will love Luke’s ‘humanness’. He is not ‘superman’, he has his weaknesses and he struggles to believe his son is still whole. He finally succumbs to Rachel’s determination to have his belief renewed in Phillip and he comes to understand what his son is still capable of.

HH: What can you tell us about Phillip?

SH:  Phillip is only 6 years old when he is blinded. He is confused, angry and thinks his world has come to an end. All he has ever wanted, is to be a ‘cowboy’ like his dad and he has been told that is no longer possible. Even for a 6 year old this is devastating news. He doesn’t understand his father’s anger or why he is ignoring him. When Rachel arrives and begins teaching him about what his life could still be like, he forms an attachment and develops faith in himself. He fights for his father’s acceptance and, with Rachel’s help, it finally comes.

HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?

SH: I am currently well into a novel, as yet unnamed, about an young girl brutalised by her Grandfather. She finds a family who are willing to help her, falls in love with their son and finds peace in a relationship she develops with an orphaned Prairie Dog pup. I am also co-ordinating an anthology due for publication on March 15. This is a book of short love stories, Rawhide ‘n Roses, by 15 fabulous western romance writers. A very exciting project.

HH: What do you enjoy most about being an author?

SH:  I am now retired and I love being able to get the characters and stories that have occupied my head for so many years, onto paper. It is very exciting seeing my ‘friends’ come to life at last.

HH: What experience or experiences in your writing career have defined you to this point?

SH:  I have only been published for about a year and a half but the experiences I have had with other authors has been amazing. So many have been willing to help guide and advise me. They know who they are and I am very grateful for their acceptance and assistance. I am especially grateful to my good friend and mentor, Margaret Tanner. Her advice, guidance and editing is always welcomed, she has taught me so much and has helped me become a better author with each nook I have written. She is not, however, good for my word count.<

HH: What goals have you set for yourself at this point in your career?

SH: My goal is to continue writing from the heart and tell stories. I want to spin a tale that people can escape into. I would rather stay faithful to writing a book in my own style and have it read by 1 person than compromise my style to attract hundreds. I believe in what I write and how I write. I know, no matter what I write or how it is written, there will be readers who don’t like it. I can’t satisfy everyone so I decided early on to concentrate on a good story with a bit of mayhem thrown in and a happy ever after ending. Another goal is to try very hard to be grammatically correct but grammar in Australia is different to England and different again to the USA. If I use grammar to satisfy one country, readers from another are critical. I am trying very hard to find neutral ground. I welcome any suggestions or criticisms readers offer, I don’t always act on them but I do listen and take them on board.

HH: What do you enjoy reading?

SH: I love to read and my husband says I ‘devour’ books. I adore romance, particularly western, but will read pretty much anything. My favourite authors are Judy Nunn, Di Morrissey, Maeve Binchy, Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult.

HH: Where can readers find you online?

SH:  My books are exclusive to Amazon and are all listed at my blog –

I love to hear from my readers and can be contacted at


  1. Margaret Tanner
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 08:11:27

    Hi Sue,
    Great post, I have read Blind Acceptance and it was a great story, very sensitively told by someone who has obviously had experience in dealing with the blind. The sequel is excellent too.




  2. Lyn Horner
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 15:04:58

    Wonderful excerpt, Susan, and terrific interview. I admire your dedication to telling a good story. Your characters are very “real.”


  3. Cheri Clifton
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 17:36:38

    Hi Sue, Always good to read about you. Blind acceptance was a wonderful and heart-warming story. Can’t wait for our Rawhide ‘N Roses to be published. See you around our campfires, girlfriend!
    Happy Trails,


  4. Chad
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 23:31:30

    Great interview, Sue — always nice to learn a little more about you and your writing.


  5. Simone Beaudelaire
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 12:27:49

    Great interview. I enjoyed learning more about you and your writing. You have such a heart for the disabled. Good job!


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