Riley Kilmore with the real Bridger.
Kilmore is a 20-year veteran of the fire service and was one of the first women police officers in Lancaster Co., PA. In 2022 she earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre Performance.
Her fiction credits include GRIT, Lynx Eye Literary Journal, The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Like Sunshine After Rain (Raw Dog Screaming Press), Beacons of Tomorrow (Tyrannosaurus Press), Eye Contact, Cogzine, and two of Wild Ink Publishing’s anthologies: Calliope’s Collection of Mystical Mayhem & I’m Not the Villain; I’m Misunderstood.
Kilmore’s poetry has been published by Sun Rising Poetry Press (Cosmic Brownies), Seal Press (Literary Mama: Readings for the Maternally Inclined), Skinner House Books (Coming of Age), The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Georgia Poetry Society (Reach of Song), and Wild Ink Publishing (Ourania’s Orrery of Imagination).
In her youth, Kilmore studied in France, leaped from an airplane or two, and sailed the world aboard the SS Universe (Semester at Sea Program). These days, she and her husband of 35 years live in a mountainside cabin amid the sequestered hills of south central PA’s Appalachian region where they care for a multitude of critters—mostly of the four-legged varieties, now that their six children have flown the coop.
Coming January 2024
Shay the Brave
Not all friendships are forged in the same fire.
Most have the power to transform, it’s true;
but only now and then does one come along with the power
to save everything and everyone you love.
Meet Shay, the manor lord’s youngest—and feistiest—daughter.
She wants to cut her hair short and trade her petticoats for britches, but most of all, she wishes the citizens of Oldenshire would stop eating meat. When Da’s hunters return to the fortress one day with a caged pouncer for the Harvest Revel’s “mane” course, wishing is no longer enough!
With the help of Alexy, the laundress’s mute son, and Bridger, Da’s retired war horse, Shay uses keen reasoning and mechanical sense (skills learned by spending long hours in Da’s library) to concoct a scheme to set the beast free before it winds up on Da’s holiday spit.
In gratitude, the beast, Talí, pledges to repay Shay’s kindness thrice as is customary, but when the fortress falls under siege and he comes to the rescue, it is Talí whom Oldenshire sees as their enemy. Swept into the fray, Shay and Alexy must act quickly before their fortress family and forest friends harm one another.
Can two imperiled children and a tired old horse save the day?
It will take bravery, but Shay knows she must try. After all, she may have given Talí his freedom, but in return he gave her the greatest gift of all, a whole new kind of bravery:
the courage to be her true self.
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