Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meet C.K. Volnek

Meet Tara Cummings

Hello. Oh, I thought we were meeting C.K. Volnek today to discuss her book, A Horse Called Trouble.

Sorry. C.K. asked me to take her place today. She’s busy getting ready for her book birthday on Friday, Dec. 16. She’s really excited and is going to give one lucky reader who leaves a comment on her blog-a-thon a FREE e-copy of her new book, A Horse Called Trouble. I’m Tara and this is the story of how Trouble and I met.

Oh, how wonderful. Can you tell us a little bit about A Horse Called Trouble?

Sure. As I said, my name is Tara, Tara Cummings. I was so happy when C.K. decided to write A Horse Called Trouble. It’s a horse story…of course. Lol. I’ve always loved horses, though until I was sent to this horse therapy program I’d never been around one in real life. Now, after everything Trouble and I have been through, I don’t know how I could live without him. He’s taught me so much.

How old are you, Tara?

I’m 13. I’ll be starting high school in the fall. I used to be afraid to go to high school. I just knew I would be miserable. Now, after meeting Trouble, I think I can handle it. I’ve made some friends and feel confident I can do it.

Good for you. Where are you from, Tara?

I used to wish I lived somewhere beautiful and green, like some place out of a travel magazine. But I’ve always lived in this dirty city. With it being in the mid-west, one would think there would be more green. But not so in the part I grew up in. It was all concrete and garbage. If something did try to grow, it was choked out by car exhausts and people tramping it.

Once, I found a bunch of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ videos in the dumpster out behind our apartment and I watched them over and over at Grandma Kay’s. (She wasn’t my real Grandmother, but I loved her as if she was. She took care of me when Mom was gone or drunk.) Anyway, I used to dream about running in the tall grass like Laura Ingalls does in the show. I never thought I would ever see that much grass. But going out to Freedom Farm was like a dream come true. There is so much grass and tons of trees. It’s the most beautiful place in the world.

At first I didn’t want to be at the farm. I was sent there because I’d been set up. I didn’t take Alissa’s purse…and she knew it. But it was just like her to get me kicked out of our school for it. I learned a long time ago to just keep my mouth shut and try to stay as low as possible to keep off everyone’s radar. Everyone expects me to be trouble. Partly because Mom was a drunk and partly because she dumped me, leaving me to fend for myself in foster care. I quit trying to prove to everyone I wasn’t bad. I couldn’t win. Then I met Trouble. Kind of funny, him being named Trouble. But we had a lot in common. And it’s because of him that I can hold my head high now. I never thought I’d ever feel confident or find happiness.

Freedom Farms sounds like a wonderful place.

Sigh. It is. It’s beautiful. I’d never smelled lilacs before I went there. Oh my gosh, I loved it! My first day, all the kids were gagging because of the smells. It was pretty bad. A guy was cleaning out some really raunchy stalls. But once I got past that, the smells grew on me. I even found myself liking the smell of horse sweat. Ha!

The farm is just outside the city, though it feels like it’s light-years away. It’s fresh and green, with tons of open spaces. Wide open pastures and white rail fences. Horses of all colors and sizes. Peaceful. And quiet. You can even see a million stars from there.

You talked about a Horse Therapy Program. What is that?

It’s a really neat program. In this particular program, they bring troubled kids and horses together. The horses are our teachers. I thought the instructor was so stupid the first day when she said that. How was I going to learn anything from a horse? But they do teach us—a lot. Horses could walk all over us if they wanted to, but instead they choose to work with us…if we work with them. They teach us about teamwork, respect and trust. I’ll never forget the first day Clancy tried riding. Clancy is one of the other kids in our program. He was not working with Homer and Homer let him know it. I couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah, that didn’t go over so well with Clancy. I thought he was going to kill me.

What did Clancy do?

You have to understand, Clancy ruled Marvel’s. Or so he thought. I accidently kicked him where no guy likes to get kicked the first day I got to Marvel’s. I didn’t mean to. He dumped me out of ‘his’ chair and my leg just kicked him there. Anyway, ever since, he’s been after me. I tried to stay out of his way and hoped he’d forget. Except Alissa wouldn’t let that happen.

Who is Alissa?

Alissa is a girl from my other school. She hates me. And I don’t know why. And she is so mean to Trouble, too. That was one of the things we had in common. I had to stop her from hurting Trouble.

Tell us about Trouble.

Trouble is a great horse. And he’s so beautiful. He’s what they call a bay—red with a black mane and tail and a white blaze down his face. At first I was scared of him. He was wild and crazy, ready to kill anyone in his path. But I can see why, knowing Alissa. If I hadn’t met him, there’s no telling what would have happened to him…or me for that fact. He saved me as much as I saved him.

Well, I need to go. Feeding time will be here soon and Trouble likes his oats. C.K. told me to tell you thanks for letting me stop by today. She also wanted to let her readers know where they can find her.

They can contact her at ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.

They can join her on her web page:, or visit her at her blog:

They can also find her on Facebook (C.K. Volnek) or Twitter (CKVolnek), Good Reads and Jacket Flap. Her book trailer is on YouTube-

A Horse Called Trouble can be found at the MuseItUp Bookstore:

At Amazon:

As well as other great on-line bookstores.

So, on behalf of C.K. Volnek, thanks again. And remember to leave her a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of the e-book of A Horse Called Trouble.

Tara Cummings

Book trailer


Roseanne Dowell said...

Thanks for joining me today, C.K. Your book is on my to buy list.

Charlie said...

Hi Ro! Thanks for allowing Tara to Visit. We're really excited for our book birthday tomorrow! Hope everyone leaves me a comment for their chance to win a FREE e-book!
thanks again. You're a gracious host.
C.K. Volnek

Sharon said...


I love how you presented this post. The book sounds great and I'm anxious to read it. Happy Birthday a little bit early (tomorrow). Roseanne, you're a great hostess thanks for the invitation.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great meeting you today, Tara, and I'm looking forward to reading all about you and Trouble!

Lovely interview, Ro and Charlie!

Pat McDermott said...

Loved this innovative post. Tara did a fabulous job. Happy Book Birthay, C.K.!

Charlie said...

Hi Sharon, Rosemary and Pat. You are so great to join me here. Good luck with the contest! You're all so great.
C.K. Volnek

Ginger Simpson said...

Better late than never. This sounds like a great book. Anything that mentions Little House is a winner with me. I never expect to win a free copy, but you never will if you don't try. Happy New Year, Ladies.