The Eighty Dollar Champion

The Eighty Dollar Champion

Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry's modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War-era America-a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots-and their win was the stuff of legend.

The Perfect Horse

The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

The Perfect Horse

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses. Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor. Praise for The Perfect Horse “Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”—Kirkus Reviews

Finding Dorothy

A Novel

Finding Dorothy

This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum’s intrepid wife, Maud. “A breathtaking read that will transport you over the rainbow and into the heart of one of America’s most enduring fairy tales.”—Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book—because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her—the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy. The author of two New York Times bestselling nonfiction books, The Eighty-Dollar Champion and The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts is a master at discovering and researching a rich historical story and transforming it into a page-turner. Finding Dorothy is the result of Letts’s journey into the amazing lives of Frank and Maud Baum. Written as fiction but based closely on the truth, Elizabeth Letts’s new book tells a story of love, loss, inspiration, and perseverance, set in America’s heartland. Praise for Finding Dorothy “In some ways reminiscent of Jerry Stahl’s excellent I, Fatty, Letts’ Finding Dorothy combines exhaustive research with expansive imagination, blending history and speculation into a seamless tapestry. . . . It’s a testament to Letts’ skill that she can capture on the page, without benefit of audio, that same emotion we have all felt sometime over the last 80 years while listening to ‘Over the Rainbow.’”—BookPage (starred review)

The Earth Walkers

Horses & Humans – Our Journey Together on Planet Earth

The Earth Walkers

The Earth Walkers is a story of the relationship of horses, humans, and planet earth. It is a simple story that over time we, as humans, have complicated. Once, all three lived in harmony, but humans viewed this as primitive, savage, or wild. And so we began to make our existence together more civilized. In our interference, we began to lose respect for our planet and all that lived upon it, including ourselves. One of the three, though, remained steadfast throughout the story. Horses, except in their physical appearance, have neither changed nor tried to change anything, just being themselves, constantly at our sides. Tracing the story of the relationship from the beginning of time, the unique bond between humans and horses is explored through different civilizations and cultures up to present day. It tracks the journey of the two species and the effect they had on earth as they walked around it. It also tells the story of how—when in times of disruption, chaos, and imbalance—earth has spoken to us, giving us signs; and horses have always been there, guiding us to a path back home. It is a path to a home on earth where all can live in harmony and at peace—a path that we will hopefully choose to walk together once again.

Zen in the Stable Journal

Large Journal, Lined, 8. 5x8. 5

Zen in the Stable Journal

This lined journal reproduces the stunning cover on Zen in the Stable: Wisdom from the Equestrian Life. The generously sized interior pages are decorated with vintage drawings that alternate in the upper and lower corners. Each two-page spread offers a beautiful place to record your thoughts and wisdom. About Zen in the Stable: Zen in the Stable combines insight garnered from the equestrian life with stunning photos. Written by an award-winning author trained as a show jumper by an Olympic-level coach, Zen in the Stable offers original equine enlightenment from the barnyard to the ring. Fifty inspiring photos enhance each original saying in a full-color book that makes a perfect gift. The power and grace of horses sets them apart from other animals. The fluid movements of a mare, a stallion, and even the humble pony under saddle carry us into new worlds, ones that can only be viewed from horseback. Thoroughbred breeds competing in horse sports, foals, wild horses, draft horses, horse racing, palominos, colts and saddle horses are stablemates for our lives. The everyday interactions between horse and rider are found with the Shetland pony, yearlings, feral horses, shire horses, miniature horses, appaloosas, Arabians, bangtails, and more. Working with horses is spiritual. The rider must be calm and collected while respecting their partner. When that happens, horse and rider transcend. Zen in the Stable honors that relationship. A gorgeous collection for every equestrian, horse enthusiast, animal lover, and anyone seeking a moment of peace, Zen in the Stable demonstrates that the human-horse connection can enrich our lives and make us happier, healthier, calmer, and more loving. Perfect for fans of How to Think Like a Horse by Cherry Hill, Luck by Natalie Keller, Flight by Genevieve McKay, The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, The Girl on the Dancing Horse by Charlotte Dujardin, The Horse Encyclopedia by Elwyn Hartley Edwards, Horse Speak by Sharon Wilsie, Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, Maple Dale by MaryAnn Myers, Horses for Dummies, and The Black Stallion.

Zen in the Stable

Wisdom from the Equestrian Life

Zen in the Stable

Zen in the Stable combines insight garnered from the equestrian life with stunning photos. Written by an award-winning author trained as a show jumper by an Olympic-level coach, Zen in the Stable offers original equine enlightenment from the barnyard to the ring. Fifty inspiring photos enhance each original saying in a full-color book that makes a perfect gift. The power and grace of horses sets them apart from other animals. The fluid movements of a mare, a stallion, and even the humble pony under saddle carry us into new worlds, ones that can only be viewed from horseback. When the author was fifteen, she learned dressage and jumping. The experience developed a part of her soul and nourishes her to this day. Thoroughbred breeds competing in horse sports, foals, wild horses, draft horses, horse racing, palominos, colts and saddle horses are stablemates for our lives. The everyday interactions between horse and rider are found with the Shetland pony, yearlings, feral horses, shire horses, miniature horses, appaloosas, Arabians, bangtails, and more. Working with horses is spiritual. The rider must be calm and collected while respecting their partner. When that happens, horse and rider transcend. Zen in the Stable honors that relationship. A gorgeous collection for every equestrian, horse enthusiast, animal lover, and anyone seeking a moment of peace, Zen in the Stable demonstrates that the human-horse connection can enrich our lives and make us happier, healthier, calmer, and more loving. Perfect for every horse girl. No matter how many Breyer horse models are in a collection or a conga, Zen in the Stable makes a great addition to a horse girl's life. Be the first to take Zen in the Stable to Breyerfest at the Kentucky Horse Park or to a local model horse show to share the stunning photos and make new horse girl friends. Perfect for fans of How to Think Like a Horse by Cherry Hill, Luck by Natalie Keller, Flight by Genevieve McKay, The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, The Girl on the Dancing Horse by Charlotte Dujardin, The Horse Encyclopedia by Elwyn Hartley Edwards, Horse Speak by Sharon Wilsie, Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, Maple Dale by MaryAnn Myers, Horses for Dummies, and The Black Stallion.

War Animals

The Unsung Heroes of World War II

War Animals

"This book will delight both animal lovers and military buffs!" — Elizabeth Letts, bestselling author of The Eighty Dollar Champion Meet the forgotten members of the Greatest Generation: the war animals who guarded American coasts against submarine attack, dug out Londoners trapped in bomb wreckage, and carried vital messages under heavy fire on Pacific islands during World War II. They kept up morale, rushed machine gun nests, and even sacrificed themselves picking up live grenades. Now Robin Hutton, the bestselling author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse, tells the heartwarming stories of the dogs, horses, mules, pigeons—and even one cat—who did their bit for the war effort. American and British families volunteered beloved family pets and farm dogs to aid in the war effort; President Roosevelt was among many who bought honorary "commissions" in the reserves for their pets to raise money to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Many of these gallant animals are recipients of the prestigious Dickin Medal, the "Animals' Victoria Cross." In War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II you'll meet: - Judy, the POW dog who helped her beloved human survive brutal Japanese prison camps - Cher Ami, the pigeon who nearly died delivering a message that saved American troops from death by friendly fire - Beauty, the "digging dog" who sniffed out Londoners buried in the wreckage of the Blitz—along with pets, including one goldfish still in its bowl! - Olga, the horse who braved shattering glass to do her duty in London bombings - Smoky, the Yorkshire terrier who did parachute jumps, laid communications wire through a pipe so small only she could navigate it, became the first therapy dog—and starred on a weekly TV show after the War - Simon, the war cat whose campaign against the "Mao Tse Tung" of the rat world saved food supplies and his ship's crew - Chips, who guarded Roosevelt and Churchill during the Casablanca Conference, and was the only dog to earn a Silver Star for his heroics The shining loyalty and courage of these heroes is a testimony to the enduring bond between us and the animals we love.

The Mill River Redemption

A Novel

The Mill River Redemption

New York Times bestselling author Darcie Chan returns to the enchanting town of Mill River in a heartwarming novel of family, self-discovery, and forgiveness. Perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy. Josie DiSanti is starting over. Recently widowed, she has fled her New York City home with her two young daughters—spirited Rose and shy Emily—in tow. She takes refuge in Mill River, Vermont, to live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard, the local bookstore owner and a woman Josie barely knows. There, the young mother and her girls build a new life for themselves—until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart. Years later, Josie’s still-estranged daughters return to the quiet town for the reading of their mother’s will, which stipulates that they must work together to locate a hidden key to a safe-deposit box containing their inheritance. Even from the great beyond, it seems Josie will do anything to bring about her daughters’ reconciliation. Having no choice but to go along with their mother’s final wishes, Rose and Emily move back to Mill River for the summer to begin the search—discovering that, in the close-knit community known for magic and miracles, an even greater treasure awaits them. Praise for The Mill River Redemption “Delving into the complicated roles of siblings, parents, and neighbors, [Darcie] Chan gives each Mill River character a powerful role in refining and influencing these dynamics.”—New York Journal of Books “Darcie Chan paints a vivid and loving portrait of the kind of small town we all wished we lived in. This layered tale of two estranged sisters brought together by a mother’s love will make you laugh, cry, cheer, hug your loved ones a little tighter. An enchanting storyteller, Chan is one of those rare authors who make you feel more fully alive.”—Elizabeth Letts, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion “Readers looking for a feel-good book about small towns and family bonds won’t be disappointed by Chan’s latest.”—Kirkus Reviews “An engrossing page-turner, reeling readers in further with each layer that’s revealed . . . a satisfying read with sympathetic and relatable characters that will be good for book group discussions and vacation reading.”—Library Journal “Charming . . . compelling . . . Slow reveals and dramatic twists proliferate.”—Booklist Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Out of the Clouds

The Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt Who Conquered the Sport of Kings

Out of the Clouds

In the bestselling tradition of the The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the propulsive, inspiring Cinderella story of Stymie, an unwanted Thoroughbred, and Hirsch Jacobs, the once dirt-poor trainer who bought the colt on the cheap and molded him into the most popular horse of his time and the richest racehorse the world had ever seen. In the wake of World War II, as turmoil and chaos were giving way to a spirit of optimism, Americans were looking for inspiration and role models showing that it was possible to start from the bottom and work your way up to the top-and they found it in Stymie, the failed racehorse plucked from the discard heap by trainer Hirsch Jacobs. Like Stymie, Jacobs was a commoner in "The Sport of Kings," a dirt-poor Brooklyn city slicker who forged an unlikely career as racing's winningest trainer by buying cheap, unsound nags and magically transforming them into winners. The $1,500 pittance Jacobs paid to claim Stymie became history's biggest bargain as the ultimate iron horse went on to run a whopping 131 races and win 25 stakes, becoming the first Thoroughbred ever to earn more than $900,000. The Cinderella champion nicknamed "The People's Horse" captivated the masses with his rousing charge-from-behind stretch runs, his gritty blue-collar work ethic, and his rags-to-riches success story. In a golden age when horse racing rivaled baseball and boxing as America's most popular pastime, he was every bit as inspiring a sports hero as Joe DiMaggio and Joe Louis. Taking readers on a crowd-pleasing ride with Stymie and Jacobs, Out of the Clouds unwinds a real-life Horatio Alger tale of a dauntless team and its working-class fans who lived vicariously through the stouthearted little colt they embraced as their own.

The Promise of Home

A Mill River Novel

The Promise of Home

Writing in the tradition of Jan Karon and Maeve Binchy, "New York Times" bestselling author Darcie Chan returns readers to Mill River, the charming town whose residents experience surprises and sorrows, witness acts of goodwill and kindness, embrace family love and friendship and uncover age-old secrets and heartaches. These days, Mill River, Vermont, is a hive of activity. Karen Cooper bids farewell to her husband, Nick, as he leaves for Saudi Arabia to work as a contractor. But when he goes missing, Karen turns to beloved nonagenarian Father O Brien for counsel. Kyle Hansen and Claudia Simon blissfully prepare for their wedding until a new acquaintance threatens their romance. Emily DiSanti, haunted by a tragedy that tore her world apart a decade ago, is renovating the old McAllister mansion, eager to restore its former beauty and to find peace in the intense workload. All these lives and the lives of others in this small town move forward, bump up against one another, and intertwine. And when a cache of letters is discovered, a powerful and unexpected secret comes to light one rooted deeply in the childhood of the longtime priest who has touched the lives of everyone in Mill River. Praise for "The Promise of Home" Chan has once again told a mesmerizing tale about how difficult yet beautiful navigating the river of life can be. This author is, quite simply, an amazing storyteller. Fredericksburg "Free Lance Star" Difficult to put down . . . a] celebration of the healing power of community. "Booklist" Who better to satisfy summer] reader cravings than Darcie Chan. . . . Read on and keep turning those pages until you] find yourself looking forward to Darcie Chan s next novel. Whew. "Hudson Valley News" This serene backdrop is the perfect juxtaposition to the internal turmoil of Karen Cooper. Together the townsfolk make a well-rounded novel full of desperation, hope and redemption. This is a beautiful addition to the Mill River series, yet also reads well as a stand-alone novel. "RT Book Reviews" A] layered and heartwarming novel that intertwines a number of engaging contemporary storylines and intersperses them with . . . fascinating insights and historical details along the way. A light-handed affirmation of the power of love, faith, and community. "Kirkus Reviews" Praise for Darcie Chan s "The Mill River Redemption" An enchanting storyteller, Chan is one of those rare authors who makes you feel more fully alive. Elizabeth Letts, author of "The Eighty-Dollar Champion" An engrossing page-turner with] sympathetic and relatable characters. " Library Journal" " "Praise for" The Mill River Recluse" A heartwarming story. "Examiner.com" Chan s sweet novel displays her talent. . . . A comforting book about the random acts of kindness that hold communities together. "Kirkus Reviews" A real page-turner. "IndieReader" Chan does an amazing job with pacing while maintaining continuity and weaving universal themes such as friendship, love, new beginnings and overcoming adversities into small town life. "RT Book Reviews" This debut novel is a genre-breaking thriller with romantic overtones that should appeal to both men and women. "Huntington News " Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader s Circle for author chats and more."