Pinto by M. J. Evans





Join us for this tour from July 27 to August 7, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History by M.J. Evans

Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  243 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Dancing Horse Press

Release date:   October, 2019

Content Rating:  G. This

book is taken from the actual journals that were kept by the men on the

journey. There is no bad language or explicit scenes.


Book Description:

In 1912, four men, calling themselves the “Overland Westerners,” decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World’s Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey…Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is Pinto’s account of his arduous adventure.

Author Interview “PINTO!”

How did you do research for your book?

PINTO was a unique example of how fun research can be. Occasionally you stumble across a story that is so compelling it is hard to believe it is true. But in the case of “PINTO!” and the Overland Westerners, it is! I came across Pinto’s story when I goggled: “Famous Horses in History.” There was a tiny blurb about Pinto who still holds the record for completing the longest horseback ride in history…20,300 miles over the course of three years. I could not believe it! Also surprising was the fact that I had never heard of him before. So, I started digging. I even took two trips to museums that owned collections of materials on Pinto and the four men who rode to every state capital from 1912 to 1915. I first visited the National Western and Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. The second trip was to Bainbridge Island, WA to visit their history museum. As I read original journals kept by two of the men, and newspaper and magazine articles written at the time and in the intervening years, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. The curators on Bainbridge Island were especially helpful. They provided me with a full-time assistant while I was there. My assistant photocopied any articles that I wanted and provided the transcript of the handwritten journals on a flash drive, all of which went home with me.

While recovering from knee surgery, I read and highlighted every mention of Pinto in all the journals and articles. Whenever there was a discrepancy between what I read in a journal and what I read in an article, I used the journals. We all know that newspapers and magazines aren’t always reliable! Then, I organized my notes chronologically and started writing.

You take the point of view of the horse. How did you come up with that idea.

I grew up reading every horse story I could get my hands on. One of my favorite was “Black Beauty.” While “Black Beauty is fiction, it is told from the horse’s point of view. Since Pinto was the only horse of the seventeen that joined the journey for a time to complete the entire trip, I decided he was the one who deserved to tell the story. My lifelong love of horses, and experience with them, helped me put myself into Pinto’s place. I have used the technique of anthropomorphism in several of my books and enjoy doing so.

How Long have you been writing?

I have been writing all my life in one form or another. As a teacher, I was often drafted to write curriculum. As a child I wrote stories…always about horses of course. But once my five children all entered school, I finally had time to write the stories that I had in my head. My first book was published in 2005. It is an equestrian trail guidebook for Colorado.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

The one thing that comes to mind regarding funny things that happen to me as an author is in regard to my “Riding Colorado” trail guidebooks. I have written three of them and on each cover there is a picture of me on my horse. One day, I was coming back to my horse trailer after riding on a mountain trail when I noticed some other women were at the trailhead. They ran up to me and said, “You wrote ‘Riding Colorado’ didn’t you?”

I said, “Yes. How did you recognize me?”

They responded, “Oh we didn’t. We recognized your horse!”

That was a humbling experience!



Pinto is a great read for your child to read. I think maybe 4th grade and up. And especially if the enjoy horse stories. This story is about a group of men who called themselves the “Overland Westerners” decided to ride on horses to every state Capitol in the US, taking a picture with the Governor and traveling on to the next. They also expected to be taken care of where then landed in a state. But that was not so easily done. A lot of people were not familiar with this group, and could have cared less, even the governor. It was a mixture, some of the states welcomed them and set them up, fed them and sent them on their way, some did not. They didn’t have a lot of money and struggled quite a bit, went hungry, but was still determined to complete their mission. Could Pinto last for 3 years and thousands of miles? Is he strong enough to carry his load to the end of their journey?

This is a cute story with and even cuter horse named Pinto. The author tells this story through the eyes of Pinto, which was so fun and interesting. I enjoyed the conversations between the horses as much as I did the men! I think my take from this book is wondering what our animals really are thinking about us! Now every time I am with an animal close up I will always be wondering what they are thinking. I will also look for signs of the reactions to see if I can figure them out!

One more thing, this story is based on a true story. There really was a group of men that took this journey. The author has a ton of info in the back of the book if you would be so interested to check it out. There are maps, pictures taken during the real original tour back in the early 1900’s. A list of states and dates the Overland Westerners were there, resources for articles and songs. And I found all if this so interesting. A MUST read for horse lovers!!

If you enjoy horse stories, or if you have children who do, this is a sweet read, and I hope you enjoy as much as I did!! If you love history, you will have a blast with all of the history on this book, as well as researching  everything the author has added for readers.  And I can’t forget about the stunning the cover. Love the horse there.

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Buy the Book: ~ B&N ~ Books-A-Million
Book Depository ~ IndieBound



Guest Blog for PINTO

Horses as Healers

“In the Heart of a Mustang” is set at a horse therapy ranch in Arizona. Promise Ranch is a place where troubled teens are helped by working with horses. For several years, I worked for Path, Intl., the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International. Its headquarters are in Denver, where I live. I helped organize the conferences where riding instructors go to get their training to become certified to work with disabled children and adults. It was there that I first saw how healing horses were, not just for disabled people, but for at-risk youth as well. You may have heard about the success some prisons have had adopting wild mustangs and teaching the inmates how to train them. The inmates not only learn about the horse they are assigned, but they learn about themselves as well as man and animal work together to build a partnership. I took that concept and put it into my book. Hunter, a troubled teen, learns what works with the horse is also what works in life.

I witnessed some amazing things when I worked for PATH, things that make me cry even now as I think about them. One little autistic boy, perhaps five years old, had never spoken a word in his life. He came to the barn and was put on a horse and he started talking! Several PATH centers have programs for Veterans. When I was at PATH, I helped set up a scholarship program through Wounded Warriors. Some of the veterans are having to learn to function without an arm or leg. Others suffer from the ugly scars left from PTSD. These men and women soon learn that horses don’t judge them. The horses seem to sense what they need and willingly provide whatever that is.

Miracles happen every day and horses are often the providers of those miracles. I know the healing power of horses in my own life as I’ve suffered the loss of my parents or just day to day trials. I guess that is why I love to write about horses so much!

I hope you enjoy reading “In the Heart of a Mustang.” Perhaps a horse will be your healer, too!





Book Details:

Book Title:  In the Heart of a Mustang by M.J. Evans

Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  359 pages

Genre: Contemporary Coming of Age

Publisher:  Dancing Horse Press

Release date:   October, 2017

Format available for review:  print, mobi file (for Kindle), gifted Kindle copy, ePub, PDF, NetGalley download

Will send print books out:  USA

Tour dates: July 27 to August 7, 2020

Content Rating:  PG. Some suggested violence but not explicit


Book Description:


boy is told that his father was a brave and virtuous man, a soldier who

traded his life to save the lives of countless others. He was the man

that Hunter needed to emulate. The only problem is the whole story is a

lie, all of it. The truth, which Hunter discovers as he begins his

sophomore year of high school, is that his father has actually spent the

boy’s entire life in jail, paying his debt to society, but not mending

his ways. A wild mustang mare, is rounded up by the BLM. The spring

rains had been sparse, the forage on the plains even more so. The mare

and her herd are rescued from certain starvation and placed for

adoption. In a sandy corral at Promise Ranch, a home for troubled

teenage boys, the boy and the mare meet. A weathered, old cowboy brings

them together – a mentor for one, a trainer for the other. The bond that

forms between boy and horse becomes one that saves the lives of both.

Buy the Book: ~ B&N ~ Books-A-Million
Book Depository ~ IndieBound
Add to Goodreads


Meet the Author:

Award-winning author M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Upon graduation from Oregon State University, she spent five years

teaching high school and middle school students. She retired from

teaching to raise her five children. Mrs. Evans is a life-long

equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful

Colorado mountains. She has published fourteen books, most of which are


Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter Facebook  ~ Pinterest Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

July 27 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of PINTO! / guest post / giveaway

July 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

July 27 – My Journey Back – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / guest post / giveaway

July 28 – Splashes of Joy – book review of PINTO! / author interview / giveaway

July 28 – She Just Loves Books – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

July 29 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

July 29 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

July 29 – Krisha’s Cozy Corner – book review of PINTO! / author interview / giveaway

July 30 – Splashes of Joy – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / guest post / giveaway

July 30 – My Reading Journeys – book review of PINTO! / author interview / giveaway

July 31 – Literary Flits – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

July 31 – T’s Stuff – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 3 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 3 – T’s Stuff – book review of PINTO! / author interview / giveaway

Aug 3 – My Journey Back – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

Aug 4 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 4 – She Just Loves Books – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

Aug 5 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

Aug 5 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 5 – My Reading Journeys – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 6 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review of In the Heart of a Mustang / giveaway

Aug 6 – Blooming with Books – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

Aug 7 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review of PINTO! / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway





1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. M.J. Evans
    Jul 28, 2020 @ 11:03:49

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read “PINTO!” I am so glad you loved it.



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