#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout #ValerieOrmond

Today, let’s welcome author Valerie Ormond to The Write Stuff. Valerie has some fun and interesting things to share with you, and I know you’ll enjoy her #TenThings list, so let’s get started! Valerie, take it away!

Thanks, Marcia!

#1: I’ve been caught in quicksand! I only thought that was in the movies. Fortunately, I was riding a sane and strong horse, so when I kicked him ahead while he sunk to his belly, he listened and pulled us out with his front legs first followed by a hop from behind.

#2: In 1990, when I visited East Germany, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia shortly after the Berlin Wall came down, I saw a window into a world I had never known. Those sights renewed my commitment to a career in the military which I continued for a total of 25 years.

#3: I drove a Good Humor ice cream truck when I was 17-years-old and learned entrepreneurial skills such as reliability, self-motivation, consistency, and reaching target audiences. It was a “cool” summer job that taught me valuable life lessons.

#4: The most famous person I’ve known is the current U.S. President, Joe Biden. I accompanied him on a trip to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia, when he was the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was friendly and nice, and I’m happy to report we had no international incidents.

#5: The one and only time I’ve ziplined was at the longest zipline course in Central and South America. Twenty-five ziplines through a Costa Rican rain forest, and I lived to tell.

#6: When I joined the Navy, the recruiting slogan was, “It’s not just a job; it’s an adventure.” Those adventures included launching off and landing on aircraft carriers, living on ships, riding in helicopters, deploying to places unknown, moving 19 times, deploying and living overseas, serving with people of many nationalities, and learning how to get along with people whether I agreed with them or not. The slogan was right!

Valerie Ormond ready to fly off the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72),in the ES-3A , Indian Ocean, 1995

#7: My college entrance application asked with whom I would most like to meet in history, and I answered William Shakespeare. I think I was born to be an English major.

#8: I grew up in a theatrical family. My father was a playwright, actor, director, and producer. My mother was an actor, director, and drama teacher. My brother was an actor, director, producer, and has written award-winning plays and continues to teach theater arts to children to today.

#9: I’ve traveled to 48 U.S. states (49 in September!) and 40 countries. The country I was closest to visit, but did not, was North Korea. I used to escort press to the North/South border regularly but was warned if I crossed the line to North Korea, it was at my own risk.

#10: My husband and I are avid cyclists and have completed numerous one-day 50-mile and 62-mile events. We love rail trails, and in the past few years have biked multi-day trips including the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, the Great Allegheny Passage, and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. We have more planned for the future!

Buy Believing in Horses Out West HERE


Sadie Navarro rescued a mare from an auction accomplishing what she thought was the most important mission of her young life.

Now, that mare is headed to a ranch in Montana and a home Sadie knows nothing about.

She wants to make sure the horse is in good hands, but Montana is far away and a different world from Maryland.

Will fourteen-year-old Sadie need to stand up to rugged cowboys to protect her special rescue horse?

Valerie’s latest novel, Believing In Horses Out West, takes young Sadie Navarro on an adventure to a Montana ranch to check on a horse she rescued. New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse, Robin Hutton, described the book as, “A thrilling coming-of-age story filled with love, lessons, and finding one’s purpose in life…”

The author based the novel on experiences visiting ranches in both the U.S. and overseas which she wanted to share with readers in a fictional story.

In just nine months since the book’s release, it won first place in the National Federation of Press Women’s national Communications Contest; second place in The BookFest® Awards. The international Wishing Shelf Book Awards named Believing In Horses Out West a finalist, and it is currently a finalist in the Military Writers Society Of America book awards to earn a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal in August.

Valerie’s first two books, Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too, tell stories of a strong-willed young girl overcoming challenges based on her love of horses. Both books won gold medals and first place awards in eight national and international book competitions.

Believing In Horses Out West book trailer
Believing In Horses book trailer


Author Valerie Ormond

Valerie Ormond retired after a 25-year career as a naval intelligence officer and launched her second career as a writer. She is the author of three award-winning young adult fiction books in the Believing In Horses series – Believing In Horses, Believing In Horses, Too, and Believing In Horses Out West. Her books have been called inspirational and motivational and share stories of today’s youth making a difference when focused on their passions. Valerie’s fiction and non-fiction stories, articles, and poetry appear in books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs worldwide. She owns and manages Veteran Writing Services, LLC, working primarily for defense contractors. She lives happily in Maryland with her husband and their three horses and two dogs.

You can buy Valerie’s Books here:

Believing In Horses Out West Amazon 
Believing In Horses 
Believing In Horses, Too
Buy Books – Believing In Horses (Author website for personally inscribed copies)
Amazon Author Page 

You can reach Valerie on Social Media here:

Email: valerie@believinginhorses.com


75 thoughts on “#TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAbout #ValerieOrmond

  1. Wow! That’s quite a Top Ten.
    It sounds like you were born to write – and your adventures in life have certainly given you plenty of experience and material!
    I love horses, so I can’t wait to check out your book. And BTW – I am in the former Yugoslavia at the moment. We’re currently in Montenegro, but came here through Kosovo, which was both a very sad and uplifting experience. Hats off to you for seeing what life can be like for some, and determining to do something about it.
    Thank you for sharing, Valerie.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I knew you’re really appreciate some of Valerie’s experiences, Jackie! Another fantastic list for this series, for sure! Thanks so much for stopping by this morning and taking the time to say hello. Hope you’re enjoying Montenegro! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Montenegro is so beautiful. We’re kinda stuck on a campsite because it’s so lovely, we feel like we’ve been transported into the Garden of Eden! Everyone here says the same thing; “We were only going to stay for a couple of days…” and we’re all still here!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jackie, and I know you are quite the adventurer based on your precious #TenThings post. Since you are a dog lover, it’s not surprising you are a horse lover, too. I know Yugoslavia has changed dramatically since I was there. I had the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic in 2019, and it was a whole different world than I had seen just a few decades before. I think many of us want to do what we feel is right. BTW – I’m enjoying your recent book!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bless you – I am so pleased you’re enjoying my book!
        It must have been quite a change to visit the Czech Republic. I have found travelling in Eastern Europe very interesting. There are such echoes of the Communist past, but it must be quite something to actually witness the rapid change from how things were to how they are now in so short a time. I can only do that by talking to people who lived under the former regimes. It has made me very grateful for the freedoms I take for granted.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I was an “Army brat,” Priscilla, so I can identify with the constant moving. Until I was a senior in high school, I’d never finished a single year in the same school. And I agree that Valerie’s books sound great.

      Thanks so much for stopping by this morning! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marcia, you definitely understand as an “Army brat.” My main character, Sadie Navarro, deals with the challenges of being a “Navy brat” and the continual moves. I included this in the story because I think it’s an aspect many people don’t think about that comes with military life. And, wow, that’s a lot of moves!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was a lot of moves, indeed. I spent years being known as “the new girl!” And before I could work past that designation, we’d be moving again. Everywhere between Georgia and Port Whittier, Alaska, where our apartment overlooked a bay that frequently featured the spouting of whales passing through. That military port is long closed now, but it was an adventure to be living on a narrow halfmoon of land in front of an enormous turquoise glacier. Yet even with all of those moves, you’ve got me beat for adventure. And good for you! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Priscilla, and those nineteen moves were only when I was in the Navy! There have been a few more, but I think I’m finally settled because I dread the thought of moving again. 🙂 I still smile when I see ice cream trucks and remember how much I learned that summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That list’s pretty amazing by anyone’s standards! From the quicksand, the casual mention ofJoe Biden (!), ziplines and all that moving, I was seriously impressed. Then I see the photo of you in your pilot’s kit and realise that you actually took off and landed on aircraft carriers! Kudos! You’ve grabbed life’s opportunities and have a huge amount to show for it. I really loved this list! ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Trish. I do think it proves that you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to, and I’m really happy Valerie shared it with us. Thanks for stopping by today and taking a minute to share your thoughts on it all. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Trish, and thank you. To clarify, I was not the pilot, but a “backseater.” I was in a squadron that allowed me to fly in their aircraft after I received my water and safety survival qualifications. It was exhilarating to say the least! I also had many “cats” (catapult launches) and “traps” (trapped by the carrier’s arresting gear) in the C2 Greyhound learning first hand about the physics of acceleration and deceleration. Thank you for your kind comments!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My goodness, what a life! Thank you, Marcia, for introducing Valerie and sharing her 10 Things. So good to meet you, Valerie. I purchased Believing in Horses Out West after reading your 10 Things. How could I not! BTW, my dad, brother, husband, and numerous other family were Navy and proud of it. Thank you for your service. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you enjoyed Valerie’s list, Gwen, and she’ll be very happy to know you’ve already purchased her book! It really was a fantastic, list, for sure, and I thank you so much for stopping by to share you thoughts on it. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Gwen, thank you for purchasing “Believing In Horses Out West,” and thank you for your family’s service! I guess we are book pals now since I just bought “The Contract.” I look forward to a thriller romance with a military theme; the timing was perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Darlene, and your life looks pretty exciting to me! I love that you have written a mystery travel series for youth, and I just purchased “Amanda in Malta.” I have a good friend who was the Defense Attache in Malta (first woman to hold that position), and I still kick myself that I didn’t go visit her while she and her family were there. I’ll have to take the visit in the pages with Amanda. 🙂 A fun factoid considering where you live, I based some of the scenes and characters in “Believing In Horses” on Homeplace Ranch in Alberta, which I visited years ago and went on the Hooves of History Cattle Drive with the owner Mac, his wranglers, a few ranch guests, and a set of wonderful horses.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, Valerie. Malta is a fascinating place. I do hope you enjoy the story and get a feel for the place. That is so cool that you visited a ranch in Alberta and went on a cattle drive and subsequently based characters and events in a story. But that’s where we get our ideas! (There is a good chance my dad would have known some of the folks from that ranch. It is a close-knit community.) So great to get to know you better.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. This is an amazing list, Valerie! Thank you for your service! I’m an Army brat myself (my dad served 25 years as well). I, too, have been to 49 states. I’m just missing Vermont, which I’ll visit this Fall. I also zip-lined in Costa Rica, but it definitely wasn’t the longest one. Lol! It was quite exhilarating. It’s great to meet you. Thanks for sharing her ten things with us, Marcia! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was my pleasure to have Valerie here today, Yvette! Her list was amazing, for sure, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. You zip-liners are brave souls. I’ll take my chances white-water rafting or canoeing among alligators any day! 😁 Thanks so much for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve never been able to get my long legs comfy in a kayak, but I have my own canoe and for many, many years, used it several times a week. I’ve covered a lot of miles on Florida rivers with alligators, manatees, otters, and every kind of bird imaginable for company. LOVED every minute of it!

          Only got to go white-water rafting once, since we don’t really have any of that in Florida. But the time I did go, I thought it was fantastic, too.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Yvette, and isn’t it funny how we’re all interconnected in some way? I hope you enjoy Vermont in the fall and grab the brass ring on that 50th state! My 49th will be Maine in September, and the last will be Nebraska sometime in the future…and in a warm month. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and thank YOU for your service – the families serve as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What fascinating ten things, Valerie. Your service to the nation definitely sounds like an adventure, though I’m surprised that you didn’t go into theater. Lol. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard of who actually encountered quicksand. I’m glad you made it out! Thanks for hosting, Marcia. A fun share as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Diana, and I dabbled in theater when I was young. I think I had been involved with 63 shows both on stage and backstage when I decided as a teenager that it wasn’t for me. As for the quicksand, it’s a good thing the wranglers warned us before the 30-mile ride that day that there had been rare instances where people had encountered quicksand in the canyon. I wouldn’t have had a clue and have images of the old cartoons where a hat sits in the middle of a puddle. I don’t think of it often, but the #Top Ten seemed like the perfect time to bring it up!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – 22nd July 2022 – #Newcharacter Richard Dee, #Guest Valerie Ormond with Marcia Meara, #Reviews Diana Peach, #Dogfashion Carol Taylor, #Recipe #Grouper New Vintage Kitchen | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    • You’re very welcome, Michael, and I can totally identify with the high temps slowing things down. Man, it’s been hot here, but at least we haven’t crossed into triple digit territory. Yet. (Usually, we hit some of that in July, but so far this year … knock wood … we’ve topped out at 99degrees. Yes, it was for almost a week straight, but there’s something encouraging when it stays below 100. Sort of. 😂😂😂

      You stay cool and don’t worry about trying to do too much. 😀 ❤


  7. Pingback: Ten Things You May Not Know About Me – Valerie Ormond's Thoughts

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