Four In Hand: author Toni Leland

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Risky Business by Toni Leland cover

Our new Four In Hand “driver” is author Toni Leland. Four In Hand is a Q&A series inspired by the coach for which one driver has the reins to four horses. Our driver today recently released RISKY BUSINESS, the fourth novel in her Kovak & Quaid romantic mystery series.

Toni lives about an hour away from me. I see her at various Connecticut writer events, as well as signing her books at the Morgan horse booth at the  Massachusetts Equine Affaire. We only have time to wave at each other in passing because her table is thronged with readers.

As for her series, Kovak is an equine photographer who used to be a mounted police officer until on-duty tragedy struck. Quaid is an insurance fraud investigator. They’ve taken cases in a variety of equestrian disciplines.

All right, Toni. You now have the reins.

Your escort for Royal Ascot will be a Mr. Bond – James Bond. Which Bond do you want to accompany you?

I’m totally torn between my first love Sean Connery and the delicious, delectable Pierce Brosnan. Could I please just have them both? After all, at my advanced age I might need them both to keep me upright!

Favorite horse book ever?

ELENA OF THE STARS by Chuck Rosenthal. This YA book caught me completely off guard, immersing me in the world I lived as a child. Each sentence resonated with the longing and the love of both horses and family. I’m not ashamed to say I cried all the way through the story. The book holds a place of honor on my “To Keep” shelf.

Book cover of ELENA OF THE STARS

You get to be a character in a historical novel where horses are your transportation and/or your entertainment. Are you riding in a Regency carriage? Ridin’ and ropin’ and fightin’ out West? Thrilling to the song of the hounds before the hunt? Or are you Someone Else?

I would definitely be one of those tough, strong pioneer women battling the elements on a small ranch in the unforgiving West. Horses are not only my means of transportation and working the unrelenting soil, but horses are also my passion – the one small indulgence I give myself when the work can be set aside for a while. Rides on my beloved mare through the hills behind my barn, my trusty rifle at hand, but the sun and immense blue sky as my partners.

Favorite Budweiser Clydesdales commercial?

I love all of them, but am particularly moved by the one where the Clydes gather to gaze at the NYC skyline, the light from Ground Zero piercing the sky. Then, they all drop to a knee and bow. Even writing this brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks for the drive, Toni!

Author Toni Leland You can find more information about Toni and her books at her website She also blogs at Horse Crossings and her own blog Manuscript Musings.



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