Local author honored with EQUUS Film & Arts Fest WINNIE Award and 2020 Feathered Quill for independent authors

Local author honored with EQUUS Film & Arts Fest WINNIE Award and 2020 Feathered Quill for independent authors February 28, 2020

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ST LOUIS, MOWrong Lead, Dream Horse Mystery #3 by Candace Carrabus has been honored with major literary awards from both the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest, an award competition for equine authors, and Feathered Quill, one of the top awards for independent authors. Wrong Lead is the fifth novel from Carrabus, who writes from her Lincoln County, Missouri farm. 

Wrong Lead received a WINNIE award in the Mystery Fiction category at the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest. The novel also earned the 2020 bronze Feathered Quill in the category of animal-focused works written for adults. It was a finalist in the Feathered Quill Mystery/Suspense category as well. These new honors come after Wrong Lead earned first place at the American Horse Publications (AHP) Equine Media Awards last summer. 

A horse lover since childhood, Carrabus trained at the British Horse Society Wirral Riding Centre in Little Neston, England and also managed stables and gave riding lessons before becoming an author of novels that regularly focus on characters set in the equestrian world. 

“Nothing has ever drawn and held me like horses. Nothing, that is, except writing.  With horses, whether riding or grooming, or even mucking stalls, I am both lost and found, consumed and set free,” said Carrabus. “Their scent and sentiency is so alluring as to be addictive. So it is with writing. The characters begin to live, breathe, think. Their world and stories emerge from my imagination onto the page, and I am one with them, wherever they are.”

(Wrong Lead) was a great read,” said an American Horse Publications judge. “I love the relationships and plot developments that kept me wondering until the end. Now I want to go back and read the others in the series!” 

The Feathered Quill Book Awards judges independent books in 21 categories based on originality, ability to engage the reader, cover art,  production quality and editorial quality. The EQUUS Film & Arts Fest highlights and rewards the diverse and creative efforts of those who artistically pay homage to the horse through literature, film and art. 

Wrong Lead can be purchased on Amazon and candacecarrabus.com

Candace Carrabus’ stories are imbued with the irresistible wonder, mystery, and solace her equine friends have provided. A scoliosis diagnosis at age 11 changed her life. A horse lover from a young age, she signed up for riding lessons and learned much more than posting trot. With quiet power, horses provided comfort and a sympathetic ear, never judging or poking fun at her cumbersome back brace. Those years, though often difficult, taught Candace the value of persistence, the healing power of believing in oneself, and how strength can be gained through kindness. 


Drawing on her experience with horses and horse people, Carrabus creates a wonderfully flawed and vulnerable character in the lead Dream Horse Mystery character, Viola Parker. Vi is so real and raw, it’s hard to remember sometimes that she’s made only of words. 

Wrong Lead catches up with Vi in rural Missouri as her trust fund hangs in the balance. Vi’s only requirement is to hold on to her barn manager job for one year. With just a few days left before she can ride into the sunset with her parents’ financial blessing, ghost horse Wastrel gallops back into her dreams putting everything she’s worked for in jeopardy. When Vi returns to her roots on the East coast to solve her mentor’s murder, her familiar world disappears as quickly as the canned whipped cream she uses to relieve stress. With everyone around her, including the handsome farm owner, Malcolm, acting strangely, trust becomes elusive, and Wastrel her only confidant. Has she been on the wrong lead all along? If Vi doesn’t figure out Wastrel’s clues in time, what she doesn’t know could kill her. 

For more information about Candace Carrabus or to purchase her books, visit candacecarrabus.com


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