Joe’s eBooks


All my stories in the My First Horse Series are now available online and free from www.Story Shares.org The covers are different but the stories are the same.

      Wa-Tonka, Camp Cowboy

Wa-Tonka Camp Cowboys (My First Horse Series_ Book 1) (1)Nick jumps at a chance to work at a summer camp away from his crowded family. He discovers horses, especially his favorite, Prince. But he still has to be a big brother when two campers ride their mounts over the lip of Deadman’s Bluff. This is the first book in the series followed by: Saving For Trace; Riding The Waves; Zan; Can Do, Zan; A Horse in My Kitchen; and finally, Mountain Rules.



Watonka Camp Cowboys


Saving For Trace


Just back from summer camp as a junior counselor, Nick Finazzo learns that his father is out of work. To help the family, Nick hires on at Shamrock Stables where he meets the feisty Irish owner, Corky, and a retired cutting horse named Trace. A trip down south to round up cattle and haul them to market gives Nick the money he needs to buy the horse. But his mother’s plans pose a difficult decision. Lassoed to an ornery steer… a broken ankle caused by a turtle… driving a truckload of cattle… Mandy with her sugary Tennessee drawl… Trace with all the moves of a sports car… Allison and her porcelain profile… new friends… new adventures… Nick tries it all.

This is the second book in a long series about boys and girls and the horses they love. The first book is Wa-Tonka, Camp Cowboys, then this one, Saving for Trace, next , Riding the Waves. Then we meet Zan and we watch him make    new friends and enemies in Can Do, Zan; A Horse in My Kitchen and Mountain Rules.


Saving For Trace

Riding the Waves, Lake Michigan Cowboy


Two weeks at Lake Michigan with his aunt and uncle gives Nick Finazzo a chance to get away from his crowded house and noisy family. A young woman riding a chestnut gelding in the morning surf sets Nick off on fresh adventures. He makes new friends and an enemy in the small resort town of South Haven.

Bull riding… Cassidy the bareback surf rider… her jealous friend Roy…windsurfing…CPR at the beach…rounding up buffalo…Sara the migrant worker…Knuck the lazy border collie…team penning…Nick tries it all.


Riding The Waves

Zan, City Cowboy


Zan, 12, from a rough part of town, is smart, a natural athlete and an immediate friend of any animal he meets including a foal he helps birth. Watch him fall in love with horses as he wedges into a circle of horse loving friends you’ve come to know from earlier books: Wa-Tonka, Camp Cowboys and Saving for Trace. Watch him make new friends and enemies in Can Do, Zan, and A Horse in My Kitchen.

Can Do, Zan

Can Do Zan (My First Horse Series_ Book 5)

Can Do, Zan!’ is what Alexander chants to himself whenever he confronts new and frequent challenges. This intelligent, animal loving, African American 12-year old, sent to live with his uncle, works at a stable, learns to ride horses, connects with mounted policemen and their equine training programs, goes to a summer camp in Northern Michigan, and canoes in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. In the middle of it all, he learns to deal with a bully, cope with his diabetes and discover Native American artifacts.

A Horse In My Kitchen

A Horse in My Kitchen (My First Horse Series_ Book 6)

Luz, an eleven-year old Latina, finds a half-frozen newborn foal and gets her African American friend, Zan, to help keep it alive in her kitchen. Luz’s hard working mom directs all the affection Luz longs for onto the baby horse until Holly grows past the ‘cute’ stage. The costs and realities of keeping a growing horse bring mother and daughter together in a dramatic ending.

Mountain Rules

Mountain Rules (My First Horse Series_ Book 7)

Thrown together in a wilderness boot camp, 3 teens work past first impressions while living in the world of mountain sheep, bears, wildfires, and a missing ram’s skull. Lazelle, black, 14, has a basketball scholarship waiting. Mackenzie’s parents want her to work. Creed, mixed black and Cherokee faces a jail-or-camp alternative. They all learn new rules, Mountain Rules, to bring back home.

Lazelle, a black fourteen year-old, loves/hates the boot camp program that transports him from the streets of Detroit to the mountains in Wyoming. If he can get his grades up, there’s a scholarship waiting to play basketball for a suburban high school and after that, perhaps, college. Mackenzie (a suburbanite forced by her upscale parents to experience work-life at the camp) and Creed (facing a jail-or-camp alternative) find that survival skills from one environment can work in another. Suspicious, contemptuous, even frightened of each other at first, the three teens face the challenge of getting beyond initial impressions as they deal with the rigors of living in the Wind River Range, 7000 feet above sea level near the Continental Divide. Attacks by mountain sheep and bears, forest fires, a missing ram’s skull and a scientist who studies grizzly scat…there’s a lot to discover in this new and dangerous environment. If he can adapt here, learn new rules―Mountain Rules―maybe Lazelle can grow past the comfort and familiarity of the world he grew up in.

This is the last book in a long series stretching back through Wa-Tonka, Camp Cowboys, Saving for Trace, Riding the Waves, Zan, Can Do, Zan; and A Horse in My Kitchen.

Ragazzo Quest

Fifteen-year old, Anne Marie, (we know her as Nick’s sister in Saving for Trace) has boy friends but no boyfriend. A summer in Italy means a chance to snag her own ragazzo. Born in the States of Italian parents she finds that the rules are different between men and women when she exports her made-in-America attitudes and co-ed soccer moves. Elena, a look-alike cousin in Sicily comes to live with Anne Marie leading to boyfriend troubles in two languages across two countries and two cultures.

       Tales From the Drake House Outhouse

I wrote this book after my neighbors invited me to join in the restoration of a pioneer home nearby. I was intrigued by the historical information supplied by our township and the local public library archives about the Drake family and the history they made, literally, in my backyard some 180 years ago. But the information was sparse and as I wandered around the farm house and barn I couldn’t help but feel the gaps in the story; wonder what the original settlers felt and did, in those early years. Remembering that historians and archeologists prize outhouse sites for the bottles, dishes, china dolls and the like to be found there, I began imagining the artifacts two twelve year-olds might discover in the Drake’s first outhouse. Then I had Zach and Maddy make up the Drake family story by combining their ‘finds’ with the limited facts that have come down to us from those times.

This story shows how historical fiction comes to be written; how everyone has the right to look at antique objects and clothes and heritage homes and imagine the lives and loves of those who made use of them. I also hoped to show, as someone once said, that all stories are true and some of them actually happened.

Readers are challenged to think and discuss the story. But more importantly they are invited to write their own version of the Drake family pioneers. After all, I’m not the only one who can ask ‘what if?’




After rescuing her middle-aged Mexican snorkeling guide, Emily is drawn into his intriguing bachelor world. The retired Army nurse in her responds to the wounded man. The grieving widow in her is cautiously ‘getting out there’ until a traumatic episode from Ramon’s seminarian past erupts into their budding relationship. Emily allows time, a return to Lake Michigan and the help of an unconventional priest to heal Ramon’s painful scars. Available through Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Joe+Novara


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