Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Virtual Book Tour - Blind Pony: As True a Story as I Can Tell by Samantha Hart

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Blind Pony: As True a Story as I Can Tell by Samantha Hart. This book tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Blind Pony: As True a Story as I Can Tell
Author: Samantha Hart
Publisher: Wild Bill Creative
Publication: March 15th 2021
Print Length: 359 pages
Genre: Memoir
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In her debut memoir, entrepreneur and Hollywood executive Samantha Hart reveals the abuses and traumas that she overcame to build a creative, successful, and love-filled life. BLIND PONY As True A Story As I Can Tell (Wild Bill Publishing) was released on March 15, 2021, and is a 2021 Los Angeles Book Festival award winner.

BLIND PONY As True A Story As I Can Tell illuminates Sam's remarkable ability to be honest and vulnerable about horrific experiences while infusing her unique brand of humor and being relentlessly hopeful. Her story starts with a heart-wrenching childhood of abuse that she endured by her grandfather, which led to her life as a runaway teen and landed her in 1970s Los Angeles. She navigates various abusive relationships, toxic Hollywood characters, a search for her father, "Wild Bill," and ultimately finds her North Star.

"Almost no one in my life, including long-time friends and colleagues, knew about the trauma I experienced as a young girl. I always managed to overcome adversity throughout my life, maintain a positive outlook, and do well for myself. But deep inside, I felt damaged. In telling my story now and hearing from readers, I realize there are a lot of "blind ponies" out there. If my story resonates for even one person and helps to provide some hope for healing, it was worth writing," says Sam.

Sam is currently working on adapting BLIND PONY As True A Story As I Can Tell for TV/film while writing her next book, a novel entitled Starcrossed, and a collection of drawings and stories called When I Was A Muse.

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PRAISE:
"Unforgettable and raw, Hart's deeply honest musings will ring true to those who want to understand what it's like to walk through fire." Book Life

"…a memoir about overcoming—about facing up to and learning from one's past without being imprisoned by it." IndieReader

"A powerful coming of age story about finding strength through rebellion, recovery, and forgiveness." Jill Watts, bestselling author/Professor of Graduate Studies at CSU

"Hart is a gifted storyteller....she became a backgammon hustler in Los Angeles, something readers likely won't find in many memoirs." Kirkus Reviews

"Excellent writing…I recommend this book to simply everyone." Dog-Eared Publishing
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EXCERPT:
I opened the door to the barn with a bit of trepidation. The smells that once pervaded my senses—new-mown hay, leather, and living animals—had turned to a dank, musty odor. I held Vignette’s hand as we stepped carefully past the empty stalls, ready for something sinister to jump out at any moment. We ventured toward a stable in the back, and above us was the plaque I carved with a wood burner, the name “Misty.” Misty was born when I was eight years old and was the offspring of my beloved pony, Princess.

“Follow me.” I darted up the narrow wooden stairs. Vignette stayed close on my heels as we headed to my grandfather’s abandoned workshop to rummage around for something to pry off the sign. The remnants of a moonshine distillery sat cloaked in dust in an open cabinet, and as I breathed in the musky air, I could feel my grandfather’s presence and hear the nasty whistling sound he made when he was coming for me.

“Mommy, are you crying?”

“No, honey, got some dust in my eyes. Let’s get out of here.”

I grabbed the crowbar, intent on rescuing Misty’s sign. It was a relic from my childhood, and I was unwilling to leave it to the wrecking ball.

“So, Misty was your pony, Mommy?”

“No, but she was my pony Princess’ baby, just like you are my baby. That’s why I got to name her and made this sign for her. Look, I have a scar on my finger where I burned myself making that sign.”

“That must have hurt. I love you, Mommy.”

“I love you, too.” Equal measures of joy and sorrow overwhelmed me, conjured by a place I thought I would never see again. We traipsed outside so I could stow the plaque inside the car, and Vignette spotted an old tractor.

“Look at this cool tractor, Mommy! Can I climb on it?”

“Yes, but be careful,” I said. My mind drifted. I could almost hear the chatter between my sisters and me as we saddled up at the corral to take our horses out for trail rides.

Princess was blind in one eye, so she kept a slower pace than the other horses as we galloped up past the oil rig with its rhythmic chugging and stench of old black oil. The sound of thundering hoofs would ring in my ears, and by the time we reached the top of Gobbler’s Knob, the view would be invisible through the thick cloud of dust, and I’d be as blind as Princess.

The past was so vivid, I almost forgot I wanted to capture this moment with Vignette. As I went back to the car to retrieve my camera, the familiar sound of the gravel crunching beneath my feet unspooled memories of a story my mother had repeated to me throughout my childhood.

...my mother gave birth to her fourth child on the first day of fall. Dad thought I would be a boy, and he named me Sam. Maybe he hoped I would be a boy so he could stop hearing about Pammy Sue. As luck would have it, he pulled four aces. I was his fourth daughter.

My mother’s frozen heart determined to immortalize her husband’s infidelity and spelled it out on the birth certificate. But for as long as I knew my dad, he never called me by any other name but Sam. I always thought the name suited me. My mother prodded me so often with the reason my name was Pammy that my official name repulsed me.

Vignette tugged on my sleeve and snapped me back to reality. “Mommy, mommy, can we go now? I’m hungry,” she moaned. 

“Me too,” I said, and we went back into the car. I threw my camera on the back seat along with the “Misty” sign, figuring I had enough memories of the place. Nothing could change what happened here.

As my daughter and I drove down Clever Road, I glanced back at the old farmhouse in the rearview mirror one last time. It would soon disappear forever, along with the lilac and forsythia bushes and delicate lilies of the valley that poked through the spring thaw each year. The springhouse and the old maple tree where I hugged my grandmother for the last time would be gone.

But they would live on in my memories, along with many things I wished I could forget.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Samantha Hart's career has spanned music, film, and advertising, earning her a reputation as an award-winning Creative Director. Early in her career, Hart worked with top artists at Geffen, including Cher, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and Guns N' Roses. In the film industry, her marketing campaigns brought prominence and Academy Awards to Fargo, Dead Man Walking, and Boys Don't Cry while earning cult status for independent features Four Weddings and A Funeral, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Dazed and Confused

With her partner, Samantha built a multi-million dollar company in the advertising industry, Foundation, with over forty employees and offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. Under her leadership, Foundation earned distinction as an early disrupter of the traditional production and post-production models, combining the two under one roof. 

Samantha currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, director James Lipetzky, and their teenage sons. Her daughter and granddaughters reside in Massachusetts.



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