Wednesday, October 5, 2016

BLOG TOUR CUPCAKES: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publication: October 11th 2016
By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray?

“The magical realism is reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child’s version of Life of Pi. The right readers will love this to pieces.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Destined to be a classic! The Secret Horses of Briar Hill makes you want to believe---it is simply a must-read!”—Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

~ My Thoughts ~

I love when a story so fully captures my attention it becomes difficult to think about anything else, which is exactly the effect The Secret Horses of Briar Hill had on me.

It's fairy-tale quality had me side-eying the mirrors in my house, much the same way I still check every wardrobe for the way into Narnia. (None of the wardrobes on display at my local IKEA are magical and sadly, none of the mirrors held any winged horses either---just in case you were wondering.) And it's colorful blend of historical fiction and magical realism inspired me to make cupcakes with marshmallow fondant horses with shimmery wings.

Foxfire inspired the rainbow cupcakes.
I started with a vanilla cake recipe, separated the batter into 6 bowls and dyed them the colors of the rainbow. I use food gels you can buy from a cake supply or craft store. Traditional food coloring doesn't produce as vibrant a color and will change the consistency and taste of your batter and/or your frosting.

"There is a white winged horse in the sundial garden." 


I made the horse faces and wings from homemade marshmallow fondant, then dusted them with iridescent shimmer. 


"The Black Horse is strong and relentess, but he has one weakness, and it is this: [you have to read the book to find out]."

 I made dark chocolate buttermilk cake with dark chocolate frosting for the Black Horse. 

Finished product!


~ About The Author ~
MEGAN SHEPHERD grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband. You can visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @megan_shepherd.

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 3rd: Twinning for Books, Review
Tuesday, October 4th: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Interview
Wednesday, October 5th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Review (and cupcakes!)
Thursday, October 6th: Pandora’s Books, Movie Cast Post
Friday, October 7th: Owl Always Be Reading

Monday, October 10th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Review

Tuesday, October 11th: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist Post
Wednesday, October 12th: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Thursday, October 13th: Seeing Double In Neverland, Author Guest Post
Friday, October 14th: Mundie Moms, Review

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