A Girl. A Horse. A Dog. And 2,600 Miles.

Melissa Chapman was 23 years old and part of a happy, loving family. She had a decent job, a boyfriend she cared about, and friends she enjoyed. Yet she said goodbye to all of it. Carrying a puppy named Gypsy, she climbed aboard a horse and rode away from everything, heading west.

With no cell phone, no GPS, no support team or truck following with supplies, Chapman quickly learned that the reality of a cross-country horseback journey was quite different from the fantasy. Her solo adventure would immediately test her mental, physical, and emotional resources as she and her four-legged companions were forced to adapt to the dangers and loneliness of a trek that would span over 2,600 miles, beginning in New York State and reaching its end on the other side of the country, in California.

Enchanted by the freedom a nomadic life seemed to promise, the young woman would soon find herself only more deeply connected…to the animals that accompanied her, to the varying and challenging landscapes through which she traveled, and to the people she met on the farms and back roads that crisscross the United States. In her moving memoir DISTANT SKIES,  Chapman details the quietest moments of heroism and beauty, as well as the startling and tragic, yielding a read that convinces one of both the magnificence of the countryside and the generosity of the people who call it home. A book that is part American road trip, part coming-of-age adventure, and part uncommon love story—a remarkable memoir that explores the evolution of the human-animal relationship, along with the raw beauty of a life lived outdoors. Proudly published by Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com).

368 pages | 56 color and black-and-white photographs

“In Melissa Chapman’s debut memoir, we meet characters that are always interesting, and almost without fail, kind. We read writing that is succinct and evocative. The author’s relationship with her animals and love for the land does what Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley in Search of America did for me—it inspires both thoughtfulness and action—and that is my favorite kind of book. This girl, riding bravely across the continent, reminds us to appreciate the journey—for the end comes all too soon. “DISTANT SKIES will move you, guaranteed.” —Tik Maynard, Author of In the Middle Are the Horsemen

DISTANT SKIES is a story about courage, adventure, and the beauty of America. You’ll fall in love with ‘Missy’ Chapman as you travel along with her and her animal companions while they discover the soul of our nation.” —Audrey Pavia, Author of Horses for Dummies and Hollywood Hoofbeats

Watch the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aes8i_8vu4U&feature=emb_logo 

For more information about DISTANT SKIES or author Melissa Chapman, contact rdidier@trafalgarbooks.com.

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Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and videos, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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