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Friday, June 8, 2018

Joey celebration tour FB banner copy

About the Book

Title: Joey
Author: Jennifer Marshall Bleakley
Genre: Inspirational, Memoir
Release Date: May 8, 2018
978-1-4964-2174-6The heartwarming true story of a blind horse named Joey.
At the height of his show career, this beautiful Appaloosa’s majestic stature, strength, and willingness to work made him the perfect partner. But when an injury cost Joey his show career, he moved from one owner to the next, ultimately experiencing severe abuse and neglect. A rescue group found Joey nearly dead from starvation—and blind.
Then he came to Hope Reins—a ranch dedicated to helping hurting kids who had been abused, emotionally wounded, or unwanted. By teaching these children to care for rescued animals, the Hope Reins staff were convinced they could reach kids with love and hope and show them that we are never forgotten by God.
But could the financially struggling ranch afford to take care of a blind horse that no one else wanted? Could Joey somehow learn to trust people even though the world had hurt him so badly? And what would happen—to Joey, the kids, and Hope Reins—if they failed?
A true story of friendship destined to become a classic, Joey will touch your heart and reveal the power of finding light in the darkness.

Click here to purchase your copy.

More Information About This Book

  • When a blind horse named Joey meets a struggling ranch owner dedicated to helping troubled kids, the result is a story of friendship, faith, and overcoming–and ultimately, a tale of how God always cares for the cast aside and uses them for His glory.
  • Joey is an inspirational memoir-like read that delights readers with a story about finding healing and restoration in the unlikeliest of places.
  • What a blind horse can teach you about overcoming your past and living fully in the life God has called you to have.
  • An unlikely story of God using a blind horse to bring healing and restoration to hurting children.
  • A percentage of the author’s proceeds from her book, Joey, will go to supporting Hope Reins which pairs hurting kids with rescued horses.
  • God said “you’re worthy” when the world said “you’re worthless.” Joey, an inspiriting story of finding healing and restoration in the unlikeliest of places.
  • The Hope Reins ranch set out to save these horses, but in the end, the horses saved them.
  • How the story of Joey saved the ranch… and taught the most valuable lesson.
  • Joey… your family’s next read
  • Let God wake you up to life lessons learned in unexpected places!

About the Author

Jennifer BleakleyJennifer Bleakley graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in biology and was planning to apply for medical school when her best friend’s father died of pancreatic cancer. Walking through that experience with a family she had loved for so long left a permanent mark on her heart, and she soon realized that God was calling her to stand alongside other families facing similar heartbreak and loss. Jennifer earned a master’s degree in counseling from Nova Southeastern University and began working at the local hospice in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a child and family grief counselor. It was a job she loved deeply and one she continued doing until she and her husband started a family.
When her husband’s job required the family to relocate to Raleigh, North Carolina, God began awakening in Jennifer a long-forgotten passion for writing. She began journaling—recording evidences of God’s hand at work in her new season of motherhood. Her journal morphed into a blog, and she still writes regularly about glimpsing God’s grace in her daily life at
Jennifer now writes curriculum and devotionals for her local church, is a contributing author for Treasuring Christ curriculum and She Believes online Bible studies, and leads a community women’s Bible study. She loves introducing children at her church and in the community to Jesus, helping them discover his goodness. Even though she once asserted she was much too introverted to be a public speaker, Jennifer has found that God’s grace is big enough even for lifelong introverts, and she now delights in speaking to audiences about his extraordinary grace at work in our ordinary lives.

Guest Post from Jennifer Bleakley

One October evening I stared into the eyes of the most unusual looking horse I had ever seen—his black and white spotted coat resembled that of a Dalmatian; his soft pink lips were chewing at some invisible morsel; and his charcoal eyes seemed to peer into my very soul.
And although I’m not what anyone would describe as a horse person, I was completely captivated by this horse.
I inched closer to him, compelled forward by some unseen force, until only a thin rail separated us. He stared at me. I smiled. Can a horse register a human smile? I had no idea, but I smiled anyway. The founder of the horse ranch was telling our small group about the ministry she had started—a ministry that pairs rescued horses with hurting children to help them find true hope and real healing. I listened to her words, but my eyes never moved from the horse. He looked at me as if he could read my every thought. As if he knew exactly why I was at the ranch that night. That I had been feeling a bit lost, struggling to find myself—my calling—in the midst of a new season of life. That I was on this tour in the hopes that I might find answers here—maybe even a purpose.
He bent his head toward the railing just inches from my resting hand. His eyes now level with my own, the setting sun reflecting brilliant hues in the depths of his eyes.
How beautiful, I whispered as my fingers reached toward him.
“And our Joey here is completely blind…” I heard the woman say. “He was a former champion…injured…sold…abused…abandoned….
The fragmented sentence floated around the picturesque scene, but the words just didn’t make sense. Surely the woman wasn’t talking about this horse? Not the one who could see into my soul. Not the black and white beauty who knew all my secrets with just one look?
The woman handed Joey a carrot. His greedy lips taking the treat from her hand, leaving it free to scratch him behind the ear.
“But Joey was rescued and now he lives here,” she continued, “Where every day his determination and blind faith, point hurting kids to hope. Kids who have also known abuse and abandonment. Kids who see Joey choosing to live, choosing to learn, choosing to trust, and realize that maybe, just maybe they can too.”
Tears flowed down my face as I watched the horse nuzzle the woman’s hand. A blind horse leading people to see hope. The phrase swirled around my mind, before settling in my heart.
I had gone to the ranch that day looking for a purpose. Thinking that I could volunteer—use my long forgotten counseling degree in some way. Thinking that time spent here would ease the transition from full-time mommy to mother of school-age children. However, days after meeting the horse his eyes still haunted me. His story still captivated me. And so in spite of knowing very little about horses, and having never attempted anything like writing a book before, I sat down to write about a horse named Joey. A blind horse who was helping me find my way home….


I could tell from the beginning that I was going to need tissues to read this book. I can't imagine what it would be like to find horses starving and begging for help. Some didn't survive and my emotions were felt deep in my heart. The author has written an honest heart wrenching story that will have readers  crying throughout the story. I loved Penny and her determination to get help for the animals. Her anger burned the pages as I read how desperate she was to find out who was responsible for this horrendous sight. I hear on the news all the time about cruelty being done to animals and I want to run and save them all. Penny is a force to be reckoned with. 

Joey is one those animals that just tugs at your heart. I could see him gazing into Kim's eyes as she decides whether he will fit at Hope Reins. After looking at Joey how could anyone walk away from him? Although Joey is blind, Kim knows he needs to be at Hope Reins. I loved when it was said in the book, "Some scars go unseen." The emotional scars we have no one can see, but they are there. I can't imagine what Joey went through before he was rescued.

I admire the work being done at Hope Reins. It has changed many lives and given new hope to children who felt lost and unwanted. Pairing an emotionally scarred child with a horse is very therapeutic. The faith that Kim and her husband have for Hope Reins is refreshing. Their belief that God would supply  their needs is so powerful. One of the things I really liked about the book was all the information about the different types of horses there are and how much work it takes to take care of them.  The work  these horses did to reach the hurting children overwhelm me.

I think one reason this book touched me so much was because of a special animal my brother adopted. This lonely looking dog was up against the cage in a shelter. She was looking sad and hopeless. People passed her up because to them she was damaged. She had one eye missing and people were looking for the perfect dog. My brother couldn't walk away from her and adopted her. The shelter named her Faith and she has given my brother faith to fight for his health. The dog is his constant companion and they have gained trust from each other. Just like Joey, Faith showed us that she may have emotional scars but she has a big heart.

As I end my review my tears stream down my face. I was a little girl locked in a shell. I cried out to God many times when I was scared and needed rescued. I never felt that He heard me as I suffered through a violent childhood. What I did learn from this book was I may have deep emotional scars ,but God felt every pain I felt. He led me to a man who would become my husband. My husband shows me unconditional love every day. He didn't toss me away like the horses had before being rescued.  God gave me a man who gives me emotional support and takes my hand when I hurt. To all the hurting people I say, never give up. You are valuable and God is waiting to take you in His arms.  Joey's story is a story of pain, sorrow, tears but most of all hope. I pray that someday we will all find a "Joey" to heal us.

"God takes or messes-our heaps of ashes-and turns them into something more beautiful than we could ever imagine."

"At Hope Reins, the horses are the counselors, not the humans."

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, June 4
Mary Hake, June 9
margaret kazmierczak, June 10 (Interview)
Bigreadersite, June 12
Artistic Nobody, June 13 ( Spotlight)


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a beautiful hope necklace!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


  1. Thank you for your review on "Joey" by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley and for being part of the book tour.

    I enjoyed reading about book, author and extra details. This sounds like an amazing book to me and one that I'd love the opportunity to read. Love horses so I was naturally drawn to the cover.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Oh my goodness Deana! Your review made me cry! Thank you for being willing to read JOEY, to review the book, but most of all for your willingness to share your own story! Your story of hope and healing, of brokenness and beauty, of hurt and love touched my heart deeply! And sweet Faith the dog!!! What a precious story of unconditional love and trust! Thank you SO much for sharing that too!! <3