Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Phantom, the White Arabian Stallion

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Laurel in Double Cross escapes the stress of her FBI work by spending time with Phantom, her white Arabian stallion. We all need a way to keep our stress level low. For some it’s exercise, prayer, or quality time with family and friends. But if you’re lucky enough to have a horse, you understand the joy of loving and caring for a magnificent animal. I had a horse growing up, and it not only instilled responsibility but also gave me hours of unforgettable pleasure.
The name Phantom signified the regret and unforgiveness of Laurel’s past. She dealt with a tragic childhood and rebellious teen years that followed her into her adult life. Those happenings stalked her like a phantom. Odd, she’d call her beloved horse what she feared most. Perhaps this was a subconscious way to overcome that which she could not change.
I chose a white Arabian stallion for Laurel to show her strength in handling a powerful animal and to pave the way for how she’d experience growth and change in the story.  
Five characteristics of an Arabian impressed me:
  1. Oldest breed of horse, dating back 4500 years, beginning with the Bedouins of the Arabian desert. “ . . . their horses were strong, with deep chests, straight legs, large joints and good lungs to carry them across large stretches of their desert homeland.”
  2. Arabian horses are noted for their endurance. This trait paralleled with my heroine’s need to endure the pressures and hardships of her life to become a survivor.
  3. This breed can be affectionate, and I wanted that characteristic for my heroine. Phantom missed Laurel when she couldn’t get away to the stables, and she missed him.
  4. Arabians are noted as intelligent, sensitive, and alert. I needed my heroine’s horse to exhibit some of her traits and save her from a sniper.
  5. Spirit! Arabian horses have carried kings and warriors into battle. They are a proud breed and carry their heads and tales high. My heroine had spirit to not give up on herself or the crime that needed solved.

These magnificent animals have stolen the hearts of people for thousands of years. From war horses to racing champions to prized pets, Arabians are and well remain a part of man’s history. Are you a horse lover? Leave a comment below and be entered in a random drawing for a personalized copy of my new release Double Cross.

Bestselling author @DiAnnMills shares insight into her newest book + giveaway on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. 

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. 

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. DiAnn what a great story. I would love to win a copy. I would share it with my friends adopted daughter. She has had a difficult life and loves horses. I may just get her a copy. Personally, I love to learn when I read. I guess that is why I love historic fiction. God bless you as you serve Him.

  2. DiAnn, this sounds like your best yet. I love the way you weave your stories. Thanks for all the hard work you put in.

  3. I am finding out how important our pets are to us. My four have all gotten into my heart. But a horse is more than a pet, it's a lifestyle, especially Arabians.

  4. DiAnn,

    Anything that involves a horse catches my attention. You not only mentioned horses, but you chose one of my favorite breeds. Woo-hoo!

    A few other trivia tidbits about Arabians.

    Arabians have one less vertebrae than other breeds, so they're bodies are a little bit shorter compared to height than most other breeds.

    Arabians always have black skin. Even snow white Arabians. That's why pure white Arabians appear so luminous. The exception to this rule is that the skin is pink where the horse has white markings such as socks or a blaze. Even on a white Arabian, you can tell if there would be a blaze by the pink skin underneath. (This makes painting a white Arabian especially tricky!)

    The Bedouins prized all Arabians, but were especially proud of their mares, which they valued more highly than the stallions.

    A prized Arabian often slept in the tent with its Bedouin.

    I could go on, but I won't. Suffice it to say that while I've never owned a horse in my life, I love watching horses, particularly Arabians and their floating trot. Have you ever seen an Arabian at liberty routine? Exquisite!

  5. Thank you all for the grand comments. And I now know more about Arabians.

  6. What a great post! I can't wait to read Double Cross and would be thrilled to win an autographed copy!! I love horses and enjoyed reading these Arabian characteristics and trivia tidbits. Thanks so much for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  7. I love horses even though I don't know enough about them. I did take riding lessons when I lived in Virginia and loved every minute of it. Except when I was kicked in the shin. Still have a knot there and this happened years ago! I want to read this book.

  8. I think all of you are winners.

  9. I love animals and think horses are beautiful, but I never knew much about them. Thanks for the info. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!


  10. Hi DiAnn,
    I love all horses! My favorite would have to be the Clidsdales, then stallions :) Also I would absolutely love too read your newest book!!
    I love reading books that keep you at the edge of your seat and also a book that is hard too put down. :).

    How many horses do you have and what are you favorite kinds too :)

  11. DiAnn,
    Thanks for the great info. I am a horse lover and grew up with them. I have a MUCH better picture of an Arabian or two on my pinterest page. Will try to send you one.
    One of my family members even paid $15,000 for a great Arabian that she trained in all sorts of tricks. They are beautiful, smart and loyal.
    Elva Cobb Martin, Pres., ACFW-SC Chapter