There was romance in the original manuscript for 'Blaze', but I had focused more heavily on Tea's emerging talent as a rider, her training techniques, the kind of tack she favored... you know, all the stuff that, as my agent put it, "Will make the average reader's eyes glaze over." She wanted the book to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and I suppose she was right because I've noticed that many of the Amazon reviews say things like "I don't know much about horses". I suppose my agent/publisher felt the romance would be the 'hook' for the non-horsey set. They don't understand that a relationship between horse and rider can be just as intimate and powerful as between two people. I personally agree that there wasn't much similarity between Blaze and the A Circuit, but I guess to a non-rider they might seem similar.
On the plus side, since the first 2 books are doing well, I'm going to focus a bit more heavily on the riding in Book 3 There probably still won't be much technical language, but we'll follow the main character to more shows etc. Book 2, "Look Twice", is a bit less horsey than the other 2.
In other news, the books got optioned for TV (excuse me while I jump around the room for a minute!!), and the producer is a long-time rider who was also involved in the creation of Heartland, so I'm hoping we'll finally have an accurate, non-racing-related, non-Western, horse-based series on TV