Cory Iverson's junior year is off to a lousy start.
Publicly humiliated by the school's hottest guy and terrorized by a bullying band director, Cory flees sports try-outs and just about everything else she begins, earning a reputation as a loser as well as a quitter. But when her wandering dog leads her to the barn of a former Grand Prix rider, she finds a welcome refuge in the familiar world of horses.
It's not too long before she starts dreaming of showing in one of the country's most prestigious shows--a totally unrealistic hope--until she rescues a mysterious horse with some unusual talents. But her road to success is littered with roadblocks as events spin out of control: prescription painkillers appear in her mother's purse; her ballerina sister wastes away before her eyes; her boyfriend is keeping secrets; and her normally opinionated trainer becomes strangely evasive.
Worst of all, the horse show world is not what she imagined. It isn't long before Cory's winning spree attracts the attention of a brutal trainer with a string of unexplained horse deaths in her wake. When Cory lands in the crosshairs, she has to decide if she'll once again back down and flee or stand up for herself, her horse, and her dreams.
L. R. Trovillion earned a degree in Russian Language and Literature and has found work at various times of her life as a translator, teacher, reporter, editor, groom and stall cleaner. Nowadays, she makes her home in Maryland on a small horse farm, which she shares with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of four-legged creatures who really run the place. The story in her award-winning debut novel, False Gods, continues in the next book of the Maryland Equestrian Novel Series—The Horse Gods, due out in 2018. Other work has appeared in Baltimore magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and various poetry anthologies. When not writing, she's usually thinking about writing. And as always, is inspired by her equine teachers.
Writing for Young Adults, you walk a fine line between realism and discretion on the amount of detail included in scenes depicting sex or violence. As a reader, I have never enjoyed explicit scenes detailing either, but rather prefer well timed hints that leave it up to the reader to imagine what is going on. In romantic scenes, less is often more. Take for example the removal of Michelle Pfeiffer's glove in "The Age of Innocence." Sensuality implied in a simple gesture. I hope I have hit a balance in portraying the teen romance between Cory and her boyfriend, Kevyn, but suggesting emotions and leaving it up to the reader to fill in the blanks.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
He pulled her close and placed his lips gently against hers. His mouth was so warm, so inviting as he sucked gently on her bottom lip. His arms wrapped tightly around her, pressing her into his hardened flesh. She ran her hands along his arms and slid them behind to the small of his back and pulled him closer so she could feel his hipbones against her. He drew back a moment to look at her, his face so close, then pulled her head toward his lips again. Cory felt she was drowning, melting, disappearing. Her atoms had spun off their orbits, reformed, and were now mixing totally with his body. A knife-like sweet pain rose up through her middle, followed by a sense of something opening up like a budding flower. A flow of thick, warm desire melted down along her insides. She heard Kevyn murmur “Coraline,” and for the first time in her life, she adored the sound of her name.