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.
Inspired by everyday miracles, L.R. Trovillion weaves magical stories of hurting people who find hope through horses in her Maryland Equestrian Novel series. Although she earned a degree in Russian and spent a career in government service, her real love has been caring for and working with horses. That love shines through in her series, focusing on the healing power of horses in the lives of teens facing complex and sometimes dangerous family situations. Believing there is more to this world than meets the eye, she adds a dash of the supernatural to each story. L. R. Trovillion lives on a small horse farm in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and several animals that really run the place. Her other works have appeared in Baltimore magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and various poetry anthologies.
Remember at the start of each new school year when you vowed "this year will be different!" Cory's junior year in a new school starts out with public humiliation, bullying from the band leader, and discouraging cross-country try-outs. Her year did not start out as expected, but how differently the story ends as Cory learns who she is and what really matters in her life. Beginnings do not necessarily dictate endings in life. There's always the opportunity for a fresh start.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
That pair of sneakers that had meant so much to her at the beginning of the school year now lay in the bed of the truck. Dirty, worn, exposed to the harsh elements for nearly a year, they had nonetheless survived—a lot worse for wear, but still intact. She looked up at the wire that had held them there, constantly hanging over her head. It was empty, except for the remains of the rotting laces, fluttering in the light breeze.