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.
I found a stack of my old report cards from elementary school. They are not a testament to academic promise, let me tell you. Each teacher, year after year, complained that I daydreamed in class and did not pay attention. And they were right. I was bored (Dick and Jane, really? How come the boy gets to do all the fun stuff?) By the end of 6th grade I had become a master at mentally escaping any situation into the made up stories running through my head. When I got older, I also escaped into other people's stories--in books. How great it was to be able to spend a whole day reading on the back porch. Somehow, the two streams of my imagination and the creativity of other writers crossed paths and I started writing stories--all kinds, from fan fiction to mysteries to fictionalized biographies. These days, usually a story starts with a character who shows up in my imagination and invades my life. When she moves in to stay, I know I have to write her story. And eventually, she tells me what it is.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
Cory stood with her hand on the door. Her mother wore a woolen suit in royal blue and stylish pumps with a modest kitten heel. She was a businesswoman again, carrying an oversized portfolio and looking like any working mom, any normal mother coming home after work. Cory remembered a long time ago when her mom was the normal working mom when they lived in Massachusetts. She used to come home and start dinner and ask about homework. Normal mother things. Cory squeezed her eyes shut and opened them, trying to reconcile the two women—the one she saw last night on the couch and this one, digging through her portfolio and talking on her cell phone. For a second, just the briefest moment, Cory questioned if what she had seen last night was really true, if it really happened.