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.
There are millions of great books that focus on the mother-daughter relationship. Not surprisingly, because it is a powerful relationship--one that can hurt or heal. Humans are hardwired with the expectation that your mother will love you. But this is not always the case. Sometimes two people are thrown together in a family that make that mother-daughter relationship strained, either due to personalities or other reasons. In this scene, Cory's mother has grown up with a sense of inferiority. As a result, she relentlessly criticizes her daughter, thereby passing on all the hurt and humiliation she experienced. Sadly this is often the case in families--destructive habits are passed down the line until someone finally stands up to them. Will Cory?
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
Kevyn complimented the food and asked for more of something—Cory wasn’t really paying attention but was grateful for his efforts. Another larger sip of wine. She still was hearing the word quit as it dripped off Olivia’s carefully outlined lips, past her bleached white teeth. She watched it fly through the air like a carving knife to lodge in the middle of her mother’s chest. She knew how that quitter word hurt. She also figured her mom must have been saving up all of those knives thrown at her, pulled from her own heart, only so she could toss them back at Cory. Roni said nothing to Aunt Livia but reached across the table to slide the wine carafe closer.