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.
What surprised me most about the publishing world today was the fact that unique stories that don't fit a genre, established niche, or Amazon category, have a harder time getting sold to publishers or hit best seller charts. Everyone says they want something fresh, unique, but in reality the publishers and often times readers themselves want something familiar, safe, that they know it is popular and sells. That is why so many authors now are "writing to the market." Do you as a reader have a hard time finding something that really stands out from the pack? When I started the Maryland Equestrian series, I couldn't find the best fit for marketing it. Yes, it was YA but most readers were older women. Yes, it was contemporary, but it had touches of magic without being fantasy. There was a romantic story line, but the point was not teen romance. The series follows teens grappling with life issues while competing in the gritty horse show world, but as one reviewer said: It's a different kind of horse story. Where does it fit? I think I'm going to have to invent a new Amazon search category. How about "Magical equestrian?"
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.