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.
In this scene, one influential kid has the power to sway the opinions of a whole room full of teens. It happens in high school and sadly continues to happen into the board room at businesses and social gatherings everywhere. How do you keep from being swayed by "the influencers" and make up your own mind? One way is to read and educate yourself. Don't depend on what others tell you. Another, is to develop a strong moral compass. Do not judge others harshly and stand up for what's right. The pull of a group of people is strong and like a riptide, hard to swim again it. But if we know ourselves and know what's right, it gives you the strength.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
A kid dressed in black with greasy hair and pale skin stood directly in front of the band, legs spread apart, and inserted his iPod earbuds. When he slumped over to the drink bar he drew a like-dressed crowd in his wake. He gathered them around him and with a smirk made an obscene gesture to the band. Laughter erupted from the black circle. Cory’s heart hiccupped as she saw how others watched the group, pulled in by the negative energy. No one wanted to choose the wrong side, to be branded a loser.