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.
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.