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, Cory is looking at college catalogs, considering her future. The future is uncharted territory now for not just students, but all of us. They talk about the "new normal"--what life will look like going into the future with coronavirus. Strange, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable, yet I am constantly amazed at the versatility of people to adapt, express their individuality, and keep on going. You can buy all types of masks to display your personality. There are graphic programs to custom design a special ZOOM background. Hot spots of innovation have sprung up everywhere. If there's a market niche, there is someone ready to fill it. Yes, even in a pandemic people are endlessly inventive.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
THERE WERE ONLY two seats in the narrow corridor of the guidance office suite, the one-piece chair and desk kind. Cory slid into one with a swivel of her hips as if shimmying into a pair of tight jeans. The bookshelves were filled with SAT prep books, college guides, and technical career manuals. She pulled down the Guide to America’s Top Colleges and thumbed through it. She had no idea what she wanted to study, let alone where, or if, she wanted to go to school. And no one ever asked her. It was like the future didn’t exist. Maybe a little bit like she didn’t exist.