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Saturday, January 15, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on L.R. Trovillion @lrtrovillion & Horse Gods

Good Morning!

The month is half over and words cannot express how excited I am about this new year. I've been writing pretty steadily on my new book/series, Women of the 9th Circle but I'll update you more on that later. Today's guest is brand new to our blog so please give LR Trovillion a huge SW LA W-E-L-C-O-M-E as she shares a peek into her YA Maryland Equestrian novel, Horse Gods The Dressage Rider's Betrayal!

Take it away LR....

Horse Gods: The Dressage Rider’s Betrayal is a young adult suspense novel that appeals to all ages. The theme of trust central to the story resonates with anyone who has felt vulnerable due to disappointment and betrayal. 

An abandoned horse. A threatening secret. A teen fleeing for her life.

Regina Hamilton has a big problem. Her abusive mom is getting out of prison...and Regina is the one who helped put her there.

With only three months to prove to the courts that she can support herself and avoid being forced back home with mom, Regina lands a job at an exclusive dressage barn. With only her riding skills to rely on, the stakes are high: prove she can pull her weight or get out. But when a worker mysteriously disappears, she becomes ensnared in a web of lies and deceit. 

With time running out and unsure who to trust, she turns to an unlikely trio: a reclusive boy who roams the woods training hawks, his dad, a professor of Celtic Mythology, and an abandoned half-wild red mare with mysterious powers. But when Regina threatens to expose a long-held deadly secret, her friend is hurt and the is horse attacked. A clear warning. A ruthless figure stalks her every move, bent on keeping her silent forever. In the end, Regina must decide if she can trust an enemy in order to save a friend.  

Horse Gods is a thrilling mystery for all ages. If you like bold but flawed heroines, brave and quirky boyfriends, and stories about the magical power of horses, you’ll love Horse Gods. It is the second stand-alone book in the Maryland Equestrian novel series. 

EXCERPT: We’re going to prison. I expect it to look awful, but when we turn the corner and the brick building comes into view, a little furry thing with scrabbling claws starts doing laps inside my stomach. Maybe the breakfast burrito I scarfed down a few hours ago was not a good choice.

Brenda, the social worker assigned to my case, has been talking to me all morning about good choices in life. She drives and steals glances at me. I think she’s checking to see if I’m listening. I’m not.

We turn in a long driveway. My God. The fence is about a hundred feet tall with rolls of razor wire coiled all through and over it. It looks like it could keep an army of stampeding elephants in there. On second thought, considering who’s inside, that’s not a bad thing.

Brenda pulls in the parking lot not far from a squat building in front with the name Maryland Correctional Facility for Women on a big sign over the doorway like it’s some kind of college or something. She undoes her seatbelt and reaches into the backseat.  I get out. I’m tired of smelling the strawberry air freshener fighting with the lingering scent of menthol cigarettes. Rather smell the cigs.

It’s warm for late October. The sun is just coming over the guard tower, but for some reason my hands are really cold. Brenda calls out something like “Wait for me,” from the other side of the car. Sure, like I’d go in there alone.

“Regina.” She walks around to my side of the car, breathless from digging that huge tote bag out from the backseat. “I want you to know that you do not have to go in. If you decide not to see her, I can meet with her alone.” She squeezes my arm above the elbow and smiles. I hate that.

“Nah, I’m okay,” I tell her and smile back. She’s only doing her social worker job. Give her a break, I figure. I step toward the entrance.

Inside, a blast of refrigerated air hits my face. A guard right by the door stops us. The black butt end of a pistol is sticking out of its holster. I’ve never seen a gun, a real one, up close before. Brenda fishes around in that Mary Poppins bag of hers and pulls out her ID and some letter. The guard waves her over to the metal detectors.

“Put your items on the belt,” he says in a way that tells me he’s repeated that line a million times this week already. “All items on the belt, empty your pockets of any change and loose items, and step through, please.”

I pull my phone out of a back pocket and drop it in the plastic tray. Brenda’s purse vomits its contents all over the bottom of its bin. On the other side of the metal detector, a lady in the same guard uniform waves us over to the desk. Her face sags like a bulldog. No one here smiles, that’s for sure.

We get visitor badges. Good, because I sure wouldn’t want them mistaking me for someone who needs to stay here. Then another lady guard walks us to the back door. She holds it open for us to walk through first and announces, “This way to the visitation block,” like she’s giving a tour. I was really hoping something would be wrong—improper ID or not a visitors’ day after all—and they’d turn us back and I could go home. Instead, this lady is taking us to the big building. The real prison.

Where she is.

I look up at the sun like maybe I’ll never see it again.

We walk through another set of doors and inside. Man, there are a lot of doors in this place. The visitor area is pretty much like I imagined—cinderblocks painted in baby poo green and furniture that makes the stuff at school look chic and modern. More guards. The lady guard keys in some numbers, and a heavy door opens with just a click and a whoosh. No clanging bars or jangling locks. The door closes with a whisper behind us, and we’re led down a long corridor.

“In here.” She holds the door. “Have a seat. The matron will bring the prisoner.”

The prisoner. That’s what she’s called now. Funny, most of my life I felt like her prisoner.

The room has some inspirational posters with glowing sunrises and smiling family members holding hands in a meadow or some stupid crap. There’s a water cooler against the far wall behind two rows of chairs. I think they’re bolted to the ground. No one else is here. The weird thing is there is another room, much smaller, on the other side of a Plexiglas wall. Inside the little room there’s a table with a few chairs. A door in the back opens and she walks into the little room.

I haven’t seen her for more than a year now. Under the fluorescent lights she looks even more fake-tan orange than before. Maybe it’s the jumpsuit that’s just about the color of mud. There’s an inch of dark roots where her hair has grown out. Must not be able to get a hairdresser appointment in prison as often as she’s used to. She turns to a uniformed woman behind her, waves her hand like a queen, and the other woman sits in a chair in the far corner. I pull my eyes away to see our escort push some button and open a door to a portal that connects the waiting area with the fishbowl room. She leads us in and announces, “Your visitors are here.”

She turns her orangey face to me. Smiles. But only for a second before she pulls her lips down into a clowny frown. “Regina, your hair!”

My hand floats up to run fingers through my shorn-off curls, but I stop it in mid-air.

“I don’t like short hair on girls.” She has no problem expressing her opinion. “It makes you look like a thug or…”

She struggles to find more insults to hurl at me. Maybe prisoner, I think, but keep the thought to myself.

“Hi, Angela,” are the only words I allow past my lips. I know that will piss her off even more.

“Angela! What happened to Mom?” 

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 and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. 

LR is another of my Author Ad School peeps and she loves to chat with readers about horses, books, travel adventures, cat and dog stories, or anything else they’re passionate about so connect with her through her Website, Amazon Author Page, FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter @lrtrovillion

Get your copy of Horse Gods on Amazon.

Wow, LR, I LOVE horses. In fact, Heartland is one of my favorite TV series of all times. I own 13 out of the 14 seasons already LOL! Certainly wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings on your books!

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God Bless.


Patricia Kiyono said...

What a powerful excerpt! This sounds like a must-read. Thank you so much for telling us about your book!

lrtrovillion said...

Thanks so much, Patricia! Your kind words inspire me to get going on book 3!

Gail Pallotta said...

Thanks for sharing about your book and the excerpt. It sounds very interesting for young adults and adults. Congratulations!

Alina K. Field said...

This was a very compelling excerpt! The story sounds wonderful.

lrtrovillion said...

Thank you so much for all your generous compliments. I'm really thrilled to have had this opportunity to showcase Horse Gods. I hope you'll take a chance and give it a read! My motto is: You never outgrow a great horse story :)

D. V. STONE said...

Your book sounds wonderful. Best of luck with it. D.

Mary Preston said...

This certainly does appeal to me.