The gas stations and real estate offices faded away, replaced by white fields dotted with frozen-looking cows. Quite a contrast to west coast drizzle and an ice cream shack sprouting from the parking lot.From ENDANGERED
(89,000 words, early draft)
Belinda Spinks is an overworked, out-of-shape office biologist who’s passionate about saving endangered species but has become so mired in paperwork that she never gets to go out and actually save them. She jumps at the chance to transfer to a remote research site near the mining town of Butte, Montana—where she discovers that the previous biologist has gone missing, leaving little information behind. In a desperate attempt to find out what happened, she uncovers a bison-poaching operation. To keep herself alive amidst angry poachers, blizzards, hidden mine shafts, and herds of cattle, Belinda must confront her own insecurities about her professional capabilities and what, exactly, she’s doing with her life.
The creature had flopped on its side and snorted its last, but it looked more like Montana to me than the mine, the sky, the snow, or a cluster of cows. It was a bison.From ENDANGERED
As a humorous, romantic tale about a woman trying simultaneously to figure out her purpose and help the environment, this story will appeal to fans of Treed. Similar to A Sharp Solitude, it builds suspense around contemporary natural resource issues in the Rocky Mountain west.
Photo credits: John Kakuk, Mike Beaumont, William Milliot, Steven Cordes, Natalie Nicks