Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist - Jennifer Ellis (Excerpt)

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Title: Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist

Author: Jennifer Ellis

Genre: Romantic Comedy / Women’s Fiction

Alana Matheson always tries to do the right thing for the environment, even when it means boycotting school meatball day, forgoing the use of makeup, or getting entangled in a bet with her non-chicken-loving ex-husband over which of them can be the most environmentally conscious.

So when a mining company proposes developing a mine right in the middle of the community watershed, well, of course Alana is going to be on the front lines opposing the development.

Except she isn’t. To her own shock and dismay, she finds herself taking a job… with the mining company. Worse, she finds herself drawn to her attractive and mysterious boss, Nate: a capitalist mining executive. The enemy.

Alana struggles to do right by the community, deal with her feelings for Nate, and maintain her own environmental morals. But as the conflict over the mine heats up, it gets increasingly difficult to be on the “wrong side,” and both Nate and Alana are cracking under the pressure.

Part satire, part serious, Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist is about the cast of characters who seem to pop up in all environmental disputes, and how all of us fail sometimes to do the right thing for the environment, in both big and small ways.

Author Bio

Jennifer lives in the mountains of British Columbia where she can be found writing, hiking, skiing, borrowing dogs, and evading bears. She also works occasionally as an environmental researcher.

Jennifer writes science fiction, romance and dystopian fiction for children and adults, including Apocalypse Weird: Reversal in Wonderment Media’s Apocalypse Weird world and A Pair of Docks, which was a bestseller in children’s time travel fiction. She has also contributed to several anthologies, most notably Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, which hit #16 in the Kindle Store.

She may or may not have a Ph.D. and dabble in tarot card reading and cat sitting.

You can subscribe to her blog for the latest book news and industry insights at She tweets about writing, cats and teenagers at @jenniferlellis.

Twitter: @jenniferlellis


5 winners will receive an eBook copy of “Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist” and one winner will receive a $10 Amazon giftcard!

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Book Excerpt

Maude pounded the tom-toms on email and Facebook all morning rounding up everyone in the community who was expected to oppose the mine. A meeting of concerned citizens was already scheduled at her house on Tuesday. A hasty search that morning had turned up little information regarding the environmental impacts of magnesium mining and even less about the company Mountain Magnesium Resources. Magnesium was a low-toxicity metal, but who knew what chemicals were used in extracting it? Not to mention the likely sedimentation from digging holes and having big trucks in the watershed.

She snatched up the phone when it rang, scarcely glancing at the caller ID. Most clients emailed her so it was probably a friend.

Alana Matheson?” a man’s voice said.

Yes.” She moved quickly from her casual friend tone to her professional tone.

My name is Nate Steeves. I’m the CEO of Mountain Magnesium Resources. We’re looking for a local public relations person with an environmental background, and we understand you do that kind of work.”

I do,” she managed to stutter, searching for the words to nicely say no before this went any further.

Would you be willing to send us your CV and come in and meet this week to talk about the position?”

She hesitated, looking for some sort of excuse. “I appreciate your interest, Nate, but I’m not sure if I’m the right person for the job. I only work part-time, and I just don’t know if I could bring the level of commitment to the job that you would need.” Why was she always so nice? She should just tell him she was an environmentalist. Who liked yachts.

That’s not a problem. We’re only looking for someone part-time at this point, and I’ve seen some of the work you’ve done for the SREB.”

How part-time? I already have a lot of commitments,” Alana said, hoping to find an out.

We’ve budgeted twenty hours a week at fifty thousand dollars a year, with four weeks holidays to start.”

Her heart sped up a little. That would be fewer hours than she currently worked and a substantial increase in pay. It would allow her to start paying off her monstrous line of credit and pay her property taxes. But she couldn’t do this. She wouldn’t do this.

I’m afraid the whole thing might be a little controversial in the community for me.”

I understand your concerns. We plan to do this whole thing right and take the concerns of the community into consideration. It is going to be a small mine for starters, and we’re going to use a bunch of innovative methods to minimize impacts and make it as sustainable as possible. Some of the board of directors of the company are planning to live here with their families, and we don’t want anything that wrecks the watershed.”

He sounded very sincere, but people who worked for industry were probably used to lying and deluding themselves. Sustainable mining was an oxymoron.

Another email popped up on Alana’s screen. Something from Maude about the travesty about to unfold in the watershed.

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