She spent the next ten minutes dodging Sharon and Mark and picking out organic produce and grocery items. The sandwich ham was a compromise because the kids couldn’t take peanut butter to school and wouldn’t eat anything else. The organic milk at double the price was too expensive, but everything else in the cart was solidly eco-friendly, except the ground beef and the chicken, which she covered with the organic Kamut cereal.
When they were married, Blaine had informed her pointedly on several occasions—often following some particularly disastrous vegetarian offering—that he was a meat eater. He even gesticulated at his canines as if to emphasize the rightness of his decree. Now that Blaine had moved out, Alana tried to cook vegetarian three nights a week.
She rounded the corner to grab a loaf of the local organic sourdough bread and nearly crashed her cart into a dark-haired man with spiky hair and eyes as turquoise as his sneakers.
“Sorry,” she stammered, veering the other direction with the cart.
“No problem,” he said with a roguish smile. She eyeballed him again. Who was this guy? He wore a grey T-shirt with a saxophone on it and almost skinny jeans. But unlike most men, he looked good—outright hot actually—in the skinny jeans. He was about her age, but he definitely was not one of the playground dads, or at least not one that she had ever seen.
He must have noticed her staring, because he winked, grabbed a loaf of organic bread, and sauntered off down the aisle, a white motorcycle helmet tucked under his arm. She watched him go, then shook her head. Even if he was single and lived in Silver Peak, which he probably wasn’t and didn’t, she wasn’t going down that road again. She had gone the clean-cut, totally attractive route with Blaine, and look where that had gotten her. This time she was going for a man with a beard and dreadlocks, canvas pants, and Birkenstocks—a true blue environmentalist. The only problem was that in Silver Peak, unemployed ski bums often resembled environmentalists, and they generally didn’t have jobs or an overly environmental outlook.
As she waited for the items to be rung up, Alana occupied herself with visions of spending the summer with her fingers in the rich brown earth, surrounded by heaps of potatoes, bush beans, and carrots, Katie and Duncan bounding through the sprinkler eating pea pods. The grocery total brought her back to her sharp-edged reality: $146.78 for three days’ groceries. Eating healthy organic food was beginning to be out of her price range.
When Blaine used to make rumblings about reducing grocery costs, Alana had always reminded him that they ate well, and she questioned whether he really wanted her to serve more processed food. Then again, whenever she had gone away for work, he and the kids had subsisted on Pop-Tarts, frozen pizza, and hot dogs, and he did leave her in favor of a woman who could barely run a microwave, so maybe he had wanted her to start serving more processed food.
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.
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 www.jenniferellis.ca. She tweets about writing, cats and teenagers at @jenniferlellis.
5 winners will receive an eBook copy of “Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist” and one winner will receive a $10 Amazon giftcard!