SEATTLE, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- It is 1999 – an exciting time in Seattle with high-tech companies booming, new charitable foundations starting. Garret Carter, an African-American lawyer and jazz musician, is hired by a conservation group to seal a land donation deal to preserve a prime piece of old growth forest along the Skagit River.
As Garret falls for Ruthie Adams, a botanist and dancer who works for the conservation group, the land owner dies, throwing the whole deal into flux when his greedy son-in-law takes over and reveals his affinity for a white supremacist group in North Idaho.
In this eco-thriller, author Melissa Laird uses her experience as a philanthropy officer for a national conservation non-profit and her interest in the Seattle music scene to weave a fast-paced tale of philanthropy, conservation, jazz and violent racism. In "Messing with God's Country," Laird helps Garret unravel the pitfalls and failings of his own life as he tries to not only save the deal, but himself as well.
"Messing with God's Country" gives readers a detailed sense of life and culture in the Pacific Northwest - the incredible natural beauty, a culture that embraces a love of the land, independence, and in the extreme - the pocket of hatred that in the 1980s and 90s grew in the woods that are so revered.
Laird successfully shows the challenges of conserving the world's private land resources by appealing to the philanthropic values of those who own the land and want to see it preserved for future generations to enjoy. Her story also addresses the culture and race struggles that are still prevalent in America today, often awkwardly disguised under a business suit and tie. She does this while building to a page-turning thriller at the end.
The paperback is available now at Third Place Books and as an e-book at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. It can be purchased online at www.ThirdPlaceBooks.com/messing-gods-country-melissa-laird
About Melissa Laird: A Wisconsin native, Melissa Laird has lived in the Seattle area since 1971. She has an English degree from Stanford University and a master's degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington. Since 1996 she has worked at The Nature Conservancy in Seattle, where she is associate director of philanthropy. Prior to that she served as a planned giving officer for KCTS9-TV in Seattle. She has written about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and uses her knowledge of environmental stewardship, jazz and philanthropy in this first novel. Check out the book's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/messingwithgodscountry?fref=ts
SOURCE Melissa Laird