Caption: Just had an epic run, then a full yard sale including a faceplant. Did you see where my skis landed?
If a Netah were a skier, they would simply live in the surrounding national forest. Why live like a human, sleeping in a bed, when you can just be yourself, no luggage required, no rent required?
You know all that back country that only avalanche trained skiers and boarders can access? That’s the Netahs’ backyard! Here’s how it could work. Okay, I’m the author here, I get to decide that whatever a human is wearing when they shift into an animal, they have it with them when they shift back into a human. So they strap their equipment onto a backpack, shift, and then walk up on their four legs. At the top they shift, step into their skis and enjoy the powder! BTW, a yard sale, in skier jargon, means you fell and lost your skis and poles, which are then strewn down the hill. It usually includes bragging rights about how awesome it was, and yeah, skiers are like that, and we won't even begin talking about boarders, no offense!
This YouTube video shows the power and grace of the wolves recently released in Colorado on December 18 and 19, 2023. The release was only approved by a 51-49% margin by voters in 2020. Wolves are protected by the endangered species act as of 2020. The recent release of wolves join a pack that established itself in Colorado by naturally migrating from Wyoming in 2021. This pack was collared, but their batteries have since died, as expected. Since their release, the wolves have been sighted and confirmed on a ranch near Yampa, in January 2024. The Parks and Wildlife folks soon arrived to "provide them with non-lethal hazing resources," which included rubber shells, rubber bullets and bean bags. All the wolves have GPS collars. More wolf transplants have been promised by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, to be captured and moved between 2024 and 2025.
That's a brief summary of recent developments on wolves in Colorado. They are here, they are thriving, they are not entirely popular.
Why do my sympathies fall on the side of the wolves? I spend a fair amount of my time hiking Colorado trails. Perhaps the exercise of putting myself in the heads of my Netah characters, who can shift from humans to animals, has given me a different perspective. Perhaps the history of settlers trying to wipe out this majestic species also sours me to human's demands for protection against the predators. It appears that the main source of objections come from ranchers, and while I'm not a rancher, I understand protecting what is yours.
I hike the forests with my kids and grandkids and dogs. Do I feel safe? Yes, I do. The thing is, unless humans or their dogs attack or menace wolves, they have no interest in attacking us. There is plenty for them to eat. When I first moved to Colorado 30 some years ago, I learned to keep my smallest child close to protect her from mountain lions. We stayed on trails. Small dogs can become prey to coyotes here. That is the reality of life in Colorado. I don't want fear to chase me out of the wilderness, nor do I want fear to chase these important apex predators from our landscape. And yes, I am a died-in-the-wool tree hugger too! But that's just me.
Stay tuned for a fictional account of what could happen when a Netah wolf meets another wolf!
Now that The Netahs, Down in the Valley, book 2 has been released, I'm hard at work planning two launch parties. I will have a virtual, live launch for all my friends and family who do not live in Colorado. The second party will be at the Barnes & Noble on Colorado Blvd.
What happens at a launch? It will be a zoom meeting, for which those who have submitted their emails for the occasion will get an invite to log into the meeting. It will probably only be about 40 minutes long. If you want an invite, please fill in the email form below!
I have a trusty assistant who will introduce me, then I will summarize my book and read an excerpt just to tease those of you who have not yet gotten your copy. Next comes the question and answer period, then we'll have prize drawings. Two prizes are on the table so far. First, I will draw a name from the attendees for a free hard cover book, autographed by yours truly and shipped free of charge. The second prize will be a drawing of a name, again from those in attendance, to be able to name a character in book 3. You can choose your own name or a different one, but you cannot choose what type of character!
Meantime, books can be purchased from the publisher at Friesens Press.
I am so close to the finish line!
The covers have been approved.
Two small corrections are needed in the text and are in progress.
Two local bookstores have responded with interest in hosting a book launch party and collecting pre-orders.
A virtual launch party is also in the works for all my friends and family who do not live in Colorado. That will include me reading a teaser excerpt from book 2, discussing plot and theme with no spoilers, and taking questions from all attendees. In addition, there will be a drawing for a signed hard cover copy as well as a mystery prize.
Most important: I have set up an email list so I can invite everyone who is interested to the virtual party. Please fill out the form below if that's you!
I'm practicing my happy dance, hope you are too!