“I’m not an environmentalist because you were never really committed to it,” she continued. “If you had your way, you’d burn thousands of pounds of jet fuel touring the world, golfing, water skiing, and living a life of leisure. If you had been committed to it, then we would live totally differently.” And we might still be married, she thought.
One corner of Blaine’s mouth curled up and he raised the opposite eyebrow, his eyes still bulging out of their sockets. “Not committed to it? I spend an hour a day on a crappy bus with freak shows. It’s like a driving mental asylum. Not committed to it? I helped dig your garden beds and fed your worms and ate chickpeas. I spent twelve years freezing because you wouldn’t turn on the heat. My shoes have holes and my scalp still itches from that vegan shampoo. What more did you want me to do? Wear baggy pants and tie-dyed shirts and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around the campfire?”
His tone was a combination of exasperated and aggressive, as if he really had no idea what to do with her. Maybe she was completely exasperating. That was probably why he left.
“I don’t know. I just wanted us to do better. I wanted you to do better. I wanted you to advocate, or take on a cause, and garden more and act like you liked it, not like it was akin to torture,” Alana said. “We should have always been trying to see how environmental we could be.”
Blaine remained silent for a few seconds, his face tight with disdain, then he shook his head and shifted his lips into a terrible smile. “Fine. I’ll show you how environmental I can be. But I want to put a wager on it.”
“On who can be more environmental: you or me. If at the end of a year, you win, I will toe the environmental line for the rest of my life.”
“And if you win?” she said, feeling rather faint. Blaine was highly competitive, and the last time he’d tried to prove a point they’d ended up in a Volkswagen van deep in rural Mexico eating mustard and stone-wheat thins and evading the Federales.
“We move to Los Angeles,” he replied evenly. “Heather wants to try her hand at acting, and I need a real job.”
A sharp pain cut through Alana’s chest. It was no secret that Blaine hated living in Silver Peak. Leaving his job as CFO of a small electronics company and moving from Vancouver to a small town had been her idea, and he had reluctantly agreed to support her. Now he stayed at a job he hated—teaching economics at the local college—to be near the kids. Was this challenge just a means of forcing her to move? To Los Angeles, the epitome of anti-environmentalism? She’d disintegrate completely.
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.