Healing Hearts, my latest release, a romantic suspense/western, is based on a real event. Five years ago the tailings pond of the Mount Polley copper mine in North Central British Columbia burst and spilled twenty-four million cubic meters (6,340,129,256.6 US gallons) of mine waste into nearby Hazeltine Creek, obliterating the narrow creek. This tidal wave of sludge and debris destroyed everything in its path and poured into pristine Quesnel Lake.
Quesnel Lake, at 600 meters (1969 feet), is the deepest glacial fjord lake in the world. The area is remote and stunningly beautiful. Trophy-size fish can be caught right from shore. The views of the snow-capped Cariboo Mountains and the lake’s many secluded bays and beaches make this area a treasure.
The government scientists tell us the water in the lake is okay for fish, birds, and humans, but when you see the horrendous destruction to the environment, there’s no question that this beautiful isolated lake has been changed forever. The mining company has made some environmental remediation, and the work is ongoing, but the damage is done.
In Healing Hearts, the hero is fighting a mining company that is determined to develop a copper mine on his ranch. This story, set in the beautiful and remote Chilcotin Plateau area of British Columbia, is close to my heart. My family and I have spent countless days camping in our truck and camper in this stunning wilderness region.