Junior Fish and Wildlife project manager Becca Olsen is desperate to save her wolves, her relationship, and her job in the desolate New Mexico desert, but something is horribly wrong in the Land of Enchantment. When the perky voice of the dimpled desk jockey fails to assure ranchers their cattle are safe, her first wolf reintroduction campaign is in danger of crumbling like dry stalagmites in the nearby caverns. Mutilated cattle are found in the desert. Wolf tracking collars disappear. Are angry ranchers killing her babies, or is there some truth to the legend Fantasma del Gris, Ghost of the Gray?
Becca and imposing Wildlife Officer Daphne Bender team with a pair of lovestruck local boys to search the remote terrain where cactus, rocks, and rattlesnakes rule. Somewhere in the distance, the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, an underground tomb constructed in the middle of nowhere to store the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste. A site selected for its proximity to absolutely nothing, where Mel Martin, a rugged cowboy with a silver flask, is free to implement his ‘compliance is perception over performance’ philosophy. But a minor accident at the facility has caused a major problem only days before a special shipment is scheduled to arrive.
While Mel fends off a government investigation, Becca and her eclectic posse search for the remaining wolves in an attempt to salvage the reintroduction effort. Ominous sounds, swift shadows, and a shocking discovery have the newly minted friends confronting fears only imagined in nightmares. They soon realize—wolves are not the greatest danger in the desert.
$3.99 on Kindle.