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High in the Sierra Nevada, fiery Shannon Caine and opinionated Thomas Martel share two passions: completion of Northstar Dam and personal independence. When the uneasy alliance between these two headstrong professionals flares into love, they fight stubbornly to retain their independence until a corrupt politician threatens the dam, their love, and finally Shannon’s life.


NORTHSTAR is set in Truckee before the old railroad town became a Bay Area tourist trap, and before Sacramento claimed a “skyline.” The action takes place decades before the rapid over-development of real estate during the subprime era in Truckee and Sacramento. As such, NORTHSTAR is somewhat historic in its perspective.

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The novel tells the story of Shannon Caine, a young woman who seeks independence, love, and stability. Denying these needs, she plunges her energies into her work as an engineer at Northstar Dam. This civil works project is threatened by environmentalists and the corrupt politician Adam Van Tress, the man who initially championed the dam. Shannon is mentored and endearingly guided by the old geologist at the dam, Gus Corrigan. He becomes the one person to whom she turns in her more troubled moments.

To achieve her goals of self-determination and love, Shannon must first survive the trial by fire at the hands of State Senator Adam Van Tress. She then begins to reclaim her ravaged self and discover the true love with Thomas Martel, the man who has proven helpless to steer her away from a harrowing, destructive path. The fate of Northstar Dam remains unknown, but the fates of Shannon Caine and Thomas Martel are more certain because of the truths that each learns. These truths will set them free to love, even if the dam remains bound and chained by lawsuits.

Northstar - Book Reading from Chapter 1
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