Friday, May 1, 2015

Synopsis, Ten Thousand Secrets National Park

Janet Harper works at Ten Thousand Secrets National Park Casino & Entertainment District in Kentucky, following a mysterious explosion at her previous workplace, Nevada’s Historic Red Light District & Jazz Casino National Park. In hiding from her two children for over a year, Janet is tracked down by her daughter Lena, and they are drawn into a struggle between the Federal Parks Service and the Department of Defense over control of time travel, which has been in Park Service hands since its discovery by Cornell Tech scientists twenty years earlier. 
Fronted by charismatic Professor Thomas “Cat” King, a small but influential faction at the Department of Defense is tired of hearing liberals whine about the “environmental impacts” of time travel, and is planning military expeditions to correct past disappointments.  As King says at a D.C.-area holiday party, “George Bush is gonna thank me big-time when we go back and clean up his messes.”
Meanwhile, Janet’s son Brian writes a community development grant for a rural hamlet in south-central NY State. He meets their beautiful leader Maeve and becomes enmeshed in her fervent search for grant funding to support her immigrant Irish fairy community, hiding in plain view near the city of Corning for centuries.  Brian and friends are soon fighting a highway project that Maeve’s Congressman has cajoled her into supporting. The highway would destroy a nature preserve in our world, while leaving the landscape untouched in Maeve’s alternate present time.  She explains it this way to Brian:  “Why would you deny us the chance to better ourselves? With an interchange and big road, we can draw in visitors for short and longer stays. We want what the rest of the world has. And we need people.”
Tom King has added Maeve’s community to his inventory of “natural time openings,” where he can mount military expeditions to the past without going through the federal government’s laborious environmental impact process. His dark ally, Senator Harlan Styce of KY, helps King seize control of the Park Service’s top-secret time travel research program, operating as the Pleistocene Place theme park attraction at Ten Thousand Secrets National Park. Styce lines up his ducks: “We funded the Parks folks to study time travel for the sole purpose of its defense applicability. OK! We’re there! Time’s UP.”
Janet races to complete her own dire mission at Ten Thousand Secrets NP before King’s military minions arrive, while struggling to keep her children safe from seductive fairies, malign Senators, fracking gas well explosions, flooding caves, bad time trips, and her own dangerous behavior. Wonderful allies emerge to help, among them Senator Liz Maximus of Massachusetts and her brilliant staffer Ravi Sen-Ellis, who knows the right questions to ask: “What time is this place?”

Synopsis, Ten Thousand Secrets National Park - Hilary Lambert (c) 2015


bookishmama said...

loving this! even in this synopsis, the characters have solidity. will King be known as Tom Cat King throughout? so much potential there.

also love the tie in w Maeve's fairy community. is King's designation of them as a "natural time stop" a threat to them?

also, you mention Janet's need to "complete her mission" at the KY NP. is her mission the central plot? is it secret or can you provide a hint about what it is?

for me, the best thing about this novel so far is that the protagonist is a dynamic woman at the top of her game who has adult children - she is a character that is usually relegated to the margins in other novels, action or not. i just finished an Italian mystery from the 1990's for god's sake, in which the wife of the murder victim, an elegant clever woman in her late fifties, is not even named and every other female in the novel is a literal sex object.

can't wait to read yours!

Hilary Lambert said...

Thank you bookish helpful mama! Professor Tom Cat King has a global online following called the Cat's Whiskers. So, yes indeed. He was once a young idealistic professor who over the years soured on viciously polite collegial infighting, and in response has brought naked physical aggression into the day job. He is so much fun to write, for all the reasons!

Yes, Janet Harper's self-appointed mission at the park is pivotal to the plot. She keeps it a secret from the reader, who nonetheless fairly soon develops a sinking feeling about what she has in mind. And she follows through on it even as her heart changes. No wimpouts here! Her kids are with her no matter what.

As for Maeve and King, he thinks he is dealing with some sort of back to the land neo-hippie chick who can be bulldozed out of the way. Ha ha, not so much! He'll find that out in Book 2, which I have started plotting, with great relish.

Yes the book is full of interesting and powerful female characters - but that just seems normal to me - how else would you write it? (insert smiley face). Also some really good and bad male characters.

And there's one you have not yet met - her name is Elizabeth Maximus, US Senator from Massachusetts, nicknamed "The Max" by the media. Of course, I rush to demur that any similarity to any persons living or dead is simply a Hell of a coincidence.