Dust & Mud

a novel

When a young ecoterrorist is released from prison, she travels to a northern California farm to make amends to the man she injured. As her past catches up with her, can she become the hero she needs to be?

Ellie Dray is the infamous ‘Girl Bomber.’

Four years ago, she destroyed a greenhouse complex at her northern California university, then risked her life to rescue a man on the scene at the time. She drew massive media attention as a sweet looking criminal-hero. (Not that she looks sweet, not anymore. And she’s definitely not a hero.)

Today, Ellie’s halfway through her prison sentence, and her family and friends have deserted her. Her twin brother Kyle is picking up the pieces of his own life that fell apart in college. Their father, the conservative governor of Nevada, is the president’s next pick for VP.

So why is her prison sentence suddenly commuted? And why is the man injured in her attack inviting her to his property to start a farm? And how on earth does she end up living there, befriended by a community of outsiders?

Ellie has a chance at love and redemption, but trouble’s brewing. (A corrupt agrochemical company, a continued FBI investigation, an undercover journalist . . . not to mention California’s strange weather patterns.) 

It’s time for Ellie Dray to come to terms with her past and stand up to protect the people and place she’s come to love. Who knows, along the way, she might just become the hero of her own story.

Dust and Mud is a vibrant contemporary fiction novel that weaves together themes of redemption, mental health, and climate change for a surprisingly feel-good read. Featuring mystery, humor, romance, and a touch of magic, Sarah Mattern crafts a unique and compassionate coming-of-age story that will appeal to adults and older teens.

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