How do families decide when financial relief outweighs the risks of drilling for natural gas on their land? In Kate Brandes' novel Promise of Pierson Orchard (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 2017), a big energy company comes to Minden, Pennsylvania and hires the long-estranged brother of orchard owner Jack Pierson. Thinking that Wade Pierson is one of their own, some struggling neighbors start selling mining rights to Green Energy. Jack fears what the company will do to the land and worries that Wade will try to rekindle his relationship with Jack’s wife LeeAnn, who recently left him. Jack reaches out to the mother who abandoned him and his brother when they were teenagers. She’s now an environmental lawyer with experience in dealing with companies whose spurious promises to landowners are broken, along with ecosystems, relationships, and towns.
Kate Brandes is an environmental scientist with 20 years of experience. A geology teacher at Moravian College, she is also a painter and writer who focuses on the environment. Her short stories have been published in The Binnacle, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Grey Sparrow Journal. A member of the Arts Community of Easton (ACE), the Pennwriters, as well as the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Kate lives near the Delaware River with her husband and two sons.