Native Lands by P.C. Zick
Native Lands is a gripping and
entertaining thriller with depth, wonderful characters and well-planted
parallels between the two engaging narratives. There is a beautiful and warm
feel of Native Lands and an excellent and uplifting moral that
won’t lecture or patronize. A truly great read.
Native Lands is a
novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native Americans, thought to
be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage. They join with others willing
to sacrifice everything to save further destruction of the Everglades and St.
Forbidden loves, deceptions, and murder threaten to destroy
nature and families in a saga stretching from the 1760s to the present day.
Join Locka and Mali as they lead their tribe of Timucuans
away from the Spanish near St. Augustine in 1760 and settle into a new life in
the Everglades alongside the Calusa Indians. Their progeny grow up in the
Everglades, attempting to keep their bloodlines pure.
By 2010, Mangrove Mike, Joey Cosmos, and Rob Zodiac live
among the white people and learn that the human connection transcends the fear
of extinction of their people. Barbara Evans in the Everglades and Emily Booth
in St. Augustine are the glue as the different cultures combine forces to fight
a conglomerate of international interests.
It’s a dangerous journey as this oddly matched group attempts
to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure. Cultural boundaries
established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost
during the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.
P.C. Zick is the
author of several contemporary novels. Native
Lands is the third book in her Florida Fiction Series, which also includes Tortoise Stew and Trails in the Sand. She may be contacted through her website at
Barbara Evans sat in the living room of her
house on the western edge of Chokoloskee Island, leafing through past issues of
Sierra magazine, searching for an
idea for her next column. She listened to the news from the television, only
looking up when the local weather presented NOAA’s prediction for an active
hurricane season. Then the newscaster began a report that caused Barbara to put
down the magazine and devote her full attention to the screen.
“Yesterday, wood storks in Big Cypress
Wildlife Management Area attacked a young boy as his mother shot this video of
the assault,” the announcer said.
Barbara watched as a boy, approximately ten
years old, was crying as a wood stork’s beak poked at the Mickey Mouse portrait
stamped on the front of his T-shirt. Another stork approached and began nudging
the foam snout of the alligator hat on the boy’s head. A man ran into the frame
of the video, yelling and scaring off the wood storks as the boy howled.
“Officers from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife
Commission are handling the situation. Here to talk with us is the agency’s
spokesperson, Larry Castle. Larry, what’s your agency doing to make sure the
tourists are safe in the Everglades?”
“Along with the National Park Service and the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we’re asking residents and visitors to our
great state to keep their distance from wildlife,” Larry said, wearing a green
shirt and hat with the logo from the state’s fish and wildlife agency. “They
shouldn’t feed wildlife or make any attempts to capture or touch them.”
“The parents say the wood storks just came up
and attacked their child,” the newscaster said.
“Wildlife usually keeps to itself unless
tempted by food. We’re investigating, but the safest thing anyone can do is to enjoy
wildlife from a distance with a zoom lens on the camera.
“Thank you, Larry. The family told us they
are cutting short their vacation because of this unwarranted aviary violence.
Governor Rick Scott offered the family a week’s stay in Miami to make up for
the attack, but the family declined the offer.”
“My son may never get over this attack.” The
mother, wearing a white visor with a Minnie Mouse label on the front, appeared
on the screen. “His favorite hat is now in shreds in the swamp. It has been one
The newscaster came back on the screen. “The
video of the attack was recorded by the mother on her cell phone.”
Barbara ran her fingers through her short
curly red hair, and with the other hand reached for her phone to call Stan
Hogan, her editor at The Miami Herald.
“Stan, I’ve got to write the story about the
wood stork attacking the family at Big Cypress,” Barbara said. “You’ve got to
let me do it.”
“If I let you write the article, it’s off limits
for your column,” Stan said. “You write an objective piece, but no
“Then I can write a column about it in a few
“No. You’ve been hired as a columnist. If you
want to go back to reporting, then we’ll start you on covering the commission
meetings in the communities around Lake Okeechobee.”
“Come on, Stan. You know I can write a good
piece. I don’t know why you won’t let me.”
“That’s my final say on the subject. You
write your column or you start working the Glades County beat.”
“All right, all right.” Barbara knew being
assigned the rural beat near the shores of Lake Okeechobee amounted to a death
sentence for a writer. “The column is better because I can ask, ‘why the hell
was the mother recording the attack instead of protecting her child?’ The kid
deserved getting attacked just for wearing that stupid alligator hat. Tell them
to pull the column I wrote for this week. I’ll have the new one to you later
“No ‘those tourists deserved it’ crap. You
got me into a load of trouble with that last piece about the pigeons and doves
at that wedding in Disney World. One of the copy editors should have caught the
line ‘anyone who chooses to get married in the land of Mickey Mouse deserves
dead doves floating down during the vows.’”
“I can’t help it if nature keeps biting
back,” Barbara said. “Just be sure they pull my old column.”
Barnes & Noble
P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She’s won
various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. She
describes herself as a “storyteller” no matter the genre.
She was born in Michigan and moved to Florida in 1980. Even though she now
resides in western Pennsylvania with her husband Robert, she finds the stories
of Florida and its people and environment a rich base for her storytelling
platform. Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply
her fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.
She writes two blogs, P.C. Zick
and Living Lightly. She has published
three nonfiction books and six novels.
Her writing contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love
to the environment. In her novels, she advances the cause for wildlife
conservation and energy conservation. She believes in living lightly upon this
earth with love, laughter, and passion.
Works by P.C. Zick
Tortoise Stew (Florida Fiction Series, Book 1) –
Politics, murder, and chaos in rural Florida reign supreme in a story where
love triumphs over it all.
Trails in the Sand (Florida Fiction Series, Book 2) –
Family secrets, an oil spill, and redemption create a roller coaster ride for
journalist Caroline Carlisle.
(Florida Fiction Series,
Book 3) – A novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native
Americans, thought to be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage.
A Lethal Legacy (Psychological
Suspense) – A fascinating study of
human expectations, failings, and redemption filled with lust and forbidden
Live from the Road (Fiction takes the reader on an often humorous, yet
harrowing, journey as Meg Newton and Sally Sutton seek a change in the mundane
routine of their lives. Joined by their daughters, they set off on a journey of
salvation enhanced by the glories of the Mother Road.
Behind the Altar (Romance – Behind the Love Trilogy,
Book 1) – All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides his
Harley into her heart in this story of forbidden love.
From Seed to Table (Blog posts) Gardening techniques, organic gardening, canning vegetables, and
Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier (Memoir nonfiction) – My great
grandfather’s journal from his days as a soldier. It’s a personal account of
war and all its sundry causes and effects from the eyes of a man who fought it.
Odyssey to Myself (Essays nonfiction): The people of
Morocco, Italy, Panama, and Chile come to life through the experiences of the
author as she absorbs the cultures so different from her own.