New Novel Asks ... Can Environmentalists and Entrepreneurs Coexist?

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Commercial fishing is suddenly banned, robbing the citizens of Juniper Key, Florida of their livelihoods and traditional way of life. One man must convince the angry residents that the salvation of their community rests with the very people and concepts they blame for their woes.

In his debut novel, "Flying Fish," writer, Vern Hobbs explores the dynamic conflict between the proponents of environmental preservation and those who insist that such ideas only serve to constrict progress and free enterprise.

"Flying Fish" tells the story of a small, coastal town deprived of its generations-old way of life when a deceptively worded ballot initiative results in the banning of commercial fishing. While some of the desperate locals embrace the false hope offered by a group of corrupt real estate developers, others demand solutions from government officials who have no real plan and even less imagination. As hope fades, the ghost of a long-dead community leader visits Stan "Smiley" Randolph, editor of the weekly newspaper, explaining that the town's only true chance for survival rests in the hands of two environmental scientists who practice an unorthodox lifestyle.

Smiley, a reserved man who prefers to live life as an observer rather than a participant, must now become an activist and steer the stubborn citizens toward a solution they mistrust. Along the way Smiley must also overcome his deep-seeded fear of intimacy, resolve a romantic dilemma, deal with secrets from his past, and face his own mortality.

Relevant to our times, "Flying Fish" shows us that environmental preservation and commerce can, and must, coexist, that shifting economies need not destroy communities, and that acceptance is the measure of true character.

"Flying Fish," (ISBN 13: 978-1-60830-032-7) published by Aberdeen Bay Book Publishers of Alexandria, Virginia, is available at Amazon.com, and on request at Barnes & Noble outlets, for $15.95.    

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Vern Hobbs

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