Heart of the Mountain, The
Lucinda "Lu" Calder is an experienced miner, sent to investigate possible irregularities at Brushy #3, a coal mine owned by her step-father, in eastern Kentucky. Acting as a transfer from another mine in the West, she is hired as a general miner and mechanic. As the first, and only, female miner at Brushy #3, she puts up with some distrust and hazing from her male counterparts to test her mettle.
Tentative Publication Date: May 2017
One of the first people she meets is an attractive woman in personnel named Regina Kinlaw. Regina is the single mother of a nine-year-old daughter, who is relentlessly curious. When Regina's van breaks down, Lu stops to assist and is drawn to the young woman. Even though Regina seems stand-offish and secretive, something about her intrigues Lu. But she has a job to do and can't allow herself to be distracted by wishful thinking.
The area surrounding Brushy #3 is a close knit, rural community and Lu finds herself thrown into situations that bring her into more frequent contact with Regina than she planned. They also bring her into contact with a man who believes Regina is his future wife and resents the time Regina spends with Lu. It's a situation that jeopardizes Lu's mission, and eventually her life.