BOOK ONE: SUMMER OF FIRE
In 1988, the world watched on the nightly news as over half the park was overrun by flames. Up to thirty thousand people fought the fires directly¸ and over a million visited the park during the burning.
2005 WILLA Literary Award
Winner, Original Softcover Fiction
The WILLA Literary awards are given each year by Women Writing the West, to honor outstanding stories about women that are set in the west. The judges are a distinguished panel of professional librarians.
2007 Zia Award finalist - from New Mexico Press Women
Selected as a semifinalist (top 3% of 700 entries) in the Rupert Hughes Writing
Competition at the 1998 Maui Writers' Conference.
Eric Hoffer Award Finalist – 2014, 2020
Finalist in the General Fiction Category of the Foreword Magazine Indiefab Books Awards, 2016
It is 1988 and Yellowstone Park is on fire
Among the thousands of summer warriors battling to save America's crown jewel, is single mother Clare Chance. Having just watched her best friend, a fellow Texas firefighter, die in a roof collapse, she has fled to Montana to try and put the memory behind her. She's not the only one fighting personal demons as well as the fiery dragon threatening to consume the park.
There's Chris Deering, a Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot, seeking his next adrenaline high and a good time that doesn't include his wife, and Ranger Steven Haywood, a man scarred by the loss of his wife and baby in a plane crash. They rally 'round Clare when tragedy strikes yet again, and she loses a young soldier to a firestorm.
Three flawed, wounded people; one horrific blaze. Its tentacles are encircling the park, coming ever closer, threatening to cut them off. The landmark Old Faithful Inn and Park Headquarters at Mammoth are under siege, and now there's a helicopter down, missing, somewhere in the path of the conflagration. And Clare's daughter is on it ...
While researching a historical novel set in Yellowstone, I was continually distracted by references to the fires of 1988. Like much of the nation, I had tuned in spellbound to the nightly reports of America's first National Park in flames. Like many of Yellowstone's three million annual visitors, I held my breath, dreading the destruction being depicted, yet seduced by the beauty of wildfire.
Over lunch in the Houston Public Library, I examined Ross Simpson's The Fires of 1988, published by American Geographic and Montana Magazine. After an hour's perusal of choppers ferrying water, tankers spraying retardant, and the faces of the men and women on the lines, I came to a conclusion.
There was a story here . . . one that many thousands of firefighters had shared. There was a vivid setting of beauty and peace, where a forest must go through the crucible of fire to achieve rebirth. To this place came my fictional characters.
What they're saying
"Human, brutal, wrenching." John J. Nance, NY Times Bestselling author of aviation thrillers.
"Summer of Fire is at once a beautiful and disturbing voyage through the kind of hell only firefighters understand. Clare Chance is as genuine a character as they come - brave, vulnerable, well-trained and thrown by her own act of escape into a forested hell. Beautifully crafted and shudderingly real."
"Uncannily accurate" - says Yellowstone Superintendent Bob Barbee, 1983-1994
"Linda Jacobs has produced a gripping novel about one of the most electrifying events in the annals of American wildfires - the great Yellowstone fires of 1988. Through her fictional characters, Jacobs has captured the essence of the emotional roller coaster, high drama, and the outstanding performance of America's finest wildland firefighters. She has done her homework well and the setting is completely accurate. This is a compelling work and I had trouble putting it down."
SUPERB READING EXPERIENCE - A REAL PAGE TURNER - Harriet Klauser, Amazon.com's # 1 Reviewer, as per the Wall Street Journal.
"Straight-line plot, background is detailed, characters are developed over time - memorable and important secondary characters, will leave you feeling content, at ease, peaceful."
From "Theysaid" on wildlandfire.com - Five Chainsaws
"A very good and satisfying read set against the backdrop and action of the Yellowstone fires of 1988. Good writing, good research. A couple of times I found myself in a mental After Action Review." Posted by Mellie.
"I just finished reading "Summer of Fire". It was excellent. I just wish there were actual fire maps in the book noting the advance of the fire. (Author's note: maps were provided but were too detailed to fit into the format of a mass market paperback.) So if anyone is interested in buying it, it's worth the few dollars. Linda Jacobs is an excellent writer, especially for never being a firefighter herself. Excellent research." Submitted by "PJ."
5 Blue Ribbon Review, Brianna Burress, Romance Junkies
"Summer of Fire is a tense but passionate tale that will keep you anxiously turning each page as you read of the struggles to fight the fires of Yellowstone Park. Linda Jacobs will keep your heart pounding as she describes the fires that tried to destroy Yellowstone in 1988 and the work that was done by the brave men and women who fought this fierce dragon."
Five Stars - Posted to Barnes and Noble by Peggy McMillan, former bookseller
"Be prepared to stay up all night. The story draws you in and makes you feel as if you're there during the horrific Yellowstone National Park wildfires of 1988. Lots of history, realism and human emotion. The main characters are wounded by some tough life experiences and how they deal with their emotional crises makes the story so gritty & real. Linda Jacobs’ research paid off in spades! Kudos to a new voice."
Five Fires! Jeannine D.Van Eperen, Gottawritenetwork.com
" Linda Jacobs does a magnificent job of recreating the scene, the heat, danger and the fatigue the firefighters face, while also telling the stories of four primary characters. All seem very real, and while the reader may not completely like all of them, the reader comes to understand what makes these people tick and how they got to the place in their lives where they now find themselves. Linda Jacobs does a wonderful job of letting us truly see inside her characters' minds."