It is 1999 – an exciting time in Seattle. Tech companies are booming. New foundations are starting up. Garret Carter, an African-American lawyer, is hired by a conservation group to work on a land transaction containing old growth forest on the Skagit River. The land deal starts to come apart when the landowner’s son-in-law Dan Gibbs reveals his sympathies for a hate group in North Idaho. All of Garret’s wits are tested when he discovers Gibbs hiding out on the property holding people at gunpoint. While confronting Gibbs, Garret must unravel the pitfalls and failings of his own life. Garret’s dilemma and self-discovery are accompanied by Seattle’s jazz scene and Ruthie, a botanist and dancer, who helps open his eyes to the beauty of the Northwest. “With a rich range of characters, Melissa Laird’s MESSING WITH GOD’S COUNTRY weaves an imaginative and intriguing story around many of the intricacies involved in securing and preserving a portion of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most treasured natural legacies.” ~Tony Angell, award-winning author, sculptor, artist and environmental educator.