I am pleased to welcome M.L. Rowland to Escape With Dollycas today!
WOMEN ON SEARCH AND RESCUE
Search and Rescue has traditionally been a male-dominated field and, for the most part, still is. For about a dozen years, I was a very active member of a very active Search and Rescue team in the mountains of southern California. For almost two of those twelve years, I was the only woman on the team.
One question I’m asked a lot, mostly by women, is what it’s like to be a woman on Search and Rescue.
Some teams have a lot of women members; some not so many. Sometimes this is due to the normal ebb and flow of membership of a volunteer team, sometimes to the demographics of the community it serves and from which the team draws its members, sometimes, in my opinion, to how women on the team (and women in general) are treated.
In my Search and Rescue mystery series, Gracie Kinkaid is one of the only women on Timber Creek Search and Rescue. An excerpt from Zero-Degree Murder, the first book in the series: “Ordinarily ten men to one woman might be a to-die-for ratio. But more often than not, Gracie found that working with so many Manly Men for so many hours, often days at a time, took its toll on her. She could take only so much crotch arranging, and fart and blonde jokes before she began to crave a bubble bath or painted her toenails petunia pink.”
On our team, while minimal allowances were made for women on the mandatory physical fitness test, there was no difference in what was required in all other aspects of team membership. To qualify as a SAR Technician, Level II, as required by our team to operate in the field, we all had to pass the same National Association for Search and Rescue written and field tests which included the Incident Command System, tracking, basic survival, search tactics, and land navigation and orienteering.
While operating on a team of mostly men, I never expected anything from them that I wasn’t prepared and able to do for them. In other words, I didn’t expect special treatment based on my gender. I held my own, carried my own weight. I worked as hard as, sometimes a lot harder than, every other member of the team. What I lacked in physical strength, I tried to more than make up for in other ways: training, knowledge, expertise, and commitment.
While on a mission, when lives, including our own, were at stake, I depended on my teammates and they needed to be able to depend on me for anything and everything.
Was Search and Rescue work often difficult and physically demanding? Yes. Was working in close proximity with so many Manly Men challenging at times? Absolutely. Do I ever wish I had done something else with my life during those years on the team? Not for a second!
To find out more about M.L. Rowland and her books check out her webpage here.
Murder Off the Beaten Path
(A Search and Rescue Mystery)
2nd in Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery (October 7, 2014)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 1749 KB
As a member of a mountain search and rescue team, Gracie Kinkaid routinely volunteers to put her life on the line. But it’s at her new day job at a residential camp in the mountains of southern California where she finds her life is really in danger…
As a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue, Gracie responds to a call out for a car that’s gone over the side of a treacherous mountain road. The crash, which Gracie quickly suspects is no accident, proves to be one in an escalating and deadly series of events that lead her right back to Camp Ponderosa, a church-owned camp where she works as Program Director. As Gracie probes more deeply into the dark secrets at the camp, she unearths a hidden world of illegal activities, including murder…and finds herself going head-to-head with desperate perpetrators who will do anything to silence her forever.
This second installment is even better than the first. This time the recovered body is that of a friend and co-worker at Camp Ponderosa and Gracie can’t help but get involved. When she does she finds all the clues lead right back to the camp and even when she becomes a target she just can’t give up.
Just like Zero-Degree Murder the suspense starts from page 1 and Gracie has no idea who she can trust. Gracie is a strong sleuth and her SAR skills help her in so many ways. Her confidence has grown since the first book and she seems physically stronger too. She does get into some dangerous situations and even gets hurt and she just keeps plugging until the last clue falls into place. At times it was like watching a scary movie and I wanted to yell, “don’t go there!” but of course she does and we suffer together through those white knuckle moments.
I recommend reading the books in order. You can read my review of Zero-Degree Murder here. The author’s Search and Rescue experience shines in both books. She also describes the settings so well. On and off the paths seem to be absolutely beautiful.
The mysteries are fantastic and the hints of romance continue to build. I am anxious to see how things play out after all that has happened in Murder Off the Beaten Path. It should be very interesting!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Contest Will End November 5, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”