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Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

‘The Cannastar Factor’ Kicks Up A Rumpus


The Cannastar Factor

By Stephen Steele


First book in the Trouble With Miracles trilogy

Genre: Fiction: Action/Adventure

Via: Author Request

Pages: 312

Alex Farmer is a burnt-out E.R. physician from L.A. He receives a cryptic letter from an old colleague/friend, Maury, a molecular biology whiz. When Maury winds up dead under suspicious circumstances, Alex finds himself in the hinterlands of Montana looking into a murder. He discovers that Maury was working on a shadowy, super-secret project related to “transgenics” and the human immune system.

Montana rancher Cydney “Cyd” Seeley has a master’s degree in plant genetics. She and Alex get off to a rocky start. But when they finally start comparing notes, they discover that Maury was on to something that may have cost him his life. And they’re next on the hit list of a corrupt and crafty U.S. Senator who’s in the hip pocket of Big Pharma.

‘Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…’

Meanwhile, we learn that Cannastar is a plant that, when boiled into a tea and swallowed, “turns the human immune system in to a lean, mean, fighting machine.” And that pretty much spells the end of illness, viruses and disease. Well. There isn’t any moola in making people well and keeping them that way. So basically, Cannastar will put Big Pharma out of business. And a certain U.S. Senator and his Big Pharma pals will stop at nothing to destroy anything and anyone who threatens to disrupt their cash flow.

It’s quite a rumpus. Can Cyd and Alex stay one step ahead of the bad guys before it’s too late?

Scene stealers: Otis Appleseed and “Sergio Lancelot.”

Has It All

This book has it all: Action. Suspense. Romance. Breath-taking scenery. The rugged feral beauty of Big Sky Country. Treachery and double crosses. Uber jerks. A corrupt politician (is there any other kind? Don’t get us started!). Greedy CEOs. And plenty of Really Bad Dudes. Also tenacity and courage. Loyalty and loss. And a generous dose of levity. It’ll have you either chuckling your head off or gripping the edge of your chair with white-knuckles. Maybe both on the same page.


The Cannastar Factor is a complex, intricate plot with backstories a-plenty. The writing is mature and well-seasoned. There’s plenty of action. And just about the time you think you know where this story’s going…. Whups! U-turn!

Note: The “Salish armada” and “Dances with Pickups” is a thing of beauty. (You had to be there.)

The Cannastar Factor is Book 1 in the Trouble with Miracles trilogy. You don’t necessarily have to read the books in order to get the gist of ’em. But it would help. The first book rounds out the main characters and fills in some gaps that may be confusing if you start in Book 2 like one of us did (Hi, Mom). There’s also a lot going on. Lots of characters to chart. You might want to bring a map. And a lunch.

Also note: There’s occasional profanity. We’re not fans. But at least it’s not excessive. Or we would’ve pitched it over the side of the Pequod long ago (you’ll get that if you read the book).

Overall, The Cannastar Factor is spunky and sassy and a whole lotta fun! Check it out!

Our Rating: 3.5

2 thoughts on “‘The Cannastar Factor’ Kicks Up A Rumpus

  1. I’m so glad you found a winner! This sounds exciting. I have one minor issue, the cover looks more like Arizona, New Mexico, or Colorado and the book is set in Montana.

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