Mt. Tam: ($25, ISBN: 978-1-937536-59-6, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-140-4, LCCN: 2014930555, 286pp, 6X9″, January 2014, Purchase on Amazon): is an action adventure thriller about a natural disaster. Four hundred years ago, 38 miles off the coast of California, part of the Juan De Fuca plate was subducted under the North American plate. The cataclysmic forces from that event caused Mt. Tamalpais, in exclusive Marin County, to become an active volcano. No evidence remains from those early eruptions because the mountain is cloaked by an overgrowth of vegetation. The memories of the events are all but forgotten through time and Mt. Tam became dormant. Few if any residents living in the cities and towns in the shadow of the giant even knew its history. That is, until a warm day in May when a class of 24 high school students from Sausalito and their science teacher went on a Junior Class trip. Spelunking in caves created by ancient lava tubes, they discover that the volcano has come to life. No one in sleepy Sausalito expected it, least of all Davis H.S. principal Tom Jessup, or Bob Meyers, the Police and Fire Chief of Larkspur. Yet, there it was nearly 3,000 feet above San Francisco Bay sending gray clouds high into the sky. In less than 24 hours, Mt. Tam creates a series of large earthquakes and puts into motion an enormous mobilization of emergency services from Marin County, San Francisco and the entire Bay Area.
Philip M. Shepard has spent 47 years teaching and as an administrator working with children and adults in grades K-12 and adult school. He worked in the Yonkers and Monroe school districts in New York as well as in Emeryville, Sausalito, Dixie and San Francisco school districts in California. During the 1990’s he began his writing career publishing bi-weekly newspaper articles in the Marin Scope, Sausalito, California. Phil has spent extensive time advocating for people with disabilities and representing the disability community with organizations and agencies who plan for and respond to major disasters. His hobbies are music, art and photography. The author has been living in the Bay Area for 26 years.