SWIMMING LESSONS: True Tales at the Sea Turtle Hospital

There is no denying my deep affinity for sea turtles, particularly the threatened loggerhead. This ancient creature of the deep blue swam its way into the pages of two of my novels, THE BEACH HOUSE and the sequel SWIMMING LESSONS.

SWIMMING LESSONS is being re-released as mass market this July with a fresh seaside front cover. My hope is a new wave of readers will find themselves taking interest in the loggerhead as well as the sea turtle hospitals that care for the sick and injured.

In SWIMMING LESSONS, my protagonist Toy Sooner, a single mother raising her young daughter on Isle of Palms, is also caring for injured sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Hospital located at Charleston's South Carolina Aquarium. Each turtle Toy handles at the facility are reflective of actual case histories there.

Biologist Kelly Thorvalson, who is the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program Coordinator, blogs about the amazing turtle cases the staff and volunteers handle. Their mission is to help sea turtles survive in our ocean by healing the ill and injured for their return to the wild. It is through her dedication, and that of the volunteers, aquarium staff, and a long line of generous donors, that the SC Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital has grown into the amazing facility it is today.

After reading, or re-reading, SWIMMING LESSONS when it makes its return to bookstores in July, I encourage you to plan a trip to the SC Aquarium. We have two fabulous new exhibits—an extremely rare albino alligator and a 3D theater that lets you feel the splash of water and more as you watch a film. Also, the penguin exhibit has been extended. And don’t forget to take for a tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital. I hope the pages of my novel come alive when you see with your own eyes the spectacular sea creature that inspired me to write my turtle novels. I hope they capture your heart just as they did mine!

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All the best,
Mary Alice