It's the second week of the BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES book tour, and so far it has been a memorable and exhilarating adventure.
One of the most amazing moments happened yesterday afternoon during the "Moveable Feast" literary luncheon in Pawleys Island, hosted by Litchfield Books. It filled my eyes with tears.
Before I explain why, let me share a little background first. Most of my readers know I'm passionate about sea turtle conservation. My personal work with these majestic creatures inspired not only BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES, but also my New York Times bestsellers THE BEACH HOUSE and SWIMMING LESSONS. When planning this book tour, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to not only celebrate the progress that's been made in sea turtle conservation but also share the exciting expansion plans of the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital. As I've been saying during this book tour, let's move that hospital out of the basement.
We revealed the plan during the book launch party at the aquarium, and the huge crowd responded enthusiastically. Proceeds from the party's book sales went toward the turtle hospital initiative. Approximately 225 people attended the celebration, many of them were sea turtle volunteers themselves. Fans traveled from all over the Carolinas to be there. I even met a couple from New Hampshire!
Now, back to yesterday's Pawleys Island event. I had just shared some of those hospital expansion details with the packed house, when the 'Moveable Feast' event coordinator spontaneously decided to pass around a glass jar to collect contributions for the cause. The gesture alone made my heart swell and I figured they might collect a hundred dollars or so. That would have been a wonderful donation. My eyes bulged when told the final tally---$640! I was moved to tears by this group's generosity. I have THE BEST fans!
Just days before, Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head Island, SC also raised money for the sea turtle hospital during a private book tour event. Thank you all for your generous spirit.
One more note about the South Carolina Aquarium. The sea turtle rescue program manager, Kelly Thorvalson, and her team will be releasing two loggerheads back into the ocean at the Isle of Palms County Park on Friday, May 18th at 3pm. I've been a part of these releases many times, and each one is an emotional sight to see. If you live near Charleston, SC, I hope you'll be able to witness this incredible event. You can learn more about the sea turtles being released on the Sea Turtle Hospital Blog.
I'm in North Carolina for the next few days and then I'll drive over to Kingsport, Tennessee. Take a look at my complete book tour schedule and I hope to have the opportunity to say hello to you at one of these events.