This photo marks a special day. The official launch of my new summer novel, ON OCEAN BOULEVARD and the date of the first reported sea turtle nest of the 2020 season on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
This is amazing for a few reasons. The Isle of Palms is the main setting of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD, which is also the Lowcountry island I call home. the story is set against the backdrop of the loggerhead turtle nesting season and the people who volunteer to protect the species. In real life, I am one of those people, a “Turtle Lady”, as we proudly call ourselves. I’m certified to help locate and protect the nests on our beach to help the species thrive.
SEA TURTLE NESTING SEASON
May marks the beginning of loggerhead nesting season in South Carolina. Imagine my delight when the team called me on book release day to report the first nest sighting of the season. 147 eggs!
My best friend Barbara Bergwerf is our official Island Turtle Team photographer, and she does an incredible job documenting the season. Here’s the link to our Island Turtle Team page. Bookmark the page if you’re interested in loggerheads. Check in often, and you’ll feel like a “virtual” turtle lady with us. The team patrols the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island beaches.
The photograph above is pure serendipity! What are the chances that our island’s first turtle nesting would happen on the same day as the book release of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD? This moment is just as special to me as the year that a loggerhead laid a nest on my birthday in May! (There’s a chance that could actually happen again, too. I’ll keep you posted).
LIFE IMITATES ART SOMETIMES
This is an amazing moment of life imitating art. And it feels like the turtles came to celebrate the new book. What an uplifting moment in a season that has been full of major change for all of us. Anyone who knows me knows my deep affinity for loggerheads (and all sea turtles). And I know I’m not alone…I met many turtle lovers over the years during book tours. Nature has a magical way of delivering a uplifting moment right when you need it.
MEET ME ON OCEAN BOULEVARD
I’m happy to report that ON OCEAN BOULEVARD is a #1 New Release on Amazon. Thank you readers for making it a bestseller! I believe this is a book that will deliver exactly what many of us want right now–an entertaining escape. So many summer events and vacations are postponed or canceled. A lot of people are staying close to home this season for safety. It’s nice to see people turning to books to fill their free time and lift their spirits. I invite you to meet me ON OCEAN BOULEVARD this summer!
ABOUT THE BOOK
The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Guests returns at long last to her beloved Isle of Palms in this breathtaking novel about one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.
It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.
Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.
Like the sea turtles that come ashore annually on these windswept islands, three generations of the Rutledge family experience a season of return, rebirth, and growth.
LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT OF ON OCEAN BOULEVARD