When my friend’s daughter began telling me about her internship with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab a few years ago, I knew right away that I wanted to set a book there! She was studying manatee migration patterns. The large mammals had started leaving their habitats in Florida during the summer to forage for food along the Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and even the Texas coastlines. The animals then have to make their way back to Florida for the winter.
I was fascinated. It took me a while to find the right characters to place into a story there, but finally I decided that my character from Star Rising had a sister, Skye, who was a marine biologist and would come to do a study there.
I was so excited to learn about manatees, I even swam with them this summer on a tour at Crystal River in Florida.
The town of Dauphin Island is low-key and still fairly non-commercialized with only a few local shops and restaurants. You arrive there by only one long bridge, a boat, or the ferry from Fort Morgan, unless you have a small plane. They call themselves the Sunset Capital of Alabama, and I have to agree.
The DI Sea Lab offers a small aquarium for the public and some excursions that I enjoyed, plus there are birding trails to observe the birds migrating across the Gulf of Mexico. If you time it right, you can catch the butterflies migrating as well. Of course, there’s the beach!
Oh, a historical fort is located on the east end of the island. I love touring old forts! There’s a huge fishing rodeo every summer, but I didn’t get to go. I’m not a fisherman, anyway, but I did include it in my novel since both my characters would be involved. Dauphin Island is a cute Southern small town, and I really enjoyed learning about it. I hope you do too!
People can’t be trusted, but she’s forced to take a chance.
Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s suicide, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start?
Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter.
When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed.
Get your copy of Healing Skye now on Amazon!
By the way For the Love of Joy is only 99 cents right now! Get a copy here!
Tell me about a small town you love! I’m giving away one Kindle copy of Star Rising which is the story of Skye’s sister and precedes this novel. Comment by January 9, 2022, US only, void where prohibited.