I thought I would celebrate this holiday season by giving away four books (and one book on CD) for a young reader in your life. In this post, Lisa Kline gives us the inside scoop on her recently published book, Blue Autumn Cruise and gives away an autographed copy to one fortunate daughter, granddaughter, or niece!
When I started writing the Sisters in All Seasons series, I knew I wanted to have an animal adventure in each book. The first book featured wolves and the second featured wild horses. When we mapped out the locations for the books, my editor and I agreed that a cruise would be a fun setting for the third book. Our family had just taken one for my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday that I could use as a model. But I quickly ran into a problem: Animals are not allowed on cruise ships.
Well…did people ever sneak animals onto cruise ships? I found out when cruise ships go to exotic ports, sometimes crew members or passengers capture animals and try to take them back to either keep as pets for themselves or to sell. I found a picture of a crew member caught smuggling eight rare parrots, all taped to his legs under his pants! This is, of course, against the law, and people who are caught are fined and sometimes jailed. But enough people get away with it that smuggling animals is something like a six billion dollar business worldwide. People smuggle animals like reptiles, birds, and monkeys when they’re babies.
I decided to have Diana and Stephanie uncover people smuggling on their cruise ship. On the ship, Diana finds one of the rarest iguanas in the world, a blue iguana, and she and Stephanie have to work together to figure out how it got there and how to get it back where it belongs. To help me with my research, I contacted the world’s foremost expert on blue iguanas - a man named Frederick Burton. He is the head of an organization called the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, or BIRP for short, and he’s won major awards for his work in conservation of endangered species. He lives in the Cayman Islands, which is the only place on earth that the blue iguanas live, so I wasn’t able to visit him, but I interviewed him via email.
I have tried to work with a subject matter expert like Mr. Burton on each of the Sisters in All Seasons books to help with authenticity. I’ve also worked with the herd manager for the wild horses at the Outer Banks, a group of marine biologists, and a wildlife rehabilitator. It has been a blast!
Thanks, Carol, for giving me the chance to write a little about my research process!
Here is how you can win a copy of Blue Autumn Cruise:
- If you already follow this blog, please share this contest via social media then post a comment.
- If you aren’t a follower, sign up, and then leave a comment.
- Include your email address so I can contact you.
HURRY! I'll pick a winner the evening of December 5th!