What made you want to write this book? Did anything in particular spark the premise?
I got the idea for this book after visiting Turtle Hospital, a sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation facility in the Florida Keys. The stories of the turtles who were there recovering from their injuries and illnesses and the people who worked with them were fascinating. It made me wonder what if the turtles helped the people as much as the talented staff helped them. And just like that, the story was born!
Do you have personal experience with turtles or marine life and is this a meaningful part of your life?
I love the ocean and I love animals, so it’s not surprising that I have a special fondness for marine animals. I especially love seeing them in their natural environment when I’m snorkeling or standup paddleboarding – two of my favorite ocean activities. So far, I think the only thing I haven’t seen in the wild is a whale, but since I spend most of my ocean time in the warm waters of Florida or the Caribbean, it’s not likely I’ll see one anytime soon!
Who was your favorite side character to write and why?
Oh, I don’t know if I can choose a favorite. I love them all! Hadley is actually in Beach Wedding Weekend, so it was fun to get to revisit her again. She’s such a fun character to write. I loved Ellyn, too – she has such a sweet, positive energy. And Mateo got the unfortunate role of being the bad guy, but it came from a good place, so I think he gets a pass! Plus, he was funny and I always like the funny characters.
What part of this book was the most fun to write?
By far, the most fun part of this book was getting to write about sea turtles and Turtle Rehab. I loved getting to research all that goes into protecting and helping these amazing creatures!
Do you have a favorite quote or passage from the book that you wrote?
I love the scene where Molly sees Turtle Rehab for the first time. And even though it’s a hard scene, I really like the one at the top of the Research Tower. It’s full of emotion and we get an honest look at Molly’s heart. I love that. But my favorite line is probably at the end of Chapter Five: “If only broken hearts were like turtle shells and all it took to heal them was a little bit of honey.”
The Beach Escape, Rachel’s heartfelt and turtle-filled Hallmark romance, is available in eBook, paperback, and audiobook. It’s a good mood in book form—order it today!