Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Janet on the blog today to chat about what inspired the book & the interesting things she learned while researching it!
HEALING SKYE by Janet W. Ferguson
SERIES: Coastal Hearts #6
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Southern Sun Press LLC
RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2021
People can’t be trusted.
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.
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by Janet W. Ferguson, author of Healing Skye
What inspired this story was my friend’s daughter doing an internship at the sea lab in Dauphin Island Alabama studying the migration of manatees. I was fascinated that the sea creatures were traveling from Florida over to Alabama and Mississippi to forage for food, sometimes even going as far as Louisiana and Texas. Then when the weather cools, they must make the long trek back to Florida to winter in warmer water.
I had no idea that these mammals visited near the beaches I love to spend my time walking on!
I knew I wanted to have a heroine that would be a marine biologist after hearing about this subject. It just took me awhile to know who she would be. Once I wrote the character Star in Star Rising, I realized that the character would be Star’s sister, Skye. They had a rough upbringing, and Skye loved animals, often trusting them much more than people—for good reason. So, near the end of 2020, I made my first trip to Dauphin Island to interview a couple of the marine biologists who work there. I also visited their little public aquarium and, on another trip, took an excursion on their research vessel. I was fascinated with both the sea life and the sweet small town in Alabama.
One of the biologists I interviewed mans the Manatee Sighting Network which uses citizen science (calls or email or social media) to document sightings of manatee in the Gulf. Their research focuses on defining where manatees go and what they eat while visiting Alabama and surrounding waters and supports recovery efforts for West Indian manatees across their range. This work is vital since the manatees are endangered, and their primary food, sea grass, has been dying off. Also, boat strikes are common. It’s good to have a spotter if you are boating where the creatures live.
Personally, I didn’t know much about all this until I started research. I got so interested that I planned a trip to see them. My college roommate lives in Florida, and we traveled together to swim with manatees on a tour in the Crystal River. These creatures are truly gentle giants. They quietly and slowly grazed on the grass with their babies below or beside us. I guess that’s why some call them sea cows. We were blessed to see about six to eight as we floated over them without disturbing them. It was truly memorable!
Oddly, while in Destin, Florida, I spotted a group of manatees in the wild later that summer. Maybe because I’d learned how to spot them. Of course, I was so ecstatic!
I hope you enjoy the love story and the faith story of Healing Skye and have fun seeing how I used the fun research in the novel.
Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.
(1) winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Healing Skye, a T-shirt supporting the Manatee Network, magnetic butterfly bookmarks, prayers to share, a creative Bible study journal, a magnet, and a seashell from the author!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 24, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
What about you? What makes you want to read Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson? (And did anyone else break into the ‘Barbara Manatee’ song while reading Janet’s fun post, or was that just me? lol)