Name: Deborah Rocheleau
Title: Caretta, Caretta
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Beth Keepe, teen environmentalist, doesn’t go boating. Unless she’s upset. Unless she’s pregnant, considering an abortion, and terrified of telling her father. But when she hits a sea turtle with her boat, cracking its shell in two, she puts guilt on hold and vows to save the animal.
All she has to do is reopen the old turtle hospital. Simple. Until her estranged sister arrives on the scene, determined to change Beth’s mind about the pregnancy. Between guilt over the turtle and fear of hurting her father, Beth will face decisions that could save or destroy two lives.
First 250 words:
I never went boating just for the heck of it. At least, that’s what I told myself as my boat’s prow sliced the water, skimming over the frothing waves. After all the sea turtles I’d treated with Gramps, all the torn flippers and split shells from collisions with careless boaters, I swore I’d never put one in danger myself. But some days the best life philosophies and most sincere promises can’t keep you away from the ocean. Especially when it’s the only place your nagging sister won’t follow you.
So when my hull clunked against something hard in the water, the propeller hiccupping a beat, it knocked the bold thoughts right out of my head and out to sea.
I cut the motor, letting the boat coast to a stop in the water. Rushing to the stern, I leaned out the back and scanned the waves behind the slowing propeller. A mushroom of red blossomed below the surface, hovering a moment like a jellyfish before beginning to sink.
That did not just happen.
I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket, my finger hovering over George’s number, before remembering he was an hour away in Grace Port. Swallowing a lump, I scrolled down the list of contacts and speed-dialed Anna.
She answered in three seconds.
“Anna, meet me at the beach. By the old beach access.” I didn’t elaborate. Snapping the phone shut, I plunged into the water, shoes and all.