Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Ripped from the headlines
by Maggie Toussaint

Usually when you think of stories ripped from the headlines of newspapers, you think of lurid crimes, of things that could never happen in your town or to your family. I was searching for an idea for a novella and I kept coming back to something that happened locally.

I live on the Georgia coast, and you may not know this, but loggerhead turtles return to the same beach each time they lay their eggs. In a given year, the barrier islands offshore of my county have visits by hundreds of turtles. Because the species is protected, each island usually has a college intern whose job it is to go out and look for new nests. The sites are then marked and checked on during the course of the summer.

Hatching is down to a science, and I won’t overwhelm you with every turtle fact I know. The case ripped from the headlines was about a turtle egg thief. An intern noticed sand disturbance at a nest, checked it, and discovered the eggs were missing. Yes, there’s a market for turtle eggs and each nest has about a hundred eggs.

The egg thief was caught, thanks to a clever egg sniffing dog, and served time for his crime. In addition he had to volunteer at a turtle rehab center over on Jekyll Island as part of his community service. When he’d served all his time and was a free man again, what did he do? Go back and steal more eggs! I kid you not.

They knew just where to look for the missing eggs, and, yes, he went back to prison, this time as a repeat offender.

I fictionalized parts of this true story in Turtle Tribbles, the second novella in my Lindsey & Ike Romantic Mystery Series. It releases on May 1 and is available for pre-order at KINDLE. If you’re not connected with me on social media already, I hope you’ll make those connections right now. The links are on the Booklover’s Bench home page in the left sidebar.

FOR FUN, TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE (chicken) EGG DISH FOR A CHANCE TO WIN REALLY, TRULY DEAD, Book 1 in the Lindsey & Ike Novella Series. Winner will be chosen by Random.org.

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