Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Blackfish Prophecy by Rachel Clark

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Clark will be awarding 1 signed paperback of the Blackfish Prophecy, 1 bookmark for The Blackfish Prophecy, 1 Orca-themed or book-themed mug to one randomly drawn US winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click Here to see the other stops on the tour.


The Blackfish Prophecy
by Rachel Clark

GENRE: Young Adult/Nature

Best friends Terra and Tiluk live alongside the wild orcas of Washington State. On the other side of the continent, Miles wallows in anger and self-pity fueled by his parents' divorce. In a moment of harrowing fate, their lives converge when Miles witnesses a captive orca brutally kill his trainer at a marine amusement park.

When Miles contacts Terra and her family of whale biologists to better understand the "killer" whale, the three teens soon realize they are more linked to each other - and the whales - than they ever imagined. Driven by a primal urge to connect with the highly-evolved consciousness of the orca, the teens take extraordinary risks to challenge big business and renew lost traditions.

Their journey is set to restore an ancient mystical bond between humans and whales that ultimately reveals The Blackfish Prophecy…a revelation about Terra - and those like her - that's about to change everything.

As if giving a signal now that she had their attention, Granny bumped Wendy. The four whales gently slid closer. Then Eve rolled on her side, raising her pectoral fin above everyone’s heads, and deliberately exposed the eager calf, her granddaughter, who flanked her side. Wendy nudged her vulnerable newborn up alongside the small raft of boats, so she could meet the eyes of the humans. The calf was rolling back and forth, trying to see everyone. She flashed her belly, and the telltale markings showed that she was, in fact, female...just as Terra had predicted.

A shaft of sunlight broke through the bank of clouds just as the music ended, bathing the group of humans and whales in a sparkling hush. Everyone went silent with the great honor of the calf’s presentation. Gwen’s chin was trembling in the shade of her Stetson, but she managed to pull her little digital camera out of her pocket and had it trained on the whales. Bill, always so steadfast, had turned white. Jason’s eyes darted from the calf, to Wendy, to the other adults, as if trying to make sense of what was happening by watching everyone else. Claire and Maggie, the only other mothers, finally tore their eyes from the calf’s eager, wriggling body, and saw tears on one another’s cheeks. More than anyone here, they knew what it meant for these whales to trust them enough to present the new calf like this.

Then Granny, Eve, and Wendy brought the calf towards Terra’s kayak.

Terra stared down into the water as the three large whales held back, letting the baby swim very close to Terra, her eye coming above water, making contact with the human girl: the special connection. The calf lingered along‐side Terra’s kayak, so close that her belly bumped the boat as she rolled slightly to look up into Terra’s eyes. The world stopped. Could this really be happening?

Once more Granny slid near Terra’s boat, alongside her great grand‐ daughter, this time staying on the surface, the length of her body sliding alongside the calf, her black skin glistening in the late afternoon ray of sunshine. She blew a misty outbreath, then rolled and made direct eye contact with Terra for one more suspended moment.

“Oh Granny...” Terra breathed in, tasting Granny’s briny exhalation...then whispered imperceptibly, all her doubts about her dream dissolving in the shared breath of girl and whale. “I will.”


Rachel is a writer and biologist. As a kid she got hooked on all things animal, vegetable, and mineral. To complicate matters, she was hatching up stories before she could hold a crayon. Once she discovered biology it was all over. Ever since her first class in 7th grade when she refused to dissect a frog, a little voice in her head said: You gotta share this amazing stuff about how nature works, and ask if we really need to harm it. The little voice only got fiercer once she went to college and worked with captive dolphins and Beluga whales, then got to see wild killer whales only a few weeks later. From then on it was an all-out quest to convey the wonders of nature, while pointing out the serious problems of our very bad habit of dominating others and the Earth. She’s been a card-carrying science writer for twenty years. The Blackfish Prophecy is Rachel’s first book. 
These days when Rachel is not writing, reading, dreaming, or speaking, you can find her sculpting an unruly assortment of moose-pruned orchard trees & berry bushes, gathering veggies & eggs in her micro-farmyard, foraging for mushrooms, and feasting on local food with friends.

She is a lifelong yogini, devoted pack mate to her free-spirited Canid, and mama bear who's sustained by treks deep into the Pacific Northwest with her increasingly feral family. Rachel drives a 100% electric zero-emission car, and her family's home is powered by renewable energy. Their little house is nestled on an urban lot they tend for kids' play, territory Animalia, sequestering carbon, and a food forest to augment the bounty of local growers.

Her work is fiercely aligned with the science of Life, harmony & justice for all: the enduring dream of Earth.


Author Interview

  • How long have you been writing?
    Oh my, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory is a story about a princess I wrote in second grade. My mom read stories when I was a very little girl, and my connection to animals and nature started very early, on a farm. Those bedtime stories and the farm ignited early writings. That connection to the Earth and her creatures, including princes and princesses – people of all kinds facing their own journeys – inspire me every day, and are always part of my writing.

  • What inspired this book or series?
    So many things! Overall, I’d say that the inspiration comes from living on this planet at this particular time in human history. More specifically, having the amazing privilege of encountering both captive and wild cetaceans – and having a profound dream involving a wise matriarchal orca visiting me with important information. That along with a career in science and environment writing, where I reported on the impacts of Western domination culture on the natural world. All those things together, along with being a mom and seeing the world my kids are inheriting, ignited the book and series.

  • Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
    Miles, hands down. Because I had no idea where he was coming from, he surprised me at every turn, I grew very fond of him as a character as he developed, he is instrumental to recovery and inspiring powerful healthy action in others, and maybe most of all, because in real life I met and became friends with someone eerily like Miles, a good three years after writing the book.

  • Who is your least favourite character in your book and why?
    OceanLand. Not a human obviously, but it is definitely my least favourite “character”.  It represents the toxic cultural system that allows people to inflict terrible suffering on other humans and non-humans. Everything about OceanLand and its keeping wild sentient beings captive shows the start to finish path of this systemic domination –from thinking it’s appropriate to take sentient beings away from their families, to capturing the wild whales, to keeping them in tanks for the rest of their lives, to believing it’s appropriate for them to perform for people as “education.” I could go on. And these same beliefs have driven our current Western cultural system in many ways – the intersections of these injustices drive racism, sexism, climate change, the 6th mass extinction, and others. I do not like OceanLand. But luckily, many people are changing the system right now.


Book and Author Links







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4 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read this. I loved reading this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey, thank you so much for your interest! I'd love to know what you think about it after you read it. Please contact my book marketing assistant, Lauren Jones at turninganotherpage@gmail.com, if you have any questions.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for hosting and sharing this wonderful guest post. Rachel and I are thrilled that you could do this for us!

    ReplyDelete

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