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Carla Richards's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

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Ocean Stories available now in Canada and the U.K.

I'm happy to announce that Ocean Stories is now available at both and For those of you that know me, I have some copies available at my house too. Thanks to my mom for setting up the lovely display(see photo). It is much cooler than the pile of books I had in mind.



Adopted Whales: Saying Goodbye and Saying Hello

I metNimpkish Photo: Carla Richards Nimpkish while I was whale watching from a boat off the coast of Vancouver Island. In fact, he swam right under our boat—and let me just say, he was huge! Nimpkish, a resident killer whale, was well known to the crew of the boat—identifiable by his tall, straight dorsal fin. Other whales came and went, but Nimpkish seemed to hang around with us that afternoon. It was a special experience.

For my birthday that year, I was given a Wild Killer Whale Adoption of Nimpkish as Nimpkish ID Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada(DFO)a present. My brother asked me if my whale would send me a photo and letter every year, but Nimpkish wasn't great at correspondence. However, I would check the Blackfish Sounder, the member newsletter, hoping to read about him.

Nimpkish was a Resident Killer Whale, which means among other things that he had a tight-knit matriarchal family pod, a smaller predictable range along the B.C. coast, and ate mainly fish. In contrast, Transient Killer Whales roam over much larger areas, have looser social structures and primarily eat marine mammals.

I recently learned that Nimpkish disappeared, and is presumed dead. When Nimpkish disappeared, his mother, Scimitar, spent a lot of time swimming alone and calling for him. In what has been, to researchers, anRainy Photo: Lance Barrett-Leonard, Vancouver Aquarium unexpected reaction to Nimpkish's death, she is now spending time on her own, or in the company of the A36 sub-pod of males who had lost their mother, and were without a matriarch. Scimitar is the matriarch (and great-grandmother) of the A12 sub-pod.  

 Adopting a wild animal isn't the same as having a companion animal that lives with you, but I cared about Nimpkish, and it made me sad to hear he was gone. Although, I like to think that maybe Nimpkish decided to run off with a trampy transient.

In honour of Nimpkish, I have adopted Rainy. Rainy is a young calf from the A12 sub-pod, and is Nimpkish's niece or nephew. Researchers have not been able to tell yet if Rainy is a girl or boy. I'll keep you posted.

Rainy ID Photo: Lance Barrett-Leonard, Vancouver AquariumVancouver Aquarium's Wild Killer Whale Adoption program supports important whale research and conservation. Find out more at about the adoption program, and about killer whales at

Do you have any experiences rescuing, adopting or volunteering with wild animals? I'd love to hear about them. 


The Stories Behind the Stories

I find the creative process fascinating—how it differs from person to person, and even from one work to another. Gregory L. Norris, one of my fellow contributors to the anthology, Ocean Stories, has gathered the backstories and inspirations for some of the tales, with a note from the editor about the creation of the anthology. Read about it on his blog.

Ocean Stories is available now!  Barnes and Noble  Elektrik Milk Bath Press 



Ocean Stories anthology available now!

Two researchers set off to explore the mysteries of the deep, but what they find is beyond their imagining . . . a lobsterman, concerned with the changes in his recent haul, calls upon an old friend to help him unlock the mystery . . . A woman, wagered in a game of chance, seeks her fortune on a very special ship. 

Ocean Stories offers 22 tales of the deep ranging from fantasy to horror to humor. Filled with selkies and mermaids, sirens and sea monsters, myth and magic, these tales explore both the immeasurable beauty and the danger found lurking below the surface of the sea.

My short story, "Save Pinkeye", the tale of a mermaid lawyer defending a shark accused of overfeeding, is included in the anthology.

Ocean Stories is available now from:  Barnes & Noble  Elektrik Milk Bath Press 
Coming soon from

Add it to your to-be-read shelf at Goodreads and enter the giveaway which runs until June 25th.


"The Wrath of Spock" rebroadcast

CBC is rebroadcasting my short story "The Wrath of Spock" on Saturday, June 9th between 5pm and 6pm.

It's on CBC Radio 540 AM in Saskatchewan.

If you are outside of Sask. and want to listen, click here and in the "Now Playing on CBC Radio" box, make sure Regina is selected, and choose Radio 1 Listen Live. Please note this is only available streaming live at the show's regular time between 5pm and 6 pm.