Multiple award-winning novella, When Otters Play, by bestselling author Mara Purl, reveals connection between crimes against wildlife and human

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 22, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Can a bullet lodged in the carcass of a Southern California sea otter lead to a connection to crimes against humans?

When Otters Play is a thrilling, award-winning novella that takes readers on a compelling sea-going adventure. To celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week, the Amazon Kindle E-book will be free for four days, September 22, 23, 24 and 25th.

Best-selling, award-winning author Mara Purl weaves intriguing facts into her story. Based in part on researching reports by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experts who monitor the wild sea otter population near Santa Barbara, Purl found that law enforcement information can and is shared between officers who monitor violent crime against both humans and wildlife.

“Sea otters are highly intelligent creatures who live mostly within sight of the coastline, observing and interacting with humans in marinas and recreational areas,” Purl explained. “They’re the only marine mammals with paws very much like hands. And they’re clever and mischievous. They’ve been known to steal oarlocks, swipe food, and play with beach balls.”

Despite being the cutest and cleverest animals in the area, sea otters have run afoul of commercial fishermen who harvest sea urchins. “I had no idea how controversial this book would be,” Mara revealed. “When I first began research I assumed I’d be learning about migration, mating, feeding and other behaviors. But I discovered two important things. First, the sea otter is an index species.

Second, the sea otter was endangered for many years. In its absence, fishermen began harvesting urchins, and this became a lucrative business for them. Now that the otters are back, they’re competing for that same supply. The fisherman don’t see cute creatures; they see dangerously aggressive competitors.

Sea Otter Awareness Week was founded in 2006 to recognize the vital role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem. It’s only through wildlife advocacy groups that the populations survives, and they’re still threatened by oil spills, fishing gear entanglement, vessel strikes and habitat degradation. The southern sea otter is an ancient species, dating back five to twenty-three million years ago. Their luxurious pelts were so highly valued for fur, that they were nearly hunted to extinction until the 1911 Fur Seal Treaty.

When Otters Play is part of Purl’s best-selling saga, Milford-Haven, which began as a hit BBC radio drama with 4.5 million listeners in the U.K., and became a multi-award winning book series with 17 million followers in the U.S. The story is set in California’s scenic Central Coast, where Purl regularly researches her stories, and is a frequent speaker.

Reviewer and Host of The Authors Show Linda Thompson said: “The big plus about reading Purl’s works is what you learn, particularly about the central California coastal area, but most especially about the wildlife. You can feel the almost-human quality of the otters in this book and your heart aches for little Lulu, who is without her mother. When Otters Play is a wonderful read and I was sad to reach the last page. This is another one on my ‘must recommend” list.'”

Don Barthelmess, Professor Marine Technology Department, Santa Barbara City College, said, “A fun and accurate depiction of the diverse marine communities set in the beautiful Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Mara makes the story come alive!”

Reader comments:

“Mara Purl creates a rich palette in her newest Milford-Haven installment. Artist Miranda Jones heads into the ocean and we meet a raft of otters as well as a mix of interesting people against a backdrop of the lush California Central Coast. All is not well at the coast, and not everyone wants to protect the otters! I love the series not only for the magical setting, but also for the author’s style in bringing delicious detail to the reader. Come to Milford-Haven for the ambiance, but stay for the drama!”
– Victoria Heckman, author of the Elizabeth Murphy Animal Communicator Series

“Mara Purl’s writing style is imaginatively eloquent. She manages to put words together in unique ways that grab my mind and make me see things I’d never thought of before. Her storytelling, simply put, is a joy. When Otters Play is a great read by an author who never disappoints, Mara Purl. Get it, sit down in your favorite reading chair, and enjoy.” – Roger Seiler, Author of Master of Alaska

About the Author

For her Milford-Haven Novels, Mara was named 2019 Top Female Author for Fiction by the Authors Show. To date, her book series has won more than 60 book awards, and has topped multiple best-seller lists on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her novels, novellas and novelettes with their gorgeous watercolor book covers and engaging mix of romance and mystery are sought after by her mostly female readers, where Mara has become a trail blazer for both Women’s Fiction and Small Town fiction.

Mara, who has appeared on stage and on-camera since childhood, played the recurring character “Darla Cook” on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. She then founded a production company and created Milford-Haven U.S.A.,a serial drama loosely based upon Cambria, California. The show, co-starring a well-known L.A. based cast including Erin Gray, Linda Purl, Ed Begley, Jr., Michael Horse, and several others, became the first American radio drama to air on BBC radio, where it enjoyed a following of 4.5 million listeners. Purl’s story later came to the attention of New York publishers, who began publishing her novel series in hardcover in 2011. Since then, her books have become national best-sellers, as have her novellas.

Mara has an on-line following of 17 million when she does her blog tours. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows, and also speaks for the American Heart Association, for women’s organizations, for writers’ conferences and for colleges and universities. Mara and her books have a large following nationally and particularly in California. Along with her work as an author, speaker and performer, she consults on other authors’ book projects.

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