Monday, July 6, 2015

Researching the Jungles of Peru with Guest Donna Robinson

A Guest Post by Donna Robinson

Most of my book, The God of All Tomorrows, is set in Peru in the Amazon rainforest. It's historical fiction from 1934, although Peru is timeless. The Peruvian Indians have been living the same way for hundreds of years.

The rainforest is home to thousands of creatures, including parrots, monkeys, snakes, jaguars, insects, bats... you name it! Catfish and piranha live in the rivers. I knew about most of these creatures as I researched Peru. But a surprising animal to me was the pink river dolphin.

Pink dolphins have favorite spots along the river, eating a diet of crawfish and shrimp. They are playful creatures, for the most part, growing pinker as they become more excited. There are places in Peru where you can even swim with the dolphins—but you'd better make sure it's safe! You wouldn't want your toes eaten off by a hungry piranha!

In my story, Launi Fairfield sets out to become a Bible translator for the Quechua Indians. These people live in the highlands or along the river's edge of the Amazon rainforest. Several times Launi and Dr. Miles Stone canoe down the river. In the following scene, Launi is paddling in the front, Dr. Stone is in the back, and they are traveling with Victor, a mestizo (an Indian of Spanish descent). Being in Peru, they are speaking Spanish.


Launi laid her paddle across her lap and looked ahead. “What are those pink things leaping in the water?”

Victor sat up. “Hey! Pink dolphins.”

“How do you like that.” Dr. Stone sounded surprised. “I haven’t seen pink dolphins on this river for years.”

“They’re coming closer.” Launi watched as the pink things moved toward them in little arcs, cresting just above the water.

Victor leaned toward her. “Don’t worry, Senõrita, they’re not dangerous. Just playful.”

“Start paddling, Miss Fairfield.” Dr. Stone pushed with a powerful stroke, and the canoe shot forward.

Launi stuck her paddle in the water and pushed.

Victor pointed. “Pink dolphins have a hump instead of a dorsal fin, Senõrita, and a blow hole in the top. They grow more pink as they become excited.”

The dolphins, five of them, came up to their boat. A couple popped their heads out of the water and chattered at them through their beaklike snouts. They were certainly pink! Soon all of them were blowing and diving, crisscrossing from one side of the boat to the other.

Launi kept stroking, hoping her paddle didn’t hit one in the head.

Victor laughed. “They’re following us.”

“This isn’t funny, Victor.” Launi pushed a little deeper. “What if they capsize the boat?”

“Not to worry, Miss Fairfield.” Dr. Stone’s powerful strokes kept their boat moving fast. “They’ll leave us sooner or later.”

“Sí. There they go.”


Notice how I had Victor describe the dolphins, although a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blog reader, you have that advantage over a book reader.

Has anyone here ever been to Peru or the jungles of South America? See photos of pink dolphins here.

About Donna Robinson

Donna Reimel Robinson is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her publishing credits include Tumbleweed Weddings, published by Barbour, as well as The Knotty Pine Chronicles and The God of All Tomorrows. She and her husband live in Denver, and have four grown children and eleven grandchildren. You can see a list of her books, both digital and paperback, at

About The God of All Tomorrows

In 1934, Launi Fairfield goes to the jungles of Peru to translate the Bible into an Indian dialect. She thought missionary work would be exciting, but her days are taken up with the tedious translation project.

Miles Stone has been a missionary doctor for ten years. He’s a confirmed bachelor, not wanting to be saddled with a wife and children as he moves around to the different Peruvian tribes. He’s content with his life, until he meets Launi.

Together, they end up having more adventure than Launi ever bargained for. They battle snakes, jaguars, sickness, earthquakes, and an Indian chief who wants to add Launi to his harem. Will they trust God for all their tomorrows?


Interested in reading The God of All Tomorrows? Donna is offering one reader a copy (e-book only, worldwide). If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Friday, July 10, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Sweet Serenade, Valerie's newest novella in the Riverbend series, releases tomorrow on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo. The price jumps from 99 cents to $2.99 on July 8, so nab it quickly if you want to! Find Sweet Serenade links here.


  1. Valerie, thanks so much for inviting me as your guest today.

  2. Hi Donna, Those pink dolphins are just gorgeous :) Your book sounds like a fascinating read and I love the setting! Thanks for visiting with us.

    1. Thanks, Narelle! Living in Peru would really be a different way of life. The wildlife is amazing.

  3. Pink dolphins? Sounds interesting :-)
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Thanks for your comment, Trixi. I never heard of pink dolphins before I researched this book. As my mom always said, "You learn something new every day."

  4. Donna, those pinkies are absolutely beautiful! And the premise of the novel really grabbed me. I know what you mean about wondering what's in the water. I haven't been to Peru, but in our ministry we ended up on a visit to Sarawak in East Asia. We had to sleep in the long houses with lots of other tribal folk. But bathing in the yellowish river waters was a scary experience! Every time something brushed against my leg, my imagination ran wild.

    Thanks Valerie for such a fascinating post.

    1. Sorry, here's my email: ritagal at optusnet dot com dot au

    2. I thought Donna had a unique story to share with our readers here! I swam in the river in the jungles of Bolivia once many years ago. Apparently with the piranhas... And not long after we saw a humungous snake swim by. Freaked me out TOTALLY!

    3. Thanks for your comment, Rita. I'm not sure I would want to bathe in the river. And Valerie, LOL. There are a lot of snakes in the river, and in Peru that means Anacondas. Scary!

  5. As a teen, I expected to spend my life translating Scripture in a South American jungle. Instead I ended up a librarian in Africa, but the jungles of South America are still dear to my heart. I would love to read this. Hope I'm not too late to get into the drawing. leannehardy at gmail dot com.