An examination of forgiveness in the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident.
Liz Johnson single-handedly raised an exemplary daughter—honor student, track star, and all-around good kid—despite the disapproval of her father and her small town. How could that same teenager be responsible for the death of the high school’s beloved football coach? This is Texas, where high school football ranks right up there with God, so while the legal battle wages, the public deals its own verdict.
Desperate for help, Liz turns to a lawyer whose affection she long ago rejected and attempts to play nice with her ex-husband, while her daughter struggles with guilt and her own demons as she faces the consequences of an accident she doesn’t remember.
Can one careless decision alter a lifetime? A tragic, emotional, ultimately uplifting story, BLIND TURN could be anyone’s story.
Here's what people are saying:
In BLIND TURN, the newest novel from Cara Sue Achterberg, the unthinkable becomes real when a moment of texting means that a good and careful girl takes the life of the beloved football coach in a Texas town where football is religion. Achterberg’s writing is so acute and deeply felt, this story so urgent and heart-wrenching, that the reader cannot turn away.
-Jacquelyn Mitchard, NYT best-selling author, THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN
One of the few books in recent memory I was completely unable to put down, yet still wished I could read more slowly so it would never end. Achterberg writes with a seamless combination of aching sensitivity and a page-turning urgency. Easily one of the best books of any genre I’ve read this entire year.
-C.H. Armstrong, author of Roam and The Edge of Nowhere
Blind Turn is a heart-wrenching telling of any parent’s nightmare – when our teenager makes a mistake that has lifelong repercussions. How these characters pull together to survive incredibly difficult times is a testament to the power of love and family. This book will stay in my mind and heart for a long while. ~Kelli Estes, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk and Today We Go Home
BLIND TURN is also available as an audiobook from Beacon Audiobooks and is available on Audible!
Our film, AMBER'S HALFWAY HOME, produced in partnership with Farnival Films, has been nominated for an Emmy award!
The Emmy is super exciting, but I have to also brag that the film has been selected (so far!) for sixteen film festivals and won ten awards including best short documentary (multiple times), best soundtrack (it is amazing), Audience choice, and best of fest.
All of the accolades are great, but what we really hope is that our film becomes a vehicle for change. Awareness is the first step and by sharing the story of one day of rescue in the south we hope to inspire people to ask the hard questions about our current shelter system particularly in the rural south. If you'd like to learn more, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.orgl.
Watch the trailer:
Or see the entire (30 min) documentary:
Who Will Let the Dogs Out?
Who Will Let the Dogs Out is a 501c3 nonprofit created by photographer, Nancy Slattery, and myself. Our mission is to raise awareness and resources for homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them through writing, photographs, and film to offer support and inspire change.
To date, we have traveled to 73 shelters, rescues, and dog pounds in eleven states. You can find more information and support our work at WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org. To keep up with us, be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube or tag along on Facebook, Instagram and/or Tik Tok.
I am convinced that this situation doesn't exist because people don't care, it exists because people don't know. I hope you will join us. Together we can let the dogs out.
One Hundred Dogs & Counting
One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues was released July 7, 2020 from Pegasus Books!
This book not only continues our foster journey begun in Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, but takes you deeper into the world of dog rescue to discover where the dogs come from and why. But most importantly, it offers hope, heroes, and an opportunity for you to help.
Read latest reviews!
Me? On TV?
Yep, that's me on the set of Home & Family (Hallmark Channel). I had the chance to be their guest and talk not only about my latest book, Another Good Dog, but what it's been like to foster over one hundred dogs. I enjoyed my little brush with Hollywood, but LA traffic just about did me in!
People Magazine chose
Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs as a People's Pick!
You can learn all about the book, the dogs, and fostering at www.anothergooddog.org
"A warm and entertaining memoir about what happens when you foster fifty dogs in less than two years―and how the dogs save you as much as you save them.
When asked how she can possibly say goodbye to that many loveable pups, Cara says, “If I don’t give this one away, I can’t possibly save another.” Filled with humanity and hope, Another Good Dog will take the reader on an journey of smiles, laughs, and tears―and lead us to wonder how many other good dogs are out there and what we can do to help."
Best Friends Animal Society Newsletter called Another Good Dog the 'feel good read of the year.'
Here's what NYT Bestselling author, Peter Zhuetlin, had to say about Another Good Dog:
“A big hearted, inspiring and passionate look at a critical piece of the rescue puzzle. Lucky are the dogs who pass through Cara Sue Achterberg’s arms on their way to the lives they so richly deserve.”
Here is an brief audio excerpt from Another Good Dog:
Connect with me just about anywhere:
Hey, I'd love to send you my (occasional) newsletter!
Who am I, you ask?
I am an irrepressible writer, a curious cook, a lazy gardener, a loyal friend, a dog trainer in training, and a wannabe thru-hiker. I'm also a compulsive blogger, a creative writing teacher, an almost famous novelist, and a rescue dog advocate. I will talk your ear off about processed food, growing tomatoes, Virginia wine, shelter dogs, or the puppies I'm currently fostering. If you ask about my kids, I may brag a bit, as they are certainly worth bragging about. If you follow me on Facebook or twitter or instagram you'll be treated to near daily doses of my thoughts, adventures, and animal photos. Links to all my social media ramblings are above. I'd be honored if you followed me anywhere....
Here's a recent interview with a top-rate book blogger - she even features some of my foster pups!
I'd Love to Meet You
One of my favorite things to do is visit book clubs. If you're club would like me to stop by in person (or by skype or Facetime), give me a shout and I'd be happy to get it on my calendar!
Need a speaker/presenter (in person or virtually) on any of the following topics:
The Crisis in our Southern Animal Shelters
Life as a Shelter Dog
Then I'm your girl - contact me to set something up!
And, of course, I'm happy to come sign books anywhere, anytime!
Abby is a golden pup who is ready for a better life. Despite having spent the last six months living on a chain and having given birth to multiple litters of puppies, she loves every person she meets and her tail never stops wagging. Abby is between 2-4 years old and weighs 53 pounds (but should probably be closer to 60 - we're packing the groceries on!) She walks well on a leash, is housebroken, and crate-trained. She does fine with other dogs, but really just wants to be your shadow and cuddle with you on the couch.
Meet my office mates:
Otis is one of the four surviving puppies from a litter of foster puppies who broke with parvo soon after they arrived at our house. The Movie Mutts came from a dog pound in western, TN. (RIP Hooch, Toto, Enzo, and Lassie) We adopted him Christmas week 2020, and he is a daily reminder of why we rescue and all the work that is still left to do.
Miss Fanny Wiggles!
I met Fanny in a dogpound in western Tennessee in summer 2019. She was emaciated, living in filthy conditions, and destined to be destroyed at a local vet's office. Now she's the sunshine of my life, happily catching frisbees or tennis balls, racing around the agility course, and making me smile on a daily basis. If you're looking for a best friend yourself, I hope you'll choose to rescue.
My other rescue pup, Gracie, turns fifteen this year and still has the countenance of a puppy. Gracie loves us the best she knows how-- by protecting us from the Fed Ex guy, the milkman, the horses in their pasture, and every imagined danger that only she sees. She has mellowed as she enters her second decade, though, and is sweeter and friendlier, collasping in a heap at the first touch and offering her belly for endless rubs.
My Life in Paragraphs
Read occasional posts of my writing journey (with occasional writing advice) on my blog, My Life in Paragraphs. Be sure to subscribe by email for the latest posts.
Another Good Dog Blog
Love dogs? Then you're my favorite kind of person. I hope you'll check out Another Good Dog, where I write about our family's adventures in dog rescue. We've fostered over 200 dogs now and counting! (Plus a dozen cats) The blog has over 5000 subscribers now - hope you'll be one, too!
I Write Fiction Too!
Before I was sidetracked by the dogs, I was a novelist. Actually, I am still a novelist! My novels are women's fiction written from the heart to explore truths we all face in our every day life-- Who am I really? What is love? and What really matters?
Would you like a signed copy of any of my books?
My books are available wherever books are sold, and locally at Traveler's Treasures in Woodstock, Virginia. I'm also happy to sell any of my books directly to you. Send me an email for a pricelist and process. I'm happy to sign a copy and pop it in the mail to you (and Gracie will sign my dog books too!) Free shipping on all books. To order, email me: email@example.com
Did You Know I Have a Podcast?
Neither do very many other people! Who Will Let the Dogs Out is a podcast about my visits to the shelters, rescues, and pounds in the southern US. I'm a huge fan of podcasts and decided to dip my toe in the water of this medium in an effort to reach an even bigger audience with the messaage that we CAN save the dogs suffering and dying in our shelters. I'm excited to introduce you to some incredible heroes and take you along with me and my road companion/rescue buddy, Nancy, on the rescue road. Be sure to subscribe, comment, and share wherever you get your podcasts!