NEW: The orchid Mantis: a psychological thriller
The Orchid Mantis follows the turbulent lives of innocent, six-year-old Skye and her adopted older sister, Amber. At first, Skye is enthralled with her new sister, but soon finds herself caught in a web of lies, fear, and deceit. Over time the stakes climb higher and higher for Skye, and just when she thinks she has the upper hand, COVID-19 strikes, the city is plunged into lockdown, and her world changes forever.
What people are saying about
“THE ORCHID Mantis”:
Great story. Six-year-old Skye is in thrall to eight-year-old Amber from the moment of Amber’s adoption. Amber is not only pretty and self-assured, but also full of ideas for excitement and adventure. Everyone adores her. Because of her traumatic past, she is given endless leeway by their parents. But as the girls grow up, the adventures become wilder and more dangerous, and unsettling events begin to accumulate.
Told from the point of view of a sister desperate to see only the best in her sibling, this is a finely drawn, chilling study of the extremes of familial passion and the bond of sisterhood gone wrong. I loved it. SS
A great read! Fascinating and unnerving plot, with characters whose flaws feel painfully real. Held my attention right up until the last exquisite sentence. JN
“Finding Vera,” The story of a very special, special-needs dog.
Based on true events, Finding Vera is the story of a beautiful, intelligent, and sensitive German shepherd. After a difficult beginning, Vera’s life spins out of control as she struggles to cope with her new family—two adult humans and two well-socialized, mature dogs who view her as the uncivilized punk sister. This is a story filled with anguish, joy, pain, and humor as the complexity of Vera’s character is slowly revealed. Like a phoenix, she emerges triumphant.
This novel illustrates some of the potential challenges of adopting a shelter dog, and the intensely rich and rewarding experience of working through the issues. Layered with a deep understanding of dogs, the author brings the dogs’ points of view to life.
Finding Vera is available through Amazon.com, at Village Books in Fairhaven, Bellingham, Lap of Luxury in Lynden as well as select groomers and pet stores in Bellingham, WA.
What people are saying about
“This book is the best dog-related novel I’ve ever read, and I also learned more from it than any other. Experienced and inexperienced dog guardians alike will be impressed by the writer’s depth of knowledge and understanding of dogs’ relationships with other dogs and with humans. It’s a deeply felt and emotionally compelling story based on the author’s life with three very different dogs. Even though it’s obvious the author was more experienced than most dog lovers and dog trainers when she adopted Vera, she articulately conveys how much she learned from the drama-filled years she had with these three amazing beings.”
“An excellent story of the effort it takes to rehabilitate a dog. Adopting an adult dog that has been confined and mistreated, Kerry lays out all the joys and sorrows that come with trying to train the dog to integrate into a loving human family. All does not go as planned. She is able to go just so far with Vera but in the end it is she, her family and her other dogs who must adapt themselves to this new dog in their midst. Anyone who is thinking of adopting a project dog should read this book.” Edwina Kleeman.
“I think Kerry did a better job than Garth Stein of writing from a dog’s point of view. Even the distinction between the experience of the loved and wanted dog and the abused dog was artfully done–interpreting sensory information differently based on their level of trust. The story itself was wonderful. This was a hugely ambitious debut and she slammed it out of the park. Well done!” Kristin P Noreen.
“What do you do when that dog at the shelter starts losing her mind from stress and boredom? You know the one. Vera, that sweet, troubled German shepherd you’ve walked for months as you volunteer there? The one you’ve quietly fallen in love with? What do you do when the shelter staff begin to mutter that it might be time to end it? You take her home, of course. Never mind that you don’t want a third dog. Never mind that Vera is a “reactive dog”: she doesn’t have a clue about doggie politics, and resorts to aggression whenever she is overwhelmed. Because you are convinced you can rehab her.
Sophie and her husband Jake adopt Vera, and so begins the challenging and frustrating work of finding a place in the family for a high-needs dog. Sophie’s determination is sorely tested along the way, but with kindness and consistency, support from Jake, and a boatload of sheer bloody-mindedness, she brings Vera into the fold.
Ultimately, this is a story of triumph. At times heartwrenching, and always beautifully written, it is a must-read for dog lovers.” Sabine Sloley.
“I can’t say enough good about this book. Having recently adopted what feels like the fearful equivalent of Vera, the entire story speaks to my soul. It is wonderfully written, with so much heart and emotion pouring through every page. The beauty of “hearing” the dogs’ perspectives as well as those of their humans gives insight and reminds us to consider that dogs aren’t just being stubborn, or mean, or stupid when they don’t do what we expect them to. There may be experiences we can never know about their pasts that cause them to relate to the world in the way they do. For the reader who might not be so versed in canine body language, it’s also an excellent lesson in what to look for during real life dog interactions. What more could you want? Laughter, tears, frustration, and knowledge all in one place. And of course, DOGS! The very best kind of people.” Grumpyoldperson.
“Kerry does an amazing job portraying life with a “reactive” dog. Her eloquent storytelling draws the reader into the lives of Vera and her adoptive family, both human and canine. The perspectives of the canines in the story are enlightening, enabling a reader to “get into” the mind of the dogs, thereby garnering a greater understanding of our canine companions. The descriptions of canine body language and positive training techniques are interwoven into the story, giving the reader the added bonus of an education in dog training while enjoying a good read. The story is a realistic portrayal of the sacrifices, time, persistence, devotion, and love required to give a dog like Vera a chance at living a good life. Anyone who is contemplating adopting a dog with a potentially less than perfect history will benefit from this heartfelt, honest story. Finding Vera is a must read for all dog lovers, dog trainers, and even non-dog people who just want to enjoy a beautiful story.” SL
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