Former St. Thomas resident Lynne Hinkey plans good deeds with the sale of her new book, “Ye Gods! A Tale of Dogs and Demons.”
All proceeds from the book’s electronic version during July will go to the Animal Care Center of St. John. The Humane Society on St. Thomas will benefit in August, and in September, the proceeds go to the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.
“One of the big themes that runs through the book is animal abuse,” Hinkey said.
She said that factor, plus knowing that dog and cat overpopulation is a big issue in the Caribbean, prompted her to make the donation.
Ryan Moore, who manages the Animal Care Center shelter on St. John, said that while people have donated the proceeds from the sale of products, this is the first time anyone’s done it with a book.
“The proceeds will go to help us take care of animals whether they’re in the shelter or elsewhere on St. John,” Moore said.
The star of "Ye Gods!" is the chupacabra, a creature whose name comes from the Spanish for goat sucker, due to the creature’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. It’s rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas.
The creature got a lot of media coverage for a few years and the stories snowballed, getting wilder and more elaborate with each alleged sighting.
As the story unfolds, author Jack Halliman sails to Puerto Rico looking for a cure for writer’s block. Instead, he finds a dead body and becomes one of two suspects in a murder investigation. The other is the chupacabra.
As the conniving mayor, a dogged detective, and a voodoo practicing 14-year-old drag him deeper into the investigation, Jack discovers that separating reality from myth is no easy feat.
Jack has to find out who – or what – is responsible for the killings before he ends up in jail. But separating fact from myth is no easy feat when the lines between men and monsters, monsters and gods, and in this case, between gods and a dog, are thin and blurry. Is the chupacabra real or a myth? Dog only knows, and no one is asking him.
The story of “Ye Gods!” and the chupacabra was taken from actual events that occurred in Puerto Rico when Hinkey was doing her doctoral studies at the University of Puerto Rico.
Hinkey is a marine scientist who now lives in Charleston, S.C. She teaches at Trident Technical College and online courses at the University of Maryland.
In addition to her doctorate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of the Virgin Islands and a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island.
She moved to St. Thomas to attend the then-College of the Virgin Islands and later worked for UVI’s Marine Advisory Service.
Her debut novel, “Marina Melee,” was set on the fictional island of São Jorge, a place Hinkey based on St. Thomas.
“Ye Gods!” is available for Kindle at Amazon.com and for all other e-book formats at www.Smashwords.com. It’s also available in print from publisher www.CasperianBooks.com and at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.