K9 Search Inspired Long Valley Author’s New Book

LONG VALLEY – Article provided by the Washington Township Public Library:

On Saturday, November 11 at 1 p.m., Washington Township Public Library will welcome local author Reyna Favis for a search dog demonstration and book signing. Reyna’s two books — Soul Searchand Soul Scent are modern tales of the psychopomp, a mythical creature responsible for escorting the dead to the afterlife.

The story was inspired by a “what if?” moment when the author, a K9 handler for search and rescue, was called out to find a despondent. The story does not always end happily for these people and rescues turn into recoveries. Because search dogs play a huge role in finding both the living and the dead, the author wondered, what if a search dog could also be a therapy dog for the dead? What if a search dog was also a psychopomp, leading tormented souls who are trapped in this world to the afterlife? The “what if?” moment wouldn’t let go until the story was written.

The novels take place in northwest New Jersey and readers will recognize many locations used in the story. Readers will be taken through historic cemeteries and the ruins of old farmsteads that can only be reached by following hiking trails. In addition, pieces of local history underpin the hauntings that the characters must resolve. From pre-Revolutionary settlements to life in the early 20th century, stories from New Jersey history weave and meander through the plot.

The search dog demonstartion will feature K9 Zackie-O, a Plott Hound mix who works as a trailing dog for the Search and Rescue Teams of Warren County. Prior to the demo, Reyna will give a short talk on how search dogs find missing people, describe the different types of search dogs, how they are trained and provide information on scent theory and what that means in practical terms during real searches.

Soul Search and Soul Scent are rapidly accruing 5-star ratings on Amazon and are demonstrating a powerful crossover appeal, engaging dog lovers, fans of the supernatural and readers who enjoy history. Copies of the books will be available to purchase for $15.

Reyna Favis holds a Ph.D. in biology and brings a scientist’s critical eye to the unseen world, imposing logical consistency and mechanistic detail to the unexplained. As a nationally certified search and rescue technician, Reyna draws from actual searches to bring rich detail to the story that enhances authenticity. By anchoring the ghostly elements of the story in reality, she effectively suspends disbelief for the reader and creates a book that cannot be put down. For as long as the story lasts, the reader will live in that world.

The program is free and open to the public but registration is requested at wtpl.org or by calling the library at 908-876-3596. Washington Township Public Library is located at 37 E. Springtown Rd., Long Valley, NJ 07853.

Images via WTPL

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Originally published Nov 3, 2017.


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