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Tangled Ties to a Manatee [Kindle Edition]

Kalen Cap
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $11.00 (79%)

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Book Description

A pregnant manatee is rare at any zoo, and a first for the Grove City Zoo in Ohio. Ankh is a delight to zoo patrons, a concern to its staff, and the unintentional victim of two con men. She has no idea how many human relationships, problems, and dreams tangle around her.

Jerry is a young developmentally disabled man who happily follows Ankh's pregnancy on the zoo's webcam. He has a shy crush on Janelle, a pretty college student who volunteers for his group home’s outings to the zoo.

Jerry's Aunt Vera also loves nature and runs an environmental retreat center. But all is not well, with Vera or the center. The center needs money and is under investigation as a cult.

Amid their college studies, Janelle and her friend Cecily try to help. Instead, Janelle re-awakens an old obsession in Vera when an innocent tarot reading hints at how the center might be saved.

Two bumbling con men are attempting to sabotage the region’s electrical grid as part of a lucrative scheme. But Jerry accidentally gets in their way and becomes their captive.

When the con men surprisingly succeed in bringing the grid down, it spells danger for Ankh, her unborn pup, and the many people tied to them both. With investigations of their own, Cecily and Janelle try to untangle it all to find Jerry, save a manatee’s life, and rescue Vera from herself.

Tangled Ties to a Manatee is a humorous crime thriller with environmental themes. The novel is revealed through multiple points of view and centers around college-aged characters.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in environmental causes, he often brings those concerns into his writing. "Tangled Ties to a Manatee" is his debut novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 524 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0080KIAD6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoothing Out the Tangles July 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm an avid reader, and when it comes to fiction I enjoy most those stories that draw me into a fully realized reality that I've not as yet experienced, a place populated with people and events that feel new and unexpected to me. Reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee has been a very satisfying time, and I'm happy to recommend the novel to anyone who is looking for a summer read, a book for traveling, or just a thought provoking and enjoyable experience.

The structure of Tangled Ties is unique in my experience. While there are chapters, the story is told in short character-based vignettes that slowly coalesce into a more unified narrative. What was really fun about the reading experience here is that I needed to participate in order to realize the "ties" in the book's title. Nothing is really handed out here on a platter. The reader is engaged directly in realizing and making sense of the action as it unfolds. This kind of participatory experience is rare in first novels, and I expect any future works by Kalen to continue to employ this stylistic device. I certainly hope so and will be watching for a second book.

As a friend of the author I want to thank him for sharing this gift of storytelling with us all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Tangled Up! July 9, 2012
By D Brown
Format:Kindle Edition
I do like books with curious titles and this debut offering from Kalen Cap is no exception. This comedy thriller is built around the manatee of the title that has the luxury of being safely in a tank while outside the rest of the world is very complex indeed. Not that the manatee has an easy time either!

Tangled Ties to a Manatee follows the viewpoints of several characters that are linked to Ankh, a pregnant manatee that is kept at the Grove City Zoo under careful observation. Staff that deal with closely with Ankh and those that are friends, family and associates all feature in this intricate novel. Leeanne is the lead veterinarian for Ankh while her ex-husband Steven is a lecturer at the local college. Some of Steven's students, such as Cecily (who has a crush on him), and Janelle come into the story. A coffee shop is also key to the narrative with the young but slow Jerry playing a pivotal role as do his aunts Clara and Vera, the latter who runs the Environmental Retreat Centre (ERC). The ERC is under investigation by two women - Elise and Sharon. Elise is undercover as a member of staff in the ERC while Sharon works at the coffee shop. Add to this two men - Stan and Craig - who plan to blackout the area and you have a very busy plot to keep up with.

Due to the wide range of characters Tangled Ties to a Manatee jumps around a lot and you'll have to get used to many characters. Vera that runs the ERC is the aunt of Jerry who cleans at the coffee shop and has a crush on one of the students Janelle. Other staff at the ERC include Emmett who is something of a ladies' man and has been sleeping with colleague Helen but now Elise, who is using him as part of her investigation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tangled Ties To A Manatee July 3, 2012
Jerry, a mentally challenged man, who loves the manatee named Ankh. Jerry's Aunt Clara and Vera run the Environmental Retreat Center or ERC, a non-profit organization. Janelle and Cesily are all college students at Bisbee College where Mr. Steven Patterson teaches Environmental Studies. Stan and Craig are planning to make the city have a blackout while pinning the whole on the ERC and Gavin. Steven Patterson's ex-wife Leeanne is lead vet for the manatee Ankh and her unborn pup when Mascoff hires another vet to help her out. Sharon and Elise are both working undercover to investigate a local agency. Jerry is taking hostage by Stan and Craig while preparing for the blackout. Vera feels that there is something missing in the ERC but can't put her finger on it. Emmett, an ERC employee, is hiding something from everyone and Vera wonders what it is. Helen has just received some shocking news and is not sure what to do about it. Will Jerry escape? What will happen to Stan and Craig? Will Emmett come clean? What about Helen? What will Clara and Vera do? Your answers await you in Tangled Ties To A Manatee.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Read July 3, 2012
Have you ever seen the world through the eyes of a manatee? I started reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee knowing it would be told through multiple viewpoints, but I had no idea I'd be able to glimpse the world through the eyes of Ankh, the manatee, as well as more than a dozen other characters. Mr. Cap does an excellent job of clearly marking the transitions between each of the viewpoints. He even skillfully switches the viewpoint between characters within the same exchange, and I was never confused about what was going on.

However, I must admit that the switches between the characters did take a bit of getting used to. I felt like I would just get settled into reading about one character and then I'd have to move on to a different one. This unsettled feeling was brief and it wasn't long before I settled into the rhythm of the book and was able to fully enjoy the windows into the characters' lives. I was also pleasantly surprised that Mr. Cap was able to achieve real character depth with so many viewpoints vying for attention. Some characters are clearly more developed than others, but only a few are strictly "types."

I really enjoyed watching many of the characters grow, or in some cases stay the same, as the story progressed. It was even more fun discovering how all of their lives were intertwined. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite character from this book, but if I had to make a choice, it would be Jerry. I thought that Mr. Cap presented Jerry's life and developmental disabilities in a very real and yet sensitive way. Jerry knows he has a hard time doing things that other people don't, but he has good heart and a healthy dose of courage and motivation to succeed in life. He is truly an inspiration.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 3 months ago by M. Raphael
5.0 out of 5 stars So Interesting to Follow
This book goes from one character to another, and it is difficult at first to see where they all fit together for the story. It does come together, and it's fun to read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LovesToRead
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ohio Connection
Northeast Ohio has been home for most of my life. Imagine my surprise when the story of a manatee is set a short two and a half miles south of me at the Grove City Zoo! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Backyard Horse Tales
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, well written book
This fascinating and delightful story has a bit of everything: humor, mystery, romance, and a manatee. Read more
Published on October 10, 2012 by Mai Ching
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasurable Read
Don't let the title Tangled Ties to a Manatee fool you! This is not a children's story it is very much written for adults. Read more
Published on September 3, 2012 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Tangled story
I was really excited about reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee. I pictured "Free Willy" in my mind (just substitute a manatee for a killer whale). Read more
Published on July 6, 2012 by lprather66
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangled but Satisfying
A book with as many view points as this takes a bit of getting used to - but not much. This is a very confidently written story covering several plot strands - a criminal scam, an... Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by Andy Angel
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
I have been thinking about how to review Tangled Ties to a Manatee. The title is appropriate, for the story did lead me around in circles. Read more
Published on July 1, 2012 by laurathomas61
3.0 out of 5 stars Tangled ties is appropriate
A pregnant manatee. Two bungling con men using a cash-strapped environmental research center as a scapegoat, and disabled characters with Jerry being the one that brought the story... Read more
Published on June 17, 2012 by Sherry Fundin
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More About the Author

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in animal protection and environmental causes, he often brings such concerns into his fiction writing.

After having a number of poems and short stories published, as well as original plays produced locally, he took up novel writing.

"Tangled Ties to a Manatee" is his debut novel.


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