Just in time for holiday giving, first-time author Keri Atchley has released "The Adventures of the Almost 10-pound Beastie."

Atchley owns a graphic design company in South Walton and has helped many others with their book designs, putting her own dreams on a back burner. But now it's her turn.

It took Atchley four years to bring her book project to completion, but the finished product is now out and on bookstore shelves.

The work is a book for children and is written about the Atchley's dog, which was a puppy when she started working on the project. Despite being an unusual name for a pet, the dog's name is Beastie. She now weighs 12 pounds.

"When we first got her we didn't know what we wanted to name her," Atchley said. "My daughter wanted to name her Princess Buttercup, but that is too long, and somehow that evolved into Beastie. She is a mighty little dog. We couldn't believe how mighty she is."

The Atchleys don't know what breed of dog Beastie is, but they think she is a Rat Terrier.

"She is a mutt. She was a puppy up for adoption at Home Depot and we fell in love with her at first sight," she said. "She's still little and sleeps under the covers with us at night."

Beastie is 5 years old now, and Atchley said she is still a beast.

"She is not mean," she clarified. "She is a great snuggler and lizard chaser. She has a bold personality."

Atchley's daughters, who are now teens, helped her write the book, which also includes a bit about the family's Siamese cat, Peapod, and their older 60-pound dog Henry, a black mutt.

The author and The Beast have already held book signings at The Hidden Lantern at Rosemary Beach, at Sundog Books in Seaside, and at Quincy Art & Things in Seaside, all of which carry the book on their shelves.

The book may also be purchased on the website www.beastiebook.com for $17.99.