Hello fans of Jean Baur! This is Kim Kavin, author of Little Boy Blue and The Dog Merchants. Jean asked me to tell you a bit about what’s been going on with The Dog Merchants, since some pretty exciting news has been coming my way.
In December, I attended a Harvard University program called “The Animal Welfare Act at 50.” I sat down next to a woman I’d never met. She introduced herself as the former state veterinarian of New Jersey, and said she was teaching an undergraduate animal-law course at Rutgers University. She then told me she had just made The Dog Merchants required reading for her students—because the book reports real facts and cites proper sources, instead of just including propaganda from breeding and rescue lobbyists alike.
As if that compliment weren’t exciting enough, I returned home to news that the Dog Writers Association of America has named The Dog Merchants one of four finalists for best reference book of 2016. It’s a national award similar to the one Little Boy Blue earned from DWAA in 2012. We’ll find out if lady luck smiles on me again in mid-February, when winners are announced. Fingers and paws crossed!
And for those of you who know me through Little Boy Blue, you’ll be thrilled to hear he’s doing great. He’s happy, healthy and about to turn 7 years old. As I type this, he is snoring on my king-size bed next to his adopted canine sister, Ginger. We should all have a life so great.
Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging with Jean and her book Joy Unleashed!
MEET NEIL ABRAMSON, AUTHOR, ATTORNEY, ANIMAL ADVOCATE
Ready for another wonderful "dog" author? Please check this out!
Mr. Wilson has made the transition from Rescue Dog to Therapy Dog quite nicely. He has a way with people of all ages; gentle, fun, mischievous and loving, whichever is needed most. He lives in relative obscurity with us and his best friend/nemesis Lunabelle until his therapy skills are needed, then he assumes that role with ease. He has made a lot of friends at a local nursing home/rehabilitation center and looks forward to visiting whenever he can. The book that he inspired, Mr. Wilson Makes it Home makes a lot of people happy, and he takes his celebrity status in stride, preferring simple walks with his Dad quiet nights at home snuggled next to his mom. He was a huge hit at our local library where we hosted a Mr. Wilson Makes it Home event that was well attended. He doesn't quite know what to make of our three grandchildren, twins Lilyana and Jaxon and Kinsley, all of whom entered our lives within two months of each other last summer, but they certainly love him!
Welcome to my new page, a special resource for the New Year. I'm reaching out to other authors and experts on dog life,sharing their insights. And I'm starting with a wonderful author, Kim Kavin, who has agreed to share what's happening with her new book, "THE DOG MERCHANTS".
From the bestselling author of UNSAID comes a thrilling story of the bond between people and animals – and the courage it takes to fight for our companion animals in a time of fear and panic.
By Neil Abramson
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
With recent cases of avian influenza causing a feline quarantine in NYC, a leptospirosis outbreak in dogs in Arizona, and a canine flu quarantine in Chicago, zoonotic illnesses are forcing people to reevaluate the relationships between humans and our companion animals. In his timely novel JUST LIFE (April 4, 2017; Center Street/Hachette Book Group; $14.99), now in paperback, Neil Abramson presents a riveting, thought-provoking roller coaster ride of a novel that asks the question: what would you do if the authorities came to round up your beloved animal due to such an outbreak?
Veterinarian Samantha Lewis and her team are dedicated to providing a sanctuary for unwanted, abused, and abandoned dogs in New York City. But every day it gets harder operate her no-kill shelter. Sam is already at her breaking point when she learns of an unidentified, dangerous virus spreading through their neighborhood. The medical community can only determine that animals are the carriers. Amid growing panic and a demand for immediate answers, suspicion abruptly falls on dogs as the source. Soon the governor is calling in the National Guard to enforce a quarantine--no dog may leave the area.
Samantha knows from her own painful history that, despite the lack of real evidence against the dogs, a quarantine may only be the beginning. As questions about the source of the virus mount and clash with the pressure for a politically expedient resolution, Sam is forced to make life-altering choices. She finds allies in a motley crew of New Yorkers--a local priest, a troubled teen, a smart-mouthed former psychologist, and a cop desperate to do the right thing--all looking for sanctuary from their own personal demons. But the person Sam needs the most to unravel the mystery of the virus and save the dogs is the last one she'd ever want to call on--because contacting him will mean confronting the traumatic past she has fought so hard to escape.
Neil Abramson’s novel is engrossing and nuanced, with finely drawn characters and an intense pace that rolls to an unforgettable conclusion. JUST LIFE’s message of the balance between fear and compassion, memory and forgiveness, and despair and hope will stay with readers long after they’ve finished reading, and will spark serious discussions and debate.
About the Author:
A partner in a Manhattan law firm, Neil Abramson lives in Westchester County, NY and is married to a veterinarian. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Neil to be his designee Board Member to the Board of Directors of the Animal Care Centers of New York, the entity responsible for running the City’s animal shelters and adoption centers and one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country. He is also a past board member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an award recipient from the ASPCA for his legal work on behalf of animals, and a founding member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Relating to Animals. JUST LIFE is his second novel.