DOG SHELTER BLUES
By Mark Conkling
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This hard-hitting story lights up the world of animal rescue with engaging characters and their pets, bringing hope out of personal tragedies. Danny Sandoval, a character from the author’s previous book, Prairie Dog Blues, joins up with his friends to take on Norma Jean Lawson and her Safe Sanctuary No-Kill Rescue Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Danny accuses Safe Sanctuary of negligent animal care, claiming they do more harm than good.
Undaunted, Norma Jean puts up a fierce fight through her attorney, and sues Danny for libel and slander. Danny fights back, and both Danny and Norma Jean struggle with their own internal demons as they attempt to rescue dogs and cats, innocent creatures that sometimes bring a mysterious transforming power to broken lives. Their battle shows that bad motives often end in darkness, and that animals and a clean heart can reveal pathways to God’s healing. Dog Shelter Blues takes these beaten, everyday people on a breathtaking journey that ends with an astonishing triumph of good over evil.
Mark Conkling—teacher, homebuilder, realtor, finance manager, retired Methodist pastor—returns to writing with this second novel, the first being Prairie Dog Blues, also from Sunstone Press. Mark lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, works with his wife Patricia (Meadowlark Family Healthcare), walks his dog in the Bosque near the Rio Grande, frequents the recovery community (AA), writes fiction, and seeks daily peace of mind. His short fiction was published in the Minnetonka Review and Diverse Voices Quarterly. Years ago, as a university professor (PhD, philosophy and psychology), Mark published several academic articles in existential philosophy and psychology, including “Consciousness and the Unconscious in William James' Principles of Psychology,” (Human Inquiries), “Sartre's Refutation of the Freudian Unconscious,” (Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry), and “Ryle's Mistake About Consciousness” (Philosophy Today).
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