The Surprise for readers of “Dog in the Gap” [Video]

Doug Jackson
Doug Jackson

 Here are a few excerpts of some advanced praise for our book!

Dog in the Gap: Brief Explorations of Canine Care-Taking and Human Flourishing” (It releases on Amazon: Monday August 19th!)

From Evelyn Romig:
What a refreshing read! And by refreshing, I mean not only crisp prose and photos that are–wait for it–so doggone cute! but true living water for the spirit. This collection of small essays by two different stylists not only celebrates the wonderful relationships of humans and their best friends, it examines the spiritual significance of ownership, training, domestication, and companionship. Doug Jackson and Lisa Colon Delay complement one another: one will write about a specific experience (the true “Labrador” nature of her pup) and then the other will challenge the reader with questions about animal souls, using sources as varied as C.S. Lewis and St. Francis. Hard for the Christian reader to finish this treat of a book without wanting to do two things–share the book and volunteer at the local animal shelter. Thanks, Doug and Lisa, on behalf of the sweet souls that cannot speak for themselves!”
From Michelle Moore Mitchell:

“Just finished reading the review draft. I want more! … Not sentimental — but lots of tears. I’m going to read it again, starting tomorrow. This time, a chapter a day, so I can live with, experience, think about, and feel what is there more fully….”

From Clark Roush:

“Only on page 30, and I can already confidently declare you will want to read “Dog in the Gap.'”

Would you be willing to write a review? Hooray! Use the contact form here.

ONLY 7 days until you can get the much anticipated book I’ve written with esteemed professor and long-time pastor Doug Jackson.

I’m really proud of the content and layout of this book. For instance:
• Nearly all of the 88 pages include a captivating photo which really adds a lot to the experience.

Anyone who’s had a dog they loved will “get this” book (both editions). It’s powerful. It put into words and takeaways those deep bonds and lessons we experience uniquely when we have a furry companion.

• The BONUS EDITION (will also be released on the same date) has well over 100 pages of extras, secret links to exclusive videos for this group, and plenty of extra photos and humor. (It’s the hardcore doggie fans Edition.) See below for the Charity component.

It’s set up to be easy to read. It’s no dense tome. There are terrific stories and there’s plenty of material and insights even a non pet owner can enjoy.

• We are donating portions of the money you pay for the book (which is an affordable $2.99. You’d shell out $3 to help dogs, right?) to two local non-profits:

For Doug, it’s the Gulf Coast Humane Society of Corpus Christi, TX.

For me, it’s a low-cost spay and neutering clinic in Allentown, PA (named alliteratively: “No Nonsense Neutering“). They offer low cost services in Reading, Allentown and Quakertown, PA as a humane and preventative alternative to regulating overpopulation through euthanasia. (Unlike PETA who funds mass euthanasia programs secretly. “Fur is murder!” they say, but they have a mass extermination system in place for kittens, rabbits, and puppies. VIEWER CAUTION ADVISED: Previous link has some grisly and disturbing photos.)

Doug was kind enough to sit down and answer a few interesting questions on video for me. Some I’ve saved for the Bonus Edition for you super fans!  You’ll have to hold tight patiently for a few more days!

In this video (just 80 seconds long) Doug shares what he thinks will most surprise readers about the book.

I hope you’re as excited as we are!

Want a sample to read for free?
Just sign up just below! We’ll be sending it out soon.

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5 Reasons I Don't Read (Christian) Chick Books

Data on this blog reports that married men, ages 25-35, with children are the biggest frequenters of this blog. I’m really flattered.

It’s a throwback to being picked by the neighbor boys to be quarterback for both teams during the zenith of my football prowess, ages 9-11. I guess they just trusted my skills. (Or, maybe I was bad at tackling.)

It seems I don’t write like a chick. A Lady. Or what have you.

BUT! I KNOW I don’t seem to read like one.

Case in Point:

I’d love to be involved with the women’s book club at my church. I love books and the discussions that ensue. I put one together for Blue Like Jazz. 3 people came, including me. One of them was a friend I drove to it, because I begged her to come at the last minute. She hadn’t even read the book.

The truth is, in general, I like the richness of mixed gender book clubs, and I like to hear various perspectives (unless it devolves into gender battles and insults, like Sunday School this past week. ACK! The men were PENT UP. Arrows were flying!) Plus, I think, this gender war stuff gets old, fast. Hello, John and Stasi Eldridge, can you hear me? Um. You’re causing infighting. It’s the truth.)

But for the exception of the wonderful Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God, that came up at book club, it’s been just a slew of girly books. I just cannot stop my gag reflex long enough to muddle through something Pioneer or Amish related. I can’t stomach “historical fiction/dreamy (and yet Christian-safe–in-all-the-right-spots) romance–with–a–God-twist”. This dominates our book club. Completely.

Thanks to a reader’s helpful link, you’ll find a really fascinating rendering of this issue here (Newsweek article).

(Bear in mind that my area can’t support a Walden’s Book store in the mall (which shut down a number of years ago) let alone something mainstream like a Boarders. Something like that is 31 miles away. And a cozy and bookish sole proprietorship? HAA! NEVER. So, it could be the situation that I’m just a fish out of water around here.)

So, in a measure of self-soothing, I’ve come up with a quick list-

5 Reasons I Don’t Read (Christian) Chick Books

1. I don’t care about reading gooey, implausible stories about the Amish. I live near the Amish. You know what? They aren’t that interesting.(Basically, they just dress weirdly, frequent “dent and scratch” bargain grocery stores, and have gaggles of children.)

2. I like history, and I like (good) fiction. But, it always seems like the category so-called “Women’s Christian Historical Fiction” is just a mash up that’s two levels closer to crap than anything else.

I feel insulted by everything from the predictable plot-lines, to the saccharine Christian-evangelism tactics that snake through like, well, “like a string of pearls snaking between ample bosoms”.

3. Since I’m not a big fan of the macho man/Christian book market, I can’t start getting aligned to closely with mushy, girly books. It’ll trash my street cred. (Guilt by association, obviously.)

4. If it makes a guy wince to see a chick book, it makes me wince. I just don’t like feeling I should defend my gender for enjoying overly sentimental tripe, that often sacrifices intellectual integrity for dramatic episodes that involve a high- stakes rescue, or a whore-come-home riff. Call me silly.

5. These books all seem to severely lack in the sense of humor department. This. is. not. okay. This is perhaps the biggest reason I just can’t do it. I need more. I want to be challenged. I want to laugh and cry, but not because “his heart has been too scarred to let her love in, despite their undeniable attraction…but he unknowingly gave himself a milk mustache on his curvaceous and stubbly upper lip, and her heart skipped a beat.” (You get the idea.)

If you are a fan of these books (or a writer of them, or an agent of them (like Chip MacGregor, my agent)), I apologize for being so brash. I’m not trying to be a guy about it.

It’s just my opinion that these books are for women what the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show holiday tv special is for men. They offer something superficial, that aims to scratch an itch, but ends up inflaming the whole thing. Less, not more, is the remedy, but no one wants to give it up.

victoria's secret fashion show 2010
Image by via Flickr

I realize writing this will mean I’ll never get a Christmas card from:

For a long list of these books, click here. If you start to feel ill, even at the sheer multitude, I wanna hear from you.

Here’s the surprise ending:
If any of these authors will have me over for dinner, and try to change my mind, I will indulge that. (In stereotypical male form, you may get to me through my stomach. And that’s a chance I’m willing to take, especially if there is PA German Apple crumb pie involved.)

What do you think about this genre?
Are you a woman who gets embarrassed by what’s available in the “Women’s genre”?

Ladies, if you like these books, have your say.

And guys, what’s your take on any of this? (If you were given $20, would you read a “bonnet ripper” and contribute at a book discussion? Or would you just break out in hives?)