Thursday, August 7, 2014

Saved by Gracie by Jan Dunlap #Giveaway and Book Review

Saved by Gracie - How a Rough and Tumble Rescue Dog Dragged Me Back to Health, Happiness and God by Jan Dunlap.

When Jan Dunlap's teen-aged daughter began to experience bouts of insecurity that reminded her of her own increasing anxieties and depression, she reluctantly agreed to adopt a shelter dog.  You see, said daughter had fallen in love with a black Lab mix at shelter dog adoption day.

No matter that Jan didn't like dogs.  She was afraid of dogs and certainly had never wanted one of her own.

The resulting pet ownership growth curve resulted in Saved by Gracie.  

 Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter to win your own copy of this delightful dog lover book!

Book Synopsis:
Author Jan Dunlap was suffering increasingly severe bouts of anxiety after a medical misdiagnosis slapped her in the face with an acute realization of the tenuous nature of human life. A degreed theologian, Jan found her personal faith in God and His promises severely shaken and her enthusiasm for life being replaced by growing fear and debilitating insecurity. Then a rescue-shelter black lab-mix by the name of Gracie came into her life as her daughter's new pet, and Jan determined to do whatever it took to provide both her daughter and the dog with the sense of security she herself no longer felt. 

She quickly discovered, however, that Gracie had her own agenda, and it was all dog. From chasing squirrels to jumping fences to the occasional roll in dead fish, Gracie taught Jan that life is for living, not dreading. As she began to realize that Gracie was helping her manage her anxiety, Jan also came to a new awareness of how a loving God provides healing through His own works of creation. Part memoir and part medical exploration of the truly healing gifts that God freely offers us through our interaction with animals and nature, Saved by Gracie is a story of God's redeeming love revealed at the paws of a dog
As this self proclaimed "dog hater" learns how to be a dog owner, she finds that her anxiety issues disappeared in direct relationship to her increasing dog ownership skills.  Through her growing relationship with Gracie, Dunlap rediscovered joy in life.  And got her life back.

Dunlap's experience made her a believer that animals can be powerful healers.  Plus, she discovered what so many of we dog lovers already know:  dogs are good for us.

Many are the mimes floating around in cyberspace about rescue dogs with the tag line: who rescued who?   Many are the dog lovers, like myself, who knew when we rescued our own shelter dogs, that those dogs were also rescuing ourselves.

Dunlap may have rescued Gracie from the shelter, but Gracie spiritually rescued Dunlap.  The result is a joyful book of discovery about the magic and joy of dogs.

Saved by Gracie is an easy, enjoyable read for dog lovers.  Plus, if you enjoyed Marley and Me by John Grogan, you'll definitely enjoy Saved by Gracie.
Saved by Gracie [ISBN-10: 1780782276  ISBN-13: 978-1780782270] is 160 pages and available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats, Barnes and Noble, and at Christian bookstores.  

Jan Dunlap talks about her book Saved by Gracie

Two lucky readers will will their very own copies of Saved by Gracie!

Giveaway Rules:
1.  There will be two winners chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  Each will receive a copy of Saved by Gracie directly from the publisher.
2.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.
3.  The winners will be announced on August 14 here on this blog, plus each winner will receive an email message from me.  If I do not receive a response to that email message within 48 hours, alternate winner(s) will be chosen. 

Rafflecopter misbehaving?  Sorry about that.  It happens sometimes.  Make sure you're looking at this individual blog post and then try refreshing the page.  OR click on the linked phrase "a Rafflecopter giveaway" (just above this paragraph) and you'll be taken to the entry form.

Jan Dunlap is a writer, speaker, birdwatcher, and mother of five children. A former Army brat, she currently makes her home in Minnesota while she devises plot twists in her humorous Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series. Her first novel in the series, "The Boreal Owl Murder" was named a finalist in the 2008 Midwest Book Awards and the 2008 Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards, and was nominated for the 2008 Minnesota Book Awards. Each additional book in the series has likewise been nominated for the honor. Jan holds a BA in English from Regis University in Denver, an MA in Theology from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, and an MA in English Studies from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Her humorous spiritual memoir titled "Saved by Gracie" recounts how her dog helped her overcome a growing anxiety disorder. 

We're participating in the Fido's Freebie Friday blog hop hosted by Dog Tipper, All Things Dog Blog, Doggies and Stuff and To Dog With Love. If you have a giveaway on your blog, join us!  


  1. My pup Stella has rescued me for sure even though I'm the one that adopted her!

  2. This sounds like quite an inspirational book. I've witnessed a lot of folks being rescued by a dog.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book. I just don't have time to read much these days. Used to be, I could read a book in a weekend, now it takes me weeks!

  4. It never ceases to amaze how a dog's unconditional love turns into an inspirational "tail." And, if that love brings you closer to God? How wonderful.

  5. Thanks for the review! If only more doctors prescribed dogs, we'd all be a lot happier, I think.

  6. I saw this on another blog and bookmarked it as I wanted to read it. Great review, I hope I win it.

    1. I always comment before I do the rafflocopeter, I had a foster dog for a month that was a love but never had a rescue dog.

  7. Yes, I was rescued by Lady Girl!!! She is my best friend.

    anncluck at att dot net

  8. A rescue dog has not been a family member of ours yet, but helping to help rescue dogs has framed my life for the better. We enter a large number of contests (some of which are photo contests) where prizes are comprised of treats, supplies, and sometimes money or giftcards. All prizes have been donated to our local animal shelter for the pups in need. This has helped me to be able to provide items that I may not have had an opportunity to afford otherwise and has also helped me to hone photography skills to the point where I'm considering beginning a pet photography business to take photos of adoptable dogs to aid in their adoption process.

  9. I was rescued by my first dog but in many ways, she eneded up saving me and the tradition has continued for over 20 years. In fact, because of how profoundly my first dog changed my life, I have been an advocate and dog rescuer since. I can't imagine life with a fur face by my side now. Great review and I am sure I would love this book! I loved Marley and Me or any book that illustrates the power of paws :)

  10. Sounds like a great story. I've always loved dogs, so I wasn't a dog hater when Cassie rescued me. I had a rough childhood. We always had dogs, but Cassie was my first very own dog. She attached herself to me and really helped me through those rough times. I probably wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for her.

  11. Oh yes, I had a rescue dog that was very close to my heart. In fact, I started blogging shortly after he died as a way to work through the grief. It's been 2 years and I still miss him dearly.


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