Book Review: Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner

Dog-ma The Zen of Slobber Tour


Barbara’s vivid and dramatic stories, told with a wicked sense of humor, will make you laugh out loud. She definitely gets what living with rescued dogs (nine of them!) is all about.

When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves.

Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad.

Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!” Continue reading

Book Review: A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me by Samantha Ryan Chandler


The tale of Samantha Ryan Chandler’s life is evocatively portrayed in her book: A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me. It tells of a life that is as disturbing and unsettling as it is uplifting and, in the end, gratifying. How “A girl from Nowhere, Louisiana” finds her way from such humble beginnings to live and walk amongst presidents and the supremely rich, only to find her trust and faith betrayed by those that she loved and trusted the most. She would be tested to the point where she began to doubt her own sanity and, at the moment of her greatest desperation and doubt, she was found by God and brought back from the brink of hopeless despair. Blessed with an almost unquenchable optimism and a unique sense of humor, she relates the story of a life that will speak to those who have encountered abuse, unfairness and anguish. Her love for her children and her faith in God carried her through a crucible of fire and in the end, made her a better, stronger person, ready to carry on with life once again. Samantha’s story will both inspire you and touch your heart. Continue reading

Guest Post: The Story behind this Real-Life Story by Phil Jourdan

Please enjoy this guest post by Phil Jourdan, author of the touching memoir, Praise of Motherhood. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.


Back in late 2009, when I began working on Praise of Motherhood, I had envisioned a book very different from what I ended up submitting to my publisher. I’d just lost the woman who’d raised me, and when I wasn’t sitting around numb and brooding, I was frantically trying to contain the universe of loss and suffering in a single Word document on my laptop.

I wanted to write a book that expressed the impossibility of letting go. We’re often told, when someone close to us dies, that we have to move on, that things will get better. I couldn’t accept this back then: I didn’t think it was possible to let go of my mother, who had been so patient and kind during my weird teenage years. Continue reading

Phil Jourdan: Author Interview and Amazon GC Giveaway

Please enjoy this interview with Phil Jourdan, author of the touching memoir, Praise of Motherhood. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book. 


1. Who was your mother?

Hey, perhaps the obvious thing is that she was the single greatest person in my life–a woman who set everything aside to help me when I went through a few rocky years, a lover of animals and nature, a professor of mathematics and computer science who worked because she needed something to do…

She was that lady who’d bring clothes out to the homeless people in the streets when it was cold. She spoke Portuguese, French, English, and Russian fluently. She took people into her life and made them stronger, happier. She drove very carefully.

She was one person among many to die from something as trivial and terrible as an aneurysm; just one out of all the people who died on November 11th, 2009, for no reason, and without saying goodbye to any of us.

And, now, she’s the subject of my book. Continue reading

Book Review and Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: The Praise of Motherhood by Phil Jourdan

Book description: When Phil Jourdan’s mother died suddenly in 2009, she left behind a legacy of kindness and charity; but she also left unanswered some troubling questions. Was she, as she once claimed, a spy? Had she suffered more profoundly as a woman and parent than she’d let on? Jourdan’s recollections of his struggles with psychosis, and his reconstructions of conversations with his enigmatic mother, form the core of this memoir. Psychoanalysis, poetry and confession all merge to tell the story of an ordinary woman whose death turned her into a symbol for extraordinary motherhood. Continue reading

Review and Giveaway: The Courtship of Two Doctors

Book description:

From a private collection of nearly 800 courtship letters, the daughter of two remarkable physicians has crafted a timeless valentine to long-lasting love and the healing profession. Senior medical students from New Orleans and Omaha meet in 1937 and begin a two-year correspondence across 1,100 miles. They set their sights on a return to Mayo Clinic, the medical mecca where they found each other and danced to the haunting Harbor Lights. Grave illness and career setbacks shake their confidence, but the two decide to face an uncertain future together, trusting in each other and the relationship they built letter by letter. The Courtship of Two Doctors recreates the medical era before antibiotics, when health workers were at risk of serious infection, and vividly illustrates the 1930s social barriers challenging two-career marriages. Continue reading