Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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What’s YOUR Story?

Are you an author with a story to share?  An excerpt from your next great American novel?  Tips for fledgling (or even seasoned) writers?  How do you overcome writer’s block? What have you learned about editors, query letters, traditional vs. alternative publishing venues? How did you land your first book contract, or are you still looking? What titles have you recently read that are shout-out worthy per our Rating System and Submission Guidelines?

We’re currently accepting guest posts on these and other writing-related topics. 

You don’t have to have the publishing “big boys” banging down your door to post at Pages and Paws.  In fact, we’ve been known to pan Pulitzer Prize winner and hear praise on unknown indie authors who’ve earned it.

To be considered for a guest post here, all you really need is something to say that’s well said, a passion for writing and reading, and the desire to learn and share.  If accepted, your post will include a byline and a link to your blog or website as applicable.

That said, here are a few ground rules and guide lines. 

Submission Guidelines:

  1. We prefer content that’s fresh and original.  That is, content that hasn’t been previously published elsewhere.
  2. We don’t do “auto publish.” All guest posts are reviewed prior to publication. Publication is neither promised nor guaranteed. But if your submission is a good fit for us, you’re way ahead of the game.
  3. We’re partial to “short and sweet.”  Submissions should be between 300 – 500 words.  (Tip: humorous and/or true-life “slice of life” vignettes always catch our eye!) A longer post (up to 850 words, max) may be accepted if we really, really like it.
  4. If your post is accompanied by an original photo or two, so much the better!
  5.  This blog is G-rated.  We reserve the right to reject any submission, for any reason, without explanation.  Likewise, posts that include links or references to sites that are not G-rated or include spam and viruses will not be accepted
  6.  There is no compensation for any posts.  As in, zip.  Your “compensation” is boosted traffic and exposure for your work. 
  7. You are encouraged to promote your submission and share links via your own social network.  More exposure for Pages and Paws means more exposure for you.

How To Submit a Guest Post

To submit a guest post, just leave a comment or email us at: kikero@juno.com. Put “My Writing Story!” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.

Ready? Set? Go! 


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Powered By Hope: ‘Chasing Rainbows’ Refuses to Let Tragedy Have the Last Word

Chasing Rainbows: The Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle (Pegasus, 2021)

By Richard Stuttle

Non-Fiction/True crime/Self-help

“What continues to destroy me more than anything else is that she had the potential to achieve whatever she wanted in life. I truly thought we would have had a lifetime together.” – Richard Stuttle

An early morning phone call on April 10, 2002 crushed that assumption and changed Richard Stuttle’s life forever.

His younger sister, Caroline, age 19, had been “on the adventure of a lifetime,” backpacking around Australia with a friend. But on that terrible April evening, Caroline was thrown off a Bundaberg bridge and fell to her death.

Chasing Rainbows: The Stolen Future of Caroline Ann Stuttle is the raw, unfiltered story of Caroline’s life, the devastating impact of her murder, and how a “charity born out of tragedy”came to life to help young backpackers travel in a safer environment.

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6 Best Film Adaptations of Classic Books

“Hey, Kimster!” says She Who (thinks she) Must Be Obeyed. (Insert eye roll here. Do I ever have Mom snowed!)  “I’ve got a great idea for summer reading!”

What is it now, Mom?

“Let’s revisit some of our favorites from classic British literature this summer… on film!”

You mean like that Charles D. guy? The 19th century novelist you keep bugging me to read again? As in Pip and Miss Havisham? Lucie Manette and Charles Darnay? Jacob and Ebenezer?

Exactly!

“Exactly!” chirps Her Momness.  (She always does that chirpy thing when she’s on a roll. Me? I save that for bacon.)

Anyway, that’s how we got to binge watching all things Charles Dickens-ish. And 18th century Cornwallish. Wait. Did I say “binge watching”? Well, yeah. One of us claims she doesn’t have the time to plow through Martin Chuzzlewit or Bleak House in one summer, let alone Pip and Magwitch or David Copperfield and Peggotty. 

So we’re watching (mostly) BBC productions and movies of same. Here’s what we’ve watched so far in the classic English historical fiction mode. These are our favorite film adaptations of select classic books, as noted. How many do you recognize?

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New ‘Destiny Falls’ Book Is a Howl & a Half! – or – Why Kimber Nominated a Cat Into the Secret Canine Society (No, Really)

Never fear! Boss Dog is on the job!

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales (Better Beginnings, Inc. 2021)

Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book 3

By Elizabeth Pantley

Fiction/Fantasy/Mystery

Kimber here, ears pricked. Alert. Scanning and sniffing everything that moves. And quite a few things that don’t. Cuz weird noises are coming from the study:

“Aaaarg!” Pause. “Double aaaaarg!”

Wait. Is there a Pirate Convention going on in Mom’s study and no one told me? Shall I dial 9-1-1? Call Peter Pan? Or morph into my usual, every day Kimber the Amazingly Awesome and Super Duper Walks-on-Water Wonder Worker mode?

Hang on, Toots. Deep breaths. There ya go. Okay, Mom. Now. Tell me what all the ruckus is about.

“Kimber, I just finished the most fascinating, fun book! It’s number three in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series. And I’m dying to know what happens next!

Can we kindly avoid the word “dying” in conjunction with a cliffhanger ending? As in, “The end… for now”?

The Backstory…

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3 Wag-Worthy Summer Stand-Outs

One of my baby pictures. I know. I’m adorable.

Her Momness is doing that “I can’t decide” thing again. Like when she has a coupla/three books she enjoyed and thinks you will, too. But she can’t decide which one to feature in a blog post.

Mom’s just funny that way.

“Mom,” says I. “Why don’t you just do all three? Like, at the same time?”

You know that deer-in-the-headlights look? AKA: The Her Momness Look? Mom has it down pat. Ditto three books we recently read. One is a murder mystery: Muzzled: An Andy Carpenter Mystery. Super great cover. Best I’ve ever seen, in fact. The other is a non-fiction book, Empire of the Summer Moon. The third is News of the World. By Paulette Jiles.

They’re as different as day and night. Peanut butter and jelly. Intelligence and presidential debates. Wait. Let’s not go there. Anyway, here’s The Official Mom and Kimber Scoop on these two very different but wag-worthy summer reads:

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The “deliciousness of exploring a new place” CAPTURED in ‘Travel Mania’

Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust

By Karen Gershowitz

Travel/Memoir/Non-Fiction

“It’s Summer!”

What a kick in the passport!” Mom hooted after finishing Karen Gershowitz’s Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust. “It’s fun and educational!” (She’s outside turning handsprings. Don’t tell anyone, okay?)

“But Mom,” says The Level-Headed One. “You say that about every travel book!”

Ever see someone try to stop hand-springing halfway through?

“I do not!” barks Mom.

Okay, fine. Whatevs, says I, Kimber the Magnificent. But tell me, Mom. What makes this book so splendiferous?

Well. Buckle up. Cuz here we go:

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Author William Garner: ‘Forget Model Airplanes, Give Me Books’

Ever read a book that’s as bright as morning sunshine? Bubbles with zest and ‘zing’ like a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade, with a touch of Tabasco?

William Garner’s Me, Boo, and the Goob is a book like that. It was one of the most original and entertaining novels we read all year. Here’s our review: How to Snort Sprite Out Your Nose, Southern Style, With ‘Me, Boo, and the Goob.

How does a writer come up with such memorable characters? What experiences helped shape his or her perspective and abilities? How and where does writing inspiration strike?

Author William Garner tells us this and more in this snappy guest post.

So pull up a chair. Put your feet up. Pour yourself a nice cold glass of whatever. Ready? Good! Take it away, Bill:

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DNF-ing: How, Who, and Why

Kimber the Magnificent!

Mom and I love good books! We love good books so much that we do not do lousy books. You know. The kind that top our DNF list.

Look, Cupcake

One of us used to feel a wee bit guilty about our Did Not Finish list. But then I says to Mom, “Look, Cupcake. We get zillions of requests for book reviews every day. We don’t have time to slog through sludge! “

“Yeah, but…” sputters Mom.

“Oh, c’mon Mom! Our time is valuable. Why waste it on sludge? Or stuff that’s so grimy and gross, it belongs on the bottom of a bird cage. Or the kitty litter box.”

“You may have a point there,” concedes Mom. (“A point? Really. More like, Game. Set. Match!”)

We used to slog through sludge cuz we felt duty-bound to finish every book that came our way.

Not anymore.

One of us realized that if a book doesn’t grab us in the first few chapters, we’re unlikely to keep going. Or if we do, it’s through gritted teeth. (Hi, Mom.)

Well. Life’s too short. I mean, really. Who wants to waste their time on sludge? Especially when there are so many other good books around. Nowadays, we don’t bat an eye at consigning a book to our DNF pile. (For more, see 4 Reasons Why We’re World Champion ‘Book Bailers.’)

Anyway, here’s the short list of our usual criteria for sludge that’s headed for DNF pile ignominy. Followed by a list of recent inductees:

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‘The Red Thread’ Weaves Heartfelt Love Story, Surprises

Historical fiction with a twist.

The Red Thread (Level 4 Press, 2021)

By Rebekah Pace

Historical Fiction/romance/YA

“A red thread connects soulmates, linking them forever so they can always find one another…

The cord may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”

Kimber here. You know Mom and I read a lot of historical fiction. Think truckloads. We’ve read so much historical fiction lately, we were getting kinda burnt out on it. Especially WWII-ish historical fiction. So when we were asked to read and review The Red Thread, we weren’t exactly turning cartwheels. In fact, we were kind of reluctant to take it on.

This book surprised us. Big time. Here’s why:

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ROCK Goes the 4th With These 25 U.S. Historical Fiction Books

Kimber here. Mom is busy rustling up some Independence Day eats. I’m not too sure about the potato salad and corn on the cob thing. But I’m all over the grilled burgers! Yeah, Lassie!

Well. The subject of “best U.S. historical fiction” came up the other night. We were watching videos of last year’s fireworks or somethin’. You know. The stupid Big Boom things. (Why do humans do this every Independence Day? I don’t get it.)

I was all ears. (For the book list. Not the Big Boom things. Mom got me a Thunder Shirt for that.)

Anyway, just in time for Independence day, Mom and I put together a list of the best historical fiction reads set in the U.S. Mom says we aren’t even going to try to cover books by decade, social movement, issue, or what not. That’d take us like, till the cat comes home. Gag me with Meow Mix!

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