Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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‘The Clause in Christmas’ Warms Hearts

The Clause in Christmas

By Rachel Bloome

Published by: Secret Garden Press, 2019

Genre: Clean Romance/Fiction/Women’s Fiction

“Love always hopes and always perseveres.”

Never heard of Rachael Bloome? Poppy Creek? Ru and Sprinkles? Take heart, Buttercup. We hadn’t either. Until one of us – the two-legged one- randomly grabbed The Clause in Christmas off her Kindle e-shelf the other day. Maybe cuz it’s finally getting cold out. Just right for snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. And a World Famous Bookish Dog. You know. Yours Truly.

‘The things I do for Mom.’ Sheesh!

While visions of sugar plums and a nice, thick juicy sirloin dance in our heads. And the prancing and pawing of each little hoof…  Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Got a bit carried away with the Christmas spirit for a min.

Merry and Bright

Anyway, today we’re talking about The Clause in Christmas. 

All things merry and bright twinkle and shine in this light-hearted, uplifting romance with a sprig of whimsy and a hearty batch of “edible kindness.” It has a homespun, folksy feel to it that’s warm and welcoming without being sappy. Delightful!

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Smart & Sassy Romance Will Wing Its Way Into Your Holidays

A Wingman for Christmas

A Sweet Water Novella

By Barbara Barth

Gilbert Street Press, 2022

Via: Blog Tour

Genre: Fiction/Light Romance

Pages: 195

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

‘Tis the season “for miracles and love” in this smooth and sassy light romance.

The Basics

Cheryl Calloway is in a seasonal slump. Recently divorced, the last thing she needs is for her chain-smoking, Vodka-drinking, wise-cracking Mama to move in with her. But move in Mama does, along with Nigel, a loquacious Amazonian parrot who’s “the love of Mama’s life.”

Settling the gregarious, geriatric Mama into Cheryl’s tiny cottage is like trying to “settle” a runaway freight train. Mama may be elderly, but she’s still a force of nature.

Wild Rose Lane will never be the same.

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SPOTLIGHT: Half Notes From Berlin

“Well, dog-gone it!” says I, Kimber the Magnificent. In case you’re wondering – and even if you’re not – I’m fine, thanks. Fresh off a festive holiday weekend with food falling like rain off people’s dinner plates. Cuz once it hits the floor, it’s dog-gone!  (Don’t tell Mom. Let’s just keep that Thanksgiving Day coup our little secret, okay?)

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!”

Anyway, we were all set to post a review today of an historical fiction work, Half Notes From Berlin. It grabbed our attention when we received a blog tour invite for this title. We wanted to do a review. But the book did not arrive in time. (What can I say? We have standards. Deadlines. Sometimes we can bend. Sometimes we can’t. This was a “can’t.” Bummer.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Historical fiction. Like a coming-of-age story set in Berlin 1933.

Even though this book didn’t make our cut-off for arrival, we’re still intrigued. And you know how we love good historical fiction. So we want to feature it with a “spotlight.” Cuz we’re really, really nice that way. What?

Here ya go:

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The KIMBER AWARDS 2.0

You’ve heard of the Academy Awards. The Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. But you may not have heard of The Biggest Bow Wow of them all:

The Kimber Awards.

What? You haven’t heard of this prestigious honor? Maybe that’s cuz I, Kimber, just made it up. 

Well, okay. Mom helped. A little. She lobbied for “World’s Most Super Duper, Seriously Splendid, Extra Excellent, Terrifically Talented, Genuine Genius-y, and All-Around Awesome Author Awards.”

I nixed that. After all. Someone has to be the adult in the room. (Well, okay again. It was mostly me. But Mom helped a bit.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. The Kimber Awards. … Continue reading


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Tails From a Thanksgiving Expert

Kimber here. I’m an expert on thanks-giving. Just ask Mom. I’m thankful for just about everything and everyone. That dropped bit of bacon. Unattended hot dogs. Belly rubs! Sea gulls! Snoozes in the sun. Walks in the woods! My favorite blanket, right next to the heating vent.

On Four Feet

Mom says words related to “thankful” include gratitude. Appreciation. Gladness. Being at peace. Contentment. Cheer. Like me! Mom says I’m “thankfulness on four feet!” See? Told you I’m an expert.

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought I’d mention a few things that make my tail wag like a pinwheel (do any of these ring a bell?):

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Thanks! You’re PAWsome!

Mom and I wanted to take a moment to thank those who’ve recently joined our little Pages & Paws community. Glad to have you. You’re like, totally PAWsome! So Welcome Aboard!

A few FYIs:

  1. The holidays are just around the corner. We traditionally focus on the holidays during the holidays. We’re just funny that way. So stay tuned for further flashes of seasonal brilliance and frivolity.
  2. If there’s a particular genre, title, or other things bookish you’d like to see on the blog that fits our submission guidelines, holler.
  3. Bookish guest posts are encouraged. We sometimes offer select authors guest posts, too. (If we really, really like you. Or you bribe us with extra crispy bacon.) For more info., click here. Be sure to put “Pages & Paws Guest Post” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.

Thanks again. Don’t be a stranger!


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Why ‘My Mother’s Secret’ Will Melt Hearts

Hardcover My Mother's Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region BookMy Mother’s Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region

By Alina Adams

Publisher:  The Donohue Group, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Pages: 305

Via: Blog Tour

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

***

“Hope, my earthly compass

It’s luck, it’s a trophy for bravery…

We only need to learn how to wait

We must be calm and stubborn.”

Real estate lawyer and San Franciscan Lena Burns doesn’t understand why her mother is so aloof. Also:

  • Why is Mama Regina so impassive and ambivalent?
  • What happened in Regina Solomonova’s past, when she fled Moscow for a God-forsaken patch of ground in Eastern Russia called Birobidzhan, the world’s first Jewish Autonomous Region?
  • Why does Mama Regina not trust herself to make good decisions?
  • Did something happen to Regina before she married an American G.I. and left the USSR for San Francisco after World War II?
  • Why did Mama Regina leave her homeland, and who did she leave behind?
  • What did Lena’s father mean with his deathbed question: “You couldn’t’ tell, could you?”

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The DNF Pepto Patrol

Ever dive into a well-anticipated book only to go thud? Like, “Good thing my fall was cushioned by a nice, thick slab of granite or I might’ve been seriously injured”? How ‘bout trying so hard to really, really like a story only to wind up reaching for the nearest bottle of Pepto?

Well. Books are supposed to be enjoyable and engaging, capcihe? So if ya gotta force yourself to read a book, that kind of defeats the whole purpose, right?

Not Our Cuppa

We could not force ourselves to finish the titles below. Kindly note that some aren’t necessarily lousy books (although some are really lousy. We’ll get to that in a min.). They’re just not our cuppa, okay? Usually cuz they moved with the speed of a growing redwood, numbed our brain into a dopamine stupor, or could’ve doubled as a bunch of arugula.

Drum roll please… for our list of nominees for the DNF Pepto Patrol. In no particular order:

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Pssst! Kimber here. Being all magnificent and everything. Telling you that today, one of my favorite people turns 100 years old! What? Well, okay. Maybe not One. Hundred. Maybe just “older than dirt.”

Anyway, I thought I’d mark this auspicious occasion by sharing a post by Her Momness from 2014. You know. About 100 years ago. Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. The post is called “Like Coming Home.” It’s about growing up as a voracious reader and book lover.

You don’t want to miss this. Cuz it’s really, really good. (Maybe not as a good as a nice, thick T-bone steak. Nobody’s perfect.)

Anyway, it goes like this:

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