Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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‘Daughters of Teutobod’: Hold the Braunschweiger

See the source imageDaughters of Teutobod

By Kurt Hansen

Kimber: You know that feeling you get when you order a nice, thick filet mignon and wind up with an under-cooked burger instead? That’s how we felt reading this book. I’ll let Her Grumpiness explain. But I’d buckle up ‘fize you. Cuz she’s on a roll today. And I don’t mean burger bun. Take it away, Mom!

Her Grumpiness: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour. Then we read it. And bowed out of the tour. Why? Simple. Blog tour coordinators typically want a glowing review on the order of the Parting of the Red Sea or the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Burger Buns.

Newsflash, Buttercup: We don’t do that here.

We bowed out of the tour so we could post an Honest Review instead. We’re just funny that way.

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‘Chasing Tarzan’ Swings Thru Jungle of Emotions

Chasing Tarzan

By Catherine Forster

Published by: E.L. Marker, an imprint of WiDo Publishing, 2022

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

Pages: 276

Via: Book Blog Tour

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

***

Johnny Weissmuller. That’s the first thing that popped into Mom’s head when we received the blog tour invitation for this book.

“I dunno, Kimmi…” says Mom.

“Oh, c’mon Mom!” chirps I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Think Tarzan! You know. Swinging through the jungle on high-flying vines. Swimming through croc-infested waters. Rampaging pachyderms. Voracious lions. Deadly pestilence and dastardly villains. It’ll be fun!”

Little did we know…

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Discover Rich Historical Fiction in ‘The River Remembers’

The River Remembers

By Linda Ulleseit

Published by: She Writes Press (Available June 2023)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 332

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

“The tears of nations run in the river, and the river remembers.”

Kimber: So, can we just cut to the chase here and recommend plopping down with this book and a hot cuppa – or maybe a nice rib eye steak? Huh? Huh? Can we? Can we?

Mom: Hang on a min, Kimmi! Let’s get to the review first.

Kimber: Here a min, there a min, everywhere a min, min…

Wait. Where were we? Oh yeah. The Michigan Territory. 1830s-ish. Three women. Three backgrounds, cultures, and stories. All yearn for freedom:

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4 Fines & Flubs for Fall

So there I was. Snoozing in the sunshine. Minding my own business. (It’s tough being Beautiful and Brilliant. But someone’s gotta do it.) Then She Who Must be Obeyed (sort of) skips in with, “Hey Kimmi! I’ve got a great idea!”

Another one?! Insert eye roll here.

“You know those last four books we read?” asks Her Momness, all bright-eyed and chipper. “Two were great. Two were like, Gag me with arugula.”

Yeah. I remember. I was there. (For the reading part. Not the arugula-gagging part.)

Continues Mom: “Instead of doing separate posts on each book, how ’bout we roll ’em all into one post? We can call it 4 Fines & Flubs for Fall! Whaddya think?”

 Don’t say I didn’t warn you, okay? I hate arugula.

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Children’s Fantasy With Something Extra

One of my baby pictures.

Kimber here. Reminding you that one of us has long maintained that some of the best writing in all literature is children’s literature. Not sure what that means. Methinks it may have something to do with puppies. But if Mom likes it, so do I!

And lemme tell ya, she really liked a “Juvenile Fiction” book she recently read. Totally out of the blue. Never heard of the book or the author before. They just kinda jumped off a shelf at the library right into her book bag. Ya know how that happens sometimes, right? Well. What a find!

I’ll let Her Momness tell you more:

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NOW HEAR THIS!

Attention Authors!

Kimber: Her Grumpiness is about to Make An Announcement. Something about reviews and author interviews. And how NOT to get on her grumpy side. So it’s all paws on deck, okay? 

Okay, Her Grumpiness. All present and accounted for. (I’d listen up ‘fize you.)

Mom: Thanks, Kimber. Let’s get right to it. Recent submissions indicate we need to provide additional clarification on two basics:

1.      How to Get a Negative Review in Three Easy Steps.

2. Author Interviews. Aka: What’ll get your interview a one-way ticket to the Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky. (So don’t go there, okay?)

So here goes:

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‘Mr. Magenta’ Colors Outside the Lines

Mr MagentaMr. Magenta

By Christopher  Bowden

Langton & Wood, 2022

Genre: Fiction/Mystery

Pages: 174

Via: Book Blog Tour

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

“It was almost as if she (Aunt Flora) had laid a trail of apparently random clues to draw him in and maintain their relationship beyond the grave. When would she let him go?”

Torn-up photos of headless men. A hidden book with a cryptic inscription. A painting of an east coast town. References to a “Mr. Magenta.” All factor into this cozy blend of mystery, history, theatre, and family, with a touch of romance. 

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Outdoor Memoir Delights in ‘Trip Tales’

Trip Tales:

From Family Camping to Life as a Ranger

By: Rosanne S. McHenry

Published by: Huntley Avenue Press, 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction – Memoir/Outdoor Recreation/Wilderness Areas/Hiking/Anecdotes/Women park ranger/Humor.

Pages: 274, with Index.

Kimber: Psssst! Can you zip your lip, bub? Good. Cuz I’m gonna let you in on a little secret today: One of us has always wanted to be a park ranger.

That’s probably cuz her dad was a seasonal park ranger at Mount Rainer National Park in Washington state when she was a young’un. You know. Shortly after the earth’s crust cooled. Aka: Older than dirt. (Hi, Mom.)

So when Her Momness saw Trip Tales at the library recently, it just sort of jumped right off the shelf and into her book bag. You know how some books do that, right? I’ll let Mom tell you more (quotes from the book):

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GUEST POST: Enhancing Your Social Media With Pets

Oh, boy! Oh, Lassie! Oh, Rin Tin Tin!

Kimber here. So excited to be able to share a guest post from Linda Ulleseit, author of The Aloha Spirit (Read our review here.) It’s called… Well. You read the header. You already know what it’s called. But Linda’s getting some help with this post from her good dog, Leia. Aka: My new best bud! Cuz she’s PAWsome! 

More on that in a min. So let’s go!

Enhancing Your Social Media With Pets

By Linda Ulleseit (with some help from Leia)

Author Linda Ullesit and her good dog, Leia.

Anyone who has an active social media presence recognizes the constant need for content. Whether you write a blog or have a Facebook/Instagram, everyone knows regular and frequent postings are critical to success. I’ve had a sometimes blog for many years, long before my first book was published in 2012. My initial Facebook posts were solely personal, like most people’s were at first. Two years ago, when my historical novel The Aloha Spirit was published, I began to get serious about using social media to promote my books.

Mom, this is getting boring. When are you going to talk about the dog? Me. The dog.

This is called an introduction, Leia. Your part is next. I started an Instagram account around that time. It wasn’t long before I was desperate for content in order to keep posting every day. Let’s face it. Most authors don’t have book happenings every day. Even if they did, no one wants to read a sales pitch that often. I looked at the feeds of other Instagrammers and saw many beautifully designed feeds with a unified color, or a theme, and a lot of pets.

And you happened to have the perfect pet for stardom. I agreed to be shamelessly exploited for way fewer cookies than I should have demanded.

Leia, shush. I’m telling this story. I began alternating photos in my feed—something bookish, then my yellow Labrador. That was not an easy feat since Leia prefers to eat the phone rather than pose.

Kimber; “Sleeping Beauty reminds me of moi!”

Creative differences. I prefer to have some say in how I am portrayed to my minions.

Did I mention she’s named after a princess? Moving on. Early in my social media career, I heard a marketing person say that you should only be on social media platforms that you enjoy. It is, after all, about the engagement, not the posts. I enjoy Instagram, so I spend a lot of my time there. I also like Facebook, where I’m an administrator in a historical fiction group called SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers.

Hmph. There aren’t any dogs in that group. Just a bunch of books.

A Place to Connect

Even so, it’s a good place to connect with historical fiction readers and writers. I’ve always believed social media is a place to make connections, not only to potential readers, but also to other writers. I loosely follow the 80/20 rule, where 80% of posts are something other than my own books. That’s why finding content is so important! Besides providing content to post, Leia provides a talking point as people stop scrolling to comment on her photos.

Mom’s top post is a reel featuring me snoring with my tongue out. Not flattering, but people like it.

Taking Over

That’s true, Leia. There’s always a chance that a pet will completely take over an Instagram feed, but I’ve managed to contain Leia to every other post for now.

But you have to find a cute pet on your own. Mom and I can’t help you with that.

Linda and Leia.

So in closing, remember that social media is intended to be social. Use it to show off pets, or display favorite colors, but make sure you engage with followers more than you.

Sort of a virtual pat on the head.

Exactly, Leia. Follow us on Instagram . Check out my blog or my website, follow me on Facebook and BookBub.

Heads Up!

Mom’s got a new book coming out in June 2023. Kimber’s mom is going to review it for us. I like it because it has a dog in it, a handsome Newfoundland named Nero.

Thanks, Leia (and Kimber’s mom). The book is The River Remembers, now available for preorder.

 

* * *

About Linda

Currently Linda is a member of  the Hawaii Writers Guild and Historical Novel Society. She is a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. Linda’s books are the stories of women in her family who were extraordinary but unsung. For more information about Linda, visit her website at ulleseit.com and follow her on Facebook, Bookbub and Instagram.


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FRIDAY 56 & ‘One -Eyed Cat’

Hey! Hey! Whaddya say? It’s Friday! Woop! Woop! Time for another Book Beginnings and Friday 56!

This week our Book Beginning and Friday 56 are from the same book: One-Eyed Cat. By Paula Fox. Never heard of it? No worries. We gotcha covered. Even if it is about a feline. Sort of. (Nobody’s perfect.) Let’s buckle up and jump in:

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