Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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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:

Continue reading


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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:

Continue reading


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A Summer Reading Record?

Do you do Summer Reading Programs?  Mom used to. She’s been kinda straddlin’ the fence on SRPs since about 2018. Why? Cuz she set a personal record for books read that summer: 156 books. From June 1 to August 31. No. really. Click here for more.

She hasn’t jumped into an SRP full-bore since. “Cuz Kimmi, how in the world am I gonna top 156 books in three months?”

Well. You know Her Momness. I bribed her with chocolate.

A New Record?

So. Did Mom set a new personal record for Summer Reading? 

Well, not quite. We tried. Really. And we got close.

But there was so much other stuff goin’ on this summer, if ya know what I mean. (And yes, I totally aced that semi-annual check-up at the vet’s. Thanks for askin.’)

Including audio books and read-alouds, Mom read 139 books this summer. It’s not 156+. But not bad, eh?  (Apparently, some people will do almost anything for a Triple Chocolate Meltdown a la mode.)

You can find some of Mom’s summer favorites at 6 Best Reads of Summer. 

Honorable Mentions:

I’d let Mom tell you more herself. But she’s snoozing right now. Or “resting up.” Or something.

Psssst!

Mom hasn’t tackled a Goodreads Reading Challenge since shortly after the Ark made landfall. The last one she did was in 2018: 383 books. In one year. She says, “No way can I do that again, Kimster. Not even close.”

But I’m scouting up new supplies of chocolate. Just don’t tell Mom yet, okay?

You gonna eat that?

 


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13 Book Tour Dos & Don’ts

“What’s a “book tour”? you ask. Glad you asked.

A “book tour,” also known as a “book blog tour,” is when a book goes on a virtual tour across the internet, hosted on various book blogs. These tours allow a book to gain more exposure to potential readers. Tours can also be an effective way for authors to promote their books, especially if they’re indie or self-published authors. (Find out more here.) 

Stretching….

Mom and I get boatloads of book tour invitations. (Here a tour. There a tour. Everywhere a tour, tour.) We ignore most of them. We’re either not interested in the book being promoted or our schedule is already jammed.

But they can also be fun. A chance to meet new people. Explore new books. Find new authors. Make new friends. Sniff out a nice, thick, juicy steak…

Wait. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Blog tours.

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Review Request Queue is Now OPEN!

Mom and I are pleased to announce that the review request queue officially re-opened on February 01, 2022. So we’re now open to new requests to review your pawsome new book.

First come, first served if you meet our submission guidelines

While we’re on the subject, sort of: Don’t be that author who telegraphs Lazy Rank Amateur from a mile away. Cuz when it comes to books we are and are not interested in, we’re like, really picky. Cuz we’re busy. So kindly don’t waste our time pitching a book that’s clearly outside our interests. And yeah, we always know who has and who hasn’t read the guidelines. Always.

So if you’ve read the guidelines and think your magnum opus is a good fit for Pages and Paws, give us a holler at kikero@juno.com. Put “Review Request” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.  (No guarantees, but dog lovers often move to the head of the pack. We’re just funny that way.)

Please note: We typically accept less than half of the review requests that come our way. (You wouldn’t believe some of the kitty litter fodder we get.) So to reiterate:

No promises, but you can improve your chances of getting your book accepted for a review if you take the time to carefully read our submission guidelines before inquiring about a review.

Woof!


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How to Grab an AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

You may recall that back in November Mom and I decided to temporarily close the blog to new book review requests thru the end of 2021. One of us was just plumb tuckered out! (Hi, Mom.) We were also way behind in reviews due to the sheer volume of requests. Phew!

We’re gonna have to push the re-open date back to February 1, 2022. 

In the meantime, we decided to start the new year off by offering some Author Spotlights. If you’re an author with a book that meets our Submission Guidelines and would like to promote it here, this is for you.

Here’s the 4-1-1:

Continue reading


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Who’s #1 & A New Reading RECORD!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Kimber here. Her Momness  – aka: ‘Ole Bleary Eyes – would send Christmas greetings herself. But she’s just settled her brains for a long winter’s nap.

“Why is Mom napping during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?!” you ask.

Good question.

25 in 8

Short answer: Mom just bested her own book reading record.  The new trophy reads: 25 Books in 8 Days.

#1, Baby!!

I’m not makin’ this up.  In fact, she wears the crown for Top Reviewer at Reedsy/Discovery this month. And I don’t mean in the top ten. Nope. Mom is THE Top Reviewer. As in, #1.

See:

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Clarifying on Comments & Links

Mom says it’s time for a little blog housekeeping. Not sure what that means. But I’m pretty sure I heard “bacon” or “sausage” in there somewhere along with “comment policy” and “links.” So let’s go!

Comment Policy:

Please note that all comments are moderated. That means one of us – the one with opposable thumbs – manually approves every comment before it appears on the blog. So if you’ve commented and your comment doesn’t show up right away, that’s why.

Contrary to popular belief, at least one of us doesn’t spend all day every day doing this blogging thing. So when it comes to comments showing up, your patience is appreciated.

Links

Authors, publicists, publishers and other humanoids sometimes contact us with:

“Is the review up yet?”

We get it. You want to see the review. Pronto. But as clearly spelled out in our Submission Guidelines, we do not send links or reminders. We expect you to keep track of the date. So don’t annoy us by nagging. See Item #9 under the guidelines:

Posts are usually written and scheduled for auto-launch on a future date, sometimes far in advance. Like weeks. Or more. Mom will let you know the date our review of your book will go live. We expect you to keep track of the date yourself. We do not send links. So please don’t ask.

So kindly don’t nag about “Is the review up yet?” You might as well shout Didn’t bother to read the guidelines from the rooftops. Savvy?

Mom said I better add that. I always do what Mom says. Well. There was that one time with the cheeseburger… But I think she’s forgotten about that. So let’s not push our luck here, okay?

You gonna eat that?


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TEMPORARY CLOSURE TO NEW SUBMISSIONS

‘Turnin’ tail’ till January 2022!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

We are officially CLOSED to new book review requests until January 1, 2022.

 

Kimber here. Lemme explain. Cuz Mom is going a little crazy. Well. Crazier than usual. But it’s a good kind of crazy. The smiley kind, if ya know what I mean.

The 4-1-1:

We love getting your book review requests. But we’re kinda drowning. As in, we just can’t keep up! That’s why we’re going to have to put a “paws” on new submissions until January 2022.

Focus on Family

We also want to spend the holidays focusing on family and… The Holidays.  So, we’re takin’ a breather. Turning tail and running. A little bit. Continue reading


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What We ARE & AREN’T Interested In – or -Updated Submission Guidelines 3.0

Kimber here. Her Crankiness can’t come to the blog right now. That’s cuz she’s neck-deep in Mom Cranky. Lemme explain.

Back when Mom was young and foolish – like, yesterday – we took pretty much any request for a book review and ran with it. Hindsight being 20/20, we learned a few things in the process. Like:

  • Not all requests for book reviews are created equal
  • Our time is limited. So is our attention. We don’t have the time or attention to plow through a book that wouldn’t pass Troglodyte muster. Or spell check.

We get tons of requests for book reviews. From authors. Publicists. Publishers. Feline fans. (Nobody’s perfect.) We love reading good books by gifted writers. And doing honest book reviews.

Less Than Half

But we’re picky. In fact, we accept less than half of the review requests that come in.  We just don’t have time to read stuff that belongs on the bottom of a bird cage. (You wouldn’t believe some of the junk we get.) 

Clarifying

So we’ve found it necessary to clarify what we are and aren’t interested in regarding book reviews.  Like this:

What We’re Interested In:

No promises here. This list is for general reference only. It does not guarantee an acceptance of a request for a review, especially if we get a few chapters into your book and discover a dud. But in general, we’re interested in:

  • Thoughtful, well-written stories that speak to the human condition, offering hope and inspiration
  • Stories that are fresh and creative, not warmed-over leftovers  or wannabes (Hi, Harry Potter clones)
  • Uplifting stories that include some redemptive quality without being preachy
  • Books with a transcendent theme, e.g., that are bigger than the author
  • Books with a clear beginning, middle, and end
  • Books that are free of typos and grammatical or punctuation errors
  • Books anchored in a biblical worldview.

Special Interests Include:

  • Historical Fiction
  • Christian Fiction
  • Narrative Non-Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Outdoor/Adventure
  • Memoir/Biographies (see below)
  • Travel
  • Clean love stories
  • Humor. One of us loves dry humor and wry wit. Bonus points if that includes a dose of sass (Hi, Mom)
  • Animal stories – Arf! Arf!

If your particular genre isn’t listed here, it doesn’t necessarily mean an Auto-Reject. Just be sure to query and provide an honest overview of your work before asking for a review.

What We’re NOT INTERESTED In:

  1. Memoirs about childhood trauma or abuse
  2. Trashy “romance novels”
  3. Anything with gratuitous violence and/or profanity
  4. Garbage (see #2 and 3, above)
  5. “Self Help” books unless written from a biblical worldview
  6. Anything needlessly dark, distasteful, or otherwise disgusting (see #2, 3, and 4)
  7. We no longer accept PDFs for review

AUTHOR ALERT

Are you an author who’s written a book series? Have we read and reviewed the first installment and liked it? Have you commented or connected on a good review of book one? Unless you have, please don’t send us the next one. We’re not interested.

For more, see 4 Reasons Why We’re World Champion ‘Book Bailers.’

For additional information on our Rating System and Submission Guidelines, please click here.

Are we clear?