Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

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Rattlensnakes and Reunions


The Smartest Member of the Family. (Don’t tell Kimber I said that, okay? I’ll never hear the end of it.)

Mom and I were nosing through Draft Posts That Never Saw The Light of Day recently. (Well, I was nosing. Her Momness was … um… snoozing.) Anyway, we found this post that we thought deserved a second chance. It’s about being a writer. Kind of.

So here ya go. You’re welcome:

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GUEST POST: Author Carmen Leal on ‘The Lifesaving Power of Dogs’

“I Chose You” author Carmen Leal.

By Carmen Real

Author of I Chose You, Imperfectly Perfect Rescue Dogs and Their Humans.

Winner of our first-ever Pawsome Book Award.

Take it away, Carmen:


On June 18, 2015, an inattentive driver in a large SUV slammed into our small Subaru leaving me with a concussion and moderate frontal and temporal traumatic brain injury. As cliched as it is, everything changed in an instant. I went from loving my job as a concierge in Hawaii creating dream vacations for guests to dreading having to deal with people because of the never-ending level ten migraines.

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‘I Chose You’ Wins Prestigious Award

I Chose You

Imperfectly Perfect Rescue Dogs and Their Humans

By Carmen Leal

Publisher: Wag Away Publishing, 2022

Pages: 264 pages

Genre: Non-fiction/Inspirational

Via: Blog Tour

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

“I know these dogs!” saith Kimber the Magnificent. “They’re my BFFs!”

Her Momness: “Okay, Kimmi. But everyone’s your BFF.”

Kimber: “So?”

So…. You’ve heard of the Pulitzer Prize? The Newbery Medal? The Nobel Prize? Small potatoes, bub. They’re nothing next to the Official Mom-Tested, Kimber-Approved Pawsome Book Award.

The Pawsome Book Award

“What’s a Pawsome Book Award?” you ask. Good question. It’s like sunshine on a cloudy day. Birthdays. The first day of summer vacation. Christmas morning. BFFs. All rolled into one.

Reserved for the top one percent (that’s 1% for those in the back) of all books read, the Pawsome Award is our highest honor.

I Chose You is the first-ever recipient of this prestigious award. Here’s why:

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GUEST POST: Author Rick Rogers on ‘It Ain’t Easy’

Kimber here. Reminding some of you newbies about a Totally PAWsome new author we found last year-ish. Name’s Rogers. Rick Rogers. (Works best said with a tux and a martini. Shaken. Not stirred.)

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. New author.

Author Logo

Rick Rogers, author of “Walking Home.”

About a year ago-ish, we posted a review of Rick’s memoir, Walking Home: Common Sense and Other Misadventures on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since we’re such whizzes at original titles, our post was entitled, Walking Home Charts an Unforgettable Trip on the PCT.  It’s our favorite PCT-ish read ever.

So when Rick contacted us recently with a guest-ish post, we jumped at it. Like:

Prompted by a recent author interview with Sharon Brubaker, Rick’s post is all about writing and the writing craft. You’ll love this. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong? (Well. Okay. There was that one time with the prime rib. But I think Mom’s forgotten about that by now.)

Anyway, just swipe the nearest burger off your human’s plate when they aren’t lookin’ and settle in for an insightful and engaging read. Take it away, Rick!

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How to Build Your “Platform”

Happy Thursday Friends!

Congratulations! The weekend is in sight. So today we’re doing something a little diff. We’ve had a lot of inquiries from authors about “building a platform.” How do you do it? What does it take? Ideas? Dos and Don’ts?

So here, at no extra charge, is The Official Mom and Kimber Guide to How to Build Your Platform. You’re welcome:

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How to Write Book Reviews Like a BOSS

“The Boss.” (But you already knew that.)




  1. a person who is in charge of a worker, group, or organization:

Kimber here. I’m explaining what a “boss” is. In case you’re wondering about who’s in charge around here. And ya know what? Mom takes orders pretty well. Most of the time.

So about how to write a book review. We’ll show ya how in five easy steps. But first, let’s determine what is and isn’t a “book review,” okay?

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’40 Fingers’ for Friday!

Happy Friday Friends!

We’re doin’ something a little diff today. A little bookish. A little music-ish. A lot cool-ish. (Kimber: By the way, whaddya think of my new pic featured on the blog header? Am I like Totally Pawsome, or what?!)

Have you read James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans? Seen the 1992 movie starring Daniel Day Lewis as Hawkeye? If you’ve seen the movie, you know that it doesn’t bear any particularly close resemblance to the book. (Cuz, yeah. We’ve read it. Twice.) But the movie has a great musical score.

A Treat!

So you’re in for a treat today.

Here’s the main theme from The Last of the Mohicans as performed by 40 Fingers. This is the first all-guitar performance of this score we’ve ever heard. It’s a little bookish. A little music-ish. A lot… Well. You know.

Just under two minutes. Enjoy! And have a great weekend!


100 Books For Your Bucket List

Kimber the Magnificent here. Telling you about this poster we got awhile back: 100 Books Bucket List. Mom and I? We’ve read 81 of the titles listed. The rest? Who cares? And some titles on this puppy? They’re on our Super Duper Over-Rated Duds and Disses and Total Waste of Time, Off You Go to the Kitty Litter Box List*. (Mom’s version. I just call it our Yuck List.)


So We Did

Anywho. That poster thingy got one of us thinking. Mom, says I, Kimber the Genius. We can do better. Let’s make our own Bucket List. So we did.

Mom Tested, Kimber Approved

Below is our Mom Tested, Kimber Approved, 100% Unscientific, Totally Subjective 100 Books For Your Bucket List. As in, Good Stuff Here. Enjoyable. Enlightening. Inspiring. Entertaining. Thought-Provoking. Great writing. And Just Plain. Fun. Both fiction and nonfiction. 

Note: We’re not talkin’ all Hoity-Toity here. So relax, okay?

Some titles are newer than others. Most have been around awhile. Stood the test of time. You’ll find some well-worn “classics” that are probably on everyone’s “Best Books” list.  Some might surprise you. And a few are… Well. Hi, Mom.

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What Keeps Us Going?

You know it’s a lotta work doing a book thingy blog, right? Maybe not as much work as grilling up a nice, thick burger all juicy and sizzling and…

Wait. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Book blogging.


Well. Some intrepid soul recently asked why we do book blogging? After all, it’s a ton of work. For free. (“Intrepid.” Isn’t that a great word? No idea what it means. But Her Momness likes it. So I do, too.)

So, Mom and Me? We put face and fur together on that one to round up a response. You know. Something other than, “Chocolate!” (For one of us.) Or, “We’re World Class Bibliophiles and can’t help it!” But really. The main reason we run this blog comes down to one word:

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Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky Awards 4.0

So, “Happy Friday the 13th!” Ha!

It’s that time again, friends! Time for another rip roarin- edition of Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky Awards. Cuz, holy Meow Mix! (Note: We received complimentary copies of these titles via Reedsy/Discovery in exchange for honest reviews.)

Here’s the short list of qualifications for a Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky award:

  1. A pointless slog to the Middle of Nowhere littered with unsympathetic cardboard characters we don’t know, don’t want to know, and could care less about.
  2. Poor writing littered with spelling and grammatical errors and typos.
  3. Brittle, wilted writing that’s as inspiring as overcooked cabbage. Or week-old sushi.
  4. Political polemics disguised as fiction.
  5. Badly overwritten, tedious and mundane. Dull as a box of rocks and twice as dense.
  6. Does not enrich, enlighten, educate or inspire in any way.
  7. Gratuitous violence and/or profanity.
  8. A snoozefest.

Cuz ya know Mom and me, we like to be helpful. As in, save you some time. By avoiding lousy snoozers that make fish wrap look delish. Like, we already did the fish wrap thing. So you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

So here, without further ado, is our BKLBITS Awards, Part IV:

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