Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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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:

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Bingeworthy or Bust? 11 Popular TV Dramas Reviewed

You know we’re all about books here. Good stuff. Lousy stuff you don’t need to waste your valuable time on.

But binge-watching just about anything on Netflix or whatever seems to have become a favorite indoor sport since the never-ending pandemic took root. So we’ve been getting requests for feedback on some of them thar Netflix-y type drama series of the TV kind.

So. What’s binge-worthy and what’s not? Here goes:

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Author Ann Kiemel & How Do You Spell “Success”?

 

Pssst! Hey, writer! Yeah. You. Over here. I have a question for ya. Well, a few:

  • What’s your goal as a writer?
  • Do you want to sell millions of copies of your book (who doesn’t?)?
  • Make the New York Times Bestseller list?
  • What’s your definition of “success”?
  • How will you know when you’ve arrived?

Or does “bestseller status” seem like an elusive dream, a “happily ever after” fairytale?

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GUEST POST: Author Jonathan Durham on Writer’s Block

Hello Friends!

Kimber here. Being my usual charming, magnificent, magnanimous self. While I’m sitting here waiting for She Who Must Be Obeyed (sometimes) to grab my leash so’s we can head out for a walk, I wanted to introduce you to one of our new friends.

His name is Edward Jonathan Durham. Isn’t that fun to say? Edward is the author of Winterset Hollow. It’s one of the most unusual books we’ve read all year. Read our full review here.

We recently reached out to Edward and offered him a guest post. He wrote about how he faces down The Dreaded Writer’s Block. There are some pretty nifty tips and ideas here. So I’d listen up ‘fize you. Take it away, Edward!

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GUEST POST: The Many Reincarnations of Cinderella

By Bruce Calhoun

Perhaps the most famous fairy tale in Western literature, Cinderella has been retold and reimagined in a staggering number of books and movies.   The books and movies fall within two categories:  modern day Cinderella stories featuring an underdog heroine and historical Cinderella stories with a twist – such as telling the story from the point of view of a mouse that gets turned into a horse.

“Cinderella” has also become part of a catchphrase for any sports team that attains great success against all odds or any individual who goes from rags to riches.   I will confine myself to commenting on a few historical Cinderella books, including my own:  Ardennia:  The Unlikely Story of Cinderella’s Prince.

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Are You Writing “On the Way Down”?

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Kimber here. Mom is still trying to figure out where June went. And here we are, halfway through September! You know Mom is always trying to figure something out, right? The weather. Time travel. Splitting the atom. How some people get elected to office… But anyway…

While Mom’s trying to figure that out, can we agree that fall is Seriously Awesome? You know. Like me!

“But fall comes at a price,” says Her Momness: “A sigh and a sense of loss – always flavored with amazement. As in, Where, oh where, did summer go?”

 When You Aren’t Lookin’

Mom says it’s easy to say the same about writing. In fact, if you’re reading this you’re probably a book lover. And most book lovers we know are also writers. You know. Also Seriously Awesome. So this one’s for you.

As in, why do writers so often sigh and say, summer-like, I was going to finish chapter twenty-two today, but…  I haven’t actually finished the proposal… I planned to, but… thought about… talked about… considered… Well, maybe…

Yet the novel, article, story, essay, or outline sit on your desk or in your hard drive unfinished. Poised to creep out the back door when you aren’t lookin’.

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Why Visiting a Library is Like Coming Home

Kimber here. With a question: Where do your best friends live?

The Book Place

Some of our BFFs live at The Book Place. Where they have row after row of books! All lined up on shelves, just waiting to be checked out and read Also…. Oh. Wait. Mom is butting in again. So I’ll let her tell you more and give you some additional background:

Mom: There’s something inspirational about a library.  Being in the massed presence of so many authors is like snuggling under a cozy quilt on a snowy day.  It’s like Christmas, Independence Day and the First Day of Summer all rolled into one.

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Which is Better: Book or Movie?

“Kimber, what do you think is better? Book or movie?”

Depends, says I, Kimber the Magnificent. Usually on whether we’re reading or watching before or after dinner. Lemme backtrack for a min and explain-ish.

Book Memories

Her Momness has been skipping down Memory Lane via books for much of the summer.  She’s re-visited a ton and a half of old favorites. See: The Dog Days and Children’s Classics.

Poppins?

The other day Mom re-read Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers. Just a few days after watching the Disney movie with Julie Andres and Dick Van Dyke. Having read and watched both versions within a few days of each other, Her Momness was somewhat astonished. At how far apart they are.

Granted, there are things you can and can’t do on the silver screen that you can do in a book. Some book scenes just don’t translate well onto film. But in the case of Mary Poppins The Book vs. Mary Poppins the Movie, the two are almost oceans apart. (We loved Saving Mr. Banks, thank you very much.)

Here are some select examples from Mom:

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GUEST POST: Destiny Falls Author Elizabeth Pantley on ‘A Writer’s Life’

‘Bat dog!’

Isn’t it fun getting to know a new fave? Kinda like getting a nice, thick, juicy New York steak done medium rare? With extra crispy bacon the side!

We recently reached out to one of our new favorites, Elizabeth Pantley, author of the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series (links to our reviews of her first three books appear below). We offered her a guest post to give you a chance to get to know her better. So here ya go. Enjoy!

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The Dog Days & Children’s Classics

What?

Hello Friends and Happy August!

If you’ve been following Pages and Paws for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – you know that Her Momness sometimes says weird stuff about books. (Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)

Sometimes Mom’ll read a “best-seller” that’s topping the charts and go, “Aaaarg! Barf-o-rama and gag me with Meow Mix! Bleeeech and double bleech!!” And sometimes she’ll read an obscure-ish book by an unknown indie author and chirp, “Why isn’t this magnum opus in every library, on every shelf, and in every bookstore in America and the whole world included?! Cuz it’s Seriously Awesome!”

The Children’s Section

Well. You know Mom. (Insert eye roll here.)

She also thinks some of the best writing and coolest stories around can be found in the Children’s Section of the local library. (Not sure what that says about Mom. Can I get back to you on that?)

Pop Quiz!

Anywho, Mom was lumbering back from The Book Place the other day with her usual truckload of To Be Reads. All from the Children’s Section. I’m not making this up. Then she decides it’s time for a Pop Quiz. Like this:

“Okay, Kimmi. What children’s classic opens with these lines”:

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