Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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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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Author William Garner: ‘Forget Model Airplanes, Give Me Books’

Ever read a book that’s as bright as morning sunshine? Bubbles with zest and ‘zing’ like a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade, with a touch of Tabasco?

William Garner’s Me, Boo, and the Goob is a book like that. It was one of the most original and entertaining novels we read all year. Here’s our review: How to Snort Sprite Out Your Nose, Southern Style, With ‘Me, Boo, and the Goob.

How does a writer come up with such memorable characters? What experiences helped shape his or her perspective and abilities? How and where does writing inspiration strike?

Author William Garner tells us this and more in this snappy guest post.

So pull up a chair. Put your feet up. Pour yourself a nice cold glass of whatever. Ready? Good! Take it away, Bill:

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How a Real Life Love Story Propelled Christmas Carol Prequel, ‘The Red Button’

Did you know that a recently released prequel to A Christmas Carol is based on a real life love story?

Join us for a fascinating, wide-ranging interview with Keith Eldred as he explains the why, how, and who behind his A Christmas Carol prequel, The Red Button. (For our full review: New Novel Reveals Untold Story Behind Scrooge Romance.) Take it away, Keith!

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Hello, Kristine and Kimber fans! I am grateful to K & K for inviting this guest post and for reviewing The Red Button, my prequel to A Christmas Carol that focuses on the doomed engagement of young Scrooge and his fiancee, Belle.

I appreciate the opportunity to tell why I wrote it. You might be able to guess some of the reasons but probably not all.

First reason: I love A Christmas Carol!

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‘What’s in a Name’? Author Ricky Dean Wyrick Shares From the Heart

When we offer an author a guest post, most submit something about how or why they wrote their book. Or what they’d like readers to take away from their work. When we reached out to Bag of Lies author Ricky Dean Wyrick, however, he responded with something different. Something… unique. Something we didn’t expect.

This may be the most thoughtful, eloquent guest post we’ve ever received. Read on for more:

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What’s in a name? Given at an early age, it’s more than who we are. It’s who we will become. Our names outlive us in the memories of those that love and care for us. We name our children, our pets, the songs we sing, and the books we read. Even fictional characters are given names.

Over the years I’ve used various versions of my given name, Richard, Rik, or Ricky. Each one uniquely identifies me, yet conveys a very different feeling. One casual, one formal, one somewhere in between, choosing my professional pen name was not something I took lightly. I wanted something people would remember, something that rolled off the tongue. 

Parents often struggle choosing the perfect name for their children. They select names from friends or family who hold a special place in their heart and pass that name onto their kids. Authors can identify with this challenge as they are faced with naming each of their characters in a work of fiction.

As I wrote my first novel, Bag of Lies, I randomly pulled names wherever I could find them.  The hero, the villain, the soldier, the spy… They each got a name that suited them.  But one of my characters, a minor role at best, was renamed just before the book was published.

Major Tickner’s small stout bulldog originally had a different name. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. I just decided last minute that I wanted a certain name in the book, a name that held a very special place in my heart.

I remember sitting in an empty parking lot, almost ten years ago, holding the miniature piebald dachshund in my lap. She was wiggly and cute like most puppies anxious to explore the world around her. We had originally picked her out for one of my wife’s coworkers, so they named her and took her home. They picked out the silliest name, or at least I thought so at the time. Why would you name a dog after a type of cheese?

I would never have dreamed that the puppy would be returned to us a year later, but she was. I thought for sure we would find her another home, so I tried to not get too attached. But it didn’t take her long to wiggle her way into our family. She unexpectedly found her place in my heart.  

The year 2020 was a difficult year for us all. The world changed, and many of us experienced loss in one way or another. The world kept spinning but it left emptiness in our lives. For some the repercussions were minor, for others they were great.

It’s been a year now, since we lost our little Colby. We still don’t know exactly what happened. She just suddenly got sick and the vet couldn’t tell us why. We said our goodbyes May 4, 2020. She wasn’t the small stout bulldog described in my book, but she was a sweet dog and very precious to me. I miss her.

Sweet girl.

It’s so easy to get caught up in daily routines and long term goals. If we aren’t careful ambition can rob us of something we don’t even treasure until it’s gone.

Now, I’m not saying that your career goals and ambitions aren’t important; that your to-do list doesn’t need to get done. But the relationships of the ones around you should take precedence. The ones around us that make our world a better place may not always be there, so take every opportunity to wrap your arms around them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Take the time out of your busy world to stop and enjoy the time you have with that friend or loved one. I promise you, there is no better way for you to spend your time than investing in the relationships around you.

My name is Ricky Dean Wyrick, and thank you for lending me your ear. For all who’ve lost loved ones and had their world shaken, I pray that God comforts and gives each of you peace. And should you find time to open my novel and enjoy an adventure, I hope that Tickner’s stout bulldog, Colby, brings warmth and a smile as you remember the good times and treasure the memories shared by those you love.

Ricky Dean Wryrick, Author of ‘Bag of Lies.’

To learn more about my latest novel and read my free novelette visit rickydeanwyrick.com

See our review of Bag of Lies here.


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GUEST POST: Author Raena Rood Talks Writing & “What Ifs?”

Today we’re chatting with Raena Rood, author of the Subversives trilogy. (Read our review of her latest book, Sanctuary, here.) Take it away Raena:

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Hi Kimber and Mom! Thank you so much for the opportunity to guest post on your blog. This is the first time I’ve been asked to do a guest post and I’m very excited. 

A Few Quicks

A few quick things about me:

  • I’m a wife and mom of three boys.
  • I attended college at Penn State University.
  • Upon graduation, I commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. I moved to Ft. Rucker, Alabama and trained as a helicopter pilot.
  • After the Army, I moved home to Pennsylvania with my husband and worked as a probation officer for five years.
  • I actually wrote a novel in between appointments with my probation clients!

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GUEST POST: Interview With Intrepid World Travel Author Kaitlyn Jain

Kimber the Magnificent here. The other day Mom and I came up with another brilliant idea in the guest author department: revisiting a heartfelt and often hilarious travel tome we recently reviewed. (Well, okay. It was mostly me. Mom helped a little.)

Mom and The Kimster. (At least ONE of us is awake. Most of the time.)

Today we’re chatting with the author of an interesting, insightful, and often very funny travel-ish book, Passports and Pacifiers—Traveling the World, One Tantrum at a Time. Her name is Kaitlyn Jain. Let’s tune in and see what she has to say. You won’t want to miss this, if I do bark so myself! (For our full review of Passports and Pacifiers, click here.)

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GUEST POST: The ‘Gentle Journey’ Continues With Author Cathay O. Reta

“Hey Mom!” says I. “How ’bout we do something special for Valentine’s Day?”

“What’d you have in mind, Kimber?” replies Mom. She’s doing that smiley eyes thing again.

“How ’bout we invite one of our new favorite authors to do a guest post? We could ask the Camino de Santiago walk lady. Cathay O. Reta and Keep Walking: You Heart Will Catch Up. Tell us what she’s up to. Any new books in the pipeline. Lessons learned. What’s next. What about Ray?  Perfect for this Valentine’s thingy!”

“Kimber, you’re a genius!”

Mom’s nothing if not quick.

So here, without further barking, is Cathay’s guest post. You’re gonna enjoy this! Take it away, Cathay:

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GUEST AUTHOR: E.B. Roshan & the Shards of Sevia

Hello Friends!

Kimber the Magnificent here. Every once in awhile Mom and I get to do something super duper fun. Besides dinner. Or bacon. Or a nice, thick, juicy New York steak…

Wait. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Super duper fun. We get to do a guest post by new authors who write really good stuff. Today is one of those days! We’re delighted to introduce E.B. Roshan, author of the Shards of Sevia series. Today she tells us a little more about her background, writing process, and her book series. Take it away, E.B.:

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GUEST POST: How to Fail at Blogging or Succeed With Reverse Psychology

Gang way! Dog on a mission!

Mom and I have a mission here. We do honest book reviews. They’re not everyone’s bowl of kibble. Fine. If you’re reading along, you probably already know that.

But what you may not know is that we just bowed out of a book blog tour because the tour organizer wanted rainbows and roses, sunshine and unicorns only regarding the book in question. We don’t roll that way. We do For Real here. (More on that later.)

So when this honest, down-to-earth guest post by one of our new favorite writers, D.L. Kennedy, came along, it resonated. (D.L. Kennedy is the author of Thirteen Miracles. Read our full review here.) If you’re a discouraged blogger or a struggling blogger, this one’s for you. Take it away, D.L.:

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Monique Roy On Art, Historical Fiction

You know we’re big historical fiction fans here, right? Kimber here. Mom and I, we love the creativity of a novel balanced with actual people, places, and events. We eat that stuff up like gourmet dog chow! So when we were asked to review a historical novel about Nazi looting of priceless art items from Jewish owners during World War II, we ate it up!

The book is A Savage Kultur. It’s by Monique Roy. Read our full review here.

We reached out to Monique and asked her to do a guest post, telling us a little more about herself and her book. Why historical fiction. Stuff like that. Monique agreed. Here’s her post. Take it away, Monique!

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