Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


‘Purposeful Work, Blessed Rest’ A Breath of Fresh Air

Purposeful Work, Blessed Rest:

A 6-Week Devotional for Mothers

By Anna Hawkes Cabral, 2023

Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspirational

Via: Author request

Kimber here. Being all magnificent and everything. And letting you in on a little secret. So listen up. (Are you listening? Good!) I’m getting the Most Terrific-est, Woniferous, Splendiferous and All-Around PAW-somest person on the planet a little something special for a Really, Really Important Day.

Mom: Kimmi, are you talking about yourself again?

Kimber: Well. Maybe. But I’m really talking about Mother’s Day. (I’ll let you guess who that Really PAWsome person is. Besides me, of course.) Her Momness will fill you in on the rest:

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Derby Day and A Champion for the Ages


Isn’t that a great word? Learned it from Mom the other day. As in, the 149th annual Run for the Roses is today! So debates about who was the Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time are… inevitable.


Or so I’m told.

A few other things I learned:

The “Run for the Roses” is also known as The Kentucky Derby. The Derby is always run on the first Saturday in May. It’s the first jewel in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred horse racing.

Why do I, Kimber the Magnificent, care about Thoroughbred racing? Well, I don’t. Not really. But Mom does!

She’s been reading a Walter Farley book about one of the greatest champions to ever set hooves on a race track: Man O’War. Along with legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Man O’War is a top contender for Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time honors.

Back to the Farley book.

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‘The Retreat’ Hits a Snag

The Retreat

By Sarah Pearse

Publisher: Viking, 2022

Pages:  Waaaaay too many

Genre: Who cares?

Via: Library

Ever grab a new book by an unfamiliar author? Feel that surge of excitement as you peruse the cover blurb and the synopsis? Break in to your happy dance with that “Oh yeah!” feeling? …

… Only to start reading and feel like you just walked into a blender.

That’s what Sarah Pearse’s The Retreat is like. It came highly recommended as a “cliffhanger murder mystery” by someone who shall remain nameless.

What we wound up with was a badly overwritten hunk of junk that doesn’t really get going until Chapter 44. We would’ve ordinarily bailed out long before then. But we promised a friend (who shall remain nameless) we’d read the whole thing.

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ATTN AUTHORS: How NOT to Tick Mom Off (I’d Listen Up ‘Fize You!)

Happy Tuesday Authors!

At least it’s a happy Tuesday for some of us. Others who shall remain nameless are sulking (Hi, Mom!). Lemme explain.

Her Crankiness (hi again, Mom) is miff-ified at authors who waste her time by not adhering to and/or ignoring our submission guidelines or following through on their commitments when they request a review.

Case in point.

A Big Stretch

Awhile back Mom got a review request for a “historical fiction” book “because many people turn to independent reviewers for realistic recommendations on what to read. Considering the current social, economic, and political climate, not only are readers looking for something new and different, many are wondering about young America’s beginnings as a nation. A Healing Touch speaks to this interest.”

We enjoy historical fiction. So we decided to dive in. Only to find out that “historical fiction” is a mighty big stretch for this thing.

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‘Citizen K-9’ Offers Mystery, Levity

Citizen K-9

By David Rosenfelt

Publisher: St. Martin’s, 2022

Genre: Fiction/Murder Mystery

Pages: 263

Via: Library

An unsolved double murder. A cold case. A crackerjack team of private investigators specializing in cold cases. Playing cards. Like, the king of clubs. A high school reunion where two friends vanish without a trace. Not a single clue that makes sense. At all. A retired cop, Corey Douglas, and his brilliant German shepherd, Simon Garfunkel. A scene stealer extraordinaire and the smartest member of the team by far, Simon is also recently retired from law enforcement. And Really Bad Dudes.

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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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A Word on Kimber

First off, this is NOT a bookish post. This is a KIMBER-ish post. So if you’re okay with that, keep reading. If not, you know what to do. As long as it doesn’t involve chocolate. Lemme explain. Like this:

How to have a heart attack in 3 easy steps 🐾

  1. Notice something’s wrong with the world’s sweetest furry face.
  2. Find an empty bag of almond bark on her bed. (Left behind by a son who shall remain nameless when he moved out last summer. It was unopened, double-sealed. But apparently not Kimber proof.🐾)
  3. It’s the weekend. The vet’s office is closed. Nearest emergency vet services are over an hour away. With a “6 to 8 hour wait, minimum.”

The Great Almond Bark Disaster occurred one month to the day after a family member’s trip to the E.R. with anaphylaxic shock. (Hi, Lisinopril. Incidentally, 15 hours in the E.R. is a really lousy way to spend the night/next day. In case you’re wondering.)

The little stinker (the furry one) is back to her usual “I love everyone, ain’t life grand?” effervescent self today. Bein’ All Magnificent and everythin’.

Her Crankiness is still recovering.

‘Meanwhile, back at the ranch,’ one of us is So Not Interested in racking up any more emergency frequent flyer miles. Mom’s just funny that way. 🤦‍♀️

Reminder: NEVER give your dog chocolate. It can be deadly. Kimber was lucky. The jury’s still out on Her Crankiness.

Now if we can just get Kimber the Intrepid to the U.N. She’d have world peace figured out in no time. As long as it doesn’t involve almond bark.


The ASPCA Animal Poison Hotline number is:(888) 426-4435.

We will return to our regularly scheduled broadcast next time.


Kimber Brag and Top 1%!

Isn’t it fun to toot someone else’s horn? I get to do that today! Cuz I’m braggin’ on Mom! (Do you think I’ll get some extra bacon outta this? Hmmm…)

Kimber, chicken bus driver wannabe.

You didn’t think Mom does book reviews just for this blog, did you? Naw! Mom loves books so much, she does reviews all over the place, including this outfit called Book Sirens.

If you hop on to Book Sirens, you’ll find us under PagesAndPaws. Looking all magnificent and everything. (At least one of us, anyway.)

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‘Maya Fairy’ Hits a Bull’s Eye!

Maya Fairy

By Stanislava Buevich

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy (November 2022)

Pages: 280

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

Not everything you’ve heard about fairies is true. So when a young girl finds out the truth about her own house fairy, keep an eye out for fairy dust in this delightful magical mystery by Stanislava Buevich.

“Has your child been acting strangely? Tired? Rundown? Listless?” There’s a reason for that. But it’s not what you think as revealed in this charming and winsome fantasy for middle grade readers.

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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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