Friday Kitty Poetry from Jamie Glaser

Hi everyone, Shabbat Shalom and Happy Shavuot!

I have a new poem for you this week from St. Louis poet, Jamie Glaser along with a kitty picture of course. This pretty girl is called Riri

And now the poem:

Cooking for Shabbat

By Jamie Glaser

My favorite part of Shabbat

Is helping Mommy bake

We knead the dough for challah

And measure stuff for cake!

I get to pour the sugar

And add a little yeast

This challah will be perfect

For our Shabbat feast!

It’s time to cook the chicken

Mommy adds some spice

Puts it in the oven

It smells really nice

Maybe I’ll try salad

For dinner this Shabbat

Ew! It has tomato?

Then I probably will not!

The challah’s in the oven

The cake is almost done

Baking is my favorite thing

But eating’s much more fun!

You can read more of Jamie’s poetry in our charity anthology, Catstruck! All proceeds go to Tenth Life Cat Rescue.

A Little Tea and Dark Chocolate for Mother’s Day!

As some of you know I wrote my little book of silliness, Tea and Dark Chocolate, originally for my mother. My mum read my P.A.W.S. books and particularly loved her character, Shirley the camel, BUT she didn’t enjoy some of the darker themes in the book, so for her 80th birthday I created Tea and Dark Chocolate, a collection of light stories and poems, the kind you might enjoy while sitting and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and a little dessert. My mum adored the book and a couple of years later I added a second volume, Another Cup of Tea.

This weekend for Mother’s Day both of the titles are on sale on ebook for just 99 cents each. Oh, and not just on Kindle as it says above but everywhere. Pick up your copies today!

Also I have a few audio book review copies available over at Story Origin. The audio books were created by English voice actress, Fiona Thraille and are a delight to listen to.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Cover Reveal — Madarak (P.A.W.S. 10)

TA DA!! Presenting the beautiful new cover of my upcoming new release–MADARAK.

Madarak is book 10 of my P.A.W.S. Saga which will release on June 22nd, the tenth anniversary of when the original P.A.W.S. was released.

In this book the avian shifters and animagi of P.A.W.S. are traveling to Nashville for Madarak or Bird Con as it’s colloquially known. Two young P.A.W.S. students are attempting to get to Madarak all the way from Alaska and one of the two is a albatross shifter called Jayda who you can see on the front of this awesome new cover created by the ever-talented Rachel Bostwick.

Preorder your copy of Madarak today!

Meet Kathy Brown

Today on Paws 4 Thought we continue our occasional series of author interviews with local St. Louis author, Kathy Brown.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Kathy.

I’m very much a homebody who loves to cook, read, knit, and—my latest hobby—draw. Starting in the fourth grade, I wanted to write fiction but got sidetracked in all the ways creative people lose the plot. I’ve been a manuscript editor, a full-time parent, medical researcher, and massage therapist. I got back to writing in 2004, with a workshop for beginners at Washington
University.

When did you first start writing?

When I was ten, I was captivated by a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. Somehow that was when I realized that every story has a maker, and I could be a maker, too. I immediately wrote a knock-off Sherlockian story, which was greeted with wide critical acclaim (by my teacher). That was it, really. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had ruined me for honest work. But I left it for a long
time, deciding in the way thirteen-year-old girls did (in the 1960s) that I had nothing to say. But the storytelling urge was always in me. One of my employee benefits from Washington University Medical School was free tuition to the main campus night school classes. So, I signed up for an eight-week writing workshop in 2004. There I met the people who would form my longstanding writer’s support group! I continued with all the writing classes the night school offered.

Who are your favorite authors?

I’ve been reading widely for a long time. My first love is mysteries, but also fantasy. I have degree was in English, so I’m a total book nerd. Longtime favorite authors include Alexander Dumas, Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Dylan Thomas, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout (all the Golden-Age detective fiction writers, really), and Neil
Gaiman. My latest enthusiasms are Ruth Emrys, Matt Ruff, and Susanna Clarke.

What inspires you to write?

One inspiration is a curious mind; I always want to know more about how things (and people) work. The “why” of it all. Those thoughts seem to spiral off into plots. Another is a problem-solving impulse. A story is actually a device for eliciting particular reactions in the reader or even society. The mechanics of that process are fascinating. But mostly, I need to write for my own
equilibrium. I process feelings and experiences, and as I’m now an older person, realize that storytelling is a great way to have a “do over” for your life events. You can, through imagination, “live” as a totally different person. Writing is the reader experience of a great book, amplified!

You have a new short story out. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how we can read it?

The new story is exclusive to my newsletter subscribers through the end of the year. It is some backstory for the main character of my Sean Joye Investigations series. Sean, a veteran of the Irish Civil War, immigrates to St. Louis in 1923 and immediately lands in trouble. “The Angel’s Share” is the story of that trouble. He’s been vaguely alluding to this difficulty through three books; now, at last, the deets.

What attracts you to writing historical fantasy?

Good question! It would certainly be easier to write contemporary fiction. I’ve always liked reading historical fiction, biographies, and history. The ways that life in the past were similar or different than our own era are illuminating, I think. Often, I don’t even
understand my contemporaries’ actions or attitudes; maybe I was just born in the wrong era. (Or I’m a time traveler, wink, wink.)

If you could travel to any historical period when and where would you like to visit?

Speaking of time travel…In general—very big picture view—although terrible things go on in our own era, in terms of
disease, human rights, and technology, etc., we live in good times. A brief research visit to the 1920s would be great. And I’d love to meet my parents as young people in the 1940s, if that wouldn’t do something horrible to the space-time continuum.

Here at Paws 4 Thought we love meeting our author’s pets. Do you have any furry, feathery or scaly
writing companions? (Feel free to add pictures!)

Sorry, no pets here. The human companions have terrible allergies. [[ I’m sorry, DMK]]

I have a sister cat, Pugsley (black and white), and a grand cat, Artemis (gray). I enjoy visiting them!

[[Aww, they’re adorable DMK]]

Ever met a ghost?

Sadly, no. I’m not at all psychically gifted. Pretty down to earth, actually. Maybe that’s why I feel free to totally make up lies, I mean stories, about the supernatural.

How can readers connect with you?

Readers can reach me via my website, kathylbrown.com. I’m also on Facebook, @kbKathylbrown, and Instagram, @kathylbrownwrites. My newsletter subscription form is on my website, or they can just email me at brown.kathy.L@gmail.com and I’ll fill out the form. I sometimes have a book booth at local conventions and speak at panels. I’ll be doing panels July 14-16,
2023 at Imaginarium in Louisville, KY, USA, and have a book booth September 29-October 1, 2023 at Archon in Collinsville, IL, USA. [[I’ll of course see you at Archon! DMK]]

Imadjinn Award-winning author Kathy L. Brown lives in St. Louis, Missouri, USA and writes speculative fiction with a historical twist. Her hometown and its history inspire her fiction. When she’s not thinking about how haunted everything is, she enjoys hiking, crafts, and cooking for her family. As a new college graduate, Kathy landed a job as a book editor, an ideal pairing of reading all day and being super-picky about small details. Those skills served her well in a subsequent (and better-paying) career as a medical researcher. Her flagship book series is The Sean Joye Investigations, atmospheric supernatural noir stories set in the St. Louis area. The Resurrectionist and Water of Life and The Big Cinch are currently available. Kathy spent the pandemic lockdown polishing and publishing a steampunk-tinged fantasy (with romance and wolf shifter fights!), Wolfhearted, available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook. Follow her social media platforms: Instagram at kathylbrownwrites, and Facebook at kbKathylbrown. The Storytelling Blog lives kathylbrown.com.

Please visit Kathy on AmazonFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads.

Meet Kellie Doherty

Today on Paws 4 Thought we continue our occasional Fiction Friday feature with a special interview with queer science fiction/fantasy author, Kellie Doherty. Tell us a little about yourself, Kellie.

I live in the Land of the Midnight Sun—Alaska! I write stories full of adventure, found families, chaotic queer characters, and a
dash of romance. I mostly stick to writing novel-length work, but I also dabble in short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.

When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was a kid, mostly fanfiction of Digimon and Pokemon, with a splash of Sailor Moon. It was fun to play in already created worlds and infuse them with my own plot ideas and original characters. I wrote in those fandom worlds for a few years before finding my own voice and branching out to my own original fiction, but all that time writing fanfiction honed my writing skills so, so much. And it was fun! I still write some fanfiction to this day, too.

Who are your favorite authors?

I’m glad that’s plural because I have the hardest time picking one! Some of my favorites in the sci-fi universe include Becky Chambers, Micaiah Johnson, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Over on the fantasy realm there’s V.E. Schwab, Aiden Thomas, Chelsea Abdullah, Astrid Knight, and Rebecca Thorne.

What inspires you to write?

So many things. My characters, my stories, my younger self. I didn’t see many queer characters in the fantasy and sci-fi stories I read growing up, and I made myself a promise to change that. We’ve made some strides with mainstream media accepting queer characters and storylines but there’s still so far to go. I like to think I’m doing my small part in adding some more rainbow representation.

You have a new fantasy novel out, Ink Stains & Ill-Fated Lies. Tell us a little bit about it.

Yes! Ink Stains & Ill-Fated Lies is the third book in my intertwined standalone series, the Broken Chronicles. Curiosity pushes a disgraced wandering scribe named Adaris too deep into an enemies’ hideout and she gets captured for it. She’s forced to conform to their fiery ritualistic ways and use her quill to record their side of history but when she discovers strange, ancient crafting her curiosity twists in ways even she didn’t anticipate. She’s always recorded the heroes’ stories around her and now it’s finally her turn to be the hero—by any means necessary. It’s got twisted magic, chaotic bisexuals, a dash of romance, and a quest for knowledge gone horribly wrong where curiosity might just doom them all.

That sounds amazing, plus that’s a truly beautiful cover! So what attracts you to writing fantasy?

The escapism of it all—new worlds, an endless expanse of magic in the form of innate, gifted, stolen, artifacts, or anything else you can dream up in between, mythological creatures, swordfights and sorcery—fantasy is a genre where anything can happen and I just love the sheer breadth of it. I love creating an intricate world and layered magical system, telling a story that’s not set on Earth but deals with very human/relatable problems. It’s a unique and fascinating challenge to create a whole new world, and don’t even get me started on creating mythological creatures. It’s one of my favorite things about fantasy, the beasts of the world can be so unique and…well…magical!

What was your inspiration for this book?

The idea really started with Adaris. I knew I wanted to explore the idea of being a hero and how that idea can shift when the so-called “hero” needs to do terrible things to protect the ones they love and to stay alive. I wanted to push the faults of unbridled curiosity and how knowledge can sometime corrupt people, too. I had mentioned Adaris in my other two fantasy books—Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties and Curling Vines & Crimson Trades—where she was simply a scribe helping my other main characters along their journeys, but since Ink Stains is Adaris’ story, I got to explore her character more and give her the adventure she deserved. I knew she was a disgraced scribe (though at the time I didn’t know why) and I knew she had a chronic leg injury that prevented her from living out her dream of being a Moon Knight. I knew I wanted to push her curiosity to the next level, to see what would happen when she was faced with an impossible choice, and answer that question for myself, too.

Here at Paws 4 Thought we love meeting our author’s pets. Do you have any furry, feathery or scaly writing companions? (Feel free to add pictures!)

I have two amazingly fluffy shadow cats named Raven and Cinder. Raven’s the older of the two and she definitely acts like it—hogging up my lap time and curling up on my shoulders—but Cinder makes herself known by being the loudest cat I have ever owned. She does this low-pitched meow that I honestly haven’t heard any other cat make; it’s pretty spectacular. One of my favorite activities is curling up with my cats under a nice thick blanket and reading a good book. They’re also a source of inspiration as well, for the mythological creatures in my books and some locations, too.

Oooh, a black floof like Luna, my daughter’s kitty and my grandcat! So what is your favorite magical creature?

Oooo, I’ve created some awesome beasts for my fantasy series but I’ll highlight my favorite one here: Vulnix: A small winged vulpine creature with three tails who are letter-carriers in my world. They can fly, they’re super quick, their sense of direction is legendary, and their eyesight is par to none. The main character in Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties, Misti has a vulnix named Zora and she’s loosely based on Raven, my cat I mentioned earlier! (Vulnix are also inspired by the Pokemon Eevee and Vulpix…because I’m a geek like that.)

That’s sounds awesome. I adore magical creatures too (and the name Vulnix made me think of Vulpix — I play Pokemon with my son! So, what it’s like writing an intertwined standalone series? (Not something I’ve tried myself yet.)

It’s so fun! Each of the first four books are set in the same world with the same magic system, world histories, deities, and brewing battles but they each have a different main character—Misti for Sunkissed Feathers, Orenda for Curling Vines, Adaris for Ink Stains, and Zayla for my current WIP. I really enjoy doing a deep dive into their backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses for each book. Each book has a different story arc, so that readers can pick whatever book they want and dive into the
story, but each book reveals something new about the world and moves the story forward in its own way. Keen-eyed readers will note some fun hints running through the books. Plus, I’ve woven the other characters into each book, as passing people the main character meets. It’s so cool!! I’m most daunted by writing the fifth book because that’s when all four main characters will be together and I’ll have to do POV shifts to complete the story. I’ve never done something like that before, so it’ll be a real challenge… but one I’m looking forward to!

Thank you so much for taking time out to talk to us, Kellie. How can readers connect with you?

Sign up for my newsletter (https://kelliedoherty.com/subscribe) where you’ll get a free fantasy flash fiction story and behind-the-scenes info about being an author, geeky recommendations, exclusive content, and more. And you can always find me online—I’m on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can check out all my profiles via my linktree: https://linktr.ee/kelliedoherty

The Pharoah and Meowses – a Passover Poem from Jamie Glaser

Happy Passover everyone! As you are reading this I’m getting ready for my Seder tonight. For those of you who are celebrating too and have little ones here’s a Passover Poem from local poet and friend, Jamie Glaser.

The Pharoah and Meowses

By Jamie Glaser

Meowses told the Pharoah

Let my kitties go!

The Pharoah thought about it

But he told that kitty NO

Meowses told the Pharoah

Then plagues will come about

It doesn’t matter, I’m a tough guy

The Pharoah began to shout

God sent a lot of trouble

The Pharoah said ” oh no!”

Meowses looking smug

Said ” I told you so”

So Pharoah gave them freedom

The kitties ran away

Really far from Egypt

And all those yucky plagues

Cat’s do not like water

But God said “that’s ok”

Meowses hold your staff up high

I’ll make it go away!

Cats are good at running

They all ran really fast

Until they reached the desert

The felines were free at last!

And here’s a pic of Jamie’s kitty, Audrey — isn’t she cute?

You can read more of Jamie’s poetry on our charity anthology, Catstruck! All proceeds from the sale of Catstruck! go to Tenth Life Cat Rescue in St. Louis, a shelter where Jamie sometimes volunteers.

The Ealdspell Cycle: Faerie Magic Special Edition Hardbacks

Wow! Aren’t those beautiful? My friend Jesikah Sundin has someone wonderful news this week that I’m happy to share here on Paws 4 Thought. Her fairytale series, Ealdspell now has beautiful full-color illustrated hardbacks available exclusively through Kickstarter.

What do they include?

The Ealdspell Cycle: Faerie Magic Special Edition Hardbacks

Epic fae fantasy romance twists on familiar fairy tales, blending magic and mythology with historically inspired settings.

  • Printed in full color
  • Custom designed chapter spreads
  • Ink scene sketch illustrations
  • Beautiful hardcase wrap
  • Exclusive dust jacket design
  • “Almost Kiss” art printed in each book
  • So many more amazing features to come!


There are limited number of Early Bird Bonuses too, so hurry, hurry!

Order your copies today! (They make awesome gifts too for the fantasy lover in your family).

Super P.A.W.S. Sale!

Meow! I’ve got a treat for you, for a limited time all NINE books of my P.A.W.S. Saga are just 99 cents each on Kindle (or 99p if you’re in the UK. Now’s a great time to catch up as I’m busy getting book 10 ready for publication in June.

US Kindle – 99 cents!

UK Kindle – 99p!

Plus if you have Kindle Unlimited check out this group promo. Oodles of box sets, all FREE to KU subscribers.

Bonus giveaway – find the typo on the banner above, post in a comment on this blog post and I’ll send you a free audio book!

Fright Bites by Miracle Austin

Hey folks, I’m excited about this one. I had the privilege of not only being the editor of these wonderful stories by the fabulous Miracle Austin but also created a puzzle for the book.

Pick a copy in paperback or ebook and pay attention as you read the scary tales. At the end of a book is a puzzle “Gryselda’s Secret Message” – Be sure to solve it!

“Miracle’s imagination will transport you to different worlds. She’s a maestro of storytelling. I revel in her tales, and admire her devotion to our art.” Ian Sputnik, Editor in Chief, Sanitarium Magazine

WAKE
“I almost ate you before dawn… Lucky, lucky girl… with the red cape…”

CHASER
“You never believed in any of my stories–you always laughed… Let’s see if you believe me, now!” Warm saliva cascaded down my neck.

Find yourself a cozy spot, make sure all your doors are locked. Open FRIGHT BITES. Who or what will you encounter? Could it be Old Lady Canes, a shadow twister, or Cordelia? Be careful what lurks in the dark… you never know what’s watching you and waiting. Immerse yourself in twenty-nine creeptastic tales from the author of the Doll Trilogy and Boundless.

Pick up a copy today!