P.A.W.S. Sale and Giveaway – Debbie Manber Kupfer

Announcing P.A.W.S. 99 cents Sale and Giveaway

Have you got your copy of P.A.W.S. yet? Here’s your chance. This Saturday (2nd August) P.A.W.S. will be on sale for just 99 cents. To celebrate I’m also having a Giveaway with some super cool prizes.



First, who would like their own shapeshifter charm very like that passed on to Miri Katz by her Omama in the beginning of P.A.W.S. I can’t guarantee it will change you into a cat though – you have to have magic for that!


Or how about a couple of signed P.A.W.S. bookmarks?

And finally, and I’m really excited about this one, YA author Chasity Nicole is kindly donating an ebook of her fantasy Wickedly Misunderstood.


So pick up your copy of P.A.W.S.


And enter the giveaway today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest blog, Debbie Manber Kupfer

Shades of Fear by Debbie Manber Kupfer


There are many different shades of fear, and fear is something that affects each of us in different ways. When a Facebook group of which I’m part, Write On Nanos, decided to put together a charity anthology based around the theme of fear I toyed with writing a horror or fantasy tale. I’d written plenty of this kind recently, but then I started thinking about fear and what really scares me and realized that the time in my life when I was most terrified was when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

At the time when I was going through treatment I told very few people about my cancer. Only my closest family and friends knew. I certainly didn’t “come out” on Facebook. The Cancer Center had suggested we wrote down our experience, but I was too close to it and didn’t want to dwell on the facts when the outcome of my treatment was still unclear. I also wanted to live my life as “normal” as possible. I didn’t want to people to treat me as some kind of charity case, because I had cancer, so I kept quiet and went on with my daily life as much as I could.

Now, after the fact, though I felt it was time to write my story. I took my tablet to Starbucks one afternoon before my monthly writers group and started writing my experience. It was probably the most difficult thing I’d ever written. I had to return not only to my initial terror of finding the lump and getting my diagnosis, but also relive a very difficult time in my life when my father passed away.

My story, The Big C, is the last in the Shades of Fear anthology. Every story in this anthology is a unique take on fear. Many are grounded in horror, fantasy, and suspense, but a handful, like mine, are true experiences that haunt our memories and needed to be written and shared.

The first of these tales is The Devil Man by Kristi Webster. In her story Kristi revisits a terrible time in her life when her mother married a man that hurt their family in unimaginable ways. As Kristi explains:

“It was terrifying and stressful during those years, a very dark time for me.  The Devil’s Man gives readers a brief glimpse into what I went through during that time, which was physical and emotional abuse.  Thankfully, we were able to leave that situation and have been happy in Oklahoma ever since.  When I wrote that piece, it gutted me to have to relive those painful memories.  After I completed the edits from the story, I had to put it away because every time I read back through it, my heart would pump like crazy and my anxiety was about to go through the roof!  While it might not seem like a very fearful story to most, it was the worst fear I have ever known.”

In Sweaty Sheets and Sleepless Nights, Joi Miner shares a chapter from her upcoming book Vices. Joi writes:

“The book, as a whole, is realistic fiction based loosely on my life. The story is of a woman who has recently gotten divorced from an abusive husband and is having to face her demons while healing and rebuilding her life for herself and her daughter, Tzionne. Sex is her vice. She uses it to drown out the pain and momentarily escape from the painful existence that she has found herself in. This chapter, in particular, tells of her having a nightmare/flashback about her molestation as a child. And, just like in real life, she uses writing to deal with her pain.”

In T209, Shannon McLoud talks about the very real fear of returning to the classroom as an adult. Shannon talks about her personal experience with this and why it was so terrifying to her:

I didn’t realize how scared I was until that first night!  The story is actually a combination of two of my nights on campus.  My very first one of course, but the room I modeled everything on was a class I took a week later.  I had to miss the first class because of a work commitment that I was supposed to have completed months prior, but couldn’t since my father had died.  So that was weighing on me as well.  Making the choice to go back to school absolutely terrified me.  I was afraid that after all the sacrifices we had made, especially financially, that I would let my family down by not being able to find a job.

Roxanna Mitchell begins her story Perfect Connection with the harrowing tale of how her husband of 22 years was diagnosed with esophageal cancer one month after she had retired from a company she had been with for 25 years. Roxanna writes:

“I thought I was going to help him grow his general contracting business and slip into semi-retirement.  Needless to say, I became his caregiver until he succumbed to his disease.  It took me two years to go through the grieving process and, during that time, I began to write again, the product of which was my first novel, Perfect Score.

After I finished this book, I took off my wedding rings and decided that I wanted to date again, find my second soul mate.  Embracing today’s technology, I turned to internet dating.  Perfect Connection is all about my fears of being alone after being with someone for so long, searching for a new complement and the dangers of meeting strange men for coffee or drinks, not knowing what they truly will be like.  Scary for even the youngest of people, but more so for a much more ‘mature’ woman.”

You can read all these stories and more in Shades of Fear. All proceeds of the sale of this anthology goes to pediatric cancer research and treatment. Also you can read the full interviews with each of the Shades of Fear authors on my blog, Paws For Thought .


 Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York, and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where for the last 15 years she has worked as a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of P.A.W.S., a young adult fantasy novel that was published by Rocking Horse Publishing in the Summer of 2013, and is currently working on a sequel. She also has stories in a number of anthologies including Fauxpocalypse and Shades of Fear. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

Interview with author, Debbie Manber Kupfer


Debbie grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where for the last 14 years she has worked as a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!


P.A.W.S by Debbie Manber Kupfer

ISBN 0989568504 (ISBN13: 9780989568500)


Extract from P.A.W.S

Vienna, October 20th, 1941, today was Celia’s tenth birthday. This was not how she imagined celebrating it. She was with her family – her mama Miriam, her papa David, her elder brother Issel and her baby sister Sara. They were huddled together in the back room of their tiny two-room apartment in Grosse Spielgasse, in the dark, barely breathing.

Outside the building, the boot steps got nearer and nearer. Celia heard shouting, screaming, gunshots. She crouched down even closer to the ground, wishing that somehow they could all melt away into the shadows. Celia clutched her cat Max tightly in her arms, feeling his warmth, his soft tabby fur close to her skin, willing him to stay quiet.

Her mamma cradled little Sara at her breast, nursing her so she would not cry out. Outside the pounding footsteps were getting closer, closer: “Juden, Juden, Heraus, Heraus, Schnell, Schnell!!” Now they were at the door of the neighbors – the Wassersteins.  She heard crying and a single gun-shot.

Miriam beckoned to her, “Celia, mein Katzerl , come here,” she whispered, “I have something for you, for your birthday.”

Celia approached Miriam cautiously, still clutching Max to her, “What is it Mama?” she said, gazing into Miriam’s blue, blue eyes. She studied her prematurely wrinkled face, memorizing every crease. Mama, my mama, she thought.

Still holding baby Sara with her left hand Miriam reached round the back of her neck with her right and unclasped the chain that she always wore beneath her clothes, close to her heart. It was a silver chain with a cat charm on it. “Take this Celia, mein Katzerl, wear it always, remember I love you. Ich liebe dich.”

“I love you, Mama,” she whispered as she fastened the chain around her neck, just as the doors burst open – six gestapo soldiers rushed into their home – “Juden, Heraus, Heraus . . .” Celia watched as her family was herded out of the door . . .

* * *

 Tell me a bit about your book.

P.A.W.S. is a young adult fantasy. It is the story of young girl Miri who is given a silver cat charm by her grandmother on the day before she dies. Miri is then sent away to a boarding school where she is bullied by her peers. One day she is chased up a tree and discovers the magical power that is hidden in her charm.

 How did you come up with the title and storyline?

When I’m not writing stories I write puzzles for puzzle magazines. In the puzzle community it is common for setters/constructors to choose pennames or noms. My puzzle nom is Paws and it seemed only natural for this to also become the name of my first novel.

 How long have you been writing and what inspires you?

I have been writing ever since I was a kid, but only recently did I start having the confidence to show people what I have written.

 How did you get published?

At the end of last year I started attending a local writers’ group in St. Louis. There I met Robin Tidwell who owns Rocking Horse Publishing. Robin read my manuscript and loved my story and the rest as we like to say is history!

What do you do in your spare time?

Not sure I have a lot of that! When I’m not writing fiction or puzzles, I look after my kids and read. That’s about it!

What is your writing ritual?

It’s important for me to write something every day, whether it’s a chapter of my current WIP, a blog entry or a puzzle.

 What book are you reading at the moment?

The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Just write. Don’t worry about if it’s good or if someone else will want to read it. Write primarily because it’s what you want to do.

 Are you working on any future novels?

Yes, I’m currently working on a sequel to P.A.W.S.

 Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

As my kids have got older I’ve had more and more time to work on my writing and puzzles. I expect that to continue and am excited to discover where my journey through the world of P.A.W.S. takes me.

Where to find Debbie:






Twitter: @CiciCat42

Where to buy P.A.W.S: