gail and nikki

What Readers Say

about Time of the Cats

about Ghost on the Path

about Short Stories

Time of the Cats

From Kirkus Reviews:

        This YA debut stars a boy who befriends two mountain lions while coming of age in the American West.

        In 1883, 13-year-old Ted Reynolds has just moved from Massachusetts to his father's cattle ranch out West.
His mother is deceased, and he and his father, Cyrus, hardly know each other. Worse, the local kids call him
a tenderfoot, someone too soft for the rancher's life. But Ted is adjusting, making friends with a horse named
Gypsy and an Indian boy named Buffalo Horn. While out riding one day, Ted is astonished to see a mountain
lion. Buffalo Horn tells him that the young cat (also called a puma) has a sister living nearby and that both are
probably orphans. Indian legend also holds that "A child may sleep safely in the open if a puma is the only
wild animal near." When Ted tells his father of the sighting, however, the rancher insists on hunting and killing
the cat -- and eventually, cats -- to ensure his cattle's safety. Crushed by what he has set in motion, Ted
becomes determined to save the majestic animals. At great personal risk, he and Buffalo Horn search for the
wild cats to let them know that, for their own good, they must flee.

       Webber's heartfelt debut glows softly with inviting prose; her poetic depictions of the cats ring with the truth
of firsthand encounters. One cat, for example, is "a graceful almost-shadow that stood there for a moment and
then flashed out of sight, quick as a lightning bolt." Elsewhere, Webber assures young readers that mountain
lions could never be pets: "Not like a dog or a horse. Not that way. They have more pride, and are not to be tamed."
But central to this story is Ted's tumultuous journey toward adulthood. Talks with Dan, the ranch foreman, help Ted
realize that his father is still growing as a person, too. More remarkably, he learns from a woman on a train that,
"In the end, no love, no pain is ever wasted." The mature depths in Webber's story are impressive, particularly for
a debut. A refreshingly tender and honest tale.
Kirkus Reviews

        Truly, nothing is wasted. Gail, I have enjoyed reading your book.
It's been a moving read that had me loving every twist and turn.
I trust that Ted has another cat adventure in his future. I'd love to take it with him.
Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us!

        Courage, Loyalty, Friendships - make this little book of a young man's
introduction into the animal world and his manhood a great read... for adults
as well as middle readers. It is well written and dares you to put it down.
Well done, Gail, I look forward to reading more about Ted and his challenges and adventures.
Sally T.

        I loved it. You have to write a sequel. Ted has to tell his father about his
relationship with the lions. He has to in counter the lions as his father did,
since he owns cattle now. He has to meet up with the lady on the
train again (I didn't picture her as a prostitute), and he only recognizes her
by the ring. This is such a great story line it could go on through a couple of books.
I loved that it that the book was long enough to keep a younger reader's interest,
and get the story across without a lot of insignificant fluff.
Mae Lease

        This book was very well written, and is parent friendly. The story line will keep
your young reader interested all the way through without the use of violence or foul language.
Wanda Lease

        Time of the Cats! An awesome read for all ages. Gail has written this book with
13-year-old boys in mind as the primary audience. I AM NOT 13 (far from!) and am a woman...
I loved it!! Gail's imagination and creative writing just draws the reader in. I recommend this
book for all ages!! Enjoy!!
Julie Parlaman

        I bought this book to have on hand for my grandchildren to read when they visit.
After reading it myself, I can't wait for the kids to come so they can enjoy this delightful tale
of the adventures of a boy, his horse, a friend, and of course the big cats.
Martha Younger

        (Time of the Cats) is fabulous. It really shows your knowledge and detailed observation of animals. How did you manage to study/observe mountain lion behavior? The animal to animal encounters were so well done as were the animal to human (intense!). I love all the life lessons sprinkled throughout the book. Such a great story for your target audience, and older! The father/son relationship feels so accurate and true (and familiar- I've been on both sides). Thank you for sharing your book with me. Can't wait to read or hear about what else is in the works.
Steve T.

        This is an adventure story that children would love.

        I really liked this book, and I cannot wait to share it with my grandsons, aged 10 and 12. This is the perfect age to read of the adventures the main character experienced.
Nancy S.

        I quickly looked over this book before giving it to my grandson. ... I like him to read books that help him grow emotionally and develop an awareness of his roots and keep asking: 'but why?' and a book like this provides multiple opportunities to understand and grow.

*To submit a review of Time of the Cats, or to contact the author, please use the form on the Contact/Buy page.

Ghost on the Path

        I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed Ghost on the Path. The more I read, the harder it was to put it down. It raised so many emotions and I expect it speaks to each reader of thoughts and lessons well beyond the storyline. For example, in chapter 12 you wrote a line (I won't write the specific words, simply because it's YOURS to share as a quote or not) about shaking off regrets. How wonderfully expressed!
Sue P.-S.

        A very good read!
Sherril L.

        Ghost on the Path is an intriguing book that will draw readers in from the first pages. The author has created interesting and realistic characters that readers will be able to relate to easily. The dialogue is also well written, and the author has used it effectively to develop the characters and move the plot along. The plot will hold readers' interest throughout the book.
Editorial assessment, Archway Press

        The only problem I had with Ghost on the Path is that it was impossible to put down once I started reading!
Jean H.

        I finished Ghost on the Path and I loved it. I will definitely be reading it again.
Anna P.-W.

        Wow, I don't think I have ever sat and read for as long a stretch as I did today. Ghost on the Path is captivating - one page after another - first page to last! I got lost in your story. I felt like I was really there. My mind didn't wander as it often does when I read. I was fixed and focused on the story, and especially on the characters! Your characters are real, almost touchable. I feel like I would recognize them, know them, should I meet them on the island. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book and the way you worked the characters through some of life's most difficult pains and touched the soul of the reader. Truly, it is one of the best books I have ever read!
Carol U.

        As a believer in the supernatural, I had goosebumps on my arms!

        I totally enjoyed this book and am reading it for a second time.
Theresa V.

*To submit a review of Ghost on the Path, or to contact the author, please use the form on the Contact/Buy page.

Short Stories

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) I love this piece, its back story, its physicality, the complex layering of relationships and motivation, and the slow revelation of the narrator's loss and need. It's a beautifully crafted story with vivid, compelling characters and context. Brava!!

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) I love the thought that just going out and starting a project like that hole can bring people together. Thanks so much.

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) Nice to have an opportunity to see how very well you write. I never had any doubts, but the reading is a joy.

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) I really like the way this story begins with something so mundane, digs it out and examines it fully, and then fills it up again at the end. Tender and lovely.

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) Beautiful story - ties in with my own belief that we already have everything we need within us (or close by if we dare to reach out). Loved the tone and style of the piece. The way the story is told lets the reader share the experience of the character, moving from curiosity to awareness and understanding.

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) A loving piece! Heart-warming and tender.

        (Never Waste a Good Hole) What a hoot! and what a good neighbor.

        (Finish the Story) Love this. A touching perspective of a condition with which we all struggle. Beautifully written and a lovely ending.
Shelley G.

        (Finish the Story) A genuine joy to read. Bright and engaging. Such depth of character in so few words. Bravo!
David H.

*To submit a review of a short story, or to contact the author, please use the form on the Contact/Buy page.