Umbrae by Debbie Manber Kupfer – Blog Tour

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Today on Nerd Girl we celebrate the release of Umbrae (The P.A.W.S. Saga, Book 3). In this snippet we meet an old friend, Ian the animagus chimp. You can read an interview with Ian over at Kayla Matt’s blog – the next step of the blog tour.


“Come on Ryan, we’re going for a walk. Wow, you’re getting heavy,” said Mandy, as she fastened the boy into her sling.

It was a beautiful day, but Mandy was distracted as she walked through Forest Park making her way to the zoo. Maybe Ian would know where he was. She needed to find Josh, needed to explain.

She walked through the zoo, making for the old monkey house. She’d heard rumors that they were building a new enclosure for the apes, but she doubted Ian would join the other apes there.

When she got there, she discovered Ian was babysitting. Ryan gurgled and pointed at the small ape in the enclosure with Ian. Ian looked up when he saw them and removed a small silver wand from somewhere amongst his black hairy body.

“Come on in, guys!” The glass melted for a moment and let them in.

Once inside Mandy removed Ryan from the sling and placed him on the floor. He wasn’t walking yet, but could crawl very quickly and was anxious to explore and also to meet the other infant that was playing with something in the corner of the room.

“Who’s that?” said Mandy. “On second thoughts, what’s that?” she said, peering at the ape that seemed to be having a conversation with Ryan.

“That’s Henry,” said Ian proudly. “Doesn’t he look like me?”

“He’s your son?” said Mandy. “But how?”

“Well, Olivia and I decided to take the next step. You know how it is…”

“But she’s an orangutan, and you’re a…”

“Chimpanzee? The species aren’t too far off, are they?”

“Yes, but you’re an animagus, a human.”

“Well, she was willing to overlook that little detail. It’s not my fault, after all.”

“But don’t the zoo keepers think it strange?”

“They don’t question it. I mean, if they analyzed the DNA of this little fellow they might be in for a surprise, but usually they just stand around and ogle him and say ‘how cute!’ and things like that.”

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