Book animals

Gladys the parrot-woman gladiator

Image source: Shutterstock (author purchased)

Guest Post by Janet Garber

Many moons ago we stopped at a weather-beaten antique store in upstate New York, a fascinating place with layers upon layers of “stuff.” I wound up chatting with the owner for over an hour while my son made himself scarce. The owner was lonely, single, and so was I. I wondered if I should flirt with him—he seemed to be flirting with me. Then I spied his parrot angrily charging back and forth on her besplattered perch. Ugh! Filthy cage. I hastily bought a trinket and departed. No romance but that’s how Gladys, the first parrot-woman gladiator, nemesis to my character, Melie, was born!  (Not to mention love interest, Ted.)


Here’s a peek at Janet’s novel.


Join Melie, HR manager, on her desperate search for solutions to the messes boiling over in Axis Mundi Medical Center. You will laugh but is it funny to her? Why can’t those buttock-groping doctors and their flaky staff just get along? As she tries to seize control, and incidentally get a life, she runs into a little murder here, a cancer there, a mystery man, rivals that are not always human, like Gladys, the first parrot-woman gladiator. She won’t quit until she has it all—the hunk, the macaw, her life work—and neither will you!


The trouble was Gladys. This is a war, Melie realized. Gladys was doing her usual: squawking loudly every time Melie opened her mouth to talk to Ted. Once they looked over and she was sure to have their attention, she would strut into the limelight (in this case the wooden perch outside her cage) and proceed to clean her feathers in a most meticulous manner, wrapping her pointy beak around each one and salivating along the length of it.

“What are you looking at, Ted?” Melie asked.

“Why, did you ever see such colors in your life? She’s so vibrant,” he observed, gazing at Gladys lovingly. “My little redhead.”

She knows I look my worst at breakfast. Melie lounged at the breakfast table, draped in Ted’s old washed-out City College sweatshirt. I am drab. She got up to fetch her new orange and green polka dot scarf which she had left thrown over a chair in the sleeping alcove.

“Shredded!” she screamed.

“What’s that?”

“She’s gotta go, Ted,” she announced, striving to control her voice. She waved the wrecked scarf in the air. “Exhibit A.”

“Never.  Don’t even go there, Mel.”

Book Buy Link: Amazon

About the author

Janet Garber earned an M.A. in English from the University of Rochester. She has published fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, articles, book and movie reviews, a non-fiction book, I Need a Job, Now What?, and recently, a satiric novel, Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager, finalist in 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Author Links



Want your book featured on Top Drawer Ink? Click here for submission details.


Tagged ,

1 thought on “Gladys the parrot-woman gladiator

  1. Loved this story so much, I want more of Melie! Now that I have two squawking parrots next to my home, I can relate. Please give us more Janet, please!!

Comments are closed.