I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue by Laura Koerber

Summary

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

Overall

This is a harrowing tale of tragedy that could have been avoided. It educates the reader in addition to telling a story. If you love animals this will hit home – if you are human, this will be eye opening and heartbreaking. The narration was interesting and easy to follow. There were sections of supposition that felt unnecessary and undercut the strength of the story. It was smart to focus on one dog over others, it added an extra layer. Adding to the fact that the author was a small part of the protest and followed the story, that you could feel the passion.

This isn’t just a story about the pets though, it is also about the people. The fact that a few people who were seriously concerned got together and eventually made a difference. I don’t want to ruin the story but some do see a happy ending – which brings an overall positive dynamic to the story. Well worth the read!

Rating

4 Stars

If you like non-fiction books, especially about pets, this is a great read!

Where did I get it?

The author gifted me a kindle copy.

 

 

 

 

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Gabriel’s Send-Off by Elle Danielson

**Contains Adult Content**

Summary:

Practically every woman at Klingman and Landis Accounting has a crush on their office manager Gabriel. He’s thoughtful, honest, and fills out a business suit like a GQ model. Of course there are strict policies against hooking up with the boss, but when Gabe announces he’s leaving the company, a few of his most ardent devotees come up with a plan to show him their appreciation. Will their beloved supervisor take them up on their offer?

Overall

This was an erotica with a sweet vein. I have too say there are two redeeming factors in this book – the main guy, Gabriel, seems like a genuinely nice guy and the steamy scenes were very sexy. There was a sweetness to them mixed with the hotness. Although there were a few words used that were more crude and disrupted the flow, there weren’t many of them.

It is fast paced and easy to read in one sitting. There were a few character inconsistencies that weren’t logical, but for the genre it wasn’t the focus. I was surprised at the depth of character development and it brought an extra layer to the story. The biggest drawback was the story felt like it rushed to be something that didn’t fit quite right. Although it was cute it was also very impulsive.

Rating

3. 5 stars (rounded up)

I have to round this up just for how sweet Gabe was. He really did feel like a nice guy. Drawbacks aside this was a cute short read with just the right amount of steam.

Where did I get it?

Picked up a copy on Amazon.

Eyesha and The Great Elephant Gathering by Nadishka Aloysius

Summary:

Eyesha the baby elephant visits the Minneriya Tank with her family for the first time to experience the annual Great Gathering. Curious and adventurous, she makes new friends – but will she be able to stay out of trouble?

Overall:

This is just too cute! A sweet short story about a young elephant who is spunky and curious. I read it in one sitting! I loved the subtle information drops about elephants and how they are. Good for reading to younger kids. It also contains a lot of useful information at the end that was just as fun to read as the story.

Rating

4 stars

This is an adorable little read. If you love elephants and your children do, this is a great read before bed.

Where did I get it?

Author gifted a copy to me.

What’s the Time Mr. Wolfdog? by Stephen J. Willis

Summary

Before the lone wolf’s cry, Tim Connery had been resigned to the fact of a cold Christmas alone. Encompassed by snowy landscapes, the views from his cottage toward the outbound vistas were but another reminder of his desolation.

Deserted by his wife and children, he is forced into the gradual admittance of his betrayal, and in keeping an unspeakable secret that is slowly tearing him apart.

Before long however, Tim suddenly finds himself surrounded by a battalion of desperate and starving dogs that have recently broken free from the nearest pound for illegal and unstable animals. Since being liberated from restraint and subservient only to a vicious pack leader, they will do anything and eat anything to survive – and Tim is no exception to the menu.

The unpredicted appearance of a woman’s dead body however, finally brings Tim to his knees, forcing him to finally confront not only his past and his future, but the very fundamentals of his faith in God. It becomes apparent thereafter that death is no stranger to Tim, when truth is revealed at even the most unexpected of times.

Here, the line between man and beast becomes lost in the overwhelming will to endure and overcome, wherein only the victor will survive to tell the tale.

Overall

This is a shorter read which was a major plus. There are a lot of glossary terms at the end, so the book was shorter then I was anticipating. The writing was easy to read and created many vivid scenes. It did a good job bringing in other senses and setting the eerie feeling. It was gripping and surprising more then a few times. However, some of the surprises didn’t necessarily match up with the blurb ‘unpredictable appearance’ is paper thin. That being said after a slow start and a character I found somewhat annoying, I was sucked in. I had to know what was going to happen to Tim and who of his newly loyal beasts would survive the night. It was gripping at times and down right chilling at others.

This was a horror story with a humanity element that twisted itself around the grotesque scenes like a bow. As with most horror though, once the crisis was averted the story simply ended without wrapping up many aspects of the story. Which speaks to excellent writing because a character I disliked for most of the book, I still invested in knowing what happens to him. What really clenched it for me was by the time he faced the ‘final boss’ I was starting to question how realistic it was and how timid Tim could really accomplish some of that. Beyond that, it was a great horror read for a quiet evening in.

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down and up)

Overall this was an okay read that had a lot of great chilling moments and action oriented scenes. A horror with a human angle.

Fourteen and a Quarter: Coined Fiction by Serena Ivo

Summary

These fourteen original stories are literary windows into the lives of people who find themselves facing the unexpected, the crazy, and even the paranormal. With diverse personalities and vivid details, this potpourri of dense, unpredictable plots are sure to entertain:

“Tipped”—a man learns that his birth certificate bears a surprising truth, and a perfectly legal, disorienting fabrication.

“Invisibility”—an atheist dies and is challenged by the unanticipated reality of an afterlife.

“Ready, Aim, Shoot”—a photographer meets her long-lost grandmother, who immediately and publicly accuses her of theft.

“Rodent Love”—while on honeymoon, a bride discovers that her groom’s passion for a theme park puts his love for her in the shade.

“Regret”—a demon has an experience that causes it to question its dark role in the world.

These thought-provoking stories and much more tether the reader with subtle, twisting layers that induce careful rereading.

“Fourteen and a Quarter: Coined Fiction” is an edgy, yet clean musing on classic virtues such as prudence, chastity, and sobriety, and illustrates the eternal constitution of the human spirit.

Overall

I’m going to be doing this one a little differently and addressing the short story collection as a whole. Each story is linked by a single element—a quarter. It is the running theme that is mostly used in a very natural and interesting fashion throughout the book. The stories were interesting, easy to read through and follow (with the exception of one). I very much enjoyed the mostly urban feel but the author wasn’t afraid to venture out into supernatural or even fantasy.

What was great was these stories and their settings were like onions. Each layer you peeled back there was more. One or two times I did get completely lost and had to back track which was a bit disruptive, but those were on the more subtle and abstract stories, so part of me believes that was intentional. The characters in broad strokes were very easy to follow and each had their own debate or problem they were working through. Much of them moral or relationship dilemmas that had surprising depth despite the brevity of each story. With each new story, it was always a treat to see where the author took you next.

Rating

4 Stars

This is a solid piece of work that I quickly read through. It was well with the read and felt inspirational to see such diversity from a single author. Overall a charming collection of short stories!

This is a voluntary review.