To All The Pets I’ve Loved Before

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I’ve grown up with pets for as long as I can remember. My Easterling family seemed to have an affinity for the feline and canine variety of pets and the Russell side, especially my Aunt Diana, whom we sadly lost about two years ago, loved dogs.

Lucy Ann

The first dog I remember loving was Lucy Ann. She was a little mutt puppy I named after a character on a TV show that I believe was called The Littles. I was 4 or 5 years old at the time. I know she died soon after I got her, but I’m not sure how, but I sure loved that little dog and missed her when she left us.

 

Bobby

Next was Bobby. He was a Labrador-Doberman mix who was all black except for a white stripe all the way around his waist from where he was caught in the zipper of a sleeping bag when he was about six weeks old—just a few weeks before we got him. I remember feeding him in an old metal cake pan, and he was so small that he would just lay in the whole pan to eat. Bobby stayed with us from the first home in which I lived with my mother and stepfather through our move to our next home and the birth of my little sister, Kelli. Continue reading

Family Vacations

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The road to hell was paved with family vacations…just kidding. I remember several family vacations from my childhood. My stepdad, mom, younger sister, and I would pile into the station wagon or one of my mom’s Jeep SUVs and head for a drive out of state. A couple of times, my stepsister joined us for out-of-state trips, and once I remember my stepbrother joining us for camping in-state, but usually it was just us girls. Continue reading

Book reviews for 2018

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My original reading challenge for 2018 was to read 60 books. Well, I read 60 books and upped my challenge to 80, then 100. By the end of New Year’s Eve, I had read 106 books for the year. This number does not include the children’s books I read with my daughter.

by Bluelela - Freepik.com

In 2018, I read many novels written by independent authors, such as myself. These stories are just as good as (and many times better than) traditionally published work The top five were:

(image by Bluelela – Freepik.com)

  1. When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann. This novel pulled me in fast, made me cry, made me see hope, and made me cry again before a satisfying ending. I stumbled upon the novel and have now read several others by the author but none I have loved as much as this one.
  2. Fiendish by Meka James. Wow. This book was probably the scariest I’ve ever read, and I grew up on Stephen King. A modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast with an emphasis on “beast.” Trigger warning: This novel contains graphic depictions of male on female domestic abuse.
  3. Waiting for Wyatt by S.D. Hendrickson. I am a sucker for contemporary romance. A guy in pain who uses all his energy to care for dogs no one else wants and a girl desperate to save the guy and a dog, what’s not to love?
  4. 6 in the Styx by Brad Carl. Six off-the-wall stories, each one crazier and more demented than the next. A perfect quick-read from a talented indie author. Not for the faint of heart.
  5. Broken Tomorrows by KT Daxon. Although this novel is no longer available, it is the child of a new author who took a chance on her dream and then needed to reset and reevaluate her goals for a while. This was a well-written first novel about love and loss. The love the author had for her characters bled from each page. I hope the author decides to write again in the future.

Of course, I read many traditionally published novels last year as well. My top-ten are below:

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