Sunday, July 25, 2021

Weekly Recap: 7/18 - 7/24


Hi, everyone! Thank goodness this week was a bit better than the last few! I still didn't get much reading done, but I did start with my new dog trainer and things are going pretty well so far. We're making strides with house breaking Rufio and all three dogs are learning basic commands. Rufio immediately figured out everything, while the older two girls are taking a little longer. Bella is the last to figure out the down command, but she's doing pretty good for an old dog! 

After talking with some friends and browsing some doggy dementia groups, I'm not entirely convinced Bella has dementia. The vet diagnosed it based on her having new separation anxiety after we brought home Rufio, but I'm skeptical that that's enough to go on for this kind of diagnosis. It certainly still could be, but at this point I'm trying to be optimistic. Her normal vet prescribed her Xanax to help with her alone training and so far it's going pretty well (better than expected, honestly). Today I gave her the lowest dose and she was able to settle in her crate, although she still wasn't happy about it. I think tomorrow we'll try a slightly higher dose and go from there. I'm just thrilled that the medicine made any kind of difference!

Next week I'm participating in a Fiver Friday sale and will also be making candles for the first time since the puppy got here. It should certainly be an experience trying to work with him around. Wish me luck! 




The topic was one sitting reads for Top Ten Tuesday



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #303: One sitting reads

Today's Topic: 
Books I Read In One Sitting

Happy Tuesday! This week we're talking about one sitting reads. Truthfully, I don't really read books in one sitting, but these are ten that I flew through in a very short amount of time because I couldn't put them down!

You by Caroline Kepnes
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Crave by Tracy Wolff
Neon Gods by Katee Robert
Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Weekly (Monthly) Recap: 6/20 - 7/17


Hi, everyone! Well, it's been a month. ðŸ˜…As many of you already know, I lost my three-year-old puppy Kovu just over a year ago after a long medical battle. On June 29th I went to pick up my new puppy, Rufio. I was so excited to meet him, but I was wholly unprepared for the trigger he would be. I spent the following couple weeks under crippling anxiety, thankfully with my mom around to help for much of it. I have spent the past 18 days waiting for something terrible to happen, waiting for a sudden fever or vomiting spell that would signal some horrible illness. Thankfully, it didn't come and I'm finally accepting that Rufio is a normal, healthy little guy. He's so smart and hilarious and so much fun (when he's well rested)! I can't wait to see how he grows up. 

Not helping my anxiety, both my older dogs got sick shortly after Rufio arrived. Bella got sick over a weekend and then Luna was sick the following week. Bella's was just stress-related, but Luna needed medications for stomach motility and constipation. They both seem to be better where that's concerned. Unfortunately, Bella may or may not be showing early signs of CCD (Canine Cognitive Disfunction), which is essentially doggy Alzheimer's. We're really hoping that her symptoms are strictly behavioral, but it hasn't helped my anxiety levels at all to consider the alternative. 

Because of all the stress, my reading hasn't been wonderful (as in I've barely read anything) and what I have read is mostly spicy since they're an easy escape. Who even am I? I'm really hoping that I can start blogging and blog hopping again soon once my anxiety is fully back under control! Maybe I can get back to more of my beloved fantasy soon too. 





ARC Review of Small Favors



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

ARC Review: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Title: Small Favors
Author: Erin A. Craig
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 480
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Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.

As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents' deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.

House of Salt and Sorrows remains one of my favorite retellings after it swept me away with its spooky atmosphere and amazing characters last year. As soon as I saw that Erin A. Craig was releasing a new book I preordered, no questions asked! I was even more excited to get approved for an ARC and jumped into it immediately!

Ellerie Downing lives in Amity Falls with her family and helps her dads tend their bees. Her mother is in an unfortunate accident and her parents leave the village early on to get her help and are never seen again. The dynamic between Ellerie and her siblings was probably my favorite part of this book, much like the relationships in House of Salt and Sorrows. I enjoyed watching them support each other and work together to get by once their parents had left. 

Of course, there's also romance and the love interest is a trapper named Whitaker who happens to pass by their house. While Whitaker was a fascinating character, the romance was a little strange to me. He was only in a handful of scenes and the romance felt forced even though it was spread out over a series of months. I honestly feel that this could have worked just as well if not better without the romantic relationship between the two. 

Small Favors was originally marketed as The Village meets Needful Things so I was had really high expectations for the horror going in. In reality, the only similarity between this and The Village is that they live in an actual village. This book was an extremely slow burn that unfortunately lost me halfway through.

While Small Favors starts out feeling a bit creepy, there wasn't much to it beyond a family going about life in a small village and squabbles amongst neighbors as they run low on supplies for the winter. There were some tense moments and feelings of dread throughout the book, but I honestly don't know that I would classify this as horror. The explanation given at the end was interesting and I thought there was a good idea there, but I expected more of the execution. 

I completely forgot until after I finished this that it was supposed to be a Rumpelstiltskin retelling and I just don't see it. The fairytale retelling is extremely vague and I certainly hope people aren't going into this book hoping for that! I will still give Erin A. Craig's next book a try because House was incredible, but perhaps with lower expectations. If you like survival stories that are light on horror, you will probably enjoy this one more than I did!