Friday, 30 September 2011

Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa

Drawn by the promise of change, young medium Ben Lebeau, moves to the big city, into the Shilts Manor — an old textile factory turned trendy loft space. There he meets seductive Lennox Van Kemp and his clan of Métis — guardians of the oldest lie. Ben is pulled into Van Kemp's emotional circle, finally sating his most secret desires.

Against Ven Kemp's warnings, Ben befriends his neighbor Ezra Collins — a scarred man who has taken a vow of celibacy. As Ben tries to get closer to Ezra and earn his trust, he also struggles to escape Van Kemp's psychological grip on him. The harder Ben falls for Ezra, the more he suffers from hallucinations and memory losses. Soon, the Manor's walls begin to close in on him and Ben must rely on his psychic abilities to survive the assault on his mind.

As Ben and Ezra unravel Van Kemp's plans, they expose a spiritual conspiracy dating back to Christ — a conspiracy that will shake their very world and restore their Faith in humanity.

I liked the sound of this book, but re-reading the blurb, I just noticed that it gives away the one and only thing that book had going for it - the reveal of what Van Kemp and Ezra are. To me that seems strange to give away that in the blurb when, if you read the book, the whole Métis thing isn't revealed until the end.

I tried to like this book, I really did. The story sounded interesting but the 3 main characters - Ben, Van Kemp and Ezra - are annoying! They all seem exaggerated way too much. Ben is whiny and annoying, Ezra is moody and annoying and Van Kemp is pushy and annoying. Not a good combination of leads. It also took me a while to read since I didn't want to read it when I was at home, I was basically only reading it on my lunch breaks at work and I just couldn't work up the .... want .... to pick it up at home.

Book Depository: Suite Nineteen
Amazon UK: Suite Nineteen

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fireworks and Pets

It's getting to that time of year again. Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, 5th of November .... whatever you want to call it, it's a pain in the butt to all pet owners. Personally, my dog is fine with fireworks but, as a Vet Nurse, I see plenty of people coming in with their dogs and cats just prior to Bonfire Night to get medication for their pets.

Unfortunately, sedatives are only a short term fix. Ideally, if your dog or cat is scared of the noise, you need to work with them and get them desensitised to the loud bangs. For this, the Sounds Scary CD is ideal, you play the CD in the house over a long period of time and gradually your pet will become oblivious to the noises.

The CD used in conjunction with Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats), is much better than loading them up with sedatives. Adaptil and Feliway should be used at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

Sedatives may make your pet sleep and look serene but they're still scared of the noises that are happening outside, so work with your pet in advance rather than leave it to the last minute and have to get sedatives from your Vet. Sounds Scary is available from the link above and Adaptil and Feliway are available from your Vet or any large pet shop.

Advice for dogs on the night of the fireworks:

  • Make sure your dog is walked in daylight hours before the fireworks start
  • Feed your dog as stodgy meal, like pasta etc. This should help your dog feel tired
  • Shut all your curtains and put a CD or TV on.  Preferably bass heavy music as it should hide the noise of the fireworks
  • Don't react to the noise of the fireworks or fuss over the dog if they do
  • Don't take the dog out again until after you're sure the fireworks are finished
  • Start working with the Sounds Scary CD so that the following year isn't as bad
Advice for cats on the night of fireworks:
  • Make sure your cat is kept indoors during the day and at night
  • Make sure your cat has a safe hiding place to go to if they feel scared
  • Again, like with dogs, work with the cat and the Sounds Scary CD
Advice for small animals on the night of fireworks:
  • Outdoor animals should have plenty of food and hay on the day and night of
  • If possible, bring the animals inside but make sure they're not too warm.  If it's not possible to bring them inside, cover the hutch(es)with something heavy to block out any light flashes and dull the noise

I hope the above advice is helpful to some pet owners, I would also like to ask if anyone with pets could sign this petition to get pet safety advice put on fireworks.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he's ever read. And Luke knows enough - just enough - about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?

Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He'll finally be able to have a normal life. He'll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He'll hang out with his friends. He'll be invisible - just as he wants.

But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school's mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke's own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

I enjoyed this book, even with the very annoying unrequited love between Lucas and Meena. I really don't get why YA books have to have that in there.

Spoiler alert!!!

So Lucas is a skin walker of Native American mythology. This book puts a good twist into the story though, the kids are born with their skin walker pelt. Lucas' is kept in storage until his parents feels he's old enough to know about his other half, when his dad gets kidnapped he follows the trail his father left him and finds his pelt, finally getting to join with his other half and become what he should be. With his newfound strength and skills, he sets out to rescue his dad, with some help from an unlikely place.

I really liked Lucas as a character (except for the pining) and I enjoyed Lucas' dad, more so after he admits to Lucas that he's been playing a part all these years and he's not really a drunk or a junkie. One thing I didn't like was how Lucas was described as his skin walker wolf, it sounds like he's like the wolfman of old mythology. I personally would have preferred if he's just changed into an actual wolf, but the wolfman thing worked with the story line so I can see why it was that way.

I'm looking forward to reading more.

Book Depository: Wolf Mark
Amazon UK: Wolf Mark

Friday, 16 September 2011

Gunshy by Seleste deLaney

Banished from Olympus with orders to restore love to the world, Eros starts with a match no one sees coming. No one but him.

Straight-laced principal Kira isn’t looking for love, especially not right after getting dumped. Then a chance encounter leads her to Jesse, and damned if she isn’t drawn to the bad-boy with a heart of gold. A night of reckless abandon leaves her confused. Was there something there, or did she imagine the connection between them?

Jesse knows lying to Kira is a mistake, but she's the first woman in a long time to see the man and not just the rock star. When his plan to come clean goes terribly wrong, Kira bolts, leaving Jesse in the dust.

Now Eros has to nudge the star-crossed lovers together and prove to Zeus that love does exist, even among the gun shy.

Buy the kindle from Amazon: Gunshy by Seleste deLaney or direct from Evernight Publishing: Gunshy by Seleste deLaney

A very short but hawt first book in a new series from Evernight Publishing. It's a multi-author series, so each book is written by a different author.

Eros gets banished from Olympus and has to restore love to humans. Judging by this story I'm guessing that each story will follow a different couple that Eros helps get together to prove to Zeus that he can still do his job.

I've read a lot of Seleste's books and I have to say, this is the first book of hers that has a lead male that I could find myself attracted to. Jesse is a big guy and he has tattoos and plays bass, what more could I want. I also liked Kira, as little as we got to know her in this short story she was a strong lead. I'll still read the rest of the series but Seleste was definitely the only reason I bought this. Got to support my buddies after all :D

Amazon UK: GunShy

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Shadowing: Hunted by Adam Slater

Once every century, the barrier between the human world and the demon realm begins to break down. Creatures gather, anxiously waiting to cross the divide, to bring death and destruction from their world to ours. This time is called The Shadowing.

Callum Scott has always known that there is a supernatural world out there — he’s seen ghosts for as long as he can remember. Lately, he’s had visions of children being brutally murdered by a terrifying creature. Then the visions start coming true, and Callum realises that he’s being hunted, too.

Driven by a dark destiny, he must stand against the demons that threaten our world. And The Shadowing is almost here. . . .

Release Date 13th September 2011

Loved this story and I loved the fact that the main character, Callum, and his female friend, Melissa, don't have a romance ...... and I'm going to say yet, as it still may happen. It seems that every YA I read has to have some romance blooming or already happening between the main character and a best friend or possible enemy or complete opposite schoolmate etc, so it was nice to read a story that had two friends of opposite sex and not have an under running love story happening at the same time.

The story was really well told and well paced. It was mostly from Callum's POV but some wee chapters were from the Hunter's POV as well. I like how this series is going to turn out, it's going to be a different bad guy every book and I can tell that they're not going to be fluffy or light reading. The bad guy (maybe gal, you never find out) was quite terrifying to picture and from the excerpt I read of the next book, it's going to be the same.

Recommended for any YA horror supernatural reader.

Book Depository: The Shadowing: Hunted
Amazon UK: The Shadowing: Hunted

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Postmortal by Drew Magary

The year is 2019 and a cure for aging has been discovered. After much political and cultural debate "The Cure" is made available to populations worldwide. Through fast-paced journal entries and blogger-style news story roundups compiled by an ever-watchful New York lawyer, John Farrell, readers experience a world where age-related diseases and deaths disappear altogether. But there are residual effects and THE POSTMORTAL forces us to rethink our idea of marriage if rendered indefinite and the allocation of precious resources in a world with exponential population growth. Ideological divisions manifest themselves in chilling ways in this new environment, introducing "pro death" anarchists who inflict ghastly punishments on those who dare to remain young. With the apocalypse on the horizon and regret creeping into everyday lives, living forever, as it turns out, isn't all it's cracked up to be.

This book is amazingly thought provoking and well written, everything about it makes you think. Would you take the cure? What happens to our family and all our loved ones? Does your idea of "love" change after being forced to consider an actual lifetime with the person you married? Would you ever consider giving a child the cure to make sure they stayed a child forever? All these questions are raised in this book and ultimately answered by John Farrell.

The book is written in the form of blog entries and newspaper stories and spans from 2019 to 2079 with John remaining at the cure age of 29 throughout. He has to face many disappointments and faces a lot of realities through his long life.

This book really made me question everything it raised. After the cure is discovered it meant everyone who used it wouldn't die of old age so the population exploded which meant people were struggling to survive. Money and jobs were scarce, as were places to live. Cycle marriages become the norm, where you only had to be married for a set period of time and at the end your marriage simply dissolved and you were free to marry another person. Pro-death anarchists terrorised and killed those who took the cure.

It really makes you think ..... would you take the cure if it were real? I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Book Depository: The Postmortal
Amazon UK: The Postmortal