Saturday, 31 March 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Release Date 22nd May 2012

So mermaids (and men) seem to be the new thing in YA books, although this book calls them by a different name, they are still merpeople. I do like the new story Anna Banks has given them, that they are descendants of Poseidon and Triton, who were Syrenas that people treated as Gods. Every 3 generations of direct Triton & Poseidon descendants must mate to keep the gifts of each one running. But trouble has befallen (befell?) the Syrenas and Galen, Syrena prince, thinks he's found the answer.

I found Anna Banks writing to be very enjoyable and easy to read, her characters were well written and very likeable. I, along with what I'm sure will be hundreds of pre-teens and teens, swooned over Galen and, to a lesser extent and in a different manner, Toraf. Emma started out kind of annoying but turned into a good, strong leading lady, I think it may have been Chloe that made her seem annoying so I'm kind of glad she was only in it at the beginning. One downfall was how easy the ending was to guess, I had it figured out a long time before it happened.

Of Poseidon is a nice addition to the supernatural YA trend. I'll definitely be reading the next in this series.

Book Depository: Of Poseidon
Amazon UK: Of Poseidon

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Shadow Moon by Marilee Brothers

Allie Emerson is hoping for a few quiet months to catch her breath after a summer that included the discovery she is not only a twin and of faery blood, but also destined to play a pivotal role in faery world. School has barely begun when Allie must kiss her hope of a normal year goodbye.

She can't escape her unfinished business with the fae, the Trimarks, or Junior Alvarez, who is making it clear he plans to win her back. Signs, portents and whispers are pushing Allie to "find the girl" before it's too late. Hoping her twin can help her solve the riddle of their destiny, Allie uncovers old secrets and begins a cross-country journey that puts her in more danger than ever before. If she succeeds, she may just find the answers that can save everyone she loves.

The good thing is, the whole every-boy-loving-Allie thing has calmed down. It's all about Junior in this book, which is a major plus 'cos I liked Junior from the start. I thought Allie may have ended up with Beck but that thing sailed a while ago.

This time around we see Allie search for her sister and try to get her help in saving the world, bit of a big thing to put on someone's shoulders on your first meeting. Of course, in Allie style, nothing goes to plan. More Trimarks appear, dark faes turn up and new things come out of the woodwork.

I really did enjoy this series. I received the whole series as a whole from the publishers through Netgalley so I was lucky enough to get to read them all at once but I now have to wait to see if there is even going to be a 5th book in this series. I really, really hope there will be 'cos I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen with Allie and co.

Book Depository: Shadow Moon
Amazon UK: Shadow Moon

Moon Spun by Marilee Brothers

Junior's back from Mexico with his movie-star entourage. Beck's using his half-demon charms to "heal" a new girl. Mom's still wacky and now she's dating Principal Hostetler. High school is still an obstacle course of drama queens, bullies and nutjobs. The Trimarks are still a menace, and the moonstone pendant has revealed even more mind-boggling powers. In other words, Allie Emerson's life as the Girl Voted Least Likely To Save The World From Evil has gone from Weird to Super-Charged Super-Weird, and it's about to get even weirder. You're a faery princess. So says the mysterious Ryker, whose handsome talents include turning himself into a hawk. By the way, he and Allie are destined to marry. In faery land - Boundless. If they can save it from forces even more deadly than Trimarks and high school. The third book in the Unbidden Magic series plunges readers into a rich other-world of danger, humor, romance, fable, fairytale and magical destiny.

So third book into the series and there's a third guy wanting to get with Allie ... at this point the series is starting to feel like House of Night, where every important guy seems to want to get with Zoey. That's my only annoyance so far, just that one. Other than that I'm really enjoying this new (to me) series.

This time around Allie meets her grandmother and helps save the day in Boundless, then re-introduces her mother to her grandmother. As well as dealing with major drama between the 3 guys she's had after her so far. This series is really a welcome addition to the YA genre, which is fast becoming filled with a lot of the same type of story. And before anyone jumps in with "Not every YA is the same", that's not what I said ... so don't bother.

I definitely recommend the Unbidden Magic series to anyone that likes supernatural stories.

Book Depository: Moon Spun
Amazon UK: Moon Spun

Moon Rise by Marilee Brothers

Her mom's still dating losers. Her boyfriend's gone back to Mexico. Dad still hasn't told his wife and kids that she exists. At school, the drama queens and bullies still rule. But worst of all for Allie Emerson - aka the Star Seeker of an old Gypsy prophecy - is that her powers have taken a hike. She can't read minds anymore. She can't move stuff just by looking at it. The other Star Seekers are counting on her psychic gifts more than ever, and the evil Tri-marks are closing in, eager to snatch her magic moonstone necklace while she's helpless. The hot new guy at school is ready and willing to fight her battles, but he comes with some wicked baggage. Dear Diary: I'm a little worried. My new BF is a demon. Welcome again to Allie Emerson's funny, scary, amazing, and always unpredictable life, as the girl voted least likely to save the world from evil.

This is the second in the Unbidden Magic series and I'm still loving it. Allie is an extremely likeable lead, even if she is a little naive and trusting. This time round, she gets over Junior by meeting Beck (who's all geeky by day and sexy half demony by night) who turns out to be just what the moonstone ordered by healing her powers.

It bothers me that Allie's mother, Faye, is so immature. Faye has said that her life was hard and she ran away from home, so how has this not forced her to grow up? She has a teenage daughter but still acts like a kid herself, somehow Allie has grown up as a very mature teenager (or maybe this is exactly what has made her this way). But that aside, I like the little moments of mother daughter interaction we get to see, they really are very good together.

Another little annoyance is how trusting Allie is, even after her mother getting kidnapped and Allie almost getting killed in the first book, she never seems suspicious enough for my liking. If I was her and had Trimarks after me trying to do god-knows-what to get the moonstone, I'd be wary of EVERYbody.

All in all though, this is a nice addition to the Unbidden Magic series and I can't wait to read the next.

Book Depository: Moon Rise
Amazon UK: Moon Rise

Moonstone by Marilee Brothers

A sickly mom. A tiny house trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens. Bad-guy dudes with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there's that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil. Geez.

Welcome to the sad, funny, sometimes-scary world of fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, who's struggling to keep her and her mom's act together in the small-town world of Peacock Flats, Washington. An electrical zap from a TV antenna sets off Allie's weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows she's being visited by a hippy-dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town "witch," gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a good-hearted "Star Seeker" is meant to command. "Who, me?" is Allie's first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she's got a destiny to live up to. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.

This is the first in the Unbidden Magic series. I got the whole series for review from Netgalley so I'm going to do one book at a time in review but publish them all at the same time when I've finished. So, on with the review!

Allie gets a moonstone from the town "witch" because she has the "gift", she finds out this gift having is in fact true. She has telekinetic powers. But they come at a price, people want her moonstone and they'll happily kill her and her family to get it.

I enjoyed Allie, although she did seem a bit naive at the beginning I soon found this wasn't really true. She's been forced to grow up fast after her mother decided she had fibromyalgia (after seeing it on Oprah), so she's not as young as she appears. I'm glad she didn't turn out to be naive and could actually stand up for herself, I'm sick of reading YAs that have a weak, immature, naive main character. I know they're YAs and therefore have kids as the main characters but they should still be strong enough to lead a book.

Brothers has a nice writing style that kept me intrigued and wanting to read the rest of the book (always a bonus!). I can't wait to read the rest of the series, luckily I have them on my kindle all lined up.

Book Depository: Moonstone
Amazon UK: Moonstone

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Hunting Kat by Kelley Armstrong

Kat is a sixteen-year-old vampire, and she's not too happy about it. After an experiment-gone-wrong and a bullet to the heart, she now hungers for human blood, and the worst part about that is the guilt. But guilt isn't the only thing stressing her. Kat is being hunted by the Edison Group, a dangerous Cabal that is responsible for her undead state. Kat is running out of places to hide, and she has no one to turn to — until she meets Chad and Neil. They're on the run like she is, and they offer to help Kat against their common enemy. But the boys aren't all that they seem, and for Kat, deciding whether to trust them may be a matter of life or death.

As I have stated in previous reviews, I have difficulty writing a review on a Kelley book without sounding gushy. I adore Kelley's writing style and her ability to write fantastic characters. Kat is no different, she died earlier than she thought she would but, with the help of her vampire guardian, she's dealing with it.

Even in a really short story, Kelley manages to draw you in and keep you interested. The good thing with Hunting Kat is, it gives you a little taste of the Darkness Rising world while waiting for The Calling to come out (SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!).

If you're a Kelley fan, this is a must read. It's short (which is both good and bad) and so typically Kelley that you can't not love it.

Amazon UK: Hunting Kat

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton

Sophia Parsons' family has skeletons, but they aren't in their graves...

Solving the mystery of an ancestor's hanging might silence the clashing whispers in Sophia's mind, but the cult in her town and the supernaturals who secretly reside there are determined to silence her first.

As Sophia unknowingly crosses the line into an elemental world full of vampire - like creatures, shapeshifters, and supernatural grim reapers, she meets Charles, a man who becomes both lover and ally.

But can she trust him?

It's not until someone nearly kills Sophia that she realizes the only way to unveil the source of her family's curse: abandon her faith or abandon her humanity. If she wants to survive, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.

I instantly liked Sophia. She lives in a town that seems a bit stuck and behind the times, they all look and point at her 'cos she's a "witch" ...... if they only knew what was really lurking in their town. Her mother is part of a cultish church group, the leader of which is trying to scare Sophia out of her family home and threatening her with ye-olde-witch hating tactics - the bible. She meets Charles (and man, is Charles just DELICIOUS) and finds out there is a whole other world within her little normal one, one that involves vampires and shifters and witches (oh my).

Sophia comes across as very down-to-earth and totally likeable. She doesn't let all the hate in the town get to her and she refuses to give in to her mothers culty friends. Then she meets Charles and he's just completely nomable, although he does have his weird moments.

Hamilton manages to keep you interested the whole way through, she throws in enough twists and cliff hangers to interest you but not so much to piss you off. Her characters are well written and she writes a great, descriptive story. I would definitely recommend this to any other fellow supernatural lovers. And the great thing is, it's part 1 of a series so I get to read more of Charles and Sophia!

Book Depository: The Forever Girl
Amazon UK: The Forever Girl

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Interview with James Marshall

James Marshall's short fiction has appeared in numerous Canadian literary magazines: Prism International, The Malahat Review, Exile, The Literary Quarterly, and Prairie Fire. One of his stories was nominated for the National Magazine Award for fiction, the M&S Journey Prize, and it was a finalist in the 22nd Annual Western Magazine Awards, 2004. A collection of his short stories, Let's Not Let A Little Thing Like The End Of The World Come Between Us, was published by Thistledown Press in 2004, and it was shortlisted for both the 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Caribbean and Canada Region) in the “Best First Book” category, and the ReLit Award for short Fiction. His first novel, Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, is published by ChiZine Publications and due out in Spring, 2012. James lives and writes in British Columbia, Canada.

I reviewed Ninja versus Pirate featuring Zombies a few days ago and author, James Marshall, has agreed to an interview.

Julie-Anne: What first made you decide to be an author? Were you one of those kids that was always writing wee stories at school?

James Marshall: I didn't really start writing until my last year of high school, but I knew I was going to be a writer quite a while before that. I used to have really elaborate daydreams, listening to a Walkman on long road trips to visit relatives in another province in the summertime. Even then I wanted to live in a world of my own rather than this one.

JA: Was there any particular author that you feel helped you make the decision to sit down and write your first book?

JM: My first book was a collection of short stories that were "literary". I wanted to prove I could do the sort of thing that people consider "art" before I started to do the sort of thing that people consider "genre". I wouldn't say there was one author that inspired me to sit down and write, but I think writers like J.D. Salinger and Chuck Palahniuk gave me permission to write the way I did in my short story collection.

JA: In Ninja versus Pirate featuring Zombies, you instantly get an idea of what you're getting into from the 1st sentence. How difficult was that sentence to write? It was sort of difficult to read just because of the sheer size of it.

JM: That sentence was actually pretty easy to write. It was inspired by Plato's Parable of the Cave. I already had a pretty good handle on my main character's voice, so I just had to change the cave to fit the novel and show everything from the protagonist's wacky point-of-view.

JA: One thing I really enjoyed in Ninja versus Pirates featuring Zombies was the humour. Is it based off your own sense of humour or did you taker inspiration from other places? If so, where?

JM: It's definitely based on my own sense of humour, but the BBC version of "The Office" was a big inspiration too. I loved the way Ricky Gervais' character would try to be politically correct and wind up being even more politically incorrect. I really wanted to try to do that too.

JA: How did you come up with the names in Ninja versus Pirates featuring Zombies?

JM: Guy Boy Man's name is supposed to make him emblematic of all mankind. He's funny and charming, but he's also flawed, perhaps irredeemably so. I wanted Baby Doll15's name to suggest an online component to Guy's world, which is meant to harken back to the Prologue, where Guy Boy Man saw everyone chained up in front of a giant LCD display, bashing keyboards and shaking wireless mice.

JA: What can we expect from GuyBoyMan next?

JM: Guy doesn't really show up much in the second book until near the end. If you want to stay up to date with Guy, your best bet is From there, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

JA: What do you think of book to movie adaptations?

JM: I like them, in general. I definitely don't have the negative opinion of Hollywood that some writers do. I really hope to see my work on the big screen some day.

JA: Have you thought about who you would want cast in a movie adaptation of Ninja versus Pirates featuring Zombies?

JM: I know this sounds crazy, but for some reason I imagine Will Ferrell in the role of Guy Boy Man and John C. Reilly as Sweetie Honey. I know Guy Boy Man is sixteen-years-old and Will Ferrell is in his forties, and I know Sweetie Honey is African-American and John C. Reilly is white. I still think it could work.

JA: Do you have any authors you would recommend to me or my readers?

JM: My friend, Yasuko Thanh, has a collection of short stories coming out this Spring called "Floating Like The Dead". Also, my publisher, ChiZine Publications, has a lot of really cool titles.

JA: Finally, my random question of the moment, do you read online comics? If so, which ones? I'm always on the lookout for more :D

JM: I'm sorry I don't!

So there you have it lads and lassies. I'd like to say a huge thanks to James Marshall for agreeing to the interview and thanks to all you readers out there. I hope you enjoyed it!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Dead to Me by Kelley Armstrong

Three twisted tales of love and relationships.

A haunted house of her own
Grisly tales and restless spirits can turn a tired old inn into a hot tourist destination. Tanya's new B&B is said to have plenty of both. And it might be more than a marketing ploy.

Dead to me
When a young woman's soon-to-be-ex-husband falls down the stairs during a fight, she knows no one will believe her. So she hides the body ... only to discover that he isn't so easily silenced.

Plan B
A Nova Scotia gallery owner and his landscape artist wife discover that an affair can be murder on a marriage, and even the best laid schemes always need a plan B.

This is going to be one of my non-review-reviews 'cos Kelley is just one of those authors that I can't say anything bad about. I love her writing and even in these (very) short stories, she still manages to write great characters and stories. So I'll just do a wee mini review of each short.

A haunted house of her own
The longest of the 3 stories, it had a kind of Amityville feel to it. There were some family murders years ago and since then there have been local stories about the house. Tanya is a sceptic but she knows how well haunted B&Bs do so she's willing to embelish if she has to. But maybe she doesn't have to.

Dead to me
The shortest tale in this anthology. A wife is being haunted by her ex-husband's ghost since she hid his body. With her divorce about to be final, she couldn't take the chance that someone would blame her for his death. But her husband refuses to be laid to rest ...

Plan B
For a short story, this has an amazingly convoluted plot and some nefarious characters. This story is what Kelley's fans are used to, she keeps you guessing until the very end. And it's what we fans love.

A must read for any Kelley fan and even those of you who are not. It only cost 77p on Kindle so what's the harm in trying it.

Amazon UK: Dead To Me

Ninja versus Pirate featuring Zombies by James Marshall

In a world where ZOMBIES control banks and governments, only one young man sees the way things are and emerges from the CHAOS and destruction: GUY BOY MAN. While he tries to end human suffering worldwide and in his high school, Guy Boy Man meets a cute PINK-HAIRED girl named BABY DOLL15 who has a UNICORN that follows her everywhere. An EPIC ROMANCE begins, but forces BEYOND THEIR CONTROL are intent on keeping the young couple apart. One of those FORCES may — or may not be! — Guy Boy Man’s closest friend, a handsome African-American NINJA named SWEETIE HONEY; another could be four EXOTICALLY BEAUTIFUL, genetically engineered and behaviourally modified EASTERN EUROPEAN girls; yet another, the principal of their HIGH SCHOOL ... not to mention an impending standardized test known as the ZOMBIE ACCEPTANCE TEST! Will Guy Boy Man find a way to be with Baby Doll15 in a WORLD WHERE EVERYONE IS DOOMED to become either zombies or zombie food??!!

Release Date 15th May 2012

OK, first up, how can you not be curious about this book with that title? It has Ninjas, it has Pirates and it has Zombies ...... it has something for everyone!

I was immediately confused by this book (in a good way) by the first sentence - it takes, like, 3 pages! And yes, it was confusing to read but it at least gets you ready for the rest of the book - which, at times, can be confusing as hell. One of my favourite parts (which I even highlighted in my kindle. I loved it that much) is GuyBoyMan's description of the pluralisation of the word Ninja. All I'm going to say is, he says Ninjas so as not to confuse blind people.

It's never explained whether the whole zombie ruling thing is real or just some weird facet of GuyBoyMan's imagination or even some sort of hallucination. At times, it seems like it must all be in his head but others it seems like it's all real and others know about the zombies too.

I think this book is definitely worth a read but don't read it if you're going to take it seriously, I went into this book thinking it was all a bit of fun and that's exactly what I got.

Book Depository: Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies
Amazon UK: Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies

Also, watch this space for an interview with James Marshall in the near future.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pet emergencies

I regularly see things in practice that not everyone know are emergencies or just don't know the signs, so I thought I'd write a quick post about what to look out for.

Most people know the more obvious emergencies:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Road Traffic Accidents
  • Wounds
  • Bleeding
  • Fractures
But not everyone knows some of the following and just how much of an emergency they are. Most of the things I have listed here will occur in death if left untreated:
  • Hypocalcaemia
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Splenic Haemorrhage
  • Poisoning
  • Foreign Bodies
  • GDV (also known as Torsion, Bloat)
  • Pyometra
  • Thrombus
  • Blocked Bladder
I'm going to list the signs for the above problems so you know what to look out for.


Can occur in cats and dogs but is most common in smaller breeds that are pregnant or nursing a litter.  Early sign are panting, stiffness, muscle tremors, convulsions, high temperature and tachypnoea (faster respiratory rate). If not treated it'll progress to seizures and, eventually, death.
This is more common in first litters and has a high rate or recurring so if it happens once it's important to neuter so it won't happen again.
To help prevent this from happening, the pregnant or nursing bitch should be fed a good quality puppy food at the end stages of pregnancy and while nursing.

The signs depend on the severity of hypoglycaemia, they can range from lethargy and weakness to muscle twitching, seizures and even coma and death.
Particularly dangerous in diabetics and small or young pets. For small breeds and puppies/kittens, vomiting and diarrhoea could cause a hypoglycaemic episode.  Pups can go downhill really quick and could possibly only show weakness or ataxia (wobbly gait) before falling into a coma.
Small dogs and puppies should be treated straight away for diarrhoea or vomiting to try and prevent this from occurring.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidotic animals need intravenous fluids and insulin therapy, this is a real diabetic emergency and must be seen by a Vet immediately.
Signs are polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), anorexia, weakness, vomiting, breath may be sweet smelling (some people say pear drops).

Splenic Haemorrhage
Commonly occur in instances of abdominal trauma and animals with a splenic mass.  The mass is normally very friable and it won't take a lot to damage it to the point that it will rupture and cause bleeding.
Signs are weakness, collapse, abdominal distension, difficulty breathing, pale mucous membranes (gums, inner lips and inside of eyelids are good places to check).
These can be either acute (trauma or ruptured mass) or a chronic slow bleed, either way it's an emergency that must be dealt with immediately.
Treatment would normally be fluids to help with the blood loss and possibly surgery to find the point of bleeding.


If you suspect or know that your pet has eaten something dangerous, the first thing to do is phone your Vet.  More often than not you will be asked to go straight there but there are some questions we need to ask beforehand.
Although it may seem pointless, it's important we try and get as much information from you as possible so try to answer the questions as best as possible.
If possible, bring the packaging with you to the Vet.
The only preventative measure you can take is to make sure your pet can't reach any dangerous substances.

Foreign Bodies
Most times, owners will know their pet has eaten something so can get to the Vet ASAP but other times it may have happened without the owners knowledge.
The pet may show signs of trying to vomit, or may regurgitate food as soon as it swallows it.  It may show none of these signs but will become very depressed and lethargic or adopt the "praying position", this is a sign of abdominal pain.
I tried to find a picture of the classic "praying position" but was unable to do so.  This is when the dog stands with its back end in the air but its front legs on the ground, ie. looks like it's praying.
Some things may pass on their own but a lot of things will need surgery to remove, but advice should always be sought.
Again, making sure your pet never gets the chance to swallow anything it shouldn't is the only way to prevent this from happening.

GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus)

This is when the stomach fills up with air and twists on its axis. This tends to include arteries so blood supply is cut off while the stomach is twisted.
Some people say it normally occurs after exercise or feeding, but I don't think this has ever been proven.  It is more common in deep chested dogs, for example, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Dachshunds.
The sign for this are very similar to splenic haemorrhage including unproductive retching, lethargy, salivation, panting, pacing/restlessness and pale mucous membranes.
Real emergency that must receive Veterinary treatment as soon as noticed.  If left untreated, the animal will be in extreme pain and die.
Some people think it can be avoided by ensuring that exercise and feeding are never too close to one another, also by feeding deep chested dogs from a raised bowl and/or putting a ball (make sure it's not small enough to get swallowed whole) in the bowl that will prevent the food being wolfed down.  You can buy bowls that have raised parts on the bottom, these have the same function as the ball.


This is just a drawing but if you're strong stomached enough to handle the real thing click here.
A pyometra is the build up pus in the uterus.  It normally occurs after a season, and is normally seen in older entire (unneutered) females but some medications have been known to cause it to happen in younger animals.
There are 2 types of pyometra: open and closed.
An open pyometra is when the pus is able to drain out of the uterus, this is the least dangerous of the two.  A closed pyometra is when the pus in unable to drain, this is more dangerous as the pus can't be seen draining so the owner might not notice there is a pyometra until the animal becomes very ill.
Signs are high temperature, depression, Polyuria (increased urination) and polydipsia (increased thirst), loss of appetite, lethargy.  Open pyos will have an obvious smell and pus coming from the vulva. Closed pyos may have vomiting, diarrhoea and a swollen abdomen.
If left untreated it'll cause renal failure, collapse and death.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to get your pet neutered at an early age.

Thrombus (Aortic thromboembolism)

This is when a clot form in the aorta at the point where it branches off to supply the hindlegs, this stops blood from flowing to the hindlimbs.
A lot of owners commonly bring their cat in thinking it's been hit by a car because the signs are sudden loss of use of hindlimbs, possibly howling in pain.  They will also have cold limbs and may pant.  Generally speaking anytime a cat pants is bad news.
Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware there is no way to prevent this from happening.  And even though some Vets will try to treat it with aspiring or heparin or some hospitals may even try surgery to remove the clot, the clot will normally return.  It may not happen for a few months but it'll happen, therefore most Vets will recommend euthanasia since this is an extremely painful condition and it would take a while to break the clot down.

Blocked bladder
This is normally caused by crystals in the urine which build up to cause a blockage in the urethra.  Although it can occur in female cats, it's rare.  It's common in male cats, more so in neutered male cats.
The blockage means the cat cannot urinate so the bladder will continue to fill.
Signs are normally the cat getting in and out of the litter tray with little or no results, they tend to be inappetant, lethargic and depressed, if left the cat will eventually collapse and go into complete renal failure.
This is one of very few true veterinary emergencies, cats can become very ill very quick with a blocked bladder.
The only way to prevent this is to make sure the cat is fed a good quality diet that preferably has an S/O index in it.  This stands for Struvite and Oxalate, the 2 most common crystals found in the urine.  Food with the S/O index will make sure the urine is the right pH to prevent these crystals from forming.

Stress can also be a causing factor so this can commonly occur after a big move or even a new arrival in the household.  If preventative measures are taken before moving or new arrival to keep stress to a minimum then it may be stopped, but it's always good to know the signs to look out for.
One major thing we recommend to people is that there should be a litter tray per cat plus one to a house so your cat never feels like it has to compete for the toilet.  Plenty of fresh water is always a must, some cats like drinking running water so a fountain is a good idea. A pet fountain is a water dish that moves the water and keeps it on a constant cycle, I think they also cool the water down so it's nice and cold.  And in cats with urinary problems, wet food is better than dry - it simply increases the water intake.

Another thing to note is not a particular disease but small furries (i.e. rabbits, hamsters, rats etc) never show when they're ill so it's important to notice any slight change in them.  Any time any of those little guys stop eating is an emergency and if you ever do notice they're ill then, by that stage, they are really ill.  Small furries can go downhill really fast so it's good to think of anything wrong with them as an emergency and seek Veterinary advice ASAP.

Friday, 2 March 2012

White Witch by Trish Milburn

Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It.

"Jax" Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her — the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax's barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she's attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He's a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night.

Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax's only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he's ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.

I really like this book, even though it does have the background of "all witches are evil" but Jax doesn't believe this and sets about trying to prove it - to herself and others.

Well written characters and the storyline is paced well enough to keep the reader interested. I like how Milburn describes a witch's power, it kinda comes across like lightning but I get the impression it's not something you can see. So imagine invisible lightning.

Definitely a good first book in the series and one I'll be keeping an eye on for future releases.

Book Depository: White Witch
Amazon UK: White Witch

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction

Quick fiction for readers on the go!

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction is a tantalizing collection of 88 short-short stories custom-picked for the Bathroom Reader aficionado. We scoured the country for talented fiction writers and asked them to send us their best quick reads. The result: mysteries, horror, sci-fi, adventure, plenty of laughs - and a few gasps - in these startling short stories. They're like little movies for your mind!

Release Date 1st April 2012

This is such a fun book. So many short stories, some shorter than others, put together in one binding specifically for the Bathroom Readers of the world.

I'm not a bathroom reader, I'm an anytime reader but this was still a quick, quirky read. And easy to read at the same time as other books for people that have trouble doing that. Personally, I can read multiple books at the same time but I know some people struggle to keep the storylines and characters straight in their heads, so this is ideal.

Some of the stories are a couple of paragraphs, others go on for a few pages but there's something in here for every bowel movement (Sorry! But it had to be said).

Book Depository: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction
Amazon UK: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction