Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Citizens by L.M. Smith

Imagine a town where you can stay out as late as you want, wake up when it suits you, you never have to go to work, and everything is free for the taking. Sounds perfect right? But what if you can't remember where you are or how you got there? What if you can't ever leave? And what if the only other people around are hostages, just like you? Would you still want to stay?

Jasmine Marshall certainly didn't think so until she met Justin Beck; a dashing active-duty member of the United States Army and fellow hostage. With him around life in Kolob might not be so bad after all ... or so she thought. There are vampires and psychics at the breakfast table! Disturbing acts of torture and senseless violence are commonplace. Biochemical warfare is a very real threat, and the town's mayor is an elusive mad-scientist obsessed with his own theories about December 21, 2012!

In a place where one has everything to gain and nothing to lose, one thing reigns true: nothing in Kolob is ever as it seems.

Jasmine gets kidnapped from her farm and winds up in Kolob, locked in a room. She hears another woman trying to get out of her room and, when she finally get out, she goes to try and find help but ends up running into (literally) Beck. None of them remember anything other than waking up in their rooms, they realise they've been kidnapped and placed in this town. Why? Well, that will be discovered later.

The story of this book interested me and the author was offering a free copy for review so I got one. One thing about this book is Jasmine is a very hard-to-like main character, I tried (I really did!) but she is really rude and hard to take. The author made a big point of letting us know that Jazz is a loner and doesn't like people - fair enough. I'm antisocial, I don't like people (there's a reason I work with animals!) but I still know how to act around people, I still have basic social manners. Jazz doesn't, she just plain doesn't! She's rude and treats people horribly but seems to think it's OK - it made me not like her at all. Although I have to say, this quote:
... she'd never really been much of a people person to begin with, not because she was afraid of people but because, as awful as it might be, she just didn't care about them.
, endeared her to me a little 'cos this is exactly how I feel about people. I just don't care.

Aside from my disliking of Jazz (aided by my liking of Beck and how nasty she is to him), I still enjoyed the book. Obviously my hatred of her didn't stop me from reading the book, it didn't stop me from getting involved with them and working with them to try and work out what the hell was happening in that town. And it won't stop me from reading the next book because the storyline is so totally different from anything else out there that I've read and I can't wait to see what happens to our group next.

Book Depository: The Citizens
Amazon UK: The Citizens

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world.
One of them, a beautiful faery boy named Keenan, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Now it's too late, Keenan is the Summer King and is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost. Without her, summer itself will perish ...

Aislinn (I'm assuming it's pronounced Ash-lynn?) has always seen faeries, like her mother and grandmother before her, but she's always had the rules drummed into her. Most important is to NOT let the faeries know she has the "sight", they will kill any mortal that can see them, so Ash has always kept it hidden by not reacting to them and getting out of their way when they show up. It becomes harder to do when a faery approaches her and then even joins her school, turn out he's the summer king and is looking for his queen to fully bring about his powers and stop the winter from killing all the summer fey - he thinks Ash is that queen but she wants nothing to do with him or the faery world that she's spent her whole life ignoring.

First off, that cover ....... just plain gorgeous. It's always called out to me on bookshelves but I've just never picked it up 'cos I wasn't sure about the story or the author (never read anything by Marr before). But it's definitely a cover that makes you look, makes you pick up and "ooh" & "aah" at the shininess.

Sadly, the story didn't excite me as much as the cover. I didn't like Keenan or Ash as main characters, Keenan was very spoiled brat-ish and a tad pushy for my liking and Ash .... I don't know what it was about Ash but there was just something I didn't like about her. I much preferred Seth and Donia. That said, I still like the actual storyline and the faery folklore as well as the imagery of the winter queen and winter girl - I'd quite like to see the image in my head brought to life on paper but I can't draw. I think I'll still pick up the next book since it seems to be different characters so I might like it more?

Book Depository: Wicked Lovely
Amazon UK: Wicked Lovely

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Animal First Aid Tips

I made up a leaflet in work for a dog show we were at today. A lot of people were very grateful for the advice and pointers so I thought I'd share it here.

Any advice given below is purely for first aid purposes, it's meant for a temporary guideline until you can get your pet to a Vet.

Ingestion of poison/medication - If your pet has ingested something it shouldn’t have, you should phone your Vet immediately. Depending on what has been swallowed we may need to see your pet, although not all things will need treatment. If we ask you to bring your pet to the surgery, please try and bring the packaging from whatever was ingested – it will help us find out the exact treatment needed. The information we will need to help us is the name of the product, the strength of the product, the amount that has been ingested and how long ago it was ingested.

Cut paw or injury that causes bleeding – If possible, the bleeding should be controlled by applying a dressing. DO NOT apply a dressing if there is a something still embedded into the wound. If a dressing cannot be applied and there is nothing in the wound, then apply some pressure using a clean t-shirt/towel etc. and get to the Vet. The quicker we check a wound, the better for treatment.

Burns or Scalds – If your pet has been scalded, try and cut away the wet hair surrounding the area then immediately rinse with cool water. Burns should be rinsed immediately with cool water. Scalds caused by fat or oil can potentially continue to burn if the fat or oil isn’t removed so try and soak up as much as possible with paper towels. If needed, a warm detergent solution can be used to gently cleanse the surrounding skin before the using cool water to rinse the area. Whenever rinsing the area with cool water, care should be taken to keep the rest of the animal warm and dry. Your pet should then be seen by a Vet as soon as possible.

Road Traffic Accidents – Immediate Veterinary attention should be sought but some basic care until then would be to make sure the animal is warm, if they go into shock this could cause hypothermia. If you are at all worried about any spinal damage, care should be taken not to move the spine at all. A parcel shelf can make a very good makeshift stretcher – you should position the shelf behind the animal and pull them onto the stretcher using the skin along their back, this won’t hurt them and is better than possibly causing more damage. Any bleeding should be controlled if possible.

Insect stings – If it’s a bee sting and it has JUST happened then it may be possible to remove the stinger. This should be done by using a bank card or similar and you should try to scrape or flick the stinger away. Tweezers should not be used as this could squeeze more poison into the sting.
For bee stings, you should rinse with a bicarbonate of soda solution – 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to quarter litre of water.
For wasp stings, you should rinse with a vinegar solution – 50:50 with water.
After rinsing, an ice pack will help alleviate the pain and swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a towel and place against the sting for short periods of time (10-15 minutes). If the swelling continues after bathing and ice pack, then your pet should be seen by a Vet.

Jellyfish – If your pet is stung by or licks a jellyfish, vinegar is good for neutralising. Either applied directly to the sting or (if the jellyfish was licked) soak a piece of bread in the vinegar and feed to your pet. You should closely monitor your pet for any more swelling and Veterinary advice should be sought if you’re worried.

The above are only guidelines, if at any time you are worried or don’t feel confident in attempting these things then seek Veterinary help.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were moving to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my life would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, he put me in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen ... until I realised that Vincent Delacroix is no normal human - that he has a terrifying destiny and enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

Can I risk everything for love?

Kate and Georgia move to Paris after their parents die. Georgia deals fine while Kate likes to stay inside but decides to head out and sees Vincent. Vincent is gorgeous, Vincent is mysterious, Kate insta-loves Vincent & Vincent insta-loves Kate. But Vincent's not a normal dude, he's a revenant. Basically an immortal - they die saving someone else or trying to save someone else and this makes them immortal except they have to keep dying to save people - they're compelled to do it. Kate's not sure if she can deal with losing Vincent so he promises to try and not die.

Another YA insta-love book. I don't mind girl meets boy, girl likes boy but insta-love is always unbelievable to me and I seem to be reading SO much YA insta-love lately and, at this point, it's getting boring. Also an overdone storyline is the hero/heroine finding out something HUGE about the heroine/hero and not really being all that shocked by it. I mean, she finds out he's an immortal and she handles it really well - she's not freaked out by this fact?

So, the bad guys in this book are called Numas ...... yup, numas. When Kate hears this word she shivers and thinks "Even the word sounds evil", wanna know what I thought when I read that word? This! Every time that word popped up, that popped into my head .... I frigging HATE that song!

On Amazon and Goodreads, I'll be giving this book a 3/5, purely because I DID like it. But no more than a like, purely because it has a lot of elements in there are fast becoming a YA "staple" and are fast boring me whenever I read them. Saying that, I will probably at least give the second book a try because, like this book, the cover is gorgeous and I TOTALLY judge books by their covers and these covers (OK, it's also the vaguely interesting storyline, I'm not that shallow that I ONLY buy based on covers!) are enough to keep my interest.

Book Depository: Die For Me
Amazon UK: Die For Me

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tab Bennett & The Inbetween by Jes Young

Dark power. Light magic. Sometimes a fairy tale life can be a real pain....

Yesterday Tab Bennett was a bank teller. Today she's at the center of a centuries old war between Light and Dark. Tomorrow – well let's just say she’ll be lucky if she lives to see it.

Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, employed at the local bank, and finally living on her own for the first time at twenty-four years-old, Tab Bennett has no interest in a fairy tale life. She's perfectly happy with the normal one she already has. But when her sister is murdered on a moon-dark night, revealing a world of power and magic she never dreamed existed, a fairy tale is exactly what her life becomes. Figures it would have to be the Grimm kind.

Just like that, the life she had planned is over. Instead of cashing cheques and handing out lollipops, Tab is unraveling clandestine assassination plots and learning to wield the magic that is her birthright. And as if fulfilling her destiny isn't hard enough, she'll also have to choose between Robbin, a man who's turned out to be a lot more complicated than the proverbial boy next door, and Alexander, the handsome prince whose smile leaves her weak-kneed and weak-willed.

Now, while Tab struggles to hold on to the human world she's always known and understand her place in the magical one she's just discovered, dangerous forces are gathering close to home. If she wants to live to see happily ever after, she'll have to figure out who she can trust, who wants her dead, and why. The answers will change everything she believes about herself, the people she loves, and the place she calls home.

Tab's sister Rivers is buried alive - Tab knows this 'cos she has a vision of her sister dying underground, the same vision she has had for all 3 of her sisters. At Rivers' funeral Tab meets Alexander (just after her fiancé breaks off the engagement) and practically dry humps her in front of everyone - obviously she's a bit confused by this occurrence. She finds out her family have been lying to her her entire life, she's an elf princess and her family aren't who she thinks they are, and the reason for the dry humpage is an enchantment since she and Alex are "engaged". It's all a bit much to take in but Tab does a good job at it and actually faces up to the fact that she's to be queen.

I absolutely loved this book, I wasn't sure what to expect with it - it's an author I've never heard of and not too much is given away in the description so I was unsure of what I was wading into. Happily, I was NOT disappointed.

I'm not sure what exactly I loved about it, I just know I didn't want to put it down. The world was very intriguing as were the characters, I found I liked Tab instantly but I wasn't sure whether to trust Alex until I changed my mind and realised I liked him but didn't like Robbin. Any regular readers will know how fickle I am with my literary likes and loves so this change of heart is no biggie.

A definite recommendation from me on this book - totally loved it and can't wait to read the next one.

Amazon UK: Tab Bennett and the Inbetween

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Foretold: The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver

The end is most definitely nigh ...

Riley Blackthorne has always known that fellow Demon Trapper Denver Beck had a chequered history, but she's not prepared for what it means to be in love with a guy with this many dark secrets. Now that he's finally admitted to himself that he's in love with her too, there's no more hiding the truth about his past. And as it turns out, fending off a demon apocalypse is nothing compared with what's to come ...

Riley still doesn't know what happened to make Beck so cold toward her but she's about to find out because Stewart sends the 2 of them off to Beck's hometown - where Beck's darkest secret resides. Turns out everyone in Beck's town blame him for the death of 2 boys and after Riley convinces him to get the case reopened, Beck gets kidnapped by the real killer and Riley has to find him. After finding him, she finally admits her feelings to him and leaves him to deal with his own feelings for her - FINALLY!!! Of course on the tails of them finally getting together, there's a big showdown between the big bad and the slightly smaller bad that wants to replace him - and Riley is a key player in the fight.

This is the final book - the bloody FINAL book - in the Demon Trappers series and I usually know that before I read a book and gear myself up to it, especially with one of my favourite series so the revelation that this is the end was a HUGE shocker to me. I really don't get how I missed that this was the final book.

Well at least everything was all tied off nicely - Riley and Beck are finally together, things with Riley and Ori are sorted out as well as things with Lucifer. Again I feel I'm at a stand still with the review because I don't want to give too much away for the book but there's not a lot to say without revealing my favourite parts.

I will say this though: anyone who hasn't read this series - get it done. Seriously this is one of my favourite YA series out there, the lead is a strong woman who deal with sexism and all the problems that come with demon trapping - what more could a reader ask for.

Start with Forsaken, then Forbidden and Forgiven before ending this fab series with Foretold.

Book Depository: Foretold
Amazon UK: Foretold