Archive for September, 2011

Kitty Baths

If you couldn’t tell, we had bath weekend. We snagged all the babies and gave them a bath. They were so dirty that I had to change the tub water after two cats. Thankfully one of the Krav Maga students, Kristel, came over to help, that’s her in the pictures. I was afraid that there was going to be blood everywhere. The worse thing that happened was Miss Bity chowed on my hand when I tried to catch her and Fluffy was hissing at us. Everyone looks so good. I was surprised to learn that Fellini was a white and black kitten. She was so dirty that I thought she was grey and black.

Here is everyone after they were dry. They were so excited to get out and hide in the dirty rafters. Well at least they were clean for a couple hours.

OK, no more playing with the kittens, time to start reading again.

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Reborn by Ley Mesina

5 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) Lily Westbrook discovers that being half witch and half vampire is more of a challenge than she thought. When her powers mature on her eighteenth birthday, she unlocks a mystery that many witches thought was a legend.

After moving back to her birthplace in Cedar Creek, MA to attend Kensington University, Lily is instantly pulled deeper into the world she was kept from- the world of witches and vampires-uncovering the truth about her past and discovering who she is meant to be.

Lily is just turning 18, when she will receive her full power. Lily lives in a time where witches and vampires don’t get along, they are better known to hunt and kill each other. Lily has been raised by her aunt Trudy since her parents were killed when she was a baby because they married. But now it is time for Lily to go out and learn about her powers.

At the same time, a power full witch, Samuel, has been taking powerful witches and having vampire Nathaniel turns them into vampires. The idea is that they will be more powerful than the regular vampires and will make the perfect army to eradicate vampires. But something is going wrong and most of those turned don’t survive.

Lily has gone to Kensington University where she meets Wendy, a girl from her dorm. But she starts seeing visions of Wendy being attacked by a vampire. She also stumbles upon her cousins that were waiting on their missing family that has been guarding Lily. Then Lily has a vision of her father, alive and in the cabin with the vampire that attacked Wendy.

I really liked this story. There was a great plot and action that sucked me right in. The only negative thing I can come up with is I wish it were longer. But no matter, I cannot wait to read other stories from Ley Mesina. This is a great young adult story.

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Survivors by James Wesley Rawles

2 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) The America we are accustomed to is no more. Practically overnight the stock market has plummeted, hyperinflation has crippled commerce, and the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure have fallen. The power grids are down. Brutal rioting and looting grip every major city. The volatile era known as “the Crunch” has begun, and this new period in our history will leave no one untouched. In this unfamiliar environment, only a handful of individuals are equipped to survive.

Andrew Laine, a resourceful young U.S. Army officer stationed overseas in Afghanistan, wants nothing more than to return home to Bloomfield, New Mexico. With the world in turmoil and all air and sea traffic to America suspended, Laine must rely on his own ingenuity and the help of good Samaritans to reach his family. Andrew will do whatever it takes to make it home to his fiancée, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Major Ian Doyle is a U.S. Air Force pilot stationed in Arizona with his wife, Blanca. Their young daughter, Linda, is trapped in the North- eastern riots. Three teenage orphans, Shadrach, Reuben, and Matthew Phelps, have no choice but to set out on their own when their orphanage closes at the beginning of the Crunch. Then there is Ignacio Garcia, the ruthless leader of the criminal gang called La Fuerza, who will stop at nothing to amass an army capable of razing the countryside. And over everything looms the threat of a provisional government, determined to take over America and destroy the freedoms upon which it was built. The world of Survivors is a terrifyingly familiar one. Rawles has written a novel so close to the truth, readers will forget it’s fiction. If everything you thought you knew suddenly fell apart, would you survive?

This story takes place just as the United States’ economy crashes. The first thing that happens is the dollar becomes increasingly useless. Silver, gold, or barter is the way many people end up getting goods. But others try to rob, loot, or kill to make their own way. This story follows several people as they struggle to survive in the crunch.

Andy Laine is in Afghanistan and sees how everything is working toward a crash. He gets himself some off base supplies and makes a plan to get back home to his family.

Lars Laine is Andy’s brother. He is living on the family farm trying to keep everyone safe and the farm running. He is a veteran that was injured during his service.

Ian and Blanco Doyle are ex-military that first try to get their daughter then provide security for a group of homeowners for a place to stay.

Ignacio Garcia is the leader of a gang that start looting to feed all in the group.

Matthew, Reuben, and Shadrack Phelps are orphans that are sent out on their own. They find Lars Laine and help out on the farm.

Sheila Randall has her son and mother and starts a general store to help out others in the little town she moves to.

The story is full of truth. The way events happen in the book, I can easily see the same thing happening in the country today. The value of the dollar crashing, only silver, gold, or barter used for transactions, and how people rob, steal, or kill for things they need. I really liked the different quotes at the beginning of each new section. They really make you thing about human nature.

Sadly there is just way too much happening in this story. You follow way too many people and not always in the same time frame. There will be a not at the top of each section that tells who is being followed in that section and when. The problem comes when you read about Andy in November then Lars in January or Ian twenty years prior.

Also, there was way too much information. There is exact figures for how the dollar rate goes down every day, all the acronyms for the military things, exact short hand for the radio, and even a three page list of who all the characters are. I couldn’t keep up with most of it and ended up skimming through a lot of the book.

I couldn’t finish this book. It just bounced everywhere, had way too much information, and too many characters to follow. It has good potential for a end of the country book, but I couldn’t stick with it.

I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest opinion.

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The House

The House by Heather Marie Adkins

5 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) Susan is appalled when she moves back home after college to find her parents are packing the family off to Florida–to her Gran’s empty ancestral home.

The place is a mess, but it goes beyond the aesthetic–there is something even more frightening in the house than they ever imagined, and it’s deeply intertwined in their family’s past.

Some of her ancestors aren’t quite gone, and they’re determined to play out their anger to the bitter end, despite the home’s new inhabitants.

She can only hope her family will make it out alive.

Susan and her family are moving into her grandmother’s house in Florida. But there is something odd about the house. The first thing is although it is a bright sunny day; the house seems dark and dreary. Later that first night, Susan hears screams and chains rattling over her bed and they discovery an old slaves chambers.

When Susan and her sister see a stranger walking through the property that seemingly disappears, they start to get worried. When Susan finds a picture of the stranger in an old photo album, things start to get really creepy. When a hurricane hits the area and all the strange events come to a head.

I really liked this story. Uber creepy! I admit that I felt bad for Susan with the size of her family. The only thing that I would whine about is the length of the story. But Heather said she was reworking it so I can’t wait to reread it. YEAH!! If you want a quick, creepy read, this is one story that you will want to read.

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The Doll

The Doll by JC Martin

4 stars

We begin with Joyce and her daughter Taylor visiting The Island of the Dolls on their vacation. The story behind the island is that a young girl, Salvadora, drowned on the island that that her spirit is still there. That the dolls were hung out for her and that anyone that disturbs them will be drown too. While exploring the island, Joyce and Taylor discover a little shack with an alter dedicated to Salvadora, and where Taylor is immediately entranced with a Mexican doll.

After the vacation, Taylor starts talking about her imaginary friend Dora. Of course Joyce is rather annoyed with this and tries to get her ex-husband to stop the talk. But strange things start happening. A plate of spaghetti is put out for Dora and it seems to be consumed. Taylor also starts spending a lot of time in her room. But when Taylor is almost drowned in the pool, she thinks something is going on. Joyce catches Taylor with the Mexican doll then panics and tries to set everything right.

This is a creepy, short read. I don’t think that I’m ever going to look at dolls the same way again. This is a great scary story, definitely one to read. I will say that I think the story could have been a little more creepy if it would have been longer with more development. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great story. Now I’m excited to get JC Martin’s other stories and start reading them.

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Underneath by Heather Marie

5 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) An ancient city, entombed beneath a museum that seeks to understand the brutal race that once inhabited the underground world.

A young woman with special empathic powers offered a job to create an exhibit of the city’s artifacts.

Underneath, they wait for her.

Rebecca has just been offered an exhibit at the Museum of Ancient History. The idea is to promote the underground city that was found in a cavern below the museum. But something evil happened there. Rebecca is an empath and has no desire to even go near the city but in the end she goes.

Adara, Rebecca’s daughter, is excited about the new exhibit. And Rebecca’s new boss, Darren, is also thrill to have her there. Rebecca learns that Darren is also an empath when he talks about a bad feeling when he is around the underground city. But that doesn’t stop them from working on the exhibit.

While working together, Rebecca and Darren start a connection that goes to the next level. Then Darren doesn’t show up for work. Knowing something is wrong and with the urgings of Adara goes on the hunt for him.

This is a great story!! Way too short. I read it quickly and was left wanting more. The only thing negative I could say was I wish it was longer. I would like to know more about the underground city. I cannot wait to read Heather’s other stories.

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Wanted: Hero – Prelude to a Hero by Jaime Buckley

5 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) Wendell is a young man who learns what his potential is while on a strange, enchanted world with a funny old wizard and ugly troll to mentor and guide him. Prelude to a Hero, the debut book about how Wendell came to be the one expected to save an entire world. . . by accident.

As Wendell, basically a no body, is planning how to get himself a girlfriend, he is kidnapped by a little green, smelly, foul mouthed creature, Dax. He wakes up at the feet of a blue man that proceeds to tell him how he is the last of a bloodline and that he is there to collect his treasure. What he doesn’t learn is that the treasure comes with a great cost.

Wendell is now a Hero to protect Iskari from Dark Lord Mahan. He doesn’t really want the job and is told that in a month he can return the power to the High Elders. When he befriends a local person, his attitude starts to change about wanting nothing more than to go home.

Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when Wendell learns that Dax grabbed the wrong person. That he is now an immortal Hero that is not going to survive the use of his abilities to stop Dark Lord Mahan and he cannot just simply give the power back. Now the High Elders are back to square one.

I really liked this story. It’s short, about 110 pages, but I could not get enough. The story flowed well, I got sucked right into it, and I really liked how Wendell progressed. My only complaint is that the story was too short. It looks like the other stories in the series are graphic novels. I will definitely be getting those to read. This is a great science fiction story about a reluctant hero.

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One Second After

OK, I lied, I did manage to read one book this week. I don’t know how but I did.

One Second After by William R Forstchen

4 stars

(Excerpt from Good Reads) New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real…a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages…A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. </I>Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future…and our end.

On a typical day, in Black Mountain, NC, John is getting ready to celebrate his youngest daughters 12th birthday. Just before the party, he is talking to his friend in Washington when suddenly they lose power. But it’s not just power. Cars, cell phones, anything with a computer chip in it is dead. John has a feeling that he knows what’s going on. Years prior he did a project on the affect of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) being set off. An EMP would basically fry anything electronic.

Chaos breaks out. Of course, people panic and start looting. Then they try to take control of the older vehicles that are still running. There is also martial law, which some people take too far. After the initial panic, people start dying from medical problems that need urgent care that there is none. After that, people will start dying from lack of food. Then there are the raveling gangs that are starting to circle. All of this happens with little work from outside the mountains and no help expected soon.

I admit that I started reading this on 9/11. This book got a lot of hype but I really didn’t know much of what it was about, beyond the EMP going off. I did like the book. It does well in describing what is going to happen if everyone is cut off. I will say that it was rather tame about what people are going to do. For example, if you look at the behavior of people after Katrina, this was a relatively tame story.

It was heart breaking how this affected John’s family, yes I was crying a couple times. I did like how it told about how easy infections and illnesses were going to be. Also how lack of medicine is going to affect other people. I think this is one area that most people don’t think about when a disaster happens. Everyone is more worried about food and water. But what happens when you need antibiotics, insulin, and Prozac.

My complaint comes from the interactions of people. Yes, there was the looting, rape, and cannibalism. But for the most part it was like because they were in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else, they just along semi peacefully. Something just irked me about that. I guess because human nature is nothing like that in the real world.

Anyway, this is a really good book. I think people should read this to get an idea of what is going to happen. And not just because of an EMP going off, but because of a natural disaster or even an invasion.

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Well, mama cat can home from the Humane Society last night. I felt real bad, you could tell that she was hurting. So I put her in a collapsible crate to keep her from climbing up in the rafters. Yes, I was out smarted by a cat. She got out of the crate and is now in the rafters. I think it would be worse to try and get her back in the crate than to leave her alone right now.

I did get to play with the kittens and to give them a kitten wipe bath with one of our students from Krav Maga, Kristel. Here are pictures of them after their faux bath.

Here is Number 1. She was the first one to be caught. We have yet to name her. She looks just like mommy except she is long hair. Yes, she is sitting on the top of the garage door.

Here is Fellini (left) and Miss Bity (right). Fellini is the one that took the leap of faith and was gone as soon as she kit the ground when we tried to catch them by hand. She is a cute tuxedo with lots of personality. I’ve managed to get biten twice by her along with numerous scratches.

Miss Bity got her name from Mr Bity in Kick Ass and that she has managed to take several people out with those teeth. She took out a vet tech on Friday and me when she escaped at the vets. Then when I tried to put her in a carrier Saturday so we could clean out the garage, she tried to escape then went psycho kitty on me as I tried to force her back in.

I think we are going to start calling this one Sneaky. We saw her this morning in a cardboard box and then the next thing we knew she was in another pile of stuff. I think we have underestimated her sneakiness (Mr Deeds, 2002). She is such a pretty calico and she is so well behaved when you catch her and hold her.

I don’t have a picture of Mama yet. We are going to have to find a home for here because the kittens keep following her lead. Three of them were in the rafters this morning. So, I’m looking for someone that needs a barn cat or has time to socialize her. I don’t want to just release her back out to the street because so much can happen to her.

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Stray Cat Family

I feel bad. I have not been able to read anything this week or get much of anything else done. My boyfriend and I feel the local stray cats. We discovered Monday night that one of the cats had a litter of kittens in our unused patio. So, Monday we managed to trap one kitten. It looks just like mommy, a little back tortie with long hair. We tried Tuesday and Wednesday and failed to catch the other three kittens.

I went to the humane society and get a couple live traps. With in a half hour of setting the traps I had mommy caught. I then used her for bait and managed to catch the rest of the kittens between that afternoon and 2 am. There is a little tuxedo kitten that we have named Fellini, as in Flying Fellini. When we tried to catch her she shoot out off the fence about five foot out and four foot off the ground and proceeded to run the moment she hit ground. I then caught Miss Bity, like Mr. Bity from the movie Kick Ass. She has chewed up a vet tech and me several times. Then the last one is a white calico. They are all little girls.

I took the kittens in to my vet on Friday and got there blood tested, I’m still waiting to get the results back. Mommy just went into the clinic at the humane society to go through the Community Cats program where they will fix the cat for $10. I also have a big kennel set up to keep her in for the next week so she doesn’t tear open her wounds trying to get onto the rafters.  We cleaned out the garage and now we are ready to start socializing everyone.

But now you know why I have not been reading or getting any sleep. I will try to remedy this in the week to come. I have a ton of books that have to get read for reviews, not including the several shelves of other books to read. I will also post pictures of the kitties as soon as I get them cleaned up enough to look presentable.

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