Friday, 22 August 2014

Oddities and Entities

                Oddities and Entities is a collection of stories about all things that are strange and weird. In fact, I don’t think I could have ever have come up with some of the ideas that the author, Roland Allnach, presented in this anthology. It’s these strange and odd ideas that made me enjoy this book as much as I did. There are none of the usual witches and fairies that are scattered throughout most books these days. Instead there is a lady who can see through flesh to a person’s bones, a creepy vampire-like brother and sister duo, and, my favorite, Grey, a slimy snot-like thing that resides inside one character’s head until it comes out and creates chaos. Needless to say, all of the stories are entertaining and a lot of fun to read. The characters are definitely different and intriguing and the storylines keep the reader wanting to read more so they can find out exactly what is going on. The editing and formatting worked perfectly on my ereader. The stories moved along fluidly and made me not want to put the book down. The cover, although not particularly eye-catching, centers the title well which is what made me choose to read it in the first place. Overall, this is a great read!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Forever Zombie

Forever Zombie: A Collection of Undead Guy Tales is a small but fantastically funny collection of short stories about how everyday life would be if zombies were a fact of life. Each story takes a tongue-in-cheek look at different situations where the zombie “infection” has taken hold of society. There’s the man who brings his elderly parents into his home to look after him and the situation goes from bad to deadly. The rookie EMT on a ride-along with a crazy veteran ambulance driver who has his own motto used against him. One of my favorites involves a rich couple who have no time for their daughter so they buy her a disturbing “toy”. I took this book with me to the beach and got some strange looks when I laughingly told my husband how much I enjoyed dead people. This is a very funny book, both relaxing and enjoyable. The cover is fantastic and made me interested in picking the book up. It had perfect formatting and editing for my ereader. I can’t wait to read more of Mr. Swanson’s work.

Monday, 11 August 2014

9 Months In!

So skip this blog if you read for book reviews because this about me. A little over half way into 2014 and quite a bit has happened. I finally got the operation to have my spinal cord stimulator put in. I had to do a trial run first which was a bit creepy. Spent a week with a wire running from my spine to an outside device that I hooked up to. The wire was really uncomfortable because it kept catching on things. But it did work somewhat, reduced my pain by about 50% on a good day. A couple of months later I received word that I would be getting the actual permanent one. Pretty good considering I had to wait a year and a half just to get the trial one. I guess they have to be so touchy about who gets it because the device costs $30 000 Canadian so basically right now my body, or what's in it, is worth more than my networth. How depressing is that! So me being me, I Youtubed the operation first. Not a great idea, it scared the crap out of it should. I was awake for the whole thing albeit under mild anaesthesia. I had to be able to tell them if the electrical impulses were hitting the right thing. When they inserted the cable like thing (looks like a cord from a phone line or modem) along my spinal cord it didn't hurt. That took an hour and a half but I had great doctors who talked to me the whole time and kept my mind off it. Plus they left someone's brain tumour X-rays up on the wall so I was checking those out. Then they had to tunnel around my body to my stomach to insert the other part of the device which is like a pace maker. They gave me more drugs which was quite nice but I wondered why my programmer (the lovely lady who controls where the eletrical impulses will hit my legs) left the area and went to the front well away from the operation. She later told me she knew this was the worst part and she usually has to leave. The first thing that happened was one of the student doctors was asking questions about my case because everyone always finds it interesting, my type of cancer, no history, the type of chemo used and the resulting complications. She asked my prognosis and, as I lay there supposedly drugged out of my head, they said, She doesn't have a long life. Well isn't that a kick in the teeth! Hello! I'm right here, awake, listening!! I have heard it so often that it doesn't have the same impact anymore, or I should say, I don't let it. I do pretty well at shoving it to the back of my mind. Then the pain started. Huge pain as he tunneled the wire around, all this sucking noise as they sucked the blood up, more than they expected. Meanwhile, my programmer and anaesthesiologist stood at the other side of the toom talking about housing prices. I weakly waved my hand saying, I think I need more pain medication. He said soon. I wanted to say, F*** you but was crying too much. The problem was that because I'm so short, I like to say vertically challenged!, my rib cage and hip bone are close together so it was hard to find room to put the implant. Finally the doctor came over, gave me more pain meds and held my hand. Two hours of this but I made it. I;ve never seen bruising like I had but recovery was fast and today it's in, working although pain has moved to different areas. The only problem now is that the implant seems to be moving to the surface somewhat so it chafes against my clothes. I will have to go in and have it sunk deeper. Uggh!
So this is a pic of my stomach/side area about a week after surgery. I took my own stitches out later. I'm so proud! Anyway, that's my life so far as far as my health goes. Still alive, still breathing, still fighting!

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions-Frome Frights to Flaws

                Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions: From Frights to Flaws, written by new author Sunayna Prasad, is the first in a new series for pre-teens that follows Alyssa as she and her friends discover magic really does exist and must fight the evil Master Beau. At 208 pages it’s fairly lengthy for a pre-teen book but does read quite quickly. Alyssa, the main character, is being raised by her Uncle Bruce, a rather strict guardian, so Alyssa would much rather live with her godfather even though she hasn’t seen him in years. She seems to be rather blasé about the fact that Master Beau wants to kill her and the explanation of why he wants to is rather convoluted and confusing. I’m not sure it would make a whole lot of sense to a kid. It didn’t even make sense to me. Some of the plot lines don’t make a lot of sense, such as a kid who is already living with a nasty adult and wants to go live with someone who is basically a stranger to them. The dialogue isn’t always strong either. However, I did overall enjoy the book and I can see a lot of talent in the storytelling. The author even ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger which will leave the kids wanting to read the next book in the series. The formatting and editing worked fine on my computer and the cover, I believe, will be enticing for a child to want to pick up and read.