Spell Cat: The Aloysius Tales
by Tara Lain is an ADULT tale that is the delightful m/m paranormal romance story that introduces the remarkable Professor Killian Barth, the most powerful male witch in ten generations. Killian is expected to marry and have children with Lavender Karonoff, the female witch who is expected to be the most powerful female witch in their community. The problem is that each of them is attracted to human males, something that is virtually forbidden by the Council. Killian is prepared to sacrifice his attraction to the openly gay Professor Blaine Genneau but his recently acquired familiar, the feline Aloysius has an opinion about almost everything and does his best to guide Killian to enlightenment about a variety of issues.
This fun m/m read combines a combination of quirky characters, paranormal elements and a demonstration of the dangers of bigotry in an enjoyable romantic tale. There are great scenes that demonstrate the feline Aloysius’ ability to communicate his desires without having to speak a word of English and it was entertaining to read about the students who were in Professor Barth’s class more for his appearance than for his subject matter. This was a great introduction to an entertaining series and a lovely combination of sizzling and sensual encounters and an emotional tale that details the struggle between following the expectations of family and community and being true to one’s own self. I look forward to reading more about these beings (especially the cat!).
I received a copy of this enjoyable read in exchange for an honest review.
I have always felt guilty about not donating blood but traditionally I weighed less than the cut-off. Unfortunately, that is no longer true and, searching to find something to make me feel a little less glum about the fact that I am struggling with the middle-aged (yes, I am the person who refuses to grow up so I can call it middle-aged if I want to!) weight gain...I thought I'd go with a friend who donates regularly.
The folks working at the center are very warm and friendly and tried to make me as comfortable as possible. (we won't discuss the other person who was there to donate who threatened to block the door before I could run out, lol) An i.d. is required and there is a long list of questions to complete (hmm, never thought about the impact of getting tattoos or traveling out of the country) and they check your hemoglobin levels to see if there is an immediate reason to decline your gift.
I do admit that the needle being used is pretty impressive but it does make the blood flow out pretty quickly and the nice foam ball that you get to squeeze is one of those aids for reducing stress. I was fascinated watching the end process where there are special crimping tools to separate the tubing and they make sure the blood is well-mixed with anticoagulant and then make tiny little packets of the blood remaining in the tubing (the majority of the blood goes into the bag) that are used for cross-matching.
There was a variety of juices and water to choose from as well as muffins, fresh fruit and, for some reason, they had nachos ingredients which my friend told me was not the typical fare. There were snack bars and nuts and fresh veggies and even ice cream cones in the freezer. Everything went well as we sat and chatted for awhile and consumed the various goodies.
Ok...you are given a list of instructions of what NOT to do after giving blood, foremost of which is no strong exertion. My friend crochets hats to donate to the City of Hope for the cancer patients and their office is on the next floor above the blood donation office...so we took the stairs to go up to the next floor. Duh...exertion? I got to the top of the stairs and I was breathing a little heavily and thought...wow, I am really out of shape! Then I started seeing spots before my eyes and got nauseous...and the door to the office we were going to was locked.
I sat down on the floor of the hallway and pondered the advantage of putting my head between my knees versus the likelihood of losing the apple juice, fruit and muffin I had just eaten. Well, to make a long story short, the office wasn't actually closed and there happened to be a doctor just exiting who started inquiring why a very pale woman was sitting with her eyes closed on the floor outside of the office.
It turns out there is something called a vasovagal response that I tried to make sure I had all of the symptoms of...my heart rate dropped as well as my blood pressure and I broke out into a cold sweat. They put me in a wheelchair and took me into the office and laid me down on one of their exam tables and I was much improved in about 15 minutes. I was terribly embarrassed to create such a dramatic scene over a little thing like donating blood but I guess it's not something that I will do very often...and I certainly won't climb any stairs afterward! Not an auspicious first attempt at donating blood...and, if my hubby has his way...it will be the first and only time that I ever do it...but I do urge people who weigh more than 120 lbs. and who are healthy enough, to donate...there is definitely a need for it. Just don't climb any stairs afterward!