Saturday Review – Fractured Loyalties

fractured loyaltiesI wanted to do more reviews of Pam Uphoff’s books because I really enjoy “The Wine of the Gods” series and her “Directorate Series.” I haven’t even tried to count them all.

I had been following Ra’d from the time he was introduced as a character in the first book. He had  interesting beginnings. He and others were “bubbled” in a dimensional bubble during a war. They were un-bubbled several centuries later. It was a shock for them and the society when they tried to integrate.

If you want to read about it, you’ll have to go to the earlier books in the series.

Why I like this book in particular is that Ra’d is now in the intelligence services and he has to juggle his spy duties with his lover. She happens to be from another world and there is an uneasy truce between worlds. Even worse, she is the offspring of the God of Spies.

So Ra’d is between two loyalties.

Every book I’ve read from Pam Uphoff has had a different twist in it. Her characters are well-formed and interesting.

I will read this one again.

 

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Playing Hooky – Incredibles 2

The_Incredibles_2So yesterday, I played hooky with a friend of mine who lives in my apartment complex. We had found out through other seniors that the Regal Theater had a senior Wednesday.

Now that I am on a fixed income, I am more interested in “senior discounts.” The thing is there are not set “senior age” for most of these discounts. Sometimes it is 55 and sometimes it is 62. So I called Fiesta Casino that housed the Regal theater near my home and asked.

To my surprised “50” was the age for the senior discount. Since I am few years north of fifty, I was all set.

So yesterday, we braved the musty smell and tinkling noise of the casino floor. The light was dimmed to a twilight setting, which is normal in those environments. Men and women in their twilight years were smoking and pulling the slot handles. We kept looking up at the signs and going the wrong way. We circled around and around. I swear that the casinos are built in a different dimension. No matter how blocky the casinos look on the outside, in the inside everything looks about the same.

I was glad that I found the Regal theater. We had to walk right through the entire casino to find it. I will admit that I was disoriented by that time.

At the theater, I expected to wait for the tickets. I mean, the tickets were four dollars a piece. I haven’t spent that amount in years. I think there were only ten people who came to this showing.

If it was just the casino… I wouldn’t come here again. The place assaulted all of my five senses. However, the movie— I was really glad I came.

Possible Plotpoints:

In Incredibles 2, super-heroes are illegal. The family get arrested when they try to save the city from a villain who was bombing and undermining the city. So this is the set up for the real story.

Even though the mother’s job is to show that super-heroes are more helpful and less destructive, my favorite plot twist was when she left the Mr. Incredible home to raise the three children– one of whom is a demon multi-talented child.

I seriously laughed through the entire movie. Dah-ling

 

Tuesday Snippet – Hero of Corsindor – Chapter 1b

As the sun touched the peak of the gray mountain, the last rays hit the large tent that had been erected as a banquet hall in the center of the nomad city. The last of the light turned the tent from orange to gold and then to a pale yellow.

As the last light disappeared into the dark night, the pale gray tent glowed yellow from the lamps lit inside. It was a gathering that only happened once a decade. The Ahrah gathered together to eat, drink, laugh, and sing. They would trade stock and this was where the younger men could meet potential brides.

Shira slid into the noise and stepped through the opening. Young women and children were serving lamb seasoned with hot red peppers, garlic, and onions. The heat in one bite would burn the mouth and warm the belly. Each family brought their own signature dish to the feast so the tables groaned with carrots, potatoes, peas, beans, and corn.

Shira had help set up the tables for the feast. One of the Counselor’s advisers had come up with a table that could be easily assembled and disassembled. Usually in a family setting, Shira and Oor would sit on blankets and eat cross-legged. It was strange to see tables. Instead of blankets, the families set on chairs. It was a novel ideal.

Oor had told her once that their neighbors didn’t sit on the ground. That they used tables and chairs all the time. Who would have the time to assemble or disassemble the things before moving on? It just didn’t make sense.

She wouldn’t pass up the chance to sit on the things even if they looked too rickety to hold an adult’s weight. Shira ambled around the tables, going to the big table at the other end of the opening. She greeted friends and non-friends alike, keeping a simple smile on her face.

Oor was fond of saying that she was not old enough to have enemies. So instead of showing her disdain, she nodded politely to the more powerful council members.

Unfortunately she would have to walk by Malkiah’s mother, Cianne. His mother kept her face covered in a transparent white veil, which moved back and forth with her breath.

“Sit with me,” she said. Shira could not afford to upset Cianne. She was one of the most powerful members of the Council. Also she was a traditionalist, hence the white veil.

Her stated position was that the Ahrah needed more men in powerful positions. She had been politely angry when the Ahrah had selected a woman as the Councilor.

Before the veil had fallen obscuring the Ahrah from their neighbors, many of the best warriors died in the border wars. Corsindor wanted their land.

The border veil changed all that. Corsindor had forgotten them. Still there was a shortage of men. The birthrate of boys was low and many of them died before they reached puberty.

Women stepped into the void to lead the people.

Shira bowed her head politely to Cianne and sat down on one of the rickety chairs across from her. She waited for Cianne’s pronouncements.

She had heard it all before. Cianne thought she was blessed above all other women because she had a boy, Malkiah and that her boy was now a man. It would only be advantageous if Shira would pledge herself to a strong man. Cianne would point to her son with her chin.

Shira knew were this would lead so she tried to head Cianne to other topics. Shira’s direction must have been clumsy because Cianne’s eyes gleamed. Her mouth pursed as if she had bitten into something sour.

Then Cianne shifted her body to the other council members at the table. She waved her hand sideways at Shira like an afterthought. “This is Shira,” she said.

Shira stood and made a formal bow to the elders, who were looking at her as if she were a rat caught stealing grain from the stable.

An old man with a long white beard sprinkled with crumbs sneered at her. “She has taught you well,” he said. The white haired lady with blue highlights bobbed her head as if the old man was a wise. She put some more meat onto his plate. He stopped and took a bite.

When he looked up at Shira, she knew he was going to say something cutting.

“She’s not one of us,” he said. Shira waited for the scriptures that was supposed to cut her down to size. “Woman is a bright jewel. Speak not. Her beauty radiates.”

She could tell he was quoting from the book because of the sonorous ring to his voice. Shira wanted to turn away and head to the table where her friends were. The meat wafted to her nose and her stomach growled. Instead she nodded politely as if he had made a hit.

Then she said, “Man is the ox of the family. He feeds and protects his family.” Shira knew she had made a hit when he jerked just a little.

Before he could roar at her, Cianne intervened. “Canroh was wise,” she said.
It was the gleam in Cianne’s eyes that warned Shira. She held herself still and waited for the blow.

“You had an audience with the Councilor.”

Shira nodded her head, yes. She stared into Cianne’s eyes, which reminded her of a snake. After a moment Shira said, “The Councilor is wise.”

The silence lasted until Shira bowed again and backed away. She could feel their eyes boring into the back of her head as she turned away.

She blew out a breath of air as she saw Oor at the table. There was a crooked smile on his face as he moved pulled a chair next to him. “Sit,” he said.

“So, the elders cornered you.”

There was nothing to say. Shira filled her plate and listened to Oor and one of his students argue about the merits of stick versus sword. She settled into the warm companionship and ate.

Who knew when there would be this much to eat again?

The Mirror

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off– I like that

According To Hoyt

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As we get older it becomes harder to look at ourselves in the mirror.  And no, it’s not just the obvious signs of aging but that we have to face — not even choices but — things that happened in our lives that left a mark on that person looking back on us.

Those of us who grew up near a large and relatively stationary family (look, dad’s family lost half its kids or more to other countries each generation (I represent) but there were enough that stayed there) and had enough generations to know the “family look.”

When you’re young you can deceive yourself that you don’t belong to this large, clumsy, lumbering tribe (represent again!) but as you age, you start seeing other people in your mirror.  For years now, I’ve been looking at my paternal grandmother, which is funny since, objectively my features are more like mom’s. …

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Another year

Writing Perchance to Dream today Today is my late-husband’s birthday. He would have been 71.

So today I am going to a Thai restaurant a few miles from my house. It was his favorite type of food.

Then I will remember the jokes and the good times. Maybe I will take a drive out into the country– for a few hours. It used to be our favorite activity.

There are two times of the year that I feel closer to him– his birthday and his death date.

RIP Otto Tune.

Saturday Review – Shattered Under Midnight

So, it is time for my Saturday review. One of my invisible internet friends finished this book recently. The last book I read of hers Scaling the Rim was an exciting sci-fi story that pulled me into the story. I still remember remnants of the story and it has been a couple years since I read it.

When she told our group that this book was on Amazon. I snapped up Shattered Under Midnight immediately. Sadly I have a TBR pile that is pretty large. I also do my reading just before I go to sleep. It’s one of the reasons that I know when a book grabs me or is a snoozer.shattered

So a couple of days ago, I pulled this book up on my kindle .

It started with a young woman in a space port with an explosion behind her. That was the end of me and I was there with this girl as she went to the surface to find a new life.

The woman is much younger than how she dresses and as I continued reading, I found that she had many dangerous secrets. Many of these secrets were more dangerous than the man who accompanies her.

Plus she has red hair. I won’t tell you the significance of the red hair. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Dorothy Grant needs to write more. I would love to go on adventures with more of her characters.

If you haven’t figured it out yet… I highly recommend it.

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited.