Saturday Review: External Relations by Pam Uphoff

514sfh4zoclPam Uphoff is one of my favorite writers. When I realized that I hadn’t read this one, I pulled it up on my kindle through the Kindle Unlimited program.

External Relations is set after Izzie Withione becomes Director of External relations. I’m going to copy the blurb here because it is better than what I’m going to write with this exhausted brain of mine.

“The Granite Peak Colony has been discovered, lost rediscovered, fought over . . . And now the Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation has informed all parties to come to an accommodation peacefully–or they’ll impose one.

Izzo Withione Alcairo had been appointed Director of External Relations and told to clean up internal corruption and nepotism. Now it looks like he’s going to have to do it while engaging in cross dimensional diplomacy. With a pregnant wife, a gothic horror of a residence, and a sexy young princess throwing herself at him, it’s going to be an interesting first year.”

All the colonists want to have this world to themselves. However Xen and his sister are invested in removing the colonists so that the natives can have the world to themselves. There is a lot of intrigue and suspense with the humor that Uphoff is known to bring to her writing.

I enjoyed this one a lot. I would recommend reading from the beginning book. Still this book can work as a stand-alone. I prefer to read her books in sequence.

If you like a hybrid of sci-fi and magic, this is the writer to read.



Saturday Review – So little and So light

so little

I had forgotten the joys of short stories, until I read this collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Since I write a lot of novels, I read a lot of novels. I also write shorter works, so I can really appreciate the craft that went into this collection.

My favorite story in this collection is “Neptune’s Orphans.” It haunted me when I first read it a few years back. It haunts me today. It starts with a group of bioengineered children being destroyed after the treaty is signed. Three get away, but not without cost.

Each of these stories give you a taste of Hoyt’s worlds.

I recommend it very much.

Saturday Review – Howl’s Moving Castle

howl's movingWhen my life gets a little overloaded, I escape through reading. The last couple of days I have been dealing with my health and my dog’s health. I had to take her to the vet yesterday.

So during those times like yesterday, I pull out a favorite like this one: Howl’s Moving Castle. I may go back and watch the movie too. The reason I like the book over the movie is because the movie condenses the story and many of the details are lost. To be fair, I have watched the movie and enjoyed it too.

Sophie trims hats and talks to them. What she doesn’t know is that as she is talking to them she is putting magic into them. This brings her to the notice of one of the most wicked witches in the land.

She manages to clean a wizard’s house, talk to a fire demon, and learn a little magic. This is a classic coming of age story written by one of the foremost young adult authors, Diana Wynne Jones.

It is my comfort reading.

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.


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.

Saturday Review: Witchfire Burning

Witchfire Burning (Eerie Side of the Tracks Book 1) by [Ferguson, Ellie, Green, Amanda S.]Witchfire Burning by Ellie Ferguson (pen name of Amanda S. Green)

Quinn O’Donnell was a normal human amid a family with abnormal powers. When she was old enough to leave, she went to that wider world. Now she is a single mother with a child who has powers. So she decided to come home so that her grandmother can train her child.

Except the house is abandoned and is lonely for company. Plus the house is sentient and has its own idea of who is allowed into the house and who is forced to stay on the boundaries. There is trouble here and Quinn also brings trouble in the form of her ex-husband.

This is one of those stories that grab you with the first few paragraphs and doesn’t let you go until the end.  My only disappointment was that I want to read more books about this character and this world.

I recommend this book. Plus you can find it on Kindle Unlimited if you are on that service. It’s a win-win for me.


Saturday Review – Strangely Familiar

strangely familiar I am one of those readers that really enjoys a mixed-genre story. A few years ago I really enjoyed Simon R. Green’s nightside series, of a man who would find the lost ones for you. It had a combinations of noir and fantasy.

Strangely Familiar  by Alma T. C. Boykin has that same taste when I started reading it. It dragged me through the pages and wouldn’t let me go. I was grateful it was a novella size because I might not have slept that night.

The story is about a young woman, who is a half-way house after stealing money for her drug addiction. She is cleaning up, but it is pretty hard. At the same time she meets a coatimundi, who is a mage’s familiar. This meeting throws her into the world of mages. Only mages and nulls had familiars– Leila Chan hadn’t known she had magic.

Now I was in Panama City, Panama for a few years and I have seen coatimundi, running in packs and disturbing neighborhoods. They will smash trash cans and pull metal off building and are as handy as raccoons.  They can be quite vicious. So I was very interested in Boykin’s representative of a coatimundi familiar.

The coatimundi in this story has a lot of patience to deal with a goth-girl who has drug and family issues. It didn’t detract from the story even though I knew the temperament of that animal.

All in all– I am banging my pen on the table for more stories in this world from Boykin.