Monday, November 14, 2011

Yearly Budget Time

Every year about this time the county has their annual budget submissions/decisions. So, in Superior Court we always have a department provided pizza lunch and the news/numbers are given to the staff. With the state and county budget shortfalls, everybody's been hit hard. We've been pretty lucky so far.

Last Friday we received notice we had a mandatory 8:00 a.m. all staff meeting this morning. Well, that set off alarms for me. When something happens that's out of the norm, I take notice. I tried really hard not to worry over the weekend and just wait for the actual news. It really is easier problem solving the ultimate issue in question.

So I walked into the meeting room this morning, and there were homemade rolls and sweetbread. Good sign. Health care contributions went up, no cost of living raise (I don't care) but NO jobs were cut!!! I'm so thankful. I have been blessed in my life, and I will never take my job for granted again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Outer Rim by Alexis Martin


I've always wondered about space, what it would be like to fly in a spaceship and if there is life on other planets. I got a sneak preview to both questions in THE OUTER RIM.

Captain Tyvan Sheppard's ship is attacked by a Turian vessel in the Helios system. The AI program on board steers his ship toward the planet Urtopia, giving Tyvan his best chance to stay alive.

Tyvan survives the crash landing. When he awakes, he is being tended by a blue alien female. Through some gesturing, Tyvan discovers the alien is named Anaki. He's shocked to learn there's life on Urtopia, and pleasantly surprised Anaki is quite intelligent. He is healed miraculously fast by her medicine and treatment. In a short amount of time together, she learns his language just as quickly.

Urtopia becomes Tyvan's only existence. Without any way of communicating with the outside worlds, he adapts to his new way of life. His attraction to Anaki grows, and soon he realizes his feelings are deeper than he thought possible. When he discovers there are different species of beings on Urtopia, Tyvan's new life and love is threatened.

Chloe Jones is Tyven's lover. When General Braxton delivers the news of Tyvan's death, she's devastated. An investigation into Tyvan's disappearance is started by Glenn Mathias, a young Federation officer. His questions cause Chloe to suspect General Braxton is hiding information about the crash.

She finagles her way onto the team boarding a ship headed to Urtopia to discover what really happened to Tyvan. During the journey to Urtopia, she and Glenn become lovers. When they're kidnapped, they realize their investigation threatens a mining corporation's profits. They're sold to a faction on Urtopia and must find a way to save themselves or become victims of corporate greed.

Ms Martin's depiction of a future still ruled by money, power and a race for natural resources struck true. Political maneuvering between species would be expected, and I was not disappointed.

I loved the description of Urtopia and the way the planet came to life on the page. The animals and new species are creative and interesting. Tyvan's character adjusted well to his changed circumstances, and I enjoyed the humorous interaction between him and Anaki.

Chloe's character was more difficult for me to like. She grieved Tyven for a whole afternoon before she decides to go to dinner with General Braxton. He's not her type, but he's powerful and they have a sexual encounter. Then she falls for Glenn and immediately puts his life in danger by making rash, selfish decisions. Thankfully, she redeemed herself at the end of the story. You know the saying: All's well that ends well!

So if you'd like to take a quick jaunt through the galaxy, visit a new planet, and enjoy some wicked hot space sex, look for THE OUTER RIM and enjoy the ride!

Rating:  3 stars

*Review originally written for The Romance Reviews
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