Book Review: Dark Beneath The Moon by Sherry D. Ramsey

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Here I am, with my first book review of the year- woot woot! I should note this is more of a lighter/mini review. A few key points I enjoyed about the story.

So yes, I spent this weekend like any good weekend should be spent: curled up with a good book and snuggled up with a cat.

We all have authors that we just have to read. That author whose books we buy as soon as a new one hits a shelf. Sherry D. Ramsey is one of those authors for me. She writes a variety of genres, and I always find myself engrossed in the worlds she creates.

When I had my reading slump, that didn’t stop me from buying books and adding to my collection. Dark Beneath The Moon was one of the books taunting me to get out of my slump.

Here is the book blurb:

Luta Paixon has plenty of trouble on the Tane Ikai, with relationships in flux and the sticky problem of two captains on one ship. But when an alien artifact, the remnant of a long-ago war, shows up on the other side of a newly-discovered wormhole, the crew also find themselves pressed into the service of the Nearspace Protectorate. The Tane Ikai‘s task: covertly deliver an alien historian to the site to decipher its meaning—and possible threat.

Jahelia Sord is a woman with a grudge against the world, and against Luta Paixon and her family in particular. She has her own secrets to guard, and an alliance with the notorious PrimeCorp—one she’ll keep only as long as it suits her own hunt for vengeance.

When a mysterious attack leaves them stranded in an uncharted new system, Luta, her crew, and Jahelia must try to put their differences aside and decide who to trust, while they uncover a shocking truth about the Chron war and what their old enemies are so afraid of…

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This novel is the second in the Nearspace series, being the sequel to One’s Aspect To The Sun, which came out a few years ago.

While I am not typically a reader of sci-fi, I found myself hooked from the start and had a very hard time putting the book down.

I love all the characters, especially Captain Luta. She is a strong, kick ass, smart woman who leads her crew with confidence. She is also very stubborn, so I often found myself grumbling at her as I read. If only characters would listen to you, right?? 😉 All the characters have their own individual voice, flaws and strengths.

As far as the plot goes, like I said, I couldn’t put the book down. There was always something going on: new aliens, a mystery illness, a character with suspicious motives, and more. There was a lot going on, but the story flowed really well and nothing was confusing. I found it very engaging. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but I think this one is my favorite.

This book also introduced three new alien types. The Lobor ( a wolf-humanoid), the Chron and the Corvid (a crow-like being).  Each were unique in appearance, communication and technology. The Lobor is my favorite, I think, because it appeals to my supernatural side.

The third book, Beyond The Sentinel Stars, is now available.  Which is great because I so need to get my hands on it! 😉

If you like spacecrafts, aliens, adventure and unique characters, this series is for you.

What books have you read lately?

 

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January Wrap Up

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I started the year with a number of goals, wondering how far I would make it. i wondered how many of my goals I would keep working with. Today is the last day of the month and I am really happy with how things are going!

Writing: I was late in the game with this one but this past weekend I sat down and wrote 1100 words on my newest short story. This is for an anthology my writers group is putting together. i am really happy with how it is going, and I’m having fun with it.

Blogging: My goal was to write at least one new post a week, if not two. I am happy that I have been able to manage this so far. Thanks to my followers for sticking with me, and a big hello to those who found me this month! 🙂

Positivity challenge:  A big thing for me this year is to think better, and remind myself daily of something good. I have a journal and I write at least one good thing about my day or how I am feeling. I have kept up with it. My journal is on my coffee table and every evening after supper I sit and jot in a note.

The Book Pile: Again, I was late in the game with this one BUT the other night I sat down with Sherry D. Ramsey’s Dark Beneath The Moon. It is a sequel to her One’s Aspect to the Sun. It’s a sci-fi novel that features Luta Paixon, captain of the Tane Ikai, a woman in her 80’s but looks like she is in her 30’s. There is always one thing or another keeping her and her crew busy, both on and off the ship. I will be doing a review once I finish the book.

So, I am pretty happy with how the month is going. On a bonus note: another month under the belt until my husband comes home from working away. We have more then half of the time under us now, thank goodness.

How are your goals/resolutions going so far?

Why Every Writer Needs A Writers Group

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No matter if it is an online group or an in-person meeting, being in a writers group can help you out a lot. Joining my group was one of the best things I have ever done. I joined The Story Forge about fifteen years ago.

My group is laid back. We get that life happens and you can’t make it to every meeting or that you can’t get so many chapters written. There are also groups out there with more structure.

A Mixed Bag.  Our group has everyone from those who write for fun and for themselves, as well as published authors who are busy in the writing community. (Writers in schools programs, signings, readings etc…) We bounce around ideas and talk about various topics. We all also have different genres that interest us, from poetry to sci-fi and mainstream. Everyone has something to offer.

Support and Encouragement. I have left more than one meeting feeling inspired and ready to concur my current writing project. And on days I have felt like I want to give up, my friends help me realize that I am being crazy. If one of us is in the middle of something big or crazy, like NaNoWrimo, we encourage each other to keep going. Not every one in our daily life understands what a writer is feeling, but your writing friends always do and are there to back you up or give you a kick in the pants if needed.

You Learn A lot. My writing and editing skills have improved immensely since I started going to The Story Forge.  I also feel more confident when I critique someones work. While I am far from perfect, I enjoy helping others and feel I can help.

Brainstorming. Stuck with a plot? Need advice on a topic? Or maybe you are unsure if killing a character will help or hinder your story? Ask your writing buddies. They will give you feedback that you can mull over and help you figure out where to go next. Sometimes more brains are better than one.

Feedback. Finished a piece and need a second pair of eyes? Odds are someone will offer to read your work for you. The great thing about this is that they may see something you missed. When you read your own work umpteen times, you are going to miss the little things, or a problem you didn’t realized you had.

A Night Out. Writers tend to be solitary. Not always, but I am one of them. When I am not at work or out with friends, my favorite night in is curled up with hubby watching tv or with a book. It’s good to get out and talk with people who share your interests.

 

Where to find a group: Check your local library and ask a librarian. That’s how I learned about The Story Forge. You can also find them online like on Facebook. I belong to online groups as well, but meeting up in person gets you out of the house for an evening out, and you can make real life friends you can meet up with in between times. One of my friends is coming over tomorrow, for a coffee and a mini writing session. When all else fails, start your own! Put up a flyer at a local library or start your own online group.

How I have changed and benefited since joining my group: I have been published four times. (Soon to be a fifth…our group is putting an anthology together and the money made will go to our local library.) I have learned a lot about writing and improved so much. I have made some great friends; one of which was my matron of honor. I have become more confident and learned how to turn my inner critic off.

That’s just my take on it. I love my group so much and think every writer can benefit from having one.

Do you belong to a group? What is your favorite thing about it?

 

Plan of Attack: The Ever Growing ‘To Read’ Pile

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One of my new years goals was to read more. So far I am failing in that department, but mostly due to several migraines. I wouldn’t wish those on my worst enemy.

Anyway, as I grabbed something from my little office the other day, I started browsing my bookshelf. Those books won’t get read if they stay in there!

So I looked through them and picked out about fifteen books I have been anxious to get at. Then I cleared off my coffee table and laid them out.

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A variety of books to devour.

My plan is this: I can read only books on this table. One a book is read, it goes back on my shelf. I can’t add to the table until these books are all read.

I have a variety of books on here. The Walking Dead compendium is what Mr. C gave me at Christmas. The Nora Roberts on the top right is one my mom suggested to me. I have local authors, such as Sherry D. Ramsey and Hugh Macdonald’s ‘Trapper Boy’.

A lot of these books I wanted to read ages ago. I am finally going to get on it and catch up on my reading. Because the best place to go is in the pages of a good book.

I will do a review on them as I go as well.

What is on the top of your to read pile?

Flash Fiction, anyone?

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When I was younger, I was a fan of reading flash fiction. (Although at the time I didn’t know what it was called). I tried giving it a go, but since I have the gift of gab, even when I write, I could never master writing a very short fiction piece.

There is a talent needed, I think, to write an excellent piece of flash fiction. You have to tell a story, without leaving the reader wanting more, in a short space. You still have to have some plot and make the reader feel something towards what is happening and/or the character.

One of the many things I love about my writers group is that most of us write different genres, and we all have something to bring to the table. I love learning about what my writing friends are working on, and reading their works when they are comfortable to share.

One of my writing buddies, Devin Meaney, asked me to read a couple of his horror flash fiction pieces. And I absolutely loved his work! They were pretty much polished and I was very impressed. He has an excellent ability with weaving words into intriguing stories, and I suggested at some point he put an anthology of his work together. I think it would be a fantastic read.

His stories are on another blog, and if you would like to read them, you can check out A Light in Death as well as my personal fave, The Demon of Cortez. 

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

So, fellow writers, who else writes flash fiction? Care to share?

Reading And Depression Don’t Always Mix

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Reading and books have been an escape for me for as long as I can remember. No matter what was going on in my life, I could always turn to the soft pages of a good book. I would get lost in other worlds as I became other people.

No matter where I would go, I would have a book in hand. Last summer I would leave for work early so I could go sit by the water with the newest vampire novel, and stay there til the last possible minute.

Lately for me, that isn’t the case. I thought I was  alone until I read an article on depression and reading, over on Book Riot. Once I read it, I felt some relief.Someone out there was feeling the same way as I was.

Last year I talked about dealing with depression. Since then, I have seen my doc and I have been on medication for about five months now. I feel a lot better in a lot of ways, but not when it comes to reading.

It feels like that part of my brain, the part where my love of books and passion for the written word lives, is numb. Like somebody flicked a switch. Now I am trying to flick the switch back. But the fecking thing is stuck.

Not having the…mindset to read is a first for me. I don’t like it. It has also impacted my writing. I am happy knowing that I’m not the only one with this problem, but it is an awful one to have. I need to figure out how to get my reading groove back. Do I wait and hope that the meds will help, like the doctor said? Or is there something else I can do?

If you have dealt with reading and depression (or even writing and depression), comment below.

 

My Love Of Books And A Question To My Fellow Bookworms

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I’ve loved books all my life. Before my father passed away he told me how when I was about nine months old, if I was passed a book and it was backwards or upside down I would flip it right side up or turn it around.

I remember being three years old, mom or dad taking me to bed and being read to. And then asking for a second and third story.

When I was five I would sit for my oldest brother and tell him crazy stories about dragons and a princess and unicorns.

I remember the first word I ever read. I was in first grade and I ran off the bus yelling “Mom, I can read!!” I remember feeling so proud at being able to read the word “the”.

When I learned how to write I started putting my own words to paper and dreamed of being in a book. Seeing my very own story in print. In third grade my story (of a total of ten lines, I think) was picked to be published in a book called “Forever Friends”, which has stories from students in each grade, in schools across the province. And in high school another story, this one longer, was published.

I remember spending summers reading a box of books.

When my first short story was published in an anthology from Third Person Press, I was so proud of myself. Even though my dad can’t see what I have accomplished the last few years, he got to see me live my dream: my story in a book, and I got paid for it.

My point is, books and reading have been a part of my life for longer then I can remember. There is nothing I love more then diving into a new book. And so here is (finally, I know) my question:

What is your favorite quote about reading or books in general?

I am starting to focus on  my next tattoo. My first ink has meaning for me, and I plan to do that with each piece I get.

And it makes perfect sense to make my next one about my love of reading and the written word. There’s so many images and quotes to pick from. I think it will be an elaborate piece. So now the brainstorming has begun.

What is your favorite quote? If you were to get a tattoo reflecting your love of books (or even a certain book), what would it be? 🙂