Book Review: Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure by Sherry Ramsey

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Last week I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure. 

About the book: 

Robots don’t always know best!

When a meteorite storm wreaks havoc on their family’s cargo ship, sort-of-twins Rudi and Trudy find themselves stranded on an alien planet. In their search for help, they uncover a fiendish plot against the friendly and mysterious alien critters the twins call “fleeps.” With only an overprotective robot for company, can they survive on their own, find their parents, and save the fleeps from a horrible fate?

Action-packed adventure science fiction for kids of all ages!

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The first thing I have to say about this book is that it really is a book for kids of all ages-including the big ones! While this is for school children, I found myself engrossed in the story and I wished there were stories like this when I was a kid. While I enjoy sci-fi movies, they aren’t usually my first picks when it comes to reading. If I had read books like this when I was younger, I think my love for science fiction would be greater. I think of this story as “sci-fi jr”.

It has a great mix of adventure, science, humor and action.

Planet Fleep is well written and focuses on three unique characters: Rudi and Trudy are siblings and “sort of twins”, who both have a passion for science. They each have their own specialty. One is more for nature while they other is more for gadgets. Then there is BIFT, an over protective robot who is doing his best to do his job: protect the kids and teach them. He has a human-like personality, which gets on the kids nerves-especially when he is overprotective.

The kids might be ‘science nerds’ but they are typical kids. They get scared, annoyed, and stubborn. In the beginning Rudi is hiding away from his family in the cargo pod, to play his game alone and in peace. It isn’t long before his sister Trudy comes along. Their ship, The Starchaser,  enters a meteor shower and in the midst of it the cargo pod is disengaged from the ship, where it crashes on a nearby planet.

The kids have been separated from their parents, and need to find a way to contact them. While exploring, they find a gerbil-like creature, which Rudi immediately loves. They set out to explore and in the meantime discover that the creatures, which they have called Fleeps, are in danger.

This story is action-packed. The kids and BIFT don’t have it easy. They need to work together and use their smarts to save the Fleeps and find their parents.

As for kids reading this: I think not only will it help them love science fiction and get them reading, it teaches valuable lessons. Like the importance of team work, bravery, kindness and thinking about something beyond yourself.

This grown-up kid is really looking forward to what Rudi, Trudy and BIFT get into in their next adventure!

If you want to pre-order this little adventure, you can find it at: Amazon.

 

 

 

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Author Interview with Sherry D. Ramsey

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I am thrilled that my next author interview is with my friend and best selling author Sherry D. Ramsey! I have reviewed some of her books in the past and will be again soon enough. Right now I am reading her collection of short stories, The Apprentice Files. 

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Sci-fi and fantasy author Sherry D. Ramsey.

Me: Hey Sherry! Thanks so much for stopping by! So let’s get to it! For anyone who hasn’t read your Nearspace series, what can you tell us about it?

SD: Well, the series is set about 250 years in the future, and in that future we’ve expanded through space through the use of wormhole travel. So there’s lots of spaceships and aliens and other worlds. 🙂 But it’s also about a woman, Luta, who is in her 80’s, but hasn’t aged physically past about 30, and she doesn’t know why. This non-aging has a profound affect on her relationships, and she’d like to understand it and what it means. She thinks it might have something to do with her mother, who was a genetic researcher, but disappeared when Luta was around 14. There’s also the corporation her mother worked for, who thinks they might have a proprietary interest in whatever’s making Luta the way she is. The series starts in One’s Aspect to the Sun with Luta’s search for answers, and different story threads carry on to other books in the series.

Me: I have loved these books and I plan to get book three soon! One’s Aspect to the Sun recently hit the bestseller list! How exciting is that!?

SD: It was pretty exciting! I have a lot of screenshots saved to my computer as it rose up the charts! And I’ve had some really lovely new reviews of both that book and the series lately. They are always nice to see because it means someone genuinely enjoyed the story.

Me: I would have screenshots too! 🙂 That’s awesome, I am really happy for you! Your third book in the Nearspace series, Beyond the Sentinel Stars, came out late last year. Do you plan to go beyond book 3? Or keep it as a trilogy?

SD: I’m actually working on a fourth book in the series right now. I do try to keep them standalone to some extent–no real cliffhangers–but people who like series will also enjoy a sense of continuity throughout the books, I think. This one takes place about a year after the end of Sentinel Stars.

Me: Oh that is awesome! *writes down another book on the To Read list*  So I am curious, which character has been your favorite to write? Why?

SD: Ooh, that’s a really tough one. If we’re moving outside the Nearspace books, there are two characters who were just super fun to write. One was a talking cat in The Seventh Crow, because she gained the ability to talk by accident and really didn’t want it. She has a very prickly and sarcastic voice and she doesn’t have much patience with humans. The other, coincidentally, is also a talking animal, a goose from The Murder Prophet. He’s fun because he also has a very distinct personality, kind of goofy and easily excitable. It’s interesting to channel him and try to stay true to his character. He plays a large role in the next book in that series, which I’m working on concurrently with a few other projects, so it’s fun to see him grow and change but still keep those essential personality traits.

Me: Those characters were funny! You have a way with talking animals 😉 What does your writing area look like?

SD: I’m very lucky to have my own office at home. It’s not terribly large, but it holds a sitting desk and a treadmill desk, and a lot of books and plants. A lot of artwork on the walls and too much paper in general! Probably also too many bits and bobs and little writing talismans. I guess it reflects my mind–usually too cluttered up with too many things! But it’s my own sanctuary and I really appreciate having it. There’s one extra chair for someone to visit me and also a door I can close. Both very important!

Me: Yes both are important. It’s great when you can have your own little writing sanctuary. You have both novels and short stories published. Which do you prefer to write?

SD: That’s also a tough question. I like the compactness and focus of short stories, and of course the lesser demand on writing time to finish one. But I find it difficult to write very short pieces–my stories only rarely come in under five thousand words or so. Novels allow for much greater exploration of ideas and complexity, and character development over time, so they’re great to stretch those creative muscles. I’m starting to think my very favorite length to write is novelette/novella. You can get a little more complex than in a short story, but still write them fairly quickly. Sadly, there’s a much smaller market in traditional publishing for those lengths.

Me: Seems I have a knack for asking the hard questions. 😉  You write sci-fi and fantasy. Which one is your favorite to write?

SD: Lately I lean more toward sci-fi and urban fantasy than other flavours of fantasy. I’ll write in any of the speculative genres if I get an idea that fits, though. Even horror, occasionally.

Me: If you were going to be stranded on an island, which 3 books would you want to have with you?

SD: Well, these days I’d just have my ereader, loaded up with enough to keep me going for a long time! But to choose three…difficult. And I could give you a different answer tomorrow. But today I’d choose To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Hopefully I won’t be stranded for too long…

Me: I know, it isn’t easy for book nerds to choose their three fave books. Mine would also change on a daily basis. I know you are a creative person. What sorts of creative projects do you do when you aren’t writing?

SD: I like fiber arts, like knitting and crochet, as well as machine embroidery and sewing. In the past I’ve made wire and bead jewelry, although I haven’t done much with that lately. I can’t wait for spring to get out in my garden, which might not strike some as creative, but I think it is. And I mess around with various forms of art, on and off the computer. My approach to creative or crafty things is basically that I’ll give anything a try. 🙂

Me: Can you tell us a little something about what are you working on right now?

SD: I’ve just finished up a new novelette in my Olympia Investigations series (urban fantasy) called “Dead Hungry,” which will release on the 15th of April. I’m juggling the fourth Nearspace book, a paranormal romance (a genre I haven’t written before), another urban fantasy novel and a couple of short stories. That sounds like too much, I know. But that seems to be how I work!

Thanks so much again for stopping by for a chat! You are welcome to pop by anytime!

*

Sherry D. Ramsey is a speculative fiction writer, editor, publisher, creativity addict and self-confessed internet geek. When she’s not writing, she makes jewelry, gardens, hones her creative procrastination skills on social media, and consumes far more coffee and chocolate than is likely good for her.

Her books include the middle-grade fantasy, The Seventh Crow; three books in the Nearspace series, One’s Aspect to the Sun, Dark Beneath the Moon, and Beyond the Sentinel Stars; the urban fantasy/mystery The Murder Prophet; and two short story collections. With her partners at Third Person Press she has co-edited six anthologies of regional short fiction and a first novel. Every November she disappears into the strange realm of National Novel Writing Month and emerges gasping at the end, clutching something resembling a novel.

A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Writer’s Council, Sherry is also a past Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of SF Canada, Canada’s national association for Speculative Fiction Professionals.

You can visit Sherry online at www.sherrydramsey.com to find free stories and more,  connect on Facebook  and keep up with her much more pithy musings and glimpses into her life on Twitter and Instagram @sdramsey.

 

 

 

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?

 

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?

From The Book Pile: The Seventh Crow

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Nothing says I am back in the book realm like staying up until 2 a.m reading a book. I am back in my reading groove and it is thanks to this novel by Sherry D. Ramsey, which is published by Dreaming Robot Press.

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This YA novel is great for tweens and adults.

 

I bought this book about a year and a half ago when it first came out. I was very excited to get it and start reading it. But thanks to my reading slump, it never happened until this past week. (Tsk tsk, I know).

Tuesday night I stayed up until 2 a.m, because like any bookworm knows, it is hard to put a good book down. The following day after work, I ate supper and sat down to finish it. I suffered through heavy lids (gee, I wonder why I was so tired 😉 ) in order to finish it because I JUST HAD TOO.

This is a blurb about The Seventh Crow:

When you can’t remember most of your life, you’d better be prepared for anything. The day a talking crow meets her on the way home from school, fourteen-year-old Rosinda is plunged into a forgotten world filled with startling revelations: magic ability flows in her veins, she’s most comfortable with a sword in her hand, and the responsibility for finding a missing prince rests solely with her.

While dark forces hover in the background and four forgotten war gods from Earth’s past plot to reclaim long-lost power, Rosinda struggles with waves of slowly-returning memories as she searches for clues about her past and the true identity of her family; a search that takes her back and forth between two worlds. In a race against time to recover her memory, find the prince, and rescue her loved ones, Rosinda has only her friend Jerrell and an unusual trio of animals as companions. And as the gods prepare to bring her world to war, Rosinda is unaware that the shadow of betrayal lurks within one whom she trusts the most…

If you are a person who loves magic, quests, adventure, secrets, kick ass girls, talking animals, fantasy, then this novel is for you! Seriously, get it now. I fell in love with the characters and I hope that someday there will be a sequel.

After finishing it, I mulled it over for sometime. Thinking of what Rosinda would do next, wondering what her companions would be like were they to stay by her side. I spent the rest of the evening thinking about this and other things. The story stuck with me.

One aspect I loved was that the story line was fast paced. I love fantasy but often the books I pick out drag on. I stay with them because between all the pages of scenery description there are wonderful fun moments. With The Seventh Crow, I wasn’t bored.  It is just the perfect kind of fantasy for me to read.

As much as I love a good plot, I am very character driven. These characters were all unique in their own way, and all played a part. I especially loved Rosinda. If you read this novel, you will too. Trust me.

 

A Little Writing Inspiration and A Contest

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My great friend and writing buddy Sherry D. Ramsey has her own blog and writing news letter. This month she talks about Nanowrimo and she is also having a really cool little contest!

So if you want to check it all out, you can find it all right here!

The contest is helping her name a character in her next Nanowrimo novel. I know I will be entering the contest, just for the hell of it! 😀

A lot of people wonder what, if anything, can be done with a Nanowrimo novel. Some people think you can’t produce anything good during the month. (It’s called editing, people. Besides, any first draft is crap).

Sherry was a guest blogger and talks about having her Nano works published, and how Nanowrimo helped her. Check out her read over here.

Happy Saturday!!!

Book Release!

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I am feeling pretty pumped tonight. This evening was the book launch for ‘Flashpoint’, which features my newest short story titled ‘Fever’.

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Here I am holding a copy of the book 🙂 It was great to get it into my hands! There’s a bit of a thrill that I get when I see my name on the back of a book, and open the pages to find the story I created in it. Almost like I’m a real author or something 😉

The launch started off with a reading from one of the other contributors. I was growing anxious, since I had been asked to do a reading as well. The last time I had done a reading was for a very small group several years ago. And the time before that, I was in high school. As nervous as I was, I was really honored I had been asked to take part. I think it is especially awesome since I have been in all four of the elements anthologies. And here I was, about to do my first big reading.

Julie (fellow writer/editor/and one of my publishers), was up at the podium next to introduce me. *gulp* What she had to say was pretty cool, so I asked her for the paper afterwards. As she read my intro, I took a deep breath and gave a fist bump to my bestie who sat next to me. Mr.C gave me a pat on the leg.

Here’s some of what Julie had to say: “…she lives with her fiance, with whom she shares a passion for all things “con”. She will be reading from her story ,’Fever’, which continues the saga of Quinn and Lily.” “-and Kerry has developed a following for her unusual and heroic lovers. Their romance has many aspects of typical romance, but with some notable exceptions. Lily likely spends less time arguing with Quinn about whose turn it is to cook supper, and more time getting mad at him for spilling his glass of blood on her white table cloth, yet again.”

I thought this was really cool. She made it personal and also included my characters, which have been in all four anthologies. (And a following?! So that makes, 2 fans now? 😉 )

I got up, took another breath, and read the first scene from my story. I felt like a train wreak but was told afterwards how calm I came off. Sweet! I was even told “I’m going to have nightmares thanks to you. I can’t wait to get home and finish reading your story!” (I guess the blood part got to her. Cool! 😛 )

After I was finished, there was a break for refreshments. I had my copy signed and also signing books for others. (AKA my fifteen minutes of fame.) There were two more authors to read, including my long time friend, Sherry Ramsey.

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Sherry read from her self published novel, ‘The Murder Prophet.’ It’s on the top of my 2015 to-read book pile. (Work and the holidays cut into my reading time, how sucky is that!?) Sherry  is one hell of a writer, an amazing friend, and a kick ass editor and publisher. I feel lucky to have worked with the women of Third Person Press for all of these anthologies. Every time I submit something, I anxiously await to hear if I am accepted or not. And when I have been accepted, they work with me to further polish the story. They have been patient and put up with texts and phone calls. They have made me a better writer and I am proud to also be able to call them friends.

So that’s the gist of my evening. Once I did my reading I was able to relax and mingle. I’m not sure what the future has in store for me as far as more publishing news go, but I do hope that this isn’t my last book launch!