This Weekend at Farpoint

Hello! This is just a short message to let you know that I’ll be at Farpoint Convention this weekend. Special guests from the Star Trek universe will be there and I’ll be on literary panels.

Here’s my schedule:

Sherri Cook Woosley

Tales Of Woe — And Healing – Friday 7:00 PM – Salon C

Book Fair – Friday 10:00 PM – Hunt Valley Foyer

Furry Familiars And The Like – Saturday 10:00 AM – Salon C (MOD)

Author Autographs (Stilwell/Woosley) – Saturday 1:00 PM – Author Autograph 1

Author Readings (Attico/Woosley) – Saturday 2:00 PM – Salon E

Building A Better World – Sunday 11:00 AM – Hunt Ballroom

Author Readings (Povey/Woosley) – Sunday NOON – Salon E

Setting As Character – Sunday 2:00 PM – Salon C (MOD)

Some more good news: I was honored to be nominated as an author and to have WALKING THROUGH FIRE nominated as best book by local author for the Baltimore Sun’s Readers’ Poll 2020. This would be really nice to brag about when I’m looking for a new publisher later this year, so please go to the People & Media section and VOTE. You can vote each day until March 6th.

And, (drum roll) I’ve finished a draft of the first part of GATES. To celebrate, here’s a snippet:

The Hotheads came around the corner, moving in uncoordinated motions. Tattered clothing hung off their emaciated bodies. Shuffling forward without apparent purpose, no handler in sight.  Used to be two men and a woman, based on clothing, although the bright red paint covered any distinguishing marks. They could be anyone. Or no one.
Just let them go. Scout’s voice pleaded inside her mind. They aren’t hurting anything.
Tamaki shook her head. She knew more than Scout did about this. And she also knew this was a test from the Alchemists. Deliberate or not, Nguyen would be reporting back to Gavin whatever happened in the next five minutes. Having her future threatened made Tamaki realize that she not only wanted to be an important part of the Alchemist’s future school, she wanted to be their candidate for the Council of gods. Maybe that was too ambitious, but it was what she wanted. It would take away the pain of her grandmother’s refusal to teach her. It would show everyone, objectively, that she deserved a place in power.
Nguyen looked at her. “Are you ready?”
“Yes.” Her voice was steady.
No, please no. Scout’s voice was frantic. Tamaki, remember what happened at Ekur Temple. Remember that this was your second chance.
It was her second chance. And she wasn’t going to screw it up.
Love,

Sherri

 

Book Review SONG OF BLOOD & STONE and SUPREMACY’S BOUNTY

Dear Friends,

All I want for Christmas (or Hanukkah or Winter Solstice) is more reviews of Walking Through Fire BECAUSE there is an urban legend among authors that if you have 50 reviews on Amazon then it jiggers the algorithm to show ads for your book. If I hit 50 then I’ll let you know.

I mean, also world peace and a solid Democratic party candidate and a plan for endangered species.

In the meantime, I’m going to post book reviews to hopefully help people with their holiday shopping. I’m not the most voracious reader because of the whole having kids and animals and a day job thing, but when I cast my mind back over the past year I thought of CHARM CITY SPEC in Baltimore and realized that’s been my reading list.

Gabe displays SONG OF BLOOD & STONE and SUPREMACY’S BOUNTY

First up is SONG OF BLOOD & STONE by L. Penelope. 

Genre: Fantasy, epic and romantic

Premise (back jacket copy): The kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar have been separated for centuries by the Mantle, a magical veil that has enforced a tremulous peace between the two lands. But now the Mantle is cracking and the True Father, ruler of Lagrimar and the most powerful Earthsinger in the world, finally sees a way into Elsira to seize power.

Jasminda has been branded an outcast by the color of her skin and her gift of Earthsong, but when a group of soldiers wander into her valley she learns from Jack, a spy, that their only hope to restore the Mantle lies in uncovering the secrets of the Queen Who Sleeps.

Who would love it? Me! I would love this book. Also, readers who enjoy world-building. Besides the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar, the world has a religious order of the Sisterhood and an anti-religious order of Dominionists, secret societies (Keepers of the Promise), academics from Fremia, etc.

Who else? Readers who love the blurring of traditional genre lines. Against a backdrop of what is 1920’s technology, the characters are worried about war, worried about duty to family, worried about loyalty. But the big questions of life are really the small, daily decisions and Penelope really explores what it means to love. That is, perhaps, my favorite part of this book. Jasminda and Jack, Benn and Ella, even Oola and Eero are wrestling with how to love another person, how to have boundaries, how to sacrifice and when not to…this is so real against the beautifully fantastic world sung into a novel.

Finally, this book would appeal to people who enjoy the “feel” of the Pern series or the Broken Earth series in terms of ancient secrets, advanced societies that made mistakes and then generations pass…and our characters have to figure out how the sins of the parents have created the current conflict.

Favorite character: Zaura nyl Herrsen

Would you like to meet her?

The radio hissed. “Lt. Ravel, this is Private Teraseen. The old woman got away.”

“Got away?”

“Yes, sir. She was here one minute and then she told me she needed the privy. I turned my back while she set off behind a tree, and the next thing I know, she’s stolen my vehicle and driven off. High tailed it out of here like a woman half her age. I’m sorry, sir.”

Final Thought: Book 1.5 is titled BREATH OF DUST & DAWN; Book 2 is titled WHISPERS OF SHADOW & FLAME

Next Book for review is: SUPREMACY’S BOUNTY by T. Eric Bakutis

Genre: science fiction, grimsnark and military

Premise (back jacket copy): “I just saved your life, cowboy. You owe me.”

As a feared and respected bounty hunter, Mackenzie Flores enjoys the finer things in life: a dependable rifle, a clean glass of dirty whisky, and a reputation that leaves her flush with contracts and the freedom to pick and choose her jobs. At least until the Supremacy blows up everything she owns and takes her girlfriend away.

To rescue the woman she loves, all Mackenzie has to do is take down three crime lords, one planet of super soldiers, and a human trafficking base on the moon. Fortunately, she has powerful armor and smart bullets. Unfortunately, they’ve all gone missing.

Who would love it? Me! Okay. Maybe you predicted that, but I got to read an advance copy and I emailed the author in the middle because I couldn’t STAND it. I had to talk about what was happening. This story is that jerky roller coaster at Hershey park. The one that puts a crick in your neck even before you take the first hill. It’s nail-biting exciting and I finished it in two days because there is no place to stop. Seriously. Every scene is rushing your forward to a new, bigger disaster, but you can’t stop rooting for Mack.

Techies. Look, I’m a luddite, but the introduction of new weapons and technology did not slow down the story in any way. Nor was it incomprehensible. Somehow the author manages that fine balance of having the tech add to the story in a way that makes the reader complicit. I’m biting back a spoiler right now so PLEASE read this so we can discuss.

Readers who like to be messed with. Look, the author does that thing where he jerks you back and forth in time. (The Mousetrap, remember?) and IT WORKS as a device because you think maybe things will turn out differently if you don’t look away.

Those who like heist narratives. Who like not knowing who to trust. Who like hidden motivations and double crosses and simple contracts that turn out to be verrrrry complicated.

Favorite character: Jinx

Jinx was her support, communications, and tech expert, and she was sitting in a warm shuttle a half klick into the forest. “Alarms disabled, camera feeds cloned, comms monitored. Is there a problem?”

(spoiler: there IS a problem) (Second spoiler: this is the first page.)

Final Thought: This is a stand-alone book, but is in the DUELING PLANETS universe along with Supremacy’s Shadow)

DEBUT

Writing-wise I’ve hit some milestones this year.

  1. I became an associate member of SFWA (science fiction writers of America)
  2. I had three short stories published in semi-pro or pro magazines: “Breakage”, “The Boy from Omran”, and “A Quick Getaway.”

    Tethys Issue of Pantheon Magazine. My story “The Boy from Omran” is available to read for free at http://www.pantheonmag.com

  3. I’ll be at author events September – December and……….(Drum Roll)
  4. My book, Walking Through Fire, is finally out in the world. Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy! We get to have fun now! Last night was firestorm yoga and the audience was as silly as I was — we had a lot of laughs as I led a class with poses modified to reflect the story in Walking Through Fire. The next event is Friday the 14th at Barnes and Noble in Bel Air, Maryland. And, on September 18th we will have a PARTY at Julie Ellyn Designs on Main Street in Bel Air. Special cupcakes, you ask? Maaayyybe.
  5. All events have details here.

Now, I need you to do one more thing: If you liked Walking Through Fire then please, please, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Even just rating with stars gets the Amazon AI to recognize traffic and then boosts the page higher on a search results list.

We are getting noticed, though. Check out this review from Fantasy Hive.  AND, I have an interview with S. H. Harrison. And, I have a video chat with The Richard Wilmore Show.

Thank you to everyone who is helping my dream become reality,

Love,

Sherri

 

Cover Reveal

Hello, Friends. It’s been…a chaotic couple of months, but I wanted to focus on some positive news. Would you like to see the amazing cover for my debut novel, Walking Through Fire?

I love this. We have Rachel and Adam standing in front of downtown Baltimore and a dragon in the flames overhead. Everything I wanted.

I have some other BIG news. My novel releases September 4th, 2018, BUT IT IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Talos Press

I’ll have more news soon.

Love,

Sherri