Today I am so pleased to welcome RJ Theodore to Joyfully Jay. RJ has come to talk to us about her latest release, Flotsam. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Meet Sophie, an Engineer and a Dreamer

Flotsam begins a magical adventure through open skies, in which a scrappy group of outsiders takes a job to salvage some old ring from Peridot’s gravity-caught garbage layer and lands squarely in the middle of a plot to take over (and possibly destroy) what’s left of the already tormented planet.

It’s safe to say that the broken planet of Peridot wouldn’t be the same without its airships. With islands ranging in size from a province to ones barely big enough to park a chair on, the sailing vessels with their steam-filled lift systems are often the only way for a person—and trade goods—to get from one place to the next.

And the airships wouldn’t be the same without their engineers. When an engine stops working, the ship isn’t just at risk of floating adrift. A cold engine means a straight drop down to that garbage layer, and a quick-freezing death for the ship’s crew. That’s if the ravenous hoarbeasts don’t find them first.

So, it’s an understatement that the engineer who keeps things running must never go unappreciated!

Wind Sabre’s Captain Talis would brag that no one knows the workings of an airship like her engineer, Sophie. A young, freckled woman that Talis snatched up from a Cutter colony ship, Sophie has proven to be somewhat of a prodigy. Despite her youth, she has patents for gear and piston systems that take a ship built for a large crew, like Wind Sabre, and make it so a few competent shiphands can operate it from key stations.

When Sophie was hired by Talis and Dug to be Wind Sabre’s engineer, she not only looked forward to getting her hands on the carrack’s well-designed systems, but to what was beyond the ship’s railing as well: adventure. Talis had shared plenty of tales from her career so far—from her days in the service to her time as a mercenary and finally, settling down with Dug on a short sequence of smuggling ships until they could afford their own.

It wasn’t hard to sell Sophie on becoming part of a crew that would see more than boring cargo haul jobs. Which was lucky, as the captain of a stormwater trawler had been beating Talis’s financial offers in an attempt to steal Sophie away. But a routine commuter ship couldn’t compete with a promise of open skies and unlimited possibilities.

To Talis, an engineer like Sophie—scratch that, not just like Sophie but Sophie in particular—is as critical to the operation of her ship as its twin steam engines. It’s a source of tension between the two of them that Sophie doesn’t just want to maintain and upgrade as engineer of Wind Sabre for the rest of her career. She wants her own ship—wants to command it, too, so she never again has to hear the words “we can’t afford that repair just now, Soph”—and she’s designed a vessel herself, whole cloth, from the scuppers to the sails.

The patents she holds build her savings at a steady rate while she works on Wind Sabre for a cut of their profits, and soon there’ll be enough for a deposit on the grand design she’s been planning.

The more profitable Wind Sabre’s contracts, the closer Talis gets to losing her engineering prodigy. And in Flotsam, a very profitable contract has just come up.

Whenever Wind Sabre’s captain and engineer disagree about needed and costly repairs, what Talis is really arguing against—beyond filling the ship’s ledgers with red ink—is Sophie’s eventual departure. A departure that becomes more tempting to the young engineer every time they put off a repair or cut costs on a critical replacement part. Sophie doesn’t want to leave Wind Sabre or its crew, but what good is a ship that’s about to drop out of the sky? And what good is a captain that doesn’t take her expertise to heart?

Maybe it would help if Talis would admit that Sophie is more than an engineer; she’s a part of the family that Wind Sabre’s crew has become. But both captain and engineer are frustratingly stubborn, neither eager to admit their true feelings.

What they do agree on is that Wind Sabre’s crew needs a big contract to pay for the latest part in need of replacing. When the contract is for more than they bargain for, will Sophie stay with her found family, or will she finally visit the shipbuilder and commission a craft of her own?

Find out in Flotsam, Book One of the Peridot Shift, Second Edition, available now in digital and print from your favorite indie bookseller or online retailer.


flotsam coverCaptain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage, it seems like an easy payday. The job yields an ancient ring, a forbidden secret, and a host of deadly enemies.

Now on the run from cultists with powerful allies, Talis needs to unload the ring as quickly as possible. Her desperate search for a buyer and the fallout from her discovery leads to a planetary battle between a secret society, alien forces, and even the gods themselves.

Talis and her crew have just one desperate chance to make things right before their potential big score destroys them all.

Flotsam was originally released in March 2018. This exciting new edition has been re-edited and features a brand new cover from Julie Dillon. Readers with a strong memory for the original book should not expect significant changes that will confuse them going forward, but the new edition should be an improved experience for anyone picking it up for the first time.

Series Blurb:

On a planet cracked open by ancient magic, outlaws and pirates are the only ones with what it takes to save Peridot from its next apocalyptic threat.

Buy Links:


RJ Theodore bio photoR J Theodore is an author, graphic designer, podcaster, and all-around collector of creative endeavors and hobbies. She enjoys writing about magic-infused technologies, first contact events, and bioluminescing landscapes.

Her love of SFF storytelling developed through grabbing for anything-and-everything “unicorn” as a child, but she was subverted by tales of distant solar systems when her brother introduced her to Star Trek: The Next Generation at age seven. A few years later, Sailor Moon taught her stories can have both.

She lives in New England, haunted by her childhood cat. Find more information at


R J is giving away a $20 gift card to

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