Friday, February 24, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: One Giant Leap by Ben Gartner @BGartnerWriting @GoddessFish

One Giant Leap

by Ben Gartner

GENRE: Middle Grade, Hard Science Fiction, Action, Adventure


"I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half."

Blast off with the four winners of the StellarKid Project on a trip to the International Space Station and then to the Gateway outpost orbiting the Moon! It’s a dream come true until space junk collides with the ISS, turning their epic trip into a nightmare of survival. Alone aboard the Aether starship, the kids have to work as a team to save the adults before the ISS is destroyed. Suit up, cadet, and launch into adventure with One Giant Leap!

Available in paperback, hardback, and ebook everywhere books are sold.

Purchase One Giant Leap on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Local, and Everywhere Else


I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half.

The frayed end of my tether whips around like a lasso as I flip front over back and sideways.

I see the long blue smear of Earth hurtling past. The silver hull of my ship, the Aether, whizzes by in a blur before I gasp at the once-glorious International Space Station. Now, just wreckage. The ISS spits pieces that twinkle in the sunlight. Sparks sizzle and blink against the black backdrop of the endless universe.

My spin continues until all I can see is the void of deep space, punctured by bright pinpricks of gaseous stars millions of light-years away.

The horizon of Earth again, with its clouds and land and water. Home.

The shiny tube of my ship, the Aether. It’s. So. Close. And yet, it can’t save me.

The ISS, Earth, the Aether, and here we go again on this terrible merry-go-round— You get the picture. It’s not good. I close my eyes.

I’m tumbling, and I think I’m squirting oxygen from my life-support backpack, which isn’t helping my somersaults. My suit is losing pressure. At least that’s what I guess is causing the fuzz in my brain. It’s hard to think. My vision is narrowing, dimming, like I’m about to wink away.

And the thing that I think is actually going to kill me? Water is leaking from somewhere inside my suit. Quickly it builds up and clings to my face like a wet rag. It’s a film over my eyes, it plugs my nose, and it slides into my mouth like alien slime whenever I try to cough. I shake my head violently to jiggle the liquid free, so hard that a nerve cries out in my neck. The head-whip kinda works, and I’m able to suck in a tiny breath. I choke down some water and, though the idea sounds ludicrous, I think, Am I going to drown . . . in space?

At this point, you might be asking, “What is a twelve-year-old doing in space?”

And I’d say, “That’s what you’re worried about? Not that I’m going to die?!”

It’s cool. Let me answer both questions. Why I’m one of the first kids in space, and how I ended up in this mess, adrift from my craft and about to become a permanent orbiting satellite. If I don’t plunge into the atmosphere and burn up first.

I’ll pause my death scene to explain a bit about how I got here. Because that’s a thing, right? Aren’t you curious how I got into this impossible quagmire? It’s a pretty amazing story. And 100 percent true.

The books I tend to enjoy reading are about kids being brave, or learning how to be, and I’d like to tell you this is one of those. But I’m not feeling it right now.

To be fair, in those books the kids are fighting fantasy monsters that disappear into dust when you stab them, or they’re in a simulation, or a video game, or you kind of know everything’s going to be all right, right? It’s fake danger.

This story is different. This one’s real. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive this. Adrift in space with my oxygen running low, all alone, spinning uncontrollably, a water leak in my suit threatening to drown me.

It all started innocently enough when a harmless package arrived in the mail . . .

Interview with Ben Gartner, author of One Giant Leap

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    I’ve always had my head in the clouds, so going into space was a natural leap. Fortunately for me, I have a son who really got into astronomy and learning about the myriad aspects of space travel, the Moon, Mars, and our solar system in general, even our galaxy and beyond. So that has been an immense pleasure to learn alongside him and contemplate the mind-blowing facts and hard-to-grasp concepts about our place in the universe.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    First and foremost, I find that I get most excited about writing books that will be fun to read, that are fast-paced with lots of action and adventure and intrigue. Books I liked to read as a kid (and still do!). But I also wanted to educate a little about space travel, the risks, challenges, and why it’s worth it. So, there’s some of that too. And I also wanted to nest in some emotional wisdom to speak to my younger self, my young readers, and even my own kids.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The writing wasn’t so hard. It’s always the finding enough time that’s the hard part. Being a good dad, husband, and employee are all very important. Plus, I gotta make sure there’s some time for the gym, some “me” time, etc. Writing is important in there too. We all have these challenges; I know I’m not unique in that.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    The learning! The action! I loved learning so much about the ISS and the Artemis missions. And I loved letting my mind suck me into the action. ‘Tis great fun.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    Yes. In one, for example, the kids turn back to Earth after the issues with the ISS. But that felt half-baked and a disappointment since their whole mission was to get to the Gateway outpost orbiting the Moon and drop off the two Mission Specialists. After some alpha feedback, I made the hard-fought changes and I’m glad it turned out the way it did!

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    I met some very kind folks in the space industry, both private and public. Many people at NASA were very kind to write me back. One PhD from the Air & Space Museum was an alpha reader and provided valuable feedback on an early draft. They can’t officially endorse a book like this, but they were very supportive and helpful. I also met private industry machinists who worked on the wheels for the Perseverance rover and are actively working on a satellite. Fascinating, very detailed work.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    To this, I usually say “most genres.” I’d say I most enjoy books that keep me turning pages and that might teach me a little something in the meantime, either factually or emotionally. I mostly read fiction, but intersperse a good nonfiction or biography in there every few books. Just like writing, I wish I had more time for reading!


Thank you for having me on your blog! If people want to learn more about my books, they can check out my website at I’m also active on Twitter and Instagram at @BGartnerWriting.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of adventure books for middle graders. His stories take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something on the journey. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Connect with Ben Gartner




$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt and cover.

Ben Gartner said...

Thank you for helping me close out this blog tour!

Sherry said...

Sounds really good.

Bea LaRocca said...

Happy Friday! Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and book details, I hope that you have enjoyed your book tour as much as I have enjoyed reading about you and your work throughout this tour. One Giant Leap sounds like an awesome book and I am looking forward to reading it with my teen-aged grandchildren. Have a great weekend!