Seattle Specific Saturdays: The Tomato Battle




mms_img947815491  mms_img2017658410 mms_img-1548784470

Should you go to a tomato battle? The short answer: no. The long answer: if you don’t mind getting pelted in the face (ears, nose, cheeks, eyes, hair) and having dried fermenting/rotting tomato pieces all over your skin and hair, then maybe you might like the tomato battle.

Breakdown by:

price – The tomato battle started out around $29 for pre-registering. The price went up from there to end around $52 (day of). Then Groupon swooped in with a reduced price ($35). Even $29 is too much for this event. $29 is better spent at the ipic in Redmond or a live show at Laughs or The Village Theatre in Issaquah.

Time/Day/Date – This Battle fell on a boring Saturday (not much else going on) except for the fact that the weather kicked it up a gear and a full on windstorm was raging in the Seattle area. There were only around 500 people at the event (the website said 5,000 participants). The timing during the day was great, after lunch and before dinner. In the middle of any other thing you would have going on. Event started at 1PM. My buddies pictured above and below and I headed down to Seattle after 1PM and had an excellent meal at Pyramid Ale House (surprisingly no wait time) and meandered around back around 3:30PM in time to grab another beer/wine, check out the costume contest, chill and chat and spectate, and dance to a few songs.

Other entertainment – The music was not loud enough. The costume contest was rather lame (anything voted on by the audience who are somewhat drunk and non-serious is always, always super lame). The “beer” pong was impossible with the wind. I would not suggest showing up more than an hour before the battle as you will be impossibly anxious sitting (no seats so you’re standing) around waiting for the start time of the main event. I was glad that there was wine as well as beer for sale in the battle area.

Location – Pyrmaid Alehouse was a great central location in Seattle. There was plenty of cheap parking nearby (We paid $5). The alehouse was accommodating for our lunch date before the battle.


Would I do it again? No.

Would I do it had I known all this before? Probably. It’s a one time gotta do it type thing. Like skydiving… Who does that more than once?

Disneyland and Business


I went to Disneyland last weekend! Jealous?

Day one at Disneyland:  unnamed (11) unnamed (10) unnamed (6) unnamed (9) unnamed (8) unnamed (7)


Day two at Paradise Pier for QA training: unnamed unnamed (1) unnamed (2)


Day three at Paradise Pier for QA training: unnamed (3) unnamed (4)


Day four, traveling home: unnamed (5)



As soon as I got into the park on Sunday (around 9:30 AM) I snagged a fast pass for Space Mountain (11:55-12:55 return time). Then headed over to Splash Mountain, waited two minutes in the Single Rider line and hopped in. Not like I remembered, the ride was stopped multiple times in the middle due to “log jams up ahead” which really killed the mood. The same ‘log jam’ happened during the Haunted Mansion, which I hit up next due to short estimated wait time. Pirates of the Caribbean was next and it was ho hum. It was about time to use my fast pass! Zoom near the front of the line with only a twenty versus seventy minute wait time (thanks fast pass!). Space Mountain is THE BEST ride at Disneyland and I highly recommend doing it more than once. I finished my day by Single Riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds (not worth a wait over 10 minutes), Star Tours (the only ride that made me feel nauseous) and Indian Jones.

Local Event: Destination Staycation at the AFK Renton, WA June 27



8 local independent authors come together for one event. Selling and signing books all afternoon and evening.
AJ Downey, Sechin Tower, Lee French, Connie Jasperson, Lindsay Schopfer, Stephen Matlock, David Moore and Jeffrey Cook are the featured authors this time around.

at 2:00pm – 9:00pm
AFK Elixirs & Eatery

3750 E Valley Rd, Renton, Washington 98055
I’m excited to see some authors I’ve been reading and meet some new ones! Who’s coming down for burgers, beers, and/or books???

Maple Valley Days!

What are you up to this weekend?

I hope you’re coming down to Maple Valley to support FreeValley Publishing at Maple Valley Days and get some great books!


Maple Valley Days
06/12/15 – 06/14/15
Cost: Free

More Info

FreeValley Publishing will host a booth at the 2015 Maple Valley Days from June 12-14, 2015. Come visit the FVP booth and check out other Maple Valley local favorite vendors.

DSC_0112 DSC_0115 DSC_0109 DSC_0106

Save the Date! May 27th – Bard & Starlet Radio Hour Boxley’s North Bend

FreeValley Publishing is proud to present, Bard & Starlet Radio Hour – Live on stage May 27th at Boxley’s Jazz Club in North Bend, WA



Scenes by six of our authors will be performed by actors on stage in a style reminiscent of old radio plays…Kind of like your voice-acted audio book comes to life before your eyes!

Produced by Sheri J. Kennedy and FreeValley Publishing
Directed by Michael Renney
Starring Dylan Cook, Michael Renney, FVP Authors and more…

Be sure not to miss this exciting community event! Free Admission at Boxley’s Jazz Club. We recommend enjoying Boxley’s dinner, snacks and/or cocktails – they’re delicious!

St. James Espresso has New Books by Local Authors!

unnamed (1)


Anywhere near Kirkland, WA and need a good book or some great coffee? You can get some books by local authors and coffee at a local shop at St. James Espresso.

I was also at last Saturday’s Release Party for Jeffrey Cook’s Third Dawn of Steam novel, the anthology Sound and Fury he has a story in, and AJ Downey’s newest release in her series.


As both a reader and a writer I absolutely love these types of physical meet and greet and eat events. You can have one on one conversations with real writers and get signed copies of books (of which I did both). Thanks A.J. Downey, Jeffrey Cook, and the AFK for this lovely event last Saturday, can’t wait for the next author event at the AFK coming up in June.

Super Scavenger Hunt Saturday Night

How to make a super scavenger hunt:

1. Figure out your locations (I chose five) and create clues

2. Optional (make a book to include all the clues that can be used as a memento when the hunt is over)

3. Put the clues in place (mine were pictures taken at the clue sites with some of the geo-coordinates needed to find the final destination written on the backs of the clues)

4. Wait for the right moment…. unleash the scavenger hunt

unnamed (22) unnamed (5) Clue/Stop 1: Woodinville Costco

unnamed (25) unnamed (9) Clue/Stop 2: Kirkland Marina

unnamed (24) unnamed (10) Clue/Stop 3: St. James Espresso in Kirkland

unnamed unnamed (6) Clue/Stop 4: Downtown Bellevue Park

paul present unnamed (7) Clue/Stop 5: Dock at Lake Boren

unnamed (3) unnamed (8) Final Destination: Shari’s in Renton

unnamed (1) cake Take a look at the final prize!


Norwescon is still going on, hop on down to get your FreeValley Publishing or Sechin Tower or Jolene Loraine’s books at our booth in the Dealer’s Room.

norwescon-1 norwescon-6 norwescon-2-rachel norwescon-5


Previous four photos courtesy of Kennedy J. Quinn, author of SECRET ORDER OF THE OVERWORLD


Did you see me at con? … Probably not because this is what I looked like.



You still can’t see me?

Seattle Specific Saturdays: Tacoma Release Party for FAIREST by MARISSA MEYER

I believe that I’m a Lunartic (am I using that correctly?) I absolutely love Marissa Meyer and have read everything she has read that’s available. She is my newly won favorite YA author and she is brilliant and I met her this past Tuesday…

fairestrelease012715 (3)

It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a book-author event and it was a whopping big event! There were around 300 people who came and I made sure I was early (to charge my car and get parking and snag an early book signing ticket).

I was also in costume… as guess who! Of course the Queen.

fairestrelease012715 (4) fairestrelease012715 (1)

I won the VIP swag bag and got three books signed and the new copy of Fairest. Thanks Marissa and Macmillan PR team! I love my swag!

fairestrelease012715 (2)

I had my face airbrush painted and wore my spooky black colored contacts.

20150127_205818     fairestrelease012715 (5)


My birthday party and Marissa’s release party made for an epic January for me!

Seattle Specific Saturdays: Rachel Barnard’s 25th Birthday Book Bash!

Stay tuned for the video of my stand up comedy!


Thanks for coming to my birthday book bash everyone! It was so cool to have 15 people come out to celebrate my 25th with me and to bring customers to a lovely local business (St. James Espresso). Thanks for my wonderful cards and gifts and I have some cool new books to read now! The following photos courtesy of  Rosemarie of the Eastside Social Meet up: 600_433617709 600_433617739 600_433617793 600_433617831

I had a really fun time raffling off those neat mugs and doing my short comedy routine (it was not that bad)!  The following photos courtesy of Paul (the one in the suit)