Event Aftermath – Si View Holiday Bazaar and Juanita Elementary Holiday Bazaar

I had a blast at both events yesterday! I got some really nifty locally crafted Christmas gifts as well 😉 I can’t wait for next year. Thanks everyone who came out and bought our books and supported local businesses!

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Upcoming Local WA events: Juanita and North Bend – Get Your Holiday Gifts and Books!

Juanita Craft Fair
December 2nd, 2017 10AM-4PM
Cost: Free 

More Info
I’ll be at the booth for the Writer’s Coop of the Pacific Northwest from 1pm -4pm. Come say hi and get all my books!


Si View Holiday Bazaar in North Bend, WA
December 2nd, 2017 9AM-3PM
Cost: Free 

More Info

The Si View Community Center is holding its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 from 10am to 3pm. Si View Community Center, located in the center of North Bend, offers a quaint atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to this Holiday tradition. I’ll be at the booth for Free Valley Publishing from 10am-12pm. Come say hi and get all my books!

Events Schedule

9AM-3PM
Shopping for Gifts and Concessions
11-11:45am
Si View Youth Dance
12pm-1pm
Silverbells Carolers
1-1:45pm
Mount Si High School Carolers
2:45pm
Raffle Drawing (tickets $2 each, 3 for $5)

Bard & Starlet Aftermath – Best Community Event of the Year

Didn’t get a chance to come out? Here’s the video of the first scene and the one I wrote and starred in!

The Black Dog is one of my favorite local restaurants – they have the absolute best Fritata! I love the staff and the homey feel of the building. The stage and all the great community events are awesome! It’s great that there are enough actors/actresses in the North Bend/Snoqualmie area to lend their voices to this event every year (this is the third Bard & Starlet) and they did an awesome job!

 

Readerfest! Aftermath of my first Seattle event with FVP!

A different setup for a different event! I really liked our featured book area.

Tables and chairs (and tablecloths) were provided. The two food trucks, though they were only around until 3pm or so, were interesting and cool choices. Panels and music entertained people throughout the event. The collection of authors was diverse.

I debuted my semi-finished coloring book (just going to color in more of the cover) for the first time at an event. Sales were on the smaller side, but this first year of Readerfest was well-stocked with vendors and panels and looks to be bigger next year.

Thank goodness parking was a cinch and maps led us straight to the brig! They even had some wonderful helpers and gave us waters! Thanks, Readerfest and hope to see you all next year!

Wine & Words and 2017 Book Release Party Today (4/27/17) in WA

Two lovely events you can go to today are happening in my local corner of the Pacific Northwest. Find and support local authors. Wine specials and eats at the Black Dog and free drinks and snacks at the Bookstore. If you’re clever and/or a fast driver, you can come to both events!

If you live near North Bend/Snoqualmie – I suggest you attend the Wine and Words event with FreeValley Publishing authors and special guest Jeffrey Cook.

Time: 6pm

Location: the Black Dog (8062 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065)

If you live near Seattle’s north Eastside – I suggest you attend the 2017 Book Release Party with the Writer’s Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest at the UW Bookstore at Mill Creek. I’ll have my newest release, Nichole’s Book of Practical Things, as well as all my other young adult titles available.

Time: 4pm – 7pm

Location: UW Bookstore Mill Creek (Mill Creek Town Center, 15311 Main St, Mill Creek, WA 98012)

 

All About the Donuts: Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) Publication Day June 3rd (Tomorrow)!

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TOMORROW it’ll be here!

Have you joined the release party for Donuts in an Empty Field? Go RSVP now.

Here’s the lineup of my blog tour for Donuts:

May 31- Fluffygolarky – https://fluffygolarky.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/blog-tour-donuts-in-an-empty-field/

June 1 – FreeValleyPublishing – https://freevalleypublishing.com/2016/06/01/just-two-more-days-until-donuts/

June 1 – T.A. Henry – https://tahenryauthoress.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/wed-no-cafe-suprise/

June 2 – K.J. Farnham – https://kjfarnham.com/2016/06/02/facts-about-donuts-in-an-empty-field-by-rachel-barnard/

June 3 – A Spark in the Dark Blog – https://clrozelle.wordpress.com/

June 3 – Jo Michael’s – http://jomichaels.blogspot.com/2016/06/release-day-donuts-in-empty-field.html

 

 

And Oddmall in Everett is coming up this weekend! Be sure to stop by our booth (8) and say hello, maybe take your picture with me.

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Local young adult writer, Rachel Barnard, will release the first novel in her young adult For the Love of Donuts series titled Donuts in an Empty Field with Life’s a Book Publishing, June 3rd, 2016 (AKA National Donut Day). Pre-order your copy HERE.

Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.

Vanessa hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s son from a burning building. Nessa blames the boy, but her best friend Nichole thinks it’s time to let go of the past. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge will bust her out of her shell. A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Rachel’s newsletter to receive important updates and promotions, if you haven’t already. Signup HERE

Come celebrate the awaited release of the first book in the For the Love of Donuts series – “Donuts in an Empty Field” by Rachel Barnard,  Online Here

Don’t forget: Enter the free raffle to win neat goodies HERE

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf HERE

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Book Review: Free-flowing Stories by FreeValley Publishing Authors

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Free-flowing Stories by FreeValley Publishing Authors

An anthology published by FreeValley Publishing (11/01/14)

• CAN’T STOP SINGING by Kathleen Gabriel

“The music was loud, and she had to participate.” (Page 2).

She has an earworm that won’t let go and her life is fast consumed by the music in her head that she has to sing and sometimes dance to, until she can no longer hear herself. Can’t Stop Singing is a whimsical piece of writing that takes a small annoyance to the farthest reaches of the imagination. What happens if the songs in your head don’t ever stop?

• DARK DESCENSIONS by Kennedy J. Quinn

“When you remove free will, you remove restoration and leave vindictive judgment.” (Page 15).
“Truth will come, but it must be embraced through trust and understanding.” (Page 23).

The men of the government of Overseers butt heads with the council of the Sisterhood’s Underseers in the justice against a man who committed the vile act of rape. When one Sister sends the man Underneath she starts the political war between the Overseers and Underseers. This short prequel to Secret Order of the Overworld tells the story of how the turmoil in the Overworld really began and will pull you into a world of multiple dimensions and variable morals.

• DESIRÉE by David S. Moore

“‘RejuveMates rebuilds these women’s bodies, but in doing so it steals their souls.’ I knew then that I had to do something.” (Page 38).

RejuveMates sucks Dr. Brown into the allure of the subjects’ spells, their eternal beauty, and finally, their lack of free will. Thoughts of Desirée distract Dr. Brown from his own wife and family until he is convinced he has to and can do something for her. When people become a commercial commodity, like RejuveMates has done to these women, the company is questioned regarding its morals and taking away the women’s freedom of choice. Their argument is that they’ve given these otherwise destined for poverty and poor life choices women a resurrection and rebirth. David Moore describes this moral anxiety within Dr. Brown in a fascinating matter and the world he has built around this phenomenal genetic technology is wholly intriguing.

• A REASON TO SING by Victoria Bastedo

“…there were times when stubborn men were wrong.” (Page 66).
“In Shenandya the trees were the world, and the Wildenbury tree was the height of mystic focus. And now the Wildenbury trees were singing, pouring out their non-human voices as if sound was a river draining from a spout. All over the village people were stunned with amazement.” (Page 52).

Lewolenan has failed to pass the physical testing required to be a scout for Shenandya, but he is determined not to fail when his overbearing father tells him to find the reason the trees sing. This is a short companion story to Roots Entwine by Victoria Bastedo and tells a tale of acceptance and standing up for what one believes and in one’s self. Bastedo creates a fairy tale like world in Shenandya that is magical to behold.

• NIGHT OF STARS by Stephen J. Matlock

“People in Windmill, like people everywhere, loved to hear themselves complimented for their perspicacity.” (Location 2013).
“Money’s good for one thing-buying things-but you can’t buy friendship. You have to earn it…” (Location 1660).

Henry valentine is twelve, not a child anymore but not quite a man in the summer of 1951. He lives in Windmill, Texas, where people hung on every word of the preacher and the heat of the summer suffocated and turned minds to less acceptable notions. This was a time of religion, racism, and for Henry, it’s his coming of age story. The POV switches between Henry and Benjamin, much like in the novel this short story is a prequel of: Stars in the Texas Sky.

• ATAXIA AND THE GIRL OF LOST DREAMS by Rachel Barnard

“Be brave, girls. Take every opportunity you can.” (Location 2382).

The members of the government resistance group, Ataxia, think that MC – just a girl from a small village – can infiltrate an elite Academy, pose as a student, graduate with honors, be placed in a high up position in the military command, and work from the inside to advance the Ataxian cause. She wants to do it because she wishes to restore balance to a society in which the government favors the rich and persecutes the poor. This short story is the prequel to Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams and tells the story in the days leading up to where the novel begins.

• MIDDAY’S MADNESS by T. Tommia Wright

“If someone tells you not to go somewhere, be daring. Go!” (Location 2516).

Jalem Vitalma is young enough to slip away unseen, but not old enough to be considered worthy of being taught, until she happens upon a wounded stranger who guides her through the art of healing. This prequel to T. Tommia Wright’s upcoming fantasy novel, Escorting in Twilight, is full of magic and a young girl who has an inquisitive mind and a yearning for knowledge. Get caught up in the fantasy world spun by Wright, where magic prevails.

• DAWN OF STEAM: THE RAT KING by Jeffrey Cook

“While unlikely to see a much wider circulation, the daily chronicling assignments of a small boy along for a great journey provide a perspective eon the trip, on the day-to-day life aboard the airship, and on the crew themselves that is not present elsewhere.” (Location 2580).

From the assignments of Matthew Fisher-Swift, ward of the Captain, on his attempts to capture the Rat Baronet in a ship in the early 1800’s. There are also some accounts from Harriet Wright. If the rat continues to live, it may well chew through enough to damage the dirigible and threaten the safety of the crew aboard, giving much importance to Matthew’s mission. This very focused story is delightful to read and tells the story of one minor character from Jeffrey Cook’s Dawn of Steam trilogy.

Links for more information:

FreeValley Publishing’s blog

Goodreads

Amazon

Book Review: Stars in the Texas Sky by Stephen Matlock

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Stars in the Texas Sky by Stephen Matlock

A Fiction Novel published on amazon.com (07/01/2012)

Summary:

Windmill is a tranquil orderly town in the middle of Texas where change is slow in coming in the year 1952. Tabitha tells the mayor about Windmill on page 34, “It’s small-minded. Nothing Ever happens here. It’s just a wide spot with two roads running into each other. No one comes here – they all come from  here.”

Benjamin Clark has been on the short end of the stick his whole life, ever since he understood that his skin color made him different to others’ eyes. Henry Valentine  is the Junior Safety Patrol Officer who is growing up on the right side of town. Both boys are passionate about baseball, have a growing interest in girls, and question the system of race.

 

Keywords:

 Texas in the 1950’s, racial tension, coming-of-age, boys becoming men, hard life lessons, inequality, corruption, stuck in ways, friendship

 

My Review:

Stephen Matlock has confronted a sticky issue in this book. He confronts the topic through the eyes and eventual friendship of two boys born so different because of skin-color and so similar because of their love and passion for baseball and doing what is right. Matlock confronts this issue in the light of growing up and becoming a man. It is a coming of age novel. The boys are just around 13 years old and the reader gets to feel their confusion and frustration in the backwards-thinking town that they currently live in. Matlock masterfully tells a coming-of-age story relevant for any reader, for he tells the story of understanding, honesty, thinking for yourself, standing up for what is right and what you believe in, and more. The story goes deeper than just a boy and an unlikely friend and deeper even than racial tension in a small Texas town. There is fighting, murder, revenge – all the makings of an intriguing read.

Matlock has many life lessons packed into this book. There are so many coming of age themes that I thought the one about the boys’ confusion about girls and their growing feelings towards girls was unnecessary for the story.

Matlock also had a tendency to repeat his life lessons. I love the quotable bits but it does get a little hit-you-on-the head until you get it as you read along. Throughout the novel Matlock writes some profound tidbits, like “Dreams lead to sorrow same as night leads to day.” (Page 5). Matlock certainly has a way with his words and his dialogue is ten out of ten.

It’s only natural that a book’s language should match the time period and setting. Stephen J. Matlock does just that – naturally weaving in descriptions that match the time and the place – which is difficult to do unless you are a master of your craft. The only part that caught me by surprise was the climax in the middle of the book, setting me adrift in a sea of unexpected plot turns, but Matlock firmly led me ashore when the subplot he had been building broke through the surface, tying all the elements together in the end. Still, if only he didn’t end the main story (in my mind) half way through the book I would have been way more satisfied.

What is growing up?

“‘Son, you gotta learn how it is in this town and this country. You keep your head down, don’t look a white man in the eyes, don’t be looking at a white woman, and just never ever think of touching a white woman less’n ou want to lose an arm. Never.'” (page 32).

“Growing up means you learn to accept things the way they are.” (Page 61).

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a historical fiction book set in America (the South) or a coming-of-age novel.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 07/01/2012 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.00

 

Links for more information:

Stephen Matlock’s Website

Goodreads Profile

FreeValley Publishing’s Stephen Matlock

Author Thursdays: Norwescon!

 

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Maple Valley Writers and FreeValley Publishing authors will be hosting a booth at Norwescon in the lobby.

Rachel Barnard and her work Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams will be promoted at this event.

You can talk to her in person Saturday during the event.

What is Norwescon?

The Pacific Northwest’s premier Fantasy and Science Fiction convention.

For more information on Norwescon: norwescon.org