This was my 7th year volunteering behind the scenes of the event and FreeValley Publishing’s 6th year having a booth at the festival. Wow! I love being involved with this event and I learn something every year. I get to watch conflict resolution and large event planning. It is amazing how much detail and effort goes into putting on this festival and I’m glad I’ve been a part of it.
Catch books by local authors Sheri J. Kennedy, Rachel Barnard, Victoria Bastedo, Kennedy J. Quinn, and Jeffrey Cook at Norwescon later this week.
I’ll be wandering around in my costume.. See if you can spot me…
And don’t forget your towel!
Unchosen by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins
A Dark Fantasy Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (10/10/17)
“There’s no more ifs. There’s no more maybes.” (Page 104).
Everything went wrong when the chosen one died. Had they horribly misinterpreted the prophecy? Their world will now be under Xaramor’s rule for thousands of years, but there may still be hope for the chosen one’s four companions to still save the world.
Powerful Females, Diversity, Epic Fantasy, Fight, Prophecy, Tragedy, Death, Baba Yaga, Doom, Hope, Travel, Tower, Magic, Healing, Battle
I noticed. The chosen one may have been your typical young male, but those left behind were the most diverse cast of characters. I appreciated so much this fact that two of the main four characters were powerful females with their own distinct personalities and abilities (Celeste and Noriko). The other two main characters were also diverse in their own ways as well (Nils and Hobie).
I liked how the chapters had their own POV and we got to see the unfolding of the world from different voices and get a little more inside the main characters’ heads.
I enjoyed the breadth of the world that the main characters traveled to accomplish their missions – the book had a definite Lord of the Rings vibe – even if for most of the action they didn’t really have one distinct mission. How to stop Xaramor? You can’t just stop him!
This book turned “the chosen one” trope upside down and showed how sometimes prophecies can be misinterpreted. Finally, a realistic plotline! They didn’t always get it right on the first guess – which is where mayhem and battles ensued. Although there’s lots of death and violence, this book isn’t bloody and gory.
I’ve never read such a good and well written middle – but I did sorely miss the traditional beginning, middle and end of a “chosen” one fantasy. This book was a deviation from the norm. It was fun and different. I loved the Baba Yaga scenes.
The book featured a truly epic final battle – worthy of the slow, slow buildup from the beginning of the end in the beginning to the end of the end at the end.
This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 10/10/2017 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50
Links for more information:
Next year I resolve to take more pictures! I absolutely love Maple Valley Days. I spent 32 hours volunteering in the park for the festival and quite a few prior helping to organize. Even though I spent about 10 minutes total inside our booth (and was able to help sell a book while I was in the tent whoop whoop), as a volunteer I interact with almost every other vendor (over 100) and always talk up the local writer’s booth!
Here are all the pictures I took.
I was thrilled to see all the corgis (not pictured). At least 3 tri-colored corgis and one 16-week old puppy corgi that was such a cuddler!
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.
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)
We’re back! And this time we have even more fun and excitement than we did before. Join Jeffrey Cook, Lee French, A.J. Downey, Bibi Rizer and more for a book selling event that will not only make you look good for your sweetheart, but will help show the love to an organization that helps abused kids!
That’s right, this time I ♥ Books is doubling as the launch party for Biker Chicks! An anthology of hot MC romance where the women are in charge.
All proceeds from the sales of any of the Biker Chicks anthology goes directly in support of the Lake Washington Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse in support of their mission to help the littlest victims. B.A.C.A. is a non-profit organization that provides victim support and services to children who have been the victim of abuse be it in a domestic capacity or otherwise.
So join us, the day before Valentine’s Day to score your copy of Biker Chicks before anyone else, and to maybe, just mayyyybe, score some points with *your* other half. 😉
We can’t wait to see you there!
Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk by by Jeffrey Cook, H. James Lopez, Warren C. Bennett, Katherine Perkins, Carol Gyzander, S.A. Cosby
An Anthology of Shakespeare Inspired Punk Stories published by Writerpunk Press (03/09/15)
Though there is quite a bit of front matter, it is short and concise and good to read to gear up for the rest of the stories. At times the language gets oddly Shakespearian and at times the action takes turns that may be confusing. Some of the characters are somewhat stilted and lacking in description but overall this is an enjoyable and worthy read!
Mac by Carol Gyzander
“Different was dangerous.” (Page. 44).
“We’ve gained nothing, to still not have happiness. It would be safer to be that which we destroy, than to have destroyed it and still live in doubtful joy.” (p. 82).
In the strict society governed by ‘moddy’ chips that regulate emotions, hormones and even obedience, Mac is not happy with his lot in life, but he should be. Moddy dictates he should be content at his factory job doing the same as everyone else. Then his friend Banks opens his eyes to a whole new world, an underworld of the Moddy’s rejects… Written as somewhat dystopian, Mac tells the story of a man who learns the truth about how his world really operates and chooses to reject the moddy’s chips control over his life.
The Green Eyed Monster by S.A. Cosby
“Everyone lies, young buck.” (Page 172).
“Love was just a synonym for fool. Love made you blind to treachery, deaf to the truth and dumb in the face of facts.” (Page 178).
This is a story of manipulation for revenge. Iggy is a crazed man who can only see the end goal of revenge and doesn’t care how he gets there. He wants to ruin everyone he can along the way. There is lots of action and revenge. Iggy plays the manipulative and vindictive typically female-stereotyped role. Will Iggy go all the way or will he be found out by one of his mates before he can stick them with their own ruination?
Prospero’s Island by H. James Lopez
This is a story full of half nymph-half enhanced machined parts characters and the few humans who rule these creatures. Prospero and Caliban butt heads, but Prospero is too kind to end the creature. They are all stuck on this island and trying to get off and when Prospero is given the chance to run two ships afoul near the island, he jumps to do it. Later, he decides to help the shipwrecked humans, but the Sycori, the feral nymph originators, run chaos of these plans and Prospero must make difficult choices and decide whom to save and whom to let fend for themselves.
A Town Called Hero by Warren C. Bennett
Hero is a small town and air base that was seemingly unaffected by the war with the Fatherland, but when twenty some odd pilots land rag-tag on the island amidst the defeat and end of the war, the island will offer up one of its most deep mysteries. Where does the advanced technology come from and will all the pilots be able to settle into this peaceful community?
Winter’s Tale by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins
“Who says prophecy isn’t truth?” (Page 288).
‘“Just because there’s nothing sane he can do doesn’t mean there’s nothing he can do,” Dita responded. “Never discount the risk of nobility doing something insane. Sometimes it even works.” Treveur grinned, “In truth, I’m counting on it,” he replied.’ (Page 311).
A tale of a man in power gone mad, Winter’s Tale drops off the story of Leonard and his sudden crazy notion that his wife cheated on him with his best friend and picks up sixteen years later with the story of the mad man’s daughter. She was smuggled out of Leonard’s grasp to grow up as a commoner and falls for a man who happens to be Leonard’s ex best friend’s son. Can a union between the two young ones bring about peace between the old men as well? The fight scene in this short story was truly magnificent and the banter between dueling enemies was quite entertaining.
This anthology was published by Writerpunk Press on March 9th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here. TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00
Links for more information:
Airs & Graces (Angel’s Grace) (Volume 1) by Jeffrey Cook and AJ Downey
An Urban Fantasy Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (07/19/15)
“You cannot choose a destiny if you’re dead,”(Kindle Location 250).
She’s a down to earth, call me Addy not Adalaide, potty-mouth who works in an antiques shop in Seattle instead of going to law school like her mother wants. What is she doing in life before getting stuck in the middle of a battle between Angels and Demons and all that lies in between? Not much. Not as much as she will be doing when Tabbris, the Archangel protects her as she tries to unlock the Grace that the antiques shop owner Piorre stuck inside of her.
Fighting, Angels, Demons, Lucifer, Violence, Killing, Fleeing, Meditation, Visions, Traitor, Taking Sides, Training, Swords, Knives, Defense, Wings, Seattle, Smart Mouth, Politics
Addy, at least at first, has a boring and very average personality. We don’t even know who she is before she’s whisked into this otherworld battle. How can we sympathize with her and her plight when we don’t even know who she is? Her background is only revealed in the latter half of the book.
Tabbris also seems quite average and not very extraordinary, aside from being an Archangel and having wings and such.
These two main characters seem secondary to the political-action plotline war and I feel like not much was gained with the POV changes from Tabbris to Addy.
This book contains large chunks of exposition and dialogue explaining what is going on and defining the world and the political background of the war. Most of the tension and buildup is the world-building and background information on the war going on with Earth and Addy in the middle.
This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 19th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 3.25
Links for more information:
Support local!!! St. James Espresso has a duo of fantastic owners who give back to their community in many ways. Currently they are supporting multiple authors. You should check out the books and grab a cup of coffee or one of their to-die-for breakfast burritos (I’m serious, it was so good I’m giving up lunch and dinner forever). They are so much so my favorite coffee shop that I’m setting my next (after nanowrimo) novel in the Kirkland area and heavily featuring St. James in the story. Stay tuned for more info on that….
I really want you to check out the cafe and buy a book. Please, please! See our display?
If you are a Nanower, please feel free to exchange your duck at the “take a duck – leave a duck” basket that I’ve set up on the main table. The four fiction novels featured in our display were all nano novels and if you are a fellow writer, I encourage you to support other authors. There is also the lovely FreeValley Publishing anthology and a fun short book of challenges. See below for more information.