Book Review: Through the Cracks: A Reality with a Twist Book by Sheri J. Kennedy

Through the Cracks: A Reality with a Twist Book by Sheri J. Kennedy

A Magical Realism Novel published by FreeValley Publishing (12/25/21)

Summary:

“Money equaled power, or at least an opportunity. Especially outside the market. But you couldn’t find much trouble with five bucks.” (19% Kindle Edition).

“Sometimes reality – no matter how you spun it – wasn’t enough.” (38% Kindle Edition).

Lydia has been doing better but she still gets stuck in dark places sometimes. Therapy and structure have been helping but there are still times when she feels alone. After falling through a locked door when she wanted to help someone else, Lydia will discover how great it feels to ease another’s burden. Is it magic or something else? And how can she keep helping others when her mother’s imposed such tight rules on her life?

Keywords:

Identity, Suicide, Helping, Love, Making Friends, Market, Mother-Daughter, Magical Realism, Small Business Owner, Loneliness, Therapy

My Review:

This was a quick read that gets heavy at times. The subject matter can be intense. It was like reading heartwarming self-help fiction with elements of new age nonfiction. Lydia, the main character, is complex and written well. The author sprinkles in hints of her backstory cleverly throughout the story, tying them into the main storyline in the most intriguing way. I relished Lydia’s voice and the way she thinks everything that she’s feeling and thinking. Her voice was sarcastic, truthful, and wholesome all at the same time. The story itself was quite wholesome.

I loved how well integrated the magical realism element was to the plot and to the setting. I really enjoy when books with elements of magical realism really lean into the fantastical element and don’t make light or try to confuse the reader. The magical element in Through the Cracks is very important to the story and creates a unique plot structure that holds together the themes of the story. The story was very well grounded in a realistic world that was detailed visually and easy to imagine. The setting is so well detailed I can almost see everything that Lydia does when she walks around the market and can almost imagine that I’ve been to that specific art market and walked into the two main shops: Curiosities and Only Yesterday myself.

Sometimes the author would spring some really neat insights or lovely new phrases. One of the favorites that I don’t recall ever hearing before was, “Glossing lightly over important stuff felt more like making dark of things.” (60% Kindle Edition).

For anyone going through tough times, especially teenagers, this book is a must!

This novel was published by FreeValley Publishing on 12/25/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Sheri J. Kennedy’s Website and Blog

Goodreads

Sheri J. Kennedy on Facebook

FreeValley Publishing Featured Author

Maple Valley Days 6th Year Follow-up

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.

Norwescon! This Thursday through Sunday in Seattle

Catch books by local authors Sheri J. Kennedy, Rachel Barnard, Victoria Bastedo, Kennedy J. Quinn, and Jeffrey Cook at Norwescon later this week.

Norwescon.org

I’ll be wandering around in my costume.. See if you can spot me…

And don’t forget your towel!

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 ūüėČ I can’t wait for next year. Thanks everyone who came out and bought our books and supported local businesses!

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!

 

Wine & Words – A Fun Time

     

It was such fun to read from my new book “Seize the Donut” for the first time and to walk the audience through instructions on using chopsticks! Steven made me laugh with his short piece from the prompt of a funeral and jealousy. The cinnamon bun and stratta, as always, were very delicious.

Maple Valley Days 4th Year Follow-up

 

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!

Book Review: The Unwitting Journeys of the Witty Miss Livingstone: Book I: Journey Key (Miss Liv Adventures 1) by Kennedy J. Quinn

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The Unwitting Journeys of the Witty Miss Livingstone: Book I: Journey Key (Miss Liv Adventures 1)by Kennedy J. Quinn

A Steampunk Novel published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. (10/25/16)

Summary:

Miss Livingstone doesn’t quite fit into her era because she is a woman with her own mind. It is the early 1900’s until Miss Livingstone peeks into the new bookshop and finds time-traveling stones that take her forward in time to meet the owner of the bookshop. Then she is taken back through time as she attempts to solve the mystery of the stones and find some good books on the side!

Keywords:

Time Travel, Female Heroine, Adventure, History, Literature, Literary References, Snoqualmie, Books, Steampunk, Evil, Lurking, Romance

My Review:

A new blend of history, great literature, and adventure, Miss Liv Adventures was a fun read. I especially liked how every adventure ended with the steam train taking Miss Livingstone back (or forward) to her own time. I really liked the integration of books and history into the plot of the book and thought the details surrounding the key were marvelous and fantastical.

Miss Livingstone was curious to a fault and brave beyond doubt as she traveled across time and space, never forgetting her home and her love of books. The places she traveled to were rich and lively and there were just enough different settings to keep my interest but not too many to be confusing.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. on October 25th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Sheri J. Kennedy’s Website and Blog

Goodreads

Sheri J. Kennedy on Facebook

FreeValley Publishing Featured Author

Seattle Specific Saturdays: My Favorite Local Coffee Shop is Selling Great Books! St. James Espresso in Kirkland, WA

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?

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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.

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Book Review: Likeness by Sheri J. Kennedy

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Likeness by Sheri J. Kennedy

A Fiction Novel published by FreeValley Publishing (10/05/15)

Summary:

“Funny how repetition of form brought ease and felt pleasing, but complete symmetry fell short of the mark for perfection.” (Page 12).

An all week case of the Mondays for Emmaline turns into an adventure of philosophical proportions. An assignment for an ad campaign for the newest drug, Assimilaire, has Emmaline creating a proposal where she has unwittingly made an idealized version of herself and her friend the brand-builder Charlie. The big wigs warm to her idea and send Emmaline and Charlie off to the cameras to star in the ad themselves. It’s a big hit all around and they are then sent off to the WWPA con for a live show and to receive awards for their great work. Staying at the Milieu midtown, Emmaline and Charlie learn some startling things about Assimilaire and what it really can do in a crowd.

 

Keywords:

Assimilate, Extroverts, Drug, Bomb Scare, Likeness, Similarities, Convention, Philosophy, Conversations, Difference, Becoming Another, Identity, Losing Self

 

My Review:

Emmaline. What an incredibly classic yet fun name. I absolutely loved this name and loved that it was the first word of the book. Emmaline herself, however, isn’t as easy and fun as her name. Some of the things she does and thinks are easy to grasp and delightful, like the way she keeps her ‘girl shoes’ ready at work and tromps to and from work in her boots. The way her mind thinks and the words she uses is a bit hard to get into. She thinks in a slightly different dimension than I do and even though she’s in Seattle and there are references to Seattle I am not as familiar as I should be and some of the references are lost on me.

Likeness is an interesting book and a great fiction read for the more philosophical or psychological leaning reader. What does it mean to have an individual personality that is apart from the masses and what does it mean to fit in with the norm or to be like a prominent figure are two questions that are picked apart in this book.

Much of the book spent time on the question of ‘likeness’ or ‘sameness’ and the meat of the story was not divulged until halfway through the book. It is only halfway through that the true plot is revealed, the buildup to this point didn’t have as much tension as the latter half of the book. It could be argued that the plot of the story was the understanding of the concept of Likeness but for a fictional novel, the true plot didn’t pick up until after Emmaline and Charlie were at the conference. Therefore much of the beginning half of the story was spent on character building and environmental descriptions.

This novel was published by FreeValley Publishing on October 5th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00

Links for more information:

Sheri J. Kennedy’s Website and Blog

Goodreads

Sheri J. Kennedy on Facebook

FreeValley Publishing Featured Author