Wednesday Writers

How WILL you play with words today! Join a challenge this November and write with us!

Tommia's Tablet


Three days and counting! Or two and a half, if you aim for the midnight start.  Millions of people worldwide dedicate the month of November to National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Our mighty Snoqualmie Valley Region is ready to charge to the challenge again!

There’s also Picture Book Idea Month, or PiBoIdMo, for those who want to indulge in child’s play. For the artistic souls, there is 30 Covers, 30 Days challenge. Or maybe you want to improve/increase your blogging habits with National Blog Post Month.

How will you play with words today?

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

Thanks to St. James Espresso for their support of local authors!

Rachel Author Barnard

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…

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The King of Average- New Release by Gary Schwartz

Here’s one for our middle-grade readers…Although adults will enjoy it too! THE KING OF AVERAGE by Gary Schwartz is released on Amazon and you can attend Gary’s King of Average release party at Boxley’s on the same evening as Sheri J. Kennedy’s Likeness release party at Pioneer Coffee. Make Wednesday, October 21st a Literary Night Out in North Bend, WA starting at 6:00pm!


Gary's Launch Party

Here’s a review of THE KING OF AVERAGE:

51l9sKMAkmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I am delighted to have had the chance to be an ARC reader for this book. What fun! THE KING OF AVERAGE ranks high above the average read.

The clever wordplay and humor are noteworthy, but my favorite thing about the book is its old-fashioned sense of story. And I don’t mean the ‘old-fashioned’ that’s dusty and crusty and drear. I mean that fantastic and currently rare quality of creating an atmosphere that’s so vivid you can step inside. The story comes to life before your ‘eyes’.

Vibrant and sometimes zany characters swept me away as I traveled with the very relatable and sensible James. I often review on an author’s mastery of Voice, but in this case I’d have to say Schwartz has mastered ‘Voices.’- perhaps due to his extensive experience in television, film and theatre. I can hear each character speaking, as if a play was going on in my head. This is what I mean by ‘old-fashioned sense of story.’ It breathes without need of digital media. Though I can hardly wait to hear an audio book of this…especially if Schwartz reads it himself!

While I have harped on the rich story traditions that tie to the past, I must say the theme and moral of the story, woven through in the most enjoyable puns, are completely contemporary and valuable to both children and adults alike. It’s a rewarding journey to see James blossom, and a great reminder to keep moving forward on this wonderful journey we call life.

-Sheri J. Kennedy

Seattle Specific Saturdays: 10/21 Author Book Release and Signing – N. Bend, WA Sheri J. Kennedy

FVP featured author, Rachel Barnard posted this great promo for FVP featured author, Sheri J. Kennedy’s new release novel, LIKENESS! Be sure to come and celebrate the release on October 21st if you’re in the area!

Rachel Author Barnard

Author Sheri J. Kennedy invites you to join her to Celebrate the Release of her third published novel, LIKENESS! There will be a Reading by the Author, Give-aways, and FREE CAKE! Books available for Signing, and will release same day on Amazon as paperback and Kindle. Come and celebrate this snappy contemporary novel that provides much to think about and plenty of humor as it considers the value of who we are.

RSVP here on the facebook event page

Where: Pioneer Cafe in NB   202 W North Bend Way, North Bend, Washington 98045

When: Wednesday October 21st 6PM

Who: Sheri J. Kennedy and her new book Likeness

*Stay tuned for Rachel Barnard’s review of Likeness on 10/22


From the Amazon book description:

What if everyone became the same?… In LIKENESS, early millennium Seattle-based workers Charlie and Emmaline are thrust from their comfortable and quirky marketing department to the Worldwide…

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GATHER THE CHILDREN – New Release by Mari Collier

FreeValley Publishing is pleased to spotlight Mari Collier‘s new release novel, GATHER THE CHILDREN. This is Book Two of the Chronicles Of The Maca and the sequel to EARTHBOUND, Book One.

Gather the Children coverFifteen-year-old Lorenz rides into Arles, Texas in 1865 leading a buckskin horse draped with the body of a wanted man he has gut shot.  He intends to collect his reward.  He’s broke, lonely, hungry and hate-filled.  He knows he is a freak with his two hearts and know that his ability to control the minds of others when he is enraged can’t be natural.  If he doesn’t get the reward, he’s ready to kill again.  One man stops him:  a six foot, nine inch, two-hundred eighty pound man.

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter:

“Hey, Marshal, better come right quick. Some kid’s hauling in a dead man.” Zeke Cawley stuck his head in the office long enough to yell and then yanked his head back through the door like a turtle retreating into its shell.

Town Marshal Franklin sighed and put down the rattan fan he’d been using to create a futile breeze and shoo the flies. He straightened, brushed the dust from his worsted, brown jacket, and jammed his hat over white locks. At fifty-five he was old for his job in Arles, Texas and he knew it. Eighteen sixty-five had not been a kind year. There had been riots in Houston and Galveston; hungry people fighting for supplies. Once there had been only hardened adventurers passing through his town.  Indians and Comancheros might cause concerns, but they remained well outside the town limits. Now he dealt with men who were probably Jayhawkers, Nightriders, or Redlegs. There were bands of hungry, angry men coming home from the War:  men coming home to a home no longer there. Not content to let matters alone, Congress was considering a Reconstruction Bill.

Franklin stepped into bright, June sunshine and stood alongside the others gathering around some kid on an old, dapple-grey horse. The kid was leading a gaunt roan with a body wrapped in a tarp and draped over its swayed back. The boy sat rod straight, Henry rifle ready, body tensed, his lips a dead white slash against tan skin. The kid looked ready to shoot if anyone came too close or moved too fast.

To ease matters, Franklin pushed his hat back, stepped slowly forward, and asked softly, “Well, where did y’all find him?”

The boy’s weathered hat covered long, curling, black hair that hid most of his features except glowering, grey eyes that raked the crowd. Boy seemed the right term for there wasn’t a beard yet and at the distance of four feet it was obvious he hadn’t bothered with bathing. Franklin felt that the kid wouldn’t bother shaving if he didn’t wash.

The boy fixed hard eyes on him, then on the star, and back to Franklin’s face. “Ah didn’t find him.  Ah kilt him. He’s Butch Zale, Comanchero. There’s a five hundred dollar reward and ah want it.” The voice was cold-edged hard.

Franklin was startled. A murmur swelled and flowed through the crowd. “We’ll need to take a look.  Zeke, pull that body down.”

Zeke didn’t like the job. His movements were rough and jerky. “Gawd, he’s done gut shot him. Somebody give me a hand.”

The people were more interested in looking than touching. They watched, but no one moved.

“When did y’all shoot him?” asked Franklin.  He had to keep control of the situation.

“Yesterday mornin’. Ah’d been followin’ him.”

Franklin squinted against the sunshine pelting downward and was thankful he hadn’t had to go after Zale if he and his group had truly been that close. The idea of this kid sneaking up and getting away without a scratch was preposterous. Still, it was best to proceed with caution as long as the kid sat there ready to blow away anybody that moved wrong.

“Where did y’all take him?”

“In a gully by the foothills. They tho’t they wuz hid.” His voice had become a reasonable tenor that wasn’t cracking. Franklin revised his estimate. Possibly the kid was about sixteen or seventeen.

“We’ll need details for identification. I heard Rolfe is in town. Somebody go find him,” commanded Franklin.

“No need to look, Marshal,” came an answer.

The crowd parted for two men moving closer. “Ve been vatching.” A stream of brown, tobacco liquid erupted from between the lips covered by a blond and graying mustache, expertly missing the bystanders. Rolfe, ex-mountain man, sometimes wolf hunter, now a cattleman, still wore his buckskins and moccasins. A bowie knife hung from the waist of his short, blocky frame. The man beside him towered over Rolfe and the crowd, his huge, lumbering body swaying almost like a bear. He stood more than a foot taller than Rolfe and was equally wide. Unlike Rolfe, he wore boots and duck trousers, his dark blue, collarless shirt was covered at the neck by a blue bandana, and the wide brim hat of a cattleman sat square on the large head.

Franklin nodded at the two. “Take a look and see if it’s Zale.”

Rolfe walked over and squatted, peering down at the crumpled form while the big man stopped a few feet from the kid and his rifle, seemingly watching the crowd and it’s wonderment at the developing tableau with amused, brown eyes.

The kid was grinding his teeth at the delay. “How’s he gonna know if’n it’s Zale?” He shot the question at Franklin, but kept shifting his glare between the ex-hunter and his waiting friend.

“Believe me,” assured Franklin. “He knows.”

Rolfe stood and nodded to Franklin. “Dot’s him. By damn, poy, I couldn’t haf done it better. He died slow.” Rolfe’s voice was filled with admiration, the blue eyes hard and knowing. Like his friend MacDonald, Rolfe was now studying the young man.

The boy jerked his gaze back to Franklin. “Now, ah want that reward!” His voice was harsh and reward came out like ree-ward.

Franklin shifted his weight to relieve the pressure on his corns. “It don’t happen quite that fast. First there are papers to be filled out, then…” he stopped as the Henry rifle was pointed directly at him.

“You son-of-a-bitch! I killed him. It’s mine!”

Franklin stood opened mouth at the authority ringing in the young voice, the sudden change of language, and the rifle pointed straight at his heart. No one saw the huge companion of Rolfe leaping the distance separating them. MacDonald shoved the rifle upward with his right hand and used his left to drag the young body down with a thud. Franklin caught the horse and handed the reins to Zeke. The boy rolled and went for the revolver at his side, flinging it up toward the giant when a knee caught him on the chin. With ease, MacDonald reached down and pulled him upright, turning the body and clamping his left arm around the boy. With his right hand he crunched down on the boy’s right hand, extracted the revolver from the boy’s suddenly loose grip, and flung it to Rolfe. Then he removed the other revolver, ran his hand over the boy’s back and flipped a knife from its hidden sheath. Rolfe caught the knife while MacDonald ran his huge hand over the boy’s front pockets and pulled out a pocket knife.

“His boots, Mac, his boots. He’s probably got another knife in his left one.” Rolfe was watching with professional interest.

“Aye.”  MacDonald leaned his weight into the skinny body and bent the boy over and tightened his grip. “Be still, damn ye,” he said mildly enough. He shifted his hold to the right and fished up the knife from the boot sheath. Only then did he release the boy.

The kid came up with fists clenched, chest heaving. He gauged the size of the man and his strength and knew he had lost, but rage boiled through him, unreasoning and unrelenting. “God damn y’all fuckin’ son-of-…”

A huge hand exploded on one side of his face and then on the other, stopping the flow of words. He stood swaying, dazed, the world heaving, but he would not go down. His eyes cleared and he could feel the silence in the crowd, waiting, wanting more violence. He flicked his tongue to the side of his mouth where blood seeped.

“Can ye hear me now?” The voice was low and rumbling with the music of a different tongue.


“Then ye nay ere say such words to me again; nay ere in the presence of ladies.”

The boy stared upward and sucked in his breath, partially to finish clearing his mind and partially in wonderment. Where did this big bastard come up with the right to tell him what to say? God, he thought, look at the size of him. It was wonderment, and he still didn’t have his money. The marshal’s voice cut into his thoughts.

“Thank y’all, Mr. MacDonald. Zeke, haul the remains over to Doc Huddleson and get Mr. Mallory over here.”

“I’m right here, Marshall.” Mr. Mallory stepped from the crowd. His Justice of the Peace office was next door, and at the first buzz of excitement, he had joined the rest of the lookers.

“Fine, I need y’all to take a statement from this lad and from Mr. Rolfe.”

The boy let out his breath, hardly believing what he was hearing. “Ah gets my gold?” he asked.

by Mari Collier  All Rights Reserved.


Connect with Mari Collier at


Scripting the Truth Front cover finalFreeValley is happy to host the final stop of T.A. Henry’s blog tour for her new release novel, SCRIPTING THE TRUTH. She shares an excerpt and then lets us into the life of a writer by answering  a quick interview. Check it out, and take a look at this entertaining read that’s carefully nestled in post WWII history. And if you are intrigued, you can find Scripting the Truth in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.

First, the blurb: At loose end in post World War II London, Lady Margaret Leighton chances upon a movie poster showcasing the young soldier she gave her heart to while serving as a military nurse. Desperate to reconnect with him, she uses her wits and newly discovered writing muse to scheme her way into the movie studio where he is an actor. Molly is certain they will live happily ever after. And they just might… But first Molly has to figure out who she is and what she wants. Can she make this unexpected career work with the expectations of her elite family? She’ll try to do it all while trying to keep the seams on her stockings straight.

Halfway through that torturous process the phone rang. I could have left it for the one of the staff to answer but I was desperate to hear back from Lila.
“Lila. Thank god. This is turning out to be much harder than I thought. Please tell me you have secured me some help.”
With rancorous laughter she told me to be at her club for tea at five thirty that afternoon “and do not be late. Marlene is very aware of her own importance, in her mind, anyway. You should be as well.”
With a laugh and then an exclamation as to the time, I rang off. I dashed upstairs to my room to change into an appropriate outfit. I was halted by the sight of myself in the mirror over the wash stand. It appeared I had gotten carbon all over the side of my face while speaking with Lila. I sighed and rang for warm water. When it came I asked the house maid to order me a taxi.
I scrubbed myself vigorously and then applied extra powder to cover the blackish grey stain I could not quite get off the side of my face. Rummaging through my hats I looked for something I could wear to shield that side. In the back of my wardrobe, I found a cloche from the early thirties; I must have worn it to a costume party at some point with a flapper ensemble. It would do today since it pushed my hair forward covering the smudges. I grabbed a silky shirt dress and tried to straighten my stockings. How I longed for my trousers. Low heel lace up shoes and a swing coat completed the vaguely old fashioned look. Just enough that it nodded to a more playful time. Not as though I was a provincial miss.
My taxi was waiting as I rushed down the stairs. “The Savage Club, 1 Carlton House Terrace please.”
T.A. Henry is a Pacific Northwest transplant who loves it here. I am a stay at home mom who home schools her only kiddo. I hike, crochet, and yoga with all my spare time. LOL. I like to think I am funny. I hear I am a good friend. I think the secret to that is I have very little judgement.
by T.A. Henry, All Rights Reserved.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
It was easier than trying to run the gauntlet with a traditional house. Seems to be an increasingly popular choice.
How did you decide what site to self-publish through?
I followed the advice of those who had gone before me. I strongly suggest you find a writer’s group. All the help I got from mine is the only reason this book-baby is seeing the light of day. I agree it’s all about support. It’s the number one thing that can put you on the fast track.
Did you do anything unique to promote your book? What basic things did you do?
I blogged all about it. I talked many fellow bloggers into hosting a blog stop on their page for my virtual book tour. I made marketing post cards for dropping off everywhere. I got some friends to throw my book into their book clubs with the agreement I would do an author Q&A at the discussion. I plan to run some advertisements on Facebook closer to Christmas. Open to suggestions. LOL So suggestions FVP followers? We’d love to hear about your ideas and experience in comments. What works for you?…
Do you think self-publishing is giving up on being published by a someone else?
Not at all. I heard a webinar with the editor who published Roald Dahl and JK Rowling. He said essentially unless an agent or editor is going to add something substantial to the process don’t give away your money for the life the book to one. If I write something I think could gain by having an agent and editor, and I think you basically need an agent to get an editor, I’ll go out and find the one that wants my book. Until then I’ll move forward on my own. I would agree. Also, there’s an increasing trend of agents watching the self-publishing market to see what’s hot and approaching successful indie authors with offers. I hope this happens to you!
Do you have an author website or Facebook page? Can I follow you on Twitter? Where do I find your book?
I have a blog on wordpress.
My book is available on Amazon in print on demand and kindle versions.
What one piece of advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?…To one who has a finished manuscript and is thinking of self-publishing?…To one who has self-published and is not sure how to market their new book?
Don’t tell anyone who isn’t supportive about your endeavors.
Go for it. All the responsibility means all the control. Total ownership.
Research your market. Look at other books similar to yours. See what those authors did. Tell everyone about your book now that it’s done. Wow. Thanks for the great advice and for being with us, T.A. All the best with your new book!

Foul is Fair – YA novel by Jeffrey Cook

This 2015 release by Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins is not to be missed…A teen girl discovers she’s half-faerie, and is immediately plunged into a world of adventure and intrigue. FOUL IS FAIR

Foul is Fair coverMegan O’Reilly isn’t your typical faerie princess. Until recently, she didn’t even know her father was the king of the Unseelie Court. Now he’s disappeared, and she’s found herself in the middle of a world she didn’t know anything about. She has very little time to learn – and why is it that her family doesn’t even sound like the good guys?

Available on Amazon

Magical Authors Event at AFK Elixirs & Eatery

Just had to report  that the ‘Reading in the Dark’ event at AFK Elixirs and Eatery was magical! It was great to meet and see so many great authors, including FVP’s own Jeffrey Cook. Fun games, tasty food and fantastic, I would even go so far as saying ‘special’ drinks…And there was cake!

IMG_20151010_140050 I also got to check out Jeffrey Cook and A.J. Downey’s collaborative new release:  AIRS & GRACES: An Urban Fantasy. Awesome!

Airs & Graces cover

The 'Magic always comes with a price' cocktail at AFK. Shimmery and delicious.

The ‘Magic always comes with a price’ cocktail at AFK. Shimmery and delicious.

Gearing up for Fall Releases and Events…Don’t Miss this One!

Our authors were busy this summer and we have new releases coming up for you, so stay tuned! Also, we are moving into a season of more events starting with a Book Signing event where you can meet FVP Featured Author, Jeffrey Cook, as well as several authors around the area. AFK Elixirs is always a fun place…don’t miss it! Check out this flyer for more information:

Jeff's AFK event promo