Just Two More Days…Until Donuts!

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It’s our pleasure to host a blog spotlight on Author, Rachel Barnard to celebrate her new release Donuts in an Empty Field on June 3rd.

This is Rachel’s third novel. You can find her others HERE. FreeValley Publishing is proud to have Rachel as one of our Featured Authors. She’s an avid reader, book reviewer and great supporter of other authors and her community. You can learn more on HER BLOG. And SPOILER ALERT there are giveaways, fulfillment of Rachel’s special request, and other great links at the very end of this post. If you skip stuff, don’t miss out on those! And don’t miss your chance to meet Rachel this weekend at the FreeValley booth at OddMall in Everett, WA.

Without further ado, let’s find out more about the book:

Donuts_Cover

 

DONUTS IN AN EMPTY FIELD  Available June 3rd, 2016 (aka National Donut Day).

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.

And let’s also find out more about Rachel. First, the basic stuff – her bio. Then I’m going to ask her several categories of questions. We’ll do three of each category.

Biography:

Rachel Barnard

“Author, Reviewer, and Donut Enthusiast”

My greatest accomplishments have been eating an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, winning a boot toss, and writing a fictional novel based on my high school years. The first book in my For the Love of Donuts Books, Donuts in an Empty Field, is available June of 2016. My other YA novels include Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams and At One’s Beast. For more information and to see what I’m up to, visit my website: rachelauthorbarnard.com

Find the author: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Simple Questions for Rachel:

  • Go to Starbucks order: Tall child-temperature latte
  • Favorite movie line: “INCONCEIVABLE” – Princess Bride
  • As a child, what pet did you want to own: A pig

3 random Facts about Rachel:

  1. Her resume is in book form.
  2. She’s donated at least her height in hair.
  3. She has a geocache in Sarasota, Florida that has more finds than she’s personally found as a geocacher.

Harder questions for Rachel:

  • If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do?  My sweetheart would have to do something uniquely tailored to me to sweep me off my feet. I love good surprises and I love well-thought out presents. My ideal sweep me off my feet date would include a surprise itinerary, multiple stops, dessert of some sort, and something gushy romantic.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? Fall? Winter? Spring?   In the summer I love to play outdoor volleyball, go out on my boyfriend’s boat, and just be outdoors in the sunshine. In the fall I like to go geocaching and do the same things as in the summer when the days are nice. In the winter I like to take dance classes and work on my writing and participate in NaNoWriMo. In Spring I like to edit what I’ve written and continue taking dance classes.
  • What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?  How would I know I was the last person on earth? I would probably cry and then go searching for chocolate.

Simple Questions for Rachel about books and writing:

  • Favorite book quote: One of my favorite quotes is from Closed Hearts (Mindjack Saga Book 2) by  Susan Kaye Quinn, “Different isn’t a crime, you know.” (Kindle locations 7202-7203).
  • Name a literary invention you wish was real: The Time Turner from Harry Potter
  • Favorite hero: Zorro

Harder Questions for Rachel about books and writing:

  • How do you come up with your characters or story ideas?   I come up with new story ideas or character ticks every week. My ‘story ideas’ tab in OneNote on my computer keeps growing and growing. I surround myself with interesting people and do new and interesting things (like juicing or random meetups or going to Norwescon) that tempt my imagination at times and prompt me to add a new note in my ‘story ideas’ tab. My characters are amalgamations of people I’ve known, people I’ve read about, and the person I want to be.
  • What kind of stories do you write?   Currently I’ve delved into young adult, middle grade and recently, a romance, but I plan on branching out into the thriller/romance/fantasy genres more. I like to write stories with strong relationships between characters.
  • How long have you been writing?My Linkedin account states that I’ve been writing over 26 years (since birth), but I’ve truly been writing since the fourth grade when I learned how to write creatively. I started writing long form (novels) after I graduated from college.

Simple Questions about Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1):

  • Favorite quote: “Everyone is always so concerned for their own selves. Not my Dad.”
  • Song that fits the book for theme song: Raspberry Beret by Prince. (Editor’s note: I love it already! FVP-SJK)
  • If this book became a movie, who do you imagine playing Vanessa: Either Sarah Gilman or Jennifer Stone

And here are the links to contests and other cool stuff related to Rachel Barnard, the For the Love of Donuts series and the upcoming release:

Big Donuts Giveaway (you could win this prize too!)

June 3rd Online Release Party: 

Donuts Goodreads link

Donuts Amazon Order link

Thunderclap signup link

Rachel Barnard Newsletter Signup

 

 Important upcoming Dates/Events:

Odd Mall June 2016Event: Oddmall Emporium of the Weird

Location: Holiday Inn Everett, WA (Booth 8 with FreeValley Publishing)

Date/Time: 06/04/16 – 06/05/16

 

 

 

 

CaptureEvent: Maple Valley Days

Location: Lake Wilderness Park, Maple Valley, WA (near the Info booth with FreeValley Publishing)

Date/Time: 06/10/16 – 06/12/16

 

Event: Neverending Bookshop Reading with Donuts and Books

Location: Bothell, WA (10123 Main Place St. 2)

Date/Time: 06/25/16, 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Local author Rachel Barnard will read from her most recent publication, Donuts in an Empty Field. Bring your used books for store credit and to get more entries into the free raffle. This event features a blind donut tasting of several local donut shops. Come try some local donuts and vote on your favorites. Got something cool to say about donuts? Don’t forget to add it to the “All about the Donuts” comment/quote box. First five purchases after 3:00 P.M. will receive a FREE mini donuts swag pack.

Event: Third Place Books Dual Author ReadingLocation:

Third Place Books in Bothell, WA (17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park)

Date/Time: 06/25/16, 6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Come listen to Ksenia Anske and Rachel Barnard as they read from their new books The Badlings and Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) respectively. There will be challenges, a raffle, and other fun stuff.

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Last but not least, the fulfillment of Rachel’s special request. I (Sheri J. Kennedy) was asked to blog about my favorite donut:

I’m a fan of cinnamon-sugar cake donuts. I like to take a satisfying bite of the firm but moist deliciousness and then let the gritty cinnamon-sugar melt away before chewing up the yellowy cake. Yum! …Best with an excellent Americano or double-shot of espresso of course. -SJK

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Free-flowing Stories – Upcoming Release – FVP’s First Anthology!

At last, our first FreeValley Publishing Anthology is complete! Release date is December 6th!

These short stories represent works from all of our Featured Authors. The Anthology is a substantial and varied collection. It’s a great way to get a sumptuous sample of our each of our author’s writing, and it makes a great gift!

It will be available online and from our authors at 3 different events in December:

  • December 6th – Si View Holiday Bazaar – Si View Community Center in North Bend.
  • December 13th – Gifts for Geeks – AFK Elixirs & Eatery in Renton
  • December 18th – Anthology Reading Event – The Black Dog in Snoqualmie

More details on these events will follow soon. We can’t wait to share our stories with you!

Anthology 2014 final cover front
Anthology 2014 final cover treats

RAVEN HEIGHTS MANOR – Book Review -Upcoming Release!

RAVEN HEIGHTS MANOR by Sharol Louise will be released in January 2015. This is the first published mystery by this established historical romance favorite. This is based on an ARC given to us to be reviewed–A sweet sneak peek!

ravenheightsmanor413x638RAVEN HEIGHTS MANOR as reviewed by Sheri J. Kennedy aka Kennedy J. Quinn

I don’t usually read mysteries. It’s because many modern mysteries come across as contrived puzzles on which the author drapes words willy-nilly to get to the next clue. They’re as formulated as the order of the letters of the alphabet.  As a reader I feel pushed along, rushed through with as much intensity as the author can dish. In such mysteries there is plenty of plot but little sense of story.

RAVEN HEIGHTS MANOR is NOT that kind of mystery. It’s refreshing! I had the privilege as a fan of Sharol Louise’s other writings (notably ROSEHILL MANOR) to receive an ARC and be one of the first to discover this captivating read. RAVEN HEIGHTS MANOR begins with story. The mystery rises subtly out of the growing relationships between our sensitive young heroine, Claire and the quirky folk she encounters in her new and uncertain home. Rather than being rushed from point to point, I was pulled into Claire’s fascination with uncovering what happened to Zillah through compelling conversations and interactions. Soon I was pushing my own pace from page to page wondering what would happen next.

The fearful heroine turns fearless as she is driven to the edge by her curiosity. The reader teeters to the brink at her side and descends with her as she delves more deeply into the mystery. Just when the lonely orphan is finding solace in the tenderness of new friends, she’s thrown over the precipice into fear for her life. We feel with her, adding warmth in chill places and sending chills to our depths as more is revealed of characters we have come to care about.

Author, Sharol Louise brings her trademark independent women and colorful characters out of the dreamy world of historical romance and into the changing winds and precarious paths of mystery with style and verve. This fuller character development doesn’t mean the plot is thin. It’s just richly adorned.  Rather than a pretentious plot in verbose clothing, this story is woven word by well-crafted word, engulfing the reader in a cloak of gripping suspense. The mystery is classic but doesn’t feel formulaic. It seems to emerge from the inside out—starting at the heart and creeping onto the cold ledges beneath Raven Heights Manor, where I couldn’t wait to follow.