10 Questions with William Ritter and a special ‘Jackaby’ Giveaway!

will ritterWe had so much fun hosting William Ritter at Liberty Bay Books earlier this month to debut his third ‘Jackaby‘ book, Ghostly Echoes! If you have not gotten your hands on this fabulous series, you are missing out. The very quirky Jackaby is a detective (similar to Sherlock Holmes) who has always been a little odd and a lot extraordinary. When Abigail Rook leaves London and heads to America, she’s not sure where she will land but then finds employment with this curious man. These books are mysterious, magical, humorous and a lot of fun to read.

Enter now to win an autographed copy of Jackaby! Signed by William Ritter!

Ghostly Echoes is officially released today – so to celebrate we got Will to answer a few quirky questions.

  1. What is the last thing you binged on Netflix? Steven Universe and Jessica Jones.
  2. Which is your favorite Pokémon and are you playing PokemonGo? Yes, I am! I mean, not right this minute, but yes I am playing PokémonGo. I like Oddish…he’s my favorite because he’s adorable. However, Gloom – his evolution – is ugly, so I tend to keep Oddishes around even though they’re low level.
  3. Do you believe in Sasquatch? YES! I spent most of my childhood looking out the car window for Sasquatch with my cousin whenever we went anywhere.
  4. Where do you think Sasquatch lives? Well, having filmed a riveting documentary with my cousin when were about eight years old, I am obviously an expert on the subject. Granted, we had to use a stuffed gorilla toy as a special effects stand-in for Bigfoot himself, but the research was solid. I think Sasquatch lives always JUST a little further into the woods. (Except of course for the brief period when he lived with the Hendersons in the eighties).
  5. Given the chance to see a unicorn or Sasquatch which would you pick? As much as I would love to see a unicorn, I’ve got more history with Sasquatch.
  6. If you could have anyone play your Jackaby characters in a movie, who would you choose? Anton Yelchin would have been my ideal Jackaby – he would have been perfect. Often, I’m casting characters in my head circa the 1920’s-30’s. Ingrid Bergman, for instance is kind of my Jenny Cavanaugh, but neither of those people are with us anymore so that kind of complicates things. For Abigail, Lily James from the new Cinderella movie and Downton Abbey is marvelous – in Downton Abbey in particular, she’s English and she’s proper, but she’s got that sass and independence. Emma Watson, of course, would be amazing as well – she’s just an amazing human being.
  7. Team Harry & Ginny or Team Ron & Hermione? I’d go Harry/Ginny just because I think it’s a  better pairing. I love Ron and I love Hermione and some of the things in the new book have made me more comfortable with their relationship. But, I think in a lot of ways Hermione would be frustrated by that relationship and Ron might almost be stifled by it. On the other hand, I have seen a lot of ways in which people who might be a little more stuffy wind up coming out of their shells with someone who’s a little more cheeky and silly – and vice versa – but I definitely “shipped” Harry & Ginny more during the story.
  8. What is the last book you read? I’m currently going through the Harry Potter series with my boys, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the last book I personally finished. I’m also really taking my time and going through the last few Terry Pratchett books that I haven’t read yet because I love his books and I’m really sad there won’t be more.
  9. If you could be any character from fiction, who would you be? I’d go with a Terry Pratchett character and say Sam Vimes (from the Discworld Series). He’s not perfect and that’s made clear from the beginning, but he tries and he cares and he puts together a really diverse crew. In Thud, in particular, he’s a father in that book and it’s really important for him to get home and read “That Is Not My Cow” to his son at the same time every night. So in one scene, he’s stuck underground fighting a war with a bunch of monsters and he’s not there for his son so he begins reciting “That Is Not My Cow” – which he knows by heart from reading it a thousand times. So he’s doing things like throwing an axe and yelling, “Is that my cow? No! That is not my cow, that is a hippopotamus!” And it’s just the most ridiculous and heartwarming scene I’ve ever read.
  10. What would be the name of your debut album? No Cash Value.

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley on Libro.fm

I just finished listening to this incredible book on my Libro.fm app. Before the Fall is a story that revolves around one, tragic accident – the crash of a private, passenger jet off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. On board were two very wealthy men, their wives, two small children, a bodyguard, a washed-up painter and the three-person flight crew.

As the story of the aftermath of the crash unfolds, the author takes you through the lives of each of the passengers and the twists of fate leading up to the crash that have put each of them on the plane that day. No one is safe in the investigation that follows – secrets are uncovered and the only adult survivor of the crash finds their name dragged through the mud in the search for answers.

This is such a multi-faceted and page-turning mystery, I could not stop listening!

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Have you heard of Libro.fm yet? It’s my new favorite way to listen to audio books! While I’m working, driving or out on a run  I love listening to books  and this app is perfect. Created by a Seattle-based company (with an office in Poulsbo, even!) this is a great way to support a local business, a local bookstore and get fabulous reads at the same time. Sign up using the link above and your account will be linked to Liberty Bay Books!

Enter the code LBB20 at checkout and receive 20% off of your first order! They’re also offering a free chapter of Boys in the Boat for your listening pleasure! Go take a listen!

Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Monday night we headed into the city for a dinner with Kaui Hart Hemmings, the author of the brand new (out yesterday) YA book Juniors As you can probably gather from the title, Juniors is about juniors in high school on the island of Oahu. Kaui perfectly captures life at that age with the backdrop of a beautiful island that is one of my favorites. From awkward run-ins with the opposite sex, making and losing friends, and dealing with parents Juniors so realistically brings to life Lea Lane and her world on Oahu.

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You may recognize Kaui’s name from her bestselling book The Descendants which was later turned in to a fabulous film starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. In Juniors, Lea’s mother is an actress and is shooting scenes on Oahu which makes her someone that people flock to so that maybe some of her stardust will rub off on them. Kaui told me that she created Lea’s mother’s character a bit based on her experience while The Descendants was being filmed. As everyone knows, people tend to come out of the woodwork when success comes your way…sometimes that’s a good thing and relationships form with people you wouldn’t normally have interacted with, but often it’s a negative thing as these people didn’t care to interact with you when you weren’t in the limelight and are now only trying to get something from you.

It was so fun to hear about Kaui’s time on set while the movie was being filmed (and learning that Clooney goes in for the top-of-the-head kiss for shorties like myself and Kaui). Our group of Seattle-area booksellers is so much fun, we always have a great time at these author dinners, but we had a blast with Kaui who was absolutely delightful Thank you to Colleen and Penguin Random House for a wonderful evening.

Head to your local independent bookstore and pick up Juniors today!

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The Day the Crayons Came Home…featuring Esteban, The Magnificent

It is no secret that my favorite children’s book is The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. I read four stories to this group of hooligans every Tuesday and it is pretty rare for a book to get such huge laughs from start to finish.  So today was an extra special Tuesday for the kiddos to be the first to hear the BRAND NEW companion book The Day the Crayons Came Home!
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I read them The Day the Crayons Quit to give them a refresher on the story since it had been a while and they laughed as hard as they did hearing it the first time. Those sassy crayons have amazing comedic timing. When it was time to read the new book, The Day the Crayons Came Home the kiddos cheered when Green Crayon herself came out to listen to the story (Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending the fun costume!!) The very first page got a laugh from the kids. These books are seriously hilarious, no joke…you need them in your life. Their favorite part of course was Pea Green crayon deciding to change his name to Esteban the Magnificent.
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As our own personal way to celebrate the release of our new favorite book, we are taking donations of new boxes of crayons that will go to Fishline for needy kids in our area! Bring in a box of crayons to Liberty Bay Books and receive a discount on The Day the Crayons Came Home!

Coloring for Grown Ups

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Coloring by the fire at the cabin on Memorial Day Weekend

Coloring for grown ups is one of the hottest trends in bookselling right now. The amount of awesome books that are now available specifically for more advanced color-ers (colorists?) is HUGE! At our store, the hands-down favorites are Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest and we’ve had a heck of a time keeping them in stock. I took Enchanted Forest with me on our Memorial Day weekend vacation and all of my friends wanted a turn to color! I thought I was totally nerding out here by bringing my coloring book, but it turns out I should have brought one for everyone.

There is something so relaxing and therapeutic about putting pen, pencil or crayon to paper and creating something beautiful…whether you’re doodling freehand or coloring in between the lines. But this brings up51dUQltWh3L a very important matter…what to use to do the coloring?! People definitely have their preferences and if you prefer to use markers, it can be hard to find some quality markers that don’t bleed through to the next page. While there aren’t a huge variety of colors yet, I LOVE coloring with Sharpie Pen Stylos and I’m hoping they come out with a wider range of colors soon because they. are. rad. and the fine tips are perfect for coloring small spaces. So get on it, Sharpie!

But the really exciting news is that Johanna has a brand new coloring book coming out called Lost Ocean from Penguin Random House in October 2015! If I were you, I would preorder it now because I have a feeling it will fly off the shelves. AND! If you cannot wait until October, Johanna has made a page of her new aquatic adventure available for your coloring pleasure! Right now! Just click right HERE and get coloring:)

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The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

IMG_5718Last week I had the pleasure of attending an awesome cocktail party on Capitol Hill to celebrate Erin Bow’s newest book The Scorpion Rules. After a long walk from the ferry terminal, we arrived at Tavern Law and picked up this super awesome telephone on the wall to be allowed entrance to Needle & Thread through this equally awesome door. IMG_5719 IMG_5720 Upstairs, Needle & Thread is a modern day speakeasy which instantly transports you back to the Prohibition era with low lighting and 1920’s style furniture. We were greeted with signature cocktails made specifically after the book’s main character, Princess Greta, made out of gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and rhubarb bitters and which Erin noted “Fittingly, is subtle, bittersweet, and hella strong.” IMG_5721Awesome party for a great book. The Scorpion Rules takes place in a future world that has been ravaged by war. Artificial Intelligence has gotten so smart that it has decided it could do a better job ruling the world than humans are currently doing and, to keep peace, demands that the child of each ruling power must be turned over to the Precepture to be kept as hostages and a deterrent to war. If one of the powers wishes to start a war, their child will be killed. Really exciting read that Sci-Fi fans will absolutely love. The Scorpion Rules  is out September 22nd, 2015. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a wonderful event! You can also check out Erin’s blogpost about her time in Seattle here (she liked my picture of her book against the Seattle skyline so much that she used it on her blogpost!)

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

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I LOVE Sarah Dessen books, and her newest book Saint Anything is one of her best. Is there anything better to read on a sunny day than one of Sarah’s books?! They are the perfect beach read. Recently, Publisher’s Weekly asked booksellers questions about the upcoming summer and how it was shaping up for bookstores across the country and I, of course, gushed about Saint Anything. Check out the entire article here! BUT the exciting part (no offence to Publishers Weekly…haha) was when I tweeted the link to the article and Sarah promptly replied that I made her day…and then replied a second time thanking me and Pub Weekly for the mention! Total nerdy fan girl moment…it happens. (Thanks Sarah!) Also, I dare you to read Saint Anything and not be totally craving pizza, french fries and dum dums by the time you get to the end.

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An Ember in the Ashes

Well hello! It’s been a while…and that’s because I’ve been out of the country! (My next blog post will chronicle that amazing adventure). But once I got home, I had an amazing author dinner almost right away. Friday night was a dinner thanks to Penguin Teen/Razorbill for Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes.

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This was a really great YA, high fantasy read that takes place in a world where Scholars and Martials are always at odds and the current ruling group, the Martials, treat Scholars no better than animals. Laia is a Scholar girl who has found herself in a desperate situation and has become a spy. But to become a spy, she has to pose as the personal slave of the Commandant…the head of the Empire’s greatest military academy. While she’s there she meets the Commandant’s son, Elias, who thankfully doesn’t share any of the same views as his mother and may be just the thing their world needs to end all of the violence.

Ember is full of great fight scenes and takes place in a magical world of Sabaa’s creation. Teenage girls and boys will both love this exciting book that just might be the next big thing:) Also, Sabaa was lovely and so much fun! So hoping for a book two!!!

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Dinner with Sabaa! Alison from Eagle Harbor Book Co covering her face, myself, Sabaa and Suzanne. Wearing masks of course! Thankfully ours were much less painful than the masks in the book!

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Before reading Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania I didn’t know much about the story of the Lusitania, and now it’s a story I’ll never forget. Erik Larson is such a storyteller and the tale of the Lusitania was so vividly brought to life in the pages of this book. So much research went into finding tons of small scraps of information about the disaster and weaving them into a full picture of the event itself and many of the people aboard the final crossing.

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The individual stories of the people who lived the nightmare make you so invested in the story itself and the outcome. History books must be done well to not read as dull and monotonous …Erik Larson can definitely write history in such a away that you get sucked in.  I couldn’t stop reading this one, and it’s one you definitely don’t want to miss!