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!

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!

Inhuman by Kat Falls

It’s been more than a year since I’ve read Inhuman, but it is still one of my favorites. It came out in paperback yesterday and NW Book Lovers featured my review of it on the front page of their website this morning! Click here to see it for yourself 🙂

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Totally nerded out over this one and immediately brought it back in for Suzanne to read, who also loved it. If you haven’t read Kat Falls’ other books, Dark Life and Rip Tide they’re great middle grade adventure stories that boys and girls both will love.

At the Water’s Edge

Happy Book Birthday to Sara Gruen and her new book At the Water’s Edge! Back in November we received this beautiful basket from Sara and her team at Random House and I was SO excited.

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I loved Water for Elephants and Ape House so much that this moved right to the top of my ToBeRead pile. At the Water’s Edge brings the same sense of magical realism I loved in Water of Elephants and the characters are so well thought out and brought to life. Maddie and Ellis Hyde are on their way to Scotland in the midst of World War II to try and find the Loch Ness monster and regain favor with Ellis’ father back in Philadelphia. I so fell in love with Maddie, Angus, Meg, Anna and Scotland in general and am leaving for my own Scottish adventure in two weeks! Maybe I’ll find Nessy myself…. 🙂

Circus Mirandus

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Dinner last night was one for the ages! Seattle had major traffic accidents on pretty much every main thoroughfare during rush hour and right before the beginning of Sounders game…leaving the entire city at an almost stand still. Almost half of the people attending dinner, including the author, were stuck in traffic but once everyone arrived we had a wonderful time.

The Icon Grill has a very colorful room where we had dinner, very Circus Mirandus…especially when peanuts, cotton candy and animal crackers were added 🙂

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I loved Circus Mirandus (we all did) and author Cassie Beasley could not be a nicer person. In the book, Micah Tuttle finds himself under the care of his awful Aunt Gertrudis when his grandfather falls ill. He must find the famed Circus Mirandus that his grandfather Ephraim has been telling him about his whole life and cash in on a miracle that was promised to him years before. But Circus Mirandus doesn’t just appear for anyone, you must have an open mind to the possibility that magic just might be real.

This is a great read for middle grade boys and girls that will draw them into the very vivid and magical world of Circus Mirandus

Dinner with Teresa Toten

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Last Monday we had dinner at Maximilien in Pike Place Market with Teresa Toten the author of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13BIf you haven’t yet had the pleasure of picking this book up, add it to your To Be Read pile for sure. A lot of the popular YA books are discussing mental illness right now and it’s a very important conversation to be had. Unlikely Hero is about an OCD support group, focusing on Adam (Batman) and Robyn (Robin). I loved the characters, the humor and honesty found within these pages and I know you’ll love it to. Teresa Toten was a fascinating person to talk to and you could see how passionate she is about normalizing the discussion of mental illness in every day life.

And thank you to Random House Kids for a delicious dinner!

Once we get a little more up and running over here I have a signed galley of this great read to giveaway to one of you lucky people! 🙂 Details to come!