Happy book birthday to Histories and Mysteries!

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES is finally here! It takes a lot of people working together to create a book, and this book had such an amazing team behind it. Many, many thanks to my co-author, Ammi-Joan Paquette; our agent, Erin Murphy; our editor, Jordan Brown; and all the wonderful folks at Walden Pond Press and HarperCollins. It’s been an honor and a joy to work with you all!
So, what’s this book all about? Well…

Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?
You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts. Don’t believe everything you read! (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins, June 2018)

Reviews:
“With the phrase ‘fake news’ being tossed around a great deal these days, this collection of stories in which one out of every three is a lie is both timely and entertaining…. Readers with a taste for trivia and the strange-but-true aspects of geography and history will find much to enjoy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Even dyed-in-the-wool skeptics will be hard put to spot the ringers: footprints embedded in sandstone on the roof of Kentucky’s Mammoth Caves, dental fillings more than 12,000 years old, or a trove of lead tiles embedded with ancient Roman curses? Along with suggestions for side projects and discussions, the authors offer fact lists containing one false factoid as extra challenges to readers’ credulity. Happily, the back matter includes explanations that identify the baloney, as well as a savvy guide to evaluating information sources.” —Booklist

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Signed copies are available from Brick and Mortar Books! 

GIF of Peanuts celebrating
 

Launch party for Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Please join me for the West Coast Launch Party for

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES

Saturday, June 30th, 2 PM **


A trivia-style game-show challenge. . . with prizes!

Q&A, exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip, and outtakes!

Book swag!

Charitable giving!

Free snacks and drinks!

Books, books, and more books!

Brick & Mortar Books
7430 164th Avenue Northeast
Redmond, WA 98052

To RSVP, please visit the event invitation here. Thanks!

** Come early to enjoy the fabulous Redmond Saturday Market before the event!

And, if you can’t make the party but would like to order a signed copy, please call Brick and Mortar Books at 425-869-0606.

Launch Party for Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive!

Two Truths and a Lie cover
Two Truths and a Lie cover

Please join me for the West Coast Launch Party for
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE!

 

Sunday, June 25th, at 2 p.m.


A trivia-style game-show challenge. . . with prizes!

Q&A, exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip, and outtakes!

Book swag!

Charitable giving!

Free snacks and drinks!

Books, books, and more books!

 

Where, you ask?

Secret Garden Books
2214 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
206-789-5006

(Click here for directions.)

** Come early to enjoy the fabulous Ballard Farmers Market before the event!

If you can’t make it to the party but would like to pre-order a signed copy, please visit http://www.secretgardenbooks.com/book/9780062418791 and put the dedication info in the Order Comments box. Thanks! =D

Review: A Bandit's Tale by Deborah Hopkinson

BanditBlogTour_Graphic
Today, I’m thrilled to be participating in another blog tour for Deborah Hopkinson! This time, the award-winning master of historical fiction for children takes readers back to nineteenth-century New York City in her new middle-grade novel: A BANDIT’S TALE: THE MUDDLED MISADVENTURES OF A PICKPOCKET (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers | on sale April 5, 2016 | Ages 8–12 | $16.99). Here’s the publisher’s description of this story of survival, crime, adventure, and horses:

Here are a few words from other reviewers:

“A strong choice for those who enjoy adventures about scrappy and resourceful kids.”
School Library Journal, Starred Review
“A dynamic historical novel ideal for both classroom studies and pleasure reading.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

And here are a few more from me:
I am a diehard animal lover, so when I found out that the founder of the ASPCA, Henry Bergh, appears as a character in this novel and that part of the plot is about helping the street horses in NYC, I knew I had to read it! What I found was so much more. It turns out there were several other things I loved about this novel, too:

  1. It’s an interesting setting, late 1800s New York City, that I hadn’t really thought about much before. The novel immerses readers in this world and brings it to life on a very human level. I love when historical fiction does that!
  2. There’s a secret! I won’t give away any spoilers, but there’s an incident at the beginning of the book that isn’t fully explained or understood by the reader until much later, but it sure keeps you wondering.
  3. I love the voice. The book is written in first-person from Rocco’s somewhat irreverent point of view, sometimes addressing the reader directly. Rocco thinks and sounds like a completely believable 11- to 12-year-old. He is naive and immature but good-hearted and trying to cope as best he can with a challenging and complex world. I especially appreciated how with age and experience he is able to look back on previous events and see them differently.
  4. Okay, as much as enjoyed the setting, plot, and character of the novel, what truly blew me away was the backmatter. (I love fiction, but I guess I’m a nonfiction girl at heart!) There’s a map; an explanation of what a picaresque novel is; notes about the setting, times, and people; a glossary of terms used by the thieves; a guide for further reading; and source notes. Many real people are referenced in the novel, and Hopkinson takes great care to explain exactly what is true and what she made up for the sake of the story. I think readers and writers alike will find it interesting to see how the fiction and facts can intertwine and overlap.
  5. Adding to all of this were the photos! Being able to see authentic vintage photos from the actual time and place of the novel really added to the intellectual understanding as well as the emotional impact of the fictional scenes.

5B7C832B-F02E-4045-A0AD-C26D55DC4289All in all, this book earns A Bandit’s Tale two thumbs up from this reader! I would highly recommend handing it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, animal lovers, adventure lovers, ruffians and rogues, and, yes, even readers who tend to prefer nonfiction history and/or biography.
Thank you to Deborah Hopkinson and Michele Kophs at Provato Events for the pleasure of reading this advance reader’s copy!
For other stops on the Bandit Blog Tour please check deborahhopkinson.com and watch for the hashtag, #BanditBlogTour.

Tales from my first book launch party

decorations

Two of the worst possible things that could happen to a book event in Seattle happened on the day of the Be a Changemaker launch party: one of our major bridges was closed for construction, and the sun was shining! Still, an amazing number of ultra-dedicated friends and intrepid fans braved the traffic nightmare and willingly (or perhaps begrudgingly) sacrificed one of the last sunny Sundays we are likely to have for months. And I am oh-so-grateful to each and every one of them for it!

decorations
Look at the pretty decorations!
I started with a brief thank you. I could have gone on for hours thanking everyone who played a part in this book, but I decided to spare those in attendance and kept the list as short as possible.
presentation
Here I am giving my presentation.
Then I gave a short reading from one of the In My Experience sidebars in the book. I started getting choked up and didn’t want to break down into ugly cry in front of all those people, so I cut it shorter than I had intended. Run away!
Josie Gillett for YUP
One of the inspiring teens presenting her organization.
My favorite part was when four local teens, whose organizations are among those featured in the book, presented a bit about what they do and where their groups are headed. They were all great speakers and held the audience in rapt attention.
signing closeup
I signed some books.
Then, it was time to sign books! I was so afraid I would spell someone’s name wrong, I even asked on the easy ones that I knew for sure I knew how to spell.
signing line zoomed out
I signed a lot of books!
By the end, though, my eyes were starting to cross. I hadn’t made any mistakes, so I let my guard down. One of the very last people in line is one of my dearest friends, whose name happens to be EXACTLY THE SAME AS MINE. Yes, you guessed it: I spelled it wrong. Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor, so we’ll probably be laughing about it for years to come.
Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who came and to Secret Garden Book Shop for hosting. I’m generally not much of a party person, and I really dislike being the center of attention. (Those giant posters of my face were a surprise from my hubby… eek!) But every moment of that launch event was a treat, and the experience is something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

The BE A CHANGEMAKER Blog Tour

Be a Changemaker cover

Be a Changemaker coverI’ve been surprised and honored to be included on a plethora of fantastic blogs as part of a blog tour to help launch Be a Changemaker into the world. There are guest posts written by me on a variety of topics related to the book, as well as interviews, reviews, quotes, and, yes–book giveaways! Be sure to check out all of the tour stops, and please give these lovely bloggers some love, won’t you?
Here’s what has already been posted:

9/8/2014
Review, author interview, giveaway
9/9/2014
Review, guest post, giveaway
9/10/2014
Reviews, teaching tools, guest post, giveaway
9/11/2014
Review, resources lists
9/12/2014
Review
9/12/2014
Guest post
9/13/2014
Review, giveaway

 
And here’s what is still to come:

9/15/2014
Review, giveaway
9/16/2014
Review, giveaway
9/17/2014
Author interview, giveaway
9/18/2014
Guest post, giveaway
9/19/2014
Author interview, giveaway
9/20/2014
Guest post, giveaway

Blue Slip Media logo
 
This incredible lineup has been assembled and managed by the lovely ladies at Blue Slip Media. Thank you, Sarah and Barbara!

The Emu's Debuts launch party for Be a Changemaker

Emu's Debuts bannerOne of the most rewarding experiences of being a debut author has been participating on the Emu’s Debuts group blog (for clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency who are in between deal and publication). Last week, my fabulous friends and fellow Emus threw me THE BEST LAUNCH PARTY EVER to celebrate the upcoming release of BE A CHANGEMAKER! (They went a week early, since Lindsey Lane’s EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN is releasing at the same time. I’ll be helping them celebrate that launch next week!)
They were all so generous, authentic, and hard-working in bringing the daily posts to life (as they are with everything they do!), and I was thrilled anew every morning to see what they had put together. In case you missed them, please go check out their posts. They’re fun, informative, and inspiring!
Here’s the roundup:
On Monday, Lindsey Lane (with some backup support from Tara Dairman), posted Welcome to the World: BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Ann Thompson!, which included stories of and interviews with five other Erin Murphy Literary Agency authors who are changing the world in their own meaningful ways:

Tuesday featured several videos compiled by Megan MorrisonBE A CHANGEMAKER: Words of Wisdom. The clips contain contributions from fellow Emu Debuts bloggers offering their own words of wisdom, sharing quotes that motivate and inspire them, and giving advice they wish they’d gotten at the beginning of their journey. Great stuff, and so personal! It’s a great way to get to know these wonderful people a little better.
For the Wednesday post, BE A CHANGEMAKER: Celebrating with Quotes!Jennifer Chambliss Bertman compiled and created a collection of gorgeous images featuring quotes that inspire and motivate the members of the Emu’s Debuts blog team. If you want to spice up your Facebook or Pinterest feeds (or your office walls!), there are some fantastic finds here. Plus, they included the explanations behind why the quotes are so meaningful for them, making them even more special.
For Thursday‘s post, Penny Parker Klostermann, gave readers a sneak preview of Be a Changemaker with excerpts of the first 25 pages as well as the event planning chapter. Her post, BE A CHANGEMAKER: A Tool for Change, gives a sense of how the book can be used as a tool by individuals, teams, and classrooms.
On FridayTamara Ellis Smith closed out the party with Music to Be A Changemaker By, an inspirational and motivating Spotify playlist of songs recommended by the Emu’s Debuts bloggers, along with the explanations of why they included them. Spanning genres and emotions, you’re sure to find something of interest here–I know I did!
I’m so grateful to the awesome authors at Emu’s Debuts! Thanks to them, the Be a Changemaker pre-launch week was better than I ever could have imagined. I’m looking forward to each and of every one of their debuts–coming soon!

It's the Be a Changemaker launch party!

BE A CHANGEMAKER cover

Please come celebrate the release of my first book:

BE A CHANGEMAKER cover

Sunday, September 14th, at 2 p.m.

Seattle Creative Arts Center
2601 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(Click here for directions and parking information.

Eat, drink, mingle, hear more about the book from the author, and—best of all—meet some local teens who are already changing the world!

I hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it and would still like a signed copy, you can order from Secret Garden Books here (please indicate how you’d like it personalized in the “other notes about your order” field and leave an extra week or two for delivery).

I am not my book… Or am I?

Emu's Debuts headerEarlier this month over on Emu’s Debuts, I blogged about the importance, and difficulties, of separating the creator (ourselves) from the works created. Since some of you may not follow that blog, I thought I should post it here, too. Here’s an excerpt…

Read more

Book launch for Kim Baker's PICKLE!

table full of food

Every book launch party I’ve ever been to has been a ton of fun. If that’s not enough reason to go to as many as you can, how about just just supporting our local authors and illustrators? You want them to come out and support you on your big day, don’t you? If you didn’t make it to Kim Baker’s PICKLE launch party at Secret Garden Books last week, here’s just a taste of what you missed:
There was food!

table full of food
Can you spot all of the pranks here?

 
There were friends!
crowded bookstore
How many faces of SCBWI do you recognize here?

 
There were prizes!
Kim holding prizes
I believe those are the broken-glass stickers and the trick pencils. Later, I won an exploding can of snakes!

 
There were books!
Kim even read a scene from PICKLE to us.
(I think I snorted out loud.)

 
There were even pickles!
Wait a minute, I don’t think those are really pickles.

 
But don’t worry, if you didn’t make it to this book launch, there will be another one coming soon to a bookstore near you. Make sure you get out there and see what all the fun is about! And if you still need to pick up a PICKLE, you can always click here:

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