Taylor Kitchings Event at Lemuria Books – August 18

Hey, guys! I just have a quick post for you about a really cool event happening at Lemuria Books on August 18. Taylor Kitchings, debut author of Yard War (a middle grade book about football during the civil rights movement) will be launching his book at Lemuria with a signing and reading starting at 5 p.m. I know most of you aren’t located in Mississippi, but I wanted to let those of you that are in MS know about this cool event! Here’s a little more about the book and then a flier with more information about the event! (p.s. Taylor Kitchings will also be appearing at the Mississippi Book Festival on August 22!)

It’s 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side of his smiling neighbors. Even his loving grandparents don’t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn’t agree with, such as respect your elders. What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights–era South alive for young readers. – Synopsis from Goodreads

Yard War LETTER SIZE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA 8.5x11 in

Thursday Thoughts: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Book Launch

Chances are if you’ve been on the blog anytime this year, you’ve seen me post about how much I love Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I’ve reviewed it, kicked off the excerpt tour, and had an Oreogasm. I’ve also posted about it on Twitter or fangirled with Becky like 100 times. I adore her and her book, so when I found out she was having a book launch for Simon in Decatur (at Little Shop of Stories no less – one of my absolute favorite book shops), I knew I had to go. Who cares that it’s a 5 ½ hour drive? Not me. After I told Becky I was coming, we tweeted each other almost every day leading up to the event with just a bunch of exclamation points.

Becky and meCan I just take a moment to say how absolutely exciting it is to have an author just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them? I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favorite authors, but I’ve got to say that having Becky tweet me several times with the same excitement level I had was pretty much the coolest thing EVER.

So anyway, my librarian friend, Kayla, and I drove the 5 ½ hours to Decatur – which was a blast! – and headed over to Little Shop of Stories for the event. Meeting Becky for the first time was awesome! She is super cool and adorkable and was so appreciative of the fact that we drove over for the event that just her thanking me was worth it. But then she’d also brought me a finished copy of Simon that she’d wrote the sweetest note in. As you can guess, I pretty much hugged that book for the rest of the night. [Look how ADORABLE she is!  You can tell how happy I was from that smile.]

Becky talking

And then there was the event too.  Becky had brought ALL THE OREOS, which were obviously very delicious. Most especially the vodka infused ones. Yummmm. After some mingling and hob-knobbing, during which time Becky introduced me to Jeff Zentner, whose debut novel comes out next year, the event started. Becky gave an adorable intro to Simon and thank you to everyone who came, and then there was a Q&A – she talked about her writing process, the publication process, what it’s like writing her next book, and more. Then there was the signing. Since I already had a signed copy, I waited until the end to get another…check out the end of the post to see what I’m talking about!

ALL THE OREOS     OREOS!

This is when I met the super wonderful and chill David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland. He’d come down from Kentucky to support Becky, which is very cool. We talked about Mississippi and YA books and audiobooks. He signed my ARC that I won in a giveaway (Thanks again, David!). I also met Christina from A Reader of Fictions, who was SO SWEET. She gave Kayla and me a HUGE bag of ARCs because she said we looked friendly. Nice people finish FIRST. Thank you again, Christina!! I also left with three ARCs from Little Shop of Stories (I TOLD you they were awesome). I got an ARC of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (which I’ve already read and loved), ACOTAR!!!! by Sarah J. Maas, and Paper Weight by Meg Haston. For realz, if you’re ever in the Decatur area, go to Little Shop of Stories! They are the BEST.

Our haul     Our haul

We only brought ONE book to the event and we left with ALL OF THESE!!

I’ve talked about my life and my depression before on the blog, so I’m not going into that here. But I want to talk about how I felt at this event. I felt the least stressed, anxious, sad, unhappy, and uncomfortable at this event than I have in months. I felt utterly at home in Decatur and at this event surrounded by brilliant, kind, and bookish people. I haven’t felt normal in so long that I almost didn’t recognize the feeling. I could breathe. I wasn’t worried about anything. I can’t even really describe it nor can I properly thank Becky and everyone at the event, BUT I can spread the love.

Becky holding SimonCheck out how you can win a copy of Simon! 🙂

See that picture of Becky holding a copy of Simon? Yeah, that’s a SIGNED COPY YOU CAN WIN!! Head over to my Twitter then follow me and RT the tweet for a chance to win. The giveaway is US only – I am REALLY sorry to my international friends, but I just can’t afford international shipping right now. It ends on 4/30/15 so make sure you do it before then!