Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Funday Mondays and some other great events

Can the summer really be half over already? With the 4th of July less than a week away, apparently it is! Between our Funday Mondays, an astronaut encounter, and "Give Me Summer, Give Me Books BINGO" the time has flown by--but summer isn't over yet, and there's still a lot of fun to come at Chapters!

Here's a quick recap of our June events and a look ahead to what's coming for the rest of the summer. For more photos, visit our Facebook page,

We started our Funday Mondays with a "Give Me Summer, Give Me Books BINGO" Kickoff party. We played summer bingo, made book bags from pillowcases and t-shirts, and got everyone started on their reading BINGO cards. (Have you picked yours up yet? You still have time!)

Our second Funday Monday was for the grown ups (and Kennedy). Rachel led two Zentangle workshops, one for beginners and one for the more advanced Zentanglers among us. If you missed this relaxing event and are interested in learning about the art of Zentangle, let me know. Rachel has offered to do another session later this summer or in the fall.

 It wasn't a Monday, but Saturday June 11 was still a fun day, as Nebraska's astronaut Clayton Anderson presented about his journey to becoming the "Ordinary Spaceman," inspired kids, and signed copies of his book at the Seward Memorial Library. What made the day even more special was that our own Ted Kooser was present at the event. Clayton took a copy of Ted's Delights and Shadows to space, and both are "Distinguished Alumni" at Iowa State University, so it was great that they had the opportunity to meet. 

June ended with a Dog Day Fun Day and a Creativity Kids Craft Day. The Daywitt family brought their lab puppies, and Dr. Dan Ellis and his dog Harvey shared pet care and safety tips before we made dog treats and toys to donate to Blue River Pet Rescue's foster dogs. Then, just days ago, we spent this Monday afternoon creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces out of everything from feathers to marshmallows.

As July approaches, we're gearing up for a visit with author Stephanie Grace Whitson on July 4th--two visits, actually, one at 10:00 a.m. and another at 1:00 p.m. Stephanie's new book, Messenger by Moonlight is about the Pony Express, and she'll share fascinating facts about her research for the book.

July's Funday Mondays include a Laugh Out Loud Stories Day (July 11) and, the one we've all been waiting for, Cola Fountains and Splattering Paint Bombs and Other Messy Science on July 18, as well as Teacher Appreciation Day July 25.

Rounding out July is a new Harry Potter book, and yes, we're having a Midnight Release Party. It will be July 30, beginning at 11:30 p.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. July 31. We'll also be open July 31 from 8-9:00 a.m. and from 12:00-2:00 p.m. for those who can wait a few hours for their new Harry Potter fix.
And, last but not least for the summer, don't miss Curious George at the Seward County Fair on Friday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m. It's his 75th birthday, so expect a treat, as well as a chance to meet George and read some fun stories.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nebraska's Astronaut Clayton Anderson Visits Seward

A few weeks ago as I walked into the house, I heard a voice through my answering machine (yes, we still have both a landline and an answering machine). "This is Nebraska's astronaut Clay Anderson." I dropped my bag and ran to grab the phone, just in time for an exciting conversation. It's not every day you get to talk to a REAL astronaut, especially one who wants to come to your store for a book signing and presentation!

Clayton Anderson is coming to Seward June 11 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. He'll be presenting a talk, "How I Became the Ordinary Spaceman," and signing his book The Ordinary Spaceman. We're holding the event at the Seward Memorial Library because they have a bigger room, and you can reserve a seat at the presentation by picking up a FREE ticket at either Chapters or the library. Depending on how many tickets we hand out, there may or may not be seats available for people without tickets, so be sure to get your ticket, which also reserves you a place in the signing line.
Clayton Anderson grew up in Ashland, Nebraska, and now lives in Houston, Texas. He  retired from NASA in 2013, after a thirty year career that included two missions to the International Space Station. He's a graduate of both Hastings College and Iowa State University.
Books are available for pre-purchase now. If you can't make it to the event, you're welcome to purchase books and leave them with us, and we'll have them signed for you when he's in town.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ted Kooser Book Release Party

Join us at Chapters Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. 
for a very special book release party!
Enter to win Ted Kooser's pastel drawing of the bridge.
Former US Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize Winner, and Garland, Nebraska, resident Ted Kooser's next book will be released in May, and Chapters is honored to host a book release party for him. This is one party you won't want to miss! We'll have Ted's book available, to be personally signed, before it's available anywhere else. In addition, Ted has created a pastel drawing of the bridge featured in the book, and we'll be giving it away to one lucky winner who is in attendance at our event.

The Bell in the Bridge, new from Ted Kooser and Barry Root
The new book is The Bell in the Bridge, a children's picture book illustrated by Barry Root, who also illustrated Ted's first picture book, Bag in the Wind. The book has received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and other publications. Between them, Ted and the illustrator perfectly capture the feel of lazy, lonely summer days in the rural Midwest.

When Charlie visits his grandparents' farm, he finds ways to entertain himself--catching tadpoles, whacking weeds, and dropping rocks from an iron bridge. One day he strikes the bridge with a big rock, making it ring like a bell, and hears an answering "bong" from far down the valley. What causes the noise is a mystery, and "there is nothing better than a good mystery when a person is lonely and bored in the middle of summer."

We all know there's nothing better than a book by Ted Kooser in any season!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Local Authors Event April 30

The second annual national Independent Bookstore Day is coming April 30! At Chapters, we're joining 420 other bookstores across the nation to celebrate and thank our customers for supporting us, keeping independent bookstores viable and thriving. We wouldn't be here without you, our loyal customers, and Independent Bookstore Day is a way for us to offer special merchandise, sales and events to show our appreciation of our communities.

Chapters will celebrate by hosting more than fifteen area authors for a signing event. The morning will feature authors of children's and young adult books from 11:00 a.m.-noon. The afternoon session from 1:00-2:00 p.m. will feature authors of books for adults.

Confirmed authors for the morning include: Charlotte Endorf, Rebecca Gomez, Nichole Hansen, Nona Morrison, N. L. Sharp, R. K. Vetter, and Karla Wendelin.

Confirmed authors for the afternoon include:  Bobbi and Rod Adams, Lucy Adkins, Michael Curd, Brian Hale, Bonnie Lacy, Mark Langan, Bud Phelps, James Reisdorff, and William Spradley.
I'm posting brief biographies of each of the authors below. For more information, visit their individual blogs or websites or stop by the store and see the books in real life!

Bobbi and Rod Adams live in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Bobbi teaches kindergarten and Rod is a computer programmer and a photographer. Their book My World Volume 1 is intended to be an invitation to spark memories and conversations when a loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s. My World Volume 1 can be a vehicle to past memories and bring pure joy, without any expectation to remember. They will be signing at Chapters from 1-2:00 p.m.

Lucy Adkins (with Becky Breed) is the author of Writing in Community, a guide for writers' groups. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies, journals, and magazines. Her chapbook, One Life Shining: Addie Finch, Farmwife, was published in 2007 by Pudding House Press. She also co-writes a blog of encouragement and inspiration for writers which can be found at Lucy has conducted workshops and has worked with writing groups for many years. She grew up in rural Nebraska and now lives and writes in Lincoln. She will be signing from 1-2:00 p.m.

Michael Curd, formerly a pastor in Milford, returns to Chapters to sign his book Through the Valley, a fictionalized account of a hospital chaplain in a major trauma center. Mike is a great supporter of Chapters and our events, and we're looking forward to his return visit from 1-2:00 p.m.

Charlotte Endorf, a lifelong Nebraskan, specializes in speaking to elementary schools, women's groups, museums, town festivals, senior centers, and libraries, bringing the characters in her books to life through her presentations. Charlotte and her daughter Sarah have published ten books. She has also developed three documentaries and a CD with an Orphan Train rider. She will be signing her new book Always on Target: Adventurous Annie Oakley from 11 a.m.-noon.

Rebecca Gomez, an Omaha resident, is co-author of What About Moose? and the forthcoming Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks with Corey Rosen Schwartz. She celebrated Read Across America Day in Seward by reading to kindergarteners and first graders at Seward Elementary School, and she returns to town from 11 a.m.-noon to sign books at Chapters.

Brian Hale, a Colorado native, was injured in a chain saw accident as a youth. After hearing for years how lucky he was to survive the accident, he wrote Are You Lucky? in an attempt to understand and clarify what luck is and how it works in our lives. He'll return to Chapters from 1-2:00 p.m.

Nichole Hansen and her husband Tevin own Handersen Publishing, an independent publisher of books for children and young adults, and edit the YA literary magazine Stinkwaves. Together and independently, they write for children, blog, and raise their kids in Lincoln. Nichole will be at Chapters to sign from 11 a.m.-noon.

Bonnie Lacy of Osceola, Nebraska, is the author of six novels, a nonfiction book, devotionals, several children's books, and many short stories. She blogs about writing and life at She will sign her recently published novel Released at Chapters from 1-2:00 p.m.

Mark Langan, a retired Omaha police officer from the burglary, vice and narcotics units, drew on his work experience to write Busting Bad Guys, true crime stories from the seamier side of Omaha. He'll be sharing stories and signing his book from 1-2:00 p.m.

Nona Morrison, debut author of The Ghost Juggler for young readers, will be visiting Chapters from 11 a.m.-noon.

R. G. Bud Phelps, a lifelong Nebraskan, lives in Lincoln. After a career in accounting and a stint in the Navy, he now concentrates on writing. His books include historical fiction based on his life's experiences and accounting books. You can meet him at Chapters from 1-2:00 p.m.

James Reisdorff of David City has been to Chapters to share the stories behind his railroad books many times over the years. He and his wife own South Platte Press and publish railroad-related titles, some of which he wrote. He will be signing from 1-2:00 p.m.

N. L. Sharp's first book, Today I'm Going Fishing with my Dad, was published in 1993 and was a Nebraska Golden Sower nominee. In 2003, Sharp created Prairieland Press to publish and market her books. She released Effie's Image in 2005, and it was also a Golden Sower Nominee. The Flower Girl/The Ring Bear: A Flip-Over Book was named a Nebraska Center for the Book award winner for Cover Illustration and Design. Sharp is also the coordinator for the Nebraska Novel Retreats, a series of retreats for middle grade and YA authors, held at the St. Benedict Center in Schuyler. Her first middle grade novel, Keeping Captain, was released in February. She will be at Chapters from 11 a.m.-noon.

William Spradley, though born and raised in Nebraska, has traveled throughout the world as an engineer with McDonnell Douglas. He now lives and writes in Missouri, and his latest work is a collection of short stories titled Cold Trail. Meet him at Chapters from 1-2:00 p.m.

Rosalie (R. K.) Vetter grew up on a farm in Iowa and began her education in a one-room school house. After serving 20 years in Nebraska elementary school classrooms, she lives in Lincoln with her helpful hardware-man husband. Currently, this storytime lady, better known to preschoolers as Library Kay, blogs She will make her debut appearance at Chapters from 11 a.m.-noon.

Karla Wendelin is a former elementary school teacher; university professor of reading, language arts, children's literature, and library media; and elementary school librarian. She served as a consultant for the PBS program "Reading Rainbow" and author of the teacher's guide and math guide for the series. Class Pictures is her first book for young people. You can meet her at Chapters from 11 a.m.-noon.

I hope to see you Saturday, April 30! 

On another exciting note. . . 

We will host a book release party for Ted Kooser's new picture book,  The Bell in the Bridge on Saturday, May 7 at Chapters. Time TBD.