NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Super Swag Sunday

Today I'm turning the blog over to Laurisa White Reyes, author of The Last Enchanter (coming October 2013). She has some exciting news for all you swag lovers out there. Now hang on, because she's pretty worked up about it. There may be excess saliva involved. Okay, take it away, Laurisa ...

The 2nd Annual


When:  June 24th thru July 1st


Why:  For a chance to win lots of cool promotional items signed by 40+ of today's best middle grade and young adult authors!

Win? Did you say WIN?


Every day for seven days, Laurisa's blog will spotlight some of the most amazing new books for kids and teens! Monday thru Saturday visitors will be able to enter for chances to win one of 6 swag packs containing everything from signed bookmarks and postcards, to pins, pencils, totebags, stickers, key chains, lip balm, charms and more!

On the last day, SUPER SWAG SUNDAY, one last MEGA SWAG PACK will be given to one very lucky winner! This pack so far includes everything listed above PLUS:

1- hardbound copy of THE UNWANTEDS signed by author Lisa McMann

1- TEST TASTE charm bracelet


1 - LOVE AND LEFTOVERS charm necklace

1 - SEND ME A SIGN guitar pick

1 - paperback copy of EVERTASTER: THE BUTTERSMITH'S GOLD signed by author Adam Sidwell

1- hardbound copy of THE SCORCH TRIALS signed by author James Dashner

1- hardbound copy of THE ALWAYS WARS signed by author Margaret Peterson Haddix

1 - OyMG! T-shirt

1 - Original Artwork Print from FISHTALE signed by author Catherine Masciola

1- LOSING IT water bottle signed by author Erin Fry

1 - hardbound copy of LOSING IT signed by the author

1 - paperback copy of HYSTERIA signed by author Megan Miranda

And more prizes are still being added to the pile!

So be sure to stop by every day from June 24th thru July 1st for plenty of chances to win. Stop by now and follow the blog to receive notifications of when the event starts posting.

See you then!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Children's Book Week!

Join the Hop! Your hosts:
Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Youth Literature Reviews

I love young adult fiction. It can grab you tighter, pull you in deeper, than perhaps anything else. Think of The Fault in Our Stars or Thirteen Reasons Why or Before I Fall or a hundred other fantastic books. (You'll be adding C.J. Flood's Infinite Sky to that list, I promise you, if you've not read it. Wow.)

But while great YA makes my head spin, great middle-grade fiction tugs at my heart. It's where I live; it's home to me. There are wonderful adult books and great YA books, but deep down, I think middle grade books are my very favorite. They do so much with so little. They run the gamut from goofy-funny to heartbreaking. And perhaps the most heartbreaking part of even the funniest books is that, to the adults around them, kids' worries just aren't that big a deal.

But we all know they are. If you can remember what it's like to be ten years old, you recognize those feelings when a writer reveals them through character. And if you can't remember what it's like to be ten years old, I pity you. Read a few MG books and see if you can't get that back. Because it's important stuff we learn when we're ten, and it's important because we're ten. And no, I'm not talking long division here.

So celebrate Children's Book Week! Dance around the Maypole, if you didn't get a chance to do that on May 1. Go to the library and fill your arms with books like you did when you were little (or, bless you, like you ought to have done). Delight in their bright colors and their noble heroes. Take them seriously, because no one else takes a ten-year-old seriously. Then report back! What's on your middle-grade TBR shelf? Here's mine:

And anyway, what better way to celebrate Children's Book Week than with a cool giveaway and blog hop? Book bloggers extraordinaires Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are cohosting the fabulous Kid Lit Giveaway Hop referenced above. Hop  here, hop there, like good little blogfrogs, and enter to win kidlit books and gift cards!

And Yeah, a Giveaway Right Here
But first, don't think you're leaving here without a chance to win a free autographed hardcover copy of The Key & the Flame. Because that just wouldn't be right. Then scroll down to hop around to the rest of the sites!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spotted in the Wild: Oregon

On my fun new monthly blog feature, you'll get a Friday peek at where The Key & the Flame has been "spotted in the wild"--the wilds of local bookstores, that is. This month's SITW locale is--

Powell's City of Books, Portland, Oregon

Not only can you see TK&TF in this rare shot, dozing in its natural habitat, but fellow Lucky 13 author Kit Grindstaff's fantasy MG novel, The Flame in the Mist, is seen just a book away. It's not uncommon to see these two species sharing the same habitat. As a theme-related bonus, Angie Sage's Fyre is sandwiched in between.

Powell's is touted by a friend of mine as "the world's greatest bookstore," and that feeling is apparently echoed by The Washington Post. With 68,000 square feet packed with over a million titles, Powell's is a must-visit site when you're in Portland. Follow them on their Facebook page here.

Thanks to author Cat Winters for this month's Spotted in the Wild photo!


Have you spotted The Key & the Flame in your town? Snap a photo and send it to me at readerchat [at] cmcaterer [dot] com or Tweet it to me here (@ClaireCaterer). Be sure and tell me the store name and the city, and I'll use it in an upcoming SITW feature.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why You're Having Trouble Finding My Book

Yes, blogfrogs, the agonizing kerfuffle between Big Six publisher Simon & Schuster and Big One Bookstore Chain Barnes & Noble is still ongoing.

What? You didn't know about that?

Here's the short version: S&S and B&N are in some kind of negotiations. They aren't going well. So for the time being--yeah, that's since March--B&N has drastically reduced its stock of S&S titles. While you can probably still find Stephen King and Jodi Picoult on Barnes & Noble shelves, you aren't going to see us newbies. Midlist and newbie authors are just out of luck.

If this were 1983 instead of 2013, I'd say, "Eh, that's not cool, but who cares? There's still B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Brentano's ..."

If this were 1993, I'd say, "Eh, there's still ... Borders."

But the upshot now is that a lot of towns in America have just one bookstore. And it's a B&N. Once megastores like Borders and B&N got done mopping up the indie bookshop blood off the streets, there weren't a lot of other places for book lovers to go. But now the choice is even smaller. True, lots of indies--and bless you all!--were able to stick it out, and some have even started up since. But sadly, with that other behemoth (shhh: Amazon) staring them down, indies have to be made of tough stuff to stand their ground.

How long will this go on? I don't know. I do know that Simon & Schuster authors trying to set up events at B&N are having no luck, and book buyers won't find The Key & the Flame on the shelves. You can still order it through the B&N website or from the store counter, but whether they'll let you pick it up in the store versus shipping it to your home is questionable. (The "Pick Up in Store" option was gone from my page for a while; now it seems to be back again.)

That said, I don't get into the fine print of financial wranglings and have nothing against B&N. I'm not saying anyone's right or wrong, nor that I understand even a little bit what this is all about. But I will say it's hurting us authors, and it's not doing you readers any favors, either.

In the meantime, you can get The Key & the Flame from

Powell's Books (in store or online)
Books a Million (in store or online)

Look for more updates as they roll in!