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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The July Books!

I know a lot of you blogfrogs are packing for vacation right now (or you will be, after you read this post). Don't forget to take along some fab reading material! Check out this month's crop of Lucky 13* releases:

Since You Asked by Maureen Goo
July 1 (Scholastic)
YA contemporary

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

July 2 (HarperTeen)
YA contemporary 

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
July 8 (Flux)
YA paranormal

45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson
July 11 (Viking Juvenile)
YA contemporary

Chick-o-Saurus Rex by Lenore Jennewein; illus. by Daniel Jennewein
July 23 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
picture book

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
July 23 (Simon Pulse)
YA contemporary romance

Starglass by Phoebe North
July 23 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
YA sci-fi

Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
July 30 (St. Martin's Griffin)
YA contemporary

* What's a Lucky 13? An author lucky enough to be publishing his or her very first book for kids or teens in 2013! Each month, I'll introduce a new crop of fabulous debut fiction. Search for the tag 2013 debuts to see more, and read the Lucky 13 blog right here. And hey, if you love BOOK TRAILERS, head over to my Pinterest board, where I'm putting up Lucky 13 trailers as they become available!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Have you ever been on one of those zany cross-country trips in a broken-down van? The kind where you take the back roads and stop in every state and have lunch at strange, ill-lit diners next to folks who glare at you over their meatloaf? (Look out ... I think that one's got a knife in his boot.)

No? Well, neither have I. But it always sounds like fun, except for the sleeping-in-a-van bit. Luckily, neither you nor I have to sleep in a van this summer, because IceyBooks and I Like These Books are hosting a reading road trip! That's right, you can read your way around the nation and win books at the same time!

The month-long road trip starts July 1. Each blog stop will take you to a different state, where you'll learn fun facts and have a chance to win a book that will transport you to that state from the comfort of your armchair. My own stop on the tour is scheduled for July 18, when I'll be giving away a copy of Clare Vanderpool's Newbery Award winner, Moon Over Manifest, and telling you all about the great state of Kansas. So be sure and come back! In the meantime, visit the rest of the tour, starting July 1 in New Hampshire. You can view the whole itinerary here. And don't forget to pack the cooler.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Get in on the Good Stuff

Froggies, I hope you'll hop on over to Laurisa White Reyes's blog today, where she's featuring The Key & the Flame in today's Super Swag Sunday giveaway. What the heck is Super Swag Sunday? It's a way for you to win loads of the coolest swag from today's top kidlit authors!

Details of the SSS are here.

Today's giveaway is right here.

So get on over there!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flame Sisters Unite!

Hey, blogfrogs, just a quickie to direct you to hop on over to The Lucky 13s blog today, where author Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist) and I are dishing about our books. And check out the post below, where Laurisa White Reyes kicks off the Super Swag Sunday event. You won't want to miss it!

Bring on the Swag!

Blogfrogs, in case you missed it, author Laurisa White Reyes (The Last Enchanter and The Rock of Ivanore) is hosting the biggest swag giveaway I've ever seen. Of course I had to get in on it, so you can bet there's some nifty The Key & the Flame swag included in the haul. Remember to stop by Laurisa's blog every day this week to view the featured titles and get in on that day's swag pack giveaway. And now I'll  hand the keyboard over to Laurisa to tell you all about it!

The 2nd Annual 


is finally here!!!

When:  June 24th through June 30th


Why:  For a chance to win lots of cool promotional items signed by 55+ of today's best middle grade and young adult authors!

Every day for seven days, Laurisa's blog will spotlight some of the most amazing new books for kids and teens! Monday June 24th thru Saturday June 30th 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 all donated by 54 of today's top middle grade and  young adult authors! Most of it is autographed!

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- paperback 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

1- hardbound copy of STARTERS signed by author Lissa Price

1 - poster of THE BINDING STONE signed by author Lisa Gail Green

1 - DRAGONWITCH pencil

1 - signed Margaret Petersen Haddix PIN!

1 - MONSTERS (Ilsa J. Bick) Back Pack & Advanced Reader Copy

1- Paperback copy of DESMOND PUCKETT MAKES MONSTER MAGIC signed by author Mark Tatulli

1 - DC SUPERHERO Totebag

1 - paperback graphic novel TERRA TEMPO

Just a few of the very cool MEGA SWAG PACK goodies!
Where is this all taking place???


Stop by every day, June 24 - 30 

for plenty of chances to win!

See you there!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Middle Grade Mania!

I missed Marvelous Middle Grade Monday this week--well, okay, I've missed it most weeks, sorry--but it wasn't until yesterday that I had full details on this cool event coming up in just over a week:

That's right, six authors will be signing books at Anderson's Two Doors East in Naperville, IL (just outside Chicago) at 4:30 pm, June 29 (including me)! It's all part of the author-packed weekend that comes from having the American Library Association Conference in town. Check out these events! Click on the links for more details:

Anderson's Bookshop Naperville: 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL |  (630) 355-2665
Anderson's Two Doors East: (2 doors down from the Naperville store): 111 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL |  (630) 355-2665
Anderson's Bookshop Downer's Grove:  5112 Main St, Downers Grove, IL | (630) 963-2665
The Book Cellar: 4736 N Lincoln Ave #1,  Chicago | (773) 293-2665


4:00 pm: 2k13 Middle Grade Writers (Reading & Book Signing) featuring Liesl Shurtliff (Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin), Tamera Will Wissinger (Gone Fishing), Polly Holyoke (The Neptune Project), & Tara Sullivan (Golden Boy). Event held at The Book Cellar.

5:00 pm: 2k13 YA Authors (Reading & Book Signing) featuring Debra Driza (MILA 2.0), Caela Carter (Me, Him, Them, & It), Kate Karyus Quinn (Another Little Piece), Jennifer McGowan (Maid of Secrets), Nicole McInnes (Brianna on the Brink), & Demitria Lunetta (In the After). Event held at The Book Cellar.

6:00 pm: 2k13 YA Authors Preview for Upcoming Releases featuring Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink), Geoffrey Girard (Project Cain), K.A. Barson (45 Pounds More or Less), Lydia Kang (Control), & Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays). Event held at The Book Cellar.

7:00 pm: YA Night featuring Sonia Manzano (The Evolution of Evelyn Serrano), Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon), James Preller (A Pirate's Guide to Recess--children's, not YA), & Paul Rudnick (Gorgeous). Event held at Anderson's Two Doors East.


2:00 pm: Newbery winner Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan). Event held at Anderson's Bookshop Naperville.

4:30 pm: Middle Grade Mania featuring Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever), yours truly--squee! (The Key & the Flame), Elisabeth Dahl (Genie Wishes), Lisa Greenwald (Reel Life Starring Us), Sarah Stewart Taylor (The Expeditioners and the Treasure), & Margaret McNamara (Sylva and the Fairy Ball). Event held at Anderson's Two Doors East.

4:30 pm: YA Afternoon featuring Hilary Smith (Wild Awake), Michael Grant (Fear: A Gone Novel), Ellen Hopkins (Tilt), Lauren Myracle (Shine), & A.G. Howard (Splintered). Event held at Anderson's Bookshop Naperville.    


1:00 pm: Picture Book Fun featuring Chris Raschka (Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike) Loren Long (Otis and the Puppy), Molly Idle (Tea Rex), & Jesse Klausmeier (Open This Little Book)

3:00 pm: Even More YA! featuring Annabel Pitcher (My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece), Marcus Sedgwick (Midwinter Blood), S.A. Bodeen (The Raft), Sara Zarr (Lucy Variations), Tara Sullivan (Golden Boy), and Matthew Quick (Boy 21). Event held at Anderson's Bookshop Naperville.

3:00 pm: Tom Angleburger (Art 2 D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling). Event held at Anderson's Bookshop Downer's Grove.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The June Books!

Yeah, I know--we're halfway through the month already. I plead an insane May schedule due to my One & Only graduating high school and then spiriting me away to Florida. But however late I may be, I can't neglect showing off these fabulous debut kidlit authors' releases from the Lucky 13s!*

The Monstore by Tara Lazar; illus. by James Burks
June 4 (Aladdin)
picture book

Parched by Melanie Crowder
June 4 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
MG near-future

The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch
June 6 (Random House Children's Publishers--UK only)
YA fantasy

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
June 8 (Flux)
YA paranormal

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
June 11 (HarperTeen)
YA thriller

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
June 11 (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
YA historical

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
June 11 (St. Martin's Griffin)
YA paranormal

Every Day After by Laura Golden
June 11 (Delacorte)
MG historical

Linked by Imogen Howson
June 11 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
YA sci-fi

Rush by Eve Silver
June 11 (Katherine Tegen Books)
YA sci-fi

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
June 18 (HarperCollins Children's)
MG mystery

In the After by Demitria Lunetta
June 25 (HarperTeen)
YA sci-fi

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
June 27 (G.P. Putnam's Sons / Penguin)
MG contemporary

* What's a Lucky 13? An author lucky enough to be publishing his or her very first book for kids or teens in 2013! Each month, I'll introduce a new crop of fabulous debut fiction. Search for the tag 2013 debuts to see more, and read the Lucky 13 blog right here. And hey, if you love BOOK TRAILERS, head over to my Pinterest board, where I'm putting up Lucky 13 trailers as they become available!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Thank You to Watermark Books

Unlike a lot of authors I know, I haven't exactly been busy on the book-signing circuit. First of all, let's dispel a myth, in case you're still clinging to it: Most of us don't get sent on paid book tours. Because most of us are not Neil Gaiman or Veronica Roth or Lauren Oliver. Surprise!

Most of us are just ... us.

That means that we newbie authors pay our own way when we want to promote our books. I'm not dissing my publisher or any other publisher (why would I shoot that particular foot?). It's just the reality of the business. When you're rolling with the third or fourth book of a wildly popular series--Jeff Kinney, Rick Riordan, those folks--then you can put away your credit card.

As for my credit card, let's just say the magnetic strip is looking pretty worn.

So, being a writer who will soon start paying her child's college tuition, I've not done much traveling. But lucky for me, Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita is a drivable distance (about 3 hours), and it's also convenient to some nice free lodging, courtesy of my mother-in-law and her husband.

Watermark not only hosted a successful signing last week, with about 35 people in attendance, but marketing manager Beth Golay set out a beautiful spread of cupcakes, crackers, and cheese. (Don't you love the old typewriter?!) Store owner Sarah Bagby gave me a lovely intro. And both of these ladies even uncorked a bottle of champagne! How's that for a welcome?

So thank you, Watermark Books & Cafe, for hosting such a lovely event. And thank you, Diane Wahto and Pat Roche, for opening your home to me. Wichita is a great town with beautiful parks and gardens, great restaurants, and lovely people. Let's do it again soon!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Spotted in the Wild: Massachusetts

It's time again for the monthly first Friday feature where we espy copies of The Key & the Flame around the country! Today's featured in-the-wild spotting happened at

Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Massachusetts

TK&TF is in fine company nestled just above Andrew Clements' Frindle, a children's classic!

For over 50 years, Brookline Booksmith has been a beloved indie bookstore in the greater Boston area. It features a steady stream of author events--sometimes three or four in a week--and hosts both adult and YA book clubs. Find them on Facebook here.

Thanks to author Jennifer Ann Mann 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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Introducing ... PARCHED!

This week I'm highlighting a very special new novel by the amazing author Melanie Crowder. Parched released yesterday to rave reviews, including positive nods from Kirkus Reviews, The Wall Street Journal, School Library Journal, and Booklist. (You can read my own review on the Lucky 13 blog right here.)

Part survival story, part friendship story, Parched is a book you'll swallow whole. Don't be put off by its brief page count--like a beautiful poem, the depth is in its spare, gorgeous prose and its heartfelt story.

Melanie's website
Follow Melanie on Twitter
Like her on Facebook

In fact, I'm so moved by this story that ... yeah! I feel compelled to give a copy away to one lucky winner! The giveaway runs for 1 week only, so get in on it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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