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, March 28, 2013

The April Books!

Blogfrogs, you know why the April list of Lucky 13* books has me all a-jittery and running my own private adrenaline factory: My own book is one of them! But this is a big month for MG in general, with six great books hitting the shelves! And of course we've got more YA contemps and paranormals as well, so warm up those credit cards. by Joe Lawlor
April 1 (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)
MG contemporary mystery

That Time I Joined the Circus
by J.J. Howard
April 1 (Scholastic Point)
YA contemporary

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
April 1 (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
MG contemporary

Genie Wishes by Elisabeth Dahl
April 2 (Amulet Books)
MG contemporary

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
April 2 (Amulet Books)
YA historical ghost story

The Key & the Flame by Claire M. Caterer
April 2 (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
MG fantasy

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
April 2 (Sourcebooks Fire)
YA contemporary

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
April 2 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
YA paranormal

The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff
April 9 (Delacorte)
MG fantasy

April 9 (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
MG fantasy

Taken by Erin Bowman
April 16 (HarperTeen)
YA dystopian/fantasy

The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf
April 18 (Dial)
YA contemporary

ACID by Emma Pass
April 25 (Corgi Children's Books--UK only; US edition coming in 2014)
YA dystopian

* 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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


This is no joke, blogfrogs: The Key & the Flame releases in one week into the wild! I am beyond excited--more like a puddly mess of adrenaline. So to fill the time between then and now, I am announcing Blog Tour 2013!

What the heck is a blog tour?
I knew someone would ask. It's kind of a blogging blitz--I hop all around the blogosphere like a manic leprechaun, chatting with bloggers, posting fun tidbits, and yes, giving stuff away. It's a lot of fun, if tiring. Below is the schedule. If you're a book blog fiend, you can visit a different site every day. If you just can't take that kind of pressure, well, read the schedule. That's fun too. (I'm kidding. I didn't put this thing together for my health. Go visit.)

April 2, 2013 (Pub Day!)
The Lucky 13s
Melanie Crowder, author of Parched, introduces The Key & the Flame and offers a sneak peek of Chapter 1

Smack Dab in the Middle
Tamera Will Wissinger (author of Gone Fishing) and I dish about character motivation and the joy of writing for middle grade

my own little blog
our final Countdown to Pub Day Party Giveaway! books, swag, gift cards, you name it!

April 3, 2013  Hobbitsies
a guest post on creating the real and fantastical worlds in The Key & the Flame

April 4, 2013  IceyBooks
my publication journey from draft to contract--in dialogue!--and another chance to win a free book

April 5, 2013  I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
an interview on the ins and outs of the writing process, plus we give away a copy of the book

April 7, 2013  A Two-fer!
The Hiding Spot
I chat with illustrator Karl Kwasny on creating the gorgeous cover for The Key & the Flame--and give away another free copy!

Girls in the Stacks
a chance to gab with the girls via podcast--and pass on another free copy to some lucky winner! (Note: Find the giveaway here.)

April 8, 2013  The Book Muncher
a guest post on things I've learned about publishing and a swag bag giveaway

April 9, 2013  GreenBeanTeenQueen
I reveal my deep and abiding love for all things library

April 10, 2013  The Mod Podge Bookshelf
time to share some embarrassing snippets of childhood writing

April 11, 2013  From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors
Amie Borst & I chat about MG, and yes, I part with another free copy of The Key & the Flame

April 12, 2013  The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Orchid interviews me about our mutual love of magic portals and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and we give away yet another copy of The Key & the Flame (NOTE: Giveaway will follow shortly after the interview; Orchid's still reading the book.)

April 13, 2013  Fantasy Book Addict
We gab about fantastical things and give away some awesome swag

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Swaggy Time

It's been said by someone that writers need to write when a book isn't about to come out, but when it is, the priority should shift to marketing. Toward that end, while my writer heart sobs quietly in the corner, my swag-loving heart has been dreaming up different fun themed items to go with the release of The Key & the Flame. So far, here's what I've got:

key pendant on 18" chain
bookmark--some have tassels & charms
bookplate (soon to be graced with my own fine hand)
beanbag Golden Salamander
mini button
... and the swag collection continues to grow! What would you like to see in a swag bag for The Key & the Flame?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Countdown to Pub Day Party Giveaway #4!

Blogfrogs, I can hardly believe that 4 weeks from today--*cough*gasp*choke*--I'll be celebrating my very own Pub Day. But until that time, I've got one last giveaway before our final wowza palooza party day. It is my distinct honor to offer you ...

(trumpet fanfare & drumroll)

The Cavendish Home for Boys & Girls
by Claire Legrand

Goodreads has this to say:

At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)

But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all.

If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.
This book has a timeless, Roald Dahlesque quality--i.e., fantastic writing--and is seriously creepy. Kirkus Reviews called it “a heartwarming friendship tale . . . A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist.” This is a book with a great friendship at its heart as well as more than a few chills and scares.

So I'm thrilled to be giving away a hardcover copy of this novel along with three of my fab The Key & the Flame bookmarks! This is a short giveaway, frogs--just one week. So the tension won't last forever. By the way, hearty congrats & confetti to Mike C. of Illinois, who won last month's giveaway and is now enjoying his very own copy of The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver.

But that's over and done. This giveaway's happening right now. So go ahead. Get in on it!

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