If you like to read, write, blog, talk or just share ideas and info about good books, welcome to my blog. Let your friends know about me and my books - and let me know what you'd like to read about!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Here's wishing that everyone has a spectacular 2013, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! My New Year's resolution is to recommend at least one great children's book every week in my blog. Happy reading!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Finally got my last present wrapped and under the tree. We are having Christmas early this year, as my daughter has to leave on Christmas day! The weather has been rainy and cold here, perfect for curling up and reading a good book. My favorites for this time of year are THE THREE BEARS' CHRISTMAS by Kathy Duval, THE ELF'S HAT by Brigitte Weninger and COOKIE COUNT by Robert Sabuda.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have just accepted a position with the library in Pacific Grove, California! It will be wonderful to work with children and books again. They provide all of my inspiration, plus the only thing I enjoy more than writing children's books is reading them! It's always important to see what children and young adults are currently reading and to get ideas from them on what they would like to read next.

Monday, December 3, 2012

All in all, I have received ten recipes to be included in my sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE, which is tentatively to be entitled NEW YEAR'S EVIE.  These recipes will be included in the book, at the end of each chapter, and credit will be given to the suppliers of each recipe! I still need six more, however, so spread the word to any fellow cooks. You can all become published authors!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ate more than the little old lady in my book! That means that Christmas is almost here, and autographed books make great gifts. So, in keeping with the holiday spirit, I am extending my offer of an autographed copy of any of my books for only $10.00. That's much cheaper than retail and even less than Amazon charges. Just email me at pieauthor@aol.com, and I will give you all the details!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Only three more days to get a copy of I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE for only $10.00. I've had quite a few requests so far. Just email me at pieauthor@aol.com. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Gobble! Gobble!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I've already had a number of takers for my deal on EGGS OVER EVIE (an autographed copy for only $10.00.) So...in honor of Thanksgiving I am offering the same deal for autographed copies of I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE. That's cheaper than retail or Amazon, plus - did I mention - it will be autographed! Just email me at pieauthor@aol.com and I can send you the details. Happy Reading!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Great news! EGGS OVER EVIE has officially now sold over 10,000 copies! In celebration of this landmark, I am offering a special deal to anyone who would like to purchase an autographed copy of the book. From now until Christmas you can order a hardcover copy from me for only $10.00 (which is seven dollars less than retail and three dollars less than Amazon). Simply email me at pieauthor@aol.com and I will give you the details. Books make great Christmas gifts!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I had a wonderful time visiting two elementary schools in Antioch, California, this past week, presenting three assemblies and then conducting a "mini-workshop" for a select group of students in the school library. Many of the students at Jack London Elementary School made dioramas of  my books and displayed them in the library. All of the teachers made a variety of pies to celebrate "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie." They were yummy! At Lone Tree Elementary School, the teachers provided a potluck luncheon with a Western theme, in honor of "Desert Rose and her Hifalutin' Hog." The students decorated the cafeteria with "recipes" of themselves, much like the recipe for Evie on the jacket flap of "Eggs Over Evie." All in all, it was an exciting and fun two days!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I will be visiting two schools in Antioch, California, later this week: Jack London Elementary on Thursday and Lone Tree Elementary on Friday. While there, I will be speaking to children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. My assemblies will incorporate puppets and a power point presentation, in which I talk to the students about writing, editing, rewriting and the entire writing process, including fan mail! Should be fun!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some rather disappointing news...the sequel to IF THE SHOES FITS, entitled WHEN THE WIND BLEW has been rescheduled for publication with Henry Holt in early 2014. That means we will have to wait another year to see the book in print! The story is a humorous take-off on the nursery rhyme, "Rock-A-Bye Baby," in which the wind blows so hard, that the baby is whisked right out of the tree and lands on the shoe/house owned by the "Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe." All of the nursery rhymes become hopelessly rearranged, until the wind shifts and blows everything back into its proper order It's well worth waiting for! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another busy weekend! I flew to North Carolina for a wedding and family reunion. While in Chapel Hill I went into a book store and had a chance to browse through the new graphic novel of A WRINKLE IN TIME , originally written by Madeleine L'Engle and newly adapted/illustrated by Hope Larson. I was wary at first, since this novel was perhaps one of my very favorites as a child. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the new version was just as entertaining - and moving - as the original. The characters of Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin were depicted as I remembered them, but the predominantly blue tint to all of the illustrations seemed a little bland. Larson's interpretation of the story itself was spot on, although she did make a few changes to the original story. Oftentimes, I found the illustrations not to be as scary as my own imagination, but the planet of Camazotz was perhaps even more disturbing than I had envisioned it. I would highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who has not read the original, and I admire the time and care that were put into this graphic novel.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What a fabulous weekend! I attended the Orange County Children's Book Festival in Southern California, where I met a number of other children's authors and had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion with authors Gillian Hutshing, Sharron Hopcus and Hayley Rose. After the panel presentation I sold autographed copies of my books in the "Author's Corner" and had a chance to browse the many booths and exhibits. Except for the extreme heat (almost 100 degrees) it was a wonderful day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

More fun news! I will be visiting two elementary schools in Atioch, California next month: Lone Tree and Jack London. While there I will talk to students about the writing process, coming up with ideas, finding editors and illustrators, revising and rewriting. Kids will also have a chance to meet me and purchase autographed copies of my books.
And...don't forget to come visit my booth this Sunday at the Orange County Children's Book Festival on the Orange Coast College campus. Hundreds of authors and illustrators will be on hand, along with storytellers and booksellers. See you there!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just finished the most incredible book! Entitled THE NIGHT CIRCUS, it is a magical mystical tale about two young magicians who are being secretly trained to compete against one another in a "game" of magic. Neither one of them knows the identity of their opponent, however, and the entire competition takes place in a traveling circus that is only open at night. When a young boy sneaks into the circus on a dare, he unwittingly becomes a part of the magic and a key player in the competition. I would highly recommend it for middle school and high school readers!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just finished MOCKINGJAY, the last book in the HUNGER GAMES trilogy. It was fantastic! Quite a few twists, and the characters acted in ways which were unexpected, but totally believable. I am hoping that the second movie comes out soon. And speaking of "seconds", I am now nearly finished writing the sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE. If you would like to have one of your original recipes included in the book, there's still time! Just answer either of my trivia questions (posted below), and you could be a published chef!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More news on the Orange County Children's Book Festival in Southern California. The event will be held on Sunday, September 30 at Orange Coast College from 9:00 - 4:30, with lots of authors, illustrators, storytellers and book sellers on hand. I will be moderating a panel discussion on the Animal Stage at 12:10 pm. All of the authors on the panel have written books featuring an animal, and I will be asking them questions about their inspirations, frustrations, characterizations, etc.. Immediately following that, I will be signing books at Booth #98. For more information on the event, you can visit their website at www.kidsbookfestival.com.

Monday, August 27, 2012

More good news! I will be a featured author at the Orange County Children's Book Festival, to be held on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. It should be a fun event, with authors, exhibitors and storytellers from 9:00 to 4:30.  I will be selling and signing books between 1:00 and 4:30 pm, so please stop by the Author's Corner, Booth # 98, adjacent to the Storyteller's Stage to purchase a book, or just to chat. For more information on the festival, you can visit www.KidsBookFestival.com.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I have received two correct answers to my trivia question from EGGS OVER EVIE. And the accompanying recipes look yummy!  I will not reveal the answer, since I can take more responses, and more recipes (which will appear in my sequel, NEW YEAR'S EVIE. Again, here are the two trivia questions: What is Mrs. Hamilton's first name, and what cookie ingredient is Corey allergic to? Good luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I think that it is time for another trivia question from EGGS OVER EVIE! If you email the answer to pieauthor@aol.com, you just might win a free copy of one of my books, plus you will have the opportunity to have your own original recipe published in the sequel, entitled NEW YEAR'S EVIE. Okay...are you ready? Here is the new trivia question for all of you readers out there:  Corey is allergic to one of the ingredients in Evie's homemade cookies. What is it? Good luck!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just got back from the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles. It was awesome! I met lots of authors, editors and agents while becoming inspired!!!  More great news: EGGS OVER EVIE is now featured on my publisher's facebook page. Just search for "Christy Ottaviano Books" , and you will find all sorts of information about Christy's imprint and all of the exciting new books which are on the horizon at Henry Holt and Company. My newest book, WHEN THE WIND BLEW, is also a "Christy Ottaviano Book" and will be in libraries and book stores in about six months!

Monday, July 30, 2012

This weekend, I am headed down to Los Angeles for the annual conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Hundreds of fellow authors will be there, along with publishers and agents. I especially look forward to meeting Arthur Levine, who is the editor of all the books in the HARRY POTTER series. Hopefully, I will come back to Monterey with lots of fresh ideas and inspiration! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More good news! SCHOOL SPIRIT has received two FIVE-STAR reviews on Amazon.com. The book is only available to read on a Kindle, but you can also download it to your iphone or ipad for only $1.99.  Check it out on the Amazon website. There are some fun extras provided by Shelfari.com, including some character descriptions and a "ridiculously simplified synopsis." You can also check out my new author page on Amazon while you're there!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Exciting news!  EGGS OVER EVIE has been nominated for the 2012-2013 Young Hoosier Book Award in Indiana. Students throughout the state will be voting on all the nominated titles during the upcoming school year. The title which receives the most votes will receive an award, and the author will be recognized at Indiana's annual state library convention next year. So...if you live in Indiana, ask your teacher or media specialist for a ballot and make sure to vote for EGGS OVER EVIE!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Congratulations! We have a winner of the Trivia Contest from EGGS OVER EVIE. Her name is Firinne McIntyre, and she lives in Ireland! I will not post her answer, as we can still have more winners. The question again: What is Mrs. Hamilton's first name? You can send your answer to my email pieauthor@aol.com. Also, if you send a recipe I will include it in my sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE. It is entitled NEW YEAR'S EVIE. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I can't believe it's July already!  And in honor of the 4th, I am hosting another contest. Just send a great 4th of July recipe to me at pieauthor@aol.com, along with your name and address. The winner will receive an autographed copy of  I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE. (Your recipe does not have to be a pie recipe, however). Bon appetit!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I have received one response to my trivia question. Yay!  There can be more than one winner, however, so I will send the question out again: In my novel EGGS OVER EVIE, what is Mrs. Hamilton's first name? Just send the answer (plus one of your favorite recipes) to pieauthor@aol.com. If you answer correctly, I will include your recipe in my new book NEW YEAR'S EVIE - and give you credit, of course! You'll be a published author!!! Good luck, and happy reading,.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Congratulations to April Alvey from Bedford, Kentucky! She was the winner of a free copy of EGGS OVER EVIE. And don't forget to send me some recipes for the sequel, NEW YEAR'S EVIE. Your recipe could be featured in a published book!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Today is the last day you can enter the contest for a free copy of EGGS OVER EVIE! Simply visit Laurisa White Reyes' blog: 1000wrongs.blogspot.com and enter to win! I'll sign it personally and mail it to you right away. Hurry, don't miss out!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great news! You can now read my interview with children's author Laurisa White Reyes on her blog: 1000wrongs.blogspot.com. She is also offering a free giveaway of a copy of my book. You have until June 11 to get your name in for the drawing. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My ebook, SCHOOL SPIRIT has been selling quite well on Amazon. If you have a kindle or ipad, check it out on Amazon.com. It's only $1.99! In the meantime, my new picture book WHEN THE WIND BLEW should be available from Henry Holt in about six months.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I still have not received any responses to my trivia quiz question. Hopefully, someone will answer it soon. In the meantime, keep an eye out for my interview, which will be appearing next week on Laurisa White Reyes' blog: A Thousand Wrongs. Laurisa is the author of a wonderful new middle grade fantasy novel entitled THE ROCK OF IVANORE. Check it out on her website: www.laurisawhitereyes.com.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A few more tidbits about WELCOME TO THE VELVET ARMS: The famous actress who now haunts the VELVET ARMS was once the owner of the hotel. Many strange and interesting guests stayed there, including a magician, a dancer, a singer, and a pair of juggling acrobats. Each of these guests appear, in turn, to explain their connection to the actress and to shed light on her mysterious disappearance...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Can't believe it's May already. The weather here in the Monterey Bay area has been beautiful, which makes it harder to stay inside and write! I am currently working on a new ghost story entitled WELCOME TO THE VELVET ARMS. It is about four orphaned girls who discover that their foster home is haunted by the ghost of a famous (and mysterious) silent movie star from the 1920's. The woman's disappearance is connected in some way with each of the girls, but how? More later!

Monday, April 30, 2012

No one has sent me the correct answer to Trivia Question #1, so I'll give you a hint! Mrs. Hamilton sends an item about her missing cat to the local paper and signs it with her first name. Good luck!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trivia Question #1

Okay, cooking fans! Here is my first trivia question:  In my book, EGGS OVER EVIE, Mrs. Hamilton reveals her first name to Evie. What is it? Send answer to pieauthor@aol.com.  Winner may have his (or her) recipe featured in my new book NEW YEAR'S EVIE.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I just came up with a great idea for my new book, NEW YEAR'S EVIE. I am going to have a contest for the recipes to be included at the end of each chapter. You can read about the contest below. In the meantime, start looking through your favorite recipes, and one of them just might end up on Evie's kitchen table!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am currently reading CATCHING FIRE (the second book of the HUNGER GAMES series) and I'm loving it. Can't wait to read the third.
I just published my first e-book on Amazon/Kindle. You can download it on your Kindle or Ipad for just $1.99. Entitled SCHOOL SPIRIT, the story is about a high school girl who doesn't realize her school is haunted until she herself becomes a ghost, doomed to haunt the halls of Cannon Academy until she can solve the mystery of her own death.
I'm just learning how to use my blog. It's so much fun! Fellow bloggers: let me know if you've read any of my books. What other kinds of stories would you like me to write about? What are some of your favorite reads?