Sunday, December 27, 2009

Leap Badge No.8


We can't help feeling a bit nostalgic this close to the New Year. How far Leap has come from breathless idea to we're-really-doing-it! publishing windstorm. Our lives will never quite be the same. It's amazing what a small group of people, or even just one soul, can accomplish.

So that's our message with Leap Badge No.8 - if we can start a publishing company....what can you do in 2010? Go ahead, change your world. Change THE world. We'll be cheering you on.

Don't forget to snag a Leap badge and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Book Whisperer Interview with Kitty Keswick


Take a break from your online holiday shopping and check out this fabulous interview with Kitty at the Book Whisperer blog. Get the goods on Freaksville as well as the second book in the Freaksville series, Furry and Freaked!

Freaksville's release date is just around the corner: January 8, 2010. If you need a werewolf fix, don't despair--soon Freaksville will be around to take the edge off.

Don't forget to enter our swag contest. Only a measly 14 days until we draw the winners!

And book bloggers, check back this coming week for the names of ARC winners. The long delay is over, and the ARCs should be arriving any day now. Hope you're one of the lucky ones!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Leap Badge, Lucky No.7


2010 doth approach and with it, Leap Books embarks on a great journey. We're getting close to our January 1st launch date, but there are still miles to travel before we celebrate, and a few weeks to enter the Leap Badge contest. We just gotta warn you....reading a Leap book is like the ultimate road trip, so buckle up and hang on! Don't forget to grab the latest Leap Badge, Lucky No.7 and get in the race for Leap swag.

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Leap Books: Gothic Art Meets Paranormal YA Fiction


The fates were smiling down on us the day we encountered the bewitching talents of Val Cox, an illlustrator whose gothic style art sent a shiver of delight down the spines of everyone here at Leap Books. Our goal with Leap is to make our books come alive for readers and what better way to do this than to colaborate with an artist who completely "gets" what our paranormal authors are going for. We give you the mind of Val (which we picked exhaustively - because she's just that cool) and a teaser of her amazing work:

What is your first memory of reading/books? Of illustrations?

Wow, so many :) I had a really cool book as a kid called Panda Cake about 2 panda cubs who gathered all the ingredients their panda mama needed to make her very special cake - my daughter has the book now.

If you could illustrate a famous person living or dead, who would it be?

Great question! Living - either Henry Rollins or Kat Von D. Dead - Jeff Buckley, with enormous angel wings of course.

What was the most challenging graphic (or otherwise) job you’ve had?

While working at Citytv, I illustrated a complete outdoor ad campaign (for the sides of buses, bus shelters, inside the subway, etc.) for their morning news and lifestyle program, Breakfast Television. I had to do it in 2 weeks!


Your plane just crashed on a deserted island. You have 30 seconds to grab a few items from your bag. What would you grab first?

Well, I'm pretty sure I'd have my beloved pug, Fonzie, with me in a carry-on so he's number one, followed by my iPod , cell phone, and favourite lip gloss.

Were you always an illustrator?

Yes! From the word go.

When did you first fall in love with art and why?

I was born a commercial artist - as a child I was mesmerized by the colourful illustrations on tea boxes and candy wrappers. I spent countless hours working on creating my own fonts from scratch.

How do you feel about girl power?

Pretty dang awesome, sister.


Without thinking, what are the first three things that leap to mind when you're asked to list what you love most about being an illustrator for Leap Books? Quick!

1. The books are SO COOL!!!

2. The authors are amazing and so much fun to collaborate with :)

3. Every step of the way I'm reminded how lucky I am that I get to do something this creative for a living - what's not to love?

What illustrations are you working on for Leap? What were some of the challenges or surprises you had with the first book you did?

I've just completed illustrations for Kitty Keswick's debut, Freaksville, and I'm presently working on Under My Skin by Judith Graves. I've been lucky enough to get a sneak peak and both are very thrilling, addictive reads. It was an interesting challenge getting a couple of the characters just right, but once I did, it was like watching them come to life before me, filling out the amazing story I knew they each belonged to. It's been a very cool experience!

What is the first piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring graphic artist?

The same advice I'd give to anyone who's about to embark on pursuing what's in their heart - "Fortune favours the bold." SO BE BOLD! If you feel this is what you're truly meant to do, believe in yourself and the world will listen. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to put together a print portfolio of your best stuff and take it with you everywhere ;)

If by drawing, you could change the world, what would you draw?

Cupcakes, pugs, the Beatles. Repeat.

______


Val Cox is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. Her creations are captivating and edgy, emphasizing a fresh expression of visual communication all her own. Vibrant, playful colour schemes draw viewers in, while stunning, wide-eyed characters keep them intrigued and amused. Her striking and recognizable work has developed through a life-long journey of strange and beautiful complications, inspiring her to create images that reflect her own quirky brand of grace, perseverance, and style.


Val's experience with helping clients realize their marketing and graphic design dreams has spanned the last nine years. She has worked and consulted on a variety of projects for a wide range of client needs, including marketing concepts and ad design, logo and corporate identity development, poster layout, and package design. She has found herself at home working in the entertainment and media industries, honing her advertising and design skills at the great CHUM Television (now CTVGlobemedia), including ACCESS The Education Station, Canadian Learning Television (CLT), BookTelevision, Court TV Canada, and Citytv, from 2005 to 2008. Here she had the pleasure of working on the 2006 and 2007 outdoor ad campaigns for Citytv's morning news and lifestyle program, BreakfastTelevision. Her work on these campaigns earned her the honour of two consecutive Promax BDA Awards; Silver at the 2007 ceremonies in New York City, followed by Gold in 2008. Her illustrations have appeared in SEE Magazine, Alberta's foremost arts and entertainment weekly. She has volunteered her time and talent to fundraising events, including local productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and Mois├ęs Kaufman's The Laramie Project.

She currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leap Badge No.6


Let's face it, reading is hot - and so is Leap Badge No. 6! Grab your copy today and get entered in our SWAG contest to end all SWAG contests. ;)

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Speaking of hot...heat things up this winter with our smouldering new releases, Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr and Freaksville by Kitty Keswick. Don't forget to join us in January for the official launch of Leap Books and the Leap Badge contest results!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We've Been WOWed!


Island Sting by author Bonnie J. Doerr is featured at La Femme Readers as a Waiting on Wednesday pick. We're thrilled that this action-packed eco-mystery is on Eleni's list. Hope it's on yours too!

And here's a big shout out to Eleni both for selecting the book and for being an avid participant in our Leap Books badge contest. Eleni's collected each new badge as it comes out, so we're expecting she'll be a big winner. If you don't know about our contest, read the blogs below and check out the awesome badges on the right.

Frances O'Roark Dowell, Edgar-award-winning author of Dovey Coe says this about Island Sting: "Once you start reading, you’ll find yourself flipping pages as fast as you can, eager to find out what happens next." 

 If you love intrigue and care about endangered animals, you'll want to snag your copy when it comes out on January 6, 2010. For more info on Island Sting, click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sharing the Leap Badge Love....

We have to say we have the best readers...or pre-readers since we're officially launching on January 1st 2010! (It's almost here!) Everyone on the Leap staff is tickled pink or purple or whatever your favorite color, about the responses we get from our reviewers, readers and fans!
Bookaholics unite! We love your emails! You rock!
And to share the Leap badge love, we'd thought we'd do a random shout out every week to a few of our fans...

Elie
http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com
Sara
http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com
Jackie
www.book-whisperer.blogspot.com
Karin
http://karinlibrarian.wordpress.com
Eleni
http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com

So share the love and check out these loyal bloggers of books. Next week it just might be you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Leap Badge No.5


Leap Badge No.5 is all about Girl Powa! The sky's the limit if you believe in yourself.


13 Things You Can Do to Create Girl Powa in Your Life

• Be a role model.
• Challenge yourself each day to achieve something new.
• Never surrender. If you don’t succeed, get back out there and keep trying until you do!
• Believe you are beautiful, cuz you are!
• To thine own self be true. Good ol Willy Shakespeare had it right.
• Leave the world better than you found it.
• Be someone’s shoulder and ear when they need it.
• Pay it forward. It will come back around to you.
• Learn something new and then teach it to someone else.
• Be sure to take time to enjoy the little things.
• Take care of Mother Earth, we only get one home.
• Believe in yourself.
• Read, cuz knowledge is power!

(And remember, Girl Powa isn't just for girls, it's for EVERYONE.)

Grab your copy of Badge No. 5 today and get entered in our SWAG contest to end all SWAG contests. ;)

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details, go here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Leap Badge No.4

We're just a few short months away from the official Leap Launch date of January 1, 2010 and our swag contest give away. Due to popular demand, we've opened our contest up to North America and the UK. We didn't expect this kind of response, but we're delighted with your Leap enthusiasm!

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details go here.

Have a look at Badge No.4. After all, the eye is the window to the soul:


More Launch Loot!

We hope everyone had a safe and spooktacular Halloween! The Leap crew hung out with family, handed out candy, went for hayrides and did some serious trick or treating. Since we're on sugar overload, we thought we'd tempt you with another awesome swag prize for our Leap Badge/Launch Contest.

Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details go here.

Without further ado, here's the Under My Skin gothic choker:


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leap Launch Contest: The Loot

Here's a sneak peek at the loot we have for our Leap Badge/Launch Contest contestants. Don't know about the contest? It's easy. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the page where you loaded it. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details go here.

We're GIVING AWAY:
  • Eighteen Advanced Reader Copies of one of three Leap Books titles will be awarded to book reviewers.
  • Twenty Leap T-shirts and twenty Leap bags will be awarded to Leap Launch Party 2010 contestants.
  • One Kasey Maxwell charm bracelet and Eryn McCain necklace will be awarded, as well as two hundred Leap buttons.
Wowza, that's a lot of loot. ;) Check out the Kasey Maxwell charm bracelet:


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gravestones: Art to die for?



Think gravestones are works of art? Why not try a gravestone rubbing?

You’ll need:

1. Rubbing wax (in whatever color you desire...red is cool.)
2. Masking tape
3. Large rolls of vellum or a nice lightweight cloth-like paper at least 24"x30" (may need larger sized paper for older headstones)

Directions:

Tape paper to headstone, make sure it's tight. Place the rubbing wax on its long, flat side, and gently apply pressure in one direction (usually from top to bottom in long strokes). Repeat until the entire image is showing. Remove tape. Roll up your paper to prevent damage. When you get home, frame your work of art.

Be sure to respect the gravestones. Leave them in the same manner you found them. For more on gravestone rubbings, check out the Geneva Historical Society - they're like the gurus of grave rubbings.

Below are some places where you can purchase supplies. They are only suggestions. Leap Books is not affiliated with them in any way.

Gravestone Art Wear: check out their gravestone rubbing kits.

Petersen Prints: here you can order your gravestone rubbing wax.

For more graveyard fun, head to our Leap Books Exclusives for a chilling free read by author Judith Graves, Old Flames Die Hard, and discover what might happen if your ex (the guy you’re still mooning over) asks to meet you in the local cemetery.

Then stop back to tell us what you liked best about our Exclusives. And if you have any suggestions for improving our site or our offerings, we’re all ears. And we’d love to hear your Halloween suggestions.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leap Badge No.3


Alright, our third and more than slightly Halloween inspired badge is ready to leap onto your pages! This is the swag contest to end all swag contests, so don't miss out. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. You can even print it out, if it floats your boat. Check our blog every other week for another badge. Go ahead, hoard them all. We dare you. So far, there are THREE beauties up for grabs.

Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the blog, MySpace, or Facebook page where you loaded our special nifty badges. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details go here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blood-flavored Ice Cream, Anyone?



If you’ve invited some vamps to your party, try serving this tasty treat. Makes two scoops—enough to share.

The fixings:

• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 12 tablespoons rock salt
• Add your flavoring, try crumbling candy bars, or add chocolate chips, or nuts—go crazy!
• 1 pint-sized sealable bag
• 1 gallon-sized sealable bag
• Ice

Here's whatcha do:

1. Pour milk, sugar, and vanilla in the small pint-sized bag and seal it. Shake it up to mix it.
2. Add desired add-ins (e.g., crumbled candy bars, etc.). Seal bag and shake again until mixed.
3. Fill the gallon size bag with ½ gallon of ice and add the salt.
4. Put the small bag inside the large bag and seal well.
5. Shake the bag for about five minutes or until the mixture firms up.
6. Scoop it out and enjoy!
7. Want it to have a vampy flare? Add red food coloring for a delightful bloody effect.

Well, OK, so it’s really only blood-colored. But it tastes so good, even vamps may forget the blood’s missing. And if you’re wondering why Leap Books is offering ice cream recipes, check out our Exclusives section for some bloodcurdling fun, including the free read, My Prom Date’s a Vampire.

Spooky Fun for Teen Read Week

Ready for some spooky fun? We're celebrating Teen Read Week (October 18-24) by offering free Exclusives from two of our exciting, new debut authors, Kitty Keswick and Judith Graves.

Teen Read Week, started by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 1998, is celebrated the third week of October. With the aim of getting teens to read, YALSA offers many activities for classrooms and libraries.

During Teen Read Week, readers of all ages are invited to take a sneak peek at Leap Exclusives. Check out the details:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leap Badge No.2


Pssssst! We have a super cool covert mission for you. Yeah, you! Kinda like Chuck’s Angels, but way cooler. It's easy to enter. Snag a Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. You can even print it out, if it floats your boat. Check our blog every other week for another badge. Go ahead, hoard them all. We dare you. So far, there are two beauties up for grabs.

Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the blog, MySpace, or Facebook page where you loaded our special nifty badges. Why? One word: SWAG. For full contest details go here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kitty Keswick Interview

Leap Books author, Kitty Keswick, chatted with Julianne Draper, a Tampa Books Examiner writer, about making the leap to Leap Books, "I’m happy with the switch, and I’m excited about the chance to produce YA titles with an edgier feel.". She also offered background on her debut novel, Freaksville, "I was a theater minor in college, and my experiences inspired a lot of the ghost story parts."

There's lots more to learn about Kitty...check out the full article: A Conversation with Kitty Keswick.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leap Launch Contest!

So hey, we totally dig that you’re into spreading the word about Leap. It’s because of dedicated YA bloggers and readers like you that we started Leap. Our inbox has been bursting at the seams with requests for ARCs. We’re totally floored that you wuv’s us! We wish we could give every single person an ARC, but sadly we have a limited number of review copies. Our Leap marketing team hasn’t figured out the formula for turning paperclips into gold yet. (Darn marketing team, work faster, sheesh!) But fret not, Leap fans, we’re holding a contest to spread the book homage and give YA reviewers and Leap fans a chance to WIN a few ARCs and/or some snazztastic swag.

Ah, so we have your attention now, eh?


Go to http://www.leapbks.com/, or get it here on our blog, snag the Leap badge, and post it on your Blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Check us out every other week for another badge. Email us at contests@leapbks.com with the address of the blog, MySpace, or Facebook page where you loaded our special nifty badges. See our website contests page for full details, rules and prize information.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Leap Badge Contest

We're getting the rules all tickety-boo, but soon - like maybe tomorrow - we'll be announcing the details of our Leap badge contest. Check back with us to learn how spreading the word about Leap can win you some Leap SWAG.

And Leap swag is good.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday Features


We're jumping for joy alright. Leap titles are starting to get noticed! Our paranormal stories are being featured on a few young adult blogger/reviewer Waiting on Wednesday features....and ya know what? We luvs them! ;)

Check out the buzz for FREAKSVILLE on The Book Butterfly

And a few for Under My Skin, today on The Book Butterfly and previously on YA Book Releases. Whoot! Many thanks to these awesome reviewers who have their ears to the ground and picked up the sound of Leap.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And so we've arrived


Watch for news, events and fabu titles coming from a fresh voice in Teen and Tween fiction. We're beta testing our official site if you wanna check it out (it's kind of ever changing though - until our big and shiny launch).

Leap Books. Read them, and leap...