Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love Sci-Fi?

Then mark your calendar for October. Leap Books author Judith Graves will be part of the Pure Speculation Festival in Edmonton, AB. This weekend SF&F festival will be packed with authors, panels, merchants, costumes, games, and demonstrations. Judith will present "More than Twilight: A Look a Young Adult Paranormal Fiction" and serve on an author panel. Sounds great, doesn't it? Sign up now and look for her there!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Those Bloggers Just Keep on Connecting.... recently returned from the Book Blogger Convention in New York. What a terrific, well-planned event. But it seems Book Bloggers have a need to connect. What better place to do it that at the Fourth Annual Kidlitosphere Conference.

Children's and young adult book bloggers will convene at Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue, South Minneapolis, MN, on Saturday, October 23, 2010. According to their website, "Open Book is a space for everyone, a meeting place or quiet sanctuary, a destination for all who are interested in or inspired by the literary and book arts." What a perfect venue for a booklovers convention!

In the past the conference has been held in Chicago, Portland, and Washington DC. It rotates to allow more people to attend. A big round of applause goes to this year's committee--Andrew Karre (Carolrhoda), Ben Barnhart (Milkweed Editions) and Brian Farrey (Flux)--who are planning this year's event.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Shivers

Another tale from Kat O'Shea, Editor-in-Chief at Leap Books:

When I was about eight, we went to visit my cousins in Maryland. They took us into the woods behind their house to this ramshackle old building that had once been a crude cabin, but was now falling apart. We stepped inside, but couldn't go far because the splintered, rotting boards of the floor gave way to a huge hole. The jagged edges of the floorboards exposed a dank cellar far below constructed of irregular stones.

Across the room in the dim light, we could see a staircase to the second floor with most of the treads gone. As we stared at the creepy railing, with gaps like missing teeth, festooned with cobwebs, we heard footsteps overhead. Not the scritchy-scratching of squirrels or rodents, but the heavy tread of a man's boots. It sounded as if it was coming toward us. We screamed and ran, tripping over each other in our haste to get away.

When we were some distance from the house and convinced that no one was chasing us, we looked back. In a first floor window, we could see the shadowy face of a man peering out at us. We hightailed it out of the woods and never went back.

Was the man a figment of our overactive imaginations? I don't think so. A tramp? But if he was, why was he standing in the exact spot where the floor had caved in? A ghost?

Photograph Courtesy of  Nick Coombs

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Ways You Can Help

Yesterday we blogged about Olivia Bouler, the eleven year old artist, who is using her talents to raise money for Audubon and the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill cleanup. But Olivia isn't the only one who was moved to assist with this disaster. Some adult artists are combining their talents to encourage people to contribute to the cleanup efforts.

SCBWI illustrator Kelly Light, along with several other artists, created Ripple. Although many artists couldn't contribute financially, they donated their talents and painted cards that are being given to people who contribute $10.00 (or more) to the cleanup efforts. In particular, Ripple has recommended donors assist two non-profits, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies and The International Bird Rescue Research Center. Contributors to can email Kelly to receive a notecard at Each card is original and signed by the artist. So hop on over and check them out. Then send a donation to the non-profit of your choice.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eleven-Year-Old Raises $100,000+ for Gulf Cleanup

 Leap Books is always thrilled when we can highlight things tweens and teens are doing to make their world a better place. Have you heard about 11-year-old Olivia Bouler?

She wanted to help with the Gulf oil spill cleanup, so she offered her artwork to anyone who donated to the National Audubon Society. So far, she's raised more than $100,000.

To learn more about her efforts, visit AOL Artists (the source of this picture of Olivia) to watch a video and see her notecards. You can also find out more about her on her Facebook page, which has 23,719 fans, her AOL Artists page, or from this article at CNN. Olivia has also been featured on AOL's Good News Now.

For more about what Audubon is doing to assist with wildlife rescue during the cleanup, visit their website. You can also click here to donate.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pelicans in Peril

The Gulf oil spill continues to endanger many animals. Leap Books wants to support the rescue efforts in any way they can. In addition to publishing books that highlight endangered animals, the company and its authors have donated money to wildlife agencies.

We hope our readers will also consider donating to the many wildlife agencies that are saving animals and birds caught in the oil spill. One of these organizations is IBRRC (International Bird Rescue Research Center).
IBRRC's Flickr shows pictures of pelicans covered with oil and how they are being cleaned. They also have this video and others at YouTube:

Though the task at times may seem impossible, IBRRC won't give up. As they say, "we maintain the belief that each individual animal is just one part of the larger population. We recognize that each life is valuable and that each animal is deserving of our care. In a world where life is not always respected and cherished we feel that preserving even the life of one bird sends an important message."

Leap Books agrees. Prior to the Gulf crisis, our author Bonnie J. Doerr had been researching pelican rescues for the third book in her eco-mystery series, Pelican Peril, so these birds are near and dear to our hearts. Please do what you can to help these pelicans and we will too. For the next few days, we'll highlight some ways you can help.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Meet Kitty Keswick at Borders in Turlock, CA, Today

Don't forget to stop by Borders in Turlock, CA, between 2-4 pm to hear Kitty Keswick read from her novel, Freaksville. Books will be available for purchase and autographing.

In addition to hearing Freaksville excerpts, you'll get a chance to see the exciting illustrations by Canadian graphic artist, Val Cox.

This is Kasey Maxwell, the heroine of Freaksville. ------->

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Shivers by Editor Kat O'Shea

Photo by Dr Joseph Valks

 It's Saturday again, and time for some spooky encounters with the paranormal. This one comes courtesy of Kat O'Shea, Editor-in-Chief of Leap Books. Is it any wonder Kat likes to edit the Leap Books line of paranormals?

When I was in high school, I was eating lunch with my friend Alice at a picnic table outside. Two girls sat at the table in front of us, spread out their lunches, and began making fun of Alice. When they made ape sounds and kissing noises, Alice’s eyes filled with tears. (Some people called the guy Alice had a crush on “Apeman.”) She gathered up her stuff and started to flee, but I’d had enough.

I stood and said, “You’d better watch out because I’m a witch. If you don’t leave Alice alone, I’ll cast  a spell on you.”

The girls giggled and pretended to cower.

“Ooo, scary,” one of them said.

I have no idea why I did this, but I held out my arms and wriggled my fingers toward their lunches in what I hoped looked like a witchlike motion.

A sudden breeze blew their bags of chips off the table and dumped them into their laps. Their eyes got wider.

The wind grew stronger. The plastic wrap on their sandwiches and cookies flapped open, a partially eaten pack of Tastycakes slid to the ground. They clutched each other and screamed as a carton of chocolate milk tipped over and doused the cookies.

As the puddle of milk flowed toward their laps, they leapt up. Throwing frightened glances over their shoulders, they fled, leaving their lunches behind.

Truth was, I was as petrified as they were. I have no idea if the wind was a coincidence or if I caused it, but I’ve been afraid to repeat that performance. I worry that nothing will happen, or even worse, that something will. I’m not sure which I’d prefer.

I still wonder: Can people really cause things like that to happen? Why did the wind stop as soon as I lowered my hands? How come only their table was affected by the wind? Nothing on our table or nearby tables even moved.

 Any thoughts? Anyone else ever have an experience like this? Feel free to leave comments or send your story to Lexie North and we’ll post it on the blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Do Leap Books Author Kitty Keswick and Orlando Bloom Have in Common?

Many celebrities, including Orlando Bloom, have openly discussed their struggles with dyslexia.  Studies have shown that dyslexics don't use the same part of the brain most people use for reading, so dyslexia makes it hard to read, write, and spell because numbers, letters, and even words often get transposed.For this reason, many dyslexics choose careers that don’t involve reading, writing, or math.

Careers where dyslexics excel include art, interior design, crafts, sports, acting, music, mechanics, politics, and engineering. Famous people who are believed to have dyslexia include Beethoven, George Washington, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, John Kennedy, Andy Warhol, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Jefferson, and Walt Disney.

Like Orlando Bloom and these other famous people, author Kitty Keswick, too, deals with dyslexia on a daily basis. Yet, she did not let her struggles hold her back from reaching her dreams. As she says, “It's my nemesis...and my cheerleader.”

Dyslexia also has a positive side. According to Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, Inc., “People with dyslexia have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain, such as artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts; 3-D visualization ability; musical talent; creative problem solving skills; and intuitive people skills.”

Keswick’s editor, Kat O’Shea of Leap Books, says that working with Keswick was a joy. “Kitty works hard to make each novel the best it can be. And I strongly believe that the most creative people often have difficulty with spelling and grammar. One of the things that drew me to Kitty’s writing was her unusual word choices and phrasing. It keeps her work from being cliché. That, and her terrific sense of humor and creativity, made me eager to snap up these books.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with Kitty Keswick

Author Kitty Keswick is gearing up for a booksigning in her hometown of Turlock, CA, on Sunday, June 20 from 2-4 pm at the local Borders. Kitty mentioned that the high school in Freaksville is based on Turlock High School, where she went to school. We asked her to tell us a bit more about those high school years.

If you could go back and change one thing about your high school years, what would it be?

Nothing, I loved my high school years.
What was your most embarrassing moment? (If you aren't too embarrassed to tell it)

I competed in Speech and Debates tournaments. (I lettered my sophomore year.) One competition (on a Saturday), I was crossing the street. I had on new flats and I slipped and fell on my butt in front of some of the people that were later on a judging panel. I can’t remember if I won that debate or not, just that I fell in front of a lot of people. I’m a bit of a klutz, so this was one of many mishaps and the least embarrassing one to share.

What is your favorite memory of high school?

Too many… to list or chose. I’d say the overnight stays with the debate team. We traveled all over California. The rest is classified, so, er, my lips are sealed….yeppers, sealed.

Have you been back to Turlock High? If so, what's different? If not, do you plan to go?

Funny, I never planned on returning to Turlock. I left for college when I was seventeen and never really looked back. But Fate has a funny sense of humor (you’ll meet her in Furry), and she likes to throw wrenches in all your well-laid plans. I’m back in Turlock, not by choice. It isn’t the small farm town I remember. It’s grown, and now I get lost frequently trying to find my way around. I’m not sure if this is where I’m landing. It might be a small trip in my life’s journey. You never know where the path will take you. Sometimes it comes full circle, perhaps so you can learn something you missed? I have no clue.

Are any teachers still at Turlock High who taught you?

I have three favorite teachers who really made a lasting impression on me. Interestingly enough, they were all English teachers. Mr. Jack, my English teacher and debate coach, still teaches, but he’s at the new high school. My other favorite English teacher, Mrs. Boyle, retired. I did email her to tell her I finally sold one of my stories. And my favorite teacher who pushed me very hard, Mrs. Dillman, passed on a few years ago. I will miss her candy bars and sense of humor. We’d come into the classroom, and there would be candy bars on our desk. She’d tell us that we could touch them, but would have to describe them in a short essay. After the essay we got too munch on our treats.

Besides writing essays, do you have any writing-related memories of high school?

I used to write stories about werewolves in spiral notebooks…nothing has changed.

We know you still write in spiral notebooks, and you still write about werewolves, but you’ve added ghosts and Valkries and other beasties of the night. One other thing has changed, though. Now your tales are being published. Why did you choose to write paranormal both then and now?

I think it chose me.

When you were in high school, what did you dream of becoming? Have you reached your dreams or are you working toward them?

I always wanted to be a writer. I started out as a Journalism major, but with my dyslexia, I struggled a lot. I switched my major to Interior Design. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my passion, writing is. It is who I am, and my struggles just make the reward so much sweeter. I want to continue writing, because I have so many stories rattling around in my head.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Author Kitty Keswick booksigning in Turlock, CA

Author Kitty Keswick grew up in Turlock, CA, and now she's back in her hometown for a booksigning. Join her at the Borders in Turlock on June 20. Here's the info:

Stay tuned for more info about Kitty and her debut novel, Freaksville, the rest of this week.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Shivers by Eleni of La Femme Readers

Have you ever had a paranormal experience? We asked this question of several bloggers and readers. And we've gotten some haunting answers, so we'll be featuring them on Saturdays. Today we'll be hearing from Eleni of La Femme Readers. Here's her brush with the paranormal:

Do I believe in ghosts? Yes. Do I think supernatural entities are around us? Yes. Did I actually think I'd hear a creepy story about my fiance? Not in a million years. About five years ago, he went on vacation to his country, Indonesia. A country full of beauty and unique aspects. Ever heard of black magic? Well, I never knew it existed till now. My fiance has been known to have two sides: temperamental and sensitive. Why does he have split personalities? Well, in his country, the theory is that a twin lives inside him. Yes, you heard correctly, a twin. He stuffs his face with food everyday, yet doesn't gain weight. Fast metabolism? Or is it something out of this world that gains the calories for him? At first, he didn't believe in this hoopla. But, one day he was hanging outside, enjoying the sunny day, when something, or should I say someone was staring at him. He creeped closer and saw his own self, just staring at him. Was this possible? He saw the "twin" that lived within himself? In a split second of looking away, his twin disappeared. Was he being delusional? Or was it his surroundings of magic that caused him to see his other self? We'll never really know. All I understand is supernatural occurrences do exist, and hopefully I never run into his "twin."

Whoa, Eleni, you'd better be very, very careful on your wedding day that you're not marrying his twin. This gave us shivers. Feel free to leave comments for Eleni. Anyone else want to chime in with a strange tale of the supernatural? Send your stories to our blog tour coordinator, Lexie North.


My name is Eleni, I'm 24 years old and I live in New York. I graduated with a BA in English and I am hoping to break into publishing one day as either a publicist or agent. My passion is reading and I also enjoy expressing my love for books through my blog La Femme Readers. My book review blog mainly focuses on Young Adult Fiction. I also have author interviews, fun giveaways and try my best to keep my followers updated on all the amazing up and coming YA book releases.

You're off to a good start on your profession, Eleni. You do a fabulous job of promoting authors and books on your blog already. Wishing you all the best for the future.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Popular Paperbacks for YA List

YALSA has announced the finalists for their 2011 Popular Paperbacks lists. And Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr is on their Crime Scene list. Way to go, Bonnie!!

YALSA is the Young Adult Library Service Association, a division of ALA (American Library Services). Here's the list of contenders:

Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery

Arnold, Tedd. Rat Life

Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied

Cormier, Robert. Tenderness

Cusick, Richie Tankersley. Walk of the Spirits

Doerr, Bonnie J. Island Sting

Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light

Ferguson, Alane. The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystery

Gerber, Linda. Death by Bikini

Gerber, Linda C. Death by Latte

Giles, Gail. Dead Girls Don't Write Letters

Gordon, Roderick and Williams, Brian. Tunnels

Kate, Lauren. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

McClintock, Norah. Dooley Takes the Fall

McNamee, Graham. Acceleration

Olin, Sean. Killing Britney

Parker, Robert B. The Boxer and the Spy

Perez, Marlene. Dead is the New Black

Price, Charlie. Dead Connection

Shepard, Sara. Pretty Little Liars

Sorrells, Walter. First Shot

Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Project 17

Vande Velde, Vivian. Never Trust a Dead Man

Weingarten, Lynn. Wherever Nina Lies

Werlin, Nancy. Killer's Cousin

Urasawa, Naoki. Naoki Urasawa's Monster

Do you have a favorite? Tell us about it. We hope Island Sting is on your favorite's list, of course, but feel free to tell us what you liked best about any of the contenders' books. We're always interested in hearing your comments about books and reading.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Latest Leap Contest

School's out for summer--or it soon will be. And Leap Books is hoping you'll dive into some summer fun at your local library. This year the theme is Make a Splash @ Your Library for tweens or Make Waves @ Your Library for teens. In keeping with that theme, Leap's holding a contest to get books out to libraries and to give prizes to teens. All you have to do is read one of the excerpts posted on the Leap Books website and tell us what you think happens next in 250 words or less. Official Contest rules are posted below. They'll also be available on our website.

Ready to Make a Splash? Then Leap in!

2010 SPLASH! Official Contest Rules


The following Contest offer is good in the United States and Canada only and shall be construed and evaluated according to the laws of the United States.

The “SPLASH!” Contest (“Contest”) begins at 1:00:00 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST), Tuesday, June 1, 2010, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. (CST), Tuesday, August 31, 2010 (“Contest Period”), and is sponsored by Leap Books, LLC. (“Sponsor”). The Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. All applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By participating in the Contest, each participant is required to be 18 years of age or older and a library employee (“Library Employee”) at the time the entry is submitted. Library Employee agrees that he or she has read, understands, and agrees to be bound by the Official Rules and the final decisions of the Sponsor.

HOW TO ENTER: All registrant information must be for a Library Employee who is 18 years of age or older, or entry will be disqualified. Enter online at between June 1, 2010, and August 31, 2010. Limit one entry per eligible library. Multiple entries submitted on behalf of the same library will be posted online, but will be disqualified from winning an additional prize. Using the entry form or a Word document, Library Employee should enter his/her first and last name, Library Name, complete address, phone number, and e-mail address. The entry form must be accompanied by an ending (no greater than 250 words) to one of the excerpts posted online at This ending must be composed by one or more teens or tweens and must be submitted by a Library Employee. All entries are subject to verification.

Pictures of the contestants may be included with the entry, but permission must be obtained from all parents/guardians to post the photograph(s) containing pictures of any teens/tweens under the age of 18. First names of teens/tweens may be included as identification for a photo caption, but no other identifying information should be included with the entry. In lieu of a contestant photo, a photo of the library may accompany the entry. Lack of a photograph will not disqualify any entry.

PRIZES: Three (3) Grand-Prize Winners will be selected from all eligible entries received. The endings will be judged by the authors of the excerpts, who will each select one (1) finalist from all eligible endings to the excerpt from his/her book. Entries will be judged on creativity (How unusual is the ending?) and uniqueness (How different is the ending from any of the other submissions?), both of which will be weighted equally. In the event of a tie, a panel consisting of three Leap Books editors will rejudge, breaking any ties and basing their decision on the original judging criteria.

In addition, names will be drawn randomly from all entries to receive free books from Leap Books.

PRIZES: Each Grand Prize consists of a Leap T-shirt, a special prize from the book’s author, an opportunity to collaborate with the author on a writing project, and a set of three (3) Leap Books for each teen/tween who participated in creating the winning entry. The winning library will also receive a set of three (3) books and a free ½-hour Skype visit (or online chat) with the author of the excerpt for which the ending was created.

One Hundred and Fifty (150) winners, whose names will be drawn at random, will receive free Leap Books. Total ARV of all prizes is $4725.00.

ELIGIBILITY: Contest open to legal U.S. residents that are age 18 or older on or before January 1, 2007. Employees of American Girl; Inc., Mattel, Inc.; their respective affiliates; subsidiaries; parent companies; partner companies; advertising and promotion agencies; printing and mailing companies; judging organization; and immediate family and household members of each are not eligible to win. Void where prohibited by law. All federal, state, and local laws apply.

GENERAL: By entering this Contest, participants agree to abide by and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges. Grand-Prize Winners will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited), which must be signed and returned to the Sponsor within 14 days of attempted delivery of same. Noncompliance within this condition will result in forfeiture of prize. Unclaimed prize will not be awarded. Winner will be notified by email. If prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the prize will be forfeited and will be awarded to an alternate winner. No substitutions or cash redemption of prize as offered except as provided herein. Prize is non-transferable. Tentative Prize Winners will be notified by telephone and/or e-mail. If a Tentative Prize Winner cannot be reached within fourteen (14) business days from the time of first notification attempt, such person will be disqualified and an alternate entry will be randomly selected. Once contact has been made with a Tentative Prize Winner, prize will then be sent by mail. Contest entries become the property of Leap Books, LLC, and will not be returned. Library Employee agrees that winning essays may be reproduced, in whole or in part, by Sponsor, in any and all media, for any and all purposes, including purposes of advertising and trade, without further compensation. In case of unavailability of any prize, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize of equal or greater value. By accepting the prize, winner consents, for him/herself and for the winners, to the use of their names (first names only for participants under age 18), photos and/or likenesses for advertising and trade purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited. Participants waive the right to assert as a condition of winning any and all costs of redemption and any liability, which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. By accepting the prize, Library Employee releases Leap Books, LLC, and their respective advertising, promotion, and provider companies; and each of their respective officers, directors, agents and employees from any and all liabilities with respect to the prize and acknowledges that said parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the prize, including but not limited to, its quality, condition, or fitness for a particular purpose. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Contest should any computer virus or other technical difficulty beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupt the administration, security, or proper play of the Contest and award prizes from among all eligible entries received prior to action taken by Sponsor. Participants must provide a valid e-mail address when entering online. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of the entries in this Contest. Sponsor is not responsible for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures, or delays in computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an electronic entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the “authorized account holder,” person in whose name the e-mail account is registered, provided that person meets all eligibility criteria set forth in the Eligibility section of the Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process. This Contest and these Official Rules are governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the State of Wyoming and any or all claims pursuant to these shall be brought in the courts of the State of Wyoming.

Winner List: For the names of the winners, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to 2010 SPLASH! Contest, c/o Leap Books, P.O. Box 112, Reidsville, NC 2720-0112. Request must be received by September 30, 2010.

Sponsor: Leap Books, LLC, Beartooth Ct., Powell, WY 82435

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are You Ready for Blogmania??

Block off September 15-16 on your calendar and get ready to snag lots of great merchandise. Blogmania is a chance to friend lots of new blogs and to gain fabulous prizes.

It's a weekend long extravaganza where you leave comments on as many participating blogs as you can. Each blog will be offering at least $100 worth of merchandise as prizes. Pretty cool, huh?

Wondering what the prizes will be? Stay tuned for the announcement. Leap Books is participating, and we'll be offering one grand prize worth $100, plus other prizes for commenters. And watch for these Blogmania signs that will be popping up all over the Internet.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Shivers by Elie of Ellz Reads

Have you ever had a paranormal experience? We asked this question of several bloggers. And we've gotten some haunting answers, so we'll be featuring them on Saturdays. First up is Elie of Ellz Readz. Here's her brush with the paranormal:

At some point in our lives, most of us have been camping. We remember the roasting hot dogs, the sticky, sweet smell of toasted marshmallow, and the twinkling stars dancing overhead. If you ask them, most campers also have other memories, dancing on the limits of their minds. These memories all start the same way, with a trill of wind in your ears and the hum of a voice drifting over a crackling fire. Mine is not different. I can still imagine the lights of the fire flickering over the storyteller’s face as she shared her grizzly tale. It was based on a legend, an old wives tale meant to scare children into minding their parents. "The Woman of the Wood still roams these forests, searching for someone to take her place," the storyteller concluded as a hush settled on the group. Like everyone else I suppressed a shiver and joked about things that go bump in the night. I wouldn't be laughing for long.

One of my jobs as assistant counselor was to check on the campers periodically, you know, make sure everyone was tucked snugly into their cots. As I approached the last tent, I was distracted by a sound that seemed to surround me. It wasn't a scary sound, it felt like I walked over an air vent. The tips of my hair drifted upwards and the breeze floated past my ears in a soft whisper. The sound did not last, but it was replaced by a shiver that left the fine hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. I quickly whirled around, expecting to see the smirking face of Steph, my partner in crime, but alas, I was alone. Reassuring myself with a chuckle, I set on my way. A few steps later, it happened again, except this time the breeze seemed to whisper to me, calling my name. I couldn't turn around, the breeze seemed to blow on my neck, exploiting my fear. I looked up and silently cursed the clouds that hovered in front of the moon, blocking its light and creating shadows in the trees. Fear prickled me like thorns as I forced my feet forward, imagining my safe destination.

Was I lost? I should have been there by now, I thought frantically. That was when she appeared to me, the Woman of the Wood. She was beautiful, just like the storyteller described. But her eyes, her eyes were hollow and bottomless. She extended her hand to me and I was frozen, paralyzed with fear. I stood there for what seemed to be an eternity as her translucent dress billowed in the night breeze. The cloud drifted from the moon, leaving a flood of eerie light. I glanced up, grateful for this small gift. When I looked back, she was gone. As if my feet were suddenly released from a spell, I stumbled forward and quickly spotted my destination. Was I this close this whole time? Was she really there? My mind reeled with possibilities.

I awoke the next day, still huddled by the feet of my campers in the last tent. Imagination or not, I wasn't going to venture out again. I didn't dare share my adventure with any of the other campers. I would never hear the end of it, but I have to wonder. Was it my imagination playing tricks on me, or was it the Woman of the Wood? I guess I'll never know.
Think she met an apparition? We do, but feel free to leave a comment with your opinion. And if you'd like to share your own haunting experiences, feel free to send them to our blog tour coordinator, Lexie North.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Author Bonnie J. Doerr Appearing at SCBWI

If you live in or near Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia, check out the Leaps of Imagination: Fact, Fiction, & Fantasy! conference for children's/YA writers sponsored by the regional SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) on July 17 & 18, 2010. They have a fabulous lineup of speakers and breakout sessions for authors and illustrators at all stages of their craft--from beginners to the multi-published. Click here for more details, a brochure, and a downloadable registration form.

We're excited because Leap Books author Bonnie J. Doerr will be one of the speakers. If you'd like Bonnie to visit your library or group while she's in the area, contact the Leap Books marketing department.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Those Fabulous Book Bloggers

Everyone's home from BEA by now, and many are back to work after a long weekend. But the connections we made at BEA will be a big part of our future. One of the nicest parts of the convention was Friday's Book Bloggers Convention. If you missed out on that fun, that's a shame. Be sure to schedule it in for next year. It's definitely something you won't want to miss.
Congratulations to the organizers who did a fabulous job of planning and organizing. From the delicious food to the talented speakers, the day was a delight from beginning to end. And thanks for including those of us from publishing houses among the convention goers. We can't say it enough: WE LUVS BOOK BLOGGERS!!

Thanks for all you do to spread the word about books. And thanks, too, for an excellent convention. We're already looking forward to next year!