Thursday, December 23, 2010

Island Sting Blog Tour

Author  Bonnie J. Doerr is featured on a blog tour beginning December 27. Stop by to comment on any of these blogs and win a free ARC of her next book, Stakeout, another eco-mystery due out in early 2011. Here are the places you can see her and learn more about Angelo, Kenzie, and the rest of the gang:

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
December 27 - January 9
Coordinated by: Kelsey


Monday, December 27: Corrine at Lost for Words (Review)
Tuesday, December 28: Corrine at Lost for Words (Interview)

Wednesday, December 29: Lindsay at Just Another Book Addict (Review)
Thursday, December 30: Lindsay at Just Another Book Addict (Guest Post)

Friday, December 31: Nicole at Word for Teens (Review)
Saturday, January 1: Nicole at Word for Teens (Character Interview)

Sunday, January 2: Gail at Ticket to Anywhere (Review)
Monday, January 3: Gail at Ticket to Anywhere (Interview)

Tuesday, January 4: Kathy at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer (Review)
Wednesday, January 5: Kathy at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer (Guest Post)

Thursday, January 6: Mariah at A Reader's Adventure (Review)
Friday, January 7: Mariah at A Reader's Adventure (Top Ten List)

Saturday, January 8: Maria at The Serpentine Library (Review)
Sunday, January 9: Maria at The Serpentine Library (Guest Post)

Friday, December 17, 2010


"For the Love of Strangers" is a thoughtful and exciting read, making for a top pick." ~Midwest Book Review 

Philoxenia. When the police call using this code word, 16-year-old Darya knows she will be sheltering strangers: women with missing teeth, dislocated jaws, black eyes—and stalking husbands.
Other strangers—nonhuman—seek Darya’s protection too, whispering from the depths of the forest in voices only she can hear. If she obeys the voices, she risks her adoptive mother’s rage, the taunts of a surly island boy, and the wrath of her community. If she refuses the voices, a primeval species faces extermination.

What if you discovered your birth fulfilled an ancient prophecy?

What if you were destined to save an entire wild species?

Would you heed the call?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bonnie J. Doerr in Winston-Salem, NC

Author Bonnie J. Doerr signed book recently at Edward McKay bookstore in Winston-Salem, NC.

Here's a snap of Bonnie at her appearance with some fans.

For more about Bonnie, the Key deer, and green teens, visit BonnieBlogsGreen.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gothic Barbie

Author Kitty Keswick recently received a gift in the mail from a fan. A goth Barbie modeled after the ghost, Ruby, in the Freaksville series. Thanks to 15-year-old Trisha from Montana. Here's a close up of the doll. Readers who also loved the goth ghost will be pleased to know that Ruby, with her snarky attitude and goth fashion sense, will play an even greater role in book 2 of the Freaksville series, Furry and Freaked. See the cover below...and look for it in 2011!
If you aren't sure who Ruby is, here's an excerpt from Furry and Freaked...

“You little minx! Two guys!” The familiar female voice shocked me. I tried to cover the fact that I was indeed sucking face with a guy almost two centuries deceased. But my uncoordinated feet had other plans. All in one move, I twisted, spun around, and took an ungraceful surge forward. My body fell one way and my cell phone the other. Isaac broke my fall. I pushed up from his very solid chest. He smiled crookedly at me. My heart betrayed me and skipped a little beat.

Clapping drew my attention. Ruby, the teenage ghost from Bridges Auditorium, nudged me with the toe of her blood-red, ankle-length, combat-style boots.

“I have to hand it to you, Valkyrie, that was pretty entertaining. I’ll give it an eight for ingenuity.”

“You’re dead. Go to the light!” I shouted at both of them. My supersonic Valkyrie powers hadn’t kicked in yet. Nothing happened.

“Sorry to burst your bubble, V-A-L-K-Y-R-I-E.” She dragged her pet name for me out. “But you can’t banish me. Him, you could banish”—she tossed her thumb in Isaac’s direction—“to the Netherworld, if you knew how, which you don’t.” She offered me a hand.

I accepted it and stood.

“I see the furball has competition,” Ruby snarked. She blinked and then was perched atop the fence post. Her long black-and-white-striped, stocking-clad legs swayed like a pendulum weighted by red punk boots.

Isaac teleported in behind her and poked her. “She is a spirit, but not? I do not understand.”

“You pick ’em bright, dontcha?” Ruby picked at her nails.

“Ruby, be nice.” I dusted the dirt from my jeans and walked closer to both ghosts. “Why are you here?” I asked as I folded my arms about my waist.

“I have all the time in the world to debate the matters of the universe, Valkyrie. You, on the other hand, don’t.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

She hopped off the fence and stood inches from my face. I focused on the black eyeliner goop in the corners of her brown eyes.

“The Powers That Be felt you were a sorry excuse for a V-A-L-K-Y-R-I-E. and needed help. Ta-da! I’m your guide.”

“My guide?”

“Catch up, kid. Yes, you need training, and fast.”

“What? Why?”

“I’m not at liberty to say.”

“What can you say?”

“I’m not at liberty to say what I can or cannot say.” She grinned. “Face it, you’re clueless, you need me.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Holiday Invitation from Author Judith Graves

On Saturday, December 4th from 12 noon to 5 p.m., join me, and about 40 Alberta authors, as well as artisans with wares (or should that be WERES...wink, wink…) that will amaze you! It’s the first annual Book Lovers Christmas Sale offered by the Writers Guild of Alberta. We’ll be doing readings, signings, wandering around and chatting up folks – I’ll be shopping for notebooks and funky bookmarks I know I won’t find ANYWHERE else….cause they’re handmade gems (GEMS, I tell you. ;)

LOCATION: Stanley A. Milner Library – aka the downtown branch in Edmonton, Alberta.

Anyway – here are the details. I’ll be at the sale pretty much all day until they kick me out:

Program of events:

12 noon—2 pm: Territory of the Young

* 12 noon—Award-winning, multi-genre author Marty Chan reads from his brand-new kids’ book “The Mystery of the Cyber Bully”. A treat not to be missed!

* 12:30 pm—Drop in for some hands-on fun and make really cool bookmarks using the ancient art of origami. All materials provided.

* 1 pm—Time for more mystery, now with Calgary author Jan Markley , who’ll give us the scoop on “Dead Bird through the Cat Door”, the second book in her Megabyte Mystery series.

* 1:30 pm—Bring a clove of garlic for protection, and come to listen as author Judith Graves reads from her Young Adult vampire-ish title “Under My Skin”. Note: the WGA shall not be deemed responsible for fang marks on anyone’s neck.

2—3:30 pm: Poetreats

* 2 pm—On the screen, Edmonton will be looking beautiful as ever through the delicate prints by the late Dr. W.B. Stallworthy. At the microphone, his son Bob Stallworthy adds stanzas to the scene, as he reads some of the poems in which his father’s presence is still very much alive.

* 2:30 pm—Three new books, three poets on stage. Laurie MacFayden brings us her gravelly poet’s voice as she reads from her debut collection “White Shirt”; Edmonton’s own Alice Major (once laureate, always laureate…) gifts us some verses from “Memory’s Daughter”; and Peter Midgley goes bilingual as he reads from “perhaps i should/miskien moet ek”.

* 3 pm—Very Vocal poetry ladies for your ears’ delight! Spoken word artists Kathy Fisher and Kath MacLean, both with CDs for grabs at our Christmas Sale, will perform a few of the poems included in “think of me naked” (Kathy) and “Seed Bone & Hammer” (Kath).

3:30—5 pm: Proudly Prose

* 3:30 pm—Back from a long research journey on higher Canadian latitudes, Linda Goyette shares some stories from “Northern Kids”, a collection focused on the young people from the Yukon , Northwest Territories , and other northern communities. She is joined on stage by Conni Massing, a playwright turned travel writer after the adventures you’ll read in “Road Tripping—On the Move with the Buffalo Gals”. Bonus: you get to see on screen photos of gals and northern kids that were not included in the books.

* 4 pm—First it was the movie. Now, writer and filmmaker Geo Takach brings us “Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?”, the book: a mix of essay, interview, and colourful observation spotlighting the cultural complexity of our province. Come along for a chat with Geo—and a bit of movie time too!

Signing schedule

12 noon—2 pm

Ardith Trudzik, Diane Linden, Jan Markley, Jeananne Kathol Kirwin, Joan Marie Galat, Judith Graves , Karen Bass, Marty Chan *, Mary Woodbury , Pearl Murray, Shane Gauthier, Tyler Enfield

2—3:30 pm

Aaron A. Lehman, Alexis Kienlen , Alice Major , Bob Stallworthy , Clair Woodbury, Dianne Tchir, Kath MacLean, Kathy Fisher, Laurie MacFayden , Marion Brooker, Peter Midgley , Shelley A. Leedahl, Tololwa Mollel, Victoria Middleton

3:30—5 pm

Billie Milholland, Caterina Edwards , Conni Massing, Diane Robitelle, Eileen Bell, Geo Takach, Graham Clews, Jean Crozier, Linda Goyette, Margaret Macpherson, Marianne Stamm, Monika Igali, Pauline Holyoak , Roberta Laurie, Roxanne Felix, Sheree Zielke, Therezinha Kennedy, Uzoma Uponi, Vivian Mayne

* From 12 to 12:30 pm only

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Author Judith Graves in Eerie Digest

 The Eerie Digest, the Online Mystery and Hollywood Insider Magazine, has interviewed Judith Graves on her upcoming work. Check it out her feature in the Spotlight.

Read an excerpt for Witch's Shadow and find out more about the next books in the Skinned series, including Second Skin, due out in 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Judith Graves Booksigning at Indigo

Here's author Judith Graves all set up before her Indigo signing with her giveaways and swag. And, copies of her book, Under My Skin.

Judith enjoyed talking to people about her book and selling and signing copies. Even more fun was posing with her fans (see one photo op below).

If you missed this event, don't worry. You'll still have a chance to connect with Judith at Chapters in November. This time she'll be at the Chapters on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, Alberta, from 11-3 p.m. on November 28, 2010, for their "Authorganza," which features different authors every Sunday in November.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Congratulations to Bonnie J. Doerr

Epicon recently announced the finalists in the 2011 Epic Awards to be held in March in Williamsburg, VA. Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr is one of the three finalists in the Children's category.

This eco-mystery about Key deer has also been selected as a finalist for the YALSA 2011 Popular Paperback Award.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebration of Authors

 The Young Alberta Book Society and the Children’s Literature Roundtable are partnering once again to present the Celebration of Authors. Meet Judith Graves who’ll present her books and chat with librarians, teachers, and readers in general.

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Alberta, Canda (map)

You'll also get to hear more about Judith Graves' next book in the series, Second Skin, coming out in 2011. Cool cover, eh??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going Green

Leap Books has joined the Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign. When you read one of our books, you know it's been printed on FSC-certified paper. And as part of our commitment to being green we've joined this campaign to plants trees to replace those that are used for books. We also will be offering our books as e-books to save even more trees. Watch for our e-titles on Amazon soon. Leap Books has also made other commitments to the environment--profits from the sale of Bonnie J. Doerr's book Island Sting, an eco-mystery about kids saving the environment and rescuing the endangered Key deer from poachers, has funded several eco-friendly projects. You can read more about them at BonnieBlogsGreen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spooky Tour Countdown...

This is the second week for Judith Graves' Halloween blog tour: Meet Us at the Crossroads. So what fabulous YA paranormal authors will you meet at the crossroads?

October 31st
8 pm central time
Jordan Deen - The Crescent
Judith Graves – Under My Skin
Linda Joy Singleton - Magician’s Muse 
Karen Kincy – Other
Stacey Kade - The Ghost and the Goth
Amy Brecount White – Forget-Her-Nots
Joy Preble – Haunted
November 1st
8 pm central time
Angie Fraizer - Everlasting
Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl: Lovesick 
Lucienne Diver - Revamped
Jackie Kessler - Hunger
Kitty Keswick – Freaksville 
Shannon Delany – 13 to Life

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Meet 16 YA Paranormal Authors

Today's the day for the tour to start. If you aren't sure where to go next, check out Judith Graves' website for the The Crossroads event page.

The Crossroads Tour STORY: 

Eryn and her crew of hunters, Matt, Brit and of course, the oh-so-brooding, Alec, are hunting down a creature that’s been making a nuisance of itself in Redgrave. Rumour has it, the creature can only be destroyed on midnight of October 31st. That’s right, Halloween, and only at a crossroads.
Wade, Redgrave High’s resident hottie (and a vampire after Eryn’s heart), is searching for possible leads. Wade’s not one for research, but that’s all the crew will let him do. Let’s just say there are some trust issues at hand.
He lurks under a streetlight, cloaked in late afternoon shadows. He’s a bit miffed. If he can’t suck the info out of an unwilling victim, there’s not much of a thrill in it for him. Still, gathering intel might impress Eryn and perhaps lead to another dark alley clincher. He resigns himself to playing the good guy, just this once.
Uh oh. He’s spotted you on the sidewalk outside the library. It’s too late to grab the holy water you’ve got stashed in your backpack (you’re not a total spaz, this is Redgrave, after all). He stalks toward you, his eyes trained on yours. Your heart does a few desperate Karate-Kid kicks in your chest, but you’re unable to flee. You stare into his grey-eyed darkness. You slip under his spell. In seconds you’re his.
How lovely.
He’s close now. You smell an icy mint in the air. You close your eyes in submission, waiting for the press of his fangs on your neck. But instead of indulging in an after school snack, Wade compels you to do his dirty work for him.  As the sun fades, you spend hours searching through historic documents, the folklore section, and even crank out the microfiche. Consider yourself an honorary Giles…
Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed here on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page (, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.
Send your answers to judithgraves at ymail dot com by midnight on October 31st to win a fab grand prize consisting of:
  • signed copy of Under My Skin by Judith Graves
  • copy of Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
  • copy of Freaksville by Kitty Keswick
  • gothic stickers
  • funky Halloween decorations
  • a DVD featuring Classic Horror Films
  • a $10 gift certificate for Leap Books
  • a Leap Books T-shirt

This Halloween, meet us at THE CROSSROADS…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ready for Some Hauntingly Good Fun?

This Halloween meet 16 YA Paranormal Authors at THE CROSSROADS!

From October 16-31st, bloggers and authors will meet at a virtual crossroads, sharing their love of the paranormal and things that go bump in the night with readers.

What’s dark, delicious and READ all over? Young adult paranormal fiction, my FIENDS, and what better way to celebrate debut and established authors in the genre than a blog tour frenzy? Over sixteen days this October (October 16-31) bloggers and authors will meet at a virtual crossroads, sharing their love of the paranormal and things that go bump in the night with readers.

Judith Graves, an Alberta based YA author, (Under My Skin, Leap Books, 2010) has organized the event, the first multi-author blog tours of its kind. She’s wrangled in New York Times bestselling authors (Tonya Hurley, Ghostgirl series. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and newbies alike for the sixteen day promotional GOREfest. Participating bloggers will give away generous amounts of SWAG donated by the authors, as well as signed copies of Crossroad author titles.

Paranormal authors deal with the fantastical and the yearnings of their readers. “It’s a once a year opportunity to be anything and anyone you want to be. Anyone can be a princess, a superhero or a villain- all in one night,” says Jordan Deen (The Crescent. Black Rose Writing, 2010). Joy Preble (Haunted. Sourcebooks Fire, 2011) agrees, “Halloween is a time for unloosening – of spirits and self.” Why not indulge in the spirit of reading? “[Halloween] is a time where the veil between the real and the unreal, the living and the dead, thins until you think you see strange shadows following you under the pumpkin-orange moon…” adds Karen Kincy (Other. Flux, 2010)

Besides the usual deal with the devil lore, crossroads symbolize so much more, as Angie Frazier (Everlasting. Scholastic Press, 2010) shares, “Literally or figuratively, a crossroads is place where a single decision will change everything. For me, a crossroads symbolizes choice and loss, and sometimes even bravery—when you choose one path, countless others are left behind, unexplored.” Amy Brecount White (Forget-Her-Nots. Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2010) expands, “A crossroads symbolizes new possibilities. We can’t see what’s going to happen in either direction, but a choice is unavoidable. We are our choices, which is both exciting and scary.”

This Halloween, choose to explore new stories, new voices. “It’s the only holiday that encompasses imagination to the fullest. A night to be whoever you want to be. Try someone’s shoes on for size…experience magic,” encourages Kitty Keswick (Freaksville, Leap Books, 2010).

How the tour works:

From October 16-31st, readers, under the thrall of Wade Gervais, a dark-side vampire from Judith Graves’ Under My Skin, hunt for answers to a new paranormal trivia question each day. The answers are hidden within a different blog post daily, encouraging readers to visit each blog, each day of the tour. Bloggers will be giving away a bevy of tricks and treats donated by Crossroads Tour authors. At the end of the tour, on October 31st compiled answers are sent to Graves and a grand prize winner is randomly selected from those with correct and complete entries. There will also be two live chats on October 31st and November 1st, bringing readers, authors and bloggers together for a final celebration on Halloween and the Day of the Dead.
For the full list of participating authors, bloggers and giveaways, check out The Crossroads event page.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Haunted Halloween

Looking for some spooky tales this month. Get thee to the Haunted Halloween site where great authors are sharing their brushes with the paranormal. Just click on the logo to the left to go to the site.

And don't forget to stop back here tomorrow for another great Halloween treat.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Encyclomedia a Success

Here are a few shots from the Encyclomedia conference in Oklahoma.

Last week Oklahoma held their annual educators conference, Encyclomedia. A terrific panel of middle grade authors  kicked off the first panel on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Pictured from left to right:
Fran Cannon Slayton, Award-winning author of When the Whistle Blows
Joy Preble, Author of Dreaming Anastasia, and Haunted (2011)
Bonnie J. Doerr, Author of Island Sting and Stakeout (2011)
Denise Jaden, Author of Losing Faith
Janet S. Fox, Author of Faithful

With some of the hottest titles out this year, these children’s novelists know a character when they see one. They shared great tips for using their books in the classroom. If you weren't able to attend, here's a sample of what Bonnie J. Doerr shared about Using Island Sting in the Classroom. (And, by the way, everyone loved Bonnie's yellow Crime Scene scarf that matches her bookcover.)

Bonnie J. Doerr
Island Sting
Leap Books, 2010
Mystery, adventure, and eco-crime in the Florida Keys.
Ages 10+
Visit for more educational ideas.

1.    Useful in interdisciplinary curriculum
    Relevant to many NCLB standards & expectations
·     reading/language arts
·     science
·     social studies
·     math
2.    Attractive to reluctant teen readers
3.    Appropriate for ages 10 and up
4.    Of interest to both boys and girls
5.    Fast-paced
6.    Short sentences and paragraphs
7.    Generous white space on pages
8.    Includes maps and illustrations
9.    Flesch-Kincaid reading level 5
10.    Flesch reading ease 73
11.    Paperback format
12.    Soon to be available in eBook format.
13.    Extensive vocabulary list on website
14.    Author notes include additional information on
•     habitat
•     endangered Florida Key deer
•     research
•     history
15. Website teacher guide under reconstruction includes:
•     discussion questions
•     specific lessons
•     activities

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
                    TEACHER GUIDE OVERVIEW

Plot Analysis – As a mystery with clues and red herrings, Island Sting’s plot lends itself to a breakdown of inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Plot points can easily be recorded on a graphic organizer.

Cause & Effect, Sequence of Events – Plot analysis of Island Sting naturally leads to an understanding of how incidents propel action to the next event and lead to a solution of the mystery.

Reading Response – As a contemporary novel with a strong ecological element, Island Sting
lends itself to discussion and personal response connecting the text to self and beyond.

Language Choice – The National Key Deer Refuge setting of Island Sting is strongly developed. It serves as an excellent example of how word choice is used to develop a sense of place and how setting contributes to character development.

 Changing Literary Language – Island Sting is a prime example of changing style. Its use of dialogue, fast action, short sentences, and lack of long descriptive passages can be compared and contrasted to earlier mysteries or other classic genres.

Figurative Language   (Evaluation following study unit)

Skill: Students will display knowledge of figurative language by identifying and explaining idioms, similes, and metaphors in passages and phrases in Island Sting.

Pre-activity preparation: Teacher will copy the provided passages and cut into strips or paste on cards

Activity Introduction: Teacher will read sample  passages from Island Sting. Students will identify: speaker, circumstances, and type of figurative language utilized in the passage. Students will discuss why the comparison does or does not work and rewrite or retell the quote using original figurative language. After providing sufficient examples for comprehension, the teacher will divide students into cooperative groups and distribute passages. (Passages are provided in teacher guide.)

Example: “(You) roared through that field like wildfire.” (p. 38)
Answer: This is Angelo describing Kenzie's frantic attack on the buzzards. The simile works because a wild fire moves rapidly and is hot. Kenzie was racing forward in anger, and anger is associated with heat.

Possible rewrite: You raced through that field like a tornado.

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr


Plan, prewrite, and compose a letter to persuade your middle school principal that litter cleanup at a local park should be a community service project for your campus.

Do you agree or disagree that national refuges should be established for the protection of endangered species?  Organize your reasons in a logical order before you write.

Social Studies and Math - Kenzie moves from New York City to Big Pine Key, Florida.

1.    On a map of the Eastern United States, trace two different routes Kenzie’s mom could have driven—a scenic route and a direct route.
2.    Identify at least five points of interest stops along each route. Explain your rationale for choosing these locations.
3.    In order, north to south, name the states through which your preferred route would pass.
4.    Estimate your trip's total mileage.
5.    Assuming you average a speed of sixty miles per hour including short stops (not taking into account overnight stays or points of interest side trips), estimate the your driving time.
6.    If your vehicle averages 30 miles per gallon estimate how much fuel your trip would require.

                                  Key Deer Deaths  1994 -1997 : Table 1

Year     Male     Female     Total       
1994     42     21     63       
1995     63     24     87       
1996     61     29     90       
1997     86     27     113    

Graphing Lesson I

Skills: Students will transfer data from Key Deer Deaths 1994 -1997: Table 1 to triple line and triple bar graphs. Students will choose appropriate intervals and construct their own graph keys.
Teacher Information: Data has been manipulated for this activity. Precise statistics on Key deer population and mortality are included in the Texas A & M research study. (
Introduction: Teacher will provide the above table and grid paper for graphing. Students will discuss and interpret data and discuss possible reasons for Key deer deaths (examples: traffic, disease, loss of habitat).
Work time: Students will work individually or in small cooperative groups. Students will transfer data from the table provided and construct graphs documenting Key deer deaths over a period of four years. Based on the data provided students must determine appropriate intervals to best display the statistics.
Conclusion and Evaluation: Students will share individual graphs with the class, compare and discuss. Suggestion: Based on discussions, students correct graphs, then submit corrected graphs to teacher for final evaluation.

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
Graphing Lesson 2
Key Deer Population 1993-1999: Table 2

Key Deer Population    1993    1994    1995    1996    1997    1998    1999      
Male Key deer    68    87    109    134    155    169    187      
Female Key deer    223    267    292    304    321    357    389      
Total Key deer population    291    354    401    438    476    526    576   

Introduction: Teacher will review tables and graphs. Teacher will provide Key Deer Population: Table 2 and grid paper for graphing. Students will discuss observed trends. Examples: there are fewer male than female Key deer, populations of both male and female deer rise over the seven year research. Include discussion concerning possible reasons for population rise (refuge management, education, enforcement of speed limit, fencing of highway, etc.).
Skill: Students will transfer data from Key Deer Population 1993-1999: Table 2 to triple line and triple bar graphs. Students will choose appropriate intervals and construct their own graph keys.
Work Time: Students will work individually or in small cooperative groups.
Conclusion and Evaluation: Students will share graphs with class, compare and discuss.  Suggestion: After discussion and sharing, students may be allowed to correct their graphs, then turn them in for final evaluation.


Though there are often several definitions for the following words, the meanings in this list apply to their usage in Island Sting.
Chapter 1
•    canal – n. narrow man-made waterway
•    mangrove – n. tropical seaside tree or shrub that sends out many above-ground prop roots
•    miscalculated – v. got it wrong
•    flounder – v. struggle

Chapter 2
•    distinguish – v. recognize
•    adrenaline – n. A hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to physical or mental stress (as from fear). Adrenaline increases heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory  (breathing) rate.
•    victorious – adj. winning
•    treading water – a skill that allows a swimmer to remain afloat, in one place, in an upright position, with the least expenditure of energy
•    hypothermia - n. dangerously low body temperature
•    ventilate (medical) – v. the act of reviving and returning someone to consciousness by forcing air into lungs

Sunday, October 10, 2010

230-Books Giveaway by Class of 2K10

The Class of 2K10, a group of 23 debut middle grade and young adult authors, is banding together to help nonprofit book clubs obtain brand new, hot off the presses books for their reading groups. This gigantic 230-book giveaway will begin on October 10th, 2010, to mark 10-10-10 for the Class of 2K10. It will end on November 11, 2010.

The idea was spurred by author and blogger Teri Brown, who runs a book club at a low-income community center. Ms. Brown asked to be contacted by authors willing to donate 8 to 10 copies of their book, adding that she knows it can be a challenge, but that the girls in her club love their book club and “want more than anything to have it continue this year.”

“It can be difficult for authors to manage multiple copies on their own,” Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood and a member of the Class of 2K10, said. “We felt this was something unique we could offer as a group.”

Five book clubs around the country can win a prize pack of three to six sets of books written by authors from the Class of 2K10. The pack includes TEN copies of each book, and in some packs one of the books will be signed by the author.

The contest is open to all book clubs in the continental US associated with a nonprofit institution, a school, or a library. To enter, book club members or organizers need only comment on the giveaway post at the Classof2K10 blog (

CONTACT: Leah Cypess at

The prize packs are:

Middle Grade Fantasy Pack: (1) The Carnival of Lost Souls by Laura Quimby, (2) Under The Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan, (3) The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

Middle Grade Realistic Pack: (1) Fairview Felines: A Newspaper Mystery by Michele Corriel, (2) Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr, (3) Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham, (4) The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman, (5) Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai

Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Pack #1: (1) 13 to Life by Shannon Delany, (2) Freaksville by Kitty Keswick, (3) Mistwood by Leah Cypess, (4) Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen, (5) Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, (6) Under My Skin by Judith Graves

Young Adult Realistic Pack #1: (1) Change of Heart by Shari Maurer, (2) Faithful by Janet Fox, (3) Losing Faith by Denise Jaden, (4) The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Young Adult Realistic Pack #2: (1) Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz, (2) Party by Tom Leveen, (3) Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards, (4) The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard, (5) Split by Swati Avasthi

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet 5 Fabulous Authors

This week Oklahoma is holding their annual educators conference, Encyclomedia. A terrific panel of middle grade authors will kick off the first panel on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Session 1
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
New Voices, New Books, and a Whole Panel of Characters

Janet S. Fox, Author of Faithful
Joy Preble, Author of Dreaming Anastasia, and Haunted (2011)
Bonnie J. Doerr, Author of Island Sting and Stakeout (2011)
Denise Jaden, Author of Losing Faith
Fran Cannon Slayton, Award-winning author of When the Whistle Blows

With some of the hottest titles out this year, these children’s novelists know a character when they see one. Come and listen as they reveal the stories behind their books, divulge trade secrets that will inspire young writers, and share reading guides that will animate discussion well beyond the classroom.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Island Sting Chosen as Forsyth County Read

Middle school students in Forsyth County, NC, have been reading Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr. Doerr's eco-mystery was chosen as the featured book for the county during September. Now all the teens who read it will have a chance to meet the author at a special program October 5, 2010, from 4-5 pm at at Teen Central in the Forsyth County Central Library, The public is also welcome at this exciting event. You can read more about the event on the library calendar.

Doerr's fast-paced novel about teens searching for the poacher of Key deer has kept readers enthralled this month. Now they can hear more about these small deer, which are the size of German shepherds. (See Doerr feeding the deer on the above.) This endangered species is found only in the Florida Keys.

For more about Bonnie J. Doerr, the Key deer, and green teens, visit BonnieBlogsGreen.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Skype Visits Anyone?

If you aren't sure how to use Skype for author visits, author Judith Graves will demonstrate this free technology that allows schools and libraries to host inexpensive author visits via the Internet.

See her presentation at:

 October 4, 2010: Parkland Regional Library School PD Day (Lacombe, Alberta, Canada). Session on Skype Author Visits and making the most of author related videoconferencing in a library setting.

If you aren't able to attend this session, contact Judith about a presentation for your organization. And remember, all our Leap Books authors are available for Skype visits. Contact Cathleen Cartwright, Public Relations Assistant, at cathleencartwright@leapbks

Friday, October 1, 2010


Throughout October, author Judith Graves will be available for visits:

October 2010: Young Alberta Book Society TALEBLAZERS Lit Fest. Touring schools and libraries across Alberta, discussing my journey from singer/songwriter to Young Adult paranormal fiction author. I explore what makes fiction to DIE for, how to develop characters that ROCK, and how to REVAMP your  work (revision with BITE!). She'd love to meet all students, library staff, and teachers from across the province. Book her now:

 Here are two of Judith's scheduled appearances:

October 5: Red Deer College Confluence Campus (Rocky Mountain House, AB).
October 22:  Author visit in Grimshaw, AB.

Judith is the acclaimed author of the Skinned Series. Book One, Under My Skin, is available now. Watch for Second Skin in 2011. And the third book in the series, Skin of My Teeth, will be out in 2012.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Be Subversive: Read a Banned Book!

It's here again--that time of year when readers around the country celebrate the freedom to read: Banned Books Week. Held by the American Library Association every year in the last week of September, Banned Books Week will take place: September 25−October 2, 2010.  It's a time to show your support for authors whose books have been banned.

Here's a list of few books that have been banned:

The Bible
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

There are plenty more at the ALA website. Even one of our own authors' books was challenged. Some teachers did not feel the cover of Island Sting with its bullet holes and blood was suitable for the classroom, even though Doerr's book is an eco-mystery about endangered animals. Here's her challenged cover below:

What's your favorite banned book? Anyone who answers this week will get 20% off any Leap Books title from now until the end of the year. Watch for some great upcoming releases, including Jacqueline Horsfall's For the Love of Strangers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet Editor Kat O'Shea

If you've been longing to submit a manuscript to Leap Books, this may be your opportunity. As you know, Leap Books only accepts agented manuscripts. They do make exceptions for attendees at conferences where any Leap Books editor speaks. If you haven't been able to attend conferences to meet one of our editors, you can meet Kat O'Shea, Editor-in-Chief, online at Savvy Authors during October.

Kat will be teaching at:

If you attend her workshop Handling Backstory the Right Way, you can submit one manuscript directly to Kat following the four week class.

Here's a brief blurb:

You only have a paragraph or two to capture an editor’s or reader’s interest. If you don’t draw readers in quickly, it’s hard to make a sale. Get your story off to a more exciting start by eliminating backstory. Discover how to identify backstory, when to cut it, where and how to use it effectively.

WHEN: Oct 4 - Oct 31
COST: $15 for Premium Members
$25 for Basic & NON-Members

So head on over to Savvy Authors to register.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Handling Backstory the Right Way


Instructor: Kat OShea. You only have a paragraph or two to capture an editor’s or reader’s interest. If you don’t draw readers in quickly, it’s hard to make a sale. Get your story off to a more exciting start by eliminating backstory. Discover how to identify backstory, when to cut it, where and how to use it effectively.

WHEN: Oct 4 - Oct 31
COST: $15 for Premium Members
$25 for Basic & NON-Members

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blogmania Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Blogmania giveaway. We're so glad to have you as friends!

Leap Books had three winners during the Blogmania giveaway. We're pleased to announce the following winners:

1) Video camera: Betty: Reflections with Coffee
2) Leap Books and gift certificate: Tea
3) Victorian gift box and soaps: Kalia_Kane

Hope you enjoy your prizes. And for those who didn't win, we have a consolation gift prize of 20% off any Leap purchase. If you email leapcontests AT gmail DOT com, we'll send you a code to use when purchasing.

We hope you all enjoy your prizes and keep stopping back for more Leap Books. We have some exciting new books debuting soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

YA Fiction to DIE For

Author Judith Graves will be speaking at:

Northern Lights Library System ConferenceSeptember 18, 2010: Elk Point, AB, Canada: “YA Fiction to DIE For” a quirky look at the road to publication from singer/songwriter to author of paranormal YA fiction and co-president of the Class of 2k10, a group of 23 debut YA and MG authors from across North America.

Judith is the acclaimed author of the Skinned Series. Book One, Under My Skin, is available now. Watch for Second Skin in 2011. And the third book in the series, Skin of My Teeth, will be out in 2012.

Blogmania Winners

Thanks to all the terrific people who left comments during Blogmania. And to all our new friends!!

Stop by on Sunday, September 19th for the list of prize winners.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blogmania Is Here!!

Thanks for joining us for Blogmania today. Be sure to check out all the great prizes at the official site. More than $38,000 in prizes will be given away on Sept 15-16. Only 2 days to enter.

We hope you'll friend us and leave a comment for a chance to win the following prizes:

3.1 MP digital video camera;
4X digital zoom,
1.5 color LCD screen,
includes USB cable and
audio/video cables $90.00 value

Leap Books gift certificate $10.00
Plus 3 Leap Books $46.00 value

Handmade glycerin soaps in a beautifully
decorated Victorian padded box $35.00

We're glad you stopped by. Be sure to visit Leap Books website for Free Reads, great new books for teens, and fun activities for schools and book clubs.
Here are a few upcoming events for Leap Books:

OCT. 4

Kat O'Shea, Editor-in-Chief of Leap Books, is teaching a workshop Handling Backstory the Right Way.

Here's the blurb:

You only have a paragraph or two to capture an editor’s or reader’s interest. If you don’t draw readers in quickly, it’s hard to make a sale. Get your story off to a more exciting start by eliminating backstory. Discover how to identify backstory, when to cut it, where and how to use it effectively.

WHEN: Oct 4 - Oct 31
COST: $15 for Premium Members
$25 for Basic & NON-Members

So head on over to Savvy Authors to register.


Throughout October, author Judith Graves will be available for visits:

October 2010: Young Alberta Book Society TALEBLAZERS Lit Fest. Touring schools and libraries across Alberta, discussing my journey from singer/songwriter to Young Adult paranormal fiction author. I explore what makes fiction to DIE for, how to develop characters that ROCK, and how to REVAMP your  work (revision with BITE!). She'd love to meet all students, library staff, and teachers from across the province. Book her now:

 Here are two of Judith's scheduled appearances:

October 5: Red Deer College Confluence Campus (Rocky Mountain House, AB).
October 22:  Author visit in Grimshaw, AB.

Meet Judith Graves Tonight

DON'T FORGET: You can see author Judith Graves tonight!

September 14th: Backstage with A YA Writer (Cold Lake Public Library, Alberta, Canada, 6 pm): Sponsored by the Cold Lake Public Library and the Writer’s Guild of Alberta.

“Get a glimpse at what it is to be a young adult author and the steps to get there.”

Monday, September 13, 2010

Backstage with a YA Author

Check back at 11:00 p.m. tonight for info on the swag Leap is offering for Blogmania on Sept. 15-16.

The Writers Guild of Alberta and the Cold Lake Public Library present:
Backstage with a YA Author
A Talk and Reading by Judith Graves

Cold Lake, AB – In celebration of Alberta Art Days, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Cold Lake Public Library are hosting an event with Young Adult author Judith Graves on September 14th, 6:30 pm, at the Cold Lake Public Library—Grand Centre Branch (5513B - 48 Avenue, Alberta, Canada).  This event is free and open to the public.
Judith will be reading from her latest book and talking about her journey to publication, providing the audience with a glimpse of what is like to be a published writer of young adult fiction – and the steps to follow to get there. A question-and-answer period wraps up the session.
A firm believer that Canadian teen fiction can be sexy, action-packed and snarky, Judith writes paranormal stories with attitude. Her debut novel, Under My Skin, was released in March 2010 with Leap Books. The sequel, Second Skin, will be available in 2011.
This event is part of the project “Backstage with a Writer”, a partnership developed between the Writers Guild of Alberta and several libraries in rural Alberta. Presented with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the project includes, among others, sessions scheduled to take place in Black Diamond (novelist Betty Jane Hegerat), Grande Prairie (travel writer Ted Bishop), Lacombe (memoir author Janice Williamson), Olds (nonfiction author Brian Brennan), Rocky Mountain House (poet Shirley A. Serviss), Spruce Grove (screenwriter Scot Morison) and Vegreville (playwright Conni Massing).
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Writers Guild of Alberta is the largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada, and was formed in 1980 to provide a meeting ground and collective voice for the writers of the province. Alberta Arts Days – an annual celebration to showcase Alberta artists of all types – aims to encourage Albertans to discover, experience and celebrate the arts.

For more information, please visit:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Countdown to Blogmania--3 days to go

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? 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. Check back on Sept. 13 for a sneak peek at the great swag we'll be offering.

Today's the Day

See author Bonnie J. Doerr and 40+ other authors at Bookmarks 2010 in Winston-Salem, NC. 11 a.m. on September 11, 2010:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Interested in Writing Mysteries?

Leap Books author Bonnie J. Doerr will be speaking on a panel this weekend at Bookmarks 2010 in Winston-Salem, NC, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 11 at the Millenium Center. Also appearing on the panel are New York Times bestselling authors John Hart and Erica Spindler.

Here's the blurb about the panel: 

Writing a Mystery with Bonnie J. Doerr, John Hart and Erica Spindler 11:00 - 11:45 am In honor of the On the Same Page Program’s pick for 2010, The Maltese Falcon, written by Dashiell Hammett, the featured writers will discuss how they approach writing a mystery.

For more great programs, click here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bookmarks 2010

If you're in the Winston-Salem, NC, area this weekend, be sure to stop by their famous yearly book festival. Bookmarks 2010 features big-name authors and up-and-coming stars. On Saturday, September 11 from 10 am to 5 pm, you can see many of your favorite writers in person at ten different downtown venues.

For a brochure of the event, click here.

Here's a list of the authors who are speaking:


10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Sixth Street Stage – Billy Collins
Young Readers Central – Tim Tingle
Red Room, Millennium Center Basement – Jade Teta and Keoni Teta
Speak Easy, Millennium Center Basement – Charlie Pierce
Food for Thought, Millennium Center Dock – Joan Nathan

10:30 am. – 11:15 a.m
Artworks – Trudier Harris
5ive and 40rty – Alexander Ewing
Urban Artware – Rachel Keener

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Young Readers Central – Carol Crane
Signature – Workshop with Carol Roan, “Speak Up: The Public Speaking Primer”
Red Room, Millennium Center Basement – Panel Discussion: Emerging Voices with Erica
Eisdorfer, Kathleen Grissom and Kim Wright
Blue Room - Millennium Center, Basement – Panel Discussion: The Art of Mystery with Bonnie
Doerr, John Hart and Erica Spindler

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Sixth Street Stage - Christopher McDougall
5ive and 40rty - Jack Riggs
Food for Thought, Millennium Center Dock – Lulu Powers

12 noon – 12:45 p.m.

Young Readers Central - Storytime (will only last approximately 20 minutes)
Artworks - Robert Leleux
Speak Easy, Millennium Center, Basement – Frank Deford
Blue Room, Millennium Center, Basement – Christopher Cardinale

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Young Readers Central - Melissa Conroy
Signature – Workshop with Anjail Rashida Ahmad, “The Essence of Poetry Writing: A
Workshop for Beginners”

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Sixth Street Stage – Diana Gabaldon
Artworks - Watts Wacker
5ive and 40rty - Patricia Phillips Marshall & Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll
Red Room, Millennium Center, Basement – Ursula Vernon
Blue Room, Millennium Center, Basement - Erica Spindler
Food for Thought, Millennium Dock – Aviva Goldfarb

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Young Readers Central- Irania Macias Patterson
Urban Artware - Emily Herring Wilson

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Signature – Workshop with Judith Geary, “Publication Pathways 2010”
Speak Easy, Millennium Center, Basement – John Hart
Blue Room, Millennium Center, Basement - Kathy Patrick

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Sixth Street Stage – Patrick McDonnell
Young Readers Trade Street Stage- Linda Beatrice Brown
Artworks - Zee Edgell
Food for Thought, Millennium Dock – Fred Thompson

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

5ive and 40rty - Wanda Urbanska
Urban Artware - Anna Fields

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Sixth Street Stage- Panel Discussion, Sense of Place: Diana Gabaldon, Rachel Keener and John
Young Readers Central - Major Brian Dennis
Signature – Workshop with Andrew Leslie, “Finding Your Voice in Oral Literature: The Basics
of Storytelling”
Speak Easy, Millennium Center, Basement – Kenneth Posner

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Artworks - Panel: Future of the Book and Publishing: Barry Miller, Carolyn Sakowski, Lee
Thompson and Myles Thompson
Red Room, Millennium Center, Basement – Getting Immigration Right with David Coates,
Hernando Ramírez-Santos, and Peter Siavelis

A Special Performance held by Choctaw Storyteller, Tim Tingle, will be held at the Center
for the Arts beginning at 4 p.m.

Programs will be held in the following venues:

Sixth Street Main Stage, Young Readers Central at the City Market Stands / Downtown School, 601 North Cherry Street; Artworks Gallery, 654 North Trade Street; 5ive and 40rty, 541 North Trade Street; Urban Artware, 207 West Sixth Street; Signature, 534 North Trade Street; the Red Room, the Speak Easy and the
Blue Room, the Millennium Center Basement, 101 West Fifth Street – Entrance is off of Trade
Street; Food for Thought, Millennium Center Dock – Entrance is at the back of the building.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Win a T-shirt

Author Bonnie J. Doerr is giving away a T-shirt. All you have to do is comment on her blog. She'd love to know what you're doing to live a little bit greener or share anything else you care to say. Never commented? Directions are listed and you only need to provide a first name. She'll contact the winner or
post a request to be contacted by same.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are You a Paranormal Junky?

Need a fix? Here's a chance to meet all your fav paranormal authors online. Of course this blog tour is being held in October, the month of haunting and spirits. And meeting great authors is only part of the fun.

You'll get to read the continuing saga of Eryn McCain, half-human and half-wolven. Part of the story will appear on each blog. Follow it, find the clues, solve the mystery, and you'll be eligible for great prizes.

TOUR PREMISE: The pressure is on Eryn as she faces tough decisions. Luckily a rash of paranormal activity within the walls of Redgrave High provide a distraction. Are these harmless pranks or something more sinister? You’ll have to do a bit of research to find out. A new clue will be revealed at each blog stop during the tour. Can Eryn and the crew track who (or what) is causing the mayhem in Redgrave High? Follow the hunt and meet a bevy of dreadfully talented young adult paranormal authors along the way!

And there'll be a wicked cool selection of SWAG and ARCs as prizes!

If you want to find out more about the tour, check out Judith Graves' website or follow any (or all) of these bloggers who will be keeping the book world updated about the tour:

Crossroads Tour Official Bloggers:

The Here, The Now, The Books


Ms. B’s Book Swarm

Kid Lit Frenzy

Narratively Speaking

Tales of a Teenage Book Lover

Just Your Typical Book Blog

Late Bloomer Online

YA Addict


Book Faery

Book Bound

A Simple Love of Reading

Confessions of a Bookaholic

Supernatural Snark

Wolfy Chicks: The Blog With Bite

Wanna join the fun? To become an official tour blogger, let Judith know, and you can post this cool badge on your website. Be sure to link it to the web address below.