Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What's with the Twibbon?

People have been asking about the Twibbon on our Twitter account. That multicolored ball shows that Leap Books is a partner on the Children's Book Council (CBC) Diversity Committee. The committee is "dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to children’s and young adult literature." Leap Books believes diversity enriches everyone's life experiences, so we strive to publish books that feature a variety of voices in our novels for teens and tweens. We think all children and teens should see themselves and their lives depicted in books.

We are always open to agented submissions portraying multicultural characters and diverse life experiences, so we are actively looking for authors and illustrators who can share their culture through words or art. For more about what Leap Books is looking for, watch for the article on multiculturalism by Sue Ford in WRITER'S GUIDE TO 2013 (The Writer's Institute) for an interview with our publisher.

Here are a few Leap Books with a diversity connection:

Island Sting and Stakeout by Bonnie J. Doerr both have a Cuban American hero.

 Under My Skin and Second Skin, set in Canada, have a First Nations hero.

For the Love Strangers stars teenager Darya, who along with her brother, was adopted from Russia.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Blogfest... Dozens of Opportunities to Win

Celebrate the holidays with Long and Short Reviews -- and fill your stockings with books and other gifts!

From 12/17/12 - 12/21/12 dozens of authors in all genres will be blogging and you can win!

Every post will be offering a goodie... all you have to do is leave a comment.  One comment will be chosen at random at every blog to win -- it might be you!

Our own Jacqueline Horsfall is one of the exciting lineup of bloggers, and she'll be offering a free copy of her book, For the Love of Strangers. You may select your choice of a paperback or ebook.

To enter, head to the YA Blogfest, and comment on all the blogs to increase your chances of being a winner. And to read Jackie's blog, here's the link.

For another chance to win great prizes, Jackie is also doing a giveaway through MTG Reviews in January. Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Ordinary Book

Spirited has been selected for the Children's Book Council Winter Seasonal Showcase, No Ordinary Book. The title is also featured on the CBC homepage.

What makes Spirited so special?

First of all, it's filled with stories by talented authors. Contributing authors include Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill William-son, Linda Joy Singleton, Heather Kenealy, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Carmen Tudor, John W. Otte, Halli Dee Lilburn, and Mark Finnemore.

Second, the anthology benefits charity. All proceeds from the sale of SPIRITED will be donated to 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting students, ages 6-18, to improve their writing skills.

Third, it contains AR. If you prefer your apparitions 3-D rather than 2-D, slide the AR icons under your webcam to see the augmented reality leap off the page. (Thanks to Karl Gee for the AR.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What to Buy for the Teens on Your Gift List

Not sure what to give those favorite teens on your gift list? Here are some special holiday treats, they're sure to love. Check out our selection of books for teens and tweens at the Leap Books store. And if you don't know what title(s) to choose, why not give them a gift certificate* (or two) and let them select their own? E-books are also available.**

Happy Holidays from Leap Books!!

* Gift certificates are available at the Leap Books store.
**Ebooks are available through Amazon.

Leap Books can help with all your holiday needs...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leap Books Accepting Unagented Submissions April 2013

Leap Books is looking for great authors for our new e-novella line. And we're offering a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity for unagented authors to submit to us. (Agented manuscripts will be accepted as well.)

Do you have a high concept story suitable for YA? One that's too short for book-length fiction?

We want manuscripts of 35,000 to 40,000 words for e-novellas.Stories may be any genre, but must be fast-paced, well-written, and exciting with commercial appeal. Romantic elements are a plus.

Polish your submission until it SHINEs and then send it to:

ONLY during the month of APRIL 2013.

Come SHINE with us.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Win a Free Book!

The Southeast Steuben County Library in Corning, NY, has a challenge for booklovers:

Submit, in 140 words or less, your impression of the front cover of the book For the Love of Strangers. “Who is the woman on the cover, and why does she wear deer antlers?” Email your response to by December 31, 2012. Please put For the Love of Strangers in the subject line.

Here's a copy of the book cover:

And if you can't wait until Dec. 31 to read this, you can get a copy for 40% OFF from the Leap Bookstore.

Here's what people are saying about For the Love of Strangers:

"For the Love of Strangers instantly drew me into this poignant tale of a Russian adoptee, then continued to intrigue as it masterfully interwove threads of past and present into a haunting, lyrical novel that echoes in the heart and mind long after the pages are closed."
~Patricia Hermes, award-winning author of You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye, Mama, Let's Dance, and Dear America/My America series
"For the Love of Strangers is a thoughtful and exciting read, making for a top pick. Highly Recommended."
~Midwest Book Review

"Darya, powerfully drawn to these animals who communicate with her and see in her the reincarnation of the deer goddess of ancient Siberia, is determined to feed and protect them, in spite of Tee-Tee's insistence that she concentrate on the human victims who need their help instead. The author has worked in social services, so that part of her story is firmly rooted in reality. The addition of a romantic element in a new student, another loner like Darya, is a nice touch."
"While the deer's connection to Darya is poetic and the mythological detail is beautifully inserted, it is the safe house and its residents that are the most compelling part of the book. The story moves along at a good pace, and reluctant readers will find this to be a book they can take in. The simple black-and-white illustrations accentuate the magical realism."
~School Library Journal

"Well written, this book is an engrossing read. It kept me reading to find out what happened next and by the last page, which was left open for a sequel, I was interested in finding out what happens after the end." ~Aurora Reviews

Read more about it at Sue McConnell's YA Book Recommendations.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last Chance to Win!

 Today's the last day of the Crossroads Blog Tour, so hurry and get your entry in for a chance to win a Kindle preloaded with stories from these fabulous authors:

Judith Graves – Leap Books – Under My Skin, Second Skin, Skin of My Teeth, Killer’s Instinct
Joy Preble – Sourcebooks – Dreaming Anastasia, Haunted, Anastasia Forever. Soho Press (forthcoming May 2013) – The Sweet Dead Life
Stacey Kade – Hyperion – The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, Body & Soul
Amanda Ashby – Speak – You Had Me at HaloZombie Queen of Newbury High, Fairy Bad Day, Demonosity
Lucienne Diver – Flux – Vamped, Revamped, Fangtasic, Fangtabulous
Kiki Hamilton – Teen / Macmillian – The Faerie Ring, The Torn Wing
Jackie Morse Kessler – Harcourt Graphia – Hunger, Rage, Loss
Christine Fonseca – Compass Press – Transcend, Libera Me
Carrie Harris – Delacorte Books for Young Readers -Taste In Boys, Bad Hair Day
Dawn Dalton – Leap Books - SPIRITED Anthology, Killer’s Instinct
Leanna Renee Hieber - Sourcebooks – Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1), The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul, #2)
Ty Drago - Sourcebooks – The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead
Janet Fox – Speak – Faithful, Forgiven, Sirens

Visit the main Crossroads Blog Tour page for information on how to participate – who wouldn’t want a free Kindle with 13 e-books pre-loaded? :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spirited Authors Featured on TBR

TBR, the website that introduces new authors to avid readers is doing a monthly feature on the Spirited authors. You can check out the feature here.

Learn about the authors, read an excerpt, and see the trailer.

PRAISE from Bookshelf Confessions:

"I love the cover. There’s the feel of something eerie in it. Plus it was lovely in a way that it really speaks of what’s inside the anthology.

"Praise for Kat O’Shea, the editor. The lay-outing was superb. I love the fonts, the designs. The whole book was well-thought out."

To pick up your print copy, head to the Leap bookstore.
Ebooks available here.

And watch for more October specials!!

All proceeds from Spirited will benefit charity. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The time has come...

 For an exciting cover reveal for author Judith Graves...

Fans who are reading her Skinned Series will be thrilled to know that Leap Books has contracted an additional book in the series:


Watch for it to debut in 2014.

Meanwhile, feel free to share the exciting cover. And check out the 2012 Crossroads Blog Tour in October. Deets available soon here. Along with other exciting paranormal authors, Graves is participating in this fun opportunity to win books and other great swag.

Hour of the Wolf will follow Book 3 in the series: Skin of My Teeth. Watch for it in 2013...

And if you haven't already picked up your copy of the first two books in the series yet, look for them here:

If paranormal beasties are your thing, join Judith Graves and Dawn Dalton at Most Wanted Monsters.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Writer’s Life from a New Perspective

Leap Books is looking forward to publishing Tina Bustamante's As Waters Gone By in 2013. Not long after Tina's book was accepted, she moved. But not to another state, to another continent. As we swelter in the summer weather in the U.S., Tina's keeping warm in winter by stoking a wood stove.

We've asked Tina to tell you about her recent adventures and to share any tips she has on the writer's life:

After thirteen years of living in Seattle, my husband and I decided to move to his home country and start a new life. I arrived in Temuco, Chile, with my two children on June 27, 2012. . The other extreme of the world, where more than just the language is different. Chile is a country with rustic and striking landmarks, incredibly modern amenities, and a variety of people all intermingling to create an enchanting culture.

One of the most useful characteristics a writer can cultivate is to be someone who sees, who notices, who takes in what is going on around her and intuitively knows how to assimilate it into her life in such a way that she can use that particular truth, that keen observation in her writing life. A writer must perceive what others are too busy to notice, or too unaware to understand or deem important. The writer, in particular, the one who writes fiction must be someone who apprehends and takes truth so deeply inside herself, that she’s able to weave a made-up story that proves the truth more honestly than any non-fiction book ever could.

Most of us writers draw from our childhoods, our experiences, the things we know in order to spin our stories. I have the rare privilege to live in another land, hear new tales, new stories, and learn to weave an entirely new culture into my fiction. In fact, just yesterday I was listening to a man tell me about his upbringing. He grew up in the country, far from the city, among fourteen brothers and sisters. His wife works for my father-in-law. This man told me the utterly romantic story of his mom and dad. His father, an orphan, was studying to become a priest. He had gotten a few years into seminary and everything – quite a religious man. One day, he was out and about and saw a woman, and fell madly in love with her. He left seminary, rejecting the priests and all they’d given him. They tried to convince him he was making a mistake, but he was in love, absolutely in love. All his training, his schooling, all the investments the church had made for him as an orphan didn’t matter – he threw caution to the wind and married the woman. Her name was Maria Mercedes. Everyone said he’d regret it. He didn’t. They lived happily ever after – poor, no running water, no electricity, and fifteen children! The man told me he has wonderful memories of his childhood, that even though they were poor, he was happy. They had enough food and milk, they slept three or four to a bed. You can imagine what I was thinking the whole time I heard this story. What a wonderful story to knit into my writing.

Not only do I get to live in a new land and discover new things about people, I also get to feel things, experience things in new ways: loneliness, loss, culture barriers, the blessing of new friendships, the terrible pain of leaving all that I’ve known behind for what I don’t know, all mixing into my well of truth, my reservoir of story material. A writer uses what she has, what she knows.

Sometimes, I feel a bit isolated here, and that won’t go away anytime soon. There are days when Chile feels far away. However, the great blessing I have, which so many writers who have gone before me didn’t have, is the Internet. Today, we blog, we twitter, we facebook, we Skype, we FaceTime, and all those mediums connect us even if we’re miles – or continents – apart.
If you’re someone who’s trying to write, someone trying to figure out what it is that you and you alone are supposed to say, what it is that your words are supposed to bring to our culture – look around, notice things, watch people, open your eyes. You will see things that no one else notices. You will hear stories that are significant to you. You will perceive things that others miss. Those are the themes, the stories, the truths you are supposed to weave into stories. And you’re the only one who can.

Thanks for sharing, Tina! To learn more about Tina's life in Chile, you can visit her blog, Fragments, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook. And here's the blurb for her forthcoming book:

When Ellie moves in with her aunt on Orcas Island after her mother's death, she doesn't expect to have one of the most incredible summers of her life. She doesn't expect to restore a mysterious lighthouse that holds the truth about her family, or to rehabilitate a crazy dog, or to see a strange man who may or may not be a ghost. And the last thing she expects is to meet Will Larson, who flips her summer upside down.
But, when Will's past and her own collide, will their relationship survive the secrets they both conceal, or will these unshared secrets tear them apart? Can Ellie gain the courage to uncover the truth of who she really is and finally find a place where she belongs, or will she choose to remain an outsider?

Our teen readers loved it! Hope you will too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Screenwriting Winner

Congratulations to Leap Books author, Judith Graves, who just took first place in the 2012 Alberta Screenwriters Initiative for Losing It. Here's what the jury said about her award-winning manuscript:

“Losing It is a refreshing story with a distinctive writing style that avoids the pitfalls and expected patterns of most teen comedies, to be fresh, quirky and unique in story structure, characters and writing style. The characters are memorable are well-developed and the situations manage to be both comic and affecting.”

Graves, who wrote the screenplay under her real name, Tracy Belsher, is now headed to Banff Media Festival in June to pitch her works to TV and movie execs.

Her books with Leap include Under My Skin and Second Skin, in the Skinned series, and a story in the anthology Spirited. You can follow her journey to the festival and find out more about her writing journey on her blog, Flex Your Words.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Author Panel on Getting Published and a Young Writer's Workshop!

If you're in the Boston area, you can enjoy a Children's Book Week program by several YA authors, including Leap Books author Patrice Lyle. Here's the information:

Four dynamic debut authors will be leading two great events in honor of Children's Book Week! Lynda Mullaly Hunt (One for the Murphys), Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost), AC Gaughen (Scarlet), and Patrice Lyle (Lethally Blonde) will be:
  • 3:00 - 4:00 PM: Hosting a wine and cheese reception and panel for writers looking to get published in children/teen literature! They'll be talking about their writing and publishing experiences and giving a Q&A. This panel will be moderated by young adult writers Kathryn Burak (Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things) and Gina Rosati (Auracle). 
  • 4:30 - 5:30 PM: Leading a booktalk and interactive writing workshop for young writers! Hear about each of their books, talk about elements of storytelling, and work together on madlib-style story building exercises!
 Events will be followed by booksignings.

These authors are all members of The Class of 2k12, a group of debut authors who have books releasing in 2012.

Please RSVP to help us plan (though walk-ins are welcome)! Call 781.431.1160 or email Let us know which event you plan to attend.


Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a former teacher and the director of the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Publishers Whispering Pines Retreat. Her debut novel, One for the Murphys, is being released from Nancy Paulsen Books in May. For more information, visit the author’s website at:
Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. The Mapmaker and the Ghost is her debut novel. For more information, visit the author’s website at:
A. C. Gaughen is a freelance writer and regular blogger who has had several stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. While attending college in Scotland, AC became enamored of the country's rich history and folklore, inspiring her debut YA novel Scarlet. For more information, visit the author’s website at:
Patrice Lyle grew up in Astoria, Oregon, where she often witnessed movies being filmed, which she attributes to her love of storytelling. She has an MA in Writing Popular Fiction and a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. She now divides her time between her two passions in life: Helping people get healthy and writing paranormal novels. Lethally Blonde is her first novel. For more information, visit the author’s website at :

Kathryn Burak teaches writing at Boston University, and is the author of Writing in the Works and has published numerous poems and short stories. Her latest, Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things, is a novel for young adults due out in October 2012. For more information, visit her website at:
Gina Rosati is a former secretary, cake decorator, and PTA mom. She’s excited to be officially adding “author” to her list of careers with the publication of her paranormal YA novel, Auracle, due out in August 2012. For more information, visit her website at:

82 Central St
United States

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day with Us!!

Sea turtles hatching
Part of caring for the earth is rescuing endangered animals. Leap Books author Bonnie J. Doerr is passionate about saving species from extinction. She pours her passion into her books--eco-mysteries where green teens capture poachers and clean up the environment at the same time. But Bonnie doesn't just write about the endangered animals, she does hands-on research. Here's Bonnie on a pelican release:

Bonnie J. Doerr researching for her third eco-mystery about pelicans

And at the Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys:

Bonnie with a full-grown Key deer

And here are a few videos about Bonnie's research:

While in the Florida Keys to research for her books, Bonnie spent time doing interviews and making videos to let people know about the problems endangered species face:

Bonnie's books include the EPIC award-winning tween novel, Island Sting, about the Florida Key deer,

and the Green Earth award finalist, Stakeout, about loggerhead and hawksbill turtles:

In an interview with the Authors for Earth Day blog, Bonnie explained why she writes her books:

"My dream is to rekindle that spark of wonder and fascination with wild things by providing fun, fast-paced stories featuring young teens as environmental heroes. I write stories that organically show, rather than tell, young impressionable readers how fragile our environment is. I write especially for ages ten to thirteen. Readers this age are shaping enduring personal goals and values." Bonnie hopes those values include caring for our fragile planet.

To learn more about Bonnie J. Doerr, visit her website and her blog BonnieBlogsGreen. Bonnie is also featured on the Girl Scout website, Aurora Reviews (who gave Stakeout a 5-star review), and TBR.

To celebrate Earth Day, Island Sting and Stakeout are both on sale in the Leap Books store for 40% off. And the Island Sting e-book is FREE for Amazon Prime members and only 99 cents for other Amazon shoppers. Watch for the Stakeout e-book coming soon.

If you leave a comment below from now until April 30, 2012, your name will be entered in drawing for a free e-book or an autographed paperback of Stakeout or Island Sting. Enter as often as you wish. And let us know if you send friends, and we'll give you an extra entry.

Go forth and be GREEN!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Support Literacy

Three Leap Books authors are raising money to help young authors. Judith Graves, Dawn Dalton, and Halli Dee Lilburn are donating their profits from the sale of the anthology, Spirited, to Alberta Wordsmith Writing Camp. Sponsored by the Writers Guild of Alberta, this week-long event allows student writers to work with published authors.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You're Invited to a Gothic Tea Party

What are you doing on Friday the 13th? Want to have a hauntingly good time?

Join author Judith Graves at Beantrees Coffee House in Cold Lake, Alberta, for a Gothic tea party to celebrate the launch of her books:

Don't forget to dress in costume!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fortune Cookies, Cherry Coke, and Proms

What do fortune cookies, Cherry Coke, and proms have in common? Read on to find out. Leap Books (LB) interviewed author Kitty Keswick (KK), who has something to say on all three subjects. She even throws in some chocolate cake and a free story for her blog readers.Not to mention a chance to win a free copy of the Spirited anthology.

LB: What was your most embarrassing moment?

KK: Which one do you know about? Wouldn’t want it getting out...can we make a deal? How does chocolate cake sound?

LB: What advice do you wish you could give to your younger self?

KK: Don’t give up your dreams for anyone. Fortune cookies with Cherry Coke is not a major food group. And lay off the midnight college pizza parties.  Your metabolism will slow down, trust me on this one. :-)

LB: What super power do you wish you had?

KK: Like, I don’t already have enough? Oh, you weren’t supposed to know that…errr, secret identity and all. (Ix-nay-on-the-super-powers-nay.) Hmm, super power, super power. Well, a photographic memory would be nice. My memory is sorta bad of late. Teleportation, because I love to travel and who wouldn’t want to go to Europe in the blink of an eye. (Ah, British accents are drool worthy, truly.) And to see future danger…only if I could avoid it or change it. Because just knowing the future without being to change it would really stink. Oh and invisibility, because you never know when you might need it. I am not asking too much, am I? So when can I expect my super powers? Seven to ten business days?? How will they be delivered? Can I request Thor from the Avengers?

LB: What’s hiding in your closet?

KK: I hope nothing deadly…I don’t have any silver spikes. It’s pretty packed. So if there was a monster lurking in there, it was probably crushed by the weight of my clothes and shoes.

LB: Have you ever climbed into or out of a window?

KK: Yes, on several occasions. Not sure what that says about me…lol. I used to climb out the bathroom window and sit on the roof above the sunroom and watch nature. I also had to use a ladder to get into that same house through a second story window, because I was locked out. I’ve also jumped fences, too. Some pretty big ones…into some very intriguing places. I will let your mind wander because I am not telling where. I am full of interesting secrets. :-)

LB: Who would you cast to play your life in a movie?

KK: Sarah Rue, because people say she looks like me. She’s also quirky like me and a talented actress.

LB: What is something most people don't know about you?

KK: That I have a twisted sense of humor. Really. I am not kidding.  You would never have guessed, huh?

LB: What's one question you wish interviewers would ask?

KK: Not a clue…I get some pretty strange and bizarre questions; nothing seems to be off limits with me. TMI? Eh, maybe.
Kitty Keswick's story in the Leap Book anthology Spirited is "Death Becomes Her." If you have any other questions for our featured author, be sure to leave them on the blog or ask them on the Spirited Facebook page. Each question or comment earns you a contest entry (see below).

About the Story, "Death Becomes Her"

Willow Martin’s life is a fairytale. Only problem is she's Cinderella before Prince Charming shows up. She has a real life evil stepmonster and stepsister, who take great pleasure in making sure Willow's story is a nightmare. As her dance draws nearer, a dress and a haunting spirit forever change her story. Will it be a Happily Ever After?

For a free paranormal prom story by Kitty Keswick, click on this title: My Prom Date's a Vampire.

About the Author

Kitty Keswick grew up on her grandfather's California vineyard, where her imagination was her best friend. At a very tender age, she started writing her stories and reading them to the grapes. Kitty has been an Anglophile since age four when she saw Robin Hood and fell head over heels in love. Robin Hood inspired the hero of her first book, Freaksville, part of a trilogy that includes Furry and Freaked and Freaked No More. Kitty lives with a bossy tabby cat and maybe even a few ghosts. She spends her days with werewolves, Valkyries, vamps and other creatures that go bump in the night. Kitty is also the proud owner of an Indie bookstore in Peru, Indiana. Visit her at her website or her blog.

And if you'd like to know a few more secrets about the Spirited authors, read some early posts on the Spirited Facebook page and Leap Books blog. Anyone who posts a link to one of those secrets will be entered in a drawing for a free book. You may leave a comment or question for each author for an additional entry for a print copy of Spirited.

One winner will be drawn after all 13 blogs about the authors are posted. Enter as often as you'd like by linking to author secrets or leaving comments or questions.

And for a limited time get the Spirited ebook
Regularly $8.99
On sale for $.99
Until April 8, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Do Phantoms and Proms Mix?

Linda Joy Singleton's story in the Leap Book anthology Spirited is "Phantom of the Prom." We've asked her to answer a few questions for us. If you have any other questions for any of our featured authors, be sure to leave them on the blog or ask them on the Spirited Facebook page. Each question or comment earns you a contest entry (see below).

What was your most embarrassing moment? 
At one of the first writing talks I ever gave for #SCBWI, I didn't realize until I got to the conference that I had two different white shoes on. I was panicked, afraid everyone would notice once I stood in front of the audience. So while listening to other speakers, I made a list of things I could do, including going barefoot, sneaking out during lunch to a nearby mall to buy new shoes, or just announcing it was "mismatched shoes" day and how come I was the only one cool enough to wear two different shoes? When it came time to speak, I admitted my error, then read off my list -- and everyone laughed. It turned into one my best talks ever. 
What advice do you wish you could give to your younger self?  

Not to be so insecure and needy when it came to relationships, also to take more time for education instead of jumping into marriage-work-life. But mostly I'd just tell myself to believe in myself and trust all my intuition, and that things that seemed impossible (like a happy marriage, great kids, living in the country, selling my writing) would come true.

What's one question you wish interviewers would ask?

Since SPIRITED is an anthology, it might be nice to share that I was 14 years old when I submitted my first short stories to a magazine. I didn't have any writing classes so my father, who was a little interested in writing himself, took a writing class at a local college. He came home with information on how to submit professionally and taught me about double spacing, salutations, etc. I never sold any of these stories but still have a very encouraging rejection letter which I have shown to kids when I speak at schools. The rejection made me feel like a real writer.

About the Story

Psychic Sabine Rose from THE SEER series has solved mysteries of tragic ghosts, toxic spirits and malevolent magicians. But now she’s faced with new challenges—convincing her boyfriend Dominic to take her to the prom and banishing an angry ghost from a castle. With the help of good friends and her spirit guide, Opal, she enters a creepy castle in search of answers—and the ghost of a killer.

About the Author

Linda Joy Singleton is the author of more than thirty-five books, including THE SEER series, DEAD GIRL trilogy, and BURIED: Goth Girl Mystery. Free short stories, a contest, book excerpts, and writing advice, can be found at her website. Click here for a story, The Dark Lifer's Revenge: A Short Story, by Linda Joy. It's free for a short time.*

And if you'd like to know a few more secrets about Linda Joy, read some early posts on the Spirited Facebook page and Leap Books blog. Anyone who posts a link to one of those secrets will be entered in a drawing for a free book. You may leave a comment or question for each author for an additional entry for a print copy of Spirited.

One winner will be drawn after all 13 blogs about the authors are posted. Enter as often as you'd like by linking to author secrets or leaving comments or questions.

* Click on the title for another free story, this one by Kitty Keswick, My Prom Date's a Vampire.

And for a limited time get the Spirited ebook
Regularly $8.99
On sale for $.99
Until April 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have You Ever Climbed Out a Window?

Author Mark Finnemore has. Wonder why? So do we...

Leap Books has asked Mark to answer a few questions for us. If you have any other questions for Mark, be sure to leave them on the blog or ask them on the Spirited Facebook page. Each question or comment earns you a contest entry (see below).

Mark's story in the Spirited anthology is "Stained." But he is also the author of several free reads at Mythic Picnic. If you'd like to read more of his work, hop on over to the site and enjoy a variety of stories. We caught Mark as he was hard at work on his next novel, Straw Man, which is an intriguing read with the tag line: "What if Robin Hood worked at the IRS?" You can read the blurb at Love & Taxes. Mark was so busy he only had time to answer a few questions, leaving lots of mystery in his wake, but he did give us a link to some sage advice, so be sure to check it out.

So, Mark, have you ever climbed into or out of a window?

I have, but I don't want to give anyone any bad ideas that will get them into trouble.

Very thoughtful of you. But it also makes us wonder: are you worried that you'll get in trouble if you divulge when and where you did this window climbing? Hmm... is that a discrete silence we hear?

What advice do you wish you could give to your younger self (besides not climbing out of windows, that is)?

So many things. Too many to list here. I've got a free booklet available through my website called "Wise Things That Other People Have Said." It's basically a listing of some of the smart things I've come across that I wish I had known when I was younger, things that remind me not to take stuff too personally and to pursue happiness instead of anger. I still read through a few of them almost every day to keep from slipping back into darkness. Hopefully it can help someone else too, because even the rockiest of roads can lead to a happy ending.

What super power do you wish you had?

I've always wanted to fly, to be able to see everything from a eagle's view and soar and swoop and hover. Now, since the flight powers have yet to manifest themselves, I'm thinking about taking helicopter lessons.

That should get you flying! Good luck with the lessons, Mark. We'll watch for you hovering overhead.

About Mark's story in the Spirited anthology: "Stained"

Isaiah Wildes was born to be a witch hunter like his father. It's his destiny. And now that his father is gone, Isaiah is determined to honor his father’s memory by becoming the best ever. Then he meets Faith Jacobs and wonders if his destiny may lie elsewhere. But will the chief witch hunter let the talented Isaiah just walk away?

About the Author

Mark Finnemore lives in California with his beautiful wife Panji, who helped him learn that even the rockiest road can lead to a happy ending. Mark has had short stories published and is currently working on the finishing touches of a novel titled Love & Taxes, which he hopes will one day be not only finished, but published and found at your local bookstore as well. Visit Mark at Mythic Picnic or Genre Trash or Love & Taxes.

And if you'd like to know a few more secrets about Mark, read some early posts on the Spirited Facebook page and Leap Books blog. Anyone who posts a link to one of those secrets will be entered in a drawing for a free book. You may leave a comment or question for Mark for an additional entry for a print copy of Spirited.

One winner will be drawn after all 13 blogs about the authors are posted. Enter as often as you'd like by linking to author secrets or leaving comments or questions.

And for a limited time, click on this link to get the Spirited ebook
Regularly $8.99
On sale for $.99
Until April 8, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Only 99 Cents

Limited Time: Spirited ebook
Regularly $8.99
On Sale $.99
Until April 8, 2012

To help us celebrate the launch of the print version of Spirited, Leap Books has the $8.99 ebook version on sale for $.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to charity. Read more about that charity, 826 National, here.

We're also featuring each of the 13 anthology authors over the next few weeks on our blog. Learn more about the superstars behind Spirited--talented authors who are willing to donate their time and talent to help encourage literacy and writing. We'll also include some sneak peeks at their stories.

And if you'd like to know a few more secrets about each author, read some early posts on the Spirited Facebook page and Leap Books blog. Anyone who posts a link to one of those secrets will be entered in a drawing for a free book. You may leave a comment or question for each author for an additional entry for a print copy of Spirited.

One winner will be drawn after all 13 blogs about the authors are posted. Enter as often as you'd like by linking to author secrets or leaving comments or questions.

And if you're in the Alberta, Canada, area, you can attend a live launch party with three of the authors: Judith Graves, Dawn Dalton, and Hallie D. Lilburn on April 21. Exciting details below:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teen Interviewer Talks to Kitty Keswick

Teen interviewer Anna interviews Leap Books author Kitty Keswick:

When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

I have always written stories. I wrote to escape, to entertain myself, to get the stories that were in my head...out. I write from my dreams and if I don't work on the stories that I'm dreaming about ("they" can be very persistent), I don't sleep until I do. I started out as a journalism major because I enjoyed writing. I didn't care that much for non-fiction and switched my major. The idea of being a novelist was always in the back of my head. I had been writing full-length stories since high school. It was until 2004 that I started to do something about it and joined RWA (Romance Writers of America). There I learned more about the craft and started attending conferences and sending out queries.

Have you always specifically liked supernatural stories?

Yes and no. My stories have supernatural elements, but they are more character driven and based in folklore and mythology.

Do you consider romance a necessary component in all your stories?

Yep. I am and always will be a romantic sap. It's a blessing and a curse. Love can be wickedly cruel and totally earthmoving amazing. There's always something to write about when love is involved, good or bad. Love changes you, it shapes you. Whether it's for better or worse is up to you.

What is your favorite genre of stories to read?

Right now, it's mysteries and sci-fi. It changes. I am re-reading One for the Money and Game of Thrones.

Why did you choose to write young adult books instead of adult books or children's books?

I wrote general romance first. Several novels and got close. I had many editors tell me they liked my character building and worlds and snarky humor, but felt my voice was a little young for general romance. I took their advice and went back to my roots, YA. I started writing, really writing as a teen. I used the basic elements of those stories to formulate my YA novels. I keep a dream journal and often get my ideas from my dreams. Freaksville started out as a strange conversation between two best friends.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Study your craft, never stop learning. Read. And never give up.

More about author Kitty Keswick:

 Kitty Keswick has been an Anglophile since age four when she saw Robin Hood and fell head over heels in love. As she grew up on her grandfather’s California vineyard, Kitty’s imagination was her best friend. At a very tender age, she started writing her stories and reading them to the grapes.

Kitty now lives with a bossy tabby cat and maybe even a few ghosts. She spends her days with Werewolves, Valkyries, Vamps and other creatures that go bump in the night.

Her books:

Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts, and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.

Sixteen-year-old Kasey Maxwell left Freaksville behind when her family moved from California to rural Pennsylvania. But she didn't leave her troubles behind. As her Valkyrie side grows, the spirits become more haunting. When her visions turn bloody, Kasey must trust new support systems—paranormal ones.

Get entombed in stories of Egyptian treasures, shudder at tales of malevolent spirits, and become enthralled with the adventures of witch-hunters, ghost seekers, and lost souls. From steampunk to cyberpunk, our collection spans past, present, and future hauntings. One story actually leaps off the page with 3D augmented reality. Go ahead. Turn the page if you dare. We won't tell if you sleep with the light on. Because after all, there's no rest for the wicked.

Freaksville Book Trailer

Spirited Book Trailer