March 29th, 2016

The Spring YA Scavenger Hunt!

Get ready, get set…it’s on!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

I’m Leah Bobet, author of An Inheritance of Ashes and Above, and I’m your host for this stop of the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Haircut!
The Puzzle

I’ve hidden my favorite number somewhere in the post below. If you collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up, you can hit the entry form at the YASH official site to qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

YASH Spring Blue Team

The Rules

The contest is open internationally, but anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Now that that’s clear, on to the content: It’s my pleasure to host author Brynn Chapman!

Brynn

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman has dissected cadavers, toured asylums and is MENSA-eligible. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love–not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Brynn’s book, BONESEEKER, won the 2015 Young Adult Golden Leaf Award. Her new release, REQUIEM RED is due out on April 6, 2016.

“Exquisitely written! Requiem Red is a haunting tale of monsters, music, insanity, and the power of love where one least expects to find it. Brava, Ms. Chapman! This book will remain forever in my heart!” –NY Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones


Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self-confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world.

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread…each was twenty-nine’s cell mate.

Hi! Thank you so much for having me. I am in medicine by day, so I have an insatiable interest in the history of medicine.

While researching REQUIEM RED, I was horrified to learn of the standard 1800’s treatments of bloodletting, trepanning (drilling a hole in the skull), ablation (lobotomy) purging (enforced vomiting) and many, many others that make an appearance in the book.

Superstitions ran wild in these centuries, and if the physicks had no explanation for the illness, it was typically thought to be evil or supernatural. I toured Transallegheny Lunatic Asylum Twice—as there is no substitute for having walked in the setting in which you are writing.

It was all too easy to feel Jane’s depression, her laudanum addiction, her hopelessness. She has never known touch, compassion — nor been called by her name. Three girls missing — all were her roommates.

But all that is about to change…enter Mason, the new orderly — who sees Jane as a woman, not a patient. But will the asylum allow her to leave?


Chapter One

1894, SOOTHING HILLS SANATORIUM
PHILADELPHIA, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

“Jane! Jane, where are you? There has been an accident!”

Nurse Sally’s tremulous voice echoes down the sanatorium’s hallway, ricocheting off the walls like mad bats in flight. I close my eyes, press my lips tight, and keep silent.

“Patient Twenty-Nine!”

I flinch at the use of my patient number and slide from the hidden window seat, snapping my book closed to bound down the corridor. The nurse’s cry came from the direction of my room.

“Twenty-niiiine…” a male, sing-song voice calls out through the bars. I swerve and dart out of his way, narrowly missing those yellowed, grasping fingernails. My heartbeat doubles as I spin and run faster.

What has she done now?

My roommate Lily is truly disturbed. I spend most of my time out of the room, out of her way, because of her howling, because of her—

I round the corner and skid to a halt, instantaneously shaking.

Lily’s long blond hair spreads out on her cot like a coquette’s fan. Her eyes are closed. Her chest appears…still.

“Nurse?”

“Jane, go for help. Now. Run to Ward 4 and fetch Dr. Grayjoy!”

I stand staring, blood frozen in my veins, feet frozen to the floor. Lily’s head gives a violent jerk, and I gasp.

“For the love of heaven, now, you imbecile!”

I run. But not before I see the wall. Not before I see the message scrawled above her bed.
Help me. I know not what I do.

***

SOOTHING HILLS ASYLUM VISITORS’ SALON

“Bravo! Bra-vo, Miss Frost!” Willis Graceling, my would-be-suitor, claps too loudly.

I wince, but curtsy all the same, deftly moving my cello behind me. I walk off the small stage and ease myself into the milling crowd.

Father claps as well, slow and deliberate. Everyone in the salon follows his lead, though truth be told, it is a distracted applause. These hospital patrons and philanthropists are more interested in donations and connections than what musical selection I have performed this eve.

The windows are fogged from the patrons’ breath and the too many bodies in this too-warm room, despite the chilled fall breezes that whisper at the panes, reminding us that winter is coming. My eyes roam as I try to calm myself—to prepare for the onslaught of attention. I am unused to such large gatherings due to my largely sequestered upbringing.

Crystal goblets of rose-red flash by on a silver tray, just beneath my nose, close enough to catch the fragrant bouquet. I snatch one and the waiter raises an eyebrow, but says nothing, hurrying back into the fray. I am used to the whispers of virtuoso, but the outright attention I do not prefer. I would rather wield the pen and music and have another perform it.

Colors now dance behind my eyes. I picture them weaving in and out of the wrinkles in my brain. Notes appear in color for me. The color-note correlation never alters, like my own multi-hued, musical alphabet. This ability allowed me to learn to play at a very, very young age. As a child, I merely wished to see the rainbow in my mind.

Papa strides toward me, black eyes narrowing as his substantial arm slides about my waist, shuffling me into the crowd.

He whispers, “That was very good, Jules.”

His eyes shift through the patrons, nodding and smiling, but out of the side of his mouth, he says, “But I have heard it played better. In your own chambers.”

Willis trails behind us like a bounding, oversized puppy. I can almost see the leash from his neck to my father’s belt. Or perhaps an invisible chain from his coin purse to my maidenhead.

I am to be sold, er, married within the year.

Father vacates my arm, and I sigh in relief, but he is quickly replaced by Willis’s eager face. “Shall I fetch you some punch, Jules?”

“Thank you, that would be lovely.”

I ghost to the window and wrap my shawl tighter about my shoulders to guard against the draft sliding beneath its frame. Outside, a vast cornfield dies a day at a time. Remnants of green poke through the blackened leaves—as if hazel-eyed fairies play hide-and-seek, peeking out of the gloom-colored stalks.

I turn to watch Willis’s retreating form, disappearing into the society crowd, and cannot stay the sigh.

It is not so very terrible. He is handsome…and kind. Better than many other prospects I have had forced upon me. If people were flavors, Willis Graceling would decidedly be vanilla. Though nothing is decidedly wrong with vanilla, it is predictable, and quite often a filler.

I bite my lip.

I always dreamed of sharing my life with more of a…curry.

A gaggle of what my mind has deemed society women descends. Women with whom I share no connection, no interests, but for the sake of reputation, I must politely endure their inane conversation.
“Jules, it was so lovely. Did you truly compose it yourself?”

“Yes.” My stomach contracts.

Despite the low din of their prattling voices, I hear it.

A trickle of fear erupts in a violent shiver as gooseflesh puckers my arms.

“Whatever is the matter, child?” Lady Bennington’s face pinches with concern.

I shake my head. “Nothing.”

But I hear it … louder. Growing louder every second. The music, wafting in with the draft, as if the dying corn laments its own demise.

I curtsy. “Please do excuse me. I am feeling a bit faint. Perhaps the night air will set me to rights.” And without waiting for their reply, I make my getaway to the back of the salon, toward the door.

I slip out to the darkened porch and lean the back of my head against the door, closing my eyes. A multitude of covered lanterns cast a yellow haze over the myriad of rocking chairs, which now move in time with the breeze. As if the hospitals past invisible inhabitants sit, waiting in other-worldly expectation. Listening. As I listen.

It has been so long since I heard this music. Childhood experience has taught me only I hear this music. It seems to live only in my mind.

Maeve, my governess, forbade me to speak of it.

When I was but three, I first told her of the music. Of the words I hear in the music. Not in every song…only very specific melodies. Not lyrics, precisely, but intonations…like a whispered message. The harmonious voice whispering promises between the notes. She made me promise never to mention it again. Especially not to Father. I heeded her warning, the terror in her round, dark eyes forever etched in my memory.

The notes now pull and tug at my chest, as if sawing through my sternum, managing to wrench my rib cage open, as the tones grasp my heart and squeeze. The music elicits unwelcome tears.

A single phrase repeats over and over, embedded in the sound, like a musical Morse code.

Save me. Save me. Save me.

I bite my lip, then whisper, “From where. Who are you?”

Visit Brynn on her website, www.brynnchapmanauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brynn.chapman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rrsmythe
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brynnchapman/
Add REQUIEM RED on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26176476-the-requiem-red


Creepy! You can almost hear the voices: Patient 33?

I’m running my own giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But! Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Brynn, and more!

Keep On Hunting

Thanks for stopping by! Your next stop on the hunt is Vicki L. Weavil! Happy hunting!

October 23rd, 2015

And then, the tour.

Now that the Canadian launch party for Ashes is in the can (ha ha, I punned) and we’ve all had a little time to rest up, I’m really excited to announce something that’s been a few months in the making:

An Inheritance of Ashes and I are going on tour.

Just a little one. :)

I’m heading out next Thursday, on October 29th, and here’s where I’m going to be!

Ottawa, ON

  • Ottawa Public Library Teen Author Fest, Woodroffe High School, Ottawa, Ontario, October 30, 2015, 10:30 am.
  • CanCon 2015, Ottawa, Ontario, October 30-November 1, 2015.
  • I’ll be participating in panels and offering one-on-one feedback at the con’s Blue Pencil Cafe, as well as hosting a mini-launch on Saturday for the convention attendees!

  • Launch for An Inheritance of Ashes at Black Squirrel Books and Tea, Ottawa, Ontario, November 1, 2015, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
  • This event’s open to the public, so come down to get books signed, hear a short reading and Q&A, and support one of Ottawa’s indie bookstores!

Montreal, Quebec

I’ll be in and out on the way to Saratoga Springs, but I’ll also be at the Juliette et Chocolat on Saint-Catherine from about 8:00pm on November 2nd for serious personal chocolate reasons. If you’d like to say hi, hang out, talk books, and eat a balsamic brownie, please come on by!

Saratoga Springs, NY

Albany, NY

  • Flights of Fantasy Group Signing (with Julie Czerneda, Anne Bishop, Alex Gordon/Kristine Smith, Garth Nix, Amalia Dillin, and more), Albany, NY, November 8, 2015.

New York City, NY

  • Books of Wonder, New York, NY, November 10, 2015.
  • I’m just going to sign stock here — no big event! — but if you’d like a signed copy and are in NYC, feel free to come by!

So that’s it! Two weeks, in and out, with some possible additional stock signings and meetups along the way. I really hope to see you there, and look out for updates from the road!

October 7th, 2015

Signed books, and where to find them

Now that An Inheritance of Ashes is hitting shelves, it’s the return of the Signed Books Post!

While I’ve been tweeting where to find signed copies of Above and An Inheritance of Ashes as I nose in and out of bookstores, it’s occurred to me that having a consistent list might be helpful to people who like their books signed by the author!  So in that spirit, the signed books post.  This list will grow the more I travel about, and should generally be current!

If you’ve been to a location below and found they’re out of signed copies, please let me know — I’ll take it off the list!

Ontario

Cobourg

The Avid Reader Magazines and Books, 513 Division St.

Guelph
Chapters Guelph, Stone Road Mall, 435 Stone Rd.

Mississauga
Chapters Vega, Erin Mills Power Centre, 3050 Vega Blvd.

Orillia

Manticore Books, 103 Mississaga Street E.

Ottawa

Black Squirrel Books and Tea, 1073 Bank St.

Toronto

Bakka-Phoenix Books, 84 Harbord St.

Indigo Bay and Bloor, 55 Bloor St. West.

Indigo Yonge and Eglinton, 2300 Yonge St.

Mabel’s Fables, 662 Mt. Pleasant Rd.

 

Quebec

Montréal

Indigo Place Montréal Trust, 1500 avenue McGill College.

New York State

Albany

Flights of Fantasy Books and Games, 381 Sand Creek Rd.

New York City

Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street

The Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway.

October 1st, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt!

Ohhhhh yeah. It’s Scavenger Hunt time.
YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

I’m Leah Bobet, author of An Inheritance of Ashes and Above, and I’m your host for this stop of the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Haircut!
The Puzzle

I’ve hidden my favorite number somewhere in the post below. If you collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up, you can hit the entry form at the YASH official site to qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

YASH BLUE TEAM 2015

The Rules

The contest is open internationally, but anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Now that that’s clear, on to the content: It’s my pleasure to host author Jessica Khoury!

Jessica wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author. When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration. Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, and the brand-new novel The Forbidden Wish.

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

There’s more on The Forbidden Wish at Jessica’s website, or checking the book out here!

But for now, Jessica’s shared a sneak preview of the first chapter of The Forbidden Wish.

THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury

Sounds pretty sweet — like the kind of book you’d want to reread 18 times!

I’m running my own giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But!  Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jessica, and more!

Keep On Hunting

Thanks for stopping by! Your next stop on the hunt is Joshua David Bellin — give him some love, and happy hunting!

September 15th, 2014

Going Out in Public, September edition

It’s fall, and all the literary events at once are on the calendar. Here’s a few places I’ll be!

  • The Friends of the Merrill Collection is hosting a roundtable discussion on
  • Diversity in SFF at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library on September 27, 2014. I’ll be a panelist, alongside Léonicka Valcius and panelists will include Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet, E.L. Chen, Malon Edwards, and Tonya Liburd.
  • The City of Vaughan, where I grew up, is having its first ever Bookfest on Sunday, September 28th from 1pm to 4pm! I’ll be there with a table to talk to readers, and will be giving a workshop on how an idea goes through the publishing process to become a book at 2pm.

Hope to see you there!

September 1st, 2014

A grants workshop!

Slightly to the side of publication news: Author and editor Michael Matheson and I are running a workshop next Sunday, at Bakka-Phoenix Books in Toronto, on how to write effective grant applications! If you’re a writer at any level, please come on down for a two-hour workshop on tips, best practices, and what grants are available for writers in Toronto!

Tickets are available here from EventBrite for $10, and you get a 10% discount on anything at Bakka-Phoenix Books on the same day for workshop attendance.

November 11th, 2013

Going Out in Public: November edition!

After a pretty quiet fall, I’m going to be at a few events in the next couple weeks. Details!

  • Next Sunday, November 17th at 3pm, I’ll be reading at the Draft Reading Series alongside a whole bunch of excellent writers: Julia Campbell-Such, Jack Hillary, Sandra Kasturi,
    Amanda Leduc, and Ursula Pflug. Draft does a few neat things most reading series don’t: It asks writers to read something in progress, or in a genre they’re not known for, or otherwise zig where you usually zag. It’s looking like a really interesting afternoon, and it’ll be at The Black Swan Tavern, at 154 Danforth.
  • Secondly, I’ll be attending SFContario 4 in Toronto, Ontario from November 29 to December 1, 2013. My panel schedule’s forthcoming, but I’ll post it when it’s here.

Hope to see you there!

October 18th, 2013

A poetry publication!

“On Living Authors,” my first poetry publication in a long time, is out in the Fall 2013 issue of Goblin Fruit today — as part of a table of contents that’s frankly stunning.

Mike Allen has a whole poetry cycle featured, and there’s really thought-provoking, gorgeous work from Liz Bourke, Samantha Henderson, Sonya Taaffe (always!) and Beth Langford. If you’re a poetry reader and not already reading Goblin Fruit, I really suggest you do. It’s constantly fantastic.

August 15th, 2013

A less-usual kind of event.

It’s been a pretty quiet summer, what with the Being Sick and then my trip, face first, into revising ON ROADSTEAD FARM:

This is what a paper edit looks like.  It takes about 20 minutes a page.
Look! It’s a manuscript!

…but I do have an August reading to tell you about, and not the usual YA kind.

Carl Brandon Award nominee Elwin Cotman is touring his brand new book, and I’ll be reading with him and poet Kelly Rose Pflug-Back as that tour hits Toronto. As the event page puts it: Cheap drinks, live music, and books available for purchase!

The event’s at The 460 on Spadina, on Wednesday, August 21st at 7pm. Hope to see you there!

June 26th, 2013

Readercon schedule!

As promised in my last post!

Readercon (aka, Most Wonderful Time of the Year) goes down in a few weeks in Burlington, MA.  Behold the schedule!

Thursday, July 11

9:00 PM    F    Apocalypse Then. Leah Bobet, Maureen F. McHugh, James Morrow, Romie Stott (moderator), Sabrina Vourvoulias. In a 2012 interview published in the Boston Review, Junot Díaz told Paula Moya, “I always say if people [in the Dominican Republic] know about anything they know about the end of the world. We are after all the eschaton that divided the Old World from the New.” In this sense many worlds have ended, with a bang or a whimper. What can authors of post-apocalyptic stories learn from past apocalypses like the 1994 Rwandan genocide or the fall of Imperial Rome, and why are there so few works that present real-world events in this light?

Friday, July 12

1:00 PM    F    The Silent History: A Killer Serial. Leah Bobet, Samantha Henderson, Maureen F. McHugh, David G. Shaw (leader), Graham Sleight. The Silent History (http://www.thesilenthistory.com) bills itself as “a new kind of novel,” a serialized story told in weekday installments over the course of six months. In addition to the daily first-person narratives there are also “field reports,” reader-created first-person accounts in the story’s universe that are tied to specific locations. Rather than distract, these elements immerse the reader in the world of the story. How can non-standard narrative structure, serialization, geolocation, and audience participation serve as a blueprint for future novels?
4:00 PM    E    Autographs. Leah Bobet, Howard Waldrop.

 

Saturday, July 13

1:00 PM    G    Authorial Metanarrative. Leah Bobet (leader), Lila Garrott, Theodora Goss, Glenn Grant, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Sonya Taaffe. A number of authors build in subtle links between otherwise unconnected works. A link may not be something as literal as a common character or name; perhaps, instead, there’s a repeated trope or event. Leah Bobet, discussing Patricia A. McKillip’s works in a 2011 blog post, described this as writing “epic poetry, and the whole of [McKillip's] output is the poem.” How do such links affect a reader’s interpretation of or approach to a body of work, and what motivates authors to link their works together?

Suggested by Leah Bobet.

3:00 PM    NH    Mythic Poetry Group Reading. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, Andrea Hairston, Samantha Henderson, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Rose Lemberg, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Dominik Parisien, Caitlyn Paxson, Julia Rios, Romie Stott, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft. Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who’ve redefined what this type of writing can do. This reading will feature new and classic works from speculative poetry’s trend-setters.

9:00 PM    NH    Reading: Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet reads from a work to be determined.

So this basically looks to be awesome, and I have more than a little prep to do before the weekend itself hits (ie, what I’m reading, which may be from On Roadstead Farm.)

Do I see you there?
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