Audrey Penn is the author of the NY Times bestseller, The Kissing Hand , and its sequels, along with the Blackbeard series for middle readers. She takes her education program into schools, libraries, and children's hospitals, where she shapes and refines her story ideas in partnership with kids. She live in Durham, NC. Ruth E. Harper was born in the tiny English town of Burnham-on-Crouch. She has lived and studied in Israel and Cyprus, as well as in England and the US. She has illustrated in a wide variety of styles, including technical drawings that were accepted by the U.S. Patent Office when she was 13 years old. Maryland artist Nancy M. Leak is a specialist in printmaking. She works and exhibits with a group of seven women called Printmakers Plus, as well as with other local and national organizations. Her hand-pulled original etchings, many of them miniatures, have won recognition all over the U.S.