Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Authors, readers, and bloggers are uniting again his year to fight stigma, spread mental health awareness, and support the prevention of suicide. To encourage participation, we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt to one lucky winner.

Two kinds of stigma continue to persist: public stigma and self-stigma. Public stigma occurs when other people view a person with a mental illness in a negative way. Public stigma feeds into self-stigma when people with mental illness internalize the negative talk they hear from others.

Well-meaning people say things like, “Suck it up,” “Choose to be happy,” “Turn that frown upside down,” or “Focus on your blessings,” as if mental illness were a mood, a frame of mind, or an attitude that can simply be overcome at will.

Often, people who suffer from mental illness blame themselves instead of seeking help. Just as a diabetic needs insulin, a person with mental illness may need treatment.

People who contemplate suicide don’t want to die; they just can’t fathom how to live because they are so miserable. They can’t see past their pain and misery, and they see no point in going on.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.”

IASP explains that “[e]very life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour. Suicidal behaviour includes suicide, and also encompases suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”

If you’re contemplating suicide, please don’t do it! Instead, seek help. You might be suffering now, but you never know what tomorrow brings. Reach out to a friend or family member. See a doctor. If that doctor doesn’t help, try another. Please don’t give up.

If you’re in crisis, please reach out to the toll-free hotline in your region. You can find your hotline here:

If you are grieving the death of a victim of suicide and need help, here are resources that can help:

If you suspect that someone you know may be contemplating suicide, please reach out. We often hesitate because we’re afraid we might make things worse by saying the wrong thing. According to IASP, “Evidence suggests that this is not the case. The offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress, as opposed to exacerbating it.”

Warning signs to look for include severe anxiety, agitation, hopelessness, rage, feelings of being trapped, a strong urge for vengeance, engaging in risky activities, excessive alcohol and/or drug use, withdrawing from people, trouble sleeping, and dramatic mood changes.

Click to Tweet: Mental illness isn’t a personality flaw; it’s an illness that comes on through no fault of the individual who suffers with it. Mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable. #WSPD


For my personal section of this blog I want to highlight a very special memoir I edited a few years ago from the wonderfully courageous Elizabeth Biermann.

Her memoir focuses on  healing from childhood sexual abuse. The time she spent healing from sexual abuse was not without struggle and yet she considers her journey fairly typical. This has allowed her to look back at her life with peace and move forward with strength and pride. Elizabeth believes it is through speaking out and through awareness that change will come. With awareness in mind, she writes this book for everyone, not just survivors. Available in paperback from Amazon.


I’d also in this section like to draw attention to a charity anthology I’m part of. All proceeds for this one go to Project Semicolon.

Life is full of ups and downs. We struggle day to day sometimes with our jobs, social interactions, bills and finding time to spend with our families. It can be somewhat depressing to go through the motions, waiting for that break so more time can be devoted to what matters most. Delve into the darkest depths of life in this anthology to find the strength to overcome the hardships.

Available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.


Book lovers from all over the world have joined together to share their stories and spread mental health awareness. Please follow this tour guide to find our posts and to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 t-shirt:

P.D. Workman, Author

Triple A Book Blog

Jessica Burkhart, Author

Here Is What I Read Blog

Crossroad Reviews

Jazzy Book Reviews

Book Corner News and Reviews

I Love Books and Stuff Blog

Luv Saving Money

Debbie Manber Kupfer, Author

Ash Ineski, Author

Allie Burton, Author

Book Butterfly in Dreamland

Sara Crawford, Author

Tawdra Kandle, Author

Quinn Loftis, Author

Kat’s Indie Book Blog

Day Leitao, Author

Steph Weston, Author

Lanie Bynum, Author

L.B. Carter, Author

Holly and Mistletoe

Eva Pohler, Author


From September 1-10, enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt. There are lots of ways to enter below–choose one or all. You can also tweet daily for extra entries. We’ll email the winner by September 11th.

Enter the Rafflecopter here!


1. On September 10th at 8 p.m. your time, light a candle to remember all those we have lost to suicide and to represent the hope of preventing suicide. People all over the world will be participating. You can send an ecard in 63 different languages to invite others to participate. Find the ecards here.

2. Purchase a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 for $20. For every shirt sold, five dollars is donated to the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Order yours here.

3. Spread the word about this giveaway, to encourage more people to read our posts and tweet about overcoming stigma. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this post, and

Click to tweet: #EntertoWin a $50 #giftcard and #Tshirt while fighting #stigma and spreading #mentalhealthawareness for #suicideprevention #WSPD.


Here are videos on suicide and mental helath that I have found to be helpful:

The Bridge Between Suicide and Life

You’re Still Here: Living After Suicide

This Is for All of You in a Dark Place

OWS CyCon Fantasy Blog Tour -D.L. Gardner

About The OWSCyCon Fantasy Blog Tour


As part of the OWS CyCon 2019, we asked our fantasy authors to write about what makes their world, or the world of another author unique. Each of them has come up with very different answers which reflect their writing processes, their research methods, and their views on world building.

We hope you find these insights interesting, and that they maybe give you some new things to think about when you pick up a new book, or even start writing your own.


After reading this interview, be sure to check out the responses from our other fantastic writers:

What makes the world of Ian’s Realm unique?

By D.L. Gardner

The story begins with Ian and his father creating a game engine on their computer and soon discover that the environment they are creating is an alternate reality which they can step into a click of the controller.

I think access to the Realm is one of the dynamics which makes this fantasy world unique. That and because the pristine countryside is inhabited by a variety of civilizations. Primitive tribes populate the northern forests and seaside. The Menek tribe is a society whose patriarch was a young wizard that fought a wicked queen’s serpent by manifesting his own dragon.

These people, out of fear, developed a dragon worshiping religion. Citizens were banished into the wilderness for failing to adhere to strict canons, a fate worse than death. After an extremely devastating attack by the dragon, the Meneks accused the hunters of the village of angering the dragon. They were sent away to forage for themselves. These hunters gathered in the forests and developed their own community. They named their nation Kaempern after the young wizard Kaempie who was said to have relinquished his magic to the Northern Winds, which in return for his power, offers the Songs of Wisdom – a guide toward righteousness for those who will listen.

Taikus is an island ruled by the wicked queen, a sorceress, who has a never-ending thirst for power. Hacatine was the reason the four young wizards fled their homeland (Tales of the Four Wizards available free at She rules with an army consisting of women only, all who have unique magical powers. More as slaves, these women warriors build ships and sail the seas on a quest to conquer the people of the world. Taikan weapons and sea-slaves (serpents) are unmatched saved by one nation only. The Crown of Alisubbo.

Cassie, Ian’s daughter, discovers this more civilized nation, located much nearer to Taikus, and which has been battling the queen for centuries.

Silvio is a leading patriarch, being the youngest of the four wizards who fled Hacatine. Having spent his youth hiding in an old oak tree in the forest of Alcove (near the original portal) Silvio eventually became the king of the little people. The Xylonites.

And who are the Xylonites? When Ian and his father were making the game engine, Ian, an artist at heart, developed a computer character. A little man with a baseball cap, a furry beard and a mole under his left eye. Little did Ian expect this character would come to life. Eventually the icon is given a name. Xylon. And when Xylon requests a wife be generated from his computer, the entire Alcove Forest comes alive with little people. Now these people prove to be very excitable little things. If anyone needs a leader, or a king, it’s the Xylonites. Silvio, when he’s finally released from the old tree, takes it upon himself to care for them.

There are other characters unique to Ian’s Realm that we see throughout the series. Whomticker, the magic thief is the most recent.

In essence I think you’ll find Ian’s Realm a whole new fantasy world unlike any other with inimitable and distinguishing cultures and characters. It just might make you want to step through that portal yourself!

About D.L. Gardner


With a passion for a good wholesome story D.L. Gardner also (Dianne Lynn Gardner) dives into the adult and young adult fantasy genres. She is both a best selling author and an award winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Dianne loves a book that ignites imaginations, strengthens friendships, spurs courage and applauds honor. Though she targets her stories for young adults, her books are enjoyed by all ages.

Dianne was born in Ohio and raised in southern CA. She attended Northern AZ University and later continued her education in the Pacific Northwest. She’s an oil painter, book illustrator, screenwriter and filmmaker. She writes under the names of D. L. Gardner and Dianne Lynn Gardner. Her novels have hit the Amazon best sellers list and she has won numerous awards for her screenplays..

Meet Dianne Online

OWSCyCon2019 Author Booth:



Author Website:

Author Blog:

Get the Latest News by Joining Dianne’s Newsletter

Learn More About the OWS CyCon 2019 Event

CyCon is the biggest online book event of the year, bringing together authors and readers from all over the world for an entire weekend of book-related fun. Between the organizers, and 230+ writers, you’ll be able to:

  • view live (and recorded discussions),
  • listen to samples of their stories,
  • vote in the various genre tournaments,
  • browse the author booths, and
  • discover some amazing books and writers.

We hope you enjoy this event as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. For more information, and links to all of the activities, visit us at:

You never know, you may just find your next best read!


Meet Peter Freeman from “No Rest for the Wicked” by Phoebe Darqueling

Today on Paws 4 Thought we are hosting the No Rest For the Wicked blog tour:

Banner No Rest for the Wicked

Peter was lucky enough to be born above what would later be called the Mason-Dixon line. Unlike most people of African descent in the US in 19th century, he was taught to read and write. He was involved in the Underground Railroad from a young age, and later recruited by the nascent Pinkerton Agency to act as a spy during the Civil War. His partner and best friend, Patrick Jones, died in the line of duty, and Peter had the undesirable task of bringing the news to his widow, Viola “Vi” Thorne. Though he made Jones a promise to look after Vi, he soon discovered she was quite capable of taking care of herself.

Vi’s first impulse was to “shoot the messenger”, and it took awhile for the two to become friends. The corruption and chaos of the war left both of them embittered. Rather than attempting to settle into a quiet life again after the fighting ceased, the pair set off down the Mississippi and ran a series of successful confidence games under various pseudonyms. Eventually, they even developed their own coded language, which came in handy when Vi posed as a medium. That was a particularly lucrative grift, until the day a real ghost answered their ad and Vi’s repressed psychic abilities manifested.

As the law began to get close to catching up with Peter and Vi, they decided to pull one final job after receiving a hot tip from a ghost about a Confederate general who had embezzled funds. Peter dared to hope that Vi returned his growing affection, but when it was time to make their escape, she never arrived.

She thought that was the end of their friendship. But four years later and deep in hiding, Vi received a message using their code: “The child is called Ignorance.”

No Rest for the Wicked front cover.jpg

From No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling

The pages were now worn and dog-eared, and Peter’s crimped scribbles jumped out at her from the margins as she thumbed through the pages. The line about a child called Ignorance came from somewhere in the second half of the story, but that was the extent of her recollection. Her eyes flitted across the page while her lips took the shape of half-formed words as she read about the two children hidden in the robes of the ghost of Christmas present;

This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their

degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is

Doom, unless the writing be erased.

“I see that written which is Doom.” Vi’s mouth went dry as she whispered the words, her heart doing acrobatics in her chest. The words “beware,” “Doom,” and “erased” leaped off the page and threatened to choke her. No doubt about it, Peter was sending her some type of warning, but a warning of what? He shouldn’t even know where she was, let alone what might be

threatening her. The churning bile in her gut tried to creep up her esophagus as a thought blossomed—maybe Peter was the threat.


Find out more about Peter and Vi in No Rest for the Wicked, available now from Black Rose Writing on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can read more character spotlights, excerpts, reviews, and interviews on the No Rest for the Wicked tour page.

Square tagline.png

Back cover:

Other people just think they’re “haunted by the past.” In Vi’s case, it’s true.

Clairvoyant Viola Thorne wants to forget about her days of grifting and running errands for ghosts. The problem? Playing it safe is dull. So when a dead stranger begs for her help, Vi jumps at the chance to dust off her hustling skills. The unlikely companions are soon tangling with bandits, cheating at cards, and loving every minute.

Then she finds out who referred him, and Vi has to face both a past and ex-partner that refuse to stay buried. Though she betrayed Peter, his spirit warns her of the plot that cost him his life. Vi’s guilty conscience won’t let her rest until she solves his murder. Though she’s spent her whole life fighting the pull of the paranormal, it holds the key to atoning for the only deception she’s ever regretted—breaking Peter’s heart.

Plus, do you like free books? You can get a free copy of The Steampunk Handbook by signing up for Phoebe Darqueling’s email list. Find out more 


Phoebe Darqueling is the pen name of a globe trotting vagabond who currently hangs her hat in Freiburg, Germany. She’s an equal opportunity Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly fan, but her favorite pastime is riffing on terrible old movies a la Mystery Science Theater 3000. In her “real life,” she writes curriculum for a creativity competition for kids in MN and edits academic texts for non-native English speakers. She loves all things Steampunk and writes about her obsession on During 2017, she coordinated a Steampunk novel through the Collaborative Writing Challenge called Army of Brass, and also loves working with authors as an editor. Her solo novels Riftmaker and No Rest for the Wicked debuted in 2019. You can find her short stories in the Chasing Magic and The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales anthologies so far, and she’ll be featured in an upcoming collection called Cogs, Crowns, and Carriages in November 2019.

You can also connect with Phoebe on Twitter and Facebook, and see a list of all of her books on her Amazon page.  


V is for Victor and a Visit to the Dining Room at the P.A.W.S. Institute of Londinium


“Welcome, welcome! Come sit down. Take a seat. The pea soup will be ready shortly. And it’s truly scrumptious today.

I  am Victor and I am both your chef and your host here in the Dining Room at the P.A.W.S. Institute of Londinium. As you can see I am a rather small pig, but I have trained in the Culinary Magical Institute of P.A.W.S. in Paris and  I can produce a veritable banquet.

So start with the pea soup, stay for the shepherd’s pie, and make sure you leave enough room for pudding. Today’s selection is Headmaster Sprocket’s favorite, rhubarb crumble and custard.”


Meet other P.A.W.S. characters beginning with V:

Valerian Root – Streifel’s brother. Lives behind the blue door in Blueberry Hill restaurant in U City.

Velvela Goldstein – Werewolf living in Brooklyn. Connection with the Hakessem family.

Victoria Plume – Student at New York P.A.W.S. Animagus peacock (because peahens are so plain.)

Meet Mirren Hogan


Today on Paws 4 Thought we are privileged to host the Night Witches blog tour. Night Witches is a cool new book from eclectic author Mirren Hogan. I caught up with Mirren to ask a few questions.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mirren.

I’m an Australian author with two kids and too many pets. I write fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, horror, historical fiction… maybe it’d be quicker to say I don’t write romance, ha-ha.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Jennifer Fallon, Anne McCaffrey, JK Rowling, Kathy Reichs, and tons more.

  1. Tell us a bit about Night Witches?

The Night Witches is based on a true story about a regiment of Soviet women who flew biplanes on the front line during WW2. It was their job to drop bombs on the Germans to keep them from sleeping. They frequently came under fire and many were shot down and died. There were three regiments with different roles, but the Night Witches were the only ones to consist entirely of women throughout the war.

The book itself centres around Nadia, a young Russian woman who wants to defend her country, and joins the air force. We follow her training and allocation to the regiment as a navigator. Along the way she makes some friends, but loses many others.


  1. If you could choose a superpower what would it be?

The ability to edit an entire book in an hour. Lol

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I like to walk my dog in the forest behind my house.


  1. Who is your favorite character you have written and why?

Flynn from the upcoming Dark Shores trilogy co-authored by Erin Yoshikawa. He’s cute but goofy, and ends up having to be a bit of an action hero.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I’m working my way through a backlog of editing, but when that’s done I have book 3 of a fantasy series to write.

  1. If you could visit any time period when we choose?

Right now. The last year has been a good place for me. I hope it keeps up!

  1. Do you have any pets? 

Lots! A dog, cat, rabbits, parrots and chickens.

  1. Tell us one odd thing about Australia that we wouldn’t know.

Most people I know don’t say ‘g’day’.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

Ouija board. No really @MirrenHogan on Twitter or on Facebook

Pick up a copy of Night Witches today and check out all of Mirren’s awesome writing on Amazon.

Calling all Bloggers!


Hey folks – as some of you may be aware I’m releasing, Umbrae, book 3 of my P.A.W.S. series on March 1st. To celebrate I’m going on tour (well virtual tour) and am looking for bloggers to host my stops along the way.

They’ll be interviews, excerpts, character meet and greets, and reviews. Sign up to be part of my journey into the shadows.

Meet G. K. DeRosa


Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome YA author, G. K. DeRosa, the author of the supernatural novel, Wilder.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, G.K.

Well for starters my name is Genevieve and my last name is even longer and harder to pronounce which is why I go with GK DeRosa (K is the first letter of my last name and DeRosa is my maiden name). I’m a total teenager at heart, in fact one of my husband’s favorite things to say to me is “Grow up!” At which, I turn to him resolutely and shout “Neverrrr!!” I grew up in beautiful sunny Florida and like Celeste, I went to Catholic school from pre-school through high school. I had some awesome English and Literature teachers in middle school that really instilled in me the love of reading. Though I kind of lost track of it for quite a few years when I went to college at The University of Florida (Go Gators!) and decided to follow the more conventional route and study International Business and get jobs in the corporate world. Travel and food are my other two passions so hence the “international”. I am also obsessed with way too many TV shows to mention and most of them are for teenagers of course. My favorite is The Vampire Diaries (the TV show, I didn’t love the books) and it was the source of my inspiration when writing Wilder. Come on, who wouldn’t swoon for Ian Somerhalder?

  1. When did you start writing?

I actually just started writing in September of 2014. I remember it clearly because it was just a few weeks before my birthday and on a whim, I sat at my laptop and began typing away. I had no outline and no real idea of where I was going with it. I had been reading a ton of books at that time, from Twilight to 50 Shades of Grey to Game of Thrones, if it was popular I read it. But it was the YA fantasy that I loved most. I got sucked into series after series – The Sookie Stackhouse series, The Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games, Divergent, The Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc. etc. And it was around that time that I decided that instead of spending so much time reading, I should try my hand at writing something myself. I found it to be so much fun that I just couldn’t stop! I had a full time job at the time and would write when I was on my lunch break (or if it got really quiet at work ;)) and on weekends. It took me about 3 months to write the first draft of Wilder but I didn’t publish until almost 6 months after that. It was a totally new and exciting experience and also very overwhelming, especially when going the indie route and trying to do everything on your own. But I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare. I love the fantasy worlds they create and the fun characters. Hunger Games is probably my favorite series of all time, so by extension I like Suzanne Collins too.

  1. What are you reading right now?

That’s a tough question because I am reading so much right now. My to-be-read list in Goodreads is ginormous. Lately I’ve been reading mostly indie stuff – you gotta support! I just finished Badly in Blood by J.N. Colon, an awesome indie author I met through a Goodreads group and I absolutely love her urban fantasy series. I just started Shearwater by D.S. Murphy who is another new and very up and coming indie author. It’s a paranormal mermaid adventure romance, which is something new for me. Outside of the indie world, I’ve been dying to start The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I want to go see the movie too, but I have to read the book first!

  1. Tell us about Wilder?

Why I’d love to! Celeste Wilder is the heroine of the story, a normal teenage girl trying to finish out her senior year of high school and figure out her place in the world when the handsome and intriguing Constantin brothers fall into her life. She’s immediately drawn to them and senses they are keeping secrets from her and needs to find out why. As she grows closer to them she finds out about not only their supernatural past but her own family secret kept tucked away from her for her whole life. It’s a fun coming of age story with romance, adventure and edge of your seat excitement. And the best part is that Celeste’s only just learning about her new life and there is much more to come in the rest of the series.

  1. What attracts you to writing YA?

Like I said before, I’m a teenager at heart and just love that time of life. There are so many possibilities and you have your whole future ahead of you. It’s an extremely exciting time. And I absolutely love young love, I’m a total sucker for romance and all good YA must have some in my opinion!

  1. If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

As far as superpowers go, I’d like to be a witch. They get to practice magic and do all kinds of amazing things, but they’re still human so they don’t have to worry about drinking blood to survive or turning into a wolf on the full moon. As a matter of fact, I think my next series will be about a young witch. I’d really like to explore more about that!

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

Growing up in Florida, I absolutely love the ocean. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than grabbing a good book, slathering on some sun tan lotion and lying out on a lounge chair at the beach. I could stay there for hours and be completely happy.

  1. So what’s next? What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the fourth and final book of The Guardian Series. Wilder Destiny and Wilder Revelation are both out now and I plan on finishing up the series this summer. It’s very bitter sweet for me as this was my first venture into writing, and it has turned into the most amazing thing. Celeste, Roman, Nico and the rest of the crew have become like family to me and putting an end to their story is extremely difficult. But as I mentioned before, I do have another idea for a new urban fantasy series in mind so I’ll probably start working on that in the fall. I’m also working on a YA urban fantasy/paranormal romance bundle that I’m putting together with a few super talented indie writers. It’ll be a fun compilation of some of the best stuff that’s out there right now. Keep a look out for that in early May.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

In oh so many ways!








Wilder by G.K. DeRosa
(The Guardian Series #1)
Publication date: June 12th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

All that Celeste Wilder ever wanted was to find someone who would sweep her off her feet like she had seen in countless romantic movies. When she meets the gorgeous and mysterious Constantin brothers her senior year of high school, she gets much more than what she had bargained for. As they introduce her to an exciting supernatural world that she never imagined existed, she makes a startling discovery about her own family legacy and is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

On sale for 99c during the tour only!
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Promises by Michelle Lynn



Do you promise you’ll always be here for me?
It was a game they played, only it wasn’t a game. Maggie
Marks held on to Elijah’s childhood promises as a way of escaping a life that
was far from perfect. Elijah Lugo was her neighbor, her best friend, her
family. He was everything her parents refused to be, everything she needed. He
was her first kiss and a witness to more of her father’s drunken rants than she
could count. He was there at her wedding and then held her when it all fell
apart. Elijah was in love with her, but she was afraid loving him would
eventually mean losing him too.
They were no longer kids, pretending everything would work
out in the end.
When Maggie’s father reenters her life in an unexpected way,
revealing long held secrets, her world is turned upside down and she will need
Elijah more than ever.
A story of friendship and family. The promises you make and
the ones you keep.





Michelle Lynn fell in love with reading when she was a kid.
Every kind of book gripped her imagination. As she got a little older, she got
into series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Currently, her favorite is
the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
Michelle is an escapist. She believes that a book can take
you anywhere and get you away from what’s going on in your own life. You can
disappear inside the pages and become a different person. Growing up, this
became more and more important for her as her life changed dramatically due to
an illness. It started when she was young and got worse over the years. Reading
is what helped her get through it. She’s still getting through it but it isn’t
as hard, mentally, as it once was. Like reading, writing provided her a needed
escape. Her dream is for her books to be able to do that for someone else. Life
is hard but this just makes it a little bit easier.
Reading and writing aren’t Michelle’s only vices as she
deals with the illness that has now become disabling. She’s also an avid hockey
fan. She lives in Florida but never misses a Columbus Blue Jackets game on TV.
Michelle also spends a lot of time with her family –
parents, two sisters, brother in-law, and niece. She’s also constantly
surrounded by animals – dog, 2 cats, a bird- that provide much needed comfort
and inspiration.
She has a college degree in business, economics, and
accounting but has to decide how to tie that to writing because that’s where he
passion lies now.



Fall of the Dreamer – L.J. Higgins

Blog Tour
Fall of the Dreamer
(Dreamer Trilogy, Book Two)
Enjoying her new life in Sandhaven after the events of the
year before, Amelia feels like she has it all great friends, a home by the
beach, a job that she loves, and a handsome boyfriend. But a new threat is
brewing in the city; the Cambiar Virus is spreading fast and people are dying.
Amelia does not want to give up her peaceful life, but someone must fight for
those who are unaware of the danger they’re in. With Cameron acting strange,
her friendship with Sarah strained, and her relationship with Jonah growing
more complicated, the last thing Amelia wants is to put her personal life aside
and get involved in another life threatening situation. But she doesn’t have a



Every time I awoke, I remembered nothing. No dream, just darkness. A new fear came over me. Had they worked out how to erase my Dreamer abilities? Had they destroyed my dreams?



Fall of the Dreamer (Dreamer Trilogy
Book 2)

BOOK ONE: Dawn of the Dreamer (Dreamer Trilogy Book 1)  
L J Higgins hails from Queensland, Australia, and her love
of books motivated her to return to her dream of writing a novel. The result is
inspiring, showing dreams can be achieved if you have self-belief. She hopes
to instill in her children the world of imagination and chasing your

Say Hello to Henry Herz


Today of Paws4Thought we welcome picture book author Henry Herz. Henry earned an engineering BS from Cornell University, an engineering MS from George Washington University, and a political science MA from Georgetown University – none of which help him write picture books. Aided by his two sons, Henry authored the picture books MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY. He’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Henry hosts a blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction at

When did you first start writing, Henry?

I self-published my first children’s book in 2011, and have been writing ever since.

What was your favorite book as a child?

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak. “We’ll eat you up, we love you so!” (Love that one too – it was a staple in my house when my kids were small. DMK)

Tell us a bit about your new release, When You Give an Imp a Penny.

Before you lend an imp a penny, there’s something you should know—such a simple act of generosity could set off a side-splitting chain of events! A colorful picture book full of mythology, mischief, and magic, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY shows us just what happens when an accident-prone—but well-intentioned—imp comes along asking for favors! The same writer/illustrator duo that brought you MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES brings to life a comedy of fabled proportions.

From tracking mud on the floor to setting the broom on fire, this clumsy little imp causes accidents wherever he goes, but he’s determined make things right again. The only thing it will cost his host is a little patience—and maybe a bit of time cleaning up some messes! It won’t be long before this troublemaker has won over the entire family (except for the cat) with his irrepressible charm.

What attracts you to writing for children?

Fantasy is my favorite genre, so I like the idea of hooking kids on fantasy, the way I got hooked by WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and LORD OF THE RINGS. I feel like my picture books can serve as a the gateway as kids mature to the fabulous fantasy novels written by Tolkien, Lewis, Riordan, Zelazny, Hearne, Sanderson, Martin, Pratchett, Hobb, Stiefvater, Caine, Novik, and many others.

So what’s next? What are you currently working on?

After WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, I have three more picture books scheduled for publication. LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016) is an aquatic retelling of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, but with a sassy cephalopod protagonist. MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016) is a bedtime picture book inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet. Little Mabel was an expert at not going to sleep. But Mom had the Queen of Dreams in her quiver of bedtime tales. The Queen paints children’s dreams, so she only visits when their eyes are closed. DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017) is a comical mashup of two kid favorites. A T-rex with a piratey patois!? Cap’n Rex leads his dinosaur pirates in search of booty. As they encounter obstacles in their quest, the apex predator “encourages” his crew to think outside the box. When the treasure is found, Cap’n Rex wants to keep it for himself, but the clever crew turns the tables on him.

I’m always writing and submitting new picture books. I have high hopes for NEVER FEED A YETI SPAGHETTI and for a story with a dung beetle protagonist. (That sounds like a whole heap of fun! DMK)

What do you like to do to relax?

What does “relax” mean? Seriously, I like hanging out with friends and reading… fantasy! For turning off the brain, nothing works better than watching TV. Working in the yard is also very relaxing and gratifying.

I’m thrilled to be moderating a children’s literature panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles on March 26. The panelists will be award-winning authors and illustrators Bruce Hale (CLARK THE SHARK), Jon Klassen (THIS IS NOT MY HAT), Laura Numeroff (IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE), and Dan Santat (THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND), and Antoinette Portis (WAIT).

If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?

Mystique from X-Men can mimic the apperance, voice, and abilities of humans and animals. So, that’s like multiple superpowers (flying, sonar, breathing underwater, night vision, camouflage, regrow severed limbs, etc.) for the price of one!

Ninjas or Pirates?

That is not a black and white choice. What about Ninja Pirates!? Ooh, that’s a good picture book idea…

How can readers and parents connect with you?



Pick up your copy today!