Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Diana Forbes @dianaforbes18

Dear Reader…

I wanted to write a novel what would whisk readers away to Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island. I always love books that transport me to a different century, and while I was at it, I thought it would be fun to go to a ball at one of Newport’s grand, historic houses. I originally wanted to set the ball at The Breakers, which is certainly the grandest historic home in Newport, however on a trip to The Breakers I learned that it had actually burned down during the year in which I set my debut novel, Mistress Suffragette. So, instead, I set the ball at the Chateau-sur-Mer. The ballroom was a little smaller, but the house compensated for it with some fabulous secret rooms and passageways. I also thought it would be fun to write a “riches to rags” story and set it during a time when some people became tycoons and others lost their life savings during the Panic of 1893. I believe that challenges and obstacles help a character prove her mettle. Each week I run the stories I am writing like Mistress Suffragette by thirty readers in two writing classes I take in Manhattan. Their thoughts, questions, and observations helped me shape the story. Right now I am writing the sequel, so if there is anything you want me to consider for the sequel, feel free to write to me at

Happy reading. I hope that this young woman’s journey will inspire your journey.


Diana Forbes
About the Author

Diana Forbes is a 9th generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her 19th Century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived. Prior to publication, Diana Forbes’s debut won 1st place in the Missouri Romance Writers of America (RWA) Gateway to the Best Contest for Women’s Fiction. A selection from the novel was a finalist in the Wisconsin RWA “Fab Five” Contest for Women’s Fiction. Mistress Suffragette won 1st place in the Chanticleer Chatelaine Award’s Romance and Sensual category, and was shortlisted for the Somerset Award in Literary Fiction. Mistress Suffragette won Silver in the North American Book Awards and was a Winner of the Book Excellence Awards for Romance. Mistress Suffragette was also a Kirkus Best Indies Book of 2017. The author is passionate about vintage clothing, antique furniture, ancestry, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime. Diana Forbes is the author of New York Gilded Age historical fiction.



About the Book:

Author: Diana Forbes
Publisher: Penmore Press
Pages: 392
Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction/Victorian/Political/NY Gilded Age Fiction

A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton quickly draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Mr. Daggers. Better known as the philandering husband of the stunning socialite, Evelyn Daggers, Edgar stalks Penelope.

Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Meanwhile a special talent of Penelope’s makes her the ideal candidate for a paying job in the Suffrage Movement.

In a Movement whose leaders are supposed to lead spotless lives, Penelope’s torrid affair with Mr. Daggers is a distraction and early suffragist Amy Adams Buchanan Van Buren, herself the victim of a faithless spouse, urges Penelope to put an end to it. But can she?

Searching for sanctuary in three cities, Penelope will need to discover her hidden reserves of courage and tenacity. During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love.


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Dear Reader, Love David John

Dear Reader…

I am so happy you have my Adventures of Mitee Mite set of books and hope so much you are having fun learning all the things Mitee Mite shows and teaches. I think you are in for a big treat as you become a fan of Mitee Mite.  To me, being a writer is a gift that I want to share with you through my Mitee Mite books.

As a boy, I remember the first book I ever read which was Green Eggs and Ham written by Dr. Seuss  and how it engaged  me and how I learned from it while at the same time having so much fun. That is what I hope you too will feel too and take away with you experiencing my Mitee Mite books.   My Mitee Mite readers mean so much to me. I want them to have fun and learn too…like in my Mitee Mite book The Time Frame Game that shows you how to tell time. 

The other day, someone asked me how Mitee Mite was born? Well…one day as I was babysitting my friends’ children, and not having any idea what to do, I made up fun games to help them learn. The goal of the Mitee Mite series is to expose children to a variety of lessons in a manner that is fun, relatable, and memorable. Mitee Mite was created to help give children a head start on the basics of time, measurements, shapes, and money.  I think, as the creator of Mitee Mite, I have done that, and I hope you agree as you read your Mitee Mite book.

Where did I get the inspiration to create Mitee Mite ? was from my own daughter, who I call my “Little Mite.” She is the inspiration for the Mitee Mite character and the themes of the book series and apps. My own desire to teach my daughter the basic skills featured The Adventures of Mitee Mite book and app series has expanded into the goal of sharing these lessons with other children through my “You Buy, They Read” program. I plan to give away one book for every one bought to kids in need. Also, I will donate $1 for every $2 of the gross sales of apps to teachers who in these times we live in are going into their own pockets to buy school supplies.
I hope you enjoy Mitee Mite as much as I enjoyed writing my books. Thank you.

David John, author and creator of The Adventures of Mitee Mite book series and apps

About the Author

David John is the author of The Adventures of Mitee Mite book and app series. The series follows the adventures of superhero Mitee Mite and her sidekick, Terry the Ticker. The five titles in the series are The Time Frame Game (Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-0-2; Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-6-4), The Measuring Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-2-6), The Money Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-4-0), The Shape Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-3-3), and The Time Frame Game Advanced (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-5-7). Complementary apps for each book are available on Google Play and iTunes.  The companion song is available at the website:

David lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife and daughter. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing hockey, and creating new stories for The Adventures of Mitee Mite book and app series.



About the Book:

Building on a desire to teach children about time, shapes, measurements, and money, author David John created THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE series. In the same way that many of us
learned our ABCs, the book and app (available on Google Play and iTunes) collection helps young readers learn how many seconds are in a minute, the number of sides different shapes contain, and more, using a catchy tune that captures their attention and motivates learning.
Focusing on children from age 3 to 11 years old, THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series offers its readers a dynamic female superhero, Mitee Mite, as their guide through the often tricky terrain involved with mastering time, shapes, measurements, and money. In her matching red cape and boots, Mitee Mite, accompanied by her alarm clock sidekick, Terry the Ticker, activates her superpowers by using her manners, respecting others, and accurately answering questions in the games she encounters during her adventures.

The five books in THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series include The Time Frame Game and The Time Frame Game Advanced, which break down seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years to teach readers the fundamentals of time. The Measuring Game explores the components of feet, yards, and miles, as well as cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. Mitee Mite teaches kids about currency in The Money Game and dives into a colorful world of triangles, squares, hexagons, and more in The Shape Game. The companion song for this series (available at helps kinds absorb the skills in an enjoyable and interactive way.
The idea for THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series came about when David was faced with a dire challenge. “One day as I was babysitting my friends’ children, and not having any idea what to do, I made up fun games to help them learn,” David revealed. The goal of the series is to expose children to a variety of lessons in a manner that is fun, relatable, and memorable. David says, “Mitee Mite was created to help give children a head start on the basics of time, measurements, shapes, and money.”
David’s daughter, whom he calls his “Little Mite,” is the inspiration for the main character and the themes of the series. David’s desire to teach his daughter the basic skills featured in THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series has expanded into the goal of sharing these lessons with other children through his “You Buy, They Read” program. “We plan to give away one book for every one bought to kids in need.” In addition, David will donate $1 for every $2 of the gross sales of apps to teachers “who are going into their own pockets to buy supplies.”


Monday, February 19, 2018

Dear Reader, Love D.E. Haggerty

Dear Reader…

I’d like to explain a little bit about researching this novel and some interesting historical facts you’ll come across while reading. I’m a total history geek and love diving into research. Despite my total geekdom, Searching for Gertrude was especially challenging to write as a historical novel. Firstly, it was incredibly difficult to research Istanbul and Turkey during the Second World War. Most of the research material is only available in Turkish, and many documents are only available to accredited researchers. And none of the information is available online! Because of this, many people – especially those outside of Turkey who are my targeted readers – are not aware of the history of Turkey during this time period. This caused my second difficulty – how to write this fictional story without dumping historical information on readers (and therefore causing their eyes to glaze over). 

Despite the difficulties, I felt it important to persevere with this project. The picture that many have in their mind regarding Turkey and the Holocaust is that many Turkish public institutions, such as Istanbul University which features heavily in my novel, took in Jewish scholars who were prosecuted in the 1930s. Unfortunately, my research has shown that Turkey was not as welcoming towards Jews during the Holocaust era as the Turkish government would have one believe. This is not meant as an attack of Turkey. Many, many countries, including my country of birth, are untruthful about their policies and past (military) activities. In this time of ‘fake’ news and ‘alternative’ facts, it is even more important to correct misconceptions and lies than ever before.

I have, therefore, done my level best to maintain historical accuracy in this novel. Naturally, I’ve included the more well-known historical events such as the sinking of the SS Patria, the Pera Palace bombing, and the Struma tragedy. I also refer to several historical occurrences which are less known. Reading the novel, the reader may in fact assume these ‘facts’ are fictional, because these events aren’t well known. I’d like to share some of these lesser known events with you now.

In the winter semester of 1933-34, eighty-two German Jewish professors began teaching at Istanbul University. This was a direct result of the law enacted in Nazi Germany in 1933: “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service”. These exiled professors were in a much better position than their counterparts as they earned higher salaries and were largely protected from repressive refugee policies. When I discovered this information, I realized I’d found the starting point of my novel. 

Although Turkey was officially neutral until February 1945, in October 1941, high-ranking Turkish military leaders traveled to the German eastern front. No Turkish troops ever saw combat and many claim Turkey was blackmailed into joining the Allies. It’s fascinating to read how Turkey was able to play both sides of the fence while being a neutral party.

German consular offices were operational centers for Nazi secret service activities throughout the Near and Middle East. The Consul complained on numerous occasions that the consular offices couldn’t accommodate the large number of secret service employees. Adding to the strain, German expats continually spied on one other and reported their findings to the consulate. Istanbul was in fact a hot bed of espionage activity during the Second World War. Actually, that’s why I wanted to set my novel in the city. 

The Turkish government began to expel German Jews in the spring of 1937. In 1939, the Turkish minister of the Interior explained this policy to the German embassy stating that “[when] it became evident that they intended to settle here, German Jews … were expelled from our country to prevent a concentration of Jews.” Academics were mostly exempt from expulsion until 1943 when the second year of five-year contracts expired. The fear of expulsion plays an important part in my novel.

Those are just a few of the findings I made during my research. These are the findings, though, that play a role in the novel. I hope I’ve managed to pique your interest in reading Searching for Gertrude.

About the Author

Dena (aka D.E.) grew-up reading everything she could get her grubby hands on from her mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When she wasn't flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories, which she is very thankful have been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along and robbed her of any free time to write or read, although on the odd occasion she did manage to sneak a book into her rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from her adopted home. She packed up again and moved back to the Netherlands (The Hague to be exact) where she's currently working on her next book. She hopes she'll always be working on another book.

Author links:

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About the Book:

While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices, but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are   
enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position as a consulate worker in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.

How far would you go to find the woman you love?

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Kathleen Shaputis

Dear Reader…

Thank you for being a part of an extraordinary group I truly adore, book lovers. People who love to escape and adventure beyond the dull and stressful in life through reading. Whether it’s a paperback in your hands or an eBook device in your lap, readers are my favorite people. I believe the world spins more passionately, more hued in bright colors, because of you.

Where is your favorite place to read at home? Do you have a pefect overstuffed chair with a crocheted afghan or a cozy corner of the couch where you can stretch your legs or curl them under you as you turn the pages? Or are you like me, with full-platter days so you read every night in bed before falling asleep? My nightstand sits under an odd stack of books at any given time.

Is your personal reading relegated to vacations where you can seclude yourself into a cabin in the woods by a roaring fire or tanning on a sandy beach blanket with the waves as your soundtrack? If that’s the only time you have to read, that is a shame, and your life is overscheduled.

I grew up in southern California during a time where our local library had a limit on how many books you could check out at one time. The magic number was five. As I buried myself deep in the pages of a Beverly Cleary or a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, life transformed into a whole new world. One of the strangest, magical occurrence in some of these stories was snow. Kids went to school in the snow – how did that happen? If it rained in So Cal, the adults freaked out a little, I could never imagine living in a snow-covered area.

Dreams do come true, and I moved up to the Pacific Northwest where at least once during the winter months, Mother Nature blesses the area with a blanket of snow. And it’s everything I’d read about in books: Quiet, crunchy, slippery, cold, wet, slushy. Wonderful.

As a child I wanted to make people smile or sigh from the moment I could scribble stories on paper. My mentors and heroes were author and being a published author is fantastic, another dream come true. I hope my book Their Witch Wears Plaid takes you away from your ordinary into a magical realm of normal in Scotland with a rag band of characters. The storyline is like a treat of cotton candy at the fair, a bit of sweetness and a joy to remember. A rom-com tryst including a gorgeous ghost, witches and a knight in shining armor. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Forever yours,
Kathleen Shaputis

About the Author

Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude: Brugh, Bouncer and Miss Jazzy. If not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Her latest book is Their Witch Wears Plaid.



About the Book:

A giant-sized Druid, annoying trances and frightening nightmares mess up Nell's festive end of summer plans. Living in Scotland, a palm reader for Baillie Castle, Nell loses her heart to a professional jouster. But is her shining knight in cahoots with the sinister Druid?
Will the recipe of a magic coin, diva queens and witches be enough to save Nell from death? Or will evil triumph over love?


Friday, February 9, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Barbara Barnett

Dear Reader…

A mysterious, ancient illuminated book of healing has already led to one death and the curse of immortality on another, for as medieval alchemist Paracelsus has said: The dose makes the poison. So, what could possibly go wrong when gentleman physician Simon Bell consults gifted apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune in a desperate attempt to treat his dying wife?

A finalist for the 2017 Bram Stoker Award, and winner of the Killer Nashville Readers’ Choice Award, The Apothecary’s Curse is an alchemist’s brew of historical fantasy and medical thriller as a physician and an apothecary race against time to recover the ancient book that made them immortal centuries ago.

I have always been in love with literature’s tortured heroes. So, it is no coincidence that in my first novel I had to conjure one of my own.

Gaelan Erceldoune is brilliant, talented (and yes, quite charming when he wants to be). But, you see, Gaelan is nearly five hundred years old! And although he’s not unhappy to be alive in an age of such incredible innovation, he has not lived an easy life. Imprisoned in Bedlam in 1837, he was tortured at the hands of a mad-doctor, and the scars—internal and external—remain with him even today. He fears discovery most of all, and when he meets the equally brilliant geneticist Dr. Anne Shawe, Gaelan sees a way past his demons.

Part medical drama, part thriller, The Apothecary’s Curse explores the dark side of one of humanity's oldest obsessions--the quest for immortality--and tells a tale of greed, unintended consequences, and ultimately, love.

A romance that transcends time and space, Romantic Times Magazine called The Apothecary’s Curse “a fantastic mix of history and fantasy using a combination of facts, fiction, myth and reality. . .Her scintillating portrayal of Gaelan's tortured soul and Simon's haunting guilt plus the 'OMG' ending truly sets this novel apart.”

The Apothecary’s Curse is available from your favorite online or local bookseller—or at your library. I hope you give it a try, and I’d love to know what you think of it!

About the Author

Barbara Barnett is author of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel The Apothecary’s Curse  (Pyr Books), an imprint of Prometheus Books. She is also Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics Magazine (, an online magazine of pop culture, politics and more, for which she has also contributed nearly 1,000 essays, reviews, and interviews over the past decade. She published in-depth interviews with writers, actors and producers, including Jane Espenson, Katie Jacobs, Doris Egan, David Goodman, Jesse Spencer, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parilla, David Strathairn, Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, Elie Atie, Wesley Snipes, and many, many more.

Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras: THE Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. is a critically-acclaimed and quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show.
Always a pop-culture and sci-fi geek, Barbara was raised on a steady diet of TV (and TV dinners), but she always found her way to the tragic antiheroes and misunderstood champions, whether on TV, in the movies or in literature. (In other words, Spock, not Kirk; Han Solo, not Luke Skywalker!) It was inevitable that she would have to someday create one of her own.

She is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA’s HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as “The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture,” “The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Hidden History of Science Fiction,” and “Our Passion for Disaster (Movies).” Most recently, she gave a lecture at MENSA “The Conan Doyle Conundrum,” which explored the famous author’s life-long belief in fairies.

Barbara is available for signings and other author appearances as well as radio, print and television interviews. She also loves to speak at writers and other conferences! Feel free to contact her directly!
She is represented by Katharine Sands at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City. You can reach Katharine at



About the Book:

Between magic and science, medicine and alchemy, history and mythology lies the Apothecary's Curse…
A 2017 finalist for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award and winner of the Reader’s Choice award at this year’s Killer Nashville, The Apothecary’s Curse is a complex tale of love and survival set in a
very different Victorian era where science and the supernatural co-exist. The Apothecary’s Curse transports readers between Victorian London and contemporary Chicago, where two men conceal their immortality….

In early Victorian London, the fates of gentleman physician Simon Bell and apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune become irrevocably bound when Simon gives his dying wife an elixir created by Gaelan from an ancient manuscript. Meant to cure her of cancer, instead, it kills her. Now suicidal, Simon swallows the remainder – to no apparent effect. Five years of suicide attempts later, Simon realizes he cannot die. When he hears rumors of a Bedlam inmate—star attraction of a grisly freak show with astounding regenerative powers like his own—Simon is shocked to discover it is Gaelan.

When Machiavellian pharmaceutical company Genomics unearths 19th Century diaries describing the torture of Bedlam inmates, Gaelan and Simon's lives are upended, especially when the company's scientists begin to see a link between Gaelan and one of the unnamed inmates. But Gaelan and Genomics geneticist Anne Shawe find themselves powerfully, almost irresistibly, drawn to each other, and her family connection to his remarkable manuscript leads to a stunning revelation.

Will it bring ruin or redemption?

Meticulous historical detail infuses the narrative with authenticity, providing a rich, complex canvas. And playing off Simon’s connection to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Apothecary’s Curse draws on both the Sherlock Holmes canon and Sir Arthur's spirituality, as well as Celtic mythology, the art of alchemy, and the latest advances in genetics research.


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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Jane Mersky Leder

Dear Reader…

No one likes to talk about suicide.  I get that.  But the sad reality is that teen suicide is a serious problem; the suicide rate among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 reached a 40-year high in 2015.  Between 2007 and 2015, the suicide rate for those girls doubled.  For young males, there was a 31 percent increase.

Do I have you attention?  If I were a betting woman (I am not), I’d wager that you either know someone personally or know of someone who has taken her own life.  And I bet that you—along with the rest of us—shake your head in disbelief and wonder what you can possibly do to help break this deadly cycle. 
What I did was to write a book.  Others attend workshops, champion suicide prevention programs in schools, join organizations or foundations whose work it is to better understand suicide.
The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” debuted in 2017 and clocked in as Twitter’s second most-tweeted-about TV show and finished as the year’s top-trending show on Google.  Reaction to the story of a high school student’s suicide and its effect on her friends varied from those who found it uninformed and unnecessarily violent to those who felt the show had important messages.  Whatever one’s opinion, there is agreement that “13 Reasons Why” ignited a national conversation that will surely continue with the second season to air some time in 2018.  I am hopeful that Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide will add to that conversation.
So, why did I write Dead Serious some three decades ago and return to the subject again?  Good question.  My brother took his own life.  The first edition of the book was a cathartic journey.  Through the stories of other survivors, I was able to gain some perspective on my brother’s tragic ending and my reactions to his death.  I came back to the subject (Something I never thought I’d do!) after reading about the shocking increase in the number of middle school kids who take their own lives.  My response: get back to it.  There is so much more to be done.  This time around, I focused on some topics that were not as immediate 30 years ago:  bullying, LGBTQ teens, school suicide prevention programs, new studies about the teenage brain, social media and transgender people.  I was heartened by the bravery it took for many teens to share their stories and the insights of experts who have dedicated their professional pursuits to focus on teen suicide.
I look forward to getting your feedback to Dead Serious.  After all, you’re the one who counts.  Reviewers can be helpful.  Media can spread the word.  But it is you, dear reader, who can help make a difference.

About the Author

Jane Mersky Leder was born in Detroit, Michigan. The "Motor City" and original home of Motown have driven her writing from the start. A "Baby Boomer" who came of age in the Sixties, Leder is fascinated by the complexities of relationships between generations, between genders, and between our personal and public personas.

Dead Serious, a book about teen suicide, was named a YASD Best Book for Young Adults. 

The second edition of Dead Serious (with a new subtitle): Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide, will be published on January 23, 2018, and will be available as both an ebook and paperback on major online book sites, at libraries, and at select bookstores.

The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives, and Thanks For The Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II are among Leder’s other books.

Leder’s feature articles have appeared in numerous publications, including American Heritage, Psychology Today, and Woman’s Day.

She currently spends her time in Evanston, Illinois, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.



About the Book:

Thirty plus years after publishing the first edition of Dead Serious, this second completely revised and updated edition covers new ground: bullying, social media, LGBTQ teens, suicide prevention programs, and more. Scores of teens share their stories that are often filled with hurt, disappointment, shame--yet often hope. Written for teens, adults and educators, Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide explores the current cultural and social landscape and how the pressure-filled lives of teens today can lead to anxiety, depression--suicide. Leder's own journey of discovery after her brother's suicide informs her goal of helping to prevent teen suicide by empowering teens who are suffering and teens who can serve as peer leaders and connectors to trusted adults. The skyrocketing number of teens who take their own lives makes Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide more relevant and important than ever.

"Talking about suicide does not make matters worse. What makes matters worse is not talking."


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Friday, February 2, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Joseph Davida

Dear Reader…

I wrote Traveling High and Tripping Hard for anyone who may be on the fence about making irrational decisions. Society is set up to keep most people from pursuing their dreams—to keep things safe, comfortable, and sterile. But life is short, and we only get one chance at it. Whether it’s school, a job, or maybe even a relationship that seem to be keeping you from getting out and experiencing the world; maybe it’s time to start asking yourself what you really want out of life…

For me, I always wanted adventure. And while it’s true that any good adventure comes with a little risk, sometimes it’s the exposure to danger that can bring the best rewards. Most people will tell you that traveling to politically unstable countries, doing drugs, and hanging out with questionable company is a bad idea. But anyone that tells you not to do the things they have done (while smiling), is probably lying to you. My stories specifically, are not cautionary tales. They are not works of fiction meant to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own couch. I wrote them to give you a little incentive to go out and experience some of them yourself.

I don’t want to sound like I am preaching, or that the decisions I made were the right ones. Anytime you stray far from the pack, there are bound to be consequences—and I’ve had to face plenty of them. Traveling is not all about capturing perfect postcard images. With all of the beauty and magic that can be found, there are also plenty of ugly and sometimes horrendous situations that you will have to face. But this is the reality of life—and any attempt to whitewash it comes with its own set of risks. And for me, those risks are even more dangerous. If we are all fed the same narratives, received through small screens that can fit into the palms of our hands, we’re all going to miss the big picture. And I, for one, have no interest in living in a world where all of the mysteries of life can get swept under the rug.

Don’t let anyone tell you there is nothing left to see and explore. The planet is big and filled with wonder. Even if there aren’t any new continents or lost tribes to be discovered, there are still plenty of stones that have been left unturned. Go find them. Be curious.  Get out there and see what the world has to offer before it’s all gone. And that way, when someone asks you for a story about your own life…you’ll have a tale ready that’s guaranteed not to bore them to death.

The worst thing that can happen, is you’ll die before getting a chance to tell it.

Joseph Davida