Tag Archives: Diamante Lavendar blog

The Rise Of Nazil by Aaron Michael Hall

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It was the 75th year of Alberoth when the AsZar summoned the Guardians. There was an imbalance in the lands of Faélondul. The Zaxson, Draizeyn Vereux covered the lands in a pall of darkness. There was a plan to exterminate the infestation in Nazil and beyond, a plan to eradicate the humans.

Led by the priestly cast called the Cha, the Xenophobic Nazilians dominating Faélondul justified their brutalities against the humans. But when the First Chosen of the elite guard of Nazil discovers Brahanu Ravenot lost near the gates of the city, not only his life but also his entire system of beliefs is forever changed. With darkness covering the lands, can love—forbidden, yet eternal—save both humans and Nazilians?

The Rise of Nazil is an adult fantasy novel that takes your breath away. Intricate plotting, intense passion, exciting battles, and complex, challenging characters pull the reader into the mythical world of Faélondul, where powerful ethereal beings wrestle for domination against the brutal Nazilian rulers.

Honor above all! The elite Chosen Guard of Nazil live and die by that maxim. A xenophobic race dominating the lands of Faélondul, the Nazilian’s fallacious sense of honor and preeminence enables them to justify their brutal treatment of humans.

Reviews for The Rise Of Nazil:

By Jocelyn on March 6, 2016
Epic fantasy novel! That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I think of this book. It’s a fast-paced story that will hook you into the storyline from the first page. It is a long book, but it wasn’t hard to read or dull at all! It was an overall fun and enjoyable book to read and I would recommend it to others, especially if you love adult fantasy novels.

I don’t want to go into so many details about the book, since I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that if you’re looking for a good book to read next, you should give this book a try.

 

By J. Thomas Munson on February 15, 2016

The Rise of Nazil by Aaron-Michael Hall depicts both evil and good in a classic sci-fi fantasy thriller. Illustrating a true world easily envisioned for all readers, while sketching perfectly the human traits that make all so vividly fascinating. A page turning “epic” novel with pulsating fantasy and an ever-gripping creativity wrapped in a forbidden yet eternal love. With fantastic creatures, ruthless political beings and a love story to which Shakespeare would be proud of. Can this love story reconcile a feuding fantasy world, or will the same tragic ending cripple the masses? It is with all honesty, a high recommendation for The Rise of Nazil and a salivating anticipation for the sequel to the Rise, with The Seed of Scorn!

Where you can find The Rise Of Nazil:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Rise-Nazil-Secret-Seven-ebook/dp/B014FPTWVS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rise-of-nazil-aaron-michael-hall/1122654528?ean=2940152347166

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-rise-of-nazil

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rise-nazil-epic-adult-fantasy/id1039982174?mt=11

Where you can find Aaron:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rise-of-Nazil/897437180316047

http://www.theriseofnazil.com/

You Can’t Have One Without The Other

There is an unfortunate tendency in our society to focus on social class and egoism. While I completely understand the differences and needs of particular social classes and the importance of individualism, when it comes to our society working together for good these tendencies cause problems.

In the study of society, or sociology, differences in society are categorized as class, race, gender and geographic location. These differences affect how people can access resources and opportunities. (Reference: What are social divisions?)

Social divisions stem from the idea that society is separated into the powerful and powerless. Those in lower socioeconomic classes have fewer opportunities for things like education, health care and employment. Those in higher socioeconomic classes have an abundance of pretty much everything. (Reference:  What are social divisions?)  For far too long, our society has valued the upper socioeconomic classes such as doctors and lawyers and undervalued the lower socioeconomic classes such as fast food workers and janitors. But the truth of the matter is, we can’t have one without the other.

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(Celebration by Diamante Lavendar)

It is an inconceivable notion that some people are more important than others in a society that hopes to accomplish its very best in the given moment.  Yes, doctors and lawyers are important. But if society valued all walks of people more, perhaps lawyers and doctors would be in lesser demand because there would be less fighting and stress!  Who would clean the rooms and hallways of the hospitals if everyone were a doctor? Who would prepare gourmet or classic meals, create beautiful pieces of art to appreciate or music to calm the senses?  Who would make sure the factories worked correctly and that we had safe water, pipes, heat, electricity, running vehicles and amusement parks to occupy ourselves?  It takes all of us to create a happy whole.

Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives”. (Dictionary.com).  Are we truly being aptly represented by our officials?  Everyone matters.  Every life is important.  It is a travesty and a shame when some are deemed more useful than others.  Even in the Bible it says, “There is one body, but it has many parts.  But all its many parts make up one body…..if all parts were the same, how could there be a body?”  (1 Cor. 12:12 and 19).

We all matter.  Our lives matter. Our souls matter.  Our means of living matter.  When we are each contributing positively to the value of the whole, who can truly say one is more important or meaningful than the other?  Deep down, we all need the same things and crave the same things.  I believe it’s time to value the parts of society contributing to the sum of our society’s parts.  Even Aristotle said,  “Mathematically, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.” Then psychological Gestalt theory took it a step further, stating that “The parts, when working together, are able to achieve an outcome superior to one or two people working alone.”   (PubMed.gov:  The whole is more than the sum of its parts:  Aristotle, metaphysical).

I know Aristotle was onto something but I believe the Gestalt theory summed it up beautifully. If everyone worked together in harmony and synchrony, wow, what an amazing society this would be!

Interesting Facts About Halloween

Are you one of those Halloween buffs who goes all out every year to have a crazy party and decorations complete with ghoulish food and friends? Well, you’re not alone! According to statistics, Halloween is the second largest holiday celebration in the United States with Christmas being the first!

That seems a bit strange to me. I would guess Valentines Day or New Years’ Eve to be the second largest holiday celebration, but hey, what do I know? (Apparently not much when it comes to Halloween!)

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I was always taught that Halloween was a holiday from the underworld.  But apparently there’s more to it than that.  I did some research and found that Halloween is a celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31 which is dedicated to remembering the dead including saints, martyrs and all the faithful departed.  So, it’s not all bad.  It’s like anything….it depends on what you believe about the holiday.  It supposedly began from a Gaelic festival called Samhain in which people celebrated the end of the harvest season.  And western culture kind of twisted it into what it is today.  (Wikipedia:  Halloween).  I prefer to think of it as a day to remember my loved ones who have passed on.  Though I remember them all times, it’s a day marked to observe what their lives meant to me.  I also think of it as a harvest festival.

Here are some interesting facts about Halloween:

-Halloween celebrates the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve followed by All Saints Day on Nov. 1.  It’s all in the attitude.  What does Halloween mean to you?

-In Great Britain, jack-o-lanterns were traditionally made from turnips.  We Americans turned that over on its head (ha!) and started the pumpkin craze!

-Trick or treating started in 19th century Scotland and Ireland.  Children went door to door praying for souls or performing for money or cakes.  Similarly, in medieval times, beggars went door to door praying for souls in exchange for food.  So next time you say trick or treat, you know where the concept came from!

-Halloween is a 6 billion dollar industry!  Like I mentioned above, it’s the second most practiced holiday in the U.S.  (Things that make you go hmmmm……)

-Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween!  Yeah…this fact pretty much speaks (or screams) for itself!

-50 % of kids prefer to receive chocolate for Halloween.  (I’m right with them!  Pleeeaase hand over the heath bars….:))

-The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven in 1993.  It weighed 836 lbs!  I wonder how many pies could come out of that monster!

-According to Irish legend, jack-o-lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who tricked the devil several times and was forbidden entrance into Heaven and Hell.  So now he wanders the earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.  (Not a namesake I’d want to keep!!)

-Harry Houdini died on Halloween night in 1926 as a result of appendicitis brought on by three punches to the stomach.  Yeesh!  What a time to die!

-Dressing up as ghouls or spirits originated from the Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves so that spirits roaming the streets wouldn’t recognize them!  I guess that could technically make sense…

-The Village Halloween Parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the United States with 50,000 participants and over 2 million spectators.  Huh…this is the first I’ve heard about this parade!

-Owls signify Halloween.  In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches.  When an owl was heard hooting, it was believed that someone was about to die. (Yikes!  That puts a clink into taking walks at night!)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Resources:

Wikipedia:  Halloween

Arts.Mic:  Halloween History:  13 Strange Facts On Why We Celebrate Halloween

Fact Retriever:  40 Spooky Facts About Halloween

Chicken Chatter: The Burning Question…

Bernie and Kurt were longtime friends. Best friends, really. They were also roommates that had lived together for years. Complete opposites, Bernie and Kurt found that the age old truth was indeed correct: opposites do tend to attract, at least most of the time.

One day Bernie and Kurt were sitting in their living room. Bernie was staring intently at the T.V. while Kurt read his daily paper. As the images floated around Bernie’s mind from the television program he was watching, Bernie turned to Kurt with an abrupt and somewhat strange question.

“Is it true, Kurt?”

Shaken from his reverie, Kurt looked over the top of the newspaper.  “Is what true?”

“The age old question, Kurt.  You know….why did the chicken cross the road?”  Bernie stared vacantly at his friend.

“What, Bernie?  Why are you talking about chickens?”  Kurt responded, irritation edging his voice.

“Because, Kurt.  I have heard the question many times.  Why?  Why did the chicken cross the road?”

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Kurt set down his paper with a rustle and a bustle.  “Why are you asking ridiculous questions? That’s not an age old question!  That’s a riddle, Bernie.  A ridiculous riddle.”

Bernie shook his head.  “No, Kurt.  It’s an important question.  Kind of like the one about the chicken and the egg.”

Kurt stared at Bernie.  “What’s up with you and chickens, Bernie?  It’s a chicken.   Who cares about a chicken?”

Bernie was taken aback.  “Well, you seem to care a lot about chickens, Kurt.”

“I care about chickens?  When do I care about chickens?”

“When you eat supper…and sometimes lunch…”

Kurt threw his hands in the air.  “I care about chickens at supper and lunch because I’m hungry! Not because I care about a ridiculous riddle regarding a chicken crossing a road!  Since when have you ever seen a chicken cross a road, Bernie?  When?”

“I haven’t.”

“Okay then.  There’s the answer to your question.”

“What answer, Kurt?”  Bernie scratched his head.

Kurt sat forward in his chair, pushing his newspaper onto the ottoman in front of him.  “CHICKENS DON’T CROSS ROADS, BERNIE.  THAT’S THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.”

Cowed by Kurt’s irritation, Bernie was silent for a moment.  Kurt watched him for approximately thirty seconds then sunk back into his chair, reaching for his paper again.

Sensing that the confrontation was over-at least temporarily over-Bernie said, “That doesn’t answer the question, Kurt.”

“Are you kidding me, Bernie?  Are you kidding me right now?”  Kurt plunged forward in the chair, almost nose diving across the ottoman.

“No..”

“NO?  NO what?”  Kurt ground his teeth together.  Then the thought occurred to him that it was ludicrous to be this angry over a riddle that some person most likely made up in the midst of a fit of complete and total boredom.

“I’m not kidding.  It….doesn’t answer..the question.”

Kurt sighed and shook his head.  “Okay, Bernie.  If you want the question answered so badly, go find a chicken crossing a road and ask it yourself.”

“But chickens don’t speak English, Kurt.”

“Enough!  Enough!  I don’t have an answer to your question!  I don’t know why a chicken would cross a road, I don’t know why it would WANT to cross a road and I sure am not going to ASK a chicken a question!  ENOUGH!  This conversation is over!  Good night, Bernie!”  Kurt jumped off the chair, tripped past Bernie and ran to his room, slamming the door.

“But Kurt, it’s noon…”

“Done!  I’m done!  Putting on my earbuds now.  DONE Bernie!”  he screamed from his bedroom.

Shrugging, Bernie clicked the remote to turn the sound up on the T.V. and lay back in his recliner.  I’ll ask tomorrow when he’s in a better mood.  I wonder what got into him.  He’s so cranky!

You’re Much More Special Than You Think!

Are you aware of the numerous things that make you, you? What would your answer be if I asked you what makes you special? Some of you may look toward the ground and say, “Not much. My fingerprints, I guess.” Others may exuberantly proclaim, “Everything about me!” Who’s right? Let’s explore the topic further!

For those of us with a “Pollyanna perspective”, we’d happily exclaim,  “Why, it’s my personality and the way I look!  Also the way I think and my unique traits like my fingerprints!”  Crazy thing is, these optimists are correct…and then some.  Not only is our appearance something that sets us apart, but there are other things that do too.

If your argument is “we’re all human and we’re all alike”, you’re correct.  But we’re all also different and that’s the beauty of life.  We are all truly unique.  Not only because of the above reasons but also because of several more.  First, our DNA:  the most important reality of this blog post.  Obviously DNA reigns supreme when it comes to pulling us apart at the seams, quite literally.  DNA evidence obliterated everything when it came to crime scene investigation and litigation.

But what else is there?  Well, our tongues for one.  Because our tongues are kept safely in our mouth (or not so safely, depending on what we talk about), our unique tongue prints are kept intact.  How would that work though, when asking for prints?  Could be a bit challenging….

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Then there are our ear lobes.  Instruments have been created to illuminate our earlobes to help in identifying us.  And it’s pretty conclusive.  Strange, eh?  I remember my grandmother being obsessed about earlobes….she was obviously onto something….

Many of us probably know about our retinol capillary patterns being individually unique.  Such is the reason for eye scanning equipment in high security areas.  But what about our irises?  Also very unique to each individual because “the color and structure is genetically linked, but the details of the pattern are not”.  Hmmm….this gives more meaning to “looking deep into your loved ones’ eyes”…..

What about how you walk?  Have you ever given thought to the way your body moves?  Well, that’s another way to determine individuality!  Not just your legs but your entire body, how you sway and put pressure on your feet, etc.  Makes me wonder about those of us who trip or fall off balance….can that be studied, too?  (Just a joke to make you smile!  Watch out for that rock…!)

Our voices and lip prints are also unique markers of who we are.  I don’t know about you, but I can just imagine a police station:  someone comes in and is asked to be lip printed.  I  don’t think that would be a fun scenario for the officers on duty.  Do you?  Could make for an interesting day, though.  🙂

Judge:  Step forward, please.  I understand you are being held for theft?

Defendant:  Yes, your Honor.

Judge:  Would you care to share your side of the story?

Defendant:  Yes, your Honor.  I walked into the store, leaned against the glass case and left my finger prints.  Then I saw something… an amazing watch in the case…. and looked more closely, accidentally brushing my lips against the glass.  Stunned, I stood up and found myself staring directly into the eyes of the clerk.  As she asked me if she could help me, I cut my finger on the edge of the glass case.  She gave me some kleenex and I wrapped it around my finger, thanking her profusely.  Then she showed me the watch.  I put it on my wrist, starting to walk back and forth in front of a nearby mirror to admire how it shined against my skin.  I tripped over a chair near the mirror and the watch fell off my wrist, landing on the floor and shattering.  I freaked out, went back to the case where the clerk stood with her mouth agape, and offered to pay for the watch.  Flustered, I paid her and then began walking out of the store.  Without thinking, I grabbed a scarf and dabbed my forehead then shoved it in my back pocket.  Immediately, upon leaving the store, I was apprehended.

(This person is doomed!  Not only because of all the evidence left behind, but also because of the security cameras!)  There.  Hope I made you laugh at least a little.  So this has not only been an informative post which I think I could safely call ‘Interesting’, but also ‘Humorous’.  Where will I post it?  Probably ‘Interesting’.  But I digress….

As for the point of this post, you are unique for so many ways that it would be pretty much impossible to deny it.  And there are so many intriguing things about you that make you unique that you must admit, there’s got to be an overall purpose to this!  So enjoy being you and know that nobody out there can fill your shoes-scientifically or from a humanitarian standpoint. Namaste!

References (Quite Seriously):

Quora:  What Things Are Unique To A Person Besides A Fingerprint?

Medical Daily:  Special Snowflake:  4 Things (Other Than Your Fingerprints) That Make You 1 In 7.2 Billion

What Does Falling In Love Do To Us?

Everyone loves the feeling of being in love. But what does love do to us? To answer that question, I’ve done some research!

First of all, the feeling of love is caused by chemicals in our bodies. Dopamine, vasopressin and cortisol flow in large quantities through our brain, making us feel that “high, fluttery feeling” when we’re around the person of our desire. So, technically, love is a drug!  Or maybe better said, love itself is an influencer of bodily (hormonal) drug activity!  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

You may say, wait!  Cortisol?  I thought that was a stress hormone!  Well, it is.  But…cortisol is also responsible for many good things in body function as well such as controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism and reducing inflammation.  It assists with memory and helps fetuses grown in women during pregnancy.  (That is, if you’re still in the lovey dovey phase! (Hormone Health Network:  What Does Cortisol Do?)

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Many times people say they feel different when they get involved with a new lover/relationship. And in a way they’re onto something.  The hormones present in your body when you’re in love create feelings similar to those of people with manic depression.  It is almost as if you could conquer the world.  As if life is different, vibrant and new.     (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

For these reasons, love is a good thing.  But, if we get dumped or break up with our lover, the opposite can happen.  When we are rejected, pain centers in our brain light up when we look at a picture of our ex.  We also can experience having a broken heart ( a real condition called stress induced cardiomyopathy) which has the very extreme and rare possibility of killing its victim.  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

“Broken heart syndrome” can strike even if you’re healthy.   Luckily, though, it isn’t common.  The symptoms of stress induced cardiomyopathy are almost identical to those of a heart attack.  It is unknown how many people actually die from this condition but there are eleven documented cases in which Johnny Cash was one of them.  (Thought Catalog:  11 Documented Cases Of People Actually Dying Of A Broken Heart).

Love can heal and it can hurt.  It is my opinion that we are better for having loved because it expands us and enlightens us in our daily existence of being human.  Though the pain can be pronounced, the positive effects are worth the extra effort!

~The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles by L.L. Livesey~

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Set in a fascinating world that’s reemerging from a devastating famine caused by genetically modified seeds, The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles, Book 1: The Crown begins in 1992, when a Dutch accountant flees to the United States after stealing millions from a notorious drug cartel. Adopting a new identity, Espen Koning settles down on a remote Virginia farm.

Two hundred years later, nineteen-year-old Lady Elise Koning’s induction as heir to the prime governorship of Virginia is underway. However, her indolence causes her grandmother, the current ruler, to warn Elise that her succession is not set in stone. She could still name her youngest son, Carl, as the heir instead. But unwilling to give up on Elise just yet, she recruits the former adviser to Elise’s deceased father to groom the young woman for her leadership role.

The rules of the game are changing, as Virginia follows the lead of neighboring Carolina in transforming into a sovereign kingdom. Elise is changing as well—to the chagrin of her longtime companion, Decker Regan.

As Elise prepares herself for the rigors of being a strong ruler, will treachery undo her efforts to rise to the occasion?

Where you can find The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles:

https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Kingdom-Chronicles-Book-Crown-ebook/dp/B010W96QLK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476579003&sr=8-1&keywords=the+virginia+kingdom+chronicles

Interview with L.L.:

1. What prompted you to write your book?

During elementary and high school, I always enjoyed writing short stories and completing the creative writing tasks assigned in my English classes. I even attempted to write a Sweet Valley High book that I’d totally planned on mailing to the publisher in the hopes they’d include my idea in the series, although truthfully I never neared completion. Many years later, while sitting with my good friend on his balcony one night, we were talking about books and he confessed to recently losing all interest in reading. A copy of Game of Thrones that I’d lent him had sat on his shelf untouched for months. I told him in jest that if I wrote a book myself then he’d have no choice but to read it. The very next day, I started typing up an idea, and from there the story grew and grew into the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles. Koning House is actually based on the National Ballet School of Canada which sits across the street from my pal’s balcony. And the idea for the Black Harvest stemmed from his constant failure to grow potted tomatoes and peppers to which I always joked we’d starve to death if we relied on him to provide us with dinner. As for the idea of the Kingdom of Virginia, we once had a full conversation debating that if the American Revolution had failed, would the colonies have followed the European royalty system, unfolding into their own separate kingdoms with time?

2. Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

George R.R. Martin- He didn’t just write a fantasy series, he created an entire other world that feels no less real than this one.
Maurice Druon of the Accursed Kings series- This French writer brings to life the personalities of the 14th century French royal family and aristocracy, cloaking his historical books as page-turning novels.
Nele Neuhaus- I love her thrillers covering the unique cases of German police detectives Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchoff. Once you start reading one, it is near impossible to put down. She is a master at plot-crafting which is why her novels top the German book lists.
Julian Fellowes- The creator of the Downtown Abbey television series has also penned a couple novels, Past Imperfect and Snobs. These stories offer insight into the world of the English upper-classes, presented in a soothing reading-style to reveal the social nuances that separate the haves from the have-nots.

3. What inspires you to write?

Once I began thinking about writing an actual novel for my friend, all these characters and places and ideas started swarming about in my head so there was an urge to start putting everything to paper (or laptop screen). Yet even as the story takes form, there are days when I find myself weather-proofing my boots in the middle of summer rather than wanting to plug away at the keyboard. Sometimes I am just stuck on what to do with a character or how a story line should progress. So I leave it be and pick up another book, immersing myself in a completely different story. If I what I am reading is entertaining, the book often instigates a spark into how I shall continue my own story, and even if the book isn’t up to par, I find myself thinking, “Hey—I can do better than this!” And then I find myself right back at the old laptop…

4. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I am a huge soccer fan which is why I rarely write on weekend mornings while the English Premier League is in session (five hour time difference between Toronto and England). I cheer for Manchester United, so if I could meet any one celebrity it would definitely be the legendary and recently retired team manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. I envision us drinking lager and sitting side-by-side in the stands of Old Trafford as Manchester plays on, trading quips and commentary, laughing as he regales me with locker room gossip. I believe Sir Alex would be a right hoot to spend a match with.

5. What would you like your readers to know about you?

I work in Canadian government, so I am very familiar with the inner-workings of the political system and how the lure of power and money can easily corrupt. There is a lot of background plotting in the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles which is based on my own observations from my career in politics.
I am actually in my late-thirties (although I don’t feel it,) and when I started a twitter account to help promote my book, I realized not a single one of my friends actually participates on Twitter. I guess Facebook is enough for my crowd.
I love to travel, and one of my next planned destinations is to the Netherlands. For although the country plays an important role in my series, I’ve never actually had the pleasure of visiting. I can’t wait to walk along the canal in Amsterdam.

6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Always be prepared with a Plan B. It helps take the sting out of disappointment and rejection. For example, with the release of the first book of the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles, there is always the uncertainty that readers will hate the concept, detest the writing, and flag it down with one-star reviews. How can I brace for that? I have another completely different novel in the works. Meaning, if need be, I can just start placing my concentration on that book, and having that back-up novel immediately gives me more confidence. Going for a promotion at work? Why not apply to outside jobs too? Knowing there are always other options will lessen the blow if that promotion doesn’t come to fruition.

Where you can find L.L.:

Service Goat by Piers Anthony!

If you love to read books written by Piers Anthony, you’ll be happy to know that he has just written a brand new book entitled Service Goat!

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Orphaned and blind seven-year-old Callie has a service animal – a goat with extraordinary powers.

Ben Hemoth is a down-on-his luck news reporter facing prison. Needing to save his job and his reputation, he teams up with Venus, a young seductress caught up with a teenage drug gang.

When a mysterious letter arrives detailing a top-secret investigative operation, Ben and Venus think they’ve found their chance for redemption. The mission? Investigate a goat.

In exchange for an extravagant paycheck, Ben and Venus must piece together the wild rumors swirling around Callie, her supernatural goat, and a possible UFO visit.

Piers Anthony’s Service Goat is an extraordinary tale rich with adventure, extraterrestrial visitors, secrecy, dangerous governmental operations, and the classic hints of mischief that readers have come to expect and love from the New York Times bestselling author of the Xanth series.

Where you can find Service Goat:

https://www.amazon.com/Service-Goat-Piers-Anthony-ebook/dp/B01MDJ0DDQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476006800&sr=1-4&keywords=service+goat

Have You Tried Vitamin D To Ease Psoriasis Symptoms?

As a sufferer from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, I have tried numerous things over the years to ease my symptoms. Some things helped, others didn’t. One thing I’ve noticed that helps significantly (if I remember to take it) is Vitamin D.

Since I’m interested in becoming healthier and happier, I’m really into vitamins. I take them whenever I remember (I’m really busy and many times I ‘space out’ my vitamin regimen). but when I am alert and on the ball (!!) Vitamin D has proven quite helpful.

I’ve noticed that when I take a high potency dose (5000 IU’s) of Vitamin D, the buildup of plaques are greatly reduced. Also the itching. (Which, trust me, is a welcome relief! You know what I’m talking about if you’re a fellow sufferer.)

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I know that sounds like a lot of Vitamin D….and it is. 4,000 IU’s a day is considered a safe upper limit. So my pills are just a touch over that. I have done some research and I think taking 5,000 IU’s every other day is an acceptable amount. Maybe even twice a week. So I guess it’s a good thing that I forget to take it rather frequently! That’s probably why I’m doing well with it. I do remember to take it at least every 3 days. If you’re a fellow sufferer you should give it a try.

An average sized adult is encouraged to take 1,000-3,000 IU’s a day. Larger sized (extra fun sized) adults are encouraged to take a little more which leads to the 4,000 IU a day mark. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin D since it’s fat soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it it you take too much. The symptoms of too much Vitamin D are:
-high blood calcium (called hypercalcemia) which can be indicated by a blood test
-feeling sick or thirsty
-pain, confusion, tiredness (I have that. Too much calcium? I think not. Too much of life! Ha!)
-constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination ( I could make a funny for this but you might not think it’s very funny…..)

Vitamin D3 is more powerful than Vitamin D2 and raises blood levels almost twice as much so be sure to keep that in mind. Also, children require much less Vitamin D. (The more you weigh, the higher your dose to the 4,000 IU daily mark). Infants are encouraged to have about 400 IU a day while older children are encouraged to have about 600 IU a day. If your kids are out in the sun, they’ll need less. (One of the beauties of sunlight? Natural increases in Vitamin D!)

Sooo…..you may want to visit the local pharmacy to invest in a bottle. See if it gives you some relief.   You might be very glad you did!

Finding My Way Books by Jo Meserve Mach

I was at a turning point in my life. It was my last day working as an Occupational Therapist in Infant-Toddler services. I’d been in the job for the previous 17 years. I was heading back to adult care work, but my heart was very attached to all the families I had met over the years. I had shared so many experiences around what it felt like to be a parent of a child with special needs or disabilities.

That day I had lunch with my friend, Vera, who had been working as a special education teacher with me. I told her I’d love to write children’s books to give hope to these families we’d been working with together. She was totally into the idea. From there we started getting together monthly and that’s how we started writing children’s books together. We gradually became Finding My way Books.

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Because we had shared so much work experience, we easily agreed on the message we wanted to share in the books we wrote. They needed to share true stories with real kids so both the child and parent could see themselves in the story. They needed to have photographs, not illustrations, so they were easy to understand. They needed to show successful inclusion and promote skills needed for self-determination.

We wanted the adult, reading the book with a child, to come away from the story with the belief that their child could ‘do that activity’ shared in the book. And to realize that during ordinary, everyday activities that all children can participate and learn.

Soon we added an incredible photographer to our team. Mary also designs our books. She has a wonderful background in teaching theatre, that she brings to our stories. So Vera and I write the manuscript and Mary captures the pictures to tell the story. Then she adds background colors to the book to highlight the child and their strengths.

We’re on our tenth book and we’re in our sixth year of working together. It continues to be amazing how we go from an initial meeting with a family, sharing their story, to a beautiful book. We never know until the very end how the story will evolve. Vera and I meet and communicate a lot with the families to get the story. But then when Mary takes the photos something new always seems to come to light and that always makes the story better.

We work hard, like all authors do, but we have such joy in bringing to light true stories of children with special needs or disabilities. We are working to honor these children and families by sharing their stories. It’s a wonderful, creative, task.

Please check out our website to learn more about Finding My Way Books:
https://www.findingmywaybooks.net/
https://twitter.com/fmwbooks
https://www.facebook.com/fmwbooks/