Tag Archives: Diamante Lavendar blog

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/

A Lack Of Magnesium and Potassium Can Cause Insomnia

If you’re like me…and I am guessing a lot of you are, insomnia can be an issue. So I decided to research the topic and here is one of the first things I learned: a lack of magnesium and potassium can cause insomnia!

We all know that food is important but many times we don’t keep in the forefronts of our minds that food is the fuel we live off of. (At least I don’t!) I have a tendency to get super busy and only concentrate on eating “healthy”, a.k.a. fruits, veggies and grains (and in no particular order). I gave up meat a while ago so they’re all I really eat. And I take vitamins….when I remember. And yes, I admit, I eat junk food. It’s been a lifelong quest to slow down on the sugar and carbs….and it will continue to be a quest! It is a little easier to stay away from these goodies when I eat healthy, but I still indulge more than I should! Anyway, I digress…..

To try to help with the insomnia issue, I’ve decided to eat more foods with magnesium and potassium. So I researched the foods rich in both and here is what I found:

Potassium: The foods highest in potassium are bananas, sweet potatoes, orange juice, tomato sauce, carrots, milk and yogurt. I like the first four. The last three? Not so much. Also prunes (which I can eat a few of) and fish (which I don’t eat at all.) Plus dark leafy greens (I can do that!) and apricots (not so much). I’ll experiment. And let you know how it goes.

Magnesium:  The food highest in magnesium are green leafy veggies.  Plus pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados (yum!) and figs (not so sure about those) as well as bananas and dark chocolate (Okay!  Hand it over!).  You could also go catch a fish and cook it up with some whole grains and beans for a magnesium feast!

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I’ll attempt to make it a priority for the sake of the maintenance of my sanity!  In a perfect world, that would mean…hmmm….a meal plan…oatmeal and bananas for breakfast with a side of orange juice (sounds good), a big salad for lunch topped with beans, carrots and quinoa (I don’t think so.)  How about a salad with some type of seeds, tomatoes, avocados and dressing?  (Yes. Much better.)  And a plate of spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce for supper?  (Sure.  Why not?).

Less than thirty percent of adults eat the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.  If you drink soda, eat refined sugars, drink caffeine every day (I’m guilty!), drink more than seven alcoholic drinks a week or experience anxiety, hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping, a lack of magnesium is most likely one of the culprits.  The RDA of magnesium is about 400 mg a day for men and 310 for women.

As far as potassium?  It can cause sleeplessness, numbness, constipation, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating and cramps to name a few.  Less than two percent of people eat the amount of potassium they need a day.  (That’s crazy!  Two percent??  Yikes!)  Adults should be consuming around 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.  That’s equal to three russet potatoes (about 420 mg each), two bananas (about 350 mg each), two cups of cooked lentils (beans-730 mg each), three cups of swiss chard (58 mg each) and a little less than a cup of beet greens which are loaded with potassium at 1309mg/cup.

Wow.  To eat responsibly almost requires becoming a mathematician.  But then it would be worth the effort.  Maybe creating a chart is the way to go.  That might end up being one of my goals!  Another good thing to do?  Find some awesome vitamins and remember to take them every day!

I’ll post more as I figure things out.  Thanks for reading!

Review: #Baby Love: My Social Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

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“Click.” “Tap.” Tag and Post. An adored baby tells a modern tale about life in today’s digital world. #BabyLove: My Social Life highlights the social phenomena of sharing daily activities using technology and social networks.

My Rating: 3 Stars!

This is a cute little book about modern social media habits of parents and family.  Social media is now more prevalent than newspapers and other  “outdated” forms of notification in our current world.  This story speaks of the wonder-and sometimes inconvenience-of our technology.

If you are a parent or family relative that cares for little ones, this is a cute book to read to them about why their “crazy parents” always have a phone in hand!  (Or some other recording device!)

This book would make a cute baby shower gift or a fun gift for new parents!

Where you can find #BabyLove:

https://www.amazon.com/BabyLove-My-Social-Life-ebook/dp/B010VUR9FM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475396738&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+love+corine+dehghanpisheh

About the Author:

Corine Dehghanpisheh is a children’s book author and illustrator. Her inspirations for writing and illustrating come from everyday life.

She was a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Author Finalist for her debut children’s book Can We Play Again?, which was published in March 2012. Her inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.

Corine published her second children’s book, Buddy’s Dream, in November 2013, and her third children’s book, #BabyLove: My Social Life, in July 2015.

When Corine is not busy being creative, she is most likely having fun taking pictures of her family. Corine lives in Manhattan, NY with her husband and new baby.

Where you can find Corine:

Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

http://www.booksbycorined.com/

A New Product, Retinol Serum, Made By Valentia!

Whether we want to or not, we all age. Recently I decided to blog about new products that are helpful and interesting. This is my first sponsored blog product review.

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My model enjoyed using this product.  There was a visible difference within four days of a diminishing of fine lines, a more even skin tone and lightening of under eye circles.  Her skin also had an appearance of deep conditioning.

This product is easy to use and not much is needed.  A little goes a long way!

If you’re looking for a product that is natural and organic to improve your skin’s appearance, this would be a great one to try!

Links For Purchase:

 

Youtube Video:

 

 

 

Genesis by Dr. Andreas Laurencius

An interesting perspective, though not one I completely share with the author.  I believe strongly in God and His goodness, however I also believe that we weren’t created to die.  So I’m intrigued by the presentation of the possibility that death can be thwarted…..that being said, I am willing to present different opinions on my blog.  That’s what gives life character!

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“There is no good or evil. We classify things into good and evil because we are currently unable to solve the two problems of the world: death and dearth. If there ever comes a time when we can solve these problems, we won’t be required to do this anymore.”

Where you can find Genesis:

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Dr-Andreas-Laurencius/dp/1515057615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474792637&sr=8-1&keywords=genesis+dr+laurencius

Interview with Dr. Laurencius:

1. Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
I’m a medical doctor. I’ve seen many deaths. Some are young people, most are old people. I’m appalled at our believing the Gods depicted in the scriptures and here I’d like to open our eyes and make us see the fundamental error that these scriptures have, therefore they will come to a conclusion that these scriptures are merely notes written by people of the past, and not by God.
The world is evolving and knowledge is the only thing that can enable us to choose. Without knowledge, we can not exercise free will against diseases, pain, and ultimately, death.
It occurred to me that we are what we are because, and what we produced was the product of what we know — and sadly — of what we don’t know. Now that we know, we have to change.
Free will exists in the simplest form of choice, the choices that we can do only because we have evolved. Before 1906, a person who was diagnosed with tuberculosis was simply waiting for him/herself to die. But after Calmette and Guérin achieved the first success in immunization against tuberculosis in 1906, we were able to exercise free will against tuberculosis. Here we see, free will can be used for good, and free will toward goodness can only be achieved through knowledge.
Death will hurt us. If it hasn’t, it will.
The main purpose of this book is to let us realize that there is a way to defeat death! I am a medical doctor and know this: it can be done.
2. Do you have any works in progress? If so, what are they?
Currently, no.
3. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing your story?
I hope all people will read it and support a research in neuroscience to defeat death.
4. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’m just a regular boy with a big heart.
5. Preferences: Night or day? Camping or a resort? Gourmet or fast food? Coffee or cocktails?
I must say day, resort, gourmet, and cocktails 😉
6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Innovate! Because you could be our last hope.

Where you can find Dr. Laurencius:

Website: www.andreaslaurencius.com (coming soon)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/andreas.laurencius
Facebook page: Genesis Readers
Twitter: @genesisthebook

Fractured Angel by Ken Williams

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How would you go about trying to help your daughter who, suffering her first psychotic break at fifteen, is chased by her wounded mind to the streets of Santa Barbara? That is the dilemma that Lynne Swanson faces. Out of her element, and definitely out of her comfort zone for this professional woman, she is forced to seek the help of Kerry Wilson, a social worker for the homeless. Unfortunately for her, Kerry is a rough-necked loner that has no inclination to hold the hand of a woman who he feels is out for a lark at the expense of his homeless clients. The harsh and deadly realities of the streets in one of the wealthiest cities in the world and an attempt to close a homeless shelter just as winter sets in produces a dramatic race against time with the life of Lynne’s daughter in the balance.
Praise for Fractured Angel:

Format: Kindle Edition

California is portrayed as some kind of paradise where everyone and everything is perfect, the reality is somewhat different to this Hollywood creation. Fractured Angels is all about the homeless in Santa Barbara, particularly a mother and daughter pair who are just trying to survive. Williams is a Santa Barbara author so this is a deeply personal writing and this really comes through in the book, you can really tell this is something he really, deeply cares about. After reading the book you will care about it too.

All too often the disparity between the haves and have not’s is swept under the carpet and hidden away. This disparity is oh so clear as people at the very bottom of the ladder are fighting for survival, not metaphorically, but literally, survival in what is one of America’s (and by extension, the world’s) most affluent areas. The characters are beautifully written; you really come to feel for them and want to actively help them out. I find it somewhat repulsive that there are people starving and living in the streets while not so far away there are folks with so much excess it is unbelievable.

The book is very well written and if you are interested in books about the homeless specifically or books about poverty in the western world, then you will love this. 5 stars and highly recommended from me.

Format: Kindle Edition

This book was AMAZING! [Ken Williams] tells the inside story of working with the homeless in the backyard of the rich and famous. In [Fractured Angel] he draws on his own experiences to create a fictionalized account of a social worker, a mother, and a fifteen year old runaway all trying to cope with their demons. [Williams] has a way with storytelling and the empathy he shows for all his characters shows through in his words.
Where you can find Fractured Angel:
http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Angel-Ken-Williams/dp/0991180763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456162007&sr=8-1&keywords=fractured+angel+by+ken+williams
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fractured-angel-ken-williams/1119916882?ean=9780991180769
http://sakura-publishing.com/product/fractured-angel/
Interview with Ken:
1.     Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
FRACTURED ANGEL is the story of Lynne Swanson, mother, professional, middle class who is forced to visit the world of the homeless in Santa Barbara CA when her fifteen year old daughter, suffering her first psychotic break runs there.  To access this alien world she is forced to seek the help of Kyle Wilson, a social worker for the homeless.  Their interaction: mistrustful at first and eventually romantic drives the story as does the shock of the often brutal world Lynne’s daughter now finds herself trapped in.  With the approach of the cold and wet winter, known as the “killing season” amongst those who serve the homeless the search takes a desperate and dramatic turn.
 
The seeds of this story was planted several years ago when a man from Silicon Valley was told by the police that if anyone in Santa Barbara could help him find his daughter, who had run there after suffering a psychotic break it was Ken Williams.  The clashing life styles of this man and myself stood in stark contrast that day we met.  He was refined and his clothes and mannerism spoke of wealth.  The two of us would never have interacted in our respective worlds—except his daughter, with a wounded mind was somewhere out there who needed help.  The sadness in his eyes, his being humbled with the need to seek that help from me was etched on his face.  But the love of his daughter trumped all.  He gave me a picture that day of his daughter.  It was torn in half to protect the identity of other family members.  I have that photo to this day.  And sadly I have met many other parents looking for their mentally ill sons and daughters living on Santa Barbara’s cold and unforgiving streets.
 
2.     What is your favorite genre to write and why?
I have written in literary fiction, urban fantasy and currently speculative fiction.  Each one has its owns challenges and pluses.  The novel I am working on currently is speculative fiction and I find that intellectually stimulating.
 
3.     What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
I look to the writings of John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair and Harriet Beecher Stowe—Uncle Tom’s Cabin as leaders in how novels can change reality.  President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”  In my small way I hope to be part of a wave that will challenge how people view the poor, the mentally ill and especially the homeless and help end this national disgrace.
 
4.     What would you like your readers to know about you?
Even from darkness light can emanate.  My worldview and perhaps my sensitivity to injustice were born in conflict.  My time served in Vietnam during the war had a profound impact on me, including having a novel I read while recuperating on a hospital ship setting my life’s course of working with the mentally ill.  (I Never Promised You A Rose Garden). Then the streets, their brutality and the beauty of those who have nothing yet try to help someone in even worse dire straights taught me humility and well as humanity and how to keep things in perspective.  We are not able to avoid pain.  The only “free” choice we have is how we react to it.  We can fall victim to racism, sexism, blaming the “other,” or use our intellect and heart to make things better.
 
5.     Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?  
Since FRACTURED ANGEL I have completed two novels. HOMELESSNESS, A COMBAT VETERAN, MENTAL ILLNESNSS, A LOVE STORY is in fact a love story between a Marine combat veteran of Afghanistan and a mentally ill Vietnamese-American.  The backdrop is an abandoned warehouse taken over by the homeless.  GAIA’S REVOLT takes place twenty years in the future when global warming is having devastating consequences in California and throughout the world.  It is a story of how the fabric of our society is brutalized by those events.  Unending wars for natural resources, racial strafe, growing poverty of the middle class and rampant homelessness of the poor.  Sort of reads like today’s headlines doesn’t it?
 
6.     If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Interesting question… Perhaps that we quit fearing the “other.” That we simply see everyone as equal in our collective struggle to bring dignity and meaning to our lives.  Then again there is that brutal war in Syria.  Suffer the poor children. Why?
Author Bio:
For over thirty years Ken Williams worked for the homeless in one of the wealthiest cities in America: Santa Barbara. His clients included the mentally ill, alcoholic/drug addicts, war veterans, the infirmed, people with AIDS, the neglected, survivors of sexual violence and the aged. During that time he also battled the prejudices and fears directed against these new lepers. He was instrumental in establishing homeless shelters, soup kitchens, halfway houses and other client centered services. His most cherished project was Casa Rosa a recovery home and rescue for pregnant homeless women who were battling addiction or mental illness, and Maritza’s Cocina, a children’s soup kitchen. He won many awards for these efforts including being recognized as Public Citizen of the Year for California by the National Association of Social Workers. He also won the 2010 Civil Rights Award by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the A.C.L.U. He used these experiences to write novels, screenplays and columns for local media outlets.
Where you can find Ken:
http://kenwilliams-writer.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22774590-fractured-angel?from_search=true&search_version=service
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1365099038