Looking for Dei by David A. Wilson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman learns her destiny is far greater than she could have imagined in author David A. Wilson’s Looking for Dei. A brand new YA Fantasy novel that is filled with magic, war torn countries and love, this brand new release is an amazing first novel in what I hope will become a full fledged series. Here is the synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

From the books first page we get a glimpse into the complex and chaotic world of this incredible read. A society where religion is law and your station in life is determined by a dangerous coming of age ceremony, this whole society has their world turned upside down by the power one young woman wields. The relationship between Nara and those around her is powerful and emotional, drawing the reader in with their connection to one another and the lengths to which each of them will go to fight for one another. This story is a coming of age tale to be sure, filled with betrayal, sorcery and a journey of self discovery the likes of which you’ve never read before. The story is filled with twists and turns galore, and by books end you will be on the edge of your seat, praying to Dei himself that the next book will magically appear in your hands.

Overall I loved this book. I thought the story does a great job of showcasing not only the power we all have within ourselves to rise above ordinary and become extraordinary in our own way, but it showed the way completely unrelated strangers could becoming a loving and caring family. It proves that blood doesn’t define you, but the bond you share with someone does. It’s a wonderful entry into what sounds like a promising fantasy series, and the writing was expertly crafted to create an intriguing and emotional tale that showcases just how much the author has mastered the genre. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Looking for Dei by David A. Wilson today!

Rating: 10/10

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/looking-for-dei/id1350253461?mt=11

 

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Interview with Breakfast At Your Place

1) Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What brought you together for this project?

 

The band formed in 2013 in Paris. It initially consisted of a keyboardist and lead vocalist, a guitarist and a drummer. We put up an ad for a bassist, but a cellist answered by mistake. We gave it a try anyway and we loved the mash-up! Since then, cello has been at the heart of our sound. We have worked with several female singers through the years. For instance, our single Lost at Sea features a Californian pop singer and a French opera singer. Alexia, who joined the band in 2017, is now our lead singer.

 

2) What was the inspiration behind this single, “Visions”?

 

More than great causes, personal suffering is an important source of inspiration for us. That’s what’s affects us the most. We often observed how people sometimes seek refuge in dreams and fantasy worlds to escape reality or even their own thoughts. That’s what inspired us for Visions. In a way it’s the sequel of our song Lost at Sea, which was also about depression but with a more down-to-earth approach.

 

3) What theme or message do you hope your song conveys to the audience?

 

This song was written above all for people who feel hopeless or depressed, to make them feel understood and to soothe their minds. To show that we understand not only their distress but also their high sensitivity. That’s why we wanted the song to be dreamy and not too dark. If the song can help everyone else understand how it feels to be depressed it’s a great thing, but it was not our primary goal.

 

4) What genres or artists have inspired you with the development of your song?

 

Natacha Colmez, who wrote the cello solos, has been inspired mostly by classical pieces. We’ve also been listening to a lot of Irish music lately so it’s possible that it has influenced the single somehow! 

 

5) What advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there looking to put their music out there online?

 

From conception to distribution, all our songs are made entirely by us. We also produce our own music videos. Learning how to do everything ourselves has been obviously time consuming, but it’s all worth it in the end I think. Now we can produce exactly the sound we have in mind, and we can spend as much time as we need recording, mixing and shooting the videos. I’m not sure if it’s an advice to give every artist but it does work for us.

 

6) What are your future plans? Any new music or tours on the horizon?

 

We’ve always tried to find a balance between studio work and tours. We came up with a concept a few years ago that works well for us: we offer our fans to play live in their own living rooms, in a totally acoustic format. We really appreciate the proximity with the audience and the very warm atmosphere of these concerts. Of course, we also do shows in bigger venues, mostly in Paris. The next one is on April 27th at the Bus Palladium, which is a mythical place of the rock scene since the 60s. We’re really looking forward to this show!

 

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Interview with Author Israfel Sivad

1)     Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written. The first story I ever wrote was a sequel to Return of the Jedi after I saw that film as a little kid. I didn’t want the story to end. So, I kept it going. After my parents divorced, I started writing song lyrics every night to help me fall asleep. That’s when I first discovered how cathartic writing could be. I based the structures on all the lyrics I read on the liner notes of my cassette tapes. But it wasn’t until I graduated from high school, when I realized I was sick of playing in punk rock bands that I started taking my writing very seriously. I realized writing was how I communicated with the world, and I wanted to do that directly. I didn’t want my audience to have a mediated experience. I’ve modified that stance since then, but I’ve never not considered myself a writer since then.

2)     What inspired you to write your book?

The Adversary’s Good News was inspired by seeing a copy of Dante’s Inferno one morning. A roommate of mine had left it on the kitchen table. I’d recently finished my first novel, and I was looking for a new project. I took one glance at that book, and I realized, I’ve had visions of the afterlife. I want to write that story.

3)     What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I want readers of The Adversary’s Good News to think about life and love and the value of both.

4)     What drew you into this particular genre?

With The Adversary’s Good News, I didn’t start with any particular genre in mind. As the story went on, I realized more and more that it was a kind of horror story. Since that was where the writing had naturally taken me, I decided to embrace it. I went back and reread Stephen King, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz for inspiration (in addition to the classics I was reading to help me construct a literary version of hell – Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost). Once it was done, and I took a closer look at it, I decided it was its own kind of genre, which I refer to as “Literary Horror.”

5)     If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

If I could sit down with any character in my book, I’d sit down with Evius. As the impetus for the entire cavorting story, I’d want to know what makes him tick, why he acts the way he does. Why does he lead Christian on this journey through the afterlife, and is there any reason to his rhymes? Also, I’d like to know who he actually is. What’s his name? Where does he come from? Who is he, really?

6)     What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook and Instagram have definitely been the most instrumental. Each site has its own values, and its own abilities. But I’ve heard back from specific readers on both sites who have discovered my books there.

7)     What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t give up. Find a story you believe in. Write it and promote it. It’s worth getting your voice out there. It’s what “we” do.

8)     What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

More writing. Always. I have a new collection of poetry scheduled for release this summer. It’s called We Are the Underground, and I’m very excited about this collection. It includes my “Zodiac” cycle, which contains one poem for every sign in both the Western and Chinese zodiac systems; although, true to form for me, which one is which is not always the easiest to spot. That’s what I think makes the cycle so interesting, trying to figure out which poem represents you and your sign. Poems from this collection have recently appeared in The Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal. If this collection sounds like something you’re interested in, I urge you to join my mailing list at: https://tinyletter.com/IsrafelSivad. As a mailing list member, you’ll know precisely when We Are the Underground is released, and I’ll send you a link to purchase. Also, when you join, you’ll get a free copy of my selected poems in the member’s only collection Lunar Surfaces.

Author Bio:

Israfel Sivad is originally from Whittier, CA. He is the founder of Ursprung Collective, which has been referred to as “fantastic brain food” on ReverbNation. His first novel, Crossroads Blues, has been compared to the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Palmetto Review).​​ His second novel, The Adversary’s Good News, was a finalist for the 2016 Chanticleer Paranormal Book Award. His stories and poems have appeared in the Santa Fe Literary ReviewThe Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal.

 

Websites:
 
Israfel Sivad: www.IsrafelSivad.com
Mailing List/FREE Book: https://tinyletter.com/IsrafelSivad
Amazon Bookstore:  amazon.com/author/israfel-sivad

Infinity: Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman Review

In honor of the upcoming blockbuster event of the year, (Avengers: Infinity War), it’s time to check out one of the influences for the film, Infinity by writer Jonathan Hickman. The story explores a major Marvel event, where Thanos begins a galactic war as the Avengers fight both in space and on Earth. Here’s the synopsis:

The year’s most anticipated blockbuster cosmic event is here, as the Marvel Universe marches towards Infinity! The mad titan Thanos makes his world-shattering return, and his armies fire the opening shots of a galactic war that will be fought both on Earth and in deep space – with our heroes caught between both battles! As Thanos’ secrets are revealed, the Inhumans’ city of Attilan falls, and the Illuminati find themselves on the front line! And as every Origin Site on Earth goes active, the Builders enter the Marvel Universe. But can the Avengers return to Earth in ti me to save it, when betrayal in the Galactic Council has left them prisoners of war? Galactic empires will fall as Thanos’ crazed plans come to fruition!

Collecting Infinity #1-3, Avengers #18-20, New Avengers 9-10.

The graphic novel does an excellent job of bringing the larger than life scale of the threat of Thanos to life. The story of Thanos and his Black Order is a unique addition to the Infinity saga, adding new threats and a much more powerful army to Thanos that the Avengers must face. The artwork is beautiful, integrating the various factions of the Marvel Universe. We see the beginning of the fall of Attilan, the Inhumans Kingdom after Thanos begins his conquest of Earth. We get a taste of the influences for the upcoming film in the MCU, and got to witness the ruthlessness and villainy of Thanos.

Overall I loved this comic book. The maturity and graphic nature of this particular story kind of helped establish the stakes of the fight between the Avengers and Thanos. A story of manipulation, power and hope, this was an amazing story to read. If you guys haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Infinity: Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman today!

Rating: 10/10

 

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken Review

Today we are going to be diving head first into a highly acclaimed novel from a well established author. A young woman finds herself fighting for her life in author Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. The first of the Darkest Minds series, the book does an excellent job of creating a dystopian YA world filled with pain, loss and hope. Here’s the synopsis:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

This novel does an excellent job of showcasing the struggles of a society divided between children and adults. A mixture of Marvel’s The Runaways and X-Men with a YA twist, the books pull at the heartstrings as you explore the emotional stories of not only Ruby, but the kids she meets along her journey. Hesitant to know or trust anyone, she must quickly learn what the world is like after this epidemic since she’s been locked up and find a way to find peace before she’s thrust into a battle she wants no part of. The characters are what really pull you into this world. While the incredible backstory and mythology the author creates is engaging, the personal stories and relationships between the characters are what keep you hooked until the final page of the novel.

Overall this was a fantastic story. A great first introduction into a YA Dystopian series, The Darkest Minds does an excellent job of creating vivid imagery that depicts a nation torn apart by this mysterious illness, a hatred towards the children lucky enough to survive and a failing economy that leaves entire towns empty. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging tale, and if you haven’t yet you have to pick up your copy of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken today!

Rating: 10/10

The Basics of Bipolar Disorder (Guest Post)

Hi there my friends. I’m honored to once again be hosting a guest post from the incredible website BetterHelp. The post they’ve put together for you guys is near and dear to my heart, as Bipolar Disorder affects someone I love and care for dearly. I may talk about that in a separate post, but for now I hope this post will help anyone suffering from Bipolar Disorder or anyone who knows and loves someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Take special care to read the article and click the links, especially if any of you feel you need help in this regard. Thank you once again to BetterHelp for this amazing guest post, and I hope you all will enjoy it.

Anthony Avina

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You may know it as manic-depressive disorder, but it is typically now referred to as bipolar disorder. This is a serious mental health disorder that affects close to three percent of the United States population. Bipolar disorder is a double-edged sword in that it causes both severe depression and mania or hypomania, which is an extremely high mood. There are several types of bipolar disorder, including bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by having at least one manic episode that lasts at least seven days and is followed by a depressive or hypomanic episode. Those with bipolar I disorder can also have psychosis, which is a period when emotions and thoughts are impaired so much that you are no longer able to tell what is real and what is not real. This sometimes includes hallucinations.

Bipolar II Disorder

This condition consists of having more than one period of depression and a period of hypomania but no manic episode. Hypomania is a less severe type of mania that causes some manic episodes but you can still perform your daily activities. Many people with bipolar II disorder are mistakenly diagnosed with depression because they do not consider the hypomania a part of the disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a milder type of bipolar disorder. With this disorder, you will have both depression and hypomania on and off for several years but it will not get severe enough to affect your daily life. It is called cyclothymic disorder because you cycle through high and low emotions over and over again. This condition is rare and only affects less than one percent of the American population.

How You Can Tell if You Have Bipolar Disorder

Even though the signs of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person, there are some that are common in all patients. These symptoms include:

Mania

  • Not sleeping
  • Talking louder, faster, and more often than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Trying to do more than you can handle (overbooking yourself)
  • Extreme behaviors such as gambling, unprotected sex, spending money that you cannot afford
  • Drinking in excess or using illegal drugs
  • Rapid thoughts

Depression

  • Feeling sad, despondent, and helpless
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Anger or aggression
  • Crying bouts for no obvious reasons
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Memory lapses
  • Thoughts of suicide

Risk Factors

According to experts, bipolar disorders are genetic, but they can also be affected by environmental issues like constant and extreme stress, lack of sleep for long periods of time, addiction to alcohol or drugs, physical abnormalities in the brain, and/or chemical or hormonal imbalances.

Treatment

The treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications such as a tricyclic antidepressant, an atypical antidepressant, monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). In addition, those with bipolar disorder should talk to a therapist on a regular basis. This is important because some of the medications can become less effective over time and your therapist will be able to tell just by talking to you if you need to switch your dosage or medication. If you do not have a therapist to talk to or you are too busy to find the time to make an appointment, you can find a professional on BetterHelp.com. Just click here to talk to someone, with no appointment necessary.

 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie-Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Visions by Breakfast At Your Place Single Review

A breathtaking and artistic song that explores the complexity of mental health and the hardships those who suffer from it must endure, the French baroque pop band Breakfast At Your Place brings a classical pop flair to an all too important topic.

Now as a trigger warning, I must tell you that this song does deal with the theme of mental illness, so if this is something that may trigger you, be warned.

I loved this song. The dream like melody was both haunting and lovely all at once. The band reminds me a lot of artists like Lindsay Sterling, who bring a modern pop sound to the classical music realm. The battle most people have to endure with mental illness is quite literally a battle, one that can become overwhelming to those suffering from it. To those on the outside they will never be able to fully comprehend what people they care about suffer through, and this song expertly conveys that while showing this magical world that this young girl suffering from mental illness escapes to inside her mind.

This was a great single. Beautiful, sometimes tragic but always emotional, this fantastic hit explores the complexity of mental health in ways very few artists these days can. The song itself is both wonderfully sung and filled with amazing music. If you guys haven’t make sure to grab your copies of Visions by Breakfast At Your Place today!

 

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Visions – Breakfast at Your Place
Released: 3 March 2018
Songwriters: Julien Barnu, Natacha Colmez
Singer: Alexia Papineschi
Producer: Julien Barnu
Visions is a single by French baroque pop band Breakfast at Your Place. It mashes acoustic cello and electronic sounds for an airy and dreamy sound. It tells the story of a disturbed girl who finds refuge in an enchanted world of dreams and hallucinations.
Visions was written by Breakfast at Your Place keyboardist Julien Barnu and Breakfast at Your Place cellist Natacha Colmez, who is also a member of the Paris National Orchestra.
The singer, Alexia Papineschi, is a French comedian and dubber that joined the group in 2017. She’s the French voice of Cinderella in the 2015 Disney film.
Spotify: https://smarturl.it/visionsSPT
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nM8hza1Nao
Website: http://www.breakfastatyourplace.fr/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breakfastatyourplace/