Book Feature: The Silver Horn Echoes by Michael Eging and Steve Arnold

 

Title: The Silver Horn Echoes: A Song of Roland

Author: Michael Eging and Steve Arnold

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Format: Ebook

The Dark Ages—a time of great turmoil and the collision of empires! 



As the Frank kingdom prepares for war, Roland, young heir to the Breton March, has been relegated to guard duty until a foreign emissary entrusts him with vital word of a new threat to the kingdom. Now Roland must embark on a risky journey to save all he loves from swift destruction. 



And yet while facing down merciless enemies, he must also reveal the hand of a murderer who even now stalks the halls of power and threatens to pull apart a kingdom reborn under the greatest of medieval kings, the remarkable Charlemagne. 



For Roland to become the champion his kingdom needs, he must survive war, intrigue and betrayal. The Silver Horn Echoes pays homage to “La Chanson de Roland” by revisiting an age of intrigue and honor, and a fateful decision in the shadows of a lonely mountain pass—Roncevaux!

Michael Eging is co-author of Annwyn’s Blood, as well as a screenwriter and partner at Filibuster Filmworks. He and his wife have five children and live in Virginia. Steve Arnold lives in Ohio with his wife and kids. Besides co-authoring Annwyn’s Blood, he has corroborated on everything from short stories to screenplays for Filibuster Filmworks.

 

Advertisements

Chasing Dopamine: Natural Highs by Dr. Patrick Mbaya, author of My Brain is Out of Control

 

Publication Date: September 2016

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 76

Genre: Biography/Autobiography

Tour Dates: October 23-December 15

  Add to GR Button   


Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.

 

CHASING DOPAMINE: NATURAL HIGHS
 Following my mystery illness, I developed strategies in order to get my body and brain strength back. I used natural ways to induce (chase) dopamine in the reward centre. Press-ups is one way to keep fit, and at the same time, chase dopamine. This can be done at home in secret, especially at the beginning, like when I first started doing press-ups, after doing one, I couldn’t lift my body off the floor! After two years of practice, I was able to do 60 in 60 seconds! Not bad. As they say, “practice makes perfect.”
Whatever exercise one designs, that’s fine. You will know it’s working when you sweat, muscles start to ache and maybe in time muscles start to show? For those people who are courageous enough to go the gym or jog, that’s even better. I have continued with my exercise regime at home. Although before you start it might be a struggle, when you are in the flow, you actually feel good, solutions to complex problems are found, especially when done first thing in the morning?
Another way of chasing dopamine, is listening to good music. I used this strategy when I was recovering. I tried to lift my mood by visiting the “Mandela Garden” while listening to good music. The sort of music which can make dopamine flow even in “aliens” brains.
In addition to “chasing dopamine,” exercise will also improve blood flow to different parts of the body, which may have been injured. As outlined in, “My Brain is Out of Control,” I was advised by my orthopaedic doctor, following my knee injury while doing my “moon walk”, at a club in Washington, that I will need a knee replacement, but I have not had any problems, I think I have completely recovered? That’s this form physiotherapy, has been beneficial to me.
There are user friendly ways of chasing dopamine, where one does not get in any form of bother or arguments with any one. Thus, although you might not chase as much dopamine, compared to naughty or illegal ways, this can be done at any time, and anywhere?
The brain is involved in processing reward. The brain connection called the, “mesolimbic” dopamine pathway, is involved in reward, and pleasure. This is described as the “pleasure centre.” The chemical dopamine is the pleasure chemical that transmits this information for both natural highs (chasing dopamine), and drugs of addiction (naughty ways of chasing dopamine), like stimulants (cocaine and amphetamines), which are powerful inducers of dopamine.
In natural highs (chasing dopamine), natural occurring chemicals from different parts of the brain carry messages to influence the mesolimbic pathway for reinforcement, and reward. Some behaviours as described above, including exercise, sex (orgasm), food, and listening to good music, can trigger the mesolimbic pathway.
The brain makes its own chemicals like endorphins (brain morphine like substance), endocannabinoids (brain cannabis like substance) etc, can act on the reward system, triggering dopamine, causing pleasure in the reward system.
Drugs of addiction, including alcohol, cannabis, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, bypass natural occurring chemicals (neurotransmitters), and directly stimulate brain receptors, causing dopamine release. Artificial highs may be achieved on demand rather than naturally. Using more of a particular drug, will release more dopamine, inducing my more pleasure, than naturally chasing dopamine. Drugs of addiction release much more pleasure than natural highs, although at an expense of likelihood addiction. However, with time, the drug stops working, or when the individual decides to stop using the drug, dopamine receptors crave for dopamine. The individual becomes pre-occupied with the drug, and will try to avoid the horrible withdrawal symptoms by using the drug, and not for enjoyment. Thus, addiction has occurred.
Some of the current drugs used to treat addiction, work by interacting with this system. Drugs which work by reducing consumption, promote abstinence or reduce craving of a particular psychoactive drug (like Acamprosate, and the opiate blocker Nalmefene for alcohol, or topiramate for cocaine).
 Dr Patrick Mbaya MD FRCPsych.
Essential Psychopharmacology, Neuroscientific Basis, and Practical Applications. Stephen M. Stahl. Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Essential Psychopharmacology, Neuroscientific Basis, and Practical Applications. Stephen M. Stahl. Fourth Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Lowinson and Ruiz’s Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, Fifth Edition (Williams & Wilkens, 2011).
My Brain Is Out of Control. Patrick Mbaya. Author House. September 2016.
Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

 

Book Feature: Everything You Need to Know About Camping and RV’ing by Ghislaine Bourdon

 

 

 

Title: Everything You Need to Know about Camping and RV’ing

Author: Ghislaine Bourdon

Publisher: XLibrisUS

Genre: Sports & Recreation/Camping

Format: Ebook

These are informative and entertaining lessons that teach the ways and etiquette of camping that will lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable vacation for everyone. Learn to organize, plan, and prepare with eagerness and excitement. 



Camping is fun for everyone especially if you know how to do it right! Let me guide you to your greatest adventures.


 


Ghislaine Bourdon has a bachelor’s degree in studio art. She was a swimming instructor for most of her life and taught swimming for the school system in France for many years. Ghislaine bicycled across most of Europe including the Alps alone when she was sixteen years old. She has climbed many mountains and does extensive camping trips. Trying not to be hindered by a past mental illness Ghislaine has overcome many life long difficulties. She is an extremely diversified individual with talents that abound.

 

Book Feature: Evolution Now by David Penny

Publication Date: March 27, 2017

Publisher: XLibrisNZ

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 229

Genre: Science

Tour Dates: August 14-25

  Add to GR Button   


This is a very Popperian approach to evolutionary study. Karl Popper was a philosopher of science, who took science very seriously, and had a profound influence on the chemists and zoologists where I did my undergraduate degree. The book starts from about 1600, when people accepted that life continued to arise “naturally,” and then moves to the pre-evolutionary concept of the fixity of species. Darwin started as a geologist in the Hutton-Lyell tradition and quickly became convinced that current causes were sufficient to explain geology, and he then moved to biology. I gave an account of his theory in some detail. However, there is also an update on what we have learned since Darwin. This is followed by a chapter on human evolution, especially human speech and the Out of Africa theory. This is followed by two chapters on beliefs that maybe incorrect (one of which is the extinction of dinosaurs from the extraterrestrial impact at the K-Pg boundary—maybe incorrect). The other is the direction of change between eukaryotes (which have a true nucleus) and akaryotes (without a true nucleus). The book finishes with a section on what is left for the future. In good Popperian style, there is a lot left for us to discover!

 

David Penny is a ‘Distinguished Professor’ at a New Zealand University, and has a PhD from Yale University. He is a New Zealander by birth.
 

 

Interview with Alastair Fraser, author of Forestry Flavours of the Month

Publication Date: May 20, 2016

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 228

Genre: Biography

Tour Dates: September 4 – 15

  Add to GR Button   


Forestry touches on all aspects of human welfare in one way or another, which is why foresters need to play an active role in determining our collective agenda. Alastair Fraser, a lifelong forester and the co-founder of LTS International, a forestry consulting company, explains how forestry changes with political cycles and how foresters can promote healthy forests at all times.

He explores critical issues such as:

• forests and their connection to coal;

• forest’s role in combatting floods and climate change;

• illegal logging in Indonesia, Laos, and elsewhere;

• tactics to promote sustainable forestry management;

• plantations as a solution to tropical deforestation.

From pulping in Sweden and Brazil, paper mills in Greece and India, agroforestry in the Philippines, “pink” disease in India and oil bearing trees of Vietnam, no topic is off limits. Based on the author’s life as a forester in dozens of countries, this account shows the breadth of forestry and makes a convincing case that forestry management needs to focus on managing change and achieving sustainability. Whether you’re preparing to become a forester, already in the field, or involved with conservation, the environment or government, you’ll be driven to action with Forestry Flavours of the Month.

Can you tell us why you wrote your book?

I wrote it in an attempt to raise public awareness of what forestry is all about and how forests benefit mankind. The book describes some of the more interesting topics that I have been involved in, and places that I have visited over the past 55 years working as an international consultant in forestry. It aims to describe some of the big issues facing forests and the environment such as illegal logging and deforestation, as well as some of the benefits that forests provide.

Which part of the book was hardest to write?

No part was hard as it is based on my personal experiences and I have diries and field notebooks where I recorded everything.

Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know?

Yes. The book is intended to raise awareness about the things that Forestry entails and show people how important forests are for mankind in so many ways (apart from timber and other forest products including biomass fuel (firewood) fruit, fodder medicines, oils and gums and fibres, forests are important as: a wildlife habitat, a place for human recreation and leisure. Improving the landscape, mitigation the effect of flash flooding and soil erosion, sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change and emitting oxygen, providing shade and shelter).

Do you remember when the writing bug hit?

I have always enjoyed writing since starting my professional career.

Besides books, do you write anything else?

I have written 128 scientific papers and technical documents and one technical textbook.

Alastair Fraser is a founder member of the archaeology group No Man s Land. He has worked as researcher and participant in a number of Great War documentaries. Steve Roberts is a retired police officer and an ex-regular soldier. He specialises in researching individuals who served during the war and is also a founder member of No Man s Land. Andrew Robertshaw frequently appears on television as a commentator on battlefield archaeology and the soldier in history, and he has coordinated the work of No Man s Land. His publications include Somme 1 July 1916: Tragedy and Triumph, Digging the Trenches (with David Kenyon) and The Platoon.

Guest Post from Dr. Patrick Mbaya on Clinical Depression

 

Publication Date: September 2016

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Formats: Ebook

Pages: 76

Genre: Biography/Autobiography

Tour Dates: September 25-October 20

  Add to GR Button   


Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.

 

CLINICAL DEPRESSION
Clinical Depression is a common illness, different from ordinary sadness, which is a normal reaction. It can affect anyone, including doctors like myself, and indeed I suffered from this, during my illness. It is not a weakness.
It may occur spontaneously in vulnerable individuals, like someone with a family history of depression. Severe stress or traumatic events in childhood, may also make an individual vulnerable to developing depressive illness, later on in life. Recent research has shown that this could be due to the effect of stress hormone cortisol, on the developing brain. Severe stress or loss events (like losing a family member) can cause (precipitate) it. In my case the brain infection I suffered, affected the limbic/emotional brain (see below).
Emotions, and certain behaviours are controlled by the limbic (emotional) brain. This is like a circuit comprising of connections from the brain stem (stem of the brain), to the front part of the brain (prefrontal cortex, the part in front of the motor cortex), then to the medial (inner side) of the temporal lobe structures like amygdala and hippocampus. In my case, it is the left prefrontal cortex, which is next to the motor cortex (which caused weakness on my right side) and the speech (Broca’s) area.
There are different theories about the biological causes of depression within the brain. However, there is a lot of clinical, and research evidence that depression is associated altered levels of chemicals (neurotransmitters) that control emotions, and behaviours. The two main chemicals (neurotransmitters) being serotonin and noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine). These chemicals are made by the brain from the food we eat, like bananas (I asked my daughter to get me bananas during my recovery phase). Emotions and behaviours like mood, sleep, appetite, enjoyment, concentration, short-term memory, energy, and some forms of thinking are controlled by these chemicals.
There is both clinical, and research evidence that these chemicals become imbalanced, causing symptoms of clinical depression including persistent low mood, tearfulness, poor sleep, lack of enjoyment, poor concentration, short term memory, reduced interest in things, poor appetite, feeling negative (like focussing on past traumatic or unhappy events, or being emotionally affected by current sad events) up to including suicidal thoughts. (Recent research has shown that amygdala become very active in clinical depression, negative traumatic past events tend to re-surface and the individual becomes pre-occupied with these events, feels hopeless, worthless, and has suicidal thoughts, and these symptoms are reversed by effective treatment of depression). These symptoms tend to be worse in the morning (diurnal variation, possibly related to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol) and can improve later on during the day. Like in my case, my mood was worse in the morning. “I was emotional and found myself crying without a moment’s notice.”
As depressive illness can affect confidence, energy, motivation, concentration, short term memory, level of functioning is impaired (the ability to carry out activities of daily living, even to the point of being unable to work, socialise or to go to school). The World Health Organization (WHO) found out in a study (1990), comparing medical illnesses, that depression was four in the league table, as a cause of health-related disability. They estimated that by 2020, it will rank second to heart disease!
Current research has shown that severe stress increases the levels of stress hormone cortisol, which in turn reduces serotonin, noradrenaline, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, also known as brain fertilizer, which protects against cell death by cortisol), in the brain, causing depression.
Antidepressants work by increasing these chemicals/neurotransmitters (improving symptoms, and level of functioning), and may protect against severe stress causing depression. Psychological treatment like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), is also effective in depression, especially in combination with antidepressants. Current guidelines recommend psychological treatment for mild to moderate depression, and antidepressant medication, plus psychological treatment for moderate to severe depression.
Dr Patrick Mbaya MD FRCPsych.
References:
Duman Ronald. Depression: a cause of neuronal life and death. Biological Psychiatry, 1 August 2004, vol.56:140-145
Global Burden of Disease, World Health Organization, 1990.
Mbaya Patrick. My Brain Is Out Of Control. Author House. September, 2016
Shimizu Fiji et al. Alterations of serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in depressed patients with or without antidepressants; Biological Psychiatry, 1 July 2003,Vol 54(1): 70-75
Stahl Stephen M. Essential Psychopharmacology, Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press.
Stress and Plasticity in Limbic System, Robert M. Sapolsky; Neurochemical Research, Vol. 28, No. 11.
Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

 

Book Feature: The Light Theatre Opened to Universe (II) by Kazuo Ueno

 

Title: The Light Theater Opened to Universe (II)
Author: Kazuo Ueno
Publisher: Xlibris
Genre: Philosophy
Format: Ebook 

How 17th Century Dutch Painter Johannes Vermeer’s idea was ifluenced from Christian Huygens? Perhaps in the sense of subconsciousness and eventually how it was realized by the method so called “Mitate” (look alike) in his painting as Heaven & Earth correspondence. His painting represents “Universe” itself.