We have an idea…

Excellent idea!

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

A few of us that have been planning this event thought that maybe since this is an indie convention, maybe we should do an indie awards, live in person.

Not the type of awards you’re used to where they pick the best author in their given genre, but instead we reward the people that help us get noticed in the first place. We want to reward the authors, readers and pimpers that go above and beyond to get their favorite authors out there, because without them, we wouldn’t get very far on our own.

It’s just in the planning stages at the moment, but I am thinking it might be a great way to kick off the after party. Before everyone starts drinking. =D

More details to come, but if you know some amazing pimpers, authors, or readers that go out of their way to help the community, please share…

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Black History Fun Fact Friday – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

OK so this is a re-run lol. This has been a challenging week for me personally. I am still trying to catch up on some work so I’ll pick it up with a new Fun Fact next week (have some ideas for me? I’d love to hear them!) In the meantime, I’ve chosen this one to repost. I thought it would be great for those who are new to this blog or who have not yet read this episode (The badge below is the old one. I decided not to replace it with the new one since this is a re-post).

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Originally Published February 27, 2015

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Now, today is a special Friday because we’re going to be talking about a special woman in history. She’s a special study because there is not a lot of information on her. While technology has blessed us with the internet so that we no longer have to sit through 500 page books and encyclopedias, the best way to really research her life is actually through books and I have a very good one for you to check out. It is because of this book that search engines are just now coughing up information about it. I didn’t really intend on doing another book recommendation, but this one goes hand in hand with last week’s post so much so I could not help it. It is almost a single example that alone validates Harriet’s study. For last week’s post, Medical Apartheid, Click Here.

marcusMany of you have heard of her in biology class. Yes, biology. Except you were never told her real name. I’m sure we have all heard of her. If you’ve ever sat through a class on cells and heard the term HeLa, you’ve heard of her. Your science professor more than likely described it like this:

“A HeLa cell, also Hela or hela cell, is a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line. “

And that was probably the extent of the explanation. There is even a scientific name for HeLa, it’s called Helacyton Gartleri.

HeLa cells were the first line of human cells to survive in vitro (in a test tube). The cells were taken from tissue samples and grown by a researcher named Dr. George Gey in 1951. Dr. Gey quickly realized that some of the cells were different from normal cells. While those died, they just kept on growing. After more than 50 years, there are now billions and billions of HeLa cells in laboratories all over the world. It’s the most commonly used cell line, and it’s known to be extremely resilient.

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In 1951, a black woman was diagnosed with an aggressive cervical cancer, and when she died, doctors took her cells without permission and these cells never died. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells became the foundation to groundbreaking research. From developing the polio vaccine, to cloning, to gene mapping, her cells helped to make blood pressure medicines, antidepressant pills; they helped to develop drugs for treating  herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson’s disease, etch, etch.

The fact that HeLa cells have been used in some very important medical research is interesting enough, but there’s another part of the story — and that part is why Oprah might be making a movie about HeLa. Henrietta Lacks had no idea that her cells were taken and used in this way, and neither did her family. And while the cells became commercialized (researchers can buy a vial of them for $250) Lacks’ family has lived without healthcare and in poverty. Since Henrietta never knew about the usage of her cells and neither did her children know about the usage and sell of her cells, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is not a story  about her contribution to medical research, so much as the ethics of biomedical research and the practice of informed consent. Rebecca  Skloot describes in detail, with the help of thousands of hours of interviews,  with family members and friends of Lack’s, lawyers, ethicist, scientists, Journalist who wrote about the Lack’s family, extensive archival photos, documents, scientific and historical research, and the personal journal of Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter, how one woman’s cells continues to live on outside of her body longer than they ever did inside of her body. Meanwhile, her family knew nothing about it.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Living Miracle: A Love Story by Donna D. Vaal

Title: The Living Miracle: A Love Story

Author: Donna D. Vaal

Publisher: RoseDog Books (April 2, 2016)

Published: April 2, 2016

ISBN-10: 1480966772

ISBN-13: 978-1480966772

Language: English.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Step into the 31st Century where synthetic babies are born and man is God. On June 4, 3044, Hiroto, the grandson of Master Izanagi Okamura, is born. The Self-Professed Japanese God of the Creation of Life, Izanagi has revolutionized life with his synthetic baby creation. No longer capable of giving birth, women are barren in this new world. Instead, babies are conceived in a petrie dish and there are more than one kind of living being.

There are humans, developed by a male sperm piercing a female egg, and then there are the Mosouka’s, imitation cells with the same DNA structure as humans. Each human is born with a genetically matching Mosouka who will be given to them on their fifth birthday. And so, it is on the fifth birthday of Hiroto Okamura that he would be introduced to L4-13354, his humanoid Mosouka.

Considered nothing more than a human doll kept alive by advanced technology, Mosouka’s are not real. At least not all of them. Noticing that his Mosouka is exhausted after playing with him and his friends, Hiroto cares for her with the gentle tenderness of someone whose human. Noticing this, the children tease him and one angry kid pushes L4 over the side of the Yacht and things will never be the same for Hiroto and his humanoid.

It is under the water, like an immersing, that L4 breaks her arm and hears the voice of the Almighty who gives her his spirit and she becomes a living being. Not only does she save Hiroto who jumps into the water after her, but she feels pain and cries real tears. There’s only one problem: No one must know that she’s real.

Together, Hiroto and L4, who he later names La’Besa, must conceal her true identity and discover the truth of their union together. With mankind’s disbelief in the true creator, how will he react to the living miracle whose presence is to destroy all that he holds dear?

I truly enjoyed reading this book. While there’s an over usage of exclamation marks I didn’t care for, I was very much engaged in the story line and once I started, I couldn’t stop reading. No, that’s not a cliche. I really did want to know how this story would end.

What’s the connection with Hiroto and La’Besa and the significance of her uniqueness? Why was she chosen to live and the other Mosouka’s, were not? What happens when Hiroto’s Grandfather, God of this World, discovers La’Besa’s humanity? Why is she the living miracle?

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 3/5

Authenticity / Believable: 3/5

Thought Provoking: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Living Miracle: A Love Story is Available Now On Amazon!

You Can Also Find it On Barnes and Noble and Goodreads

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Did you just write a book? In need of more reviews? Register Your Book HERE for consideration. I publish reviews to this blog on Friday’s. I also post them to the authors Amazon and Goodreads page and feature the linked book covers on my  Author website and email list. You can also now find my Book Reviewed Authors on my new Indie Author page HERE. I have lots of names to add so stay tuned for my next author.