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Stories Should Provoke Questions

Michael Albanese Author Interview

The Boy Who Loved Boxes is a whimsical tale that teaches readers that we can’t control everything in life no matter how hard we try. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important to write this book because one, it came fully formed and downloaded to me during a walk in the woods. I was thinking a lot about how we lose our childlike wonder as adults and, as adults, how we live in a constant illusion of control. I started working on the book, which started off very differently than it ended, as these things do. During the middle of it, the pandemic hit and the very thing I was writing about strangely paralleled my own reality. My anxiety, the illusion of control I had in my life, how things fell apart despite how ordered my life was oddly similar to The Man in the book. I conceived this as a picture book for adults to hopefully recapture the wonder of childhood.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

I was having coffee in Los Angeles many years ago with my friend, Denise Spatafora. She told me that I can design my life on my terms. And for some reason, at the moment in time, it really resonated. And I began to explore what that actually looked like. Intentionality, saying no to things and people that didn’t support my goals, eliminating toxic situations, being bolder and clearer in what I wanted, etc. It’s a lifelong process, but it’s been transformative.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

If they get the intent and spirit behind the book – and some do not, and that’s okay – I hope they realize that peace is not found in the things we own, build or obtain and that they ask themselves what the last box means to them. I know what it means to me personally, but I believe that stories should provoke questions instead of giving answers. So, my ultimate hope is that the story raises some meaningful questions and discussions.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is a picture book (this one is actually for children) about two sylvan creatures and their fun-loving adventures. I am collaborating on it with my wife. It’s a story we actually wrote before we had children. We hope it’s the start of a series, but it will be about kindness and not judging others by their appearance. It will be available in the fall of 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

There once was a Boy Who Loved Boxes…

Written and illustrated against the backdrop of the global pandemic, this children’s book for adults is a modern-day allegory exploring the illusion of control and the pursuit of peace. Join our hero and discover that happiness is not always found in the places we expect.

The Boy Who Loved Boxes

The Boy Who Loved Boxes: A Children’s Book for Adults tells the story of a boy who stores everything he owns in nice organized boxes. As he grows, he learns to sort all the parts of his life into compartmentalized boxes like work, emotions, faith, money, and relationships. Then one day, all the boxes fall apart and he is unable to repair them or replace them. All of his things are a mess, broken, or lost. He doesn’t know what to do as his stuff sits in a pile. He is too overwhelmed to sort through or try to fix. Will he ever be able to find a box to hold everything he cherishes?

Author Michael Albanese has written a heartfelt picture book for adults. Choosing to use this format to get his message across adds weight to what he says. This modern-day allegory about trying to control your life and keep everything organized and running smoothly is a common mindset for adults these days. When the pandemic hit, all our boxes fell apart, school, work, relationships, everything around the world changed fast.

The simple verbiage combined with Tod Wilkerson’s artwork really brought the message home. Seeing The Man’s expressions as everything of his falls apart and sits in a pile reminds me of how I felt in those first few weeks that stretched into months. The hopelessness and the joy and acceptance that followed. All the emotions that people worldwide felt can be seen in the pages of this thought-provoking children’s book.

The Boy Who Loved Boxes: A Children’s Book for Adults explores the illusion of control and helps readers gain peace by finding it within themselves. This captivating and poignant book can be shared with children and adults. Adults will understand what The Man was going through, and children can learn that controlling every part of their life and separating it all out will only end with a mess.

Pages: 36 | ISBN : 1732898731

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There Will Be Another Pandemic

Hugues F Batsielilit
Hugues F Batsielilit Author Interview

COVID-19 AFRICA, HAITI, AND THE U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS helps separate the truth from myth and misinformation that has been rampant since the onset. What were your goals in writing this book?

The goal of writing this book was to start a conversation about the negative impact the denials and distortion of the COVID-19 deadly virus had on populations and countries at large. The COVID-19 outbreak will not be stopped for one fraction of a second by delusional denials, distortion, or ruse; instead, it will only be defeated by strictly unbiased measures that prevent its spread while at the same time allowing people to live productive lives.

China and some other more developed countries have been able to slow the spread of COVID-19 by acting objectively and enforcing proven effective measures such as lockdowns of homes and enforced closures of city and regional borders (known as cordon sanitaire). These measures, although stringent, are highly effective.

What are some takeaway you hope readers leave with after finishing this book?

The hard-core reality is that even if COVID-19 eventually goes dormant or the world’s populations reach protective herd immunity levels, there will be another pandemic, another epidemic that will rage out-of-control crosses borders, is spread by travelers, and becomes a pandemic. Epidemics and pandemics are part of our world. Travel and the transport and domestication of animals keep disease and vermin spreading throughout the world.

This means:

First, the only pragmatic solutions are to learn from past incidents, cull best practices from other countries, adopt them, and share knowledge, techniques, methodologies, and strategies.

Second, increase and guarantee funding (with accountability measures and enforcement processes) for PPE and medical equipment must be available.

Third, establish accountability measures to make sure data is gathered, reported, and corroborated honestly both within the country and with other nations.

Also, Africa, Haiti, and USVI must put aside false pride in reporting data that makes them look good. Such reporting is to the detriment of their people, as inaccurate reporting stymies any aid for which they may qualify from international sources.

Last but not least, if governments in African nations, Haiti, and the USVI will use the suggestions made herein along with others that are equally viable, the problems with delusional myths and denial of disease existence and transmission will be controlled and have less of an effect on population compliance with public health prevention measures.

They will be better prepared to respond to and survive the next pandemic; such as the omicron virus.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The books I am writing now are the responses to the urgent need to provide a comprehensive overview of cancer and contagious diseases impact within the African population.

The two books offer an analysis of the diseases, specifically cancer diseases in African countries, with the awareness that even though there may have many correlates, there are also discrepancies in the prevailing cancer disease conditions.

Africa is home to 54 recognized sovereign states and countries, 9 territories, and 2 de facto independent states with the second largest population in the world with 1.29 billion (after Asia), scattered over the vast Africa land, and presently, 60% more Africans die from cancer diseases than succumb to malaria, and the number of cancer deaths is widening at an awful pace.

The information laid down on those forthcoming books will be a step toward self-awareness and will also present a foundation for informed improvement in the current health sector systems along with an approach by which African countries may learn from more in reciprocal action to the need for proper knowledge of disease and improvement prevention process.

It’s hoped that these approaches will give the reader an attitude towards cancer and infectious diseases that will be relevant whatever the nature of an agent and the type of contagious disease could occur.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | LinkedIn

In his travels, Dr. Hugues Fidele Batsielilit, has worked with health clinics and public health programs in professional capacities observing the intersectionality of the human condition, government, technology, politics, and disease. His observations have provided first-hand knowledge of how healthcare systems and health outcomes are impacted when proper consideration is not given to the needs of citizens and governments do not prioritize health. He has witnessed the effects and impacts of poverty and unjust economic strategies upon the health of unsuspecting populations. COVID-19 shone a bright light on the inequities within economic structures, health, and overall life in general existing in many countries. Batsielilit follows that light, exploring how politics, myth, rumor, and superstition coalesce with poor health infrastructure allowing death and disease to flourish.


The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise. Nations were caught unaware and people scrambled to find ways to slow down the spread and stop the rapid loss of lives. There was a lot of misinformation, technical information mixed in with the truth. Scientists were busy studying and passing on information as quickly as they could to a world of people trying to grasp what was going on.

Dr. Hugues Fidel Batsielilit watched with the rest of us as the world crumbled from what seemed like a common flu. The only difference is that he watched with an expertise’s eye. He saw how the world reacted and the different measures countries took to protect their citizens. Dr. Batsielilt focused his interest on Africa, Haiti and the US Virgin Islands. His aim with this book is to analyze the response of both people and governments as well as the lull after the height. He also aims to make some projections, provide the reader with some idea of what the future might look like from an expert’s point of view.

The one thing you will note about this book is the detail with which this book is written. The author is direct and provides all the information to his readers. He makes sure that readers have the full story and the data to fully grasp what he is discussing. This combined with in-depth research leads to the revelation of interesting discoveries. Not all the discoveries he found were beneficial, he uncovered a lot of conspiracy theories and discusses those as well in order to debunk the myth for readers.

COVID-19 AFRICA, HAITI, AND THE U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS by Dr. Hugues Fidele Batsielilit approaches the pandemic from a critical and scientific eye. As someone that has a medical and emergency management perspective the author has provided readers with information in a nonbiased and objective manner with a logical flow and clear explanations. These are important qualities in a book about a sensitive subject whose available information is either too technical or insufficient and designed for sensationalism. He has provided the reader with a simple explanation and analysis of the situation.

Pages: 251 | ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JQ9QLSV

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Parenting in a Pandemic

If we said 2020 was anything less than an incredible strain on all of our lives, we would be deemed as liars of the worst possible kind. Parenting in 2020 changed in what, quite literally, felt like an instant. Overnight, parents across the world were suddenly tasked with educating their children, finding ways to provide social interactions for them, and explaining to them why their world had turned upside down. Life during the pandemic of 2020 has impacted parents everywhere in ways most cannot sufficiently put into words. Despite the mania created by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are ways for families to cope and move forward with life–ways to create a new, and hopefully, temporary normal.

Liz Bayardelle, author of Parenting in a Pandemic: A Parent’s Guide to All the Roles We Have to Play in the Era of Covid-19, takes a closer look at the impact the pandemic of 2020 has had on parents with school-aged children and the multiple roles they have assumed. While providing examples along with hints for successfully addressing their children’s many needs, the author uses well-intentioned and appropriately proportioned humor to lighten an otherwise somber mood and dense subject matter.

As a teacher and parent of a 2020 high school graduate, I more than appreciate Bayardelle’s candor. From the practical advice for staying healthy and following suggested health guidelines to ideas for time management, the author covers all necessary bases and provides solid, easy-to-follow advice that can be instantly applied in the home.

Not enough can be said for Bayardelle’s use of humor. There has been very little opportunity for smiles and laughter over the last year. It has been difficult to find moments of levity when trying to balance fear with daily routines and the barrage of changes with a craving for normalcy. Bayardelle’s willingness and efficiency with lighthearted moments placed strategically throughout the text helps readers face the challenges of our new reality with a little less grimness.

Parenting in a Pandemic is the book we all needed and for which we never dreamed we would have to search. Bayardelle breaks down a tremendous amount of information in a short, well-organized, and engaging read. I highly recommend Bayardelelle’s guide to any parent looking to navigate the waters of parenting in this pandemic while waiting patiently on a return to what may be our new normal.

Pages: 148 | ISBN: 1950328813

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Project Terminus

Project Terminus4 Stars

In the near future, financial collapse of the United States results in nationwide anarchy. Like dominos, the rest of the world follows the US into oblivion. Nuclear war followed by a viral pandemic decimates the globe, reducing the population to mere thousands.
In America, a group of survivors led by former SPECOPS Captain Wade Coltrane fight to survive and to regenerate society while protecting humanity from the greed of a faux king and a dysfunctional clan of sociopathic killers led by beautiful Russian psychopath, Nina Lutrova.
Will Project Terminus enable the development of a new nation or will greed and evil ultimately end civilization?

I enjoyed this post apocalyptic novel. Project Terminus slowly builds tension between intriguing characters before reaching an interesting ending that peaked my interest.

Pages: 231 | ASIN: B016033INGBuy Now From

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