WXEL July 4th and 5th REBROADCAST

WXEL’s Florida Forum radio show’s Forth of July special will re-air past interviews of local authors who have books they think will be great summer reading. Our interview will air on 90.7 FM Sunday  July 4 at 11am , and re-air Monday July 5 at 7pm.

The show streams LIVE, so anyone with access to the Internet can listen to it at the above date/times, by going to www.wxel.org and clicking on the Listen Live button .


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Filed under Deborah Shlian, Joel Shlian, WXEL

Audiobook version of “Rabbit in the Moon” a winner

Just announced: the Audiobook version of “Rabbit in the Moon” produced by Spoken Word Inc and narrated by nationally honored radio talk show host, Barbara Whitesides, won Honorable Mention at this year’s SF Book Festival.  Congrats to them all!! This just adds to the many awards the international thriller has already won including the Gold Medal for the Florida Book Award.

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Filed under longevity, SpokenWordInc, Uncategorized, Year of the Dragon

“Devil Wind” review

Pasadena Star News says “Devil Wind hits home!” Read more here! “Devil Wind” by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid, the latest thriller in the Sammy Greene series is available in hardback, eBooks and on Audio. Check out Sammy’s website for more information

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Life expectancy rises in the US

Good news! Without Dr. Ni-Fu Cheng’s immortality elixir (Rabbit in the Moon)  average life expectancy in the US has hit another high, rising above 78 years,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, infant mortality has hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1000 live births which is almost a 3 percent drop from 2008. Boys born in 2009 can expect to at least until age 75.5 while girls will live to 80.5. Reasons for this increased longevity is felt to be a result of better medical treatment, improved vaccination rates and decreases in smoking.

Read Rabbit in the Moon in hardback, eBook and Audiobook

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Filed under Audiobook, life expectancy, longevity, Tiananmen massacre

Happy Year of the Rabbit 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year 2011!! The Year of the Rabbit begins tomorrow on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.

Anyone born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011 is born under the sign of the Rabbit.

As many of you who have already read our international thriller, Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah and Joel Shlian know, the Rabbit, or Hare as it is referred to in Chinese mythology is the symbol of longevity. It is the 4th of the 12 animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac. And is said to derive its essence from the Moon

In our novel, Dr. Lili Quan’s mother was born under this sign and was typical of such individuals – reserved and introverted.  But she was also a friendly person who liked the company of good friends.

Good news for a troubled world: according to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit heralds a year in which you should take a deep breath, and calmly approach problems that arise with the goal of creating a safe, peaceful life.  Trying to force issues will only bring failure. Negotiation is a much more effective approach to problem solving. This is a year to focus on home and family.

As a symbol of the Moon, the Rabbit represents the Yin, while the Peacock, symbol of the Sun, represents the Yang of life. In the Year of the Rabbit, the wish-granting aspect of the Sun and the Moon combined is extremely strong.  It is said that on each of the full moon nights during this year, if you go into your garden to gaze into the full moon, visualize plenty of moon energy flowing into you and you will strengthen your inner energy (Chi). Not only will be granted fearlessness, love and courage but this will also bring wisdom into your life.

We wish that and more for all of you this year!!

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Filed under Chinese New year 2011, Chinese Zodiac, Rabbit in the Moon

Szeto Wah, human rights activist, dead at 79

A leading human rights activist for mainland Chinese dissidents including the Tiananmen massacre victims died yesterday in Hong Kong.

His name was Szeto Wah, but he was better known as Uncle Wah

Originally a teacher, Szeto became a leader of one of Hong Kong’s largest teachers’ unions. He helped organize the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Democratic Movements in China, which he headed until his death. The Alliance served as a voice for human-rights abuses by the Chinese government. For two decades, Wah also served as a legislator in the Democratic Party.

Because of his continued condemnation of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, Szeto was barred from visiting the mainland. He died of cancer at the age of 1979.


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Filed under China, Chinese activist, Szeto Wah

“Rabbit in the Moon”: Downside of Longevity

We began formulating our plot for our thriller “Rabbit in the Moon” with two “what if” questions: 1) what if someone had discovered a way to increase the normal human lifespan and 2) who would want such a discovery and what might they do to get their hands on it.

When we conceived of this premise, we, like our character Dr. Ni Fu-Cheng assumed that an elixir extending longevity could only be positive for society.  However, as we and Ni-Fu learned, there is a definite downside to a population in which its “elder-share” (i.e. the proportion of people over 65 versus those who are younger) is very high.

The good news is that without our fictional elixir, lifespan in America have increased by an average of 30 years since 1900, so that males born in 2008 can expect to live to 75; females can expect to live to be 81. Centenarians (those over 100) are the fastest growing group in the US, having increased to 96,548 in 2009 from 38,300 in 1990, according to the Census Bureau.

And it’s not just the US that is experiencing increased longevity. People worldwide are living longer. Suddenly, the total number of seniors is expanding faster than the number of youngsters. Although currently the world is evenly divided between those under age 28 and those over 28, by 2050 half of individuals living in developed countries will be seniors over age 60, the other half, children under age 15.

If increased lifespan is the good news, what is the bad news? It is that most societies experiencing this sweeping demographic shift have not made the kinds of economic and policy adjustments required to adapt to this change. That’s especially true for the US.

How for example, do we deal with the cost of promised pensions and health benefits if the number of workers needed to finance these benefits is outnumbered by the seniors they have to support?

One of the consequences of aging is the increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Experts estimate 115 million people worldwide living with this form of dementia by 2050. The cost of their care is soaring- just one of the budget busting negative consequences of increased longevity.

In “Rabbit in the Moon”, Dr. Ni-Fu Cheng worries about this very issue, asking his granddaughter Lili whether his elixir comes with a cost too high. “Even without the issue of overpopulation,” he tells her, “there is the question of the quality of those extra years. I have not found the key to immortality. Cells will still age. They’ll just do so more slowly. And for some individuals- say with Alzheimer’s disease or severe arthritis or terminal cancer-that means more years of suffering.” He also wonders about the loneliness of living without friends or family who have died before them.

Ultimately he decides that the world is not ready for his discovery.

In our real world, some countries like France are already curbing public benefits, raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, in order to maintain national solvency. One million people took to the streets in protest.  In the US, a few candidates running for office have suggested solutions from pension reform, changing the age of eligibility for Social Security age, to getting rid of Social Security altogether. The response from the electorate appears to be negative.

Bottom line: the cost of maintaining aging populations is a looming crisis that is not going away.

Michael W. Hodin, who is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and researches aging issues said in the New York Times recently, that its solution “will require a mass-scale collaborative response akin to the Manhattan Project or the space race.”

So read “Rabbit in the Moon” and let us know what you think.

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Filed under China, life expectancy, longevity, Rabbit in the Moon