Author Archives: McGinty

More Brides Bucking Popular Wedding Traditions: Survey

Bride (photo by TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto) )

 

 

A new survey suggests that more and more brides are turning their backs on popular wedding traditions, with many citing feminism as a major reason why.

Conducted by the Internet wedding directory WeddingDays.co.uk, the survey involved a couple hundred brides-to-be, who revealed some modern attitudes about marriage. Among other things, the survey showed that:

  • 26 percent of all respondents said they planned to keep their maiden names, either by keeping them entirely or through hyphenating.
  • 24 percent said they refused to have their fathers walk them down the aisles, saying the tradition carried connotations that women are property to be traded or given away.
  • 9 percent of brides said they wouldn’t wear white on their wedding days, because they say the tradition was founded on promoting the appearing of virginal innocence.

A Growing Trend?

Compared to similar surveys conducted years ago, this particular poll did show an increasing number of feminist attitudes in regard to marriage. That said, according to professional wedding photographer, Arnaud Brichet, despite the survey’s revelations, he finds that most brides prefer to keep things traditional.

“The vast majority of brides don’t view wedding traditions as being anti-feminist,” he said. “For instance, the average bride doesn’t want her father to give her away because of anti-feminist reasons; she wants to maintain the tradition out of love and respect.”

Owner of the Punta Cana wedding photography studio HDC Photo, Brichet has years of experience working on all sorts of different weddings, featuring a wide array individual themes and traditions. According to him, despite the potential differences between weddings, the common theme should be happiness and love.

“Ultimately, a wedding should be a celebration,” he said. “When people get fixated on specific intricacies, they often lose sight of the most important things. In the end, the ceremony should be about bonding two lives, regardless of whether it’s traditional or uniquely modern.”

4 Weird News Stories from 2013 that Will Make You Say Whaaa?

Surprise (photo by Victor Bezrukov)

There was no shortage of weird news stories in 2013; however, you probably didn’t hear about most of these. Feast your eyes on the following strange-but-true tales that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

1) $1.5 million U.S Tax Dollars Used to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat

Angering millions of people for a variety of reasons, the U.S. government recently gave a Boston hospital $1.5 million to fund a research project aimed at determining why gay women are fatter than gay men. Although the researchers called the study of “high public-health significance,” the mind-boggling expenditure left many people scratching their heads. (Source: FOX News)

22) Jon Hamm’s Penis Sets Off Media Frenzy

Apparently, ratings aren’t the only big things associated with AMC’s Mad Men. The show recently gained substantial media attention, thanks to reports which claimed that producers had to ask Jon Hamm to wear underwear to prevent his abnormally large genitals from showing through his clothing. Things went crazy from there, with countless websites and media outlets growing fixated with the star’s family jewels. (Source: New York Daily News)

3) Man Has Missing Penis Replaced with Part of Arm

Speaking of genitalia, a 39-year-old British man spent his entire life without any. That is, until doctors crafted one out of tissue from his arm. Oddly, the man claimed to have slept with over 100 women in spite of not having a penis. According to him, his physical limitations actually made him more attractive to women, who felt less pressured and more comfortable in his presence. (Source: Daily Mail)

Bowl4) $3 Garage Sale Bowl Ends Up Being Worth $2.2 Million

When an everyday New Yorker bought a $3 bowl at a local secondhand sale, he (or she) stumbled on to something special. Months later, experts identified the bowl as a 1,000-year-old piece from the Northern Song Dynasty in China. Ultimately, the bowl was sold at auction for a couple million dollars. Apparently, it had been sitting in the seller’s living room for years prior to the sale. (Source: New York Daily News)

3 of the Best Novels to Read if You Like Short Stories

The Hell that Followed

Unfortunately for people who enjoy brief fiction, publishers tend to prefer full-length novels which make readers feel as though they’ve gotten their money’s worth. While you can find plenty of short fiction collections, the quality isn’t always up to par. Most of the best writers tend to craft longer books which allow them to develop characters. That said, some full-length books contain characteristics that make them appeal to readers who appreciate short stories.

Three Good Examples

Recently, I published a brief list at Amazon.com featuring the best novels to read for people who like short fiction. While all of these books are full-length; each features characteristics that will make them attractive to people who prefer short stories.

Illusions

Breezy and short, this beautiful novella is touching and funny. It’s also extremely thought-provoking and entertaining. If you’re looking for a book you can consume in a single evening; this is a fantastic option. It’s also the type of novel which will stay with you for weeks after you’ve read it.

The Hell that Followed

On sale for only $2.99 at Amazon.com, this is the best novel to read for anyone who likes their stories cut up into easily-digestible segments. With an assortment of fascinating characters, The Hell that Follows features several parallel plotlines and a brisk pace which is perfect for people who usually love shorter fiction. The plot is gritty and intense; and there’s an emotional element that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

Fools Die

Author of The Godfather, Mario Puzo wrote plenty of fantastic novels before his passing in 1999; however, many people remain unaware of them. This particular novel offers an interesting mix of crime, gambling, danger and some deep insight into the confounding relationship between women and men. Focused on two different main characters, this novel jumps back and forth between plots, making it a good option for readers who generally prefer brief fiction.

3 Realistic Fiction Books that Demand Attention

no-country-for-old-men

While romance and fantasy books such as 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight continue to break sales records; numerous readers grow aggravated. Nowadays, more and more authors seem to be writing outlandish stories that meet the rising demand for far-fetched fiction. Fortunately, if you love realistic fiction, there are a few fantastic choices that will capture your attention. Before you purchase another eBook, consider the following page-turners.

Expert Advice

Although I’m always on the lookout for great novels to add to my Amazon.com Realistic Fiction Books List, these are my current top three:

White Noise

Synopsis: Jack Gladney is a college professor in Middle America. Each day, he moves through a smog of suburban “white noise,” consisting of TV murmurings, sirens, ultrasonic appliances and more. Nothing much interesting happens in Jack’s life, until one day, when an industrial accident spews deadly toxins into the local atmosphere, resulting in an airborne “toxic event” which turns everything upside down.

No Country for Old Men


When they see this title, many readers are apt to think of the film adaptation directed by the famed Coen brothers. While their movie scored best picture at the 2008 Academy Awards; Joel and Ethan owe most of the credit to Cormac McCarthy: the Pulitzer Prize winning author who wrote the original screenplay. When Hollywood producers turned down his original work, McCarthy turned it into a full-length novel, which ultimately made its way onto the big screen. If you enjoyed Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh, you’ll love McCarthy’s novel, which features much more information about the sinister villain.

The Hell that Followed

Scary, gripping and beautiful, this emotionally-moving novel will have your full attention. Not only is it beautifully-written, The Hell that Followed is intense and thought-provoking. One of the best realistic fiction books of 2012, this intense novel is on sale at Amazon.com in five separate parts, each priced 99 cents.

Synopsis: When five local lawmen steal from a powerful drug lord, all hell breaks loose. Now, all must deal with a strange and cold villain or face consequences beyond their reckoning. The reader falls in with each character, as he tries to save himself and his loved ones from what seems like certain death.

Are Realistic Fiction Books Dying Out?

Books

Sadly, it’s a difficult time for readers who like realistic fiction. Nowadays, bookstore shelves are filled with a variety of crazy novels which feature bizarre tales that take place in outlandish settings.

Thanks to books such as Harry Potter and Twilight, which have enjoyed tremendous commercial success, modern authors and publishers are focusing more and more on the fantasy genre. While this is wonderful news to some people; it’s tremendously frustrating for readers who like gripping thrillers which focus on realistic characters and plotlines.

What’s Going On?

Fortunately, there are a few skilled authors who continue to create high-quality, exciting stories featuring plausible plotlines. This list of realistic fiction books at Amazon.com highlights three good examples. Unfortunately, the skimpy nature of the list serves to demonstrate just how few of these novels actually exist.

Fewer and fewer writers are crafting believable novels because of one big reason: these books don’t sell that well. Like any other business, the publishing industry reacts to trends in demand. Modern literary agents and publishers don’t concern themselves with finding the next great writer; they only want authors who are creating books similar to whatever is currently popular. To the dismay of many people, this has resulted in a growing number of poorly-written books featuring bizarre notions such as a former U.S. president hammering stakes into Civil War-era vampires.

The Needs of the Few Ignored

Although a large number of people enjoy novels about magic, space ships, zombies and witches; countless others simply cannot accept such ridiculous premises. To lose themselves in a novel, many readers need to believe that a story could actually happen. This doesn’t just make the characters seem more realistic; it makes the story far more absorbing and intense. Unfortunately, these types of novels are becoming harder to find, thanks to the swelling consumer demand for books which focus on silly notions and ridiculously unrealistic characters.

Funny Facebook Pictures Taking Over

funny-facebook-pictures

Social networking sites are more popular than ever; however, not everyone is using them the way they were intended. Originally, designed to allow users to connect, these websites are now being utilized for a variety of other reasons, including product marketing, political campaigning and more. If you’ve checked your wall lately, you’ve probably seen more than a few funny Facebook pictures peppered throughout. While many appreciate these humorous postings for breaking the monotony of the typical day; for some, they have become a way to creatively market books and other merchandise.

The Viral Impact

Years ago, to effectively market their creative works, artists and humorists had to land a publishing contract or spend big bucks on marketing campaigns aimed at promoting t-shirts, hats and greeting cards. Nowadays, social networks can expose these creations to millions of people in a matter of days or even hours.

Recently, Ryan Lawrence, one of our in-house news feature writers, created WTFtoids Funny Pictures, a Facebook profile intended to market his humorous Kindle book, “WTFtoids.” According to Lawrence, he got the idea from a close friend who saw great success from using social media platforms to expose his work to a larger audience.

“Not that long ago, it wouldn’t have made any sense to post your work on Facebook,” he said. “Without some sort of digital eBook available, users wouldn’t be able to purchase anything; so you would basically be giving away your work for free.”

Thanks to modern digital eReaders, authors such as Lawrence are now able to easily sell their work to consumers throughout the world, while using social media websites to bolster interest.

“A lot of people are tired of seeing ramblings about politics, religion and daily complaints,” Lawrence said. “Everyone has problems, and people would rather see funny Facebook pictures on their walls than read about annoying topics that don’t directly affect their lives.”

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