Archive for December, 2013

Guest Author: Annie Kagan: On The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Guest Author:Annie Kagan

annie kaganWhen you meet someone new, one of the first questions they often ask is—“What do you do?”

After saying “I’ve just had my first book published,” the next question is—“so, what’s it about?”

Even though I’ve been through this scenario dozens of times, I still get a flock of wild butterflies in my stomach. The reason is that my book is not what you’d call ordinary. It isn’t a novel or a self-help book; The Afterlife of Billy Fingers is a true story, a thriller, about life’s biggest mystery — what happens after we die. And although being alive myself obviously doesn’t qualify me as an expert on that subject, I do have an extraordinary story to tell.

A few weeks after my brother Billy died unexpectedly, I was awakened at dawn by his unmistakable deep mellow voice calling my name. “Annie, Annie it’s me. It’s Billy.

At first I thought I was dreaming. But when Billy instructed me to “Get up and get the red notebook,” I knew I was awake.

I got out of bed, searched my closets, and found the red notebook Billy had given me as a birthday gift the year before his death. I never imagined it would become a book detailing my dead brother’s journey through the afterlife.

As Billy began speaking again, I grabbed a pen and began writing. “Right now I’m drifting weightlessly through space with these gorgeous stars and moons and galaxies twinkling all around me. The whole atmosphere is filled with a soothing hum, like hundreds of thousands of voices are singinThe afterlifeg to me but they’re so far away I can just barely hear them. And although I can’t exactly say anyone was here to greet me, I feel a Divine Presence, a kind, loving, beneficent presence, and really, that’s enough.”

Although Billy’s first visit lasted only about fifteen minutes, the love and bliss he was experiencing in his new dimension somehow flowed into me. Instead of feeling distraught about his death, I felt serene.

When the visit was over, I also felt skeptical.  I was completely unprepared to accept the fact that someone was speaking to me from another dimension. Had I gone a little crazy? Was my brother’s voice a delusion to help me feel better about his death?

Billy knew I had doubts and on his next visit he promised to give me evidence that he was not simply a figment of my imagination. So, as Billy describes the world beyond this one and dispels many myths about what lies ahead on the “other side.” he offers me profound proof in ways I cannot deny.

In a sense, I didn’t choose to write this book; it chose me. The butterflies that show up when I tell my story are a small price to pay.

Annie Kagan Bio

Annie Kagan is a singer/songwriter who had a chiropractic practice in Manhattan for many years. Kagan gave up her medical practice, returned to songwriting and began collaborating with award winning producer Brian Keane. While writing her first novel, her brother Billy died unexpectedly and began speaking to her from the afterlife. Annie now shares Billy’s wisdom, humor and detailed description of the bliss and wonder to come in the next life in her debut book, The Afterlife of Billy Fingers; How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved To Me There’s Life After Death.

Visit her at or and download a free chapter.

Best Books to Give This Christmas

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

As the Christmas is just around the corner, we have compiled here a list of some fabulous and fascinating titles you can give as gift on this holiday season. You may pick one or more titles from the list as it contains books from all genres that some people will appreciate as they read in the New Year. So, make 2014 a year of inspiring and engaging study for someone by giving thoughtful and worthwhile books.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

The Yellow Birds

Published in 2012 by Little, Brown, The Yellow Birds is a perfect gift for anyone who loves history, politics or war writing. Kevin has conjured a poignant and devastating tale of war’s deep impact on the individuals. Written with profound emotional insight, this is an enormously powerful debut novel from an Iraq War veteran. A perfect amalgamation of love, courage and extraordinary human survival, this book is already being hailed as a modern classic.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Anyone, who love thriller must like reading Gillian’s amazing novel. It is an utterly gripping thriller about a wife who disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary. And her husband Nick Dunne comes under police scrutiny as the prime suspect. The novel is told from alternating viewpoints — the wife’s diary and the husband who searches for his wife. With this book, you may give the present of a page-turning abduction mystery this Christmas. 

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

Curl up in front of a warm fire with this captivating and impressive story of 19th-century New Zealand. Set amongst the New Zealand gold fields in the 1866, this meticulously constructed mystery opens with Walter Moody who stumbles across a group of ten people discussing a series of unsolved crimes. Canada-born author, Eleanor Catton, has proved with this wonderfully vivid book that she really deserves the Man Booker Prize.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Fangirl is neither thrilling nor drama ridden, just exquisitely and cleverly plotted tale by Rainbow Rowell. It revolves around Cath, the protagonist of the story, and her freshman year of college away from her father and twin sister. Unlike other YA novels, it is not a story just about romance but it is a tale that looks at family and the complex relationships between kids, parents and siblings. A coming-of-age tale with convincing starting, middle, and end, this is a refreshing pick for anyone who is looking for a light read this holiday.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The ocean at the end of the lane

Anyone who is wishing to give the gift of emotion this Christmas, this book may be the best choice. As it is Gaiman’s first new novel for adults, but it will feel as though your childhood is reading it as well. This is an enchanting and well-written story of growing up, sacrifice with enough dream and emotion to attract readers of all tastes. 

The Fields by Kevin Maher

The Fields

Some books managed to capture the Christmas spirit without actually being about Christmas and Kevin Maher’s debut novel is one of them. The Fields is an entertaining, often hilarious, touching and coming-of-age-story by an amazing new voice. Filled with pin-sharp period detail, this Irish novel is funny and heart-warming. Convincingly portraying the uncertainty and trouble of being a teenage boy, this is a book that readers won’t want to put down.

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Limited Chat Support Hours for Next 3 Weeks

Friday, December 20th, 2013

To reply to each and every ticket within 24 working hours during this Christmas and New Year week, we would be offering very limited Chat Support.

Instead of our regular 24 x7 Chat Support, it may remain available only for 10 Hours/Day till January 15th. Chat Support may remain completely off on weekends.

We request, and users to send your queries at , or respectively.

We sincerely thank you for your complete support and cooperation.

Mad Women: Behind the Scenes of the Sexy, Sexist Sixties

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Guest Author: Jane Maas

Jane Maas new I wrote Mad Women to tell the real story of what it was like to be a woman in advertising in the 1960s – - the era of television’s Mad Men. That show gets a lot of the details right, but it gets a lot wrong, too.

My book has been getting enormous attention in the media, chiefly because Mad Men has stirred up such curiosity. Over and over again, I get three questions. Were women all treated like second-class citizens? Did we actually have three-martini lunches every day? And then the questioner leans forward and asks, in hushed tones: was there really all that much sex in the office?

The answer to all three questions is unequivocally YES.

Most of the women working in advertising in the 1960s were secretaries. There were a few women copywriters, but we were limited to categories considered “appropriate” for us, like detergents and baby foods and toilet bowl cleaners. The men who ran the advertising agencies and the men who ran the client companies never let us write automobile advertising, because they thought we didn’t know how to drive. They didn’t allow us anywhere near financial advertising; we didn’t know how to balance a checkbook. Write about liquor? Oh, no! Liquor was what they used to seduce us, so clearly we didn’t understand that, either.

Strangely enough, we were pathetically grateful to be allowed into this man’s world. So grateful, in fact, that we accepted making about half the salary of the man in the next office- – and working longer and harder, too.Mad Women

How about the three-martini lunch? Yes, lots of men went out to lunch every single day, and lots of them drank two or three martinis. Then they came back to the office and napped for a while on their office couches. Women didn’t go out for lunch: we couldn’t afford it. And somebody had to be in the office and alert in case a client called with a crisis.

There’s one thing Mad Men gets all wrong, and that’s drinking in the office in the morning. There are constantly scenes in that show of men coming in at ten a.m. and pouring themselves a shot from the handy bottle out on the table. I never saw that happen even once in all my years in advertising.

Finally, sex in the office. It wasn’t just the advertising business, for sure; sex was in the air, sex was everywhere. First of all, the birth control pill had just come on the market, freeing women to have sex without the threat of pregnancy. (Remember, in that era abortions were illegal, expensive, and terribly dangerous.) It was also an era of revolution: Viet Nam, flag burning, “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” hippies and Flower Power, protest marches and protest songs. Women wanted to have as much right to sexual activity as men did.

The Mad Men era of the sixties. Sexist. Sexy. WONDERFUL!

About Author:
Jane Maas has been a Creative Director at two New York advertising agencies, and served as president of another. She is also the author of her best-selling biography, “Adventures of an Advertising Woman” and co-author of the classic “How To Advertise,” which has been translated into 17 languages. Her newest book and first work of fiction, “The Christmas Angel,” was published in November.

Celebrating Jane Austen’s 238th Birth Anniversary

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Today is 238th birth anniversary of Jane Austen, one of the most celebrated and widely read authors of English literature. Born on December 16, 1775, Austen was the seventh of the eight children of the rector of Steventor, Hampshire. She Jane Austenlived her entire life as a part of a supportive family that let her to learn the custom and the lifestyle of the middle class, upper class and the gentry. At a very early age she started writing stories, sketches and satires of the most acclaimed novels for her family’s entertainment.

Though the realm of Austen’s works was as circumscribed as her life, her biting irony, social commentary and keen observation made her equal of one of a handful of authors who have found enduring fame with both popular and academic readers. She was known for addressing the issues of class-consciousness and gender politics through her well-plotted characters and storyline. On her birthday, let’ remember this legendary soul through the works of literature. Here we have compiled the most popular major and minor works of Jane Austen, dating from her early life to the last incomplete works of her later years.  

She earned a huge fame as a published writer with her four major works:

Sense and Sensibility (1811):

Sense and SensibilityThough Sense and Sensibility was not the first novel written by Jane Austen, it was the first published novel in 1811 under the pseudonym “A Lady”. Set in the Southwest England, this novel revolves around the dreams, love, romance, desires and deeds of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne.  


Pride and Prejudice (1813):

Pride and Prejudice

Sold more than 20 Million copies all over the world to date, this is one of the most popular published works in English literature. A romantic novel set in the early 1800′s, Pride and Prejudice was initially entitled “First Impressions.” This much admired love story centers on the main protagonist Elizabeth Bennet who deals with the issues of family, education, women, class-distinctions, manners, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England.

Mansfield Park (1814):  

Mansfield Park

Written at Chawton Cottage between 1812 and 1814, Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound. After undergoing several revisions and corrections, the novel was finally published in May 1814 by Thomas Egerton.

Emma (1816):


A well written and an enormously funny Jane Austen’s novel Emma explores the concerns and intricacies of well-intentioned women living in 19th-century English village. Her finely drawn personalities along with a lively comedy of provincial manners make this one of Jane Austen’s finest novels.


These two additional novels were published posthumously in 1818:

Northanger Abbey (1817):


One of Jane Austen’s earliest novels, Northanger Abbey was brought out posthumously in late 1818. Of all her highly acclaimed novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. The novel concerns over the matters of courtship and marriage. Throughout the novel, Austen elaborates the economic importance of marriage: in 18th century England, fortunes were built through family alliances.

Persuasion (1818):


Published in 1818, this is the last finished novel by Jane Austen. Set partly in Bath, a fashionable city with which the author was well acquainted, this novel chronicles the story of the Austen’s most appealing heroine Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth and their meeting after years of separation; Anne declined the proposal of Captain in order to satisfy familial and social duties.

Minor Works:

The Watsons (1803, 1805):

The Watsons

The Watsons is an uncompleted novel by Jane Austen. Jane started penning down this novel circa 1803 and probably stopped writing it after her father’s death in January 1805. Austen’s niece, Catherine Hubback completed this untitled and unfinished manuscript in the mid 19th century. Catherine gave the title Younger sister to this approximately 18000 words long novel.

Sanditon (1817):


Austen began writing this book on the 17th January 1817 and abandoned it on 18th March 1817. This is the last unfinished novel by Jane Austen set in a newly established seaside resort, offers a wonderful cast of speculators, and presents an author considering the great social commotions of the industrial revolution with a blend of skepticism and delight. The original title of the manuscript was “The Brothers” likely after the Parker brothers in the story. Later, after the death of Jane Austen, her family renamed it “Sanditon”. The original manuscript includes only the first eleven chapters of the story.

Unfinished works:

Lady Susan (1794, 1805):

Lady Susan

Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel by Jane Austen depicts the behavior of the main protagonist- the widowed Lady Susan- who engages in affairs and seeks a new suitable husband for herself, and one for her younger daughter. This novel was possibly written in 1794 but the author never submitted it for publication.

Happy 238th Birthday, Jane Austen! On this special day we remember one of the most beloved writers of all time with all our heartwarming wishes.


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