Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

Woman Reading Book
Woman Reading Book/Image Source: ABC News

So you’ve completed your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While beginning your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is completed, getting your first reviews can’t happen until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publication. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for kids, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s books).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the publications date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still start there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 submissions a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your likelihood of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its publishing date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some controversy about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected publication like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t offer vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast author, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan author, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by kids. They are select age appropriate books, but the kids read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger kids have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of stories, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

A Man Is Suing His Parents For Being Born

In a move that won’t be doing the so-called “snowflake generation” any favors, a 27-year-old man has taken the drastic step of suing his parents. Their crime – having him in the first place.

Raphael Samuel, a businessman based in Mumbai, India, bases the dispute on the belief that it is immoral for a couple to bring a sentient being into the world without asking their permission to do so. His argument stems from a philosophical movement called “anti-natalism”, an outlook that reasons any new human life will inevitably involve pain and suffering, while pleasure (although good) is irrelevant to those who do not or have not existed in the first place.

An anti-natalist ultimately concludes it would have been better not to have been born in the first place.

Or as Samuel put it to BBC News: “My life is good, but I’d rather not be here. You know it’s like there’s a nice room, but I don’t want to be in that room.”

The decision to take his parents to court is to make a point, Samuel says. He knows it’s extremely likely the lawsuit will be thrown out before he has a chance to be heard and he also acknowledges the impossibility of acquiring consent from an as-yet-unconceived being. And yet, he hopes that by pursuing the case, the stunt will raise the profile of anti-natalism. 

“There’s no point to humanity,” he added. “So many people are suffering.”

“If humanity is extinct, Earth and animals would be happier. They’ll certainly be better off. Also no human will then suffer. Human existence is totally pointless.”

At least for now, anti-natalists are in the minority – but elements of anti-natalism are edging into the mainstream. Take, for example, True Detective. Matthew McConaughey’s character, Rust Cohle, could be described as a nihilistic anti-natalist. 

via GIFER

True Detective screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto says he was inspired by a piece by David Benatar, the controversial head of the University of Cape Town’s philosophy department and author of various books and essays on anti-natalism. Benatar’s view: “One of the implications of my argument is that a life filled with good and containing only the most minute quantity of bad – a life of utter bliss adulterated only by the pain of a single pin-prick – is worse than no life at all.”

In The Human Predicament, Benatar lists the pain that goes hand-in-hand with simply being. This includes not just the obvious (sickness and grief, say) but the various discomforts and indignities we all experience on a daily basis, from hunger and thirst to the need to go to the bathroom, waiting in traffic, and feeling too cold or too hot. “The quality of human life is, contrary to what many people think, actually quite appalling,” he concludes.

But if death seems like the way out, think again. Grief and dying bring their own pain – or, as Benatar puts it, “Life is bad, but so is death…Together, they constitute an existential vise”.

To sum up: Life is worth continuing because death is considered “bad”. But that does not mean it is not worth starting in the first place.

As for Samuel and his parents, the good news is that they still appear to be on good terms – despite the looming lawsuit.

“I must admire my son’s temerity to want to take his parents to court knowing both of us are lawyers. And if Raphael could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault,” Kavita Karnad Samuel said in a statement, BBC News reports.

Before adding, “I’m very happy that my son has grown up into a fearless, independent-thinking young man. He is sure to find his path to happiness.”

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/a-man-is-suing-his-parents-for-having-him-heres-why/

50 Singles Admit What Makes Them Lose Interest, Swipe Left, And Leave Dates Early

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50 Singles Admit What Makes Them Lose Interest, Swipe Left, And Leave Dates Early

Here are some relationship dealbreakers from single men and women on Ask Reddit.

1. If they put a whole lot of stock into zodiac signs, it’s a good sign we aren’t going to agree on a lot of things.

Especially if they try to excuse their behavior with it like, “Sorry I was being bitchy, it’s because I’m a Virgo.”

No Linda, you’re just bitchy.

2. Cheating. Being okay with cheating culture, admitting to having cheated before, laughing/egging on friends into cheating.

Some people can give second chances, but I’ve been bitten by too many people to bring myself to trust someone who can cheat. I need a partner who believes as strongly as I do in loyalty and monogamy.

3. People who are not good at a macro level. Like being a loving girlfriend, but leaving a tub of ice cream on a random shelf at the grocery store, because who cares about strangers?

4. When they constantly outdo you. Have a good memory? Theirs is better. Had a shitty day? OH IT DOESN’T EVEN COMPARE TO THEIRS! Like seriously, calm down. Its not a competition.

5. If she’s proud of the fact that she doesn’t read books.

6. Jealousy. Either you trust me or you don’t. If you think I’m gonna get rid of the few friends I have to make you feel better then you’ve got a storm coming.

7. If they don’t take care of themselves. I want a partner and someone who will push me to be a better person, not someone I have to look after.

8. Not being willing to work through conflict quickly. Every couple fights and some issues are legitimate reasons to be upset, but if you refuse to discuss it with your partner, a small fight that should take 15 minutes could turn into a fight that lasts for days. You may not like arguing, but putting it off till tomorrow sometimes makes it much worse.

9. Someone that’s always stressed. Especially the kind of person that says it’s okay to be stressed out, its good for you. It’s really not. I’m a very chill person and sure some things stress me out, but I’m not a stressful person. I will deal with the situation as it arises. I’ve known people that will stress about every tiny thing, like what to eat for Friday, when its Monday. Or, my favorite, “why didn’t you call me, I thought you were dead!”

10. Being close to exes. I am not part of the “it’s super healthy” crowd. I think it’s weird and unnatural.

11. Being a cheap ass. I had a boyfriend who would complain if I got a soda when we went out to eat instead of water, refused to tip anywhere we went, and tried to get free food all the time.

12. Being on the phone 24/7.

I don’t know if my ex still liked me and I honestly was with her for so long that I forgot if she had her phone out during our first dates but that shit got to me which lead to me dumping her.

I fucking hate it. If you want to be on the phone, why are we even trying?

13. If we can’t both talk, and enjoy silence. Like, I should be able to talk to my partner for hours on end without ever feeling like we’re just killing time. And I should be able to sit and read next to them for hours without saying a word and just enjoy their presence. It’s a lot to ask, but when choosing someone to share your life with it pays to be picky.

14. If they have kids that’s fine but if they don’t take care of them that is a deal breaker.

15. Incapable of introspection, which seems to be a bigger problem now than it used to be. Things will turn to shit eventually, and it’s up to you both to pull up your britches and work through it. Most problems can be solved through introspection – but none can without it.

16. Having different political views (which involves many aspects).

17. Only talking about themselves.

18. Using me as a target for anything. Pranks, jokes, bad moods, sarcasm.

I want a lover, not a personal bully.

19. If she is a super picky eater.

Ok, hear me out… I love to cook, and sharing food and recipes is a big part of my family dynamic. Nothing would put me out more if I made a dish and she wouldn’t even try it because there are so many foods she just WON’T eat. I understand if someone has a handful of foods that they really don’t like, and I try to be considerate. Just not like entire aisles worth of food.

20. This wouldn’t have mattered to me at age 20, but it is a dealbreaker from age 30 onward: Being a saver/investor and not spending more than they earn.

It’s okay to have some frivolous purchases, hobbies, or travel expenses, but I don’t want the stress of being with someone who can’t balance those “wants” against the need to save and manage their finances for the future.

21. Anyone who falls back on typical gender stereotypes when they fuck up. Like, if someone acts possessive or overly clingy to a problematic point and says “this is how girls are” or “don’t you know how girls work?”, then I’m not here for that.

I want someone who recognizes their individual responsibility and can own their mistakes, because that’s what I strive to do as I deal with my own issues. Personal accountability is a huge thing I practice in my life and I won’t accept anyone that uses shit like this to excuse mistreatment. I want to be with someone who owns their actions and communicates with me when we have problems.

22. Dirty bathroom or just a dirty house in general. Usually means they don’t care much about personal hygiene either.

23. Bad music taste. Can’t connect without relating through good music.

24. Pretentiousness.

Not only is it a red flag for insecurity, but it also means they are superficially judgmental, and shallow.

25. Someone who only ever points out all the negative things and makes you doubt yourself. You should lift each other up, however that may be (laughs, talks, discussions, challenges…).

26. Lack of ambition whether it be in work or their education. I personally am pretty goal oriented and am aiming to provide for my family in the future so I look towards the future a lot of the time. I like making goals for my life about stuff we’d plan to do in the future as motivation to work hard for each other.

Also if they have double standards. I just wouldn’t like the idea of my partner believing they are allowed to do something but forbid me from wanting to do the same.

Lack of humility or communication. If they can’t apologize, knowing they may have said/done something overtly insensitive when upset it’s not worth getting hurt and sweeping it under the rug. The same goes with communication, if they can’t talk to you properly when upset or aren’t willing to talk about the issue in their relationship it won’t be good for either of you.

27. Too many piercings. I don’t mind a few on the ears, but if you’ve got a nose ring, tongue, lip, eyebrow, nipple or whatever else, not to mention those huge gauge things in the ears… it’s a no for me

28. Always playing devil’s advocate, or taking the counter-point position in every conversation or discussion is absolutely exhausting. Every topic turns into a debate or argument.

29. Lack of empathy, especially towards elderly, children, and those who are clearly suffering.

Also people who don’t like dogs.

30. I don’t want a woman who’s a damsel in distress. A girl who can take care of herself and even watch my back is pretty nice to have in a life or death situation.

31. Posts too much on social media.

32. Someone who lacks any opinion of their own. I went on a date with a guy who seemed to be agreeing with me on absolutely everything. Even when I asked him a question he’d work a way around it to get my answer first and then agree with it. Once I figured out what he was doing I started evading answering any questions until I figured out his opinion and then I would just say I felt differently or preferred something else and suddenly his opinion would immediately change to match mine.

I am in no way someone who enjoys arguments or disagreements. But its okay to have different opinions and preferences. Healthy, even. I can’t imagine being happy with someone who pretends to prefer something just because I do. I’m not sure how that other person could remain happy in a long term relationship.

33. Talk shit behind people backs and then be all nice and fake to their faces.

34. Had a guy tell me “I’m not your therapist” after asking how my day was. If we can’t have clear communication, it’s over. I had an awful day, and I was honest about it, just to have it thrown back in my face. I was so shocked, I thought he was joking… it was two months or so into the relationship. You think you know someone.

35. They have no hobbies.

36. No appreciation for dark humor, and can’t stand cursing.

Sorry but it’s how I cope with the shit I’ve had to deal with and am currently dealing with. I won’t curse around children or good company – I am able to filter myself extremely well but if there’s a mild inconvenience (and I’m allowed to due to no requirement for proper etiquette) I’m probs gonna drop the most unenthused “shitballs” or a “fuckberries” remark to it and just continue on doing w/e

37. Regular smoker or vaper.

Drunk on Friday and want a cigarette cool. But doing it everyday is too much.

38. When a guy tries to control you when you’re barely in the talking stage. Boy bye.

39. Lack of confidence/constant need for validation. I might sound like an ass for this but being confident in who you are and the decisions you make are a huge deal to me. That also ties into the ability to actually make important decisions and not be indecisive about everything. I’m a firefighter and being able to make quick decisions that could have serious consequences is a huge part of my job, so having someone else who can make a quick, confident decision is a big deal.

40. Spoon biter. Like when you put the spoon in your mouth I don’t need to hear it click your teeth.

41. Not being kind to animals.

You don’t have to fawn over every bunny you see or be a militant vegan or anything, but if you find the idea of dog fighting acceptable, or think cats are pests that should be trapped and killed (plenty of people subscribe to this belief in my town), then we’re not going to go far.

42. Poor financial discipline.

If you have a large student loan to pay back and lots of credit card debt, I’m cool with that if you’re actively paying it all if and not buying a ton of junk you don’t need.

43. Condescending – once dated a dude that literally knew everything about anything, it was something that attracted me to him at first, but when we’d talk about stuff if I got something even slightly incorrect or read from a news source he didn’t seem worthy he would be pretty nasty about it and I didn’t want to freely share my thoughts anymore.

44. If they’re really talkative and extremely opinionated about every. little. thing. I’ve dated someone like that and he drove me up the wall every day.

45. Throws things when they’re angry and also not taking responsibility for their wrongdoings.

Especially the anger. Went through a not so good childhood with things being thrown and slammed out of anger. Can’t handle that as an adult.

46. Among more obvious things (child molester, puppy kicker, lack of sense of humor, etc), someone who doesn’t bother helping out their friend, partner, or other loved one when they need it. An example, if I go to the store, carry the groceries in, cook the meal that we both eat, I think it’s fair that a potential partner willingly wash, dry, and put away the damn dishes. The reverse is also true.

47. Sense of humor. If you don’t laugh or make me laugh, why are we even trying?

48. Thankfully, I’ve never had this issue come up, but I don’t think I could ever date a guy with the same name as my dad or brother. It’d be way too weird for me.

49. Bad hygiene.

50. Lack of a normal amount of self-awareness. My friend’s gf will ask/say inappropriate shit at the worst times and peg it as her just being “weird, quirky, and going against mainstream social norms”. Or she’ll say “I’m just an honest person” to justify her saying pretty rude, explicit or dumb things that make everyone uncomfortable. It probably all comes from insecurity and needing to positively flip parts of herself she feels bad about, instead of self-reflecting and realizing it’s ok to fix bad habits, but still.

Image Credit: Artem Bali

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2019/01/50-singles-admit-what-makes-them-lose-interest-swipe-left-and-leave-dates-early

The 6 Biggest Misconceptions About the Bible (and God)

Considering going to the movies this holiday season? You already have preconceptions about many of the films at the theater — and even opinions on the actors and director. And that’s OK. It’s one way we make daily choices, based on past information and experience.

But how many of us pretend to have a “conclusion” about God, based on rumors and reviews? My hunch is that there’s a dullness — based on conscious and subconscious wrong thinking — that keeps people away from the Bible.

Here are six of the biggest misconceptions about the Bible, which form a lasting (and false) impression about God.

  1. Bible Stories Are Disturbingly Violent (Therefore God Is Violent)

Yes, there are violent stories in the Bible. The Old Testament feels like an endless list of casualty records — big battles, and non-stop bloodshed. (Read Joshua and Judges for some stories “Rated R for Intense Violence.”)

What’s the reason for all this death? And the bigger question: Why was God involved in helping the Israelites to wipe out their enemies?

Maybe there’s more to the story.

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Genesis 3:15 is one of the most foundational verses in the Bible. In fact, it sets up the story of the entire Bible. Not only is there a promised Seed — [but] this verse is also a declaration of war.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Within hours of the fall of the first man and woman, the gracious redemption plan was unveiled: The Seed would bring justice — through the family of Adam and Eve.

But it wouldn’t be quick. And it wouldn’t be easy. God takes his time (about 4,000 years) and gives humankind the freedom to fight. God is faithful to protect His promise, and protect The Seed, even if it means confronting those who tried to destroy it.

When you understand the Seed, and the promise of His redemption, the battles of the Bible start to make sense.

What if God is not a bully but is a protector?

  1. The Bible Is Random

Sure, the compilation of books can seem clunky at times — history books followed by poetry books and then an assortment of prophecy books. And our modern Bible is not exactly chronological — that can create challenges, too.

But with a view of the Bible’s big picture, and understanding of the Seed strategy, the Bible becomes less random and more of a thriller. (Or, less Hallmark movie and more action-suspense.)

  1. The Old and New Testaments Don’t Align

Why, all of the sudden, does the killing end (most of it, anyway) as we enter the New Testament? Why the shift in strategy — from [the] destruction of enemies to “turning the other cheek”?

One clear explanation is that The Seed had arrived — finally! — Jesus had fulfilled the role foretold in Genesis Chapter 3.

The reason the Old and New Testaments don’t seem to align is [that] God’s strategy changed.

The Old Testament strategy (Genesis 3:15) was to bring about this promised Seed, at all costs. The New Testament strategy was not to protect the Seed. Rather it was time for the Seed to die!

Christ died, was resurrected to life, and then returned to heaven. The Seed accomplished His mission. There’s no need to fight — not yet.

The Genesis 3:15 strategy progressed to a John 3:16 strategy — sharing a message of hope and life.

  1. Prophecies Are Confusing and Frightening

There’s actually some truth here. The book of Revelation is a bit deep and dreadful and can evoke emotions of fear and confusion.

Revelation speaks to a future season when things will be heating up again. There will be a return to warfare before the final death-blow to the serpent (the promise of Genesis 3:15 will finally be complete).

Revelation also attributes to the seemingly-random nature of the Bible. Why, after the Old Testament, does the earth enter a season of peace and grace, only to be whipsawed right back into judgment?

Consider Revelation as one of three “acts” of the Bible.

There are the Old and New Testaments — and a Future Testament (Revelation).

The New Testament is not a radical shift from the Old Testament, but rather a middle scene, before the final battle which leads to the restoration of all things.

With time and study, Bible readers can learn more about these prophecies. But seeing the Bible’s big picture can help.

  1. I Can’t Read the Bible

We all know the Bible is eleven-billion words and is impossible to read in a lifetime, right? Actually, the Bible is only 783-thousand words — about the length of 10 novels. You can read it in 60 days, in an hour per day.

An audio Bible takes about 75 minutes a day of simple listening. (And the concept of listening to the Bible being read is a scriptural concept. See Deuteronomy 31, Joshua 8, 2 Kings 23, and Nehemiah 8.)

  1. I Can’t Understand the Bible

Bible scholars” sometimes give the impression that it takes eight years of university and 10 years in a cave to comprehend the Bible. Who has time for that?

And if you’ve ever tried a hopscotch 365-day reading plan, Scripture seems even more disjointed. Deep dive studies are important but can make us think we must completely understand every facet of every verse in order to enjoy God’s Word.

You don’t have to know everything to learn many things. So, what’s holding you back?

Don’t Watch the Movie — Read the Book.

When you’ve heard a movie has “senseless violence” or is directed by a “creep,” it’s usually good to steer away from media that doesn’t lift you up. But misconceptions about the Bible can keep you from reading the Bible — which can keep you from seeing the big picture and knowing a powerful, loving God.

So don’t rely on rumors, ratings or trailers to judge the Bible. Don’t rely on my review. Read the Book.

You can read the entire Bible in 60 days, in just an hour per day. My free reading plans and commentary will help you see the beautiful, and stirring, storyline of creation.

Jeff Anderson speaks and writes about walking with God and leading your family into deeply rooted faith. He’s the author of “Plastic Donuts”, “Divine Applause” (Multnomah/Random House) and “Power Read the Bible”www.PowerReadTheBible.com

Read Next On FaithIt
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Read more: https://faithit.com/6-biggest-misconceptions-about-bible-and-god-jeff-anderson/

The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm

The Third Mushroom is a serious yet fantastical story about family, relationships, life, death, science, and so much more. Ellie gets home from school to find that her grandfather, Melvin, has turned into a 14-year-old boy. They start experimenting with jellyfish, and they put together a plan for a science fair project that will blow everyone away. In the process, they learn that it’s okay when life doesn’t quite turn out the way you hope. The author has a conversational writing style that makes the story easy to follow, although sometimes it seems to ramble a little. The science topics are well integrated into the story, and there are so many different concepts covered. The characters are well developed and very believable, including the adults. Ellie is a self-assured, inquisitive, and likable middle schooler, and her relationship with Melvin is especially great to read about. This is a good book for anyone aged 10-14 who likes science, fantasy, and cool experiments. I really liked the book even though I hadn’t read the first one. It’s a fun, interesting, and good story about growing up and also growing older.

Reviewed By: Yessenia – Age 11

All The Laws You Should Know About That Go Into Effect In 2019

2019 will see the enactment of a slew of new laws across the country (in California alone, more than 1,000 will be added to the books). In some states, minimum wages will go up, guns will be harder to obtain, plastic straws will get the boot and hunters will get to wear pink for a change.

Here are some of the noteworthy laws going into effect this year:

Tighter gun restrictions in several states

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last February, thousands of protesters across the nation demanded stricter gun control measures.

In the wake of the shooting massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school last year, California passed several measures to prevent domestic abusers and people with mental illness from obtaining guns. Californians who are involuntarily committed to a mental institution twice in a year, or who are convicted of certain domestic violence offenses, could face a lifetime gun ownership ban.

Under an expanded Oregon law that went into effect on Jan. 1, domestic abuse offenders or people under restraining orders are banned from owning or purchasing a gun. In Illinois, authorities now have the right to seize firearms from people determined to be a danger to themselves or others. A similar “red flag” law will go into effect in New Jersey later this year.  

At least six states — California, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois and Vermont — and the District of Columbia are raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of long guns this year, CNBC reported.

Washington state will also be enforcing several other gun control measures, including enhanced background checks, secure gun storage laws and a requirement for gun purchasers to provide proof they’ve undergone firearm safety training.

New ‘Me Too’ laws

AP
In 2018, the Me Too movement spurred many people to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse — and prompted several states to pass new laws targeting sexual violence.

Several states are taking aim at workplace sexual harassment. California has banned nondisclosure provisions in settlements involving claims of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination based on sex. California employers will also no longer be allowed to compel workers to sign nondisparagement agreements as a condition of employment or in exchange for a raise or bonus.

By the end of 2019, publicly held corporations in the Golden State will also need to have at least one woman on their board of directors. Depending on the size of the board, corporations will need to increase that number to at least two or three female board members by the end of 2021.

In New York, all employees will be required to complete annual sexual harassment prevention training. Larger businesses in Delaware will have to provide such training to their workers, and legislators and their staff in Virginia will need to undergo such training every year.

Minimum wages get a boost 

Though the federal minimum wage has languished at $7.25 since 2009, at least 19 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, will be raising their minimum wages this year. Each will boost its minimum wage to at least $12. Some cities like New York, Seattle and Palo Alto, California, will see their wage floors increase to $15.

So long straws and stirrers!

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Under a new California law, restaurant customers will have to explicitly ask for a plastic straw if they want to use one.

As public awareness mounts of the hazards of plastic waste pollution, cities and states around the country have been targeting a major source of the problem: single-use plastic products like straws and food containers.

A new law in New York City bars restaurants, stores and manufacturers from using most foam products, including takeout containers, cups and packing peanuts.

Eateries in the District of Columbia are now prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws and stirrers. In California, restaurant patrons will need to ask explicitly for a plastic straw if they want to use one. Restaurants can be fined $25 a day for serving beverages with plastic straws that aren’t requested by customers.

Former felons in Florida can head to the voting booth

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In November, Florida voted to approve a ballot measure that enabled more than 1 million former felons to regain their voting rights.

On Jan. 8, Florida will restore the voting rights of all former felons except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. Some 1.4 million possible voters will be added to the rolls — an addition that could have a significant effect on elections in the swing state.

Utah implements strictest DUI law in the country

Utah has lowered its blood alcohol content standard for drunk driving to 0.05 percent — the lowest limit in the country.

Under the new law, a driver who exceeds that limit and causes the death of another person will be charged with criminal homicide, a felony offense.

As CNN notes, all other U.S. states have a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08 percent for noncommercial drivers. Since at least 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing to lower the limit to 0.05 nationwide. 

Pets to get more rights in California

Pets in California will no longer be treated by courts as physical property in divorce cases. Instead, judges can decide who gets custody of the family pet.

Under a separate California law, pet stores will no longer be allowed to sell cats, dogs or rabbits that aren’t from animal shelters or nonprofit rescue groups. That law, which took effect on Jan. 1, also requires that store owners maintain proper documentation of the backgrounds of the dogs, cats and rabbits they sell.

Hawaii legalizes physician-assisted suicide

Hawaii’s new law allowing physician-assisted suicide took effect on Tuesday.

Tobacco targeted in several states

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Some states and cities are taking aim at tobacco products this year.

Smoking will be banned at all New Jersey public beaches and parks starting in July.

In New York City, a new ordinance bans pharmacies from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. And Massachusetts has raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Nonbinary people can list their gender as ‘X’ in NYC

People who identify as neither male nor female can now list their gender as “X” on birth certificates in New York City.

New Jersey requires all residents to have health insurance

A health insurance law in New Jersey that came into effect on Jan. 1 requires residents to maintain coverage or pay a penalty. It’s the second state in the country, after Massachusetts, to enact an individual health insurance mandate.

Vermont is paying remote workers to move there

In an effort to promote economic growth, Vermont has offered to pay some remote workers to relocate to the state.

Qualified applicants can each apply for up to $10,000 in funding. The state has earmarked $500,000 for the initiative, The Associated Press reported.

Hunters in Illinois can wear pink if they want to

Not into the usual “blaze orange”? Hunters in Illinois can now wear equally eye-catching “blaze pink” under a new law.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) said the new shade could be even more effective in helping hunters stand out.

“[In the fall] we’re hunting in trees and in some fields, there are orange leaves. There is orange in the background, so it’s not always easy to see orange,” Rauner said, according to the Illinois News Network. “So we’re adding blaze pink to be one of the colors.”

Ohio kids will soon be required to learn cursive

In an age of text messaging and email, Ohio is attempting to keep the handwriting tradition of cursive alive. A new state law will require students to be able to write in cursive by the end of fifth grade. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-laws-2019-us_us_5c2c195fe4b0407e9085d41f

50 Ways To Deal With Your Loneliness Besides Swiping Through Tinder And Crying Yourself To Sleep

http://bit.ly/2EF135i
Cataloged in Self-Improvement

50 Ways To Deal With Your Loneliness Besides Swiping Through Tinder And Crying Yourself To Sleep

When you find yourself feeling lonely, Ask Reddit can help you cope.

1. I hang out with myself! I go to events alone, I go on little adventures around the city alone, I try to try a new restaurant once or twice a month and get dressed up for the occasion. I’m only 19 years old so it kind of bums me out that I don’t have friends but I’m starting to really like being alone, I think part of being ok with being alone is enjoying your own company.

2. I used to be lonely. But once I learned to forgive and love myself, I decided to get something for my place that I thought was really beautiful, to really liven up my apartment. It was relaxing and gave off a cozy atmosphere. After a while I ended up not only happy with who and where I was in life but I had an apartment that was a joy to come home and walk into. It made being there alone much much much better. I didn’t dread going home alone anymore. I was excited to go home and lay on my beautiful comfy couch and light my wonderfully scented new candles! Stuff like that. Then a boyfriend popped up when I least suspected it. Probably because I’d quit looking for it and gained some confidence.

3. I realize that even if nobody wants to be my friend, I can be my own friend. I learned a lot of cool things about myself through being lonely.

4. You learn to thrive on it. If you’re lonely that means you can do whatever you want whenever you want, so just pick something that interests you and dive into it.

5. I talk to my dogs, as crazy as that sounds. I can’t get out of the house much due to my health so they’re as close to human interaction as I can get.

6. I’m always trying to learn more things. It transforms the discontent of loneliness into the solace of solitude.

7. It only bothers me when I think about it. I know that periods where I’m actually around friends, I feel a lot better, but life isn’t that bad without them around, either. Most of my close friends live away from me, so it’s like stepping into a magical fairytale world for me when they visit for a weekend, or I go out to visit one of them. But I know that’s not how our friendship would feel if we lived in the same city; we get the privilege of this blissful time because it is so scarce. The rest of the time, I often wish I had more people around, but books can help with that. The rest of my time I put into hobbies and things that generally fall under “improving myself”, although I’m not really interested in the general self-improvement fad stuff. I’ve started barbell training (SS) in the past few months and it requires a lot of effort for me both in the gym and out, so I don’t mind if all my free time is spent eating, watching videos on YouTube, and sleeping. The only thing I think about when I wake up and when I go to bed now is how many pounds I can load on my back, crouch down, and get back up with. It doesn’t mean much, ultimately, but I feel good about the progress, and the points have substantially more worth than in video games (one of my other main passtimes).

Basically, think about why you’re “lonely” instead of just “alone”. A lot of it is a matter of perspective. I’m lonely when I’m around people, most of the time. I think what people really want is that contented feeling in their heart, and many people get it from relationships. But not everyone does, and some people do but can also find it elsewhere. I wouldn’t assume that finding people to hang around will improve your loneliness substantially. You may still feel empty and alone even with people around you.

I really think that if you are lonely alone, you will probably be lonely together… this has definitely been the case for me, at the very least. That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t issues that are making you feel worse with people than you should, even if you feel fine alone (don’t assume the inverse). Just because you feel fine alone doesn’t mean you’re not lonely around other people — you could have social issues that make it hard to relate or communicate with other people. Those may require a lot more specific attention to address and I’m definitely not the person to help someone with that.

8. Books. Nothing like good book to take your mind off the loneliness.

9. I remind myself often that I would rather come to terms with my loneliness and learn to enjoy it instead of filling that empty void with another human being.

10. Constantly reminding myself that the only person that the only person that I can always rely on to make myself feel better is myself.

11. I try my best to distract myself by diving into super complex or involved movies, books, tv shows, video games, etc. to take my mind off of it.

When I want somebody to talk to I go on reddit. You can usually find somebody wanting to talk.

12. Focus on hobbies. Take an interest in your future and focus on bettering yourself. I have a small group of friends who are a little far away, but they know I need my space. I embrace the solitude but try to push myself to be social.

13. I never even think about being lonely. I actually really love it. I mean I do see people on occasion and at work but I’m most happy alone. I like to work on myself, listen to music, do my own thing before going out again. There needs to be a balance. It made me very confident being myself and if anything I enjoy socializing even more because I’m myself and not the product of non-stop social drama. I’m calm and patient, I don’t care for he said she said bullshit and people seem attracted by that. I give great advice and people feel less anxious around me. You must find a balance of being alone and social. Too much of either is bad. I can always tell the ones who live for social attention. They are always uncomfortable, anxious and only talk about people instead of ideas. These people are scared to be left alone and it baffles me. Like I said, you have to find a balance that works for you. Avoid either extreme.

14. I try to immerse myself in things that interest me. And I stay in touch with the very few people I do have in my life. It’s bittersweet to think about the past. But that’s life.

15. Social media but don’t follow anyone you actually know in real life. Follow a bunch of uplifting accounts.

16. Watch Netflix, cook yummy things, study, read, basically keep myself occupied rather than moping around.

17. I comfort myself with the notion that in the end, no one can entertain me as well as I can.

18. Sometimes when I get the feels, I remind myself its perfectly fine to feel that way, and its fine to be alone. Then I find something to do, whether I build something like a raised bed for my garden or a doghouse, attempt to draw, go for a jog, play video games, shoot hoops, listen to comedy, watch YouTube, read a book, etc.

Other times, if I can’t fight it off with any of that, I’ll talk to family by text or call or go somewhere with lots of people just to people-watch and feel somewhat connected.

If that doesn’t help, ill get on dating sites and talk to my matches or at least send messages.

19. I try to avoid social media and remember that what people portray on there isn’t always how their life is.

I talk to random strangers on the internet, listen to lots and lots of music, read, laugh at memes, spend hours on reddit, watching tv shows (less nowadays), I try to go to the gym 3 times a week – keep myself in shape and build my confidence.

When uni kicks in I study really really hard and that takes my mind off the loneliness.

Most importantly though, I try not to dwell on it and rather think of all the things I still want to do and learn on my own – like learning more about myself for example or spending time re-learning the drums/piano.

20. Change the perspective. If you start feeling lonely — Flip it and reverse it. Think of the blessings you’ve been given (I’m not religious, just the best wording I can think of). What’s the problem No friends to chill out with? Well, Do you have food to eat? There’s something to be thankful for. No significant other/ spouse? Do you have a roof over your Head and somewhere to sleep? There’s something to be thankful for. No family at the holidays do you have employment? There’s something to be thankful for.

The way I see it, (and this is definitely not in meant to minimize the hardships of others in any way) is that when I’m feeling lonely, it’s because I don’t have bigger problems at the moment, and I am grateful that I don’t.

21. Multiplayer video games help a lot. Get paired with some randos and strike up a conversation. Play well enough and they’ll want to group.

22. ANIME: now you might think this is stupid and I’m just turning you into a weeb but for me, finding out the existence of anime help me a lot. I have friends but none of them are really close to me so we never hang out. Sometime I would feel like I’m being ignored or left out(maybe my fault I don’t know). But when you find something you love that does not need friends to enjoy it, then you’ll no longer feel the loneliness. Sometime you even want to be lonely.

23. Volunteering!

24. Be as busy as possible. Watch twitch streamers to “hangout” with them and chat. Play video games. Do something active. Go mountain biking or hiking.

25. I comfort myself by thinking that I’m not alone in my loneliness, and that I might meet people who are lonely too, and we won’t be lonely together.

26. I tend to clean and turn up some music.

27. I make a conscious effort to do things that make me happy. It’s surprisingly easy to just put it off.

28. Meditate.

29. I just accept it for now. I avoid things that can trigger it too.

30. I realize that Star Wars does such a great job of capturing my imagination that it makes me forget about it as I get absorbed in a new world and problems that are different from my own.

31. I’ve picked up playing D&D with groups online. It really helps. Gives me something social to look forward to at a regular time during the week, and people to talk to about it in between sessions.

32. I got a dog. 11/10 times would recommend a pet.

33. You are never alone if you love yourself.

34. Lots of porn…

35. You handle loneliness with sports, music, sleep, books, games, learning, cooking. You could find meaning in so many things in life, instead you chose to be alone and miserable. Loneliness is a choice.

36. Sometimes when I’m alone I talk to myself. Helps me think a bit better and makes me feel less empty.

37. Dog. Gym. Dog park. Books. More gym. Run. Run with dog. Work 40 hours a week.

When I was single I was reading a book a week. Gym, dog and reading really helps.

38. I work a lot. Try to travel some. Do stuff for other people. LOTS of internet.

39. When one pad starts sinking you jump to another. Make lots of friends and you will never run out of lily pads.

Always go out one day of the week with a friend/friends.

Find a hobby or activity that involves people.

40. If you are talking in terms of being alone, being at peace in your own company is a valuable “skill” to learn. You need to first accept internally that there is nothing wrong with being alone. If you are having trouble connecting with people or socializing and feel lonely because of this, try going on discord or some other voice chat enabled software and practice, get good enough to where you feel confident in face to face.

41. I like being alone. More time for myself. Might be selfish, but I need it at the moment.

42. I worked from 7am to 8pm today. Kept working through my lunch hour, just listened to music and worked on cars. Probably gonna do that tomorrow too. I do that quite a bit. On weekends I buy and work on cars then sell them.

It’s also how I work through stress among other things.

43. I think about how complicated it actually is to hang out with other people. How hard it is to come up with interesting things to say or do or talk about all the time.

That works. All the time.

44. Keep yourself occupied, hobbles, exercise, work if need be.

If in the budget and have the time for it: a cat or dog. Sometimes can help build self worth

45. I got anti depressants, and now its not so bad….i feel better about everything and so the need to fill that hole is no longer there. Honestly, its just not a good time for a girlfriend anyways.

46. I plug my guitar and make some noise!

47. Watch a horror movie before going to sleep. I’m definitely won’t be alone during that time.

48. By messaging friends, but that doesn’t compete with physical presence.

49. I suppose I deal with it by distracting myself with hobbies and whatnot, keep my mind off it, you know?

50. I used to listen to the same podcasts everyday to the point where I felt like I was chatting with my friends. I slept with headphones on, listening to the same shows over and over just so I could hear another voice in the room.

Image Credit: God & Man

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2018/12/50-ways-to-deal-with-your-loneliness-besides-swiping-through-tinder-and-crying-yourself-to-sleep

Barack Obama shared his favorite things from 2018 and you’re gonna miss him even more.

Former president Barack Obama stands in stark contrast to the current president in countless ways. One of the biggest discrepancies between Obama and Trump are their intellectual curiosity and appreciation of culture.

It’s well documented that President Trump refuses to read just about anything, unless it’s written about him. Whereas Obama has always been open about his love of knowledge and often shares what he’s currently reading on social media.

His literary tastes tend to focus on race relations, economics, technology, and current events.

As he has done in previous years, to mark the end of 2018, Obama shared a list of his favorite books, movies, and music of 2018. His choices reveal a preference for art house films and current hip-hop and R&B.

Honestly, he has pretty hip taste for a dad in his mid-50s.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/barack-obama-shared-his-favorite-things-from-2018-and-you-re-gonna-miss-him-even-more

50 Thoughtful Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Procrastinators

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Cataloged in Holidays

50 Thoughtful Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Procrastinators 

If you still haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you should think about buying these last-minute gifts suggested by Ask Reddit.

1. Mason jar + equal parts granulated sugar and veg oil + either a few drops of essential oil OR some lemon zest OR vanilla extract = boutique grade body scrub.

2. Buy tickets online for a upcoming play, dinner & show, concert, game, etc. Print out page of ticket confirmation and put it in a nice Christmas card envelope. It’s an awesome gift because people tend to love it more than clothing or other junk you usually give. And if you’re parents are like mine, they barely take the initiative to go to these type of events themselves or don’t even know about them. Experience > material goods.

3. Run to the grocery store, pick up chocolate morsels, butter, and cream.

Takes about five hours to make 200 chocolate truffles. Easy to make them different flavors as well. (Orange, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Cinnamon Honey are the good with milk chocolate. Peppermint, Khalua, and Matcha are good with dark chocolate. Peppermint and matcha are fantastic with white chocolate.)

4. At least for men, my go-to is always a beard or personal grooming kit. It’s likely something that they wouldn’t buy themselves, and many haven’t felt the exhilaration of a peppermint shampoo. Men deserve a little pampering and self care too!

5. I think mugs make a good last minute gift because they’re available at most stores, pretty cheap for a gift, and will actually be used by the recipient.

6. Socks. High-end, badass, toasty warm (if you live where it gets cold) socks. Smartwool/Darn Tough/etc.. They may “meh” at it early on, but will thank you later. Maybe even very later, but it’ll be appreciated (a lot) eventually.

7. Most people I know don’t have bluetooth hook ups in their car, FM Transmitters are absolutely fantastic, they’re relatively cheap and life changers for folks that like to listen to music while driving, Probably $15 and under.

One of those copper chef/gotham steel type skillets. They’re fantastic, less than $20, endless use.

8. Cookie/brownie mix in a mason jar with instructions on a card and a bow.

Or a visa gift card.

9. Fancy pasta, fancy jarred sauce, nice block of parm cheese, in a serving bowl with a kitchen towel. You can do this as expensively or as cheaply as you want.

I also loved a book called The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee (basically, a woman exploring Chinese food in the USA as well as her own Chinese roots, and the history of fortune cookies… really fascinating). She talks a lot about soy sauce in that book, so I’ve given that book with a bottle of “real” soy sauce many times. I love sharing things I love with other people, so that’s a gift I love to give.

10. Subscription box. Like coffee? Subscription box. Board games? Subscription box. Make up? Subscription box. Ties or socks or yarn or hot sauce or tea or beer or wine or Japanese candy or marvel or harry porter or fitness? Subscription mother-fuckin box.

11. Go to the dollar store and grab some over the hand oven mitts, then head to the grocery store and get cake & brownie mixes, hand write the baking directions on a decorated index card or slip of paper. Personalize each one with a message or somesuch. Bam.

12. If it’s someone you’re fairly close to, print out a photo of the two of you and put it in a frame. It feels thoughtful, but can also be done in less than an hour and is cheap.

13. Depends how well I know them, or if I’ve used the same trick before – but it’s probably a cast iron skillet. Costs $20 for a good one (rhymes with dodge), and I always get thanked for it, like a year later.

14. Aldi.

A million calories of chocolate for about twenty quid.

Enough to distribute to everyone.

15. Here is what I do every year.

I go buy gift certificates for my favorite restaurants, and gift cards from Best Buy. I then put them in Christmas cards with no name on them.

I keep some in the house and some in my car.

If someone gives me a gift, I say “Wait a minute, I have something for you too” and go get the card. I quickly write their name on it and hand it to them.

Its worked out perfectly for me for years. I give everyone that gives me something, and if I end up with extra gift certificates or gift cards, I just use them on myself.

16. I make them an elaborate Christmas card with an etymology of their name. It’s always a hit and has more meaning than a gift card.

17. Good pair of headphones.

18. I make very good gingerbread cookies and decorate them very elaborately, like I’ll draw a portrait of them in frosting or I draw a cartoon character they like. Im pretty good at it.

19. Chia pet. So many varieties. ‘Ironic’ gift for those recipients, awesome gift for the others.

Either way you are a hero!

20. Those soft-ass blankets you find in any store around Christmas time. And then I buy one more for me. Every goddamn year

21. For girls: anything from Anthropologie. They have a great gifts and the quality/craftsmanship is decent. That and they gift wrap beautifully for free! I use this for last minute birthday gifts quite often and it always impresses.

For guy: gift cards or booze. Guys appreciate utility.

22. Nail place… Women will go wild over a free mani-pedi.

23. A bottle of their favorite spirits, or for non-drinkers/kids, a book.

24. BOOKS!

There is a book on literally any topic ever.

Fan of Formula 1? Book.

Fan of Jujitsu? Book.

Like economic news? Book.

Porn? Book.

Lonely? Book.

Want to improve yourself? Book.

And you can get books everywhere. Online, in store, thrift stores, little free libraries, everywhere.

25. Houseplants!

I usually have lots of spiderplant babies and keep a few small pots on hand. Great for all occasions.

26. Those Hickory Farms meat and cheese gift boxes.

27. For a family – Get a tin bucket of gourmet holiday popcorn (caramel / chocolate flavored popcorn) to share.

For a dude – Get a bottle of fancy champagne or other booze like whisky or bourbon.

For anyone younger than 30 – Get an Amazon gift card.

For a kid – Give them a $50 dollar bill. They likely never handle money and if they do, the $50 looks so much better than the $20. Easy way to become the cool uncle.

For a girl – Get them a gift certificate to a local salon, a big blanket, or fun warm socks (not regular socks but those nicer holiday woven socks).

For your mom – Get her an ornament that has sentimental value, or, go to the mall (who does that anymore) and get them to hand paint an ornament on the spot with the family name & year on it.

For your dad – Get him NFL or NBA tickets.

28. Things that are consumable… everyone has way too many junk trinkets just because someone felt they had to buy something.

Ground coffee from a local coffee shop (if you know the person has a grinder, get whole bean, but not everyone does). They usually have fun Christmas flavors this time of year.

A bottle of dry wine or champagne.

Nice candles (go for ones that are soy based and have lids) or liquid hand soap.

29. Who wants lottery tickets?!?!?!

30. If we’re talking non-money gifts you know what’s a great go to? TJ Maxx. They are just a hodgepodge of random stuff and they have bailed me out so much when it comes to gift giving because with all the things they have you are bound to find something for everyone.

31. Home made egg nog, Irish cream, or Kahlúa. Most people will love one of the three, they are easy to make, made by hand, affordable, and our gifts that go away.

32. I’d bake a bunch of stuff or make fancy looking caramel apples. If I give people food, they seem to be satisfied.

33. I’ll do a blanket/candle/bottle of wine/nice beer and fudge,

OR a movie/board game and stop by the dollar store for a shower caddy, fill it with popcorn, movie candies, etc if it’s for a family. Do a caddy and filler per family member.

34. Starbucks gift card. Everyone loves Starbucks.

35. Lego. Lego for the nephew, lego for dad, lego for mom, lego for granny, lego for EVERYONE!

36. Spicery subscription for three months. Print out the confirmation and chuck it in an envelope. I’ve gifted this twice and both recipients said that they never wanted any other present from me – just for that subscription to repeat.

37. If it’s last minute, I tried to go to a clothing store I know they have clothes from. Throughout the year I’ll ask “bro, nice jacket, where’d you get it?” Then I remember their spot and get them a gift card.

Then to cover my ass cause some people are weird about gift cards I say “I saw a _____ while shopping but I couldn’t remember your size/didn’t know what color you’d like/etc.”

38. Magazine subscriptions. The New Yorker. Times Literary Supplement. New Scientist. Private Eye. Done them all.

39. Mom – Candles and epsom salts.

Brother – Steam/eShop card, or go to a second hand store and find a game I think he’d like.

Dad – Itunes Gift Card or some kind of sports paraphernalia.

Girlfriend – something that reminds me of her, or that I think she’d love (last Christmas it was a pair of socks that said ,”I’m a delicate fucking flower”).

40. I buy ten copies of the best book I’ve read all year and wrap em in newspaper.

Proof of success: I do this every year

41. A brick of batteries. Everybody needs batteries, nobody will say no to batteries, and they will think of you when they are in a pinch and realize you got them a BRICK of batteries.

Great practical gift.

42. Throw blankets from the 24-hour drugstore. They’re $15 and nice enough that I use them myself. This is also my go-to for any gift swap at the office/with people I don’t know super well.

43. Pictures! Take a picture of something the receiver will like, or find one you might already have, throw it in a cheap frame and WABANG

44. Go to CVS and get a gift card (they have Amazon, iTunes, random others). Swing buy a restaurant and grab a gift card for that place. Last ditch, don’t have time to get a hard copy of a gift card- just buy one online that you can email.

45. Luxury kitchen stuff.

There’s a great kitchen & dinnerware shop within walking distance of my home. I can get pretty dinnerware, flatware, glasses and linens in a range of styles, and they have durable, high quality cookware for the more practically minded people. It’s my go to gift-shop, because everyone eats.

46. Lava Lamp!

No one has one.

They’re 20$

Oh, and it’s neat.

47. I’d bring them all to a restaurant and pay for their meal-> easy way to make a party and present at the same time without having to worry about what to buy them since they can order themselves what they want

48. Pharmacies always have cheap last minute crap like travel manicure kits and hot sauce samplers.

49. You get a box of chocolate! You get a box of chocolate! And you get a box of chocolate! Everyone gets a box of chocolate!!!

50. Cash, candy, and/or alcohol.

Image Credit: Anthony Tran

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2018/12/50-thoughtful-last-minute-christmas-gifts-for-procrastinators

Butterfly Hill by Brendan le Grange

Book Summary:

A psychopath with mother issues. A policeman with his career on the line. A beautiful agent with unclear allegiances. And an ancient organisation guarding a secret that could get them all killed.

Hiko Shimizu is not a nice man, but he is ingenious. Ingenious enough to find a lost artefact capable of catalysing a revolution in China? Maybe. And that’s close enough to draw the attention of powerful forces that won’t hesitate to kill to keep their secrets safe.

Meanwhile, Matthys Rossouw is in hot pursuit, unaware of the full scale of the danger he faces. Butterfly Hill is the exciting follow-up to Drachen. Set in the hills above Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, it’s another high-stakes game of cat and mouse that races towards an explosive conclusion.

Seven hundred years ago a Dynasty died, how far will people go to keep it dead?

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2L14ELl

Book Viral Reviewed:

It is clear from the start of Brendan Le Grange’s Butterfly Hill that thriller fans are in for a treat. A daringly structured and cleverly executed International Thriller, it would be easy to summarise his latest release with a few commonplace adjectives. High octane, adrenalin-driven and bold, every chapter feels crisp and polished, but there’s nothing extraneous here as Le Grange weaves a plot of genuine intrigue.

This time around the focus is on Matthys Rossouw who remains relentlessly on the trail of Hiko. Overall it’s easy to read, yet highly immersive, as are all the best thrillers, and once again Le Grange brings us a host of cleverly imagined characters underpinned by an authenticity that eludes many of his contemporaries. With a visual quality to his writing, Elaine, in particular, stands out but when death throws an ever-looming shadow over events she is also the catalyst for a twist that sees an unexpected alliance formed. Add to this a narrative flow that’s natural and involving and all in all there’s more than enough here to sate the most voracious of Thriller Genre appetites.

http://www.bookviral.com/butterfly-hill-a-matthys-ross/4594484617

Author Bio:

Brendan le Grange lives in Hong Kong with his beautiful wife and daughters, writing high-paced action thrillers when his day job allows. Luckily, that day job also allows him to travel to the exotic locales in which his books are set.