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Louisiana Lawmaker Pulls Legislation That Would Make The Bible Official State Book

thebibleIt looks like the The King James version of the Bible will not become the official book of the state of Louisiana, at least not yet.

Louisiana representative Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport has pulled his proposal to make the Holy Bible the official state book before the bill was voted on in the state House of Representatives.

Carmody pulled the legislation despite the fact that earlier this month, the legislation passed the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs. The Times-Picayune has the latest:

In introducing the legislation, Carmody always maintained he was not taking steps to establish a state religion, but rather to educate people. Critics have accused him of foisting faith inappropriately into the government sphere. Others thought such a designation would trivialize the Bible and its importance.

Initially, Carmody had just been intending to designate a specific, historic copy of the Bible, which he thought could be found in the Louisiana State Museum, as the official state book. But lawmakers amended Carmody’s legislation two weeks ago to propose making any copy of the “Holy Bible” the official state book.

Tourniquet-Free Knee Surgery Possible With Aquamantys Technology, Says Dr. Kris Lewonowski

With more than 30 years of orthopedic surgical experience, Dr. Kris Lewonowski has observed numerous new innovations in surgical techniques, but few have excited him as much as Aquamantys technology. This system revolutionizes surgeries such as total knee replacements. Read more

With Online Retail on the Rise, E-commerce is Essential, says Jonathan Shokrian

According to a recent study by, 10 percent of all retail sales in the United States will be made online by 2017, and e-retail experts like Jonathan Shokrian, of MeUndies, have taken note.

Shokrian believes that it is crucial for companies to invest in their e-commerce infrastructure because, he says, online marketplaces are the future of retail. He thinks that if companies do not aggressively invest in their e-commerce platform, they will fall far behind.

“Traditional retail is dying, and the emergence of direct to consumer brands is becoming more and more popular everyday,” Jonathan Shokrian says. “New brands are more inclined to launch websites than brick and mortar stores. There’s no denying that.” Read more

Yasmin Malhotra Recommends Five Top Spring Break Travel Destinations Around The World

Avid travelers like Yasmin Malhotra know that spring is one of the best times of the year to visit top destinations around the world. Among students and adults alike, warming weather seems to inspire dreams of sandy beaches and vacation spots.

As it turns out, spring break isn’t just for wild college parties. Plenty of families pack up their beach umbrellas for some time away from the stress of life during this time of year. The right destination for you depends on your goal for your trip. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family experience or just a relaxing break, this list of five top spring break suggestions from Yasmin Malhotra will have what you’re looking for.

Mexico takes the number one spot on the list because it is brimming with activities for every type of person, according to Yasmin Malhotra. Malhotra claims that Mexico is one of her favorite spots to visit because it has so many picturesque beaches and accommodations. Read more

HarperCollins to Publish Beowulf With Tolkein’s Notes

beowulfThe Tolkien Estate has signed a worldwide rights deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien.

This is the first time Tolkein’s notes have been published alongside the work. The author’s son Christopher Tolkien edited the work.

“The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication,” stated  Christopher Tolkien. “This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the writt en form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.”

The book is slated for publication in May.

Last Minute Spring Break Cruise Advice From Holiday Cruise Line

With the wild winter weather this year, many of us have been surprised to glance at the calendar and realize how soon Spring Break starts. Some vacation companies, like Holiday Cruise Line, say that they have vacation packages left to sell, even this late in the season.

This is especially enticing for those who still haven’t finalized their spring vacation plans, since some reports say that cruises are increasingly becoming the vacation of choice across multiple age and lifestyle demographics. Families with children, retirees, newlyweds and recent graduates are all gravitating toward cruises, where the options range from partying, to relaxation, to kid-friendly fun.

Huffington Post recently rated cruises in their top five options for last-minute Spring Break plans. They too cite the weather, pointing out that many families and students have been forced to cancel, postpone or change their plans for this year’s vacations, as snow days have forced school make-up days that are cutting into the usual vacation schedules. Read more

Fruitlands Museum Featured on Kickstarter

fruitThe Fruitlands Museum team hopes to raise $5,000 to create a commemorative book called 100 Objects 100 Stories 100 Years at Fruitlands. In addition to crowdsourcing for funds, the organizers are asking people to share their personal memories of visiting the museum.

Some of those stories will be published in the finished book along with essays by Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia author Richard Francis, English professor Cecilia Macheski, and the museum’s chief curator Dr. Michael Volmar. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“We’re asking the public to pick the most popular 100 objects from a portion of our vast collection of transcendental, Shaker, Native American and American art. You can vote for your favorite objects by going to…The voting and story submissions close at the end of January. The photography of the 100 objects will begin soon after and the stories will be selected and sent to the editor.”

Read more

eBook Discounting Takes Off This Holiday Season

mockingjayOn Cyber Monday Open Road Integrated Media offered eBooks for up to 80 percent off. The publisher is not alone in offering such major discounts on eBooks this holiday season.

Many of the big retailers are offering huge discounts on bestselling eBooks. For instance, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins is currently $6.99 from Kindle, down from the $14.99 eBook list price.

Digital Book World has more: “Authors, publishers and agents are still being paid the same amount for each copy of the book by the retailers, meaning that many of these books are being sold at a loss, the aim likely to accrue market share. While publishers with discounted books are likely moving many copies and shoveling in revenue, they may also be disconcerted with the new perceived value of their wares.”

Joël Dicker Signs Deal with Penguin Books

image003Swiss author Joël Dicker has signed a deal with Penguin Books. The publisher plans to produce a trade paperback edition of Dicker’s international bestselling novel, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

The book has been recognized with with multiple awards in France. Executive editor John Siciliano won the acquisition rights in an auction.

According to the press release, a release date has been scheduled for Summer 2014. The story focuses on “the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old New Hampshire girl and, thirty years later, a young American writer’s determination to clear his mentor’s name—and find the inspiration for his next bestseller.” What do you think?

Go from Manuscript to Published eBook in Three Weeks

Self-Publishing Intensive

In Mediabistro’s Self-Publishing Intensive, kicking off December 5th, aspiring authors will be able to transform their manuscript into a published eBook over the course of the three-week class.

Each week will feature live webcasts led by industry experts including Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, and New York Times bestselling author Melody Anne, among others. Webcast topics include setting up your author platform, pitching and budgeting, and reviewing your manuscript. View all webcast speakers here.

Through the online class portal, students will have the opportunity to participate in discussion forums, ask questions, post comments, and interact with other students. In addition to the weekly live sessions, Self-Publishing Intensive registrants can get individual feedback from class leaders, review archived sessions, and work on small group assignments to help sharpen newly-acquired skills. View the full agenda here.

Become a published eBook author – Register Now!