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Bath salts—zombie catalyst or fictional scapegoat?

June 29, 2012 in Apocalypse World, Urban Fantasy

Source: storiesbywilliams.files.wordpress.com

The Miami zombie attack last month incited hysteria across the nation. It was like a scene out of one of the most graphic horror films or post apocalyptic books when causeway attacker Rudy Eugene chewed the face off of a homeless man. It took the police six gunshots to kill Eugene and out an end to the gruesome18-minute attack.

The bizarre details of the ghoulish assault prompted speculation that Eugene was under the influence of “bath salts,” which have prompted other psychotic attacks and incidents nationwide. The attacker stripped off his clothes and commenced the attack in plain view on a sidewalk. When a policeman arrived and told him to stop, the unfazed attacked continued to chew chunks off the victim’s face. He was like a villain in paranormal romance books, semi-impervious to bullets and immune to rhyme or reason.

All around the country, rumors flew and the internet was abuzz with rumblings of an imminent apocalypse. Many hypothesized that bath salts, which are touted as the “new LSD,” could bring about a modern day plague, creating human zombies boasting superhuman strength. Clearly, this man-made, synthetic substance turns abusers into violent, raving maniacs with a propensity to get naked.

Yet medical examiner reports released this week indicated that Eugene had only pot in his system. Tests for a number of street drugs, including bath salts, oxycodone, cocaine, heroin, PCP and amphetamines, were conducted, but they all came up negative. Marijuana has typically been known to be a “peaceful” drug, if you can even call a plant a drug, so what could have sparked this gory assault?

The mysterious toxicology findings are increasing speculation that the zombie apocalypse is coming. The attacker possessed inhuman characteristics, branding him and others like him as dangerous as the omnipotent vampires in paranormal romance books, the evil shape shifters in werewolf movies and the zombies in post apocalyptic books and films.

If hard drugs were not the cause of this brutal assault, then what could have happened? Now that bath salts are ruled out, people can only guess what could have caused such maniacal behavior. And how could he continue the attack after being shot several times?

Eugene’s girlfriend is convinced that his actions were the result of some supernatural affliction. She said he rummaged through closets and acted odd before leaving their apartment holding his Bible. Later that day, he was reportedly seen walking down the road naked and hanging off light posts. His torn Bible pages were found strewn along the causeway. While this type of behavior may be normal in urban fantasy books or psychedelic films, it’s unacceptable and frightening in the real world.

Hopefully, there will be no more similar incidents pointing to the imminence of an apocalypse. This may have been a one-off situation to which we’ll never know the cause. At the very least, it’s opened our eyes to the possibilities we never wanted to look at, let alone face.

The appeal of paranormal romance books

June 14, 2012 in Paranormal Romance Books

Source: sodahead.com

Even though many people thought that paranormal romance books were over, writers are still writing it, publishers are still buying it, and readers are still buying it by the barrel.  Even when the story is trite, the allure of werewolves, witches, vampires and fallen angels continues to hold strong. While dystopia and post apocalyptic books are also surging in popularity, paranormal still maintains its hold on YA readers. Who knew that witchcraft, magic and wizardry were here to stay?

My theory is that readers love two things—challenges to overcome and the opportunity to escape.

Young adult fantasy novels have always captivated readers, especially when there is love involved. Watching two lovers obliterate the obstacles that stand before the consummation of their love gives even the loneliest fan hope. Watching two lovers teeter on the edge of a romantic apocalypse and end up in happily ever after land allows readers to suspend disbelief and embrace their own personal dreams. The right conflict makes for the best plot—the more problems that stand between lovers in everything from adventure romance novels to post apocalyptic books make for the juiciest possible plot and ending.

The thing that works so well with paranormal romance books is the element of fantasy. The character traits unique to a supernatural character make for both their appeal and their power to overcome even the most monumental obstacles. They can transcend distance, eliminate rivals or threats, and read the minds of all parties involved. Lovers can come from different cultures or even enemy species—humans and vampires, angels and werewolves, witches and clergymen—anyone can fall in love. The possibilities are endless, as are the potential for conflict and people, places and things that may stand in the way.

Young adult fantasy novels give readers the chance for an escape, one where you may even learn a lesson disguised in the story, sandwiched between the text and subtext. Escapism is expedited, augmented and elevated, making for the ultimate vacation from reality.

The element of fantasy coupled with paranormal romance offers that escape, saturated in blissful hope. Who could ask for anything better?

 

Adventure romance novels can help you find a mate

May 11, 2012 in Adventure romance tips

Source: longnightsilentcries.blogspot.com

I know about the surge of popularity in dystopia right now. Heard all about it, read all about it—it’s everywhere. Yet while many Pearls bury their noses in post apocalyptic books, they could be reading something that could actually help them with their plight. Yes, dystopia is something we can all relate to, but if you really need an escape, you may as well have it be through something that can help you as well. It’s all about multitasking in this apocalypse world!

So put down the apocalypse world novels and focus on the task at hand—finding a mate. If you truly find it necessary to partake in the primitive act of reading, then pick up something you can get insight and tips from: adventure romance novels!

Yes, adventure romance novels can be silly, but you can learn about the push and pull that so many relationships endure before taking the big step of commitment. You can see how a romantic hero woos his heroine, and how she holds out a little and doesn’t give him the whole package all at once. Reading these types of books can allow you to see patterns that occur and what to expect when you think you’ve found the one.

The difference is, this is the one who may save your life. It’s more important than anything else right now.

When I was younger, I used to love post apocalyptic books, but now I realize it’s just because I could relate to the settings and worlds they took place in. Plus, I appreciated the plight of the protagonists. But since I already live in an apocalypse world, I’m not really going to learn anything from those types of novels. I soon realized that if I wanted to learn about relationships and how to catch myself a mate, I needed to pick up a few series of adventure romance novels so I could see how this mating thing was done. While they can be really sappy and unrealistic in some ways, they also taught me how to behave if I wanted certain reactions, and more importantly, how to attract others and be an appealing mate.

Once I put down the apocalypse world novels and urban fantasy books and picked up the ones about romance, I became a male magnet. Luckily, I’m a Coal, but I still truly believe that people of all races and classes can benefit from reading about romance, even Pearls. Plus, it’s a much more optimistic form of literature—while I love the darkness of apocalyptic books and most urban fantasy books, reading about love and happily ever after gave me a little bit of hope and an actual escape from the evil world ours evolved into after the Heat came. I truly think it made me a more positive and confident person, which in turn, helped me get where I am today—MATED!

Obsessed with zombie films and post apocalyptic books

April 5, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

It seems like every decade we re-popularize the trend in zombies movies and post apocalyptic books. There’s something people seem to love about the end of the world and watching zombies roam deserted cities, searching for brains and wreaking havoc along the way. They annihilate most of the human race, destroy civilizations and cause a romantic apocalypse everywhere they turn. And we love them.

What is it about ugly creatures and the end of the world that has us so fascinated? The popularity of post apocalyptic books dates back hundreds of years, based on scenarios that include aliens, natural disasters, and of course, zombies or demons. Once the film industry began, it was a no-brainer—no pun intended—that movies of the genre would enjoy success. Even in present day, as outrageous as it may seem to rational members of society, urban fantasy books and films based on zombie apocalypses and takeovers are bestsellers and box office winners. Just look at Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead, as well as one of television’s most popular series, The Walking Dead. There’s no denying it—zombies have a corner on the market. The same goes for dystopian novels; The Hunger Games and Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls Part One) are two perfect examples.

Maybe it’s the fact that people enjoy the idea of a little guiltless killing—if a member of the undead is trying to eat you and your loved ones, what other choice do you have? Or if the idea of an apocalypse world is like a land of urban fantasy books to you, where you can run free through deserted stores, looting and pilfering as you go, then perhaps these books and movies give your imagination an outlet to play in.

Another reason for the popularity of post apocalyptic books and the zombie film could be that people enjoy watching or reading about characters facing horrific circumstances and seeing their transformation. A once mousy introvert or big geek could become a zombie assassin, slaughtering the undead with utter nonchalance and newfound skill. It’s a fascinating character arc, isn’t it?

Maybe, just maybe, these art forms offer their audiences a sense of hope. They grow attached to their main characters and get to watch them fall in love, and in some cases, avoid the romantic apocalypse, living happily ever after in a dystopian society.

I have a theory that fans tend to experience a catharsis of contemplating simpler “life” forms—or undead forms. An apocalypse world filled with zombies is simpler and more succinct. When there are violent undead creatures chasing after you, lusting after your brains and causing destruction everywhere, it makes you realize that your real life is just not as bad as you originally thought. Zombies are ultimately driven by the same things we are—a will to survive. When you strip us of all our material possessions and good looks, obliterate our resources and motivate us by destroying life as we know it, we could very well be walking in a zombie’s shoes. So that’s my idea—zombie films and post apocalyptic books remind us to stay present and make the most of our lives. Therapy in an undead form!

Source: Thedeadfuture.com

Apocalypse world strategies—A history of zombies

January 27, 2012 in Apocalypse World

No matter how many documents the Uni-Gov issues or which experts proclaim that no, the world is not going to end in 2012, there are still hordes of hysterical people setting themselves up for the worst. Apocalypse kits are flying off the shelves, people are stockpiling months worth of canned goods, and thousands of underground shelters are under construction. As if the Pearls have nothing else to worry about! Yet here we are, forced to answer the thousands of emails we receive asking—no, begging—for advice for surviving the apocalypse world.

The most prevalent state of emergency we’re hearing about is right out of a fantasy and adventure novel or script—the ever dreaded zombie apocalypse. Perhaps it’s the popularity of The Walking Dead and zombie movies that has incited this ridiculous trend. Those of us who spend our days and nights working to save the pearls are a lot more worried about the prospect of another Meltdown or getting a visit from the Uni-Gov—that’s when you know it’s really over. Regardless, after surviving the Great Meltdown, we’ve learned a thing or two about the undead.

A good way to learn about zombies is to watch a few of the hundreds of zombie films that exist and read some young adult fantasy novels from the genre, as the writers and filmmakers most likely did some research to set their stories up right. A few suggestions would be to watch classics like The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Night of the Living Dead, as well as some more recent movies like 28 Days Later, The Convent, The Crazies and Zombieland. These flicks will give you myriad ideas for how to outsmart the undead in case of an attack.

Where do zombies come from? The word zombie comes from ancient voodoo and folklore origins, in reference to a human corpse that reanimates to achieve certain purposes. While the ancient meaning most likely was meant in the same respect as the loa, or voodoo spirits, the modern day meaning hints to undead creatures of the night who roam an apocalypse world with the sole purpose of torturing humans in an attempt to satiate an undying appetite.

The myths behind how zombies came to exist are diverse—and frankly, they’re pretty good fodder for young adult fantasy novels. Yet many people still believe that the undead are the result of an infectious virus that is contracted either by getting bitten by a zombie, exchanging bodily fluids or simply by making contact. There’s even a school of thought that implies that an airborne disease could cause zombification, as well as another that suggests that people can be cursed into zombiedom.

Fantasy and adventure books and films have elevated zombies to iconic status in pop culture. This popularity gives credence to the concept that an apocalypse world actually could be on the horizon—zombies would take over the world, eating every living human and creature that crosses their path, learn to drive cars and fly airplane, and possibly even reproduce.

As a country that thrives on pop culture, we’ve embraced these dark fears with unbridled enthusiasm. Instead of working to save the pearls and themselves from a romantic apocalypse, the unmated attend zombie walks and prepare for National Zombie Day. One can only hope that these same people will put down the young adult books, turn off the fantasy and adventure movies, and get real. In the meantime, it may be time to start selling apocalypse kits.

Source: Lageeks.com

 

Apocalypse world rumors—don’t believe the hype

January 26, 2012 in Apocalypse World, Urban Fantasy

As everyone from NASA to George Lucas have issued statements striving to debunk the rumors of an impending apocalypse world, people are still flocking to buy “apocalypse kits,” setting up old school bomb shelters in their basements and stockpiling enough groceries to last six months. It’s an urban fantasy gone awry—and there are a slew of con artists who are exploiting the hype to the fullest.

As sales of young adult books with post apocalyptic themes top the best seller lists, the people reading them must be letting their imaginations get carried away. There’s a flurry of females signing up for combat classes, buying guns and learning extreme survival skills that will probably never be put to use. The only good thing coming out of this is that more and more people are singing up on the Save the Pearls website and joining the campaign.

The 2012 apocalypse rumor is not the first of its kind—not by a long shot. Predictions of an apocalypse world have been rampant since the beginning of time. Everyone from the Greeks and Romans to Native Americans and Nostradamus has created their own brand of mythical rapture. Whether it’s prompted by a full moon eclipse or an earthquake followed by a Tsunami, some religious sect or post modern cultural group has a theory about the destruction of our world as we know it. Yet if you look back through history, it seems that cultures around the world have already experienced some form of their own apocalypse—whether through a holocaust, war or natural disaster—and these same cultures still exist.

Two of the most referenced documents that instill hysteria among the masses are the Mayan Calendar and the Book of Revelations. It seems just as realistic to believe the stories in dystopian novels and other young adult books! While the Mayans never actually predicted that 2012 meant the onset of an apocalypse world (it merely marked the end of the Mayan calendar), the Book of Revelations offers a pretty harrowing account of our future. Only a religion based on fear would offer such fodder for creating hysteria. Switch it out with an urban fantasy novel with dystopian themes and you’d have the same effect.

If only these same believers would put that energy towards helping to save the pearls!

Source: appadvice.com

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by eden

Romantic apocalypse… a beautiful mess

January 25, 2012 in Eden's Posts

There’s a bit of ecstasy in a romantic apocalypse —I really believe this. It’s so easy to get addicted to the tug of war and the push and pull of the love that cannot be or the one you can’t find. No matter what the reason behind it, there’s something about it that you just can’t let go of. I guess it must be like heroin to a junky—you know that hit may possibly kill you, but you can’t do without it. You don’t want to do without it.

Weren’t some of the most famous fantasy romance novels Romeo and Juliet and Gone With the Wind? Wasn’t Casablanca one of the most popular movies of all time? Everyone loves to watch the despair between two people whose love is out of their hands, yet so consuming and gut wrenching that they will endure anything to be with that other person. Even death. Yes, it’s very much an addiction, possibly worse than any drug—because you can feel everything no matter how addicted you are to this kind of tumultuous love. You feel the pain and the uncertainty with every waking breath—sometimes even in your sleep. It sneaks into your dreams like an evil demon that chases you and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get away.

There’s a reason why some call it an adventure romance. It’s not about two people going on some fun adventure together, hiking through some new mountain or sailing off on a booze cruise. It’s the twists and turns they have to endure to be together, the uncertainty and permanent state of limbo. The adrenaline rush of knowing you’re about to see the love of your life—and the not knowing if it will be the last time you ever see them.

When I originally started my campaign to save the pearls, I was dead set against finding a mate. I didn’t want an adventure romance, didn’t believe it really existed. I thought it was like an iconic screen star of the past—the epitome of glamour and perfection, bringing each scene to life effortlessly and without doubt. Something to think about when you look at how much the world has changed.

Now here I am, possibly on the brink of my own romantic apocalypse. Jamal says we’re going to mate, but he’s yet to set a date. He keeps pushing it off, but my time is running out. I should be working on finding another mate with my limited free time. Instead, I’m trying to save the pearls and reading fantasy romance novels, searching for some key to unlocking the success of my own. In the meantime, I’m getting more and more attached to the painfully delicious ups and downs of this feeling. It’s like a rollercoaster I never want to get off of.

Will I or won’t I survive my own romantic apocalypse? I suspect that I may need to get off the rollercoaster if I want to live past my 18th birthday. Yet if I somehow do, whether Jamal finally lives up to his word, I find another or my father’s experiment works, will I be destined to a life filled with the horrific ecstasy that is connected to this kind of relationship? It’s hard to figure out which is better.

Source: Blogs.discovery.com

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by eden

Resolutions— Keeping the Fantasy Romance Alive

December 30, 2011 in Eden's Posts

I’m working on my resolutions, even though 2012 could be my last year here, since I’m a lowly, coming-of-age Pearl. I’ve got two sets of resolutions: the first is focused on keeping my fantasy romance alive—because if I don’t, I’m history.

Become a better listener. Sometimes your mate needs you to just be there and listen, so I’m going to focus on doing that, instead of always trying to come up with a solution. I’ve got enough on my plate with the Save the Pearls campaign, working on my young adult fantasy novels and preparing for 2012—I just need to be there to listen, not solve everything.

Make time for dates. I’m going to come up with new things we can try to do together and make sure that we squeeze one-on-one time in whenever we can get away with it. I’m going to keep the fantasy romance alive by treating every time like it’s a first date—I’ll get dressed up and make sure my Midnight Luster is applied perfectly, make my room looks nice and not talk about the romantic apocalypse with him anymore!

Get myself together. I’m going to get in the best shape possible, which will help me prepare for the instance of an apocalypse world as well. My plan is to study hand-to-hand combat so that I can be as strong as the heroines of all my favorite young adult fantasy novels.

Be appreciative.
Instead of worrying about what I think Jamal’s doing wrong or what he isn’t doing, I plan to show my appreciation for what he does do. I’m going to make sure that I don’t complain and instead give lots of compliments.

Be positive. I’m also going to look at the glass as half full—meaning, I will think positively about my future and forget about the possibility of a romantic apocalypse.

Source: Realityolympia.com

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by eden

Fantasy romance—is honesty key?

December 29, 2011 in Eden's Posts

Is honesty crucial for having a successful fantasy romance? People have told me that without it, a relationship is destined to fail. In young adult books, there’s always some sort of repercussion or punishment for not telling the truth. Yet aren’t there some things that can be excluded to save another’s feelings? Aren’t there some small details that you can hide from your partner if they don’t ask? Does your perfect mate really need to know everything—I mean, does Jamal really need to see me apply my Midnight Luster or know that I have to wear three coats of it?

Isn’t keeping the fantasy romance alive more important than your mate knowing every single detail about you? There’s something about mystery that makes someone hotter. I’m beginning to think that while it’s important to be honest about some things, being too open can massacre love. While honesty is literally about telling the truth when asked a question, openness falls under the TMI category (too much information!). Constantly spitting out the truth when no one’s asking can ruin some of the relationship’s fantasy and adventure.

The protagonists in young adult books often end up in successful relationships, though in the beginning they may be hiding a secret. While lying about something can possibly ruin even the strongest fantasy romance, so can offering TMI. It may be good to share all your feelings with your perfect mate, yet will intimacy really be lost if you tell them about all of your exes? There may be some truth to that the old adage, “What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you.” Is it worth it more to keep the fantasy and adventure alive in your relationship or should you tell all? Clearly, one choice sounds more fun than the other. Let me know what you guys think!

Source: cmichellestyles.com

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Will the Winter Solstice bring me fantasy and adventure?

December 22, 2011 in Eden's Posts

I’m excited about the winter solstice. While to some, it’s just the shortest day and longest night of the year, or the first day of winter, for me it’s a time to reflect on the past year and make my goals for 2012. It’s a time to make wishes and lay out a plan to bring them to reality. While my obvious goal is to save the pearls, I also want the next year to bring me all the fantasy and adventure possible—for as long as I’m still here anyway.

The days getting longer represents a message of hope—before long, the end of the cold, darkest season will be here. Instead of thinking about the impending romantic apocalypse, you can start hoping and planning for dreams to come true. It’s a time to hibernate, but not in a depressive way—instead, it’s a time to go inward and reflect.

The darkness comes and it goes—over the next few days, I’m going to think about everything that I really want and see how I can make it all happen. While my obvious priority is to save the pearls, there are other things I am dreaming of—but it would all be turned upside down if we find ourselves in an apocalypse world. In the next few days, I am going to state my goals, rest and re-energize myself for the coming months and year. I’m going to follow pagan footsteps and meditate on how I will bring fantasy and adventure into my life in a good way. While my overall theme is to avoid a romantic apocalypse, I am going to reach even higher. What will you wish for this solstice?

If you’re wishing for love and are wondering if it really exists, check out this blog post on fantasy romance.

Source: Earthrites.org

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