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What I learned from paranormal romance books

July 5, 2012 in Paranormal Romance Books

Source: Fanpop.com

Like all other girls my age, I had my love affair with paranormal romance books throughout my early teenage years. Vampires held me captivated in every way. I dreamt of finding my own Edward, only he was a Coal, of course.

After the infatuation wore off, I took a break from vampires and wizardry and started reading post apocalyptic books, since they hit a little closer to home. After some time away from the paranormal romance books, I realized that, as silly and fantastical as they might be, there’s also a few things you can learn from them.

My fleeting obsession with vampires taught me that a person’s quirky characteristics reveal a lot about them. A propensity to never come out in

daylight? Red flag number one. A fetish for sleeping in coffins? Red flag number two. A thirst for blood? Definitely strike three!
What I’ve also learned from paranormal romance books is that true love can overcome any obstacles whatsoever—100 year age differences, different religious and educational backgrounds, time and space, among many others. While adventure romance novels (another favorite genre of mine), tend to have extreme obstacles in their story lines as well, paranormal characters can get past what seems like the most insurmountable ones possible.

Another thing I’ve learned from my former hobby: opposites attract. This is another similarity that’s prevalent in adventure romance novels as well, but in paranormal, the differences are even more extreme. Night owls with morning people, meat eaters and vegans, pale faces and tanning addicts—you get the picture.

Who knew there was so much to learn from witches, werewolves and vampires? As I grew up a little, I started to realize that my hobby was a little bit silly, so I started reading classics from the Old World and moving away from books with such incredulous fantasy elements. While I could always relate to Bella in her quest for her love to pan out, I also realized that having a knight in shining armor with such incredible speed, strength and other skills just wasn’t realistic.

Now I like to read post apocalyptic books. They’ve become my new favorite because I feel like there are actually things I can take away from the stories. They still provide me with an escape, but I can really relate to their dsytopian settings and circumstances, and they give me a little glimmer of hope—and that’s why we read, right?

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Tossing out all my fantasy romance novels

June 29, 2012 in Fantasy romance

Source: rantingsonthebay.blogspot.com

I used to be very practical about the whole mating thing. I knew there was potentially a romantic apocalypse in my future, so I approached it all from an unemotional standpoint. But my mom would tell me that love really existed—she swore that it did, even until the day she died. Then I started reading fantasy romance novels, and before I knew it, I was starting to have my own foolish pipe dreams.

This “one” people tell me of, the soul mate everyone dreams of, would have to be another Pearl in my world. No Coal in their right mind is going to settle for a lowly Pearl, let alone be attracted to our stark white skin and bad genes. Even in young adult books, you don’t really read about people from polar opposite classes having an easy time of it—and those books are so fantastical. When they do have a successful relationship, it gives it a whole fairy tale vibe, the whole happily-ever-after ending of fantasy romance novels. But life is never like that.

There was one time when I thought I may have met someone who would be my perfect mate—or like they said back in the day, “the one.” He was from the ruling class and never saw me without Midnight Luster. He told me I was beautiful, but I am not sure if he really meant it. I know how guys can be, especially when they’re from a higher class (which is everyone but me!). But I swear I felt a spark—until the rest of the story turned out to be just like the storyline of a series of post apocalyptic books.

I gave in and let myself surrender into this fantasy. I felt like the protagonist in one of these oh-so-popular young adult books, an empowered woman who is attractive and in charge of her own life and decisions. I stopped listening to that little voice in my head, the one that told me to be cautious and to remember my place in the world. I was on the verge of a romantic apocalypse and anyone could take advantage of my state of mind.

Then it happened. I found that none of it was real. This Coal who I thought was so special was really trying to use me for information about my father’s experiments. He was so convincing, he would have been an award-winning actor back in the old world. I should have known.

For now, I’m tossing all of my fantasy romance novels and replacing them with post apocalyptic books. The more depressing and hopeless, the better. I can relate to their stories and then see that little glimmer of hope at the end and wonder if I have the ability to end up like the protagonists in these books do—maybe not happily ever after, but happy enough. And alive.

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Vampire skeletons—fact or hype for paranormal romance books?

June 5, 2012 in Paranormal Romance Books

Source: naharnet.com

First it was last week’s zombie apocalypse news, this week it’s the discovery of centuries-old vampire skeletons. It seems like the real world is turning into a setting for a series of paranormal romance books. Maybe I won’t have to worry so much about my upcoming 18th birthday—we may just be living in an apocalypse world by then.

According to Channel News Asia, skeletons that were treated for vampirism were unearthed in Bulgaria. Scientists found skeletons with stakes thrust through their chests—and whether you’re read any paranormal romance books or not, everyone knows what the best method for killing vampires is.

The old school legend says that evil people were magically transformed into vampires when they died. Young adult fantasy books often take creative liberties, making vampires out of those simply bitten by other vampires or catching plagues that instill a craving for blood. While the existence of vampires in Bulgaria has never really been confirmed, what has been proven is the widespread superstition that if rods were thrust into the corpses of those who were evil during their lifetime, this would prevent them from becoming vampires. While in fantasy and adventure books, this usually happens once the person is already a vampire, maybe the Bulgarians had it right by taking preventive action. Maybe that’s exactly why there is no recorded existence of vampires there! The people took care of the problem before it happened.

According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, the head of the National History Museum in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, over 100 corpses stabbed to prevent vampirism have been discovered over the last decade. He said that in some parts of Bulgaria, this was a regular practice, up until the beginning of the 20th century. Sounds like their people definitely took fantasy and adventure books featuring vampires to heart.

While young adult fantasy novels like Twilight or Vampire Academy brought vampires to our minds in recent years, hopefully it won’t lead to these superstitions being made popular again. Who knows, if zombie-ism can occur, maybe vampires really can exist too.

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Eclipses and adventure romance novels

June 1, 2012 in Adventure romance tips

Sopurce: psychedelicadventure.blogspot.com

We have a rare eclipse on Monday—a full moon eclipse during the “supermoon.” It’s interesting to me because it seems like a lot of adventure romance novels deal with themes of either a full moon or an eclipse. Some books even have either in their title.  It’s like there’s a fascination with the power of the moon. I’ve met people who believe it can give you extraordinary powers while others think the moon it can cause mood swings or even crazy behavior. They say that the crime incidents increase and jails overflow during full moons.

Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, full moon and Earth are perfectly lined up so that the moon crosses through the shadow of Earth. This one in particular occurs two weeks after the solar eclipse, and in the middle of a rare Venus Occultation, so this window of time right now is a powerful one of transformation. Apparently, we can use this period to change our lives. It makes sense then that so many books, particularly paranormal romance books, use this in their plot to explain or attribute supernatural powers and magical forces.

Astrologers say this is a time to focus on what you want out of life. This has really got me thinking less about all my adventure romance novels and more about reality. In her astrology column, astrologer Kristin Fontana states “This period of time could very well represent life altering changes of direction on the path after re-thinking what you now need at this point in your life or you could experience surprise calls, emails or  visits from people from your past as Venus is retrograde in the middle of it all. Everything that is unresolved is making its way to the surface for you to review, refine and work though if necessary which will just about guarantee personal evolution.”

Obviously, this makes me think about my situation with Jamal, and the bigger picture of the Save the Pearls campaign. It makes me wonder if I can really make a difference. Is it possible to have the same kind of influence that characters in paranormal romance books have during a full moon or eclipse? If so, how can I tap into it?

I honestly think that we could all avoid a romantic apocalypse if we do something to help our class as a whole. Of course, that’s why I started the Save the Pearls campaign—I really thought that just a few of us could make a difference. Now I’m wondering how to take this little window of time to make something happen. I have so little time left myself and it’s making me look for any sign of hope.

Whether I escape the fate of my romantic apocalypse or not, I hope that someone out there has the power to change the fate of all the Pearls. Whether we use energy from the moon and stars, an underground network or we get help from the outside, one thing is for sure—we’ve got to do something.

 

 

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by eden

The best romance fantasy novels of all time

May 24, 2012 in Post Apocalyptic Books, Romance fantasy novels

Source: weirdthings.com

Since I love to escape into romance fantasy novels and science fiction and fantasy books, I figured I should make a list of my absolute, all-time favorites. That way I’ll know which ones to pack in case the Uni-Gov comes knocking on my door. I’ll need some material to keep my mind distracted when I actually do have to escape. I know not what the road ahead of me has in store, so if I have a few romance fantasy novels, at least I’ll be able to have a place where I can get into a fantasy state of mind.

For awhile, I was really into paranormal romance books, so yes, I did follow the masses and check out that old classic Twilight series. I admit, it’s a favorite. I’d take it with me if I had the room.

Another of my favorite paranormal romance novels is Vampire Academy. A boarding school where vampires learn the ways of magic? Sign me up! St. Vladimir’s Academy sounds rad to me. Plus, the forbidden romance is pretty delicious.

Since I love science fiction and fantasy books, I was thrilled to find one with some romance woven in. Gifted with mysterious powers and pointed ears, Analia is held captive in a world she doesn’t belong in, When she escapes and hides on a merchant ship, she meets and starts to fall for a devastatingly handsome demon who has the power to save her. It’s a really cool and unique story, with graphic, way out there elements that take me to another world, as well as all the romantic twists and turns that set the best adventure romance novels apart from the rest.

Those are probably the only YA novels I’d have to take with me. As much as I love YA, there’s something about the classic fantasy romance novels that makes you want to keep re-reading them. A perfect example is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It’s the ultimate tale of jealousy and obsessive love. Witnessing Gatsby’s attempts to win back Daisy’s love is just so sad and riveting—it’s like you want to look away but you just can’t.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a sort of remake of one of the most famous romance fantasy novels by Jane Austen. The idyllic town of Meryton is transformed into zombie mayhem by a mysterious plague. As the dead come back to life, we get to see a new kind of butt-kicking Elizabeth Bennet—she’s a sword-throwing zombie assassin. We follow the same story of her romantic tug o’war with the super arrogant Mr. Darcy. I’d bet he’d be a Coal in the New World.  All the fun of the best adventure romance novels but with more blood than you would ever imagine.

I think the absolute greatest of all fantasy romance novels is Gone With the Wind. I could read this book over and over again. You want to strangle Scarlett so many times throughout the book, to make her see what’s she about to lose and get her to stop with the self-sabotage. I love the ending, bittersweet as it is. It’s so easy as a reader to fall in love with Scarlett and her ability to survive, you want so badly for her to finally find true happiness. If I only could take one book with me, this would be the one.

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by eden

Heroes in fantasy romance novels

May 19, 2012 in Fantasy romance

Source: loveromancepassion.com

Where can I find a dude like the heroes I read about in fantasy romance novels? Do they really exist?

Yes, I do read fantasy romance novels as a form of escape. Yet I can’t help but compare Jamal to the guys in these novels. Are they just examples just too difficult for a real person to live up to? Even a Coal?

One of my favorite things to do is read urban fantasy books with a love story intertwined. I get to escape into an imaginary setting and witness the characters overcome all sorts of obstacles to find or win the love of their life. The male is always this amazing specimen, who conquers mountains and tumultuous terrain to save the one he loves from a premature demise.

If the writers behind these fantasy romance novels are “writing what they know,” then there had to be real people in their lives who inspired these characters—which means that, at some point in time, there really was some amazing man who came to their rescue or proved to be worth risking everything for.

Even in post apocalyptic books, when there seems like there’s no hope whatsoever, some modern day knight-in-shining-armor comes through, changing the plot forever. Even when the character starts out being a jerk, he undergoes a metamorphosis like no other, and becomes the hero women used to dream of in the Old World.

Where does that leave those of us stuck in reality, where mating is a requirement for survival? Can anyone truly be themselves with the kind of pressure we experience on a daily basis? With the tick-tick-tock of the clock counting down the days to our deadline to mate, how can anyone just relax and let a relationship take its natural course? While it seems easy to be swept off your feet in all the urban fantasy books I read, it just isn’t in the New World.

So while I love to feel a glimmer of hope when the heroine in one of my post apocalyptic books finds the love of her life and escapes her demise, it’s hard to apply it to my own life. It’s like the cherry on a hot fudge sundae, a little extra bit of pure ecstasy awarded after a treacherous struggle for survival. But the sundae will melt, and where does that leave the cherry?

As much as I love to dream, I feel like these heroes are fictional ghosts from the Old World, with little to no place in the one we live in now—except for in fantasy romance novels.

Why I love Molotov cocktails

May 3, 2012 in Apocalypse World

Source: Iimages.wikia.com/criminalminds

As your resident zombie expert, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about annihilating the undead. Everyone has their preferred methods, whether it’s with a shotgun, AK-47, grenade, liquid nitrogen or my personal favorite, the machete. While it’s all good to shoot ‘em up in sci-fi films or fantasy and adventure books, you’re going to have to make the most of what you’re working with in a post apocalypse world—and that means save the ammo and don’t get close enough to a zombie to wave your machete in their face.

To fully prepare ourselves for zombies, we’re going to have look further than post apocalyptic books and movies. We’ll need to get in the best physical shape possible, learn important skills like hand-to-hand combat, gun safety and machete wielding, and develop our resourcefulness. Since we have no idea how much ammunition we’ll need once the apocalypse hits, we’ve got to develop methods for zombie killing that require the least amount of supplies. I therefore propose the perfect weapon for obliterating undesirables—The MOLOTOV COCKTAIL.

The Molotov Cocktail, aka the petrol bomb, is the perfect way to get incendiary on some zombie a$%. It’s like a poor man’s grenade—they’re cheap, effective and anyone can make them. I’m not sure why they’re not featured more prominently in post apocalyptic books and films, because they actually provide stunning visual imagery. Just imagine yourself running from a horde of flesh-eating creatures that are lusting after your brains—and with a few quick moves, you’ve set the entire group ablaze. It’s like the perfect opening for a series of urban fantasy books. Ahh… bliss.

This simple, handheld device is made from a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid like gasoline, kerosene, alcohol or any other napalm-like mixture. A makeshift wick is formed from a fuel soaked rag that’s held in place by the bottle’s stopper. When it’s time for deployment, the wick is ignited and flung at the target. When the bottle smashes, the flammable substance ignites and becomes a raging fireball. In urban fantasy books and movies, we see Molotov Cocktails takes out entire mobs, but in a real post apocalypse world, it’s best to not count your zombie killings until you see them burn.

I’ve read in a few fantasy and adventure books that other flammable liquids can be used, such as wood alcohol or turpentine mixed with a thickening agent like tar, sugar, blood, laundry detergent or dish soap to create a cloud of thick smoke. It’s probably best to stick to the time-tested formulas above, but in case of emergency those are some viable options to try.

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

Nostradamus— Urban fantasy at its best

March 28, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

Perhaps it’s the current preoccupation with young adult books, maybe it’s the end of the Mayan calendar hoopla, or we can chalk it up to all the hype surrounding planetary alignments, magnetic pole shifts and birds dropping out of the sky. No matter the cause, people can’t seem to ignore the rumors and misconceptions about 2012. Meanwhile, Pearls keep disappearing and it’s hard to keep people focused on the real question at hand—how to save the pearls.

Proponents of urban fantasy would have us believe that it all stems from the predictions of Nostradamus.  Best known for his book Les Propheties (“The Prophecies”), written in 1555, Nostradamus was a French apothecary and reputed seer who moved out of medicine and into the occult after a trip to Italy. He wrote his first annual almanac in 1550 and gained notoriety amongst the rich and noble, who flocked to him for horoscopes and psychic advice. Unlike true astrologers, Nostradamus had clients supply him with their birth charts—it’s recorded that when he tried to calculate them himself, there were many errors. Sounds like these almanacs were more like their own brand of fantasy and adventure stories of that time.

Les Propheties was Nostradamus’ written project consisting of one thousand mainly French quatrains—these make up the mostly undated prophecies that made him famous. Undated prophecies sound like quite an anomaly to me, which is why I chalk them up to nothing more than urban fantasy and fiction. The publication of this book attracted a following that credits him with predicting many major world events—again, if they’re without dates, it would be like one of us predicting an earthquake in California. We know it may happen, but exactly when is difficult for us to divine. Les Propheties received a mixed reaction when it was published—some people thought Nostradamus was insane, a phony or a servant of evil, while many of the prominent and elite thought the book contained spiritually inspired prophecies.

Feeling threatened by religious fanatics, Nostradamus created a method of hiding his meaning through the use of “Virgilianized” syntax, word games and a mixture of other languages including Latin, Italian, Greek and Provençal. Since the quatrains were written in Middle French, this led to many problems in the translations, resulting in vagueries, metaphors and allusion. Some are so vague that you can conclude they make absolutely no sense, or that they provide justification for any event. Many academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and his predictions are the result of these mistranslations or misinterpretations.

An example of a glaring inaccuracy is Nostradamus famously predicted prosperity for King Henry II of France just two years before his death in a jousting accident. He might as well have written a fantasy and adventure novel depicting a long life for the king.

Those who believe in the prophecy of 2012 usually fail to identify the quatrain where this prediction is made. In fact, his followers tend to look for matches to events in his quatrains after the events occur. They may as well focus on fantasy and adventure novels, as Nostradamus never directly mentions December 21, 2012.

If after researching Nostradamus, you still want to believe the hype about his prediction of an apocalyptic event in 2012, then you’ll need to ignore the fact that his quatrains extend well beyond 2012—as in all the way to 3790. Clearly, if all of those predictions are correct, then the world cannot possibly end this year.

My suggestion? Go back to reading young adult books in your free time and focus your attention on ways to save the pearls.

Source: Mayanpredictions.net

 

Eliminating zombies apocalypse world style

March 23, 2012 in Apocalypse World

After reading the last blog post from our oh-so-lovely Ethics Officer on killing zombies in an apocalypse world, I came up with some ideas of my own. I figure neither one of us has actually ever met a real life zombie, so who’s to say one of us has more experience than the other?

Using some inspiration from all the science fiction and fantasy books I read, along with a little online research, I developed some other ways for getting rid of the undead. Many of us don’t have guns or know how to use them, so if we find ourselves in survival mode, deep in a post apocalypse world, it’s best to have some ammunition-free options to work with.

Imagine yourself taking a breather or having a moment of adventure romance with your loved one inside a local shopping mall, when all of a sudden, it’s overrun with zombies, Dawn of the Dead style. You want to keep your brains intact but they’re coming for you and you don’t have a gun. This is the perfect time to unleash your machete and go on an undead decapitation spree, severing them right at the neck. Or if you only have a knife on you, you can run up on them and stab them through the brain like they do on The Walking Dead. Clean, quick and simple. All you have to do is keep your machete and knives sharpened at all times.

A less messy way to eradicate the zombie you run into at the park is to throw a little liquid nitrogen at their head followed by a lit match—I’ve read about vampires getting offed that way in several paranormal romance books. All you have to do is keep a water bottle filled with it on you at all times. This keeps the element of surprise, as the zombie will have no idea that it’s not just H20—if they can even think at all. Make sure not to get any on yourself!

If one night your adventure romance is interrupted by one of these rotting creatures knocking at your door, get resourceful. Use furniture, cleaning fluids, bleach, hair spray, pots, pans, forks and whatever else you can find to fight them off. Even a glass vase or mirror smashed over their head may do the trick. You can also use one of the shards of glass or a pair of scissors to spear them through their brain.

Obviously, as we’ve read in many paranormal romance books and seen in science fiction and fantasy films, there are tons of inventive ways to banish the undead. Grenades, molotov cocktails, and those industrial style arrows are other good choices for survival in an apocalypse world. I think the most important thing is to find the method that you’re most comfortable with and can get really good at. Get in the best shape you can, always be alert and on point, and have your method of choice on hand at all times. Sleep with it, eat with it, live with it. Good luck, especially to all the Pearls!

Source: Scottemerson.wordpress.com

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