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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?

 

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by eden

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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by eden

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

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.

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by eden

Why I love urban fantasy and post apocalyptic books

April 20, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

Source: Freegreatpicture.com

I never got into vampires and wizardry—give me some urban fantasy books and I’m good. Take me to an apocalypse world and let me go along for the ride with the protagonist as she navigates the trifles created by society. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pearl, or because my world is post apocalyptic. Or maybe it’s just because I relate to their situation, even if takes place in a world that’s completely unfamiliar to me.

Clearly, I’m not the only one. The days of Twilight are over—it’s all about dystopian and post apocalyptic books like Save the Pearls right now. Yes, I couldn’t wait to see The Hunger Games after I devoured the trilogy. It was so cool to watch Katniss, obviously because I could relate to her plight living in that horrific totalitarian state, but it was more than that—I could see how she handled her situation and apply some of what she did towards dealing with my own life. I could identify with what she was going through and see how she handled it, knowingly and, at times, unknowingly.

While young adult books are super popular right now, especially those set in a dystopian or apocalypse world, I recently found out that this subgenre has a history that goes back forever. In the past month, I read George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I told myself I was doing this as research for the Save the Pearls project, but I think I was looking for something else—maybe answers for why the world is the way it is or ways to deal with my current situation. Tick, tick, tock… it’s only a matter of months before my personal romantic apocalypse hits.

I think that even if I lived in the Old World, I’d still love post apocalyptic books. I feel like the chaos and harsh rules are similar to what it feels like being a teenager. You have to grow up so fast in my world, so I feel like I’m already middle-aged at 18 (technically, I almost am). But I remember feeling like I didn’t need rules and was smart enough to do whatever I wanted.

When it comes to urban fantasy novels, it’s the same thing. I like that not everything is made up or imaginary—it’s the perfect mix of some fantastic parts but some based in reality. They kind of give me hope… at least when there’s a hopeful ending.

Most of all, I think I love these books because they’re exciting.  Just like in most young adult books, we get to watch the character’s journey, as they become a different better version of themselves.

Prepping for a real or romantic apocalypse—the safe house

April 12, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

As we move through 2012 and the masses obsess over a zombie takeover, the end of the world or a romantic apocalypse, recommendations and schools of thought are basically erupting out of the woodwork. There are zombie survival panels, shows like Doomsday Preppers, and in essence, even we have succumbed with our creation of the Save the Pearls movement.

Source: zombiesandtoys.blogspot.com

While fans of Zombieland, The Walking Dead and post apocalyptic books dream of surviving a zombie apocalypse, it seems like many manufacturers are getting savvy and taking advantage of the vast marketing opportunities. Everyone has an idea of the best place to go, the best weapons to stockpile, and how to best slay a zombie. Yet in the meantime, why not take a cue from Doomsday Preppers and use the time we have now to prepare for the supposed END?

Just like everything in life, for truly successful survival, one must be prepared. Instead of burying your nose in fantasy and adventure books, take this time to put those key skills you learned in girl scouts or boy scouts to use. From what I’ve garnered from all these “survival” guides, the most important thing, across apocalypse causes, is to secure a location where you will be safe and protected—in other words, a safe house.

As you should know from watching zombie films and reading post apocalyptic books, the last thing you want in the case of THE END is to be on the run. Those with a place to go have a significantly greater chance of surviving, as opposed to those on the streets, left to scavenge for food, exposed to the elements, and fend off the undead, terrorists or the Uni-Gov.

The necessity for a safe house is such a well-known concept that there have actually been Zombie Apocalypse Safe House competitions for several years now. Teams of architects who clearly have a penchant for fantasy and adventure books and films strive to create the ultimate safety zone. In Warsaw, Poland, a team of engineers created their aptly named Safe House, a building that turns into an impregnable concrete cube at the touch of a few buttons. Versions have been constructed across the entire gamut of possibilities— from compact extending shells that can be carried on your back complete with potable water systems to entire fortified neighborhoods complete with electrified lawns and zip lines.

Anyone harboring apocalyptic thoughts should take a look at some of these fascinating monstrosities designed to keep threats away. These disaster-proof, self-supporting designs boast everything from independent ecosystems, solar panels and greenhouses to rainwater collectors, built-in weapons arsenals and canals.

Whether you choose to turn your house or basement into your safe house, or team up with your entire community to create an ominous bunker, either way, if you want to survive a terrorist, zombie or romantic apocalypse, you better start working on your zone.

 

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

 

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by eden

Urban fantasy and balancing acts

March 22, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

Today and the days surrounding are supposedly very powerful—in fact, the perfect time to bring every urban fantasy to life.  They say the days around the spring equinox are the best time to make a list of your goals and focus on making them come true—if that’s the case, then you know I’m focusing on how to save the Pearls and locking down my fantasy romance already!

Planetary Numerologist, John Davis, also the Director of Coptic Fellowship International and President of Spiritual Unity of Nations, wrote that March 21, 2012 is the most important date he has ever analyzed. As it’s exactly nine months before this year’s winter solstice on December 21, whatever seed we plant on and around March 21 will supposedly come true by December 21. That would work out perfectly for me, since we all know that my 18th birthday is right before that. So if I can cement my fantasy romance and mate with Jamal, I will survive my fate.

While some of us are focusing on creating the kind of world we want to live in, one where Pearls, Coals, Ambers and Tiger’s Eyes all live in peace and harmony, without any class system, others are focused on a different kind of young adult fantasy: balancing eggs. Yes, you read that right. Instead of thinking about peace, respect, love and a planet that is full of resources, the egg balancers are springing out of the woodwork. Apparently, it has something to do with the fact that this is one of the only two days each year where the day and night are exactly the same length.

Tales of urban fantasy state that, during the equinox, the position of the sun and other planets during the equinoxes enable miraculous feats of balance to occur. Hmmm. People are literally spending their time propping up eggs and cleaning up the mess when they don’t stand up on their own. They do this every year, despite the fact that astronomers report that equinoxes have no physical effect on objects or balance. Funnily enough, while the egg balancers come out during this time of year, at the fall equinox, these same people try to balance brooms—I’m gonna guess in honor of witches and Halloween.

I’ve read about the broom standers in a few young adult fantasy books—of course, the premise had to do with wizardry and the occult. I’m not going to lie, I tried it when I was little. The brooms just fell each time, knocking me on the forehead once or twice. I chalked it up to the fact that I was a lowly Pearl with no witchy or supernatural powers, and that the broom standers had to be getting a little help from above—or below. I guess I let all the tales of urban fantasy I’d read spark my imagination into believing. At least I didn’t try the messy egg trick!

I’m older now and not quite so gullible. Not to knock anyone’s else’s choices, but since I’m trying to help save the Pearls and my own life, I’m choosing to make a little list and check it more than twice. Plus, I don’t really want to spend my night cleaning up egg yolks.

Source: .indianasnewscenter.com

 

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by eden

Full moon—romantic apocalypse or fodder for adventure romance novels?

March 8, 2012 in Adventure romance tips

The full moon in Virgo is here. While our oh-so-lovely Ethics Officer blogged about whether or not a full moon is a sign of an apocalypse world, I was inspired to blog about the full moon’s so-called effects on love. I’ve read about in everything from adventure romance novels and astrology texts to science fiction and young adult books, but I still don’t know what exactly to believe.

Clearly, the full moon is often used to inspire paranormal and supernatural elements in many young adult books. Think of all the character who turn from humans into werewolves at the sight of a full moon or the psychic phenomena attributed to its presence. It’s also very prevalent in my favorite genre— fantasy romance novels. Characters often have their first kiss in the light of the full moon or realize that they’ve found the one due to the clarity it brings them.

The moon is illuminated partly by direct sunlight, and when it’s “full,” we get to see it in its brightest, fullest state. In a series of amazing adventure romance novels that I recently finished, the protagonist always sees more clearly when there is a full moon. It’s like the truth is illuminated when the moon is full. She achieves the clarity to really hear her inner compass and make decisions about the issues in her life.

In one of my favorite fantasy romance novels, the truth is revealed to the main character when the moon is full. She experiences her first real breakup when the full moon helps reveal her boyfriend’s true character. Luckily, or through serendipity, she also meets the next love of her life during a full moon cycle.

Other young adult books with more of a paranormal romance angle talk about casting spells or invoking spirits during the full moon. It’s thought that magic is most powerful on the night of the full moon, and that spells dealing with otherworldly energies are strongest during this phase. In fact, several occult traditions believe the only time to cast love spells is during the full moon.

Whatever the reality is, all I know is I hope this full moon brings my true love to fruition. I only have a few months left to mate and my relationship with my favorite Coal is kind of a roller coaster. Maybe I’ll cast that love spell… or find my own clarity in its light. I just know I can count on something happening when it’s here.

Source: Freewiccaschool.com

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