The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . UK Politician Claims He’s Alien Baby-Daddy

English Politician Claims to have Fathered a Child with an Alien

Will Riker would be proud. I don’t think he ever did have sex with a human on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

image from YouTube

image from YouTube

It takes a lot to make American politicians look good.

So if his child visits him in the UK, would it be an “illegal alien”?

And what sort of child support would a court order for this love child?

FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge Entries In the Past Two Weeks:

Ryan Ryan (yes, that’s her name) at That Girl Ryan writes a Letter to the Mayans, complaining about their poor apocalypse prediction service, and how she had been looking forward to the hilarious benefits of the apocalypse. A Letter to the Mayans

Diana Beebe addresses a post-apocalyptic lifestyle by asking What Would You Do? Or Grow?

Shea McIntosh Ford looks at Surviving the Apocalypse — Henry Bemis Style. Would you kick ass, or would you be her reading buddy?

Ellie Ann gives you the opportunity to Choose Your Apocalypse. How do you want the world to end?

Catie Rhodes reviews FIRELANDS in Review Roundup: Youth is Wasted on the Young.

Angela Ackerman elevates FIRELANDS to the level of a prize at The Bookshelf Muse: Reality Check, Gratitude, and Cool Books to WIN. Pop on over and leave a comment for a chance to win one of three awesome books.

Julie Glover, a lady I count on the keep me grammatically honest, looks at Words for the End of the World.

FIRELANDS Cover

How would you have fought off Victorian zombies? Historical mystery author K.B. Owen gives us some great ideas in Dangerous and Unseemly Zombies.

It’s not too late! Don’t miss your chance to win fantastic prizes in the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge. You can enter until midnight on July 18, 2013. Bloggers enter by posting about apocalypse and linking up. Readers can enter now by signing up for the Bayard & Holmes Newsletter, or by leaving quotes, pics, or reviews of FIRELANDS. Great prizes! Check out the details at FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge.

FIRELANDS  is available for purchase from Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle and in e-book at Barnes & NobleKobo, and iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

Thank you to the participants thus far!

Book Releases

Congratulations to Ellie Ann on her release of her debut YA cyberpunk novel, The Silver Sickle. I love this book and highly recommend it. Already a best seller in Cyberpunk, The Silver Sickle will thrill you as it takes you to a world where humanity has lost its soul, and aliens keep us drugged into submission. One brave young woman and her best friend decide to stand against the “goddesses,” and that starts a chain of events that can either save humanity or see it go extinct.

The Silver Sickle

Check out this great review from GeekDad: A Unique World Mythology–The Silver Sickle.

Also, a revealing interview of Ellie Ann by Anna Greer at An Interview with Ellie Ann.

The Independent Ladies–Vicki Hinze, C.J. Lyons, Debra Webb, Peggy Webb, Kathy Carmichael, V.R. Marks or Regan Black–have just come out with a new collection called Dangerous Desires. Five full length novels and two bonus novellas in the same package. Read more about it in Vicki Hinze’s post, Getting Creative. Dangerous Desires is now on sale for $ .99 on Kindle.

Dangerous Desires

Kristen Lamb continues to spread the word that We Are Not Alone with her latest outstanding guide to social media for New York Times Bestsellers and New Writers, alike. Rise of the Machines will have you connecting with others on social media in ways that boost your platform and increase your sales. Read about it at Celebrating Writer Independence & I Got to Be a Cyborg.

Rise of the Machines Cover

Articles and Blogs In No Particular Order

Xi’an China Bell Tower Timelapse HD Video by ooaworld: ooa’s Travels, Photos, and Art made me feel grateful for my quiet neighborhood. very cool visual.

Dumb State Laws that Made Me Laugh by Jenny Hansen. They made me laugh, too.

Don’t believe everything you read (unless it’s from Bayard & Holmes, and it’s not one of our crazy ideas to make money–then you can safely believe it). Mara House Luxor gives us the straight skinny from the ground on the inaccurate reporting going on in Attack on Egypt via Social Media.

How Becoming a Good Christian Made Me a Bad Person

Cate Russell-Cole fills us on on Where to Get Free Images for Blog Posts.

This hysterical video via Jay Donovan has me thinking I’m in the wrong profession if I really want to get things done.

All the best to all of you for knowing your own.

Piper Bayard

Currency of the Apocalypse–Watcha Got?

By Piper Bayard

The apocalypse has come. How are you going to pay for it? Your money is now worth nothing. Even your gold is indigestible. So what’s going to be the new medium of exchange?

image by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia commons

image by Larry D. Moore
CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia commons

Let’s start with the obvious. Spam and Twinkies. Food is going to be in short supply, and, unless there is some kind of polar apocalypse, or you’ve got a way to operate your electric vacuum sealer, modern food storage will be a thing of the past. Spam and Twinkies never go bad. Hence, they will not only prove a valuable commodity at mealtime, but they will help you keep up your body weight and give you something to trade for shoes and ammunition for your crossbow. Just watch out for cannibals and zombies – eat enough Spam and Twinkies, and you, too, will be salty, sweet, and well-marbled for predators.

Another handy trade good of the apocalypse will be Tic Tacs. Just think how bad everyone’s breath is going to be once we have no running water or toothpaste. And trust me, people will still want to kiss each other, and this is a good thing. Without that, humanity would die out quickly. So sell all of your gold and invest now in Tic Tacs for the good of the species. They will be hot on the barter market.

The third thing you don’t want to face an apocalypse without is a stash of toilet paper. Just ask Venezuela, which is currently suffering from a toilet paper shortage. People will give a lot for a roll of the white stuff when they’ve eaten too much Spam and Twinkies. Of course, that will be one of the two uses left for your paper money—the other being to light small fires—but you can get more mileage from investing that paper now in paper.

Toilet Paper Money canstock

Unfortunately for Archer in FIRELANDS, Spam and Twinkies are not an option. She and her people eat hemp gruel, the few vegetables the Josephites allow them to grow in their gardens, and whatever meat Archer brings them from the forest. For money, they are only allowed to barter unless they are trading at the Josephite-operated Big Box.

You, however, will have the time-honored cigarettes and chocolate to barter with in the Apocalypse if you are the lucky reader to win the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit. You’ll also have a fantastic Eddie Bauer Go Bag, a can of Tactical Bacon–better than Spam or Twinkies–a signed author copy of FIRELANDS, and a stuffed Grumpy Cat to keep you company and cheer you up while surviving on the smoking heap that used to be our planet.

The easiest way to enter is to sign up for the Bayard & Holmes mailing list at Bayard & Holmes Newsletter. No hassles and no purchase necessary. Just infrequent newsletters and book release notices. You can also enter by leaving a quote or a picture of yourself with FIRELANDS here, on FB, or on Twitter, and by leaving reviews for FIRELANDS at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iPad, or Goodreads. Each entry is valid so you can enter multiple times.

Bloggers can enter by blogging about anything to do with the Apocalypse and linking to the original post, FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge. One great example is Julie Glover’s blog, Words for the End of the World. The blogger prize is a feature on Social In Worldwide, Inc., the web site that shut down the WordPress server this week with all the hits it gets.

For more details, see FIRELANDS Reader/Blogger Challenge.

What would you use as currency in a post-apocalyptic world?

FIRELANDS Cover

Eighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats, who starves, and who dies in the ritual fires that atone society.

Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble. A gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves.

Seeds are life . . . Seeds are power . . . Seeds are the only hope of a despairing people. What will Archer do for the seeds of freedom, and what will she justify in their name?

FIRELANDS

Available from Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle

Also in e-book at Barnes & Noble and Kobo,

and at iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge!

FIRELANDS Cover

FIRELANDS, my dystopian thriller, was born on June 4. To celebrate, I want to thank my fellow bloggers and awesome readers for helping it to achieve a 10 on the Debut Novel Apgar Scale.

To do this, I have created the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge. To put it simply, this consists of twin contests—one for bloggers, and one for readers–open between now and July 19.

FOR THE READERS

PRIZES

*drumroll please*

FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit!

Your very own FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit! My first choice would be to include a .45 with ammo, but due to firearms restrictions, I’ll have to let you see to that yourselves. However, I’ve given careful thought to the other things you’ll need to survive the apocalypse in style and comfort . . .

Swedish Fire Knife on the Dock

The Swedish Fireknife by Light My Fire

Fireknife—Firelands. Get it? This Swedish Fire Knife has a Mora blade with a fire starter in the handle and instructions on how to create blaze-producing sparks without the need of matches. Invaluable when you need to blow something up, or when you just need to gut and clean a squirrel, split your kindling, and light your campfire to cook it for dinner.

image by Light My Fire

image by Light My Fire

And speaking of dinner . . .

Tactical Bacon

Yes, it’s bacon in a can. Good for up to ten years post-apocalypse. Helps keep you strong for fighting off those Josephites. Check out this commercial by “Shotgun” Max Beavins.

Bacon is not only useful for dinner, but as social media has proven, it’s a great way to make friends. In fact, if you go onto Facebook right now and simply type “bacon” as your status update, you’ll get more responses than if you posted five pictures of your children. The only thing that can compete with bacon as social grease is Grumpy Cat.

Which brings me to the next item in the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit . . .

Grumpy Cat The End is Near

Stuffed Grumpy Cat

A stuffed Grumpy Cat, handmade by me since there are no official models yet. Grumpy Cat will be your perfect post-apocalypse companion. She has a proven track record of winning friends and influencing people, and she will be the only creature who is actually delighted about your dire situation.

Barter Goods

Once your Grumpy Cat helps you make a few friends, you’ll need to be prepared to barter. So your FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit comes with the age-old tried and true barter goods, cigarettes and chocolate.

Lucky Lights Pic

You might notice those are candy cigarettes, which are desirable barter items to both smokers and non-smokers. And they never go bad.

Signed Author Copy

A first edition autographed copy of FIRELANDS for your post-apocalyptic reading needs.

Eddie Bauer Rippac Packable Daypack "Before" Picture

Eddie Bauer Rippac Packable Daypack
“Before” Picture

Go Bag

Obviously, you’ll need something to carry all of these post-apocalyptic necessities, so I’m including this Eddie Bauer Rippac Packable Daypack. A full-sized ripstop backpack that folds in on itself like a second term presidency, except it’s much tidier and way more useful.

Eddie Bauer Rippac "After" Picture

Eddie Bauer Rippac
“After” Picture

Quick! How Do I Enter the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader Challenge?

There are four ways for READERS to enter the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Challenge:

1)    Quote – Good for one entry in random drawing.

  • Leave a quote from FIRELANDS on this or any other linked blog, OR
  • Post a quote on Facebook and make sure I see it, OR
  • Send a quote to @PiperBayard on Twitter.

2)    Picture – Good for one entry in random drawing.

  • Post a picture of yourself with a copy of FIRELANDS in paper or on your electronic device on a linked blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter and tag me or link to me to make sure I see it.

3)    Mailing List – Good for one entry in random drawing.

  • Sign up on the Bayard & Holmes mailing list at Bayard & Holmes Newsletter. You will receive our infrequent newsletters and notices of our book releases. We will protect your email from foreign operatives, phone solicitors, and grasping DHS agents, but we cannot give you any guarantees about what the NSA will do with it.

4)    Review – Each review is good for one entry in random drawing.

  • Leave a review of FIRELANDS at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and/or iPad, and link to it in the comments here or in any other linked blog. EACH REVIEW IS CONSIDERED AN ENTRY so you could enter up to four times.

This means your name can be entered for the drawing up to seven times–once each for a quote, a picture, and signing up on the mailing list, and up to four more times for reviews. No purchase is necessary to enter.

FOR THE BLOGGERS

PRIZES

A Hearty Pimping!

Your prize will be a Hearty Pimping! Since we bloggers tend to be exhibitionists, I will expose you these three ways:

SocialIn Logo

  • A featured post on the Social In Worldwide, Inc. Network. Social In is a Twitter-driven network of forty sites nationwide with a collective following of approximately two million people. Your feature will appear on all forty sites and will be tweeted out to those two million people with links to your site, your book, your Twitter handle, and your Facebook page.
  • A feature post at the Bayard & Holmes site with links to all of your vitals.
  • A featured spot in the sidebar at our Bayard & Holmes web site during the month of August.

Quick! How Do I Enter the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Blogger Challenge?

Bloggers enter the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Challenge by blogging about anything apocalyptic . . .

  • Favorite/worst apocalyptic movie, song, TV show, cult, food, plague, disaster, etc.
  • How you will make moonshine, cookies, party favors, etc. in the apocalypse
  • Post-Apocalyptic pet care
  • The religion you would create to control the world during the apocalypse
  • Absolutely anything having anything at all to do with the Apocalypse.

Mention FIRELANDS, and link back to this post so I see it. That simple. You’re entered in the random drawing for the opportunity to expose yourself.

BLOGGERS CAN BE READERS!

Entering one contest does not exclude you from entering the other, but only one prize per winner.

Drawings will be held on July 19, 2013, and winners will be announced in The End is Near post on that day. Each winner will have two weeks to claim his/her prize. Any prize unclaimed after two weeks will be forfeit, and a new winner will be selected.

Again, I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. There is a fear when releasing a book that it will be like a party where no one shows up. Thank you for showing up at my party. You each hold a special place in my heart.

LET THE FIRELANDS APOCALYPSE READER/BLOGGER CHALLENGE BEGIN!

Field on Fire Canstock

Eighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats, who starves, and who dies in the ritual fires that atone society.

Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble. A gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves.

Seeds are life . . . Seeds are power . . . Seeds are the only hope of a despairing people. What will Archer do for the seeds of freedom, and what will she justify in their name?

FIRELANDS

Available from Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle

Also in e-book at Barnes & Noble and Kobo,

and at iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Assault Teddy Bears Make War for Sweden

Sweden supported a teddy bear drop over Belarus, parachuting in teddy bears with the message, “Free Speech Now.” Ambassadors have been expelled, and Belarussian heads have rolled.

Or read the text here, Guard Gets Two Years in Prison for Failing to Protect Belarus from Teddy Bears.

Apparently, Belarus is a Teddy Bear Free Zone.

image by e_cathedra, Flickr Photo Sharing ShareAlike 2.0 GenericDon't do this in Belarus!

image by e_cathedra, Flickr Photo Sharing ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Don’t do this in Belarus!

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

One of the trickiest parts of writing novels is writing the pitch. The description for the query letter or the cover blurb that will sell the book. Kathryn Aragon of the C4 Report teams guest posts at Buddhapuss Ink on Book Descriptions, More Than Just a Summary, Please. Five Essential Qualities of Irresistible Product Descriptions.

Kudos to race car driver Danica Patrick. I want to be her when I grow up, at least for one race. Danica Patrick Wins Daytona 500 Pole Position

Need a laugh today? Rhonda Hopkins pointed me to this link, BIC Cristal for Her Ball Pen. Forget the product. Check out the reviews. They will have you ROFL.

Contract-of-Betrayal by Tammy Salyer

Now available! Award winning military science fiction author and former paratrooper Tammy Salyer just released the second book in her Spectras Arise series, Contract of Betrayal. You can find it at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

It’s that time of year when authors are finalizing their plans for upcoming writers conferences. Chuck Barrett asks the question, Are Writer’s Conferences Really Worth It?.

And when it comes to Writers Conferences, it’s not too late to catch WANACon, the online writers conference happening today through Sunday. The only Writers Conference you can attend in your pajamas, brought to you by Kristen Lamb.

We love their accents and their stories, and so many of us screamed after watching the season finale, but do we really know what they’re saying? From Julie Glover, The Language of Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey - Whatever is an "entail"?

Downton Abbey –
Whatever is an “entail”?

Fascinating story from Debra Eve about how one hairdresser became a . . . hair archaeologist? Yep. A Hair Archaeologist. How a Baltimore Hairdresser Became a World-Renowned “Hair Archaeologist” of Ancient Rome

“There is no need to cling to any moment for any longer than it lasts.” Living in the now takes practice. A Matter of Practice by Karen Huber.

That being said, some things should not be forgotten, particularly the stories that are never allowed to be told. McCain Claims ‘Massive Cover-Up’ on Benghazi. Holmes and I, as a general rule, do not take political positions. Benghazi is not a political position. It is an event with real objective facts that were being buried even before the last shot was fired that night. We Americans need to demand some answers.

Blindsided by the Walking Dead

You know IronE Singleton from The Blindside and The Walking Dead. Now you can know his story from the streets of Atlanta to Hollywood, Blindsided by The Walking Dead. Co-authored by five time war correspondent and Zombie Survival Crew founder Juliette Terzieff.

IronE is also one of the New Faces of Black History: The Zombie Killa in this hoot of a video. Spoiler warning–this has hints about a recent major event on The Walking Dead.

This week’s Campaign Style Poll Daddy:

All the best to all of you for a week of avoiding Assault Teddy Bears.

Piper Bayard

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Valentine’s Dog Kissing Contest

There are lots of jokes about kissing dogs on Valentine’s Day, but these folks really did celebrate by kissing dogs.

I’m really hoping you wonderful readers got to kiss something besides a dog yesterday, though dogs can sometimes be the best sweethearts.

image by Jlantzy, wikimedia commons

image by Jlantzy, wikimedia commons

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

A Party in Your PJs–PAJAMACON, the Ultimate Writer Fantasy. WANAMama Kristen Lamb is hosting WANACon, an online writers conference on February 22-23. World class authors, publishers, and attorneys will present classes on writing craft, publishing, and publishing law. As a special treat, Kristen will be topping off the event with PAJAMACON on Sunday, when she will teach her special jedi magic in her pajamas. Should be a great event!

Top 10 Rules of Bacon

Great info for authors from David Gaughran. The Author with the Biggest Mailing List Wins 

Rhonda Hopkins hosts Kassandra Lamb in Authors Give Back: Kassandra Lamb and Autism Speaks.

Harem Colin Falconer

At Write on the River, NYT Best Selling Author Bob Mayer and Jen Talty’s site, Colin Falconer tells us about Life in an Ottoman Harem. Fascinating!

Best Valentine’s Day story ever from Nigel Blackwell, and all the more better for being true. Is this a Sign?

Marcy Kennedy explores the question, Are Small Things as Valuable as Grand Gestures?

This has to be the coolest video I’ve seen all week. Stop action art creation from Shugo Tokumaru – Katachi.

And for our Campaign Style Poll Daddy of the week . . .

All the best to all of you for a week of satisfying kisses.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Michelangelo’s David Must Wear Underwear

A town in Japan received a replica of Michelangelo’s David as a gift. Many found the statue to be immodest and demanded underwear.

Michelangelo's David David Gaya wikimedia

image by David Gaya, wikimedia commons

Read the story here. Japan Town Demands Underwear for Michelangelo’s David

I had no idea John Ashcroft had moved to Japan.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

I’m excited to tell you about WANA International’s first online writing conference – WANACon! With best selling author Kristen Lamb at the helm, this is sure to be an outstanding learning experience for authors. New York Times Best Selling Author Allison Brennan and Aaron Patterson, #1 Amazon Best Seller and General Manager of Stonehouse Ink Publishing are only two of the teachers presenting classes during the event, which will be February 22 – 23. Kristen gives us the details at her blog. And Now for Something Completely Different! Redefining the Writing Conference

WANACon Logo

I always enjoy seeing two of my favorite bloggers in the same place. This time, it’s Jess Witkins and Julie Glover. Guilty Pleasures Friday – Embarrassing My Kids

Lena Corazon directed me to The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and an interesting article, What Did Historical Swords Weigh?

Ellie Ann pointed me toward some amazing horses. Picturing Horses

A Knight at the Crossroads Viktor M. Vasnetsov

A Knight at the Crossroads by Viktor M. Vasnetsov, US public domain

Blurb Etiquette Some excellent advice from author Mike Duran.

Beyonce created quite a stir with her costume that was almost there at the Superbowl halftime show. Elizabeth Duffy wrote and excellent commentary on the kerfuffle. Sex, Shame, and the Superbowl

Sometimes those old relatives wander off to the strangest places. Via Judith Houlding of Space Editing, LLC. Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III

Second Graders Spell-Check NFL Players’ Tweets

A precious moment captured. Via Xandra James we have Baby Wolf Learns to Howl.

All the best to all of you for a week of knowing your art.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Surround Sound Coffins

I’m thinking the Swedes have a lot of time on their hands during those long winter nights.

No Rest for the Dead with Surround Sound Coffins

Coffin Robert Lawton wikimedia

image by Robert Lawton, wikimedia commons

For the full story, click on the title above.

My thanks to funny lady Leanne Shirtliffe for this tip. I recommend her new book, Don’t Lick the Minivan, at her site at Leanne Shirtliffe ~ Ironic Mom.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

We have a bold move to make us smile. This man wanted a job on Wall Street. His qualifications? ” . . . I have no unbelievably special skills . . . ” But he does have moxy. Cover Letter from Average Joe Earns Praise on Wall Street

And then there are those who just want the paycheck and aren’t interested in working. Via best selling author Larry Enright, the Story of a Man Who Outsourced his Work to China so He Could Watch Cat Videos All Day. You can find Larry’s outstanding books at Larry Enright.

Grumpy Cat Stupid Alternative

From top literary agent, Chip MacGregor, How Reading Shakespeare and Wordsworth Offer Better Therapy than Self-Help Books.

An eloquent reminder that being physically present with our children is not the same as being present with our children. How to Miss a Childhood by Hands Free Mama.

Once again, soon-to-be best selling author Susan Spann freely shares her publishing attorney expertise at Chiseled in Rock. More Than You Bargained For: Contracts Up Close & Personal

A voice from the past. 100-Year-Old Photos Found in Antique Camera

For twelve years now, people have been simultaneously taking off their pants to ride the subway. The No Pants Subway Ride started by Improv Everywhere now has participants as far away as Mexico City and Stockholm. This is their video of the 2013 event in New York City.

As you can see, I learned how to frame questions from all of those damn political fliers that won’t stop showing up in my mailbox.

All the best to all of you for a week of pleasant music.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Justin Bieber Duck Tape

Yes. It’s the Biebs. On Duck Tape. Now we can all be Beliebers.

Just trying to picture Justin Bieber’s face holding together my binders, my favorite lawn chair, and my ’92 Ford.

Justin Bieber Duck Tape staples.com

image from staples.com

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order 

Best Selling Author and Social Media Jedi Kristen Lamb has some GREAT advice for authors who blog. Blogging for Authors, and How a Banana Slicer Saved My Marriage

Everyone who donates to charities wants to believe they are helping others in doing so. Shantnu Tiwari explains how that is not always what happens. Charities: Damaging Society and Hurting the Poor, Since 1886

An excellent non-partisan analysis of what the h*** happened to our money from Rolling Stone. Secrets and Lies of the Bailout

Hot Colors Light Up Frozen Sculptures at the Harbin Ice Festival

BREAKING STEELE as Pulp Fiction . . . An excellent review of Ellie Ann’s and Aaron Patterson’s BREAKING STEELE by Glenn Gordon.

Breaking Steele

Once in a Lifetime Shot of Line of Owls All Looking at the Camera

International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze is an expert at getting things done. Some awesome advice from her on Keeping Those New Year’s Resolutions.

Julie Glover brings us a collection of brief quotes from Leonardo Da Vinci. If Da Vinci Tweeted

Nicole Basaraba makes me once again want to pack my suitcase. 21 Things I Miss About Brussels, Belgium

Edgy and excellent. My Lucky Thunder Thighs via Leanne Shirtliffe.

Yes. Things happen to the best of us. No. This is not me, but it could be. Belly Dancer Fail . . .

All the best to all of you for keeping it taped together this week.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . $55k Backpack Covered in Pills

Olsen's Pill Backpack

$55k Designer Backpack from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Apparently they found a use for their leftovers. Who needs Alice?

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Sometimes it takes a ferret to lead us. Another Year, Another Wiggle by Samuel Clemons.

In case you had too much New Year’s cheer, this will definitely bring you back to earth. Via Patricia Vicens Lucchetti. The Four Companies that Control the 147 Companies that Own Everything

And for something a bit more hopeful. From Bestselling Author and Social Media Jedi Kristen Lamb we learn What’s Ahead in 2013–Predictions for the Future of Publishing and Authors of the Digital Age.

And your health tip of the day. I knew grapefruit could make a transplant patient go into rejection, but I had no idea its effects could be so widespread. No wonder my dog never begs for this stuff. Grapefruit is a Culprit in More Drug Reactions

Grapefruit John Steven Fernandez wikimedia

image by John Steven Fernandez, wikimedia commons

 Via author Pati Nagle, New Comet Might Blaze Brighter than the Full Moon. Keep your eye on the skies for ISON in November.

Susan Spann shares a tense tale of love and passion. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – On the Reef

Emily Cannell of Hey from Japan asks the question that has no doubt baffled visitors to the East for eons. How Could Something So Pretty Smell So Bad?

You may have seen a few of these or even fallen prey to them at recent Holiday parties. Be on guard! Via the 1491s.

Now it’s your turn to express yourselves.

All the best to all of you for wise expenditures.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Post-Apocalyptic Management Services

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

There’s been much ado made about the end of the Mayans’ 13th b’ak’tun this Friday. The Mayans, themselves, are a bit baffled as to why the Western world is making such a fuss about it. All it means to them is that they flip their calendar back to the Mayan b’ak’tun equivalent of January.

Mayan zodiac circle wikimedia

image from wikimedia commons

However, Wikileaks has recently pilfered some highly classified documents that indicate Hugo Chavez is stocking up on Kool-Aid. We think that, if the internationally acknowledged Ass of the Apocalypse is in preparation for the end of the world, perhaps we should be asking a few questions.

For example, how well do we really know these Mayans? About the only thing we do know about them for sure is that they Occupied their own Wall Street with a Tea Party until they had no civilization left. They’ve already had their apocalypse so failing to predict the end of our world would not be their first mistake. What if they are wrong, and the apocalypse really is coming at the end of their 13th b’ak’tun?

With the risk of an unpredicted Armageddon looming on the horizon, planning can be a bit overwhelming and uncertain. What do I need to do first? What should I wear? How do I secure the best possible post-apocalyptic future for my family?

Not to worry. Bayard & Holmes are here to help you rest easy, so to speak. Our Celestial Aftercare Services Division offers a full range of Five Star Post-Apocalypse Services and Products to help you make sure you’re not left out of the good life in the afterlife.

One of your highest priorities will be to present the most admirable image to the afterlife administrators of your personal religious preference. Whether you’re impressing St. Peter to get through the Pearly Gates or Charon to ferry you to the Elysian Fields, one thing is certain.  The last thing you want to do is show up on the big day with all sorts of material wealth to explain.

 Charon and Psyche by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

All that earthly junk is of no use to you after the Apocalypse, and probably not all that useful to you now, so you’ll want to safely dispose of that embarrassing material wealth before the big day. We’re happy to help you polish up your image by removing that wealth to our auction warehouse a safe location, far away from you and your reputation in time for Judgment Day.

Some of our more pragmatic readers may be asking “What if the Mayans were right? What if the end of the b’ak’tun only means you reset the calendar, and the universe continues as usual?”

Not a problem. With our vast experience in Celestial Aftercare Services, we’re ready for this eventuality. In the event that there is no apocalypse, we’ll refund your wealth, minus a modest storage fee.

With your problem of material wealth resolved, your next priority is arranging for a happy post-apocalyptic social life. What sort of souls will you be flying with in the afterlife? Will their music be too loud? Will their jokes go stale after a few millenniums? What if they pick their teeth with their pocketknives or blow their noses onto the sidewalk? Do you want to spend eternity surrounded by under socialized celestial masses? Of course not.

Fortunately, as a Bayard and Holmes Celestial Aftercare Customer, for a small handling fee, you’ll be entitled to free social screening for your entire family. All you have to do is fill out a brief nine hundred question survey to determine the most compatible social contacts for you in the afterlife. Eternity is a long, long time. Why risk spending it with insufferable idiots?

And what about entertainment? Will you be able to get box seats at your favorite celestial sporting events? Will you get stuck sitting in the 14,782nd row of the Heavenly Opera House trying to hear Caruso sing your favorite Italian opera? Or worse yet, will you be diverted to the German opera house to listen to Wagner for agonizing centuries while you wait for an intermission? And what about restaurants? Will you get a decent table for steak and lobster, or will you be forced to catch a salty, mystery meat burrito at a food cart?

Mystery Burrito Tubezone wikimedia

image by Tubezone, wikimedia commons

For an inconsequential additional fee, you can receive a Bayard and Holmes VIP Gold Membership Card, which will entitle you to red carpet services wherever you go in the afterlife. Without proper planning heaven can start feeling like hell. Don’t risk it! You deserve the finest services and accommodations, and we’re here to make sure you get them.

Contact us now to prepare for that unpredicted Mayan Apocalypse, or whichever surprise Apocalypse might visit us in the coming year. Don’t leave your afterlife future at risk!

What accommodations and privileges would you like us to arrange for you in your afterlife?