Epic Battles: Bacon Vs. Grumpy Cat

By Piper Bayard

The two most popular social media memes are Bacon and Grumpy Cat, but as Highlander fans can tell you, “There can be only one!” The time has come to decide, and the showdown is right here and now. Who will rule the Cyberverse, Bacon or Grumpy Cat?

Bacon

Bacon

BACON, give us ten reasons why you should be Ruler of the Cyberverse rather than Grumpy Cat . . .

1.  Bacon doesn’t need a litter box.

2.  You can wrap bacon around a filet mignon and get it back.

3.  Bacon doesn’t fight with your dog.

4.  Bacon doesn’t cough up hairballs in your house shoes.

5.  Bacon doesn’t pee in your laundry when it gets mad at you.

6.  If bacon wakes you up at 5:00 a.m., it makes you smile.

7.  Bacon never scratches your furniture.

8.  Bacon doesn’t leave dead animals in your bed.

9.  Bacon tastes good all by itself. If a cat tastes good, it’s probably because it was cooked in bacon.

10. Bacon doesn’t need to be neutered, because you can never have too much bacon.

And now to you, Grumpy Cat . . . Give us ten reasons you deserve to rule.

Grumpy Cat No

Well, there you have it folks. Time to cast your vote. Who is your choice to be the Ruler of the Cyberverse, Bacon or Grumpy Cat?

Here’s the good news. Enter the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge, and you won’t have to choose! Reader prize includes BOTH bacon AND a stuffed Grumpy Cat to keep you fed and in good cheer during the post-apocalyptic devastation. They come with the Swedish FireKnife, barter goods, a signed copy of FIRELANDS, and an Eddie Bauer Go Bag.

No purchase necessary to win. Readers can enter now by signing up for the Bayard & Holmes Newsletter. If you have a copy of FIRELANDS, you can enter by leaving a quote or reference to the book for me here, on FB, or on Twitter. You can also enter by leaving reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or Goodreads. Feel free to enter multiple ways. Each entry counts.

Swedish Fire Knife on the Dock

Bloggers can enter by blogging about anything to do with apocalypse and linking back to the original FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge posting. Your prize will be a feature at the Social In Worldwide, Inc., blog network with over 2 million Twitter followers.

See FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge for more details.

Drawings will be held at midnight, July 18–tomorrow night!

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) . . . 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.

Supervolcano Apocalypse Fashion

By Piper Bayard

As humans, we seem, by and large, to have this idea that when we arrived, the planet, itself, arrived. Each generation has the notion that we are the final destination of both creation and evolution that will, somehow, some way, survive any apocalyptic event. Even more, we will survive with sexy fashions.

Tina Turner in Beyond Thunderdome

Tina Turner in Beyond Thunderdome

Who wouldn’t want Tina Turner’s chainmail peek-a-boo or Mila Jovovich’s short shorts and garters in the middle of a scorching desert?

Mila Jovovich in Resident Evil: Extinction

Mila Jovovich in Resident Evil: Extinction

Anybody?

The fact is that, while there’s quite an entertainment industry built up around making us feel like we will be among the few special ones to survive an apocalypse, chances are we won’t be, and if we are, we won’t have much use for peek-a-boo garters. We’ll need every fashion advantage we can get.

In FIRELANDS, Archer is facing the North American aftermath of the explosion of the Supervolcano Taupo in New Zealand. (Sorry Kiwis. I couldn’t exactly make it Yellowstone and have anyone here survive for a story.) Ash blanketed the earth, and lowered the average temperature of North America by 20 degrees for seven years. Twenty-eight years later, other volcanoes, awakened by the rapid reversal of the magnetic poles, still spew their ash, and smoke still blankets the land.

So while Archer would prefer to dress like this . . .

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games

. . . she wears men’s pants and camouflage turtlenecks, grubby from days at a time spent hunting to feed her people. That’s because in a real apocalypse, we won’t have enough biore wipes or antibacterial hand wash to go around, and we’re going to have to dress a lot more like Mila Kunis in the Book of Eli if we expect to survive.

Mila Kunis in The Book of Eli

Mila Kunis in The Book of Eli

Until midnight MST on July 18, 2013, I’m running the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge. It’s easy to enter whether you’re a reader or a blogger, and no purchase is necessary. The prize for readers is the FIRELANDS Apocalypse Survival Kit, which includes the FireKnife to gut your squirrel, split your kindling, and start your cooking fire, a can of Tactical Bacon for a chaser, candy cigarettes and a chocolate bar to barter, and a stuffed Grumpy Cat to keep you company. Bloggers, you can win a feature at Social In Worldwide and reach an audience of two million. See FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge for the details.

So what do you think? Have you got the thighs to pull off the Tina Turner or Mila Jovovich look in the event of a Supervolcano explosion? Or are you more of an Archer? What would be your ideal post-apocalyptic outfit?

FIRELANDS Cover

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.

Bayard & Holmes Youth Achievement Cyber-Hug 2013

By Jay Holmes

In order to give my tired brain a break from the often painful world of foreign policy, I did some recreational reading today. The vacation from our world’s wars and genocides did me good. I found some great information about a couple of young people who deserve recognition and national cyber-hugs.

Unlike real-time hugs, cyber-hugs avoid the danger of exposing these fine youngsters to that odd sadistic creep relative who finds every chance to squeeze the breath out of children. The awardees will be thrilled to know that neither this dangerous old crank nor anyone else will actually be showing up at their house expecting to touch them.

The truth is that I haven’t yet discussed the particulars of how we would handle such an award with my writing partner, Piper Bayard. But have no fear. Piper is busy tonight doing more of that “work” stuff that our “working relationship” requires.

Piper is a bright and judicious attorney. She managed to get through law school without asking me to help any of her fellow students or her professors stumble upon any unfortunate accidents, so I know she is good at thinking like a lawyer. Furthermore, she had the good sense to enlist the aid of our world class publishing attorney and historical mystery author, Ms. Susan Spann. Susan knows her stuff. Between Susan and Piper, I am confident that details of this award will be well managed.

Sara Volz, image from Facebook

Sara Volz, image from Facebook

This year, we have a two-way tie for our first Bayard and Holmes Youth Achievement Award. The first amazing young person is a 17-year-old scientist by the name of Sara Volz from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Sarah converted a space in her bedroom into a science lab. She is using that lab to research algae as biofuel.

Thus far, algae have proven to be stingy in the amount of oil they give us in exchange for the polluted waters that we so generously share with them. Sara uses artificial selection to find algae with a better work ethic that produce more oil. The implications of this 17-year-old’s work seem very significant. Intel also thinks it’s significant. Her research won the Intel Science Talent Search and was awarded $100,000, which she indicated she will use for her education.

Note to oil executives. Leave her alone. My bad guys are better than your bad guys, and I know where you and your surplus significant others all live. Do not disturb this child.

Note to DOE. We give you folks vast sums of cash, and you burn it faster than a gaggle of drunken Secret Service agents in a Colombian house of ill repute. Pay attention. Ill-conceived DOE Director Bill Richardson is long gone, and you people should be producing more science again. If you were operating at this girl’s level of efficiency, I would already have a safe-to-use, pocket-sized fusion generator fueled by toxic waste and surplus body fat. If you haven’t hired this young lady yet, you need to come to your senses and do so ASAP.

Jonah Kallenbach, image from Intel.com

Jonah Kallenbach, image from Intel.com

Our other awardee is a 17-year-old named Jonah Kallenbach of Ambler, Pennsylvania. Jonah won second place in the Intel Science Talent Search for his groundbreaking work with proteins along with $75,000. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Jonah’s work well enough to explain it you. Fortunately, Jonah does understand it. The upshot is that he is discovering how to get proteins to react better with medications. The long term implications for the health of cranky old guys like me are very significant.

Wow, if fifteen of our world’s adults were getting half as much done as these two fine young people, imagine the results.

We congratulate both of you fine young scientists for getting so much done with so little funding. Thank you, Sara and Jonah, for your remarkable work. Because of you two, I’ll still be healthy enough to drive my wife and myself to a shuffleboard competition when I get a little older, and I will still have the fuel to get there.

I cringe when I hear my fellow old cranks complaining about “kids today.” It’s nonsense. There are a lot of great young people doing great things. Instead of looking down our wrinkled noses at today’s youth, we would better serve our own interests by helping youngsters find the opportunities to develop their talents. In a world with so much tragedy and human suffering, young people like Sara and Jonah give us all cause for hope.