The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . $24k Guinea Pig Armor

Now, there’s a First World Problem for you. “I need armor for my guinea pig!”

Meet Lucky. Lucky passed away, and his pet human put his suit of armor up for sale on ebay on behalf of a Virginia non-profit, Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue. The bidding at the time of publication had reached $24,300, with 156 bidders throwing their names in the pot. Deepest condolences to Lucky’s pet human. This little guy seems like he was a really cool companion.

Lucky, ready for the Renaissance Fair image from ebay

Lucky, ready for the Renaissance Fair
image from ebay

BLOGS AND ARTICLES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

Peace in Relationship and Dystopia. KM Huber discusses the nature of relationship and gives her take on my debut dystopian thriller, FIRELANDS.

Important information from KB Owen. Staying Safe This Summer: Know the REAL Signs of Drowning

The Farm Five K by Callene Rapp–what a real 5k challenge would look like.

Congratulations to Paige Kellerman, who appeared in an interview on FOX 4 in Kansas City! How To Almost Not Be On TV. Paige is the 21st Century Erma Bombeck. Check out her hysterical debut, At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles

Majority of Americans Don’t Trust Newspapers and Television News. Apparently, only 23% of us still trust what the news corporations tell us. One question comes to mind . . . There are seriously still 23%?

In case you missed it, the damning evidence about how the government is using our taxes to illegally spy on us keeps rolling out. Now, The Guardian has released two documents signed by Eric Holder — the guy who says no one is spying on Americans — that say it’s okay to use PRISM to spy on Americans. Apparently, he missed the class in law school about how it’s not legal just because we say it is. Revealed: The Top Secret Rules that Allow NSA to use US Data Without a Warrant

Via Melissa Coggins Borgioli

Via Melissa Coggins Borgioli

And since it’s not bad enough that the NSA is using our own money to spy on us, they’re outright stealing from us, too! How NSA Spooks Spaffed my Dad’s Data All Over the Web. Apparently, NSA’s logo for PRISM is not original artwork.

The ever clever Julie Davidoski of Go Jules Go — one of my all time favorite bloggers — asks, Who Wants to Be a Studio Audience Member? I always wondered about that.

New York Times Best Selling Author and Heckuva Guy James Rollins releases his next Sigma Force novel, The Eye of God, this Tuesday, June 25! Pre-order at Amazon, The Eye of God.

The Eye of God James Rollins

Thoughtful observations from August McLaughlin. Lessons Learned from My Blonde Joke-Free Year

Would that we were all so blessed. Ron and Eileen Everest were born in the same maternity ward, were “married” at age four at the carnival, married for real at age 21, and have just gone platinum. Ron and Eileen Everest Married 70 Years

Married at age four still together

Just in time for summer! Some delicious smoothie recipes from Kenzie Dodd at Jillian Dodd’s site, All That Glitters. Smoothies

Packaging matters. Nigel Blackwell’s take on the new look of the iOS7. Crap Packaging and iOS7 I’m currently enjoying Nigel’s debut novel, Paris Love Match, about an unlikely couple who must survive a brush with the mob. Not at all what one would expect from an engineer.

 

Tactical Bacon thinkgeek.com

Enter Now! FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge!

You, too, could be the proud owner of this can of Tactical Bacon, along with the Swedish Fireknife, a hand made stuffed Grumpy Cat, an Eddie Bauer Go Bag, and other necessities for surviving the apocalypse. Enter now by signing up for the Bayard & Holmes Newsletter or go to FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge for more details. FIRELANDS is available for purchase at Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle and in e-book at Barnes & NobleKobo, and iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

In honor of Lucky, who clearly tolerated a great deal from his adoring pet human, today’s video is of some amazing animal escapes. RIP Lucky.

Campaign Style Poll Daddy Question of the Week:

All the best to all of you for the right outfit when you need it.

Piper Bayard

 

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) . . . Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe

 Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe Sandwich. Yes, It’s Real.

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe Chicken Charlie's

This is what happens when we no longer have Twinkies to fry.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Stacy Green is hosting Kassandra Lamb at her site for Thriller Thursday, and Kassandra is asking, Narcissist or Psychopath?

We’ve all been hearing about PRISM this past week–the NSA program that collects all of our electronic data and scrutinizes it without probable cause or warrants. But it’s not just the US. Five countries, the US, UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, are known in the government and intelligence agencies as the “Five Eyes.” The alliances between the intelligence agencies of these five countries effectively allows them to circumvent any prohibitions against spying on their OWN citizens in that they spy on EACH OTHERS’ citizens and share the information on a “massive spy cloud.” PRISM: Concerns Over Government Tyranny are Legitimate by Kim Dotcom at The Guardian.

FIRELANDS Cover

An interview with . . . me! Historical fiction author Susan Spann got me to spill about this month’s dystopian thriller release, FIRELANDS, and forced me to reveal my favorite childhood story. No offense, New Yorkers. An Interview with Piper Bayard!

Heather Konik is holding a contest over at Prawn & Quartered. Submit a question for her site mascot, Murdock from the A-Team, and enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card. New Contest: Interview with the Site Mascot

The fascinating Miss Violet Jessop survived not one, but 3 shipwrecks. The Face That Sunk a Thousand Ships (Well 3, Anyway) by Colin Falconer.

A Cheerios commercial with a bi-racial couple caused quite the stir, generating so many hateful, racist comments that Cheerios had to turn off the comments at YouTube. While that’s disturbing, there have been a couple of great LOL spoofs–the silver lining.

This video shows the original commercial and Deon Cole’s hysterical parody take on it:

And then we have this seam-splitter from Kenji America:

Congratulations to best selling author Kristen Lamb! She just finished her third book about social media, Rise of the Machines, and it’s outstanding. Check out her cover art by Corey Clubb of Go Bold Designs, the same fellow who did the art for Firelands. Change–Resistance is Futile

Rise of the Machines Cover

The Blessings of a Botched Piano Recital, in which Nina Badzin tells about my stage trauma and the lessons we can learn from it.

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Our guest blogger and soon-to-be regular at Social In Worldwide, K.B. Owen, shares Dad’s Secret to Great BBQ Chicken.

And if you’re still wondering about the perfect gift for Dad . . . Look no further! This will at least give him a great belly laugh. When Words Aren’t Enough–Say It With Bacon

Campaign Style Poll Daddy of the Week:

All the best to all of you for a week of tasty treats.

Piper Bayard

The Nine Year Baby — FIRELANDS Cover Reveal

By Piper Bayard

Most babies take nine months. Some take nine years.

Nine years ago, a friend offered to get me into the insurance business. I had an inactive law license, and my kids had just started back to school. It made sense. They would pay for my licensing and get me set up in business. Money coming through the door on my schedule. Sounded like the perfect fit for a recovering attorney/stay-at-home mom. . . . Except for one thing. If I poured my energy into starting an insurance business, I would never write a book. I could live and die happy without ever selling an insurance policy, but I couldn’t live and die happy if I never wrote a book. And so it began.

Writing in notebook Can Stock 2377066

The first draft took 5 1/2 years. Yes, really. I sat in the corner of the coffee shop, playing with my memories of all of the people I knew and wanted to know and telling whatever story they directed me in that day. Plot? Why have plot when you have 78 main characters? Tension? Who needs that? Books are where we go to escape tension, right? I took every night, weekend, and summer vacation off, along with an entire year to care for my mother. Eventually, though, I had what was sure to be the next #1 New York Times best selling novel, not to mention a blockbuster movie starring a younger Kiera Knightley and Ian Somerhalder. All of my family and friends loved it. It would produce the greatest bidding war in publishing history!

Then a few rejections started rolling in. What? Couldn’t they see my vision? I swallowed enough of my pride to hire an editor. Enter Kristen Lamb, best selling author, social media jedi, and editor. One of the teachers from my first Dallas/Ft. Worth Writers Conference. When she quit laughing, she called me up and spent five hours telling me exactly what was wrong with my book. I scrapped my “baby” and started over. Page one.

Kristen taught me the difference between writing a novel and hanging out with my imaginary friends. Over the course of the next year and a half, I slaughtered 68 of my favorite 78 characters, introduced a wicked antagonist, wrote action that was connected to a plot, and actually had a few people disagreeing with each other along the way. At the same time, also with Kristen’s help, I built a social media platform which connected me with several best selling authors who I now call my friends and mentors.

After another, much more successful edit, it was time to polish and market. With all of the upheaval in New York among the Big However-Many-Are-Left-Standing-Today, I wasn’t so sure I even wanted an agent or the traditional model. After all, I had a brilliant publishing attorney, Susan Spann, in my corner. I focused on writing my next book–a spy thriller with my writing partner Jay Holmes. It was enough to let my dystopian thriller shake out as it would.

With time and recommendations from Kristen and other new friends, I met up with best selling author and publisher Aaron Patterson of Stonehouse Ink. He chatted with me a bit and decided I wouldn’t be too much of a pain to work with (I hope he still thinks that), so I sent him my manuscript. He welcomed me to the outstanding Stonehouse family of authors.

Out June 14 from Stonehouse Ink

Out June 14 from Stonehouse Ink

I’m proud to present FIRELANDS. My nine year dystopian thriller baby. She will be delivered by Stonehouse Ink on June 14 at Amazon, and later at other outlets. I hope she will come to mean as much to you as she has to me. I also hope the rest of my babies take nine months or less.

My profound thanks to Kristen Lamb for making me her social media guinea pig and writing student. Since we met in 2010, she founded WANA International, which is dedicated to providing instruction and support to help other authors on their paths. I can’t recommend her and WANA highly enough.

My thanks, also, to each and every one of you, our readers, for your support in helping me realize this dream. You are the reason.

Next week, I’m swimming back upstream to where it all started, the DFW Writers Conference. This time, I will be a teacher.

Holmes and I wish you an outstanding week of coming closer to your dreams.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Field on Fire Canstock

FIRELANDS

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.

Weaving Tapestries of Adventure — James Rollins and BLOODLINE

By Piper Bayard

James-Rollins-and-Bloodline

In James Rollins’ BLOODLINE, futuristic science meets ancient mysticism to produce a non-stop thrill ride that will keep readers turning pages into the wee hours and leave them making excuses to their employers about why they are late to work, looking like they just came from an all-night party.

BLOODLINE is the latest in Rollins’ SIGMA Force series, in which a top secret special operations division of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency investigates and neutralizes apocalyptic technological threats. When Somali pirates kidnap the US president’s pregnant daughter, Commander Gray Pierce and SIGMA team up with former Army Ranger Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane to find her. What they uncover is a plot born in the ancient past that they must thwart before it comes to fruition, changing the very nature of human life in the quest for immortality. From the backlands of Somalia to the opulence of Dubai and the halls of Western power, Rollins extracts cryptic threads from the shrouded past and deftly weaves them into a clever tapestry of modern adventure.

One of the occupational hazards of being a writer is becoming too critical to get lost in stories, instead picking them apart and analyzing them until all books, movies, and shows are an extension of our work. Rollins, however, plaits tales that envelope and transport even the most jaded realist into a world where good really can triumph against the odds. A reminder we can all use now and again.

BLOODLINE comes out tomorrow, March 26, in paperback. You can order it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at James Rollins’ website.

Amazon Barnes and Noble The Poisoned Pen Indie Bound

ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK!

Amazon Kindle Kobo Barnes & Noble Nook

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) . . . Princess Bride T-Shirt Sparks Terrorist Scare

Apparently, some passengers were nervous because a man was wearing a t-shirt similar to this one on a Quantas flight.

Inigo Montoya t-shirt thinkgeek.com

As a fun refresher, here is the scene from The Princess Bride starring Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya.

I vote this move on Quantas as the All-Time Biggest Pop Culture Fail.

My thanks to Author Angela Quarles for pointing me to this article.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

An internet scandal! And yours truly had a front row seat. About a year ago, a person named Terrell Mims was caught red-handed stealing blogs from Cracked.com and other places and printing them verbatim as his own. This week, he tried it again under a new name. Kristen Lamb has the story. Plagiarism and Terrell Mims–A Chronic Case of EPIC Stupid

My former Constitutional Law professor, Richard B. Collins, pointed me to this article this week as an example of how the Hands in Washington are washing each other to our detriment. Fiscal Footnote: Big Senate Gift to Drug Maker

A couple of things to restore our faith in humanity after that. . . .

Tennessee Homecoming King Nominees Give Crown to Another Teen

Waiter Who Refused Service to Customer Becomes Web Hero

Guiding Angel, Tiffany & Co., c. 1890, wikimedia commons

Guiding Angel, Tiffany & Col, c. 1890, wikimedia commons

A visual treat from historical mystery writer K.B. Owen. Art Nouveau as Inspiration

Bad Bible Stories: When Good Girls are Whores by Author Ellie Ann. If she ever gets tired of writing, she really has a way with recounting a tale.

Jenny Hansen asks, Are Your Spammers Trying to have Sex with You Too?

Stacy Green’s INTO THE DARK Guest Post and Giveaway. A chance to win your copy of her mystery/suspense book, which I am told is awesome.

Into the Dark by Stacy Green

Some say that standardized tests have destroyed our school system, creating conflicts of interest for teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t perform. Some teachers have had enough. Standardized Text Backlash: Some Seattle Teachers Just Say ‘No’

Looking for a great detective novel? Catie Rhodes can recommend a few. My Favorite Female Sleuth

Have some words are phrases you’re sick of hearing? Julie Glover does. Banish these Words and Phrases!

One of my all time favorite videos, Jane Austen’s Fight Club. It comes and goes from the internet so catch it while you can.

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 Next Big Thing

By Piper Bayard

We usually avoid writing about writing on our blog, but it’s time for an update. Big things are happening for Holmes and I this year. Not only are we now featured bloggers at the Social N Network*, but we have been picked up by Stonehouse Ink Publishing. The first book due out is one of mine, SEEDS, a dystopian sci-fi that will be released this spring. Look for our Bayard & Holmes spy thriller, APEX PREDATOR, later this year.

When I mentioned our progress to our great friend and International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze, Vicki immediately invited me to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

A Blog Hop is a way for readers to discover new authors. On this stop, I’ll tell you a bit about SEEDS by answering ten set questions, and then I’ll link you to other authors who answer the same questions.

My gratitude to Vicki Hinze for inviting me to participate in this event.  You can click the following links to learn more about Vicki and her books.

Website:  Vicki Hinze

Buy her books: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Hinze/e/B000AQ48S4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

The Next Big Thing

1: What is the working title of your book?

SEEDS

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story I like to tell is how I was SCUBA diving one day when a handsome merman with a striking resemblance to Hugh Jackman gave me a magic abalone shell with the word “destiny” engraved on it. I asked him if he’d like to have dinner with me. You know. As friends. I mean, my husband wouldn’t mind. Not too much. Hugh Jackman Merman declined with some tale about needing to sort his mer-socks. So I surfaced and opened the shell. Inside were the words “apocalypse,” “famine,” and “prophet.” Then, I fell into a magical sleep and woke up with the book fully formed in my mind. . . . That’s the story I like to tell.

The truth is that I haven’t got a clue. I wake up at 4 a.m. with this stuff in my head and write it down. I don’t make it up. It moves through me.

Hugh Jackman US Navy wikimedia

Hugh Jackman Merman, image from US Navy

3: What genre does your book come under?

SEEDS is a dystopian sci-fi thriller.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My dearest hope is that one day Kristen Stewart will star . . . Just kidding. Really.

The main character, Archer, I envision as something of a Kiera Knightley. Her love interest, Quinn, could be played by Ian Somerhaulder, Chris Pine, Liam Hemsworth, or Hugh Jackman Merman. I’m not picky.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a post-apocalyptic world where hunger is a weapon, a huntress must befriend her worst enemy to overthrow a theocratic dictator before he exterminates her people.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

SEEDS will be traditionally published by indie publisher, Stonehouse Ink. I didn’t put much effort into finding an agent, but Holmes and I do work closely with our publishing attorney and fellow author, Susan Spann.

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7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

All my life. But for the purposes of this question, four months.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Parts of SEEDS have an unfortunate resemblance to THE HUNGER GAMES, which I never even heard of before writing my first draft. Apparently, almost every author who’s been in the business for long has suffered this unjust circumstance so I’m rolling with it. Taking it on the chin. Sucking it up. I don’t mind. Really. *stabs voodoo doll with pin*

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A friend offered me the opportunity to sell life insurance. It made sense and dovetailed nicely with my law degree. Thinking about it, I realized that if I accepted, I would die some day having never written a book. I declined her offer and got busy. So on all of those days when I’d rather watch the dog catch flies than work, I remember that I could be selling insurance and I clock in at the WIP.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

SEEDS, while it does not contain a Hugh Jackman Merman, is a story with many levels that can alter with every read. It can be a light action thriller, a future world escape, or an experience of the limitless change that is possible in one seemingly isolated act. Every reader will see something different in it.

This is what people are saying about SEEDS.

“With echoes of UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN and HUNGER GAMES, SEEDS is a sprawling adventure ranging across a world racked by post-apocalyptic want, denial, and prophetic dictum. Equal parts heroic quest and morality play, it races forward on a current of deftly woven characters and breakneck action, never failing to deliver what every reader wants—a helluva good story.” ~~ Ryne Douglas Pearson, screenwriter of KNOWING and bestselling author of SIMPLE SIMON and CONFESSIONS

“SEEDS envisions a terrifying and prescient future of a United States lost to the worst extremes.  Piper Bayard’s wonderfully relevant and beautifully realized fantasy tale would make George R.R. Martin proud as it combines the best of CHILDREN OF MEN with Stephen King’s seminal THE STAND. . . . The result is a major debut that is not to be missed.”~~ Jon Land, bestselling author of STRONG AT THE BREAK and BETRAYAL

“Piper Bayard explodes on the scene in SEEDS. Creative. Imaginative. Chilling and reassuring. A captivating tale well told.”~~ Vicki Hinze, bestselling author of DUPLICITY

These are the other authors on today’s Hop:

1.  Kathy Carmichael

2.  Kimberly Lyllewellyn

3.  Buzz Bernard

4.  Kellie Sharpe

Below are the authors who will join the Hop next Wednesday. I hope you will bookmark them and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases.

1.  Ellie Ann

2.  Jen L. Kirchner

3.  K.B. Owen

4.  Kerry Schafer

5.  Susan Spann

What is the Next Big Thing happening for you in 2013?

*The Social N Network is a network of news and events sites in over thirty cities across the US with a collective following upward of 500k. The flagship site is SocialInDC. Lonny Dunn of ProNetworkBuild is the brains and talent behind the business.

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The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . “Howdy Ho!” Boxer Shorts

Seems we’re all still here today, but men, if you show up in the bedroom wearing these, this really could be the end of the world for you.

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Yes, they’re real. You can find them at WalMart. If you do go to WalMart just to find these, please do the world a favor and stay there.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Today, I thank Kristen Lamb, who first gave me the idea of The End is Near (and we deserve it). She compiled a few choice apocalypse predictors of her own this week.  The End is Near and We Deserve It – The Top 12 Reasons Earth Deserves Annihilation

Warning to Instagram users: Instagram Says It Now Has the Right to Sell Your Photos.

Twenty-three years ago this month, I lost my first husband to mental illness. There simply was no one with the tools to help him. It was an event that divided the people in my world in no uncertain terms: those who unflinchingly stood by me, and those who suddenly didn’t know my name. I could never have predicted who would fall into which camp. When I read this article by the mother of a mentally ill son, I felt her sense of despair to my core. ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective on the Mental Illness Conversation in America

Via Rachel Funk Heller, we have this gem. 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

10 Christmas Fun Facts

Award Winning Author and International Best Seller Vicki Hinze shares 10 Christmas Fun Facts. What was the biggest Christmas present ever? What was used for the first artificial tree? How did Christmas stockings get started? Who’d have thought?

Some frank and encouraging talk from historical fiction author and publishing attorney Susan Spann. Watch for Susan’s debut novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT, due out this July. An Open Letter to Authors Who Hear a “No”

Air Force Pilot Relays Coordinates of Downed Pilot by Senior Airman Scott Saldukas. An excellent example of how being prepared can save lives.

Some great observations from Jenny Hansen. Who doesn’t need more time? Thoughts on Being Busy

Kitt Crescendo dug up a fantastically twisted but hilarious clip with Johnny Carson and Mona Aboud. What Did You Say You Wanted for Christmas?

Considering those boxer shorts, I thought it might be appropriate to bring in some certified HO! Specialists for our video. Anyone remember this guy?

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

Due to the Great Trinity Alignment of the Mayan Calendar Turn, the Holiday Season, and the Flu Season, posts here at Bayard & Holmes will be sporadic until January 2.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Solstice! Cheerful Kwanzaa! Intensely Satisfying Bah Humbug! to all of you from Holmes and I. A big thanks to all of you for your patronage. We appreciate each and every one who gives us the time of day. May your 2013 bring you gentle lessons and abundant blessings.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse