Blog Archives

DRAGOMEIR SERIES – Creature Features!

I have been asked by several people if I could give some insight into the creatures living in Mt. Drago. So I thought we’d start with the Hellhounds. Now for those who have not yet read “The Emerald Dragon,” the Hellhounds were helped by Queen Mother to make a mass exodus from the Provinces of Hell to Mt. Drago.

There, they took up shop in an area of the mountain called Tarin’s Gallery. The Hellhounds are a genetically altered species that started off with a considerable amount of Pit Bull in the heritage. No one is really sure what else besides wolf went into the mixture, but what we do know is that they went after size and stamina. The full grown males of this species top over three hundred pounds, stand about five feet tall and can run for days. They are predominately brown in color with brown eyes. They sport an opposing thumb and forefinger and have sparse uneven hair over their bodies, which are brown in color.

hound

What the Dark Lords didn’t expect was in part the unknown factor mentioned previously, and what they got was a species on the fast track to sentience. Ten generations later they were no longer the trusted pet dog. Through sheer will and a lot of death and destruction they managed to escape to another of the Provinces, where they would be almost impossible to defeat.

By the eleventh generation they were not only intelligent, but self aware and very unhappy with the Dark Lords. That’s where Queen Mother entered the picture and gave them an opportunity they couldn’t ignore.

The Hellhounds of today are drastically different than the ones written about in history. The ones in Mt. Drago would rather not fight; they are vegetarians and prefer to stay in one place to rear their children. They are deeply spiritual and have a great sense of humor. To find out more about these creatures you can read the first book of the Dragomeir Series, “The Emerald Dragon,” or leave me a comment and I will be happy to answer any questions!

A Fantastic Day at Barnes and Noble!

Solitaire Parke and Shonna Slayton

Saturday was the BIG day! I just came away from the Science-Fiction/Fantasy Book signing event at Barnes & Noble (Phoenix, Arizona) and man oh man, was that an experience or what?

Eleven authors, myself included, participated with our books being featured during the Marvel and Science Fiction/Fantasy day. Hundreds of people in costume, some of which looked like they just walked off a movie set. They were actually that good! My sales went well and I got to meet a lot of interesting, and sometimes very odd people. It was noisy, boisterous and amazingly fun! I’ve got to give the staff at Barnes & Noble credit because the entire event was coordinated and extremely well managed from start to finish. They made us all feel welcome and treated us like super stars. I personally can’t wait to go back. It was suggested for me to wear a costume so I chose to go as Van Helsing and I’ve got to admit that I had a great time! Be sure to visit my Website and Facebook page for more photos of the day’s event!

 

The Next Big Thing – Authors Tagging Authors!

The Next Big Thing – Authors Tagging Authors!

I am thrilled to take part in The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors! I was tagged by the fantastic Caron Rider and I’m excited to keep this going! So now I have to answer the questions below, tag a new set of 5 authors, then they answer, tag authors, etc. I’m answering questions about my Urban Fantasy novel, The Emerald Dragon, coming soon!

emerald_dragon_lg

What is the working title of your book?
The Emerald Dragon, Book One of the Dragomeir Series

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from an incredibly vivid dream that I had.  I thought that it was time for not only books about dragons, but to explain that dragons are actually smarter than we are and interact at the human level.

What genre does your book fall under?
Urban Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Main character – Tanis:  Viggo Mortenson
Queen Mother : Morena Baccarin
Demi – human form: Dakota Fanning
Basiliskos – human form: Ving Rhames
Invectum – human form:  Chris Hemsworth
Dragons – in dragon form: Themselves

And for the authors I have tagged:

Eden Baylee, Author of Spring Into Summer
Kay Glass, Author of Just One Bite
Michelle Muto, Author of Don’t Fear the Reaper
Alex Laybourne, Author of Highway To Hell
J.A.  Schneider, Author of Embryo

Many thanks to my friend and fellow Indie Author Caron Rider for tagging me! I hope you’ll keep it going…there are so many talented authors out there!

Watch Out For the Peanut Butter!

Peanut Butter Recall

Tanis and Demi contacted me with what I thought was a joke.  Okay, so I’m not laughing now, but anyway…several people at Mt. Drago have recently gotten sick, and I mean really sick.  Turns out it’s the peanut butter.  Not every brand, and there are some that don’t have Salmonella.  Yeah, you heard me.  Nearly all of the food that gets eaten by the people at the mountain comes from the outside world.  From the same manufacturers as the ones you buy for your family.  This is a wake-up call to all of our friends and their friends.  Contact your local food stores and inquire.  Get on-line and do some research.  I’m going to give as much information as I’ve found, but I need you guys to spread the word.  Little kids aren’t supposed to die from peanut butter.

The manufacturer that seems to have the highest number of recalls is Sunland, but it doesn’t stop there, oh no not by a long shot.  Okay, let’s take this one step at a time.  The first thing you need is a web address to prove to yourself the severity of which I speak.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/MajorProductRecalls/SunlandNutSeedProductRecalls/default.htm

The above address will show you the number of products that have been recalled and a lot of other pertinent information.  This is not restricted to just Sunland, it has become more widespread with multiple companies such as: Justin’s and General Mills among others.  Please check your recently purchased food to make sure you don’t have one of the recalled items.  Thank you for listening to Tanis, Demi, and of course…me.

A Call To Potential Dragon Riders!

I want to thank those of you that have been following the release of each chapter of “The Emerald Dragon” every Friday! When I started writing the story of Tanis and Demi, I hoped I would bring an exciting story that encompasses exciting Fantasy elements such as, Dragons, Warriors, Hell Hounds, Demons, Vampires, etc. and give you the ability to visit the world of Dragomeir from the comfort of your computer chair!

It is with your support and feedback that this project will come to fruition! But having said that, I am excited to send out an invitation to all potential dragon riders…

You are invited to enter “THE EMERALD DRAGON” CHARACTER CONTEST!!

The Emerald Dragon by Solitaire Parke
Two people will win a chance to create a character (dragon rider) and dragon that will be featured in the book! Anyone who wants to participate would need to come up with the character’s name, origin, their dragon’s name, the species of dragon, as well as color, age and gender. The winners will not only have their characters immortalized in the story, but I will also mention the winners on the dedication page of the book, send them a signed copy when the book is released and of course, mention them on my blog as the winners of “The Emerald Dragon” Character Contest!

The guidelines and specifics will be posted on this blog on June 30th!

Social Media – A Different Approach

Social Media Marketing

Some months ago, I came across a post written by Tom Conrad, from The Indie Pedant called “Selling an ebook – is it a little like begging on the street?” His satirical point of view on how we as self-published authors are using social media as our “cardboard plea” struck me as funny, but also made me wonder about my approach to marketing.

Is my method one that will improve sales and stats, but not leave me looking like the character “Puss In Boots”…you know, those big sad eyes, luring you in…”pa pa pa please buy my book!” Ha!

With the advent of indie authors/self publishing, we have found that we alone are our sole promoters. If we don’t get out there and plaster the many social media sites with our name and product, we are just as unknown and unheard of as ever! And of course there’s the “etiquette” one must follow to avoid being blacklisted as a spammer of sorts. Everyone’s looking for the next hook or gimmick to stand out above the rest. It all does begin to seem like one massive sales pitch!

In essence it is, but for the author it begins merely as a love of writing and the hope that someone else out there will enjoy reading what you have to offer. While many of us still work a full time job and dream of the day when we can give our two weeks notice, oh hell, our 2 minutes notice and gallivant off on our ticket to fame…we humbly climb back down to reality and trudge on. Our approach may mirror at times the bum on the streets begging for change, but I think I speak for everyone…the truth is, we all know deep down that we’re the next superstars! We just have to convince everyone else!

The strategy I have adopted is certainly not the most original, but it is one I believe in most! So what is it, you ask? To help others. To quote Nick Thacker of LiveHacked.com, “You’re in charge of your own career, and you know that helping people is a major reason why successful writers, creators, and entrepreneurs are successful.” There are tons of ways to help others online:

  • Tweeting someone’s link or post
  • Commenting on a great post
  • Reviewing someone’s book
  • Participating in an online forum
  • Writing an awesome guest post
  • Sending an email

Nick’s post called “Why You Should Start Doing My Work For Me”, states that “If you think of these tasks as doing someone else’s work for them, you’ll be making a great step toward building a reputation as someone who helps others first.” That’s not to say that you don’t promote yourself at all…but instead of a post touting your novels and why people should buy them, include a link back to your website or blog instead. The content within your post will do the promoting for you and you’d be surprised how many people will actually click through! As far as posts on your own blog…put more emphasis on posts that will help and/or entertain your reader in some way. These will not only bring quality content to your blog, but will consistently draw readers back to your blog.

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I will continue to share what I have learned and I hope that it will help in some way! :)

Be sure to visit LiveHacked.com – excellent site for writers and bloggers!

Nick Thacker also has an excellent ebook available on Amazon – “Building A Blog For Readers”…a manifesto that will help you ask the right questions!

Author Spotlight – Tanja Segal

It’s the start of a new week and to get this Monday rolling, I am very excited to have Indie Author, Tanja Segal visiting the blog today! I met Tanja on Twitter and was instantly enthralled by her novel, “Death Lurks Everywhere”! We started chatting about our favorite horror movies and found we have a lot of the same interests. She is not only a very thoughtful and genuine person, she is also a very talented artist and author! I hope you enjoy the excerpt from her upcoming novel, “Death Lurks Everywhere” and I encourage you to stop by her blog and say hi!

Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja SegalMEET AUTHOR, TANJA SEGAL

Author Tanja Segal

My Name is Tanja. I’m from a small town in Germany called Gelsenkirchen, where I lived my whole life. The funny thing about this small town is since I moved to Los Angeles, everyone I meet asks me where I came from and of course they don’t know this town, but the reactions of these people are so funny. I try to explain, but this makes for some amazing stories on occasion, *lol*. Maybe it would help if I told you that this town is about 25 miles from Duesseldorf and not too far from Koeln? ;-) Do you know where I live now? ha ha ha

Like all children, I went to school in Germany and studied for 10 Years. My favorite classes were: English, Biology, Physics and Sports! In my youth I always had the dream of visiting the USA someday. It was a really big dream for me. Who would have thought that this Dream would actually be fulfilled some day?

After I was done with my school, I started to study IT Support, business, and Technology. I worked 3 Years in a Company named ”Timeless GmbH” which was a Computer Company that sold new computer hardware. I started in sales and moved over to the Technical department where I repaired PC’s, installed whole systems and built custom computers on order. I had a great time. I finished my education and earned the title ”IT System Clerk.” Yes I am a girl who knows many things about computers :-) Surprised?

From August 2009 until January 2012 I worked for a phone company, E-Plus, as a call center agent. I supported customers and helped them with network related issues, or Internet connection problems. I also helped them with settings for their cell phones.

On January 16th I moved to Los Angeles – California. Now I am working to make another Dream come true. I want to use my creativity and finally become a writer. Well I am already doing some nice things. Like for example: designing websites, creating book covers and drawing portraits :-) I consider myself an artist.

Follow her blog at – http://authortanjasegal.blogspot.com

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Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja SegalABOUT TANJA’S BOOK, “DEATH LURKS EVERYWHERE”

Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja Segal
“Death Lurks Everywhere” is a horror/science fiction novel about a genetic experiment gone awry that produces a fierce monster that wreaks havoc on the human race, a disaster of massive proportions. Will the evil forces behind this experiment be discovered in time and will the monster be stopped, or is everything lost?

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Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja SegalEXCERPT FROM “DEATH LURKS EVERYWHERE”

DEATH LURKS EVERYWHERE

Excerpt from Chapter 3 – The arrival

Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja Segal

Joe, who had taken his place again, eyed Tom, trying to hide his own concern.

“Of course it was the wind, you chicken. “He had no idea what had just happened and a cold shower ran down his spine yet he did not want Tom to notice. He steadied himself holding the side of the boat with one hand and looked towards Tom whose whole body was trembling and stammered.

“Have you been able to see anything in the water? “ Joe nodded his head, trying to play down the whole situation.

“No, there’s nothing there. The boat has probably just crossed an little uneven ground and that is what caused the shaking.”

Although coming from his own lips, he himself could not really believe what he had just said. He nodded at Tom affirmatively and got up again. He opened the box in the middle of the boat, grasping a small torch. At a click of his thumb the torch radiated a yellowish light. He pointed the lamp at the water and scrutinized the surface once again. But again he could detect nothing. He lowered the hand with the torch and turned to Tom who was still sitting trembling.

„Look, there is no mons…“ But precisely at that moment came the sound of a muffled tone. A scream muted by the water. Joe was startled. Totally shocked he dropped the torch into the water holding his ears closed with both hands. Tom also grabbed the towel beside him, folding it instantly over his head. Joe’s eyes widened, now he also had problems continuing to suppress his fear. He swirled around looking from every direction into the water yet he could see nothing. It was almost as if a ghost was attacking the boat. With a jolt something crashed against the back of the boat and it began rocking again. This time Joe had no chance. He slipped, falling backwards and lost his balance. He fell overboard into the water. Tom jumped up, looking into the water. He was under total shock and hadn’t a clue what to do. He combed the surface of the water but could find Joe nowhere.

Suddenly bubbles of air rose to the surface and Joe hastily gasped for air. He shouted to Tom.

“Come on you idiot, stop gazing so dumbly into the water. Get me out of here.” Tom was still in a complete state of shock, he gathered his courage. He bent over the edge of the boat stretching his hand out to Joe who tried with all his strength to pull himself up but in vein. He lost hold of his hand and fell back into the cool water, thrashing about with both legs to stay afloat. But something under the water already had him in its sights and moved faster and faster towards him. Joe shouted to Tom.

“Faster, faster, get me out of here!” Tom grabbed his hand once again and pulled as hard as he could, but then he turned his gaze to the water behind Joe. The sight that revealed itself shocked him so much that he abruptly let go of Joe’s hand who fell backwards again into the water. Joe didn’t understand the world any longer and was visibly angry and screamed at Tom.

 “You idiot, what’s the matter with you?” But then he felt something moving behind him. It was moving at an extraordinary speed and heading straight towards him. Joe whirled around and saw an approximately one meter large creature coming towards him. Now it was all or nothing. He had no time to lose and tried to get out of the water on his own. But it was too late. The creature had reached him and pulled him down backwards from the side of the boat. He cried for help and fought tooth and nail to defend himself. But he did not have a chance.

The creature clenched him by the neck, pulling him down into the depths of the ocean. Tom who had had to watch the whole spectacle fell back onto his seat after the event. He bent forwards holding his head in both hands. He bobbed up and down, his whole body trembling. The shock of what had just happened had mortified him. He thought the nightmare was over but once again came the frightening muffled noise. The boat began to rock. Tom grasped the side of the boot when its wooden bottom broke up before his eyes. Before he could manage to get up or get out of the way he was confronted by the gigantic creature. He stared into the eyes of the beetle-like animal. They were grayish in color and shimmered translucently in the light of the stars.

Tom’s eyes widened and he screamed for help. Suddenly a harpoon-like tongue shot from the mouth of the creature and in one stroke bored through Tom’s head. The last cry hushed into the night and the creature dived into the depths with its prey. All that remained was the destroyed remains of a wooden boat. But the attack ensured that the boat slowly but surely began to sink. In a few minutes it would be impossible to discover and an accident could no longer be reconstructed…

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Death Lurks Everywhere by Tanja SegalYOU CAN FIND TANJA SEGAL HERE

Author website: http://authortanjasegal.weebly.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TanjaArtStudio

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/author.Tanja.Segal

Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/death.lurks.everywhere

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tanja-segal/51/866/721

Blog: http://tanjaartstudio.wordpress.com/

Paranormal Freebies Hop. Free “Vengeance of the Wolf” For ALL.

My Favorite Paranormal Character

Gin Blanco

Character :  Gin Blanco

Book:  By a Thread (The Elemental Assassin Series) by Jennifer Estep

Occupation:  Assassin, Cook, Waitress, Owner of Pork Pit

Eye Color:  Grey

Hair Color:  Auburn Brown, but it depends on what she needs.

Elemental Power:  Stone and Ice

Assassin Code Name:  The Spider

Location:  Ashland (Where Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina meet)

This character is for all practical purposes, perfect.  She can be soft, accommodating and approachable but leads a dual life.  When the need arises, she becomes the famous assassin called “The Spider”.  She is a superb fighter and believe it or not, is actually a humanitarian.  she does not like killing innocent people or victims.  She is family oriented, values her friends and is honest.

During the day or when not on assignment, she works at the Pork Pit (Actually the owner) and employs several of her closest friends.

***FREEBIE***

For ALL visiting, a FREE ecopy of “Vengeance of the Wolf” for you to download from Smashwords.com, June 21-22!

Vengeance of the Wolf by Solitaire Parke
Thanks for visiting! Don’t forget to check out the other free books through the Paranormal Freebies Hop. Some will be posting on the 22nd, since it is a two-day event:

1. Molly Snow, Author
2. Annalise Hulse, Author
3. Dare to Open the Door to Your Dreams!
4. Taryn Browning
5. The Traveling Reader
6. Lets Get Personal

Welcome! The “Indie Author Giveaway Hop” Has Begun!

Indie Author Giveaway Hop

June 13 – June 19

I am jazzed to be participating in the Indie Author Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Krazy Book Lady! This blog hop is a fun way to celebrate all of the incredibly hard working Indie Authors who have had the courage to publish their work and features books by over 200 Indie & Small Press Authors! Please support Indie Authors by checking out the other links to enter and win lots of wonderful books!

I have 3 Giveaways to offer you!

1. A signed paperback copy of “Silver Knight” by Caron Rider (International)

Silver Knight by Caron Rider
When seventeen-year-old Diana recognizes an elderly priest in a video on YouTube, she realizes that reincarnation is real and that she’s been alive before! Every night in her dreams, she relives her past learning that it’s kill or be killed. Now a bishop at the Vatican whom she saved in another life calls on her once more. She is needed to help defeat evil within the catacombs of Rome. But when she arrives in Rome, she meets Alexander – the man of her dreams! Through the centuries she has loved him…betrayed him…been killed by him. Will she give him another chance or this time will she strike first?

To learn more about Caron Rider and her exciting YA novels:
http://www.caronrider.com

2. A signed paperback copy of “Tapestry” by Solitaire Parke and a special-made bookmark (US Only)

Tapestry by Solitaire Parke
A collection of over 200 poems written in a style often compared to that of Edgar Allan Poe.“Tapestry is a vivid sojourn inside the mind of the poet. His inspirations, hopes and fears come to life through a series of interlacing poems which depict his life and careers, his loves and disappointments, and his successes. Great to ponder in the wee hours of any long and lonely night.”

Included is a special-made bookmark featuring the poem “Solitaire” and signed by Solitaire Parke.

3. An eBook copy of “A Hint Of Murder: The Writer” by Lia Fairchild (International)

A Hint Of Murder: The Writer by Lia Fairchild
Alicia Fairfield didn’t plan on being famous. Now a bestselling author with millions of fans, Alicia also has the attention of a killer. Someone has been recreating the murders from her books and the suspects are piling up; her mentally ill son, a disgruntled associate, and possibly even her loyal literary agent. The pressure of public recognition along with the guilt over these senseless killings could be enough to drive Alicia over the edge. Can she hold it together long enough to uncover a killer?

This is a short story (9,000 words), and is the first in Lia’s exciting Murder Mystery Series.

To learn more about the series:
http://www.ahintofmurder.blogspot.com

To be eligible to win:

Follow this blog and then leave a comment on this post stating the giveaway you are interested in. If you would prefer to enter the giveaway via Google docs, click this link to fill out the form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dC1GUWNsWEU1SnlvYm9Wc2xLYUNLclE6MQ

For extra entries:

1. Like the Solitaire Parke fan page: http://www.facebook.com/solitaireparke

2. Follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/solitaireparke

3. Tweet about this giveaway!

You may only enter 1 time for each book.

There are lots of great gifts out there with the participants of the rest of the hop. Be sure to check them out by clicking on the “Indie Author Giveaway Hop” banner above! Most importantly, have fun! :)

What Was My Inspiration For Becoming a Writer?

Happy Friday everyone! The weekend is upon us and we’re all breathing a big sigh of relief! As far as we’re concerned (we being authors) that doesn’t really mean much other than the possibility of sleeping in (if the kids comply, of course) and at least the option of staying in your pj’s all day long if you want to! Otherwise, it’s back to work at the computer typing just as fast as our fingers will allow in hopes of reaching the day’s writing goal. I know I’ll be doing just that! Guilty as charged! Whether you have an amazing ten page day, you write an inspired blog post or even just manage to jot down an idea, keep in mind what inspired you to become a writer in the first place…don’t allow yourself to become discouraged! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal! I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

I wrote a guest post about my inspiration for becoming a writer, and it is featured on “Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf”. You can click on the image below or the link http://www.moonlightgleam.com/2012/06/author-guest-post-with-solitaire-parke.html to read the post.

Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf

*** Fellow Indie Authors and friends…what was your inspiration for becoming a writer? ***

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