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~ Happy Holidays from Mt. Drago ~

I am in the final stretch of Book Two in the Dragomeir Series, “Flight of the Aguiva.” It will be coming out in the spring of 2015, so get ready for more adventure and excitement with the people and creatures of Mt. Drago. Here are some of my favorite quotes from “Flight of the Aguiva.”  Have a wonderful Holiday Season Everyone!

 

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Check out my Author’s Links

www.solitaire parke.com

Holidays at Mt.Drago

In The Dragomeir Series, Book One – “The Emerald Dragon,” most of the dwellers of Mt. Drago are technically not from around Arizona or even from earth for that matter. The ones that are from here celebrate holidays in the same way as those who live in the smaller world. Good examples of that would be people like Bob Harris, and Ivory McNeil, both of whom came to the mountain from known places like Chicago and New York. During holidays like the one coming up, Thanksgiving, they celebrate in the same traditional ways that other people have for decades. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and all of the trimmings served by the resident Stewards will be held this year at Mt. Drago on November, 27th 2014 at around noon. Hope to see you there! Turkey roasted over an open fire . . . nothing better!

thanksgiving

 

DRAGOMEIR SERIES – Creature Features – “Pieces of Eight”

Pieces of Eight – Technically, they are genetically altered, Class Eight Demons. They appear in “The Emerald Dragon,” and were responsible for bringing the first of the Aguiva dragons. What the Dark Lord was looking for was a demon with the strength of a Class Eight, but with a much smaller overall size. These demons stand about six feet tall, weigh in at about two hundred pounds, and on the Provinces are considered tiny. The size factor was adhered to because of the Aguiva dragons. It takes a human sized person to fly one of the War Birds. Anything larger and the Aguiva wouldn’t be able to lift the weight.

The look and feel of the Pieces of Eight is very similar to their counterparts, the standard Class Eight Demon, just smaller with less pronounced facial features. They generally have dark brown hair and eyes. They are strong, fast, and fiercely protective of their War Birds. The demon pictured below is an artist’s rendition of Caleb, complete with his flight suit. Caleb flies the Aguiva dragon named Seven. There are one hundred and seventy- five demons within the ranks of the Pieces of Eight. Other intriguing creatures to come! If you have any thoughts or comments, please let me know and I will be happy to get back to you. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads; or for more information, check out my Books, The Omnicon store, and More on the website -

http://www.solitaireparke.com

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How to Build Better Books – Awesome Site!

Tired of hunting for information?

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If you want to find out how to do just about anything pertaining to writing, publishing and marketing books, this is one of the most comprehensive websites I have found yet.  It is run by Joel Friedlander, and there are links to information you may not even have thought you would need.  I have found it to be incredibly helpful in so many areas and thought I would pass it along.  Definitely check it out.  You’ll be glad you did!

Here is the link -

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/

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!

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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!

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