Author Archives: solitaireparke

Cover Reveal – “Tinker Smith & the Conspiracy of Oz”

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COVER REVEAL of the new novel by the author of the Dragomeir Books and the Larger World Series, SOLITAIRE PARKE is excited to introduce –

“TINKER SMITH & THE CONSPIRACY OF OZ”

– The Iconic characters of L. Frank Baum’s beloved classic “Wizard of Oz” books are revived once again with an entirely new twist that is more in step with the present times –

Ten children are stolen from their parents while at a summer camp and genetically altered.   They have become part human and part something else, each with extraordinary capabilities.  These new abilities cause them to become freaks in a society that is being altered by the geneticist who made them – Oscar Zoroaster, the self proclaimed Wizard of Oz.  His technological prowess is far beyond standard science and he deploys it on an unsuspecting populace causing worldwide chaos.  This evil genius wants to reshape the world using a computer virus called EPITOMY and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

Johnny, a young boy and his father find themselves thrust into this world of espionage and technology that stretch their imaginations to the limit.  Johnny meets Tinker, one of the ten children, and together they forge ahead in the hope of survival.

Unknown to anyone, Oscar has created a subprogram within the virus, the Oz Immortality Sequence.  In the event of death – reanimation takes effect.  Can it be stopped, or has Oz unleashed a technological mammoth that will bring the world to its knees?

The Oz books were originally written for children, but became classics for all ages, eventually being made into several unforgettable movies.  “The Wizard of Oz” movie of 1939 went on to become one of the most watched movies in cinematic history.  If you are a fan of L. Frank Baum’s books, or even if you’ve never read them before, this new novel with its compelling characters and their camaraderie, seemingly impossible obstacles and exciting fates will keep you captivated in this uncommon fantasy world.

Keep checking for future updates on this forthcoming novel!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE!!!

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Hello Readers!  The new website is now up and running!  So come visit and read the latest news about the Dragomeir Books, as well as the Larger World Series, and much more.  You’ll find my Blog, Fun Facts and  Extras, and discover what books are forthcoming.  See you at the website!

Solitaire

Have any questions or things you’d like to know about?  Contact me!

www.solitaireparke.com

 

New Website Coming Very Soon!

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Hello fellow readers!  Can you believe it’s nearly September already?  Labor Day is nearly upon us.  We’re watching Summer pass us by and we’re heading into Fall again.   Well, at least some of the country gets to enjoy the autumn time of year.  Those of us who live in Arizona are still stuck in the “hot” time-warp zone.

Time does fly when you have a million ideas in your head and are trying  to get your thoughts together for additional books, not to mention, “life” tends to hand us a myriad of interruptions every day.  I Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been really busy lately putting together an entirely new Website.  The new site will be easier to navigate and give you all kinds of engaging information about my books and a host of other topics and practical tips.  You’ll be able to read the latest updates, purchase books, read the current blog entries, go to my shop – The Omnicon, contact me, or just peruse the extras page for surprising or just plain fun information.  So stay tuned and join me for a few diversions, along with the latest information about the Dragomeir Series and some forthcoming new books!  It’ll be up soon, so keep in touch and have a great day!

I hope you’ll join me at www.solitaireparke.com.

Solitaire

 

 

 

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Stress Survival 101!

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Relieving and managing stress is definitely a necessary survival skill, especially in this crazy fast-paced, technology driven world in which we live today.  Authors stress about all sorts of things – whether readers will like our books, deadlines, writer’s block, book sales, the next new project, and a host of everyday things we call “life.”  We all have this annoying affliction caused by work deadlines, an overabundance of traffic, countless family obligations, health problems, and who knows what else!  Relaxation . . . That’s just crazy talk!  So how is it possible to cram more time into a day when it’s packed full of “stuff” to do already?  I don’t have the answer to that question, but there are experts out there in the cyber-world that seem to have some suggestions.  Maybe it’s time we started listening to some of them before we become another stressed out statistic!  (Stress is a major cause of heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on and on.  Doesn’t sound good.)   So see if any of these ideas might be helpful –

  • Lower stress through your diet by making smart food choices that actually help your immune system to function properly rather than try to compensate for all the bad food we eat. Eating whole real food restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body.  There is a connection between your stomach and your brain.  Give your brain something healthy to work with.Release endorphins through exercise. Get your body moving and stop being so sedentary – dance, walk, do Yoga, Martial Arts, swimming, run up and down the stairs or whatever you like to do.  Stand up and do some stretches if you can’t do anything else at the time. Our bodies were not designed to sit still for too long.   Just get moving!!!
  • Get a decent night’s sleep. Sleep and stress cause a vicious cycle.  Lack of sleep makes it harder to handle the problems of the next day, which causes more stress.  Allow your body to slow down right before bedtime – turn off the technology, as hard as that may be.  Your body will thank you for it.
  • Breathe. Yes, we do it all the time, but slow down your heart rate with slow deep breathing which will lower your blood pressure and allow you to calm down and relax.  Never underestimate the power of just taking deep, slow breaths.  Slow down that ragged life style for a little while.
  • Have an attitude of being grateful for everything and everyone in your life. It has an amazing affect on your physical, psychological, and relational well-being.  Increased positive emotions means greater stress tolerance, better relationships, improved overall health and better sleep.  Create a daily habit of remembering what you are thankful for.  There is too much negativity in this world already.  Don’t add to it.
  •    Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and others.  Don’t expect everything to go perfectly.  People will never be perfect.  Have healthy responses to conflicts at work and at home, and don’t be so hard on yourself.  You can’t control what people are going to do or say, but you can control your reactions to it.  Attempt to be the better person.  It’s much less stressful when things don’t go as planned, and let’s face it, there are always surprises.
  • Identify your priorities and establish boundaries. Consider what is the most important and put that as a priority.  Say “no” to lesser priorities and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.  You might need to set a specific time to exercise or spend quality time with a loved one, or to do something work related.  This can keep you from feeling “pulled” in too many directions, or risk disappointment or resentment.  Manage your time wisely.
  • Take some “alone” time for yourself. It might only be 5 or 10 minutes, but go somewhere away from everyone and just relax and breathe.  Walk outside and take in the beauty of nature, do some yoga, take a short rest and calm your mind, or listen to music.  Go collect your thoughts and clear your head.  Give yourself a break.
  • Organize your life. Clean up your desk, or your house.  Living in a cluttered world makes your mind cluttered as well.  Keep things where they belong so you can find them again.  It makes your life less stressful if you don’t have to hunt for something that you need at the time.  Organize and unclutter your world.  Your brain will thank you for it!
  • Socialize and have fun. Laughter is great for your health.  Visit with friends, or play Frisbee with your dog, play with your children at their level, watch funny videos on Youtube, or plan a vacation.  Take a break from whatever is stressing you out and do something that’s fun.  Too much work is not good for you physically or mentally.

So take some time to de-stress and have a great day!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

Hul Gil – the “Joy Plant”

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The opium poppy is widely cultivated and its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It is used for production of dried latex and opium, the principal precursor of narcotic and analgesic opiates such as morphine, heroin and codeine. Poppy seeds are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.

The earliest reference to opium was in 3,400 BC where the Sumerians in lower Mesopotamia referred to it as Hul Gil, the “Joy Plant.” They, in turn, passed the knowledge of the opium poppy to the Assyrians, who gave it to the Babylonians, who passed it on to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were famous for their poppy fields and the opium trade flourished during the eighteenth dynasty (around 1500 to 1300 BC) under the reigns of Thutmose IV, Akhenaton and King Tutankhamen.  Roman gladiators used opium to enhance their fighting … and to die as painlessly as possible if mortally wounded.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, saw opium as a helpful narcotic for treating disease. The great physician Galen cautioned that opium should be used sparingly in 158 AD. He said it was better to endure pain than to be bound to the drug. It wasn’t until 400 AD that opium was introduced into China by Arab traders.

Alexander the Great used opium to help his soldiers march farther because they couldn’t feel the pain in their feet; and they could sleep through the night because the wounded were sleeping peacefully under the influence of opium. He introduced opium to India, where its cultivation flourished. One of the goals of Columbus was to bring back opium from India, as its access had been cut off when the Arabs were expelled from Spain. He didn’t get to India, but he brought back tobacco from the New World and smoking tobacco became common throughout Europe.

In 1803, a German chemist named Friedrich Sertuerner synthesized morphine from opium. Sertuerner’s wife overdosed on morphine and died. He then publically warned against its dangers. But morphine was also a great step forward in medicine. It allowed doctors to do true surgery for the first time. Morphine was heralded as “God’s own medicine” for its reliability and long-lasting effects. By 1827, the E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt Germany was commercially manufacturing morphine.

A new technique for administering morphine was developed by Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburg when he invented the syringe in 1843. Wood believed that if morphine was injected instead of swallowed, “patients would not hunger for it.” He was wrong; and several of his patients became dependent.

John Witherspoon warned his fellow doctors in a June 23, 1900 article about their indiscriminant use of morphine. The morphine habit was growing at an alarming rate; and doctors were culpable for “too often giving this seductive siren until the will-power is gone.” Pointing to the Great First Physician, he said doctors should “save our people from the clutches of this hydra-headed monster” which wrecked lives and filled jails and lunatic asylums.

In my forthcoming book –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”

the Dark Lord of the Provinces, a manipulative, heartless and cruel ruler, attempts to control the Denizen people that he rules by allowing them to become addicted to the medicinal serum.  His plan is to cut off the supply of the Hul Gil, and then establish it once again, only this time with contingencies tacked on.  In essence, he would be creating voluntary slavery with himself as the Dictator.  Whenever the Dark Lord wanted something, he would simply cut off the drug until the people complied with his wishes, thereby maintaining power over those he considered to be worthless underlings.  His daughter, Katherine, who is aware of the monster that is her father, is still shocked and stunned at the depths of his sadistic inhumanity and is determined once again to thwart his malevolent efforts.

The book takes place on the Provinces of Hell, not a destination that anyone would want to find themselves, and yet to her chagrin, Katherine is not only the Dark Lord’s daughter, but a potential victim of his evil plot.  She must find a way to survive and somehow escape this retched place.

The book is in the editing stages right now, but in the meantime, keep checking back for updates and more interesting facts about Katherine and those who choose to fight in her behalf in –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”

A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series Books One – Three

 Also available for purchase at www.solitaireparke.com and various other locations – in multiple formats.

dragomeirseries

Solitaire


 

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18 Quotes about the Legendary Dragon

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A Dragon is a legendary creature belonging to the world of mythology, storytelling and fantasy. There are stories about dragons in Chinese culture, European culture, South American culture, and many others.

Dragons can look like dinosaurs and other extinct animals. Because of that, it is easy to think that those animals might have been an example for dragons as they were thought of in the history of humankind.

There are many kinds of dragons in the different cultures. In general –

  • A dragon has: none to four legs, claws, scales and possibly spikes. Optional wings.
  • A dragon can look like a snake with wings, or like lizards
  • A dragon has a tail and a long neck.
  • A dragon has a wide mouth with big and dangerous teeth.
  • Sometimes they have horns and hair.
  • A dragon can fly.
  • A dragon can perhaps breathe fire (or other dangerous substances).
  • A dragon can have special powers.
  • Some dragons live in caves.

In a number of stories, dragons are dangerous and attack humans. Other stories have dragons that are looking for help, or giving help.  In my Dragomeir Series, the dragons become companions and are lifelong friends to their specific riders.  They can be dangerous to those who attempt to hurt the ones they love or their way of life, but to their riders they are the ultimate friend.  Here are some interesting quotes about dragons:

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

      J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Hobbit

And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Farthest Shore

If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.

     LLONA ANDREWS, Fate’s Edge

 

The ultimate challenge of a teacher lies not in the slaying of dragons, but rather in exposing them as beasts no longer to be feared.

      ALAN BURTON, A Wayward Wizard’s Wistful Words
If you want to conquer the world, you best have dragons.

     GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, A Dance with Dragons

O to be a dragon,

a symbol of the power of Heaven — of silkworm

size or immense; at times invisible.

Felicitous phenomenon!

     MARIANNE MOORE, O To Be a Dragon

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

     RAINER MARIA RILKE, Letters to a Young Poet

 

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you art crunchy and good with ketchup.

     ANONYMOUS

Come not between the dragon, and his wrath.

     WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

If you see the dragon fly,

best you drink the flagon dry.

     GREG HAMERTON, Second Sight

The hunger of a dragon is slow to wake, but hard to sate.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea

Imagine a land where people are afraid of dragons. It is a reasonable fear: dragons possess a number of qualities that make being afraid of them a very commendable response. Things like their terrible size, their ability to spout fire, or to crack boulders into splinters with their massive talons. In fact, the only terrifying quality that dragons do not possess is that of existence.

     DAVID WHITELAND, Book of Pages

A dragon stranded in shallow water provides amusement to the shrimps.

     CHINESE PROVERB

I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighborhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.

     J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Tolkien Reader

It is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea

Did not learned men, too, hold, till within the last twenty-five years, that a flying dragon was an impossible monster? And do we not now know that there are hundreds of them found fossil up and down the world? People call them Pterodactyles: but that is only because they are ashamed to call them flying dragons, after denying so long that flying dragons could exist.

     CHARLES KINGSLEY, The Water Babies

Here be dragons to be slain, here be rich rewards to gain;

If we perish in the seeking, why, how small a thing is death! DOROTHY L. SAYERS, Catholic Tales and Christian Songs

People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

     URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Wave in the Mind:

Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader, & the Imagination

 

Do you love reading about dragons?  Check out this ongoing series  at my website –

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES:

“The Emerald Dragon”

“Flight of theAguiva”

“Egg of the Amphitere”

 

And the forthcoming book –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord”

Part One

“The Burning Sky”

Solitaire

July 4th, 2016 – Happy Independence Day!

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Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Have a great Fourth of July – GOD BLESS AMERICA

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

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HELL HOUNDS – REVISITED

 

 

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The Hell Hounds were initially encountered in the first book of the Dragomeir Series, “The Emerald Dragon.”  These creatures were living at Mt. Drago after making a mass exodus from the Provinces of Hell, with the help of the Queen Mother or “The Ariella.”  Inside Mt. Drago, they took up shop in an area of the mountain called Tarin’s Gallery.

The Hell Hounds are a genetically altered species that started off with a considerable amount of wolf and pit bull in their heritage.  No one is really sure what else 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.  Their fur is course and sometimes sparse, and they are predominately brown in color with brown eyes.  Each one has a different and uneven muzzle, with teeth that protrude in a variety of directions, even with their mouths closed.  They also sport an opposing thumb and forefinger.

What the Dark Lord of the Provinces didn’t expect was that they were a species on the fast track to sentience.  Generations later, they were no longer just guard dogs.  Through sheer will, a lot of death and destruction, and the help of a young girl, the Dark Lord’s daughter, they managed to escape.

By the eleventh generation they were not only intelligent, but self aware and very unhappy with the Dark Lord.  That’s where “The Ariella” entered the picture and gave them an opportunity they couldn’t ignore – a chance to break away from a life of cruelty, maltreatment and servitude.

The Hell Hounds 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.

Read about the Hell Hounds in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES Book One of Three Books –

“The Emerald Dragon”

And watch for the forthcoming book, a prequel to the first three books –

“Daughter of the Dark Lord

    Part One – The Burning Sky”

 

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

Want to know more about any of the Mt. Drago Creatures ? – Contact me below!

 

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Six Highly Informative Blogs for Authors

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 When it comes to self-publishing, there are countless blogs out there written by authors primarily selling their books, by “experts” selling their services, and then the ones that are full of advice and entertaining stories that you don’t want to miss reading.

They are, however, not all created equal.  Some are just more passionate about the information they are providing, and overall they give us more valuable knowledge in all aspects of self-publishing.  I don’t know about you, but I can use every available resource.  Knowledge is power, or in this case, possibly the difference between success and failure.    So here is a list of some of the most informative blogs available to help you achieve that success.

Founded by Joel Friedlander, former book designer and founder of an information- packed blog.  It has extensive resources and tools, guides and books, video instruction,  and an online training course – The Self-Publishing Roadmap. This is a full service blog.

 

Former publisher of Writer’s Digest, a writer, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, and media professor.  She helps authors learn the business side of publishing and how the digital age affects everything from transforming writers, publishing, and storytelling. She has online classes and author services as well as countless resources.

 

London-based website by self-published author, entrepreneur, and speaker Joanna Penn.   She provides the resources to help you write, publish and market your book.  She has  books, courses, tools, and podcasts  to propel you in the right direction.  All  kinds of  great information here.

 

Founded in 2011 by independent author and consultant Stephen Hise as a platform to celebrate independent authors.  Operates like an interactive online magazine.  Contains thousands of helpful staff articles as well as tutorial books for authors.  Offers opportunities for authors to display their books on the site, video trailers, new release announcements and a featured book section.

 

Founded by David P. Vandagriff, a writer who has a background in law, intellectual property litigation and tech.  Hundreds of articles relating to self-publishing.  Learn about enhanced e-books, fiction fundamentals or self-publishing strategies.

 

At the Savvy Book Marketer, Dana Lynn Smith shares a wealth of tips, advice and tools  to help you sell more books and make more money from your publishing business. She  is an author,has a marketing degree, and 19 years of publishing experience. Endless tips and resources for aspiring authors.

 

There is always something new on these sites almost daily, so check them out!

Have any suggestions for other great websites or blogs?

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Author of  –

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES ( If  you love dragons, you’ll find this series intriguing and a lot of fun!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Do Authors Get Their Ingenious Writing Ideas?

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Do they just appear out of nowhere and land in your lap when you least expect it?  Probably not very likely.  Certainly some authors have wonderfully vivid imaginations, but others are often people who are simply good at making observations and interpreting them into amazing storytelling.  Their characters can even be based on someone they know in real life.  Some writers have so many ideas in their heads that it’s hard to know which one to go for.  There are an abundance of sources for inspiration.  Here are a few  –

 

  • Mark Twain based his character Huckleberry Finn on a childhood friend.

“In Huckleberry Finn I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was

ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy

had.  His liberties were totally unrestricted. He was the only really independent

person—boy or man—in the community, and by consequence he was tranquilly

and continuously happy and envied by the rest of us.”

 

  • John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” is a commentary on social injustice and the forces behind poverty and oppression.

“I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this

[the Great Depression and its effects].” – John Steinbeck

 

  • The world of dreams is a magical place where writers often get answers and inspirational ideas.  Dreams have been a source for my creative ideas for years.  Many times I have been awakened with an unusual idea and have written it down on anything I can find so that it won’t be lost.  Other times I remember vividly the entire thing when I wake up, and a book is spawned right then and there.  Generally some changes ensue, but a dream was where it all started.

 

  • You might find inspiration from a snippet of interesting conversation you’ve heard recently, or a dialogue from a movie might spark something in your brain that’s worth creating a story about.

 

  • You might get some great ideas from going on a nature walk, watching the night sky, or looking at a magazine or reading a human interest story.

 

  • Traveling around the world or taking a day trip to the next town and discovering new places and people can make you see new things and spark thoughts for a story line.

 

  • If you have children or just watch and listen to children, it can change the way you view the world when you see through their eyes.

 

Ideas are free.  Just about anything we experience, see, hear or read can spark an idea.  We just need to be aware and observant – most writers excel at this.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

What or where is the most unexpected place you’ve found a writing idea?

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