Category Archives: The Emerald Dragon

WHY DO WE LOVE DRAGONS?

Dragons are magical, mythical winged creatures that we find both thrilling and frightening.  Both adults and younger readers seem to find them equally fantastic.   We’d like to believe that they might have once existed, and they are legendary in almost every culture on the planet, so why not?

They have traditionally been viewed as perilous, dangerous creatures with magical qualities that laid waste to the countryside and carried off damsels in distress, thereby having to be sought after and conquered. Some authors have written about them with this view in mind – Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J. K. Rowling, to name a few.  The fantasy writer, Anne McCaffrey, explored human kinship with dragons, man and animal befriending one another.  Countless children’s books have now brought these fantastic creatures into the next generation to be both feared and loved.

I have continued with Anne McCaffrey’s affinity of dragon and man in my Dragomeir Series books, and now in the new prequel series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, and the forthcoming Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.  (There will definitely be a Part Three!)

Dragons introduce a much needed magic and adrenaline into our lives – the appeal of being unpredictable and potentially dangerous that emulates our challenges, frustrations and achievements in an exhilarating and exceptional way.  Dragons never play by anyone’s rules.

Nowadays, dragons are our constant companions in novels, movies and computer games.  They are the most familiar and respected creatures from fantasy and legend. They can give us an emotional reaction of faithful friendship, as well as the opportunity to fly.  Dragons allow us to feel indestructible and open up our imaginations.  They give us wings.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

What are your favorite dragons?

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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.

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Solitaire


 

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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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Writers/Authors – 7 Tips to Help You Identify Your Target Market/Audience

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A target audience is the person or group of people a piece of writing is intended to reach. This seems to be one of the most difficult questions to figure out for a writer/author.  I, for one, have struggled with this one.  So I’ve been doing some research and have uncovered some tips from multiple sources that have been helpful to me.  Although we as authors would like to believe that the books we spend hours poring over are going to be loved by everyone, rarely is that the case.  We all have our preferences as to what interests us, which accounts for the racks upon racks of books and genres that are found in bookstores and on the internet everywhere.  In order to maximize the promotion of your books and put them in front of those who would most likely be your audience, you need to know which categories and genres they fall under so that readers can easily find the specific books that interest them.  If you find and narrow your niche it will enable you to appeal to and reach more of the readers that will ultimately buy your book.  What group/groups of readers are you targeting and how do you accomplish that tricky, but very important feat?  Well, here are some tips I found that might be helpful:

  • Try to isolate what types or groups of people the content of your book would interest. Is it about something historical? – history buffs, or elements of the future? – sci-fi, does it have elves or fairies? – fantasy, is it technical or educational? – educators and/or   computer buffs, etc. If it has elements of several different topics it could appeal to a number of types of people. The groups of readers may overlap. (You may have multiple target audiences.)
  • Pinpoint what is special about your book – what words would you use to describe it specifically to someone if they asked what it was about. (What is the hook?) Is your story scary, comedic, fantastic and/or futuristic, educational, technical, mysterious?
  • Determine what age your book would most likely appeal to. (Demographic) Is it something kids, teens, young adults, adults, or a combination of readers would enjoy?
  • Look at other books that are comparable to your book and applicable to the topic or subtopic in your book. identify who are their main readers/buyers. (Check at Amazon or Barnes & Noble to see what books are in their categories.)
  • You can Google the reader demographics for magazines, publications or newsletters that are applicable to the topic or subtopic in your book.
  • Investigate compatible author websites. See who is making comments and check out their profiles. They might be your target audiences.
  • Examine the type of vocabulary you have used or are going to use in your book. How would it change depending on whether you were addressing children, teens, or adults? Who would relate to the way your characters are speaking.

Once you have identified your target audience, look at the users of the social media sites, publications, or blogs to see where those readers hang out. Start heading in those directions to find the people that are compatible with your writing, and connect with them to grow a fan base. Be where they are.

I hope this helps you to determine your target audience and better connect with your readers.

Solitaire

 

 

Top 10 Fantasy Writing Tips From “Game Of Thrones” Author George R.R. Martin!

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Just about everyone, including me, has watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones.” The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for many years before this series came out. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Since I write Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject. So I thought this article on the site, Lifehacker.com, was rather interesting. His top 10 writing tips for Fantasy are as follows:

  • Don’t limit your imagination
  • Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
  • It’s okay to borrow from history
  • Talk to real people for a believable point of view
  • Grief is a powerful tool_but don’t overdo it
  • Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
  • Avoid fantasy clichés
  • The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
  • Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
  • All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair

To read the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/11/ten-tips-on-writing-a-fantasy-saga-from-game-of-thrones-author-george-r-r-martin/

Any tips you’d like to share?  I’m always open to new ideas for improving my writing.  See you soon.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Urban Fantasy? – Part Two: 28 TV Shows & Movies

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Urban fantasy is not just a literary genre; it is also a Television and Movie genre, even if it isn’t necessarily referred to as such by many people in TV Land or Hollywood. Urban fantasy shows have been around for quite a while, starting with the likes of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, both of which were more sci-fi than anything else but still had some urban fantasy elements to them. The urban fantasy genre didn’t really take off though until about ten years ago, when a slew of new shows came along that featured supernatural characters and goings on in a largely urban setting. There’s a good chance you’ve seen some of them.

Television –

  • Once Upon a Time A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a town in Maine where fairy tales are to be believed.
  • Gargoyles A clan of heroic night creatures pledge to protect modern New York City as they did in Scotland long ago.
  • Grimm A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer A young girl, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends.
  • The Vampire Diaries A teenage girl is torn between two vampire brothers.
  • Sleepy Hollow Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.
  • True Blood – This show features every Urban Fantasy trope you can think of, from vampires to werewolves to fairies and everything in between.
  • Supernatural – Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.
  • Hemlock Grove A teenage girl is brutally murdered, sparking a hunt for her killer. But in a town where everyone hides a secret, will they find the monster among them?
  • Penny Dreadful Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.
  • Angel – The vampire, Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.
  • Lost Girl – Lost Girl focuses on the gorgeous and charismatic Bo, a supernatural being called a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans, sometimes with fatal results. Refusing to embrace her supernatural clan system and its rigid hierarchy, Bo is a renegade who takes up the fight for the underdog while searching for the truth about her own mysterious origins.
  • Dead Like Me – A college dropout, Georgia “George” Lass is killed by a toilet seat that falls from the MIR space station on her first day at a temp agency. Upon death, she is recruited for a team of grim reapers – undead who mix among the living and take people’s souls just before they die. Along with fellow team members Mason, Roxy, Betty, and leader Rube, George discovers life after life.
  • Being Human – A werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost try to live together and get along.

Movies –

  • The Harry Potter Movies – Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • Ghostbusters – Three unemployed parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
  • Hellboy A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.
  • Hellboy II – The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
  • Big Trouble in Little China – An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.
  • Underworld – Selene is a beautiful vampire warrior entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.
  • Underworld Evolution – Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selene and the half werewolf Michael, hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them.
  • The Covenant – Four young men who belong to a supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power long thought to have died out. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart.
  • Groundhog Day – A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.
  • Blood & Chocolate – A young teenage werewolf is torn between honoring her family’s secret and her love for a man.
  • Blade – A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.
  • Interview with the Vampire – A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.
  • Highlander An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled “Prize”.
  • Constantine – A man struggling with his faith is haunted by the sins of his past, but is suddenly thrust into the role of defending humanity from the gathering forces of darkness.

 What are some of your favorites?

I’m in the process of writing my third urban fantasy book, called “Egg of the Amphitere.”  It’s from my Dragomeir Series which includes “The Emerald Dragon” and “Flight of the Aguiva.”  If you like dragon books, or creatures like vampires, hellhounds and sabers, come check them out at my website

 www.solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

7 Quotes That Will Make You Smile :)

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In the dragon books of the Dragomeir Series, the main character, Tanis, is a man of multiple talents. He is a Thaumaturgist and a skilled warrior, a mentor to others like him, and an amazing dragon rider with not one, but two dragons to manage on a day to day basis. Then there is his relationship to the Queen Mother, The Ariella, which has its ups and downs, making life very exciting, to say the least. So it’s a good thing he was blessed with a sense of humor. How could anyone survive without being able to laugh in the face of chaos and danger? So here are a few thoughts from the absurd but astute mind of Tanis Nickolai Theatra of “The Emerald Dragon” and “Flight of the Aguiva” –

 

  • “With my luck it’s probably radioactive and will cause my future children to be born bald, with an intense urge to play the banjo.”

 

  • “That would’ve been a herculean level of work for nothing. Although if it had, then I would be going back to bed to get a decent amount of sleep. And we all know that’s not going to happen. Jeans, Tanis shoes, and a T-shirt that states, “Tanis is Da Man” was as far as I wanted to go at the moment. Today’s forecast calls for “widely scattered labor, followed tonight by dried perspiration. Stay tuned for Sports.”

 

  • “If you say something with enough fervor and enough times . . . you begin to believe.”

 

  •  “I must admit, I’ve never seen anything like that before. I told you I’d talk to the engineers, but after seeing that, do you really think I need to warn them about anything concerning the river, its speed or inhabitants? I think what you need to do is put a sign at the beginning of the corridor that states, CAUTION! Excessively dangerous river that runs so fast it probably kills the fish. Proceed at your own risk!”

 

  • ” you know what they say . . . opinions are like navels, everyone has one.”

 

  • “So, tell me . . . what’s the last thing to go through an insect’s mind when it hits the windscreen of a speeding car? Its butt – and I didn’t want to be an insect.”

Smile, it takes less muscles!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dragomeir Series Continues. . .

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Dragomeir comes alive in a world of Urban Fantasy.  A world where Tanis Nickolai Theatra and Demios Reptillus Stag – dragon rider and his emerald dragon, along with a whole host of other dragon riders and their dragons, battle against the Demons and Dark Lords of the Provinces to keep control of Mt. Drago.  The Ariella – Mt. Drago’s Queen of the Dragons, is amassing an army including Hellhounds and The Chosen – creatures given asylum at Mt. Drago – to protect her extended family.  But Tanis is disturbed by secrets from The Ariella’s past.  How will this affect their future and is she really who she claims to be?  Find out in Book One of the Dragomeir Series – “The Emerald Dragon.”  It is available at the following link –

https://solitaireparke.wordpress.com/the-emerald-dragon/.

The saga continues with Tanis and the dragon riders as they uncover secrets that could either save or annihilate them.  In the process, they come upon new worlds and The Ariella establishes another mountain home to house  the newly acquired dragons.   The Second Book in the Dragomeir Series, “Flight of the Aguiva”, has just been released and is available in multiple formats here –

https://solitaireparke.wordpress.com/flight-of-the-aguiva/.

Coming soon is the Third Book in the Dragomeir Series – “Egg of the Amphitere”, which will be out later this year. Will the inhabitants of Mt. Drago be able to survive the terrible times ahead and emerge victorious? I will be giving you updates and interesting facts about the books, so if you are a dragon lover like me, I’d love for you to follow the story of Tanis and Demios.  Have a great day!

http://www.solitaireparke.com/

Solitaire

“Flight of the Aguiva” is Now Available!!!

“Flight of the Aguiva”

Book Two of the Dragomeir Series

is finished and

Available NOW !!!

 

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Click on the above link to find out more!

Who is The Ariella?

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In the Dragomeir Series Book One, “The Emerald Dragon,” you will find a character called Queen Mother, The Ariella, which means Queen of the Dragons. She stands about five feet five inches tall, but carries herself like she is much taller, and weighs about a hundred and ten pounds. With dark brown hair and green eyes, she can appear pretty hard core, and can be a formidable opponent in a fight. She is, however, a real “softy” when it comes to her dragons. She is a very powerful woman and a Dragon Rider to two of the kings of their species, the black and white Wyvern Dragons, Basiliskos and Invectum, respectively. As the Queen Mother presides over the many Riders and their Dragons at Mt. Drago, Mt. Femmes, and Mt. Arcadia, you can imagine that her position is one that is very demanding and quite hectic on a daily basis.

In spite of her title, there are some who wonder if The Ariella is more than what she appears to be. There are many mysterious meetings, and she appears to know people that are in direct conflict with her entire Empire within the mountains. Even the Dragon Rider, Tanis, who has been very close to her for many years, is beginning to suspect that something is being kept secret from him. What is the real purpose behind the acquisition of other Creatures who are being brought into their world?  Why does she appear to be acquiring an army, and why do some of the strangers that are arriving at Mt. Drago seem to know her?  There are many unanswered questions about The Ariella.

Join Tanis and his Dragon, Demios, as they maneuver through the day to day struggles and adventures in the wonderful world of Dragons, incredible Creatures, and unusual planets, and find out if The Queen of the Dragons, The Ariella, is actually who she claims to be!

You can find “The Emerald Dragon” and coming very soon, BookTwo of the Dragomeir Series, “Flight of the Aguiva,” along with much more at –

http://www.solitaireparke.com

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