Blog Archives

New Novel on the Horizon

 

It’s about time for another novel, this time Part Two of the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series.  The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now, and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

I am very anxious for you to read the Daughter of the Dark Lord books as they are the prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures – also available at my website.  I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most extraordinary ways with their riders and fellow beings, and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re really quite wonderful, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given so much of the time.

The second book in the series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project, is almost finished, I am happy to say.  These last few months have been a bit crazy, as life and the consequent stress of other projects seemed to take over from time to time, but I am hard at work on Book Two and it has progressed quite nicely.  So, before long it will move forward into editing mode, there will be a cover reveal, and it should be out before year’s end.
In the meantime, check out my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.

Solitaire

Happy Summer Reading!

 

 

 

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The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna

Excerpt from DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY:

(Cheron – the true specter of death, Ferryman at The River Styx – speaking to Katherine Pendragon, the daughter of the Dark Lord of the Provinces of Hell)

“Your father and his loyal demons cannot cross flowing water, and I speak not of the river of death.  Only through me may you cross the Styx.  These lands are not your prison and there are no conventions which bind your fate, but without an army, your father’s curse will be the end of us all.”

Cheron reached into his robe and pulled out an amulet attached to a golden chain.  Gazing at it for a moment, Cheron’s energy spiked, almost unnoticeably, and then passed.  He handed the piece to Katherine hesitantly, as if he was about to lose something meaningful to him.

“The most precious gift I can give you is this.  The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna.  It will give you control over Bahn Fahr and the Army of the Dead. “

The Amulet of Ele-Amarna was an ancient vial, one and one half inches in length, attached to a solid gold chain, which was eighteen inches in length.  The six gold rings surrounding it, would spin in the manner of a combination lock until they lined up, allowing it to open.  Katherine had no knowledge of what would happen once it opened, but she did know that her energy combined with that of the amulet would call up the Army of the Dead, and their subsequent leader, General Bahn Fahr.  The General resided with his army in the Province of Sheol. This might be the only way to defeat her father.

But the Amulet came with a warning:

“But beware . . . if the Amulet is destroyed once the Army is called, you will unleash dominion over the living by angry legions of those who cannot be stopped or killed.  Be warned, Ariella.  Hold the Amulet and call the Name of Bahn Fahr at the peril of all you hold dear.”

Does Katherine resort to using the Amulet, or does she find another way to to thwart the plans of her malevolent father, the Dark Lord, and his army of demons?  The answers can be found in

DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY

at my website www.solitaireparke.com, where it can be purchased at numerous locations in a variety of formats.

I look forward to hearing from my readers.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Solitaire

 

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?

SECRETS OF “THE ARIELLA”

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Who is this dark-haired beauty that they call ” The Ariella” or Queen Mother?  She commands an army of Dragons and Dragon Riders as well as a group of seemingly misfit Creatures that dwell in various mountain locations around the planet.  She has their fierce loyalty and is a force to be reckoned with among her global community; all of whom she guards with her life . . . she and her ominous and amazing Dragons, Basiliskos Verminthrax Pejorative – a male black Wyvern, and Invectum Viperathrax Pejorative – a male white Wyvern.

In The DRAGOMEIR SERIES books you can read all about this global population – their triumphs and defeats, while getting to know how “The Ariella” manages to keep them all alive from conflict to conflict.  But how long has she been around, and how did she become Queen Mother to this unlikely group of characters?

To answer this question, I am currently writing a Prequel to the series, which will chronicle her life, and rectify some of the myth surrounding her tumultuous journey leading up to her title, “The Ariella” or Queen Mother.  The story picks up shortly before her birth and follows her life thereafter.  It was her destiny to become the Queen of the Dragons and a champion to the downtrodden misfits in her world.

If you love Dragons, Dragon Riders, Otherworldly Creatures, and lots of adventure and intrigue, I hope you will enjoy the first three books in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES –

 

AND keep watching for my forthcoming book, the Fourth Book in the Series –

  • “DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD”

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.  Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com  (Books available at numerous websites)

 

Merry Christmas Mt. Drago 2015!

MtDrago_Christmastree_2015

 

It’s time for the Holidays! Mt. Drago has once again erected the Christmas tree in the middle of Commons. This one is the second of its kind, and has been decorated by the kids of Mt. Drago. Last year they picked their favorite dragon and created a Christmas ornament for them. At the end of the season all of the ornaments were gathered up and boxed for this year’s celebration. We have more children approaching the age where participation is possible and a whole new bumper crop of dragon ornaments to hang from the tree. All of the ornaments were carefully wrapped and packed into a series of “Holders of Things” to ensure they were kept safe.

Above is an image of the new and updated tree. We hope your Holiday Season is as joyful as ours.  Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours…

Tanis, Demi, Bubo, and Chaos.

Go to solitaireparke.com to find the Dragomeir Series Books at various locations.

 

 

 

7 Tips and Tricks on How to Keep Your Dragon Happy!

dragon - happySince I am currently writing a series of books which are centered on Dragons, I thought it might be interesting to find out (from the Dragon Rider’s perspective) what makes them behave and keeps them happy.

The Dragomeir Series – Urban Fantasy

                        And the Forthcoming book

My main character, Tanis Theatra, has not only one, but three Dragons to manage on a daily basis. So, how do you deal with creatures that are potentially dangerous, if nothing else, because of their size (Enormous would be an understatement) and then there’s that little thing about breathing fire/plasma, or just getting in the way if their mood isn’t so great and they’re just hungry.   How do you pacify or keep a Dragon in a good humor? Well, according to Tanis, here are some tips –

  1. The only thing to fear is fear itself. Just keep telling yourself that, two and a half tons isn’t all that big. Dragons have an uncanny sixth sense about where you are at all times. You’ll probably trip over their tail long before they step on you.
  2. Fire can be a problem during impression, but except for rare occasions, it’s mostly a matter of symbolism. Baby Aguivas on the other hand will teach you from experience not to stand at either end. Accidents only happen to the unwary.
  3. Amphiteres are born angry, so consequently get up on the wrong side of the grotto every day. They want to play, and it’s a thin ploy that lets them act out their frustrations, so play with them a lot. It helps in so many ways.
  4. A dragon will get grumpy if they’re not fed enough, but the same result happens when they’re fed too much. Either way brings out the pent up hostility in a reptile. Once every four days is a general rule of thumb, but understand, too much is worse. Dragons grow throughout their lives and the rider is the last word on how much they eat and grow.
  5. In a Dragon’s “Holder of Things”, a container much like a metal trash can, you can often find one of their favorite toys – a Frisbee – which makes them very happy.  They can be extremely child-like in many ways.
  6. One of a Dragon’s favorite things is cherry candy and they will do pretty much whatever you want to get it.
  7. Dragons hear your thoughts and mirror your emotions. The more stable you become, the happier your dragon will be.  It’s a good recipe for both parties when the rider is on his/her game.

So, now you’ve learned a few interesting facts about the Dragons of Dragomeir. They’re really quite compelling, although they can be very formidable if you make them angry. But to a Dragon Rider there is no greater creature in the universe!

Join Tanis and his friends as they uncover fascinating relationships, deceptions, betrayals, mysterious technology, and old-world charm and of course – Dragons!

Solitaire

 

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

 

 

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

urbanfantasy2

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

 

 

 

 

 

REMEMBER all those who fought for our freedom!!!

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Take time today and remember all the men and women who fought for our freedom!

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.   The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died in the Military Service.

“THE FALLEN”

 A Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

“Thank You” to all our fallen soldiers!  We will remember you always!

Solitaire

Woohoo, it’s Memorial Day Weekend!!!

catsplaying

Hi, Solitaire here. It’s that occasion again – Memorial Day Weekend. Time to take a break, even if it’s a short one, to spend some quality moments with family, or just relax and do something other than work. You deserve it!  As an author, that’s hard for me to do. Not the spending time with family part, but the not using the time to write part. I almost feel guilty not using every spare moment to sit down at my computer and continue to write my latest novel. I think that’s probably a universal feeling with most authors. But like any profession, authors need to get away from their chosen profession once in a while. So take this weekend to unwind a little, and maybe it will spur those creative minds on to bigger and better ideas for your up and coming writing endeavors!

Have a great mini-vacation and enjoy some much needed relaxation! Happy Writing!

Solitaire

You can check out my just released Dragomeir Series Book Two, “Flight of the Aguiva” here –

www.solitaireparke.com

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