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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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How to Effectively Kill a Demon – Dragomeir Series Novels

styx

 

In Greek mythology, the River Styx formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld.  The word itself meant “hate” and “detestation.”

In the Dragomeir Series– the River Styx is an important part of the story – the boundary between Earth and The Provinces of Hell.  The Demons of The Pronvices, lead by the Dark Lord, are trapped on one side and are desperately attempting to cross over to Earth.

There’s only one problem with that.   Demons have ichor running through their veins rather than blood, making the dark, acidic water of The River Styx toxic to them.  Ichor contains a property called Mercury which was purposely placed there to effectively strand the demons in the accursed land.  They are prisoners for all time for the crimes they have committed against humanity.

When a Human bleeds, the blood comes out red due to the oxygen in the atmosphere.  However, when Demons lose ichor, the color is green due to the Mercury coming into contact with ozone.  Ozone is the majority of the gas in our atmosphere.  It causes us to perceive color the way we do.  The Mercury in ichor reacts badly with the water in the River Styx causing severe burns and death.  A single drop of its water will sizzle like cooking meat and leave a nasty looking welt that can take days to heal.  Even the fumes from the water cause a bad reaction in Demons, so they dare not get too close.  As a result, most demons are terrified of the variant forms of water.

To discover more about the intriguing lands, exceptional people, and amazing dragons of these worlds you can find

The Dragomeir Series books

At my website and various other locations  –  www.solitaireparke.com

Forthcoming Book #4 –

  • Daughter of the Dark Lord

            Part One

               The Burning Sky

 

Have any questions or comments – please contact me!

Solitaire

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)

 

One of the most amazing lessons you’ll ever learn about writing!

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I came across a blog site today that was incredibly insightful and full of terrific information by a prolific writer, Jon Morrow. His site, BOOST BLOG TRAFFIC, is one that you will want to visit again and again to keep you inspired, to give you up to date great ideas for blogging and just writing in general, and probably change the way you think about being a blogger or writer. According to Jon Morrow, the sky’s the limit, and you are capable of almost anything. So believe in yourself and check out the site of an incredible man and his story. Be sure to check out the “Popular Posts” and get his Free download!

Click here – http://boostblogtraffic.com/jon-morrow-confession/

 

Know of any other posts that are great for writers/authors? Please Share!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Why is February 29, 2016 a Leap Year?

 

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A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is due to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar.

A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.

Why Are There Leap Years?

Leap years are needed to keep our modern day Gregorian calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year, and is measured from the March equinox.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a leap day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by around 24 days!

Who Invented Leap Years?

Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap years over 2000 years ago. But the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year.

This formula produced way too many leap years, but was not corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1500 years later.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar by creating the Gregorian calendar with the assistance of Christopher Clavius, a German mathematician and astronomer. The Gregorian calendar further stated that leap days should not be added in years ending in “00” unless that year is also divisible by 400. This additional correction was added to stabilize the calendar over a period of thousands of years and was necessary because solar years are actually slightly less than 365.25 days. In fact, a solar year occurs over a period of 365.2422 days.

Fun facts about leap years –

  • The Summer Olympic Games are always held in a leap year. This year, they take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • US presidential elections are held every four years, in a leap year.
  • In Greece couples often avoid getting married in a leap year, believing it to be bad luck
  • Food for thought: If you work on a fixed annual wage, today is just one more day’s work than you would usually have to do for your salary.
  • As touched on above, a year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not technically a leap year. Therefore 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. “There’s a good reason behind it,” Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics, told the BBC. “The year is 365 days and a quarter long – but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years.” Pope Gregory and his astronomers’ solution will have to be rethought in around 10,000 years, Prof Stewart points out.

If you know any more Fun Facts about Leap Years, please share!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

SECRETS IN THE DESERT

 

 SECRETS IN THE DESERT

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Mount Manchester is the highest peak in the Dead Mountains of extreme northeastern San Bernardino County, California in the Mojave Desert. The Dead Mountains are 12 miles northwest of Needles, California. It is the highest point at 3,598 feet. The Dead Mountains border the Colorado River on the east, and the Piute Wash of the Piute Valley on the west. Piute wash drains south, then turns east for 8 miles at the south of the range to meet the Colorado River.

Tanis, the lead character of the book,”Egg of the Amphitere,” is shocked to find a massive artifact depot deep inside the Mojave Desert. He is even more shocked to discover he has inherited its contents. A secret kept from him since he became a Thaumaturgist/Machinist, Tanis is overwhelmed by the vastness of the icons and technology held within its walls.

Once there, he determines the artifact depot is under Mt. Manchester, accessible only from the Thaumaturgists headquarters located in Phoenix Arizona.

The technology found within its caverns becomes instrumental not only to Tanis, but to the inhabitants of Mt. Drago as they struggle to keep the Dark Lord at bay.

I’ve always looked at the artifact depot as a combination of Warehouse 13, and the alternate dimensional library of ancient antiquities.

To uncover the secrets hidden in the mountain you’ll need to check out my forthcoming book,

Egg of the Amphitere” which will be available in November. To purchase the previous

Dragomeir Series books,

The Emerald Dragon” and

Flight of the Aguiva

go to my website and you will find them at a variety of places –

www.solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

Where Do Book Characters & Their Names Come From?

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I’ve been asked many times how I get the characters that appear in my books. Funny, I’ve always been shy in the admission of their history because many of the characters that show up are people that I know, or am related to in some manner. I’ve always worried what some of the people would say if they knew, consequently, it isn’t generally the first thing I’d choose to reveal. Most people don’t see themselves as others do, and in that knowledge rests my courage to portray them as I see them – good, bad or indifferent. This is not a strict rule of thumb though, as there are exceptions – you will see as you continue to read.

The easy ones to use as examples are the characters that have enviable personas, like Princess Rhylana. She was patterned after my wife and mother to my children. In the book, Rhylana portrays the very essence of what I see in her, and have seen for years. She’s spunky, aggressive, and kind to small children and animals. She’s a fighter, and never gives up.

Queen Mother was given her persona from a very dear lady to me, and companion. She’s aggressive, prone to lead anyone who’ll follow, (you know just to keep them safe) and dedicates her life to promoting the underdog. She’d spit in the eye of a demon, but runs from cockroaches and can’t keep herself from rescuing any and all small mammals.

Tanis, a lead character and spokesman for a series of my books was patterned after me.

Two exceptions are characters that were designed by readers. They signed up for a character contest to have their creations entered into volume one of my Dragomeir Series, “The Emerald Dragon.” Helup Ironfold, a Blacksmith by trade and rider to the dragon Jilocasin Sybaris Cirfis, was created by Jacob Overton and played a significant role in the book.   He appears in later books as well. Sergei Rasputin Cosmonov, a Red Immortal Demon and rider to the dragon Volansa Spirandi Bellator, was created by Joe Russomanno and also played a significant role in the book. Sergei too, has a role reprisal in later books.

When it comes to naming my characters, there are a few things that come to mind.

  • Some of the names are compilations of people I know or maybe even names of pets. A particular character may bring someone to mind because of their personality or specific traits.
  • I Google English names or words to determine what they would be in another language. It’s wise to check origins of names to make sure you have the correct one for the location of your setting.
  • Checking the “root” meaning of a name might be important too. It needs to apply to your character to make sense, unless it’s done purposely for comedy or irony.
  • Google is a great resource for almost everything. Once a name is picked, I often Google it to make sure it isn’t a real person who might be offended by the usage of their name. If there is a question, then I change it somehow.
  • I might use a name from a book I have read or a movie that I particularly liked because it fits the character I have created in some way. I’m careful not to plagiarize someone else’s characters.
  • I don’t always use a middle name or initial, depending on the character. It isn’t always necessary unless you need a specific emphasis on a name.
  • It’s also good to choose names that fit the era you are writing about, unless an unusual name for that time frame is part of the story.
  • I have even used names that I liked from a certain place or map that just sounded right for my character.

How do you name the characters in your stories? It would be fun to know.

Solitaire

Visit me at solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

In what Point of View do you write?

manatcomputer

When writing a novel there’s a universal question that most writers grapple with – how do you choose which Point of View to use? Point of view is the way the author allows you to “see” and “hear” what’s going on. There are several different points of view available to you and each one has several pros and cons. You must consider how the point of view you choose will impact the story you are trying to tell.

FIRST PERSON POV: When you tell a story through a viewpoint character using I or we. First person POV refers to the I, we, me, my, mine, us narrator, and is often the voice of the heroic character or a constant companion of the heroic character. Every detail of your story must be filtered through the storyteller. It is usually your main character. If your main character cannot see, hear, touch, smell, taste, think, know or feel it, you can’t include it. So, if you want to introduce something outside the range of your main character, you must use the words or observed actions of some other character who is in a position to see or know the events in order to convey the information you want the reader to have. Remember that the POV character cannot know the thoughts or unspoken feelings of another character.

Advantages –

  • It’s Easier to feel empathy for the character since you are spending so much time in their brain
  • It can give logic and motivations to characters that would seem otherwise evil, immoral, or otherwise not relatable.
  • It more easily fleshes a character on the page by allowing the audience to listen to their voice for long periods of time.

Disadvantages –

  • You are limited to writing about what the narrator can see or sense.
  • The narrator must constantly be on stage or observing the stage.
  • You can’t go into the minds of other characters.

SECOND PERSON POV: Where the author uses you and your – it is rare. Authors seldom speak directly to the reader. When you encounter this point of view you should pay attention. The author has made a daring choice, probably with a specific purpose in mind. Most times, second person point of view draws the reader into the story, almost making the reader a participant in the action.
Advantages –

  • The reader can feel more intimately connected and involved with the story.
  • It gives you the power to be different, even eccentric in the way you can speak to the reader so directly.
  • It gives life to the characters in a way that other viewpoints don’t.

Disadvantages –

  • It begins to feel quirky, whether you’re reading it or writing it.
  • Novels solely written in second person make it more of a possibility that the reader may feel disconnected from the story.

THIRD PERSON POV: The he, she, it, they, them narrator, third person is the most common POV in fiction. It offers a variety of possibilities for limiting omniscience: information that the narrator and reader are privy to in the telling of the story.

Advantages –

  • In omniscient mode, the narrator is all knowing and can move to anywhere in the story world.
  • The narrator can also tell the reader things the main character doesn’t know, creating dramatic irony.
  • Provides a broad perspective on the story, which is useful for epics involving many plotlines.

Disadvantages –

  • Far less intimacy between reader and main character. The reader feels as though he is looking at characters rather than being a character.
  • Narrator is reliable (this could also be seen as a pro).
  • You can confuse yourself and the reader unless every voice is distinctive.

My urban fantasy books from The Dragomeir Series were written in first person. They are all from the main character Tanis’s point of view. Not knowing any more than Tanis did from moment to moment was used as a means by which to increase the potential bond between him and the reader. The reader goes where Tanis goes, sees what he sees, and has to catch up on events when he returns to a person or place. I wanted the reader to use Tanis’s ability to understand people and to figure out friend or foe, good and bad, but to ultimately do it together. I felt the books needed to be a more personal, casual account of what was happening to have a better shot at complete immersion with the story as it unfolds. I hope you enjoy reading the Dragomeir Series as much as I did writing it.

THE DRAGOMEIR SERIES –

  • “The Emerald Dragon”
  • “Flight of the Aguiva”
  • And coming soon – “Egg of the Amphitere”

 

Solitaire . . .

What Point of View do you use and why?

 

 

 

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