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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In Honor of Fathers –

Father’s day is just a few days away.  It’s a time of honoring your father and his contributions to your life.  This day is dedicated to all the fathers in the world who have given many sacrifices in bringing up their children and molding them into better people.

Here are some of the famous quotes for special fathers. 

 

  • “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”

 

  • “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids and family.”

 

  • “It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”

 

  • “Father!—to God himself we cannot give a holier name!” – William Wordsworth

 

  • “The imprint of a father remains forever on the life of the child.” – Roy Lessin

 

  • “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher

 

  • “My father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli

 

  • “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce

 

  • “A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.” – Émile Gaboriau

 

  • “Good fathers do three things: they provide, they nurture and they guide.” – Roland Warren

 

  • “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

 

  • “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel

 

  •  “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert

 

  • “Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility, and not walking away from one’s children.” – William Bennett

 

  • Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather it enriches it.” – Andrea Bocelli

 

To all of you who have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father, or those of you who are working hard at being a great father – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

 

Solitaire –

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Improve Your Writing!

  1.  How often do you use the word “very” in your writing? It is often extremely overused and can make your sentences sound weak.  So check out this site.  It gives you 128 ways to avoid using this word by replacing it with stronger more vibrant ones.

http://writetodone.com/128-words-to-use-instead-of-very/

 

  1. Need some help with your grammar? Take the following quiz and find out how much you know.

http://writetodone.com/grammar-tips-for-writers/

 

  1. Book titles, blog headings, or other articles are sometimes difficult to come by. You might need a little help occasionally.  Here are 7 tools to provide that help.

http://writetodone.com/bestselling-book-titles-2/

  1. Do you love the television show “Game of Thrones” or the books? Here are 5 lessons to be learned from them.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/04/08/writing-game-of-thrones/

  1. Do you know how to research a novel, and when to stop? This article could be helpful.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/01/18/research-a-novel/

 

  1. Tips for finding those eye-catching images for your books, articles, or blogs.

http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2015/02/ultimate-guide-to-finding-images-for-book-promotion.html

Which ones are your favorites?

If these were helpful to you, please pass them on!

Visit me at my website – sp@solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

What Foods Should Creative Minds Eat?

blueberries

If you’re struggling with feeling tired, uninspired, or have writer’s block, maybe you should take a good look at your diet.  We tend to blame everything for not being at our peak performance, but what if it’s partially as a result of what we eat?  Creative minds place very tall demands on our brains, and to do our best work we should think about what affects our productivity.  We probably won’t produce our best work if our bodies feel tired and sluggish. So check out the list below:

FOODS FOR CREATIVITY

  • FISH – High in Omega3 fats which are essential for healthy brain function
  • EGGS – Contains choline which enhances memory and reaction times
  • WHOLE WHEAT BREAD, PASTA, AND BROWN RICE – They are digested more

slowly than their white equivalents, so you don’t experience creativity-killing energy

highs and lows

 

  • BANANAS – Contains potassium needed for oxygen flow to the brain, keeps energy levels up with just the right amount of glucose

 

  • BLUEBERRIES – Contain antioxidants which improve memory

 

  • UNSALTED NUTS AND SEEDS – Great source of proteins and fats which provide long-lasting energy

 

  • BROCCOLI – Your brain’s best friend. Contains Vitamin K which enhances cognitive functions – works best when eaten raw or roasted with olive oil and garlic

 

  • SWEET POTATO CRISPS – Baked crisps, thinly sliced, with a little salt. Contains more potassium than bananas – needed for oxygen flow to the brain

 

 

If you know there are certain foods that will tempt you, just don’t keep them around.

Make sure you don’t over-indulge.  Even healthy foods and snacks can quickly lead to a

sugar crash.  (Avoid foods and snacks containing high fructose corn syrup).

It’s always a good idea to eat a healthy breakfast to start your day.

Have a snack a couple times during the day – maybe an apple or some unsalted nuts.

 

These are some ideas that should help to keep the creativity flowing and keep your brain functioning all day.  So, what works for you?  If you have a special diet that helps you to write, think, and learn better, let us know.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

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Friday the 13th – Why is it Considered Unlucky?

thirteenth

Don’t step on the sidewalk cracks, walk under any mirrors, and stay away from black cats are a few of the taboos on Friday the 13th.  We’ve all heard them before.   Most people do not take it too seriously, but there are some who dread the date. By the way, if you’re interested, the word paraskevidekatriaphobia means fear of Friday the 13th!  If you were looking for a definitive answer, there really isn’t one.   Like many cultural traditions and long-running superstitious beliefs, the exact source is unknown. It is most likely the result of many different factors, strengthened over time by a combination of specific incidents, folklore and religion that have evolved over hundreds of years to create what we now refer to as the unluckiest date in the calendar. Here are a few of the beliefs about Friday the 13th:

  1. Some superstitions about Friday the 13th are rooted in the guest list of the Last Supper. Judas was the 13th guest at the table, and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Coincidence?
  2. On Friday the 13th in 1307, thousands of Knights Templar were arrested on orders from King Philip IV of France because of suspicions that their secret initiation rituals made them “enemies of the faith.” After years of torture, they were burned at the stake. Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code popularized the link between the Knights Templar and Friday the 13th.
  3. The first specific written reference to Friday the 13th as an unlucky day was in an early-20th century novel by Thomas W. Lawson, called Friday, the 13th. Ironically, a ship named after Lawson was caught in a storm and shipwrecked on the night of Friday the 13th, 1907.
  4. Superstition can result in an economic dip. Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, says U.S. businesses lose millions of dollars on Friday the 13th, because some people are reluctant to leave their homes.
  5. Friday’s position as the unlucky day may have been strengthened by it being the day of execution of criminals for many years, commonly called Hangman’s Day.
  6. Scandinavians believed 13 signified bad luck because their 13th mythological demigod Loki was an evil one who brought great misfortune upon humans.
  7. Hindus believed that it was unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place.
  8. Most skyscrapers and hotels lack a 13th floor, which specifically comes from the tendency in the early 1900s for buildings in New York City to omit the unlucky number (though both the Empire State Building and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel have 13th floors). Street addresses sometimes skip from 12 to 14, while airports may skip the 13th gate.
  9. Allegedly, the popular Friday the 13th films were so-named just to cash in on this menacing date recognition, not because the filmmakers actually believed the date to be unlucky.
  1. Black cats have been seen in Western cultures as an omen of bad luck — they have been associated with witches, and many cultures believe that a black cat crossing your path means you will suffer disaster or even death. Gamblers are especially fearful of the black cat curse – many of them believe that if they see a black cat while going to a casino, they should abandon their plans to gamble there.

Do you consider Friday the 13th to be an unlucky date? Has anything bad ever happened to you on this day before? Do you have any superstitions to help you avoid bad luck? Add your comments below.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 EVERYONE!!!

red-christmas-ball

christmas

This is such a crazy, busy time of year, but I wanted to stop for a minute – although I’m continuing to write amidst the chaos – and wish all of you an amazing and wonderful Merry Christmas and a New Year 2017 that’s filled with joy and prosperity!  Enjoy your friends and family, and be encouraged to go after your dreams in the New Year.  Do what you love and don’t listen to anyone who tells you not to go for it.  Be unstoppable and refuse to give up!

BE AMAZING!!!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

15 TV Shows & Movies with Genetically Modified Humans

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Having just published a book about genetically altered children, Tinker Smith and the Conspiracy of Oz”, I thought it might be interesting to track down some of the TV series and movies where this possibility has been explored.  I have seen many of these, being a Sci-Fi buff.  I have quite a collection of DVDs that range from (in my opinion) great to really terrible, but I enjoy them all.  I have to say though, the Sci-Fi books in most cases, are far better than the movies.  I guess being an author I would say that, but I have found it to be true.

Here are fifteen of them that you might want to check out –

ROBOCOP – 1987 – In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

LUCY – 2014 – A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

IN TIME – 2010 – In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth.

X-MEN – 2000 – Two mutants come to a private academy for their kind whose resident superhero team must oppose a terrorist organization with similar powers.

TRANSDENDENCE – 2014 – A scientist’s drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

DEADPOOL – 2016 – A fast-talking mercenary with a morbid sense of humor is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and a quest for revenge.

ICE SOLDIERS – 2013 – A scientist discovers the bodies of three frozen genetically modified Russians buried in the Canadian North. Upon thawing them out he realizes he has unleashed a deadly threat to Western society and must stop them at all costs.

GATTACA – 1997 – A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

PROMETHEUS – 2012 – Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant moon containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone.

THE 6TH DAY – 2000 – Futuristic action about a man who meets a clone of himself and stumbles into a grand conspiracy about clones taking over the world.

THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU – 1996 – After being rescued and brought to an island, a man discovers that its inhabitants are experimental animals being turned into strange-looking humans, all of it the work of a visionary doctor.

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP – 1996 – While a town is in a state of alert, the monster of the sea keeps mutating the townspeople at an alarming rate. A researcher finds a genetic disorder that has been caused by a chemical that has been dumped into the water that has caused the creature to have an alarming appetite.

DARK ANGEL – TV – 2000 – A group of genetically-enhanced children escape from a lab project. Years later we meet Max, one of the escapees who now works for a messenger service in the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest.

SPIDERMAN – 2002 -Having been bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.

THE FLY – 1986 – A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

You’ll find my books at numerous locations – click here to learn more –   www.solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

 

New Website Coming Very Soon!

VWbus2

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!

crazyhair&face2

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

 

 

Six Highly Informative Blogs for Authors

new ideas

 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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Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

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