The Best Fantasy & Paranormal Movies and Books of the ’80s & ’90s

The Growing Spark:

A Fantasy, Paranormal, and Sci-fi Love Story Continues

Last month I discussed the sources that inspired my love for magic. This topic poured over into our first podcast. I mostly discussed movies that inspired me when I was a young child, I’ve decided to continue the topic by moving it to up in years, which to me is still in the ’80s and ’90s (two of the best decades I might add),  and relating to books I’ve read or written as well.

Let’s jump right in!

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(Image credit: Copyright (c) Michael Kleinhenz)

The NeverEnding Story: 1984

The gloriousness of The NeverEnding Story still translates with my kiddos today. This magical movie touched on bullying and loss as well as the power of believing and letting those you’ve lost still live in inside of you even when it can be too hard to even think of them at times.

The movie opens with our lead character, Bastian, being bullied to the point where he has to hide in a dumpster. Later, the boy received a book and found a place to experience the story. While in his world he only appears to be reading, the viewers are sent through a portal into another world where the “nothing” is hellbent on destroying all of Fantasia. Without giving away those dreaded “spoilers,” I’ll just reveal that the story progresses and this normal human boy somehow has power over a place so magical. He doesn’t even believe it himself and makes fantastic friends along the way.

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bmiphone/4654554832

And I have to talk about Falcor: Yes I have a dog that looks like him, how did I not name him that? He almost got named Walker after looking like those formidable dark side, ground assault monstrosities, but we settled on Bodhi. Hey, I was going to name my youngest daughter Anakin if she was a boy, would have been awesome, right?

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See the resemblance? Introducing, Bodhi Falcor Sinclair, LOL

Magical Worlds and Dimensions in Fantasy Novels

Other worlds, other dimensions had always fascinated me, especially when a seemingly unimportant human became a part of it before realizing their strength, power, and heart when they never thought any of it was possible. While re-reading A Wrinkle in Time, written in 1962, with my oldest, it had me thinking of how the book also sparked the interest in dimensional travel. I knew I loved the novel, but the deep science in those pages was something I had completely forgotten.

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Aside from A wrinkle in time, Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks, stars a 14-year-old girl from Illinois, Nest Freemark has a connection to the darkness that may impact the future. In this story, another normal kid has the power, magic, and a crucial impact on the future. It as the also the first time I read something from Mr. Brooks that had such a strong female as his main character. Something that is now the “it” thing. Finally!


Paving the Way for the Powerful Female Lead

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 1996-2003

We can’t talk about powerful female leads without focusing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No one comes to mind sooner that Buffy when I think of a character I related to, grew alongside, and rooted for every week. I also have all of the DVD’s, and it’s my go-to when I’m bummed or sick.

Buffy was a normal, albeit somewhat shallow (I mean most teenagers are at one time or another, I know I had my moments) high school cheerleader. When she becomes the next Slayer, everything changes. What doesn’t change is the camaraderie with her amazing best friends, AKA Scooby Gang, and she doesn’t give up, even after experiencing heaven.


Human Experiences in a Paranormal World

Joss Whedon and the writing team conquered deep topics on the show. No wonder it’s getting an excellent Buffy sequel to the show. From losing your virginity and the guy turning into a complete “monster,” to losing a loved one, studying for tests, moving, oh and saving the world, the covered it all. I cried alongside Buffy, Xander, Willow, Angel (wait, do vampires cry?), and I continue to love, talk about, and reverently recommend the show to this day.

Buffy also jump-started my love for vampires and werewolves. I admit I am more of a lover of a good vampire/paranormal story in book format, but that may just be due to the trickiness of putting the pictures readers, and the writers, form in their heads to something decent on the big screen. Well, Buffy did it perfectly, as well as a few others. Though when asked who my favorite vampires are I easily list Angel and Spike. Oh, and this guy…

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In the film, Blade (1998), was one of the movies that captured another form of the vampire world that I truly enjoyed. Not to mention Stephen Doff’s, Deacon Frost and it’s based on a Marvel comic (don’t get me started on Marvel, but we will discuss soon. We must!).

Though, since I said it already (now I can’t stop thinking about it), Ryan Reynolds was in Blade: Trinity where he proved to be a badass before becoming the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Ahhh, Marvel is everywhere. And I love it!

Lastly, bringing the female lead back into the picture and adding in those werewolves, Lycan, is Underworld. Though this one moves into the 2000s, it was released in 2003, it does star Scott Speedman who was in Felicity, 1998, a very non-paranormal/fantasy/horror show, but worth mentioning nonetheless. I’ve digressed, Underworld stars death dealer vampire, Selene, who thought of all Lycans as the enemy until realizing she’s a tool in a war that started well before her time and over power feuds. Her strength, speed, and glowing blue eyes make her my favorite female vampire of all time.


Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Novels

Continuing forward in time to show the evolution of magic in my life, it was 2012 when I first read The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson. Cecy is the paranormal/urban fantasy author whose characters’ remind me of the female strength and friendship in Buffy. Along with the romance, mystery, and suspense, the novels are pages turners for sure. The Wird Sisters each have powers of their own after being cursed, and they are joined by other creatures, heroes, villains, and those on that blurry line sometimes, werewolves, vampires, ghouls, witches, etc.


I could go on forever, I’m sure, but I’ll button this up for now in hopes that you all will share your favorites in the genres that mingle and intersect on many levels. Let’s focus on science fiction next time so I can give my other faves, Star Wars and Star Trek, some love as well.

Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned for the next podcast that you can find right here, as well as another guest blog by Author Jessica Ozment.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my dad, the one who inspired by love for all things science, fantasy, and magic!

Parker

Finding the Spark for Guest Blogger- Author Jessica Ozment

Hello Friends and Fans!

I wanted to introduce everyone to my partner in crime, my artist with the mostest, my talented co-author and creative master, Jessica Ozment. She’s agreed to jump on the crazy train with me some more and create a podcast. We recorded our first show this week. Right afterward, yes cause I know you’ll love what she brought to the show so much, I wanted to have her put her portion of the show into words for the blog. Below she touches on why she wanted to create a podcast and shares her own experiences that led her to write in the fantasy genre.

You can also listen to the full podcast below. Be gentle, it’s our first time.

Lit Musings’ Podcast Episode 1


 

Welcome Author Jessica Ozment

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Most who know me know that I’m guilty of writing and devouring fantasy novels like there’s no tomorrow and that I’m a graphic designer who enjoys building my business, The Magic Quill Graphics…but there’s actually another side to the indie book world I haven’t tapped into yet, which is odd for me because I’ve dipped my feet into just about everything to do with books. I’ve made it my mission to try my hand at anything I can to make connections with readers who might enjoy the things I not only have to say about the books I read and review, but also the projects I put my blood, sweat, and tears into creating from the ground up.

Expanding our reach

For me, establishing Lit Musings, alongside my incredibly talented co-host, Parker Sinclair, was about allowing me to keep up with my amazing readers in a different way, about gaining those crucial new connections in our community that are geared toward the fantasy genre, and to push the work I’ve stolen countless hours from my family time to create. I like the idea of us not only speaking about books here at Lit Musings, but also many other topics that pop up in the indie world we see from day to day.

Growing community

I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes the indie community is oversaturated with politics, vague booking, and childish conflicts… for this very reason, it is my goal to steer our listeners into more positive issues that actually have something to do with our profession. I’m looking forward to meeting new fantasy and paranormal authors and having them on the show to speak about what drove them into the Indie pool, and how they’ve grown since then. You’ll also find that I will be doing my best to collect trade tips to help you guys on the road to publishing so that we can grow as a team in this community, rather than every man for himself.

A mother’s lasting gift

The last reason I really want to go this direction with pushing myself to be more transparent in the community is because I lost my mother at a very early age, 14. She always nudged me to put my best foot forward and to develop the creative side of my brain that was always trying to take over anyway. She taught me to read, to write and to love myself.  She introduced me to my favorite writer, Stephen King…and through that small action, I was able to connect with her even now, with her being long gone. This show, for me, is dedicated to her memory because without it, I wouldn’t be here today.

Igniting a love for fantasy

Mermaid

THE LITTLE MERMAID

I chose to talk about The Little Mermaid in our first podcast. The biggest reason for this is, I’m a water lover. Anything that has to do with underwater worlds and magic really just draws me in, no matter what it’s about. I think I have probably over 50 fish in my house right now that can attest to this fact! I find it interesting that we still have yet to explore most of the oceans, and that we may find so much more if we just put our minds to it and show a little initiative.  I love the story behind the little mermaid because it teaches us to love who we are, to not change who we are because we love, and that there are so many people out there that will take what you love away from you to gain the upper hand. It’s such a strong coming of age movie that I think every girl should watch, young and old.

1.) Did you know that the original story about Ariel actually took off the coast of Denmark, where it is said Arendelle (from the movie Frozen, is set to be closely located.)

2,) Unlike most people I’m sure, I haven’t seen the second movie… which apparently explains that Captain Hook is the one who killed Ariel’s mother…

3.) When designing Ariel, artists used Alyssa Milano’s body as inspiration!

4.) Animating a film is a lot of work, and Disney didn’t have the manpower available. Disney hired the Chinese animation studio Pacific Rim to draw over one million bubbles by hand. Wow!

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HARRY POTTER

Another amazingly written series I easily fell in love with is the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter. Yes, I’m a nerd, haha! There are so many factors that pushed me to read the books and watch all of the movies, like the fact that a 10-year-old boy who had no idea he was magical suddenly has an entire world at his fingertips. A world which opened its doors to a misguided boy as if he never left. His struggles to gain acceptance from his peers and learn the truth of his past hit home with me, and from there, my love of fantasy first bloomed.

Fun facts:

1.) J.K Rowling came up with the names of the Hogwarts Houses on the back of a barf bag, yikes!

2.) Dementors actually represented Rowling’s struggle with depression.

3.) Apparently, Stephen King thought Dolores Umbridge was the perfect villain.

4.) And Rowling wrote the final chapter early on while writing the books.

Thanks for letting me jump in and guest blog today. Be sure to check out my latest publication featured in, Where There’s Murder, There’s Mystery: A Suspense Thriller Anthology. Now available for pre-order at the low price of .99 cents! Click here to pre-order today!

Jessica

Listen to our first Lit Musings podcast right here!

Lit Musings’ Podcast: Episode 1 Finding the Spark (October 2018)

Author Jessica Ozment and I are happy to release the first episode for our Lit Musings’ podcast. We hope you enjoy it, and be gentle, it’s our first time. HA!

Check it out below!

Your fantasy junkies,

Parker & Jessica

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You can also subscibe to Lit Musings on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Podcasts!

The spark in my fantasy life.

 

It’s true; I am a fantasy and sci-fi junkie. I am not sure if I came out of the womb that way or if my parents influence me to be as such, but it’s true. Yes, I am a grown woman, and I wear Harry Potter and Avengers t-shirts (I’ll get to you some other time Thanos, you snap-happy narcissist), and not just to Disney or Universal Studios, I am talking bus stops, shopping, and if you’re lucky, even at happy hour to my hubby’s dismay.

Inspiration

I’ve been struggling with keeping up with my blog, and I know that is bad bad bad, so I realized I need to talk things I know a lot about that relate to what I do, and those are movies and TV shows that are fantasy in nature. I mean it’s how I got to this writing thing in the first place. Since I couldn’t read right away, I’d have to say it was due to the movies and shows my family and I watched. I’d like to highlight the ones that are my earliest recollections. I’ll only talk about two today, because I know we all have better things to do on a Monday; but hey, maybe I’m not alone, and this will take you down memory lane as well.

Best Childhood Fantasy Movies

Sleeping Beauty

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Even though this movie came out in 1959, I vividly remember driving in the snow to see this movie in the theaters. It must have been a re-showing, and until that darn awesome mermaid, Aurora was my favorite princess of all time. I won’t leave out Maleficent who, to this child, was the scariest villain ever. It was the magic that drew me, the simple glowing fairies, the eternal cursed sleep, the animals dancing and smiling at her as she sang of love, all of it made me fall in love with the fantasy world.

I did see Maleficent when it came out on DVD. I enjoyed the twist in that story versus the Disney version, but I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what that is, I am not a sociopath. HAHAHA (That was non-evil laughing, maybe).

Sleeping Beauty

Beyond The Muppets

The Dark Crystal 

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Jim Henson and Frank Oz were, as always really, super ahead of their time with this one. I am sure it was a little scary for some kiddos who were the primary target for Henson in most of his work. The high fantasy and adventure tale focuses on elf creatures called Gelflings. Two Gelflings, Jen and Kira, go to task to save their world by returning a shared of crystal to its home. The Skeksis are frightening baddies that suck the souls of innocents, and I still see them in my mind when I am creating my monsters. Ack, their voices even, a screeching, a terrifyingly manic sound that doesn’t leave you, or me, ever.

The puppets, scenery, and story have stuck with me since I first watched it in the early 80’s. I’ve heard they are making a show on Netflix. Here’s one article I found, and it includes the teaser YouTube video I’ve pasted below. https://nerdist.com/dark-crystal-henson-netflix-tv-series/ 

I am totally binge-watching it when it comes out!

I’ll touch on more movies and shows in my next post. Maybe I’ll lean more towards Sci-fi next time since those are a huge part of my creative flow as well. Stay tuned for me to dork out with Star Wars and Star Trek, and please let me know some of your childhood faves.

Have an amazing week!

Parker

I’d love you to also join my newsletter to keep up with my new releases, writing, and more! Join today: http://www.parkersinclair.net/followme

My podcast is coming soon, which is appropriately titles Lit Musings. My friend, and fellow author, Jessica Ozment and I are co-hosts. I’ll post the link on my next blog, but here’s our sweet intro for now.

 

 

 

The Best Powerhouse Female Fantasy Writers in Urban Fantasy Romance: Part 1

Dear Fans & Friends:

I hope everyone is finally warming up in your neck of the woods. I think we’ve gone straight from winter to summer in Eastern Virginia. I’m sorry that I’ve been off of my blog for a while. Changing careers, writing, focusing on re-branding my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Alex Conner Chronicles, and the reorganization my life (does this really ever end) have interrupted my blogging plans. My plan for the next few months is to highlight some of the authors who have inspired me in the fantasy genre. So let’s get to it!

Amazing Female Authors

It still shocks me when I think back to the books I’ve read. I don’t think I noticed that mainly men wrote the fantasy books I poured over, but, maybe I did. Perhaps subconsciously I thought about it, and it’s why I never believed I could do it. Then I found Robin McKinley, Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia McKillip, and Cecy Robson. I watched True Blood on HBO and had to pick up Charlaine Harris’ books and started to feel like; you know what, I can do this. I had been writing all of my life, my mind created worlds, characters and creatures non-stop. I just had to do it.

Motivation

The sassy, strong, powerful female leads in these novels are alive and kicking ass in these contemporary, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal novels. All my genres of interest had light touches on my first three, and very messy, chapters that I had put together. These female authors continue to motivate me to do and to get better at my craft,  so I wanted to highlight the ones I feel have brought me to where I am now. Though many of them may have a newer series and books out, I am focusing on the books that moved me, that set my butt into gear, and brought my stories to life.

May’s highlighted author is: Kim Harrison.

Kim Harrison: The Hallows Series
I own most of the paperback and hardbacks for this series, and I’m on my 2nd read-through. Yes, they are that good.  Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a runner, think paranormal bounty hunter. The series starts out with Rachel leaving a government agency where she’s being treated like to crap to work on her own. Little does she know she’ll soon have two partners, a smart-mouthed pixy and a vampire who loathes herself.

Magic and Action

You’ll immerse in a world that exists after humanity was nearly wiped out by a virus, and the supernatural species came out of hiding. This series packs loads of action, humor, some romance, and magic. The books introduce more and more details about the other species as you move through it, and lots of baddies for Rachel to face off against in ever novel. There’s something for every paranormal lover with witches, demons, werewolves, pixies, vampires, fairies, elves, trolls, and others.

Below are only some of the books, but I wanted you to see her first one, Dead Witch Walking, and then the progression. There are 14 books in all, one of them is a prequel. Rachel also pops up in Kim’s new series about Peri Reed.

Kim has been truly inspirational in my writing and was the first writer to show me all the badass main character can be, strong, weak, clumsy, and unstoppable. Don’t miss this series, Rachel Mariana Morgan is one of the best Urban Fantasy characters out there.

June’s author highlight and another author who has strongly impacted me and my writing will be, Jeanine Frost, and her “The Night Huntress Series.”

Thank you for taking the time to read over my blog.  I love hearing from fans, so please contact me at any time!

For free books and samples, join my newsletter today by clicking here.

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Parker

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March Madness & Book Love

Hello Friends & Fans!!

How is everyone? I hope some of you are seeing buds and unfurling leaves on the trees, though I know we’ve been in freezing rain, so our daffodils are season confused.

I’m plugging away at Truth’s re-edits. It should be in my editor’s hands next week and ready to re-release the end of March. If I’m going see any of you at my events this year, I’ll have it with me! Woohoo. In the meantime, I have a new excerpt for you below.

My cover artist and I are also working on re-doing the cover for Forbidden, the next in the series and Sandra’s first novel. I’ll send a sneak peek in a couple of weeks, but one hint, this one is steamy!


At the crazy house,  the cats have been taking over our room and now our bed. Lucas is quite the ham for the camera! He scares me a little, his teeth and claws are huge and extremely sharp. LOL

“Meow Meow, I won’t hurt you, I purrmise”
(Yeah, right! I’ll keep  my digits thank you.)


Scroll down for a new excerpt from Truth which is re-releasing the end of this month, 2 giveaways with over 25 other authors from paranormal mystery, thrillers, sci-fi, & fantasy.
TRUST FRONT COVER
OH, and don’t miss the FREE book link for the newly re-released and rebranded version of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One. 
Click here for your FREE ebook


Truth front cover
Here’s a new excerpt from the re-releasing ARC version of Truth.
(Alex finally finds out about mom’s past.)

We whoosh in a circle within the magical dome; I grip my chair with white knuckles as we spin around like Disney Tea Cups. I seriously think we are going to take flight, but instead, the world around us begins to fade, and a new one drops around us reminding me of a Star Trek simulator. I can see the familiar surroundings of the Colorado National Monument, near Grandmom’s land. Towers of rock loom over us and the sun is beginning its true display of color in fantastic desert sunset fashion. I’m just getting my bearings when I hear voices and instinctively take a defensive tackle’s crouch behind my chair. Ya, like its vinyl measiliness is going to protect me.

“Ease up there, Bruce Lee, no one can see or hear us. We’re merely observers on this ride.” She cackles at me and places Silver-Vex in her bag before removing a canteen and taking a long swig, of what I do not know. She offers it to me, but I shake my head emphatically. This is already trippy enough. I don’t need any of Dana’s special anything at the moment. Besides, I have a few words for her chuckling ass.

“Well, maybe a little heads up on how this is going to work would have been nice!” I snap, standing out of my crouch and furiously brushing off my clothes, though nothing is there. “It’s not like we just did this yesterday. Or ever, for that matter.” I know it’s the anticipation making me tense. Even though I may get bruised and battered from time to time, I know I am always safe with her. I think…
The voices come from over a small rise, so Dana and I begin to walk toward the ebb and flow of the excitedly happy tones. I am pretty sure that we are far into a trail of the Monument, so there is no mistaking what lies ahead. Muted reds, pinks and gold’s surround us as we walk along the trail flanked by rocks, cactus, brush, and the occasional skittering lizard.

This is the Devil’s Kitchen Trail, the rock formations unique and powerful. I tingle from the distinct and familiar ebb and flow of Gaia’s Earthen energy, not only in the desert floor, but also from the four figures huddled together on the massive rock centerpiece. Towering over a boulder that is big enough to easily fit the four young adults are natural pillars forming the desert’s skyscrapers. It is both awe-inspiring and, at this moment, unsettling as some of the power signatures on that boulder are wired so hot that it is obvious that they are capable of great and terrible things.
My mother’s blond hair drifts above her head, forming a stunning vision of twinkling golden stars amongst sunlight-tickled strands. A strong, tanned hand smoothes down the strands before resting on her side and pulling my mom close. She eases in comfortably, and my breath catches. This is my father; I know it in an instant.

I can’t help myself, and apparently my feet can’t help me either as the bumbling idiot that I am nearly bites it into solid rock as I make my way down the trail to get a closer look. I mean, can you blame me? I have never seen this man in the flesh, this man of my flesh. I find another large boulder and clamor atop it to get a better look my parents. My dad’s long dark hair tumbles around his eyes, thick locks of brown. I touch my own hair knowing that I am his child; I have his hair, his lips and his…I gasp at the sight of his green eyes. Those familiar orbs are intensely staring at my mother and the feeling of love he is giving off toward her is enough to take my breath away and to understand what this man means to her, and why she fell apart when he was gone.

“Okay, lovebirds, do you think you two can focus on something other than each other for a second? Are we going to do this or not?” The source of the voice grates on my nerves, not only for its interruption, but also for the obvious fact that the bad and powerful mojo I am picking up is primarily radiating from him, the other guy. Why are my parents here with this creep? Can’t she tell he is bad news?

“Why is my mother here with that guy? Can’t she sense that?” I speak out loud, shaking my head and berating my mom with my eyes. A hand lands softly on my shoulder. I jump at Dana’s touch even though I knew she was here.

“The redhead next to your mom is her best friend Gillian, and that boy whose intentions you are rightfully questioning is Gillian’s boyfriend Bryan. Your grandmother was never a fan of your mother’s friends, aside from your father, Alexander that is; perhaps she sensed something in Bryan as well. These four were inseparable since they were kids; all very bright, but like most young adults they could be reckless and stuck in their own worlds and desires.” Part of me knows she is also talking about me and my teeth gnaw at the side of my lip. His name, so close to my own, continues to make my longing to meet him fanned by a tumultuous flame. 

“You have to remember that you’re a very strong, observant Earthen Protector, and a Healer. You can sense things that others, who may have been the strongest of us at the time, couldn’t even pick up on. I agree that Bryan appears to be more than just an annoying twit, but regardless of what we think now, they were close friends and they obviously trusted each other. Plus, your mother has a lot of mixed wiring going on at this moment.” Dana glances at my mother. I follow her gaze and see my mother carefully hold and at times, caress her stomach. She is glowing and smiling, I mean really fucking smiling like I have never seen her smile before.

“Are you kidding me? Am I in there? I’m here? Well, I guess kind of here right now? Aren’t two worlds going to collide into cosmic destruction or something?” Dana places her hand on my arm, attempting to calm me. Feeling my legs quiver, I lower myself onto the large rock we’re standing on.

“Easy there. You’ve seen way too many movies. You’re like a little zygote in there, so there’s no chance of you meeting yourself; not today at least.” Ha, ha, isn’t she funny? I, on the other hand, can’t stop staring at my mother, at her hand touching where I would continue to grow, and my stunned realization that whatever happens right here, right now, I was a part of it on some level. 

Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two coming March 2017

booksweeps

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you. I’ve teamed up with 25
fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of paranormal mysteries & thrillers
to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;D
You can win my novel, Trust, plus books from authors like Duncan Simpson and R.S. Broadhead

Enter the giveaway by clicking here:

Good luck and enjoy!


arcane

The SciFi Roundtable Contest!

Over $100 in prizes, including:
Autographed Paperbacks
$50, $25, Amazon Gift Cards
Art of the Arcane Bookmarks and Postcards
Three chances to win.
Daily entries to increase your odds!

Click here to enter and get your hands on lots of freebies!


I hope you enjoy your week, and thank you for all of your support and encouragement. I love hearing from you, so keep the emails coming.

Love,

Parker

Webpage: http://www.parkersinclair.net
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Yes, it’s dark inside

Yes, it’s dark inside

I’m perfectly well aware that many of my Alex Conner stories have grit, darkness, and sadness within their pages. But, I also know I have made them heroic, full of humor, and for some of the characters and readers, life changing. Alex’s backstory was something I struggled with. As with most central characters, I wanted, no needed, her to have overcome incredible odds and intense circumstances. One night in 2000, after hours of dancing with friends in San Diego, one of my closest friends opened up to me about what a man did to her when she was a child. I was so completely heartbroken for her as I lay there watching her always smiling face fall into sadness, but then it came to me that I can share her story and give to her a powerful ending to that nightmare within my story. She was gracious in allowing me to merge parts of her into the Alex character, and I hope the ending of Trust gave her something in return, something for all who have been abused. She is a survivor and someone I truly look up to every day.

What I didn’t count on was the transformation I would have now two years later. Yes, I put pieces of myself, my experiences, and piece of the people I’ve met in my life into each part of the first book, but I wasn’t fully aware that I was also healing from my own past. Parts of Alex took on characteristics of a young me trying to claw my way out of toxic and abusive relationship that lasted over two years. These relationships, they don’t start out that way. It’s a slow process where love, or what feels like love, comes first. Then the first violent act is one disguised as protection or jealousy, and a young girl mistakes that for unbridled love- a prince charming fighting for her honor. For me, the ugly side of him reared its head most often in conjunction with his drinking. As we became closer, it was revealed that he was a victim of his own abuser, a continuation of a cycle he was dragged into, seemingly without a choice, a way out, or even understanding of what was happening to him, to us, and to our future relationships.

No one would understand, as even my friends and family could not fathom why I was with this boy. Even my grandfather was taken aback when he wore a hat to meet him for the first time. Maybe an insignificant thing to a teenage girl raised in a different time, but looking back I can now clearly see the disrespect that my grandfather immediately saw and felt. And yes, I stayed even though there were multiple times I was scared of him, when a blade danced along my back, when I was pushed so hard I fell down a flight of stairs, when he attacked my friends verbally and at one time physically, we he lied, cheated, swore, threw things, hit his own friends, and even fought his own abuser, his father, amongst delicately wrapped Christmas presents while his mother wailed in the background, her tears reflecting a rainbow of color amid the twinkling lights.

When you love someone, and see their own tortured past, would any of you stay and try to save them, as I did? Many of you would have walked away long before I did. I tried, many times. Our relationship was tumultuous. Broken off and pieced back together more times than I can count. A staff member saw an interaction he and I had in the hallway, how he was talking to me and the way I was holding myself. Soon after I was called into the guidance office. While speaking with my counselor for the first time someone used the words “abusive relationship”. Yes, friends and family warned me away from him, but those words were powerful coming from someone outside of my life. When she called him in so we could talk, and I have seen him furious, but I have never seen him talk to an adult aside from his father in that manner. I could almost see steam rising off his body; his eyes bore into mine only once, telling me I betrayed him that this should have been our life, our secret to bear. How dare I tell this stranger a thing? And yes, we broke up, again, but we did get back together, even trying this battered relationship as I went away to college, but my counselor’s words always stayed with me, a warning in the back of my mind. I saw another counselor at college; it felt good to speak to someone who wasn’t close to me, who would listen to my secrets, who would help me listen to myself. So much so that I longed to study the human mind, psychology, and part of me longed to help others like me; however, that didn’t come till much later in life.

I left that abusive relationship behind many years ago. But some of the scars followed me, just as they did Alex. Trust was hard to come by, especially when dating, and some of the ways he treated me impacted my behavior, as if tendrils of the monster he turned into left a mark upon my being. I became jealous easily, was less confident, sometimes quick to anger, but one thing that stuck with me, helping me through it all when I didn’t want anyone to know what I allowed to happen, was my love of writing. Throwing my thoughts on paper led to poem books, many of which reflected my struggles with relationships. A novel was what I really hoped to write, and even though he never came to mind when I cycled through plots and character development, it was there, that darkness that had left a mark inside my heart and mind.

When I finally decided that I really wanted to continue my education, my high school counselor’s memory came back to me. Someone had saved me once, and even though it took time for me to really listen, I finally did. I wanted to be that voice for some other boy or girl who just needed to see and hear the truth. As I went through my master’s program in counseling it really shined a light on my life. There were parts of me I wanted to improve. Since I was going to be a mentor and counselor for young lives, I wanted to make sure I was someone they would look up to as well as someone they could learn from.

When Trust was completed twelve years after I completed my counseling program, I didn’t think of him, or the painful part of my past, at least not consciously. But as the years have gone by since the novel was completed, I have read books and posts about survivors of abuse and something in me stirred. I re-read the passages of how Alex felt when she had no control over her own life—the helplessness. How the abuse she suffered impacted her even when she thought she had gotten rid of her abuser for good. But in the end, he is gone and that part of her life is over. She could move on. She could forgive herself. Trust allowed my psyche to beat back my own lingering demons, to heal from what the relationship had done to me and to stop being so angry at myself for what I thought was weakness so long ago. So yes, this book was for me in more ways then I had realized. It is for all survivors of abusive relationships, for my friend, for anyone who has been a victim, who has felt helpless, and who has suffered at the hands of someone who controlled their body, mind, and soul.

Last year I finally revisited to the place I lived during high school and college summers, the place where this relationship began, where I was reminded that it truly existed. I never wanted to return to the small town in Colorado, I felt a relentless resentment towards this place we had moved to during my seventh grade year and that I never went back to after the Christmas of 2000. This summer I returned to visit family who still remained in the desert town of Western Colorado and I realized I hated who I was during many of the years I was there, but it had nothing to do with the actual place- the beautiful Colorado desert. It was truly a heart opening experience. I had finally allowed myself to love this place and to forgive myself. Yes, the old me had stayed because he had been only a child when he was warped into someone who didn’t know anything other than that type of love-a raw angry, controlling, terrible love. I am thankful that I was strong enough so that my part in that cycle of abuse was forever broken. As I shift away from myself, as it is my nature to be empathic and caring, I hope he has also found the strength to break the cycle. That he has love in his life a, genuine and kind love, one that he didn’t have from someone who was supposed to care for him the most.

Thank you for reading this soul-bearing post, and I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season!

Parker

Parker Sinclair

Founder, Owner & Author

Rawlings Books, LLC

http://www.RawlingsBooks.com

Author of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book OneTruth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, & Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicle Novella adult contemporary fantasy novels and Eve of the Exceptionals (YA fantasy releasing January 2oth, 2016).

Eve of the Exceptionals

Pre-order info

Webpage: http://www.parkersinclair.net

Sample/Purchase my books: http://www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1XIDwzO

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/ParkerSinclairbooks/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/parker.sinclair.73

Instagram: @ParkerSinclairauthor Twitter: @Parker_Sinclair Snapchat: @PSinclairauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9860680.Parker_Sinclair

Blog: http://www.parkersinclair.net/blog

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQE3qvMyB5DEZ9wwdz8rOQ

 

 

 

 

PSST…The Alex Conner Chronicles Crew Is Coming

As promised, here is part two of the adventures of a newbie author, and it’s all about–Street Teams.

What is a Street Team?:

  • You may already have your team set-up and you don’t even know it.
  • Your team is comprised of your die-hard fans who like and share all of your social media           posts.
  • They pass out info to people about you, and your books.
  • They’ve read everything you have written, some of them may have been your beta readers, and they write awesome reviews!
  • They attend your events passing out swag, wearing your gear (t-shirts, buttons, stickers),           and talking to future fans.
  • They get lots of free stuff!  Books and other cool swag.
  • They truly go above and beyond to help spread the word about you and your books.

How do I make my Street Team Legit?

  • I’m so glad you asked!  That is what I am doing, right now!
  • First: Come up with a catchy name! Mine is PSST! The Alex Conner Chornicles Crew
  • The name should reflect your books or a certain series. Since I am going to write a wide             range of books, I made this one Alex Conner Specific under the larger umbrella of PSST             (Parker Sinclair Street Team).  My new book, The Eve of the Exceptionals will have the Eve’s       Ryzing Stars.
  • It’s all in the name! These are the loyal fans who help you get to the top, don’t the deserve a     sweet name?  Exactly!
  • Once you have the name and you’ve spoken to some members, blog about the new Team         so you can get even more members.
  • Share the blog with everyone and to everyone.

What to send your team:

  • I am currently working on a lot of cool swag for me team: t-shirts, I’ve had buttons made,         and I plan on making stickers and     buttons to provide each member.
  • I have lots of cards to pass out, and codes for discounted books.
  • Before a major event that they will be attending with you,  stock them up on all of the swag       items.  Maybe you pre-make goody bags for them to hand out, or let them do their thing.
  • Free books!  Whether its eBooks or paperback, your team gets them when they first come         out, sometimes even earlier!

So there it is, in a nutshell.  I love my Street Team! You know who you are, and if anyone would like to join The Alex Conner Chronicles Crew, please comment below or message me.

Parker

Author of TrustThe Alex Conner Chronicles Book One, TruthThe Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, &Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicles Novella adult contemporary fantasy under the name Parker Sinclair.

My Webpage: http://www.parkersinclair.net
Purchase &Sample my bookshttp://www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book
Like me on Facebook: ParkerSinclairbooks
Instagram:  @parkersinclairauthor
Twitter:  Parker_Sinclair
My Goodreads Profile
My Smashwords Profile
Blog: https://parkersinclairbooks.wordpress.com

Links/where to buy/ social media

Available now on Amazon, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, & Barnes & Noble

 

The Author Takeover

Becoming an author with aspirations to make it my life’s work comes with a quite a bit of internal drive, research skills, social media savvy, networking, time, and a lot of patience.  In the last month I have realize how new I am to all of this by researching how to do an author takeover, what a street team is, and unfortunately being one of many authors and sponsors scammed by the hopes of a author signing  event in Richmond, Virginia.  I am happy to report that the event was thankfully raised from the ashes by some determined, and heart broken authors.

If you are anything like the me from last month, you may be asking what in the world an author takeovers or a street teams are anyhow.  Well you are in luck!  I finally feel educated enough to share my knowledge in hopes of helping other budding authors, and to spread the word about the awesome Parker Sinclair Street Team (PSST), The Alex Conner Crew.

This will be a two part blog, so let’s start with the Author Takeover.  What is this exactly?  Where are these events that you are being invited to, asked to do, and how do you do them? I promise to cover all of these questions and more.

The Author Takeover

What is it:

  • When an author posts information about themselves and their written works of art on a Facebook page.  Most authors post excerpts from their books, where readers can buy, their social links, inspirational quotes, games, images, and giveaways.  Be sure to add links to your images, book titles, and your name.

Where:

  • An author takeover occurs virtually on a Facebook page of a book promoter, signing event attendees, publicist, another author, blogger, or your own.  It may be one day with multiple authors in time slots, or over a certain period of time leading up to a major book event.  The goal is to highlight each attending author to help them gain exposure, get their books into hands of readers, and to meet new fans.

How long:

  • Most time slots designated for each author are 1/2 to 1 hour in length.  Authors can expect to provide 5-10 posts during the takeover.

Essentials with examples:

  • Author photo & introduction of your work
    • Greet your guests and host, include genre(s), story about how you started to write, anecdotal/funny stories, etc.

IMG_5626

Hi everyone! My name is Parker Sinclair & I’m excited for this awesome author takeover!   I find myself genre confused since lovers of paranormal romance, adult contemporary fantasy, & adult urban fantasy enjoy my books. I am a scientist turned counselor turned writer who now believes I was the writer first, but I had lost her path. The great thing about destiny is that you’ll always find your way back to where you’re meant to be, and you pick up cool experience and lessons that make you even all the better for it all.

  • Social media, preorder forms (if you have an upcoming event) & how/where to buy links.

My Webpage: www.ParkerSinclair.net

Google doc preorder form for RVA Romance Readers Event: http://goo.gl/forms/CJZl9Xe6pL

Purchase &Sample my books: http://www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book 

Like me on Facebook: ParkerSinclairbooks

Instagram:  @parkersinclairauthor

Twitter:  Parker_Sinclair

My Goodreads Profile

My Smashwords Profile

** Pre-order forms were new to me as well.  Many signing events encourage posting them for authors to get a good idea of how many books to bring.  Google forms has tons of templates to choose from. https://www.google.com/forms/about/

  • Cover photos and description of book(s)
    • Book cover posts give you a good jumping off point to list giveaways & the rules.
    • Giveaway verbiage example:  Tonight I am delighted to giveaway one ebook of Trust.  Change your profile picture to the book cover of Trust, and comment on this post with a sentence including the word Trust.  Winner based on creativity.  Contest ends 11:59pm/date and the winner will be notified via PM.

Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One

Alex Conner’s nights of event planning and partying in San Diego, California have taken a turn for the worse as nightmares invade her mind on a daily basis. The memories of the vile man she exiled using the powers inherited from her mother and grandmother are all but breaking into her living hours, and nothing is working to keep her nightmares at bay. Will she ultimately be the one responsible for bringing this horror back into her life? Who can she trust and how is she to deal with the draw she has towards a new man in her life – a man who is definitely more than meets the eye? Visit www.ParkerSinclair.net for a sample and where to buy!

  • Excerpts from book(s):
    • Images are shown to be more popular than lengthy excerpts.
    •  Try small excerpts on an image, and perhaps more within the post.

Excerpt from Trust:  The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One

I couldn’t find her at first as my eyes followed the trunk of the tree all the way up its thickness. Legs began to form, followed by a waist, breast, and her head. The branches and leaves above became a beautifully, horrifying sight as they flowed from her head creating a mesmerizing image of gorgeously intertwining curls of hair. She looked at me, her eyes glowing emerald green for the first time. They were an exact reflection of my own, and I stumbled back a step sensing the power in them, knowing her power was a part of me.

 

  • Games
    • Get your audience engaged with games
    • I enjoy posting a quote or image, and then giving instructions.
    • quote1.png

    ~    Share one brave and daring thing you’ve done in your life that you are super proud of.

  • Close out the Author Takeover Event:
    • Close the event with thank you’s to your host, fans, supporters, and other authors. A collage of your books, all of your social media links, and asking for any questions or comments are fantastics additions to your final post.  Poster_NoDate
  • I want to thank Vicki Drane for setting up todays author takeover.  Winners: I will notify each winner by private Facebook message as well as post on my FB fan page ParkerSinclairbooks . Your ebook prizes will be gifted through Amazon and the paper back of Trust via snail mail—good luck to all of my awesome new fans.

    Before I go, here are my links one more time:

     

My Webpage: www.ParkerSinclair.net

Google doc preorder form for RVA Romance Readers Event: http://goo.gl/forms/CJZl9Xe6pL

Purchase &Sample my books: http://www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book 

Like me on Facebook: ParkerSinclairbooks 

Instagram:  @parkersinclairauthor

Twitter:  Parker_Sinclair

My Goodreads Profile

My Smashwords Profile

So there you have it!  The basics of what an author takeover is folks. I hope my experiences and research aid you in your own takeovers. Don’t be afraid of them, and check out other author’s takeover events from time to time to get lots of great ideas, and a chance to win free books and swag.  This blog is only the tip of the iceberg, so keep creating and writing!  Next up, The Street Team.

Please follow my blog by adding your email to the right on your desktop computer, or by scrolling to the bottom on your device.

Have a wonderful day, evening, life!  Stay positive, stay focused, and keep loving what you do each and every day.

Parker

www.ParkerSinclair.net