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

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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!

Cover reveal, sneak peek excerpts, & updates.

Dear Friends & Fans:

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. My family and I had some serious sun, and subsequent heat time here in Virginia Beach. My kids were like little fishes the whole time, and I was in the water bringing them back each time the current took them down the shore. Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart. 

Forbidden is done with its re-edits and will release Wednesday, June 6th. I hope you love Sandra’s story as much as I do. 


 

The cover for Only is complete. I hope you love it as much as I do. 

 

The Full Spread

 


Update on the madhouse!

Lucas, our black barn cat, is back outside and has changed from winter roley poley, to fit and trim wild cat. Of course, when it rains, he likes to be inside, and I think he gave me one of his rare smiles.

That is a smile, right?

Bodhi thinks his smile is better!
LOL


Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three

I am plugging away at Only re-read/re-edit, and it will be to the editor end of June. The plan is for a July re-release, so before that time comes, I’ll be dropping some excerpts and poems that I wrote a long time ago. The poems open each chapter in Only, which is a different set-up than the flashbacks found in Trustand Truth

Please enjoy an excerpt from Only.
WARNING: Some spoilers may be included below, so if haven’t read Truthor Forbidden, tread carefully. Oh, and there’s some “colorful” Alex language as well. 

(Only is NA paranormal love story & book 3 inThe Alex Conner Chroniclesseries)


Blinds drift back than forth as the wind shapes their destiny.
Flicker across my face—unending beams of sunlight.
Rainbows are seen upon damp eyelashes, kaleidoscopes surrounding.
Clarity of pastel colors, bright sparkles, slight heat.
Smoke rises, dancing, then disappears 
as it rides waves of wind and light.
Serenity fills this room.
I am happy falling asleep
 … inviting in the night.

If I didn’t have to keep my mouth shut and play along right now, I would tell the damn Fae king exactly what is on my mind. It would be something poetic and beautiful, something like: Listen, ass hat! Your evil lies and treachery will not work! I can see right through your lame-ass tactics. Do you really think you can take me down with some fairy dream dust? I am Alex fucking Conner, the strongest of my kind, so stop being a pussy and give it to me straight. What in the hell do you want from me?

But yelling into the dark, dank coldness of my jail cell will only give him the upper hand and probably have him deciding to starve me again, or maybe send his goons in to rough me up for real this time. Crap, I know I have to keep my new knowledge of what he is trying to do to me secret, but I’ve been down here for nearly two days since I saw Ryan, which could be weeks of worry back in my world, and the only people I have seen are the soldiers bringing me scraps for food and a medic making sure I’m not dying or dead. Their poking and prodding nearly had me choking one of them, but one’s kind of helpless when Fae bodyguards on steroids overtake me and I don’t have my power at my disposal.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m worried his minions could tell I was on to them; Nic’s eyes on my back could have burned a hole right through me. Plus, I might be using all these bold, brave words in my head, but the truth is, I only recently started reconnecting with my power in my own world, and I’m only mimicking what I’ve been told about my strength and heritage. I’ve only had a taste of what I am truly capable of a few times. Once when I was fourteen and shoved Steven into a hell dimension, another when I brought Shane back from the brink of death, and then just recently when I helped my father break free from the Demon who had possessed him, the fiend having succeeded in making my dad do terrible things before I even knew he was still alive. That was back when I thought my next step in protecting our world was to find the puppeteer behind my dad’s entrapment. All of that changed the night I thought the only action I’d be seeing was to do with finally having Ryan’s naked body in my bed. Boy, was I mistaken.

Okay, enough dwelling and pouting. It’s time to figure out how in the hell I am going to get out of here. I can’t risk my friends getting caught, which is why I warned Sandra that dream-Nic was asking about her through our barely holding on, crazy telepathy-thingy. Apparently Ryan had already told her; how he knew when he wasn’t there is a mystery to me. Sandra and I agreed to lay low and not contact each other. Who knows if the king could use it against us? At least Ryan and Valant gave me another tool to help me fight the king’s attempts to take my memories, my life, from me. The weight of the small metal bead where it lies attached to the feather in my hair is nearly as light as the feather itself, but I know it’s there and it’s saved me more than once. Touching Ryan in the Fae dream, his skin, his body pressed against me was as real as the last time we held each other; it makes sense—our minds are the reason we see, feel, and taste anything. Too bad that, for the most part, mine is being hijacked by King Douche.

The door at the top of the stairs opens. Its wood-and-stone body dragging against the floor makes my skin crawl with its grating chorus. I think I may have gotten daddy-dearests attention. He deserves the nickname. The King rarely speaks of Lestan, but he made sure that I knew he blamed me for his son’s death. Although it seems he wants someone else in his world. Whois the puzzle, oh, and why. Maybe it’s time to ask for forgiveness again. Ask to try to bring Lestan back? Hard to think that will work when it’s pretty obvious that the king does not care. Goddess, what in the hell do I say to someone who’s crazier than I am?

Footsteps, from more than one person, clump down the steps. I look at the world’s worst friendship bracelet there on my wrist, ready to burn my ass to shit if I try to escape. No, I won’t be busting out when the cell door opens, especially now I can no longer reach Gaia’s power to send me home. That connection has been severed, though I know its raw energy flowed into me in the dream. Must have been coming through Ryan, just as it was when we stood together against the Demon in my father. Not to mention, and I mean really this is bullshit, I am a dimensional traveler, which is super cool, but when I really need to use it, can I? No, I can’t. Fricking sweet.

My pity party is cut off when two medics, one a burly older woman who’s been the main angel of death for me the last few days leading the march, while a new and much younger assistant follows with her head down. I try to get a better look at the newbie but not only is her face hidden by long red hair, it also appears to be shifting. She’s using a cloaking spell. Well, I’m familiar with that trick. I’ve used it on many occasions. Wonder rises to the surface, along with curiosity about what’s going on here and if her companions know what she’s doing. I keep my mouth shut for now. Something pokes at my awareness, something calming and reassuring, but also teeming with suppressed vengeance.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from Only, and from Synced, my new Sci-fi fantasy novel coming Fall 2018.

Let me know what you think about the new cover for Only, and don’t forget that Forbidden releases next Wednesday, June 6th. Join my newsletter for a FREE ebook & a FREE sample today by clicking here

Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and the lovely reviews from you all. I love hearing from you, so keep the emails coming. 

Parker

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